Who can tell me if “link masking or cloaking” is a violation of the Google TOS? I think it is and I see dozens of affiliate sites doing it. I also see quite a few sites not using “nofollow” on their affiliate links. Unless your masked link says something like “I bought product X used in this review at Amazon.com” it would be a violation. I think if reported, you’d be in for a manual spam action against your site. Thoughts?
Add unique UTM parameters to the end of your website URL (for example: https://www.growthmarketingpro.com?utm_source=affiliate&utm_medium=affiliate-name) and just track the Source and Medium of your website conversions through Google Analytics and pay your affiliates monthly (sending them a screenshot of your Google Analytics dashboard to show proof of their traffic and conversions).
Hi Spencer – an informative and very timely post for me as I am finally biting the bullet and setting up my first niche site which will be monetised with Amazon affiliate links. I have been considering adding an aStore but I am very conscious of the google penalty for having too many affiliate links on a page. How would this be viewed in terms of links – would each item in the store count as a separate affiliate link?
You should also make sure you aren't competing with your own affiliates for eyeballs. Any marketing channels you're using, such as search engines, content sites or e-mail lists, should be off limits to your affiliates. Put marketing restrictions into your affiliate agreement and notify partners immediately. It's your program--you set the rules. Or, if you prefer, you can let your affiliates run the majority of your internet marketing.
Also, you wrote a review on WA and on your recommendation I joined them, did not do anything with it and re-joined them a few years later again! Some months ago i was reading your website again and came across your reviews in particular “Proven Amazon Course” by Jim Cockrum. Consequently, I purchased his book and shortly thereafter I purchased the ‘PAC’ course! (You should have received — I hope — some commissions from all of these!?)
This is extremely helpful information for somebody who is a newbie blogger! I’ve been looking for an all inclusive “guide” to explain affiliate marketing and this is the best I’ve found. Quick question for you – when you talk about the cookie expiration date, is that from the date that you post your review/recommendation or from the date that the reader clicks on the link? For example, the affiliate links you posted in this post are well over 90 days old but if I click on one of them now and buy that product, do you still get paid? Just curious how that works.
Websites and services based on Web 2.0 concepts—blogging and interactive online communities, for example—have impacted the affiliate marketing world as well. These platforms allow improved communication between merchants and affiliates. Web 2.0 platforms have also opened affiliate marketing channels to personal bloggers, writers, and independent website owners. Contextual ads allow publishers with lower levels of web traffic to place affiliate ads on websites.[citation needed]
I was able to make my first online dollars through Amazon Affiliate sales… It was never much and in the beginning I was just excited to make $10 in a month, which was enough for a free ebook or two. With regular updates and link inclusions in my posts over time I was able to grow the number up to like $300 a month–which I was pretty happy with. Of course the payout rates are paltry compared to a sale of an info product like one from Unconventional Guides, etc. Thing is, people seem to be more open to purchasing physical products rather than information products…
Thanks for the write-up on EasyAnon. I was debating whether or not to give it a try. I’ve been using Amazon Product In A Post (free plugin) since November. It is ok, but sometimes some of the links don’t show up, plus I would like the ability to customize the photos/links a bit more. I purchased EasyAnon through one of your links so I can finally see how it compares.
18. CraigsList – Some things don’t ship very well. Other things may make you feel uncomfortable to sell to someone across the country. Anytime you’re selling a large item or something you just don’t want to ship, Craigslist is a great place to go. It’s simple to list your item (again, take good pictures!). If you don’t like the idea of putting your phone number out there, the interested individual can send you a message to your inbox without even getting your email address.
One of the most beautiful and exciting qualities about blogging is that you can create a blog that deals with any subject area that you are either knowledgeable or passionate about (and preferably both!). You can write about personal finance, careers, real estate, getting into business, technology, cooking, travel, personal health, or just about any topic you choose.

The following are not direct affiliate programs but are representative of the monetization networks and techniques that have worked relatively well to date. I am adding this to show you other ad networks in addition to AdSense which will allow you to monetize your blog. One network which I have tried but have not profited from so far is Media.net, a network which is getting mix reviews.
By using Thrive Leads (made by one of our favorite theme developers) we set up a multi-step pop-up box that starts by asking a question about a problem that we know many of our visitors have. If they say “yes” we then ask a couple more clarifying questions about their personal preferences, and then at the end we drop them on a landing page that delivers a personalized product recommendation (Amazon affiliate link) based on their answers.
There are many ways to get people onto your list. Lead magnets are one such resource. For example, you can build ebooks, checklists and cheat sheets. But you can also do content upgrades, such as PDF versions of an article with added resources in them, four-part video training series, and more. Think about your audience and what you can offer them to better serve them, then treat them with some respect and you'll eventually reap the rewards.

"I started my blog in March 2015 and didn't even know what affiliate marketing meant. And....I didn't do much about it. I think my largest month was around $500 last year and then died down to sometimes only a few bucks per month. It wasn't my focus, but I didn't realize I was leaving money on the table, meaning I was losing money every month! I decided to enroll in Michelle's course, and I quickly noticed I didn't know a thing when it came to true Affiliate Marketing! No wonder it just 'wasn't working for me'...
Thanks for stopping by! Blogging is a great way to make an income. What you are reading is a blog and it can be filled with words or videos to help your audience. You create content to attract a loyal readership and then you can monetize your blog by promoting products to your audience. Check out my free email course! https://twinsmommy.com/start-grow-earn-free-course/

If you’re a skilled worker in a specific niche, like marketing, design, or software development, there are specialty marketplaces that cater just to you. These are amazing places to make money online as you know that the people visiting them are looking specifically for the skills you have. Check out places like 99Designs or Dribbble for designers, Cloudpeeps for marketing and SEO professionals, and TopTal, Crew, or Gigster for high-level software developers. Once you've built up your development skills, you can begin building a brand for yourself as a higher-value consultant and start charging brands for larger projects like implementing an entire WordPress security overhaul or migrating a website from http to https.


Proz.com is a site where you can get paid to translate all kinds of documents, including files and even conversations. The site provides you with an opportunity to list your services as a translator. They offer opportunities in Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese and other languages, and specialize in legal, medical, technical and other fields.
The biggest ‘challenge’ I have found with EasyAzon Pro v3.0.8 is that is does not work on Chrome. Whenever I am going to use it I have to switch over to IE. I filed a support ticket with them after I bought the software last year and they got back to me several days later. (I suspect they are closed on the weekend.) They offered little help and I figured out the Chrome / IE thing on my own.
For those with a large Twitter following, you can make money from your Tweets alone with Sponsored Tweets. You could be paid for sharing a business’s information, recommending restaurants or hotels, or tweeting pictures of you using or wearing products. As with all sponsored posts on social media, businesses will only be prepared to pay you to Tweet if you have a large following that you can influence. So work hard on building up a loyal fan base.
Writing an eBook and selling it on your blog can be a great money maker. Your eBook should be directly relevant to your blog’s content so you can sell your book to your existing audience. Creating a recipe eBook for a food blog or an eBook full of training plans to complement your fitness site are just a couple of examples that have the potential to sell.
In simple terms, affiliate marketing means selling another person’s or company’s products and services. It’s like a referral service. You set up a website or blog and join affiliate programs that are relevant to your audience. You can connect to these programs through affiliate networks that provide you with a link that you include on your site. When someone clicks the link and purchases the product or service you’re marketing, you receive a percentage of the sale proceeds as a commission. 
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.
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