Google Trends - A good tool for understanding seasonal content. It also displays results in a more visual way but presents much simpler results than Keyword Planner. It shows interest in keywords and search queries, but doesn't give you the exact number of searches or your organic position. It is definitely worth having with Keyword Planner, but I wouldn't recommend only using Trends. 
You can put up banners on your site, to promote your affiliate offers. Most affiliate programs will usually provide their own creatives when you sign up for their offers. All you have to do is insert the banner on a highly trafficked page (your affiliate tracking is usually embedded within the code). Banner ads in the right locations can do a great job of driving sales.  
When you promote a product you also promote the person or the company who is behind the product so try to choose wisely. You don’t want your visitors to go and buy a product following your advice then come back unhappy. Do you think that this visitor will come back to your site and take your advice again? Most likely no; this can hurt your credibility in the long run. Usually, websites/company that offer good customer service will have better customer satisfaction so try to stick with promoting their products.
There are "gurus" and programs that suggest affiliate marketing is a set-it-and-forget-it system to turn the Internet into a cash machine. While affiliate marketing can be done part-time, it's not automatic. It requires research and a plan. For this home business idea to succeed, you have to know and understand your target market and continue to do things to reach them so they can click on your affiliate links.

Decide how you'll promote the affiliate products. As mentioned, the easiest way is through a website or blog. Other successful affiliate marketers set up a squeeze page designed to build an email list, and then promote affiliate products to subscribers. Of course, your list should provide other non-sales information as people don't want to be sold all the time. Some affiliate marketers don't use a website at all, and instead use social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Many affiliate marketers use a combination of several marketing tactics.
I found the course extremely helpful especially as i am a beginner. Lisa is excellent at explaining which is important when you are starting out. She has made me understand the importance of finding the right niche and that to me is where most of us go wrong. I am extremely grateful for a course like this and would like to take this opportunity to thank you Lisa for creating a course that helps others! – Michelle
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005.[19] MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.[20]
If you were doubting the number of tools available and how it can be a problem to select and manage them, just look at the growth in the number of marketing technology applications over the last few years. For Scott Brinker's Marketing Technology landscape -it's tripled since 2014, and grown tenfold since 2012! In the current 2018 version it now has over 5,000 entries.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.[citation needed]

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