One of the things I’ve done over the past two years is track the methods I use to make money with Amazon by tracking IDs as well as keeping track of other things I’ve done while building up my Amazon websites. I initially published my findings in two blog posts early last year when I first launched this blog and even today they are still among the most popular posts (here and here). Now it’s been over a year and today I’m providing an updated list of information including several new tips that I’ve learned since that time.
Great post , I do read a lot of the Nichehacks articles and this one is so true. At the moment I am in a niche I'm passionate about and yes although I am primarily using Amazon to monetize my site, I will be branching out to use other methods very soon. It frightens me to think the plug can be pulled at any time! I intent to use other affiliate programs as well as Amazon, maybe Google Adsense, I'm not sure yet, some digital products and also to build an email list.

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.
Yes and no. Affiliate marketing can generate passive income, but the passive side of the income usually only follows putting in a few years of hard work to generate the brand and audience you'll need to begin generating those passive sales. I have multiple sites earning passive income, but each of those sites took a lot of front end work to build up to that point. And not every site gets to the point of passive income. Some sites require continual maintenance though the revenue they generate can also allow you to pay for that maintenance to be done vs. you needing to do it yourself. 

In 2009, I originally published this post, the 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained—and The One I Profit From. A lot has changed since then, and I’ve learned a ton along the way about affiliate marketing the right way. It’s now October 2018, and I wanted to share those new insights here, with a bunch of new takeaways for you to bring affiliate marketing into your own business!


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Honestly you just need to narrow down to a niche that you want to focus on and then move forward with something. I spent less than a few hundred bucks when I first got started. Now years and years later, I’ll spend tens of thousands of dollars starting or buying something if I want to. But that’s the fun part is that unless you have a big inheritance everyone starts from zero and then tries to grow from there.
I went from making $20k in 2016 to $100k in 2017 by dropping my web design/SEO clients and doing affiliate marketing/blogging full-time. 90% of my (passive) affiliate income comes from SiteGround, a hosting company who awarded me affiliate of the month in July, 2017 when I made $9k in 1 month. Since then I’ve continued to hit numbers like this – the screenshot below is from March, 2018 when I made $14.5k in 1 month (just with SiteGround).
But this “old school” method of making money online is still going strong because of all the benefits it offers to small-scale, solo internet entrepreneurs. And it’s an especially powerful business model to those without much experience doing business online. Many successful online business owners make their first dollar online with affiliate marketing.
Although I am an “uber-experienced newbie” in the Internet Marketing world, I was an Amazon-phobic, having been only familiar (and seen some success) with ClickBank products, not venturing into anything outside CB. The low commissions and lack of knowledge on how to correctly promote the products and inner workings of their affiliate program was another deterrent in getting started.
It will probably take a couple years to build a sustainable, passive income. That is the 1st car I have EVER purchased myself at age 29 (I was broke until then and leased from my parents). But the time committed to affiliate marketing and creating great tutorials and YouTube videos was worth it… I work for myself, there is virtually no limit on how much I can make, my schedule is flexible, and I collect enough passive income to live how I want.
These are your basic pay-per-click affiliate marketing campaigns where you have no presence and no authority in the niche of the product you’re promoting. There’s no connection between you and the end consumer, and all you’re doing is putting an affiliate link in front of someone via Google Adwords, Facebook ads, etc. in the hopes that they’ll click on your link, buy the product, and earn a commission.
Product review sites are another popular vehicle for affiliate marketing strategies. Because these sites are inherently focused on providing information about products in which visitors are likely interested, the affiliate tie-in is pretty straightforward. The author writes about a product, highlighting the features and addressing any concerns, and then includes a link where readers can go to purchase the product.

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]


Affiliate marketing has a very low barrier to entry; many merchants accept everyone who applies for affiliation. Some forms of affiliate marketing don't even require the affiliate to have a website. This creates a very high level of competition, especially for particularly profitable offers. In forums where affiliates participate, there are frequent claims of commission theft or hijacking by other affiliates and even by merchants. A cookie system that credits the sale to the last link clicked makes these actions more likely.
3. Anyway, if you want things to be easy you need to create a product of some kind with an affiliate program attached to it. If you offer converts well and your EPCs are high affiliates will drive all the traffic you can handle. They will spend money on PPC, media buys, doing SEO and all the stuff you are doing right now yourself. II. Affiliate marketingstrategies Affiliate marketing is a low-cost way for merchants to build awareness and showcase their products and services. The model is simple; it works as a commission-based referral system. A partner or affiliate markets a merchant's products for a "piece of the pie." Affiliate marketing experts often make an income that can tally over five figures per month, however only 1 to 5% of thousands of marketers achieve this level. When an affiliate reaches this elite level they are often referred to as a "super" affiliate. How does one become a super affiliate? Can anyone do it? Super affiliates have common tactics that they embrace and put into place. Anyone can become a super affiliate, but it will not come without blood, sweat, and a hefty time commitment. The typical super affiliate possesses the following traits:  Persistence  Patience  Thirst for Knowledge These three traits combined with the following strategy gives you the formula for the makings of a "super" affiliate. Performance review phrases comments/ free download examples Page 3

We will provide all of the information necessary for you to make Links from your Affiliate Site to our site. FatCow will be solely responsible for order processing (including payment processing, cancellations, and refunds) for orders for FatCow Products and Services placed by a Referred Customer following a Link from your Affiliate Site, for tracking the volume and amount of Qualified Purchases generated by your Affiliate Site, and for providing information to Affiliates regarding Qualified Purchase statistics. FatCow will be solely responsible for all order processing, including but not limited to payment processing, cancellations, refunds and related FatCow service.
This is for the ones who don’t like to build a website. Winston Wee promises to teach you to earn through CPA Affiliate Amazon Marketing through ‘legal hijacking’. He says $50 a day is not impossible, and the best part is that you don’t need a website or a mailing list to make his formula work. 1500 + students have enrolled for his course and many have proclaimed great outcomes.

Commission Payment. We, or a HubSpot Affiliate, will pay the Commission amount due to you within forty-five (45) days after the end of each fiscal quarter for any Commission amounts that you become eligible for according to the Eligibility section above. We will determine the currency in which we pay the Commission, as well as the applicable conversion rate. We will not pay more than one Commission payment or other similar referral fee on any given Customer Transaction (unless we choose to in our discretion).Taxes. You are responsible for payment of all taxes applicable to the Commission. All amounts payable by us to you are subject to offset by us against any amounts owed by you to us.Commission Amounts. We reserve the right to alter or change the Commission amount. We will post all information regarding the Commission amount on the Program Policies Page. 
You know you really didn’t have to setup an additional Amazon affiliate site to make money. All you pretty much had to do if you wanted to run PPC ads was forward mask your Amazon affiliate link into a sub-domain. But if you wanted to run a standalone Amazon affiliate site just for Amazon, that’s good for business too. Are you promoting it on Pinterest and social networks so you can get free advertising?

Referral fees aren’t just for the products you recommend. Perhaps the coolest thing about the Amazon Associates program is that you receive credit for any sale associated with your affiliate link for 24 hours. So, if a customer visits the page of the product you recommended, but then goes on to purchase five more eligible items during that same visit, you will receive a portion of that entire sale.

I would think valuation is just going to have to be based on what the sites earn post-change. I don’t know if Amazon’s associate account allows you to see the detailed breakdown (i.e. commission detail) of what categories all of your affiliates sales are coming from or not. Once that segment of your traffic clicks through to Amazon, they could buy anything and you get a commission on it. They won’t necessarily be buying a items that you are promoting/reviewing on your site.
A team of 30+ global experts has done in depth research to come up with this compilation of Best Amazon Affiliate Marketing Course, Tutorial, Training & Class for 2018. All these resources are available online and will help you learn and excel at Amazon Affiliate Marketing. These are suitable for beginners, intermediate learners as well as experts.
11.1. No Agency. Each party shall act as an independent contractor and shall have no authority to obligate or bind the other in any respect, and nothing in this Agreement (including any Offer) shall create any partnership, joint ventures, agency, franchise, sales representative or employment relationship between the parties. Neither party shall make any statement, whether on their sites or otherwise, that reasonably would contradict anything in the paragraph.
While every affiliate program is different, you are less likely to be hit by a ban hammer in the affiliate space than in the Adsense space.  In general, affiliate networks can be a bit more lenient with their terms of services. You also have the benefit that many networks are hosting the same offers, so if one does ban you, you can usually replace that income with the new network offer.
3.4 The number of New Players per individual household computer is strictly limited to one. Our measurements and calculations in relation to the number of New Players and Gross Revenues shall be sole and authoritative and the same shall not be open to review or appeal. We shall make the number of New Players and the relevant Gross Revenues figures available to you through our Affiliate program information site. To enable accurate tracking, reporting and commission accrual you must ensure that the Links between your site and the Sites are properly formatted at all times throughout the term of this Agreement.
ps. collecting these Facebook polls is one of the main reasons I was able to get so many SiteGround sales. Yes, I’m suggesting SiteGround for your host, but this is also a strategy that can be used to collect unbiased reviews. Just go to Facebook and search “SiteGround poll” and you can dig up some great stuff – you can do this with lots of affiliate products/companies.
I’m now looking to set up a niche site in the next month or so to better leverage the program and your advice. And, of course collectively, this should help on the commission rate. I’ve been at 6.5% and hoping this month I may hit 7%. But, the key issue is that the avg sale is low (no surprise given what I’m promoting) so hopefully, this new site will help with this and diversify my efforts.

In 2006, the most active sectors for affiliate marketing were the adult gambling, retail industries and file-sharing services.[17]:149–150 The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors.[17] Soon after these sectors came the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.[17]:149–150
A great point you made there though. Too many people try to take on too much at once and end up spreading themselves too thin – trying to conquer all the niches at the same time. Marketers also do this with advertising. Instead of sticking with one platform until they are generating a consistent number of leads they will jump from platform to platform, in essence chucking a load of crap at a wall and seeing what sticks.
The precise affiliate marketing business model can be done in a number of ways. You can purchase advertising either online or off, you can write an e-book and have affiliate links strategically placed in your book, you can utilize YouTube or other video broadcasting services to pitch products and services, you can use email marketing and even market to people offline. The number of ways to advertise products and services is nearly infinite, especially if you have a large budget to work with.
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.
That might be why many people liken marketing anything as an affiliate to more like waging a war than living on easy street. The truth is that it isn't easy by any measure. It takes time. And you can't buy into all the hype. However, by keeping a few principles and steps in mind, you too can dominate in the world of affiliate marketing and earn money while you sleep. The trick? Stay persistent and don't give up.
The best way to ensure that content publishers have everything they need to promote your company and begin to generate sales is to set up a live data feed to your affiliate network. In doing this, content publishers will be able to see the products that you offer along with the prices of those products and will use that information to promote your company and drive visitors to your website. Because content publishers promote your products rather than discounts, we will push out higher commission rates than we will for coupon publishers.
These Associates Program policies (“Program Policies”) are incorporated by reference in the Associates Program Operating Agreement, and capitalized terms used in these Program Policies and not otherwise defined here will have the definitions provided in the Agreement. The rights and obligations of the parties under Sections 3 and 6 of the Associates Program Participation Requirements, Section 3 of the Associates Program IP License and Section 4(d) and 5 of the Associates Program Local Associates Policy will survive the termination of the Agreement. For the avoidance of doubt and without limitation for purposes of Section 6(a) of the Agreement, any violation of the Associates Program Participation Requirements, the Associates Program IP License, Section 1 of the Amazon Influencer Program Policy or Section 3 of the Associates Program Local Associates Policy will be deemed a material breach of the Agreement.
We make no express or implied warranties or representations with respect to the Affiliate Program or any FatCow Products and Services sold through the Affiliate Program (including, without limitation, WARRANTIES OF FITNESS, MERCHANTABILITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT, OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES ARISING OUT OF COURSE OF PERFORMANCE, DEALING, OR TRADE USAGE). In addition, we make no representation that the operation of our website will be uninterrupted or error free, and we will not be liable for the consequences of any interruptions or errors, including the tracking of information concerning Referred Customers during any period of interruption.
Great article. Thanks for writing it. I am right now picking my theme and building my wordpress. I have my hosting and domain name. What I don’t get though from the article is whether you have to apply to Amazon to be an affiliate or if they accept everyone. How does that all work? Like if I build my site and post links to amazon’s products, they wouldn’t have my details to pay me my commission. Do the templates do all that for you automatically? I am finding it hard to choose one because I want one that automatically integrates the amazon products without making my blog look like a shop per se. I’m going to have a look on the amazon site to see if there’s any clues there. But I thought that was the finishing and crucial touch, which forgive me, seems missing from your well explained and detailed article.
“MA”'s Obligations. MA will make no use of Confidential Information for any purpose except as expressly authorized by this Agreement. Except as expressly provided in this Agreement, MA will not disclose Confidential Information to any third party and will protect and treat all Confidential Information with the same degree of care as it uses to protect its own confidential information of like importance, but in no event with less than reasonable care. Except as expressly provided in this Agreement, MA will not use, make or have made any copies of Confidential Information, in whole or in part, without the prior written authorization of Company. In the event that MA is required to disclose Confidential Information pursuant to law, MA will notify Company of the required disclosure with sufficient time for Company to seek relief, will cooperate with Company in taking appropriate protective measures, and will make such disclosure in a fashion that maximizes protection of the Confidential Information from further disclosure.
After finding your blog, a couple weeks ago, I finally setup a carousel on one of my blogs. After reading your blog, I had a bunch of different ideas on how to use my Amazon affiliate account across a handful of my blogs but as of April 15th, Amazon is closing the affiliate program for all Illinois residents. The Illinois governor signed a tax law that requires Amazon to charge tax on affiliate sales in Illinois even if the retailer doesn’t have a presence here.
The Program Operator will not be liable for indirect or accidental damages (loss of revenue, commissions) due to affiliate system sale tracking failures, commission processing system failures, losses of database files or backups thereof, attacks on computing resources, computer viruses, the continued viability of their products, any results of “intents of harm” to the program, or acts of God or Nature. The Program Operator makes no claim that the operation of the websites or the Program Operator network will be error-free nor will the Program Operator be held liable for any interruptions or errors.
Business Practices. Company shall not specify the business practices of MA, nor regulate the manner in which MA shall operate its business, provided that MA (a) conducts business in a manner that reflects favorably at all times on the Technology sold and the good name, goodwill and reputation of Company and its affiliates; (b) avoid deceptive, misleading or unethical practices that are or might be detrimental to Company and/or its Affiliates, the Technology or the public, including but not limited to disparagement of Company or the Technology; (c) make no false or misleading representation with respect to Company or the Technology; and (d) make no representations with respect to Company or the Technology that are inconsistent with any applicable license agreement(s) for the Technology provided by Company, promotional materials and other literature distributed by Company pertaining specifically to the Technology, including all liability limitations and disclaimers contained in such materials.
It’d be hard for Google to argue with this content not adding value. After all, some of the guides have received close to 10,000 shares and have been used by the brands themselves to educate their own customers. Generally speaking, each guide takes about 40-50 hours to produce, and is benchmarked to beat the best existing piece of content on the topic in virtually every aspect (from design and share-ability, to page speed and on-page SEO). 

Thanks for sharing your experience. It was a real eye-opener for me. I am new to affiliate marketing and am looking for ways to make a steady income. Your affiliate program seems to fit my needs. If you have the time email me with your affiliate link to signup and I hope you can help me get started the right way. Any assistance would be greatly appreciate. Be Blessed.
Additionally, you must either include the following disclaimer adjacent to the pricing or availability information or provide it via a hyperlink, pop-up box, scripted pop-up, or other similar method: "Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product." In the above examples, "Details" and "More info" would provide a method for the end user to read the disclaimer.
You will indemnify, defend and hold us harmless, at your expense, against any third-party claim, suit, action, or proceeding (each, an "Action") brought against us (and our officers, directors, employees, agents, service providers, licensors, and affiliates) by a third party not affiliated with us to the extent that such Action is based upon or arises out of (a) your participation in the Affiliate Program, (b) our use of the prospect data you provided us, (c) your noncompliance with or breach of this Agreement, (d) your use of the Affiliate Tool, or (e) our use of the Affiliate Marks. We will: notify you in writing within thirty (30) days of our becoming aware of any such claim; give you sole control of the defense or settlement of such a claim; and provide you (at your expense) with any and all information and assistance reasonably requested by you to handle the defense or settlement of the claim. You shall not accept any settlement that (i) imposes an obligation on us; (ii) requires us to make an admission; or (iii) imposes liability not covered by these indemnifications or places restrictions on us without our prior written consent. 

Working your way through all of the articles below will take you quite a while, but you’ll end up with a complete understanding of the mechanics, opportunity, and challenges associated with monetizing a site via affiliate marketing. (By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send monetization tips straight to your inbox each day.)
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