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.
That’s just a general understanding of what affiliate marketing is, but let’s see how we can build a legitimate business with it. This business model can be fully automated and generate us anywhere to a couple of hundred dollars a month, to upwards of half a million a month. And yes, some people are millionaires from this and only spend a couple of hours a week managing everything. It’s basically passive income.
Affiliate Marketplaces – ShareASale and ClickBank have thousands of merchants to choose from. It’s nice to login to 1 place and check the performance of multiple affiliates without going to each individual portal on each website. Many programs aren’t part of a marketplace though. I’m a big fan of ShareASale – there are so many companies and industries you can choose from.

Chris is right….i have seen this article 8 moths ago, after searching the net for how to start a online business without investing to much money. Since then i have made an amazon site and are making some money already. Make sure you find a SEO expert when doing this if you are not one, if you dont know SEO you will end up with a site with no visitors. Thank you Chris for your time and info.

I have recently signed up for some other affiliate programs and mixed those links in with my Amazon links. Readers clearly prefer Amazon, and I can understand why. I know that if I have the choice when I buy something, I almost always go with Amazon. And when I’m shopping for almost anything, I always check to see if I can get it at Amazon for less. Don’t most Americans? So I’m not giving up on Amazon.

The Amazon Associates affiliate program uses a tiered commission structure to pay out to affiliates. The more you sell, the more you will earn. That’s why many affiliates will attempt to promote two different types of products – cheap and expensive. By promoting cheap products under $10, you will likely receive a lot of purchases. For example, many affiliate marketers will promote e-books that may only cost $5. Since Amazon only pays up to 8.5% commissions, you’re not going to earn much by selling a $5 e-book. However, making a lot of sales of smaller items helps to boost your sales count in the, which also boosts the amount of commission you receive. Here is the current Amazon Associates Affiliate Program commission structure:
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.
Amazon will not pay you unless your affiliate sales reach a threshold of $10 if you choose to be paid by direct bank deposit or Amazon gift card, or $100 if you want to be paid by check. If you fail to reach the threshold, your affiliate balance is carried over to the next month and added to the sales you make then. Amazon pays affiliate sales at net 60 days, so, for example, sales that reach the threshold at the end of January will be paid in late March.
Español: iniciar un negocio de marketing de afiliados, Português: Iniciar um Negócio em Marketing de Afiliados, Italiano: Iniziare un Business di Affiliato Marketing, Русский: зарабатывать на партнерском маркетинге, Deutsch: Ein Affiliate Marketing Geschäft beginnen, Français: se lancer dans le markéting d'affiliation, Bahasa Indonesia: Memulai Bisnis Pemasaran Afiliasi, Nederlands: Een affiliate marketing bedrijf beginnen, العربية: إنشاء شركة تسويق بالعمولة

In November 1994, CDNow launched its BuyWeb program. CDNow had the idea that music-oriented websites could review or list albums on their pages that their visitors might be interested in purchasing. These websites could also offer a link that would take visitors directly to CDNow to purchase the albums. The idea for remote purchasing originally arose from conversations with music label Geffen Records in the fall of 1994. The management at Geffen wanted to sell its artists' CD's directly from its website but did not want to implement this capability itself. Geffen asked CDNow if it could design a program where CDNow would handle the order fulfillment. Geffen realized that CDNow could link directly from the artist on its website to Geffen's website, bypassing the CDNow home page and going directly to an artist's music page.[10]
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[14] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[9]
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. 

FatCow reserves the right to suspend the payment of Commission Fees at any time and indefinitely, if it suspects fraud or other improper activity or a potential breach of any of the terms of this Agreement by the Affiliate or a Referred Customer. FatCow reserves the right to deduct from Affiliate's current and future Commission Fees any and all Commission Fees corresponding to any fraudulent, questionable, and cancelled purchases.
While every affiliate program is different, you are less likely to be hit by a ban hammer in the affiliate space than in the Adsense space.  In general, affiliate networks can be a bit more lenient with their terms of services. You also have the benefit that many networks are hosting the same offers, so if one does ban you, you can usually replace that income with the new network offer.

Many voucher code web sites use a click-to-reveal format, which requires the web site user to click to reveal the voucher code. The action of clicking places the cookie on the website visitor's computer. In the United Kingdom, the IAB Affiliate Council under chair Matt Bailey announced regulations[42] that stated that "Affiliates must not use a mechanism whereby users are encouraged to click to interact with content where it is unclear or confusing what the outcome will be."
First, find out all the affiliate networks being used on the website and figure out which other networks have the same offers, so you can use these as backups. You may need to move if the offer with the current network goes down or starts capping you. If at all possible, ask yourself if the offers on this site are evergreen or a flash in the pan kind of offer. If you are buying a website, you will likely want to make sure the offers are going to be sticking around for the long term versus only a couple of months after you purchased the website.

The good news about selling Amazon affiliate sites is that buyers still consider them an excellent investment opportunity. From a buyer’s standpoint, not much is likely to change. The sites are still very hands off and require little to very slight management on their part to run. If anything, they will be getting a slight “discount” on these Amazon affiliate sites since the sites themselves will still be attracting the same amount of traffic that they can use to split-test new offers once they acquire the sites.
However, be aware that you need to submit an application to most of these networks to be accepted. Once you're accepted in, you're often required to apply directly to the merchant afterwards. So there are two layers or gates that you need to bypass. That's also why it's important to build up your platform and create that emotional bridge between yourself and your audience before attempting to promote anything to them.
If you’re in the WordPress industry like I am (whether it be design, development, or SEO) I have accumulated quite the list of WordPress affiliate programs. I excluded those I found unsuccessful or pay too little to make a profit from, specifically ThemeForest, Creative Market, and low quality theme stores like Template Monster. Hosting pays well and I wrote a tutorial for SiteGround’s affiliate program and StudioPress themes which are my 2 highest paying affiliates. Those tutorials have tons of screenshots/social proof especially for SiteGround.

I see you did have Yoast SEO mentioned here. I recommended Yoast SEO in your last post before I stopped by this blog to see what you posted. Good stuff my friend. I am going to publish more recommended WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers and bloggers soon. This way, we keep everyone in your side hustle circle informed what words best with WordPress.
In fact, depending on your niche there might be other affiliate programs that pay you far more than what Amazon is paying even on the old tiered structure they had. Many of these affiliate programs will pay higher rates and will often have much longer cookies. Amazon cookies every visitor that clicks on your affiliate link for 24 hours, meaning anything that person buys within 24 hours will be attributed to your account.
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.
Special Links may be created by you or made available to you by us. If we inform you that your Site does not qualify to use certain types of links, you must cease displaying those types of links on your Site. You are solely responsible for the content, style, and placement of each link that you place on your Site and for ensuring that Special Links (whether created by you or made available to you by us) include the appropriate formatting necessary for us to properly track referrals of our customers from your Site. You must not encourage customers to bookmark your Special Links. All Special Links must be accessed directly from your Site. For example, you must include your Associates ID or “tag” (appearing as XXXXX-20, or such other format as we may designate) as a parameter in the URL of each link you place on your Site to an Amazon Site.

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.


Great post , I do read a lot of the Nichehacks articles and this one is so true. At the moment I am in a niche I'm passionate about and yes although I am primarily using Amazon to monetize my site, I will be branching out to use other methods very soon. It frightens me to think the plug can be pulled at any time! I intent to use other affiliate programs as well as Amazon, maybe Google Adsense, I'm not sure yet, some digital products and also to build an email list.
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.

The affiliate marketing industry is somewhat unique in the transparency of many of its members. There’s a general willingness to share experiences, including both successes and failures. Below are some of the most in-depth and useful interviews and tutorials put together by affiliate marketers who put in the hard work to build up a profitable affiliate operation (in some cases, more than once):


There are many ways in which you can make money with WordPress. Creating a website for the purposes of promoting a business or selling goods through an online store is one such way. Monetizing a blog with display ads is another. While there are other ways in which you can use your WordPress site to make money, perhaps one of the easiest ones to get started with is affiliate marketing.
Each party hereby agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the other party and its affiliates, directors, officers, employees and agents, from and against any and all liability, claims, losses, damages, injuries or expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) brought by a third party, arising out of a breach, or alleged breach, of any of its representations or obligations herein.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This Agreement contains the complete terms and conditions that apply to you becoming an affiliate in Merchant.com's Affiliate Program. The purpose of this Agreement is to allow HTML linking between your web site and the Merchant.com web site. Please note that throughout this Agreement, "we," "us," and "our" refer to Merchant.com, and "you," "your," and "yours" refer to the affiliate.

8. The Holidays are Boom Time – While I’m really happy with the way my Amazon Affiliate income is growing ($2500 a month is so far beyond what I’d ever expected from it in the early days) it’s worth noting that things really fire up in the lead up to Christmas and the holiday season. Over the last few years I’ve noticed significant jumps in Amazon earnings in December (as much as 100%). The key is to plan ahead (make sure your links are all up to date a couple of months out) and run a few Christmas specific posts in the lead up to the Holiday rush (start to prepare as early as October/November).
There’s no universal consensus for what constitutes ‘long-form’ content. However, as a rule of thumb, you can think of this as any piece over 1,000 words. Research shows people tend to trust long-form content more. On the other hand, most online readers still tend to skim articles. This means you also need to find ways to adapt your longer content for skimmers.
If you've taken the time to build an email list, then you should use that opportunity to survey your subscribers. Consider asking them, specifically, what they're most interested. I recently did this and the answers actually surprised me. However, another thing the answers did was allow me to laser-focus my affiliate offers in the right direction. This is invaluable information and it's coming straight from your list.

I expanded my SEO blog and started writing about hosting, cache plugins, and other relevant topics… while recommending SiteGround in each tutorial. I added social proof like this poll where they were rated the #1 host. Each tutorial was super detailed and tons of people found them helpful – many generated 100 visitors/day since the great content got them ranked high.
Bounty Events are available in select countries as referenced in the Appendix (“Special Program Fees”). You will earn Special Program Fees described in this Section 4(a) in connection with “Bounty Events” which occur when (1) a customer, who must be eligible for the Bounty Event as described in the Appendix, clicks through a Special Link on your Site to a bounty-specific homepage on an Amazon Site, and (2) during the resulting Session the customer completes the bounty action described in the Appendix.
g) Any cause of action or claim you may have with respect to the website, the products, the services, or the eBook(s), must be commenced within ninety (90) days after the claim or cause of action arises or such claim or cause of action is barred.  The Program Operator ‘s failure to insist upon or enforce strict performance of any provision of this agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. Neither the course of conduct between the parties nor trade practice shall act to modify any provision of this agreement. the Program Operator may assign its rights and duties under this agreement to any party at any time without notice to you. Use of headings in this document is for convenience only and does not identify legal boundaries or terms explicitly.
HubSpot’s Proprietary Rights.  No license to any software is granted by this Agreement. The HubSpot Products are protected by intellectual property laws. The HubSpot Products belong to and are the property of us or our licensors (if any). We retain all ownership rights in the HubSpot Products. You agree not to copy, rent, lease, sell, distribute, or create derivative works based on the HubSpot Content, or the HubSpot Products in whole or in part, by any means, except as expressly authorized in writing by us. HubSpot, the Sprocket Design, the HubSpot logos, and other marks that we use from time to time are our trademarks and you may not use them without our prior written permission, except as otherwise set forth in this Agreement.
×