What initially attracted me to using Amazon’s Affiliate program was the breadth of products that they had in their system. This is a great thing if you’re niche is narrow or quite obscure as many bloggers find it difficult to find affiliate programs to match their blog’s focus. Blogs like John’s and mine here at ProBlogger do have an array of options for affiliate programs (which is why I don’t use it a lot on this blog and make most of my earnings from Amazon from product related blogs) but many bloggers don’t have the luxury of being able to choose high paying affiliate programs because they simply don’t relate to our topics. Amazon then becomes one of the more attractive options.
As far as Amazon goes, I really don’t think Walmart is going to be able to beat out Amazon. So much of Walmart’s specialty comes from the offline market, Amazon is 100% online and has amazing split-testing powers. We have seen sites switch over from Amazon Associates to Walmart and lose commissions dramatically, it wasn’t even worth sending people to their site. I believe more “niche” affiliate programs such as New Egg stands a much better chance at stealing affiliates away from Amazon’s associate program than another larger catch-all retail like Walmart. Valuations should remain consistent with our repricing using Haver’s tool, and as the months go on we will have even more accurate data (from Amazon’s dashboard itself) for what these sites will be earning underneath the new commission changes.
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.
Subject to the terms of this Agreement and the accrual of commissions as set forth in Section 8 above, commissions will be calculated according to the specified percentage or dollar amount set forth in the commission report in your Affiliate Console for each Qualified Purchase that accrues during the period for which such commission fee is being calculated.
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.
With the global market creating opportunities for affiliate marketers, Nele Sharp from CJ Affiliate by Conversant touched on a number of ways publishers could capitalise on their global presence - such as identifying local consumers and finding relevant advertisers to work with while also doing your research on the location/region you’re targeting, including any laws or privacy disclosures.
Eligibility. To be eligible for Commission (i) an Affiliate Lead must be accepted and valid in accordance with the ‘Acceptance and Validity’ section, (ii) a Customer Transaction must have occurred (iii) a Customer must remain a customer sixty (60) days plus the number of days until the end of that calendar month in order to be eligible for a Commission. For example a Customer who makes a purchase on the 15th of March must remain a customer until the 31st of May in order to be eligible for a Commission. All transactions must occur on a HubSpot.com domain. Any transactions occurring on international domains (.fr, .jp, .de, etc.) will not be eligible for Commission. You are not eligible to receive Commission or any other compensation from us based on transactions for Other Products or if: (i) such compensation is disallowed or limited by federal, state or local law or regulation in the United States or the laws or regulations of your jurisdiction; (ii) the applicable Customer objects to or prohibits such compensation or excludes such compensation from its payments to us or HubSpot Affiliates; (iii) the Customer has paid or will pay such commissions, referral fees, or other compensation directly to you, (iv) the Commission payment has been obtained by fraudulent means, misuse of the Affiliate Link, in violation of any Affiliate Program Policies that we make available to you, misuse of the Affiliate Tool or by any other means that we deem to breach the spirit of the Marketing Affiliate Program, or (v) the Customer participates in any of our partner programs, including our Agency Partner Program, Sales Referral Partner Program or Sales Solutions Partner Program and is eligible to receive commission in relation to the Customer Transaction under any of these programs. If at any point you are eligible to receive a revenue share payment under the Sales Solutions Partner Program Agreement, Sales Referral Program Agreement or Agency Partner Program Agreement that payment amount will not change based on your participation in the Affiliate Program. For example, you will not be able to receive the Commission set out in this Agreement on any Partner Transaction that was completed whilst participating as a partner in the Sales Referral Partner Program (as defined in the Sales Referral Partner Program Agreement). In competitive situations with other affiliates, we may elect to provide the Commission to the affiliate that we deem to be the most eligible for Commission, at our discretion. We may discontinue Commission payments should any of the eligibility criteria set forth in this subsection fail to be met at any time. Purchases via HubSpot for Startups or HubSpot for Entrepreneurs are not eligible for Commission payments.
When people view Instagram streams on most smartphones, longer descriptions (currently more than two lines) are truncated, with only the beginning lines displayed. To see the rest, you have to click “more.” If an Instagram post makes an endorsement through the picture or the beginning lines of the description, any required disclosure should be presented without having to click “more.”
It is solely your responsibility to provide FatCow with accurate tax and payment information that is necessary to issue a Commission Fee to you. If FatCow does not receive the necessary tax or payment information within ninety (90) days of a Qualified Purchase which would otherwise trigger Commission Fees, the applicable commissions shall not accrue and no Commission Fees will be owed with respect to such Qualified Purchase.
In reviewing your website, we noticed that the URL listed on your application is a social network website. However, your site is not an approved social network or established with enough unique content and followers yet. At this time, we are unable to approve your application and have closed the account under which you had been temporarily approved.
Honestly you just need to narrow down to a niche that you want to focus on and then move forward with something. I spent less than a few hundred bucks when I first got started. Now years and years later, I’ll spend tens of thousands of dollars starting or buying something if I want to. But that’s the fun part is that unless you have a big inheritance everyone starts from zero and then tries to grow from there.
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Check what other items your referrals are buying. One great feature of the Amazon Associates program is that you get paid on items your referral buys, whether or not they buy the specific item you referred. Amazon stats will let you know what items you referrals bought. If you haven't yet promoted the item, and it's a fit for your blog or website, you should consider adding to your product list.
Hi Matt – you need to have an affiliate disclosure on your site (we do in the footer) but you don’t have to say that in all links. Before we published the updated version of this I actually contacted Amazon support about the links on images, and they confirmed it is ok to do. For the others dealing with anchor text, check out http://marketingwithsara.com/amazon/warning-to-all-affiliate-marketers
You will earn the Special Program Fee Rates described in this Section 4(b) in connection with “Trade-In Events” which occur when (1) a customer clicks through a Special Link on your Site to an Amazon Site and (2) during the resulting Session the customer adds a product to his or her trade-in shopping cart and then submits a trade-in request that Amazon accepts.
I could have promoted WP Engine (hosting company) for $200/sale with no tier program to climb – sounds pretty good right? But when I checked ShareASale I saw their reversal rates were 24%! Just to give you an idea SiteGround’s reversals are less than 10%. WP Engine starts at $29/month while SiteGround’s is $3.95/month, plus SiteGround has a better reputation. I had to climb a tier program to get SiteGround’s $150/sale, but long-term my research paid off.
(h) You will not store or cache Product Advertising Content consisting of an image, but you may store a link to Product Advertising Content consisting of an image for up to 24 hours. You may store other Product Advertising Content that does not consist of images for caching purposes for up to 24 hours, but if you do so you must immediately thereafter refresh and re-display the Product Advertising Content by making a call to PA API or retrieving a new Data Feed and refreshing the Product Advertising Content on your application immediately thereafter. Unless otherwise notified by us, you may store individual Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) for an indefinite period until the termination of this License. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if your application includes a client application, the client application may not store or cache Product Advertising Content. Upon our request you will, within three business days of our request, furnish us with a copy of any client application that includes or uses Product Advertising Content for the purpose of verifying your compliance with this License.
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..
Affiliates discussed the issues in Internet forums and began to organize their efforts. They believed that the best way to address the problem was to discourage merchants from advertising via adware. Merchants that were either indifferent to or supportive of adware were exposed by affiliates, thus damaging those merchants' reputations and tarnishing their affiliate marketing efforts. Many affiliates either terminated the use of such merchants or switched to a competitor's affiliate program. Eventually, affiliate networks were also forced by merchants and affiliates to take a stand and ban certain adware publishers from their network. The result was Code of Conduct by Commission Junction/beFree and Performics, LinkShare's Anti-Predatory Advertising Addendum, and ShareASale's complete ban of software applications as a medium for affiliates to promote advertiser offers. Regardless of the progress made, adware continues to be an issue, as demonstrated by the class action lawsuit against ValueClick and its daughter company Commission Junction filed on April 20, 2007.
I have been using LongTailPro for more than a year and have just started using the cloud version. It’s very fast and easy to use! Since I have been using LongTailPro, I have saved a lot of money not having to build that many links. Most of the keywords revealed by LongTailPro rank without building links. There are lots of very well written tutorials and videos that guide you. The training is all white hat! It’s helped me a lot with my SEO business. Keep up the good work guys!
LOVED this – thank you Chris. So glad I found it just as I was about to add a store to my blog. I think it would be a better idea to just start linking to Amazon in every recipe and post! (Right?) BTW – I’ve already shared this post on G+ and LinkedIn and sent it to a bunch of friends. I always wish peeps would TELL me when they share my stuff, so here I am telling you. 🙂
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...
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.
2.2 GenealogyBank.com reserves the right to terminate any accounts we deem as "inactive" accounts. An affiliate account would be considered "inactive" if it fails to generate any sales for a period of at least six (6) months. In the event of account termination due to inactivity, Affiliate will forfeit any commission balance less than the minimum commission payout amount of $25.00.
Regarding Amazon FBA…this is another type of business I would hold off on buying as Trump’s administration is making it difficult to know where the import tariff and border tax percentages are going to shake out. Most FBA businesses are importing products from Asia, making their current valuation a high risk to drop in value should high taxes be imposed.
Before I share the strategies that I’ve used to generate over $100,000 in affiliate commissions per month at this point, there are two extremely important rules I use when promoting products that are not my own. You don’t have to use these rules in order to become an affiliate or be successful at it, but it’s what has helped me grow my affiliate income tremendously over the last couple of years:
During each calendar month, you may earn advertising fees for Qualifying Purchases. Most advertising fees are calculated as a percentage of Qualifying Revenues based on the tables below and are subject to the limitations described in the “Limitations on Advertising Fee Rates for Certain Products” section below. We also may offer advertising fees in the form of bounties or other special offers as described in the “Special Offers and Promotions” section below. “Qualifying Revenues” mean amounts we receive from customers’ Qualifying Purchases, excluding shipping, handling, and gift-wrapping fees, taxes, and service charges, and less any rebates, credit card processing fees, returns, and bad debt.
Still, as Amazon shifts its attention to new ventures in streaming and personal assistant hardware, many see it as an ominous sign for the affiliate program. “Amazon has done such a great job taking all their profit and dumping it back in to their business. And investors are now asking Amazon to show a profit,” says Lakes. “I’m not surprised that they’re whittling a few percent here and there.”