21 Real-Life Examples of Successful Affiliate Marketing Websites

21 Successful Affiliate Marketing Website Examples

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Ever wondered what successful affiliate marketing websites look like? If so, you’re in the right place.

Over the years, I’ve learned one of the quickest ways to succeed at a new venture is by following the trail of success. In other words, if I want to be a successful mom, I find people who have already done it, and follow their example.

If I want to be a successful runner, I do the same thing. And, of course, if I want to be a successful affiliate marketer, I look for successful examples of that too, which is why if you’re here looking for examples of successful affiliate marketing websites, we’re obviously like minds!

It’s likely that if you’re here, you’re considering whether to give affiliate marketing a try, and you probably want to see what a successful site is like, right?

You’re a genius!

Good Affiliate Sites vs. Bad Ones

I’d bet that you’ve seen an affiliate site before, and you may not have even noticed it. Most people come across them when they’re typing in things like “product name review”, comparisons like “this vs. that review”, or “best product name”. The unfortunate thing is sometimes, you’ll get a list of solid results with good advice, and sometimes, you’ll get a list of results that are shallow.

Sometimes reviewers can be shortsighted or manipulative in a negative way when they write their reviews without considering the steps I wrote about in my 7 steps for writing product reviews that convert.

They might be:

  • Self-centered and focused on getting the highest commission
  • Too salesy and not helping you decide what’s best for you
  • or, lazy and they don’t give enough information

None of these situations is good, and unfortunately, sites like that have a hard time succeeding nowadays because more and more consumers are educated shoppers, and they’re not falling for what they used to when e-commerce was still very new.

List of Successful Affiliate Marketing Websites

I want you to have a competitive advantage regardless of which niche you decide to start a site in, which is why I’ve curated a list of several successful affiliate marketing websites. Once you see what a successful site looks like, then you can do your best to apply the same standard of quality and excellence to the sites you create.

Run By Media Teams

When you’re looking at affiliate sites, there are some run by large media teams with editors, writing staff, and unless you have all of that, you should only look at them as a template for the far future. Still, they’re very interesting to look at and alot can be learned from them. Here are some examples:

1. The Wire Cutter

Successful Affiliate Marketing Websites

The Wire Cutter is run by the New York Times, but it started in 2011 as a site run by Brian Lam. He was a previous Editorial director for  Gizmodo and the assistant editorial director for Wired magazine. Then, he decided to “semi-retire” and start the WireCutter.

I’ve heard he had a very aggressive work ethic and even posted two or more posts per day! The good thing is his hard work paid off massively. In 2016 (5 years after starting his blog), he sold it to New York Times for $30 million!

It just goes to show the potential of building an affiliate site well.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

2. Fit Small Business

Fit Small Business: Successful Affiliate Marketing Website ExamplesFit Small Business was founded by David Waring and Marc Prosser. They noticed that there wasn’t sufficient answers to small business problems online, and instead majority of the content would address people who spoke from a generalist standpoint.

They decided to review products and service, offer buyers’ guides, and deliver tutorials that can answer small business questions. Now, they have more than 4 million monthly readers and they make majority of their income thru affiliate partnerships when they recommend products and services to readers.

The cool thing about Fit Small Business is they say they keep the editors and operations separate, so the recommendations are solely based on research and quantitative analysis rather than the compensation of the company. Very cool!

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

3. Nerdwallet

After working on Wall Street, the founder, Tim Chen became disgusted with the lack of transparency in the personal finance world. As a result, he and the co-founder, Jake Gibson, started Nerdwallet. They started with $800 in startup capital, but now, 10 years later, they’ve become a go-to resource for 3 million+ monthly visitors looking for recommendations and reviews on things like mortgages, insurance, credit cards, and many other finance products. According to Inc., they’re a $520 million+ company! Have you seen $800 multiply like that many places?

Starting an online business is definitely the way to go! Grab your free website…

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

4. This is Why I’m Broke

Adam Freeman started This is Why I’m Broke as a hobby website. He said he felt like he was going nowhere in life and just wasting away his potential, then he decided to put it all to use. He began reviewing cool gadgets and gifts that men would enjoy, and This is Why I’m Broke began to grow.

Now, it consists of a staff of six and it’s a go-to resource for people looking for odd gift ideas. The founder says he failed several times, but he couldn’t give up on the dream of having an online business, and that commitment is what drove him to a level of success many people can only dream of.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

5. How to Start an LLC

How to Start an LLC is a web asset run by TruIC and the publishing staff. They write about how to start limited liability companies including business ideas, how to choose a business structure, and the process for protecting yourself legally as a business owner. They monetize the site largely by referring entrepreneurs to Incfile and other legal incorporation services.  Considering that they rank for lots of very valuable keywords, I’d guess they’re earning lots of affiliate commissions doing what they do.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

Run by Individuals

Unlike the list of affiliate sites that are run by large media teams, there are also individuals who are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars every month with affiliate sites. If you’re an individual looking to start an affiliate site, these are some great sites to take a look at.

5. Create and Go

Alex Nerney and Lauren McManus became interested in making money online while they were both working corporate jobs. Alex was a personal trainer and Lauren was a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

They both were very discontent with their jobs and what they had to do to keep them, so they decided to “try their hand at starting an online business”. Their first online business flopped, but they learned a lot from that. The second time around, they started a health and wellness site called Avocadu that did very well! They sold some affiliate products, and used those to test before creating their own.

Once they discovered which affiliate products sold well, they used those as a template to create their own.

They Started Seeing Results

In their first year, they were able to earn more than $100,000 as partners! They used their success in the health and wellness niche to teach others how to build successful blogging businesses of their own, and Create and Go was their second success online.

Their September blog income report (the most recent as of this writing), they earned $56,795 from affiliate sales alone!

They’re affiliates of companies like:

One interesting thing is they write very few reviews. Instead, they write content that tells people about their experience with blogging, facts, and relevant statistics. I’d guess that most of their affiliate commissions probably comes from their courses where people pay to learn how to run a blogging business and the tools are required to carry out the instructions.

Top Traffic Channels: Pinterest, Youtube, and Search Engine Optimization

6. Football Snack Helmets

Jay Neill is an affiliate marketer that I’m personally mentored by. He’s been in the industry for over 15 years, and he’s a wealth of knowledge. One case study site he set up to show us how things work is Football Snack Helmets. 

It’s a funny site because it’s more of a passion niche. People who are interested in football like to have snacks for their parties and celebrations, and if their super fans, they want to have a party bowl that’s custom to the team they support–the football snack helmets site shows them their options.

This site isn’t a $100,000/mo site (like Avocadu and Create and Go), but it’s still a great successful affiliate site example if you want to see what a more passive income niche site looks like.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

7. XBrewX

Like Football Snack Helmets, XBrewX is a more passive income niche site. It’s more established than Football Snack Helmets and has more content, but it’s not a site that gets worked on every day in order to generate an income. The founder, Nathaniell Brenes, works most on his make money online niche website, but he loves drinking beer, so he decided to make a website around his passion.

People who come to XBrewX are looking for reviews, recipes, and final answers before making buying decision on things like beer brewers or high-end brews. Offering the info their looking for has made Nathaniell several thousands of dollars over the years.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

8. OneMoreCupof-Coffee

I couldn’t post about his side project without also mentioning his main “breadwinner”: One More Cup Of Coffee. Hahaha. Nathaniell, founder of xBrewx, also founded a website about internet marketing. The site was originally started because his passion was to enjoy life outside of the rat race so he can enjoy his morning coffee. Hahaha.

He talks about a gamut of experiences he’s had: from building lots of websites to being de-indexed and restoring his graces.  He’s got very interesting stories he tells on his blog, but it’s also a great example of an authority website in the affiliate marketing niche that’s monetized nearly 100% by affiliate marketing.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

9. Camper Report

If you’re looking to do some camping in mobile homes or in the forested areas somewhere, it’s likely, you might look for reviews and experiences before buying things like:

  • Cots
  • Sleeping bags
  • Tents
  • and other things

When you’re looking around, it’s possible, you might land on a site called Camper Report run by Jim and Ricky. They own a portfolio of niche sites (including a few of the ones on this list). They start their niche sites with very low-cost tools: basic Bluehost hosting, their Acabado WordPress theme, and quality content. With those tools, they create content that helps campers to enjoy their times on the road.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

10. Cabin Freedom

Like Camper Report, Cabin Freedom was also started by Jim and Ricky. They started cabin freedom because they’re “outdoor guys” and they wanted to share what they were learning as they were building cabins and enjoying the outdoors themselves.

They write reviews of things like generators, building tools, and other things that are useful when you’re building or living the “cabin-lifestyle”. Cabin freedom is very cool because it shows you how you can monetize a passion or hobby you might have.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

11. Health Ambition

If you’ve ever been looking for healthier alternatives for dieting and weight-loss reasons, then you may have come across Health Ambition. The purpose of the site is to show readers how to replace unhealthy habits with healthier ones.

Health Ambition was founded by the same guys who created Authority Hacker (which we’ll talk about later in the list). They review all types of weight loss and dieting programs and products, and they have articles to answer questions and improve overall health.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

12. Making Sense of Cents

I love the story of Michelle Gardner and Making Sense of Cents! It’s so innocent, but as a result of improving her own life and wanting to help others make better finance decisions along the way, she decided to start blog. In the beginning, it was like a journal where she was documenting her debt-free journey, trying various side hustles, and over time, her blogging income “went bananas”!

She reported her income from the beginning to nearly $250,000/mo. Her blog is in the personal finance niche where she talks about how to make more money, save more money, and invest. Now, there’s lots of content there and she’s virtually advised millions of people on personal finance over the years! Michelle reports earning 60% or more of her earnings from affiliate marketing, and living her dream lifestyle as a result.

She’s an affiliate of several independent courses on personal finance, side hustles, and starting businesses. She’s also an affiliate of companies like Convertkit, Bluehost, and Teachable.

It’s crazy what an affiliate blog can do.

Top Traffic Channel: Pinterest and Search Engine Optimization

13. IveTriedThat

IveTriedThat was founded by Steve Razinski in 2007. His goal was to keep the internet honest, so he’d review claims made by online course creators to evaluate whether the program or business opportunity was legit or not.

Now, in addition to reviews, there’s also lots of helpful content to help people start a grow side hustles, home businesses, and make more money. He monetizes IveTriedThat with affiliate products: legit business opportunities and training programs. Some of his top recommendations include Wealthy Affiliate and Marketplace SuperHeroes.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

14. Affiliate Resources

Remember when I said, we’d talk about Jay Neill a little more? Well, here we go…

In addition to his case study site Football Snack Helmets, he’s done many niche sites over the years, and one of the ones he’s most known for is Affiliate Resources. At Affiliate Resources, he writes product reviews, tutorials, and advice to help affiliate marketers maximize their success, but his #1 recommended training and resource is Wealthy Affiliate. He’s been a member and top contributor to the Wealthy Affiliate community for over 10 years now.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

15. Authority Hacker

The founders of Health Ambition also founded Authority Hacker. Health Ambition is more about putting healthy habits in place, but Authority Hacker is about building an authority website that dominates a niche. They write reviews, but more than reviews, they write tutorials and growth hacks to you to be successful online.

They’re affiliates of companies like:

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

16. Just a Girl and Her Blog

Abby Lawson started Just a Girl and Her Blog to share her passion for organization and decorating. She does in-depth tutorials to help readers organize their homes and lives. Over time, she started making really good money with her blog, so she decided to share her income reports and tips with others–this created a whole new audience segment.

Now, she has organization enthusiasts that follow her and bloggers. She monetizes with Amazon associates, but it looks like she’s even more monetized thru affiliate offers related to blogging: hosting, email marketing software, and software tools. In the last income report she posted, she documented $41,700 in December 2016 and more than half of that ($27,000+) was from affiliate marketing.

Top Traffic Channel: Pinterest and Search Engine Optimization

17. WPCrafter.com

Adam Preiser from WPCrafter says he’s been an entrepreneur from early childhood. He describes selling candy, cell phones, mobile accessories, stocks, and real estate. Then, he semi-retired around age 33 after shutting down his 7-figure telemarketing company.

From there, he gained more and more interest into making money online. He started doing reviews as a hobby: posting them whenever he saw a cool product he was excited about. After about one year of hobby posting, he decided to look at his Youtube analytics, and noticed growth beyond his expectations. He decided that if his growth online was gaining such momentum as a hobby that it could really take off if he was more intentional.

From there, he started to be disciplined about his efforts with WPCrafter and today, he’s had millions of viewers and lots of sales online.

Top Traffic Channel: Youtube and Search Engine Optimization

18. Smart Affiliate Success

Jerry Huang started Smart Affiliate Success in 2016: right after dropping out of college and making his parents extremely frustrated. He decided the “traditional route” of going to college, getting a job, and climbing the corporate ladder wouldn’t work well for him. He wanted to have more time flexibility, location freedom, and income potential, so he joined Wealthy Affiliate and started learning affiliate marketing.

For two years, he blogged away. He followed the Affiliate Bootcamp training nearly to the “T”, and his website began taking form and growing in income. From there, decided to share his journey and his progress to encourage others, and over time, he caught the attention of a Youtuber with a much more established audience than he had.

The Momentum Started to Pick Up

He was asked to be a guest on his readers’ Youtube channel, and he took the offer. In the interview, he shared great advice and his experiences, and since he spoke Mandarin, many of the asian audience members reached out to him. They made him aware that there was no real affiliate marketing education for people who speak Mandarin. He decided to engage more with Mandarin speakers who had an interest in affiliate marketing until he was able to quantify that it was a large demand.

He continued blogging, and got his affiliate income to $10,000+/mo. While he was continuing to build his business, he was also dividing his time by building a Mandarin Affiliate Marketing course. He launched the course and made $100k in one week!

Jerry’s story goes to show how affiliate marketing skills can translate into other business models. Starting as an affiliate doesn’t mean staying as an affiliate. You may decide to use affiliate marketing to test and prove product ideas before investing deeply into them, or you can stabilize a stream of affiliate income, and add others later–it’s up to you.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization, Facebook Ads, and Youtube

19. How to Make Honest Money Online

Vitaliy from How to Make Honest Money Online was fascinated with the idea of making money online. He tried several programs that promised “instant success” only to find they were either exaggerating, lies, or scams.

Eventually, he came across Wealthy Affiliate, implemented the training, and was able to start several successful niche sites. One of his most successful sites is How to Make Honest Money Online where he writes mostly product review on internet marketing training programs (mostly bad ones) in effort to point them to Wealthy Affiliate as a better alternative.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

20. The Make Money Online Blog

Simon from the Make Money Online Blog was sent to Asia as a missionary, then the church that was supporting him stopped the funding. He was stranded, and turned to online business as a way to support himself and continue on his mission work.

The funny thing is…Internet marketing worked beyond what he’d imagined and today, he’s earning $7k+ per month blogging. He started out writing reviews and following the proven plan taught thru the Affiliate Bootcamp at Wealthy Affiliate. Now, he writes tutorials about how to make money online in multiple ways.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

21. Start a Mom Blog

Suzi Whitford realized that many people want to know about blogging, but moms have their own obstacles that need to be addressed, so she started HowtoStartaMomBlog.com. She talks about many of the pain points moms experience and how to overcome them, so you can raise kids and run a successful blogging business.

She monetizes How to Start a Mom Blog with affiliate marketing and by selling her own courses. She’s an affiliate of companies like Convertkit, Teachable, Bluehost, and others.

Top Traffic Channel: Search Engine Optimization

Closing Statements about These Successful Affiliate Marketing Websites

Overall, I’m hoping these successful affiliate marketing websites show you what’s possible. There are successful affiliate sites all across the internet on various topics–these were just a small fragment of ones I know. You can create a successful affiliate site as well. Get my free e-course “All About Affiliate Marketing” and get started making money as an affiliate today!

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