On Nov. 14th, 2018, I purchased an exercise video online. The online ad advertised the merchandise for about ~$25 shipping included. While checking my credit card I notice that on the day of purchase they had charged my account twice ($33.00 and $5.28) and they had me set up for a monthly subscription without my permission. This monthly subscription was going to cost me $50.11 a month. On November 27th I called Clickbank and made them aware that I never received the merchandise I ordered and that I never signed up for a monthly subscription. They sent me an email with a refund for my future monthly payment of the supposed subscription which I never asked for, but they didn’t refund me for the merchandise I never received. So, I called my credit card company to ask for a charge back on the merchandise charges and they credited my account.

Plus, if the shopper leaves Amazon’s site without purchasing, but returns and completes a purchase within 24 hours, you earn commissions on anything the shopper purchases. In fact, if the shopper adds items to his or her Amazon cart within that 24-hour timeframe, but leaves without purchasing, all is not lost. If he or she returns and completes the purchase within 90 days —  without clearing the cart and starting over, that is — you can still earn that commission.


This site might seem authoritative, but it doesn’t really cater to the visitor. As you can see the site contains a ton of ads, and doesn’t do much to provide a good reading experience. The content is long, but it’s also very hard to read. You could easily create a site that reviews this product and provides a better reading experience and higher-quality review.
Great advice here. The typical idea of writing reviews of bicycle pedals and expecting someone to follow your link in order to buy a pair is dead. Now if you are actually a cyclists, and you know something about all the different types of pedals, and why different types solve different cycling problems, then hey, welcome to the world of providing useful content.

Now, Amazon’s categories can be confusing. As you use the program, you’ll find that something that you’d consider a “Home” or “Luxury Beauty” item might be categorized at a lower rate. To be sure of the item’s commission category, check the categories listed at the top of the item page or search by category as we did here to find this Luxury Beauty item:


Thanks Jamie. This was incredibly useful and well-written. One question that I wasn’t clear on: does the affiliate marking approach assume that we first purchase the amazon products so that we can review them and provide the level of detail and review comments that “cannot be found elsewhere”? I am wondering how we can provide quality and in-depth review content that exceeds competitors if we only have web-based info to go on.
You can sign up as an Amazon associate straight away without a site. As long as you have the URL and it belongs to you. They won’t approve your site until you have made your first commission. So what I would do is get the site built and add all the content that you need. Make sure its finished. Then sign up to the Amazon associates, add in your aff codes to your review pages and then you just wait for your first sale. Make sure you read the amazon T&Cs so your site is compliant. If it isn’t then they will not approve your site.
You can also insert all types of Amazon affiliate ad banners and buttons for seasonal and holiday specials, shopping events like back-to-school and many other niche-targeted promotions like crafting, kitchen, tech and plenty more. If you insert a banner for a seasonal event but forget to change it out when the promotion is over, Amazon has you covered. Amazon will update any expired banners automatically with standard promotions, so you aren’t left with a blank spot on your site.
Thanks Jamie. This was incredibly useful and well-written. One question that I wasn’t clear on: does the affiliate marking approach assume that we first purchase the amazon products so that we can review them and provide the level of detail and review comments that “cannot be found elsewhere”? I am wondering how we can provide quality and in-depth review content that exceeds competitors if we only have web-based info to go on. 

Disclaimer: Reviews on FitSmallBusiness.com are the product of independent research by our writers, researchers, and editorial team. User reviews and comments are contributions from independent users not affiliated with FitSmallBusiness.com's editorial team. Banks, issuers, credit card companies, and other product & service providers are not responsible for any content posted on FitSmallBusiness.com. As such, they do not endorse or guarantee any posted comments or reviews.


Great article! Thank you. I run a podcast (The Healing Place Podcast), am finishing up a book manuscript, am a public speaker, and write a bi-weekly blog and monthly newsletter. All related to helping others along their healing journey (from traumatic events). I recently had a podcast guest ask me if I would be willing to add an affiliate link to my websites for her book. Cool. So I started researching the idea. And I came across this article. Now my interest is piqued. I love the idea of adding affiliate ads to my blog and website related to self-help, trauma recovery, etc. Many of my podcast guests have online courses, books, etc. that I would be willing to market for them as an affiliate.
Hayes advises, “when you’re getting started, I would highly recommend sticking to review articles, particularly roundup reviews. These are a great way ease yourself into the content creation process. During the research process, you will get a deep understanding of your audience and the types of problems they’re trying to resolve by visiting your site.”
Hayes says a few plug-ins are closely vetted and offer reliable options for bloggers that need advanced design and linking features. “AAWP is by far the most useful and trusted plug-in we have worked with,” says Hayes. “It adds a lot of versatility to our articles and gives us a range of dynamic design options improving the visual design and bolstering the trustworthiness of our reviews.”
You can sign up as an Amazon associate straight away without a site. As long as you have the URL and it belongs to you. They won’t approve your site until you have made your first commission. So what I would do is get the site built and add all the content that you need. Make sure its finished. Then sign up to the Amazon associates, add in your aff codes to your review pages and then you just wait for your first sale. Make sure you read the amazon T&Cs so your site is compliant. If it isn’t then they will not approve your site.
ClickBank is an affiliate marketing program. ClickBank was founded in 1998 and is privately-held.[1] The company has more than six-million clients worldwide[2] which secured it in becoming the 87th largest Internet retailer in North America.[3] ClickBank is a subsidiary of Keynetics Inc., one of Idaho's largest privately held technology companies.[4] The company has headquarters in Boise, Idaho, and offices in Broomfield, Colorado.
Jon Hayes, the author of the Authority Hacker Amazon affiliate site, says, “When it comes to plug-ins, it’s important to remember that Amazon is extremely harsh with their penalties.” Since its very easy to lose your Amazon Associates affiliate account for incorrect linking, Hayes recommends that “affiliates should thoroughly check to see whether the plug-in is compliant and approved by Amazon or not.”
Krista Fabregas is a staff writer at Fit Small Business and editor of the Ecommerce Section. Krista launched her first ecommerce site in 2001, and soon grew to operate two niche B2B and B2C sites, a 10K square foot warehouse, and staff of nine. Combined, her sites sold more than $1.5M annually for several years. Krista now shares her hands-on experience with others looking to expand into online sales. When not helping small business owners launch and grow efficient ecommerce operations, Krista enjoys writing fiction and nonfiction and riding horses and motorcycles in her hometown of Houston.
For overall site performance tracking, including the number of visits, the most popular pages and how visitors interact with your website, you need to use Google Analytics. There is a learning curve to Google Analytics, but it’s well worth the time investment. Even with a basic understanding of Google Analytics, you can learn a lot about how your visitors interact with your site and which pages attract more readers than others.
Great advice here. The typical idea of writing reviews of bicycle pedals and expecting someone to follow your link in order to buy a pair is dead. Now if you are actually a cyclists, and you know something about all the different types of pedals, and why different types solve different cycling problems, then hey, welcome to the world of providing useful content.
Career blogger Amanda Formaro of AmandasCookin’ says “the Amazon affiliate program is a terrific fit for new bloggers, but it’s important to understand that Amazon only pays you when your readers make purchases.” Formaro emphasizes that Amazon doesn’t pay affiliates for simply listing products or ads on their site. “Amazon affiliates don’t earn money for sending visitors to Amazon or the number of Amazon ad impressions that appear on an affiliate’s website,” says Formaro. “It’s all about the sale.”
This site holds no stock whatsoever. They are just promoting amazon products by ranking high for keyword terms around scooters “best pro scooter” “best scooters for kids”. People are searching for these terms in their thousands every month. They click on his amazon links, purchase products on amazon and then the owner of myproscooter.com will get commission on the whole basket.

Understanding reports and analytics, especially Google Analytics data, can take some time, but there is help available. Fiverr is home to budget-friendly freelancers that can help you set up, track and understand Google Analytics reports so you can start using this data from day one. In fact, Fiverr’s pros can help you build your affiliate WordPress site, populate it with the content your readers want and even help you effectively monetize it with Amazon affiliate links.


ClickBank is an affiliate marketing program. ClickBank was founded in 1998 and is privately-held.[1] The company has more than six-million clients worldwide[2] which secured it in becoming the 87th largest Internet retailer in North America.[3] ClickBank is a subsidiary of Keynetics Inc., one of Idaho's largest privately held technology companies.[4] The company has headquarters in Boise, Idaho, and offices in Broomfield, Colorado.
The Amazon Associates Program is one of the largest affiliate networks in the world that helps content creators, publishers, and website owners monetize their traffic. With millions of products to choose from on Amazon.com, Amazon Associates use easy link-building tools to direct their readers to products and earn from qualifying purchases. Not only do Associates earn commission on products they refer traffic to, they may also earn on other products their readers may purchase on Amazon. As an associate, you'll have full access to a suite of reporting tools to help you learn what resonates best with your readers.
Now, Amazon’s categories can be confusing. As you use the program, you’ll find that something that you’d consider a “Home” or “Luxury Beauty” item might be categorized at a lower rate. To be sure of the item’s commission category, check the categories listed at the top of the item page or search by category as we did here to find this Luxury Beauty item:
Now, Amazon’s categories can be confusing. As you use the program, you’ll find that something that you’d consider a “Home” or “Luxury Beauty” item might be categorized at a lower rate. To be sure of the item’s commission category, check the categories listed at the top of the item page or search by category as we did here to find this Luxury Beauty item:

John Holloway uses Amazon affiliate links exclusively on his Guitar Lessons website. He advises beginning bloggers to “try different things and see what works best. Some best practices to start with are image links, in-text links and even product comparison tables with links,” says Holloway. “Just make sure that the linking is natural and not overdone or you run the risk of driving visitors away.”
I stumble upon a roadblock signing up as an affiliate for Amazon. On step 3 they ask for a number for verification. They are restricted from making calls to the Phils for verification. I thought of using a Google voice number (US based). Will that help? I don’t want to try until I am sure for fear of getting rejected even before I start. Or what do you suggest? I tried a live chat with Amazon and all the CS said was yeah no call verification for a Philippine number. appreciate your help. Thank you.
Now, Amazon’s categories can be confusing. As you use the program, you’ll find that something that you’d consider a “Home” or “Luxury Beauty” item might be categorized at a lower rate. To be sure of the item’s commission category, check the categories listed at the top of the item page or search by category as we did here to find this Luxury Beauty item:
I ordered a "free flashlight" (the brightness is higher than most). Along with the flashlight was a "survival kit"; which I thought would be great in WASHINGTON, DC... Yeah right! I received the entire gimmick and thought that was that, (yeah I'm a sucker, but not a fool). I have been charged $48.00+ every month since October of 2018 - today is 4/23/2019. I never exam bills. I just pay them. PayPal asked me to give an address, as they needed one for a "ClickBank" purchase. I have known PayPal since we were using Mega-Byte technology and knew something was wrong! "ClickBank" has been charging my PayPal account at $48.00+ all this time. The junk they sent in October 2018 is still sitting here in April 2019.

Now, Amazon’s categories can be confusing. As you use the program, you’ll find that something that you’d consider a “Home” or “Luxury Beauty” item might be categorized at a lower rate. To be sure of the item’s commission category, check the categories listed at the top of the item page or search by category as we did here to find this Luxury Beauty item:
Now, Amazon’s categories can be confusing. As you use the program, you’ll find that something that you’d consider a “Home” or “Luxury Beauty” item might be categorized at a lower rate. To be sure of the item’s commission category, check the categories listed at the top of the item page or search by category as we did here to find this Luxury Beauty item:
I found Clickbank via another website and I found an offer for a free tactical flashlight. I should not have ordered the "free" flashlight since there was a shipping charge and a hidden membership charge. The membership is not disclosed and I did not agree to one. I canceled the membership and I unsubscribed to the website that guided me to Clickbank. I will ensure in the future that I do not fall into this trap again.
ClickBank aims to serve as a connection between digital content creators (also known as vendors) and affiliate marketers, who then promote them to consumers. ClickBank's technology aids in payments, tax calculations and a variety of customer service tasks. Through its affiliate network, ClickBank also assists in building visibility and revenue-generating opportunities for time-strapped entrepreneurs.[2]
Hey Jan, glad it made you think. As you've found out it's not easy to rank #1 on Google especially when so few people will link to your product reviews. You need to tackle a specific niche with a focused target audience as a whole and build a community of like minded people around your site in order to make any significant income online sustainably and for the long term.
On 4th Feb 2019 I accepted an offer for a free book. I entered my CC details as requested to process the offer (note that the page showed that there would be no charge for the book (including shipping). The process became onerous with a multitude of irrelevant marketing offers that I refused. On exiting the site, I received an email for some books that I never requested which would be shipped at a cost of US$10.17. The email that was sent does not allow me to reverse/challenge this charge. The charge to my CC was made by CLKBANK*COM. This is a SCAM!
Was on the Instagram site a few weeks ago and ran across an offer for a free backpack. The ad mentioned there would be a shipping fee of $14.95. Not sure why, but I went ahead and placed an order. The shipping charge ended up being taxed, which I thought was a little strange. The backpack arrived within a week and although the shipping notification showed the order as being shipped by Fed-Ex, it was actually delivered by the USPS. Today, this company charged my credit card an additional $53.00, saying the backpack offer was really a 15 day trial and as it wasn't returned in time, they were "finalizing" the sale. Of course, the offer I found on Instagram is now long gone. I called them to complain and was talked to like I was a small child. Please avoid this company!

This is like a free graduate level college course every month available just for the reading. And unlike most college professors, these guys and gals are actually earning in the real world. Michelle made well over a million USD last year from mainly affiliate programs,AFTER she paid her running expenses and US taxes. She sure didn't do it by reviewing bicycle pedals 😉

I found Clickbank via another website and I found an offer for a free tactical flashlight. I should not have ordered the "free" flashlight since there was a shipping charge and a hidden membership charge. The membership is not disclosed and I did not agree to one. I canceled the membership and I unsubscribed to the website that guided me to Clickbank. I will ensure in the future that I do not fall into this trap again.


Rizzo adds, “roundup lists can also rank higher in Google search results because they tend to be more specific. In other words, don’t do a post entitled ‘Best Laptop Computer’ because you will be competing with some of the largest websites out there such as CNET, PC Magazine and so on and will have a difficult time getting traffic,” says Rizzo. “Instead, think about deeper pieces of content like ‘Best Security Camera System for Small Businesses,’ which has fewer searches but far less competition.”


Formaro tells budding bloggers that “it can take a while to build up enough traffic to get people clicking your links, and then they still have to buy once they land on Amazon. But don’t get discouraged,” advises Formaro. “Keep creating and sharing content, and insert Amazon affiliate links for relevant and helpful products into your posts, and the sales will follow.”

Was on the Instagram site a few weeks ago and ran across an offer for a free backpack. The ad mentioned there would be a shipping fee of $14.95. Not sure why, but I went ahead and placed an order. The shipping charge ended up being taxed, which I thought was a little strange. The backpack arrived within a week and although the shipping notification showed the order as being shipped by Fed-Ex, it was actually delivered by the USPS. Today, this company charged my credit card an additional $53.00, saying the backpack offer was really a 15 day trial and as it wasn't returned in time, they were "finalizing" the sale. Of course, the offer I found on Instagram is now long gone. I called them to complain and was talked to like I was a small child. Please avoid this company!


Hayes advises, “when you’re getting started, I would highly recommend sticking to review articles, particularly roundup reviews. These are a great way ease yourself into the content creation process. During the research process, you will get a deep understanding of your audience and the types of problems they’re trying to resolve by visiting your site.”
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