Companies online will give you a commission if you refer a customer to them. An easy example would be with Amazon. Amazon has an affiliate program called Amazon Associates. It’s free to join and takes just a couple minutes to set up. From there you can search every product that is on Amazon and get your personal referral link. Let’s say your friend mentioned they wanted a new TV. You could send them your referral link for a TV on Amazon. Your friend buys the TV for $500, and Amazon gives you 6% of that sale. That means you made $30 without doing anything. Pretty cool, huh?
Smaller and newer e-commerce businesses often find this practice especially appealing (although Amazon.com uses it, too). Unlike pay-per-click advertising, which charges merchants every time someone clicks on a link to their site, affiliate marketing costs nothing unless there is a sale — at which point a commission, typically between 4 and 20 percent, is paid. It has become an essential part of the online marketing toolbox, generating fees that Forrester Research projects will reach $3.4 billion next year.
You're going to be doing product reviews and recommendations, so pick a topic that you enjoy and about which you can demonstrate some expertise. Choose a narrow enough niche to be distinctive—for example, bands from your city, left-handed guitarists, music for a certain kind of dancing, authors of a certain religion, books about business, or arts and crafts resources. If you can't stay passionate about the topic, that will show.
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.
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.
The Program Operator requires your primary email address be listed in your affiliate Profile. Affiliates will not be able to use the website or participate in the affiliate program until their email addresses are verified. Those who fail to verify their email address or use an email address that generates an error response consistently (e.g., “User is over quota” or “Mailbox full”) will forfeit any commissions due and this contract will be terminated immediately. You may not use an email address with an auto responder as your Program Operator email address. When you visit the Program Operator’s websites or send emails to, you are communicating electronically. You consent to receive communications from the Program Operator electronically. The Program Operator will communicate with you by email or by posting notices on this site. You agree that all agreements, notices, disclosures and other communications that the Program Operator provides to you electronically satisfy any legal requirement that such communications be in writing. If you are an  affiliate, you understand that you may NOT opt out of any emails that you receive from the Program Operator. As an affiliate, you must continually have a valid email account on file with the Program Operator or we reserve the right to terminate your participation immediately, without any refund of any license fees paid or payment of any commission due.
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:

Attrace is the first affiliate network to find an application for this technology. Attrace uses blockchain to prevent fraud, improve transparency, minimize the bureaucratic infrastructure of their network and process payments in real-time. Their decentralized, blockchain-based solution is able to deliver services at a 95 percent lower cost than other networks. 

Thank you so much for this helpful information! I’m working on a blog that will be read by people in various countries. Will the links and credit work if someone, say, gets sent to the Amazon Japan store, but then transfers to the UK store and buys something there? Or would I have to guess which country stores the readers would use first, and have several links in my blog to all the various Amazon stores? How might I set this up most effectively?
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.
You will register for and be assigned a unique URL associated with an Associate ID for your participation in the Local Associates Program. You will not use any alternative URL or Associate IDs in connection with the Local Associates Program or use the assigned URL or Associate ID for any other purpose. For purposes of this Local Associates Policy, your unique URL will be considered a Special Link as defined in the Associates Program Operating Agreement. 
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