Affiliate marketing also is a very broad term; under this umbrella there are several different strategies that can be employed to generate affiliate revenue. The most appropriate and lucrative method (or methods) can depend on a number of factors, including your site’s niche and characteristics of your audience. Below is an overview of some of the most popular affiliate marketing implementations, along with examples of each.
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!

“Subscription Service” means our web-based sales software that is subscribed to, and developed, operated, and maintained by us, accessible via http://www.hubspot.com or another designated URL, and add-on products to our sales software. For the purposes of this Agreement, the Subscription Service does not include our legacy sales products, any implementation, customization, training, consulting, additional support or other professional services, or fees for third-party products or services.
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.
Websites consisting mostly of affiliate links have previously held a negative reputation for underdelivering quality content. In 2005 there were active changes made by Google, where certain websites were labeled as "thin affiliates".[30] Such websites were either removed from Google's index or were relocated within the results page (i.e., moved from the top-most results to a lower position). To avoid this categorization, affiliate marketer webmasters must create quality content on their websites that distinguishes their work from the work of spammers or banner farms, which only contain links leading to merchant sites.
As a niche site builder, you should consider building out a genuine authority site…one that goes beyond the Amazon Associates program as a singular monetization method. Authority sites can net you a much higher ROI, typically have diversified traffic and revenue streams, and thus can protect against changes in any one program better than a niche site that only earns revenue from Amazon Associates.
Commissions are paid once per month by payment processor, a minimum of 30 days after the sale is completed.  Commissions will be paid on or about the 31st day of the month for sales made from the first through the last day of the previous month, and are paid by the Program Operator.  (Commissions earned during March 1-31st would be paid around April 30th-May 1st.)
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.
It can be time-consuming to find product images to use when promoting Amazon, the same thing goes for adding links. With EasyAzon I can add images, links, product info boxes and more by the click of a button directly from my own site. Super simple and it saves time and helps maximize earnings. If you monetize with Amazon take a look at EasyAzon here.
Companies online will give you a commission if you refer a customer to them. An easy example would be with Amazon. Amazon has an affiliate program called Amazon Associates. It’s free to join and takes just a couple minutes to set up. From there you can search every product that is on Amazon and get your personal referral link. Let’s say your friend mentioned they wanted a new TV. You could send them your referral link for a TV on Amazon. Your friend buys the TV for $500, and Amazon gives you 6% of that sale. That means you made $30 without doing anything. Pretty cool, huh?
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.
I have a question: while searching for the niche, and I think I found one that is pretty good, the search on google (for “high end …….”) didn’t revile any brands. Now, I believe it’s possible that there are not many brands for this niche, but checking it little further, I found that there are some, but it was difficult finding it on amazon and even if I did find the products, they didn’t have many reviews, if there were any.
During the term of this Agreement, in the event that we make our trademark available to you within the Affiliate Tool, you may use our trademark as long as you follow the usage requirements in this section.  You must: (i) only use the images of our trademark that we make available to you, without altering them in any way; (ii) only use our trademarks in connection with the Affiliate Program and this Agreement; and (iii) immediately comply if we request that you discontinue use.  You must not: (i) use our trademark in a misleading or disparaging way; (ii) use our trademark in a way that implies we endorse, sponsor or approve of your services or products; or (iii) use our trademark in violation of applicable law or in connection with an obscene, indecent, or unlawful topic or material.
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.

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You further represent and warrant that: (i) you will ensure that you are compliant with any trade or regulatory requirements that may apply to your participation in the Affiliate Program (for example, by clearly stating you are a HubSpot Affiliate on any website(s) you own where you make an Affiliate Link available); (ii) you will accurately provide in the Affiliate Tool all websites and domains you own where you intend to use Affiliate Links to generate Affiliate Leads; (iii) you will not purchase ads that direct to your site(s) or through an Affiliate Link that could be considered as competing with HubSpot’s own advertising, including, but not limited to, our branded keywords; (iv) you will not participate in cookie stuffing or pop-ups, false or misleading links are strictly prohibited; (v) you will not attempt to mask the referring URL information; (vi) you will not use your own Affiliate Link to purchase HubSpot products for yourself.
Amazon launched back in 1994 and, two short years later, they developed their Amazon Associates program. In so doing, Amazon was able to increase exposure to their marketplace by enabling web developers and site owners to work as evangelists for their products. It helped drive more traffic to Amazon while giving these business-minded individuals the opportunity to generate more revenue for their own sites and businesses.
Your acceptance of this Agreement and participation in the Affiliate Program will not violate (i) any provision of law, rule, or regulation to which you are subject, (ii) any order, judgment, or decree applicable to you or binding upon your assets or properties, (iii) any provision of your by-laws or certificate of incorporation, or (iv) any agreement or other instrument applicable to you or binding upon your assets or properties.
Hello, I was reading your blog and I am interested in the topic. I commented that I am somewhat familiar with the subject of the sale, but it was evaluating the possibility to enrol in the course for $10, it is not expensive. But before I know if it is possible that within the course you show me where to buy the products that you sell. I say this, since you post that you are selling more than 3000 products, but I would like to know where to buy best precious for sale on amazon.
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.
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.
Before purchasing the site, ask the seller if they have any special offers with their affiliate managers/networks. If they do, you will want to make sure that you are going to be getting the exact same special deals when you take over the website. These special deals could be something as simple as allowing extra people into a capped offer, or even as lucrative as providing a bump in pay percentage.
Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.
Rumors of last click’s death have been greatly exaggerated. For most of the past decade, various industry commentators have said it’s a model that underestimates the complexity of multiple digital touchpoints an average consumer may have on their way to purchase. For affiliate marketers this can be confusing. Last click is what our business is based on; without it what are we left with? More often than not this confusion is from a misunderstanding of what ‘last click is dead’ really means.
The more people you are able to help, the more money you will make in return. It really is that simple. Sure, many other “guru’s” out there will tell you about ways to make money on auto-pilot using super-secret systems or software programs that do all the work for you. But unless you are truly providing value to other people, you will never make a good living long-term in affiliate marketing.
3.1. We have the right to monitor your site at any time to determine if you are following the terms and conditions of this Agreement. We may notify you of any changes to your site that we feel should be made, or to make sure that your links to our web site are appropriate and to notify further you of any changes that we feel should be made. If you do not make the changes to your site that we feel are necessary, we reserve the right to terminate your participation in the Merchant.com Affiliate Program.
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.
I have a question: while searching for the niche, and I think I found one that is pretty good, the search on google (for “high end …….”) didn’t revile any brands. Now, I believe it’s possible that there are not many brands for this niche, but checking it little further, I found that there are some, but it was difficult finding it on amazon and even if I did find the products, they didn’t have many reviews, if there were any.
[Sender.Company] is a proven leader in affiliate marketing. We have a track record of optimizing our clients’ current affiliate platform to help them realize an average increase in clicks, conversions, revenue, and average order value. Our affiliate strategy is tailored for each client depending on the goals set forth by the client and include a combination of publisher recruitment and commission optimization.
You will earn the Special Program Fee Rates described in this Section 4(b) in connection with “Trade-In Events” which occur when (1) a customer clicks through a Special Link on your Site to an Amazon Site and (2) during the resulting Session the customer adds a product to his or her trade-in shopping cart and then submits a trade-in request that Amazon accepts.
3.4 The number of New Players per individual household computer is strictly limited to one. Our measurements and calculations in relation to the number of New Players and Gross Revenues shall be sole and authoritative and the same shall not be open to review or appeal. We shall make the number of New Players and the relevant Gross Revenues figures available to you through our Affiliate program information site. To enable accurate tracking, reporting and commission accrual you must ensure that the Links between your site and the Sites are properly formatted at all times throughout the term of this Agreement.
Marketing Plan. MA shall submit an annual marketing plan to Company outlining, among other things, activities and staffing directed at attaining mutually agreed upon annual sales quotas. The Annual Quota is defined in Schedule A of this Agreement. The annual marketing plan shall be devised solely by MA and MA shall not be required to follow an operating plan, standard procedure, training manual, or its substantial equivalent, published by Company.
It’s time to mix and match. Instead of switching your entire blog over to luxury beauty products, mix in an occasional affiliate link. Perhaps write comparison articles that pit luxury beauty products against normal beauty products. Try to compare different makeup, face creams, hair styling tools, etc. Or, talk about the best products in different price categories. What is the best budget hair straightener, and what is the best luxury hair straightener?
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 also think that affiliate based business models provide an amazing opportunity to build up momentum and eventually create a product or ecommerce based company. Selling your own products will always be more lucrative than being an affiliate business, but there is an inherent risk associated with this model. If you can grow an engaged audience over a long period of time, it will be much easier to transition to your own products and the investment in manufacturing and distribution will not be as big of a risk because you will already have an audience.
There is, however, a level of responsibility that you have to uphold while making these kinds of recommendations, especially if you have a lot of authority and influence over your followers. This is something I take very seriously. If it were up to me, this is the only way affiliate marketing would be done, because to me it’s the most honest and most helpful.

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:


3.1. We have the right to monitor your site at any time to determine if you are following the terms and conditions of this Agreement. We may notify you of any changes to your site that we feel should be made, or to make sure that your links to our web site are appropriate and to notify further you of any changes that we feel should be made. If you do not make the changes to your site that we feel are necessary, we reserve the right to terminate your participation in the Merchant.com Affiliate Program.
Limitation of Liability. IF, NOTWITHSTANDING THE OTHER TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, WE ARE DETERMINED TO HAVE ANY LIABILITY TO YOU OR ANY THIRD PARTY, THE PARTIES AGREE THAT OUR AGGREGATE LIABILITY WILL BE LIMITED TO THE TOTAL COMMISSION AMOUNTS YOU HAVE ACTUALLY EARNED FOR THE RELATED CUSTOMER TRANSACTIONS IN THE TWELVE MONTH PERIOD PRECEDING THE EVENT GIVING RISE TO A CLAIM.

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.
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.
Affiliate Contracts (i) Amend, modify or waive any material term or provision of any Affiliate Contract or any Third Party Contract as in effect on the Closing Date without the prior written consent of Required Lenders, (ii) enter into any new Affiliate Contract or Third Party Contract following the Closing Date, unless such contract is (a) substantially similar to the form of contracts entered into by Borrowers with the Affiliate Plants prior to the Closing Date and (b) promptly delivered to Agent or (iii) offer more favorable marketing fee arrangements under any Affiliate Contract than those marketing fee arrangements offered under any Third Party Contract.
Each of the parties hereto agrees that all information including, without limitation, the terms of this Agreement, business and financial information, FatCow and vendor lists, and pricing and sales information, shall remain strictly confidential and shall not be utilized for any purpose outside the terms of this Agreement except and solely to the extent that any such information is (a) already lawfully known to or independently developed by the receiving party, (b) disclosed in published materials, (c) generally known to the public, or (d) lawfully obtained from any third party any obligation of confidentiality to the discloser hereunder. Notwithstanding the foregoing, each party is hereby authorized to deliver a copy of any such information (a) to any person pursuant to a valid subpoena or order issued by any court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction, (b) to its accountants, attorneys, or other agents on a confidential basis, and (c) otherwise as required by applicable law, rule, regulation, or legal process including, without limitation, the Securities Exchange Act of 1933, as amended, and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
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.

One of the ways I’ve also been able to make good money with Amazon is to automatically populate information from a WordPress plugin that I had developed based on the needs I had for building Amazon centric websites. The result was EasyAzon. The plugin allows you to insert information and affiliate links to Amazon in a much faster way than creating the links yourself by hand from Amazon.com.
Affiliate marketing allows you to recommend products and services from other companies and be paid a commission if someone buys the product as the result of your recommendation. To track which purchases happens as a result of your recommendation(s), the merchant will provide you with a special link to use when linking to their website that contains a unique referral code assigned to you. If people click that unique link, and buy the product or service within a specified timeframe (the timeframe varies depending on the merchant), you get a commission on the sale.
For more information and suggestions about how to comply with these guidelines, please visit our page entitled "Affiliate Disclosure Requirements and Examples." Please note that this page is only intended to provide guidance. It does not purport to provide legal advice and it does not guarantee that you'll be in compliance with FTC regulations should you follow the suggestions presented. You are advised to seek and obtain your own legal advice on how these rules apply to your website or other promotional activities for which you receive compensation.
Most affiliate partnerships assign an account manager. Your account manager might tell you when there are specials or new products to promote. But it is crucial that you speak to them regularly and get on their best side, because they can increase your commission if you are sending great traffic. They could also give you an exclusivity deal and bump up your pay more. 

To his surprise, he discovered several affiliate marketers were willing to build entire websites to promote their retailing partners. BetterCeilings, a site that one of these affiliates developed on Mr. Jara’s behalf, features dozens of articles and videos with tips on choosing the right type of tile and installation — all linking back to Mr. Jara’s site.
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.
Very interesting post. I am saving this page for future reference. I personally liked tip #9. I know some people who try to locate themselves in niches that sell high valued products only and they do not make enough sales, consequently low commission as well. It’s better to target those items that sell quickly first, where people do not do a lot of thinking and research before buying.

Relationship of the parties. Each party will process the copy of the Personal Data in its possession or control as an independent controller (not as a joint controller with the other party). For the avoidance of doubt and without prejudice to the foregoing, HubSpot shall be an independent controller of any Personal Data that it receives or shares with Affiliate in connection with the Marketing Affiliate Program.


Yes and no. Affiliate marketing can generate passive income, but the passive side of the income usually only follows putting in a few years of hard work to generate the brand and audience you'll need to begin generating those passive sales. I have multiple sites earning passive income, but each of those sites took a lot of front end work to build up to that point. And not every site gets to the point of passive income. Some sites require continual maintenance though the revenue they generate can also allow you to pay for that maintenance to be done vs. you needing to do it yourself.
This Local Associates Policy applies to any registered business that offers face-to-face customer experiences and that facilitates customer purchases on Amazon.com (“Local Associates Program”) operated by an Associate in one or more of its owned or operated facilities registered on the program portal at https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/local Associates Site (such portal, the “Local Associates Portal” and such facilities, the “Local Associates Facilities”). In order to participate in the Local Associates Program you must (A) be an owner or authorized employee of a registered business, (B) apply through the Local Associates Portal, (C) have your application accepted by Amazon, (D) not be also registered for the Amazon Associates Program, and (E) comply with the applicable provisions of the Associates Program Operating Agreement, including this Local Associates Policy.
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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