Sponsored by Marin Software, the Dome Stage at this year’s PI LIVE was a buzzing hub for all things performance marketing. Looking into the most important elements to an affiliate marketing campaign, Visualsoft explored the growth of the industry in 2017 before touching on several methods for marketers to empower their commission and cookie structures to create a rewarding system for themselves and publishers.
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.
I relay the story of Dan Henry because it exemplifies the power of this thing called the internet that binds us all. And while Henry has succeeded on a massive scale, so many others have hit roadblocks, stumbled, fallen and failed. The large rate of failure helps to mystify and obfuscate this world of affiliate marketing because so many are trying to penetrate this market but so few are able to succeed on a large scale.
Assuming a four-percent cut may be underestimating the overall commission rate the media giant averages. Amazon’s commission structure consists of multiple classes of commission rates. Certain product categories have fixed commission rates, while commissions on General Products start at four percent and can go up to 8.5 percent, depending on sales volume.
Free traffic can be achieved through things like social media or SEO. Free traffic is just another term for free visitors to your site. If you post your website on Instagram for your friends to see, when your friends visit your site, your site receives traffic. This traffic costs you nothing and is free. SEO, on the other hand, stands for search engine optimization. It’s how well Google ranks your website in its search engine. Every time you search a term in Google the results that show on the first page have a high ranking because their SEO is done right. The higher the rank, the more visitors to your website. And because this traffic is coming from people searching through Google, it costs you nothing as well. The power with search traffic is that you can essentially create a business revolved around headphone reviews and mostly all of your revenue is profit. The only overhead costs would be your domain name and web hosting service, which costs next to nothing.
Great post , I do read a lot of the Nichehacks articles and this one is so true. At the moment I am in a niche I'm passionate about and yes although I am primarily using Amazon to monetize my site, I will be branching out to use other methods very soon. It frightens me to think the plug can be pulled at any time! I intent to use other affiliate programs as well as Amazon, maybe Google Adsense, I'm not sure yet, some digital products and also to build an email list.
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.
Great advice here. The typical idea of writing reviews of bicycle pedals and expecting someone to follow your link in order to buy a pair is dead. Now if you are actually a cyclists, and you know something about all the different types of pedals, and why different types solve different cycling problems, then hey, welcome to the world of providing useful content.
Knowing this, many affiliates using the Amazon Associates affiliate program simply use the sales of cheaper items as a way to boost their commissions on the larger items they promote. You won’t be able to sell nearly the number of high end digital cameras as you can e-books, so the e-books simply help to raise your commission percentage when you do happen to sell a $1,000 camera.
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
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An affiliate marketing agreement is a contract between a business and an individual or company who agrees to market or promote the business in exchange for a commission amount. According to corporate law and taxes, an affiliate is defined as a company that is related to another company often in a subordinate role. For companies to be affiliated, one must have control over the other or both must be controlled by a third company.
At first I was reluctant to promote Amazon.com due to the poor cookie duration and low commissions. However, since Amazon has a huge inventory, it’s a trusted site, and you also get credit for sales customers make even though you weren’t necessarily promoting that specific product, it tends to make up for the negatives, so I have started promoting Amazon more. Great post btw!
I’m new to the amazon affiliate program but I’ve used others. The 24 hour link is very confusing to me. I know the cookies are 24 hours but if people click and buy do you still get that credit? This seems way too complex compared to other programs but I like that every product is within one website instead of several. Thanks for this information! I’ll be saving and coming back.
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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.
You Don’t Need To Track Affiliate Links To Improve Conversions – you will always hear people telling you to track affiliate links. But for me, I generally use the same content about SiteGround on all my speed optimization articles… it is very important it converts well. Change your approach on how you recommend your affiliate product (it’s perfecting your sales pitch).
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.
Use Deep Links – these are pages on your affiliate’s website that AREN’T the homepage. For SiteGround’s hosting I link a lot to their speed technology page as an affiliate link. If you’re doing Amazon’s affiliate program you just want to gather a list of products you will be recommending to readers, create an affiliate link for each one, and import them to the plugin.
Knowing this, many affiliates using the Amazon Associates affiliate program simply use the sales of cheaper items as a way to boost their commissions on the larger items they promote. You won’t be able to sell nearly the number of high end digital cameras as you can e-books, so the e-books simply help to raise your commission percentage when you do happen to sell a $1,000 camera.
Thanks for all the great info. I have had some moderate success with amazon before, but nothing of that magnitude. The best selling lists have works for me, as well as creating a ‘recommended’ list or ‘library’ full of interesting products, although I have always found its better to actually be interesting in the recommendations rather than just plugging anything.
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.
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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.
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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.
First, find out all the affiliate networks being used on the website and figure out which other networks have the same offers, so you can use these as backups. You may need to move if the offer with the current network goes down or starts capping you. If at all possible, ask yourself if the offers on this site are evergreen or a flash in the pan kind of offer. If you are buying a website, you will likely want to make sure the offers are going to be sticking around for the long term versus only a couple of months after you purchased the website.
You can open a store without the burden of managing inventory. One of the ways in which you can use Amazon affiliate links is to populate your online store with third-party products. This spares you from having to produce, store, or even manage inventory. That’s all handled by the manufacturers. You only need to worry about maintaining your online store.
Yes, this is similar to the first point; however, it's important to take this one step further. Don't just stop at “best sleeping bags” or “sleeping bag reviews”! You should target phrases that are even longer tailed, which could mean going after keywords with very low search volume.  I do that here on Niche Pursuits and every blog or website I've built.
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There’s no universal consensus for what constitutes ‘long-form’ content. However, as a rule of thumb, you can think of this as any piece over 1,000 words. Research shows people tend to trust long-form content more. On the other hand, most online readers still tend to skim articles. This means you also need to find ways to adapt your longer content for skimmers.
Yes that seems super strange with Best Buy’s affiliate program. I’m assuming it has to be an error. There are other big affiliate programs for electronics you might want to look into as well. For example New Egg offers 2.5% currently with their program, and I imagine they would convert better than Best Buy since their main customer base is online whereas Best Buy’s clientele is mainly offline retail customers.
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Just like a real-world funnel, a sales funnel acts similarly. It funnels down visitors through several stages before they become buyers. The way Henry explains it, if you're not creating an emotional attachment during each stage of that funnel, then you're largely wasting your time. It has to start from the very beginning, and it has to carry out all the way to beyond the purchase.
Update: I used to recommend carousel style Amazon ads, but they don’t exist anymore. When I used them they converted about 3 times better than static style Amazon banner ads. I suggest using Native Shopping Ads instead which is essentially a replacement to the carousel style ads but allows for greater flexibility. You can display products by recommendation from the content, by search or with other options. Here is what the a Native Shopping Ad looks like for the keyword search “Chris Guthrie” Amazon displays the Kindle books I’ve written:
I’m curious – how are Amazon affiliate sites faring after the Google Panda update. With the keyword density of the content articles needed for these types of sites, have you or any of your Niche Profits members experienced a major decline in traffic or rankings? If so, what are your recommendations for creating better backlinks and showing more authority/relevancy for these types of sites?
If you know how to complete keyword research with Long Tail Pro and look up products on Amazon, you can start to unearth what affiliate site niche is potentially the most profitable one for you. A little research of Amazon’s best sellers and the most reviewed products in your niche can go a long way. Then, take some tips from successful Amazon affiliate sites to make your site go the distance in terms of popularity and profitability.
My conversion rate went from 2.5% to 8% just by including Facebook polls where SiteGround was rated #1 (here’s last year’s poll) plus Twitter screenshots and Facebook conversations. Whether it’s Amazon reviews or social proof, you NEED to include outside opinions. You can also use WP Rich Snippets to allow people to leave a review about the product/service on your site and get those review stars in Google (you will want to use their front end submit add-on).

Media reporter Mathew Ingram tweeted, "Not great for media who rely on affiliate revenue[,]" potentially a nod to popular gadget reviews The Wirecutter, which was acquired by The New York Times. Technology journalist Michael Morisy quipped, "Amazon reworks affiliate program, cutting commissions 50% for electronics. Guess they think Jet threat has passed?" in a reference to up-and-coming Amazon rival Jet.com, which sold to Walmart in a deal largely regarded as a failure for the startup.
It’s time to mix and match. Instead of switching your entire blog over to luxury beauty products, mix in an occasional affiliate link. Perhaps write comparison articles that pit luxury beauty products against normal beauty products. Try to compare different makeup, face creams, hair styling tools, etc. Or, talk about the best products in different price categories. What is the best budget hair straightener, and what is the best luxury hair straightener?
You may log into your affiliate console to review your click through and potential Qualified Purchases statistics on a daily basis. The potential Qualified Purchases shown in this report have not been reviewed to confirm they meet all criteria for Qualified Purchases. As such, Commission Fees may not be issued for all Referred Customers that appear in the affiliate console.
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.
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