My question which I don’t see addressed anywhere. How do you feel about letting your traffic know they will be clicking through to Amazon. Right now we are just using “click here for details and current price” which sets our cookie. However, I had an Amazon rep tell me we would do better by letting the visitors know where they are going. I have never tested that. Have you?
Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The email they sent to affiliates said, "We have received feedback from associates that the advertising fee structure could be made clearer, especially with respect to understanding which products are in fixed-fee categories and which products are in tiered-fee categories. These changes simplify the fee structure, clearly defining the advertising fees you can earn by referring traffic to Amazon."
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Amazon and affiliate marketing in general is a decent way of making side income, but nothing really compares to making your own product or service that others will pay for, especially something that ppl will pay for month after month. WIth affiliate marketing, you’re basically helping retailers find lifelong customers, and you get a cut just once. Bad deal, IMO


While these models have diminished in mature e-commerce and online advertising markets they are still prevalent in some more nascent industries. China is one example where Affiliate Marketing does not overtly resemble the same model in the West. With many affiliates being paid a flat "Cost Per Day" with some networks offering Cost Per Click or CPM.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to very easily add a revenue model to a website that has traction. Content based websites remain extremely popular on the Internet, but it can be difficult to also create premium content or a related product that can generate significant revenue. Physical products can also be a difficult model to crack early on, particularly due to lack of cash-flow or investment. Affiliate marketing makes perfect sense for companies that are looking to get into an industry such as fashion, but do not have the resources to handle their own stock or distribution just yet.

MERCHANT.COM MAKES NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES REGARDING MERCHANT.COM SERVICE AND WEB SITE OR THE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES PROVIDED THEREIN, ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT.COM ABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED AND EXCLUDED. IN ADDITION, WE MAKE NO REPRESENTATION THAT THE OPERATION OF OUR SITE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, AND WE WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANY INTERRUPTIONS OR ERRORS.
Affiliate marketing currently lacks industry standards for training and certification. There are some training courses and seminars that result in certifications; however, the acceptance of such certifications is mostly due to the reputation of the individual or company issuing the certification. Affiliate marketing is not commonly taught in universities, and only a few college instructors work with Internet marketers to introduce the subject to students majoring in marketing.[37]

If you’re in the WordPress industry like I am (whether it be design, development, or SEO) I have accumulated quite the list of WordPress affiliate programs. I excluded those I found unsuccessful or pay too little to make a profit from, specifically ThemeForest, Creative Market, and low quality theme stores like Template Monster. Hosting pays well and I wrote a tutorial for SiteGround’s affiliate program and StudioPress themes which are my 2 highest paying affiliates. Those tutorials have tons of screenshots/social proof especially for SiteGround.
One of the key elements to success with affiliate marketing is picking the right products to promote. They could be digital information products, memberships, physical products, online services… there are many industries that use this model. When promotiing to your target market, you may be promoting one or many of these different types of products as an affiliate.

There is a minimum commission amount of $25. This is the minimum amount that you must earn before you will be paid commissions. In any commission period, your commission must exceed this amount before you will receive any sums for that period. Commissions below this minimum amount will be held until such time as the commission equals or exceeds this amount.
Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing the insights. Would you mind throwing some light on not your product itself but the competition your product had prior to you entering. For example – I sell essential oil in the geated beauty category and since the competition is so fierce, I’m struggling to make organic sales. Indeed, sales and reviews seem to be the mantra for AMZ algo. I’m currently trending at 31 reviews and should hit the 50 review mark in 2 weeks hopefully. I’m truly hoping things start to change then.
Before any affiliate may be a sent a commission check, the affiliate must submit to the Program Operator identification information. Such identification information will be submitted to the Program Operator as per the instructions sent in your “Welcome, affiliate” email. You will not receive any payment of commission/referral fees until such time as you submit the required documentation to the Program Operator.

Amazon will not pay Special Program Fees where a Bounty Event has been disqualified due to a violation or other abuse (for example, registrations made using invalid email addresses, use of bots or automated software, multiple Bounty Events by a single person, repetitive Bounty Events, and Bounty Events that do not result from Special Links on your Site). Amazon will determine in its sole discretion, in each case, whether a Bounty Event has occurred or if there has been a violation or abuse.
Finding products seems to work well. However, I can’t see a way to just “store” my found products so I’m able to come back later to add or remove them from my personal selection. That would be especially helpful as I’d be able to easily move between different posts and reference the same product again. I’m basically stuck having to search fro the product again, if I want to mention it somewhere else again – be it with a photo or link.

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.
After claiming them, you’re going to want to start finding blogs where your target audience hangs out, and leave comments that are useful, and relevant to the topic. By leaving a link to your website when you leave a comment, visitors will begin to trickle onto your site, and you’ll open the door to building a relationship with the webmaster that you can tap into later on down the road.

I come from an unsuccessful background of web design/SEO. I blogged because I knew it was good for SEO, but my articles didn’t monetize. I took a leap of faith and dropped my clients to figure out blogging/affiliate marketing. I was good at website speed optimization and knew hosting was the #1 factor. After some research, I saw SiteGround was #1 in most Facebook polls and had a great reputation with generous affiliate commissions. So I wrote tutorials on website speed… how to configure WordPress cache plugins, hosting reviews, and other speed-related topics. Usually near the end of a post I would say “Oh, here’s why you should switch to SiteGround” with evidence on why they’re the best… polls, tweets, load time improvements, etc. That’s when things got good. Now I have 0 clients and the freedom to do live my life. I wrote this tutorial because I’m actually excited to help people do the same – without the BS.


You will use Program Content solely in accordance with the terms of the Agreement and within the express scope of the license granted herein. Without limiting the foregoing, you will (a) use Program Content solely to send end users and sales to an Amazon Site and will not link any Program Content to, or in conjunction with any Program Content, direct traffic to any page of a site other than an Amazon Site (however, parts of your Site that are not closely associated with the Program Content may contain links to sites other than an Amazon Site) and (b) link each use of the Program Content solely to the related Product detail page or other relevant page of an Amazon Site and not to any other page.
Every single network or merchant will provide you with specific links that you can use to promote whatever it is you're looking to sell. Be sure to scrutinize the details of any offer that you decide to partake in. Then, build out your affiliate links and ensure that the sales and clicks are registering your to your account. You can use URL shorteners like Bitly or Google's own shortener to make the links more manageable in terms of length.
You will be provided an affiliate identification number. Your affiliate ID number may be numeric and/or CaSe sEnSitIvE. For example, the code ‘learn_more’ is different from ‘Learn_More’. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy and security of your affiliate ID number and password. You agree to hold the Program Operator harmless in the event that any such information is shared by you with any other person or entity whatsoever.

My conversion rate went from 2.5% to 8% just by including Facebook polls where SiteGround was rated #1 (here’s last year’s poll) plus Twitter screenshots and Facebook conversations. Whether it’s Amazon reviews or social proof, you NEED to include outside opinions. You can also use WP Rich Snippets to allow people to leave a review about the product/service on your site and get those review stars in Google (you will want to use their front end submit add-on).
However, an advertiser buying fake “likes” is very different from an advertiser offering incentives for “likes” from actual consumers. If “likes” are from non-existent people or people who have no experience using the product or service, they are clearly deceptive, and both the purchaser and the seller of the fake “likes” could face enforcement action. 

It will probably take a couple years to build a sustainable, passive income. That is the 1st car I have EVER purchased myself at age 29 (I was broke until then and leased from my parents). But the time committed to affiliate marketing and creating great tutorials and YouTube videos was worth it… I work for myself, there is virtually no limit on how much I can make, my schedule is flexible, and I collect enough passive income to live how I want.
For the structure of these articles I like to target a frequently searched keyword such as “Cyber Monday (My Niche) Discounts” etc. because I know people search for “Cyber Monday” and “Black Friday” millions of times each year but they also search a longer form version like “Cyber Monday (My Niche) Discounts” as evidenced by the above traffic graph from one of my Amazon sites
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.
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.
Cost per mille requires only that the publisher make the advertising available on his or her website and display it to the page visitors in order to receive a commission. Pay per click requires one additional step in the conversion process to generate revenue for the publisher: A visitor must not only be made aware of the advertisement but must also click on the advertisement to visit the advertiser's website.
Excellent article Chris! This will help me out a lot. I am a new author through amazon and my book is also being sold through KDP Select (The kindle option worldwide) but regardless of my advertising on my Facebook page, which cost money, I do not seem to be getting anywhere. With Amazon Associates, is it totally free and no cost to you or do you pay a fee over a certain amount of time. Also if you have any tips on how to get a book out there that would be excellent. My book is being sold at Books a Million, Barnes and Noble, and Alibris. I plan on doing a book signing at Barnes and Noble in hopes it will raise awareness of my book.
I can’t answer that question for everyone – I won’t pretend that it works brilliantly on every blog but I know quite a few bloggers making significant earnings each month from the program. Blogs with a strong product focus can do quite well through the program if links to Amazon are well integrated into posts (see some of the links below for tips). I would advise moderation in using the program – don’t place them in every post you write unless they are relevant. Links placed in genuinely helpful reviews do better than links and banners in sidebars.
It’s not a good idea. Endorsements must reflect the honest opinions or experiences of the endorser, and your plan could cause people to make up positive reviews even if they’ve never done business with you. However, it’s okay to invite people to post reviews of your business after they’ve actually used your products or services. If you’re offering them something of value in return for these reviews, tell them in advance that they should disclose what they received from you. You should also inform potential reviewers that the discount will be conditioned upon their making the disclosure. That way, other consumers can decide how much stock to put in those reviews.
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