Nowhere is that truer than in the online business world. Right now, it is happening with Amazon announcing a March 1st site-wide rollout of commission structure change for their affiliates (they have officially announced this change here). The way the commission structure used to work was that affiliates earned a percentage on a sliding scale based on the volume of products they sell, capping at 8.5% as the highest tier.
The value proposition is a bit less direct in this case, but can still be very effective. Carolla provides a service to his audience in the form of free entertainment (the podcast) and then asks for support in order to pay the bills. In this case, the “ask” can be very effective since he’s just requesting his listeners to take a few seconds to get to Amazon through his affiliate link.
Upon the execution of this Agreement, Company shall provide copies of its end user license agreements to MA. MA shall promptly review such agreements and advise Company as to what revisions, if any, should be made to the end user license agreements for resale in the Territory set forth in Schedule A to ensure that the agreements comply with requirements of local law in the Territory, and that Company has protection concerning proprietary rights, warranty disclaimers and limitations of liability under such local and federal laws of the U.S.
8.2 You hereby represent and warrant to us as follows: (i) this Agreement has been duly and validly executed by you and constitutes a legal, valid and binding obligation of you enforceable against you in its terms; (ii) the execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement by you and the consummation by you of the transactions contemplated hereby will not conflict or violate any provision of law, rule, regulation, or agreement to which you are subject and (iii) you are an adult of at least 18 years of age. You further represent that you have evaluated the laws relating to your activities and obligations hereunder and you independently concluded that you can enter this Agreement and fulfil your obligations hereunder without violating any applicable rule of law.
Amazon Associates is one of the first online affiliate marketing programs and was launched in 1996. The Amazon Associates program has a more than 12 year track record of developing solutions to help website owners, Web developers, and Amazon sellers make money by advertising millions of new and used products from Amazon.com and its subsidiaries, such as Endless.com and SmallParts.com. When website owners and bloggers who are Associates create links and customers click through those links and buy products from Amazon, they earn referral fees. It’s free to join and easy to use.
Commission Fees shall be paid based on the current information in your Affiliate profile. You are required to notify us promptly of any change in your address by updating your profile information in the Affiliate console. You are responsible for informing FatCow of your desired payment form/type. You can update or change your desired payment method at any time by updating your affiliate profile located in the affiliate console. Any changes to your desired payment method may take up to two payout cycles to take effect.
I come from an unsuccessful background of web design/SEO. I blogged because I knew it was good for SEO, but my articles didn’t monetize. I took a leap of faith and dropped my clients to figure out blogging/affiliate marketing. I was good at website speed optimization and knew hosting was the #1 factor. After some research, I saw SiteGround was #1 in most Facebook polls and had a great reputation with generous affiliate commissions. So I wrote tutorials on website speed… how to configure WordPress cache plugins, hosting reviews, and other speed-related topics. Usually near the end of a post I would say “Oh, here’s why you should switch to SiteGround” with evidence on why they’re the best… polls, tweets, load time improvements, etc. That’s when things got good. Now I have 0 clients and the freedom to do live my life. I wrote this tutorial because I’m actually excited to help people do the same – without the BS.

I have about 4 authority style sites and the rest are all mini ones. I like the money the mini’s can make but there isn’t any attractive exit strategy with those so that’s why I like to do a little of both, but I believe authority style sites have the biggest upside. As for income split I’d have to go back through all the tracking data but I’d peg it somewhat in favor of authority sites (before I sold one of my largest ones)


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.
Instead, he focused solely on one platform. When that platform fizzled out, he lost his foundation and his footing as an affiliate marketer. He was unable to reach the people who had once been visiting his website because he was now nowhere to be found. Had he diversified, he wouldn't have gone through the massive pain related to that ranking change.
The progress of any affiliate benefits the Program Operator in many ways. If You recruit, sponsor, or obtain an affiliate through the websites, by any means, You should always be willing to assist such affiliate at no charge to such affiliate. If you are unwilling to assist such affiliates without charge, your affiliate status with the Program Operator will be terminated immediately and any commissions due will be withheld permanently as partial compensation for managing the associated and impacted affiliates.
If you are going to write a piece of content that has an affiliate link to a high-end DSLR camera, you need to be an expert in order to make it credible. Your whole website needs to revolve around the product and how to use it, rather than eyeing up the fat commission you can make if you dupe someone into using your link from that one piece of content.
In 2006, the most active sectors for affiliate marketing were the adult gambling, retail industries and file-sharing services.[17]:149–150 The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors.[17] Soon after these sectors came the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.[17]:149–150 

Also, you have to plan for the long term. Affiliate marketing is not a quick scheme for getting rich. This type of business model will not make you a lot of money at the beginning. It takes time to build up an audience, but your income does grow over time. So, you'll have to plan a way to support yourself until your affiliate marketing business grows to make enough income to support you.
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.
When you build a business around an engaged audience and your first priority is to create value, I think your best consumers will actively want to help your continue and grow your business. It seems like the Internet has supercharged the opportunity for a business to grow a loyal audience, where members actively look to support the company because they feel part of the tribe.
Cost per click was more common in the early days of affiliate marketing but has diminished in use over time due to click fraud issues very similar to the click fraud issues modern search engines are facing today. Contextual advertising programs are not considered in the statistic pertaining to the diminished use of cost per click, as it is uncertain if contextual advertising can be considered affiliate marketing.
No Resale Limitations. Unless otherwise stated in this Agreement, Company shall not require that MA be limited to the persons or accounts to which it may market, distribute or sublicense any product or service that MA sells or desires to sell, including without limitation, the Technology, within the Territory as defined in Schedule A of this Agreement.
Meeting the standard can be complicated enough if you are running direct linking campaigns as an affiliate. It becomes even more complex if you are building an email list or running another complex funnel that requires you to collect personal information. Make sure you have a simple way of collecting data reports and deletion requests so you can respond in a timely manner.

An affiliate marketing agreement is a contract between a business and an individual or company who agrees to market or promote the business in exchange for a commission amount. According to corporate law and taxes, an affiliate is defined as a company that is related to another company often in a subordinate role. For companies to be affiliated, one must have control over the other or both must be controlled by a third company.


LOVED this – thank you Chris. So glad I found it just as I was about to add a store to my blog. I think it would be a better idea to just start linking to Amazon in every recipe and post! (Right?) BTW – I’ve already shared this post on G+ and LinkedIn and sent it to a bunch of friends. I always wish peeps would TELL me when they share my stuff, so here I am telling you. 🙂
Although it differs from spyware, adware often uses the same methods and technologies. Merchants initially were uninformed about adware, what impact it had, and how it could damage their brands. Affiliate marketers became aware of the issue much more quickly, especially because they noticed that adware often overwrites tracking cookies, thus resulting in a decline of commissions. Affiliates not employing adware felt that it was stealing commission from them. Adware often has no valuable purpose and rarely provides any useful content to the user, who is typically unaware that such software is installed on his/her computer.
2.5. It is entirely your responsibility to follow all applicable intellectual property and other laws that pertain to your site. You must have express permission to use any person's copyrighted material, whether it be a writing, an image, or any other copyrightable work. We will not be responsible (and you will be solely responsible) if you use another person's copyrighted material or other intellectual property in violation of the law or any third party rights.
I want to help you get started in affiliate marketing and I want to do it for free. If you sign up for this affiliate marketing e-course, by next week, you will have a rock solid affiliate marketing business model, a full website blueprint, and a roadmap for how to achieve success in this industry. From there, the rest is up to you. At the very least, I can help you lay the foundation and get started.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Notwithstanding the foregoing or anything to the contrary in this Agreement, if any of the requirements set forth in section 5(a)(i-iv) remain outstanding for six (6) months immediately following the close of a Customer Transaction, then your right to receive Commission arising from any and all Customer Transactions with the associated Customer will be forever forfeited (each, a “Forfeited Transaction”). We will have no obligation to pay you Commission associated with a Forfeited Transaction. Once you comply with all of the requirements in section 5(a)(i-iv), then you will be eligible to receive Commission on Customer Transactions, as long as these Customer Transactions do not involve the same Customer associated with a Forfeited Transaction.
This agreement shall begin upon the date of its execution by MA and acceptance in writing by Company and shall remain in effect until the end of the current calendar year and shall be automatically renewed for successive one (1) year periods unless otherwise terminated according to the cancellation or termination provisions contained in paragraph 18 of this Agreement. Company and MA acknowledge that this Agreement is not a franchise as that term is defined under any and all applicable local, state and/or federal laws in U.S., as amended.
Hi I’ve tried to make money on Amazon. Had a great looking website but had no hits or anything in two months and when I called them to see why I’m not getting any hits they said to me do you have a domain name and I said no you guys never told me I needed one. So I closed my site and never tried again. I’m thinking of trying again maybe I might do it this time
8.3 The provisions of this Agreement and instructions as may be provided by us to you from time to time hereunder constitute the entire agreement between us with respect to the subject matter thereof. Save as to the instructions and notifications as may be provided by us to you from time to time hereunder, this Agreement shall only be modified or amended by a document in writing signed by us.
2. Next, you are not building a list of buyers. You are basically giving away all your leads to the product owner who simply does nothing to get the traffic from you. All you get is a commission and that’s only if you actually make a sale. So once your supply of traffic runs out you are dead in the water. No more money for you :( Of course you can always send your traffic through a squeeze page before redirecting them to the vendor’s website and that’s what smart affiliates do. You should always build a list! But you are not using the number 1 secret to making money which is leverage. On the other hand the product owner has many more opportunities to make affiliate sales because all he has to do is redirect the traffic you sent him for free to other offers. The vendor can put affiliate links on his thank you pages, inside his ebook, send out promo emails to his list he built thanks to you, and the list goes on and on. See my point? So how can you do this if you are just starting out? The best and easiest way to do this is by creating low cost products. How hard would it be for you to create a nice 20-30 page report (you can so totally outsource that too!) and sell it for $7-$27 bucks? Then you can set up a 100% commission affiliate program and start recruiting affiliates to sell the product for you. You should probably add some kind of upsell into the funnel to make it worthwhile for affiliates to send traffic. If the only commission they get is a measly $7 bucks they might not even bother. You can add an upsell by simply making a video course out of your ebook you just created, or get some high quality PLR product and rebrand it with your name etc. Now all you have to do is concentrate on converting that traffic affiliates are sending you and make more money. You will need to create a good converting sales letter or sales video. I highly recommend outsourcing this part if you have no copywriting experience. When you are a vendor the best investment you can make is to hire a good copywriter instead of worrying about traffic. Affiliates will send you traffic so that’s out of the way. I hope you are getting the idea here. A product owner is nothing more than a super affiliate who uses leverage to sell other affiliate products on the backend. That’s how all the gurus do it in the internet marketing community. There is nothing wrong with being just an affiliate. You can make a lot of money with that too especially when you are building content sites and your traffic is free. Building Authority content sites is a huge business because your product is traffic at that point, but that’s a whole different topic. Performance review phrases comments/ free download examples Page 2
It has universal appeal. Unlike some types of marketing that work better for certain segments than others, affiliate marketing is really something that anyone can use on their WordPress site or e-commerce store. With millions of products available and categories covering a wide spectrum, you’re bound to find more than enough products worth promoting.
Links that Dynamically Generate Products: Certain types of links that we may make available to you dynamically generate particular Products to display based on a contextual analysis of the page on which they appear. Amazon will crawl or otherwise monitor your Site and store gathered content to implement these types of links and to improve dynamic generation and the Associates Program. If you implement mechanisms that prevent us from crawling or otherwise monitoring your Site, you agree that these types of links may not function properly, and you will be solely responsible for any such malfunction.

Thanks to your article, my anxiety and panic about getting started have vanished to a great extent. Coincidentally, this has come around the time when I had just purchased a PLR to WordPress tutorial which also came with an upsell that contained a course on Amazon promotion among others. I now also plan to purchase your course discussed here to that I can start setting my foot into the physical products affiliate marketing world.
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.
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."
The best way to ensure you make sales from Amazon is to write about things that people are actively looking to purchase, or about something someone might find interesting and be persuaded about purchasing (for example: someone looking to learn about the civil war through an article you’d written could be likely to purchase civil war related products through an Amazon sales cap somewhere in your article).

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
4.5 In the event of termination, the following shall apply: (i) you shall forthwith stop all marketing and promotional activities for the Sites and all rights and licenses granted to you under this Agreement shall forthwith terminate; (ii) you shall return all confidential and/or proprietary information and cease all use of Our Marks and Our Materials; (iii) we shall be entitled to leave open, redirect or deactivate any Trackers, as we may elect in the exercise of our sole discretion; (iv) save as provided to the contrary in this Agreement, we shall pay you due and outstanding commissions as at the effective date of termination but subject to all our rights of deduction and set-off and shall not be liable to you for any other payments and/or claims whatsoever.
3. Termination. Amazon may suspend or terminate Influencer’s participation in the Amazon Influencer Program, and Influencer may terminate such participation, in each case immediately by notice provided in accordance with the termination provisions of the Agreement. The rights set forth in Section 2 of this Influencer Program Policy will survive the termination of Influencer’s participation in the Amazon Influencer Program; provided that, we will use commercially reasonable efforts to remove any Influencer Marks from the Influencer Page following termination.
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.
You can even have a dedicated “deals” page on your website in your navigation menu so visitors can easily find it. Plus, sending a regular deal alert email using an auto-responder service like Aweber to make sure the people on your list get used to coming back to your site on a regular basis to find the best deals on products they're interested in.
Warren Davies has been writing since 2007, focusing on bespoke projects for online clients such as PsyT and The Institute of Coaching. This has been alongside work in research, web design and blogging. A Linux user and gamer, warren trains in martial arts as a hobby. He has a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in psychology, and further qualifications in statistics and business studies.
The Program Operator may also terminate this agreement at any time, and for any reason, by writing to affiliate at the email address listed in the affiliate’s Profile, with 30 days notice. the Program Operator may transfer this agreement to any party whatsoever, at any time, and this agreement shall remain in full force and effect, without notice to affiliate. However, if this agreement should terminate for cause due to violation of this agreement or the Terms and Conditions, this agreement shall terminate immediately and affiliate shall forfeit all right to any commissions then due.
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).
(g) You will not, and will not attempt to (i) modify, alter, tamper with, repair, or otherwise create derivative works of the Specifications or any software included in Product Advertising Content; or (ii) reverse engineer, disassemble, decompile (except to the extent such right cannot be excluded or limited by law and then only when our express permission has been sought and refused), or otherwise derive any source code of or relating to PA API, Data Feeds, or any software included in Product Advertising Content.
Thanks for all the great info. I have had some moderate success with amazon before, but nothing of that magnitude. The best selling lists have works for me, as well as creating a ‘recommended’ list or ‘library’ full of interesting products, although I have always found its better to actually be interesting in the recommendations rather than just plugging anything.
Are they biting the hand that feeds them? Possibly. We will have to wait and see. Maybe Amazon gave the higher commission %’s to the products that have the highest markup…? i.e. their Amazon coins. I do believe tho they have reduced the incentive their own “affiliate employees” previously had to push their products-and maybe, just maybe this new commission structure will not last long.
Longtime affiliate marketer and co-founder of Shareist Scott Jangro suspects that Gawker Media’s Amazon widgets are custom-built. “It looks like they’ve built a system allowing them to capture data that gives them full-circle reporting on what’s getting bought, through which page, and possibly even by user,” he told me. “Showing a count of purchased products for social proof is just one of the many things they can do with this data.”

8.1. You are free to promote your own web sites, but naturally any promotion that mentions Merchant.com could be perceived by the public or the press as a joint effort. You should know that certain forms of advertising are always prohibited by Merchant.com. For example, advertising commonly referred to as "spamming" is unacceptable to us and could cause damage to our name. Other generally prohibited forms of advertising include the use of unsolicited commercial email (UCE), postings to non-commercial newsgroups and cross-posting to multiple newsgroups at once. In addition, you may not advertise in any way that effectively conceals or misrepresents your identity, your domain name, or your return email address. You may use mailings to customers to promote Merchant.com so long as the recipient is already a customer or subscriber of your services or web site, and recipients have the option to remove themselves from future mailings. Also, you may post to newsgroups to promote Merchant.com so long as the news group specifically welcomes commercial messages. At all times, you must clearly represent yourself and your web sites as independent from Merchant.com. If it comes to our attention that you are spamming, we will consider that cause for immediate termination of this Agreement and your participation in the Merchant.com Affiliate Program. Any pending balances owed to you will not be paid if your account is terminated due to such unacceptable advertising or solicitation.
I agree, but right now more than ever is a time smaller affiliate program owners can scoop in some serious Amazon players. Amazon will likely remain the leader in physical products, but that doesn’t mean other affiliate programs can’t replace the Associate’s program. In some cases, a few people have acquired sites, replaced the AMZ links with other programs and found huge increases.
It’s hard to predict exactly what Amazon’s new rates will mean for those participating in the program, but there’s plenty of reason to be nervous. The most immediate change will be the end of Amazon’s “variable standard program fee” rates, which gave sites a higher cut as they drove more business to Amazon. The scale ranged from 4 to 8.5 percent, depending on how many products visitors bought in a given month. Robey says she never had trouble selling enough products to earn an 8 percent rate.

Very informative. I left a comment because I know what it is like to spend hours or even days writing a great blog to not even have someone leave a simple comment one way or the other. I started making only something like $3.00 a month with Amazon affiliate when I first started, what a joke! I was about to quit when I read your article and like one other and found out there was real money to be made. Now I am making a million dollars a year…just kidding, I couldn’t even type that sentence with a straight face. Seriously though I have boosted my earnings to a high of around $96 to an average of like $45 a month with still isn’t much, but much better than my adsense earnings. Well good day and thanks for the insights.
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