You buy these sites for cheaper than what they would had been a month ago, replace the links with links to your physical product, and revamp the sites to become email collecting machines that can be used to launch any new product you create – not to mention bringing back old customers to either your Amazon FBA listings or to the affiliate site for more potential sales and engagement.
For example, let’s say that we want to promote Drip as the better alternative to Infusionsoft… We would write up a comparative article that shows all of the reasons we like Drip better. We would then login to Google Adwords and create an ad campaign that links to our article and targets anyone who searches for “Infusionsoft” or “Infusionsoft Alternative.”
On the flip side, the new changes announced could help newbies or new sites make larger profits from the start in categories such as apparel and home improvement. Instead of having to sell enough volume to get to the next tier in pay, new sites will instantly start at a higher commission rate regardless of how many products they are actually selling. Of course, this only applies if the new site chooses the correct categories that offer the best commission percentages. 

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.

Honestly you just need to narrow down to a niche that you want to focus on and then move forward with something. I spent less than a few hundred bucks when I first got started. Now years and years later, I’ll spend tens of thousands of dollars starting or buying something if I want to. But that’s the fun part is that unless you have a big inheritance everyone starts from zero and then tries to grow from there. 

Instead, he focused solely on one platform. When that platform fizzled out, he lost his foundation and his footing as an affiliate marketer. He was unable to reach the people who had once been visiting his website because he was now nowhere to be found. Had he diversified, he wouldn't have gone through the massive pain related to that ranking change.
This agreement will begin upon your sign-up with the affiliate program and will end when either you or the Program Operator terminates your affiliate status, or if your account is inactive in any continuous twelve month period. An affiliate may terminate this agreement at any time, and for any reason, by writing to – or emailing – the Program Operator at the email address listed on the website. The affiliate may not transfer this agreement, or any rights conveyed in this agreement, to any third party whatsoever.

2.2 "Qualifying Link" means a BTI link from your Email or Site to Brian Tracy International's Site using one of the Required URLs or any other URL or graphic link provided by BTI for use in the Program. A Qualifying Link or "Linking Materials" shall be defined as hyperlinks, buttons, banners or other user interface established by BTI for your Emails or Web site.
Analytics are limited. Unlike with conversions made directly on your WordPress site, you’ll be limited in terms of what you can learn about the people making purchases through your affiliate links. While Amazon does provide you with details about clicks and sales, you won’t get deep insights into who the consumer was and what they did on your site before they got to that point that you would with Google Analytics.
Unless otherwise stated in an Offer Addendum, we will pay you referral fees on a monthly basis. Approximately thirty (30) days following the end of each month, we (or our designee, InfusionSoft) will send you a check for the referral fees earned on Qualifying Product revenues for that month, less any returns and canceled orders. However, if the referral fees payable to you for any month are less than $25.00, we will hold those referral fees until the total amount due is at least $25.00 or (if earlier) until this Agreement is terminated.
In the online marketplace, an affiliate refers to a person who will sell or promote the products of an online business, a term often referred to as affiliate marketing. Amazon uses multiple affiliates, referred to as "Amazon Associates," who sell items on their website. As part of the bargain, Amazon will take a small fee for their services. Both parties are able to earn income in this way.
Thanks a lot for those tips. I bought your course but found that the module for finding a niche cannot be easily applied for the following reasons: 1) domain (com, net, org) that match exact keywords are almost taken by someone else; 2) even if you can find an exact match keyword domain, changes are there are other competitors building similar niche review sites, simply adding good quality articles and build links with some social book marking do not seem to work well; 3) can you elaborate in details how to do the SEO for a specific niche using real exams (e.g., if you say social bookmarking, can you tell us how to find those sites or even provide a list of sites; if you use blog comments, can you walk thru the process to find good quality blog that accept comments with “do follow” etc 

WE WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU WITH RESPECT TO ANY SUBJECT MATTER OF THIS AGREEMENT UNDER ANY CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOSS OF REVENUE OR GOODWILL OR ANTICIPATED PROFITS OR LOST BUSINESS), EVEN IF WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. FURTHER, NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY CONTAINED IN THIS AGREEMENT, IN NO EVENT SHALL MERCHANT.COM'S CUMULATIVE LIABILITY TO YOU ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THIS AGREEMENT, WHETHER BASED IN CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, TORT OR OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY, EXCEED THE TOTAL COMMISSION FEES PAID TO YOU UNDER THIS AGREEMENT.

Some advertisers offer multi-tier programs that distribute commission into a hierarchical referral network of sign-ups and sub-partners. In practical terms, publisher "A" signs up to the program with an advertiser and gets rewarded for the agreed activity conducted by a referred visitor. If publisher "A" attracts publishers "B" and "C" to sign up for the same program using his sign-up code, all future activities performed by publishers "B" and "C" will result in additional commission (at a lower rate) for publisher "A".
Hi Spencer – an informative and very timely post for me as I am finally biting the bullet and setting up my first niche site which will be monetised with Amazon affiliate links. I have been considering adding an aStore but I am very conscious of the google penalty for having too many affiliate links on a page. How would this be viewed in terms of links – would each item in the store count as a separate affiliate link?

Requests for direct comment from Gawker Media surrounding their use of and investment into affiliate marketing went unanswered. But investing into custom platforms and granular data collection doesn’t seem like something a publisher the size of Gawker Media would be doing unless it were a central part of their current and future overall monetization strategy.
A great point you made there though. Too many people try to take on too much at once and end up spreading themselves too thin – trying to conquer all the niches at the same time. Marketers also do this with advertising. Instead of sticking with one platform until they are generating a consistent number of leads they will jump from platform to platform, in essence chucking a load of crap at a wall and seeing what sticks.
Small-scale bloggers like Robey won’t be the only ones hit by the rate changes. Publications like The Wirecutter have built thriving businesses entirely on affiliate payments, which are made by vendors like Amazon whenever a referred customer buys a product. Though a number of companies offer similar programs, Amazon’s affiliate system is the most lucrative, and auto-tagged product links have become a significant part of many online businesses’ revenue. (That includes The Verge, which auto-generates affiliate links in some cases.) Though the relationship can be lucrative, it’s also entirely subject to Amazon’s discretion — and as Robey and others are learning, it can often change with little to no warning.
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?
Also, you have to plan for the long term. Affiliate marketing is not a quick scheme for getting rich. This type of business model will not make you a lot of money at the beginning. It takes time to build up an audience, but your income does grow over time. So, you'll have to plan a way to support yourself until your affiliate marketing business grows to make enough income to support you.
Once you’ve done all the heavy lifting of niche selection, keyword research, and competition analysis, then you can finally start building your site. It’s important not to skip all the steps above. You’d hate to spend months on a site, only to learn that it won’t be profitable at all. All that hard work for nothing. You can read more about why I use WordPress for my Amazon sites.
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.
Affiliate marketers cannot assume that they are immune from these new standards, even though they are not the final brand the customer is interacting with. They must be transparent about using any third-party tracking software to collect personally identifiable information on customers, including IP addresses. They need to be required to delete these entries from CPVLab, Prosper or other third-party tracking solutions they use.
I have a question: while searching for the niche, and I think I found one that is pretty good, the search on google (for “high end …….”) didn’t revile any brands. Now, I believe it’s possible that there are not many brands for this niche, but checking it little further, I found that there are some, but it was difficult finding it on amazon and even if I did find the products, they didn’t have many reviews, if there were any.
LOVED this – thank you Chris. So glad I found it just as I was about to add a store to my blog. I think it would be a better idea to just start linking to Amazon in every recipe and post! (Right?) BTW – I’ve already shared this post on G+ and LinkedIn and sent it to a bunch of friends. I always wish peeps would TELL me when they share my stuff, so here I am telling you. 🙂
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).

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.


Unlike an Amazon affiliate business model, affiliate marketing tends to be more lucrative in terms of the profit margins you can earn per sale. This makes paid advertising easily profitable, so it can be a valid choice to grow your website. Many affiliate marketers focus almost 100% on paid traffic. They create a landing page, a sales letter, and off they go with Facebook ads or Google Adword campaigns.
The Amazon affiliate program has a 24-hour cookie, which means that once users click on an affiliate link to Amazon, anything they buy in the next 24 hours is commissionable to the affiliate whose link they last clicked. So if you click on Gawker’s affiliate link to Amazon to look at cable ties and end up buying another, unrelated product, Gawker Media still receives a commission for that sale.
Thanks a lot for those tips. I bought your course but found that the module for finding a niche cannot be easily applied for the following reasons: 1) domain (com, net, org) that match exact keywords are almost taken by someone else; 2) even if you can find an exact match keyword domain, changes are there are other competitors building similar niche review sites, simply adding good quality articles and build links with some social book marking do not seem to work well; 3) can you elaborate in details how to do the SEO for a specific niche using real exams (e.g., if you say social bookmarking, can you tell us how to find those sites or even provide a list of sites; if you use blog comments, can you walk thru the process to find good quality blog that accept comments with “do follow” etc 

(b) The Local Associates Products will be made available for Amazon customers to purchase through a specific page on Amazon.com assigned to each Local Associate (such page, the “Recommendations Page”). The Recommendations Page will include either a general Amazon.com search bar or a selection of Local Associates Products curated by you. Amazon reserves the right to modify the Products included in the Local Associates Products on any Recommendations Page. You must direct all Local Associates Program marketing to the Recommendations Page to be eligible for Qualified Purchases.
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.
Cost per action/sale methods require that referred visitors do more than visit the advertiser's website before the affiliate receives a commission. The advertiser must convert that visitor first. It is in the best interest of the affiliate to send the most closely targeted traffic to the advertiser as possible to increase the chance of a conversion. The risk and loss are shared between the affiliate and the advertiser.
I was following someone else’s guide and they said you should have a static front page, but I feel like I would be getting more views and more clicks if I had the opposite ie; my latest blogs on the homepage. I also checked my stats and when I link to an article/review people stay longer. When I link to the home page they don’t stay as long AND a higher bounce rate. My bounce rate for the homepage is literally 3,000 in the past month. They hit that homepage and stay for around 7 minutes which means most are probably reading the static page, but then they just… leave.
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)
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.

Start a new Facebook group in niche area and start recruiting people through paid advertising on Facebook to “like” your page. Paying Facebook for followers can be extremely cheap. I grew my Facebook following on DogFoodInsider.com to 25,000 followers at under 1 cent per like. The trick is, you have to be super targeted. My ad for DogFoodInsider.com simply said this…
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). 

You understand that we may at any time (directly or indirectly) solicit FatCow relationships on terms that may differ from those contained in this Agreement. We may also solicit relationships with entities that operate websites that are similar to or compete with your Affiliate Site. You have independently evaluated the desirability of participating in the FatCow Affiliate Program and are not relying on any representation, guarantee, or statement other than as set forth in this Agreement
FatCow will process orders placed by Referred Customers who follow the Links from an Affiliate Site to FatCow. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to reject orders that do not comply with certain requirements that we may establish from time to time. All aspects of order processing and fulfillment, including FatCow’s services, cancellation, processing, refunds and payment processing will be our responsibility. We will track the Qualified Purchases generated by your Affiliate Site and will make this information available to you through our website. To permit accurate tracking, reporting, and commission accrual, you must ensure that the Links between your website and our website are properly formatted.
All commissions are calculated based on the net transaction. In other words, all payment processor fees are first deducted from the sums collected from the customer. Then, all payment processor fees are deducted. The remaining amount is a commissionable sale. The commission rate listed on the website is then applied to determine the amount due the affiliate. Any sums paid for payment processor fees are not commissionable. The Program Operator may also charge a per transaction fee for every transaction processed. In the event that a per transaction fee is applied, the amount of the fee can be seen on the website. Any such fee is not commissionable and is also deducted from the sums paid by the customer, prior to the calculation of any commission.
I offer a ton of free resources, tips, guides and tutorials here on my website that can help you get started in affiliate marketing – and help you find success with it. While there are plenty of paid training programs out there, you need to be careful. Some of the people who create these programs make their money by selling the dream and not through doing true affiliate marketing for products or services outside of selling you the dream. That's not to say there are not some good training programs out there - but buyer beware. For now, I'd recommend you start with my free information here on my website – and to sign up for my free weekly newsletter here.

You are responsible for all activities that occur under your Account Identifiers and/or Data Feed Access ID, as applicable, regardless of whether those activities are undertaken by you or any other person or entity. Therefore, you should contact us immediately if you believe that someone other than you may be using your private key or password, or if your private key or password is otherwise disclosed, lost, or stolen. You may not use any Associates tag parameter, Account Identifier, or Data Feed Access ID assigned to anyone other than you or that we did not specifically assign to you.


In 2009, I originally published this post, the 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained—and The One I Profit From. A lot has changed since then, and I’ve learned a ton along the way about affiliate marketing the right way. It’s now October 2018, and I wanted to share those new insights here, with a bunch of new takeaways for you to bring affiliate marketing into your own business!
Your web host is responsible for hosting all of the files necessary for your site to function. When choosing a web host you’re going to have a variety of options to choose from. Some will be dedicated towards sites with large volumes of traffic, while others will specifically host WordPress sites. We offer a detailed breakdown of hosting options here.
WE WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU WITH RESPECT TO ANY SUBJECT MATTER OF THIS AGREEMENT UNDER ANY CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOSS OF REVENUE OR GOODWILL OR ANTICIPATED PROFITS OR LOST BUSINESS), EVEN IF WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. FURTHER, NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY CONTAINED IN THIS AGREEMENT, IN NO EVENT SHALL MERCHANT.COM'S CUMULATIVE LIABILITY TO YOU ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THIS AGREEMENT, WHETHER BASED IN CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, TORT OR OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY, EXCEED THE TOTAL COMMISSION FEES PAID TO YOU UNDER THIS AGREEMENT.
Yes and no. Affiliate marketing can generate passive income, but the passive side of the income usually only follows putting in a few years of hard work to generate the brand and audience you'll need to begin generating those passive sales. I have multiple sites earning passive income, but each of those sites took a lot of front end work to build up to that point. And not every site gets to the point of passive income. Some sites require continual maintenance though the revenue they generate can also allow you to pay for that maintenance to be done vs. you needing to do it yourself.

11.9. Force Majeure. You acknowledge that Brian Tracy's servers, equipment, and services (e.g. tracking and reporting) may be subject to temporary modifications or shutdowns due to causes beyond Brian Tracy's reasonable control. Such temporary service interruptions will not constitute a material breach of this Agreement. BTI will use commercially reasonable efforts to provide the services contemplated under this Agreement and to remedy any temporary interruptions or other problems that adversely affect the Program.
Amazon spends millions of dollars on improving the way they get people to convert. The fact that they provide a custom user experience for every person that goes to Amazon.com based on the buying behavior and viewing patterns tells me they know what it takes to close a sale. Some of the best closing advice I can give is to simply find ways to get your visitors onto the Amazon.com webpage and they’ll take care of the rest.
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.
With a little bit of creativity, this business model can be molded into any business. It can be used as a personal moneymaker, as a legitimate company, or even as a supplement for a company already adopting a different business model. As we enter a new era of virtual reality, crypto-currencies, and whatever crazy new tech that comes out think about how you can implement the affiliate marketing model into future businesses. Wake up; we are in a gold rush.
You want to convince the reader to investigate their purchase options by the time they finish reading an article, which is why I’ll always include links to all of the products mentioned in a review at the end of the article. That way it’s an easy transition from learning about the product during your review and then at the end it’s time to make a purchase.
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.
Thanks for the write-up on EasyAnon. I was debating whether or not to give it a try. I’ve been using Amazon Product In A Post (free plugin) since November. It is ok, but sometimes some of the links don’t show up, plus I would like the ability to customize the photos/links a bit more. I purchased EasyAnon through one of your links so I can finally see how it compares.

This Affiliate Agreement ("Agreement") contains the complete terms and conditions between us, FatCow ("FatCow") and you, regarding your application to and participation in, the FatCow Affiliate Program (the “Affiliate Program”) as an affiliate of FatCow (an “Affiliate”), and the establishment of links from your website to our website, https://www.FatCow.com.
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.

4.4. You acknowledge that your entitlement to any compensation reported with respect to any tracked or reported activity is solely a function of the terms of your agreement with BTI and that BTI is solely responsible for its payment. The fact that a compensation amount is reported for any tracked activity does not necessarily mean that a payment is due to you from BTI, since payment may be subject to conditions established by BTI, including policies regarding order cancellation, returned merchandise, receipt of pending credit card authorizations and minimums for earned compensation before payment is made. All determinations of Qualifying Links and the compensation due to you shall be final and binding.
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves both on-site and off-site strategies. These strategies involve several procedures geared towards building backlinks which is critical to you ranking highly in the search engines. However for this article I will be looking at off-site optimization strategies. As the name suggests, off-site optimization is employing procedures off your website […]
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.
And remember, whether you decide to use paid advertising or a free blog to promote Amazon products through the Amazon Associates affiliate program, there will be a learning curve involved. Don’t expect success right away. But if you stick with it, you’ll find the exact formula that works for you and your target audience. After that, it’s like a cash machine pumping money into your bank account 24/7/365. So have fun and enjoy the process!!
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. 
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