Chapter 6

Successful Affiliate Marketing Examples

successful affiliate marketing examples

Everything you’ve learned so far can help you become a successful affiliate marketer with time, patience, and attention to detail.

Yet success isn’t always about knowing what to do. It’s also not always a fast process. Yes, there are plenty of ways to make money online, but you’ve picked affiliate marketing for a reason. And it’s likely because you’re dedicated to building a long-term revenue stream.

But often, we need to look for inspiration from others to help motivate our own success. If someone else can earn money as an affiliate, then why can’t you?

To become a successful entrepreneur, you need the right mindset. Finding the right affiliate marketing company, program, or platform will only get you so far.

In this final chapter, I want to share some successful affiliate marketing examples with you. We’ll look at a few different affiliate marketers, assess their online presence, and see what methods they’ve used to build success. You’ll see many of the tips and insights from previous chapters applied here that will further prove their worth.

And hopefully, like a good motivational speech, these affiliate marketing examples will fire you up and get you ready to start your affiliate marketing journey.

So without further ado, let’s get inspired.

6.1 A Successful Affiliate Marketing Blogger

As you’ve seen throughout, blogging is a great way to drive traffic and promote products as an affiliate. It’s a tried and true method that can lead to consistent and long-term profits.

But affiliate marketing blogs aren’t always successful because they’re filled with expert advice and just the right wording. Sometimes, they’re successful because of one person who’s willing to hustle and never give up.

One such case is the story of Rae Hoffman Dolan, also known as Sugar Rae. She’ll be the first of our inspiring affiliate marketing examples.

successful affiliate marketing examples

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When you look at Rae’s rap sheet, you’d probably think that she’s always been a digital marketing genius. Here are some of her claims to fame:

  • She helped found the digital marketing agency PushFire
  • She’s been featured in numerous major publications like Fortune, USA Today, and Forbes
  • She’s presented over 100 times at conferences across North America

Then, of course, she’s a highly successful affiliate marketer. At least, that’s how she got started.

So it’s clear that she’s reached a level of success that few people accomplish, but her success isn’t the whole story.

Yes, she’s done a lot in her career, but the reason she’s made our list of great affiliate marketing examples is due to where her journey started.  

Specifically, because her story started out of desperation and necessity. And it started with an affiliate blog.

In 1998, Rae’s son suffered a massive stroke. You can hear Rae tell the story and what followed after in this interview she did with the Good Life Project.

As a foster graduate and a stressed out mom with nothing but a GED, she didn’t have many places to turn. In her time of dire need, she looked online to see if any support groups could help her process the ordeal.

Finding none, Rae decided to start a non-profit website that acted as the hub of a support group for other parents and families that needed help after a stroke.

But it wasn’t until 2001 that Rae stumbled upon affiliate marketing. Websites cost money to run, and while the support group was active, it wasn’t producing anything to offset costs. In order to support the site, she started selling products as an affiliate.

Then around 2005, she branded herself under her nickname Sugar Rae and started a blog to share her insights.  As a very outspoken blogger, she’s made it clear that’s she’s a thought leader and influencer first and affiliate marketer behind it all.

But most notable about Rae Hoffman’s affiliate marketing blog is that it seems to bend all the rules of blogging. There are no images to help engagement. She doesn’t always write in short paragraphs. And at times, she gets incredibly feisty with her readership.

So how is it that she’s so successful?

When you consider her site from every angle, two elements stand out.

First, she’s incredibly transparent. She speaks her mind and backs up her claims as best she can.

She also does her best to let you know that many of her links are indeed affiliate links and you should view them as such. Here’s the disclaimer she puts on her blog:

You can’t get much more transparent than that. Everything she says comes from a place of sincerity though, and you can read it in her tone.

The second reason why she’s so successful with this style is that she somehow manages to stay consistent across the board. On her Affiliate Tools page, she keeps it to the bare minimum. She presents a brand she trusts and then offers a one to two line explanation.

Once again, it’s hard to imagine a format that’s simpler or more transparent. She goes straight into what her goals are and forces you to trust her by showing she has nothing to hide.

And to take that trust a step further, she stays entirely within her niche of digital marketing. You won’t find any of the diet pills or insurance she sold in the early 2000s on her site anymore. Instead, just a succinct list of relevant and helpful digital marketing advice.

It’s a simple recipe for success, but Rae Hoffman shows us that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to create a successful affiliate marketing blog. All you really need is a niche, good content, consistency, and patience.

In many ways, she’s the gold standard of affiliate marketing examples for taking the harder path to success and doing things right.

As of March 2018, Rae has officially retired from the digital marketing industry. And in her unique style, she announced it with one last blog post.

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But within her story, you can see all of the trademarks of what it takes to be a successful affiliate marketer. She found the right approach, the right affiliate marketing company, and created a space for herself in a highly competitive niche.

If you’re considering the blogging route, check out more of her advice through exclusive interviews she’s shared on the web.

6.2 A Successful YouTube Affiliate Marketing Example

Not all great affiliate marketing examples are veterans though. Some are just starting out.

When most people think about making money on YouTube, they typically consider monetizing their channel. Or in other words, they allow YouTube to place advertisements at the front of their videos. These ads then generate a small amount of revenue for the channel with each view.

While monetization may work for some, the fact of the matter is that you need hundreds of thousands of views on a single video in order to make much money at all. The only channels that get that volume of viewership have been around for years and have thousands of subscribers.

So for small content creators, you either need to learn how to get more views or resort to affiliate marketing.

That’s where affiliate marketing can make a huge difference.

So next up on the list of inspiring affiliate marketing examples is a small channel that you probably wouldn’t expect.

YouTube content creator and entrepreneur Greg Preece has only had a YouTube channel since May of 2016. His channel, which he named Start Standing Up, hasn’t grown the way you would typically think a successful channel should.

youtube affiliate success

At the time of this writing, he has less than 10,000 subscribers. By the standards of most successful YouTubers, that’s a tiny number.

But despite his relatively small following, Greg has seen some amazing success with his channel by relying on affiliate marketing. In fact, he shared in a recent video that he makes about $100 per day through affiliate marketing on his YouTube channel.

That’s almost $3,000 per month with fewer than 10,000 followers. By YouTube standards, that’s a pretty amazing feat. It’s also why his channel makes our list of inspiring affiliate marketing examples.

So let’s look at how he’s accomplished this degree of success to help inspire your own efforts.

The first thing that’s notable about Greg’s channel is that he’s selected a very specific niche for his channel that he doesn’t stray from. To be exact, his niche is online selling and drop shipping, as evidenced by his most popular videos:

Once again, it’s worth noting that he doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of views on even his most popular videos.

But by staying in his niche, his audience has a set expectation for his channel. They know if they want advice on selling, drop shipping, or other digital advice, they can find a video by Greg.

Another way that he makes his niche incredibly clear is by creating curated playlists. For example, one of his playlists is completely dedicated to people who are interested in learning how to sell t-shirts online.

t-shirt affiliate marketing

This type of playlist is much more specific than just general advice videos, as it provides an in-depth look at a single topic. If someone were to find Greg’s channel while looking for this niche topic, they would have a variety of topics to learn about.

It also can be used to help set your audience’s expectations about upcoming content. You’ll notice he created these videos in a series about a month apart. That type of schedule can help you build anticipation and engage your audience in the moment.

And speaking of engaging with your audience, that’s another element that Greg does well across the board.

YouTube now gives channel owners the ability to post on a Community page. Much like a Facebook or Instagram feed, this allows creators to have conversations with subscribers apart from video creation.

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By engaging with his audience outside of the standard video format, Greg offers another route to build trust. He shares what he’s working on, books he’s reading, and asks his audience what topics they want to see covered.

Interestingly enough, there aren’t any affiliate links shared on his Community page, which seems strategic.

Instead, he consistently puts his affiliate links on every video:

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By doing his best to direct his viewers to these links, he’s built an effective flow to his videos that helps him sell more as an affiliate. And since he’s making $100 per day with so few subscribers, you know all the elements he’s put together are working.

While Greg’s channel is small and easy to overlook, it’s a clear case that quality trumps quantity when it comes to affiliate marketing. By focusing on providing engaging and helpful content, he wins the trust of his audience and then makes a trusted recommendation. In the end, all parties involved get one step closer to achieving their own goals.

If you’re considering YouTube or any content-based platform for your affiliate marketing, use Greg as an example to guide your efforts. It may take some time, but you’ll start seeing wins even with a small audience.

Conclusion

It’s tempting to imagine that when you’re starting out as an affiliate marketing that you’ll never make it. As the underdog, and perhaps with only a little experience, there’s no denying that you have a long road ahead of you. It doesn’t help that seeing many successful affiliates are years ahead of you.

But keep in mind that every affiliate has to start somewhere. And like Rae and Greg in the examples above, those beginnings are often humble.

Just because getting started as an affiliate marketing can be hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

As you’ve seen in the affiliate marketing examples in this chapter, you don’t need to have a lot of flair or a huge following to make money. All you need is a niche, consistency, and dedication to the task at hand.

And in this ebook, you’ve learned everything you need to know to get started as an affiliate marketer.

You’ve learned how the relationship between affiliates, merchants, and customers works in everyone’s favor.

From there, you dove deep into the different methods that affiliates use to earn commissions from their merchant partners. By finding the right one, you can set yourself up for success.

Then, you learned how to lay a solid foundation for your affiliate marketing efforts. Whether you use a website, ads, or any other method, your niche, program, and content have to be spot on.

And once you lay the foundation, the next step is to finalize your affiliate marketing method. You can use a blog, social media, or many other platforms to succeed.

Then, we took an in-depth look at different affiliate marketing programs that you can associate with to find products and build successful relationships with merchant partners. The right affiliate marketing company can set you on the path to success for years to come.  

And finally, we looked at a few top-notch affiliate marketing examples that can inspire you to succeed no matter what your circumstances are.

Affiliate marketing is a journey that can teach you about digital marketing, self-reliance, and entrepreneurship like nothing else. Now, it’s up to you to put what you’ve learned into practice.