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!


The question keeps lingering in my mind. What is affiliate marketing programs about? Is this an easy way to generate income online? Upon researching about the topic I found that this is a very lucrative business model and one that does not cost a whole lot of initial capital. There are literally countless out there you can join and the idea of affiliate marketing in itself is very doable. You simply become the deal maker to connect the buyer and the seller to perform a transaction. Once the transaction is successful you earn a commission.
(c) Marketing. Solely with respect to the Amazon Influencer Program, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Participation Requirements, you may include Special Links to your Influencer Page in emails; provided, that such emails are in compliance with the Agreement, the Trademark Guidelines, and the Amazon Brand Usage Guidelines. Upon our request, you will provide us with representative sample materials and written certification that you have complied with the foregoing. We will specify the form of, and content required in, that certification in any such request. Any failure by you to provide the certification in accordance with our request will constitute a material breach of this Influencer Program Policy. For the avoidance of doubt, (i) for the purposes of applicable marketing laws (for example, if applicable, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and any similar or successor legislation), you are the “Sender” of each email containing any Special Links, and (ii) you must comply with applicable laws and marketing industry standards and best practices for all emails relating to the Amazon Influencer Program. Amazon may revoke the offline marketing permissions granted in this Section 1 at any time in its sole discretion by providing written notice to you.
Create custom alerts on your phone for affiliate sales – if you use GMail, go to your settings and create a filter so all emails with “SiteGround Affiliate Sale Generated” in the subject line go into their own folder (tweak the subject line to match whatever email notification your affiliate sends you). Then setup a custom alert on your phone using the GMail app so anytime you generate a sale, you get a custom alert (here’s a tutorial for Android and here’s one for Apple). I have different notifications for SiteGround, StudioPress Themes, etc. Makes your day better :)
The Amazon Associates affiliate program uses a tiered commission structure to pay out to affiliates. The more you sell, the more you will earn. That’s why many affiliates will attempt to promote two different types of products – cheap and expensive. By promoting cheap products under $10, you will likely receive a lot of purchases. For example, many affiliate marketers will promote e-books that may only cost $5. Since Amazon only pays up to 8.5% commissions, you’re not going to earn much by selling a $5 e-book. However, making a lot of sales of smaller items helps to boost your sales count in the, which also boosts the amount of commission you receive. Here is the current Amazon Associates Affiliate Program commission structure:
Yes, we shall see what happens with the Trump administration when we have to cross that bridge with possible tariffs. That being said, there are still Amazon FBA owners who are making their products using American factories. It is also important to note that there are booming Amazon FBA markets OUTSIDE of the USA too that often have far less competition (Germany and UK as an example). You could hire a good translator, translate your blurbs into the native language of the market you’re looking to target, and experiment there as well.
As an affiliate of the Program Operator, your website on which you advertise any products or services of the Program Operator may only include products that are not capable of being viewed by persons 13 years of age or younger unless the Program Operator specifically allows such products. Your website may NOT contain any content or images that are NOT suitable for being viewed by persons 13 years of age or younger if you include any reference whatsoever to the Program Operator, the website, the eBook(s), or your affiliate Link. On any website on which you include any reference whatsoever to the Program Operator, its products, services, and eBooks, you may NOT include any reference whatsoever to any form of “Adult” content. Any violation of these requirements will result in immediate termination of your affiliate status and you shall forfeit any commissions/referral fees that may be due. In the event that any violation of these requirements results in the suspension or termination of any payment processor for or the Program Operator, you shall be liable for liquidated damages in the amount of $10,000 as well as actual and any consequential or actual damages that or the Program Operator may incur.
This Data Processing Addendum ("Addendum") sets out the terms that apply as between HubSpot and Marketing Affiliate when processing EEA personal data in connection with the Marketing Affiliate Program.  This Addendum forms part of the Marketing Affiliate Program Agreement. Capitalized terms used in this Addendum shall have the meanings given to them in the Marketing Affiliate Program Agreement (the "Agreement") unless otherwise defined in this Addendum.  

Amazon and affiliate marketing in general is a decent way of making side income, but nothing really compares to making your own product or service that others will pay for, especially something that ppl will pay for month after month. WIth affiliate marketing, you’re basically helping retailers find lifelong customers, and you get a cut just once. Bad deal, IMO

At the time, I had a ton of people reaching out wanting to hire me (I ranked my self #1 in Google for WordPress SEO Consultant, WordPress SEO Expert, many other good keywords). Unfortunately I struggled with basic things you need to run a service-based business… keeping track of clients, time management, and making sure I was charging clients for my time (and getting them to create content which often seemed impossible).


That’s just a general understanding of what affiliate marketing is, but let’s see how we can build a legitimate business with it. This business model can be fully automated and generate us anywhere to a couple of hundred dollars a month, to upwards of half a million a month. And yes, some people are millionaires from this and only spend a couple of hours a week managing everything. It’s basically passive income.

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


An affiliate marketing agreement is a contract between a business and an individual or company who agrees to market or promote the business in exchange for a commission amount. According to corporate law and taxes, an affiliate is defined as a company that is related to another company often in a subordinate role. For companies to be affiliated, one must have control over the other or both must be controlled by a third company.
My biggest frustration is how to drive my target to my site and links. I have to do YouTube videos as part of what I told the publisher I would do. I have cards in my YouTube videos to try to steer the traffic to my site where they can look at the offerings in a very organized fashion (which really is one of two places on the web that provide this for this publisher). I just want to work smarter instead of harder. I have had so many people thank me for the videos but it is not converting through the affiliate links. I can’t stop the YouTube videos because it is part of the agreement. Also posting the reviews on Amazon.com in the product reviews. I don’t think I can add a link to my site in product reviews.
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.
An affiliate marketing program is by far one of the best advertising tools available, because it provides incentives for both the affiliate and the merchant. Affiliate marketing has grown greatly over the last couple of years because more and more webmasters are beginning to realize it is the most efficient way to handle your online advertising. It is extremely flexible and provides numerous benefits that you won't get with any other Learn More
8.1. You are free to promote your own web sites, but naturally any promotion that mentions Merchant.com could be perceived by the public or the press as a joint effort. You should know that certain forms of advertising are always prohibited by Merchant.com. For example, advertising commonly referred to as "spamming" is unacceptable to us and could cause damage to our name. Other generally prohibited forms of advertising include the use of unsolicited commercial email (UCE), postings to non-commercial newsgroups and cross-posting to multiple newsgroups at once. In addition, you may not advertise in any way that effectively conceals or misrepresents your identity, your domain name, or your return email address. You may use mailings to customers to promote Merchant.com so long as the recipient is already a customer or subscriber of your services or web site, and recipients have the option to remove themselves from future mailings. Also, you may post to newsgroups to promote Merchant.com so long as the news group specifically welcomes commercial messages. At all times, you must clearly represent yourself and your web sites as independent from Merchant.com. If it comes to our attention that you are spamming, we will consider that cause for immediate termination of this Agreement and your participation in the Merchant.com Affiliate Program. Any pending balances owed to you will not be paid if your account is terminated due to such unacceptable advertising or solicitation.
I always add an HTML table of contents to posts to make sure they are long and structured. This has been a HUGE help for me (and my readers) and there are tons of benefits: better chance of getting “jump to links” in Google (see below), increased average time on page, decreased bounce rates, and it makes it easier for readers to navigate through your content.
Robey is particularly rankled by the distinction between “beauty” and “luxury beauty” — a difference between a 6 and 10 percent commission under the new system. Almost none of the products she covers are grouped in Amazon’s luxury beauty category, although she considers many of them luxury goods. The result is a major incentive to write about brands in the favored category, although Robey says she won’t change the products she writes about.

Unfortunately many new to internet marketing, underestimate the power of a responsive list and so they do everything else under the sun besides building a list. They get involved on various social media websites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Ning social networks. They advertise their products, blog, present various ideas and tidbits about themselves but […]

Subject to the terms of the Agreement and solely for the limited purposes of participation in the Associates Program in strict compliance with the Agreement (including this License and the other Program Policies), we hereby grant you a limited, revocable, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to: (a) copy and display Program Content solely on your Site; (b) use only those of the Amazon Marks (as defined in the Trademark Guidelines) we make available to you as part of the Program Content, solely on your Site and in accordance with the Trademark Guidelines, and (c) access and use PA API, Data Feeds, and Product Advertising Content solely in accordance with the Specifications and this License.
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