Whatever you choose to do with this monetization and marketing technique, take time to plan your strategy. While it is very easy to get started and to add Amazon affiliate links to WordPress, the key to success is in how well you execute those links and promote them to your visitors. Affiliate marketing takes time to excel at, so be patient and don't give up!
Also, if you respond to someone’s questions about the event via email or text, that person probably already knows your affiliation or they wouldn’t be asking you. You probably wouldn’t need a disclosure in that context. But when you respond via social media, all your followers see your posts and some of them might not have seen your earlier disclosures.
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.
I have recently signed up for some other affiliate programs and mixed those links in with my Amazon links. Readers clearly prefer Amazon, and I can understand why. I know that if I have the choice when I buy something, I almost always go with Amazon. And when I’m shopping for almost anything, I always check to see if I can get it at Amazon for less. Don’t most Americans? So I’m not giving up on Amazon.
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...
Except as agreed between you and us in a separate written agreement referencing this Section 5, you will not use any Program Content or Special Link, or otherwise link to an Amazon Site, on or in connection with: (a) any client-side software application (e.g., a browser plug-in, helper object, toolbar, extension, component, or any other application executable or installable by an end user) on any device, including computers, mobile phones, tablets, or other handheld devices (other than Approved Mobile Applications); or (b) any television set-top box (e.g., digital video recorders, cable or satellite boxes, streaming video players, blu-ray players, or dvd players) or Internet-enabled television (e.g., GoogleTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Cast, or Vizio Internet Apps).
18) Fraud: If you commit fraud or falsify information in connection with the submission of referrals to GenealogyBank.com services through the Links on your site, this Agreement will be terminated immediately. In addition, you will be liable to GenealogyBank.com for any and all damages that GenealogyBank.com suffers as a result of such actions. You will also be responsible for returning to GenealogyBank.com all commissions received for fraudulent/falsified referrals submitted, and we will not hesitate to pursue all legal courses of action against you to the fullest extent possible under the law.
One major disadvantage for an affiliate is the lack of control she has over the offer made to the customer, the sales page and the amount of commission earned. Super affiliates, those with a proven record of driving high-converting traffic, can negotiate preferential terms, but this option isn't open to the new affiliate. It is not unknown for merchants to cancel an offer without informing their affiliates, or to pay commissions late or not at all. Merchants may also make it a condition that the affiliate doesn't bid on specific paid search terms and some refuse to pay for any sales resulting from paid search advertising.
Compliance with Applicable Laws.  You shall comply, and shall ensure that any third parties performing sales or referral activities on your behalf comply, with all applicable foreign and domestic laws (including without limitation export laws and laws applicable to sending of unsolicited email), governmental regulations, ordinances, and judicial administrative orders. You shall not engage in any deceptive, misleading, illegal or unethical marketing activities, or activities that otherwise may be detrimental to us, our customers, or to the public. Export laws and regulations of the United States and any other relevant local export laws and regulations may apply to the HubSpot Products. You will comply with the sanctions programs administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury.  You will not directly or indirectly export, re-export, or transfer the HubSpot Products to prohibited countries or individuals or permit use of the HubSpot Products by prohibited countries or individuals.
For example, let’s say that we want to promote Drip as the better alternative to Infusionsoft… We would write up a comparative article that shows all of the reasons we like Drip better. We would then login to Google Adwords and create an ad campaign that links to our article and targets anyone who searches for “Infusionsoft” or “Infusionsoft Alternative.”
On the other hand: the main reason of bankruptcy for small businesses is bad financial management. Simply said: to forget to make invoices, not checking the payments and not following bad payers. 1 out of 3 is going bankrupt for this reason alone. I had to learn it myself. I spend at least 10% of my time with financial stuff. I don’t love it but the bills get payed ;-)
You will market Local Associates Products to Amazon customers only at those locations and through those methods by which you customarily conduct your registered business. Solely with respect to the Local Associates Program, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Participation Requirements, you may include Special Links in written physical and digital materials (including email) which are displayed, distributed, emailed, or offered to customers, clients, or third parties with whom you have a preexisting relationship; provided, that such written physical and digital materials are in compliance with the Associates Program Operating Agreement, the Trademark Guidelines, and the Amazon Brand Usage Guidelines. Upon our request, you will provide us with representative sample materials and written certification that you have complied with the foregoing. We will specify the form of, and content required in, that certification in any such request. Any failure by you to provide the certification in accordance with our request will constitute a material breach of this Local Associates Policy. For the avoidance of doubt, (i) for the purposes of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and any similar or successor legislation (CAN-SPAM), you are the “Sender” of each email containing any Special Links, (ii) for the purposes of the Communications Act of 1934 as amended by Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and any similar or successor legislation (TCPA), you “make” and “initiate” each text message containing any Special Links, and (iii) you must comply with CAN-SPAM, TCPA and marketing industry standards and best practices for all emails, texts, and other messages relating to the Local Associates Program. Amazon may revoke the offline marketing permissions granted in this Section 3 at any time in its sole discretion by providing written notice to you.
Payment for Services, Training and Support. Services, training and support, when applicable and provided by Company, shall be paid for by MA according to agreed upon terms, and a monthly billing report will be created for MA by Company to show utilization of time and charges. A LATE PAYMENT CHARGE of one and one-half percent (1 ½%) or the maximum rate permitted by applicable law, whichever is less, of the outstanding balance due to Company per month will be imposed on all overdue accounts. 

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.

[Sender.Company] is a proven leader in affiliate marketing. We have a track record of optimizing our clients’ current affiliate platform to help them realize an average increase in clicks, conversions, revenue, and average order value. Our affiliate strategy is tailored for each client depending on the goals set forth by the client and include a combination of publisher recruitment and commission optimization.
11.8. Obligation to Mediate in Good Faith. Except as provided in this Section 11.7, before either party initiates a lawsuit against the other relating to this Agreement, the parties agree to mediate all disputes and claims arising out of or relating to this Agreement, the parties' performance under it, or its breach. To this end, either party may request, after informal discussions have failed to resolve a dispute or claim, that each party designate an officer or other management employee with authority to bind the party to meet in good faith and attempt to resolve the dispute or claim through mediation. During their discussions, each party will honor the other's reasonable requests for information that is not privileged and relates to the dispute or claim. This Section does not apply (i) should the expiration of the statute of limitations for a cause of action be imminent, or (ii) if a party is seeking an injunction pursuant to Section 11.8.
Great article as always. As far as finding the right keyword phrases, what I’ve always been unsure of is where and how often do we use these keywords? In your example, “sleeping bags under $100,” would I place that in my post titles and/ or content? How often is ideal to still make it look natural? Could I use that keyword phrase again on other articles/ reviews? Thanks for what you do.

We make no express or implied warranties or representations with respect to the Affiliate Program or any FatCow Products and Services sold through the Affiliate Program (including, without limitation, WARRANTIES OF FITNESS, MERCHANTABILITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT, OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES ARISING OUT OF COURSE OF PERFORMANCE, DEALING, OR TRADE USAGE). In addition, we make no representation that the operation of our website will be uninterrupted or error free, and we will not be liable for the consequences of any interruptions or errors, including the tracking of information concerning Referred Customers during any period of interruption.


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.
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.

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.
You will market Local Associates Products to Amazon customers only at those locations and through those methods by which you customarily conduct your registered business. Solely with respect to the Local Associates Program, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Participation Requirements, you may include Special Links in written physical and digital materials (including email) which are displayed, distributed, emailed, or offered to customers, clients, or third parties with whom you have a preexisting relationship; provided, that such written physical and digital materials are in compliance with the Associates Program Operating Agreement, the Trademark Guidelines, and the Amazon Brand Usage Guidelines. Upon our request, you will provide us with representative sample materials and written certification that you have complied with the foregoing. We will specify the form of, and content required in, that certification in any such request. Any failure by you to provide the certification in accordance with our request will constitute a material breach of this Local Associates Policy. For the avoidance of doubt, (i) for the purposes of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and any similar or successor legislation (CAN-SPAM), you are the “Sender” of each email containing any Special Links, (ii) for the purposes of the Communications Act of 1934 as amended by Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and any similar or successor legislation (TCPA), you “make” and “initiate” each text message containing any Special Links, and (iii) you must comply with CAN-SPAM, TCPA and marketing industry standards and best practices for all emails, texts, and other messages relating to the Local Associates Program. Amazon may revoke the offline marketing permissions granted in this Section 3 at any time in its sole discretion by providing written notice to you.
Fortunately, Amazon has plenty of tools to help you find these products. First, find the Amazon category that best matches your website niche. For example, if you are creating a site about skincare products for women, navigate to the Beauty & Health > Professional Skincare category to search for products. Use whatever filters you need to match your niche as closely as possible, such as sun care or aging products.
If you have any kind of special deals with your affiliate manager, make sure that you can pass these along. If you can’t, then you need to take that portion out of the business and sell as if you weren’t getting those extra benefits. One of the best ways to transfer these kind of special perks is by also making sure that your affiliate manager becomes the manager for the new buyer as well when they sign up for that network. Most affiliate managers work on a commission basis from the sales that their affiliates are doing, so they will likely be more than happy to do this since your website is already a proven profit maker for them.

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.
2. Commissions – John writes that he’s not satisfied with a 4% commission. He’s right in some ways, 4% isn’t that much when you’re selling a $10 book – however when you’re selling a Get a Price on the $5000 Camera or a $25,000 Tractor (I know someone who does quite well out of ride on mowers and tractors) it certainly adds up. Not only that, the 4% rate that John talks about is the base rate. Unfortunately it is as high as it goes on consumer electronics – however on most other products there is a sliding scale where the more you sell the higher your commission goes to. Sell more than 6 items in a month and your commission goes to 6% – sell over 630 and you’re up to 8% (the rate I’m on). The 4-Hour work Week that John uses as an example earned me around $1 a book. Still not a lot – but I did sell 100 or so of them (after my interview with it’s author) which not only earned me $100 but also helped push the numbers of sales up for the month, moving me into the next earning bracket.
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."
If you have any kind of special deals with your affiliate manager, make sure that you can pass these along. If you can’t, then you need to take that portion out of the business and sell as if you weren’t getting those extra benefits. One of the best ways to transfer these kind of special perks is by also making sure that your affiliate manager becomes the manager for the new buyer as well when they sign up for that network. Most affiliate managers work on a commission basis from the sales that their affiliates are doing, so they will likely be more than happy to do this since your website is already a proven profit maker for them.
Another principle in the Guides applies to ads that feature endorsements from people who achieved exceptional, or even above average, results. An example is an endorser who says she lost 20 pounds in two months using the advertised product. If the advertiser doesn’t have proof that the endorser’s experience represents what people will generally achieve using the product as described in the ad (for example, by just taking a pill daily for two months), then an ad featuring that endorser must make clear to the audience what the generally expected results are.
Yes that seems super strange with Best Buy’s affiliate program. I’m assuming it has to be an error. There are other big affiliate programs for electronics you might want to look into as well. For example New Egg offers 2.5% currently with their program, and I imagine they would convert better than Best Buy since their main customer base is online whereas Best Buy’s clientele is mainly offline retail customers.
In my early days, I used to have a few of these links scattered throughout SPI—for example, an ad for a “How to Make an iPhone App” product. I used to have a few iPhone apps that generated an income for me each month, but I didn’t actually use the product I was linking to. I did, however, personally know the owner, which is why I trusted him and decided to place that ad there at the time.
Networks are the best source for determining the going commission rate among competitors. Before joining a network, most merchants or program managers sign up with a couple of the larger ones as an affiliate. This gives them access to the network’s database, and they can do a search for the starting commissions being paid out by other businesses in their industry to get a feel for how much they can charge.
Each affiliate is responsible for compliance with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including but not limited to, those laws pertaining to export control. By registering as an affiliate, you warrant that you are not a citizen or resident of a country designated as having Embargoed Nation Status and further, you also warrant that you are not on the list of Specially Designated Nationals or Blocked Persons maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department. The products and/or services are exported from the United States in accordance with the Export Administration Regulations. Diversion to other countries is contrary to U.S. law and is prohibited.
You shall not create, publish, transmit or distribute, under any circumstances, any bulk email messages (also known as "SPAM") without prior written consent from FatCow, to be granted or denied in FatCow’s sole discretion, in each instance. Additionally, you may only send emails containing a FatCow affiliate link and or a message regarding FatCow or FatCow's Affiliate Program to people who have previously consented to receiving such communications from you. Your failure to abide by this Section 14, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, our Anti-Spam Policy, and all applicable laws relating to email communications, in any manner, will be deemed a material breach of this Agreement by you and will result in the forfeiture by you of any and all rights you may have to any commissions and the termination of your participation in the Affiliate Program. Further, if your account has excessive clicks in a very short period of time as determined by FatCow in its sole discretion, the Affiliate relationship may be terminated.
For Tracy E. Robey, who runs the beauty blog Fanserviced-b, the impact was more stark: a pay cut. With the affiliate cut for a typical purchase dropping from 8 to 6 percent, she anticipates that her checks from Amazon will go down by as much as 20 percent. For Robey, her blog is still more of a sideline than a job, but as she looks to expand her growing business, she says that drop could have real consequences.
Create custom alerts on your phone for affiliate sales – if you use GMail, go to your settings and create a filter so all emails with “SiteGround Affiliate Sale Generated” in the subject line go into their own folder (tweak the subject line to match whatever email notification your affiliate sends you). Then setup a custom alert on your phone using the GMail app so anytime you generate a sale, you get a custom alert (here’s a tutorial for Android and here’s one for Apple). I have different notifications for SiteGround, StudioPress Themes, etc. Makes your day better :)
Once the basics have been mastered and a network selected, retailers have to decide whether they are going to run the program in-house or hire an outside manager (or both). Milan Jara owns Decorative Ceiling Tiles, an online retailer with a little more than $1 million in annual sales. For three years, he ran his affiliate marketing program himself, learning by trial and error how to pick affiliates and spot coupon abuse.
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