Some Amazon affiliate site builders will continue with business-as-usual, but others are looking to at least diversify their businesses, if not move away from Amazon entirely. While you can still sell these assets for a very nice exit, it’s probably worth at least revisiting the fact that having all of your earnings on another platform opens you up to risk when/if they decide to make changes.
The question keeps lingering in my mind. What is affiliate marketing programs about? Is this an easy way to generate income online? Upon researching about the topic I found that this is a very lucrative business model and one that does not cost a whole lot of initial capital. There are literally countless out there you can join and the idea of affiliate marketing in itself is very doable. You simply become the deal maker to connect the buyer and the seller to perform a transaction. Once the transaction is successful you earn a commission.
Do you have any opinions about sites that got hit with Google Fred for having too much affiliate content? I think one of your other sites got hit (not TYS) and I saw you add a lot of new content but it’s not going up much. The same thing happened to me; I had too much affiliate content and got penalized; added more content but it’s not helping. I am thinking of just starting a new site and redirecting links to the new site. I feel like this penalty is unrecoverable….
In 2006, the most active sectors for affiliate marketing were the adult gambling, retail industries and file-sharing services.[17]:149–150 The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors.[17] Soon after these sectors came the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.[17]:149–150
Product review sites are another popular vehicle for affiliate marketing strategies. Because these sites are inherently focused on providing information about products in which visitors are likely interested, the affiliate tie-in is pretty straightforward. The author writes about a product, highlighting the features and addressing any concerns, and then includes a link where readers can go to purchase the product.
Paul Tibbitt, head of business development at CJ Affiliate indicated a huge opportunity for advertisers to harness the power of affiliate in 2017 to enhance the overall performance of their marketing campaigns. He proposed three key processes for advertisers to make the most of buy-in for large affiliate initiatives and how programmes can better drive long-term business ambition.
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.

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.

Upon the execution of this Agreement, Company shall provide copies of its end user license agreements to MA. MA shall promptly review such agreements and advise Company as to what revisions, if any, should be made to the end user license agreements for resale in the Territory set forth in Schedule A to ensure that the agreements comply with requirements of local law in the Territory, and that Company has protection concerning proprietary rights, warranty disclaimers and limitations of liability under such local and federal laws of the U.S.


Hi Spencer, I remember the post where you said your site was penalized and you we’re convinced it was due to too much affiliate links. bestsurvivalknife site… i also remember you had (i asume) the same link twice everytime, once as an image and once as a textlink. Whenever i check a site’s outbound links i notice that each link only gets counted once , it seems to ignore duplicates, so even tho a site might have an image and a textlink pointing to the same productpage/url it would only get counted as 1 outbound (affiliate)link This is what i see when i check outbound links with seoquake. Do you think Google sees it like that as well? I’m asking cause up to this point ive been very cautious with placing affiliate links and avoided placing them in my images to keep it at a minimum.

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.
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.
FatCow reserves the right to immediately cancel or withhold for later review any Commission Fee that fails to meet the criteria of a “Qualified Purchase.” Affiliate is responsible for monitoring the payment, denial, and withholding of Commission Fees; FatCow is not obligated to actively notify Affiliates of the status of Commission Fees. If Affiliate has a question about a Commission Fee that has been cancelled or withheld, Affiliate has thirty (30) days from the day the payment would have been due to contact FatCow to request that the Commission Fee be paid. Any changes to decisions about cancelled or withheld Commission Fees are strictly made in FatCow’s sole discretion.
In 2009, I originally published this post, the 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained—and The One I Profit From. A lot has changed since then, and I’ve learned a ton along the way about affiliate marketing the right way. It’s now October 2018, and I wanted to share those new insights here, with a bunch of new takeaways for you to bring affiliate marketing into your own business!
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.
Whatever you choose to do with this monetization and marketing technique, take time to plan your strategy. While it is very easy to get started and to add Amazon affiliate links to WordPress, the key to success is in how well you execute those links and promote them to your visitors. Affiliate marketing takes time to excel at, so be patient and don't give up!
Compliance with Applicable Laws.  You shall comply, and shall ensure that any third parties performing sales or referral activities on your behalf comply, with all applicable foreign and domestic laws (including without limitation export laws and laws applicable to sending of unsolicited email), governmental regulations, ordinances, and judicial administrative orders. You shall not engage in any deceptive, misleading, illegal or unethical marketing activities, or activities that otherwise may be detrimental to us, our customers, or to the public. Export laws and regulations of the United States and any other relevant local export laws and regulations may apply to the HubSpot Products. You will comply with the sanctions programs administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury.  You will not directly or indirectly export, re-export, or transfer the HubSpot Products to prohibited countries or individuals or permit use of the HubSpot Products by prohibited countries or individuals.
Some Amazon affiliate site builders will continue with business-as-usual, but others are looking to at least diversify their businesses, if not move away from Amazon entirely. While you can still sell these assets for a very nice exit, it’s probably worth at least revisiting the fact that having all of your earnings on another platform opens you up to risk when/if they decide to make changes.
Absolutely. Affiliate marketing is a viable and legitimate way to monetize your blog or website. Tens of thousands of merchants run affiliate programs and will pay you a commission for sending them sales. However, there are some scams centered around affiliate marketing. You'll find information on how to spot affiliate scams – and avoid them – here.

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!


One of the key elements to success with affiliate marketing is picking the right products to promote. They could be digital information products, memberships, physical products, online services… there are many industries that use this model. When promotiing to your target market, you may be promoting one or many of these different types of products as an affiliate.


Now, when I choose who to target for this ad, I would only target dog owners at least 25 years old who have “liked” Amazon.com in the past and live in the United States. Notice in the title I asked, “Are you a dog owner?” Well, I already know that everyone I’m targeting IS a dog owner! This, along with the catchy image, will grab their attention and cause them to read the body of the ad. If the body of the ad sounds interesting to them, they will click the ad and end up on Amazon.com through my Amazon Associates affiliate program link. Once on Amazon, the sky is the limit. Amazon is able to convert visitors like CRAZY. Just get potential buyers through the door and let Amazon handle the rest.
Every single network or merchant will provide you with specific links that you can use to promote whatever it is you're looking to sell. Be sure to scrutinize the details of any offer that you decide to partake in. Then, build out your affiliate links and ensure that the sales and clicks are registering your to your account. You can use URL shorteners like Bitly or Google's own shortener to make the links more manageable in terms of length.
Now, when I choose who to target for this ad, I would only target dog owners at least 25 years old who have “liked” Amazon.com in the past and live in the United States. Notice in the title I asked, “Are you a dog owner?” Well, I already know that everyone I’m targeting IS a dog owner! This, along with the catchy image, will grab their attention and cause them to read the body of the ad. If the body of the ad sounds interesting to them, they will click the ad and end up on Amazon.com through my Amazon Associates affiliate program link. Once on Amazon, the sky is the limit. Amazon is able to convert visitors like CRAZY. Just get potential buyers through the door and let Amazon handle the rest.
Spam is the biggest threat to organic search engines, whose goal is to provide quality search results for keywords or phrases entered by their users. Google's PageRank algorithm update ("BigDaddy") in February 2006—the final stage of Google's major update ("Jagger") that began in mid-summer 2005—specifically targeted spamdexing with great success. This update thus enabled Google to remove a large amount of mostly computer-generated duplicate content from its index.[29]
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.
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.
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.
Earnist is a premium WordPress plugin that lets you add, manage, and beautifully display your affiliate links from any affiliate program, including Amazon Associates! They help your affiliate links stand out. Each Earnist affiliate link includes a product photo, description, and an accurate price. This transparency and design helps increase conversion rates and commissions.
During each calendar month, you may earn advertising fees for Qualifying Purchases. Most advertising fees are calculated as a percentage of Qualifying Revenues based on the tables below and are subject to the limitations described in the “Limitations on Advertising Fee Rates for Certain Products” section below. We also may offer advertising fees in the form of bounties or other special offers as described in the “Special Offers and Promotions” section below. “Qualifying Revenues” mean amounts we receive from customers’ Qualifying Purchases, excluding shipping, handling, and gift-wrapping fees, taxes, and service charges, and less any rebates, credit card processing fees, returns, and bad debt.
Effects of Expiration/Termination.  Expiration of this Agreement, and termination of this Agreement: (i) without cause by us,(ii) by you with cause, (iii) by you according to the ‘Termination for Agreement Changes’ section, shall not affect our obligation to pay you a Commission, so long as the related payment by the Customer Transaction is recognized by us within thirty (30) days after the date of such termination or expiration and provided that in no event shall you be entitled to payment of Commission under this Agreement if you are eligible to receive a revenue share payment under the Sales Solution Program Agreement, Sales Referral Program Agreement or Agency Partner Program Agreement. We will not pay you fees on Customer Transactions recognized by us after thirty (30) days after the date of such termination or expiration set out above.  Provided however, in the event of termination without cause by you, or for cause by us, our obligation to pay and your right to receive any Commission will terminate upon the date of such termination, regardless of whether you would have otherwise been eligible to receive Commission prior to the date of termination. Except as expressly set forth in this section, you are not eligible to receive a Commission payment after expiration or termination of this Agreement. Upon termination or expiration, you will discontinue all use of and delete the Affiliate Tool that we make available to you for your participation in the Affiliate Program. Upon termination or expiration, an Affiliate Lead is not considered valid, and we may choose to maintain it in our database and engage with such a prospect.
The GDPR places strict limitations on how much marketers can personalize their ads. Facebook and Google have already introduced new policy changes to compliance. In March, Google announced that it will limit processing of any personal information about minors, as required under the GDPR Age of Consent requirements. They also released a new solution for publishers that only want to display ads that do not include personalized information on customers who didn’t consent to data collection for targeting. Facebook has stopped processing newsfeed posts for targeting ads, except when the ads are marked for the general public or friends of friends. The company made this change because those types of ads usually depend on demographic data that is included in the “special categories of data” provision under the GDPR.
There is, of course, a pretty obvious conflict of interest in many implementations of this model. The affiliate only makes money if visitors click on the affiliate links and ultimately buy the products reviewed. But while there is an obvious incentive to write falsely positive reviews, that strategy generally has a pretty limited life expectancy. In order to be successful using this model over the long term, you’ll need the trust of an audience that can only be earned through integrity and transparency.
Time Is Your Enemy – I say this because writing a compelling and captivating article is not easy let alone writing everyday filling your website with valuable information so that you can market or promote your product. But guess what, people are doing it and they are succeeding in their own rights. It is doable no doubt but you also have to set your own expectation and goal in a manner that are achievable in bits and pieces. It took me 3 hours writing this article you are reading right now but I know I am a slow writer and this is my website so it is nice to call it my own.
Knowing this, many affiliates using the Amazon Associates affiliate program simply use the sales of cheaper items as a way to boost their commissions on the larger items they promote. You won’t be able to sell nearly the number of high end digital cameras as you can e-books, so the e-books simply help to raise your commission percentage when you do happen to sell a $1,000 camera.

Jason – so happy to hear the tutorial is helping! Affiliate marketing was a huge break for me and I’m sure it can be for your son too. Whatever products/services he ends up selling, just make sure he is excited about the industry he is – it takes a long of time creating content and it will keep him motivated especially when he gets his first sales.
LOVED this – thank you Chris. So glad I found it just as I was about to add a store to my blog. I think it would be a better idea to just start linking to Amazon in every recipe and post! (Right?) BTW – I’ve already shared this post on G+ and LinkedIn and sent it to a bunch of friends. I always wish peeps would TELL me when they share my stuff, so here I am telling you. 🙂
There are countless mediums that you can deliver valuable content to your audience. You can use your blog. If you don't have a blog (which is a big mistake by the way), you can use social media, content marketing, video tutorials, infographics and so on and so forth. But  your primary channel to deliver long-form value is going to be your blog. Start building a blog early and stay consistent with it.
4. Easily Integrated – There are more and more plugins and tools that have Amazon Affiliate integration built into them to help you easily place links in your blog posts. I use ecto for Mac which has a tool that searches for products and links them in in just a couple of clicks. WP has plugins also. The affiliate links already mentioned in this post took seconds to integrate in.
Your web host is responsible for hosting all of the files necessary for your site to function. When choosing a web host you’re going to have a variety of options to choose from. Some will be dedicated towards sites with large volumes of traffic, while others will specifically host WordPress sites. We offer a detailed breakdown of hosting options here.

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).
Keep in mind though that the rest of the tutorial is only available once you sign up for FREE which does not cost you anything at all but only requires you to input your email address. If you do not want to disclose your email address then I suppose don’t worry about it as I am sure there are more resources you can find online. I just thought I’d mention it because I had read it myself and it is a valuable information that one person can learn from. Just like many of us, he also started out as a newbie testing the waters of affiliate marketing at some point in time then he eventually found his success and he now have a repeatable business model that he is sharing with us.
The precise affiliate marketing business model can be done in a number of ways. You can purchase advertising either online or off, you can write an e-book and have affiliate links strategically placed in your book, you can utilize YouTube or other video broadcasting services to pitch products and services, you can use email marketing and even market to people offline. The number of ways to advertise products and services is nearly infinite, especially if you have a large budget to work with.
I always add an HTML table of contents to posts to make sure they are long and structured. This has been a HUGE help for me (and my readers) and there are tons of benefits: better chance of getting “jump to links” in Google (see below), increased average time on page, decreased bounce rates, and it makes it easier for readers to navigate through your content.

Check out AffiliateTip.com, a popular site about affiliate marketing run by industry guru Shawn Collins. The right rail of his site features a “Blogroll” that contains affiliate links to a number of third party sites. While some of these sites have blogs, the links generally lead (through an affiliate link tracker) to landing pages where visitors can sign up for a product:

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.
I went from making $20k in 2016 to $100k in 2017 by dropping my web design/SEO clients and doing affiliate marketing/blogging full-time. 90% of my (passive) affiliate income comes from SiteGround, a hosting company who awarded me affiliate of the month in July, 2017 when I made $9k in 1 month. Since then I’ve continued to hit numbers like this – the screenshot below is from March, 2018 when I made $14.5k in 1 month (just with SiteGround).
I have started looking at affiliate networks and finding products to promote that way. Also going to try to utilize a Youtube channel with promotion, as well as some paid advertising. It all works with the right amount of patience. I do have an Amazon Affiliate account that I can link too, but diversifing and learning to branch out is key. Truthfully I do not think the Amazon associate program is all that newbie friendly.
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