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):

One of the first things [Sender.Company] will do is analyze the publishers that are currently within [Client.Company]’s affiliate network to determine the top performers and optimize the offers and content provided to those publishers. We will maintain open communication with the top performers to ensure that they always have what they need to properly promote [Client.Company].
5. If you are familiar with Internet marketing at all you know that what worked three months ago may not work today. Stay on top of the trends. Seek knowledge, start by learning something new about affiliate marketing daily. For example remember those marketing tools called "banner" that use to drive sales at an astronomical rate a few years ago? Well those banners developed a term called "banner blindness." That means most online viewers will not click on banners even if they do pertain to what they are looking for. To be a "super" affiliate you must always spend time reading, learning, and embracing the changes in Internet marketing. 6. Don't Give Up It's hard to do, and most of the time those dabbling in affiliate marketing give up way too soon. Monitor your statistics, watch to see what is working and what is not. Make changes when necessary. Do one thing daily to promote your storehouse and be patient. Before you know it you will start getting payments. Remember that it will not happen overnight. Encompass and develop the persistence, patience, and knowledge. Then follow the tactics I've mentioned above and you are on your way to becoming a "super" affiliate. Performance review phrases comments/ free download examples Page 5
Discounts and Coupons. You are not allowed to post any refunds, credits or discounts on the FatCow Products and Services, or other content concerning FatCow without FatCow’s prior written consent in each instance. Affiliates may only use coupons and discounts that are provided exclusively through the Affiliate Program using banners and links. Each Link connecting users of the Affiliate Site to the pertinent area of the FatCow website will in no way alter the look, feel, or functionality of the FatCow website. Any violations of the terms surrounding links, coupons, refunds, credits or discounts shall constitute a material breach of this Agreement, and may result in your termination from the Affiliate Program or the withholding of Commission Fees
Website Development Help – need help setting up your theme? I’ve been working with the same 2 developers for 3+ years. To hire them, sign up for a Freelancer account, post your job (WordPress theme installation) then invite user i333 or bdkamol to your project. If you want, contact me and I will introduce you to them via email. Both are great developers with reasonable rates, speak fluent English, and I outsource all my programming work to them.
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.
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. 

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.
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.
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.
The License will immediately and automatically terminate if at any time you do not timely comply with any obligation under the Program Documents (as defined in the Fee Schedule), or otherwise upon termination of this Agreement. In addition, we may terminate the License in whole or in part upon written notice to you. You will promptly stop using the Program Content (including PA API and Data Feeds) and promptly remove from your Site and delete or otherwise destroy all of the Program Content and Amazon Marks with respect to which the License is terminated or as we may otherwise request from time to time.
Affiliate marketing has a very low barrier to entry; many merchants accept everyone who applies for affiliation. Some forms of affiliate marketing don't even require the affiliate to have a website. This creates a very high level of competition, especially for particularly profitable offers. In forums where affiliates participate, there are frequent claims of commission theft or hijacking by other affiliates and even by merchants. A cookie system that credits the sale to the last link clicked makes these actions more likely.
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.
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
About 80% of the emails you send to your list should be more helpful than any other email they received that day. You must provide exceptional quality and figure out how to make peoples lives easier or better through the emails you send them. This is the perfect setup for the other 20% of your emails – sales emails! Now, you don’t have to give a hard sell. For example, in October, you could send an email with “The Top 10 Dog Halloween Costumes Of The Year!” Include goofy pictures of dogs wearing ridiculous looking costumes and link to Amazon where people can buy those costumes if they want to. See how easy it is to “sell” through email marketing? You don’t actually have to SELL at all!
By making premium quality content free, you enable it to spread across the Internet. One of the truly enabling factors of the Internet is it allows a message to travel to millions of people with very little friction. When you make your content free, it enables search, social and sharing to grow your audience without the traditional requirement of marketing.
Unlike an Amazon affiliate business model, affiliate marketing tends to be more lucrative in terms of the profit margins you can earn per sale. This makes paid advertising easily profitable, so it can be a valid choice to grow your website. Many affiliate marketers focus almost 100% on paid traffic. They create a landing page, a sales letter, and off they go with Facebook ads or Google Adword campaigns.
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.

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.
b) All legal or other fees incurred in collecting returned checks or declined credit cards or any other lack of payment related to a sale made by an affiliate will be payable by the affiliate. Any sums not collected from the affiliate or affiliate’s customer are not commissionable, and any fees incurred during processing or handling of sales made by the affiliate will be deducted in whole from any commissions due to the affiliate. Further, in the event that the commissions due the affiliate are insufficient to cover any sums, the affiliate agrees to pay the full amount to the Program Operator.

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.
Some advertisers offer multi-tier programs that distribute commission into a hierarchical referral network of sign-ups and sub-partners. In practical terms, publisher "A" signs up to the program with an advertiser and gets rewarded for the agreed activity conducted by a referred visitor. If publisher "A" attracts publishers "B" and "C" to sign up for the same program using his sign-up code, all future activities performed by publishers "B" and "C" will result in additional commission (at a lower rate) for publisher "A".
Just an FYI, it’s better to avoid phrases like “Get a great deal on Crest Whitestrips’ or any other qualifiers regarding the quality of the deal or price. You cannot guarantee that the deal is actually “great”, and Amazon is known to be picky about these things and treating them as misrepresentations of their brand / dishonest marketing. It’s best to keep calls to action neutral, things like “check price” or “see current price” etc.

The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.[4][5]
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.
From time to time, we may impose limits on Associates’ opportunity to earn Standard Program Fees or Special Program Fees. For the avoidance of doubt (and notwithstanding any time period), Amazon reserves the right to discontinue or modify all or part of any limitation at any time. For Program Fee Limitations, please see the Appendix (“Program Fee Limitations”).
Do you have any opinions about sites that got hit with Google Fred for having too much affiliate content? I think one of your other sites got hit (not TYS) and I saw you add a lot of new content but it’s not going up much. The same thing happened to me; I had too much affiliate content and got penalized; added more content but it’s not helping. I am thinking of just starting a new site and redirecting links to the new site. I feel like this penalty is unrecoverable….
Thanks for your point for point description of what has worked for you. You have certainly given credibility to testing your results. Doing the technical aspect of setting the structured sites and e-mail marketing has been challenging for me. You have clearly described how the more sales you make your percentage goes up and you make more money. Apparently there are tested formulas that work for Amazon sales and getting people to Amazon sounds like a winner.
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.
About 80% of the emails you send to your list should be more helpful than any other email they received that day. You must provide exceptional quality and figure out how to make peoples lives easier or better through the emails you send them. This is the perfect setup for the other 20% of your emails – sales emails! Now, you don’t have to give a hard sell. For example, in October, you could send an email with “The Top 10 Dog Halloween Costumes Of The Year!” Include goofy pictures of dogs wearing ridiculous looking costumes and link to Amazon where people can buy those costumes if they want to. See how easy it is to “sell” through email marketing? You don’t actually have to SELL at all!
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.
The precise affiliate marketing business model can be done in a number of ways. You can purchase advertising either online or off, you can write an e-book and have affiliate links strategically placed in your book, you can utilize YouTube or other video broadcasting services to pitch products and services, you can use email marketing and even market to people offline. The number of ways to advertise products and services is nearly infinite, especially if you have a large budget to work with.
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.
You will market Local Associates Products to Amazon customers only at those locations and through those methods by which you customarily conduct your registered business. Solely with respect to the Local Associates Program, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Participation Requirements, you may include Special Links in written physical and digital materials (including email) which are displayed, distributed, emailed, or offered to customers, clients, or third parties with whom you have a preexisting relationship; provided, that such written physical and digital materials are in compliance with the Associates Program Operating Agreement, the Trademark Guidelines, and the Amazon Brand Usage Guidelines. Upon our request, you will provide us with representative sample materials and written certification that you have complied with the foregoing. We will specify the form of, and content required in, that certification in any such request. Any failure by you to provide the certification in accordance with our request will constitute a material breach of this Local Associates Policy. For the avoidance of doubt, (i) for the purposes of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and any similar or successor legislation (CAN-SPAM), you are the “Sender” of each email containing any Special Links, (ii) for the purposes of the Communications Act of 1934 as amended by Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and any similar or successor legislation (TCPA), you “make” and “initiate” each text message containing any Special Links, and (iii) you must comply with CAN-SPAM, TCPA and marketing industry standards and best practices for all emails, texts, and other messages relating to the Local Associates Program. Amazon may revoke the offline marketing permissions granted in this Section 3 at any time in its sole discretion by providing written notice to you.
In the weeks leading up to this wide-ranging rollout, selected affiliates earning 8.5% commissions doing large volume were given a call personally by Amazon representatives to inform them of the change coming down the pipeline. While Amazon insists that it will still maintain itself as the best affiliate program around, there is no getting around the fact many affiliates are going to get hit in the pocketbook by this change. This is going to affect quite a few people – niche site builders and also buyer/sellers at Empire Flippers.
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.

If you are accepted to participate in the Affiliate Program, then upon notification of acceptance, the terms and conditions of this Agreement shall apply in full force and effect, until terminated, pursuant to the terms set forth below.  Further, you will need to complete any enrollment criteria set out in the Program Policies Page, if applicable. Failure to complete any enrollment criteria within thirty (30) days of your acceptance will result in the immediate termination of this Agreement and you will no longer be able to participate in the Affiliate Program. 

This single article, to date, has generated 871 unique visitors to my affiliate link, 132 free trial signups for GetResponse, and 77 front-end sales… And the best part about promoting something like GetResponse is that the commissions that it generates are recurring. Customers pay on a monthly basis. Finding offers that pay affiliates on a recurring base is one of the most common overlooked details when people start considering how to start affiliate marketing.
The Amazon affiliate program has a 24-hour cookie, which means that once users click on an affiliate link to Amazon, anything they buy in the next 24 hours is commissionable to the affiliate whose link they last clicked. So if you click on Gawker’s affiliate link to Amazon to look at cable ties and end up buying another, unrelated product, Gawker Media still receives a commission for that sale.
Hi Art, we have the disclosure on the footer of virtually every page, but you can do things like make a link to Amazon on phrases such as “Crest Whitestrips” or even “Get a great deal on Crest Whitestrips” – This article is a good read where Sara asked Amazon to clarify these exact questions: http://marketingwithsara.com/amazon/warning-to-all-affiliate-marketers

In no case shall you have the right to go to court or have a jury trial. You will not have the right to engage in pre-trial discovery except as provided in the rules; you will not have the right to participate as a representative or member of any class of claimants pertaining to any claim subject to arbitration; the arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding with limited rights of appeal.

Security:  Each party shall implement and maintain all appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect any copies of the Personal Data in their possession or control from (i) accidental or unlawful destruction, and (ii) loss, alteration, or unauthorized disclosure or access (a "Security Incident") and to preserve the security and confidentiality of such Personal Data. Each party shall notify the other party without undue delay on becoming aware of any breach of EU Data Protection Law/Applicable Data Protection Law.
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).
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.
Until 2017, Amazon offered a stepped commission structure so that affiliates who sold a lot of products were paid a higher commission than those who sold little. However, Amazon eliminated this structure and began using flat commission rates for different types of products. While this is likely to continue evolving, examples of the commission structure in 2018 are as follow:
You must remove from your Site any links and related references to limited time promotions as soon as that promotion on the relevant Amazon Site ends. For example, if you include links to Products in the apparel category of an Amazon Site and mention that there is 15% off select products in Amazon’s apparel category, you must remove the mention of the 15% discount from your Site as soon as the promotion ends.
Absolutely! It is easy enough in a sense that you can get started without a whole lot of initial investment but also what you need is persistence and determination. The way that it works is you find a product or services that you are comfortable to promote and when I say comfortable, I mean the ones that you can talk about all day and convince your customer to buy it.
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.
On the flip side, the new changes announced could help newbies or new sites make larger profits from the start in categories such as apparel and home improvement. Instead of having to sell enough volume to get to the next tier in pay, new sites will instantly start at a higher commission rate regardless of how many products they are actually selling. Of course, this only applies if the new site chooses the correct categories that offer the best commission percentages.
Most successful affiliate marketers, however, do not have a large number of funds available so they tend to develop a website and use their website as the main advertising source for their business. Starting a website is very cheap (or even free), you don’t need to know any computer code, and it will attract FREE visitors that can be turned into paying customers relatively easily. This is the affiliate marketing business model that most people start with.
The United States controls the export of products and information. Each affiliate agrees to comply with such restrictions and to not export or re-export the materials (including software) to countries or persons prohibited under the export control laws. By becoming an affiliate, you are agreeing that you are not in a country where such export is prohibited or are not a person or entity to which export is prohibited. You are responsible for compliance with the laws of your local jurisdiction with regard to the import, export, or re-export of the materials (including software).
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.
In a nutshell, affiliate programs pay you for referring clients their way. All you have to do is include recommendations for specific products on your site, and you’ll earn a small commission on any sales generated by people who click on the links you provide. Affiliate programs provide you with an easy way to monetize your site, especially if it’s aimed at a niche audience that is likely to be interested in specific kinds of products.
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