(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
I would think valuation is just going to have to be based on what the sites earn post-change. I don’t know if Amazon’s associate account allows you to see the detailed breakdown (i.e. commission detail) of what categories all of your affiliates sales are coming from or not. Once that segment of your traffic clicks through to Amazon, they could buy anything and you get a commission on it. They won’t necessarily be buying a items that you are promoting/reviewing on your site.
While these models have diminished in mature e-commerce and online advertising markets they are still prevalent in some more nascent industries. China is one example where Affiliate Marketing does not overtly resemble the same model in the West. With many affiliates being paid a flat "Cost Per Day" with some networks offering Cost Per Click or CPM.

This could leave many once competitive niches with a lot more gaps for you to build and leverage into with your niche sites. While we don’t believe we’ll see a mass exodus from Amazon Associates (Even with the currently grumbling about the changes online), some niches may be more affected by this than others so it may pay to look for gaps in the market.
Skimlinks is something of a master affiliate network. Their technology allows them to check the links on a participating publisher’s page, cross-reference that with their database of 20,000+ affiliate programs and see if the site being linked to by the publisher has an affiliate program. If it does, Skimlinks automatically affiliates the link for you and credits you with any commissions resulting from the link.

MozBar – MozBar is a Google Chrome extension that lets you Google any keyword and see how competitive the search results are. The higher the DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority) the more competitive the keyword is. However you still want to click on the top results and browse the content to make sure you can creating an article/video that is better than whoever’s in the top results. That is really what “researching the competition” is all about.
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."
These strategic buys can lead to new insightful data as well. You will see other products within your niche that the audience is prone to buy, which can help you in deciding to launch your next product. Also, each of these sites can become little satellite sites that can collect emails for your overall brand. This strategy is not at all new, and Jon Haver from Authority Website Income has already written a detailed post about the concept here.
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.
Affiliate marketers cannot assume that they are immune from these new standards, even though they are not the final brand the customer is interacting with. They must be transparent about using any third-party tracking software to collect personally identifiable information on customers, including IP addresses. They need to be required to delete these entries from CPVLab, Prosper or other third-party tracking solutions they use.
It might be tempting to start recommending a variety of products that spark your interest on your website, but this isn’t the key to success. Very few affiliate sites find success without first picking a niche. For example, TheWireCutter.com focuses on in-depth product reviews of electronics and techie gadgets. HostingAdvice.com provides helpful reviews about hosting companies and related products.
(e) 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, and providing information on the visitor’s choices with respect to opting-out from online advertising where required by applicable law, and
Referral fees aren’t just for the products you recommend. Perhaps the coolest thing about the Amazon Associates program is that you receive credit for any sale associated with your affiliate link for 24 hours. So, if a customer visits the page of the product you recommended, but then goes on to purchase five more eligible items during that same visit, you will receive a portion of that entire sale.

There’s also a very direct and logical tie-in for affiliates; these sites inherently cater to, and attract, visitors who are in the market for a product or set of products (ideally at a discounted rate). It’s the goal of the companies that make these products to get as many people as possible to clip their coupons and eventually make a purchase; so they make affiliate payments to coupon sites who are able to help them achieve this goal.

Compliance with law. Each party shall separately comply with its obligations under Applicable Data Protection Law and this Addendum when processing Personal Data.  Neither party shall be responsible for the other party's compliance with Applicable Data Protection Law. In particular, each party shall be individually responsible for ensuring that its processing of the Personal Data is lawful, fair and transparent, and shall make available to data subjects a privacy statement that fulfils the requirements of Applicable Data Protection Law.


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. 

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.
i. You will use Product Advertising Content only in a lawful manner in accordance with and within the express scope of the terms of this License. You will not use PA API, Data Feeds, or Product Advertising Content with any site or application, or in any other manner, that does not have the principal purpose of advertising and marketing an Amazon Site and driving sales of products and services on an Amazon Site.

Use Deep Links – these are pages on your affiliate’s website that AREN’T the homepage. For SiteGround’s hosting I link a lot to their speed technology page as an affiliate link. If you’re doing Amazon’s affiliate program you just want to gather a list of products you will be recommending to readers, create an affiliate link for each one, and import them to the plugin.


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.
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.
Still, as Amazon shifts its attention to new ventures in streaming and personal assistant hardware, many see it as an ominous sign for the affiliate program. “Amazon has done such a great job taking all their profit and dumping it back in to their business. And investors are now asking Amazon to show a profit,” says Lakes. “I’m not surprised that they’re whittling a few percent here and there.”
When you are attracting traffic to your site, you become a "publisher" and can reach out to different companies (known as merchants) and market their products. They will typically give you a tracked affiliate link, which looks a bit longer than a normal link and has a reference on it, known as a b tag. Most affiliates have a login and a network where you can see your clicks and conversions. Big players in the industry include admitad, CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction), Awin and Rakuten, and they have access to thousands of companies looking to promote products and thousands of companies looking to sell them.
You will earn the Special Program Fee Rates described in this Section 4(b) in connection with “Trade-In Events” which occur when (1) a customer clicks through a Special Link on your Site to an Amazon Site and (2) during the resulting Session the customer adds a product to his or her trade-in shopping cart and then submits a trade-in request that Amazon accepts.
Instead, he focused solely on one platform. When that platform fizzled out, he lost his foundation and his footing as an affiliate marketer. He was unable to reach the people who had once been visiting his website because he was now nowhere to be found. Had he diversified, he wouldn't have gone through the massive pain related to that ranking change.
Thanks for posting these great tips. I am pondering getting into affiliate marketing. I survived a major stage 4 metastatic cancer but my finances, savings, career and credit were the sacrificial lambs on the alter of survival. I say pondering because I hear of so many starting out with ten tons of optimism and drive, only to end up bankrupt and on a long term Zoloft prescription. Are there simply too many online marketers out there or is it still possible to start from scratch and ramp up a descent business that stands out of the hay stacks? By descent, I mean enough to make a full time living, not worrying about food & shelter. How much time from zero to $4,000.00 per month (salary and/or net… spendable personal funds)
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.
It’d be hard for Google to argue with this content not adding value. After all, some of the guides have received close to 10,000 shares and have been used by the brands themselves to educate their own customers. Generally speaking, each guide takes about 40-50 hours to produce, and is benchmarked to beat the best existing piece of content on the topic in virtually every aspect (from design and share-ability, to page speed and on-page SEO). 

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

Excellent article Chris! This will help me out a lot. I am a new author through amazon and my book is also being sold through KDP Select (The kindle option worldwide) but regardless of my advertising on my Facebook page, which cost money, I do not seem to be getting anywhere. With Amazon Associates, is it totally free and no cost to you or do you pay a fee over a certain amount of time. Also if you have any tips on how to get a book out there that would be excellent. My book is being sold at Books a Million, Barnes and Noble, and Alibris. I plan on doing a book signing at Barnes and Noble in hopes it will raise awareness of my book.
Let's go back to Anna and her raw dog food website. After a year of working on the site, Anna is now comfortably making a full-time income from her site. She gets about 2,000 visitors to her site each and every single day. Her conversion rate is 3 percent. This can be considered pretty good and it means she is doing something right. Her average commission is $7 since raw dog food is quite pricey. But her visitors are more than willing and happy to pay that amount knowing that Anna's raw dog food recommendations are always for high-quality products that increase the health of their dogs.
As an Amazon Affiliate your earnings is based solely on you. There's a woman on Amazon that makes a million dollars a month as an Amazon affiliate. How does she do this you may be thinking? She has built a quality website in the top “niches” on Amazon. She also has the ability to automate her business so it does the hard work for her. She's very smart when it comes to affiliate marketing…

You buy these sites for cheaper than what they would had been a month ago, replace the links with links to your physical product, and revamp the sites to become email collecting machines that can be used to launch any new product you create – not to mention bringing back old customers to either your Amazon FBA listings or to the affiliate site for more potential sales and engagement.
8.3 The provisions of this Agreement and instructions as may be provided by us to you from time to time hereunder constitute the entire agreement between us with respect to the subject matter thereof. Save as to the instructions and notifications as may be provided by us to you from time to time hereunder, this Agreement shall only be modified or amended by a document in writing signed by us.
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.

Excellent written article, I only recently started delving into Amazon affiliate sales and have been following what you recommend with links in posts and reviews converting better. One question I had which you don’t show in a screen shot is how many sales are through product link clicks and how many are through “all other items ordered”. I am curious to know what # of sales are from products not directly listed, but just taking advantage of the Amazon cookie and getting percentage of those sales.
In my early days, I used to have a few of these links scattered throughout SPI—for example, an ad for a “How to Make an iPhone App” product. I used to have a few iPhone apps that generated an income for me each month, but I didn’t actually use the product I was linking to. I did, however, personally know the owner, which is why I trusted him and decided to place that ad there at the time. 

AFFILIATE PROGRAM AGREEMENT This Affiliate Program Agreement (the "Agreement") is made and effective the [DATE] BETWEEN: [YOUR COMPANY NAME] (the "Owner"), a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the [State/Province] of [STATE/PROVINCE], with its head office located at: [YOUR COMPLETE ADDRESS] AND: [RECIPIENT NAME] (the "Recipient"), a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the [State/Province] of [STATE/PROVINCE], with its head office located at: [COMPLETE ADDRESS] In consideration of the terms and covenants of this agreement, and other valuable consideration, the parties agree
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.
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.
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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