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.
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.

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.

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]

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.


Bad product picks could hurt your brand. Chances are good that if you’re including an affiliate link in your content, then you’re willing to put your full support behind the product. However, if the reputation of that product should sour with the public and you fail to catch it, that recommendation of an untrustworthy product could hurt your brand.
First, retailers need to do their homework. Kush Abdulloev runs the affiliate marketing program for VMInnovations, a retailer of home products and outdoor equipment based in Lincoln, Neb., that logged $2 million in affiliate-generated sales last year — roughly 20 percent of the company’s online revenue. When it introduced the program two-and-a-half years ago, Mr. Abdulloev said, no one at VM Innovations knew the first thing about affiliate marketing. He started by reading a book, “Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day.”
Free traffic can be achieved through things like social media or SEO. Free traffic is just another term for free visitors to your site. If you post your website on Instagram for your friends to see, when your friends visit your site, your site receives traffic. This traffic costs you nothing and is free. SEO, on the other hand, stands for search engine optimization. It’s how well Google ranks your website in its search engine. Every time you search a term in Google the results that show on the first page have a high ranking because their SEO is done right. The higher the rank, the more visitors to your website. And because this traffic is coming from people searching through Google, it costs you nothing as well. The power with search traffic is that you can essentially create a business revolved around headphone reviews and mostly all of your revenue is profit. The only overhead costs would be your domain name and web hosting service, which costs next to nothing.
Armed with this knowledge you’d think that people would spend more time testing their theme or website layout to determine the optimal way to make money from their website right? Well, this is precisely why once you get your website to start earning ~$1,000 per month you should consider testing out a new theme. It doesn’t make sense to start testing theme changes or try moving to a new theme until you are making at least ~$1,000 per month.
The Associates Program is free to join, and we provide resources on the Associates Site to help Associates succeed with the program. We have never authorized any business to provide paid set-up or consulting services to our associates, so please be wary if any business like that (even one attempting to appropriate the Amazon name) reaches out to offer you costly services.
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.
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
(u) You will not directly or indirectly purchase any Product(s) or take a Bounty Event action through Special Links, whether for your use or for the use of any other person or entity, and you will not permit, request or encourage any of your friends, relatives, employees, contractors, or business relations to directly or indirectly purchase any Product(s) or take a Bounty Event action through Special Links, whether for their use, your use or the use of any other person or entity. Further, you will not purchase any Product(s) through Special Links or take a Bounty Event action for resale or commercial use (of any kind) or offer any Products on your Site for resale or commercial use of any kind.
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.
Absolutely! It is easy enough in a sense that you can get started without a whole lot of initial investment but also what you need is persistence and determination. The way that it works is you find a product or services that you are comfortable to promote and when I say comfortable, I mean the ones that you can talk about all day and convince your customer to buy it.
Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing the insights. Would you mind throwing some light on not your product itself but the competition your product had prior to you entering. For example – I sell essential oil in the geated beauty category and since the competition is so fierce, I’m struggling to make organic sales. Indeed, sales and reviews seem to be the mantra for AMZ algo. I’m currently trending at 31 reviews and should hit the 50 review mark in 2 weeks hopefully. I’m truly hoping things start to change then.
Any products you choose should also have acceptable prices and be available to purchase most of the time. Some products aren’t sold by Amazon, but through sellers only. These can sometimes have higher markups than the product sold elsewhere, which can be a turn-off for your audience. Items sold by sellers might run out of inventory fast, too, so look for products that don’t appear to have a history of this issue.
From launching in an overseas market to accessing an elusive niche demographic, influencers play a key role in helping brands get in front of the right audiences at the right time. With consumers increasingly hard to reach with traditional ad spend – 615 million devices now use adblocking software – more and more affiliate marketers and brands are looking for a way to tie their advertising spend to tangible results and actions.
Who can tell me if “link masking or cloaking” is a violation of the Google TOS? I think it is and I see dozens of affiliate sites doing it. I also see quite a few sites not using “nofollow” on their affiliate links. Unless your masked link says something like “I bought product X used in this review at Amazon.com” it would be a violation. I think if reported, you’d be in for a manual spam action against your site. Thoughts?
Knowing this, many affiliates using the Amazon Associates affiliate program simply use the sales of cheaper items as a way to boost their commissions on the larger items they promote. You won’t be able to sell nearly the number of high end digital cameras as you can e-books, so the e-books simply help to raise your commission percentage when you do happen to sell a $1,000 camera.
3.1. We have the right to monitor your site at any time to determine if you are following the terms and conditions of this Agreement. We may notify you of any changes to your site that we feel should be made, or to make sure that your links to our web site are appropriate and to notify further you of any changes that we feel should be made. If you do not make the changes to your site that we feel are necessary, we reserve the right to terminate your participation in the Merchant.com Affiliate Program.
However, if you’re running an e-commerce site, conducting product testing and reviews, or offer Amazon product coupons, then you probably will want to use a WordPress Amazon affiliate theme. To be clear, these themes aren’t usually made specifically for Amazon affiliates. Instead, what you’ll want to look for are e-commerce or multi-purpose WordPress themes that are:
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). 

You further represent and warrant that: (i) you will ensure that you are compliant with any trade or regulatory requirements that may apply to your participation in the Affiliate Program (for example, by clearly stating you are a HubSpot Affiliate on any website(s) you own where you make an Affiliate Link available); (ii) you will accurately provide in the Affiliate Tool all websites and domains you own where you intend to use Affiliate Links to generate Affiliate Leads; (iii) you will not purchase ads that direct to your site(s) or through an Affiliate Link that could be considered as competing with HubSpot’s own advertising, including, but not limited to, our branded keywords; (iv) you will not participate in cookie stuffing or pop-ups, false or misleading links are strictly prohibited; (v) you will not attempt to mask the referring URL information; (vi) you will not use your own Affiliate Link to purchase HubSpot products for yourself.
Some merchants run their own (in-house) affiliate programs using dedicated software, while others use third-party intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates. There are two different types of affiliate management methods used by merchants: standalone software or hosted services, typically called affiliate networks. Payouts to affiliates or publishers can be made by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network, consolidated across all merchants where the publisher has a relationship with and earned commissions or directly by the merchant itself.
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.”
Amazon will not pay Special Program Fees where a Bounty Event has been disqualified due to a violation or other abuse (for example, registrations made using invalid email addresses, use of bots or automated software, multiple Bounty Events by a single person, repetitive Bounty Events, and Bounty Events that do not result from Special Links on your Site). Amazon will determine in its sole discretion, in each case, whether a Bounty Event has occurred or if there has been a violation or abuse.
Are they biting the hand that feeds them? Possibly. We will have to wait and see. Maybe Amazon gave the higher commission %’s to the products that have the highest markup…? i.e. their Amazon coins. I do believe tho they have reduced the incentive their own “affiliate employees” previously had to push their products-and maybe, just maybe this new commission structure will not last long.

The great thing is, you don't have to deliver a generic email because you do actually know a few things about your visitor and what they want. So you can send an email that says something like “Thanks for sharing what your needs are in a gas grill! We hope our personal recommendation was a winner, but if not click here to read our full guide to buying the right gas grill.”
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.
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. 

I have recently signed up for some other affiliate programs and mixed those links in with my Amazon links. Readers clearly prefer Amazon, and I can understand why. I know that if I have the choice when I buy something, I almost always go with Amazon. And when I’m shopping for almost anything, I always check to see if I can get it at Amazon for less. Don’t most Americans? So I’m not giving up on Amazon.
You further represent and warrant that: (i) you will ensure that you are compliant with any trade or regulatory requirements that may apply to your participation in the Affiliate Program (for example, by clearly stating you are a HubSpot Affiliate on any website(s) you own where you make an Affiliate Link available); (ii) you will accurately provide in the Affiliate Tool all websites and domains you own where you intend to use Affiliate Links to generate Affiliate Leads; (iii) you will not purchase ads that direct to your site(s) or through an Affiliate Link that could be considered as competing with HubSpot’s own advertising, including, but not limited to, our branded keywords; (iv) you will not participate in cookie stuffing or pop-ups, false or misleading links are strictly prohibited; (v) you will not attempt to mask the referring URL information; (vi) you will not use your own Affiliate Link to purchase HubSpot products for yourself.

The easiest way to find affiliate programs to promote is to check if the people selling products and services you love have an affiliate program – assuming those products and services would be relevant to the visitors to your blog or website. There are also multiple ways to find new quality products or services to promote to your audience based on their interests. You'll find more information on how to do this here.

The best way to ensure that content publishers have everything they need to promote your company and begin to generate sales is to set up a live data feed to your affiliate network. In doing this, content publishers will be able to see the products that you offer along with the prices of those products and will use that information to promote your company and drive visitors to your website. Because content publishers promote your products rather than discounts, we will push out higher commission rates than we will for coupon publishers.
It’s such a dramatic “how to” curious area that grows a reader’s attention more thirsty to know the last word for his fulfillment. You should arrange the brief points of the topic as it’s background information messaging to the audiences that this is for them to solve their somehow problems. Make it different in style of approach, funny and empathetic for the readers to propel them for digging up the solution. You shouldn’t miss stitching one main keyword in this strategic SEO area.
Without doubt that was by far the best summary of “Greatest Tips” I have read to date. It is so confusing out there…I want to help my son who struggles with cranky bossy managers to empowering him and havening him live life on his terms. I know affiliate marketing is the way out but where to start?? Do we set up on Shopify and offer other people’s products? Do we set up a blog with a few good links? Do you go to clickbank and peddle the China trinkets etc? Its a tough one to sort but this tutorial was an easy to understand read and you have my word that any of the hosting or other services offered I will use your affiliate link to thank you for sharing your knowledge and your mistakes. Sincerest thanks Tom!

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..
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.

The reason why this type of affiliate marketing is so attractive to many is because no presence or authority is needed! It takes time to build up a reputation and trust with certain groups of people online, and many people are just too scared to commit to working on a blog or website, or just don’t have the time. For many, this is their only option.
You shall not use the Licensed Materials for any purposes other than selling FatCow Products and Services, without first submitting a sample to us and obtaining the express prior written consent of FatCow in each instance. You shall not use the Licensed Materials in any manner that is disparaging or that otherwise portrays FatCow, any hosted member of FatCow or any FatCow employee or representative in a negative light. We reserve all of our rights in the Licensed Materials and your license to use such material is limited to the manner described herein. We may revoke your license at any time, by giving you written notice. If not previously revoked, this license shall immediately terminate upon the termination of your participation in the Affiliate Program.
(b) Consent. By accepting this Influencer Program Policy, you hereby grant to Amazon a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, fully paid-up, royalty-free and perpetual license for the maximum duration of protection available under applicable law in all languages to use, copy, reproduce, adapt, distribute, transmit and display your name, photo, logo and other trademarks or materials provided to Amazon in connection with the Amazon Influencer Program, including through linkage to your Amazon public profile (“Influencer Marks”); provided however, that Amazon will not alter any Influencer Marks from the form provided by Influencer (except to re-format or re-size within the Influencer Page, so long as the relative presentation of the Influencer Marks remains the same).
We make no express or implied warranties or representations with respect to the Affiliate Program or any FatCow Products and Services sold through the Affiliate Program (including, without limitation, WARRANTIES OF FITNESS, MERCHANTABILITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT, OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES ARISING OUT OF COURSE OF PERFORMANCE, DEALING, OR TRADE USAGE). In addition, we make no representation that the operation of our website will be uninterrupted or error free, and we will not be liable for the consequences of any interruptions or errors, including the tracking of information concerning Referred Customers during any period of interruption.
Websites consisting mostly of affiliate links have previously held a negative reputation for underdelivering quality content. In 2005 there were active changes made by Google, where certain websites were labeled as "thin affiliates".[30] Such websites were either removed from Google's index or were relocated within the results page (i.e., moved from the top-most results to a lower position). To avoid this categorization, affiliate marketer webmasters must create quality content on their websites that distinguishes their work from the work of spammers or banner farms, which only contain links leading to merchant sites.
If you want to find a way to be able to mention products that are on sale more frequently on your website one of the easiest ways I’ve done that in the past is to just do a weekly deals post. So what I’ll do is publish a post every week with the best deals for my niche and then incorporate all of the previous tactics I’ve discussed above to link to the products on Amazon.com. Depending on how often you publish articles you could do it more or less frequently (I’ve seen some websites do these style of articles every day).

You hereby agree to indemnify and hold harmless FatCow and its subsidiaries and affiliates, and their directors, officers, employees, agents, shareholders, partners, members, and other owners, against any and all claims, actions, demands, liabilities, losses, damages, judgments, settlements, costs, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) (any or all of the foregoing hereinafter referred to as "Losses") insofar as such Losses (or actions in respect thereof) arise out of or are based on (i) any claim that our use of the Affiliate Trademarks infringes on any trademark, trade name, service mark, copyright, license, intellectual property, or other proprietary right of any third party, (ii) any misrepresentation of a representation or warranty or breach of a covenant and agreement made by you herein, or (iii) any claim related to your Affiliate Site, including, without limitation, its development, operation, maintenance and content therein not attributable to us.

This site might seem authoritative, but it doesn’t really cater to the visitor. As you can see the site contains a ton of ads, and doesn’t do much to provide a good reading experience. The content is long, but it’s also very hard to read. You could easily create a site that reviews this product and provides a better reading experience and higher-quality review.


Hey Chris – great post. Just a question – We have got about 80 stores affiliated to Amazon Associates. As I understand from your article, it appears that the blog site is a foundation for making a successful Amazon Income. In this regard, we don’t have a blog site but we just have those stores (websites) which have a show case of products. What do you think the strategy would be to drive sales? Of course, we have got Social Media Marketing currently in place.
The Associates Program is free to join, and we provide resources on the Associates Site to help Associates succeed with the program. We have never authorized any business to provide paid set-up or consulting services to our associates, so please be wary if any business like that (even one attempting to appropriate the Amazon name) reaches out to offer you costly services.
One of the ways I’ve also been able to make good money with Amazon is to automatically populate information from a WordPress plugin that I had developed based on the needs I had for building Amazon centric websites. The result was EasyAzon. The plugin allows you to insert information and affiliate links to Amazon in a much faster way than creating the links yourself by hand from Amazon.com.
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.

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.
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