Be sure to check what kind of customer support you can expect from your affiliate program once you have signed up. Do your research online and if possible, speak to other sellers using the program to get their thoughts. Can you speak to someone via phone or Skype or do you have to wait 72 hours for email responses? Be clear on this because trust me, you will need support at one point or another. 
I once persuaded my mum to buy all my Christmas presents using my affiliate links on Amazon, and then found out that Amazon won’t pay out to anyone with the same surname as you (as they assume them to be family; luckily I have an unusual surname!) or anyone who lives at the same address. However one of my friends has ordered through one of my affiliate links and the commission has tracked for that. It’s my ONLY commission, mind. And my account hasn’t been shut down yet (touch wood, fingers crossed etc etc…)
Nowadays, the majority of large businesses offer affiliate programs. So find ones that are in your niche. If you are popular on Instagram for fashion, then you should opt for fashion affiliate programs. If your Instagram audience follows you because you are well known in the fitness industry, then you need to find health and fitness affiliate programs. Your following won’t purchase items that aren’t relevant to their interests. So choose affiliate programs that sell products your audience can relate to and that will add value to their lives.
Awesome list! and great tips. Except one thing… There are a few products that Amazon won’t pay you commissions on, mostly electronics. there’s a list they have somewhere outlining them. They aren’t very many on the list but they are some of the hottest products in the market now. I think Amazon’s affiliate program gets worse every year. But luckily there are other options out there.
As you can see in the image below, this process is really just a matter of listing the pages you want your affiliates to promote, naming them and creating a (preferably) short code to identify the page. (Your affiliate software will grab that short code and merge it into the URL it creates for your affiliates - along with each affiliate's unique code - so the software can track who is sending what traffic, where.)
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