Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing: Real-Life Stories, Part 3

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In the third post in this series, we’re sharing stories about how some of our partners got into affiliate marketing. We asked members of our Insiders community how and why they began, how they got up to speed, and what they wish they’d known then. Here’s what they had to say: "I didn't set out to be an internet marketer and still don't think of myself as one. I started off as a vintage clothing seller and blogger. My readers and customers loved my taste and the items I'd pick out, so I decided to start doing more of that by "curating" the eBay vintage clothing auctions each week and doing a post of my favorite items.

“Eventually, it became more profitable for me to just do the curated post than to actually go out and buy vintage clothes, clean them, post them on eBay, package them, ship them and handle customer service. When I saw the success I was having with the Vintage Fashion Roundups, I expanded and now do a Vintage Home Roundup and Vintage Jewelry Roundup as well. In 2011, I was recipient of the ‘Rising Star’ award from eBay!"

-Mary Kincaid, Zuburbia

"I started in affiliate marketing and other internet ventures in 1998. My first go was a search engine similar to Yahoo, and I built it to millions of visitors a month, and was even featured on CNN. I sold advertising and banners on it along with affiliate offers from different companies. But a trademark issue with the domain name killed it, which shows you that you need to do your research on your domain name before you use it to build a business! My mistake cost me millions.

“Next, I sold hosting for a few years and made niche search engines for different topics and monetized the sites with affiliate marketing. I first became an eBay affiliate with Commission Junction, then migrated to EPN. I have participated in many different affiliate programs over the years and eBay has been the most profitable by far."

-Shane Dolby

"I started in affiliate marketing around 2005. I was in the very early learning phase and quickly discovered the learning never ends. I was selling a lot of information products at that time, and that sort of led naturally into affiliate marketing, though it was never that successful in terms of making a lot of money.

“I was introduced to EPN when the Bump Sites became popular. They were pretty simple to set up and the return was not too bad at all. Of course, then Google changed and eBay changed, as is the case in any niche you happen to work in. Monetizing blogs is a great use of affiliate marketing and social media has increased the reach exponentially. I've decided that I'm in it for the long haul and it's time to step up my game."

-Kathy Keefe, sassyssavings.com

Check back on the blog for more publisher stories and if you have a story to share, let us know in the comments, or apply to join Insiders for more opportunities.