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.
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]

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:


Websites and services based on Web 2.0 concepts—blogging and interactive online communities, for example—have impacted the affiliate marketing world as well. These platforms allow improved communication between merchants and affiliates. Web 2.0 platforms have also opened affiliate marketing channels to personal bloggers, writers, and independent website owners. Contextual ads allow publishers with lower levels of web traffic to place affiliate ads on websites.[citation needed]
Affiliate Training and Support.  We may make available to you, without charge, various webinars and other resources made available as part of our Affiliate Program. If we make such resources available to you, you will encourage your sales representatives and/or other relevant personnel to participate in training and/or other certifications as we recommend and may make available to you from time-to-time. We may change or discontinue any or all parts of the Affiliate Program benefits or offerings at any time without notice.

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.


Cost per action/sale methods require that referred visitors do more than visit the advertiser's website before the affiliate receives a commission. The advertiser must convert that visitor first. It is in the best interest of the affiliate to send the most closely targeted traffic to the advertiser as possible to increase the chance of a conversion. The risk and loss are shared between the affiliate and the advertiser.

As a smart merchant, the first step towards business growth is to integrate a streamlined affiliate marketing program that frees your time and saves on business expenses. Finding affordable advertising online can be like walking through a maze. With a plethora of advertising options available, you can easily get distracted and lose your advertising dollars. Conversely, traditional online-advertising methods only offer one-time efforts. Learn More
Regarding Amazon FBA…this is another type of business I would hold off on buying as Trump’s administration is making it difficult to know where the import tariff and border tax percentages are going to shake out. Most FBA businesses are importing products from Asia, making their current valuation a high risk to drop in value should high taxes be imposed.

When you get started in setting up your affiliate marketing business model, keep in mind you’re not just developing a website. You’re growing a business, so treat it as such! The vast majority of successful businesses in the world began with a solid business plan. Affiliate marketing is no different. If you don’t have a quality and profitable affiliate marketing business model planned out ahead of time, you will probably never succeed.
I have never earned a penny on the internet but that is because I am looking for but have not yet found anything.  My problem is that although no knowledge or expertise is needed, so it is said, there are statements that I simply cannot understand.  For example, in No.4 above on making money in affiliate marketing, the statement goes "Build back links and get others to do it for us and rank in the search engines for various key words based on our market."

In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[14] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[9]
You don’t necessarily need experience to come across as an expert in any field, but it certainly helps when people know you’re connected to that industry in some way. For example, would you rather purchase a marketing book from Neil Patel, a mover and shaker in the industry, or from someone who has had no marketing experience and just created his website yesterday?

Amazon’s website describes the process in detail. Basically, when an eligible customer follows your affiliate link and completes the ‘Bounty Action’, you get a special bonus. These bounty actions include signing up for a free trial of Amazon Prime, buying an audiobook on Audible, creating an Amazon Baby Registry, etc. The special bonus is not a percentage of anything, but instead a set dollar amount.


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.
9.1. We grant to you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable right to (i) access our site through HTML links solely in accordance with the terms of this Agreement and (ii) solely in connection with such links, to use our logos, trade names, trademarks, and similar identifying material (collectively, the "Licensed Materials") that we provide to you or authorize for such purpose. You are only entitled to use the Licensed Materials to the extent that you are a member in good standing of Merchant.com's Affiliate Program. You agree that all uses of the Licensed Materials will be on behalf of Merchant.com and the good will associated therewith will inure to the sole benefit of Merchant.com.
Do you have any opinions about sites that got hit with Google Fred for having too much affiliate content? I think one of your other sites got hit (not TYS) and I saw you add a lot of new content but it’s not going up much. The same thing happened to me; I had too much affiliate content and got penalized; added more content but it’s not helping. I am thinking of just starting a new site and redirecting links to the new site. I feel like this penalty is unrecoverable….
This agreement will begin upon your sign-up with the affiliate program and will end when either you or the Program Operator terminates your affiliate status, or if your account is inactive in any continuous twelve month period. An affiliate may terminate this agreement at any time, and for any reason, by writing to – or emailing – the Program Operator at the email address listed on the website. The affiliate may not transfer this agreement, or any rights conveyed in this agreement, to any third party whatsoever.

a) If any part of this agreement or the Terms and Condition is declared void, this agreement and the Terms and Conditions shall, to the maximum practicable extent, be construed without reference to that part. No term or provision of the Agreement shall be waived unless in writing and signed by the party waiving the provision, and any waiver shall apply only to the specific event or situation which it describes and shall not be continuing. No affiliate may assign or sublicense this agreement without the Program Operator’s prior written consent.
This famous course by Lisa Irby is special for a reason. Most attendees are full of praises and in quick 4 hours you get to learn all you need to do get started in the world of affiliate marketing. Not specific to Amazon, this training will help you learn the tricks to do affiliate marketing for multiple websites, thus increasing your chances of diversifying and building a larger funnel. Lisa is a full time Internet entrepreneur and has taught thousands of people online about website creation and marketing. With this course, you are in real safe hands to get started with affiliate marketing.
NOTICE: Please read this agreement carefully. Unless you expressly agree and consent to this agreement, you may NOT participate in the affiliate program. By participating in the affiliate program, you are agreeing to comply with and be legally bound by the terms and conditions of this contract. If you do not agree to all of the terms of this agreement, please do not register for the affiliate program.

It’s easiest to make money using Amazon’s affiliate program if the people coming to your website are looking for a specific product that your website discusses. It’s more difficult to use a website like my blog here and make money linking to physical products because the people coming here are looking for advice on how to earn money online – not what iPod speakers they should buy.

7. It’s an Investment that Matures Over Time – My approach with Amazon is to treat it a little like a savings account or an investment that you put a little into each week and which matures in it’s earnings over time. What do I mean by this? I add links to Amazon over time and find that in doing so I’m creating more and more doorways into the Amazon store. Each time I do I increase the chances of sending someone to Amazon and seeing returns on those visits.

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.

The Santa Claus Christmas Store, in Santa Claus, Ind., was typical of a lot of brick-and-mortar businesses when it sought to expand its online footprint earlier this year. In addition to sprucing up its website and increasing its pay-per-click advertising budget, it joined an affiliate marketing network. This connected the 7,000-square-foot holiday emporium with the vast community of bloggers, coupon sites and other “affiliates” around the web that promote products in return for a percentage of each sale they encourage.
Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.
Yes is the short answer. Any time you are planing on generating money, you should have a plan. No plan means no real focus. There may be some 1/1000 percent of a chance you will succeed, but I haven't met them yet. If you have already started and have generated an income, record how. Doing so will give you material for use in expanding your business faster.
I expanded my SEO blog and started writing about hosting, cache plugins, and other relevant topics… while recommending SiteGround in each tutorial. I added social proof like this poll where they were rated the #1 host. Each tutorial was super detailed and tons of people found them helpful – many generated 100 visitors/day since the great content got them ranked high.
The second step in your journey is to create a diversified platform. Why diversified? Well, when Henry was flying high with his Google search results, then suddenly knocked down to beyond page 10 after an algorithm update, he tells me that he wishes he had diversified. Instead of focusing solely on the blog, he tells me he should have been building a Facebook Group, online forum and other ways that he could stay connected with people.
I am afraid this is just the beginning and we will see more drastic decrease in commission in the next few years. My main revenues are usually from Toys and Home. I’ll need to check and do some calculation to see what I’ll loose. Might have eventually to change some links and go through other affiliate programs that may pay more. Again, will have to check that out. I love Amazon because I find all the product from them instead of having to deal with multiple affiliate sites. No headaches about sites closing their affiliate programs, no stress about getting paid on time etc..
In addition to the obligations set forth in Section 4 (FTC Endorsement Compliance), Affiliate shall comply with all applicable data protection laws regarding the transmission of data exported to or from the United States or the country in which Affiliate resides, including without limitation, the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 of European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 (the “GDPR”). Affiliate, as a controller under the GDPR, shall also implement appropriate technical measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk, taking into account the nature, scope, context, and purpose of processing any personal data. Affiliate agrees to promptly assist FatCow in complying with any data subject rights request under the GDPR that FatCow may receive from any individuals referred to FatCow by Affiliate. Affiliate further agrees to promptly assist FatCow in complying with any duties to cooperate with supervisory authorities under the GDPR.
In addition to the obligations set forth in Section 4 (FTC Endorsement Compliance), Affiliate shall comply with all applicable data protection laws regarding the transmission of data exported to or from the United States or the country in which Affiliate resides, including without limitation, the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 of European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 (the “GDPR”). Affiliate, as a controller under the GDPR, shall also implement appropriate technical measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk, taking into account the nature, scope, context, and purpose of processing any personal data. Affiliate agrees to promptly assist FatCow in complying with any data subject rights request under the GDPR that FatCow may receive from any individuals referred to FatCow by Affiliate. Affiliate further agrees to promptly assist FatCow in complying with any duties to cooperate with supervisory authorities under the GDPR.
It’s also important to remember that your content should be actionable. For example, if you’re writing a review for a coffee machine, it’s not enough to talk about its features and how great its brew is. You also should look to answer any questions your visitors might have about it, and explain how the product can benefit them. Focus on the positives, and how they can be valuable to the reader. 

(j) You will not exceed, or if you build and release an application that calls PA API, each copy of that application that is installed by an end user will not exceed, any limit on calls per second set forth in any Specifications (or that we otherwise notify you apply) and you will not send files to or from PA API that are greater than 40KB without our prior written approval.
There is, however, a level of responsibility that you have to uphold while making these kinds of recommendations, especially if you have a lot of authority and influence over your followers. This is something I take very seriously. If it were up to me, this is the only way affiliate marketing would be done, because to me it’s the most honest and most helpful.

When you are attracting traffic to your site, you become a "publisher" and can reach out to different companies (known as merchants) and market their products. They will typically give you a tracked affiliate link, which looks a bit longer than a normal link and has a reference on it, known as a b tag. Most affiliates have a login and a network where you can see your clicks and conversions. Big players in the industry include admitad, CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction), Awin and Rakuten, and they have access to thousands of companies looking to promote products and thousands of companies looking to sell them.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to very easily add a revenue model to a website that has traction. Content based websites remain extremely popular on the Internet, but it can be difficult to also create premium content or a related product that can generate significant revenue. Physical products can also be a difficult model to crack early on, particularly due to lack of cash-flow or investment. Affiliate marketing makes perfect sense for companies that are looking to get into an industry such as fashion, but do not have the resources to handle their own stock or distribution just yet.


I am a newbie affiliate blogger but also have an IT background. Amazon has not been known to be the most profitable company anyway. I just found this quote from April 2016-“Amazon, a company known for spending like a drunken sailor, appears to have sobered up. At least for now. Amazon typically posts razor-thin (or nonexistent) earnings despite skyrocketing revenue.” I am not terribly surprised they are changing the structure around.
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
Force Majeure. Neither party will be responsible for failure or delay of performance if caused by: an act of war, hostility, or sabotage; act of God; electrical, internet, or telecommunication outage that is not caused by the obligated party; government restrictions; or other event outside the reasonable control of the obligated party. Each party will use reasonable efforts to mitigate the effect of a force majeure event.
Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.
You still need to make a profit, so your products’ prices should benefit you, too. You’ll need to find a balance between affordable for the consumer and profitable for you. A good way to do this is to look up not just the customer price, but also the affiliate commission for your product category. You can learn more about your potential commission on Amazon.
7. It’s an Investment that Matures Over Time – My approach with Amazon is to treat it a little like a savings account or an investment that you put a little into each week and which matures in it’s earnings over time. What do I mean by this? I add links to Amazon over time and find that in doing so I’m creating more and more doorways into the Amazon store. Each time I do I increase the chances of sending someone to Amazon and seeing returns on those visits.

(e)You will not (and you will not seek to) purchase, register or otherwise use any Amazon Mark (as defined in the Trademark Guidelines) or variations or misspellings of any of those words (e.g., “ammazon,” “amaozn,” and “kindel,”) for use in any Search Engine . In addition to any other rights or remedies available to us, upon our request you will cause any Search Engine designated by us to exclude Proprietary Terms (defined below) from keywords used to display your advertising content in association with search results (e.g., request exclusion by negative keyword bidding), assuming the Search Engine offers such exclusion capabilities.
In addition to the foregoing Product Advertising Content and access to PA API, we may make available from time to time for use in connection with PA API sample source code and libraries, each of which will be made available to you under a separate license that accompanies each sample source code or library, as applicable. In connection with PA API, we may also make available specifications, user manuals, guides, supporting materials, and other information, regardless of format, describing the operational and functional capabilities, use limitations, technical and engineering requirements, and testing and performance criteria relevant to the proper use of PA API (collectively, “Specifications”). “Product Advertising Content,” as used in this License Agreement, specifically excludes any sample source code or libraries we make available to you under a separate license and any Specifications that we make available. It also specifically excludes any data, images, text, or other information or content relating to products offered on any site other than an Amazon Site.
(j) You will not exceed, or if you build and release an application that calls PA API, each copy of that application that is installed by an end user will not exceed, any limit on calls per second set forth in any Specifications (or that we otherwise notify you apply) and you will not send files to or from PA API that are greater than 40KB without our prior written approval.
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.

Other than the limited licenses expressly set forth herein, we reserve all right, title and interest (including all intellectual property and proprietary rights) in and to, and you do not, by virtue of this License or otherwise, acquire any ownership interest or rights in or to, the Associates Program, Special Links, link formats, Program Content, PA API, Data Feeds, Product Advertising Content, any domain name owned or operated by us, information and materials on any Amazon Site or the Associates Site, our and our affiliates’ trademarks and logos (including the Amazon Marks), and any other intellectual property and technology that we provide or use in connection with the Associates Program (including any application program interfaces, software development kits, libraries, sample code, and related materials).
6. Small Payments Add Up – In my early days of making money from blogs I didn’t have the luxury of picking and choosing my income streams as much as I (and other full time bloggers) now do. I needed to earn money somewhere and even the small amounts that Amazon brought in were better than nothing. Over time these payments began to add up. In the early days I didn’t even earn enough for a minimum payment amount and had to wait a few months before they’d pay me – but those pay outs were milestones that I celebrated. If I’d not gone with Amazon because they didn’t earn me a lot I might not have gone with any ad networks or affiliate programs – sometimes you have to take what you can get.
This agreement will begin upon your sign-up with the affiliate program and will end when either you or the Program Operator terminates your affiliate status, or if your account is inactive in any continuous twelve month period. An affiliate may terminate this agreement at any time, and for any reason, by writing to – or emailing – the Program Operator at the email address listed on the website. The affiliate may not transfer this agreement, or any rights conveyed in this agreement, to any third party whatsoever.
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