And finally, I think you should always be open with your model. When you are recommending products to an audience and receiving a financial kick back, you need to maintain a position of trust by being transparent about how you earn revenue. Some members of your audience won’t want to click an affiliate link, even when you are completely open like this, but I believe having this level of integrity will serve you better over the long run.
j) Should this affiliate program be deemed illegal in any jurisdiction, the Program Operator has the right to immediately terminate this program, without recourse. If the payment processors utilized by the Program Operator determine that sales made through affiliates cannot be processed through the payment processor, then the Program Operator has the right to immediately terminate this Program, without recourse. Nothing herein is intended to imply that the Program Operator will always offer any affiliate program, or this affiliate program, for all products, services, and/or opportunities sold by the Program Operator on the websites or that the Program Operator will offer any affiliate program whatsoever.
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.

I guess the only thing I’d say about this is if you are blogging in a competitive niche and working in what I’d call the “gray area” of link masking and not using “nofollow” as described here by google (https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en) expect that competitors that are writing real reviews with real photos (not stuff grabbed from a manufacturers website) are going to report you to google as webspam. The thing I hate most is affiliate sites that have never held a product in their hand and then try to pass off something as a first person review for the sole sake of pushing you to Amazon.com.
As a smart merchant, the first step towards business growth is to integrate a streamlined affiliate marketing program that frees your time and saves on business expenses. Finding affordable advertising online can be like walking through a maze. With a plethora of advertising options available, you can easily get distracted and lose your advertising dollars. Conversely, traditional online-advertising methods only offer one-time efforts. Learn More

WP Rich Snippets – premium plugin that adds rich snippets (eg. review stars) to your snippets. You get 33% of sales and it’s what I use on my site. However the developer does not provide plugin updates or support. Here’s a post I used it on. If you’re writing reviews, get 100% need SOME rich snippets plugin. The All In One Schema plugin works too. If you want to allow users to submit reviews, try the Site Reviews plugin.
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 can accomplish great results also if you take the time to learn the “ins and outs” of how affiliate marketing is done. For example, there's a WP plugin that automates your business for you. What it does is whatever “niche” product you are promoting, it uploads all the best selling products every 24 hours automatically for you without you ever having to touch your PC. How cool is that. The best part is, it only cost $9.95. Yep! You read it correctly.
You can sign up as an Amazon associate straight away without a site. As long as you have the URL and it belongs to you. They won’t approve your site until you have made your first commission. So what I would do is get the site built and add all the content that you need. Make sure its finished. Then sign up to the Amazon associates, add in your aff codes to your review pages and then you just wait for your first sale. Make sure you read the amazon T&Cs so your site is compliant. If it isn’t then they will not approve your site.

The CJ Affiliate by Conversant network has 120 niches in the business category, including web hosting, business loans, and domain registrations. ShareASale, a similar affiliate-marketing network, has 129 programs listed in the category. The right affiliate can deliver strong recommendations to these products and services. Affiliates can significantly influence consumer decisions.

You will be provided an affiliate identification number. Your affiliate ID number may be numeric and/or CaSe sEnSitIvE. For example, the code ‘learn_more’ is different from ‘Learn_More’. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy and security of your affiliate ID number and password. You agree to hold the Program Operator harmless in the event that any such information is shared by you with any other person or entity whatsoever.
(f) You will not (i) interfere, or attempt to interfere, in any manner with the functionality or proper working of PA API; (ii) compile or use Product Advertising Content for the purpose of direct marketing, spamming, unsolicited contacting of sellers or customers, or other advertising activities; or (iii) remove, obscure, alter, or make invisible, illegible, or indecipherable, any notice, including any notice of intellectual property or proprietary right, appearing on or contained within PA API, Data Feeds, Product Advertising Content, or Specifications.
Now that we know this model works for things like blogs and niche websites, we can dive deeper. How can we create a real multi-million dollar company with an actual team of employees? Well, look at companies like Expedia, Ebates, NerdWallet, and TripAdvisor. These are just a few companies using the affiliate marketing business model. Expedia is a great example. They own no product or service. All they do is connect people to different hotels and flights. When someone books a flight through Expedia with any airline, the airline company pays Expedia a commission for the ticket sale. 

Viglink – This is an affiliate marketing plugin that’s associated with my Viglink Account (Here’s my experience with Viglink). If anyone clicks on a product on my website, Viglink will track this and I get a commission if they buy something. You can use Amazon Associates for your Affiliate Marketing, but I like Viglink because it has partnerships with 2,000 different stores including Amazon. Viglink is how I plan to make money with my new Amazon Affiliate Website. Here is my personal affiliate link if you want to learn more about Viglink and how it works.


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.
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.

Just like a real-world funnel, a sales funnel acts similarly. It funnels down visitors through several stages before they become buyers. The way Henry explains it, if you're not creating an emotional attachment during each stage of that funnel, then you're largely wasting your time. It has to start from the very beginning, and it has to carry out all the way to beyond the purchase.
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.
Although I am an “uber-experienced newbie” in the Internet Marketing world, I was an Amazon-phobic, having been only familiar (and seen some success) with ClickBank products, not venturing into anything outside CB. The low commissions and lack of knowledge on how to correctly promote the products and inner workings of their affiliate program was another deterrent in getting started.

3. You may use the Amazon Marks solely for the purpose specifically authorized under the Program Documents. You may not use or display the Marks (i) in any manner that implies sponsorship or endorsement by us; (ii) to disparage us, our products or services; (iii) in a way that may, at our discretion, diminish or otherwise damage our goodwill in the Amazon Marks; or (iv) in offline material or email (e.g., in any printed material, mailing, SMS, MMS, attachment to email, or other document, or any oral solicitation).
As to the issues in IL… there are plenty of ways to avoid having your business closed up by an idiotic Governor including like moving your business to a neighboring state that’s actually business friendly. There are ways around the issues and I know I wouldn’t let Amazon shutting the program down in my state stop me. I can’t legally advise you what to do, but I’m just saying there are ways around it.
Hey Chris! I stumbled upon your site from a few people. I’m now interested in starting a niche business and grow from there. I’ve tried to target another niche, with keywords as a first timer, and still having difficulties targeting certain keywords. I would like to get a boost of motivation on starting a small and simple amazon style niche site. I don’t know if you covered this, but I’d like to know what sort of criteria that you go through when choosing a site. So far, I have found a keyword with the following criteria:
Some merchants run their own (in-house) affiliate programs using dedicated software, while others use third-party intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates. There are two different types of affiliate management methods used by merchants: standalone software or hosted services, typically called affiliate networks. Payouts to affiliates or publishers can be made by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network, consolidated across all merchants where the publisher has a relationship with and earned commissions or directly by the merchant itself.
The great thing is, you don't have to deliver a generic email because you do actually know a few things about your visitor and what they want. So you can send an email that says something like “Thanks for sharing what your needs are in a gas grill! We hope our personal recommendation was a winner, but if not click here to read our full guide to buying the right gas grill.”

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!
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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