Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.

No affiliate, or other person or entity may use the website, or the Program Operator payment processing system, for private transactions. Any revenue collected through the website or through the the Program Operator payment processing system may become the sole property of the Program Operator . Any revenue collected through the the Program Operator payment processing system may become the sole property of the Program Operator. Specifically, affiliates may not link to the website for processing of products or services that are not wholly sponsored by the Program Operator and authorized by the Program Operator and further, may not link to the website for processing of any products beyond what the Program Operator has identified as salable products for the website and specific affiliate sales. Should any affiliate of the Program Operator or other person or entity construct links that process orders through the Program Operator payment processing system, the act will be considered an attack of computing resources with intent to damage the website and therefore treated as a serious computer crime. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.


It's especially true now that the big media players are finally waking up to affiliate marketing (NYTime buying WireCutter and SweetHome) and BestReviews (which was already an epic product review site in it's self due to the fact they built their own 10,000 sq ft testing lab) being acquired by Tronc (owns the LA Times and half a dozen more publications).
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.
You can sign up as an Amazon associate straight away without a site. As long as you have the URL and it belongs to you. They won’t approve your site until you have made your first commission. So what I would do is get the site built and add all the content that you need. Make sure its finished. Then sign up to the Amazon associates, add in your aff codes to your review pages and then you just wait for your first sale. Make sure you read the amazon T&Cs so your site is compliant. If it isn’t then they will not approve your site.
Upon the execution of this Agreement, MA shall pay to Company a quarterly service fee (the “Service Fee”) in the amount equal to US $15,000.00 on the first day of each quarter for the Term of this Agreement as set forth in Section 1 hereinabove, for each month that MA has no sales pursuant to this Schedule A, with the first payment due and payable on the date of execution of this Agreement.

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.

If at any time there has been no substantial activity on your account for at least 3 years, then we will have the right, with 7 days’ written notice to withhold the accrued fees for your inactive account, up to a maximum closure withholding of an amount equal to the minimum amount listed in the Payment Minimum Chart for payment by gift card. Further, any unpaid accrued fees in your account may be subject to escheatment under applicable law.


Finally, email every network you are associated with for this website to inform them that you are selling your site and that you want to make sure that the new owner will be approved for that affiliate network. This is an important, if not obvious, step to follow. If a network denies the new buyer, that is going to lead to a lot of trouble when it comes to them taking full ownership over the site.
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.
If you provide us with suggestions, reviews, modifications, data, images, text, or other information relating to any Program Content or in connection with your participation in the Associates Program, or if you modify any Program Content in any way (collectively, “Your Submission”), you hereby irrevocably assign to us all right, title, and interest in and to Your Submission and grant us (even if you have designated Your Submission as confidential) a perpetual, paid-up royalty-free, nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, freely transferable right and license for the maximum duration of protection available under applicable law to: (a) use, reproduce, perform, display, and distribute Your Submission in any manner; (b) adapt, modify, re-format, and create derivative works of Your Submission for any purpose; (c) use and publish your name in the form of a credit in conjunction with Your Submission (however, we will not have any obligation to do so); and (d) sublicense the foregoing rights to any other person or entity. Additionally, you hereby warrant that: (y) Your Submission is your original work, or you obtained Your Submission in a lawful manner and (z) our and our sublicensees’ exercise of rights under the license above will not violate any person’s or entity’s rights, including any copyright rights. You agree to provide us such assistance as we may require to document, perfect, or maintain our rights in and to Your Submission.

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”).
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.
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.
I have never earned a penny on the internet but that is because I am looking for but have not yet found anything.  My problem is that although no knowledge or expertise is needed, so it is said, there are statements that I simply cannot understand.  For example, in No.4 above on making money in affiliate marketing, the statement goes "Build back links and get others to do it for us and rank in the search engines for various key words based on our market."
It's especially true now that the big media players are finally waking up to affiliate marketing (NYTime buying WireCutter and SweetHome) and BestReviews (which was already an epic product review site in it's self due to the fact they built their own 10,000 sq ft testing lab) being acquired by Tronc (owns the LA Times and half a dozen more publications). 

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.
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.
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