This is the complete opposite of PPC, where you’re not even seen by the consumer in order for the transaction to take place. Instead, this is you talking directly to those who may need a product that you’re offering, who have their ears and eyes on you. This is not using your money in order to make money, like with PPC. It’s using your reputation, trust, and authority in order to get others to take your recommendation, use it and pay you something in return in the form of a commission.
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. 

Your web host is responsible for hosting all of the files necessary for your site to function. When choosing a web host you’re going to have a variety of options to choose from. Some will be dedicated towards sites with large volumes of traffic, while others will specifically host WordPress sites. We offer a detailed breakdown of hosting options here.
Working your way through all of the articles below will take you quite a while, but you’ll end up with a complete understanding of the mechanics, opportunity, and challenges associated with monetizing a site via affiliate marketing. (By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send monetization tips straight to your inbox each day.)
Additionally, you must either include the following disclaimer adjacent to the pricing or availability information or provide it via a hyperlink, pop-up box, scripted pop-up, or other similar method: "Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product." In the above examples, "Details" and "More info" would provide a method for the end user to read the disclaimer. 

While every affiliate program is different, you are less likely to be hit by a ban hammer in the affiliate space than in the Adsense space.  In general, affiliate networks can be a bit more lenient with their terms of services. You also have the benefit that many networks are hosting the same offers, so if one does ban you, you can usually replace that income with the new network offer.
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.
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.
Affiliate Contracts. Schedule 9.6 sets forth, as of the date hereof, all contracts or agreements with any Affiliate of Sellers that relate to the Properties or by which the Properties are bound. Sellers will terminate or cause its respective Affiliates to terminate, effective as of the Closing Date, any contracts or agreements between any Seller and its respective Affiliates to the extent relating to or binding the Properties.
If at any time there has been no substantial activity on your account for at least 3 years, then we will have the right, with 7 days’ written notice to withhold the accrued fees for your inactive account, up to a maximum closure withholding of an amount equal to the minimum amount listed in the Payment Minimum Chart for payment by gift card. Further, any unpaid accrued fees in your account may be subject to escheatment under applicable law.
Assignment. You will not assign or transfer this Agreement, including any assignment or transfer by reason of merger, reorganization, sale of all or substantially all of its assets, change of control or operation of law, without our prior written consent. We may assign this Agreement to any affiliate or in the event of merger, reorganization, sale of all or substantially all of our assets, change of control or operation of law.
Building a successful Amazon affiliate site does take a lot of work. But, even if you’re a beginner it’s a great way to learn the fundamentals of working online. The steps above gave you everything you need to know to get started creating your very own website. Now it’s time to get to work! Remember, success will only come with consistent and sustained effort.

Hi I’ve tried to make money on Amazon. Had a great looking website but had no hits or anything in two months and when I called them to see why I’m not getting any hits they said to me do you have a domain name and I said no you guys never told me I needed one. So I closed my site and never tried again. I’m thinking of trying again maybe I might do it this time
Once you complete an application to become an Affiliate, we will review your application and notify you whether you have been accepted to participate in the Affiliate Program, or not.  Before we accept an application, we may want to review your application with you, so we may reach out to you for more information. We may require that you complete certain requirements or certification(s) before we accept your application. If we do not notify you that you are accepted to participate in the Affiliate Program within thirty (30) days from your application, your application is considered to be rejected.
If you don’t promote the right products, even if you know the owner or think it might be a great fit, you run the risk of losing the trust you have built with your audience. It takes hard work to build authority and trust, and one bad affiliate offer could potentially ruin that, so be sure you trust the product you’re recommending, and the team behind the product to take care of your people.
Use Deep Links – these are pages on your affiliate’s website that AREN’T the homepage. For SiteGround’s hosting I link a lot to their speed technology page as an affiliate link. If you’re doing Amazon’s affiliate program you just want to gather a list of products you will be recommending to readers, create an affiliate link for each one, and import them to the plugin.
(f) You will not (i) interfere, or attempt to interfere, in any manner with the functionality or proper working of PA API; (ii) compile or use Product Advertising Content for the purpose of direct marketing, spamming, unsolicited contacting of sellers or customers, or other advertising activities; or (iii) remove, obscure, alter, or make invisible, illegible, or indecipherable, any notice, including any notice of intellectual property or proprietary right, appearing on or contained within PA API, Data Feeds, Product Advertising Content, or Specifications.

Excellent article Chris! This will help me out a lot. I am a new author through amazon and my book is also being sold through KDP Select (The kindle option worldwide) but regardless of my advertising on my Facebook page, which cost money, I do not seem to be getting anywhere. With Amazon Associates, is it totally free and no cost to you or do you pay a fee over a certain amount of time. Also if you have any tips on how to get a book out there that would be excellent. My book is being sold at Books a Million, Barnes and Noble, and Alibris. I plan on doing a book signing at Barnes and Noble in hopes it will raise awareness of my book.

We may change your Account Identifiers or Data Feed Access ID from time to time. An Account Identifier that is a private key or a Data Feed Access ID that is a password is for your personal use only, and you must maintain its secrecy and security. You may not sell, transfer, sublicense, or otherwise disclose your private key or password to any other person or entity. An Account Identifier that is a public key or a Data Feed Access ID that is a username is not secret.


My only suggestions would be to email them back, clarify why they think your website is a social network. If your site is empty of content (such a bunch of empty pages waiting for content to be added), I would fill those pages up/delete them before reappyling to the program. Also make sure you have more content than just affiliate content. You want to be providing real value to the audience, plus you don’t want Google to think you are a thin affiliate website.
Forms of new media have also diversified how companies, brands, and ad networks serve ads to visitors. For instance, YouTube allows video-makers to embed advertisements through Google's affiliate network.[18][19] New developments have made it more difficult for unscrupulous affiliates to make money. Emerging black sheep are detected and made known to the affiliate marketing community with much greater speed and efficiency.[citation needed]
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.
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.
It’s time to mix and match. Instead of switching your entire blog over to luxury beauty products, mix in an occasional affiliate link. Perhaps write comparison articles that pit luxury beauty products against normal beauty products. Try to compare different makeup, face creams, hair styling tools, etc. Or, talk about the best products in different price categories. What is the best budget hair straightener, and what is the best luxury hair straightener?

“What we realized,” Mr. Teare said, “is that these customers were already on our site and prepared to buy, but at checkout they were Googling to see if any coupons were available. Because these new affiliates were advertising that they had special coupons for our store, customers were immediately clicking over there. The only problem is we didn’t have any coupon promotions running at the time.”

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.


Spam is the biggest threat to organic search engines, whose goal is to provide quality search results for keywords or phrases entered by their users. Google's PageRank algorithm update ("BigDaddy") in February 2006—the final stage of Google's major update ("Jagger") that began in mid-summer 2005—specifically targeted spamdexing with great success. This update thus enabled Google to remove a large amount of mostly computer-generated duplicate content from its index.[29]
However, to be genuinely successful today you need a twist of creativity. Ebates is a great example of this. They are a cashback website. This means they offer cash back on purchases you make online. You make an account on their website and whenever you shop anywhere such as Amazon, you click on the link in your account first. Ebates says they will give you 3% back on any purchase you make. Let’s say you go to Amazon and buy whatever for $100. You would then receive $3 in your Ebates account. However, the cool part is how Ebates is making money with this model. Amazon’s affiliate program gives you 6% commissions per sale. Ebates decided to give half of their commission back to their users as an incentive for them to shop through Ebates. This way the whole idea is consumer driven. Consumers buy things and make money using Ebates. The more consumers receive in cash back, the more revenue Ebates generates.

(v) Place or otherwise use Our Materials on any online site or medium where the material on such online site or medium infringes any third party intellectual property rights, copies or resembles the Sites or any of them – whether in whole or in part, in any manner – directly or indirectly – damages our goodwill or reputation and/or frames any page of the Sites or any of them, whether in whole or in part.
The Program Operator will not be liable for indirect or accidental damages (loss of revenue, commissions) due to affiliate system sale tracking failures, commission processing system failures, losses of database files or backups thereof, attacks on computing resources, computer viruses, the continued viability of their products, any results of “intents of harm” to the program, or acts of God or Nature. The Program Operator makes no claim that the operation of the websites or the Program Operator network will be error-free nor will the Program Operator be held liable for any interruptions or errors.
11.9. Force Majeure. You acknowledge that Brian Tracy's servers, equipment, and services (e.g. tracking and reporting) may be subject to temporary modifications or shutdowns due to causes beyond Brian Tracy's reasonable control. Such temporary service interruptions will not constitute a material breach of this Agreement. BTI will use commercially reasonable efforts to provide the services contemplated under this Agreement and to remedy any temporary interruptions or other problems that adversely affect the Program.

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.
Disclaimer of Warranties. WE AND OUR AFFILIATED COMPANIES AND AGENTS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, TIMELINESS, SECURITY OR ACCURACY OF THE HUBSPOT PRODUCTS, HUBSPOT CONTENT, THE AFFILIATE PROGRAM OR THE AFFILIATE TOOL FOR ANY PURPOSE. APPLICATION PROGRAMMING INTERFACES (APIs) AND THE AFFILIATE TOOL MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES. TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, THE HUBSPOT PRODUCTS AND AFFILIATE TOOL ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF ANY KIND. WE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND WITH REGARD TO THE HUBSPOT PRODUCTS AND THE AFFILIATE TOOL INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT.
Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.
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.
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.
If you are going to write a piece of content that has an affiliate link to a high-end DSLR camera, you need to be an expert in order to make it credible. Your whole website needs to revolve around the product and how to use it, rather than eyeing up the fat commission you can make if you dupe someone into using your link from that one piece of content.
Are they biting the hand that feeds them? Possibly. We will have to wait and see. Maybe Amazon gave the higher commission %’s to the products that have the highest markup…? i.e. their Amazon coins. I do believe tho they have reduced the incentive their own “affiliate employees” previously had to push their products-and maybe, just maybe this new commission structure will not last long.
If you provide us with suggestions, reviews, modifications, data, images, text, or other information relating to any Program Content or in connection with your participation in the Associates Program, or if you modify any Program Content in any way (collectively, “Your Submission”), you hereby irrevocably assign to us all right, title, and interest in and to Your Submission and grant us (even if you have designated Your Submission as confidential) a perpetual, paid-up royalty-free, nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, freely transferable right and license for the maximum duration of protection available under applicable law to: (a) use, reproduce, perform, display, and distribute Your Submission in any manner; (b) adapt, modify, re-format, and create derivative works of Your Submission for any purpose; (c) use and publish your name in the form of a credit in conjunction with Your Submission (however, we will not have any obligation to do so); and (d) sublicense the foregoing rights to any other person or entity. Additionally, you hereby warrant that: (y) Your Submission is your original work, or you obtained Your Submission in a lawful manner and (z) our and our sublicensees’ exercise of rights under the license above will not violate any person’s or entity’s rights, including any copyright rights. You agree to provide us such assistance as we may require to document, perfect, or maintain our rights in and to Your Submission.
Additionally, you must either include the following disclaimer adjacent to the pricing or availability information or provide it via a hyperlink, pop-up box, scripted pop-up, or other similar method: "Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product." In the above examples, "Details" and "More info" would provide a method for the end user to read the disclaimer. 

g) Any cause of action or claim you may have with respect to the website, the products, the services, or the eBook(s), must be commenced within ninety (90) days after the claim or cause of action arises or such claim or cause of action is barred.  The Program Operator ‘s failure to insist upon or enforce strict performance of any provision of this agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. Neither the course of conduct between the parties nor trade practice shall act to modify any provision of this agreement. the Program Operator may assign its rights and duties under this agreement to any party at any time without notice to you. Use of headings in this document is for convenience only and does not identify legal boundaries or terms explicitly.
Amazon has been my second-best earner after Adsense. I am still in the start-up stages of IM in general but I do get a check from Amazon every month. I agree fully with the reasons you give and I have found that the small commissions is far outweighed by the points you list above. I make far more with Amazon than I do with any other affiliate program though they might have higher commissions.
And remember, whether you decide to use paid advertising or a free blog to promote Amazon products through the Amazon Associates affiliate program, there will be a learning curve involved. Don’t expect success right away. But if you stick with it, you’ll find the exact formula that works for you and your target audience. After that, it’s like a cash machine pumping money into your bank account 24/7/365. So have fun and enjoy the process!!
Check out AffiliateTip.com, a popular site about affiliate marketing run by industry guru Shawn Collins. The right rail of his site features a “Blogroll” that contains affiliate links to a number of third party sites. While some of these sites have blogs, the links generally lead (through an affiliate link tracker) to landing pages where visitors can sign up for a product:
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.
5.2 We will not be liable for indirect, special or consequential or like loss or damage or any loss of revenue, profits or data arising in connection with this Agreement and/or the Affiliate program and/or any termination thereof, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Further our aggregate liability arising with respect to this Agreement and/or the Affiliate program and/or the termination thereof will not exceed the total commission paid or due and payable under this Agreement for the 12 month period immediately preceding the event giving rise to the payment obligation.
(c) Marketing. Solely with respect to the Amazon Influencer Program, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Participation Requirements, you may include Special Links to your Influencer Page in emails; provided, that such emails are in compliance with the 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 Influencer Program Policy. For the avoidance of doubt, (i) for the purposes of applicable marketing laws (for example, if applicable, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and any similar or successor legislation), you are the “Sender” of each email containing any Special Links, and (ii) you must comply with applicable laws and marketing industry standards and best practices for all emails relating to the Amazon Influencer Program. Amazon may revoke the offline marketing permissions granted in this Section 1 at any time in its sole discretion by providing written notice to you.

To make this type of business a success, you do need to plan it. You can't just pick any niche. If you pick a niche but the people in that niche aren't big on purchasing things, then your business won't succeed. You have to really research the niche you are interested in to make sure the people in your niche are looking and willing to purchase the products you recommend. Also, you need to plan and research the products you recommend. Don't just recommend any product that you find. It needs to be of high quality. If you recommend poor quality products, your readers will stop listening to your recommendations.
Many affiliate marketers start out with amazon.com through their affiliate program called Amazon Associates. Their commission structure is very low and can range from 4% to 10% only but you can also leverage their global selection of products and amazon’s popularity. You could also think of the places you have shopping from online and I am almost certain they will have some sort of affiliate programs that you can join for free.

Don’t set a goal to write 3 blog posts a day… set a goal to write 1 blog post a week and make that post super helpful, long, and filled with information that is so valuable you will say “yeah, people will link to that.” 90% of my traffic/affiliate income comes from just 20 tutorials, many of which are 5+ years old. But I am constantly updating them to make the content better.


You don’t necessarily need experience to come across as an expert in any field, but it certainly helps when people know you’re connected to that industry in some way. For example, would you rather purchase a marketing book from Neil Patel, a mover and shaker in the industry, or from someone who has had no marketing experience and just created his website yesterday?
I see you did have Yoast SEO mentioned here. I recommended Yoast SEO in your last post before I stopped by this blog to see what you posted. Good stuff my friend. I am going to publish more recommended WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers and bloggers soon. This way, we keep everyone in your side hustle circle informed what words best with WordPress.
Referred Customers who buy FatCow Products and Services through our affiliate network are deemed to be FatCow Customers. FatCow’s Terms and Conditions, rules, policies, and operating procedures will apply to such customers. We may change our policies, pricing, and operating procedures at any time. For example, FatCow determines the prices to be charged for FatCow Products and Services sold through the affiliate network in accordance with our own pricing policies. Prices and availability of FatCow Products and Services may vary from time to time, from affiliate to affiliate, and from region to region. Because price changes may affect products that you have listed on your Affiliate Site, you may or may not be able to include price information in your product descriptions. We will use commercially reasonable efforts to present accurate information on our website, but we cannot guarantee the availability or price of any particular FatCow Product or Service.

FatCow reserves the right to suspend the payment of Commission Fees at any time and indefinitely, if it suspects fraud or other improper activity or a potential breach of any of the terms of this Agreement by the Affiliate or a Referred Customer. FatCow reserves the right to deduct from Affiliate's current and future Commission Fees any and all Commission Fees corresponding to any fraudulent, questionable, and cancelled purchases.
I relay the story of Dan Henry because it exemplifies the power of this thing called the internet that binds us all. And while Henry has succeeded on a massive scale, so many others have hit roadblocks, stumbled, fallen and failed. The large rate of failure helps to mystify and obfuscate this world of affiliate marketing because so many are trying to penetrate this market but so few are able to succeed on a large scale.

Great article. Thanks for writing it. I am right now picking my theme and building my wordpress. I have my hosting and domain name. What I don’t get though from the article is whether you have to apply to Amazon to be an affiliate or if they accept everyone. How does that all work? Like if I build my site and post links to amazon’s products, they wouldn’t have my details to pay me my commission. Do the templates do all that for you automatically? I am finding it hard to choose one because I want one that automatically integrates the amazon products without making my blog look like a shop per se. I’m going to have a look on the amazon site to see if there’s any clues there. But I thought that was the finishing and crucial touch, which forgive me, seems missing from your well explained and detailed article.
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