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.

We could fib and say that building an affiliate website is simple, but that wouldn’t do you or your business any good. In truth, people spend days and weeks just researching the best niche and products for their affiliate sites. Then, it’s time to build, market, and plan content for the site to build an audience of people who are interested in the products you recommend.
Great advice here. The typical idea of writing reviews of bicycle pedals and expecting someone to follow your link in order to buy a pair is dead. Now if you are actually a cyclists, and you know something about all the different types of pedals, and why different types solve different cycling problems, then hey, welcome to the world of providing useful content.
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 reserves the right to reject any affiliate application if, in the Program Operator’s opinion, that person or entity violates established laws or commonly held standards of decency. For example, we will reject applications from any person or company that promotes any form of violence, illegal activities, or from applicants who the Program Operator prefers not to be associated with.


A great point you made there though. Too many people try to take on too much at once and end up spreading themselves too thin – trying to conquer all the niches at the same time. Marketers also do this with advertising. Instead of sticking with one platform until they are generating a consistent number of leads they will jump from platform to platform, in essence chucking a load of crap at a wall and seeing what sticks.
Thanks a lot for those tips. I bought your course but found that the module for finding a niche cannot be easily applied for the following reasons: 1) domain (com, net, org) that match exact keywords are almost taken by someone else; 2) even if you can find an exact match keyword domain, changes are there are other competitors building similar niche review sites, simply adding good quality articles and build links with some social book marking do not seem to work well; 3) can you elaborate in details how to do the SEO for a specific niche using real exams (e.g., if you say social bookmarking, can you tell us how to find those sites or even provide a list of sites; if you use blog comments, can you walk thru the process to find good quality blog that accept comments with “do follow” etc
You will not engage in any promotional, marketing, or other advertising activities on behalf of us or our affiliates, or in connection with an Amazon Site or the Associates Program, that are not expressly permitted under the Agreement. You will not engage in any promotional, marketing, or other advertising activities in any offline manner, including by using any of our or our affiliates’ trademarks or logos (including any Amazon Mark), any Program Content, or any Special Link in connection with email, offline promotion or in any offline manner (e.g., in any printed material, ebook, mailing, or attachment to email, or other document, or any oral solicitation).

Blogging is the most obvious type of website that fits into the affiliate based business model because it lends itself so naturally to the process. When you consistently write articles on a blog, your opinion becomes respected over time as your audience sees you making good recommendations. If someone recommends something to you, and it turns out to be a really good thing, your respect for that person’s opinion is naturally going to be elevated. Blogging about a new product, book or service is a perfect because it allows you to explain in depth about the product, the benefits and how it helped you or improved your life.


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.
In the online marketplace, an affiliate refers to a person who will sell or promote the products of an online business, a term often referred to as affiliate marketing. Amazon uses multiple affiliates, referred to as "Amazon Associates," who sell items on their website. As part of the bargain, Amazon will take a small fee for their services. Both parties are able to earn income in this way.

(a) For purposes of the Local Associates Program, “your Site”, as referenced in the Associates Program Operating Agreement, includes the Local Associates Facilities and any other location where you market Products to Amazon customers. For avoidance of doubt, if you use any Site (as defined in the Associates Program Operating Agreement) or other online presence to market Products to Amazon customers, that Site will be subject to all provisions of the Associates Program Operating Agreement as “your Site.”


You will indemnify, defend and hold us harmless, at your expense, against any third-party claim, suit, action, or proceeding (each, an "Action") brought against us (and our officers, directors, employees, agents, service providers, licensors, and affiliates) by a third party not affiliated with us to the extent that such Action is based upon or arises out of (a) your participation in the Affiliate Program, (b) our use of the prospect data you provided us, (c) your noncompliance with or breach of this Agreement, (d) your use of the Affiliate Tool, or (e) our use of the Affiliate Marks. We will: notify you in writing within thirty (30) days of our becoming aware of any such claim; give you sole control of the defense or settlement of such a claim; and provide you (at your expense) with any and all information and assistance reasonably requested by you to handle the defense or settlement of the claim. You shall not accept any settlement that (i) imposes an obligation on us; (ii) requires us to make an admission; or (iii) imposes liability not covered by these indemnifications or places restrictions on us without our prior written consent.
My only suggestions would be to email them back, clarify why they think your website is a social network. If your site is empty of content (such a bunch of empty pages waiting for content to be added), I would fill those pages up/delete them before reappyling to the program. Also make sure you have more content than just affiliate content. You want to be providing real value to the audience, plus you don’t want Google to think you are a thin affiliate website.

(d) You will not, without our express prior written approval, use any Product Advertising Content on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device (which prohibition apply neither to any site that is not designed or intended for use with such devices but that may be accessible by such devices, such as a non-mobile-optimized site accessed via an internet browser on a tablet device, nor an Approved Mobile Application as defined in the Participation Requirements or any television set-top box (e.g., digital video recorders, cable or satellite boxes, streaming video players, blu-ray players, or dvd players) or Internet-enabled television (e.g., GoogleTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Cast, or Vizio Internet Apps).
Many affiliate marketers start out with amazon.com through their affiliate program called Amazon Associates. Their commission structure is very low and can range from 4% to 10% only but you can also leverage their global selection of products and amazon’s popularity. You could also think of the places you have shopping from online and I am almost certain they will have some sort of affiliate programs that you can join for free.
I have been using LongTailPro for more than a year and have just started using the cloud version. It’s very fast and easy to use! Since I have been using LongTailPro, I have saved a lot of money not having to build that many links. Most of the keywords revealed by LongTailPro rank without building links. There are lots of very well written tutorials and videos that guide you. The training is all white hat! It’s helped me a lot with my SEO business. Keep up the good work guys!
Absolutely. Affiliate marketing is a viable and legitimate way to monetize your blog or website. Tens of thousands of merchants run affiliate programs and will pay you a commission for sending them sales. However, there are some scams centered around affiliate marketing. You'll find information on how to spot affiliate scams – and avoid them – here.

If you’re writing reviews, you should 100% be using rich snippets (they add review stars to your search engine snippets and increase click-through rates). There are many WordPress plugins for this but my favorite is WP Rich Snippets. It’s $69/year (or $399 one-time) and I use it for every single review I write. They have tons of add-ons, settings, styling options, and looks nice. Free plugins like All In One Schema.org do work but lack settings, styling, and flexibility.
An affiliate marketer is someone who is running the actual ad campaigns or content marketing campaigns in hopes of making affiliate commissions from the program. An affiliate manager or AM is someone that manages the various affiliates in a network, so they sometimes have the ability to give you special deals if you can prove to them it’s worth their while to do so.
j) Should this affiliate program be deemed illegal in any jurisdiction, the Program Operator has the right to immediately terminate this program, without recourse. If the payment processors utilized by the Program Operator determine that sales made through affiliates cannot be processed through the payment processor, then the Program Operator has the right to immediately terminate this Program, without recourse. Nothing herein is intended to imply that the Program Operator will always offer any affiliate program, or this affiliate program, for all products, services, and/or opportunities sold by the Program Operator on the websites or that the Program Operator will offer any affiliate program whatsoever.
The implementation of affiliate marketing on the internet relies heavily on various techniques built into the design of many web-pages and websites, and the use of calls to external domains to track user actions (click tracking, Ad Sense) and to serve up content (advertising) to the user. Most of this activity adds time[citation needed] and is generally a nuisance to the casual web-surfer and is seen as visual clutter.[citation needed] Various countermeasures have evolved over time to prevent or eliminate the appearance of advertising when a web-page is rendered. Third party programs (Ad-Aware, Adblock Plus, Spybot, pop-up blockers, etc.) and particularly, the use of a comprehensive HOSTS file can effectively eliminate the visual clutter and the extra time and bandwidth needed to render many web pages. The use of specific entries in the HOSTS file to block these well-known and persistent marketing and click-tracking domains can also aid in reducing a system's exposure to malware by preventing the content of infected advertising or tracking servers to reach a user's web-browser.[citation needed]
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.”
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.
Most affiliate partnerships assign an account manager. Your account manager might tell you when there are specials or new products to promote. But it is crucial that you speak to them regularly and get on their best side, because they can increase your commission if you are sending great traffic. They could also give you an exclusivity deal and bump up your pay more.
Isobel Phillips has been writing technical documentation, marketing and educational resources since 1980. She also writes on personal development for the website UnleashYourGrowth. Phillips is a qualified accountant, has lectured in accounting, math, English and information technology and holds a Bachelor of Arts honors degree in English from the University of Leeds.
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