In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[18] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[13]

Is this because WP is now blocking outside adds on free accounts? WP recent advised users that ads may appear on free accounts. I saw that WP has a plugin just for Amazon posts, but any plugin requires a business account. In looking at the pay-to-play WP account details, it looks like one has to buy the second level account in order to “monetize your website”.
Yes, it costs money, but starting any business takes an investment. The key is to invest wisely, be frugal, and make sure you’re investing in the right things. With Wealthy Affiliate Premium you are literally getting absolutely everything you’ll need to start a successful business online. From the training to the web building tools to the website hosting, backup, security, and support – it’s all there in one place at a very reasonable price.
Free Training Across The Web – Believe it or not, most of the training I’ve received over the years are sources I’ve found for free all over the web. I’ve shared a LOT of that info with you on this very website through my nearly 500 blog posts (to date). However, you should also check out sources such as YouTube. It’s true, places such as YouTube are filled with scammers and spammers, but mixed within those are some gems. For example, you can look up keynote speeches on affiliate marketing from various conferences, such as Affiliate Summit speakers. Using free content from around the web is hard to sort out and make sense of, so it’s best to use a service like Wealthy Affiliate because you are able to learn the things you need to learn, in the order you need to learn them, without all the distractions. However, as you progress, you may need to learn something specific, at which point you can go to free sources across the web to learn as you need it.
Yep. I’m back again lol. Started making SOME money on my website – about $150 per month. I started in May, I write 3-5 posts PER day, sometimes more if I feel up to it, but I know with the 3-5 posts I am doing a lot more than a lot of others lol. However, in the beginning I DID link images to the amazon product. Then I just decided it was too much work (because it is when you do it manually), but I think I might make that change, starting this month and try it for another 4 months and see if it increases my income. 

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.
Now most affiliate programs have strict terms and conditions on how the lead is to be generated. There are also certain methods that are outright banned, such as installing adware or spyware that redirect all search queries for a product to an affiliate's page. Some affiliate marketing programs go as far as to lay out how a product or service is to be discussed in the content before an affiliate link can be validated.
28. Subscription – If you think of something valuable (newsletter, online magazine, etc.) that you can consistently offer on a certain basis (weekly, monthly, etc.), you may want to offer a subscription service. This could be a fee charged each time your product is sent out or on a monthly basis. Either way, this has to be something that your customers can only get by subscribing to your website.
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