3. Paying for leads. Some merchants benefit by paying affiliates on a lead basis. For example, an insurance company might pay affiliates a fixed bounty for each potential customer who signs up for an estimate. Alternately, a car dealership might pay affiliates for each customer that requests information on a specific car, and perhaps an additional bonus if the customer schedules a test drive.

For example, building up a big base of traffic won’t deliver much of a reward if you’re working with the wrong affiliate offers. Similarly, doing a great job marketing the ideal offers to an extremely small traffic base won’t translate into much revenue. Each of these three points must be implemented and improved together, or else you won’t see results.
Upon your request but subject to our approval, we may issue you additional “sub-tag” Associate IDs that permit you to monitor and optimize the performance of your Special Links by including different sub-tags in the URLs of different Special Links. Under no circumstances may you associate any sub-tag with a specific end user of your Site (e.g., you may not dynamically assign sub-tags to users as they arrive on your Site for purposes of monitoring such users’ behavior).
The Publisher is the website who advertises a product or service and earns a commission when their visitor goes on to the site and makes a purchase. There are so many different types of affiliates including influencers, bloggers, or loyalty websites and more non-traditional affiliates too, including paid search, on-site tech solutions and remarketing to name a few.

(b) Amazon Marks Limited License. Amazon grants to you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, non-assignable, revocable right and license to display, publish, and reproduce Amazon Marks that Amazon may provide to you from time to time in connection with Local Associates Program solely for the purpose of marketing Local Associates Products. Amazon reserves all right, title, and interest in and to its Intellectual Property Rights and no title to or ownership of any of Amazon’s Intellectual Property Rights (including with respect to Amazon Marks) is transferred or licensed in connection with this Local Associates Policy. “Intellectual Property Right” means any patent, copyright, trademark, or trade secret right and any other intellectual property or proprietary right in any jurisdiction, including any and all applications, registration and rights of registration, reissues, divisions, continuations, substitutes, renewals, and extensions in respect thereto, and any causes of action related to any violation, infringement or misappropriation thereof. Upon the termination of your participation in the Local Associates Program by Amazon or you, you will immediately cease and discontinue all further use of the Amazon Marks, any and all licenses you have with respect to the Amazon Marks will automatically terminate. You will promptly (within 7 calendar days) stop using and remove or destroy all Amazon Marks and any other materials provided or made available by or on behalf of Amazon to you under this Local Associates Policy.


The pay-per-sale and pay-per-click structures should be pretty obvious. Under a pay-per-lead arrangement, affiliates can get paid even if the merchant doesn’t generate any revenue. In most cases, this would involve earning a commission when a referral starts a free trial to a service. Even if they never pay for that service after the trial expires, the commission is earned.
The Internet provides unprecedented opportunities for the collection and sharing of information from and about consumers. But studies show that consumers have very strong concerns about the security and confidentiality of their personal information in the online marketplace. Many consumers also report being wary of engaging in online commerce, in part because they fear that their personal information can be misused.

Tradedoubler was founded in 1999 by two young Swedish entrepreneurs. They have offices in the UK and multiple countries throughout Europe, including Sweden, Germany, France, Poland and Spain. Their focus has always been to provide smarter results for both clients and affiliates through technology. In 18 years, they’ve amassed an army of 180,000 active publishers, connecting them to over 2,000 merchants in Europe and the UK. Many of these merchants are household names.
StudioPress is a WordPress hosting service and framework that is designed to make setting up and running a WordPress site much simpler and easier. StudioPress comes with its own unique themes and SEO tools, collectively known as the “Genesis framework.”. Their affiliate program is solely for referrals to pay for a StudioPress framework account or buying a StudioPress theme. Previously, the affiliate program also included web hosting, but this is now managed separately by StudioPress’s owner, WPEngine.
I would personally agree with linkshare.com as a great affiliate marketing platform to join as a publisher. Here’s why. Back in 2005 when I knew nothing about affiliate marketing and was using blogger.com as a free blogging platform without any experience whatsoever and joining Walmart.com as my first official affiliate program, I was able to insert Walmart affiliate in its in my blogger blog and earn a $72 commission. I was onto affiliate marketing for life from there.

Many networks provide metrics on the earnings of other affiliates with certain offers. The standard metric is EPC, or earnings per click. This unit is generally presented as the total earnings for every 100 clicks received. An EPC of $97 means that for every 100 clicks on an affiliate link to that merchant, affiliates are generating $97 in revenue.

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.
(d) Indemnification. WE WILL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY MATTER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY RELATING TO THE CREATION, MAINTENANCE, OR OPERATION OF THE INFLUENCER PAGE, AND YOU AGREE TO DEFEND, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD US, OUR AFFILIATES AND LICENSORS, AND OUR AND THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, AND REPRESENTATIVES, HARMLESS FROM AND AGAINST ALL CLAIMS, DAMAGES, LOSSES, LIABILITIES, COSTS, AND EXPENSES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) RELATING TO ANY CONTENT WITHIN THE INFLUENCER PAGE PROVIDED BY YOU.
Some commentators originally suggested that affiliate links work best in the context of the information contained within the website itself. For instance, if a website contains information pertaining to publishing a website, an affiliate link leading to a merchant's internet service provider (ISP) within that website's content would be appropriate. If a website contains information pertaining to sports, an affiliate link leading to a sporting goods website may work well within the context of the articles and information about sports. The goal, in this case, is to publish quality information on the website and provide context-oriented links to related merchant's websites.

An additional note that must be made at this phase is: do keep in mind the LTV or the life-time value of your customer here. In certain scenarios (e.g.: subscription-oriented affiliate programs) it makes sense paying significantly higher commissions on the customer’s initial payment to the company when the latter knows that they will make much more (from the same customer) on future payments. More about it later in this text.

If you can't ship when promised, you must notify the customer of the delay and the right to cancel. For definite delays of up to 30 days, you may treat the customer's silence as agreement to the delay. For longer or indefinite delays, and second and subsequent delays, you must get the customer's consent. If you don't, you must promptly refund all the money the customer paid you without being asked.
In the beginning, the operating expenses of the affiliate business are almost non-existent, comparing to other industries. You work online so that you can do it from your home well enough and then you only have the basic electricity and ISP subscription costs to cover. Optionally, there are additional expenses related to setting up a domain, web hosting operator and also some minor costs about designing layout, etc. - Provided that you decide to establish your affiliate marketing website.

MaxBounty pride themselves on the diversity of campaigns offered to their affiliates. They have over 1,500 programs ranging from gaming, to finance, and dieting, with options to receive your commissions as CPA (cost per action like making a sale), CPL (cost per lead), mobile, or PPC (pay per call.) Allowing you to structure your promotions in a way that works best for you.


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Cross-platform measurement: The number of marketing channels continues to expand, as measurement practices are growing in complexity. A cross-platform view must be used to unify audience measurement and media planning. Market researchers need to understand how the Omni-channel affects consumer's behaviour, although when advertisements are on a consumer's device this does not get measured. Significant aspects to cross-platform measurement involves de-duplication and understanding that you have reached an incremental level with another platform, rather than delivering more impressions against people that have previously been reached (Whiteside, 2016).[42] An example is ‘ESPN and comScore partnered on Project Blueprint discovering the sports broadcaster achieved a 21% increase in unduplicated daily reach thanks to digital advertising’ (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Television and radio industries are the electronic media, which competes with digital and other technological advertising. Yet television advertising is not directly competing with online digital advertising due to being able to cross platform with digital technology. Radio also gains power through cross platforms, in online streaming content. Television and radio continue to persuade and affect the audience, across multiple platforms (Fill, Hughes, & De Franceso, 2013).[45]

Ensuring that citizens and businesses can take full advantage of the opportunities digitalisation can offer. This includes equipping people with the right digital skills. In doing so, the EU brings together Member States, companies, social partners, non-profit organisations and education providers through the "Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition" to tackle this together.


Cloudways affiliate program is quite a profitable program. With flexible commission structures (Slab, Hybrid and Custom), you can earn $5K and even more every month. The performance-based Slab structure starts out at $50 per sale and depending on the number of sales made, reaches up to $125 per sale. The hybrid plan contains an initial $30 payout for each sale and a recurring commission of 7% for lifetime. The custom plan, designed for super affiliates, is a combination of the two. Cloudways also provides a comprehensive dashboard for performance reporting that helps affiliate marketers optimize their campaigns.
It’s free to join the SellHealth affiliate program, though you do have to apply and be accepted before you can start promoting their products.  Once you’re accepted, you’ll have access to a number of tools, graphics, banners and more that you can use to promote SellHealth products.  The sales are actually made at company-owned Websites, which look professional and handle all of the selling. Commissions vary, but the base rate is 30% of all sales and upsells, and SellHealth says you can earn up to $350 per sale.

Turn your passion into a thriving online business with Wealthy Affiliates. Simply follow their proven process easy to use tools to launch a website, attract visitors, and most importantly, earn revenue. Wealthy Affiliate was created by Kyle and Carson, who in 2005, launched the Wealthy Affiliate platform to help other people succeed online. Since then Wealthy Affiliate community has grown to over 800,000 internet entrepreneurs. 


Hi, Jamie! Very good list. I needed something like this for 2018 so that I know what to target in the future blogs I create. As for now, I’m comfortable using SiteGround affiliate network and it’s pretty good actually. Their hosting service is pretty much the best considered its price. I’ve tried others but SiteGround stands out. I’ll also try new affiliate networks, something from the list you have just provided. I think Amazon is too saturated at the moment, and I need a better network. 2018 will be interesting indeed.

There’s no limits to the number of affiliate programs you sign up for so applying for one today will not prevent you from picking another one later on.  In fact, being a member of more affiliate programs simply gives you more options in terms of products to promote plus they’re pretty much all free to join.  You can always leave a program if it’s not working out for you or there are no products you want to promote.
(g) include any trademark of Amazon or its affiliates, or a variant or misspelling of a trademark of Amazon or its affiliates in any domain name, subdomain name, in any “tag” or Associates ID, or in any username, group name, or other identifier on any social networking site (see a non-exhaustive list of our trademarks listed on our Non-Exhaustive Trademark Table); or
The Nielsen Global Connected Commerce Survey conducted interviews in 26 countries to observe how consumers are using the Internet to make shopping decisions in stores and online. Online shoppers are increasingly looking to purchase internationally, with over 50% in the study who purchased online in the last six months stating they bought from an overseas retailer.[23]
(g) You will not, and will not attempt to (i) modify, alter, tamper with, repair, or otherwise create derivative works of the Specifications or any software included in Product Advertising Content; or (ii) reverse engineer, disassemble, decompile (except to the extent such right cannot be excluded or limited by law and then only when our express permission has been sought and refused), or otherwise derive any source code of or relating to PA API, Data Feeds, or any software included in Product Advertising Content.
(g) You will not offer any person or entity any consideration, reward, or incentive (including any money, rebate, discount, points, donation to charity or other organization, or other benefit) for using Special Links. For example, you cannot implement any “rewards” or loyalty program that incentivizes persons or entities to visit an Amazon Site via your Special Links.
With possibly the most transparent affiliate network online, we give affiliates access to stats no other program dare, including earning data, conversion stats, demographic information and seasonality trends. With ethics and consumer protection being high on the agenda, you can rest assured when working with MoreNiche you are working with an honest, trustworthy and transparent company.
Hi Jamie! Thank you for the great information. I just learned about affiliate marketing last week. The source however, is an older couple who work for World Wide Dreams Builders (WWDB). So, basically Amway. After researching a bit. I have no interest in WWDB and. (It sounds like years of recruiting people with minimal payout) Though, I am highly intrigued by e-commerce and affiliate marketing. Before your post the company I recognized was Amazon. Can you please tell me if that will be the best 1st step. I am currently an unemployed student Veteran. So plan to fully emerge into this business regime and would greatly appreciate your advice on this!!!
Ebay, the multinational ecommerce platform that lists thousands of products also offers an attractive affiliate program. With eBay Partner Network, partners earn between 50% to 70% of the sales’ revenue, depending on the category of the item. Since there are over a billion listings on the website, all you have to do is choose from the listings, and track the sales through the earnings per click matric (EPC) on your dashboard.

To talk about best affiliate programs my friend, I just started an Instagram page and testing the waters to see how effective it is long term. I did use IG mildly in the past to promote an affiliate program and made “some money.” But back then, I wasn’t really laser focused on “Instagram marketing for business.” Now that I’m changing my way of thinking and exploring new avenues for cost free promotion of affiliate programs and content, I’m striving to leverage Instagram and some platforms to realize my affiliate commission potential. Thanks again for a thought provoking post on “recurring affiliate commissions.”
(d) Local Associate Consent. By accepting this Local Associates Policy, you hereby grant to Amazon a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, fully paid-up, royalty-free and perpetual license in all languages to use, copy, reproduce, adapt, distribute, transmit and display your name, photo, logo and other trademarks or materials provided to Amazon in connection with the Local Associates Program (“Local Associate Marks”), solely in connection with the promotion, use, and display of the Recommendation Page and as examples of best practices in our educational and marketing materials; provided however, that Amazon will not alter any Local Associate Marks from the form provided by you (except to re-format or re-size within the Recommendation Page, so long as the relative presentation of the Local Associate Marks remains the same).
(u) You will not directly or indirectly purchase any Product(s) or take a Bounty Event action through Special Links, whether for your use or for the use of any other person or entity, and you will not permit, request or encourage any of your friends, relatives, employees, contractors, or business relations to directly or indirectly purchase any Product(s) or take a Bounty Event action through Special Links, whether for their use, your use or the use of any other person or entity. Further, you will not purchase any Product(s) through Special Links or take a Bounty Event action for resale or commercial use (of any kind) or offer any Products on your Site for resale or commercial use of any kind.
Under most affiliate marketing arrangements, advertisers only pay for converted leads. There is basically no way they can lose money or get a negative ROI with this marketing method. Each new sale generated may have a thin margin after the affiliate payment is made, but it’s possible to structure in such a way that eliminates the possibility of a loss.
The Consumer Leasing Act regulates personal property leases that exceed four months and are made to consumers for personal, family, or household purposes. The statute requires that certain lease costs and terms be disclosed, imposes limitations on the size of penalties for delinquency or default and on the size of residual liabilities, and in some instances, requires certain disclosures in lease advertising.

Also known as a publisher, the affiliate can be either an individual or a company that markets the seller’s product in an appealing way to potential consumers. In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to persuade consumers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and convince them to purchase the product. If the consumer does end up buying the product, the affiliate receives a portion of the revenue made.

In the past, large affiliates were the mainstay, as catch-all coupon and media sites gave traffic to hundreds or thousands of advertisers. This is not so much the case anymore. With consumers using long-tail keywords and searching for very specific products and services, influencers can leverage their hyper-focused niche for affiliate marketing success. Influencers may not send advertisers huge amounts of traffic, but the audience they do send is credible, targeted, and has higher conversion rates. 
If your audience is looking to launch an online business, migrate their ecommerce platform, or simply interested in ecommerce content, we encourage you to apply for the BigCommerce affiliate program. Our team will carefully review your application. Once approved, you will receive access to support, tracking, reporting, payments, and have your own unique affiliate link to track every referral you generate. BigCommerce is committed to the success of our affiliate partners.
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]
Previously known as Affiliate Window but now officially referred to as “AWIN” after acquiring Zanox a few years ago, this network claims to work with over 13,000 active advertisers and 100,000 publishers (affiliates). Founded in Germany, AWIN’s merchants primarily hail from Europe (especially Great Britain) although the U.S. network is growing rapidly. AWIN is currently active in 11 countries.
Designed to create a huge amount of traffic at all times, these sites focus on building an audience of millions. These websites promote products to their massive audience through the use of banners and contextual links. This method offers superior exposure and improves conversion rates, resulting in a top-notch revenue for both the seller and the affiliate.

2) Customer Acquisition Cost – What are you currently spending to acquire new customers? Whatever that amount is, assuming you're profitable, you could technically offer up to that amount to your affiliates for generating new customers. If you can safely spend 10% to acquire new customers through your ad channels, you could afford to offer that rate to your affiliates. (But it doesn't mean you have to. It might just mean you need to optimize your ad spend because you're leaving money on the table.)
You will earn the Special Program Fee Rates described in this Section 4(b) in connection with “Trade-In Events” which occur when (1) a customer clicks through a Special Link on your Site to an Amazon Site and (2) during the resulting Session the customer adds a product to his or her trade-in shopping cart and then submits a trade-in request that Amazon accepts.
The Associates Program is free to join, and we provide resources on the Associates Site to help Associates succeed with the program. We have never authorized any business to provide paid set-up or consulting services to our associates, so please be wary if any business like that (even one attempting to appropriate the Amazon name) reaches out to offer you costly services.
(g) You will not, and will not attempt to (i) modify, alter, tamper with, repair, or otherwise create derivative works of the Specifications or any software included in Product Advertising Content; or (ii) reverse engineer, disassemble, decompile (except to the extent such right cannot be excluded or limited by law and then only when our express permission has been sought and refused), or otherwise derive any source code of or relating to PA API, Data Feeds, or any software included in Product Advertising Content.
As Target is the second-largest general retailer in the United States, their affiliate program is primarily for American bloggers or publishers who can route visitors to relevant products. Overall, the program works much like Amazon’s does in that publishers (bloggers) get a small commission on sales, but Target’s gigantic product base (over one million items) and high brand recognition make their affiliate program a great option for influencers.
This Local Associates Policy applies to any registered business that offers face-to-face customer experiences and that facilitates customer purchases on Amazon.com (“Local Associates Program”) operated by an Associate in one or more of its owned or operated facilities registered on the program portal at https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/local Associates Site (such portal, the “Local Associates Portal” and such facilities, the “Local Associates Facilities”). In order to participate in the Local Associates Program you must (A) be an owner or authorized employee of a registered business, (B) apply through the Local Associates Portal, (C) have your application accepted by Amazon, (D) not be also registered for the Amazon Associates Program, and (E) comply with the applicable provisions of the Associates Program Operating Agreement, including this Local Associates Policy.
Moreover, the bureaucracy is limited. As a freelancer, you don’t need to follow any company regulations according to monthly or weekly reports or manage other people from a team that also can get problematic to handle at times.

Here you don’t have to worry about company relations because it’s only you and yourself who sets all the rules, decides about proper dress code (so that it can even be in your Pajamas) and other small things and habits that otherwise might be distracting at a loud and crowded office.
Finding what others pay is pretty easy. One way is to go directly to your competitors’ websites and look for an affiliate program landing page there. If they do have one on their site, their base commission payments should be listed. If you cannot find it on their website, try the second way: log into whichever affiliate network they use and search for their program as an affiliate. By doing this, you will be able to find out all of the information that you need for that competitor.
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