Hi Matt – you need to have an affiliate disclosure on your site (we do in the footer) but you don’t have to say that in all links. Before we published the updated version of this I actually contacted Amazon support about the links on images, and they confirmed it is ok to do. For the others dealing with anchor text, check out http://marketingwithsara.com/amazon/warning-to-all-affiliate-marketers
This is the easiest way to gain experience because you get exposed to other affiliates. You can meet people by joining a discussion forum or an online community. The good thing is that they are free to join and you get very good advice there. Examples of such online communities are ABestWeb, Digital Point, and Warrior Forum. Apart from getting advice from more experienced affiliates, you get the chance to network with other marketers.
There are many ways to do affiliate marketing. One way was the kind you learned, posting links and paying for ads. That can get super expensive if your links aren’t converting well! That’s why I recommend that you do “blogging”, e.g. writing articles as you mentioned. If you optimize your content based on search engine requirements (also known as SEO), you’ll rank on page 1 of Google. When someone searches a topic, your article turns up. They read the article, click a link, buy a product, and you make a sale.
In November 1994, CDNow launched its BuyWeb program. CDNow had the idea that music-oriented websites could review or list albums on their pages that their visitors might be interested in purchasing. These websites could also offer a link that would take visitors directly to CDNow to purchase the albums. The idea for remote purchasing originally arose from conversations with music label Geffen Records in the fall of 1994. The management at Geffen wanted to sell its artists' CD's directly from its website but did not want to implement this capability itself. Geffen asked CDNow if it could design a program where CDNow would handle the order fulfillment. Geffen realized that CDNow could link directly from the artist on its website to Geffen's website, bypassing the CDNow home page and going directly to an artist's music page.