Do you have any opinions about sites that got hit with Google Fred for having too much affiliate content? I think one of your other sites got hit (not TYS) and I saw you add a lot of new content but it’s not going up much. The same thing happened to me; I had too much affiliate content and got penalized; added more content but it’s not helping. I am thinking of just starting a new site and redirecting links to the new site. I feel like this penalty is unrecoverable….

Isobel Phillips has been writing technical documentation, marketing and educational resources since 1980. She also writes on personal development for the website UnleashYourGrowth. Phillips is a qualified accountant, has lectured in accounting, math, English and information technology and holds a Bachelor of Arts honors degree in English from the University of Leeds.

There is no warranty or guarantee of any kind with respect to the Program Operator system as far as reliability, stability, quality or dependability. This means that the Program Operator, or its associates is not responsible for any loss or damage incurred directly or indirectly due to the use of the Program Operator website, products, services, or any other facet of the system. This shall include, but is not limited to, any system malfunction, period of being inoperative or unavailable, loss of data or discontinuation of service, other inconveniences.


You are solely responsible for the development, operation, and maintenance of your Affiliate Site and for all materials that appear on your Affiliate Site. Such responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the technical operation of your Affiliate Site and all related equipment; creating and posting product reviews, descriptions, and references on your Affiliate Site and linking those descriptions to our website; the accuracy of materials posted on your Affiliate Site (including, but not limited to, all materials related to FatCow Products and Services); ensuring that materials posted on your Affiliate Site do not violate or infringe upon the rights of any third party and are not libelous or otherwise illegal. We disclaim all liability and responsibility for such matters
I relay the story of Dan Henry because it exemplifies the power of this thing called the internet that binds us all. And while Henry has succeeded on a massive scale, so many others have hit roadblocks, stumbled, fallen and failed. The large rate of failure helps to mystify and obfuscate this world of affiliate marketing because so many are trying to penetrate this market but so few are able to succeed on a large scale.
(a) Promotional Materials. Amazon may from time to time provide you with a standard form template and other marketing assets for use in promotional marketing materials (“Promotional Materials”), subject to the limited license in Section 4(b) of this policy. Amazon reserves the right to review your Promotional Materials at any time for compliance with this Local Associates Policy. Any failure by you to provide the Promotional Materials in accordance with our request will constitute a material breach of this Local Associates Policy.
The Local Associates Portal, all Promotional Materials, and any other information and content provided to you in connection with the Local Associates Program are included as “Service Offerings” under the Associates Program Operating Agreement. All disclaimers and indemnity obligations under the Associates Program Operating Agreement will apply further to liabilities, claims, damages, losses, costs, and expenses relating to your Recommendations Page and any Local Associates Marks or other data or materials you provide in connection with the Local Associates Program.
In addition to the foregoing Product Advertising Content and access to PA API, we may make available from time to time for use in connection with PA API sample source code and libraries, each of which will be made available to you under a separate license that accompanies each sample source code or library, as applicable. In connection with PA API, we may also make available specifications, user manuals, guides, supporting materials, and other information, regardless of format, describing the operational and functional capabilities, use limitations, technical and engineering requirements, and testing and performance criteria relevant to the proper use of PA API (collectively, “Specifications”). “Product Advertising Content,” as used in this License Agreement, specifically excludes any sample source code or libraries we make available to you under a separate license and any Specifications that we make available. It also specifically excludes any data, images, text, or other information or content relating to products offered on any site other than an Amazon Site.
I doubt that every person who places one of those links on their blog actually uses each of those products and services. And that’s okay. Placing affiliate links on your site that are related to your niche is a decent strategy to earn extra income. Whether it’s in the sidebar in banner form, or in a text link at the bottom of your blog post, because you have a website and some authority, people will trust you and your decision to place the ad on your site.
It might be tempting to start recommending a variety of products that spark your interest on your website, but this isn’t the key to success. Very few affiliate sites find success without first picking a niche. For example, TheWireCutter.com focuses on in-depth product reviews of electronics and techie gadgets. HostingAdvice.com provides helpful reviews about hosting companies and related products.
If the above locations do not yield information pertaining to affiliates, it may be the case that there exists a non-public affiliate program. Utilizing one of the common website correlation methods may provide clues about the affiliate network. The most definitive method for finding this information is to contact the website owner directly if a contact method can be located.
During each calendar month, you may earn advertising fees for Qualifying Purchases. Most advertising fees are calculated as a percentage of Qualifying Revenues based on the tables below and are subject to the limitations described in the “Limitations on Advertising Fee Rates for Certain Products” section below. We also may offer advertising fees in the form of bounties or other special offers as described in the “Special Offers and Promotions” section below. “Qualifying Revenues” mean amounts we receive from customers’ Qualifying Purchases, excluding shipping, handling, and gift-wrapping fees, taxes, and service charges, and less any rebates, credit card processing fees, returns, and bad debt.
Amazon customers are loyal. Beyond that, Amazon customers--especially Amazon Prime members--are more than happy to convert. According to a 2015 report, Prime members are said to convert at a rate 22 times greater than customers that shop with other top online retailers. So, if you can tap into that audience and appeal to their willingness to spend money with Amazon, you should see a good return on your decision to join the program.
(c) Influencer Content and Site. For avoidance of doubt, you acknowledge that Influencer Content you submit will be subject to the provisions of the Conditions of Use on the relevant Amazon Site relating to posting content or submitting material and that your Site is subject to the requirements of Section 3(b) of the Participation Requirements relating to compliance with all applicable laws (for example, if applicable, the US FTC Guides Concerning Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising).

Thank you so much for a clear and concise breakdown of the Amazon Associate program. I’ve been ready (finally) to make the jump and have been working out my monetization strategies. This tutorial has not only helped me better understand how the program works, but has also given me some other – much simpler – ideas for other niche sites that I can get up and going very quickly! I appreciate your hard work and the effort you put into this. I look forward to reading more from you.


Hey Tom, thanks for this tutorial – it’s a good thing to get a tutorial like this from a trusted person like you and not from the thousands of (sometimes) confusing articles about passive income/affiliate marketing/clickfunnels and what not that I come across from time to time, I am making a living as a web designer and I have been thinking of pivoting from design and creative work to focus on passive income but didn’t know where to start. This is the perfect foundation article I have seen so far and I ‘d like to ask if you have any further reading/guides/videos on affiliate marketing that you’d recommend. I like to do my deep research before starting :) One more thing, there are some broken or missing images in this article, it could be my browser but check from your side too because there are quite a few images (e.g your Mercedes) that are missing. Thanks
Whatever you choose to do with this monetization and marketing technique, take time to plan your strategy. While it is very easy to get started and to add Amazon affiliate links to WordPress, the key to success is in how well you execute those links and promote them to your visitors. Affiliate marketing takes time to excel at, so be patient and don't give up!
Many affiliate marketers start out with amazon.com through their affiliate program called Amazon Associates. Their commission structure is very low and can range from 4% to 10% only but you can also leverage their global selection of products and amazon’s popularity. You could also think of the places you have shopping from online and I am almost certain they will have some sort of affiliate programs that you can join for free.
MSE is a great example of an affiliate site that has become an authority site. It is not offering thin content and barely veiled “reviews” that are trying to sell something. Instead they are offering actual actionable advice and maintaining a strong code of ethics in the often dirty personal finance niche. They make their affiliate commissions by linking out in their posts and pages to affiliate products they have agreements with.
Write content for your blog or website about picking or buying a product available on Amazon. Now more than ever, people go online to research their buying options. If you're a mom blogger, you can write an article on picking a low-cost vacuum with a link to your top choice or several links to your top choices.  A food blogger can link to cooking tools. A photography site can link to cameras and other photography equipment.
FatCow reserves the right to suspend the payment of Commission Fees at any time and indefinitely, if it suspects fraud or other improper activity or a potential breach of any of the terms of this Agreement by the Affiliate or a Referred Customer. FatCow reserves the right to deduct from Affiliate's current and future Commission Fees any and all Commission Fees corresponding to any fraudulent, questionable, and cancelled purchases.
We may modify this Agreement at any time in our sole discretion; provided that the change shall solely apply to events occurring after the date on which you accept and agree to such modifications unless you otherwise agree herein. Such modifications shall take effect when posted on our website. Modifications may include, but are not limited to, changes in the scope of available Commission Fees, commission amounts or percentages, payment procedures, Commission Fee payment schedules, and Affiliate Program rules. If any modification is unacceptable to you, your only recourse is to terminate this agreement, in which event you shall be entitled to your rights under the unmodified Agreement prior to the date of the applicable modification. Your continued participation in the Affiliate Program following our posting of any modification on our website will constitute binding acceptance of the change.
Any tradenames, trademarks or service marks, which Company may obtain with regard to the Technology, are the sole property of Company and/or its Affiliates. Company hereby grants MA, during the term of this Agreement, the right to use Company and/or Company trade names, trademarks or service marks on Technology or in advertising or promotion relating directly to these products. Any use of such tradenames, trademarks or service marks must reference that these tradenames, trademarks or service marks are proprietary to Company and/or its Affiliates.
Affiliate Contracts. Schedule 9.6 sets forth, as of the date hereof, all contracts or agreements with any Affiliate of Sellers that relate to the Properties or by which the Properties are bound. Sellers will terminate or cause its respective Affiliates to terminate, effective as of the Closing Date, any contracts or agreements between any Seller and its respective Affiliates to the extent relating to or binding the Properties.
Hi Megan – one way to do it is have a dedicated deals page so you basically only have one page to update on your site, maybe every couple of weeks and then you always send people to the same page. Another thing we’ve done is just do this seasonally – so times like Labor Day, July 4th, etc. when retailers (including Amazon) usually have some notable deals happening. In that case, we’ll set up a page devoted to Labor Day deals and then send a blast email about it.
Jason – so happy to hear the tutorial is helping! Affiliate marketing was a huge break for me and I’m sure it can be for your son too. Whatever products/services he ends up selling, just make sure he is excited about the industry he is – it takes a long of time creating content and it will keep him motivated especially when he gets his first sales.
Company will undertake all reasonable efforts to provide technical assistance to MA under this Agreement when MA is unable to resolve certain technical issues and to rectify or provide solutions to problems where the Technology does not function as described in the Technology documentation, but Company does not guarantee that the problems will be solved or that any item will be error-free. This product support commitment is only applicable to Company’s Technology running under the certified environments specified in the release notes of the end user licensing agreement for that Technology or Package. Company may from time to time, however, discontinue Technology or versions and stop supporting Technology or versions one year after discontinuance, or otherwise discontinue any support service. Company is not liable for incidental, special or consequential damages for any reason (including loss of data or other business or property damage), even if foreseeable or if MA or Customer has advised of such a claim. Company's liability shall not exceed the fees that MA has paid under this Agreement. MA agrees that the pricing for the services would be substantially higher but for these limitations.
a) If any part of this agreement or the Terms and Condition is declared void, this agreement and the Terms and Conditions shall, to the maximum practicable extent, be construed without reference to that part. No term or provision of the Agreement shall be waived unless in writing and signed by the party waiving the provision, and any waiver shall apply only to the specific event or situation which it describes and shall not be continuing. No affiliate may assign or sublicense this agreement without the Program Operator’s prior written consent.
e) This Agreement shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of AK, USA applicable to agreements made and to be performed in AK, USA. You agree that any legal action or proceeding between the Program Operator and you for any purpose concerning this agreement or the parties’ obligations hereunder, will first attempt to be resolved with the help of a mutually agreed-upon online mediator. Any costs and fees (other than attorney fees) associated with the mediation will be shared equally by each of us.
A purchase by a Referred Customer engaging in "Domain Speculation," which is determined by the identification of two (2) web hosting accounts with the same Referred Customer's name, email address, or other identifying characteristic as determined by FatCow and/or the identification of two (2) or more web hosting accounts that have no content on their websites or have similar content, templates or formatting, as determined by FatCow, in our sole discretion.
Back when text link ads were a big deal, I remember seeing every single “make money online” website with a 125 x 125 pixel advertisement for Text Link Ads, which was an older advertising model where you could have advertisers pay for having specific terms on your website become links to their products. This was big in the blogosphere when I was just starting out. Most of these sites did not actually use the text link ad service on their own sites. On many personal finance blogs, you’ll see a lot of different affiliate advertisements for things like ING, Everbank, LendingClub, and numerous other financial institutions.
Acceptance and Validity. You will only be eligible for a Commission payment for any Customer Transactions that derived from Affiliate Leads generated by the Affiliate Link that we make available to you and are accepted by HubSpot. An Affiliate Lead will be considered valid and accepted if, in our reasonable determination: (i) it is a new potential customer of ours, and (ii) is not, at the time of submission or sixty (60) days prior, one of our pre-existing customers, or involved in our active sales process. Notwithstanding the foregoing, we may choose not to accept an Affiliate Lead in our reasonable discretion. If an Affiliate Lead does not purchase the Subscription Service within the time period described on the Program Policies Page) of their first click on the Affiliate Link, you will not be eligible for a Commission payment, even if the Affiliate Lead decides to purchase after the time period has expired.  An Affiliate Lead is not considered valid if it’s first click on the Affiliate Link is after this Agreement has expired or terminated. Engagement with Prospects.  Once we have received the Affiliate Lead information, we may elect to engage with the prospect directly, regardless of whether or not the Affiliate Lead is valid. If an Affiliate Lead is not valid then we may choose to maintain it in our database and we may choose to engage with such Affiliate Lead. Any engagement between HubSpot and an Affiliate Lead will be at HubSpot’s discretion.
An affiliate marketer is someone who is running the actual ad campaigns or content marketing campaigns in hopes of making affiliate commissions from the program. An affiliate manager or AM is someone that manages the various affiliates in a network, so they sometimes have the ability to give you special deals if you can prove to them it’s worth their while to do so.

The implementation of affiliate marketing on the internet relies heavily on various techniques built into the design of many web-pages and websites, and the use of calls to external domains to track user actions (click tracking, Ad Sense) and to serve up content (advertising) to the user. Most of this activity adds time[citation needed] and is generally a nuisance to the casual web-surfer and is seen as visual clutter.[citation needed] Various countermeasures have evolved over time to prevent or eliminate the appearance of advertising when a web-page is rendered. Third party programs (Ad-Aware, Adblock Plus, Spybot, pop-up blockers, etc.) and particularly, the use of a comprehensive HOSTS file can effectively eliminate the visual clutter and the extra time and bandwidth needed to render many web pages. The use of specific entries in the HOSTS file to block these well-known and persistent marketing and click-tracking domains can also aid in reducing a system's exposure to malware by preventing the content of infected advertising or tracking servers to reach a user's web-browser.[citation needed]

That ultimately means there is less growth ability. For example you can’t just go in and change a checkout process to split test which one will perform better. You only really control the front or what is also known as “top of” marketing funnel. This makes your options more limited than if you were running a full blown business where you sourced the product yourself and controlled the logistics and check out processes.
Time Is Your Enemy – I say this because writing a compelling and captivating article is not easy let alone writing everyday filling your website with valuable information so that you can market or promote your product. But guess what, people are doing it and they are succeeding in their own rights. It is doable no doubt but you also have to set your own expectation and goal in a manner that are achievable in bits and pieces. It took me 3 hours writing this article you are reading right now but I know I am a slow writer and this is my website so it is nice to call it my own.

So I went to the same place I buy all my WordPress themes (Themeforest) and searched their hundreds of demo WordPress Themes to find the right one that made sense for my Amazon Affiliate Website. This is the style and look your website will have. I needed a clean looking blog (it’s great for SEO) and I needed a warm looking homepage. I found something flexible and looked professional after a couple hours searching.
(d) You will not, without our express prior written approval, use any Product Advertising Content on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device (which prohibition apply neither to any site that is not designed or intended for use with such devices but that may be accessible by such devices, such as a non-mobile-optimized site accessed via an internet browser on a tablet device, nor an Approved Mobile Application as defined in the Participation Requirements or any television set-top box (e.g., digital video recorders, cable or satellite boxes, streaming video players, blu-ray players, or dvd players) or Internet-enabled television (e.g., GoogleTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Cast, or Vizio Internet Apps).
You grant to us a non-exclusive license to utilize your name, title, trademarks, and logos (the "Affiliate Trademarks") in any advertisement or other materials used to promote FatCow and the Affiliate Program, provided that FatCow’s use of the Affiliate Trademarks is not required and is at its sole discretion. This license shall terminate upon the termination of your participation in the Affiliate Program.
You agree not to intentionally solicit for employment any of our employees or contractors during the term of this Agreement and for a period of twelve (12) months following the termination or expiration of this Agreement.  Both you and we acknowledge that (i) any newspaper or other public solicitation not directed specifically to such person shall not be deemed to be a solicitation for purposes of this provision, and (ii) this provision is not intended to limit the mobility of either our employees or contractors.
But of course there is more to it than that. Most people doing affiliate marketing are doing it in an aggressive way that when you look at what they are offering, you can immediately tell that they are only doing it for the sake of earning a commission. While that may be the ultimate goal, it may not be the proper way of building a relationship with your customer. It is best to provide them descriptive, informative and helpful solutions so that they feel that what they are getting into is something beneficial to them.
For the structure of these articles I like to target a frequently searched keyword such as “Cyber Monday (My Niche) Discounts” etc. because I know people search for “Cyber Monday” and “Black Friday” millions of times each year but they also search a longer form version like “Cyber Monday (My Niche) Discounts” as evidenced by the above traffic graph from one of my Amazon sites
Are they biting the hand that feeds them? Possibly. We will have to wait and see. Maybe Amazon gave the higher commission %’s to the products that have the highest markup…? i.e. their Amazon coins. I do believe tho they have reduced the incentive their own “affiliate employees” previously had to push their products-and maybe, just maybe this new commission structure will not last long.
The one thing to be aware of with WordPress Amazon affiliate plugins is that you don’t want to use one that offers link cloaking. This is a method used to protect affiliates from a threat known as affiliate link hijacking. However, Amazon expressly forbids the cloaking of their links, so you’ll want to avoid plugins that do that or always be sure to disable that functionality if they give you the option.
If you are going to write a piece of content that has an affiliate link to a high-end DSLR camera, you need to be an expert in order to make it credible. Your whole website needs to revolve around the product and how to use it, rather than eyeing up the fat commission you can make if you dupe someone into using your link from that one piece of content.
If you provide us with suggestions, reviews, modifications, data, images, text, or other information relating to any Program Content or in connection with your participation in the Associates Program, or if you modify any Program Content in any way (collectively, “Your Submission”), you hereby irrevocably assign to us all right, title, and interest in and to Your Submission and grant us (even if you have designated Your Submission as confidential) a perpetual, paid-up royalty-free, nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, freely transferable right and license for the maximum duration of protection available under applicable law to: (a) use, reproduce, perform, display, and distribute Your Submission in any manner; (b) adapt, modify, re-format, and create derivative works of Your Submission for any purpose; (c) use and publish your name in the form of a credit in conjunction with Your Submission (however, we will not have any obligation to do so); and (d) sublicense the foregoing rights to any other person or entity. Additionally, you hereby warrant that: (y) Your Submission is your original work, or you obtained Your Submission in a lawful manner and (z) our and our sublicensees’ exercise of rights under the license above will not violate any person’s or entity’s rights, including any copyright rights. You agree to provide us such assistance as we may require to document, perfect, or maintain our rights in and to Your Submission.
The easiest way to find affiliate programs to promote is to check if the people selling products and services you love have an affiliate program – assuming those products and services would be relevant to the visitors to your blog or website. There are also multiple ways to find new quality products or services to promote to your audience based on their interests. You'll find more information on how to do this here.
I have started looking at affiliate networks and finding products to promote that way. Also going to try to utilize a Youtube channel with promotion, as well as some paid advertising. It all works with the right amount of patience. I do have an Amazon Affiliate account that I can link too, but diversifing and learning to branch out is key. Truthfully I do not think the Amazon associate program is all that newbie friendly.
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