There is, however, a level of responsibility that you have to uphold while making these kinds of recommendations, especially if you have a lot of authority and influence over your followers. This is something I take very seriously. If it were up to me, this is the only way affiliate marketing would be done, because to me it’s the most honest and most helpful.
11.2. Responsibility for Binding Agreement. You acknowledge that you have read this Agreement and agree to all its terms and conditions. You understand that we may at any time (directly or indirectly) solicit Customer referrals on terms that may differ from those contained in this Agreement or operate Sites that are similar to or compete with your Site. You have independently evaluated the desirability of participating in the Program and are not relying on any representation, guarantee, or statement other than as set forth in this Agreement.
The Program Operator does not tolerate the sending of unsolicited bulk emails (UCE or SPAM) which promote, or make reference to the Program Operator, or any of their associated companies or websites, Partners, or employees, the websites, products or services. The provisions of the Terms and Conditions pertaining to UCE or SPAM shall apply to each affiliate. Any affiliate who, in the opinion of the Program Operator, breaches this rule will have their affiliate status canceled and any outstanding commissions will be forfeited.
If the host endorses the product – even if she is just playing the game and saying something like “wow, this is awesome” – it’s more than a product placement. If the payment for the endorsement isn’t expected by the audience and it would affect the weight the audience gives the endorsement, it should be disclosed. It doesn’t matter that the host isn’t an expert or the segment is humorous as long as the endorsement has credibility that would be affected by knowing about the payment. However, if what the host says is obviously an advertisement – think of an old-time television show where the host goes to a different set, holds up a cup of coffee, says “Wake up with ABC Coffee. It’s how I start my day!” and takes a sip – a disclosure probably isn’t necessary.
I’m trying to create 4-5 awesome blog posts for my initial launch. Don’t worry about publishing these all at once. This just gives Google more time to crawl these pages and bookmark them for future Google Searches. After that, I’ll create a new post weekly or bi-weekly. Honestly whatever feels better with my time constraints. Either way, quality blog posts are better with Amazon Affiliate Websites.
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:
I am afraid this is just the beginning and we will see more drastic decrease in commission in the next few years. My main revenues are usually from Toys and Home. I’ll need to check and do some calculation to see what I’ll loose. Might have eventually to change some links and go through other affiliate programs that may pay more. Again, will have to check that out. I love Amazon because I find all the product from them instead of having to deal with multiple affiliate sites. No headaches about sites closing their affiliate programs, no stress about getting paid on time etc..
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.
(b) Influencer Page. This Influencer Program may include an Amazon Site influencer page registered through Amazon and assigned to you (“Influencer Page”). With respect to Special Links that direct customers to your Influencer Page, the related Session will be measured as beginning when our customer clicks through to your Influencer Page. The Influencer Page is a “Service Offering” for all purposes under the Agreement. With respect to any text, pictures, compilations, lists, comments or other data or content you submit to Amazon in connection with the Influencer Program (“Influencer Content”), you will not submit such Influencer Content if it violates any standard included in Section 1 of the Participation Requirements.
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.
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.
4. Easily Integrated – There are more and more plugins and tools that have Amazon Affiliate integration built into them to help you easily place links in your blog posts. I use ecto for Mac which has a tool that searches for products and links them in in just a couple of clicks. WP has plugins also. The affiliate links already mentioned in this post took seconds to integrate in.
I also think that affiliate based business models provide an amazing opportunity to build up momentum and eventually create a product or ecommerce based company. Selling your own products will always be more lucrative than being an affiliate business, but there is an inherent risk associated with this model. If you can grow an engaged audience over a long period of time, it will be much easier to transition to your own products and the investment in manufacturing and distribution will not be as big of a risk because you will already have an audience.
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.