These Associates Program policies (“Program Policies”) are incorporated by reference in the Associates Program Operating Agreement, and capitalized terms used in these Program Policies and not otherwise defined here will have the definitions provided in the Agreement. The rights and obligations of the parties under Sections 3 and 6 of the Associates Program Participation Requirements, Section 3 of the Associates Program IP License and Section 4(d) and 5 of the Associates Program Local Associates Policy will survive the termination of the Agreement. For the avoidance of doubt and without limitation for purposes of Section 6(a) of the Agreement, any violation of the Associates Program Participation Requirements, the Associates Program IP License, Section 1 of the Amazon Influencer Program Policy or Section 3 of the Associates Program Local Associates Policy will be deemed a material breach of the Agreement.
Here’s How To Do It For FREE – First you need a website, you have a lot of choices out there that you can use to host your website. There’s Weebly.com, WordPress.Com, Wix.Com and Yola.Com just to name a few. You can get started with their FREE plan so you can get to know their system but remember that the free version always has limitations and you need to find the one that works for you. As for me when I was starting out I also had to choose from among the many different platforms and it turns out the one that worked for me is the SiteRubix Platform where I got 2 FREE websites for life. It is not a free trial, it is yours for life.
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:
As far as Amazon goes, I really don’t think Walmart is going to be able to beat out Amazon. So much of Walmart’s specialty comes from the offline market, Amazon is 100% online and has amazing split-testing powers. We have seen sites switch over from Amazon Associates to Walmart and lose commissions dramatically, it wasn’t even worth sending people to their site. I believe more “niche” affiliate programs such as New Egg stands a much better chance at stealing affiliates away from Amazon’s associate program than another larger catch-all retail like Walmart. Valuations should remain consistent with our repricing using Haver’s tool, and as the months go on we will have even more accurate data (from Amazon’s dashboard itself) for what these sites will be earning underneath the new commission changes.
(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”),
To make this type of business a success, you do need to plan it. You can't just pick any niche. If you pick a niche but the people in that niche aren't big on purchasing things, then your business won't succeed. You have to really research the niche you are interested in to make sure the people in your niche are looking and willing to purchase the products you recommend. Also, you need to plan and research the products you recommend. Don't just recommend any product that you find. It needs to be of high quality. If you recommend poor quality products, your readers will stop listening to your recommendations.
Of course, switching to another program doesn’t have to be done in one day. You can also move gradually over, testing different methods and ensuring that your new affiliate program is working out as you hoped. Although this may mean accepting a lower revenue from your website for a few months, changing gradually will ensure that you don’t lose out in the long run.
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.
Commissions are paid once per month by payment processor, a minimum of 30 days after the sale is completed.  Commissions will be paid on or about the 31st day of the month for sales made from the first through the last day of the previous month, and are paid by the Program Operator.  (Commissions earned during March 1-31st would be paid around April 30th-May 1st.)
Their policies are strict. Be sure to read through Amazon’s affiliate program policies very carefully. Any violation of their policies is grounds for account suspension--something which could be devastating if you build an entire website or store around affiliate links. Amazon has also been known to suspend accounts without any prior notice, so tread carefully.
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.
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.
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
Thank you so much for a clear and concise breakdown of the Amazon Associate program. I’ve been ready (finally) to make the jump and have been working out my monetization strategies. This tutorial has not only helped me better understand how the program works, but has also given me some other – much simpler – ideas for other niche sites that I can get up and going very quickly! I appreciate your hard work and the effort you put into this. I look forward to reading more from you.

A really good example of building an engaged audience is Thrillist. Thrillist started out as an email newsletter that curated products and experiences aimed at young american urban males. Thrillist was able to grow it’s subscriber base to millions of readers and has been able to generate significant revenue. In 2010, Thrillist acquired Jack Threads, a members only online fashion retailer.
I have about 4 authority style sites and the rest are all mini ones. I like the money the mini’s can make but there isn’t any attractive exit strategy with those so that’s why I like to do a little of both, but I believe authority style sites have the biggest upside. As for income split I’d have to go back through all the tracking data but I’d peg it somewhat in favor of authority sites (before I sold one of my largest ones)
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.
Although he had tried countless times in the past, he had failed to quit. But this time was different. His frame-of-mind had changed. And something inside of him clicked when he realized he could use electronic cigarettes to actually ween himself off the "real thing." He implemented a system where he used a low-quality gas station brand, and went from strong to medium then mild over a multi-week period.
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.
… ensure that long, multi-topic pages on your site are well-structured and broken into distinct logical sections. Second, ensure that each section has an associated anchor with a descriptive name (i.e., not just “Section 2.1”), and that your page includes a “table of contents” which links to the individual anchors… you won’t see it on the results all the time — only when we think that a link to a section would be highly useful for a particular query.

Thanks for posting these great tips. I am pondering getting into affiliate marketing. I survived a major stage 4 metastatic cancer but my finances, savings, career and credit were the sacrificial lambs on the alter of survival. I say pondering because I hear of so many starting out with ten tons of optimism and drive, only to end up bankrupt and on a long term Zoloft prescription. Are there simply too many online marketers out there or is it still possible to start from scratch and ramp up a descent business that stands out of the hay stacks? By descent, I mean enough to make a full time living, not worrying about food & shelter. How much time from zero to $4,000.00 per month (salary and/or net… spendable personal funds)


It depends on the story, size, and features of the affiliate business articles. Usually, stitch up the affiliate links at the reasonable epic points within the article text that audiences find the best actionable moment to click through there. In my long observation on the wealthy affiliate sites, got the places best for affiliate link insertion for better CTR are:
4. Easily Integrated – There are more and more plugins and tools that have Amazon Affiliate integration built into them to help you easily place links in your blog posts. I use ecto for Mac which has a tool that searches for products and links them in in just a couple of clicks. WP has plugins also. The affiliate links already mentioned in this post took seconds to integrate in.
As far as Amazon goes, I really don’t think Walmart is going to be able to beat out Amazon. So much of Walmart’s specialty comes from the offline market, Amazon is 100% online and has amazing split-testing powers. We have seen sites switch over from Amazon Associates to Walmart and lose commissions dramatically, it wasn’t even worth sending people to their site. I believe more “niche” affiliate programs such as New Egg stands a much better chance at stealing affiliates away from Amazon’s associate program than another larger catch-all retail like Walmart. Valuations should remain consistent with our repricing using Haver’s tool, and as the months go on we will have even more accurate data (from Amazon’s dashboard itself) for what these sites will be earning underneath the new commission changes.
Some Amazon affiliate site builders will continue with business-as-usual, but others are looking to at least diversify their businesses, if not move away from Amazon entirely. While you can still sell these assets for a very nice exit, it’s probably worth at least revisiting the fact that having all of your earnings on another platform opens you up to risk when/if they decide to make changes. 

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.

Shortly thereafter, Mr. Abdulloev joined the affiliate marketing forum on a site called ABestWeb. In addition to serving as a kind of industry police blotter on the latest frauds, the forum is a good way for merchants to stay abreast of important developments, like the shifting local sales tax landscape. (Thirteen states have laws that require merchants working with affiliates in those states to charge sales tax, but the issue is constantly being litigated.)

Great article as always. As far as finding the right keyword phrases, what I’ve always been unsure of is where and how often do we use these keywords? In your example, “sleeping bags under $100,” would I place that in my post titles and/ or content? How often is ideal to still make it look natural? Could I use that keyword phrase again on other articles/ reviews? Thanks for what you do.
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.
The question keeps lingering in my mind. What is affiliate marketing programs about? Is this an easy way to generate income online? Upon researching about the topic I found that this is a very lucrative business model and one that does not cost a whole lot of initial capital. There are literally countless out there you can join and the idea of affiliate marketing in itself is very doable. You simply become the deal maker to connect the buyer and the seller to perform a transaction. Once the transaction is successful you earn a commission.
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.

SEO – I have a full guide on Youtube SEO. You’ll basically want to research a video keyword in YouTube’s Autocomplete dropdown, then craft your video title/description to include your keyword. Write a long description and embed it on your blog to get more views. Create a nice custom thumbnail and make your videos long and thorough, just like your blog posts should be.


Scan your email inbox right now. No doubt there are at least a few emails you get from merchants or other businesses with products you’re interested in. This is email marketing. And it’s a great tool for affiliate marketers. Essentially, on your website, a landing page, blog, or social media, you ask visitors to your site to provide their email address. Then you send them valuable content along with promotional offerings through email.
If you need help with an affiliate marketing agreement, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.
IN NO EVENT SHALL COMPANY BE LIABLE TO “MA”, ITS CLIENTS, OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY TORT OR CONTRACT DAMAGES OR INDIRECT, SPECIAL, GENERAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOSS OF PROFITS OR ANTICIPATED PROFITS AND LOSS OF GOODWILL, ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE (OR INABILITY TO USE) OR DISTRIBUTION OF THE TECHNOLOGY FOR ANY PURPOSE WHATSOEVER.
Amazon launched back in 1994 and, two short years later, they developed their Amazon Associates program. In so doing, Amazon was able to increase exposure to their marketplace by enabling web developers and site owners to work as evangelists for their products. It helped drive more traffic to Amazon while giving these business-minded individuals the opportunity to generate more revenue for their own sites and businesses.

Affiliate Contracts. Schedule 9.6 sets forth, as of the date hereof, all contracts or agreements with any Affiliate of Sellers that relate to the Properties or by which the Properties are bound. Sellers will terminate or cause its respective Affiliates to terminate, effective as of the Closing Date, any contracts or agreements between any Seller and its respective Affiliates to the extent relating to or binding the Properties.

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.
3. You may use the Amazon Marks solely for the purpose specifically authorized under the Program Documents. You may not use or display the Marks (i) in any manner that implies sponsorship or endorsement by us; (ii) to disparage us, our products or services; (iii) in a way that may, at our discretion, diminish or otherwise damage our goodwill in the Amazon Marks; or (iv) in offline material or email (e.g., in any printed material, mailing, SMS, MMS, attachment to email, or other document, or any oral solicitation).

This agreement shall begin upon the date of its execution by MA and acceptance in writing by Company and shall remain in effect until the end of the current calendar year and shall be automatically renewed for successive one (1) year periods unless otherwise terminated according to the cancellation or termination provisions contained in paragraph 18 of this Agreement. Company and MA acknowledge that this Agreement is not a franchise as that term is defined under any and all applicable local, state and/or federal laws in U.S., as amended.
I also show off some of my live income generating websites inside the course and the more people that see them the more likely it is for those niches to be burned out. So I’d rather charge for access to step by step information and access to live example websites I have up and running that are making money so people can examine them and apply what they’ve learned to other niches.
Additionally, you must either include the following disclaimer adjacent to the pricing or availability information or provide it via a hyperlink, pop-up box, scripted pop-up, or other similar method: "Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product." In the above examples, "Details" and "More info" would provide a method for the end user to read the disclaimer.

Very informative. I left a comment because I know what it is like to spend hours or even days writing a great blog to not even have someone leave a simple comment one way or the other. I started making only something like $3.00 a month with Amazon affiliate when I first started, what a joke! I was about to quit when I read your article and like one other and found out there was real money to be made. Now I am making a million dollars a year…just kidding, I couldn’t even type that sentence with a straight face. Seriously though I have boosted my earnings to a high of around $96 to an average of like $45 a month with still isn’t much, but much better than my adsense earnings. Well good day and thanks for the insights.
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.
I've heard stories of different marketers who have had their Amazon Associates accounts banned because of violating terms of service. While I've done my best to ensure this guide is up to date and all of my tips are in compliance with their latest requirements for the Amazon affiliate program, here are a couple of excellent articles to check out that help clear up some of the mistakes people make (sometimes unknowingly) that result in a banned account:
Hey Chris, ok I have an affiliate site with 2000 products. Is their a plugin or something to let me know if a product is no longer available. Or is their a plugin that checks links everyday automatically to let me know if their is a problem. Nothing worse than clicking a link to find out the page is no longer available. I’m not about to click all my links to check either.

Create custom alerts on your phone for affiliate sales – if you use GMail, go to your settings and create a filter so all emails with “SiteGround Affiliate Sale Generated” in the subject line go into their own folder (tweak the subject line to match whatever email notification your affiliate sends you). Then setup a custom alert on your phone using the GMail app so anytime you generate a sale, you get a custom alert (here’s a tutorial for Android and here’s one for Apple). I have different notifications for SiteGround, StudioPress Themes, etc. Makes your day better :)
(b) Influencer Page. This Influencer Program may include an Amazon Site influencer page registered through Amazon and assigned to you (“Influencer Page”). With respect to Special Links that direct customers to your Influencer Page, the related Session will be measured as beginning when our customer clicks through to your Influencer Page. The Influencer Page is a “Service Offering” for all purposes under the Agreement. With respect to any text, pictures, compilations, lists, comments or other data or content you submit to Amazon in connection with the Influencer Program (“Influencer Content”), you will not submit such Influencer Content if it violates any standard included in Section 1 of the Participation Requirements.
Assignment. You will not assign or transfer this Agreement, including any assignment or transfer by reason of merger, reorganization, sale of all or substantially all of its assets, change of control or operation of law, without our prior written consent. We may assign this Agreement to any affiliate or in the event of merger, reorganization, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, change of control or operation of law.

Finding products seems to work well. However, I can’t see a way to just “store” my found products so I’m able to come back later to add or remove them from my personal selection. That would be especially helpful as I’d be able to easily move between different posts and reference the same product again. I’m basically stuck having to search fro the product again, if I want to mention it somewhere else again – be it with a photo or link.


It is solely your responsibility to provide FatCow with accurate tax and payment information that is necessary to issue a Commission Fee to you. If FatCow does not receive the necessary tax or payment information within ninety (90) days of a Qualified Purchase which would otherwise trigger Commission Fees, the applicable commissions shall not accrue and no Commission Fees will be owed with respect to such Qualified Purchase.
On the technology-focused forum Hacker News, a user who goes by "graeme" pointed out, "This is likely to have a massive [e]ffect on the blog/article review ecosystem. Most of the review sites that exist today only do so because of [A]mazon's fairly generous programs. I expect in aggregate there will be a shift in what lines of business people decide to get into, based on this." A user called "sharkweek" said that "[a]s an Amazon affiliate who has done quite well with it, this is definitely a gutting." The mood is equally grim on a subreddit for people building affiliate websites.
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