One of the key elements to success with affiliate marketing is picking the right products to promote. They could be digital information products, memberships, physical products, online services… there are many industries that use this model. When promotiing to your target market, you may be promoting one or many of these different types of products as an affiliate.
Hi Matt – you need to have an affiliate disclosure on your site (we do in the footer) but you don’t have to say that in all links. Before we published the updated version of this I actually contacted Amazon support about the links on images, and they confirmed it is ok to do. For the others dealing with anchor text, check out http://marketingwithsara.com/amazon/warning-to-all-affiliate-marketers
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.
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.
First, find out all the affiliate networks being used on the website and figure out which other networks have the same offers, so you can use these as backups. You may need to move if the offer with the current network goes down or starts capping you. If at all possible, ask yourself if the offers on this site are evergreen or a flash in the pan kind of offer. If you are buying a website, you will likely want to make sure the offers are going to be sticking around for the long term versus only a couple of months after you purchased the website.
Once your platform is live, you need a product to promote. However, you should avoid the temptation to do this early on. Get that emotional investment going before you attempt to do this. If you begin too early, you run the risk of losing a large portion of your audience. Take the time to first create insatiable content and deliver enormous amounts of value before you attempt to sell your audience anything.
File-Sharing: Web sites that host directories of music, movies, games and other software. Users upload content to file-hosting sites and then post descriptions of the material and their download links on directory sites. Uploaders are paid by the file-hosting sites based on the number of times their files are downloaded. The file-hosting sites sell premium download access to the files to the general public. The websites that host the directory services sell advertising and do not host the files themselves.
3. Termination. Amazon may suspend or terminate Influencer’s participation in the Amazon Influencer Program, and Influencer may terminate such participation, in each case immediately by notice provided in accordance with the termination provisions of the Agreement. The rights set forth in Section 2 of this Influencer Program Policy will survive the termination of Influencer’s participation in the Amazon Influencer Program; provided that, we will use commercially reasonable efforts to remove any Influencer Marks from the Influencer Page following termination.

Effects of Expiration/Termination.  Expiration of this Agreement, and termination of this Agreement: (i) without cause by us,(ii) by you with cause, (iii) by you according to the ‘Termination for Agreement Changes’ section, shall not affect our obligation to pay you a Commission, so long as the related payment by the Customer Transaction is recognized by us within thirty (30) days after the date of such termination or expiration and provided that in no event shall you be entitled to payment of Commission under this Agreement if you are eligible to receive a revenue share payment under the Sales Solution Program Agreement, Sales Referral Program Agreement or Agency Partner Program Agreement. We will not pay you fees on Customer Transactions recognized by us after thirty (30) days after the date of such termination or expiration set out above.  Provided however, in the event of termination without cause by you, or for cause by us, our obligation to pay and your right to receive any Commission will terminate upon the date of such termination, regardless of whether you would have otherwise been eligible to receive Commission prior to the date of termination. Except as expressly set forth in this section, you are not eligible to receive a Commission payment after expiration or termination of this Agreement. Upon termination or expiration, you will discontinue all use of and delete the Affiliate Tool that we make available to you for your participation in the Affiliate Program. Upon termination or expiration, an Affiliate Lead is not considered valid, and we may choose to maintain it in our database and engage with such a prospect.
Of course you want affiliates with high commissions, but they should also have a solid reputation with high conversions and low reversal rates (you get $0 if people cancel after signing up). If they’re part of an affiliate marketplace like ShareASale or ClickBank you can see some numbers there. Companies likes Amazon/SiteGround are safe bets, otherwise do your research (or track your affiliate links so you can monitor their performance). Avoid affiliates offering huge commissions since this probably means they’re struggling to acquire/retain customers naturally. This will hurt your numbers (specifically your conversions/reversal rates).
We will evaluate your application in good faith and will notify you of your acceptance or rejection in a timely manner. We may reject your application if we determine (in our sole discretion) that your website is not suitable for the Affiliate Program for any reason, including, but not limited to, its inclusion of content that is, in our opinion, unlawful or otherwise violates our Acceptable Use Policy.

Working your way through all of the articles below will take you quite a while, but you’ll end up with a complete understanding of the mechanics, opportunity, and challenges associated with monetizing a site via affiliate marketing. (By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send monetization tips straight to your inbox each day.)


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.
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.
Amazon Associates is an affiliate marketing program run by Amazon which allows you to sell its products on your own website in exchange for a cut of the profits. This enables you to boost your product range, test new types of products on your audience or even build a full business around this and perhaps other affiliate programs. For small businesses that currently sell products online, this could represent a great source of added revenue, if you sell additional products through Amazon, without worrying about getting the products yourself. Amazon conducts the sales and ships them directly to the client.
The more people you are able to help, the more money you will make in return. It really is that simple. Sure, many other “guru’s” out there will tell you about ways to make money on auto-pilot using super-secret systems or software programs that do all the work for you. But unless you are truly providing value to other people, you will never make a good living long-term in affiliate marketing.
This is the complete opposite of PPC, where you’re not even seen by the consumer in order for the transaction to take place. Instead, this is you talking directly to those who may need a product that you’re offering, who have their ears and eyes on you. This is not using your money in order to make money, like with PPC. It’s using your reputation, trust, and authority in order to get others to take your recommendation, use it and pay you something in return in the form of a commission.
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.

You get to hand-pick what you promote. Unlike display ad systems that typically choose which brands serve ads on your WordPress site, you have total control over this with Amazon affiliate links. You’ll never have to worry about a competitor’s link showing up on your site and the link will always be relevant to the content that it appears within or beside--which will improve its chances of getting clicked.
7.2. Either party may terminate this Agreement at any time, for any reason, by deleting their acceptance of the Offer through support@briantracy.com upon five (5) days prior written notice of such termination to the other party. In addition, Brian Tracy shall be entitled to terminate this Agreement immediately if you materially breach or violate any terms or conditions of this Agreement, or if Brian Tracy determines, in its sole discretion, that there are technical, or operational issues (e.g. interruptions caused by or shifts in online/Internet technology) that adversely affect the implementation of the Program, or the orders/referrals were obtained fraudulently, or through misrepresentation, in which case Brian Tracy reserves the right to withhold payment of associated referral pending an investigation of the suspected fraud or misrepresentation. Termination of this Agreement shall also terminate any outstanding Offer. However, all rights to payment, causes of action and any provisions that by their terms are intended to survive termination, shall survive termination of this Agreement.
Commission and Payment. Requirements for Payment; Forfeiture. In order to receive payment under this Agreement, you must have: (i) agreed to the terms of this Agreement (generally completed through the Affiliate Tool); (ii) completed all steps necessary to create your account in the Affiliate Tool in accordance with our directions, (iii) have a valid and up-to-date paypal account and updated the Affiliate Tool with such account (iv) completed any and all required tax documentation in order for HubSpot to process any payments that may be owed to you.
MA acknowledges that any breach or threatened breach of this Agreement involving an unauthorized use of Confidential Information or Company and/or its Affiliate’s intellectual property will result in irreparable harm to Company and/or its Affiliate for which damages would not be an adequate remedy, and therefore, in addition to its rights and remedies otherwise available at law, Company and/or its Affiliate will be entitled to seek injunctive or other equitable relief, as appropriate, and MA hereby waives the right to require Company and/or its Affiliate to post a bond. If Company and/or its Affiliate seeks injunctive or other equitable relief in the event of a breach or threatened breach of this Agreement by MA involving an unauthorized use of Confidential Information or Company and/or its Affiliate intellectual property, MA agrees that it will not allege in any such proceeding that Company and/or its Affiliate remedy at law is adequate. If Company and/or its Affiliate seek any equitable remedies, it will not be precluded or prevented from seeking remedies at law, nor will Company and/or its Affiliate be deemed to have made an election of remedies.
3.4. You will be solely responsible for the development, operation and maintenance of your Site and for all materials that appear on your Site. We disclaim all liability for such materials. You shall indemnify and hold us harmless from all claims, damages and expenses (including, without limitation, attorney's fees) relating to the development, operation, maintenance and contents of your Site. You are also responsible for notifying us of any malfunctioning of the Required URLs or other problems with your participation in the Program in accordance with the terms of the Offer and this Agreement. BTI will respond in normal course to all concerns upon notification.
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.

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.
You can even have a dedicated “deals” page on your website in your navigation menu so visitors can easily find it. Plus, sending a regular deal alert email using an auto-responder service like Aweber to make sure the people on your list get used to coming back to your site on a regular basis to find the best deals on products they're interested in.
It's especially true now that the big media players are finally waking up to affiliate marketing (NYTime buying WireCutter and SweetHome) and BestReviews (which was already an epic product review site in it's self due to the fact they built their own 10,000 sq ft testing lab) being acquired by Tronc (owns the LA Times and half a dozen more publications).
From time to time, we may make changes to the advertising fee rates including but not limited to 1.) Exclude certain products or categories of products from earning advertising fees and/or 2.) Reduce or Increase the advertising fee for specific products or categories of products. We may also run special or limited time offers or promotions under which you may earn advertising fees on Products or categories of Products that were previously excluded from earning advertising fees, or you may earn increased advertising fee rates from those set forth above.
Every single network or merchant will provide you with specific links that you can use to promote whatever it is you're looking to sell. Be sure to scrutinize the details of any offer that you decide to partake in. Then, build out your affiliate links and ensure that the sales and clicks are registering your to your account. You can use URL shorteners like Bitly or Google's own shortener to make the links more manageable in terms of length.
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.
We may modify this Agreement at any time in our sole discretion; provided that the change shall solely apply to events occurring after the date on which you accept and agree to such modifications unless you otherwise agree herein. Such modifications shall take effect when posted on our website. Modifications may include, but are not limited to, changes in the scope of available Commission Fees, commission amounts or percentages, payment procedures, Commission Fee payment schedules, and Affiliate Program rules. If any modification is unacceptable to you, your only recourse is to terminate this agreement, in which event you shall be entitled to your rights under the unmodified Agreement prior to the date of the applicable modification. Your continued participation in the Affiliate Program following our posting of any modification on our website will constitute binding acceptance of the change.
The best way to ensure you make sales from Amazon is to write about things that people are actively looking to purchase, or about something someone might find interesting and be persuaded about purchasing (for example: someone looking to learn about the civil war through an article you’d written could be likely to purchase civil war related products through an Amazon sales cap somewhere in your article).
The keys to earning a decent income from an affiliate website are to reach as many users as possible and build trust with them. If visitors trust you, they’ll be more likely to make purchases from your website. You can compare this to impulse buyers, who might visit your site once or twice, make a purchase based on your recommendations, and then never come back.
The Program Operator will not be liable for indirect or accidental damages (loss of revenue, commissions) due to affiliate system sale tracking failures, commission processing system failures, losses of database files or backups thereof, attacks on computing resources, computer viruses, the continued viability of their products, any results of “intents of harm” to the program, or acts of God or Nature. The Program Operator makes no claim that the operation of the websites or the Program Operator network will be error-free nor will the Program Operator be held liable for any interruptions or errors.
However, to be genuinely successful today you need a twist of creativity. Ebates is a great example of this. They are a cashback website. This means they offer cash back on purchases you make online. You make an account on their website and whenever you shop anywhere such as Amazon, you click on the link in your account first. Ebates says they will give you 3% back on any purchase you make. Let’s say you go to Amazon and buy whatever for $100. You would then receive $3 in your Ebates account. However, the cool part is how Ebates is making money with this model. Amazon’s affiliate program gives you 6% commissions per sale. Ebates decided to give half of their commission back to their users as an incentive for them to shop through Ebates. This way the whole idea is consumer driven. Consumers buy things and make money using Ebates. The more consumers receive in cash back, the more revenue Ebates generates.
An affiliate marketing program is a lot of work, and in most situations there's a lot of competition so you're not going to be bringing in money immediately. Business owners and entrepreneurs suppose that all you need do is setup a site and choose an affiliate to associate with and then just let it run its course. But according to Three Ladders Marketing, only 0.6% of affiliate marketers surveyed have been in the game since 2013. That means that affiliate marketing takes time and effort to build and make money.
For more information and suggestions about how to comply with these guidelines, please visit our page entitled "Affiliate Disclosure Requirements and Examples." Please note that this page is only intended to provide guidance. It does not purport to provide legal advice and it does not guarantee that you'll be in compliance with FTC regulations should you follow the suggestions presented. You are advised to seek and obtain your own legal advice on how these rules apply to your website or other promotional activities for which you receive compensation.
This is the complete opposite of PPC, where you’re not even seen by the consumer in order for the transaction to take place. Instead, this is you talking directly to those who may need a product that you’re offering, who have their ears and eyes on you. This is not using your money in order to make money, like with PPC. It’s using your reputation, trust, and authority in order to get others to take your recommendation, use it and pay you something in return in the form of a commission.
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005.[15] MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.[16]

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(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.

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.”

To do this, you need to offer something in return. Use email providers like InfusionSoft, MailChimp, ConvertKit, Aweber, or any number of others, to shoot out the email to a survey. You can use Survey Monkey to build your survey, but you have to give them something in return. Will you give them a free cheatsheet? Maybe a downloadable how-to ebook? Determine the best thing to offer and be sure to get clear on what they need to do and what you'll give them in exchange.


Most successful affiliate marketers, however, do not have a large number of funds available so they tend to develop a website and use their website as the main advertising source for their business. Starting a website is very cheap (or even free), you don’t need to know any computer code, and it will attract FREE visitors that can be turned into paying customers relatively easily. This is the affiliate marketing business model that most people start with. 

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.
It’s time to mix and match. Instead of switching your entire blog over to luxury beauty products, mix in an occasional affiliate link. Perhaps write comparison articles that pit luxury beauty products against normal beauty products. Try to compare different makeup, face creams, hair styling tools, etc. Or, talk about the best products in different price categories. What is the best budget hair straightener, and what is the best luxury hair straightener?
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.
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.
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