My company wants to get positive reviews. We are thinking about distributing product discounts through various services that encourage reviews. Some services require individuals who want discount codes to provide information allowing sellers to read their other reviews before deciding which reviewers to provide with discount codes. Other services send out offers of a limited number of discount codes and then follow up by email to see whether the recipients have reviewed their products. Still others send offers of discount codes to those who previously posted reviews in exchange for discounted products. All of these services say that reviews are not required. Does it matter which service I choose? I would prefer that recipients of my discount codes not have to disclose that they received discounts.
Hi Spencer – an informative and very timely post for me as I am finally biting the bullet and setting up my first niche site which will be monetised with Amazon affiliate links. I have been considering adding an aStore but I am very conscious of the google penalty for having too many affiliate links on a page. How would this be viewed in terms of links – would each item in the store count as a separate affiliate link?
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 Marketplaces – ShareASale and ClickBank have thousands of merchants to choose from. It’s nice to login to 1 place and check the performance of multiple affiliates without going to each individual portal on each website. Many programs aren’t part of a marketplace though. I’m a big fan of ShareASale – there are so many companies and industries you can choose from.
b. Observe and honor GenealogyBank.com's exclusive right of ownership as to the names of its property, including but not limited to its trademarked name and any variations thereof within all pay-for-placement and other search engines. GenealogyBank.com grants to you a limited right to the use of its trademarked names solely for promotional purposes in conjunction with the relationship as described in this Agreement.
The next method would be paid traffic. This by far is the best method, but of course, requires money. The beauty of paid traffic is that you can reach a lot of people fast. The bigger the budget, the more people you can get to view your content. Mastering the skill of paid traffic can result in huge returns. Some individuals make up to $10k/day by using paid traffic. Obviously it would cost them a couple of thousand dollars in ad spend every day to generate $10k/day, but those are still massive profit gains. And if you have no idea how it’s done, you could easily spy on other affiliate marketers. All you have to do is find what the most profitable affiliate marketing offers are. Paid traffic also increases your organic traffic if your SEO is done right. You’re essentially killing two birds with one stone. But like I said earlier, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Affiliate marketing is difficult but hundreds of people are creating a passive income doing it, so it definitely works. All it requires is mastering the art of online marketing. My MarketerMilk blog goes into full detail of the art of creative marketing, so go check it out (shameless plug).
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).
In no event will either party be liable to the other party for any direct, indirect, special, exemplary, consequential or incidental damages arising from or related to this Agreement or the Program, even if informed of the possibility of such damages. Further, neither party's aggregate liability arising from this Agreement and the Program shall exceed the total referral fees paid or payable to you under this Agreement.
13) Disclaimers: We make no express or implied warranties or representations with respect to the GenealogyBank.com website or the GenealogyBank.com 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 site will be uninterrupted or error-free, and we will not be liable for the consequences of any interruptions or errors.
24) Intellectual Property: We and our licensors own and retain all rights, title, and interest in and to the products and services available on the GenealogyBank.com website and all ideas, concepts, methodologies, formats, specifications, and other know-how furnished by us or our licensors in connection with the performance of its obligations hereunder, as well as all related patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and other proprietary and intellectual property rights. The products and services available on the GenealogyBank.com website are protected by the laws of copyright, patent, trade secret, trademarks, and any other intellectual or industrial property rights applicable to the Products. Affiliate neither acquires nor is granted in any manner whatsoever any right, title or interest of any nature in and to the products and services available on the GenealogyBank.com website by virtue of this Agreement.
An affiliate marketer is someone who is running the actual ad campaigns or content marketing campaigns in hopes of making affiliate commissions from the program. An affiliate manager or AM is someone that manages the various affiliates in a network, so they sometimes have the ability to give you special deals if you can prove to them it’s worth their while to do so.
Bad product picks could hurt your brand. Chances are good that if you’re including an affiliate link in your content, then you’re willing to put your full support behind the product. However, if the reputation of that product should sour with the public and you fail to catch it, that recommendation of an untrustworthy product could hurt your brand.
The community curated content website has really sprung up in the last couple of years. Websites like Tumblr and Pinterest have created hyper focused niches on highly valuable industries like fashion and retail. I think Tumblr has the opportunity to do something with affiliates, but it is Pinterest that is really looking to go after the opportunity.
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.
ps. collecting these Facebook polls is one of the main reasons I was able to get so many SiteGround sales. Yes, I’m suggesting SiteGround for your host, but this is also a strategy that can be used to collect unbiased reviews. Just go to Facebook and search “SiteGround poll” and you can dig up some great stuff – you can do this with lots of affiliate products/companies.
I've been doing affiliate marketing – successfully – for well over a decade. While I earn affiliate income from this website, I've made the bulk of my affiliate revenue from selling real users products and services – in multiple niches - that have nothing to do with the making money online niche. I've been nominated as Affiliate of the Year three times in the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Awards – taking home the award in 2016. I've spent the last decade+ teaching people how to find success with affiliate marketing - based on my own experiences - as well as advocating for the industry as a whole. I'm often blunt and can sometimes be controversial, but I'm also 100% bullshit free.
I am new to this website and the funny thing is that l was looking for an objective analysis on starting an Amazon affiliate site. Your review on this issue is the BEST that i have ever seen in the last 3 years. This article was a joy to read. It was detailed, honest and very hard hitting especially when you are trying to get readers to understand that they MUST diversify their traffic sources and STOP relying on getting to first page on Google. As a result of reading your article l am changing my digital marketing services, affiliate marketing and , e-commerce strategy. I look forward to hearing new and innovative ideas from you on internet marketing. Keep up the great work!!!
3.2. Merchant.com reserves the right to terminate this Agreement and your participation in the Merchant.com Affiliate Program immediately and without notice to you should you commit fraud in your use of the Merchant.com Affiliate Program or should you abuse this program in any way. If such fraud or abuse is detected, Merchant.com shall not be liable to you for any commissions for such fraudulent sales.
20.3 Endorsements: Every endorsement, including testimonial, published by Affiliate regarding us or any of our products or services must be truthful, substantiated, and be neither deceptive nor unfair, as required by the Federal Trade Commission’s Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (16 Code of Federal Regulations Part 255) as now or hereafter amended. An endorsement is an advertising message that your readers are likely to believe reflects any opinion, belief, finding or experience of Affiliate and/or any other individual, expert, or organization other than us, even if those views are identical to ours. If Affiliate is then publishing a banner ad that advertises us, no further notice of the material connection between Affiliate and us is required. If Affiliate is not then publishing such banner ad, and publishes any endorsement of us or any of our products or services, Affiliate must publish notice to your readers that Affiliate may receive compensation from us. Affiliate must promptly notify us each time Affiliate is going to publish, or is publishing, an endorsement regarding us or any of our products or services. If we believe any endorsement does not comply with the FTC Guides, we reserve the right to require Affiliate to promptly bring the endorsement into compliance with the FTC Guides or immediately delete the endorsement(s). If Affiliate violates this provision Affiliate shall thereby forfeit any commissions earned from us and shall return all such commissions to us

Option 2: Payment by Amazon Gift Card. We will send you gift cards in the amount of the fees you earn to the primary email address on your Associates account. These gift cards are redeemable for products on the Amazon Site the fees were earned on and are subject to our then-current gift card terms and conditions. If you select this option, we reserve the right to hold fees until the total amount due to reaches the minimum stated in the Payment Minimum Chart.
If the website isn’t an authority in its niche, ask yourself if it is setup to be one. You should always have this in mind, but especially with affiliate sites. Since affiliate sites have such a low barrier to entry, by buying an authority site, you are significantly putting yourself ahead of your competition who will be entering the game without an authority site. This will help you keep market share and dominate the niche.

You can superimpose a disclosure on Snapchat or Instagram Stories just as you can superimpose any other words over the images on those platforms. The disclosure should be easy to notice and read in the time that your followers have to look at the image. In determining whether your disclosure passes muster, factors you should consider include how much time you give your followers to look at the image, how much competing text there is to read, how large the disclosure is, and how well it contrasts against the image. (You might want to have a solid background behind the disclosure.) Keep in mind that if your post includes video and you include an audio disclosure, many users of those platforms watch videos without sound. So they won’t hear an audio-only disclosure. Obviously, other general disclosure guidance would also apply.

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:

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]
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.
On one hand, long and ugly affiliate tracking links are a straight giveaway to people that you want to sell them a product (and people may be uncomfortable clicking on them). Therefore, making your link shorter and "nicer" looking will it give a more professional appearance. One of my favorite plugins for making links look "pretty" is the Pretty Links WordPress plugin.

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.
In addition to the obligations set forth in Section 4 (FTC Endorsement Compliance), Affiliate shall comply with all applicable data protection laws regarding the transmission of data exported to or from the United States or the country in which Affiliate resides, including without limitation, the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 of European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 (the “GDPR”). Affiliate, as a controller under the GDPR, shall also implement appropriate technical measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk, taking into account the nature, scope, context, and purpose of processing any personal data. Affiliate agrees to promptly assist FatCow in complying with any data subject rights request under the GDPR that FatCow may receive from any individuals referred to FatCow by Affiliate. Affiliate further agrees to promptly assist FatCow in complying with any duties to cooperate with supervisory authorities under the GDPR.
There are a number of ways you can monetise a website these days. Traditional CPM or CPC advertising can be difficult to generate significant returns unless you have a large amount of traffic and page views. These forms of revenue rely on huge numbers because rates are so low and so are best utilised when your traffic is measured in millions and is focused on a lucrative demographic that is valued by advertising companies.

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,[31] LinkShare's Anti-Predatory Advertising Addendum,[32] and ShareASale's complete ban of software applications as a medium for affiliates to promote advertiser offers.[33] 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.[34]


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.
Lon Naylor, of Learn Camtasia, is an example of a successful niche affiliate. Learn Camtasia offers training and tools for that software. Naylor is a video marketing coach. He said he earns 43 percent of his income through affiliate marketing. His community recognizes him as an expert and responds when he introduces them to new products. In some cases, when he refers customers to monthly subscription services, he enjoys ongoing payouts each month for the life of that customer.

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?


Hey Chris! I stumbled upon your site from a few people. I’m now interested in starting a niche business and grow from there. I’ve tried to target another niche, with keywords as a first timer, and still having difficulties targeting certain keywords. I would like to get a boost of motivation on starting a small and simple amazon style niche site. I don’t know if you covered this, but I’d like to know what sort of criteria that you go through when choosing a site. So far, I have found a keyword with the following criteria:
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.

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.
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It’s hard to predict exactly what Amazon’s new rates will mean for those participating in the program, but there’s plenty of reason to be nervous. The most immediate change will be the end of Amazon’s “variable standard program fee” rates, which gave sites a higher cut as they drove more business to Amazon. The scale ranged from 4 to 8.5 percent, depending on how many products visitors bought in a given month. Robey says she never had trouble selling enough products to earn an 8 percent rate.
His blog became wildly successful. At roughly the same time, V2 Cigs informed him of their affiliate program where they paid out 50% commissions. That was Henry's "aha" moment. Almost immediately after adding those affiliate links onto his blog, his income exploded. He was making over $30,000 per month and it was passive income. He was on top of the world.
In addition, if you choose to display prices for any Product on your Site in any “comparison” format (including through the use of any price-comparison tool or engine) together with prices for the same or similar products offered through any web site or other means other than an Amazon Site, you must display both the lowest “new” price and, if we provide it to you, the lowest “used” price at which the Product is available on the Amazon Site.

To build trust, you need to create content that’s honest and sounds natural. There’s a lot of competition in affiliate marketing, and plenty of websites that churn out product reviews sound as if a robot wrote them. If you take the time to carefully research each piece and are honest about a product’s downsides, however, you’ll be able to establish trust organically.
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