For Tracy E. Robey, who runs the beauty blog Fanserviced-b, the impact was more stark: a pay cut. With the affiliate cut for a typical purchase dropping from 8 to 6 percent, she anticipates that her checks from Amazon will go down by as much as 20 percent. For Robey, her blog is still more of a sideline than a job, but as she looks to expand her growing business, she says that drop could have real consequences.
Then, came the dreaded Google algorithm updates. After ranking number one for "electronic cigarettes" and "electronic cigarette reviews," which were steadily driving massive amounts of traffic to his blog, his rankings fell off of a cliff. He tells me had made a huge mistake by solely relying on Google for traffic and not leveraging it to build an audience elsewhere. 

What initially attracted me to using Amazon’s Affiliate program was the breadth of products that they had in their system. This is a great thing if you’re niche is narrow or quite obscure as many bloggers find it difficult to find affiliate programs to match their blog’s focus. Blogs like John’s and mine here at ProBlogger do have an array of options for affiliate programs (which is why I don’t use it a lot on this blog and make most of my earnings from Amazon from product related blogs) but many bloggers don’t have the luxury of being able to choose high paying affiliate programs because they simply don’t relate to our topics. Amazon then becomes one of the more attractive options.

Amazon will not pay you unless your affiliate sales reach a threshold of $10 if you choose to be paid by direct bank deposit or Amazon gift card, or $100 if you want to be paid by check. If you fail to reach the threshold, your affiliate balance is carried over to the next month and added to the sales you make then. Amazon pays affiliate sales at net 60 days, so, for example, sales that reach the threshold at the end of January will be paid in late March.
Hi thanks for a great article. I have been shopabot to build my first amazon niche site. have you heard of it? If so what do you think? So far in a few weeks I have about 12k visitors and almost 100 product clicks, however none of that is being represented on my amazon reports page despit having the api set up correctly. What is your take on this software and those sort of numbers?
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.

Time Is Your Enemy – I say this because writing a compelling and captivating article is not easy let alone writing everyday filling your website with valuable information so that you can market or promote your product. But guess what, people are doing it and they are succeeding in their own rights. It is doable no doubt but you also have to set your own expectation and goal in a manner that are achievable in bits and pieces. It took me 3 hours writing this article you are reading right now but I know I am a slow writer and this is my website so it is nice to call it my own.
This Local Associates Policy applies to any registered business that offers face-to-face customer experiences and that facilitates customer purchases on Amazon.com (“Local Associates Program”) operated by an Associate in one or more of its owned or operated facilities registered on the program portal at https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/local Associates Site (such portal, the “Local Associates Portal” and such facilities, the “Local Associates Facilities”). In order to participate in the Local Associates Program you must (A) be an owner or authorized employee of a registered business, (B) apply through the Local Associates Portal, (C) have your application accepted by Amazon, (D) not be also registered for the Amazon Associates Program, and (E) comply with the applicable provisions of the Associates Program Operating Agreement, including this Local Associates Policy.

This site might seem authoritative, but it doesn’t really cater to the visitor. As you can see the site contains a ton of ads, and doesn’t do much to provide a good reading experience. The content is long, but it’s also very hard to read. You could easily create a site that reviews this product and provides a better reading experience and higher-quality review.
I'm Michael S. Brown, Internet Marketer, husband and father. I have been successful in business and marketing since 1998. In 2007 I took to the internet marketing world and have never looked back. I love teaching people the knowledge that I have acquired and the ultimate boost to my ego is to see everyone I teach succeed in business. My goal is to make everyone who comes into contact with me as successful or even more successful than myself.

Hi Spencer, I remember the post where you said your site was penalized and you we’re convinced it was due to too much affiliate links. bestsurvivalknife site… i also remember you had (i asume) the same link twice everytime, once as an image and once as a textlink. Whenever i check a site’s outbound links i notice that each link only gets counted once , it seems to ignore duplicates, so even tho a site might have an image and a textlink pointing to the same productpage/url it would only get counted as 1 outbound (affiliate)link This is what i see when i check outbound links with seoquake. Do you think Google sees it like that as well? I’m asking cause up to this point ive been very cautious with placing affiliate links and avoided placing them in my images to keep it at a minimum.
11.1. No Agency. Each party shall act as an independent contractor and shall have no authority to obligate or bind the other in any respect, and nothing in this Agreement (including any Offer) shall create any partnership, joint ventures, agency, franchise, sales representative or employment relationship between the parties. Neither party shall make any statement, whether on their sites or otherwise, that reasonably would contradict anything in the paragraph.

You can build greater trust with visitors. When affiliate links are used properly, you’ll build even more trust with visitors. This means always directing them to Amazon products that are relevant to the topic at hand. Conversely, any attempts to deceive by pushing them to unrelated links or to untrustworthy products could hurt trust (and get you banned by Amazon), so be careful.
Next, retailers have to decide which affiliate network to use. The networks provide the back-end technology needed to operate an affiliate program: software that tracks which sales should be attributed to which affiliates; an easy way for affiliates to upload advertising banners and logos; accounting systems that debit a merchant’s account and issue payments to affiliates for their commissions. The networks typically charge merchants a flat fee of $500 a month or 20 to 30 percent of affiliate payments (whichever is higher).
General Rights. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, Company hereby grants to MA the right to advertise, market and sell to corporate users, government agencies and educational facilities (“Clients”) for their own internal language learning, soft skills and communication purposes only, and not for remarketing or redistribution, and not for use in a data center environment for multiple users Clients, unless otherwise agreed to by Company prior in writing, the Technology listed in Schedule A of this Agreement, and to sell and/or bundle Technology Maintenance for the Technology and to provide first line technical support and implementation services for the Technology in the territories listed in Schedule A of this Agreement, providing MA meets the criteria required for delivering services according to Schedule A.
(b) You will not sell, resell, redistribute, sublicense, or transfer any Program Content or any application that uses, incorporates, or displays any Program Content, PA API, or Data Feeds. For example, you will not use, or enable, or facilitate the use of Program Content on or within any application, platform, site, or service (including social networking sites) that requires you to sublicense or otherwise give any rights in or to any Program Content to any other person or entity, nor will you create links formatted with your Associates tag for, or display such links on, a site that is not your Site.

Here’s How To Do It For FREE – First you need a website, you have a lot of choices out there that you can use to host your website. There’s Weebly.com, WordPress.Com, Wix.Com and Yola.Com just to name a few. You can get started with their FREE plan so you can get to know their system but remember that the free version always has limitations and you need to find the one that works for you. As for me when I was starting out I also had to choose from among the many different platforms and it turns out the one that worked for me is the SiteRubix Platform where I got 2 FREE websites for life. It is not a free trial, it is yours for life.
PayPal Payments: Please refer to PayPal's policy to ensure you are eligible to receive payment if you reside outside of the United States https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_display-approved-signup-countries-outside. (PayPal payments will only be reissued within one hundred and twenty (120) days of the original issue date in the case of an incorrect PayPal address or refusal from PayPal to accept a payment.)

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.
We will provide all of the information necessary for you to make Links from your Affiliate Site to our site. FatCow will be solely responsible for order processing (including payment processing, cancellations, and refunds) for orders for FatCow Products and Services placed by a Referred Customer following a Link from your Affiliate Site, for tracking the volume and amount of Qualified Purchases generated by your Affiliate Site, and for providing information to Affiliates regarding Qualified Purchase statistics. FatCow will be solely responsible for all order processing, including but not limited to payment processing, cancellations, refunds and related FatCow service.
(d) You will not, without our express prior written approval, use any Product Advertising Content on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device (which prohibition apply neither to any site that is not designed or intended for use with such devices but that may be accessible by such devices, such as a non-mobile-optimized site accessed via an internet browser on a tablet device, nor an Approved Mobile Application as defined in the Participation Requirements or any television set-top box (e.g., digital video recorders, cable or satellite boxes, streaming video players, blu-ray players, or dvd players) or Internet-enabled television (e.g., GoogleTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Cast, or Vizio Internet Apps). 

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4.5 In the event of termination, the following shall apply: (i) you shall forthwith stop all marketing and promotional activities for the Sites and all rights and licenses granted to you under this Agreement shall forthwith terminate; (ii) you shall return all confidential and/or proprietary information and cease all use of Our Marks and Our Materials; (iii) we shall be entitled to leave open, redirect or deactivate any Trackers, as we may elect in the exercise of our sole discretion; (iv) save as provided to the contrary in this Agreement, we shall pay you due and outstanding commissions as at the effective date of termination but subject to all our rights of deduction and set-off and shall not be liable to you for any other payments and/or claims whatsoever.
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.
8.2 You hereby represent and warrant to us as follows: (i) this Agreement has been duly and validly executed by you and constitutes a legal, valid and binding obligation of you enforceable against you in its terms; (ii) the execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement by you and the consummation by you of the transactions contemplated hereby will not conflict or violate any provision of law, rule, regulation, or agreement to which you are subject and (iii) you are an adult of at least 18 years of age. You further represent that you have evaluated the laws relating to your activities and obligations hereunder and you independently concluded that you can enter this Agreement and fulfil your obligations hereunder without violating any applicable rule of law.
However, if you’re running an e-commerce site, conducting product testing and reviews, or offer Amazon product coupons, then you probably will want to use a WordPress Amazon affiliate theme. To be clear, these themes aren’t usually made specifically for Amazon affiliates. Instead, what you’ll want to look for are e-commerce or multi-purpose WordPress themes that are:
You further represent and warrant that: (i) you will ensure that you are compliant with any trade or regulatory requirements that may apply to your participation in the Affiliate Program (for example, by clearly stating you are a HubSpot Affiliate on any website(s) you own where you make an Affiliate Link available); (ii) you will accurately provide in the Affiliate Tool all websites and domains you own where you intend to use Affiliate Links to generate Affiliate Leads; (iii) you will not purchase ads that direct to your site(s) or through an Affiliate Link that could be considered as competing with HubSpot’s own advertising, including, but not limited to, our branded keywords; (iv) you will not participate in cookie stuffing or pop-ups, false or misleading links are strictly prohibited; (v) you will not attempt to mask the referring URL information; (vi) you will not use your own Affiliate Link to purchase HubSpot products for yourself.
I am new to this website and the funny thing is that l was looking for an objective analysis on starting an Amazon affiliate site. Your review on this issue is the BEST that i have ever seen in the last 3 years. This article was a joy to read. It was detailed, honest and very hard hitting especially when you are trying to get readers to understand that they MUST diversify their traffic sources and STOP relying on getting to first page on Google. As a result of reading your article l am changing my digital marketing services, affiliate marketing and , e-commerce strategy. I look forward to hearing new and innovative ideas from you on internet marketing. Keep up the great work!!!
With the global market creating opportunities for affiliate marketers, Nele Sharp from CJ Affiliate by Conversant touched on a number of ways publishers could capitalise on their global presence - such as identifying local consumers and finding relevant advertisers to work with while also doing your research on the location/region you’re targeting, including any laws or privacy disclosures.
Each affiliate is responsible for compliance with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including but not limited to, those laws pertaining to export control. By registering as an affiliate, you warrant that you are not a citizen or resident of a country designated as having Embargoed Nation Status and further, you also warrant that you are not on the list of Specially Designated Nationals or Blocked Persons maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department. The products and/or services are exported from the United States in accordance with the Export Administration Regulations. Diversion to other countries is contrary to U.S. law and is prohibited.

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.
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".
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

Building on last year’s inaugural edition of The Awin Report, the first, global definitive guide to the industry, this new and updated version for 2018 provides a fresh take on the market as it stands. Utilizing data and insights tracked across our 15 different markets, over 100,000 affiliate partners and 13,000 brands worldwide, this amounts to an invaluable guide for the modern marketer on affiliate marketing’s DNA.
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.
8.4. Affiliate shall not transmit any so-called “interstitials,” “Parasiteware™,” “Parasitic Marketing,” “Shopping Assistance Application,” “Toolbar Installations and/or Add-ons,” “Shopping Wallets” or “deceptive pop-ups and/or pop-unders” to consumers from the time the consumer clicks on a qualifying link until such time as the consumer has fully exited Merchant’s site (i.e., no page from our site or any Merchant.com’s content or branding is visible on the end-user’s screen). As used herein a. “Parasiteware™” and “Parasitic Marketing” shall mean an application that (a) through accidental or direct intent causes the overwriting of affiliate and non affiliate commission tracking cookies through any other means than a customer initiated click on a qualifying link on a web page or email; (b) intercepts searches to redirect traffic through an installed software, thereby causing, pop ups, commission tracking cookies to be put in place or other commission tracking cookies to be overwritten where a user would under normal circumstances have arrived at the same destination through the results given by the search (search engines being, but not limited to, Google, MSN, Yahoo, Overture, AltaVista, Hotbot and similar search or directory engines); (c) set commission tracking cookies through loading of Merchant site in IFrames, hidden links and automatic pop ups that open Merchant.com’s site; (d) targets text on web sites, other than those web sites 100% owned by the application owner, for the purpose of contextual marketing; (e) removes, replaces or blocks the visibility of Affiliate banners with any other banners, other than those that are on web sites 100% owned by the owner of the application.
4.5 In the event of termination, the following shall apply: (i) you shall forthwith stop all marketing and promotional activities for the Sites and all rights and licenses granted to you under this Agreement shall forthwith terminate; (ii) you shall return all confidential and/or proprietary information and cease all use of Our Marks and Our Materials; (iii) we shall be entitled to leave open, redirect or deactivate any Trackers, as we may elect in the exercise of our sole discretion; (iv) save as provided to the contrary in this Agreement, we shall pay you due and outstanding commissions as at the effective date of termination but subject to all our rights of deduction and set-off and shall not be liable to you for any other payments and/or claims whatsoever.
f) If it proves impossible to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution through online mediation, we agree to submit the dispute to binding arbitration at the following location: for legal actions or proceedings between the Program Operator and you, in Anchorage, AK, USA under the commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association. Judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitration may be entered in any court with jurisdiction to do so.

As a smart merchant, the first step towards business growth is to integrate a streamlined affiliate marketing program that frees your time and saves on business expenses. Finding affordable advertising online can be like walking through a maze. With a plethora of advertising options available, you can easily get distracted and lose your advertising dollars. Conversely, traditional online-advertising methods only offer one-time efforts. Learn More

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.
Robey is particularly rankled by the distinction between “beauty” and “luxury beauty” — a difference between a 6 and 10 percent commission under the new system. Almost none of the products she covers are grouped in Amazon’s luxury beauty category, although she considers many of them luxury goods. The result is a major incentive to write about brands in the favored category, although Robey says she won’t change the products she writes about.
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.
While every affiliate program is different, you are less likely to be hit by a ban hammer in the affiliate space than in the Adsense space.  In general, affiliate networks can be a bit more lenient with their terms of services. You also have the benefit that many networks are hosting the same offers, so if one does ban you, you can usually replace that income with the new network offer.
And of course I had an adorable picture of a puppy as the image. I also only targeted people over the age of 25 who live in the United States that own a dog and also “like” an animal shelter (I chose about 50 different shelters to target). And that’s how I got 25,000 followers at under 1 cent per like. Those 25,000 people can be marketed to over and over and over again with my Amazon Associates affiliate program link.
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!
Still haven’t made any money on my aforementioned website I was talking about above. However, I started another website and I AM making money with that. Two very different niches lol. The one I am making money with will HAVE to be a higher amount eventually, but I am happy to be making money at all because I have tried this whole affiliate thing for years and never made ANY money. So selling $300 worth of stuff and making $35 makes me ecstatic lol
i) The Program Operator may transfer any rights or responsibility that it may have to any person or entity whatsoever. Nothing herein shall alter or encumber the right of the Program Operator to transfer any such rights or responsibilities. Any transfer by the Program Operator shall cause this agreement, and any other agreement then in effect (as well as any other contract between you and the transferring party) to transfer simultaneously, all without permission.
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.
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).
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.
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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