Yes, this is similar to the first point; however, it's important to take this one step further. Don't just stop at “best sleeping bags” or “sleeping bag reviews”! You should target phrases that are even longer tailed, which could mean going after keywords with very low search volume.  I do that here on Niche Pursuits and every blog or website I've built.
So I went to the same place I buy all my WordPress themes (Themeforest) and searched their hundreds of demo WordPress Themes to find the right one that made sense for my Amazon Affiliate Website. This is the style and look your website will have. I needed a clean looking blog (it’s great for SEO) and I needed a warm looking homepage. I found something flexible and looked professional after a couple hours searching.
Companies online will give you a commission if you refer a customer to them. An easy example would be with Amazon. Amazon has an affiliate program called Amazon Associates. It’s free to join and takes just a couple minutes to set up. From there you can search every product that is on Amazon and get your personal referral link. Let’s say your friend mentioned they wanted a new TV. You could send them your referral link for a TV on Amazon. Your friend buys the TV for $500, and Amazon gives you 6% of that sale. That means you made $30 without doing anything. Pretty cool, huh?
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.
You wouldn’t install the same Google Analytics code on every single website you own right? Of course not, because you wouldn’t be able to tell how much traffic each of your websites were receiving individually. So the same thing can be said for tracking the money you make on your websites (and yet people still tell me they use only one Amazon tracking ID for all of their websites /facepalm). In the ,past I’ve gone so far as to create 15 different tracking ID’s for use on a single website.
Affiliate marketers cannot assume that they are immune from these new standards, even though they are not the final brand the customer is interacting with. They must be transparent about using any third-party tracking software to collect personally identifiable information on customers, including IP addresses. They need to be required to delete these entries from CPVLab, Prosper or other third-party tracking solutions they use.

Referral fees aren’t just for the products you recommend. Perhaps the coolest thing about the Amazon Associates program is that you receive credit for any sale associated with your affiliate link for 24 hours. So, if a customer visits the page of the product you recommended, but then goes on to purchase five more eligible items during that same visit, you will receive a portion of that entire sale.


General Rights. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, Company hereby grants to MA the right to advertise, market and sell to corporate users, government agencies and educational facilities (“Clients”) for their own internal language learning, soft skills and communication purposes only, and not for remarketing or redistribution, and not for use in a data center environment for multiple users Clients, unless otherwise agreed to by Company prior in writing, the Technology listed in Schedule A of this Agreement, and to sell and/or bundle Technology Maintenance for the Technology and to provide first line technical support and implementation services for the Technology in the territories listed in Schedule A of this Agreement, providing MA meets the criteria required for delivering services according to Schedule A.
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.

Keep in mind though that the rest of the tutorial is only available once you sign up for FREE which does not cost you anything at all but only requires you to input your email address. If you do not want to disclose your email address then I suppose don’t worry about it as I am sure there are more resources you can find online. I just thought I’d mention it because I had read it myself and it is a valuable information that one person can learn from. Just like many of us, he also started out as a newbie testing the waters of affiliate marketing at some point in time then he eventually found his success and he now have a repeatable business model that he is sharing with us.
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.
These strategic buys can lead to new insightful data as well. You will see other products within your niche that the audience is prone to buy, which can help you in deciding to launch your next product. Also, each of these sites can become little satellite sites that can collect emails for your overall brand. This strategy is not at all new, and Jon Haver from Authority Website Income has already written a detailed post about the concept here.
It might be tempting to start recommending a variety of products that spark your interest on your website, but this isn’t the key to success. Very few affiliate sites find success without first picking a niche. For example, TheWireCutter.com focuses on in-depth product reviews of electronics and techie gadgets. HostingAdvice.com provides helpful reviews about hosting companies and related products. 

If you are going to write a piece of content that has an affiliate link to a high-end DSLR camera, you need to be an expert in order to make it credible. Your whole website needs to revolve around the product and how to use it, rather than eyeing up the fat commission you can make if you dupe someone into using your link from that one piece of content.
Yes, we shall see what happens with the Trump administration when we have to cross that bridge with possible tariffs. That being said, there are still Amazon FBA owners who are making their products using American factories. It is also important to note that there are booming Amazon FBA markets OUTSIDE of the USA too that often have far less competition (Germany and UK as an example). You could hire a good translator, translate your blurbs into the native language of the market you’re looking to target, and experiment there as well.
It’s a great way to make passive income. Of course, when I say “passive”, this doesn’t account for the time needed to spend building or maintaining your WordPress site. However, in terms of having to promote these affiliate links, you can put in as much or as little work as you want to drive traffic to them. This obviously makes this a great option for a passive income stream if you’re not in the business of e-commerce.
When it comes down to brass tacks, there are some important steps to be taken to succeed as an affiliate marketer, and an overall framework that needs to be followed. But before getting into that, it's important to get a lay of the land and look at the macro aspects of marketing and buyer mentality before being able to leverage any of that psychology to sell commissionable products or services.
Also, remember that you are able to receive a commissions on anything your referral purchases over a 24hr period. So, even if you refer someone to purchase an e-book but they also end up buying $400 worth of other stuff, you get a commission on that, too. So really, you’re playing a numbers game here, especially around the holidays. This is why the Amazon Associates affiliate program is so powerful. When people by from Amazon, they tend to load up that cart.
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.
“Other Products” means those products and services that we offer, which are not included in the Subscription Service (as detailed below); and, for the purposes of this Agreement, Other Products include all of our marketing software, legacy sales and marketing products, and any implementation, customization, training, consulting, additional support or other professional services, or fees for third-party products or services.

Affiliate Marketplaces – ShareASale and ClickBank have thousands of merchants to choose from. It’s nice to login to 1 place and check the performance of multiple affiliates without going to each individual portal on each website. Many programs aren’t part of a marketplace though. I’m a big fan of ShareASale – there are so many companies and industries you can choose from.
Newbies and intermediate affiliate marketers tend to be too detail oriented. They spend countless hours testing new offers, creating content and looking for new traffic sources. More experienced marketers understand importance of looking at the bigger picture. They must observe trends to anticipate new changes, such as the types of offers that will be profitable in the future and which traffic sources will be most profitable in the future.
(i)	Place our Links or any marketing materials provided by us to you including but not limited to our logos, marks, domain name, trade name or any of the aforegoing ("Our Marks") which is confusingly similar to or is comprised of Our Marks (collectively, "Our Materials") on any online site or other medium where the material on such site or medium is as determined by us, in the exercise of our absolute discretion, illegal or in any other way unsuitable. 

Hey Sue, I can’t disclose the amount of money that the website was earning when I sold it, but as I admitted at the onset of the article my income from Amazon would have surpassed $100,000 had I not sold the site. I already have several other authority style websites I’m building up as well as my network of smaller niche sites that earn good money as well.
You are only eligible to earn Commission Fees on Qualified Purchases occurring during the Term. Commission Fees earned prior to the date of termination will be eligible for commissions only if the orders for the related FatCow Products and Services are not cancelled within (30) days and comply with all of the terms of this Agreement. We may withhold your final payment of Commission Fees for a reasonable time to ensure that all Qualified Purchases are valid and payment from Referred Customers are legitimate as determined by FatCow in its sole discretion.

If there’s one product you sell a lot of and it’s something that can be private labeled you could make a lot more selling it on Amazon yourself (and you can still promote it as an affiliate too, gray area but people do it). For example, supplements are very easy to private label. I started out as an affiliate and now I sell my own private label products and make more than I ever could have as an affiliate.


In 2009, I originally published this post, the 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained—and The One I Profit From. A lot has changed since then, and I’ve learned a ton along the way about affiliate marketing the right way. It’s now October 2018, and I wanted to share those new insights here, with a bunch of new takeaways for you to bring affiliate marketing into your own business!
I could have promoted WP Engine (hosting company) for $200/sale with no tier program to climb – sounds pretty good right? But when I checked ShareASale I saw their reversal rates were 24%! Just to give you an idea SiteGround’s reversals are less than 10%. WP Engine starts at $29/month while SiteGround’s is $3.95/month, plus SiteGround has a better reputation. I had to climb a tier program to get SiteGround’s $150/sale, but long-term my research paid off.

Excellent article Chris! This will help me out a lot. I am a new author through amazon and my book is also being sold through KDP Select (The kindle option worldwide) but regardless of my advertising on my Facebook page, which cost money, I do not seem to be getting anywhere. With Amazon Associates, is it totally free and no cost to you or do you pay a fee over a certain amount of time. Also if you have any tips on how to get a book out there that would be excellent. My book is being sold at Books a Million, Barnes and Noble, and Alibris. I plan on doing a book signing at Barnes and Noble in hopes it will raise awareness of my book.
Amazon has been my second-best earner after Adsense. I am still in the start-up stages of IM in general but I do get a check from Amazon every month. I agree fully with the reasons you give and I have found that the small commissions is far outweighed by the points you list above. I make far more with Amazon than I do with any other affiliate program though they might have higher commissions.
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.
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.
(f) You will not (i) interfere, or attempt to interfere, in any manner with the functionality or proper working of PA API; (ii) compile or use Product Advertising Content for the purpose of direct marketing, spamming, unsolicited contacting of sellers or customers, or other advertising activities; or (iii) remove, obscure, alter, or make invisible, illegible, or indecipherable, any notice, including any notice of intellectual property or proprietary right, appearing on or contained within PA API, Data Feeds, Product Advertising Content, or Specifications.
Although it differs from spyware, adware often uses the same methods and technologies. Merchants initially were uninformed about adware, what impact it had, and how it could damage their brands. Affiliate marketers became aware of the issue much more quickly, especially because they noticed that adware often overwrites tracking cookies, thus resulting in a decline of commissions. Affiliates not employing adware felt that it was stealing commission from them. Adware often has no valuable purpose and rarely provides any useful content to the user, who is typically unaware that such software is installed on his/her computer.
I guess the only thing I’d say about this is if you are blogging in a competitive niche and working in what I’d call the “gray area” of link masking and not using “nofollow” as described here by google (https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en) expect that competitors that are writing real reviews with real photos (not stuff grabbed from a manufacturers website) are going to report you to google as webspam. The thing I hate most is affiliate sites that have never held a product in their hand and then try to pass off something as a first person review for the sole sake of pushing you to Amazon.com.
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.
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. 

PA API or Data Feeds may allow you to access data, images, text, and other information and content relating to products offered on one or more affiliate sites. If you use PA API or Data Feeds to access or use any such data, images, text, or other information or content, you agree to comply with and be bound by the terms of the applicable license agreement for PA API or Data Feeds (or equivalent service) providing Product Advertising Content from such affiliate sites.

I’m curious – how are Amazon affiliate sites faring after the Google Panda update. With the keyword density of the content articles needed for these types of sites, have you or any of your Niche Profits members experienced a major decline in traffic or rankings? If so, what are your recommendations for creating better backlinks and showing more authority/relevancy for these types of sites?
Amazon will not pay you unless your affiliate sales reach a threshold of $10 if you choose to be paid by direct bank deposit or Amazon gift card, or $100 if you want to be paid by check. If you fail to reach the threshold, your affiliate balance is carried over to the next month and added to the sales you make then. Amazon pays affiliate sales at net 60 days, so, for example, sales that reach the threshold at the end of January will be paid in late March.

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]
11.7. Equitable Relief. The parties agree that any breach of either of the party's obligations regarding trademarks, service marks or trade names, confidentiality, links or the removal of links, and/or user data may result in irreparable injury for which there may be no adequate remedy at law. Therefore, in the event of any breach or threatened breach of a party's obligations regarding trademarks, service marks or trade names, confidentiality, links or the removal of links, and/or user data, the aggrieved party will be entitled to seek equitable relief in addition to its other available legal remedies in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Make people care about you. You have to get them emotionally invested in you before you can sell them anything. In fact, Henry says that you should never try to sell something right away, at least not until people become fully vested in you and your personal journey. Russell Brunson calls this your Attractive Character. This is what's allowed both Henry and Brunson to achieve wildly-outlandish incomes from their affiliate marketing efforts.


Still haven’t made any money on my aforementioned website I was talking about above. However, I started another website and I AM making money with that. Two very different niches lol. The one I am making money with will HAVE to be a higher amount eventually, but I am happy to be making money at all because I have tried this whole affiliate thing for years and never made ANY money. So selling $300 worth of stuff and making $35 makes me ecstatic lol
Meeting the standard can be complicated enough if you are running direct linking campaigns as an affiliate. It becomes even more complex if you are building an email list or running another complex funnel that requires you to collect personal information. Make sure you have a simple way of collecting data reports and deletion requests so you can respond in a timely manner.
Affiliate Contracts. Except for employment agreements and except as specifically identified on Schedule 5.14, there does not exist any contract, agreement or other arrangement between Seller and (a) any affiliate of Seller, (b) any entity in which Seller directly or indirectly owns more than a five percent (5%) interest or (c) any of the managers or members of Seller that will not be cancelled by Seller simultaneously with the Closing hereunder.
For example, someone like Tim Ferriss can recommend products to his audience because he has earned an authoritative voice on fitness, productivity, learning and lifestyle design through his blog and his books. Tim’s blog is a perfect example of how to build a successful affiliate model. Tim rarely actually recommends products, but when he does you can tell he is being genuine and not just trying to earn money from his audience.
There are many ways in which you can make money with WordPress. Creating a website for the purposes of promoting a business or selling goods through an online store is one such way. Monetizing a blog with display ads is another. While there are other ways in which you can use your WordPress site to make money, perhaps one of the easiest ones to get started with is affiliate marketing.
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.
Affiliate marketing has a very low barrier to entry; many merchants accept everyone who applies for affiliation. Some forms of affiliate marketing don't even require the affiliate to have a website. This creates a very high level of competition, especially for particularly profitable offers. In forums where affiliates participate, there are frequent claims of commission theft or hijacking by other affiliates and even by merchants. A cookie system that credits the sale to the last link clicked makes these actions more likely.
(c) any Product purchased by a customer who is referred to an Amazon Site through any advertisement that you purchased through participation in bidding or auctions on keywords, search terms, or other identifiers that include the word “amazon”, or “kindle”, or any other Amazon Mark (see a non-exhaustive list of our trademarks via the links below, or variations or misspellings of any of those words (e.g., “ammazon”, “amaozn”, and “kindel”)(all, a “Prohibited Paid Search Placement”),
I also think that affiliate based business models provide an amazing opportunity to build up momentum and eventually create a product or ecommerce based company. Selling your own products will always be more lucrative than being an affiliate business, but there is an inherent risk associated with this model. If you can grow an engaged audience over a long period of time, it will be much easier to transition to your own products and the investment in manufacturing and distribution will not be as big of a risk because you will already have an audience.
You are the sole and exclusive owner of the Affiliate Trademarks and have the power to grant to FatCow the license to use such marks in the manner contemplated herein, and such grant will not (i) breach, conflict with, or constitute a default under any agreement or other instrument applicable to you or binding upon your assets or properties, or (ii) infringe upon any trademark, trade name, service mark, copyright, or other proprietary right of any third person or entity.
Subject to the terms of the Agreement and solely for the limited purposes of participation in the Associates Program in strict compliance with the Agreement (including this License and the other Program Policies), we hereby grant you a limited, revocable, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to: (a) copy and display Program Content solely on your Site; (b) use only those of the Amazon Marks (as defined in the Trademark Guidelines) we make available to you as part of the Program Content, solely on your Site and in accordance with the Trademark Guidelines, and (c) access and use PA API, Data Feeds, and Product Advertising Content solely in accordance with the Specifications and this License.
Except as agreed between you and us in a separate written agreement referencing this Section 5, you will not use any Program Content or Special Link, or otherwise link to an Amazon Site, on or in connection with: (a) any client-side software application (e.g., a browser plug-in, helper object, toolbar, extension, component, or any other application executable or installable by an end user) on any device, including computers, mobile phones, tablets, or other handheld devices (other than Approved Mobile Applications); or (b) 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).

MSE is a great example of an affiliate site that has become an authority site. It is not offering thin content and barely veiled “reviews” that are trying to sell something. Instead they are offering actual actionable advice and maintaining a strong code of ethics in the often dirty personal finance niche. They make their affiliate commissions by linking out in their posts and pages to affiliate products they have agreements with.


Discounts and Coupons. You are not allowed to post any refunds, credits or discounts on the FatCow Products and Services, or other content concerning FatCow without FatCow’s prior written consent in each instance. Affiliates may only use coupons and discounts that are provided exclusively through the Affiliate Program using banners and links. Each Link connecting users of the Affiliate Site to the pertinent area of the FatCow website will in no way alter the look, feel, or functionality of the FatCow website. Any violations of the terms surrounding links, coupons, refunds, credits or discounts shall constitute a material breach of this Agreement, and may result in your termination from the Affiliate Program or the withholding of Commission Fees
(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.”

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.


After signing up for the affiliate program, you will receive a unique affiliate URL which you will use to advertise the website. When someone clicks through this URL, a cookie will be set in their browser with your affiliate ID and their IP address may also be logged with your affiliate ID. During that visit to the website or any later visit, when a purchase is made the commission will be given based on the existence of the cookie.
Time Is Your Enemy – I say this because writing a compelling and captivating article is not easy let alone writing everyday filling your website with valuable information so that you can market or promote your product. But guess what, people are doing it and they are succeeding in their own rights. It is doable no doubt but you also have to set your own expectation and goal in a manner that are achievable in bits and pieces. It took me 3 hours writing this article you are reading right now but I know I am a slow writer and this is my website so it is nice to call it my own.
The Program Operator may also terminate this agreement at any time, and for any reason, by writing to affiliate at the email address listed in the affiliate’s Profile, with 30 days notice. the Program Operator may transfer this agreement to any party whatsoever, at any time, and this agreement shall remain in full force and effect, without notice to affiliate. However, if this agreement should terminate for cause due to violation of this agreement or the Terms and Conditions, this agreement shall terminate immediately and affiliate shall forfeit all right to any commissions then due.
Great article. Thanks for writing it. I am right now picking my theme and building my wordpress. I have my hosting and domain name. What I don’t get though from the article is whether you have to apply to Amazon to be an affiliate or if they accept everyone. How does that all work? Like if I build my site and post links to amazon’s products, they wouldn’t have my details to pay me my commission. Do the templates do all that for you automatically? I am finding it hard to choose one because I want one that automatically integrates the amazon products without making my blog look like a shop per se. I’m going to have a look on the amazon site to see if there’s any clues there. But I thought that was the finishing and crucial touch, which forgive me, seems missing from your well explained and detailed article.
×