7 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Started Affiliate Marketing

I likely Would Have Made Money Faster

Lori Ballen
7 min readJul 6, 2022


Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

When I first decided to start affiliate marketing, I had no idea what I was doing. I wish someone would have told me the three most important things that I needed to know before starting out.

That way, I could have saved myself a lot of time and money. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you the three things that I learned the hard way. So read on if you want to avoid making the same mistakes that I did!

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards an affiliate for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

In other words, you get paid to promote other people’s products.

As a 6-figure affiliate marketer, I’ve done a lot right. But over the years, I’ve realized that I could have moved faster, and made more if I had known a few things from the start.

It’s important to note that affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. You won’t make any money if you’re not willing to put in the hard work. However, if you are willing to put in the effort, you can potentially make a lot of money.

1) Find Programs That Pay Recurring Income

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The first thing I wish I would have learned before starting with affiliate marketing is to look for programs that pay a recurring income. A lot of affiliate programs will only pay you a one-time commission for each sale.

However, there are some affiliate programs that will pay you a recurring income. For example, if you promote a software program that charges a monthly fee, you will get paid every month as long as the customer continues to pay their monthly bill.

The advantage of promoting programs that pay recurring income is that you can build up a residual income over time. And once you have a residual income, you can potentially quit your day job and live off of your affiliate earnings.

I have one affiliate partnership that pays me over $8,000 per month.

That amount is based on around 220 subscribers that I referred to the software through my affiliate relationship.

It took me about 5 years to grow that affiliate stream of income from $142 per month to over $8,000.

This brings me to my next point.

2) Play the Long Game

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When you’re first starting out with affiliate marketing, you’re not going to make a lot of money overnight. It takes time to build up an audience and to create content that will convert that audience into customers or subscribers.

That’s why it’s important to play the long game. Don’t give up after a few months just because you’re not making a lot of money.

Keep creating content and keep promoting affiliate products.

If you do that, you will eventually start to see results. And the more results you see, the more motivation you’ll have to keep going.

3) Focus on Quality Over Quantity

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When I first started affiliate marketing, I was focused on quantity over quality. I wanted to promote as many products as possible in the hopes that one of them would make me some money.

However, I quickly learned that it’s much better to focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to promote a few high-quality products that you’re passionate about than it is to promote a bunch of products that you don’t care about.

When you focus on quality, you’re more likely to create content that converts because you actually believe in the products that you’re promoting.

On the other hand, when you focus on quantity, it’s easy to create low-quality content that doesn’t convert because you’re not passionate about the products you’re promoting.

So if you want to be successful with affiliate marketing, make sure you focus on quality over quantity.

4) Use Multiple Traffic Sources

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Another important thing I wish I would have known before starting affiliate marketing is that you need to use multiple traffic sources. Don’t just rely on one source of traffic.

For example, don’t just rely on search engine traffic. Also, don’t just rely on social media traffic.

Instead, use a combination of both. And if you can, also use other traffic sources such as email marketing and Youtube.

The more traffic sources you have, the more stable your traffic will be. And the more stable your traffic is, the more likely you are to make a consistent income from affiliate marketing.

5) Diversify Your Income Streams

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I wish I would have known that it’s important to diversify your income streams. Don’t just rely on one affiliate program to provide you with all of your income.

While you don’t want to go overboard with the number of programs you promote, you also don’t want your eggs in one basket.

Affiliate programs are notorious for canceling their programs without much notice. So if you’re relying on one program for all of your income, you could be in for a rude awakening if that program decides to cancel their program.

Instead, it’s much better to have multiple programs that you can rely on for income. That way, if one program cancels its program, you still have other programs to fall back on.

For example, I promote Jasper AI and Frase AI. They are both AI writing assistants. I joined both programs, reviewing and teaching how to use each one.

I earn recurring affiliate commissions on each, and that way, if one were to end its program, I can push harder on the other.

6) Build an Email List

Another strategy I wish I would have known before starting affiliate marketing is that there is gold in an email list. An email list is a list of people who have given you permission to send them emails.

The people on your email list are much more likely to buy products from you than people who aren’t on your email list.

That’s because they already know, like, and trust you. They’ve been receiving emails from you for a while, so they’re much more likely to buy something from you when you recommend it.

Building an email list is one of the best things you can do for your affiliate marketing business. It will allow you to build a relationship with your audience and make more sales in the long run.

I use Mailerlite for my email marketing. It’s inexpensive and easy to use.

7) Negotiate for Higher Commissions

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One final tip I wish I would have known is that you can negotiate for higher commissions. Most affiliate programs offer a standard commission to new partners. But as your referral base grows, so can your commissions.

Generally, affiliate programs have an affiliate manager.

This is the person you talk to when you need help with anything or want to negotiate for higher commissions. Simply reach out to them and let them know that you’re doing well with their program and that you’d like to negotiate for a higher commission.

In most cases, they will be happy to increase your commission. And if they don’t, you can always look for other affiliate programs that offer higher commissions.

If you’re thinking about starting affiliate marketing, or if you’re already involved in it but haven’t seen the success you want, hopefully, these tips will help you.

Remember, affiliate marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, effort, and dedication to build a successful business. But it is possible to make a full-time income from it if you’re willing to put in the work.

What’s your favorite affiliate program?



Lori Ballen

Lori's passion for blogging and commitment to empowering others is evident in her comprehensive, easy-to-follow articles.