I've been doing affiliate marketing – successfully – for well over a decade. While I earn affiliate income from this website, I've made the bulk of my affiliate revenue from selling real users products and services – in multiple niches - that have nothing to do with the making money online niche. I've been nominated as Affiliate of the Year three times in the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Awards – taking home the award in 2016. I've spent the last decade+ teaching people how to find success with affiliate marketing - based on my own experiences - as well as advocating for the industry as a whole. I'm often blunt and can sometimes be controversial, but I'm also 100% bullshit free.
Isobel Phillips has been writing technical documentation, marketing and educational resources since 1980. She also writes on personal development for the website UnleashYourGrowth. Phillips is a qualified accountant, has lectured in accounting, math, English and information technology and holds a Bachelor of Arts honors degree in English from the University of Leeds.

15.1. You agree that you are an independent contractor, and nothing in this Agreement will create any partnership, joint venture, agency, franchise, sales representative, or employment relationship between you and Merchant.com. You will have no authority to make or accept any offers or representations on our behalf. You will not make any statement, whether on Your Site or any other of Your Site or otherwise, that reasonably would contradict anything in this Section.
During each calendar month, you may earn advertising fees for Qualifying Purchases. Most advertising fees are calculated as a percentage of Qualifying Revenues based on the tables below and are subject to the limitations described in the “Limitations on Advertising Fee Rates for Certain Products” section below. We also may offer advertising fees in the form of bounties or other special offers as described in the “Special Offers and Promotions” section below. “Qualifying Revenues” mean amounts we receive from customers’ Qualifying Purchases, excluding shipping, handling, and gift-wrapping fees, taxes, and service charges, and less any rebates, credit card processing fees, returns, and bad debt.
EPC stands for Earnings Per Click. It is the estimated amount of money a marketer can expect to earn from a 100 clicks to their affiliate offer. This is a great piece of knowledge. You should be on the lookout for affiliate offers with the best EPCs. In addition to finding new offers, look at other affiliate networks that are doing the same offers that your website is doing.
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.
However, be aware that you need to submit an application to most of these networks to be accepted. Once you're accepted in, you're often required to apply directly to the merchant afterwards. So there are two layers or gates that you need to bypass. That's also why it's important to build up your platform and create that emotional bridge between yourself and your audience before attempting to promote anything to them.
(c) Recommendations Page. 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 Local Associates Policy or otherwise, acquire any ownership interest or rights in or to, the Recommendation Page, the Recommendation Page URL, or information and materials on the Recommendation Page. You will not take any action that conflicts with our rights in, or ownership of, the Recommendation Page. Amazon reserves all rights to determine the content, appearance, functionality, URL, and all other aspects of the Recommendation Page, including through the display of (i) advertising materials on the Recommendation Page, without compensation to any Local Associate, and (ii) disclosure (by text, link, icon, or otherwise) regarding your participation in this Local Associates Program.
Many new affiliate marketers like to use the Amazon Associates Affiliate Program as their first way to start earning a living online. This is actually a great choice! Amazon is trusted by almost everyone and most people you refer to Amazon will already have an account on Amazon. This lowers the barrier to a sale. Many affiliate marketers earn a full-time living just by using the Amazon Associates affiliate program, but it has to be done right. Here are some tips and tricks to earning substantial earnings using the Amazon Associates Program.
The Santa Claus Christmas Store, in Santa Claus, Ind., was typical of a lot of brick-and-mortar businesses when it sought to expand its online footprint earlier this year. In addition to sprucing up its website and increasing its pay-per-click advertising budget, it joined an affiliate marketing network. This connected the 7,000-square-foot holiday emporium with the vast community of bloggers, coupon sites and other “affiliates” around the web that promote products in return for a percentage of each sale they encourage.
This Marketing Affiliate Agreement (the “Agreement”) is entered into this 8th day of May 2014, by and between BIRCH FIRST GLOBAL INVESTMENTS INC., a corporation incorporated in the U.S. Virgin Islands, with its main place of business located 9100 Havensight, Port of Sale, Ste. 15/16, St. Thomas, VI 0080 (referred to as “Company”) and MOUNT KNOWLEDGE HOLDINGS INC. and/or assigns, a corporation incorporated in the State of Nevada, with its main place of business located at 228 Park Avenue S. #56101 New York, NY 10003-1502 (referred to as “Marketing Affiliate” or “MA”).
This Agreement may be terminated by either party at the expiration of its term or any renewal term upon thirty (30) days written notice to the other party. Company acknowledges that this Agreement shall not be terminated for MA’s failure to follow an operating plan, standard procedure, training manual, or substantial equivalent published in Paragraph 3 (k) of this Agreement, except that Company does reserve the right to terminate this Agreement for MA’s failure to follow required procedures relating to the processing of sales contracts, invoices and billing related to Technology sold under this Agreement.

You know you really didn’t have to setup an additional Amazon affiliate site to make money. All you pretty much had to do if you wanted to run PPC ads was forward mask your Amazon affiliate link into a sub-domain. But if you wanted to run a standalone Amazon affiliate site just for Amazon, that’s good for business too. Are you promoting it on Pinterest and social networks so you can get free advertising?


Amazon’s website describes the process in detail. Basically, when an eligible customer follows your affiliate link and completes the ‘Bounty Action’, you get a special bonus. These bounty actions include signing up for a free trial of Amazon Prime, buying an audiobook on Audible, creating an Amazon Baby Registry, etc. The special bonus is not a percentage of anything, but instead a set dollar amount.
If the website isn’t an authority in its niche, ask yourself if it is setup to be one. You should always have this in mind, but especially with affiliate sites. Since affiliate sites have such a low barrier to entry, by buying an authority site, you are significantly putting yourself ahead of your competition who will be entering the game without an authority site. This will help you keep market share and dominate the niche.

The best way to think about affiliate marketing is quality over quantity. There are a lot of small websites that will promote your product, but the key is finding a small number of partners that will deliver conversions. For example, an equity management services firm has over 20,000 affiliates in its system, but only about 25 affiliates generate 85 percent of revenue.
The Amazon Associates affiliate program uses a tiered commission structure to pay out to affiliates. The more you sell, the more you will earn. That’s why many affiliates will attempt to promote two different types of products – cheap and expensive. By promoting cheap products under $10, you will likely receive a lot of purchases. For example, many affiliate marketers will promote e-books that may only cost $5. Since Amazon only pays up to 8.5% commissions, you’re not going to earn much by selling a $5 e-book. However, making a lot of sales of smaller items helps to boost your sales count in the, which also boosts the amount of commission you receive. Here is the current Amazon Associates Affiliate Program commission structure:

Definitions: (a) "controller," "processor," "data subject," and "processing" (and "process") shall have the meanings given to them in Applicable Data Protection Law; (b) "Applicable Data Protection Law" means any and all applicable privacy and data protection laws and regulations applicable to the Personal Data in question, including, where applicable, EU Data Protection Law (in each case, as may be amended, superseded or replaced from time to time); (c) "EU Data Protection Law" means: (i) the EU General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation 2016/679) ("GDPR"); and (ii) the EU e-Privacy Directive (Directive 2002/58/EC); and (iii) any national data protection laws made under or pursuant to clause (i) or (ii); and (d) "Personal Data" means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person to the extent that such information is protected as personal data under Applicable Data Protection Law.

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 my name is Stephen Pastore. I am a 22 year old aspiring entrepreneur. Im gunna try and be as brief as possible. So basically I just want to know what kind of money I can expect to make from an import/export business? I know this a very vague and general question that doesnt really have an answer but lets assume im an extremely hard worker thats gunna work 24/7 and things work out really well and lets assume that ill spend atleast 5-7 years on this business but more likely 8-10. Could i ever expect to make 5-10 million in a lump sum for myself after tax (not company revenue)? The other question is if the answer to that question is no, would you say that since i have very little contacts/ideas/experience and just dont know where to start, is it a good idea to consider an amazon import business as a good way to gain that valuable experience/contacts and ideas im looking for that will EVENTUALLY LEAD me to a big opportunity where I would be able to build a very big business like for example something that produces around 50 million in sales or gets acquired for 50 million etc? like basically would an amazon import business be a great teaching tool/gateway or a springboard to move on and graduate onto a much bigger opportunity? I understand i sound just like and ignorant naive money hungry kid that doesnt know his ass from his elbow but if you could help me out with these concerns id appreciate it greatly and I understand completely this is hard question to answer but anything helps. Thank you.
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)
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.
Notwithstanding the foregoing or anything to the contrary in this Agreement, if any of the requirements set forth in section 5(a)(i-iv) remain outstanding for six (6) months immediately following the close of a Customer Transaction, then your right to receive Commission arising from any and all Customer Transactions with the associated Customer will be forever forfeited (each, a “Forfeited Transaction”). We will have no obligation to pay you Commission associated with a Forfeited Transaction. Once you comply with all of the requirements in section 5(a)(i-iv), then you will be eligible to receive Commission on Customer Transactions, as long as these Customer Transactions do not involve the same Customer associated with a Forfeited Transaction.
Know English, can earn. All you need to know is how to know to write for this one (or how to hire a writer). It is your holistic guide to creating a white hat (Google Friendly) affiliate sites that draw organic (free) traffic from Google Search and convert that into paying customers on Amazon via your content marketing website. 17.5 hours of unadulterated video content, lifetime access and even a certificate of completion. At a rating of 4.8 out of 5, it is a no brainer when it comes to deciding whether this is good or bad for you. Created by SEO Academy Leaders in SEO Education, this will get your Amazon Affiliate website SEO on the right track.
Affiliate Program Limits. Each accepted Affiliate Lead will expire according to the information provided on the Program Policies Page. from the date the Affiliate Lead clicked on the Affiliate Link that was made available by you. We will pay you Commission for each new Customer who completes a Customer Transaction after clicking on an Affiliate Lead made available by you, provided that you remain eligible to receive Commission pursuant to the terms of this Agreement.  The start of the Customer’s subscription is determined by the date of the first purchase of the Subscription Service by the Customer and you will receive a Commission payment for that Customer Transaction only, regardless of any additional purchases made by that customer during their Subscription Service. For example, if the initial Customer Transaction is for one user of Sales Hub Professional, and there is a subsequent transaction by that same customer for an additional user of Sales Hub Professional for the same subscription, Affiliate will receive Commission for the initial user purchased only. The Affiliate will not be entitled to receive Commission on any additional purchases of HubSpot Products by that same Customer
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.
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.
For purposes of this Agreement, the Technology means the electronic access to programs, content and documentation, and Company's end user license agreement as it may be modified by Company for use in the Territory. The relationship between the corporate user and Company and/or its Affiliates shall be as specified in the applicable Company end user license agreement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, as between Company and MA, MA shall be responsible as defined for providing customer and technical support to end users in the Territory. MA will notify Company immediately in the event that it is unable to respond effectively to any end users’ requests.
Affiliate marketing has a very low barrier to entry; many merchants accept everyone who applies for affiliation. Some forms of affiliate marketing don't even require the affiliate to have a website. This creates a very high level of competition, especially for particularly profitable offers. In forums where affiliates participate, there are frequent claims of commission theft or hijacking by other affiliates and even by merchants. A cookie system that credits the sale to the last link clicked makes these actions more likely.
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.
If you are accepted to participate in the Affiliate Program, then upon notification of acceptance, the terms and conditions of this Agreement shall apply in full force and effect, until terminated, pursuant to the terms set forth below.  Further, you will need to complete any enrollment criteria set out in the Program Policies Page, if applicable. Failure to complete any enrollment criteria within thirty (30) days of your acceptance will result in the immediate termination of this Agreement and you will no longer be able to participate in the Affiliate Program.
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.
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.) 

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

This Agreement may be terminated by either party at the expiration of its term or any renewal term upon thirty (30) days written notice to the other party. Company acknowledges that this Agreement shall not be terminated for MA’s failure to follow an operating plan, standard procedure, training manual, or substantial equivalent published in Paragraph 3 (k) of this Agreement, except that Company does reserve the right to terminate this Agreement for MA’s failure to follow required procedures relating to the processing of sales contracts, invoices and billing related to Technology sold under this Agreement.


In my early days, I used to have a few of these links scattered throughout SPI—for example, an ad for a “How to Make an iPhone App” product. I used to have a few iPhone apps that generated an income for me each month, but I didn’t actually use the product I was linking to. I did, however, personally know the owner, which is why I trusted him and decided to place that ad there at the time.
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