If you’ve been looking to see who the successful affiliates are, you’re in the right place because here, we’ll be talking about 5 top affiliate marketers making more than $50,000/mo. If you’re here, you’re probably interested in making money online–a growing number of people are. Who would blame them? There are lots of options to make an income online, and a lot of them offer you:
- Time flexibility
- Lucrative earning potential
- Location independence
- And, you can meet people from all over the world!
Many people are fed up with the traditional work arrangements where you work for one employer for decades, have an earning cap, and limited benefits. You may be able to relate.
Instead of the traditional employment options, more and more people are becoming intrigued with making money online. The problem is….there are many ways to make money online and it’s difficult to compare and decide which you’d enjoy most!
It’s a good and a bad thing to have options. Hahaha.
If you try all of the options for making money online, you could be spending years experimenting without much to show for it!
Since you’re reading here, I’d say it’s safe to guess that you have some level of familiarity with the term “affiliate marketing”, and you’re probably looking to re-affirm what’s possible in the industry. In this article, I’ll be sharing with you 10 stories that can demonstrate the possibilities in the affiliate marketing industry!
As a disclaimer, these stories aren’t representative of the average or norms in the industry. Like other career fields, many people try affiliate marketing and decide it’s too hard for them, they don’t like it, or they don’t stick with it long enough to make it work. What these creators have done to reach the levels of earning they have is worthy of an applause at the least. They’ve reached lots of people and offered them solutions, so kudos to them.
Most of them have been in the industry for more than 5 years. Some studied extensively before taking action and others had years before getting results. Either way, each of these stories is a demonstration of what’s possible in the industry. Whether you primarily run a product based business or a service based business, what would an additional $50,000/mo do for your bottom line?
These stories show what’s possible when you partner with other companies and promote their services instead of/or in addition to your own.
How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
Previously, I wrote a post that tells you how to start an affiliate marketing business. In that post, I talk about what a normal day is like, the skills required, and so on. I won’t rehash all that here. If you’re interested in learning what it takes to run an affiliate marketing business, check out that post here.
I want to highlight to you the different ways it’s possible to make a lucrative income with affiliate marketing. These are some common themes you’ll see among these very successful affiliate marketers:
1. A Mix of High and Low Ticket Offers
Most of the affiliate marketers we’ll be talking about promote a mix of products. They may be affiliates for high ticket courses, low ticket products, and recurring commission products as well.
2. Affiliate marketing on the back end of course sales
Many of the successful affiliate marketers place affiliate links in places like Youtube descriptions, podcast descriptions, and blog posts, but majority of them have courses that demonstrate how to take action with their affiliate partner’s products and services. In the courses, they offer step-by-step advice on how to achieve a goal the students have, and their affiliate links are in the backend for “warm prospects” or “action takers”.
3. Recurring commission affiliate programs
Most businesses know it’s easier to keep an existing customer than it is to sell to a new one. Affiliate programs that don’t offer recurring commissions require the affiliates to constantly sell to new clients in order to meet their financial goals. While it’s not bad to consistently sell to new people, there’s also peace of mind that comes when you know your income will be fairly consistent (even if something happens that prevented you from working). Recurring commission affiliate affiliate programs have passive components because it’s like you’re being paid royalties for the work you’ve already done. Here’s a list of recurring commission affiliate programs for you to check out.
4. Consistent lead generation
Many unsuccessful affiliates have a hard time being consistent with attracting new customers to their affiliate partners’ products and services. As a result, they don’t make consistent income.
Successful affiliates are consistently attracting a wave of new customers, and most have a daily habit that keeps this flow consistent.
5. A Mix of Traffic Sources
It’s funny that some of the successful affiliates teach one traffic channel is better than the other, or say, “only one is needed”. I’ve watched what they say and what they do, and I prefer to follow what successful people DO over what they SAY.
From observation, I can see that most successful affiliates (if not all) use a mix of organic traffic and paid traffic. They tend to specialize in one or two organic methods and one or two paid methods and just maintain consistency with those.
6. Helping lots of people in their niche
Successful affiliates are making content and responding to questions, concerns, and inquiries about what they’ve made. They may get lots of comments on places like Youtube or on their blogs, but they take time to respond to inquiries.
7. They Build Communities
Yes, they build their audience and they help people, but that’s not enough. They also build a community: an email list, a Facebook group, a Slack channel, or some other way, they can have immediate access to large groups of people with similar interests.
8. Collaborating with other Influencers in their niche
Instead of seeing everyone in their niche as a competitor, I’ve watched many successful affiliates collaborate on projects. They may do interviews, guest posts, and even masterminds where they exchange ideas, exchange value to their audiences, and ultimately grow.
9. A Mix of Traffic and Income (even though they earn $50,000+ solely from affiliate marketing)
Some of the people who earn more than $50,000/mo with affiliate marketing call themselves by names other than affiliate marketers. Some call themselves Youtubers. Some say they’re bloggers. Some say they’re advertising specialists, copywriters, course creators, or internet marketing. There’s a variety of other things that can be done simultaneously as you’re growing an affiliate income.
Similarly, there are many traffic options. Some affiliates are “killin it” on Pinterest rakin in 1000’s of email signups daily from free Pinterest traffic. Some are spending 10s of thousands on ads, but earning 2x or more back. Some ride heavier on the search engine optimization side of things, and others love Facebook ads. There are many ways to attract traffic.
When you’re listening to people talk about they’re traffic and monetization in their business, make sure you don’t simply follow what’s said or done, but take time to think about what would work best for YOU.
Best Way to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
Now, the question you might be asking is…
“Is there a ‘best way’ to make money with affiliate marketing?”, and unfortunately, the answer is “no”.
There are so many possibilities and there are also many different backgrounds and scenarios we each have come from. The “best way” to make money is the way that you’ll get the support you need, and that makes you feel the most confident and motivated to be successful.
How I Discovered These Affiliate Marketers
I started studying affiliate marketing seriously in 2017. Prior, I had overheard the term “affiliate marketing”. I had dabbled with adding Amazon affiliate links to books on my blog, but I hadn’t met any thresholds for payout because I’d never made much money with it!
Instead, I first became successful working from home online as a freelance digital marketer offering services like graphic design, social media management, and ghostwriting. In fact, I had a full-time client load in 2017 when my son got sick and I had to pivot completely.
We had to go to several doctors appointments, and I wasn’t able to balance a service-based business and the demands of getting my son back healthy. I had to get rid of my clients, and I decided to find a new way to make an income that offered more time flexibility.
I started to research other ways to make money online at the end of 2017, and I found many of these successful affiliate marketers as a result. I bought some of their courses to learn how they were making money, and I decided on which marketing strategy and niche I wanted success in myself. Fast forward two years, and my primary income comes from affiliate marketing, and I help others to learn how to do it.
I’m very happy with my choice to learn affiliate marketing, so I love helping others learn as well. If you’re interested in learning affiliate marketing, you can check out my favorite program that helped me start making money with affiliate marketing for free here.
- John Crestani
John Crestani is one of the highest earning affiliates that openly talks about his income. He says he’s been doing affiliate marketing full-time since 2012, and started out with a gold investment company. He admits, it took him awhile to start making money with affiliate marketing. In fact, he says it took him 4 years to earn his first commission! The impressive thing is how he stuck it out past the disappointment, the questioning from people around him, and the ridicule, and today, he’s reaping from his decision to persist.
How does John Crestani make money?
He’s now making $20,000+ per day and the large majority of his income comes from affiliate marketing. He says he makes his affiliate income with:
- Bluehost hosting – $140 or so per sale and $21,000/mo
- Clickfunnels – Won the dream car and makes $11,000 in recurring commissions
- His infoproduct Super Affiliate System – $369,000
- As an event affiliate – $289,000
- Youtube – $437
How does he get Traffic?
John Crestani gets has a mix of traffic sources. He uses paid advertising extensively, and he says he spends 10s of thousands monthly on ads. In Super Affiliate System, he shares his advertising strategies, so it’s clear that he advertises on Google, Bing, Youtube, and Facebook. Added to paid ads, he also has a Youtube channel with lots of subscribers, he has his email list that keeps bringing interested prospects back to his content, and he says he used to blog. I’m unsure if he still blogs now, but he’s knowledgeable in that area also.
Announcement: I’ll be doing an interview with John Crestani at the end of October, so I’ll be able to ask many of the questions I haven’t answered there. If you have more questions for John Crestani prior to my interview this month, please don’t hesitate to leave them below and I’ll sort thru them.
To see my full review of John Crestani’s course, Super Affiliate System, check it out here.
2. Robby Blanchard
Robby Blanchard is the #1 affiliate on Clickbank, and the funny thing is…
He’s a personal trainer! He started out online because his Crossfit gym was not making money. He wanted to learn how to get more customers for his gym, so he studied Facebook ads, and started getting results. He was able to get a full client load and even get a new gym as a result of his new marketing skills!
With that success under his belt, he decided to create a digital course about Crossfit, and he wanted to recruit affiliates who would help him to market the course. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get the affiliates excited enough. He decided to try the Facebook ads strategy (that had been working for his gym) on his digital course, and that went well too!
With success in his gym and with his digital course underway, he decided to try being an affiliate for others’ products on Clickbank, and he started getting sales for them. Now, he says he’s earning $30,000+ per day!
How does Robby Blanchard make his Money?
He makes money as an affiliate, Crossfit gym owner, and as a digital course creator. I know he’s a Clickbank affiliate, but it’s unclear what niche(s) he may promote. It would seem logical and relevant that he’s promote healthy living products, but who knows.
How does he get his Traffic?
In his course Commission Hero, he shares his methods for earning as an affiliate marketer. In the course, he uses one traffic source and that’s Facebook, however, he also has a Youtube channel, and uses social media, so based on what he DOES, more than one traffic source is likely valuable.
If you’re interested, you can see my full Commission Hero review here.
3. Alex Nerney and Lauren McManus
I love Alex and Lauren’s story. It’s so relatable. They were each very successful from a traditional standpoint. She had become a CPA and he was a personal trainer, and if my memory serves me right, they were both less than 25 years old!
They were each frustrated with the constraints on their jobs, and didn’t have hope that staying would give them a better life. Alex had the “entrepreneurial itch” and he wanted to start a business that would free them from what they were experiencing. Lauren followed suit.
They started a blog called Health and Happy hour that completely flopped! They had people questioning them and suggesting they get jobs, but they decided to sacrifice time with friends and family, and buckle down to build a successful online business. Their second blog was a whopping success! They earned over $100,000 in their first year!
Following their success on their health and wellness blog, they decided to start a blog that taught others how to start a blogging business, and now, that’s a major stream of income for them as well.
How do Alex Nerney and Lauren McManus Make Money?
According to their most recent income report, they made $111,926.06 in August 2019.$58,000 of their income came from affiliate marketing. They’re affiliates of Bluehost, Convertkit, Clickfunnels, Leadpages, Tailwind, Teachable, and others. $51,150 came from digital course sales. They sell courses on how to launch a blog, how to monetize a blog, how to become a 6-figure blogger, and how to grow Pinterest traffic.
How do they get traffic?
Interestingly, they get the majority of their traffic from SEO, Youtube, and Pinterest. They teach and apply mostly organic methods, however, they do advertise on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
4. Pat Flynn
Pat Flynn is one of the veterans that made “niche sites” popular and interesting. He was laid off from a good paying job 10+ years ago. He shared his fear and started being open about his journey to becoming a successful online marketer. He built an audience and tribe thru transparency, sharing his income reports, sharing his methods, starting the Smart Passive Income blog, podcast, and Youtube channel. Over the years, he’s taught lots of people how to be successful in an online business, and his help is being rewarded generously.
How does Pat Flynn makes Money?
Pat Flynn published monthly income reports: from 2008 up to 2018. In them, you can see his experiments that helped him grow his income. He started out making money with his Green Exam niche website, then he started Smart Passive Income to teach others how to earn passive income.
In his most recent income report, he shared his exact earning methods. He earned $105,619.13 from affiliate sales as an affiliate for Bluehost, Convertkit, Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever, Bonjoro, Create Awesome Landing Pages course, Leadpages, Market Samurai, Samcart, Social media marketing world, Teachable, and WP-Wishlist.
In addition to his affiliate income, he also made $41,849 from selling his own courses, $10,581 from his Studiopress theme licenses and his podcasting software, $3,866 from his niche sites, $3,389 from podcast sponsorships, and $2,246 from his book sales.
How does he get his Traffic?
He attracts customers to his own products and his affiliate products thru:
- Search engine optimization – He keeps his websites optimized for search engines
- Podcasting – He has a very large and loyal fanbase of podcast listeners
- Youtube – He shoots Youtube videos that attract customers
- Facebook ads – He says he periodically runs Facebook ads to attract customers to his courses
5. Michelle Schroeder Gardner
Michelle was a Financial Analyst who graduated from college with school loans and other debts. She wanted to get her financial life together, and she decided to share her journey side hustling and paying off debt on her blog.
When she started, she didn’t consider blogging a side hustle and she didn’t even know it could make money! Instead, she thought the money came from the side hustles and she wanted to share the results on the blog. Little did she know, she’d be presented with the opportunity to make money and it would change her life!
Michelle earned her first $100 from posting a sponsored post, and from there, she began learning how to make more and more money from her blog.
How does Michelle Schroeder Gardner Make Money?
Michelle makes the majority of her income from affiliate marketing. In fact, her most recent income report shows she earned 63% of her income from affiliate marketing, 19% from sponsored posts, 16% from courses, and 2% from display advertising.
How does she get Traffic?
Like Alex and Lauren, Michelle also gets significant traffic from Pinterest and SEO. She doesn’t do video marketing or podcasting. Her blog is 100% reliant on the written word which is pretty neat considering the amount of income she’s earning from writing. Who else do you know earns millions as a writer?
To learn more about Michelle or to see my review of her course, visit here.
How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is seeing exciting times and the trends are expected to continue rising upwards. More businesses are instating affiliate programs and more people are getting comfortable buying online, which means more opportunities for those who understand affiliate marketing to make money.
If all this looks exciting to you and you’d like to get started with affiliate marketing, I’d recommend you have:
- The support of a community of like-minded people
- Web hosting and a place to register domains (or online website addresses)
- The training and education you need from a proven platform
- And, a go-to place where you can get your questions answered
The #1 place I recommend you get started is at Wealthy Affiliate because they offer all that you need combined in one package. They give you the software tools, web hosting and domain registration, community and support you need to start an affiliate marketing business online. You can read my full Wealthy Affiliate review and get a demo tour here or you can get started at Wealthy Affiliate for free by going here.
The Bottom Line
If you were uncertain about whether affiliate marketing is a viable career option, hopefully, this article shows you it’s a great option. It’s been a viable career option for me and many others. If you have any questions or concerns about any of this, please leave them below, or meet me here to get started with affiliate marketing for free.