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.
Media reporter Mathew Ingram tweeted, "Not great for media who rely on affiliate revenue[,]" potentially a nod to popular gadget reviews The Wirecutter, which was acquired by The New York Times. Technology journalist Michael Morisy quipped, "Amazon reworks affiliate program, cutting commissions 50% for electronics. Guess they think Jet threat has passed?" in a reference to up-and-coming Amazon rival Jet.com, which sold to Walmart in a deal largely regarded as a failure for the startup.
The best way to ensure you make sales from Amazon is to write about things that people are actively looking to purchase, or about something someone might find interesting and be persuaded about purchasing (for example: someone looking to learn about the civil war through an article you’d written could be likely to purchase civil war related products through an Amazon sales cap somewhere in your article).
As a channel that has been premised on conversion, it has been the key unique selling point of the affiliate channel since its inception. Not only has this helped with the exponential growth of the channel, it has always appealed to those advertisers who want to have both control over spend but visibility on performance. However, while this has always been our strength, has it now become our Achilles heel?

You will market Local Associates Products to Amazon customers only at those locations and through those methods by which you customarily conduct your registered business. Solely with respect to the Local Associates Program, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Participation Requirements, you may include Special Links in written physical and digital materials (including email) which are displayed, distributed, emailed, or offered to customers, clients, or third parties with whom you have a preexisting relationship; provided, that such written physical and digital materials are in compliance with the Associates Program Operating Agreement, the Trademark Guidelines, and the Amazon Brand Usage Guidelines. Upon our request, you will provide us with representative sample materials and written certification that you have complied with the foregoing. We will specify the form of, and content required in, that certification in any such request. Any failure by you to provide the certification in accordance with our request will constitute a material breach of this Local Associates Policy. For the avoidance of doubt, (i) for the purposes of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and any similar or successor legislation (CAN-SPAM), you are the “Sender” of each email containing any Special Links, (ii) for the purposes of the Communications Act of 1934 as amended by Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and any similar or successor legislation (TCPA), you “make” and “initiate” each text message containing any Special Links, and (iii) you must comply with CAN-SPAM, TCPA and marketing industry standards and best practices for all emails, texts, and other messages relating to the Local Associates Program. Amazon may revoke the offline marketing permissions granted in this Section 3 at any time in its sole discretion by providing written notice to you.
You are only eligible to earn Commission Fees on Qualified Purchases occurring during the Term. Commission Fees earned prior to the date of termination will be eligible for commissions only if the orders for the related FatCow Products and Services are not cancelled within (30) days and comply with all of the terms of this Agreement. We may withhold your final payment of Commission Fees for a reasonable time to ensure that all Qualified Purchases are valid and payment from Referred Customers are legitimate as determined by FatCow in its sole discretion.

You must remove from your Site any links and related references to limited time promotions as soon as that promotion on the relevant Amazon Site ends. For example, if you include links to Products in the apparel category of an Amazon Site and mention that there is 15% off select products in Amazon’s apparel category, you must remove the mention of the 15% discount from your Site as soon as the promotion ends.
The Program Operator reserves the right to reject any affiliate application if, in the Program Operator’s opinion, that person or entity violates established laws or commonly held standards of decency. For example, we will reject applications from any person or company that promotes any form of violence, illegal activities, or from applicants who the Program Operator prefers not to be associated with.
Although it differs from spyware, adware often uses the same methods and technologies. Merchants initially were uninformed about adware, what impact it had, and how it could damage their brands. Affiliate marketers became aware of the issue much more quickly, especially because they noticed that adware often overwrites tracking cookies, thus resulting in a decline of commissions. Affiliates not employing adware felt that it was stealing commission from them. Adware often has no valuable purpose and rarely provides any useful content to the user, who is typically unaware that such software is installed on his/her computer.

Secondly, while an offer might not disappear, you might be earning far less than you should be, because that offer suddenly has a max cap. In other words, the company that set up the offer only wants to spend a certain amount to get a certain number of customers or leads. The network limits how many paid leads/sales count towards the affiliate marketer in this case. You might end up giving away free leads or sales by accident in this case, so it is something to watch out for.


Amazon used to have a variable fee structure where you would earn more money if you referred more sales to Amazon. They would start at 4% and you could earn up to 8.5% of a sale if you referred enough items. Amazon did away with their variable fee structure in early 2017 and replaced that system with a fixed percentage payout based on the category of products. Some niches pay a lot less than others and it’s important to be aware of the payout before you pick a niche:

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.


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).
It has universal appeal. Unlike some types of marketing that work better for certain segments than others, affiliate marketing is really something that anyone can use on their WordPress site or e-commerce store. With millions of products available and categories covering a wide spectrum, you’re bound to find more than enough products worth promoting.
Secondly, while an offer might not disappear, you might be earning far less than you should be, because that offer suddenly has a max cap. In other words, the company that set up the offer only wants to spend a certain amount to get a certain number of customers or leads. The network limits how many paid leads/sales count towards the affiliate marketer in this case. You might end up giving away free leads or sales by accident in this case, so it is something to watch out for.
I feel like if you have 98% only affiliate content and no other valuable content it’s more likely to be penalized. I was following a lot of competitor sites in Ahrefs and noticed all the ones that tanked had only thin affiliate content and no non-affiliate content. For some reason I thought FixYourSkin was yours but I was wrong. That site went down like crazy and lost their traffic by half. I saw them trying to recover by adding more quality content but it doesn’t seem to help for them and it’s not helping me either.
I have about 4 authority style sites and the rest are all mini ones. I like the money the mini’s can make but there isn’t any attractive exit strategy with those so that’s why I like to do a little of both, but I believe authority style sites have the biggest upside. As for income split I’d have to go back through all the tracking data but I’d peg it somewhat in favor of authority sites (before I sold one of my largest ones)
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.
If at any time there has been no substantial activity on your account for at least 3 years, then we will have the right, with 7 days’ written notice to withhold the accrued fees for your inactive account, up to a maximum closure withholding of an amount equal to the minimum amount listed in the Payment Minimum Chart for payment by gift card. Further, any unpaid accrued fees in your account may be subject to escheatment under applicable law.
When you’re picking a domain name you’ll want to choose an authoritative domain, that doesn’t limit the potential of your website. For instance, topoutdoorgrillreviews.com might sound like a good choice, but then you’re limited to just writing about outdoor grills. Something like theultimatebackyard.com will allow you to expand your site into different niches as your site becomes more established.

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.
From launching in an overseas market to accessing an elusive niche demographic, influencers play a key role in helping brands get in front of the right audiences at the right time. With consumers increasingly hard to reach with traditional ad spend – 615 million devices now use adblocking software – more and more affiliate marketers and brands are looking for a way to tie their advertising spend to tangible results and actions.
(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.

Working your way through all of the articles below will take you quite a while, but you’ll end up with a complete understanding of the mechanics, opportunity, and challenges associated with monetizing a site via affiliate marketing. (By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send monetization tips straight to your inbox each day.)
To become an Affiliate, You need to submit a completed Affiliate Application in which You shall provide true and complete information to Us. You shall also promptly update all such information if all or any part thereof changes and shall provide Us with all such other information as we may reasonably request from time to time. We will evaluate your Affiliate Application and, where applicable, notify you of our acceptance. We may reject your Affiliate Application in the event we determine in the exercise of our absolute discretion that your site is not suitable for our Affiliation program for any reason.
For the structure of these articles I like to target a frequently searched keyword such as “Cyber Monday (My Niche) Discounts” etc. because I know people search for “Cyber Monday” and “Black Friday” millions of times each year but they also search a longer form version like “Cyber Monday (My Niche) Discounts” as evidenced by the above traffic graph from one of my Amazon sites

In addition to all of this, you don’t really have a store to look after. You have zero products to ship or be held responsible for. You are literally just the marketing arm, unlike the ecommerce business model where you are sourcing the products that you are selling and dealing with the customer service portions of the business, along with logistics.
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.
It's especially true now that the big media players are finally waking up to affiliate marketing (NYTime buying WireCutter and SweetHome) and BestReviews (which was already an epic product review site in it's self due to the fact they built their own 10,000 sq ft testing lab) being acquired by Tronc (owns the LA Times and half a dozen more publications).
I am a newbie affiliate blogger but also have an IT background. Amazon has not been known to be the most profitable company anyway. I just found this quote from April 2016-“Amazon, a company known for spending like a drunken sailor, appears to have sobered up. At least for now. Amazon typically posts razor-thin (or nonexistent) earnings despite skyrocketing revenue.” I am not terribly surprised they are changing the structure around.
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.

Choose products carefully. Don't promote something you wouldn't buy or don't like just to make money. It will backfire and cause you to lose credibility with your website visitors. People are more likely to buy products you personally recommend. If you don't have experience with the product, be sure to check out reviews to see what other people's experience with it is.


Cookies are small pieces of data that remain on your browser once you have visited a website. It is important as an affiliate to maximize cookies so you can get the most commission possible. This includes asking users to opt in to cookies and agreeing with your merchant to allow for a 30- or 60-day cookie. This means that if anyone clicks on an affiliate product through your website and converts within 30 or 60 days, you still receive the commission – perfect for those who abandon shopping carts but then come back weeks later.
Hey Sue, I can’t disclose the amount of money that the website was earning when I sold it, but as I admitted at the onset of the article my income from Amazon would have surpassed $100,000 had I not sold the site. I already have several other authority style websites I’m building up as well as my network of smaller niche sites that earn good money as well.

Traffic is increasing a little bit in March, that’s always exciting. One of the reasons is that one of the posts got some exposure and shares on Facebook. I know that social media is important and can drive a lot of traffic but I have not spent much time with it, maybe something I should spend more time on… The good thing is though that the Facebook exposure happened naturally.


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. 

j) Should this affiliate program be deemed illegal in any jurisdiction, the Program Operator has the right to immediately terminate this program, without recourse. If the payment processors utilized by the Program Operator determine that sales made through affiliates cannot be processed through the payment processor, then the Program Operator has the right to immediately terminate this Program, without recourse. Nothing herein is intended to imply that the Program Operator will always offer any affiliate program, or this affiliate program, for all products, services, and/or opportunities sold by the Program Operator on the websites or that the Program Operator will offer any affiliate program whatsoever.
Requests for direct comment from Gawker Media surrounding their use of and investment into affiliate marketing went unanswered. But investing into custom platforms and granular data collection doesn’t seem like something a publisher the size of Gawker Media would be doing unless it were a central part of their current and future overall monetization strategy.
Hey Sue, I can’t disclose the amount of money that the website was earning when I sold it, but as I admitted at the onset of the article my income from Amazon would have surpassed $100,000 had I not sold the site. I already have several other authority style websites I’m building up as well as my network of smaller niche sites that earn good money as well.
For Dan Henry, the salient dream of living life and succeeding by marketing products or services as an affiliate wasn't just alive, it was lucid. Still, dream as he might, in 2011 Henry was still just a college dropout delivering pizzas door-to-door just to make a living. However, compelled by a nascent desire to live according to own terms, he knew that there was more to life than existing paycheck-to-paycheck.
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