Repeatable Business Model – Yes you heard it right. This business model is ideal and repeatable provided that you do it correctly. Let say you created a website for a certain product and that product became a hit and it is now making passive flow of income, you can either scale it from there or let it do its thing making money and start another one with another website promoting a different product.
I eventually learned the best model (for me) was to copy what Yoast did… charge a flat free for SEO Audits. People were always super happy with my audits. I still have my SEO audit templates (one for local SEO, national SEO, etc). Sometimes it would only take me 4 hours to write an audit and I would get $750, sometimes more if they wanted a more thorough audit. Maybe I undercharged?
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.
There’s no getting around it, making less money directly translates into a less valuable business. The valuations will go down, in some cases quite significantly as is the case for technology sites earning all their revenue from the Amazon Associates program. Again this clearly depends on the category of the site – some sites might see a slight increase in their earnings, but those are definitely in the minority.
(d) You will not, without our express prior written approval, use any Product Advertising Content on or in connection with any site or application designed or intended for use with a mobile phone or other handheld device (which prohibition apply neither to any site that is not designed or intended for use with such devices but that may be accessible by such devices, such as a non-mobile-optimized site accessed via an internet browser on a tablet device, nor an Approved Mobile Application as defined in the Participation Requirements or 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).
You agree not to intentionally solicit for employment any of our employees or contractors during the term of this Agreement and for a period of twelve (12) months following the termination or expiration of this Agreement.  Both you and we acknowledge that (i) any newspaper or other public solicitation not directed specifically to such person shall not be deemed to be a solicitation for purposes of this provision, and (ii) this provision is not intended to limit the mobility of either our employees or contractors.
FatCow will process orders placed by Referred Customers who follow the Links from an Affiliate Site to FatCow. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to reject orders that do not comply with certain requirements that we may establish from time to time. All aspects of order processing and fulfillment, including FatCow’s services, cancellation, processing, refunds and payment processing will be our responsibility. We will track the Qualified Purchases generated by your Affiliate Site and will make this information available to you through our website. To permit accurate tracking, reporting, and commission accrual, you must ensure that the Links between your website and our website are properly formatted.
2. Commissions – John writes that he’s not satisfied with a 4% commission. He’s right in some ways, 4% isn’t that much when you’re selling a $10 book – however when you’re selling a Get a Price on the $5000 Camera or a $25,000 Tractor (I know someone who does quite well out of ride on mowers and tractors) it certainly adds up. Not only that, the 4% rate that John talks about is the base rate. Unfortunately it is as high as it goes on consumer electronics – however on most other products there is a sliding scale where the more you sell the higher your commission goes to. Sell more than 6 items in a month and your commission goes to 6% – sell over 630 and you’re up to 8% (the rate I’m on). The 4-Hour work Week that John uses as an example earned me around $1 a book. Still not a lot – but I did sell 100 or so of them (after my interview with it’s author) which not only earned me $100 but also helped push the numbers of sales up for the month, moving me into the next earning bracket. 

This Marketing Affiliate Agreement (the “Agreement”) is entered into this 8th day of May 2014, by and between BIRCH FIRST GLOBAL INVESTMENTS INC., a corporation incorporated in the U.S. Virgin Islands, with its main place of business located 9100 Havensight, Port of Sale, Ste. 15/16, St. Thomas, VI 0080 (referred to as “Company”) and MOUNT KNOWLEDGE HOLDINGS INC. and/or assigns, a corporation incorporated in the State of Nevada, with its main place of business located at 228 Park Avenue S. #56101 New York, NY 10003-1502 (referred to as “Marketing Affiliate” or “MA”).

Smaller and newer e-commerce businesses often find this practice especially appealing (although Amazon.com uses it, too). Unlike pay-per-click advertising, which charges merchants every time someone clicks on a link to their site, affiliate marketing costs nothing unless there is a sale — at which point a commission, typically between 4 and 20 percent, is paid. It has become an essential part of the online marketing toolbox, generating fees that Forrester Research projects will reach $3.4 billion next year.

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!!!
Smart Passive Income proves that being an authority in your niche is important. Pat Flynn is the creator of the site, and affiliate marketing and other forms of online income are not only where his expertise lies, but it’s also what he sells. Flynn recommends hosting, blogging tools, helpful books, and more resources to guide others toward making their own passive income with his expertise.
(b) Obtaining Product Advertising Content. You may obtain Product Advertising Content by making calls to PA API. If we provide express prior written approval, you may also obtain Product Advertising Content through a data feed (“Data Feeds”) that we make available via file transfer protocol. To request our approval for access to Product Advertising Content through Data Feeds, contact us via this link. If you obtain Product Advertising Content through Data Feeds, your access to and use of Data Feeds is subject to this License. You acknowledge that we may change, deprecate, or republish PA API or Data Feeds, or any features of PA API or Data Feeds, at any time and from time to time, and you agree that it is your responsibility to ensure that your access to and use of PA API or Data Feeds is compatible with the then-current requirements (including this License and all Program Policies).
Each affiliate is responsible for compliance with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including but not limited to, those laws pertaining to export control. By registering as an affiliate, you warrant that you are not a citizen or resident of a country designated as having Embargoed Nation Status and further, you also warrant that you are not on the list of Specially Designated Nationals or Blocked Persons maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department. The products and/or services are exported from the United States in accordance with the Export Administration Regulations. Diversion to other countries is contrary to U.S. law and is prohibited.

For example, when someone drops a comment on a blog post, you should engage with that person, even if it's only to say thanks. This helps to bridge that emotional divide. Be sure to stay on top of all engagement on every platform. Don't allow it to consume you, but do your best to respond to people in a timely manner. This could make all the difference in succeeding with a sale or making someone pass you up. The more you nurture and develop your audience, the more they'll believe become fervent buyers.


Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing the insights. Would you mind throwing some light on not your product itself but the competition your product had prior to you entering. For example – I sell essential oil in the geated beauty category and since the competition is so fierce, I’m struggling to make organic sales. Indeed, sales and reviews seem to be the mantra for AMZ algo. I’m currently trending at 31 reviews and should hit the 50 review mark in 2 weeks hopefully. I’m truly hoping things start to change then.
You may have noticed in my overview of the Amazon Associates site that I left out the mention of the plugin they built for WordPress. That’s because the plugin doesn’t work (at least not well). Luckily, the Amazon Auto Links plugin will simplify the process of finding new and relevant products to promote and creating affiliate links to them--all from within WordPress.
For example, say you get 1,000 visitors to your site each day. If your conversion rate is 1 percent, then that means 10 of those visitors will end up purchasing something you recommended. If the average commission you receive is $5, then that means each day you'll earn 10 * $5 = $50 on average. This gives you an idea of what you can do to improve your affiliate business. To grow from this point, you can either work to increase the number of readers you have or you can work at increasing your conversion rate. 

ps. collecting these Facebook polls is one of the main reasons I was able to get so many SiteGround sales. Yes, I’m suggesting SiteGround for your host, but this is also a strategy that can be used to collect unbiased reviews. Just go to Facebook and search “SiteGround poll” and you can dig up some great stuff – you can do this with lots of affiliate products/companies.

In no case shall you have the right to go to court or have a jury trial. You will not have the right to engage in pre-trial discovery except as provided in the rules; you will not have the right to participate as a representative or member of any class of claimants pertaining to any claim subject to arbitration; the arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding with limited rights of appeal.

Each affiliate acts as an independent contractor and as such is responsible for any or all United States, state, or foreign income taxes and any other tax liabilities that affect or concern the sales of the products or services, in your state or location. If you are NOT a resident of the United States, the Program Operator will withhold the appropriate U.S. income tax applicable to foreign nationals, prior to your receipt of any commissions. The Program Operator does so pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Service laws (also known as the United States Tax Code) and other applicable laws. It is the affiliate’s sole responsibility, and not the responsibility of the Program Operator, to take any steps necessary to recover these sums under the Tax Code and other applicable laws.


Free traffic can be achieved through things like social media or SEO. Free traffic is just another term for free visitors to your site. If you post your website on Instagram for your friends to see, when your friends visit your site, your site receives traffic. This traffic costs you nothing and is free. SEO, on the other hand, stands for search engine optimization. It’s how well Google ranks your website in its search engine. Every time you search a term in Google the results that show on the first page have a high ranking because their SEO is done right. The higher the rank, the more visitors to your website. And because this traffic is coming from people searching through Google, it costs you nothing as well. The power with search traffic is that you can essentially create a business revolved around headphone reviews and mostly all of your revenue is profit. The only overhead costs would be your domain name and web hosting service, which costs next to nothing.
The implementation of affiliate marketing on the internet relies heavily on various techniques built into the design of many web-pages and websites, and the use of calls to external domains to track user actions (click tracking, Ad Sense) and to serve up content (advertising) to the user. Most of this activity adds time[citation needed] and is generally a nuisance to the casual web-surfer and is seen as visual clutter.[citation needed] Various countermeasures have evolved over time to prevent or eliminate the appearance of advertising when a web-page is rendered. Third party programs (Ad-Aware, Adblock Plus, Spybot, pop-up blockers, etc.) and particularly, the use of a comprehensive HOSTS file can effectively eliminate the visual clutter and the extra time and bandwidth needed to render many web pages. The use of specific entries in the HOSTS file to block these well-known and persistent marketing and click-tracking domains can also aid in reducing a system's exposure to malware by preventing the content of infected advertising or tracking servers to reach a user's web-browser.[citation needed]
My question which I don’t see addressed anywhere. How do you feel about letting your traffic know they will be clicking through to Amazon. Right now we are just using “click here for details and current price” which sets our cookie. However, I had an Amazon rep tell me we would do better by letting the visitors know where they are going. I have never tested that. Have you?
(b) during a single session, which is measured as beginning when a customer clicks through that Special Link and ending upon the first to occur of the following: (x) 24 hours elapse from that click, (y) the customer places an order for a Product, other than a digital item sold under the name “Amazon Music,” “Amazon Shorts”, “eDocs”, “Amazon Prime Video”, “Amazon Software Downloads”, “Game Downloads”, “Kindle Books”, “Kindle Newspapers”, “Kindle Blogs”, “Kindle Newsfeeds”, or “Kindle Magazines” (a “Digital Product”), or (z) the customer clicks through a Special Link to an Amazon Site that is not your Special Link (a “Session”), any of the following happens:
To visualize this, think about an employee at a department store. They get paid hourly, but they also get commissions when they make sales (depending on where they work). Ever notice how when you walk into a department store employees begin hovering around you? This is because they’re waiting for you to ask for help, so they can help you complete a purchase and make a commission. This “commission” is the core essence of affiliate marketing.
Option 2: Payment by Amazon Gift Card. We will send you gift cards in the amount of the fees you earn to the primary email address on your Associates account. These gift cards are redeemable for products on the Amazon Site the fees were earned on and are subject to our then-current gift card terms and conditions. If you select this option, we reserve the right to hold fees until the total amount due to reaches the minimum stated in the Payment Minimum Chart.
Affiliate Program Limits. Each accepted Affiliate Lead will expire according to the information provided on the Program Policies Page. from the date the Affiliate Lead clicked on the Affiliate Link that was made available by you. We will pay you Commission for each new Customer who completes a Customer Transaction after clicking on an Affiliate Lead made available by you, provided that you remain eligible to receive Commission pursuant to the terms of this Agreement.  The start of the Customer’s subscription is determined by the date of the first purchase of the Subscription Service by the Customer and you will receive a Commission payment for that Customer Transaction only, regardless of any additional purchases made by that customer during their Subscription Service. For example, if the initial Customer Transaction is for one user of Sales Hub Professional, and there is a subsequent transaction by that same customer for an additional user of Sales Hub Professional for the same subscription, Affiliate will receive Commission for the initial user purchased only. The Affiliate will not be entitled to receive Commission on any additional purchases of HubSpot Products by that same Customer

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.

You will use Program Content solely in accordance with the terms of the Agreement and within the express scope of the license granted herein. Without limiting the foregoing, you will (a) use Program Content solely to send end users and sales to an Amazon Site and will not link any Program Content to, or in conjunction with any Program Content, direct traffic to any page of a site other than an Amazon Site (however, parts of your Site that are not closely associated with the Program Content may contain links to sites other than an Amazon Site) and (b) link each use of the Program Content solely to the related Product detail page or other relevant page of an Amazon Site and not to any other page.

If they own a website or a business in a similar niche, then owning a large affiliate site could be a great complementary way to make more money while still dominating the main niche that they are focusing on. Since affiliate sites do not take a lot of time to manage when not in growth mode, a Strategic Sally could buy this site and just use it to boost her personal brand or the business that she is currently growing with ease.
You and FatCow are independent contractors, and nothing in this Agreement will create any partnership, joint venture, agency, franchise, sales representative, or employment relationship between the parties. You will have no authority to make or accept any offers or representations on our behalf. You will not make any statement, whether on your Affiliate Site or otherwise, that contradicts anything in this section.
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)
Of course you want affiliates with high commissions, but they should also have a solid reputation with high conversions and low reversal rates (you get $0 if people cancel after signing up). If they’re part of an affiliate marketplace like ShareASale or ClickBank you can see some numbers there. Companies likes Amazon/SiteGround are safe bets, otherwise do your research (or track your affiliate links so you can monitor their performance). Avoid affiliates offering huge commissions since this probably means they’re struggling to acquire/retain customers naturally. This will hurt your numbers (specifically your conversions/reversal rates).
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.
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