Many people think that it is difficult to make money through Affiliate Marketing. Probably it is because of the jargon and the use of technology like affiliate links. Some people believe that earning money through direct selling is easier to manage. What many do not realize is that the potential to earn out of Affiliate Marketing is limitless. Let us now take you into the journey of your affiliate marketing career.What is Affiliate Marketing?Simply put, Affiliate Marketing is an activity where you sell the goods or services of other people, not yours. In exchange, these merchants give you a fraction of their profits.How much can you earn from these sales? Many affiliate programs offer a minimum of 10% from the sales price. Some will offer up to a whopping 50%. So imagine if the sales price is $100.00 USD, you get $50.00. Multiply this by 100 sales per month and you get $5,000.00 USD per month. And this is only for a single product.In a nutshell, you need to look for merchants who have affiliate marketing programs. Once you find one, you need to sign up for the program and you will receive a link. This link for is unique for every affiliate marketer. This is your identifier.What you need to do with this link is to put it out on the web. You can either hyperlink to a word or to a picture. Anybody who clicks this link will be taken to the merchant’s website. If this person makes a purchase, the merchant will know that you were the referrer. After the cut-off, the merchant will distribute the commissions to all his affiliates.Selecting What to SellJust what exactly is a niche? We have heard this so many times but its definition remains elusive. A niche is a specialization. It is a topic or an area that you can further breakdown. An example of a niche is toys. You can break this niche further down into drones or remote control cars. Another example is beauty products. You can drill down this niche further into make-up or perhaps whitening products.Without the right niche, you will not become profitable. How can you sell something when you are selling everything?The niche you select must be something that you really find interesting. Better yet, it must be a niche where you have a certain degree of expertise on. Selling a product that you like makes work enjoyable. As a result, you do not view your efforts as labor but you look at them as fun and fulfilling activities.The niche you select must also have a high demand. Despite doing what you love, you cannot earn money if there is no demand for the product you sell. There has to be enough people out there who are willing to buy what you are offering.A profitable niche is something that has a lot of potential to scale and develop. The best example that we can give you is digital products. Selling digital products can be a great way to achieve your financial goals. The product you choose must also have the backing of many companies that offer affiliate programs.A great example to demonstrate this is the niche of weight loss. Perhaps you find it exciting to help people learn and understand ways on how to lose weight. You feel satisfied to help people live healthier lifestyles. Weight loss is considered as an “evergreen” niche because it is a product that people will always be interested in.Another example is pets. This is a billion dollar industry and pet owners spend crazy amounts of money for their pets-from food to toys and pet clothing. You name it. You can sell books about pet training and healthcare.The key to selecting a niche is finding the right balance between your interest and its potential to earn. You need to concentrate on topics that you love, and at the same time these topics must be marketable.Planning Your Business and Staying Focused The common pitfall of affiliate marketers is their inability to focus. They do so many things at once that they lose sight of the meaningful things and activities that make sense. They try to enroll in many affiliate programs at a time, in different niches, and they get bogged down with the ton of work they need to do.Although many experts will tell you to launch multiple niches all at once, we must disagree to this because there is no way you can get organized and focused if you tackle too many niches all at once. We believe that people must start with one niche, plan the approach carefully, stay focused on the activities, and then launch the product. Once it becomes profitable, then it is time to move on to the next.People who are new to the online marketing business must also have a marketing approach. Just posting online will not make the cut. You need to have a focused strategy as there is too much room for error. And one error can cost you. What we recommend is for you to start a blog. Make sure you upload articles regularly. After mastering the blog, and only after, then it is time to move to social media. As often said, you must lay one brick at a time to build your house.If blogging is not your forte, the other route to take is You Tube. You can create video content and upload it in your own channel. The idea is that you provide your subscribers valuable information. The subscribers must learn something new from your every time they watch your videos.It is important to note here that you should not attempt to sell the product. Your blog and video entries must teach your audience something. It is in these subject matters that you will insert, with subtlety the product that you are endorsing.Things to Look for in an Affiliate ProgramHorror stories abound about affiliate marketing programs. Some of them do not pay the affiliate and some of them are built on pyramid schemes. If you sell one of these products and they collapse, your customers will never go back to you and you can say goodbye to your business. You do not want to be associated with these illegal businesses because you are taking the risk of getting sued.What you want are legitimate, credible, and high quality products that will make your customers buy more. Below are a few guidelines how you can choose an affiliate program that is worth your time.Choose Products of Your InterestAlways choose a product that is within the boundaries of your interest. You do not have to be an expert on it but at the very least, it is something that you personally care about. It will be difficult for you to stay motivated if you are selling products you are not interested in. If you are interested in a specific product, then chances are you are not alone, that there are others who are rooting for this same product.Must be High QualityLook for affiliate programs and merchants who sell tried and tested products. You can check this out by reading customer feedback in forums and comment sections where they vote or rate the products. Do some research and track down the affiliate members. Ask them about their experience through forums and check the credibility of the affiliate product you are selling or the affiliate program you are joining.Choose a Growth MarketYou must join affiliate products that are growing in demand. This will ensure that you will make more sales or you will get more referrals. The only way you can do this is by checking reliable feedback and looking at the sales stats of the product you chose.Choose a Good Compensation PlanA 5% commission is just not worth it, unless the product you are selling is real estate. A great choice is a product that pays out 40% in commission. Always make sure that the amount of money you earn will compensate your efforts. A good start is 25% if you cannot find a product that is in the 40% commission range.Read the Fine PrintSome affiliate programs advertise unbelievable sales commissions. However, they also require sales quotas. Ask yourself if the quota is attainable. Some targets are too hard to achieve, like a$1000 dollar mark. Before you sign up, check the prerequisites and ask yourself carefully if these quotas are achievable in a short period of time.Choose Programs That Offer ToolsLastly, enroll in affiliate marketing programs that offer tools. An example of this is a dashboard of your sales. Not all affiliate programs provide visibility on statistics and this will make it too difficult for you to make decisions. At the very least, the affiliate programs you join should provide you your current sales and your current compensation. Choose those that allow you to check your current sales performance online anytime, anywhere.Understanding the Most Common Affiliate MistakesSince we are on it, we will discuss the most common mistakes done by affiliates. These mistakes are costly and as a result, many affiliates do not reap the benefits of affiliate marketing.Mistake Number 1: Choosing the Wrong AffiliateJust because a company offers an affiliate marketing program does not mean it is reliable and credible. We have mentioned this earlier but we need to reiterate this. Do not join bandwagon type of products-products that are a one-hit-wonder. Anything that is selling like pancake should be avoided.Choose a product that is in demand even without the hype. Select products that interest you, products that will still be there even if it takes you a little time to plan and get your website going. After choosing the right product, conduct your own research and see if they are in demand. It is easier to promote a product that you believe in than promoting a product you couldn’t care less about.Mistake Number 2: Joining Too Many ProgramsIt is possible that your first affiliate program is successful and this is a good teaser for you to look for more products to sell. Earning money this easy can be tempting. You might think that you have nothing to lose by joining too many affiliate programs.On the contrary, you may find yourself drowning in a lot of work. Maintaining the quality of one website and its contents is taxing enough, let alone manage multiple sites. What happens next is you lose focus on the same affiliate programs that have earned you money. Therefore, you will not realize the maximum potential of a program if you are out of focus.The best way to circumvent this is to get enrolled in a program that pays 40% in commission. This will yield a reasonable profit if you concentrate your best efforts and keep consistently focused.Mistake Number 3: Not Knowing How the Product WorksMany affiliate marketers choose a product to sell without trying it themselves. Remember that as an affiliate, you are primarily endorsing someone else’s product and service and as such, you cannot highlight the qualities of a product you have not tried.It will be easier for you to sell a product or service if you have experienced it firsthand. If the product is bad, then you will spare yourself the agony of selling something that will never be patronized by customers. Trying the product yourself will give you a personal experience. It will be easy for you to create a desire and need for the product because you are a living testimonial to what you are selling.Besides, you can honestly point out the advantages and disadvantages of the product you are endorsing. Your customers will see and feel the truthfulness in your blogs and the sincerity in your sales pitches. With such strong credibility, it is highly impossible not to drive sales if your customers’ expectations are set properly. You will not make ludicrous claims about the product then end up having bad reviews.