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.”
I want to help you get started in affiliate marketing and I want to do it for free. If you sign up for this affiliate marketing e-course, by next week, you will have a rock solid affiliate marketing business model, a full website blueprint, and a roadmap for how to achieve success in this industry. From there, the rest is up to you. At the very least, I can help you lay the foundation and get started.
But this “old school” method of making money online is still going strong because of all the benefits it offers to small-scale, solo internet entrepreneurs. And it’s an especially powerful business model to those without much experience doing business online. Many successful online business owners make their first dollar online with affiliate marketing.

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.
It is understood that any individual that uses the Program Operator system shall not use it in connection with obscene, defamatory, slanderous, hateful, illegal or politically disruptive material, the definition of which shall be at the sole discretion of the Program Operator. It is also understood that affiliates shall not try to cheat the system in an effort to increase their payments due. If such misuse is detected, the affiliate will be immediately terminated as an affiliate and any sums paid and any sums payable as and for commissions will be withheld. All affiliates further agree to refrain from engaging in any hostile activity toward the system. Any individual that engages in such hostile activity, such as hacking, shall be held liable for any loss sustained by the Program Operator, or its associates due to such action.
Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no expense to you. This year I donated $3,000 to feed the homeless in Denver. In 2017, I donated $3,000 to American Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey. Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they’re the best host and that your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Google and Facebook groups and you’ll find most people say the same.
No matter how long you have been in the field of business or whether your business is completely established or not; you should always look out for ways to stay ahead of the competitors in the marketplace. I read an article about some basic business trends to make you success: https://cabstartup.com/business-trends-to-make-you-a-success/ It would surely interest you what are the sure-shot ways to achieve this goal of taking the lead? For this, you need to be aware of the market, what are the strategies being followed, what are the requirements being fulfilled, and what are the latest technology options available to aid you to automate and advance your business.
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.

Hands down I’d say the best thing you can do is research 1 primary keyword, craft an enticing article title that includes your keyword (though it doesn’t have to be an exact match), spend time writing your search engine snippets (SEO titles/meta descriptions), and by far the most important is making your content as VALUABLE as possible through videos, nice graphics, table of contents, bold/colors/styling, etc. Small things like keyword density barely matter.


8. The Holidays are Boom Time – While I’m really happy with the way my Amazon Affiliate income is growing ($2500 a month is so far beyond what I’d ever expected from it in the early days) it’s worth noting that things really fire up in the lead up to Christmas and the holiday season. Over the last few years I’ve noticed significant jumps in Amazon earnings in December (as much as 100%). The key is to plan ahead (make sure your links are all up to date a couple of months out) and run a few Christmas specific posts in the lead up to the Holiday rush (start to prepare as early as October/November).
As to the issues in IL… there are plenty of ways to avoid having your business closed up by an idiotic Governor including like moving your business to a neighboring state that’s actually business friendly. There are ways around the issues and I know I wouldn’t let Amazon shutting the program down in my state stop me. I can’t legally advise you what to do, but I’m just saying there are ways around it.
If you have any kind of special deals with your affiliate manager, make sure that you can pass these along. If you can’t, then you need to take that portion out of the business and sell as if you weren’t getting those extra benefits. One of the best ways to transfer these kind of special perks is by also making sure that your affiliate manager becomes the manager for the new buyer as well when they sign up for that network. Most affiliate managers work on a commission basis from the sales that their affiliates are doing, so they will likely be more than happy to do this since your website is already a proven profit maker for them.
6.1. Each party owns and shall retain all right, title and interest in its names, logos, trademarks, service marks, trade dress, copyrights and proprietary technology, including, without limitation, those names, logos, trademarks, service marks, trade dress, copyrights and proprietary technology currently used or which may be developed and/or used by it in the future.12.2. We grant you a limited, revocable, non-exclusive, license to use the graphic image and text, which may include our name, logos, trademarks, service marks (collectively, the "Brian Tracy Marks"), designated in the Offer, only as provided to you through the Brian Tracy Affiliate Partnership Program and solely for the purpose of creating links from your Emails and Site to our Site pursuant to this Agreement. Except as expressly set forth in this Agreement or permitted by applicable law, you may not copy, distribute, modify, reverse engineer, or create derivative works from the same. You may not sublicense, assign or transfer any such licenses for the use of the same, and any attempt at such sublicense, assignment or transfer is void. Any prominent use of the Brian Tracy Marks on your Site must be approved by Brian Tracy prior to publishing. We may revoke your license at any time by giving you written notice.
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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.
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.”
There is no warranty or guarantee of any kind with respect to the Program Operator system as far as reliability, stability, quality or dependability. This means that the Program Operator, or its associates is not responsible for any loss or damage incurred directly or indirectly due to the use of the Program Operator website, products, services, or any other facet of the system. This shall include, but is not limited to, any system malfunction, period of being inoperative or unavailable, loss of data or discontinuation of service, other inconveniences.
This literally changed my life… I moved out of my parent’s house (sigh) into a nice studio in downtown Denver, bought my first car (a Mercedes c300), adopted 2 kitties, and my credit raised 45 points. I also donated $3,000 to Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey. I’m a humble dude but in affiliate marketing, the numbers do the talking. So… I want to show you how I did it :)
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.
Lon Naylor, of Learn Camtasia, is an example of a successful niche affiliate. Learn Camtasia offers training and tools for that software. Naylor is a video marketing coach. He said he earns 43 percent of his income through affiliate marketing. His community recognizes him as an expert and responds when he introduces them to new products. In some cases, when he refers customers to monthly subscription services, he enjoys ongoing payouts each month for the life of that customer.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to stay far away from stock images, since they can make your website look unprofessional. More importantly, finding stock images of specific products is difficult, and you don’t want to use any content that doesn’t accurately showcase the items. Finding (or creating) your own pictures takes a bit more work, but is worth the effort in the long run.
Most of the traffic for your affiliate website will come from product related searches, and product reviews. Generally, these will be more long-tail terms such as, “Blendtec 570 vs Vitamix 5300”, or “greenworks mower vs black and decker”. The traffic coming from keywords like these will be very targeted, as the searcher has the intention to purchase something.
In 2006, the most active sectors for affiliate marketing were the adult gambling, retail industries and file-sharing services.[17]:149–150 The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors.[17] Soon after these sectors came the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.[17]:149–150
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.
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.
The next method would be paid traffic. This by far is the best method, but of course, requires money. The beauty of paid traffic is that you can reach a lot of people fast. The bigger the budget, the more people you can get to view your content. Mastering the skill of paid traffic can result in huge returns. Some individuals make up to $10k/day by using paid traffic. Obviously it would cost them a couple of thousand dollars in ad spend every day to generate $10k/day, but those are still massive profit gains. And if you have no idea how it’s done, you could easily spy on other affiliate marketers. All you have to do is find what the most profitable affiliate marketing offers are. Paid traffic also increases your organic traffic if your SEO is done right. You’re essentially killing two birds with one stone. But like I said earlier, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Affiliate marketing is difficult but hundreds of people are creating a passive income doing it, so it definitely works. All it requires is mastering the art of online marketing. My MarketerMilk blog goes into full detail of the art of creative marketing, so go check it out (shameless plug).
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:

(v) You will not cloak, hide, spoof, or otherwise obscure the URL of your Site containing Special Links (including by use of Redirecting Links) or the user agent of the application in which Program Content is displayed or used such that we cannot reasonably determine the site or application from which a customer clicks through such Special Link to an Amazon Site.

While I was doing WordPress speed optimization I noticed lots of people needed it, but very few people supplied it (there were a lack of services and tutorials when I researched Google). I also knew hosting was the #1 factor of website speed factor and these companies paid up to $200/sale. Hosting is a competitive space but the commissions and lack of supply enticed me.
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:
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.
FatCow reserves the right to immediately cancel or withhold for later review any Commission Fee that fails to meet the criteria of a “Qualified Purchase.” Affiliate is responsible for monitoring the payment, denial, and withholding of Commission Fees; FatCow is not obligated to actively notify Affiliates of the status of Commission Fees. If Affiliate has a question about a Commission Fee that has been cancelled or withheld, Affiliate has thirty (30) days from the day the payment would have been due to contact FatCow to request that the Commission Fee be paid. Any changes to decisions about cancelled or withheld Commission Fees are strictly made in FatCow’s sole discretion.
Amazon has long offered short-term bounties and bonuses around specific products, but the new system gives the company more power than ever to promote certain brands and categories. Affiliates hawking Amazon’s own products, like Prime Video, Prime Music, and Kindle Unlimited, will receive significantly higher rates than physical versions of the same media from traditional publishers.
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.
FatCow reserves the right to suspend the payment of Commission Fees at any time and indefinitely, if it suspects fraud or other improper activity or a potential breach of any of the terms of this Agreement by the Affiliate or a Referred Customer. FatCow reserves the right to deduct from Affiliate's current and future Commission Fees any and all Commission Fees corresponding to any fraudulent, questionable, and cancelled purchases.
MA agrees that any and all warranties made to Client shall be made only by MA. MA acknowledges and agrees that MA will make no representations to its Clients with respect to any warranty made by Company. MA hereby agrees to indemnify and hold Company harmless for any loss, damage, claim or action resulting from MA’s failure to comply with any of MA’s obligations under this Agreement. MA will be solely responsible for any claims, warranties or representations made by MA or MA's representatives or agents, which differ from the warranties, provided by Company in the applicable end user license agreement(s).
I went from making $20k in 2016 to $100k in 2017 by dropping my web design/SEO clients and doing affiliate marketing/blogging full-time. 90% of my (passive) affiliate income comes from SiteGround, a hosting company who awarded me affiliate of the month in July, 2017 when I made $9k in 1 month. Since then I’ve continued to hit numbers like this – the screenshot below is from March, 2018 when I made $14.5k in 1 month (just with SiteGround).
Business Practices. Company shall not specify the business practices of MA, nor regulate the manner in which MA shall operate its business, provided that MA (a) conducts business in a manner that reflects favorably at all times on the Technology sold and the good name, goodwill and reputation of Company and its affiliates; (b) avoid deceptive, misleading or unethical practices that are or might be detrimental to Company and/or its Affiliates, the Technology or the public, including but not limited to disparagement of Company or the Technology; (c) make no false or misleading representation with respect to Company or the Technology; and (d) make no representations with respect to Company or the Technology that are inconsistent with any applicable license agreement(s) for the Technology provided by Company, promotional materials and other literature distributed by Company pertaining specifically to the Technology, including all liability limitations and disclaimers contained in such materials.

The second step in your journey is to create a diversified platform. Why diversified? Well, when Henry was flying high with his Google search results, then suddenly knocked down to beyond page 10 after an algorithm update, he tells me that he wishes he had diversified. Instead of focusing solely on the blog, he tells me he should have been building a Facebook Group, online forum and other ways that he could stay connected with people.
You will be provided an affiliate identification number. Your affiliate ID number may be numeric and/or CaSe sEnSitIvE. For example, the code ‘learn_more’ is different from ‘Learn_More’. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy and security of your affiliate ID number and password. You agree to hold the Program Operator harmless in the event that any such information is shared by you with any other person or entity whatsoever.
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.
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.

Once you've built your platforms, you need to develop and nurture your audience. Reach out and connect with them on social media channels. Respond to their emails. Engage with them in comments. Don't make it difficult for them to reach you. You need to connect with your audience and develop that relationship over time. Henry tells me that if you succeed at creating this emotional bond or connection, people will follow you, trust you, and more often than not, buy whatever it is that you offer them.


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.
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.

Great article! I need to go back to your post many more times for it to properly go in and for me to understand. Sorry if my question is a strange one. I am quite new to the whole concept of amazon affiliate marketing. When we are advertising their products, do we spend any money ourselves? Or we are just middle wares advertising their product? In what case, we have to have inventory? Can we sell products in Amazon?

The biggest ‘challenge’ I have found with EasyAzon Pro v3.0.8 is that is does not work on Chrome. Whenever I am going to use it I have to switch over to IE. I filed a support ticket with them after I bought the software last year and they got back to me several days later. (I suspect they are closed on the weekend.) They offered little help and I figured out the Chrome / IE thing on my own.
Other than the limited licenses expressly set forth herein, we reserve all right, title and interest (including all intellectual property and proprietary rights) in and to, and you do not, by virtue of this License or otherwise, acquire any ownership interest or rights in or to, the Associates Program, Special Links, link formats, Program Content, PA API, Data Feeds, Product Advertising Content, any domain name owned or operated by us, information and materials on any Amazon Site or the Associates Site, our and our affiliates’ trademarks and logos (including the Amazon Marks), and any other intellectual property and technology that we provide or use in connection with the Associates Program (including any application program interfaces, software development kits, libraries, sample code, and related materials). 

You don’t necessarily need experience to come across as an expert in any field, but it certainly helps when people know you’re connected to that industry in some way. For example, would you rather purchase a marketing book from Neil Patel, a mover and shaker in the industry, or from someone who has had no marketing experience and just created his website yesterday?
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.
In addition to all of this, you don’t really have a store to look after. You have zero products to ship or be held responsible for. You are literally just the marketing arm, unlike the ecommerce business model where you are sourcing the products that you are selling and dealing with the customer service portions of the business, along with logistics. 

The CJ Affiliate by Conversant network has 120 niches in the business category, including web hosting, business loans, and domain registrations. ShareASale, a similar affiliate-marketing network, has 129 programs listed in the category. The right affiliate can deliver strong recommendations to these products and services. Affiliates can significantly influence consumer decisions.
In fact, depending on your niche there might be other affiliate programs that pay you far more than what Amazon is paying even on the old tiered structure they had. Many of these affiliate programs will pay higher rates and will often have much longer cookies. Amazon cookies every visitor that clicks on your affiliate link for 24 hours, meaning anything that person buys within 24 hours will be attributed to your account.
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.
If an affiliate site is using SEO as its primary traffic getting method, then affiliate sites can become very appealing to a Lifestyle Larry. Outside of doing some link management and making sure the offers are still valid, there isn’t a whole lot of work to be done unless the new owner wishes to grow the site. If they are content with living off the residual income though, there isn’t a lot of day to day management that they are going to have to do.

If you’re writing reviews, you should 100% be using rich snippets (they add review stars to your search engine snippets and increase click-through rates). There are many WordPress plugins for this but my favorite is WP Rich Snippets. It’s $69/year (or $399 one-time) and I use it for every single review I write. They have tons of add-ons, settings, styling options, and looks nice. Free plugins like All In One Schema.org do work but lack settings, styling, and flexibility.

You can build greater trust with visitors. When affiliate links are used properly, you’ll build even more trust with visitors. This means always directing them to Amazon products that are relevant to the topic at hand. Conversely, any attempts to deceive by pushing them to unrelated links or to untrustworthy products could hurt trust (and get you banned by Amazon), so be careful.

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