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. 
In my experience, it’s product-related blogs that tend to do best with Amazon. Most blogs probably have at least some possibilities (for example here on ProBlogger I occasionally link to a book that relates or a computer or electronic tool that I think might be useful to bloggers) but the reality is that this blog will never convert as well on Amazon as my photography site.
Watch them. How are other content creators in your niche utilizing advertising? What types of ads do they use? What are they promoting? What do they talk about repeatedly (if you keep seeing the same affiliate product show up again and again, there’s a good chance they’re making good money from it)? If you see a product or service they talk about that jogs your memory and you can ethically promote it too, find affiliate information by the methods described above.
That said, if you’re interested in building affiliate sites that sell, I also suggest checking out our AffiloBluePrint, which includes our custom AffiloTheme for websites and a bunch of other bonuses — and complete support so you can create a site that earns you commission with ease:
Thank you so much for posting this! I have signed up for CJ Affiliates but have not made any money through them so far. I am not sure if I am using it correctly, to be honest. I am going to give Amazon a try!
In April 2008 the State of New York inserted an item in the state budget asserting sales tax jurisdiction over Amazon.com sales to residents of New York, based on the existence of affiliate links from New York–based websites to Amazon.[41] The state asserts that even one such affiliate constitutes Amazon having a business presence in the state, and is sufficient to allow New York to tax all Amazon sales to state residents. Amazon challenged the amendment and lost at the trial level in January 2009. The case is currently making its way through the New York appeals courts.
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.
The success of an affiliate marketing strategy depends on how many referrals you’re able to send to merchant sites and how well these referrals convert (hence the bolding of these factors above). The more relevant and appealing the offers you highlight on your site, the higher both your click and conversion rates will likely be. If you’re running a travel blog, you probably don’t want to be featuring affiliate offers for baby products; replacing them with affiliate links to cruise packages would probably result in a higher referral rate.
But establishing direct affiliate marketing relationships is extremely challenging for a number of reasons, which we’ll get into below. While there are certain instances when a direct relationship makes sense, most affiliates will be better off accepting that networks are part of the equation and focusing on finding the right merchants and maximizing referrals.
2nd tier.  If you are an affiliate for a particular program and you refer others to sign up for that affiliate program, a 2nd tier program will pay you when the affiliates you referred make sales. For example, I am an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles. If you join their affiliate program via my 2nd tier affiliate link here. I will get a small percentage of any sales you make going forward.
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Affiliate Marketing Secrets
Mistake #1: Not being aware of the terms and conditions for each campaign. They vary and you are responsible for knowing and following them. For example, your Amazon affiliate links cannot be in emails, closed Facebook Groups or anywhere not publicly online. Ever. Also, you can’t use the Pretty Links plugin with Amazon affiliate links.
One great way to get ideas for related products to promote is to look at the stats/reports that Amazon gives you to see which products readers are buying. After a while you’ll start to notice that they’re not only buying the products you directly promote but other products as well. Some will be completely irrelevant to your niche – but many times trends will emerge that could signal other products that it might be worth promoting.
People are more willing to make a purchase if they feel, they’re not alone – that others have and are buying with them. I’m sure there is an insightful psychological reason for this but from where I sit, buying seems to have become a communal activity.
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.
The three stages blogging and your suggested course of action as an affiliate is a guiding beacon for those who do start it but without knowing where they are and where they should be pick any of the three strategies.
The easiest and most common way to start building an audience for a website is via social media. Depending on your niche and industry, you can choose from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and several other niche and location-specific networks. Building up an engaged and interested following on social media is a great opportunity to build relationships and once you have their trust, promote your products and services to them. 
Don’t let yourself be pressured into using “black hat” strategies to drive traffic to your site — e.g., aggressive SEO tactics that focus exclusively on tricking search engines instead of pleasing humans. This kind of activity can alienate your audience and get you banned from search engine listings.
This is a fantastic article that has made me sit up and think. I have built a Amazon niche site with 75 pages, good useful content as well as review pages. 18 months in and I’m earning practically nothing from it.
CommissionSoup is a division of Bulldog Media Group, which is a leading performance marketing company that specializes in online customer acquisition for clients in the financial services industry. Since 2000, we have focused on financial services digital marketing as our core niche. We take an innovative, strategic approach to our relationships, with the goal of delivering solutions that are tailored to meet each client’s needs. This approach has delivered long-lasting relationships and over one million new customers for our clients each year.
Cost per click was more common in the early days of affiliate marketing but has diminished in use over time due to click fraud issues very similar to the click fraud issues modern search engines are facing today. Contextual advertising programs are not considered in the statistic pertaining to the diminished use of cost per click, as it is uncertain if contextual advertising can be considered affiliate marketing.
I am surprised you listed ShareASale as your preferred affiliate network. I have applied to join them but they keep turning down my application. The reason I included my URL here is for you to check my site and give me your sincere professional advice on what to do about the site so as to make it accepted by ShareASale.
Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC – Pay Per Click), e-mail marketing, content marketing, and (in some sense) display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.[citation needed]
These posts act as a doorway to the Amazon site. As the number of posts has increased, my blogs have begun to rank higher in Google and my loyal reader numbers have grown, the number of people going through these ‘doorways’ has increase– hence the escalation in earnings.
Only Cookware. This is one of several sites run by Amazon “super affiliates” Paula and Wanda. Their reviews feature affiliate links for visitors to purchase the products on Amazon, which nets them a commission in the neighborhood of 8.5%.
AdCombo is a CPA Marketing Network, that uses its own in-house technology, that allows you to customize advertising campaigns to reach your targeted audience throughout the globe. They aim at, and hit their target in, encouraging strategic lucrative partnerships between advertisers and publishers to monetize their traffic. AdCombo has offices and co-workings in 5 cities around the globe.
A great introduction into making passive income with affiliate marketing. I’m genuinely so interested in starting up in internet marketing and a with such a big user base, Amazon seems like a logical choice. The books runs through the steps needed to start the process and I am eager to see how things go. My first step towards financial freedom!
This blog shares a lot of super helpful knowledge on niche marketing. I always refer to nichehacks when there are questions on these topics. The key here would be the passion you need to have in a niche. So, doing your research and dabbling in what you are more attracted to and more passionate about is important.
Great post Leanne, it’s always great to see affiliate marketing in a concise and to the point fashion. When using analytics to track conversions, what factors do you feel are the most important to focus on for affiliate marketers? Where do you see a lot of affiliate campaigns fall flat in terms of optimizing their campaigns?
Every network offers affiliates a way to filter through the numerous offers presented. Take the time to go through the various categories or search for specific merchants that you think would do well on your site. There’s no set of rules for filtering through the options; you’ll ultimately need to rely upon your familiarity with your audience and your gut feelings about what types of offers will perform.

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