It’s easiest to make money using Amazon’s affiliate program if the people coming to your website are looking for a specific product that your website discusses. It’s more difficult to use a website like my blog here and make money linking to physical products because the people coming here are looking for advice on how to earn money online – not what iPod speakers they should buy.

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.


There is, however, a level of responsibility that you have to uphold while making these kinds of recommendations, especially if you have a lot of authority and influence over your followers. This is something I take very seriously. If it were up to me, this is the only way affiliate marketing would be done, because to me it’s the most honest and most helpful.


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.
If the website isn’t an authority in its niche, ask yourself if it is setup to be one. You should always have this in mind, but especially with affiliate sites. Since affiliate sites have such a low barrier to entry, by buying an authority site, you are significantly putting yourself ahead of your competition who will be entering the game without an authority site. This will help you keep market share and dominate the niche.
With the global market creating opportunities for affiliate marketers, Nele Sharp from CJ Affiliate by Conversant touched on a number of ways publishers could capitalise on their global presence - such as identifying local consumers and finding relevant advertisers to work with while also doing your research on the location/region you’re targeting, including any laws or privacy disclosures.
Thanks for the write-up on EasyAnon. I was debating whether or not to give it a try. I’ve been using Amazon Product In A Post (free plugin) since November. It is ok, but sometimes some of the links don’t show up, plus I would like the ability to customize the photos/links a bit more. I purchased EasyAnon through one of your links so I can finally see how it compares.
You will register for and be assigned a unique URL associated with an Associate ID for your participation in the Local Associates Program. You will not use any alternative URL or Associate IDs in connection with the Local Associates Program or use the assigned URL or Associate ID for any other purpose. For purposes of this Local Associates Policy, your unique URL will be considered a Special Link as defined in the Associates Program Operating Agreement.
Education occurs most often in "real life" by becoming involved and learning the details as time progresses. Although there are several books on the topic, some so-called "how-to" or "silver bullet" books instruct readers to manipulate holes in the Google algorithm, which can quickly become out of date,[37] or suggest strategies no longer endorsed or permitted by advertisers.[38]

Among the networks, Commission Junction and Rakuten LinkShare are the largest, with deep rosters of affiliates. ShareASale is smaller, but is considered stricter when it comes to policing members, according to several program managers interviewed. It has also been vigorous about encouraging affiliates to abide by new Federal Trade Commission regulations that require bloggers to disclose when they are receiving compensation in return for products they endorse.
A great point you made there though. Too many people try to take on too much at once and end up spreading themselves too thin – trying to conquer all the niches at the same time. Marketers also do this with advertising. Instead of sticking with one platform until they are generating a consistent number of leads they will jump from platform to platform, in essence chucking a load of crap at a wall and seeing what sticks.
Also, remember that you are able to receive a commissions on anything your referral purchases over a 24hr period. So, even if you refer someone to purchase an e-book but they also end up buying $400 worth of other stuff, you get a commission on that, too. So really, you’re playing a numbers game here, especially around the holidays. This is why the Amazon Associates affiliate program is so powerful. When people by from Amazon, they tend to load up that cart. 

The reason why this type of affiliate marketing is so attractive to many is because no presence or authority is needed! It takes time to build up a reputation and trust with certain groups of people online, and many people are just too scared to commit to working on a blog or website, or just don’t have the time. For many, this is their only option.
In April 2008 the State of New York inserted an item in the state budget asserting sales tax jurisdiction over Amazon.com sales to residents of New York, based on the existence of affiliate links from New York–based websites to Amazon.[41] The state asserts that even one such affiliate constitutes Amazon having a business presence in the state, and is sufficient to allow New York to tax all Amazon sales to state residents. Amazon challenged the amendment and lost at the trial level in January 2009. The case is currently making its way through the New York appeals courts.
In the online marketplace, an affiliate refers to a person who will sell or promote the products of an online business, a term often referred to as affiliate marketing. Amazon uses multiple affiliates, referred to as "Amazon Associates," who sell items on their website. As part of the bargain, Amazon will take a small fee for their services. Both parties are able to earn income in this way.
The reason why this type of affiliate marketing is so attractive to many is because no presence or authority is needed! It takes time to build up a reputation and trust with certain groups of people online, and many people are just too scared to commit to working on a blog or website, or just don’t have the time. For many, this is their only option.
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.
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.
Except as agreed between you and us in a separate written agreement referencing this Section 5, you will not use any Program Content or Special Link, or otherwise link to an Amazon Site, on or in connection with: (a) any client-side software application (e.g., a browser plug-in, helper object, toolbar, extension, component, or any other application executable or installable by an end user) on any device, including computers, mobile phones, tablets, or other handheld devices (other than Approved Mobile Applications); or (b) any television set-top box (e.g., digital video recorders, cable or satellite boxes, streaming video players, blu-ray players, or dvd players) or Internet-enabled television (e.g., GoogleTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Cast, or Vizio Internet Apps).
2.1. To begin the enrollment process, you will complete and submit the online application at the ShareASale.com server. The fact that we auto-approve applications does not imply that we may not re-evaluate your application at a later time. We may reject your application at our sole discretion. We may cancel your application if we determine that your site is unsuitable for our Program, including if it:

We will provide all of the information necessary for you to make Links from your Affiliate Site to our site. FatCow will be solely responsible for order processing (including payment processing, cancellations, and refunds) for orders for FatCow Products and Services placed by a Referred Customer following a Link from your Affiliate Site, for tracking the volume and amount of Qualified Purchases generated by your Affiliate Site, and for providing information to Affiliates regarding Qualified Purchase statistics. FatCow will be solely responsible for all order processing, including but not limited to payment processing, cancellations, refunds and related FatCow service.
        I understand the affiliate marketing business model and I also understand that in order to proceed, one needs to have a website. With this comes a domain name, hosting, and an autoresponder….all of which, require a small investment. I have no capital what so ever. I appreciate all your info on the subject but for now…I am forced to keep searching for someway to make some money without money upfront. I've lost my job some time back and havn't been able to find steady/fulltime work anywhere. I have been looking on the net for various ways to earn some cash, and aside from taking paid surveys, which is not panning out at all. I am determined not to give up and I would be greatful to any ideas you may have as well. I could go on and on about my horrible cituation but I'm not going to bore you with it. Let me just say…I have to look-up to see rock-bottom… if you know what I mean. Sorry for the long story but any suggestions or ideas you may have knowledge of would be deeply appreciated.
You are only eligible to earn Commission Fees on Qualified Purchases occurring during the Term. Commission Fees earned prior to the date of termination will be eligible for commissions only if the orders for the related FatCow Products and Services are not cancelled within (30) days and comply with all of the terms of this Agreement. We may withhold your final payment of Commission Fees for a reasonable time to ensure that all Qualified Purchases are valid and payment from Referred Customers are legitimate as determined by FatCow in its sole discretion.
I can’t answer that question for everyone – I won’t pretend that it works brilliantly on every blog but I know quite a few bloggers making significant earnings each month from the program. Blogs with a strong product focus can do quite well through the program if links to Amazon are well integrated into posts (see some of the links below for tips). I would advise moderation in using the program – don’t place them in every post you write unless they are relevant. Links placed in genuinely helpful reviews do better than links and banners in sidebars.
The Program Operator requires your primary email address be listed in your affiliate Profile. Affiliates will not be able to use the website or participate in the affiliate program until their email addresses are verified. Those who fail to verify their email address or use an email address that generates an error response consistently (e.g., “User is over quota” or “Mailbox full”) will forfeit any commissions due and this contract will be terminated immediately. You may not use an email address with an auto responder as your Program Operator email address. When you visit the Program Operator’s websites or send emails to, you are communicating electronically. You consent to receive communications from the Program Operator electronically. The Program Operator will communicate with you by email or by posting notices on this site. You agree that all agreements, notices, disclosures and other communications that the Program Operator provides to you electronically satisfy any legal requirement that such communications be in writing. If you are an  affiliate, you understand that you may NOT opt out of any emails that you receive from the Program Operator. As an affiliate, you must continually have a valid email account on file with the Program Operator or we reserve the right to terminate your participation immediately, without any refund of any license fees paid or payment of any commission due.

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.
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:
We start with a Bestselling course. Theo McArthur has been working online since 1995 (yes that’s before many of you were even born) and comes with over 20 years of online business experience. Having taught 10,000+ students, you can be rest assured you are in the right hands. A pre requirement for this course will be having knowledge of setting up a wordpress website(or any other platform). This course will then help you maximize income potential by promoting multiple products withing your niche / niches and most importantly help you drive a lot of relevant targeted traffic from some of the best sources on the internet.
Affiliate marketers cannot assume that they are immune from these new standards, even though they are not the final brand the customer is interacting with. They must be transparent about using any third-party tracking software to collect personally identifiable information on customers, including IP addresses. They need to be required to delete these entries from CPVLab, Prosper or other third-party tracking solutions they use.
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….
Amazon has already made similar adjustments in many overseas markets. In 2015, the company moved its European affiliate program to a category-based structure, and according to the affiliate management firm GeniusLink, the result was more of a subtle chill than a freeze-out. “There’s definitely some pain as a result of it,” says GeniusLink CEO Jesse Lakes, “but we haven’t had a single client who stopped doing business because of the new payout structure.”
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
(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.
General Rights. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, Company hereby grants to MA the right to advertise, market and sell to corporate users, government agencies and educational facilities (“Clients”) for their own internal language learning, soft skills and communication purposes only, and not for remarketing or redistribution, and not for use in a data center environment for multiple users Clients, unless otherwise agreed to by Company prior in writing, the Technology listed in Schedule A of this Agreement, and to sell and/or bundle Technology Maintenance for the Technology and to provide first line technical support and implementation services for the Technology in the territories listed in Schedule A of this Agreement, providing MA meets the criteria required for delivering services according to Schedule A.
Affiliate marketing also is a very broad term; under this umbrella there are several different strategies that can be employed to generate affiliate revenue. The most appropriate and lucrative method (or methods) can depend on a number of factors, including your site’s niche and characteristics of your audience. Below is an overview of some of the most popular affiliate marketing implementations, along with examples of each.
The Program Operator and their associated companies operate with the strictest codes of professional conduct. Any affiliate who brings the the Program Operator or their employees, partners, or associates into disrepute, or who promotes any form of slander, racism, or unfair business practices, will have their affiliate status canceled and any outstanding commissions will be forfeited.

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.
I’ve been using Amazon’s affiliate program for a little over two years and during that time I’ve had a lot of success with it. In fact, this income source was the second largest chunk of my total $150k+ 2010 income. If I hadn’t sold one of my larger Amazon focused sites last year for six figures this income source would have easily eclipsed $100,000 by now. 
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