From time to time, we may run general special programs or promotions that may provide all or some Associates the opportunity to earn additional or alternative fees (“Special Program Fees”). For the avoidance of doubt (and notwithstanding any time period described in this section), Amazon reserves the right to discontinue or modify all or part of any special program or promotion at any time. Unless stated otherwise, all such special programs or promotions (even those which do not involve purchases of Products) are subject to disqualifying exclusions substantially similar to those identified in Section 2 of this Fee Statement, and any restriction under the Program Documents applicable to a Product purchase will also apply on a substantially similar basis as restrictions for special programs or promotions.
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.[41]
As with many aspects of Web monetization, the exact strategies will vary from site to site. There’s no universally superior affiliate marketing offer or merchant. There are, however, some general guidelines on factors to consider when evaluating potential affiliate marketing offers. We’ll dive into several of these below. We’re using screenshots from ShareASale throughout this article to illustrate the process, but the tasks and terms will be generally similar across the major affiliate marketing networks.
By quite a large margin Amazon has the largest affiliate marketing program out there, with products from more than 1.5 million sellers. Amazon has the most easy-to-use technology of all the affiliate programs I will be reviewing today. Beginners to affiliate marketing with even the most limited technical expertise will have no problems in getting up and running with the Amazon associates program, while more experienced marketers can create custom tools and websites with the APIs and advanced implementations available to them. The great thing about Amazon is that anything from kids toys to laptops can generate sales if they are purchased through any Amazon affiliate link.
Let’s start with the first scenario above. Suppose an affiliate is generating $100,000 in monthly revenue for a merchant, and getting $25,000 in monthly commissions. In this case, the network between the two may be taking $10,000 a month for its part in the process. In this case, the merchant may attempt to go around the network and set up a direct relationship with the affiliate–perhaps with a 30% commission.
While any “regular” job requires you to be at work to make money, affiliate marketing offers you the ability to make money while you sleep. By investing an initial amount of time into a campaign, you will see continuous returns on that time as consumers purchase the product over the following days and weeks. You receive money for your work long after you’ve finished it. Even when you’re not in front of your computer, your marketing skills will be earning you a steady flow of income.

Understand the different sales models. The most common forms of paid channel advertising are cost-per-mille (CPM) and cost-per-click (CPC). CPM ads are the banners you see across the tops of webpages. You are billed a flat rate based on the number of times the ad is displayed. CPC ads are the paid advertising results you see on a Google search results page or in the side margin on a Facebook page. You pay for every click on your ad.[17]

Advertisements promoting credit repair, promising loans for a fee in advance, or touting investment opportunities may trigger application of the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule if the ad allows consumers to order goods or services by telephone. In general, this Rule does not apply to general media advertisements. If you're advertising credit repair, advance fee loans, or investment opportunities, or offering to recover money paid in previous telemarketing transactions, however, the Rule likely applies to you. Among other things, the Rule requires that certain disclosures be made before a customer pays for the goods or services. The Rule also prohibits material misrepresentations.


Comply with laws regulating SPAM. Familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) CAN-SPAM Act. This act specifies requirements for commercial emails, gives customers the option to opt out of receiving emails from you and imposes tough penalties for violations. It applies to all commercial email, including bulk email, individual commercial messages, business-to-business (B2B) commercial messages and emails sent to consumers.[23]
The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.[8][9]
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