Hey Tom, thanks for this tutorial – it’s a good thing to get a tutorial like this from a trusted person like you and not from the thousands of (sometimes) confusing articles about passive income/affiliate marketing/clickfunnels and what not that I come across from time to time, I am making a living as a web designer and I have been thinking of pivoting from design and creative work to focus on passive income but didn’t know where to start. This is the perfect foundation article I have seen so far and I ‘d like to ask if you have any further reading/guides/videos on affiliate marketing that you’d recommend. I like to do my deep research before starting :) One more thing, there are some broken or missing images in this article, it could be my browser but check from your side too because there are quite a few images (e.g your Mercedes) that are missing. Thanks

(z) You will not display on your Site, or otherwise use, any Program Content to advertise or promote any products that are offered on any site that is not an Amazon Site (e.g., products offered by other retailers). You will not display on your Site or otherwise use any data, images, text, or other information or content you may obtain from us that relates to Excluded Products.
Good comment Jason, at some time in the future Amazon may decide they have so much market share they don't need affiliates anyway. I mean, if you're just sending them people who are already Amazon customers there's not so much benefit there for them. Or they may decide to only work with select HIGH QUALITY affiliates and the average "affiliate site" owner will not be chosen.
This year two affiliate marketers based in California, Shawn Hogan and Brian Dunning, pleaded guilty to defrauding eBay of at least $20 million in a scheme involving a notorious affiliate marketing tactic known as “cookie stuffing.” According to court documents, Mr. Hogan operated a network in which affiliates exchanged links and banner ads to help drive traffic to each other’s sites. The sites also agreed to host ads controlled by Mr. Hogan’s company, but in reality, these ads were cookie-stuffing devices. Users who viewed the ads had a small tracking code, or cookie, dropped on their computer. If those users went on to make a purchase from eBay, the cookie signaled that Mr. Hogan’s company was responsible — and eBay paid a commission.
I am new to this website and the funny thing is that l was looking for an objective analysis on starting an Amazon affiliate site. Your review on this issue is the BEST that i have ever seen in the last 3 years. This article was a joy to read. It was detailed, honest and very hard hitting especially when you are trying to get readers to understand that they MUST diversify their traffic sources and STOP relying on getting to first page on Google. As a result of reading your article l am changing my digital marketing services, affiliate marketing and , e-commerce strategy. I look forward to hearing new and innovative ideas from you on internet marketing. Keep up the great work!!!
(d) Indemnification. WE WILL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY MATTER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY RELATING TO THE CREATION, MAINTENANCE, OR OPERATION OF THE INFLUENCER PAGE, AND YOU AGREE TO DEFEND, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD US, OUR AFFILIATES AND LICENSORS, AND OUR AND THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, AND REPRESENTATIVES, HARMLESS FROM AND AGAINST ALL CLAIMS, DAMAGES, LOSSES, LIABILITIES, COSTS, AND EXPENSES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) RELATING TO ANY CONTENT WITHIN THE INFLUENCER PAGE PROVIDED BY YOU.
Marketing with articles is different within the last year or two. Back in the day of marketing with articles, you might write down a write-up, submit it to 10 article submission sites, and count on a Overflow of name new targeted traffic to your internet site instantaneously. But currently, this course won’t create the very same benefits. Chiefly due to the latest adjustments to google search methods which may have modified this content advertising and marketing online game in the future. A lot of experts have cease marketing with articles totally, and still have removed on do other marketing methods which could quite possibly regain their targeted traffic. Effectively, men and women this way ended up bothersome in the first place. Experts this way ended up employing content and article submission sites for their major method to obtain traffic generation on-line – and that is something must not do. Never ever depend upon 1 method to obtain targeted traffic in relation to online marketing. It can be as being a key failure of affiliate marketing since at anytime a strategy could become unsuccessful in your case. That is a thing that you will have to make note of. After Yahoo In .PandaIn . bring up to date, the joy of marketing with articles modified big.
Then, came the dreaded Google algorithm updates. After ranking number one for "electronic cigarettes" and "electronic cigarette reviews," which were steadily driving massive amounts of traffic to his blog, his rankings fell off of a cliff. He tells me had made a huge mistake by solely relying on Google for traffic and not leveraging it to build an audience elsewhere.
If you are going to write a piece of content that has an affiliate link to a high-end DSLR camera, you need to be an expert in order to make it credible. Your whole website needs to revolve around the product and how to use it, rather than eyeing up the fat commission you can make if you dupe someone into using your link from that one piece of content.

Commission Payment. We, or a HubSpot Affiliate, will pay the Commission amount due to you within forty-five (45) days after the end of each fiscal quarter for any Commission amounts that you become eligible for according to the Eligibility section above. We will determine the currency in which we pay the Commission, as well as the applicable conversion rate. We will not pay more than one Commission payment or other similar referral fee on any given Customer Transaction (unless we choose to in our discretion).Taxes. You are responsible for payment of all taxes applicable to the Commission. All amounts payable by us to you are subject to offset by us against any amounts owed by you to us.Commission Amounts. We reserve the right to alter or change the Commission amount. We will post all information regarding the Commission amount on the Program Policies Page.  

You hereby agree to indemnify and hold harmless Merchant.com, and its subsidiaries and affiliates, and their directors, officers, employees, agents, shareholders, partners, members, and other owners, against any and all claims, actions, demands, liabilities, losses, damages, judgments, settlements, costs, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) (any or all of the foregoing hereinafter referred to as "Losses") insofar as such Losses (or actions in respect thereof) arise out of or are based on (i) any claim that our use of the affiliate trademarks infringes on any trademark, trade name, service mark, copyright, license, intellectual property, or other proprietary right of any third party, (ii) any misrepresentation of a representation or warranty or breach of a covenant and agreement made by you herein, or (iii) any claim related to your site, including, without limitation, content therein not attributable to us.


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.

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.
On the technology-focused forum Hacker News, a user who goes by "graeme" pointed out, "This is likely to have a massive [e]ffect on the blog/article review ecosystem. Most of the review sites that exist today only do so because of [A]mazon's fairly generous programs. I expect in aggregate there will be a shift in what lines of business people decide to get into, based on this." A user called "sharkweek" said that "[a]s an Amazon affiliate who has done quite well with it, this is definitely a gutting." The mood is equally grim on a subreddit for people building affiliate websites.
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)
You will register for and be assigned a unique URL associated with an Associate ID for your participation in the Local Associates Program. You will not use any alternative URL or Associate IDs in connection with the Local Associates Program or use the assigned URL or Associate ID for any other purpose. For purposes of this Local Associates Policy, your unique URL will be considered a Special Link as defined in the Associates Program Operating Agreement.
You get to hand-pick what you promote. Unlike display ad systems that typically choose which brands serve ads on your WordPress site, you have total control over this with Amazon affiliate links. You’ll never have to worry about a competitor’s link showing up on your site and the link will always be relevant to the content that it appears within or beside--which will improve its chances of getting clicked.
Note from Justin & Joe: We will be repricing ALL of the Amazon Associates sites on our marketplace to reflect this change. Our methodology for this will include using the seller’s earning report from Amazon. We have created a formula using historical sales that adjusts the commission percentage based on the new rates that Amazon has rolled out. These rates are adjusted in every category and accurately updated with the historical earning amounts. Since every item is in a different commission category, we will take every category that the website is selling in into account for the new adjusted valuation price.

You will indemnify, defend and hold us harmless, at your expense, against any third-party claim, suit, action, or proceeding (each, an "Action") brought against us (and our officers, directors, employees, agents, service providers, licensors, and affiliates) by a third party not affiliated with us to the extent that such Action is based upon or arises out of (a) your participation in the Affiliate Program, (b) our use of the prospect data you provided us, (c) your noncompliance with or breach of this Agreement, (d) your use of the Affiliate Tool, or (e) our use of the Affiliate Marks. We will: notify you in writing within thirty (30) days of our becoming aware of any such claim; give you sole control of the defense or settlement of such a claim; and provide you (at your expense) with any and all information and assistance reasonably requested by you to handle the defense or settlement of the claim. You shall not accept any settlement that (i) imposes an obligation on us; (ii) requires us to make an admission; or (iii) imposes liability not covered by these indemnifications or places restrictions on us without our prior written consent.
What initially attracted me to using Amazon’s Affiliate program was the breadth of products that they had in their system. This is a great thing if you’re niche is narrow or quite obscure as many bloggers find it difficult to find affiliate programs to match their blog’s focus. Blogs like John’s and mine here at ProBlogger do have an array of options for affiliate programs (which is why I don’t use it a lot on this blog and make most of my earnings from Amazon from product related blogs) but many bloggers don’t have the luxury of being able to choose high paying affiliate programs because they simply don’t relate to our topics. Amazon then becomes one of the more attractive options.
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.
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.
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]
You still need to make a profit, so your products’ prices should benefit you, too. You’ll need to find a balance between affordable for the consumer and profitable for you. A good way to do this is to look up not just the customer price, but also the affiliate commission for your product category. You can learn more about your potential commission on Amazon.
We make no express or implied warranties or representations with respect to the Affiliate Program or any FatCow Products and Services sold through the Affiliate Program (including, without limitation, WARRANTIES OF FITNESS, MERCHANTABILITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT, OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES ARISING OUT OF COURSE OF PERFORMANCE, DEALING, OR TRADE USAGE). In addition, we make no representation that the operation of our website will be uninterrupted or error free, and we will not be liable for the consequences of any interruptions or errors, including the tracking of information concerning Referred Customers during any period of interruption.
You should also have tracking setup for every affiliate link of yours. You can do this with something like Voluum that can track the sales you are getting and where those sales are coming from. This will be useful data for an analytical buyer who wants to split test the website, not to mention it will allow you to split test the site and possibly push your monthly net profit up which will also increase your site’s listing multiple price.
My biggest frustration is how to drive my target to my site and links. I have to do YouTube videos as part of what I told the publisher I would do. I have cards in my YouTube videos to try to steer the traffic to my site where they can look at the offerings in a very organized fashion (which really is one of two places on the web that provide this for this publisher). I just want to work smarter instead of harder. I have had so many people thank me for the videos but it is not converting through the affiliate links. I can’t stop the YouTube videos because it is part of the agreement. Also posting the reviews on Amazon.com in the product reviews. I don’t think I can add a link to my site in product reviews.

Building a successful Amazon affiliate site does take a lot of work. But, even if you’re a beginner it’s a great way to learn the fundamentals of working online. The steps above gave you everything you need to know to get started creating your very own website. Now it’s time to get to work! Remember, success will only come with consistent and sustained effort.
Setting up a website is easier than you think. I personally use Bluehost (you can use whoever you want) to set up all my websites because they have a 1-click button that sets up a WordPress website for you, if that’s scary, here is a detailed post on how to start a blog written for some friends. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions. We’re happy to help!
You can open a store without the burden of managing inventory. One of the ways in which you can use Amazon affiliate links is to populate your online store with third-party products. This spares you from having to produce, store, or even manage inventory. That’s all handled by the manufacturers. You only need to worry about maintaining your online store.
Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The email they sent to affiliates said, "We have received feedback from associates that the advertising fee structure could be made clearer, especially with respect to understanding which products are in fixed-fee categories and which products are in tiered-fee categories. These changes simplify the fee structure, clearly defining the advertising fees you can earn by referring traffic to Amazon."
Use of Links. If you qualify and agree to participate as an Affiliate, we will make a variety of graphic and textual links available to you (each referred to herein as a "Link" or collectively, as the "Links"). The Links will serve to identify your website as a member of the Affiliate Program and will establish a link from your website or e-mail to FatCow’s website. You agree to cooperate fully with us in order to establish and maintain such Links. You further agree that your use of the Links must be in compliance with this Agreement at all times. FatCow may modify the Links from time to time in its sole discretion. You will not use graphic or textual images (indicating a Link) or text messages to promote FatCow that are not approved in advance by FatCow. All Affiliate Sites shall display the Links prominently in relevant sections of their website. Furthermore, you agree not to use cookie stuffing techniques that set the affiliate tracking cookie without the Referred Customer's knowledge (e.g. iframe). Any information with respect to FatCow that is going to be displayed on the Affiliate Site must be preapproved by FatCow in writing.
EPC stands for Earnings Per Click. It is the estimated amount of money a marketer can expect to earn from a 100 clicks to their affiliate offer. This is a great piece of knowledge. You should be on the lookout for affiliate offers with the best EPCs. In addition to finding new offers, look at other affiliate networks that are doing the same offers that your website is doing.
You hereby agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless, us, our shareholders, officers, directors, employees, agents, affiliates, successors and assigns from and against any and all claims, losses, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses (including attorney's fees and costs) of any nature whatsoever incurred or suffered ("Losses") in so far as such Losses or actions with respect thereto are based on: (i) the breach of this Agreement and/or any additional instruction of ours by you and/or any representation or warranty made by you; (ii) any claim related to your site.

So I went to the same place I buy all my WordPress themes (Themeforest) and searched their hundreds of demo WordPress Themes to find the right one that made sense for my Amazon Affiliate Website. This is the style and look your website will have. I needed a clean looking blog (it’s great for SEO) and I needed a warm looking homepage. I found something flexible and looked professional after a couple hours searching.


It’s also important to remember that your content should be actionable. For example, if you’re writing a review for a coffee machine, it’s not enough to talk about its features and how great its brew is. You also should look to answer any questions your visitors might have about it, and explain how the product can benefit them. Focus on the positives, and how they can be valuable to the reader.
(u) You will not directly or indirectly purchase any Product(s) or take a Bounty Event action through Special Links, whether for your use or for the use of any other person or entity, and you will not permit, request or encourage any of your friends, relatives, employees, contractors, or business relations to directly or indirectly purchase any Product(s) or take a Bounty Event action through Special Links, whether for their use, your use or the use of any other person or entity. Further, you will not purchase any Product(s) through Special Links or take a Bounty Event action for resale or commercial use (of any kind) or offer any Products on your Site for resale or commercial use of any kind.
… ensure that long, multi-topic pages on your site are well-structured and broken into distinct logical sections. Second, ensure that each section has an associated anchor with a descriptive name (i.e., not just “Section 2.1”), and that your page includes a “table of contents” which links to the individual anchors… you won’t see it on the results all the time — only when we think that a link to a section would be highly useful for a particular query.
How much richly informative the article is? How much appropriate the article style is? And how much more useful the article content is? These are the crucial issues in an article for the successful affiliate content marketing. Because all the arrangements are aimed to build up credibility and trust providing useful information through the article. And helps to generate leads and achieve higher conversion rates for earning ultimate revenue.

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.


If you want to find a way to be able to mention products that are on sale more frequently on your website one of the easiest ways I’ve done that in the past is to just do a weekly deals post. So what I’ll do is publish a post every week with the best deals for my niche and then incorporate all of the previous tactics I’ve discussed above to link to the products on Amazon.com. Depending on how often you publish articles you could do it more or less frequently (I’ve seen some websites do these style of articles every day).
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.
To begin the enrollment process, you must submit a complete and accurate Associates Program application. Your Site(s) must contain original content and be publicly available via the website address provided in the application. You must identify your Site(s) in your application. We will evaluate your application and notify you of its acceptance or rejection. Your Site will not be eligible for inclusion in the Associates Program, and you cannot include any Special Links or Product Advertising Content on it, if your Site is unsuitable. Unsuitable Sites include those that:

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.
In addition, if you choose to display prices for any Product on your Site in any “comparison” format (including through the use of any price-comparison tool or engine) together with prices for the same or similar products offered through any web site or other means other than an Amazon Site, you must display both the lowest “new” price and, if we provide it to you, the lowest “used” price at which the Product is available on the Amazon Site.
I'm Michael S. Brown, Internet Marketer, husband and father. I have been successful in business and marketing since 1998. In 2007 I took to the internet marketing world and have never looked back. I love teaching people the knowledge that I have acquired and the ultimate boost to my ego is to see everyone I teach succeed in business. My goal is to make everyone who comes into contact with me as successful or even more successful than myself.
In 1994, Tobin launched a beta version of PC Flowers & Gifts on the Internet in cooperation with IBM, who owned half of Prodigy.[6] By 1995 PC Flowers & Gifts had launched a commercial version of the website and had 2,600 affiliate marketing partners on the World Wide Web. Tobin applied for a patent on tracking and affiliate marketing on January 22, 1996, and was issued U.S. Patent number 6,141,666 on Oct 31, 2000. Tobin also received Japanese Patent number 4021941 on Oct 5, 2007, and U.S. Patent number 7,505,913 on Mar 17, 2009, for affiliate marketing and tracking.[7] In July 1998 PC Flowers and Gifts merged with Fingerhut and Federated Department Stores.[8]
This agreement will begin upon your sign-up with the affiliate program and will end when either you or the Program Operator terminates your affiliate status, or if your account is inactive in any continuous twelve month period. An affiliate may terminate this agreement at any time, and for any reason, by writing to – or emailing – the Program Operator at the email address listed on the website. The affiliate may not transfer this agreement, or any rights conveyed in this agreement, to any third party whatsoever.
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