The promise of a steady passive income is the ideal lifestyle for many bloggers and freelancers. While you’re always going to have to put a little work into anything that you do, affiliate marketing is an excellent way to generate income even while you’re away from the computer.

In essence, affiliate marketing has four steps. First, an advertiser and publisher form a business relationship. Next, the publisher (that’s you) writes and promotes content featuring products sold by the advertiser. Customers click on your link and buy advertiser products from your website. Finally, the advertiser pays you a commission on each sale associated with your link.

Here’s a visual illustration of this process:

One of the significant challenges that affiliate marketers, or publishers, have is how to generate leads to their website. We want to take a look at this process and tell you how to expand your business once you create a website.

Deliver Meaningful Content around the Products

We have all visited a website that’s supposed to provide valuable information about a specific topic. After landing on the page, you discover that it’s nothing but a giant ad. This can be disheartening for your audience, and they may not rely on you for information if they see you making multiple posts that are purely advertisements.

Instead of thinking about the products you’re offering, focus on the content you’ll create around the product. If someone lands on your page and sees a wall of text talking about how great a product is with no evidence to back it up, or worse, no context as to how it provides meaningful value to your life, they will likely leave.

If you want to start generating leads and sales with your content, focus on informational pieces that give your reader a tangible benefit of the product, and provides backstory on how others use it.

Pick a Niche

One of the most common mistakes affiliate marketers make is accepted every offer that comes their way. If you take on too many advertisers, you may find yourself with a bit of an identity crisis. We would all like to believe that we can be a jack of all trades and promote a variety of products with a variety of different target audiences.

The reality is when you fragment the type of content you’re creating, and the products you’re promoting, there is less of a chance that a first time customer will come back. You could also put some people off before they even decide on the buying process.

Think about how you would feel if you went to a blog and discovered that they were promoting beauty products, video games, lawn accessories, and pet supplies. You would be a bit overwhelmed and likely not feel like browsing the site for the one thing you were looking for in the first place.

However, if you were looking for gardening supplies, and stumbled across a blog that has a content marketing strategy around the topic of gardening, you would be far more likely to trust their opinions and make a purchase based on their content. There’s a big difference between appearing as someone who has a passion and discusses a specific niche, and someone who is promoting products by just throwing everything against the wall and hoping something sticks.

Track Your Analytic Numbers

Having an affiliate marketing website is similar to operating a blog or eCommerce storefront, numbers matter. You should always carefully check your key performance indicators (KPIs) and look for trends within your audience, and the advertisers you’ve partnered with.

If you notice that your audience tends to flock to one subset of products within your niche, you can use this information to seek out other products from advertisers in exchange for promoting their product.

Similarly, you should keep a careful eye on who is following through the links and purchasing a product. You’ll be able to determine if an advertiser may not be a right fit for your website if you’re publishing a ton of content promoting their products but haven’t landed a single sale.


It’s 100 percent possible to earn a living through affiliate marketing. Despite the name “passive income,” you’re still going to have to put in some work if you want to see some serious results. If you’re delivering great content, operating in a niche, and checking your website analytic data for trends, you’re on the right path to a successful affiliate marketing website.