“Why isn’t my site making any money?  I followed the blueprint!” is the question I’m most often asked by affiliates.

It saddens me that every day starry eyed new affiliates go out and buy the latest and greatest course on ‘how to become a gazamilibillionaire on the internet in under 24 hours’ only to discover after months of courses, masterminds, mentorships & exclusive coaching that they’ve now invested thousands into lining the pockets of ‘internet millionaires’ but have very little to show for it.

Unless of course they use their newly minted skills to drive more traffic to their mentor, who in turn fleeces the next victim and pays them a commission for telling the world how great the training was.

It’s no wonder affiliate marketing has a bad name.

Here’s the thing:

There is no bulletproof recipe for success.  There are however fundamentals that undperpin success in affiliate marketing.

1. Follow Your Passion

Whether you’re blogging, building a community or expanding a topic specific site, it has to be authentic. If you’re not genuinely interested in the topic it’s going to show.

2. Build a Mailing List

I CANNOT stress this enough. Your mailing list is your goldmine. It will continue to deliver returns year after year, if you nurture it, keep growing it and most importantly ensure your audience enjoys receiving mail from you.

3. Advertise

Without new visitors to your site, your business will stagnate. Figure out your audience profile and run ads on Facebook, Google and other outlets.
For bonus points measure your impact. Track the number of signups to your newsletter, so you know whether the advertising pays for itself.

4. Learn the Industry

There are a lot of scammers out there that promise you the world, but only if you take their course. Don’t fall for this.
One of my favorites right now is extramoneyanswer.com by Shawn Collins.

If you have the budget for it, attend the Affiliate Summit, held twice a year in the USA.  Yes, it’s pricey to get there, especially if you’re from Africa, but it’s worth it.
I’ve attended this conference at least 10 times and learn something new every visit.

5.  Choose your networks wisely.

Obviously I’m biased here, as my day job is at OfferForge.com, and I’d love you to work with us, but there are dozens of great ad networks and hundreds of not-so-great ones out there.

Do your due diligence.  How long have they been in business?  Who’s the founder?  What did they do before?  Are the clients exclusive to them?

There are dozens of other criteria you could use to make your choice.  Not all networks are equal in all markets.  Find a couple of networks you can trust and stick to them.