It’s a great way to make passive income. Of course, when I say “passive”, this doesn’t account for the time needed to spend building or maintaining your WordPress site. However, in terms of having to promote these affiliate links, you can put in as much or as little work as you want to drive traffic to them. This obviously makes this a great option for a passive income stream if you’re not in the business of e-commerce.
Zac Johnson is one of the widely respected leaders in the blogging and internet marketing communities. Through his popular blogs, bloggingtips.com and zacjohnson.com, he has helped thousands of readers grow their brands and make money online. A self taught entrepreneur, Zac’s been making money online for over 15 years and has been involved in nearly every facet of internet marketing while also finding great success in the world of blogging. In 2007 Zac launched his first blog at ZacJohnson.com, which is focused on his successes and failures, case studies, industry news and guides on how to make money online. In addition to his own personal experiences, Zac also writes about the latest online marketing trends and informs his readers on how and where they could be creating new revenue online. Zac’s personal blog currently has thousands of daily readers and has referred over $5,000,000 in new business to his advertisers and network partners since launching the blog. In addition to all of the above, I am also serving on the Board of Advisors with Brand.com and also consulting with their team to improve their day to day operations and reach while also managing their blog, social media and news team. Specialties: blogging, ppc, media buying, site production...
When you get started in setting up your affiliate marketing business model, keep in mind you’re not just developing a website. You’re growing a business, so treat it as such! The vast majority of successful businesses in the world began with a solid business plan. Affiliate marketing is no different. If you don’t have a quality and profitable affiliate marketing business model planned out ahead of time, you will probably never succeed.
Just an FYI, it’s better to avoid phrases like “Get a great deal on Crest Whitestrips’ or any other qualifiers regarding the quality of the deal or price. You cannot guarantee that the deal is actually “great”, and Amazon is known to be picky about these things and treating them as misrepresentations of their brand / dishonest marketing. It’s best to keep calls to action neutral, things like “check price” or “see current price” etc.
MA recognizes that the Technology in source form (code or listing) is the exclusive property of Company and/or its Affiliates and is proprietary to and the trade secret of Company and/or its Affiliates. MA agrees that it shall not, by itself or in association with any other party, reproduce, duplicate, copy, decompile, disassemble or reverse engineer the Technology in source form (code or listing) in any media.
My company runs a retail website that includes customer reviews of the products we sell. We believe honest reviews help our customers and we give out free products to a select group of our customers for them to review. We tell them to be honest, whether it’s positive or negative. What we care about is how helpful the reviews are. Do we still need to disclose which reviews were of free products?
An affiliate marketing program is by far one of the best advertising tools available, because it provides incentives for both the affiliate and the merchant. Affiliate marketing has grown greatly over the last couple of years because more and more webmasters are beginning to realize it is the most efficient way to handle your online advertising. It is extremely flexible and provides numerous benefits that you won't get with any other Learn More
Some affiliate programs have different rules when it comes to the first- or last-click rule, so it is important to confirm this early on. What this refers to is when someone purchases a product, it can potentially go through different websites. Maybe they found the new Air Jordans through your blog, but then left, clicked on a Facebook ad and a week later found it through a Google search. Do you still get a commission? If you agreed to the first-click rule, then yes. If you agreed to the last-click rule, then no. But there is a chance that they only found out about it because of you, so maybe you do deserve something! This needs to be agreed beforehand with your commercial partner.
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.
Consumers may be confused by “#employee.” Consumers would be more likely to understand “#XYZ_Employee.” Then again, if consumers don’t associate your company’s name with the product or brand being endorsed, that disclosure might not work. It would be much clearer to use the words “my company” or “employer’s” in the body of the message. It's a lot easier to understand and harder to miss.
A really good example of building an engaged audience is Thrillist. Thrillist started out as an email newsletter that curated products and experiences aimed at young american urban males. Thrillist was able to grow it’s subscriber base to millions of readers and has been able to generate significant revenue. In 2010, Thrillist acquired Jack Threads, a members only online fashion retailer.

For example, if an app developer gave you their 99-cent app for free for you to review it, that information might not have much effect on the weight that readers give to your review. But if the app developer also gave you $100, knowledge of that payment would have a much greater effect on the credibility of your review. So a disclosure that simply said you got the app for free wouldn’t be good enough, but as discussed above, you don’t have to disclose exactly how much you were paid.


Thanks a lot Spencer for these affiliate marketing tips. I was looking for some tips on how I can improve myself with affiliate marketing and there your email landed in my mail box and I came across this wonderful piece of information. I am happy that you have suggested linking images with an affiliate link and that’s what I did in my last promotional post on my blog.

Update: I used to recommend carousel style Amazon ads, but they don’t exist anymore. When I used them they converted about 3 times better than static style Amazon banner ads. I suggest using Native Shopping Ads instead which is essentially a replacement to the carousel style ads but allows for greater flexibility. You can display products by recommendation from the content, by search or with other options. Here is what the a Native Shopping Ad looks like for the keyword search “Chris Guthrie” Amazon displays the Kindle books I’ve written:

There are countless mediums that you can deliver valuable content to your audience. You can use your blog. If you don't have a blog (which is a big mistake by the way), you can use social media, content marketing, video tutorials, infographics and so on and so forth. But  your primary channel to deliver long-form value is going to be your blog. Start building a blog early and stay consistent with it.


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At first I was reluctant to promote Amazon.com due to the poor cookie duration and low commissions. However, since Amazon has a huge inventory, it’s a trusted site, and you also get credit for sales customers make even though you weren’t necessarily promoting that specific product, it tends to make up for the negatives, so I have started promoting Amazon more. Great post btw!
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