The Amazon affiliate program has a 24-hour cookie, which means that once users click on an affiliate link to Amazon, anything they buy in the next 24 hours is commissionable to the affiliate whose link they last clicked. So if you click on Gawker’s affiliate link to Amazon to look at cable ties and end up buying another, unrelated product, Gawker Media still receives a commission for that sale.
When I visited San Juan several years ago, I took a bus tour of the city. The driver was very diligent about pointing out the casinos, extolling their virtues, and asking people to tell them he sent them to get a free drink. That tour guide was an "Affiliate Marketer" - he connected people looking for a good time with an establishment that offered it, and got paid to do so.

Same here, this post kind of fell from the sky at such a great time. Been building a great community of readers over the years but reached a point where I’m losing money maintaining the site and newsletter. As you said, the ads don’t bring much -ironically I use Adblocks too but affiliate marketing always seemed like a weird and opaque subject. I’ve read many of Chris Guillebeau’s books in the last few months (this is how I discovered your site actually!) and I didn’t realize he had affiliate links for instance. Your post opened up a new window of possibility for me. Still need to process everything and do the work behind but a big thank you to you Sean!


That is how high ticket programs work, they close the deals through fine as it is very difficult to sell high ticket products of $5K plus without some sort of phone consultation. This is very often how they will capture your financial details by asking how much money you have and what sort of access you have to “debt”. These are sure signs up of a program you never want to get involved in. If they are phone you offering high ticket programs or if they are asking you how much money you have in terms of access to debt, RUN!
Affiliate marketing is not some form of passive income where you set it up and sit back to reap the benefits. You need to learn and to work on it so it can work for you. However, if you do it right, it can generate money for you for a very long time because your links are always there in your content and, in terms of pay-per-click, you will be earning from them for a very long time.
So what’s my point? Affiliate marketing is not dead. Not in the least. It’s simply evolved. It’s fluid and ever changing  so both affiliates and merchants need to be prepared to adjust to those changes and be ready to adapt.  You as the affiliate manager need to be ready to support affiliates in their quest for earning opportunities and changes to strategy. That’s why it’s important for you to stay on top of important topics in the space.

I’ve watched millions of dollars being made through affiliate marketing programs over the last few years and have seen constant growth year over year. I’ve seen the level of awareness and interest in the affiliate space boom with no signs of it slowing anytime soon. There are new records of affiliate and merchants joining the space and new tools, resources, networks and solutions popping up to accommodate their needs.
Well written article – i think affiliate marketing on both sides of the Atlantic has changed. One of the things that we have to note is that affiliation seems to be becoming a redundant term. The deals i strike are paid er performance, but they are more convoluted than previous years. you can no longer cater for affiliates the way you used to, and in a sense the majority of top affiliates have changed into – well traffic drivers using mixed methods, payments etc…

My first suggestion? Don’t start a coupon site. Affiliate managers are sick to death of reviewing affiliate applications where 80% of the new applications are pop-up coupon sites that are trying to get into the market. If you’re coming in now, you’re way too late. Merchants do not need 100+ coupon sites. They only need a handful of selected ones to get the job done.


Great post Kyle! I appreciate the honesty and straight forwardness. Sometimes I feel as if honest and straight forward people are a dying breed. There are still a few of us out there and we will need to keep hustling and pushing forward to reach as many people we can so that we can reproduce more of us. I’m sure a lot of people want to be honest and have an honest business but they just get turned because of the majority. True leaders will be alive forever.
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. 
I've been in internet marketing for over 10 years, and I've purchased dozens of illegitimate products for the sole purpose of evaluating them and exposing the truth about these products to anyone who's thinking about purchasing it. I never let money influence my rating of a product and your success/safety is my absolute highest priority. Don't want to buy a product? Register for one of my 100% free internet marketing training courses>>
It changed. Its not dead, it is just different. It evolved. That is why any entrepreneur, especially internet entrepreneur, has to be constantly learning and constantly trying to improve themselves and their skills. 2004? You have to see how much the internet has changed since 2004 and then ask yourself. Are you doing the same things now as you did in 2004? If yes, that is why it is not working
I would keep the experience very simple for now. Make it clean, easy to navigate, but don’t worry about backgrounds or graphical headers too much. You can worry about all of that later. For now, focus on your content until you’re getting a decent amount of traffic (at least 50-100 visitors per day, maybe more) and at that point I think it would be okay to start tweaking the design a little bit and working on the “branding” aspects a bit more.
I totally agree, Don (and sorry it took me so long to see this post! EEK!). Authentic content and value do come out but it takes a little bit of training and thought from the merchant side to really understand what impact each affiliate is bringing to the table. As you said, once you’ve been able to identify which affiliates are brining you good value, you’re able to make better decisions on who to approve into your program and not. Thanks for the comment!

Your life situation might dictate that $200/day is the pinnacle of financial motivation. You can drive yourself to attain this goal, but any further and the motivation begins to slip. That’s a point of diminishing returns. Call it your comfort zone. Any work to advance beyond this point comes with the additional burden of pushing you out of that comfort zone. And so procrastination sets in, along with the dual crippling fears of failure and success.

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.
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