The 12 books I'm about to mention can be your own curriculum for a bootleg degree in affiliate marketing.
If you're like me, you might just find that the ROI from reading and implementing what you read in these books is far greater than the return on an actual college degree.
One thing to keep in mind, only the first 3 books in this list cover affiliate marketing (as the affiliate) exclusively. The other books teach valuable skills that are critical to becoming a successful affiliate marketer. They are not "affiliate marketing" focused, but much of the content inside them is directly applicable.
Ready? Here we go!
#1 Evergreen Affiliate Marketing by Nate McCallister (Me)
Disclaimer: Yes, this is my book, and it's not unreasonable for you to assume I've stacked the deck here to favor myself.
However, I know that it is the best book on the topic of affiliate marketing for 2022 and beyond. Also, it's my blog, so this is happening 😂
It's a collection of all the affiliate marketing principles that have helped me earn over $1,000,000 with affiliate marketing in the past 2 years alone.
It was written for affiliate marketers of all experience levels and is just as valuable for day 1 beginners as it is for full time affiliate marketers. You can grab it on Amazon in Kindle, print and Audible formats.
#2 From Nothing by Ian Pribyl
Although the book also covers general e-commerce, it is an outstanding beginner's guide to affiliate marketing.
Some of the book is conceptual but much is "how to" type information. It shows you the steps you'll need to take to get started and build your first website.
" Everything You Need to Profit from Affiliate Marketing, Internet Marketing, Blogging, Online Business, e-Commerce and More… Starting With <$100"
#3 Affiliate Marketing for Dummies by Ted Sudolv and Paul Mladjenovic
The "For Dummies" series has been going strong for decades, and this book is another great addition to their catalog.
Side Note: Can you believe the first book For Dummies book, DOS for Dummies, was published all the way back in 1991?!
Affiliate Marketing for Dummies is a well written guide to the process and serves as a brilliant starting place.
I wouldn't call it an "A to Z" guide, since it doesn't cover anything too wildly complex, but it is still a must read for beginners and for anyone who has enjoyed the style of the For Dummies books over the last 30+ years.
#4 Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day by Evgenii Prussakov
Ok, here's the first book that isn't written toward the affiliate directly, but it still is extremely valuable.
This book is written for the vendor (the person who has the products they want affiliates to promote), but it provides deep insights into what makes an affiliate program successful.
These insights will show you how you can become a valuable part of it and maximize your own earnings.
Combining this book with the first 3 mentioned above will give you a holistic view of what affiliate marketing looks like for everyone involved.
#5 Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson
If you want to profit from sharing the things you know with others (which is how I make most of my money with affiliate marketing), Expert Secrets is for you.
You'll learn how to build your niche authority and crush through imposter syndrome. By the end, you'll feel confident to step out in the world and share everything you know with an audience who will listen.
#6 Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson
I didn't want to have one author in here twice, but I couldn't keep Traffic Secrets off this list. Affiliate marketing requires traffic, and the fastest way to understand the evergreen principles of driving traffic is by reading this book.
You can get my long form summary of the Traffic Secrets book here if you'd like a head start, but you'd be wise to read this book from beginning to end at least once.
An evergreen book on one of the most important aspects of marketing: driving endless amounts of traffic.
#7 How to Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards
This is by far my favorite book on writing sales copy (and I've read many).
You'll be better than 90% of all copywriters just by reading and implementing what's inside this book.
It also makes for a great reference guide. You can easily flip the book open to any section (headlines for example) and get quick insights at any time.
If you read just one chapter, make it be the one on bullet points.
The bible when it comes to writing sales copy that works in any niche at any time. I literally have a spare copy at my desk and pull it up regularly for insights when I'm stuck.
#8 They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan
This book cuts to the core of how to attract buyers by finding and answering their questions.
It's straightforward, but it will give you a tremendous understanding of the heart of SEO and how we leverage search engines for profits.
#9 YouTube Secrets by Sean Cannell and Benji Travis
YouTube (and video content in general) is a powerful tool for affiliate marketing.
So powerful, in fact, that I couldn't make a list without including at least one book dedicated to growing on YouTube and creating content that people love and engage with.
There are many books on starting and managing a YouTube channel successfully, but this one is the gold standard.
#10 Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
By far the easiest book to read on this list.
Show Your Work will take you through the 10 core principles of sharing what you know with others in a way that can easily be monetized through affiliate marketing.
This is similar but different enough to Expert Secrets that I felt I couldn't leave it off the list.
#11 Invisible Selling Machine by Ryan Deiss
This book covers several areas of marketing, but it's biggest value for affiliate marketers is what it teaches about email marketing and creating automations that convert.
#12 Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
Writing is your main tool for affiliate marketing success (yes, even if you do mostly video or audio content), and this book is unbelievably comprehensive without being long winded or hard to read.
Even if you don't want to pursue affiliate marketing, I believe everyone who writes anything (which is...everyone) should read this book. Even if all you write is the occasional email reply, you'll be better off having read Everybody Writes.
The best book on general writing. Ann goes beyond the bland rules we learned in grade school and shows how to make writing fun and engaging.