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.
If you know how to complete keyword research with Long Tail Pro and look up products on Amazon, you can start to unearth what affiliate site niche is potentially the most profitable one for you. A little research of Amazon’s best sellers and the most reviewed products in your niche can go a long way. Then, take some tips from successful Amazon affiliate sites to make your site go the distance in terms of popularity and profitability.
Many new affiliate marketers like to use the Amazon Associates Affiliate Program as their first way to start earning a living online. This is actually a great choice! Amazon is trusted by almost everyone and most people you refer to Amazon will already have an account on Amazon. This lowers the barrier to a sale. Many affiliate marketers earn a full-time living just by using the Amazon Associates affiliate program, but it has to be done right. Here are some tips and tricks to earning substantial earnings using the Amazon Associates Program.
The Program Operator requires your primary email address be listed in your affiliate Profile. Affiliates will not be able to use the website or participate in the affiliate program until their email addresses are verified. Those who fail to verify their email address or use an email address that generates an error response consistently (e.g., “User is over quota” or “Mailbox full”) will forfeit any commissions due and this contract will be terminated immediately. You may not use an email address with an auto responder as your Program Operator email address. When you visit the Program Operator’s websites or send emails to, you are communicating electronically. You consent to receive communications from the Program Operator electronically. The Program Operator will communicate with you by email or by posting notices on this site. You agree that all agreements, notices, disclosures and other communications that the Program Operator provides to you electronically satisfy any legal requirement that such communications be in writing. If you are an  affiliate, you understand that you may NOT opt out of any emails that you receive from the Program Operator. As an affiliate, you must continually have a valid email account on file with the Program Operator or we reserve the right to terminate your participation immediately, without any refund of any license fees paid or payment of any commission due.
Anyone can start a video blog absolutely free on YouTube, assuming you have access to a web cam or other digital camcorder. Youtube is a great place to promote your Amazon Associates affiliate program links. You don’t need anything fancy. Simply review products or you can just start a video blog about any niche topic you want. I guarantee you there will come a time when you can recommend products to your audience. When you do, tell your audience you have put a link in the video description to the product you’re referencing.
5.1 We make no express or implied warranties or representations with respect to our Affiliate program or any products or items sole through such program (including without limitation, warranties of fitness, merchantability, non-infringement, or any implied warranties arising out of a course of performance or trade usage). We make no representation or warranty that the operation of the Sites or any of them will be interrupted or error-free and will not be liable for the consequences interruptions or errors.
You will earn the Special Program Fee Rates described in this Section 4(b) in connection with “Trade-In Events” which occur when (1) a customer clicks through a Special Link on your Site to an Amazon Site and (2) during the resulting Session the customer adds a product to his or her trade-in shopping cart and then submits a trade-in request that Amazon accepts.
Hi Spencer, I remember the post where you said your site was penalized and you we’re convinced it was due to too much affiliate links. bestsurvivalknife site… i also remember you had (i asume) the same link twice everytime, once as an image and once as a textlink. Whenever i check a site’s outbound links i notice that each link only gets counted once , it seems to ignore duplicates, so even tho a site might have an image and a textlink pointing to the same productpage/url it would only get counted as 1 outbound (affiliate)link This is what i see when i check outbound links with seoquake. Do you think Google sees it like that as well? I’m asking cause up to this point ive been very cautious with placing affiliate links and avoided placing them in my images to keep it at a minimum.
Small-scale bloggers like Robey won’t be the only ones hit by the rate changes. Publications like The Wirecutter have built thriving businesses entirely on affiliate payments, which are made by vendors like Amazon whenever a referred customer buys a product. Though a number of companies offer similar programs, Amazon’s affiliate system is the most lucrative, and auto-tagged product links have become a significant part of many online businesses’ revenue. (That includes The Verge, which auto-generates affiliate links in some cases.) Though the relationship can be lucrative, it’s also entirely subject to Amazon’s discretion — and as Robey and others are learning, it can often change with little to no warning.
(k) If you display Product Advertising Content consisting of text on your application, you will include the following disclaimer in plain view to end users of your application: “CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS [IN THIS APPLICATION or ON THIS SITE, as applicable] COMES FROM AMAZON. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED ‘AS IS’ AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.” You agree to provide us with any information that we request to verify your compliance with this License.
3. People Buy More than One Item – the great thing about Amazon is that you don’t just earn a commission on the product that you people to, but anything that they buy once they’re at Amazon. I did an experiment earlier in the year where I published a review of a digital photography book on my blog and placed a tracking code in the link to see how much the review earned me specifically. What I found was that the product in the review did quite well – but the sales of other products that people made once they got to Amazon was actually much greater than the sales of the actual book. People went on to buy all manner of products (other books, electronics, cosmetics etc) – I earned a commission on each one of them – now that’s passive income. You earn a commission on anything that a person buys within 24 hours of you sending them to Amazon.
I have a question: while searching for the niche, and I think I found one that is pretty good, the search on google (for “high end …….”) didn’t revile any brands. Now, I believe it’s possible that there are not many brands for this niche, but checking it little further, I found that there are some, but it was difficult finding it on amazon and even if I did find the products, they didn’t have many reviews, if there were any.
He also started attending the three-times-a-year Affiliate Summit marketing conference and other trade shows. “You’d be surprised at how much of a relationship business this is,” he said. “There are thousands upon thousands of affiliates out there, but you come to realize that a lot of the good ones all seem to know each other and there’s as much suspicion of merchants cheating affiliates out of commissions as the other way around.”

2. Commissions – John writes that he’s not satisfied with a 4% commission. He’s right in some ways, 4% isn’t that much when you’re selling a $10 book – however when you’re selling a Get a Price on the $5000 Camera or a $25,000 Tractor (I know someone who does quite well out of ride on mowers and tractors) it certainly adds up. Not only that, the 4% rate that John talks about is the base rate. Unfortunately it is as high as it goes on consumer electronics – however on most other products there is a sliding scale where the more you sell the higher your commission goes to. Sell more than 6 items in a month and your commission goes to 6% – sell over 630 and you’re up to 8% (the rate I’m on). The 4-Hour work Week that John uses as an example earned me around $1 a book. Still not a lot – but I did sell 100 or so of them (after my interview with it’s author) which not only earned me $100 but also helped push the numbers of sales up for the month, moving me into the next earning bracket.


[Sender.Company] is a proven leader in affiliate marketing. We have a track record of optimizing our clients’ current affiliate platform to help them realize an average increase in clicks, conversions, revenue, and average order value. Our affiliate strategy is tailored for each client depending on the goals set forth by the client and include a combination of publisher recruitment and commission optimization. 

In reviewing your website, we noticed that the URL listed on your application is a social network website. However, your site is not an approved social network or established with enough unique content and followers yet. At this time, we are unable to approve your application and have closed the account under which you had been temporarily approved.

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.


Use Deep Links – these are pages on your affiliate’s website that AREN’T the homepage. For SiteGround’s hosting I link a lot to their speed technology page as an affiliate link. If you’re doing Amazon’s affiliate program you just want to gather a list of products you will be recommending to readers, create an affiliate link for each one, and import them to the plugin.


You will register for and be assigned a unique URL associated with an Associate ID for your participation in the Local Associates Program. You will not use any alternative URL or Associate IDs in connection with the Local Associates Program or use the assigned URL or Associate ID for any other purpose. For purposes of this Local Associates Policy, your unique URL will be considered a Special Link as defined in the Associates Program Operating Agreement.
FatCow will process orders placed by Referred Customers who follow the Links from an Affiliate Site to FatCow. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to reject orders that do not comply with certain requirements that we may establish from time to time. All aspects of order processing and fulfillment, including FatCow’s services, cancellation, processing, refunds and payment processing will be our responsibility. We will track the Qualified Purchases generated by your Affiliate Site and will make this information available to you through our website. To permit accurate tracking, reporting, and commission accrual, you must ensure that the Links between your website and our website are properly formatted.

This agreement shall begin upon the date of its execution by MA and acceptance in writing by Company and shall remain in effect until the end of the current calendar year and shall be automatically renewed for successive one (1) year periods unless otherwise terminated according to the cancellation or termination provisions contained in paragraph 18 of this Agreement. Company and MA acknowledge that this Agreement is not a franchise as that term is defined under any and all applicable local, state and/or federal laws in U.S., as amended. 

Amazon has a bestseller page found simply at Amazon.com/bestsellers and so one thing I’ve done on my site is publish a bestsellers list and simply mention the currently trending bestsellers. Generally speaking the cream rises to the top so if you write an article talking about the bestselling products those are likely to be the best products your visitors are looking to buy anyway.
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!
FatCow will process orders placed by Referred Customers who follow the Links from an Affiliate Site to FatCow. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to reject orders that do not comply with certain requirements that we may establish from time to time. All aspects of order processing and fulfillment, including FatCow’s services, cancellation, processing, refunds and payment processing will be our responsibility. We will track the Qualified Purchases generated by your Affiliate Site and will make this information available to you through our website. To permit accurate tracking, reporting, and commission accrual, you must ensure that the Links between your website and our website are properly formatted.
I have about 4 authority style sites and the rest are all mini ones. I like the money the mini’s can make but there isn’t any attractive exit strategy with those so that’s why I like to do a little of both, but I believe authority style sites have the biggest upside. As for income split I’d have to go back through all the tracking data but I’d peg it somewhat in favor of authority sites (before I sold one of my largest ones)
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 important thing is finding a site that works for your product specifically. This can be a bit tricky, depending on what you are selling. It is unlikely you are going to find a site that is selling your EXACT product (though it is a nice bonus if they do). On the other hand, you should be looking at sites that are closely related to your niche – if you’re selling running shoes and you stumble upon an Amazon affiliate site selling treadmills, for instance, this could be a good purchase for you as a way to sell more of your shoes. If you sell hardcore health juicers, an Amazon affiliate kitchen website could potentially be alright, but you would likely see far less benefit of buying that site as a strategic acquisition.
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.
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!
Amazing and thorough breakdown of how it all works! Thank you so much for sharing! a group of 3 friends myself + 2 are about to start affiliate marketing together. Since many advertising rules have changed with affiliate marketing (facebook ads etc.) and many articles have not been updated since, weʻd love any advice or suggestions you have for 2018!
Hi TOM, I have really enjoyed your shared nice piece of content with us. ..Actually, I am thinking to design and develop a mobile comparison website but you know, it’s not an easy job to collect mobiles data. A lot of time and cost is required to build such a website and I don’t want to spend a lot of money as I am new in this field. My colleague has recommended me RevGlue for this purpose as this a UK based registered company and are providing mobiles and its deals data for the UK only with the name of RevEmbed technology as I have read its blog revglue.com/blog-detail/13-setup-free-uk-mobile-comparison-website but I am the little bit confused as its a newborn company. Anyone, have experience with RevGlue. Guide me in this respect. Waiting for your kind response. Thanks in advance.
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
Your web host is responsible for hosting all of the files necessary for your site to function. When choosing a web host you’re going to have a variety of options to choose from. Some will be dedicated towards sites with large volumes of traffic, while others will specifically host WordPress sites. We offer a detailed breakdown of hosting options here.

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. 

I’ve been using Amazon’s affiliate program for a little over two years and during that time I’ve had a lot of success with it. In fact, this income source was the second largest chunk of my total $150k+ 2010 income. If I hadn’t sold one of my larger Amazon focused sites last year for six figures this income source would have easily eclipsed $100,000 by now.
The important thing is finding a site that works for your product specifically. This can be a bit tricky, depending on what you are selling. It is unlikely you are going to find a site that is selling your EXACT product (though it is a nice bonus if they do). On the other hand, you should be looking at sites that are closely related to your niche – if you’re selling running shoes and you stumble upon an Amazon affiliate site selling treadmills, for instance, this could be a good purchase for you as a way to sell more of your shoes. If you sell hardcore health juicers, an Amazon affiliate kitchen website could potentially be alright, but you would likely see far less benefit of buying that site as a strategic acquisition.

But big brands began to become enlightened in the mid-2000s. They started to invest more and more budget into online marketing initiatives, while Google slowly moved to favoring them in the search results. Blogs were undergoing a metamorphosis — evolving from glorified online diaries to significant sources of valuable content with increasingly large readerships.

This Agreement contains the entire agreement between the parties, and no representations, statements or inducements, oral or written, not contained herein, shall be binding upon the parties. Company expressly disclaims the making of, and MA acknowledges that it has not received a warranty or guaranty, express or implied, as to the potential volume, profits or success of the business venture contemplated by this Agreement.
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.

We will pay Standard Program Fees and Special Program Fees in the default currency for an Amazon Site approximately 60 days following the end of each calendar month in which they were earned by the method described below that you have selected. You may be permitted to elect to receive payment in a currency other than the default currency for an Amazon Site. If you choose to do so, you agree that the conversion rate will be determined in accordance with Amazon’s operating standards.
(f)You will not bid on or purchase keywords, search terms, or other identifiers, including the word “amazon,” Kindle,” or any other trademark of Amazon or its affiliates or variations or misspellings of any of these words (“Proprietary Terms” and you can see a non-exhaustive list of our trademarks in the Non-Exhaustive Trademarks Table) or otherwise participate in keyword auctions on any Search Engine if the resulting paid search advertisement is a Prohibited Paid Search Placement (as defined in the Fee Statement). You may purchase paid search advertisements and submit links to Search Engines to appear in response to a general Internet search query or keyword (i.e., in natural, free, organic, or unpaid search results), so long as you comply with the Agreement and those paid or unpaid search results send users to your site and not directly, or indirectly via a Redirecting Link (as defined in the Fee Statement), to an Amazon Site.
We will pay Standard Program Fees and Special Program Fees in the default currency for an Amazon Site approximately 60 days following the end of each calendar month in which they were earned by the method described below that you have selected. You may be permitted to elect to receive payment in a currency other than the default currency for an Amazon Site. If you choose to do so, you agree that the conversion rate will be determined in accordance with Amazon’s operating standards.

(v) You will not cloak, hide, spoof, or otherwise obscure the URL of your Site containing Special Links (including by use of Redirecting Links) or the user agent of the application in which Program Content is displayed or used such that we cannot reasonably determine the site or application from which a customer clicks through such Special Link to an Amazon Site.
Note from Justin & Joe: We will be repricing ALL of the Amazon Associates sites on our marketplace to reflect this change. Our methodology for this will include using the seller’s earning report from Amazon. We have created a formula using historical sales that adjusts the commission percentage based on the new rates that Amazon has rolled out. These rates are adjusted in every category and accurately updated with the historical earning amounts. Since every item is in a different commission category, we will take every category that the website is selling in into account for the new adjusted valuation price.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular monetization techniques for niche publishers and is being used by hundreds of thousands of sites in a wide variety of verticals. Affiliate marketing is popular for a number of reasons, including the potential for success with a relatively small audience and the deep pool of affiliate partners willing to pay to acquire new customers.
Excellent written article, I only recently started delving into Amazon affiliate sales and have been following what you recommend with links in posts and reviews converting better. One question I had which you don’t show in a screen shot is how many sales are through product link clicks and how many are through “all other items ordered”. I am curious to know what # of sales are from products not directly listed, but just taking advantage of the Amazon cookie and getting percentage of those sales. 

On the technology-focused forum Hacker News, a user who goes by "graeme" pointed out, "This is likely to have a massive [e]ffect on the blog/article review ecosystem. Most of the review sites that exist today only do so because of [A]mazon's fairly generous programs. I expect in aggregate there will be a shift in what lines of business people decide to get into, based on this." A user called "sharkweek" said that "[a]s an Amazon affiliate who has done quite well with it, this is definitely a gutting." The mood is equally grim on a subreddit for people building affiliate websites.
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