A two-tier affiliate program is an affiliate model that allows you to make commissions not only on your own sales but the sales from others (your sub-affiliates) that you refer to the program… (more…)
There is a reason why many major merchants prefer to utilize affiliate marketing networks instead of setting up their own infrastructure. Just as the administrative burden can become overwhelming for publishers with multiple relationships in place, it can be too time consuming for merchants as well. Maintaining direct affiliate relationships involves building out an infrastructure to track referrals, calculate commissions, and process payments. While that may sound like a relatively straightforward process, it can become a major investment with plenty of potential complications and liability issues.
The dark web is notorious for its nefarious listings. Drugs, guns, weapons, and terrorism tend to dominate discussions about the dark web. However, the dark web (as people tend to think about it) is mostly legal. That doesn’t mean, though, that it’s safe. This report explores an area of content seldom discussed outside of dark web criminal circles: fraud guides. These guides are widely … Continue Reading…
Although it differs from spyware, adware often uses the same methods and technologies. Merchants initially were uninformed about adware, what impact it had, and how it could damage their brands. Affiliate marketers became aware of the issue much more quickly, especially because they noticed that adware often overwrites tracking cookies, thus resulting in a decline of commissions. Affiliates not employing adware felt that it was stealing commission from them. Adware often has no valuable purpose and rarely provides any useful content to the user, who is typically unaware that such software is installed on his/her computer.
For example, my audience is made up of people who want to start a blog and make money online but have limited time, budget and technical know-how. I can speak to this audience because that was me when I started 14 years ago!
When opportunities to establish direct relationships and negotiate customized commission deals exist, there is likely already a relationship between the two parties. The biggest hurdle to overcome here is generally the administrative and technological burden, since there are no payment required unless revenue is generated.
Before launching an affiliate program, merchants should establish their default commission structures. This is the base commission rate that will apply to all of your standard affiliates. You will still be able to customize terms for individual affiliates, but your base commission rate dictates how affiliates that do not have negotiated terms are paid.
You make money on the path that includes three green boxes; on all others–the vast majority of scenarios–you get nothing. So at its simplest, affiliate marketing success comes to those who maximize the number of positive outcomes down the flow chart above.
I totally get where you’re coming from. I’ve had similar experiences and I’ve also learned the hard way. There are a whole lot of people who can do marketing and sales. There are much fewer truly excellent teachers. 😉
Increase Your Commissions by 200%
Affiliate Marketing Secrets
Amazon has hardly any products that don’t have a listed discount. Most books are as much as 30% off the recommended retail price and at different times during the year, Amazon runs other special discounts and promotions on different products or product categories.
The target website itself. (Websites that offer an affiliate program often have a link titled “affiliate program”, “affiliates”, “referral program”, or “webmasters”—usually in the footer or “About” section of the website.)
Note: I think the line where readers will push back probably will vary from blog to blog depending upon their readership. For example here on ProBlogger I get a little more negative feedback from readers on affiliate promotions. I suspect ProBlogger readers are a little more tuned into the issue and suspicious of some of the affiliate marketing that goes on around the web.
Ultimate Bundles. Every year a huge bundle of products are released at a significantly reduced rate. These sales can be quite lucrative for affiliates. Click the link to see if any of the upcoming bundles are in your niche.
Keep records of your findings. This doesn’t have to be complex. You could use a simple spreadsheet to record competitors’ names, affiliate page links, commission rates, and any other data you think to be relevant. Once you’ve collected the data, it’ll be easy to make comparisons.
To drive engagement and retention with their increasing site traffic, luxury brand Cariloha leveraged display retargeting strategies across Facebook and traditional inventory to drive sales of its eco-friendly bamboo products. The results of this campaign showed that:
Promote products you already use. What things do you use and love? Keep a list. Find the affiliate program for them. Of course, never write about a product or service you love without becoming an affiliate for it first!
I am mesmerized by the content and value of this ‘post’. I don’t want to call this a post because I have seen so many books, not even have half of the value of this. I will surely spend a couple of days to absorb all this information. Thank you so much for this wonderful guide, Leanne.
For the purposes of full disclosure, I downloaded this book while it was being offered one day, free. It’s a great book for a beginner to affiliate marketing and it would also be useful to someone who may have worked with another affiliate program but not with Amazon’s. The book lays out the basics of the Amazon program, finding a niche, building a website, loading it with Amazon affiliate products and a few ways to feature them on the site as well as some basic ways to promote them/your site. If you’re starting from “zero” or if you have a blog but you don’t know how to monetize it, this book will help.
SID (shopper ID) enables publisher to track where their referred actions originated so they can target and/or reward their unique shoppers. When the visitor makes a purchase or completes a lead form, that transaction is tracked and recorded by Commission Junction.
I recommend that bloggers start to use Amazon’s Affiliate Program early. In doing so, you’ll be populating your blog with links into the store that may not convert brilliantly early on but which can potentially convert for years to come as your blog grows in popularity.
I began to understand this in the early days of Digital Photography School. I looked at the growing traffic to the site but realised that my Amazon affiliate earnings weren’t keeping up with the traffic growth I was experiencing.
It doesn’t require specialized expertise. You don’t have to be a world-renowned expert in your niche. You only need to be familiar enough with your topic area to know what products are good and worth recommending to your audience.
Amazon gives publishers a lot of these type banners or widgets but despite trying almost all of them, I had little or no success with using them. Instead – 99% of my conversions have come from links to Amazon from within blog posts about the products themselves.
Creating blog content is a very useful and effective way of consistently building content on a site. When creating blog posts, it’s a good idea to do some keyword research to figure out what it is that your audience is interested in and searching for online. Also, be sure to research competitors, forums and social media to narrow down on topics for your blog. 
Hi Suzanne, thanks for commenting. Branch out ASAP and most importantly build your email list starting from TODAY. It is your absolute priority, this is how you’ll build a real, long term, and sustainable business with repeat sales and raving fans for customers.
If you’re an affiliate marketer, you have a chance to make money every time someone opens up a Web browser. To the affiliate marketer, below is a diagram of how the flow of every Internet engagement unfolds.
So yes, experiment early but if you’re just starting out your main focus needs to be on creating great content and building traffic to your blog. In the long run, that is what will help you earn more from Amazon (and other income streams).
4. Sales incentives. Structure your commission rates so that you have additional margin to offer sales incentives. For example, perhaps you are launching a new product line and you want affiliates to focus their marketing efforts on it. If you have room in your commission structure, you can offer a temporary increase — or perhaps sales bonuses — for hitting established revenue targets. I addressed sales incentives here previously, in “Affiliate Marketing: 3 Incentives to Drive Sales.”
Making money online seems one of the best ways to earn money today. One of the many methods of making money online is through Amazon affiliate marketing. If you are not familiar with that, you might want to start learning more about it through this book.
Know when (and when not) to use Viglinks and Skimlinks. If you applied to an affiliate program but were denied, you might be able to still be an affiliate for that advertiser through a secondary affiliate program like VigLink or Skimlinks. Basically, they themselves are affiliates and will split their affiliate commission with you if you put their affiliate link in your content for an advertiser. Obviously, the commission rate is lower for you in this case, so if you ever are accepted into the advertiser’s affiliate program directly, immediately switch from using VigLink / Skimlinks affiliate links to your own.
In some ways, trying to establish a direct affiliate marketing relationship with a merchant is a lot like trying to get an advertiser to run a campaign on your site. But there is a major difference here that you should consider when reaching out to establish direct relationships: the biggest hurdle to overcome from the perspective of the merchant isn’t a cash payment (as it is with advertising) but rather an administrative burden.
All of these sites last for a few months or a few years at best (this is so rare!) before they get hit by a Google penalty, stop ranking, or get abandoned because they aren’t making enough money to be worth continuing with.
Again, if you decide to promote physical products, try to find high-quality, high-value, specialized or unique products that your audience will appreciate — mediocre or poor-quality products will reflect badly on you.
Part of the affiliate marketing game involves picking out merchant partners and products to promote. If you’re promoting a crap product, you can probably send some traffic through the affiliate link by doing a good job of marketing it to your audience. But once they get to the merchant site and are disappointed in what they see, they’re probably going to abandon.
I’ve had an Amazon Associates account set up for a couple of years now but have never earned a lot with it. Lately, I’ve become more interested in affiliate marketing as a source of passive income so I grabbed this book and a couple of other resources. This guide is one of my favorites. Advice from beginning to end on the best ways to make more affiliate money. I plan to put these strategies into practice immediately.
Look around for the best affiliate deal. Many affiliate programs are offered in more than one place. For example, a while back, I realized one of my affiliates paid almost 30% more if I went through a different affiliate network. This doesn’t happen often, so I wouldn’t spend lots of time hunting, but keep your eyes peeled.
So wherever you share an affiliate link, whether it’s in blog posts, web pages, or emails, let your readers know that you stand to earn a small commission if they buy through you — and if they choose not to use your link, no worries.
Avangate is a player in digital commerce that you may not be familiar with. Avangate, backed by a cloud platform, focuses on online commerce, subscription billing, and global payments for Software, SaaS and Online Services companies. More than 4000 digital businesses in over 180 countries trust Avangate including Absolute Software, Bitdefender, Brocade, FICO, HP Software, Kaspersky Lab, Telestream, Spyrix and CleverControl.
Note: the key with these ‘best seller’ lists is to drive traffic to them. Two ways to do this is to prominently link to these pages from within your blog plus linking to them from within other posts. This second method means your post doesn’t just convert for a day or two.
If the above locations do not yield information pertaining to affiliates, it may be the case that there exists a non-public affiliate program. Utilizing one of the common website correlation methods may provide clues about the affiliate network. The most definitive method for finding this information is to contact the website owner directly if a contact method can be located.
^ April 20, 2007, AdWare Class Action Lawsuit against – ValueClick, Commission Junction and beFree, Law Firms of Nassiri & Jung LLP and Hagens Berman, retrieved from CJClassAction.com on June 26, 2007
Great, practical tips. I especially like #8. I went through much the same thing when pricing my ebook. It goes to show you that who you’re marketing to, their life style and values all have an impact.
For sites looking to monetize their existing traffic through affiliate marketing, a major determinant of success is picking the right offers to run. The difference in earnings from a bad offer and a good one can be enormous. Unfortunately, finding the “right” offer isn’t exactly easy; if you’re using an affiliate marketing network such as Commission Junction (now part of Conversant), SharesASale, or LinkShare, you will have literally thousands of affiliate offers available to you.
A WordPress theme provides all the styling of a site that you (and your audience) see on the front end. There are thousands of themes available, so choosing one might seem daunting at start. Our advice: go with something simple and easy to customize. You can always change it later. 
I have found that one size doesn’t fit all. Rather, specific types promotions of particular products work well with Amazon. I have also had some success by getting people in the Amazon door for other reasons. For example I’ve experimented a couple of times on dPS with running a posts that gave readers a hypothetical $1000 to spend on photography gear and asked them to surf around Amazon and choose what they wanted to buy. The result was 350 comments (a fun community building exercise) and quite a few sales and commissions!
I complete all the steps and start sharing link on fb page but what happen next..next day i got mail from amazon associate team that i am not eligible because i have only 600 friends in my Facebook thats why they reject my account,
I personally prefer to do it that way–you can create a more convincing review that’s more likely to make sales. It’s not always possible or practical, though; for example, would you break up with your significant other just to test a product for getting your ex back? 😉 In cases like that, or if the product is expensive, it’s usually best just to use the vendor’s affiliate resources instead.
If you check out this I shared here on ProBlogger back in 2009 you’ll notice that the yearly 4th quarters were usually bigger than those proceeding them. The reason is simple – Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Sometimes you find out an advertiser uses an affiliate network when you apply to an affiliate program directly. For example, if you want to become an affiliate for Genesis WordPress themes, you might go to the StudioPress website (StudioPress makes Genesis) and click the “Affiliates” link in the footer like so:
Optimize your earnings by posting links regularly. This means that you should look for creative ways to incorporate product recommendations into your blog posts while still letting the reader know you are offering them expertise on your website subject.
Always make affiliate links nofollow. Google’s goal is to provide its users with the best possible search results to their search queries. One of the main ways they figure out which webpages are the best is through links. The Google bots crawl the web, reading text. When they come to a link, it’s like an open door. They follow the link (walk through the door) and explore the site you linked to.
A really cool WordPress plugin you can try out is the new Amazon Related Products plugin ( I don’t have any affiliation with the plugin or author). It’s a seriously cool plugin to have if you don’t have time to manually link to Amazon products.
While I do get a fair bit of search engine traffic, I’ve found that in most cases (and there is an exception below) search visitors don’t sign up to the affiliate programs on my blogs. Loyal and repeat readers do.
You don’t need a tool, you need a good strategy. You have few products ready to be sold, so, to complete the process you need a traffic and conversion. You can have some paid traffic from social networks, search engines, forums and other advertising websites. For the conversion you need a well built website and attracting products that your visitors will want to buy.
Start by asking for recommendations from people you trust. Spy on your favorite influencers’ sites to see what they have to offer. Check each product’s social proof and testimonials and see if they pass the Good Affiliate Product checklist above.
What are the terms of the program? Is there anything I need to be aware of that would make a program not worth it for me. For example, Amazon Associates does not allow you to put your affiliate links in emails. If your main method of communication with your audience is via email, Amazon might not be a good fit for you. Wayfair, for example, does not allow their affiliates to post affiliate links on Pinterest or any other social media site. If that’s a strategy you rely on, Wayfair might not be a good fit for you.

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