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.

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.


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
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
Every single network or merchant will provide you with specific links that you can use to promote whatever it is you're looking to sell. Be sure to scrutinize the details of any offer that you decide to partake in. Then, build out your affiliate links and ensure that the sales and clicks are registering your to your account. You can use URL shorteners like Bitly or Google's own shortener to make the links more manageable in terms of length.
Although he had tried countless times in the past, he had failed to quit. But this time was different. His frame-of-mind had changed. And something inside of him clicked when he realized he could use electronic cigarettes to actually ween himself off the "real thing." He implemented a system where he used a low-quality gas station brand, and went from strong to medium then mild over a multi-week period.
The best way to sell other people’s products and services is to provide value to others. Make sure this is built into your affiliate marketing business model. For example, I own the website DogFoodInsider.com. On that website, I teach people about dog nutrition and more importantly, how to choose a high quality dog food for their beloved dog. You’ll also notice on that website I also recommend people purchase their dog food from Amazon.com. Not only is it cheaper, but they have a wide selection to choose from and they don’t have to lug 30lb bags of dog food home from the store.
1. Amazon is a trusted Brand – I surveyed some of my readers a year back and asked them to give me a list of online stores that they had made purchases from in the last 12 months. Amazon came up number 1 as the most popular shopping destination mentioned. Readers know Amazon and are familiar with it – they trust it and do spend significant money there.
It can be time-consuming to find product images to use when promoting Amazon, the same thing goes for adding links. With EasyAzon I can add images, links, product info boxes and more by the click of a button directly from my own site. Super simple and it saves time and helps maximize earnings. If you monetize with Amazon take a look at EasyAzon here. 

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.

Hey Chris – great post. Just a question – We have got about 80 stores affiliated to Amazon Associates. As I understand from your article, it appears that the blog site is a foundation for making a successful Amazon Income. In this regard, we don’t have a blog site but we just have those stores (websites) which have a show case of products. What do you think the strategy would be to drive sales? Of course, we have got Social Media Marketing currently in place.


Affiliate Contracts (i) Amend, modify or waive any material term or provision of any Affiliate Contract or any Third Party Contract as in effect on the Closing Date without the prior written consent of Required Lenders, (ii) enter into any new Affiliate Contract or Third Party Contract following the Closing Date, unless such contract is (a) substantially similar to the form of contracts entered into by Borrowers with the Affiliate Plants prior to the Closing Date and (b) promptly delivered to Agent or (iii) offer more favorable marketing fee arrangements under any Affiliate Contract than those marketing fee arrangements offered under any Third Party Contract.

Short Summary: Basically what the plugin does is allow you to quickly insert a text based affiliate link, the image of the product as an affiliate link, a product information grid, convert US Amazon links to UK, GR etc. via link localization etc. etc. and have all those things be affiliate links to Amazon.com so it does a great job of improving click through rates.
2.2 You shall market and refer potential players to the Sites. You shall be solely responsible for the content and manner of such marketing activities and the same must be professional, proper and lawful under applicable regulations and laws as well as complying with the terms and conditions of this Agreement and any instructions we may provide to you from time to time in writing.
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.

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.
COMPANY’S SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE LIABILITY FOR THE WARRANTY PROVIDED IN SUBPARAGRAH (A) HEREOF SHALL BE TO CORRECT THE TECHNOLOGY TO OPERATE IN SUBSTANTIAL ACCORDANCE WITH ITS THEN CURRENT SPECIFICATIONS OR REPLACE, AT ITS OPTION, THE TECHNOLOGY NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH COMPANY’S AND COMPANY’ PUBLISHED SPECIFICATIONS REGARDING THE TECHNOLOGY; PROVIDED, ANY CLAIM FOR BREACH OF WARRANTY UNDER SUBPARAGRAPH (A) HEREOF MUST BE MADE IN WRITING WITHIN (90) DAYS FROM DATE OF SHIPMENT.
Any products you choose should also have acceptable prices and be available to purchase most of the time. Some products aren’t sold by Amazon, but through sellers only. These can sometimes have higher markups than the product sold elsewhere, which can be a turn-off for your audience. Items sold by sellers might run out of inventory fast, too, so look for products that don’t appear to have a history of this issue.
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.
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.
I come from an unsuccessful background of web design/SEO. I blogged because I knew it was good for SEO, but my articles didn’t monetize. I took a leap of faith and dropped my clients to figure out blogging/affiliate marketing. I was good at website speed optimization and knew hosting was the #1 factor. After some research, I saw SiteGround was #1 in most Facebook polls and had a great reputation with generous affiliate commissions. So I wrote tutorials on website speed… how to configure WordPress cache plugins, hosting reviews, and other speed-related topics. Usually near the end of a post I would say “Oh, here’s why you should switch to SiteGround” with evidence on why they’re the best… polls, tweets, load time improvements, etc. That’s when things got good. Now I have 0 clients and the freedom to do live my life. I wrote this tutorial because I’m actually excited to help people do the same – without the BS.
The good news about selling Amazon affiliate sites is that buyers still consider them an excellent investment opportunity. From a buyer’s standpoint, not much is likely to change. The sites are still very hands off and require little to very slight management on their part to run. If anything, they will be getting a slight “discount” on these Amazon affiliate sites since the sites themselves will still be attracting the same amount of traffic that they can use to split-test new offers once they acquire the sites.

I also show off some of my live income generating websites inside the course and the more people that see them the more likely it is for those niches to be burned out. So I’d rather charge for access to step by step information and access to live example websites I have up and running that are making money so people can examine them and apply what they’ve learned to other niches. 

So how do we make sure we don’t get burned again? The answer is simple: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, if you’re looking to make money from your website, don’t just rely on one source of income! There are many different ways to make money with a niche website, including advertisements, selling digital or physical products, and more!
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.
I net $100/day working for a corporation 40 hrs/week. I live paycheck to paycheck and would like to add to my income. I often see people claim that they make tons (to me anyway) of money on Amazon/Ebay. I will put your system to the test. I have at least 40 hrs/week that I can dedicate to this process (I’m 55 and need my rest). Thank you, however for posting such a detailed system.

I’ve been an Amazon affiliate for many years. At first it was great but now Amazon treats affiliates more like competitors than a feeder of business. Amazon’s performance after a transaction is “handed off” to them is horrible. In any given month they “loose” from 60% to 80% of my customers’ orders at check out. These are not conversion rates on a link but actual orders at check out.

Thanks for sharing this nice article. Each year, the sheer volume of data collected by electronic devices grows and creates value for the people that can work with it. The role of big data in mobile platform business may not be immediately obvious, but it is definitely the next big thing. I've read a recent post on big data: https://mobinspire.com/blogs/role-of-big-data-in-mobile-platform-business/ To begin with, big data comes from the growing usage of smart phones. It is dedicated in terms of audience behavior and usage patterns. Apps such as Uber depend on big data, and many others are following suit. Growing businesses include Misfit – which uses big data to make better fitness trackers. It is followed by food delivery businesses such as Blue Apron, that use big data to understand what their target audience wishes to eat more often.
The community curated content website has really sprung up in the last couple of years. Websites like Tumblr and Pinterest have created hyper focused niches on highly valuable industries like fashion and retail. I think Tumblr has the opportunity to do something with affiliates, but it is Pinterest that is really looking to go after the opportunity.
Google Autocomplete – go to google.com, start typing a phrase and look at the dropdown autocomplete results. You can use the underscore character “_” to have Google fill-in-the-blank. Just make sure the last character you type is an underscore. Try using plurals and change the word ordering to see different results. This is how I find 90% of my keywords.
WE WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU WITH RESPECT TO ANY SUBJECT MATTER OF THIS AGREEMENT UNDER ANY CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOSS OF REVENUE OR GOODWILL OR ANTICIPATED PROFITS OR LOST BUSINESS), EVEN IF WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. FURTHER, NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY CONTAINED IN THIS AGREEMENT, IN NO EVENT SHALL MERCHANT.COM'S CUMULATIVE LIABILITY TO YOU ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THIS AGREEMENT, WHETHER BASED IN CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, TORT OR OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY, EXCEED THE TOTAL COMMISSION FEES PAID TO YOU UNDER THIS AGREEMENT.
(b) You will not sell, resell, redistribute, sublicense, or transfer any Program Content or any application that uses, incorporates, or displays any Program Content, PA API, or Data Feeds. For example, you will not use, or enable, or facilitate the use of Program Content on or within any application, platform, site, or service (including social networking sites) that requires you to sublicense or otherwise give any rights in or to any Program Content to any other person or entity, nor will you create links formatted with your Associates tag for, or display such links on, a site that is not your Site.

In addition, if you choose to display prices for any Product on your Site in any “comparison” format (including through the use of any price-comparison tool or engine) together with prices for the same or similar products offered through any web site or other means other than an Amazon Site, you must display both the lowest “new” price and, if we provide it to you, the lowest “used” price at which the Product is available on the Amazon Site.
You will ensure that the information in your Associates Program application and information otherwise associated with your account on the Associates Site, including your email address, other contact information, and identification of your Site, is at all times complete, accurate, and up-to-date. We may send notifications (if any), approvals (if any), and other communications relating to the Associates Program and the Agreement to the email address then-currently associated with your Program account. You will be deemed to have received all notifications, approvals, and other communications sent to that email address, even if the email address associated with your account is no longer current.
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.
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.
Some advertisers offer multi-tier programs that distribute commission into a hierarchical referral network of sign-ups and sub-partners. In practical terms, publisher "A" signs up to the program with an advertiser and gets rewarded for the agreed activity conducted by a referred visitor. If publisher "A" attracts publishers "B" and "C" to sign up for the same program using his sign-up code, all future activities performed by publishers "B" and "C" will result in additional commission (at a lower rate) for publisher "A".
You hereby agree to indemnify and hold harmless FatCow and its subsidiaries and affiliates, and their directors, officers, employees, agents, shareholders, partners, members, and other owners, against any and all claims, actions, demands, liabilities, losses, damages, judgments, settlements, costs, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) (any or all of the foregoing hereinafter referred to as "Losses") insofar as such Losses (or actions in respect thereof) arise out of or are based on (i) any claim that our use of the Affiliate Trademarks infringes on any trademark, trade name, service mark, copyright, license, intellectual property, or other proprietary right of any third party, (ii) any misrepresentation of a representation or warranty or breach of a covenant and agreement made by you herein, or (iii) any claim related to your Affiliate Site, including, without limitation, its development, operation, maintenance and content therein not attributable to us.
Jump up ^ Shashank SHEKHAR (2009-06-29). "Online Marketing System: Affiliate marketing". Feed Money.com. Archived from the original on 2011-05-15. Retrieved 2011-04-20. During November 1994, CDNOW released its BuyWeb program. With this program CDNOW was the first non-adult website to launch the concept of an affiliate or associate program with its idea of click-through purchasing.
The reason why this type of affiliate marketing is so attractive to many is because no presence or authority is needed! It takes time to build up a reputation and trust with certain groups of people online, and many people are just too scared to commit to working on a blog or website, or just don’t have the time. For many, this is their only option.
“Subscription Service” means our web-based sales software that is subscribed to, and developed, operated, and maintained by us, accessible via http://www.hubspot.com or another designated URL, and add-on products to our sales software. For the purposes of this Agreement, the Subscription Service does not include our legacy sales products, any implementation, customization, training, consulting, additional support or other professional services, or fees for third-party products or services.
Attrace is the first affiliate network to find an application for this technology. Attrace uses blockchain to prevent fraud, improve transparency, minimize the bureaucratic infrastructure of their network and process payments in real-time. Their decentralized, blockchain-based solution is able to deliver services at a 95 percent lower cost than other networks.

However, to be genuinely successful today you need a twist of creativity. Ebates is a great example of this. They are a cashback website. This means they offer cash back on purchases you make online. You make an account on their website and whenever you shop anywhere such as Amazon, you click on the link in your account first. Ebates says they will give you 3% back on any purchase you make. Let’s say you go to Amazon and buy whatever for $100. You would then receive $3 in your Ebates account. However, the cool part is how Ebates is making money with this model. Amazon’s affiliate program gives you 6% commissions per sale. Ebates decided to give half of their commission back to their users as an incentive for them to shop through Ebates. This way the whole idea is consumer driven. Consumers buy things and make money using Ebates. The more consumers receive in cash back, the more revenue Ebates generates.


(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.
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.

The Amazon affiliate program has a 24-hour cookie, which means that once users click on an affiliate link to Amazon, anything they buy in the next 24 hours is commissionable to the affiliate whose link they last clicked. So if you click on Gawker’s affiliate link to Amazon to look at cable ties and end up buying another, unrelated product, Gawker Media still receives a commission for that sale.


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.
Affiliate marketing is an internet marketing business model where a person earns a commission based on sales or website visits they have a direct influence on. Different businesses offer different affiliate programs. Some pay a commission for each sale a person sends them while others pay for click throughs to their website. Generally, most pay based on sales.
After claiming them, you’re going to want to start finding blogs where your target audience hangs out, and leave comments that are useful, and relevant to the topic. By leaving a link to your website when you leave a comment, visitors will begin to trickle onto your site, and you’ll open the door to building a relationship with the webmaster that you can tap into later on down the road.
Email is a relationship-builder with your potential customers. You want to send them a balance of useful information related to your niche, perhaps an email newsletter, as well as marketing messages, like a sales email, asking them to buy a product on sale. The free information you’ve provided helps them come to know, like, and trust you… which makes it more likely they’ll buy a product.
It is the intent of FatCow to treat all of our customers fairly. Accordingly, we require all FatCow Affiliates to comply with applicable laws, regulations and guidelines concerning advertising and marketing, including without limitation, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Endorsement Guides, which require that material connections between advertisers and endorsers be disclosed. This means that all Affiliate Sites (e.g. directories, review/rating websites, blogs, and other websites) and any email or collateral that provide an endorsement or assessment of FatCow’s Products and Services must prominently disclose the fact that you receive compensation for Referred Customers.
All affiliates in the affiliate program agree to refrain from any type of predatory advertising practices, the definition of which shall be at the sole discretion of the Program Operator, and shall include, but not be limited to, dynamically replacing the affiliate ID of one affiliate with that of another with the effect of “stealing” the commission away from the affiliate that earned it, whether this be intentional or not. affiliates may not adjust any of the supplied affiliate links to reset cookies or bypass other safeguards in the system. affiliates understand that engaging in such practices is grounds for immediate termination and forfeiture of any earned commissions.

Also probably worth noting that if you are thinking about signing up for the Amazon affiliate program and are located in Colorado or New York, sign up with an out of state business address. Amazon closed their programs to affiliates in these states because of tax laws that were passed. There are quite a few services that allow you to choose a business address in a different state and will automatically forward your mail to your current address.
Hey Chris! I stumbled upon your site from a few people. I’m now interested in starting a niche business and grow from there. I’ve tried to target another niche, with keywords as a first timer, and still having difficulties targeting certain keywords. I would like to get a boost of motivation on starting a small and simple amazon style niche site. I don’t know if you covered this, but I’d like to know what sort of criteria that you go through when choosing a site. So far, I have found a keyword with the following criteria:
Amazon used to have a variable fee structure where you would earn more money if you referred more sales to Amazon. They would start at 4% and you could earn up to 8.5% of a sale if you referred enough items. Amazon did away with their variable fee structure in early 2017 and replaced that system with a fixed percentage payout based on the category of products. Some niches pay a lot less than others and it’s important to be aware of the payout before you pick a niche:
8.1. You represent and warrant that (a) you have the authority to enter into this Agreement and sufficient rights to grant any licenses expressed herein, and (b) any material displayed on your Site will not: (i) infringe on any third party's copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary rights or right of publicity or privacy; (ii) violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance or regulation; (iii) be defamatory or libelous; (iv) be lewd, pornographic or obscene; (v) violate any laws regarding unfair competition, anti-discrimination or false advertising; (vi) promote violence or contain hate speech; (vii) promote discrimination based on race, age, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or disability; (viii) contain viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other similar harmful or deleterious programming routines' or (ix) otherwise constitutes an "unsuitable Site" as determined by Brian Tracy in accordance with the terms outlined in the Section 1 above titled "Participation in the Program."
I’ve been an Amazon affiliate for many years. At first it was great but now Amazon treats affiliates more like competitors than a feeder of business. Amazon’s performance after a transaction is “handed off” to them is horrible. In any given month they “loose” from 60% to 80% of my customers’ orders at check out. These are not conversion rates on a link but actual orders at check out.

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.
With the assistance of [Client.Company]’s IT team, we will create custom parameters that will allow us to set different commission rates for different products to ensure that you always see a positive return on all affiliate-generated sales. We will also set different commission rates for the different types of publishers. For example, we will set a higher commission rate for content and loyalty publishers and a lower commission rate for coupon publishers. In setting these commission parameters, we will ensure that you are not only seeing an increase in sales and revenue, but in your overall return as well.
There’s no universal consensus for what constitutes ‘long-form’ content. However, as a rule of thumb, you can think of this as any piece over 1,000 words. Research shows people tend to trust long-form content more. On the other hand, most online readers still tend to skim articles. This means you also need to find ways to adapt your longer content for skimmers.
Amazon runs one of the largest affiliate programs around, called Amazon Associates. You can become part of the program as long as your website already has some content (about five or ten posts). Bear in mind that once you’ve applied, it can take a few days to be approved. Once your account is ready, you can start to focus on building an effective website. 

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.
For more information and suggestions about how to comply with these guidelines, please visit our page entitled "Affiliate Disclosure Requirements and Examples." Please note that this page is only intended to provide guidance. It does not purport to provide legal advice and it does not guarantee that you'll be in compliance with FTC regulations should you follow the suggestions presented. You are advised to seek and obtain your own legal advice on how these rules apply to your website or other promotional activities for which you receive compensation.
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