This year two affiliate marketers based in California, Shawn Hogan and Brian Dunning, pleaded guilty to defrauding eBay of at least $20 million in a scheme involving a notorious affiliate marketing tactic known as “cookie stuffing.” According to court documents, Mr. Hogan operated a network in which affiliates exchanged links and banner ads to help drive traffic to each other’s sites. The sites also agreed to host ads controlled by Mr. Hogan’s company, but in reality, these ads were cookie-stuffing devices. Users who viewed the ads had a small tracking code, or cookie, dropped on their computer. If those users went on to make a purchase from eBay, the cookie signaled that Mr. Hogan’s company was responsible — and eBay paid a commission.
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.

We could fib and say that building an affiliate website is simple, but that wouldn’t do you or your business any good. In truth, people spend days and weeks just researching the best niche and products for their affiliate sites. Then, it’s time to build, market, and plan content for the site to build an audience of people who are interested in the products you recommend.
Regarding Amazon FBA…this is another type of business I would hold off on buying as Trump’s administration is making it difficult to know where the import tariff and border tax percentages are going to shake out. Most FBA businesses are importing products from Asia, making their current valuation a high risk to drop in value should high taxes be imposed.
I’ve been an Amazon affiliate for many years. At first it was great but now Amazon treats affiliates more like competitors than a feeder of business. Amazon’s performance after a transaction is “handed off” to them is horrible. In any given month they “loose” from 60% to 80% of my customers’ orders at check out. These are not conversion rates on a link but actual orders at check out.
(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.
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.
2.2 You shall market and refer potential players to the Sites. You shall be solely responsible for the content and manner of such marketing activities and the same must be professional, proper and lawful under applicable regulations and laws as well as complying with the terms and conditions of this Agreement and any instructions we may provide to you from time to time in writing.

You agree not to intentionally solicit for employment any of our employees or contractors during the term of this Agreement and for a period of twelve (12) months following the termination or expiration of this Agreement.  Both you and we acknowledge that (i) any newspaper or other public solicitation not directed specifically to such person shall not be deemed to be a solicitation for purposes of this provision, and (ii) this provision is not intended to limit the mobility of either our employees or contractors.
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.
It’s easiest to make money using Amazon’s affiliate program if the people coming to your website are looking for a specific product that your website discusses. It’s more difficult to use a website like my blog here and make money linking to physical products because the people coming here are looking for advice on how to earn money online – not what iPod speakers they should buy.
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.
2.5. It is entirely your responsibility to follow all applicable intellectual property and other laws that pertain to your site. You must have express permission to use any person's copyrighted material, whether it be a writing, an image, or any other copyrightable work. We will not be responsible (and you will be solely responsible) if you use another person's copyrighted material or other intellectual property in violation of the law or any third party rights.
i. You will use Product Advertising Content only in a lawful manner in accordance with and within the express scope of the terms of this License. You will not use PA API, Data Feeds, or Product Advertising Content with any site or application, or in any other manner, that does not have the principal purpose of advertising and marketing an Amazon Site and driving sales of products and services on an Amazon Site.
Write content for your blog or website about picking or buying a product available on Amazon. Now more than ever, people go online to research their buying options. If you're a mom blogger, you can write an article on picking a low-cost vacuum with a link to your top choice or several links to your top choices.  A food blogger can link to cooking tools. A photography site can link to cameras and other photography equipment.
These are your basic pay-per-click affiliate marketing campaigns where you have no presence and no authority in the niche of the product you’re promoting. There’s no connection between you and the end consumer, and all you’re doing is putting an affiliate link in front of someone via Google Adwords, Facebook ads, etc. in the hopes that they’ll click on your link, buy the product, and earn a commission.

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.
8.2. NEITHER PARTY MAKES ANY REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES TO THE OTHER PARTY, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. BRIAN TRACY MAKES NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE PROGRAM OR ANY PRODUCTS SOLD THROUGH THE PROGRAM OR THAT OUR SITE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE AND WE WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CONSEQUENCES OF ANY INTERRUPTIONS OR ERRORS.
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.
When you’re picking a domain name you’ll want to choose an authoritative domain, that doesn’t limit the potential of your website. For instance, topoutdoorgrillreviews.com might sound like a good choice, but then you’re limited to just writing about outdoor grills. Something like theultimatebackyard.com will allow you to expand your site into different niches as your site becomes more established.
As an affiliate of the Program Operator, your website on which you advertise any products or services of the Program Operator may only include products that are not capable of being viewed by persons 13 years of age or younger unless the Program Operator specifically allows such products. Your website may NOT contain any content or images that are NOT suitable for being viewed by persons 13 years of age or younger if you include any reference whatsoever to the Program Operator, the website, the eBook(s), or your affiliate Link. On any website on which you include any reference whatsoever to the Program Operator, its products, services, and eBooks, you may NOT include any reference whatsoever to any form of “Adult” content. Any violation of these requirements will result in immediate termination of your affiliate status and you shall forfeit any commissions/referral fees that may be due. In the event that any violation of these requirements results in the suspension or termination of any payment processor for or the Program Operator, you shall be liable for liquidated damages in the amount of $10,000 as well as actual and any consequential or actual damages that or the Program Operator may incur.
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?
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.
But big brands began to become enlightened in the mid-2000s. They started to invest more and more budget into online marketing initiatives, while Google slowly moved to favoring them in the search results. Blogs were undergoing a metamorphosis — evolving from glorified online diaries to significant sources of valuable content with increasingly large readerships.

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.


You shall not use the Licensed Materials for any purposes other than selling FatCow Products and Services, without first submitting a sample to us and obtaining the express prior written consent of FatCow in each instance. You shall not use the Licensed Materials in any manner that is disparaging or that otherwise portrays FatCow, any hosted member of FatCow or any FatCow employee or representative in a negative light. We reserve all of our rights in the Licensed Materials and your license to use such material is limited to the manner described herein. We may revoke your license at any time, by giving you written notice. If not previously revoked, this license shall immediately terminate upon the termination of your participation in the Affiliate Program.
5.1 We make no express or implied warranties or representations with respect to our Affiliate program or any products or items sole through such program (including without limitation, warranties of fitness, merchantability, non-infringement, or any implied warranties arising out of a course of performance or trade usage). We make no representation or warranty that the operation of the Sites or any of them will be interrupted or error-free and will not be liable for the consequences interruptions or errors.
2.2 You shall market and refer potential players to the Sites. You shall be solely responsible for the content and manner of such marketing activities and the same must be professional, proper and lawful under applicable regulations and laws as well as complying with the terms and conditions of this Agreement and any instructions we may provide to you from time to time in writing.
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.

When you are attracting traffic to your site, you become a "publisher" and can reach out to different companies (known as merchants) and market their products. They will typically give you a tracked affiliate link, which looks a bit longer than a normal link and has a reference on it, known as a b tag. Most affiliates have a login and a network where you can see your clicks and conversions. Big players in the industry include admitad, CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction), Awin and Rakuten, and they have access to thousands of companies looking to promote products and thousands of companies looking to sell them.

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.
(c) Influencer Content and Site. For avoidance of doubt, you acknowledge that Influencer Content you submit will be subject to the provisions of the Conditions of Use on the relevant Amazon Site relating to posting content or submitting material and that your Site is subject to the requirements of Section 3(b) of the Participation Requirements relating to compliance with all applicable laws (for example, if applicable, the US FTC Guides Concerning Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising).
Your acceptance of this Agreement and participation in the Affiliate Program will not violate (i) any provision of law, rule, or regulation to which you are subject, (ii) any order, judgment, or decree applicable to you or binding upon your assets or properties, (iii) any provision of your by-laws or certificate of incorporation, or (iv) any agreement or other instrument applicable to you or binding upon your assets or properties.

Are they biting the hand that feeds them? Possibly. We will have to wait and see. Maybe Amazon gave the higher commission %’s to the products that have the highest markup…? i.e. their Amazon coins. I do believe tho they have reduced the incentive their own “affiliate employees” previously had to push their products-and maybe, just maybe this new commission structure will not last long.


I’m a big fan of websites that look professional. If your website looks like it was made by a 5th grader, it will be instantly judged and people will feel uncomfortable. Take the time to give your website a nice look upfront and it will pay dividends for the success of your website. WordPress themes are a great way to give your Amazon Affiliate Website a professional look for a cheap price tag.
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.

Right now, it’s time for Amazon Associates to take a serious look at their niche website and see what they can do to ensure continued revenue. However, as we’ve seen, all is not lost. In fact, for some this may be a time of great opportunity! By taking advantage of the methods provided above, you can stabilize or even increase your income from you niche website.
To his surprise, he discovered several affiliate marketers were willing to build entire websites to promote their retailing partners. BetterCeilings, a site that one of these affiliates developed on Mr. Jara’s behalf, features dozens of articles and videos with tips on choosing the right type of tile and installation — all linking back to Mr. Jara’s site.
Hello Chris, So do you create a blog and do you personally have to buy each item you review. Or do you just create a review that Amazon gives you or is there video that you can use to create some kinda of video? Do you go on and talk about this or not show your face and just do a show your screen and talk about the product. And if you have to buy each product does amazon give you a discount since you are going to be a seller? This is my first time and I’m a total newbie. What do you recommend for created a blog site and etc to host etc to spend the least amount and get running. I have hardly any capital. Thank you for any help and guidance.
So how do we make sure we don’t get burned again? The answer is simple: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, if you’re looking to make money from your website, don’t just rely on one source of income! There are many different ways to make money with a niche website, including advertisements, selling digital or physical products, and more!
Viglink – This is an affiliate marketing plugin that’s associated with my Viglink Account (Here’s my experience with Viglink). If anyone clicks on a product on my website, Viglink will track this and I get a commission if they buy something. You can use Amazon Associates for your Affiliate Marketing, but I like Viglink because it has partnerships with 2,000 different stores including Amazon. Viglink is how I plan to make money with my new Amazon Affiliate Website. Here is my personal affiliate link if you want to learn more about Viglink and how it works.
Spam is the biggest threat to organic search engines, whose goal is to provide quality search results for keywords or phrases entered by their users. Google's PageRank algorithm update ("BigDaddy") in February 2006—the final stage of Google's major update ("Jagger") that began in mid-summer 2005—specifically targeted spamdexing with great success. This update thus enabled Google to remove a large amount of mostly computer-generated duplicate content from its index.[29]
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