Amazon Associates is one of the first online affiliate marketing programs and was launched in 1996. The Amazon Associates program has a more than 12 year track record of developing solutions to help website owners, Web developers, and Amazon sellers make money by advertising millions of new and used products from Amazon.com and its subsidiaries, such as Endless.com and SmallParts.com. When website owners and bloggers who are Associates create links and customers click through those links and buy products from Amazon, they earn referral fees. It’s free to join and easy to use.
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Most of the traffic for your affiliate website will come from product related searches, and product reviews. Generally, these will be more long-tail terms such as, “Blendtec 570 vs Vitamix 5300”, or “greenworks mower vs black and decker”. The traffic coming from keywords like these will be very targeted, as the searcher has the intention to purchase something. 

In the case of promoting consumer products, like tools, books, toys and household items, the biggest affiliate network, by far, is Amazon. Amazon Associates affiliate program lets you promote any item that is sold on their platform. Amazon Associates is Amazon’s affiliate marketing program that allows website owners and bloggers to create links and earn referral fees when customers click through and buy products from Amazon. It’s completely free to join and easy to use.
I loved seeing the example of the Kids Tablet with Wifi utilizing affiliate marketing. It gave me some great ideas on integrating amazon for my own children’s blog. I would be interested in knowing how much they are earning monthly from their affiliation. Being a mother of a two year old myself, I could see myself writing reviews on Amazon products my daughter enjoys.

LinkConnector has struggled to stand out from the pack but nonetheless has managed to sign some exclusive deals with big name brands, including Writer’s Digest, the Disney Store, Ironman, Hats.com, and Everly. Their strictly controlled screening process for both merchants/advertisers and affiliates/publishers means that you can always rely on the quality of products on offer.
I see most successful affiliates are operaitng in advice and review space which is linked to affiliates. I haven’t seen much operators providing business / industry information content, business case studies, etc. I happen to have quite a bit of unique content, like quite a bit on such topics and am wondering what to do with it. Like what online / affiliate business I can start with it?
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?
Since you’re essentially a freelancer, you get ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel so inclined, choosing the products that interest you, and even determining your own hours. This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio if you like or focus solely on simple and straightforward campaigns. You’ll also be free from company restrictions and regulations as well as ill-performing teams.
When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert. By establishing yourself as an expert in one area instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.
Repetition is the key to success. It's probably not too surprising that I make a nice little chunk of change on Swagbucks every month. It's a service I use myself. I mention it in my newsletter regularly. It's also mentioned in 40 posts on my blog at the time of writing this email. FORTY. Whether it's Swagbucks or your favorite whisk, when a reader sees you mention something so naturally over and over again they eventually say, “You know. All this lady does is talk about this magic whisk. I better try it for myself.”
We reserve the right to cancel any orders placed for websites in illegal or offensive industries. Any illegal content, products, services or items hateful, objectionable or defamatory content aimed at any people group, race, gender, sexual orientation or otherwise attacks on any person, business, organisation, product or service; cruelty towards animals; or otherwise content found to be objectionable will be cancelled and refunded.
File-Sharing: Web sites that host directories of music, movies, games and other software. Users upload content to file-hosting sites and then post descriptions of the material and their download links on directory sites. Uploaders are paid by the file-hosting sites based on the number of times their files are downloaded. The file-hosting sites sell premium download access to the files to the general public. The websites that host the directory services sell advertising and do not host the files themselves. 

With the ability to rank organically in search engine queries, bloggers excel at increasing a seller’s conversions. The blogger samples the product or service and then writes a comprehensive review that promotes the brand in a compelling way, driving traffic back to the seller’s site. The blogger is awarded for his or her influence spreading the word about the value of the product, helping to improve the seller’s sales.
I just started doing affiliate marketing for Amazon and other sites like CJ and Rakuten. Am still a newbie and currently learning about AM and I must admit that your post did open my eyes especially on things like cookie duration, conversion rate, refund rate. I also did take note of Skimlinks and will definitely be checking out AffiloBlueprint. Thanks Ana!
For insurance and financial products, the role of comparison tables can be a simple way to compare price, duration and what is included in the package. This can be a simple table, like Guarantor Loans' comparison chart, with just a few columns and an "apply now" or "see deal" button that is connected to an affiliate link so that when users click on it, they are taken to a page that is tracked. You earn a commission if the deal goes through. 
The consumer has a tendency to explore a range of products before making the final purchase. Similarly, on online shopping platforms like Amazon, the consumers also look through a lot more products. Here is your chance of earning an extra commission. Apart from purchasing a product that you recommended, if the consumers purchased additional products through your link, you are entitled to get that extra commission for that.
On Shopify, you can earn up to $2,000 per customer and the highest commissions on referrals. Simply sign up to this affiliate program and receive a special link to share on your blog or social media posts. For every customer that signs up to Shopify through your links, you’ll earn an income. Each time you refer someone to Shopify, you can earn 200 percent of a customer’s subscription fee.
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. 

The Associate / Senior Associate (Executive) is a remote, work from home position, as are all positions at Acceleration Partners (a structure is central to our culture and our vision to change the work/life paradigm). Ideal candidates will reside within reasonable driving distance of London. Some travel is required, for client meetings or other internal meetings, conferences, etc. Candidates must hold a valid passport and be able to travel internationally. 

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.
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
Because 2Checkout exclusively sells software and digital products, it is best suited for established influencers whose target audience is interested in buying products in this niche. But while you won’t find any physical products for sale, 2Checkout is probably the market leader in selling software of every type, including very specific use case items (like software that can convert Microsoft Word documents to PDF, for instance).

Once you’ve done all the heavy lifting of niche selection, keyword research, and competition analysis, then you can finally start building your site. It’s important not to skip all the steps above. You’d hate to spend months on a site, only to learn that it won’t be profitable at all. All that hard work for nothing. You can read more about why I use WordPress for my Amazon sites.
In the case of promoting consumer products, like tools, books, toys and household items, the biggest affiliate network, by far, is Amazon. Amazon Associates affiliate program lets you promote any item that is sold on their platform. Amazon Associates is Amazon’s affiliate marketing program that allows website owners and bloggers to create links and earn referral fees when customers click through and buy products from Amazon. It’s completely free to join and easy to use.
1. We do NOT guarantee any results (negative or positive). We will NOT be held responsible for any misuse of this service, including (but not limited) to increases or decreases in search rankings, increases or decreases in search positions, increases or decreases in backlinks or website authority, keywords, traffic, manual or algorithmic penalties and any other indicators.
File-Sharing: Web sites that host directories of music, movies, games and other software. Users upload content to file-hosting sites and then post descriptions of the material and their download links on directory sites. Uploaders are paid by the file-hosting sites based on the number of times their files are downloaded. The file-hosting sites sell premium download access to the files to the general public. The websites that host the directory services sell advertising and do not host the files themselves.
If you’re a blogger, start by going through your analytics and finding your most popular posts. In Google Analytics (GA) you can find these pages by going to your GA Dashboard > Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Examine the ones at the top of the list that bring in the most traffic. Are there any affiliate products or services you can naturally include in them?
I stumbled upon this niche by way of Amazon’s daily emails that are sent when you purchase from Amazon. Inside those emails, there are product recommendations based on your searches within their site and one of those suggestions were these snack helmets. After some initial research (keyword, domain, niche passion etc.), I decided to go after this niche and build the website.
Leanne, that was great stuff. I saw some interesting delineators I’d never seen before, like how many subscribers you have making a difference in whether you should start with affiliates, at what level, etc. I appreciate the “ethical” angle you weaved throughout this, too, because affiliate marketing can/does have a bad reputation due to the way it’s been abused in the past. Your article will help educate current and future affiliate marketers, much appreciated!
The people that you refer too did not master amazon, they merely mastered the value they offer to visitors. If you are able to engage/connect with visitors, then you got a winner, some people merely have better skills then others, which may include offering high value content, coding/custom skills. Do you agree that these people brought something to the table? If they did not, then visitors would not continue to visit their sites, right? You can put up all the content in the world, you can get all the backlinks you want, but if you can not engage/connect with your visitors, then all is lost. These site most likely did not start off with custom sites; they started off just like everyone else, some rag/tag site. I ran across an affiliate site a few months ago, and the content on his site would just blow your mind, and let me tell you,this guy had affiliate links from all major affiliate networks, his site has so much authority that he is listed right up under amazon, and some actual product manufacturers; how did he do this? He brought solutions, and value to his visitors, he knew what they were looking for, and knows how to engage, and connect with them. If you can not figure out how to blow your visitors mind, then what do you really have to offer? His avg reviews were between 7k-10k words? how about you? 500-1000 words? at the end of the day, which site will google find more impressive, yours, or his, and i assure you, he had far more affiliate links on his site then you have on yours as you could not skip-a-paragraph without seeing affiliate links.
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

Amazon used to have a variable fee structure where you would earn more money if you referred more sales to Amazon. They would start at 4% and you could earn up to 8.5% of a sale if you referred enough items. Amazon did away with their variable fee structure in early 2017 and replaced that system with a fixed percentage payout based on the category of products. Some niches pay a lot less than others and it’s important to be aware of the payout before you pick a niche:


Since I do not live in the U.S., I would have to get paid by check or gift certificate. Obviously only getting paid in gift certificates isn’t that great, so that leaves the check. However, checks are not used here in Sweden at all basically, so cashing one comes with huge fees, I think maybe 30-40USD for a check. So my question is, can you choose to “save up” the money you make at Amazon and only get a check sent when you want to, or is it automatically sent at certain amount? I know Adsense has/had a feature that let you “block” payments until you released them. If Amazon has a feature like that, it’d make the check-fee less of a problem.

These figures demonstrate that Harsh has fully optimised his site for affiliate marketing. It also shows that when you’re first starting out with an affiliate marketing website, you can focus on just that. You don’t need to worry about monetising your website through any other means just yet. After you start generating a decent income from affiliate marketing then you can look at introducing other ways of making money.

Great overall look at the current state of things. Was a little surprised to see a “possibly sleazy” mention for CJ, but NOT Clickbank… there are TONS of fairly sleazy products on Clickbank from my last look compared to CJ. Commissions are super high on CB (digital/info) products, of course, but the quality on offer there can be far lower than most items on CJ and others.
We have “Carefully” scoured through ALOT of the “Affiliate Networks” in hopes of adding the right content for our visitors. The trueth is; whether it be the least popular networks OR the top notch programs, they each have various conditions which will screw you from generating revenue. Adding their links and promoting their advertisers is nothing more than a waste of YOUR time and YOUR webspace if you don’t get paid to have them there sooo, don’t get in a hurry to join any affiliate programs until you read through their “Terms & Conditions” thoroughly and completely!
I always thought that I knew all there was to know about Affiliate Marketing, boy was I wrong! This book was just what I needed to discover all that I do not know about Affiliate Marketing. Gray does a great job breaking down topics like algorithms that are used online. I was unaware of how most of these are used, so this book helped to open my eyes up to that! Great read!

One thing that I look for in an affiliate program is a good transparent analytics system. I want to be able to see the clicks and transactions, so that I can track my stats. Otherwise, I get a little nervous about the legitimacy of the program. Other things to look for is to see how transparent they are when answering questions and how the responsiveness of the affiliate manager.
I’m curious – how are Amazon affiliate sites faring after the Google Panda update. With the keyword density of the content articles needed for these types of sites, have you or any of your Niche Profits members experienced a major decline in traffic or rankings? If so, what are your recommendations for creating better backlinks and showing more authority/relevancy for these types of sites?
Ahmad, Great post and great information. I have some more specific questions for you relating to my personal company and how affiliate programs can tie into it. Is there a chance we could talk sometime soon? I think you may have the answers to several of my questions on whether affiliate marketing is what I am looking for or not. And if it’s not what I am looking for I think you can direct me in the direction I need to go.

The people that you refer too did not master amazon, they merely mastered the value they offer to visitors. If you are able to engage/connect with visitors, then you got a winner, some people merely have better skills then others, which may include offering high value content, coding/custom skills. Do you agree that these people brought something to the table? If they did not, then visitors would not continue to visit their sites, right? You can put up all the content in the world, you can get all the backlinks you want, but if you can not engage/connect with your visitors, then all is lost. These site most likely did not start off with custom sites; they started off just like everyone else, some rag/tag site. I ran across an affiliate site a few months ago, and the content on his site would just blow your mind, and let me tell you,this guy had affiliate links from all major affiliate networks, his site has so much authority that he is listed right up under amazon, and some actual product manufacturers; how did he do this? He brought solutions, and value to his visitors, he knew what they were looking for, and knows how to engage, and connect with them. If you can not figure out how to blow your visitors mind, then what do you really have to offer? His avg reviews were between 7k-10k words? how about you? 500-1000 words? at the end of the day, which site will google find more impressive, yours, or his, and i assure you, he had far more affiliate links on his site then you have on yours as you could not skip-a-paragraph without seeing affiliate links.
With the ability to rank organically in search engine queries, bloggers excel at increasing a seller’s conversions. The blogger samples the product or service and then writes a comprehensive review that promotes the brand in a compelling way, driving traffic back to the seller’s site. The blogger is awarded for his or her influence spreading the word about the value of the product, helping to improve the seller’s sales.
There are some really good tips on affiliate marketing in this article and comments. I’d like to earn some income through affiliate marketing as I found a product subcription I like and found out it is an affiliate marketing product. I’ve started to search for other affiliate marketing opportunities because I like the concept and need to learn more how to startup. I appreciate all the comments on what to look for. 

Unfortunately, the 2Checkout dashboard is a bit limited in scope, making it difficult to get any metrics on conversion rates or even sorting by commission payouts. The workaround is to go to the Avangate store, which does list their best-selling products, and then search for these on the affiliate dashboard. That being said, 2Checkout does offer products from more than 4,000 different vendors, making it the leading affiliate network for software and digital products.

I’d stick with Amazon if I were you. All of my Amazon sites only have Amazon affiliate links. If you use Google Adsense display ads on your site, you’re literally taking people away from your site for the sake of just a few cents with these type of ads. If you direct them just to Amazon, then you have a greater chance of earning more money from that click.
These figures demonstrate that Harsh has fully optimised his site for affiliate marketing. It also shows that when you’re first starting out with an affiliate marketing website, you can focus on just that. You don’t need to worry about monetising your website through any other means just yet. After you start generating a decent income from affiliate marketing then you can look at introducing other ways of making money.
Understand where people are at in the buying cycle and promote accordingly. Spend the most time sharing affiliate links where people are ready to buy. For example, you can share affiliate links on Pinterest, but most people are not on Pinterest to buy but to look. As such, focusing your affiliate marketing strategy on Pinterest might not be the best use of your time. Review posts, for example, might be better at tipping people over the line into buying.
The more variety you have in the types of post you create on Facebook, the better. So, you could stand a better chance of drawing in a bigger audience if you add some video content to your Facebook page. Videos are a good way to engage your audience and you can create reviews or tutorials focused on the products you want to promote via affiliate links.
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