Most affiliate partnerships assign an account manager. Your account manager might tell you when there are specials or new products to promote. But it is crucial that you speak to them regularly and get on their best side, because they can increase your commission if you are sending great traffic. They could also give you an exclusivity deal and bump up your pay more.
Hi Spencer – an informative and very timely post for me as I am finally biting the bullet and setting up my first niche site which will be monetised with Amazon affiliate links. I have been considering adding an aStore but I am very conscious of the google penalty for having too many affiliate links on a page. How would this be viewed in terms of links – would each item in the store count as a separate affiliate link?
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.

Hello Chris, So do you create a blog and do you personally have to buy each item you review. Or do you just create a review that Amazon gives you or is there video that you can use to create some kinda of video? Do you go on and talk about this or not show your face and just do a show your screen and talk about the product. And if you have to buy each product does amazon give you a discount since you are going to be a seller? This is my first time and I’m a total newbie. What do you recommend for created a blog site and etc to host etc to spend the least amount and get running. I have hardly any capital. Thank you for any help and guidance. 

For example, someone like Tim Ferriss can recommend products to his audience because he has earned an authoritative voice on fitness, productivity, learning and lifestyle design through his blog and his books. Tim’s blog is a perfect example of how to build a successful affiliate model. Tim rarely actually recommends products, but when he does you can tell he is being genuine and not just trying to earn money from his audience.
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.
This is usually called Cost-Per-Action or CPA offers. CPA offers typically require the visitor to take some kind of action, and if that visitor takes that action, then the affiliate network pays you. Often this action is submitting an email to become an email lead for a company, or filling out an entire form, whether a lead form or a survey data collection form. While CPAs pay lower than offers that pay you per sale, they often convert at a much higher rate, since there is no money that the visitor has to put down for the conversion to be complete. This higher conversion can often more than make up for the lower profits earned on an individual basis.
Upon your request but subject to our approval, we may issue you additional “sub-tag” Associate IDs that permit you to monitor and optimize the performance of your Special Links by including different sub-tags in the URLs of different Special Links. Under no circumstances may you associate any sub-tag with a specific end user of your Site (e.g., you may not dynamically assign sub-tags to users as they arrive on your Site for purposes of monitoring such users’ behavior).
As of March 1st, that standard will be replaced with a new category-by-category system. That means affiliates selling products in certain favored categories will get higher rates, including “digital video games” and “luxury beauty,” while most products see a steep drop-off. Amazon says the changes were made to simplify the system and that most associates will come out ahead, although it’s unclear how to square those predictions with the falling rates.
Hello Chris, So do you create a blog and do you personally have to buy each item you review. Or do you just create a review that Amazon gives you or is there video that you can use to create some kinda of video? Do you go on and talk about this or not show your face and just do a show your screen and talk about the product. And if you have to buy each product does amazon give you a discount since you are going to be a seller? This is my first time and I’m a total newbie. What do you recommend for created a blog site and etc to host etc to spend the least amount and get running. I have hardly any capital. Thank you for any help and guidance.
3.4. You will be solely responsible for the development, operation and maintenance of your Site and for all materials that appear on your Site. We disclaim all liability for such materials. You shall indemnify and hold us harmless from all claims, damages and expenses (including, without limitation, attorney's fees) relating to the development, operation, maintenance and contents of your Site. You are also responsible for notifying us of any malfunctioning of the Required URLs or other problems with your participation in the Program in accordance with the terms of the Offer and this Agreement. BTI will respond in normal course to all concerns upon notification.

5.1 We make no express or implied warranties or representations with respect to our Affiliate program or any products or items sole through such program (including without limitation, warranties of fitness, merchantability, non-infringement, or any implied warranties arising out of a course of performance or trade usage). We make no representation or warranty that the operation of the Sites or any of them will be interrupted or error-free and will not be liable for the consequences interruptions or errors.
It’s no secret that Amazon is a pioneer in ebooks and expanding opportunities for indie authors. But Amazon also led the way in online affiliate marketing. In 1996, Amazon was a small online book retailer run from Jeff Bezos’ garage. With a limited marketing budget, Amazon decided to tap into readers’ love of books to help spread the word. Instead of having an initial outlay of money to buy advertising, Amazon paid people a commission when they referred buying customers to Amazon. This commission was paid after the customer bought, eliminating upfront marketing costs.
Commission and Payment. Requirements for Payment; Forfeiture. In order to receive payment under this Agreement, you must have: (i) agreed to the terms of this Agreement (generally completed through the Affiliate Tool); (ii) completed all steps necessary to create your account in the Affiliate Tool in accordance with our directions, (iii) have a valid and up-to-date paypal account and updated the Affiliate Tool with such account (iv) completed any and all required tax documentation in order for HubSpot to process any payments that may be owed to you.
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.

We may modify this Agreement at any time in our sole discretion; provided that the change shall solely apply to events occurring after the date on which you accept and agree to such modifications unless you otherwise agree herein. Such modifications shall take effect when posted on our website. Modifications may include, but are not limited to, changes in the scope of available Commission Fees, commission amounts or percentages, payment procedures, Commission Fee payment schedules, and Affiliate Program rules. If any modification is unacceptable to you, your only recourse is to terminate this agreement, in which event you shall be entitled to your rights under the unmodified Agreement prior to the date of the applicable modification. Your continued participation in the Affiliate Program following our posting of any modification on our website will constitute binding acceptance of the change.
(u) You will not directly or indirectly purchase any Product(s) or take a Bounty Event action through Special Links, whether for your use or for the use of any other person or entity, and you will not permit, request or encourage any of your friends, relatives, employees, contractors, or business relations to directly or indirectly purchase any Product(s) or take a Bounty Event action through Special Links, whether for their use, your use or the use of any other person or entity. Further, you will not purchase any Product(s) through Special Links or take a Bounty Event action for resale or commercial use (of any kind) or offer any Products on your Site for resale or commercial use of any kind.
(h) You will not store or cache Product Advertising Content consisting of an image, but you may store a link to Product Advertising Content consisting of an image for up to 24 hours. You may store other Product Advertising Content that does not consist of images for caching purposes for up to 24 hours, but if you do so you must immediately thereafter refresh and re-display the Product Advertising Content by making a call to PA API or retrieving a new Data Feed and refreshing the Product Advertising Content on your application immediately thereafter. Unless otherwise notified by us, you may store individual Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) for an indefinite period until the termination of this License. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if your application includes a client application, the client application may not store or cache Product Advertising Content. Upon our request you will, within three business days of our request, furnish us with a copy of any client application that includes or uses Product Advertising Content for the purpose of verifying your compliance with this License.
Once you've built your platforms, you need to develop and nurture your audience. Reach out and connect with them on social media channels. Respond to their emails. Engage with them in comments. Don't make it difficult for them to reach you. You need to connect with your audience and develop that relationship over time. Henry tells me that if you succeed at creating this emotional bond or connection, people will follow you, trust you, and more often than not, buy whatever it is that you offer them.
An affiliate marketing program is a lot of work, and in most situations there's a lot of competition so you're not going to be bringing in money immediately. Business owners and entrepreneurs suppose that all you need do is setup a site and choose an affiliate to associate with and then just let it run its course. But according to Three Ladders Marketing, only 0.6% of affiliate marketers surveyed have been in the game since 2013. That means that affiliate marketing takes time and effort to build and make money.

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.
For example, let’s say that we want to promote Drip as the better alternative to Infusionsoft… We would write up a comparative article that shows all of the reasons we like Drip better. We would then login to Google Adwords and create an ad campaign that links to our article and targets anyone who searches for “Infusionsoft” or “Infusionsoft Alternative.”
There’s no getting around it, making less money directly translates into a less valuable business. The valuations will go down, in some cases quite significantly as is the case for technology sites earning all their revenue from the Amazon Associates program. Again this clearly depends on the category of the site – some sites might see a slight increase in their earnings, but those are definitely in the minority.
Marketing Plan. MA shall submit an annual marketing plan to Company outlining, among other things, activities and staffing directed at attaining mutually agreed upon annual sales quotas. The Annual Quota is defined in Schedule A of this Agreement. The annual marketing plan shall be devised solely by MA and MA shall not be required to follow an operating plan, standard procedure, training manual, or its substantial equivalent, published by Company.
And of course I had an adorable picture of a puppy as the image. I also only targeted people over the age of 25 who live in the United States that own a dog and also “like” an animal shelter (I chose about 50 different shelters to target). And that’s how I got 25,000 followers at under 1 cent per like. Those 25,000 people can be marketed to over and over and over again with my Amazon Associates affiliate program link.

8.1. You represent and warrant that (a) you have the authority to enter into this Agreement and sufficient rights to grant any licenses expressed herein, and (b) any material displayed on your Site will not: (i) infringe on any third party's copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary rights or right of publicity or privacy; (ii) violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance or regulation; (iii) be defamatory or libelous; (iv) be lewd, pornographic or obscene; (v) violate any laws regarding unfair competition, anti-discrimination or false advertising; (vi) promote violence or contain hate speech; (vii) promote discrimination based on race, age, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or disability; (viii) contain viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other similar harmful or deleterious programming routines' or (ix) otherwise constitutes an "unsuitable Site" as determined by Brian Tracy in accordance with the terms outlined in the Section 1 above titled "Participation in the Program."


Other than the limited licenses expressly set forth herein, we reserve all right, title and interest (including all intellectual property and proprietary rights) in and to, and you do not, by virtue of this License or otherwise, acquire any ownership interest or rights in or to, the Associates Program, Special Links, link formats, Program Content, PA API, Data Feeds, Product Advertising Content, any domain name owned or operated by us, information and materials on any Amazon Site or the Associates Site, our and our affiliates’ trademarks and logos (including the Amazon Marks), and any other intellectual property and technology that we provide or use in connection with the Associates Program (including any application program interfaces, software development kits, libraries, sample code, and related materials).


Excellent written article, I only recently started delving into Amazon affiliate sales and have been following what you recommend with links in posts and reviews converting better. One question I had which you don’t show in a screen shot is how many sales are through product link clicks and how many are through “all other items ordered”. I am curious to know what # of sales are from products not directly listed, but just taking advantage of the Amazon cookie and getting percentage of those sales.
Excellent written article, I only recently started delving into Amazon affiliate sales and have been following what you recommend with links in posts and reviews converting better. One question I had which you don’t show in a screen shot is how many sales are through product link clicks and how many are through “all other items ordered”. I am curious to know what # of sales are from products not directly listed, but just taking advantage of the Amazon cookie and getting percentage of those sales.
Involved affiliate marketing is where you’ve used a product or service, truly believe in it, and personally recommend it to your audience. Not in a banner ad or somewhere that says “recommended resources,” but within your content, as part of your life and strategy for whatever it is you’re talking about. The product almost becomes something people “have to have,” because it’s part of the process.
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.
Not All Affiliate Programs You Sign Up With Will Approve You – Sadly, this is true because before they even approve you, they usually look at your website if it is already having a good traction. Not to worry though because, you have access to a vast resources of Affiliate Marketing Programs you won’t even care if one disapprove you. You can simply move on to the next and the next after…
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
You wouldn’t install the same Google Analytics code on every single website you own right? Of course not, because you wouldn’t be able to tell how much traffic each of your websites were receiving individually. So the same thing can be said for tracking the money you make on your websites (and yet people still tell me they use only one Amazon tracking ID for all of their websites /facepalm). In the ,past I’ve gone so far as to create 15 different tracking ID’s for use on a single website.
That ultimately means there is less growth ability. For example you can’t just go in and change a checkout process to split test which one will perform better. You only really control the front or what is also known as “top of” marketing funnel. This makes your options more limited than if you were running a full blown business where you sourced the product yourself and controlled the logistics and check out processes.
The Local Associates Portal, all Promotional Materials, and any other information and content provided to you in connection with the Local Associates Program are included as “Service Offerings” under the Associates Program Operating Agreement. All disclaimers and indemnity obligations under the Associates Program Operating Agreement will apply further to liabilities, claims, damages, losses, costs, and expenses relating to your Recommendations Page and any Local Associates Marks or other data or materials you provide in connection with the Local Associates Program.
My favorite part of the article was the part on growth stategies, specifically Earnings Per Clicks (EPC’s) I am a “Newbie Norm” to affiliate marketing and am looking for products using this as one of my metrics for evaluation. Another metric that could be helpful, especially with Clickbank, is Gravity, which is the number of affiliates making and selling a product offer within the last 30 days (I believe).
You hereby agree to indemnify and hold harmless Merchant.com, and its subsidiaries and affiliates, and their directors, officers, employees, agents, shareholders, partners, members, and other owners, against any and all claims, actions, demands, liabilities, losses, damages, judgments, settlements, costs, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) (any or all of the foregoing hereinafter referred to as "Losses") insofar as such Losses (or actions in respect thereof) arise out of or are based on (i) any claim that our use of the affiliate trademarks infringes on any trademark, trade name, service mark, copyright, license, intellectual property, or other proprietary right of any third party, (ii) any misrepresentation of a representation or warranty or breach of a covenant and agreement made by you herein, or (iii) any claim related to your site, including, without limitation, content therein not attributable to us.
It is understood that any individual that uses the Program Operator system shall not use it in connection with obscene, defamatory, slanderous, hateful, illegal or politically disruptive material, the definition of which shall be at the sole discretion of the Program Operator. It is also understood that affiliates shall not try to cheat the system in an effort to increase their payments due. If such misuse is detected, the affiliate will be immediately terminated as an affiliate and any sums paid and any sums payable as and for commissions will be withheld. All affiliates further agree to refrain from engaging in any hostile activity toward the system. Any individual that engages in such hostile activity, such as hacking, shall be held liable for any loss sustained by the Program Operator, or its associates due to such action.
In addition to all of this, you don’t really have a store to look after. You have zero products to ship or be held responsible for. You are literally just the marketing arm, unlike the ecommerce business model where you are sourcing the products that you are selling and dealing with the customer service portions of the business, along with logistics.

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.
The Local Associates Portal, all Promotional Materials, and any other information and content provided to you in connection with the Local Associates Program are included as “Service Offerings” under the Associates Program Operating Agreement. All disclaimers and indemnity obligations under the Associates Program Operating Agreement will apply further to liabilities, claims, damages, losses, costs, and expenses relating to your Recommendations Page and any Local Associates Marks or other data or materials you provide in connection with the Local Associates Program.
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.
Thanks for a nice job. I am currently promoting some of the affiliate programs listed here and making a few dollars from them. But I must say that making money from affiliate programs is not rocket science; it requires hard work and perseverance. Affiliate marketing keeps evolving daily and any serious affiliate should be ready to change tactics and invest time and money in order to beat the competition.
Great post , I do read a lot of the Nichehacks articles and this one is so true. At the moment I am in a niche I'm passionate about and yes although I am primarily using Amazon to monetize my site, I will be branching out to use other methods very soon. It frightens me to think the plug can be pulled at any time! I intent to use other affiliate programs as well as Amazon, maybe Google Adsense, I'm not sure yet, some digital products and also to build an email list.
It’s no secret that Amazon is a pioneer in ebooks and expanding opportunities for indie authors. But Amazon also led the way in online affiliate marketing. In 1996, Amazon was a small online book retailer run from Jeff Bezos’ garage. With a limited marketing budget, Amazon decided to tap into readers’ love of books to help spread the word. Instead of having an initial outlay of money to buy advertising, Amazon paid people a commission when they referred buying customers to Amazon. This commission was paid after the customer bought, eliminating upfront marketing costs.
Once your platform is live, you need a product to promote. However, you should avoid the temptation to do this early on. Get that emotional investment going before you attempt to do this. If you begin too early, you run the risk of losing a large portion of your audience. Take the time to first create insatiable content and deliver enormous amounts of value before you attempt to sell your audience anything.
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.

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I Really would publish content, add them on the article submission sites, i would get income… on the other hand must decrease my price tag to Bucks7 – since i don’t make a record, i don’t take full advantage of my buyer price whenever they gotten on my own internet site. It’s only not economical for travel to write down in lots of niche markets. Create on your own in one particular specialized niche, and strive to create content in this specialized niche for long periods of your energy (even once and for all). You may achieve a great deal of supporters as a result, and you will probably achieve supporters for undertaking the contrary. Article marketing is not hard, and something can every-fect and get better at with your leisure time.
I have never earned a penny on the internet but that is because I am looking for but have not yet found anything.  My problem is that although no knowledge or expertise is needed, so it is said, there are statements that I simply cannot understand.  For example, in No.4 above on making money in affiliate marketing, the statement goes "Build back links and get others to do it for us and rank in the search engines for various key words based on our market."
Hey Chris – great post. Just a question – We have got about 80 stores affiliated to Amazon Associates. As I understand from your article, it appears that the blog site is a foundation for making a successful Amazon Income. In this regard, we don’t have a blog site but we just have those stores (websites) which have a show case of products. What do you think the strategy would be to drive sales? Of course, we have got Social Media Marketing currently in place.
I have started looking at affiliate networks and finding products to promote that way. Also going to try to utilize a Youtube channel with promotion, as well as some paid advertising. It all works with the right amount of patience. I do have an Amazon Affiliate account that I can link too, but diversifing and learning to branch out is key. Truthfully I do not think the Amazon associate program is all that newbie friendly.
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