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.

Affiliate marketing allows you to recommend products and services from other companies and be paid a commission if someone buys the product as the result of your recommendation. To track which purchases happens as a result of your recommendation(s), the merchant will provide you with a special link to use when linking to their website that contains a unique referral code assigned to you. If people click that unique link, and buy the product or service within a specified timeframe (the timeframe varies depending on the merchant), you get a commission on the sale.
There’s no need to be intimidated by the cons noted above. Every affiliate program comes with them as does any working relationship you enter into with a well-known brand. Think of Amazon like Google: their top priority is keeping customers happy. Without their continued satisfaction, they wouldn’t be in business and you wouldn’t have an affiliate program to take advantage of, so they need to ensure you don’t abuse the terms of use.
The affiliate marketing industry is somewhat unique in the transparency of many of its members. There’s a general willingness to share experiences, including both successes and failures. Below are some of the most in-depth and useful interviews and tutorials put together by affiliate marketers who put in the hard work to build up a profitable affiliate operation (in some cases, more than once):
Chris, I am glad you have had good fortune with amazon, I think I have chosen the wrong niche, it appears to be very competitive, I have had my site for 4 mo, and have made zero, however, it may not be all bad, I still work on content, and I do get indexing, however, I am at a loss on how to find keywords on ranking content; If I could find this out, then I could do some seo on any LSI keywords. I do agree about having a nice looking website, I paid far much less then you did, and I think I turned out with a site that looks very nice; If visitors do not think you are legit, or if you content looks like trash, then the will bounce before you can blink. I think once I can find those magic LSI keywords and rank them, then I think things will turn around, as I have also invested quite a bit up until this point.

My favorite part of the article was the part on growth stategies, specifically Earnings Per Clicks (EPC’s) I am a “Newbie Norm” to affiliate marketing and am looking for products using this as one of my metrics for evaluation. Another metric that could be helpful, especially with Clickbank, is Gravity, which is the number of affiliates making and selling a product offer within the last 30 days (I believe).

And recent Ad and Commerce Operations job postings by the company state that the position entails “develop[ing] interesting new revenue sources for the company, helping to expand our successful e-commerce campaigns (which have driven approximately $160m in sales to partners)” and include the notation that “experience with commerce-oriented ad APIs (e.g., Amazon Product Advertising API)” is something that’s nice for applicants to have.
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.
It is the intent of FatCow to treat all of our customers fairly. Accordingly, we require all FatCow Affiliates to comply with applicable laws, regulations and guidelines concerning advertising and marketing, including without limitation, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Endorsement Guides, which require that material connections between advertisers and endorsers be disclosed. This means that all Affiliate Sites (e.g. directories, review/rating websites, blogs, and other websites) and any email or collateral that provide an endorsement or assessment of FatCow’s Products and Services must prominently disclose the fact that you receive compensation for Referred Customers.
Longtime affiliate marketer and co-founder of Shareist Scott Jangro suspects that Gawker Media’s Amazon widgets are custom-built. “It looks like they’ve built a system allowing them to capture data that gives them full-circle reporting on what’s getting bought, through which page, and possibly even by user,” he told me. “Showing a count of purchased products for social proof is just one of the many things they can do with this data.”
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.
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.
first off, show visitors that you have a great site by getting a better theme! You did not get a penalty because of affiliate content, nor have I ever heard of, however, I have heard of sites in the past getting penalty for having do follow links to affiliate programs such as amazon, remember, google does not like you giving credit to a site in exchange for receiving paid compensation, so ask yourself, are your external links nofollow? this may also include any buttons/graphics that link to affiliate sites that do not have a no follow attribute, not going to go to much into this, so I am going to assume your content is ok, if it is, then you need to check your link portfolio; maybe you have too many low quality links and/or you may have over-optimized anchor/text in your link building efforts; bad links, over optimization are common link issues that could cause your site to get a penalty, as it is not about what you are writing about, if all else fails, then hire seo consultant for an entire site autdit, they will go through your site tooth and nail, and see why you have lost your rankings. good luck.

Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The email they sent to affiliates said, "We have received feedback from associates that the advertising fee structure could be made clearer, especially with respect to understanding which products are in fixed-fee categories and which products are in tiered-fee categories. These changes simplify the fee structure, clearly defining the advertising fees you can earn by referring traffic to Amazon."
This was early 2013 and Facebook had kicked into high-gear. So Henry tried his hand at Facebook ads. And it was a hit. He was able to reach the right people and pack the nightclub. Shortly after, he sold it for a big profit. But it was then that he realized how he could combine the power of advertising and affiliate marketing to really take things to the next level.
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.
You want to convince the reader to investigate their purchase options by the time they finish reading an article, which is why I’ll always include links to all of the products mentioned in a review at the end of the article. That way it’s an easy transition from learning about the product during your review and then at the end it’s time to make a purchase.

Meeting the standard can be complicated enough if you are running direct linking campaigns as an affiliate. It becomes even more complex if you are building an email list or running another complex funnel that requires you to collect personal information. Make sure you have a simple way of collecting data reports and deletion requests so you can respond in a timely manner.
8.1. You represent and warrant that (a) you have the authority to enter into this Agreement and sufficient rights to grant any licenses expressed herein, and (b) any material displayed on your Site will not: (i) infringe on any third party's copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary rights or right of publicity or privacy; (ii) violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance or regulation; (iii) be defamatory or libelous; (iv) be lewd, pornographic or obscene; (v) violate any laws regarding unfair competition, anti-discrimination or false advertising; (vi) promote violence or contain hate speech; (vii) promote discrimination based on race, age, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or disability; (viii) contain viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other similar harmful or deleterious programming routines' or (ix) otherwise constitutes an "unsuitable Site" as determined by Brian Tracy in accordance with the terms outlined in the Section 1 above titled "Participation in the Program."
Marketing Plan. MA shall submit an annual marketing plan to Company outlining, among other things, activities and staffing directed at attaining mutually agreed upon annual sales quotas. The Annual Quota is defined in Schedule A of this Agreement. The annual marketing plan shall be devised solely by MA and MA shall not be required to follow an operating plan, standard procedure, training manual, or its substantial equivalent, published by Company.
Thanks for your point for point description of what has worked for you. You have certainly given credibility to testing your results. Doing the technical aspect of setting the structured sites and e-mail marketing has been challenging for me. You have clearly described how the more sales you make your percentage goes up and you make more money. Apparently there are tested formulas that work for Amazon sales and getting people to Amazon sounds like a winner.

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).

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.
In a nutshell, affiliate programs pay you for referring clients their way. All you have to do is include recommendations for specific products on your site, and you’ll earn a small commission on any sales generated by people who click on the links you provide. Affiliate programs provide you with an easy way to monetize your site, especially if it’s aimed at a niche audience that is likely to be interested in specific kinds of products.
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.
11.7. Equitable Relief. The parties agree that any breach of either of the party's obligations regarding trademarks, service marks or trade names, confidentiality, links or the removal of links, and/or user data may result in irreparable injury for which there may be no adequate remedy at law. Therefore, in the event of any breach or threatened breach of a party's obligations regarding trademarks, service marks or trade names, confidentiality, links or the removal of links, and/or user data, the aggrieved party will be entitled to seek equitable relief in addition to its other available legal remedies in a court of competent jurisdiction.
Many publishers present affiliate links in the same way others would run display ads on their site. Below is a screenshot from SugarRae.com, a popular affiliate marketing blog. Notice that the right rail is labeled as “Advertisement” and includes two ads (one for Raven and the other for Genesis). These look like banner ads, but they’re actually affiliate links–in the form of an image, not text. To most viewers, there’s very little distinction between a banner ad and an affiliate link here, but the compensation structure of course matters to the affiliate and the publisher.
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.
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.
Authoritative figures in an industry also participate in affiliate marketing. In England, Martin Lewis, aka the Money Saving Expert, recommends hundreds of financial products across his site for things like credit cards, loans and insurance. When he recommends a financial product, he includes a link to where you can apply or obtain it. And with some products exclusive to him and his site, it is no surprise that his company sold for over $100 million in 2012. Lewis sends out weekly emails filled with money-saving tips and deals, also filled with affiliate links.
Access more than a hundred courses on various aspects of Amazon, ClickBank, Affiliate Marketing and related domains on Skillshare, by simply subscribing to the platform at nearly zero cost. The best part is that you are not charged until a few months, so you can test things out and cancel subscription at any point if you want. The courses here include techniques on how to drive traffic to your website for free, how to use Instagram for promoting Amazon Products, how to run an Affiliate Business and a lot more.
The great thing is, you don't have to deliver a generic email because you do actually know a few things about your visitor and what they want. So you can send an email that says something like “Thanks for sharing what your needs are in a gas grill! We hope our personal recommendation was a winner, but if not click here to read our full guide to buying the right gas grill.” 

Smaller and newer e-commerce businesses often find this practice especially appealing (although Amazon.com uses it, too). Unlike pay-per-click advertising, which charges merchants every time someone clicks on a link to their site, affiliate marketing costs nothing unless there is a sale — at which point a commission, typically between 4 and 20 percent, is paid. It has become an essential part of the online marketing toolbox, generating fees that Forrester Research projects will reach $3.4 billion next year.
Hey Chris – great post. Just a question – We have got about 80 stores affiliated to Amazon Associates. As I understand from your article, it appears that the blog site is a foundation for making a successful Amazon Income. In this regard, we don’t have a blog site but we just have those stores (websites) which have a show case of products. What do you think the strategy would be to drive sales? Of course, we have got Social Media Marketing currently in place. 

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.
I’m trying to create 4-5 awesome blog posts for my initial launch. Don’t worry about publishing these all at once. This just gives Google more time to crawl these pages and bookmark them for future Google Searches. After that, I’ll create a new post weekly or bi-weekly. Honestly whatever feels better with my time constraints. Either way, quality blog posts are better with Amazon Affiliate Websites.
LongTail Pro has proven to be an indispensable asset when it comes to keyword research for me and my colleagues.I personally have been using the service for a while now, and have found over time that the data it gives around keywords tend to be more accurate than the other keyword tools on the market. I also introduced the LongTailPro to my colleagues who previously had been using other solutions, and now they absolutely swear by it! It is the go-to tool for keyword research at our agency. I highly recommend it.
The website in his example is “techgearlab.com“. If you noticed, most of the article content in that website has the word “Best” in it plus the “Product Name They Are Promoting” and the “Current Year” as well. For example: “The Best Home Wireless Speakers Of 2018” and there is also another corresponding article for it which is “How To Choose A Home Wireless Speaker“.
Cost per click was more common in the early days of affiliate marketing but has diminished in use over time due to click fraud issues very similar to the click fraud issues modern search engines are facing today. Contextual advertising programs are not considered in the statistic pertaining to the diminished use of cost per click, as it is uncertain if contextual advertising can be considered affiliate marketing.

Option 2: Payment by Amazon Gift Card. We will send you gift cards in the amount of the fees you earn to the primary email address on your Associates account. These gift cards are redeemable for products on the Amazon Site the fees were earned on and are subject to our then-current gift card terms and conditions. If you select this option, we reserve the right to hold fees until the total amount due to reaches the minimum stated in the Payment Minimum Chart.
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.

Although I am an “uber-experienced newbie” in the Internet Marketing world, I was an Amazon-phobic, having been only familiar (and seen some success) with ClickBank products, not venturing into anything outside CB. The low commissions and lack of knowledge on how to correctly promote the products and inner workings of their affiliate program was another deterrent in getting started.
Thanks for your point for point description of what has worked for you. You have certainly given credibility to testing your results. Doing the technical aspect of setting the structured sites and e-mail marketing has been challenging for me. You have clearly described how the more sales you make your percentage goes up and you make more money. Apparently there are tested formulas that work for Amazon sales and getting people to Amazon sounds like a winner.

2.2 "Qualifying Link" means a BTI link from your Email or Site to Brian Tracy International's Site using one of the Required URLs or any other URL or graphic link provided by BTI for use in the Program. A Qualifying Link or "Linking Materials" shall be defined as hyperlinks, buttons, banners or other user interface established by BTI for your Emails or Web site.
Each affiliate is responsible for selecting the payment processor, through which to receive their commissions/referral fees, from the payment processors supported by the Program Operator. If you elect a payment processor through which to receive your commissions and you later terminate the account or the account becomes unavailable for any reason, the Program Operator is not responsible for your not receiving the money. Each affiliate is responsible for always maintaining the payment processor through which they receive their commissions/referral fees OR selecting an alternate method of payment supported by the Program Operator. This election is entirely made by the affiliate and the Program Operator assumes no responsibility for non-receipt of payments made according to the payment processor elected by the affiliate, or the affiliate’s lack of ability to then conform to the payment processors or processes supported by the the Program Operator. The Program Operator assumes no responsibility for an affiliate not electing a payment processor. If an affiliate fails to elect a payment processor, any sums due will be paid via check and any fees applicable to payments by check or bank draft will be deducted.
Amazon runs one of the largest affiliate programs around, called Amazon Associates. You can become part of the program as long as your website already has some content (about five or ten posts). Bear in mind that once you’ve applied, it can take a few days to be approved. Once your account is ready, you can start to focus on building an effective website.
5. Payment Options – Amazon pays their affiliates in a number of ways. One of the things that I like is that they give you the option to be paid in products instead of cash. I don’t do this every month (I couldn’t spend that $20,000+ a year at Amazon… well maybe I could) but occasionally do and use it as prizes for blog readers. I recently offered DPS readers $500 of Amazon products in a forum signup competition. The prize is paid for out of my affiliate earnings. 

(g) include any trademark of Amazon or its affiliates, or a variant or misspelling of a trademark of Amazon or its affiliates in any domain name, subdomain name, in any “tag” or Associates ID, or in any username, group name, or other identifier on any social networking site (see a non-exhaustive list of our trademarks listed on our Non-Exhaustive Trademark Table); or
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.

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!!!


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.
To begin the enrollment process, you must submit a complete and accurate Associates Program application. Your Site(s) must contain original content and be publicly available via the website address provided in the application. You must identify your Site(s) in your application. We will evaluate your application and notify you of its acceptance or rejection. Your Site will not be eligible for inclusion in the Associates Program, and you cannot include any Special Links or Product Advertising Content on it, if your Site is unsuitable. Unsuitable Sites include those that:

That might be why many people liken marketing anything as an affiliate to more like waging a war than living on easy street. The truth is that it isn't easy by any measure. It takes time. And you can't buy into all the hype. However, by keeping a few principles and steps in mind, you too can dominate in the world of affiliate marketing and earn money while you sleep. The trick? Stay persistent and don't give up.

Thanks for sharing your experience. It was a real eye-opener for me. I am new to affiliate marketing and am looking for ways to make a steady income. Your affiliate program seems to fit my needs. If you have the time email me with your affiliate link to signup and I hope you can help me get started the right way. Any assistance would be greatly appreciate. Be Blessed.
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.
×