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How I Made $125K in Commission via Affiliate Marketing

March 9, 2009 | Affiliate Marketing | My Ramblings | 8 Comments


If you are looking to make money on the side with the Internet, then consider Affiliate Marketing.  I kept hearing about people making a killing with Affiliate Marketing so I decided to do some research and I soon became an Affiliate Marketer.  

Affiliate Marketing is promoting products/services that you don’t own or provide for a commission.  You register with an Affiliate Company to get an account, which gives you access to hyper-links (via text or banners) to products/services.  You take the link and place it out in the Internet world (via e-mail, website / landing page, paid advertising) to send traffic to your affiliate.  When an action is taken (sale or lead generation), you get a commission.  

Some of the top affiliate companies include Commission Junction (CJ), AzoogleAds, ClickBank, PepperJam Network and Sharesale.  There are many others, but these are the ones I use the most.

There are a few Blogs run by Affiliate Marketers with articles on how they make money with Affiliate Marketing.   I registered with a few of them to get their email updates  and learned a ton.  After a while, I realized that most of the information was the same.  

At first, I tried marketing a few items but I was not successful.  I didn’t lose too much money, but  I never gave up and just kept trying to promote different items.   Then my luck turned and I promoted 2 items that generated $125,052 in commission in 10 months (last year – 2008).  I spent $52,086.15 advertising the items on Google, $15,492.96 on Yahoo and $856.74 on Microsoft AdCenter and was able to net $56,616.15 (before taxes) in profit.  See screen shots below, keeping in mind the numbers do not match exactly with the numbers I’ve stated due to a variety of reasons.

Screenshot of Affiliate Account


Screenshot of Advertising Accounts

google-adwords-screenshot  yahoo-marketing-screenshot  microsoft-adcenter-advertising

The great thing about pay-per-click marketing is that you can try marketing a product or service fairly quickly and cheaply.   No need to build a website or spam people with e-mail marketing.  Let’s say you want to market diet pills.  You can go to Google and write an ad for diet pills.  Many Affiliate Marketers will build an advertising page (called a landing page) to pre-sell the item while others will link directly to the affiliate’s website.  Now to get people to find your ad, you bid on specific keyword phrases.  The beauty of this is only people looking for diet pills using the specific keyword phrases will find your ad.  

Someone going to Google looking for auto insurance will not be presented with your ad.   Someone going to Google looking for diet pills, or maybe a specific type of diet pill will be presented with your ad.  Now if you create appealing ads, with a good landing page to pre-sell the visitor and good keyword phrases, you will be able to send converting customers (customer who will buy or sign up) to your affiliate.  

Now the numbers have to make sense.  Lets say it costs you $100 to send 200 visitors to your affiliate who will pay you $50 per sale.  If your conversion rate is 2%, meaning 2% of the 200 visitors buy, then you’ll generate $200 in commission.  Minus the $100 you spent on advertising you’ll profit $100.  Now when you see that your promotion is working, you then want to scale the campaign by spending more on advertising and advertising on Yahoo and Microsoft AdCenter, where you now spend $1,000 per day for advertising generating you $2,000 per day in commissions with a nice $1,000 per day in profits.  

Affiliate Marketing takes some risk, hard work, money and a little luck.  It’s a trial and error system.  Try a bunch of stuff; learn from your mistakes and hopefully, eventually you will make money.  Maybe not the type of money you want, but you will make money.  I would imagine the majority of people don’t make a lot of money, but there are people doing it full time making over $1,000 per day and are labeled as “Super Affiliates”.  These people spend all day before their computers promoting products and services via mostly by pay-per-click advertising and it’s making them rich!

I’m always on the hunt for another big moneymaker, however, I do make some money with embedded affiliate links on my websites.  To find out more about affiliate marketing, I recommend using Google to find a ton websites and Blogs that will give you free information.  No need to pay for any training or buy e-books.  There are tons of people trying to sell you these items, when all the information is already free on the Internet.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s all about learning the basics, then trying it, learning from your mistakes, having discipline, hard work and never giving up.  That’s how I started!





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8 Comments to “How I Made $125K in Commission via Affiliate Marketing”

  1. Dave (ABP)
    2:31 pm on March 10th, 2009

    Great article. So many people just don\’t realize how lucrative affiliate marketing can really be but you gave a great example. Others think you can do it without spending any money (bum marketing) but I\’m with you, a 40%-50% return on advertising is a killer return.

    I currently have one offer making me almost an 80% return but the problem is I\’m maxxed out at the traffic I can drive at it. bummer :-)

  2. Don’t Believe the Hype | Money Cake
    10:32 am on September 16th, 2009

    […] for each sale made at an affiliate website.  This is called affiliate marketing (read more here).  However, for ever $1 spent on advertising he makes $0.80 in commission.  So he loses […]

  3. Generate Passive Income Online with Affiliate Marketing | Money Cake
    3:26 pm on October 15th, 2009

    […] How I Made $125K in Commission via Affiliate Marketing […]

  4. Networking is Vital to Success in Business | Money Cake
    4:19 pm on September 20th, 2010

    […] an Affiliate Manager telling me I should consider an opportunity. I saw the opportunity before in my affiliate account but never paid any attention to it. I sent her an email that I would take a look at it but had no […]

  5. Make Money Online With Affiliate Marketing | Money Cake
    5:16 pm on October 10th, 2011

    […] own anything.  As a matter-a-fact, you don’t even have to own a website.  One of my most successful affiliate marketing campaign was marketing products via paid advertising where I sent traffic directly to the advertiser’s […]

  6. “The Affiliate’s Creed”-Shoemoney ASW Contest Entry Post | Money Cake
    11:47 pm on December 21st, 2011

    […] had many frustrations which you can read about here and had a home run or two, you can read here.  However, I’ve pretty much struggled over the years to maintain consistency and to take my […]

  7. EdH
    5:05 pm on December 27th, 2011

    Do you have any feel for the consistency of this approach, that is from person-to-person? You talk about your own consistency (and need for good luck), but is this a similar story for others that try affiliate marketing? How about converting this to an hourly rate – hoe many hours did you have to put in during to 2008 to net $50K+?


  8. Patrick
    11:42 pm on December 27th, 2011

    Most affiliate offers tend to be temporary so consistency tends to be a problem. To generate the $50K+ required very few hours because once the campaign was generated, it ran on auto-pilot. Some adjusting to campaigns was done which required little time. Weeks would go by where I’d do nothing but to log in and check my accounts. If you can make it work, its the best way to make money!

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