The report sounds awesome. I’ve been thinking about doing all my affiliate marketing via Amazon, because they offer amazing products and because they offer commissions on everything that “my” customers are buying. On the other hand, I’ve been thinking about focusing on a few products that I’m currently using. What I’m trying to say is that affiliate marketing is hard, and that finding the right products is actually harder than promoting them.
Commission Junction — This site serves as a clearinghouse for thousands of companies and small businesses looking to get into the affiliate business. It offers myriad affiliate programs, but you must apply separately to each one. Payout rates vary wildly, up to 50 percent, and some commissions are based on leads or clicks vs. sales. Frustratingly, Commission Junction deducts $10 from your accrued earnings for every month in which you don’t actively earn commissions; if you let your account lapse, your income could get wiped out.
I make the bulk of my money from blogging. In addition to the advertising revenue streams mentioned above, I also receive flat rate payments for blogging from various blogs throughout the web. I’m paid to write as a whistleblower, financial analyst, reviewer, commentator, and more. Writing for other sites builds traffic to my personal blog. The traffic for this blog gives me clout to present to advertisers.
The implementation of affiliate marketing on the internet relies heavily on various techniques built into the design of many web-pages and websites, and the use of calls to external domains to track user actions (click tracking, Ad Sense) and to serve up content (advertising) to the user. Most of this activity adds time[citation needed] and is generally a nuisance to the casual web-surfer and is seen as visual clutter.[citation needed] Various countermeasures have evolved over time to prevent or eliminate the appearance of advertising when a web-page is rendered. Third party programs (Ad-Aware, Adblock Plus, Spybot, pop-up blockers, etc.) and particularly, the use of a comprehensive HOSTS file can effectively eliminate the visual clutter and the extra time and bandwidth needed to render many web pages. The use of specific entries in the HOSTS file to block these well-known and persistent marketing and click-tracking domains can also aid in reducing a system's exposure to malware by preventing the content of infected advertising or tracking servers to reach a user's web-browser.[citation needed]
Although it differs from spyware, adware often uses the same methods and technologies. Merchants initially were uninformed about adware, what impact it had, and how it could damage their brands. Affiliate marketers became aware of the issue much more quickly, especially because they noticed that adware often overwrites tracking cookies, thus resulting in a decline of commissions. Affiliates not employing adware felt that it was stealing commission from them. Adware often has no valuable purpose and rarely provides any useful content to the user, who is typically unaware that such software is installed on his/her computer.
I support bootlegging – I don’t see it as being immoral or unethical in any way. I used to bootleg quite a bit in my youth, and I still do on occasion today (although not yet today in particular, I more meant “in the present”). If you want to hustle for your money, do what you must, baby. Download some software, music, movies, or other assorted digital goodness here and start slangin. It’s not an easy life, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.