I always add an HTML table of contents to posts to make sure they are long and structured. This has been a HUGE help for me (and my readers) and there are tons of benefits: better chance of getting “jump to links” in Google (see below), increased average time on page, decreased bounce rates, and it makes it easier for readers to navigate through your content.

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(e)You will not (and you will not seek to) purchase, register or otherwise use any Amazon Mark (as defined in the Trademark Guidelines) or variations or misspellings of any of those words (e.g., “ammazon,” “amaozn,” and “kindel,”) for use in any Search Engine . In addition to any other rights or remedies available to us, upon our request you will cause any Search Engine designated by us to exclude Proprietary Terms (defined below) from keywords used to display your advertising content in association with search results (e.g., request exclusion by negative keyword bidding), assuming the Search Engine offers such exclusion capabilities.
No, it doesn’t. Whether they give you a code, ship it directly to you, or give you money to buy it yourself, it’s all the same for the purpose of having to disclose that you got the product for free. The key question is always the same: If consumers knew the company gave it to you for free (or at a substantial discount), might that information affect how much weight they give your review?
11.6. Assignment. You may not assign this Agreement, by operation of law or otherwise, without our prior written consent, which may be withheld in our sole discretion. Subject to that restriction, this Agreement will be binding on, inure to the benefit of, and enforceable against the parties and their respective successors and assigns. Our failure to enforce your strict performance of any provision of this Agreement will not constitute a waiver of our right to subsequently enforce such provision or any other provision of this Agreement.
Again, the only constant in the online business world is changing. With every change, comes drawbacks and opportunities. In order to see these, you need to take a step back to look at the big picture. Every year or two there is a major shakeup in the online space, here is a list of just a FEW changes that had entrepreneurs grumbling in the last few years:
In reviewing your website, we noticed that the URL listed on your application is a social network website. However, your site is not an approved social network or established with enough unique content and followers yet. At this time, we are unable to approve your application and have closed the account under which you had been temporarily approved.
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.
You must use both a unique public key/private key pair (each key pair, an “Account Identifier”) and an Associates tag parameter (which can be either the Associate ID issued to you under the Amazon Associates Program or a related Associates Program tracking ID) to identify your account and make calls to PA API. You may obtain your Account Identifiers through PA API account creation process.

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….


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.
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.
This Agreement may be terminated by either party at the expiration of its term or any renewal term upon thirty (30) days written notice to the other party. Company acknowledges that this Agreement shall not be terminated for MA’s failure to follow an operating plan, standard procedure, training manual, or substantial equivalent published in Paragraph 3 (k) of this Agreement, except that Company does reserve the right to terminate this Agreement for MA’s failure to follow required procedures relating to the processing of sales contracts, invoices and billing related to Technology sold under this Agreement.
LOVED this – thank you Chris. So glad I found it just as I was about to add a store to my blog. I think it would be a better idea to just start linking to Amazon in every recipe and post! (Right?) BTW – I’ve already shared this post on G+ and LinkedIn and sent it to a bunch of friends. I always wish peeps would TELL me when they share my stuff, so here I am telling you. 🙂
It wouldn’t be reasonable to expect you to monitor every social media posting by all of your employees. However, you should establish a formal program to remind employees periodically of your policy, especially if the company encourages employees to share their opinions about your products. Also, if you learn that an employee has posted a review on the company’s website or a social media site without adequately disclosing his or her relationship to the company, you should remind them of your company policy and ask them to remove that review or adequately disclose that they’re an employee.
The Guides are intended to give insight into what the FTC thinks about various marketing activities involving endorsements and how Section 5 might apply to those activities. The Guides themselves don’t have the force of law. However, practices inconsistent with the Guides may result in law enforcement actions alleging violations of the FTC Act. Law enforcement actions can result in orders requiring the defendants in the case to give up money they received from their violations and to abide by various requirements in the future. Despite inaccurate news reports, there are no “fines” for violations of the FTC Act.
I spent 3 months thinking about a domain name. Yes, the Epic Niche Site Battle started 10 days ago, but I could still think of my website beforehand. To think about my holiday website, I came up with over 237 different domain names, slowly fine-tuning them, and emphasizing keywords that made sense to my brand. Those 237 domain names were just the ones that were available when I researched them on GoDaddy.com, there were hundreds more I tried that were unavailable. I went a little insane finding the right domain name.
In addition, the Guides say, if there’s a connection between an endorser and the marketer that consumers would not expect and it would affect how consumers evaluate the endorsement, that connection should be disclosed. For example, if an ad features an endorser who’s a relative or employee of the marketer, the ad is misleading unless the connection is made clear. The same is usually true if the endorser has been paid or given something of value to tout the product. The reason is obvious: Knowing about the connection is important information for anyone evaluating the endorsement.
Yes, this is similar to the first point; however, it's important to take this one step further. Don't just stop at “best sleeping bags” or “sleeping bag reviews”! You should target phrases that are even longer tailed, which could mean going after keywords with very low search volume.  I do that here on Niche Pursuits and every blog or website I've built.
I recognize that the list above is short; however, that’s because Amazon affiliate marketing really doesn’t require a specialized theme in order for it to work well (unless it’s one of the unique cases noted in the themes above). Instead, you’re better off using WooCommerce if you want to build a full affiliate store or simply stick to the WordPress theme you currently have and add affiliate plugins to the mix.

I want to say thank you for taking the time to focus on useful content going into future years, as opposed to regurgitating something you read out of a hard cover marketing book from 1991. The original reason I came here however, was looking for tips / information on a general structure for paying taxes reliably on affiliate earnings in addition to disclaimer examples. Ive searched through different key word combinations and due to financial diversity on a national scale I can understand why this information is scarce. That being said, as long as a solid disclaimer is made about the information being a rough guideline etc. I think it would be extremely useful as most start up affiliates don’t know a thing about VAT, or how to separate their take home earnings from the tax they owe. I am currently residing in Alberta, Canada for your reference, but any information or a lead you could give me would be most helpful.
Affiliate marketing has a very low barrier to entry; many merchants accept everyone who applies for affiliation. Some forms of affiliate marketing don't even require the affiliate to have a website. This creates a very high level of competition, especially for particularly profitable offers. In forums where affiliates participate, there are frequent claims of commission theft or hijacking by other affiliates and even by merchants. A cookie system that credits the sale to the last link clicked makes these actions more likely.
Revglue is not only providing data sets but also providing web design and development tools free of cost for affiliates. Affiliates can setup affiliate website using their free wordpress template and plugins. Plugins of Revglue are fully compatible with its all data sets. Revglue.com is also providing tool for stats affiliates can track their sales and conversion data under one panel. 

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.
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