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:
Authoritative figures in an industry also participate in affiliate marketing. In England, Martin Lewis, aka the Money Saving Expert, recommends hundreds of financial products across his site for things like credit cards, loans and insurance. When he recommends a financial product, he includes a link to where you can apply or obtain it. And with some products exclusive to him and his site, it is no surprise that his company sold for over $100 million in 2012. Lewis sends out weekly emails filled with money-saving tips and deals, also filled with affiliate links.
Once you’ve set up your account, do note that Amazon requires you to use product links and generate income from at least three of them within 180 days. If you fail to do so within that time, they will close your account. If you are able to satisfy that requirement, Amazon will review your account as well as your usage of affiliate links once the first sale is complete.
Also, if you respond to someone’s questions about the event via email or text, that person probably already knows your affiliation or they wouldn’t be asking you. You probably wouldn’t need a disclosure in that context. But when you respond via social media, all your followers see your posts and some of them might not have seen your earlier disclosures.
My company wants to get positive reviews. We are thinking about distributing product discounts through various services that encourage reviews. Some services require individuals who want discount codes to provide information allowing sellers to read their other reviews before deciding which reviewers to provide with discount codes. Other services send out offers of a limited number of discount codes and then follow up by email to see whether the recipients have reviewed their products. Still others send offers of discount codes to those who previously posted reviews in exchange for discounted products. All of these services say that reviews are not required. Does it matter which service I choose? I would prefer that recipients of my discount codes not have to disclose that they received discounts.
You want to convince the reader to investigate their purchase options by the time they finish reading an article, which is why I’ll always include links to all of the products mentioned in a review at the end of the article. That way it’s an easy transition from learning about the product during your review and then at the end it’s time to make a purchase.
Hi Matt – you need to have an affiliate disclosure on your site (we do in the footer) but you don’t have to say that in all links. Before we published the updated version of this I actually contacted Amazon support about the links on images, and they confirmed it is ok to do. For the others dealing with anchor text, check out http://marketingwithsara.com/amazon/warning-to-all-affiliate-marketers
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.
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.
Anna is starting her own affiliate marketing business. So, she researches some niches and finds out that dog lovers who feed their dogs only raw foods is a pretty profitable niche. This group of people doesn't skimp when it comes to their dog's food. They're willing to search and purchase those raw foods that are of high quality and will benefit their dog's health the most. So, Anna chose this niche for her affiliate marketing business. She then goes and creates a website geared for this group of people. Then, she begins to post informational articles about raw food along with product recommendations. She forms affiliate relationships with various raw dog food companies. These companies provide Anna a special referral link she can post on her site to recommend to others. As soon as more and more people visit her site, she begins to make passive income. Whenever a reader clicks on one of her referral links and makes a purchase, Anna gets paid a percentage of the sale. Anna keeps the business going by continuing to post informational articles along with product recommendations.
8.4. Affiliate shall not transmit any so-called “interstitials,” “Parasiteware™,” “Parasitic Marketing,” “Shopping Assistance Application,” “Toolbar Installations and/or Add-ons,” “Shopping Wallets” or “deceptive pop-ups and/or pop-unders” to consumers from the time the consumer clicks on a qualifying link until such time as the consumer has fully exited Merchant’s site (i.e., no page from our site or any Merchant.com’s content or branding is visible on the end-user’s screen). As used herein a. “Parasiteware™” and “Parasitic Marketing” shall mean an application that (a) through accidental or direct intent causes the overwriting of affiliate and non affiliate commission tracking cookies through any other means than a customer initiated click on a qualifying link on a web page or email; (b) intercepts searches to redirect traffic through an installed software, thereby causing, pop ups, commission tracking cookies to be put in place or other commission tracking cookies to be overwritten where a user would under normal circumstances have arrived at the same destination through the results given by the search (search engines being, but not limited to, Google, MSN, Yahoo, Overture, AltaVista, Hotbot and similar search or directory engines); (c) set commission tracking cookies through loading of Merchant site in IFrames, hidden links and automatic pop ups that open Merchant.com’s site; (d) targets text on web sites, other than those web sites 100% owned by the application owner, for the purpose of contextual marketing; (e) removes, replaces or blocks the visibility of Affiliate banners with any other banners, other than those that are on web sites 100% owned by the owner of the application.
If they own a website or a business in a similar niche, then owning a large affiliate site could be a great complementary way to make more money while still dominating the main niche that they are focusing on. Since affiliate sites do not take a lot of time to manage when not in growth mode, a Strategic Sally could buy this site and just use it to boost her personal brand or the business that she is currently growing with ease.
Networks are the best source for determining the going commission rate among competitors. Before joining a network, most merchants or program managers sign up with a couple of the larger ones as an affiliate. This gives them access to the network’s database, and they can do a search for the starting commissions being paid out by other businesses in their industry to get a feel for how much they can charge.
Lon Naylor, of Learn Camtasia, is an example of a successful niche affiliate. Learn Camtasia offers training and tools for that software. Naylor is a video marketing coach. He said he earns 43 percent of his income through affiliate marketing. His community recognizes him as an expert and responds when he introduces them to new products. In some cases, when he refers customers to monthly subscription services, he enjoys ongoing payouts each month for the life of that customer.
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!
This site might seem authoritative, but it doesn’t really cater to the visitor. As you can see the site contains a ton of ads, and doesn’t do much to provide a good reading experience. The content is long, but it’s also very hard to read. You could easily create a site that reviews this product and provides a better reading experience and higher-quality review.

Product review sites are another popular vehicle for affiliate marketing strategies. Because these sites are inherently focused on providing information about products in which visitors are likely interested, the affiliate tie-in is pretty straightforward. The author writes about a product, highlighting the features and addressing any concerns, and then includes a link where readers can go to purchase the product.
×