Yes and no. Affiliate marketing can generate passive income, but the passive side of the income usually only follows putting in a few years of hard work to generate the brand and audience you'll need to begin generating those passive sales. I have multiple sites earning passive income, but each of those sites took a lot of front end work to build up to that point. And not every site gets to the point of passive income. Some sites require continual maintenance though the revenue they generate can also allow you to pay for that maintenance to be done vs. you needing to do it yourself.
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.
I am afraid this is just the beginning and we will see more drastic decrease in commission in the next few years. My main revenues are usually from Toys and Home. I’ll need to check and do some calculation to see what I’ll loose. Might have eventually to change some links and go through other affiliate programs that may pay more. Again, will have to check that out. I love Amazon because I find all the product from them instead of having to deal with multiple affiliate sites. No headaches about sites closing their affiliate programs, no stress about getting paid on time etc..

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.


For Tracy E. Robey, who runs the beauty blog Fanserviced-b, the impact was more stark: a pay cut. With the affiliate cut for a typical purchase dropping from 8 to 6 percent, she anticipates that her checks from Amazon will go down by as much as 20 percent. For Robey, her blog is still more of a sideline than a job, but as she looks to expand her growing business, she says that drop could have real consequences.

From launching in an overseas market to accessing an elusive niche demographic, influencers play a key role in helping brands get in front of the right audiences at the right time. With consumers increasingly hard to reach with traditional ad spend – 615 million devices now use adblocking software – more and more affiliate marketers and brands are looking for a way to tie their advertising spend to tangible results and actions.
… ensure that long, multi-topic pages on your site are well-structured and broken into distinct logical sections. Second, ensure that each section has an associated anchor with a descriptive name (i.e., not just “Section 2.1”), and that your page includes a “table of contents” which links to the individual anchors… you won’t see it on the results all the time — only when we think that a link to a section would be highly useful for a particular query.

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.


Knowing this, many affiliates using the Amazon Associates affiliate program simply use the sales of cheaper items as a way to boost their commissions on the larger items they promote. You won’t be able to sell nearly the number of high end digital cameras as you can e-books, so the e-books simply help to raise your commission percentage when you do happen to sell a $1,000 camera.
MSE is a great example of an affiliate site that has become an authority site. It is not offering thin content and barely veiled “reviews” that are trying to sell something. Instead they are offering actual actionable advice and maintaining a strong code of ethics in the often dirty personal finance niche. They make their affiliate commissions by linking out in their posts and pages to affiliate products they have agreements with.

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:
a) If any part of this agreement or the Terms and Condition is declared void, this agreement and the Terms and Conditions shall, to the maximum practicable extent, be construed without reference to that part. No term or provision of the Agreement shall be waived unless in writing and signed by the party waiving the provision, and any waiver shall apply only to the specific event or situation which it describes and shall not be continuing. No affiliate may assign or sublicense this agreement without the Program Operator’s prior written consent.

How can affiliates fight back?. A world world Amazon affiliate strike where we all take our sites offline for a couple days so Amazon can feel the financial sting. Well there’s 2 options for me. Double my workload again to make it back to the point it is in Feb 2017 by late 2018. Or move onto something else. Finding amazon substitutes is not going to happen when one promotes 100’s of products in various niches.
When it comes down to brass tacks, there are some important steps to be taken to succeed as an affiliate marketer, and an overall framework that needs to be followed. But before getting into that, it's important to get a lay of the land and look at the macro aspects of marketing and buyer mentality before being able to leverage any of that psychology to sell commissionable products or services.
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."
(i) Place our Links or any marketing materials provided by us to you including but not limited to our logos, marks, domain name, trade name or any of the aforegoing ("Our Marks") which is confusingly similar to or is comprised of Our Marks (collectively, "Our Materials") on any online site or other medium where the material on such site or medium is as determined by us, in the exercise of our absolute discretion, illegal or in any other way unsuitable.
In 2009, I originally published this post, the 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained—and The One I Profit From. A lot has changed since then, and I’ve learned a ton along the way about affiliate marketing the right way. It’s now October 2018, and I wanted to share those new insights here, with a bunch of new takeaways for you to bring affiliate marketing into your own business!
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.
Chris, I am glad you have had good fortune with amazon, I think I have chosen the wrong niche, it appears to be very competitive, I have had my site for 4 mo, and have made zero, however, it may not be all bad, I still work on content, and I do get indexing, however, I am at a loss on how to find keywords on ranking content; If I could find this out, then I could do some seo on any LSI keywords. I do agree about having a nice looking website, I paid far much less then you did, and I think I turned out with a site that looks very nice; If visitors do not think you are legit, or if you content looks like trash, then the will bounce before you can blink. I think once I can find those magic LSI keywords and rank them, then I think things will turn around, as I have also invested quite a bit up until this point.
!function(n,t){function r(e,n){return Object.prototype.hasOwnProperty.call(e,n)}function i(e){return void 0===e}if(n){var o={},s=n.TraceKit,a=[].slice,l="?";o.noConflict=function(){return n.TraceKit=s,o},o.wrap=function(e){function n(){try{return e.apply(this,arguments)}catch(e){throw o.report(e),e}}return n},o.report=function(){function e(e){l(),h.push(e)}function t(e){for(var n=h.length-1;n>=0;--n)h[n]===e&&h.splice(n,1)}function i(e,n){var t=null;if(!n||o.collectWindowErrors){for(var i in h)if(r(h,i))try{h[i].apply(null,[e].concat(a.call(arguments,2)))}catch(e){t=e}if(t)throw t}}function s(e,n,t,r,s){var a=null;if(w)o.computeStackTrace.augmentStackTraceWithInitialElement(w,n,t,e),u();else if(s)a=o.computeStackTrace(s),i(a,!0);else{var l={url:n,line:t,column:r};l.func=o.computeStackTrace.guessFunctionName(l.url,l.line),l.context=o.computeStackTrace.gatherContext(l.url,l.line),a={mode:"onerror",message:e,stack:[l]},i(a,!0)}return!!f&&f.apply(this,arguments)}function l(){!0!==d&&(f=n.onerror,n.onerror=s,d=!0)}function u(){var e=w,n=p;p=null,w=null,m=null,i.apply(null,[e,!1].concat(n))}function c(e){if(w){if(m===e)return;u()}var t=o.computeStackTrace(e);throw w=t,m=e,p=a.call(arguments,1),n.setTimeout(function(){m===e&&u()},t.incomplete?2e3:0),e}var f,d,h=[],p=null,m=null,w=null;return c.subscribe=e,c.unsubscribe=t,c}(),o.computeStackTrace=function(){function e(e){if(!o.remoteFetching)return"";try{var t=function(){try{return new n.XMLHttpRequest}catch(e){return new n.ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP")}},r=t();return r.open("GET",e,!1),r.send(""),r.responseText}catch(e){return""}}function t(t){if("string"!=typeof t)return[];if(!r(j,t)){var i="",o="";try{o=n.document.domain}catch(e){}var s=/(.*)\:\/\/([^:\/]+)([:\d]*)\/{0,1}([\s\S]*)/.exec(t);s&&s[2]===o&&(i=e(t)),j[t]=i?i.split("\n"):[]}return j[t]}function s(e,n){var r,o=/function ([^(]*)\(([^)]*)\)/,s=/['"]?([0-9A-Za-z$_]+)['"]?\s*[:=]\s*(function|eval|new Function)/,a="",u=10,c=t(e);if(!c.length)return l;for(var f=0;f0?s:null}function u(e){return e.replace(/[\-\[\]{}()*+?.,\\\^$|#]/g,"\\$&")}function c(e){return u(e).replace("<","(?:<|<)").replace(">","(?:>|>)").replace("&","(?:&|&)").replace('"','(?:"|")').replace(/\s+/g,"\\s+")}function f(e,n){for(var r,i,o=0,s=n.length;or&&(i=s.exec(o[r]))?i.index:null}function h(e){if(!i(n&&n.document)){for(var t,r,o,s,a=[n.location.href],l=n.document.getElementsByTagName("script"),d=""+e,h=/^function(?:\s+([\w$]+))?\s*\(([\w\s,]*)\)\s*\{\s*(\S[\s\S]*\S)\s*\}\s*$/,p=/^function on([\w$]+)\s*\(event\)\s*\{\s*(\S[\s\S]*\S)\s*\}\s*$/,m=0;m]+)>|([^\)]+))\((.*)\))? in (.*):\s*$/i,o=n.split("\n"),l=[],u=0;u=0&&(g.line=v+x.substring(0,j).split("\n").length)}}}else if(o=d.exec(i[y])){var _=n.location.href.replace(/#.*$/,""),T=new RegExp(c(i[y+1])),E=f(T,[_]);g={url:_,func:"",args:[],line:E?E.line:o[1],column:null}}if(g){g.func||(g.func=s(g.url,g.line));var k=a(g.url,g.line),A=k?k[Math.floor(k.length/2)]:null;k&&A.replace(/^\s*/,"")===i[y+1].replace(/^\s*/,"")?g.context=k:g.context=[i[y+1]],h.push(g)}}return h.length?{mode:"multiline",name:e.name,message:i[0],stack:h}:null}function y(e,n,t,r){var i={url:n,line:t};if(i.url&&i.line){e.incomplete=!1,i.func||(i.func=s(i.url,i.line)),i.context||(i.context=a(i.url,i.line));var o=/ '([^']+)' /.exec(r);if(o&&(i.column=d(o[1],i.url,i.line)),e.stack.length>0&&e.stack[0].url===i.url){if(e.stack[0].line===i.line)return!1;if(!e.stack[0].line&&e.stack[0].func===i.func)return e.stack[0].line=i.line,e.stack[0].context=i.context,!1}return e.stack.unshift(i),e.partial=!0,!0}return e.incomplete=!0,!1}function g(e,n){for(var t,r,i,a=/function\s+([_$a-zA-Z\xA0-\uFFFF][_$a-zA-Z0-9\xA0-\uFFFF]*)?\s*\(/i,u=[],c={},f=!1,p=g.caller;p&&!f;p=p.caller)if(p!==v&&p!==o.report){if(r={url:null,func:l,args:[],line:null,column:null},p.name?r.func=p.name:(t=a.exec(p.toString()))&&(r.func=t[1]),"undefined"==typeof r.func)try{r.func=t.input.substring(0,t.input.indexOf("{"))}catch(e){}if(i=h(p)){r.url=i.url,r.line=i.line,r.func===l&&(r.func=s(r.url,r.line));var m=/ '([^']+)' /.exec(e.message||e.description);m&&(r.column=d(m[1],i.url,i.line))}c[""+p]?f=!0:c[""+p]=!0,u.push(r)}n&&u.splice(0,n);var w={mode:"callers",name:e.name,message:e.message,stack:u};return y(w,e.sourceURL||e.fileName,e.line||e.lineNumber,e.message||e.description),w}function v(e,n){var t=null;n=null==n?0:+n;try{if(t=m(e))return t}catch(e){if(x)throw e}try{if(t=p(e))return t}catch(e){if(x)throw e}try{if(t=w(e))return t}catch(e){if(x)throw e}try{if(t=g(e,n+1))return t}catch(e){if(x)throw e}return{mode:"failed"}}function b(e){e=1+(null==e?0:+e);try{throw new Error}catch(n){return v(n,e+1)}}var x=!1,j={};return v.augmentStackTraceWithInitialElement=y,v.guessFunctionName=s,v.gatherContext=a,v.ofCaller=b,v.getSource=t,v}(),o.extendToAsynchronousCallbacks=function(){var e=function(e){var t=n[e];n[e]=function(){var e=a.call(arguments),n=e[0];return"function"==typeof n&&(e[0]=o.wrap(n)),t.apply?t.apply(this,e):t(e[0],e[1])}};e("setTimeout"),e("setInterval")},o.remoteFetching||(o.remoteFetching=!0),o.collectWindowErrors||(o.collectWindowErrors=!0),(!o.linesOfContext||o.linesOfContext<1)&&(o.linesOfContext=11),void 0!==e&&e.exports&&n.module!==e?e.exports=o:"function"==typeof define&&define.amd?define("TraceKit",[],o):n.TraceKit=o}}("undefined"!=typeof window?window:global)},"./webpack-loaders/expose-loader/index.js?require!./shared/require-global.js":function(e,n,t){(function(n){e.exports=n.require=t("./shared/require-global.js")}).call(n,t("../../../lib/node_modules/webpack/buildin/global.js"))}});
Amazing and thorough breakdown of how it all works! Thank you so much for sharing! a group of 3 friends myself + 2 are about to start affiliate marketing together. Since many advertising rules have changed with affiliate marketing (facebook ads etc.) and many articles have not been updated since, weʻd love any advice or suggestions you have for 2018!
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.
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.

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.
Hey Sue, I can’t disclose the amount of money that the website was earning when I sold it, but as I admitted at the onset of the article my income from Amazon would have surpassed $100,000 had I not sold the site. I already have several other authority style websites I’m building up as well as my network of smaller niche sites that earn good money as well.
It might be tempting to start recommending a variety of products that spark your interest on your website, but this isn’t the key to success. Very few affiliate sites find success without first picking a niche. For example, TheWireCutter.com focuses on in-depth product reviews of electronics and techie gadgets. HostingAdvice.com provides helpful reviews about hosting companies and related products.
6. Small Payments Add Up – In my early days of making money from blogs I didn’t have the luxury of picking and choosing my income streams as much as I (and other full time bloggers) now do. I needed to earn money somewhere and even the small amounts that Amazon brought in were better than nothing. Over time these payments began to add up. In the early days I didn’t even earn enough for a minimum payment amount and had to wait a few months before they’d pay me – but those pay outs were milestones that I celebrated. If I’d not gone with Amazon because they didn’t earn me a lot I might not have gone with any ad networks or affiliate programs – sometimes you have to take what you can get.
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
But this “old school” method of making money online is still going strong because of all the benefits it offers to small-scale, solo internet entrepreneurs. And it’s an especially powerful business model to those without much experience doing business online. Many successful online business owners make their first dollar online with affiliate marketing.
His blog became wildly successful. At roughly the same time, V2 Cigs informed him of their affiliate program where they paid out 50% commissions. That was Henry's "aha" moment. Almost immediately after adding those affiliate links onto his blog, his income exploded. He was making over $30,000 per month and it was passive income. He was on top of the world.
What initially attracted me to using Amazon’s Affiliate program was the breadth of products that they had in their system. This is a great thing if you’re niche is narrow or quite obscure as many bloggers find it difficult to find affiliate programs to match their blog’s focus. Blogs like John’s and mine here at ProBlogger do have an array of options for affiliate programs (which is why I don’t use it a lot on this blog and make most of my earnings from Amazon from product related blogs) but many bloggers don’t have the luxury of being able to choose high paying affiliate programs because they simply don’t relate to our topics. Amazon then becomes one of the more attractive options.
Once the basics have been mastered and a network selected, retailers have to decide whether they are going to run the program in-house or hire an outside manager (or both). Milan Jara owns Decorative Ceiling Tiles, an online retailer with a little more than $1 million in annual sales. For three years, he ran his affiliate marketing program himself, learning by trial and error how to pick affiliates and spot coupon abuse.

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.
You buy these sites for cheaper than what they would had been a month ago, replace the links with links to your physical product, and revamp the sites to become email collecting machines that can be used to launch any new product you create – not to mention bringing back old customers to either your Amazon FBA listings or to the affiliate site for more potential sales and engagement.
This could leave many once competitive niches with a lot more gaps for you to build and leverage into with your niche sites. While we don’t believe we’ll see a mass exodus from Amazon Associates (Even with the currently grumbling about the changes online), some niches may be more affected by this than others so it may pay to look for gaps in the market.
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
Finally, email every network you are associated with for this website to inform them that you are selling your site and that you want to make sure that the new owner will be approved for that affiliate network. This is an important, if not obvious, step to follow. If a network denies the new buyer, that is going to lead to a lot of trouble when it comes to them taking full ownership over the site.

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.


AFFILIATE PROGRAM AGREEMENT This Affiliate Program Agreement (the "Agreement") is made and effective the [DATE] BETWEEN: [YOUR COMPANY NAME] (the "Owner"), a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the [State/Province] of [STATE/PROVINCE], with its head office located at: [YOUR COMPLETE ADDRESS] AND: [RECIPIENT NAME] (the "Recipient"), a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the [State/Province] of [STATE/PROVINCE], with its head office located at: [COMPLETE ADDRESS] In consideration of the terms and covenants of this agreement, and other valuable consideration, the parties agree

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.


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.
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.
Yes that seems super strange with Best Buy’s affiliate program. I’m assuming it has to be an error. There are other big affiliate programs for electronics you might want to look into as well. For example New Egg offers 2.5% currently with their program, and I imagine they would convert better than Best Buy since their main customer base is online whereas Best Buy’s clientele is mainly offline retail customers.
FatCow reserves the right to immediately cancel or withhold for later review any Commission Fee that fails to meet the criteria of a “Qualified Purchase.” Affiliate is responsible for monitoring the payment, denial, and withholding of Commission Fees; FatCow is not obligated to actively notify Affiliates of the status of Commission Fees. If Affiliate has a question about a Commission Fee that has been cancelled or withheld, Affiliate has thirty (30) days from the day the payment would have been due to contact FatCow to request that the Commission Fee be paid. Any changes to decisions about cancelled or withheld Commission Fees are strictly made in FatCow’s sole discretion.
×