Amazing and thorough breakdown of how it all works! Thank you so much for sharing! a group of 3 friends myself + 2 are about to start affiliate marketing together. Since many advertising rules have changed with affiliate marketing (facebook ads etc.) and many articles have not been updated since, weʻd love any advice or suggestions you have for 2018!

Except as agreed between you and us in a separate written agreement referencing this Section 5, you will not use any Program Content or Special Link, or otherwise link to an Amazon Site, on or in connection with: (a) any client-side software application (e.g., a browser plug-in, helper object, toolbar, extension, component, or any other application executable or installable by an end user) on any device, including computers, mobile phones, tablets, or other handheld devices (other than Approved Mobile Applications); or (b) 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).


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.
You must use both a unique public key/private key pair (each key pair, an “Account Identifier”) and an Associates tag parameter (which can be either the Associate ID issued to you under the Amazon Associates Program or a related Associates Program tracking ID) to identify your account and make calls to PA API. You may obtain your Account Identifiers through PA API account creation process.

4.4. You acknowledge that your entitlement to any compensation reported with respect to any tracked or reported activity is solely a function of the terms of your agreement with BTI and that BTI is solely responsible for its payment. The fact that a compensation amount is reported for any tracked activity does not necessarily mean that a payment is due to you from BTI, since payment may be subject to conditions established by BTI, including policies regarding order cancellation, returned merchandise, receipt of pending credit card authorizations and minimums for earned compensation before payment is made. All determinations of Qualifying Links and the compensation due to you shall be final and binding.
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.
The easiest way to find affiliate programs to promote is to check if the people selling products and services you love have an affiliate program – assuming those products and services would be relevant to the visitors to your blog or website. There are also multiple ways to find new quality products or services to promote to your audience based on their interests. You'll find more information on how to do this here.
(v) You will not cloak, hide, spoof, or otherwise obscure the URL of your Site containing Special Links (including by use of Redirecting Links) or the user agent of the application in which Program Content is displayed or used such that we cannot reasonably determine the site or application from which a customer clicks through such Special Link to an Amazon Site. 

Amazon has already made similar adjustments in many overseas markets. In 2015, the company moved its European affiliate program to a category-based structure, and according to the affiliate management firm GeniusLink, the result was more of a subtle chill than a freeze-out. “There’s definitely some pain as a result of it,” says GeniusLink CEO Jesse Lakes, “but we haven’t had a single client who stopped doing business because of the new payout structure.”

On the flip side, the new changes announced could help newbies or new sites make larger profits from the start in categories such as apparel and home improvement. Instead of having to sell enough volume to get to the next tier in pay, new sites will instantly start at a higher commission rate regardless of how many products they are actually selling. Of course, this only applies if the new site chooses the correct categories that offer the best commission percentages.
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. 

Great article as always. As far as finding the right keyword phrases, what I’ve always been unsure of is where and how often do we use these keywords? In your example, “sleeping bags under $100,” would I place that in my post titles and/ or content? How often is ideal to still make it look natural? Could I use that keyword phrase again on other articles/ reviews? Thanks for what you do.
Discounts and Coupons. You are not allowed to post any refunds, credits or discounts on the FatCow Products and Services, or other content concerning FatCow without FatCow’s prior written consent in each instance. Affiliates may only use coupons and discounts that are provided exclusively through the Affiliate Program using banners and links. Each Link connecting users of the Affiliate Site to the pertinent area of the FatCow website will in no way alter the look, feel, or functionality of the FatCow website. Any violations of the terms surrounding links, coupons, refunds, credits or discounts shall constitute a material breach of this Agreement, and may result in your termination from the Affiliate Program or the withholding of Commission Fees
You are solely responsible for the development, operation, and maintenance of your Affiliate Site and for all materials that appear on your Affiliate Site. Such responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the technical operation of your Affiliate Site and all related equipment; creating and posting product reviews, descriptions, and references on your Affiliate Site and linking those descriptions to our website; the accuracy of materials posted on your Affiliate Site (including, but not limited to, all materials related to FatCow Products and Services); ensuring that materials posted on your Affiliate Site do not violate or infringe upon the rights of any third party and are not libelous or otherwise illegal. We disclaim all liability and responsibility for such matters 

(g) You will not, and will not attempt to (i) modify, alter, tamper with, repair, or otherwise create derivative works of the Specifications or any software included in Product Advertising Content; or (ii) reverse engineer, disassemble, decompile (except to the extent such right cannot be excluded or limited by law and then only when our express permission has been sought and refused), or otherwise derive any source code of or relating to PA API, Data Feeds, or any software included in Product Advertising Content.
The Program Operator may also terminate this agreement at any time, and for any reason, by writing to affiliate at the email address listed in the affiliate’s Profile, with 30 days notice. the Program Operator may transfer this agreement to any party whatsoever, at any time, and this agreement shall remain in full force and effect, without notice to affiliate. However, if this agreement should terminate for cause due to violation of this agreement or the Terms and Conditions, this agreement shall terminate immediately and affiliate shall forfeit all right to any commissions then due.
I offer a ton of free resources, tips, guides and tutorials here on my website that can help you get started in affiliate marketing – and help you find success with it. While there are plenty of paid training programs out there, you need to be careful. Some of the people who create these programs make their money by selling the dream and not through doing true affiliate marketing for products or services outside of selling you the dream. That's not to say there are not some good training programs out there - but buyer beware. For now, I'd recommend you start with my free information here on my website – and to sign up for my free weekly newsletter here.
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.

Unless otherwise stated in an Offer Addendum, we will pay you referral fees on a monthly basis. Approximately thirty (30) days following the end of each month, we (or our designee, InfusionSoft) will send you a check for the referral fees earned on Qualifying Product revenues for that month, less any returns and canceled orders. However, if the referral fees payable to you for any month are less than $25.00, we will hold those referral fees until the total amount due is at least $25.00 or (if earlier) until this Agreement is terminated.
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.

My question which I don’t see addressed anywhere. How do you feel about letting your traffic know they will be clicking through to Amazon. Right now we are just using “click here for details and current price” which sets our cookie. However, I had an Amazon rep tell me we would do better by letting the visitors know where they are going. I have never tested that. Have you?

4.4 In the event that you account with us is inactive, this Agreement will automatically terminate. Your account will be deemed inactive and this Agreement will terminate and your participation in our Affiliate program automatically cease if: (i) you have not generated the Minimum Commission during a period of 3 consecutive months; (ii) you have failed to respond to any verification mails sent to you within a reasonable time. Upon automatic termination, any commissions due to you shall revert to us.
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).
Would like begin by pointing out the super ratings. Great feedback to the course all over and is a brilliant no nonsense course. Among other things that it teaches, you will learn where to find hosting for $5 or less, how to install WordPress, choosing correct theme for your e-store, changing theme and design of your store to desired look & feel and of course goes in depth to teach and train you on the part of developing your Amazon Affiliate Business. Whether or not you no coding, you can take this course up and that is the beauty of it.
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).
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.
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.
All commissions are calculated based on the net transaction. In other words, all payment processor fees are first deducted from the sums collected from the customer. Then, all payment processor fees are deducted. The remaining amount is a commissionable sale. The commission rate listed on the website is then applied to determine the amount due the affiliate. Any sums paid for payment processor fees are not commissionable. The Program Operator may also charge a per transaction fee for every transaction processed. In the event that a per transaction fee is applied, the amount of the fee can be seen on the website. Any such fee is not commissionable and is also deducted from the sums paid by the customer, prior to the calculation of any commission.
Once you’re financially stable, I hope you start giving back. It feels good and people like the idea of supporting a good cause (they will be more likely to click your affiliate link in your disclaimer). This also means you don’t have to use as many links in your content and risk getting a penalized. Last year I donated $3,000 to Red Cross At Hurricane Harvey.
(a) Promotional Materials. Amazon may from time to time provide you with a standard form template and other marketing assets for use in promotional marketing materials (“Promotional Materials”), subject to the limited license in Section 4(b) of this policy. Amazon reserves the right to review your Promotional Materials at any time for compliance with this Local Associates Policy. Any failure by you to provide the Promotional Materials in accordance with our request will constitute a material breach of this Local Associates Policy.
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“.
“…disclosing on your Site accurately and adequately, either through a privacy policy or otherwise, how you collect, use, store, and disclose data collected from visitors, including, where applicable, that third parties (including us and other advertisers) may serve content and advertisements, collect information directly from visitors, and place or recognize cookies on visitors’ browsers.”
You may have noticed in my overview of the Amazon Associates site that I left out the mention of the plugin they built for WordPress. That’s because the plugin doesn’t work (at least not well). Luckily, the Amazon Auto Links plugin will simplify the process of finding new and relevant products to promote and creating affiliate links to them--all from within WordPress.

There is no warranty or guarantee of any kind with respect to the Program Operator system as far as reliability, stability, quality or dependability. This means that the Program Operator, or its associates is not responsible for any loss or damage incurred directly or indirectly due to the use of the Program Operator website, products, services, or any other facet of the system. This shall include, but is not limited to, any system malfunction, period of being inoperative or unavailable, loss of data or discontinuation of service, other inconveniences.

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.
(b) displaying Special Links and Program Content on your Site in compliance with the Agreement, all applicable laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, orders, licenses, permits, guidelines, codes of practice, industry standards, self-regulatory rules, judgments, decisions, or other requirements of any applicable governmental authority, including those related to disclosures (for example, if applicable, the U.S. FTC Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising) and electronic marketing, data protection and privacy (for example, if applicable, the Directive 2002/58/EC (Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive), and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679), and any agreement between you and any other person or entity (including any restrictions or requirements placed on you by any person or entity that hosts your Site),
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[14] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[9]

(f) You will not (i) interfere, or attempt to interfere, in any manner with the functionality or proper working of PA API; (ii) compile or use Product Advertising Content for the purpose of direct marketing, spamming, unsolicited contacting of sellers or customers, or other advertising activities; or (iii) remove, obscure, alter, or make invisible, illegible, or indecipherable, any notice, including any notice of intellectual property or proprietary right, appearing on or contained within PA API, Data Feeds, Product Advertising Content, or Specifications.
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.
From time to time, we may run general special programs or promotions that may provide all or some Associates the opportunity to earn additional or alternative fees (“Special Program Fees”). For the avoidance of doubt (and notwithstanding any time period described in this section), Amazon reserves the right to discontinue or modify all or part of any special program or promotion at any time. Unless stated otherwise, all such special programs or promotions (even those which do not involve purchases of Products) are subject to disqualifying exclusions substantially similar to those identified in Section 2 of this Fee Statement, and any restriction under the Program Documents applicable to a Product purchase will also apply on a substantially similar basis as restrictions for special programs or promotions.
(g) You will not offer any person or entity any consideration, reward, or incentive (including any money, rebate, discount, points, donation to charity or other organization, or other benefit) for using Special Links. For example, you cannot implement any “rewards” or loyalty program that incentivizes persons or entities to visit an Amazon Site via your Special Links.
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.
In no event will either party be liable to the other party for any direct, indirect, special, exemplary, consequential or incidental damages arising from or related to this Agreement or the Program, even if informed of the possibility of such damages. Further, neither party's aggregate liability arising from this Agreement and the Program shall exceed the total referral fees paid or payable to you under this Agreement.
Hands down I’d say the best thing you can do is research 1 primary keyword, craft an enticing article title that includes your keyword (though it doesn’t have to be an exact match), spend time writing your search engine snippets (SEO titles/meta descriptions), and by far the most important is making your content as VALUABLE as possible through videos, nice graphics, table of contents, bold/colors/styling, etc. Small things like keyword density barely matter.
The one thing to be aware of with WordPress Amazon affiliate plugins is that you don’t want to use one that offers link cloaking. This is a method used to protect affiliates from a threat known as affiliate link hijacking. However, Amazon expressly forbids the cloaking of their links, so you’ll want to avoid plugins that do that or always be sure to disable that functionality if they give you the option.
There is another opportunity out there for the savvy Amazon FBA owner, or even e-commerce store owner, as this Amazon update rolls out industry wide. That advantage is the ability to strategically acquire Amazon affiliate sites that are related to your niche. When you do this, you are basically buying traffic at a discount since these Amazon sites will dip in their earnings, and thus value, while still keeping the same amount of traffic.
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.
Some merchants run their own (in-house) affiliate programs using dedicated software, while others use third-party intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates. There are two different types of affiliate management methods used by merchants: standalone software or hosted services, typically called affiliate networks. Payouts to affiliates or publishers can be made by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network, consolidated across all merchants where the publisher has a relationship with and earned commissions or directly by the merchant itself.
But of course there is more to it than that. Most people doing affiliate marketing are doing it in an aggressive way that when you look at what they are offering, you can immediately tell that they are only doing it for the sake of earning a commission. While that may be the ultimate goal, it may not be the proper way of building a relationship with your customer. It is best to provide them descriptive, informative and helpful solutions so that they feel that what they are getting into is something beneficial to them.
I also show off some of my live income generating websites inside the course and the more people that see them the more likely it is for those niches to be burned out. So I’d rather charge for access to step by step information and access to live example websites I have up and running that are making money so people can examine them and apply what they’ve learned to other niches.
2. Performance of Work.� Agent shall be solely liable for the performance of the requested services.� The Company reserves the right to monitor Affiliate�s performance so as to verify that the Agent is performing its obligations in accordance to the terms and conditions herein. Company may ask, from time-to-time, Affiliate to provide records and documentation regarding Affiliate�s performance
Affiliate marketing is an internet marketing business model where a person earns a commission based on sales or website visits they have a direct influence on. Different businesses offer different affiliate programs. Some pay a commission for each sale a person sends them while others pay for click throughs to their website. Generally, most pay based on sales.
The people that you refer too did not master amazon, they merely mastered the value they offer to visitors. If you are able to engage/connect with visitors, then you got a winner, some people merely have better skills then others, which may include offering high value content, coding/custom skills. Do you agree that these people brought something to the table? If they did not, then visitors would not continue to visit their sites, right? You can put up all the content in the world, you can get all the backlinks you want, but if you can not engage/connect with your visitors, then all is lost. These site most likely did not start off with custom sites; they started off just like everyone else, some rag/tag site. I ran across an affiliate site a few months ago, and the content on his site would just blow your mind, and let me tell you,this guy had affiliate links from all major affiliate networks, his site has so much authority that he is listed right up under amazon, and some actual product manufacturers; how did he do this? He brought solutions, and value to his visitors, he knew what they were looking for, and knows how to engage, and connect with them. If you can not figure out how to blow your visitors mind, then what do you really have to offer? His avg reviews were between 7k-10k words? how about you? 500-1000 words? at the end of the day, which site will google find more impressive, yours, or his, and i assure you, he had far more affiliate links on his site then you have on yours as you could not skip-a-paragraph without seeing affiliate links.
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