Affiliates are most successful when the products they promote match the interests of their followers and subscribers. In addition, many successful affiliate marketers advise recommending and promoting only products that the affiliate is personally familiar with. That’s because familiarity with the product, program, or service helps build trust between the affiliate and end-user.


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.

When one of our readers at The Write Life buys Chris Guillebeau’s $58 Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing through our link, for example, we earn $29. When James Chartrand’s Damn Fine Words course sells for $1,599 through our site, we earn $200. Lots of creators offer affiliate programs for their products; the key is finding products that appeal to your audience, so you readers want to purchase them.

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There are numerous repositories to source affiliate products and services from. However, some of the biggest are sites like Clickbank, Commission Junction, LinkShare and JVZoo. You'll need to go through an application process, for the most part, to get approved to sell certain products, services or digital information products. Once approved, be prepared to hustle.

You will ensure that the information in your Associates Program application and information otherwise associated with your account on the Associates Site, including your email address, other contact information, and identification of your Site, is at all times complete, accurate, and up-to-date. We may send notifications (if any), approvals (if any), and other communications relating to the Associates Program and the Agreement to the email address then-currently associated with your Program account. You will be deemed to have received all notifications, approvals, and other communications sent to that email address, even if the email address associated with your account is no longer current.
We hold the right to make changes to the affiliate commission rates (at any time without prior notice) including but not limited to: (i) Exclude certain products / categories from earning referral payouts, and/or (ii) Increase or Decrease the commission rate on specific products / categories. We may also run special / limited-time offers or promotions under which you may earn commission rates on products / categories that were previously excluded from earning commissions, or you may earn increased/decreased affiliate commission rates from those set forth above.
Just think about any relationship for a moment. How long you've known a person is incredibly important. It's not the be-all-end-all, but it is fundamental to trust. If you've known someone for years and years and other people that you know who you already trust can vouch for that person, then you're far more likely to trust them, right? But if you've just met someone, and haven't really vetted them so to speak, how can you possibly trust them?

You will not engage in any promotional, marketing, or other advertising activities on behalf of us or our affiliates, or in connection with an Amazon Site or the Associates Program, that are not expressly permitted under the Agreement. You will not engage in any promotional, marketing, or other advertising activities in any offline manner, including by using any of our or our affiliates’ trademarks or logos (including any Amazon Mark), any Program Content, or any Special Link in connection with email, offline promotion or in any offline manner (e.g., in any printed material, ebook, mailing, or attachment to email, or other document, or any oral solicitation).
Dan, thanks for taking the time to comment and to help flesh this discussion out. It’s an important discussion, I’m not certain that I have great clarity about my own ideas, but your (and others) help me clarify them, and the discussion we are having will create a result better than each of us could imagine separately. Also, as so happens in this blog, the quality of the comments far surpasses the original post! Thanks very much!!!!!

Forms of new media have also diversified how companies, brands, and ad networks serve ads to visitors. For instance, YouTube allows video-makers to embed advertisements through Google's affiliate network.[22][23] New developments have made it more difficult for unscrupulous affiliates to make money. Emerging black sheep are detected and made known to the affiliate marketing community with much greater speed and efficiency.[citation needed]
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