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.
I would think valuation is just going to have to be based on what the sites earn post-change. I don’t know if Amazon’s associate account allows you to see the detailed breakdown (i.e. commission detail) of what categories all of your affiliates sales are coming from or not. Once that segment of your traffic clicks through to Amazon, they could buy anything and you get a commission on it. They won’t necessarily be buying a items that you are promoting/reviewing on your site. 

We could fib and say that building an affiliate website is simple, but that wouldn’t do you or your business any good. In truth, people spend days and weeks just researching the best niche and products for their affiliate sites. Then, it’s time to build, market, and plan content for the site to build an audience of people who are interested in the products you recommend.
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.
In 2009, I originally published this post, the 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained—and The One I Profit From. A lot has changed since then, and I’ve learned a ton along the way about affiliate marketing the right way. It’s now October 2018, and I wanted to share those new insights here, with a bunch of new takeaways for you to bring affiliate marketing into your own business!
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?
The people that you refer too did not master amazon, they merely mastered the value they offer to visitors. If you are able to engage/connect with visitors, then you got a winner, some people merely have better skills then others, which may include offering high value content, coding/custom skills. Do you agree that these people brought something to the table? If they did not, then visitors would not continue to visit their sites, right? You can put up all the content in the world, you can get all the backlinks you want, but if you can not engage/connect with your visitors, then all is lost. These site most likely did not start off with custom sites; they started off just like everyone else, some rag/tag site. I ran across an affiliate site a few months ago, and the content on his site would just blow your mind, and let me tell you,this guy had affiliate links from all major affiliate networks, his site has so much authority that he is listed right up under amazon, and some actual product manufacturers; how did he do this? He brought solutions, and value to his visitors, he knew what they were looking for, and knows how to engage, and connect with them. If you can not figure out how to blow your visitors mind, then what do you really have to offer? His avg reviews were between 7k-10k words? how about you? 500-1000 words? at the end of the day, which site will google find more impressive, yours, or his, and i assure you, he had far more affiliate links on his site then you have on yours as you could not skip-a-paragraph without seeing affiliate links.

(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).
After picking out a topic, in fact, what I do first researches the keyword with the topic. An ideal title basically comprises the main keyword that plays king role in the overall content of the article for search engine optimization. In fact, here in this blog post “best affiliate article” is the prime keyword. You could define “how to write the best affiliate article” as your main keyword that is comprised in the title longer is semantically right composition.

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.
4. Easily Integrated – There are more and more plugins and tools that have Amazon Affiliate integration built into them to help you easily place links in your blog posts. I use ecto for Mac which has a tool that searches for products and links them in in just a couple of clicks. WP has plugins also. The affiliate links already mentioned in this post took seconds to integrate in.
Thanks a lot Spencer for these affiliate marketing tips. I was looking for some tips on how I can improve myself with affiliate marketing and there your email landed in my mail box and I came across this wonderful piece of information. I am happy that you have suggested linking images with an affiliate link and that’s what I did in my last promotional post on my blog.

Once the basics have been mastered and a network selected, retailers have to decide whether they are going to run the program in-house or hire an outside manager (or both). Milan Jara owns Decorative Ceiling Tiles, an online retailer with a little more than $1 million in annual sales. For three years, he ran his affiliate marketing program himself, learning by trial and error how to pick affiliates and spot coupon abuse.


File-Sharing: Web sites that host directories of music, movies, games and other software. Users upload content to file-hosting sites and then post descriptions of the material and their download links on directory sites. Uploaders are paid by the file-hosting sites based on the number of times their files are downloaded. The file-hosting sites sell premium download access to the files to the general public. The websites that host the directory services sell advertising and do not host the files themselves.
An affiliate marketer is someone who is running the actual ad campaigns or content marketing campaigns in hopes of making affiliate commissions from the program. An affiliate manager or AM is someone that manages the various affiliates in a network, so they sometimes have the ability to give you special deals if you can prove to them it’s worth their while to do so.
Amazon runs one of the largest affiliate programs around, called Amazon Associates. You can become part of the program as long as your website already has some content (about five or ten posts). Bear in mind that once you’ve applied, it can take a few days to be approved. Once your account is ready, you can start to focus on building an effective website.

We will evaluate your application in good faith and will notify you of your acceptance or rejection in a timely manner. We may reject your application if we determine (in our sole discretion) that your website is not suitable for the Affiliate Program for any reason, including, but not limited to, its inclusion of content that is, in our opinion, unlawful or otherwise violates our Acceptable Use Policy.

So, now that you know everything there is to know about how to add Amazon affiliate links to WordPress, what will you do with this information? Just save a little money on Amazon? Will you start out small and embed promotional product links into your blog content? Will you be adventurous and launch your own Amazon affiliate store? Or are you concerned about the use of too many affiliate links affecting site speed?
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.
You can use affiliate links after the fact. You don’t have to decide upon building a WordPress site that you’re going to optimize it with Amazon affiliate links. You can decide down the road that you want to give affiliate marketing a try and, consequently, revisit old content, embed affiliate links within it, and start generating revenue that way--especially if your old content is finally starting to take off.
The biggest ‘challenge’ I have found with EasyAzon Pro v3.0.8 is that is does not work on Chrome. Whenever I am going to use it I have to switch over to IE. I filed a support ticket with them after I bought the software last year and they got back to me several days later. (I suspect they are closed on the weekend.) They offered little help and I figured out the Chrome / IE thing on my own.
Blogging is the most obvious type of website that fits into the affiliate based business model because it lends itself so naturally to the process. When you consistently write articles on a blog, your opinion becomes respected over time as your audience sees you making good recommendations. If someone recommends something to you, and it turns out to be a really good thing, your respect for that person’s opinion is naturally going to be elevated. Blogging about a new product, book or service is a perfect because it allows you to explain in depth about the product, the benefits and how it helped you or improved your life.
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
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?
You are responsible for all activities that occur under your Account Identifiers and/or Data Feed Access ID, as applicable, regardless of whether those activities are undertaken by you or any other person or entity. Therefore, you should contact us immediately if you believe that someone other than you may be using your private key or password, or if your private key or password is otherwise disclosed, lost, or stolen. You may not use any Associates tag parameter, Account Identifier, or Data Feed Access ID assigned to anyone other than you or that we did not specifically assign to you.
He provided another example here where he created an article titled “The Perfect Website For You To Study“. In a nutshell, he stated about the way he construct his content by producing articles such as “Best Of Post” with corresponding “How To’s“. In other words, there is a distinct way of catching your readers/visitors attention by having consistency and technique in your article writing.
Analytics are limited. Unlike with conversions made directly on your WordPress site, you’ll be limited in terms of what you can learn about the people making purchases through your affiliate links. While Amazon does provide you with details about clicks and sales, you won’t get deep insights into who the consumer was and what they did on your site before they got to that point that you would with Google Analytics.
The keys to earning a decent income from an affiliate website are to reach as many users as possible and build trust with them. If visitors trust you, they’ll be more likely to make purchases from your website. You can compare this to impulse buyers, who might visit your site once or twice, make a purchase based on your recommendations, and then never come back.
9.1. We grant to you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable right to (i) access our site through HTML links solely in accordance with the terms of this Agreement and (ii) solely in connection with such links, to use our logos, trade names, trademarks, and similar identifying material (collectively, the "Licensed Materials") that we provide to you or authorize for such purpose. You are only entitled to use the Licensed Materials to the extent that you are a member in good standing of Merchant.com's Affiliate Program. You agree that all uses of the Licensed Materials will be on behalf of Merchant.com and the good will associated therewith will inure to the sole benefit of Merchant.com.
MA shall not have the right to modify the source code to make adaptations to the Technology in conjunction with the sale of the Technology without the written consent of Company. In the event of modified source code, only the modified portion of the code becomes the property of MA, and MA shall treat the modified source code with the same care as with Company source code.
There is a minimum commission amount of $25. This is the minimum amount that you must earn before you will be paid commissions. In any commission period, your commission must exceed this amount before you will receive any sums for that period. Commissions below this minimum amount will be held until such time as the commission equals or exceeds this amount.
We could fib and say that building an affiliate website is simple, but that wouldn’t do you or your business any good. In truth, people spend days and weeks just researching the best niche and products for their affiliate sites. Then, it’s time to build, market, and plan content for the site to build an audience of people who are interested in the products you recommend.
The easiest way to find affiliate programs to promote is to check if the people selling products and services you love have an affiliate program – assuming those products and services would be relevant to the visitors to your blog or website. There are also multiple ways to find new quality products or services to promote to your audience based on their interests. You'll find more information on how to do this here.
For purposes of this Agreement, the Technology means the electronic access to programs, content and documentation, and Company's end user license agreement as it may be modified by Company for use in the Territory. The relationship between the corporate user and Company and/or its Affiliates shall be as specified in the applicable Company end user license agreement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, as between Company and MA, MA shall be responsible as defined for providing customer and technical support to end users in the Territory. MA will notify Company immediately in the event that it is unable to respond effectively to any end users’ requests.

(a) You will not add to, delete from, or otherwise alter any Program Content in any way, including by adding additional information, except that you may resize Program Content consisting of a graphic image in a manner that maintains the original proportions of the image or truncate Program Content consisting of text in a manner that does not materially alter the meaning of the text or cause the text to become factually incorrect, or misleading. Some types of links that we may make available to you may contain a link to an informational page on an Amazon Site that is not formatted as a Special Link (for example, links to privacy policy information at the bottom of banners); without limiting the generality of the foregoing, you will not remove, obscure, or alter, or make invisible, illegible, or indecipherable to visitors of your Site, any “Privacy Information” link.
This Agreement is accepted by Company in the State of Nevada and shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws thereof, which laws shall prevail in the event of any conflict. For such limited purpose, MA hereby consents to the personal jurisdiction of any court of competent jurisdiction in the State of Nevada. If any legal action or proceeding is initiated, the prevailing party shall be entitled to all attorney fees, court costs, and expenses in addition to any other relief to which such prevailing party may be entitled.
MA shall be deemed to be an independent contractor in its relationship with Company. MA shall not hold itself out as an employee or agent of Company other than for the limited purposes of marketing the Technology. No debts or obligations shall be incurred by either party in the other party’s name, including execution of the Client Registration Agreements. MA shall have the right to perform certain services for its Clients, such as training, installation and non-contract support and bill its Clients directly for such services. MA specifically understand and agrees that it shall not be treated as an employee with respect to such services as are performed for any applicable tax purposes; and it is further agreed that this Agreement shall not bring MA under the provisions of any local, state, provincial, federal, national, and international regulation wherein coverage thereunder is based upon the relationship of employer and employee.
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Subject to the terms of the Agreement and solely for the limited purposes of participation in the Associates Program in strict compliance with the Agreement (including this License and the other Program Policies), we hereby grant you a limited, revocable, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to: (a) copy and display Program Content solely on your Site; (b) use only those of the Amazon Marks (as defined in the Trademark Guidelines) we make available to you as part of the Program Content, solely on your Site and in accordance with the Trademark Guidelines, and (c) access and use PA API, Data Feeds, and Product Advertising Content solely in accordance with the Specifications and this License.
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