2 Minute Approval Tips: Affiliate Link Rules

Episode 12 of the “2 Minute Approval Tips” video series.

This series is designed to help you get your articles approved on the first submission. We’ve looked at past submission records to find the most common reasons why articles aren’t approved on the initial try. Since we know your time is precious, we’ve compressed this information into individual 2-minute videos.

In this episode, I cover the basics of the EzineArticles affiliate link rules. I’ll offer some basic tips for affiliate marketers on how to correctly place and format links according to the EzineArticles Editorial Guidelines. So, without further ado, here’s the video:

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A Quick Recap of the 12th “2 Minute Approval Tip”

  • Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing is an Internet-based marketing practice where businesses pay affiliates for each visitor or customer brought in by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. The affiliate acts as brand spokesman who spreads the word about the product. Affiliate programs use affiliate links to track the number of visitors brought in by each affiliate.
     
  • Section 3 of the Editorial Guidelines – EzineArticles accepts affiliate links in the Resource Box of articles as long as they follow Section 3 of the Editorial Guidelines. Read and become familiar with these guidelines if you plan on taking part in affiliate marketing.
     
  • Link Ownership – Affiliate links are allowed if the link is a domain name you own which forwards/redirects to the affiliate link from the top-level of the domain name. So, if the link redirects from a top-level domain that you own, like http://your-company-name.com/, and it goes to your affiliate link page, that’s okay. However, if the link redirects from a domain that you do NOT own, the link and the article won’t be accepted by EzineArticles.
     
  • Subdomains and Subdirectories – We don’t accept affiliate links that redirect from a subdirectory on a site that you own, like http://your-company-name.com/affiliate-page/, or a subdomain, like http://affiliate-page.your-company-name.com
     
  • Standards and Expectations – Affiliate marketers are held to the same standards and expectations set up in the Editorial Guidelines as for all Expert Authors. They are expected to provide quality, original content in every article they submit.

Keep these tips in mind if you’re an affiliate marketer now or if you plan to become one in the future.

To check out the entire “2 Minute Approval Tips” series, click here. Then, put all the “2 Minute Approval Tips” to good use by writing your next set of high-quality, original articles for more traffic back to your website or blog.

Still have questions about the affiliate marketing concept? You’re not alone. Share your comments or questions with the rest of the EzineArticles community in the Comments section below.

50 Comments »


1
Stephen writes:

Great tips mark and easy rules to follow.

Comment provided April 12, 2011 at 9:02 AM

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2
Perry Mink writes:

Thanks for the tips Marc. Every tip on getting our articles excepted the first time around is of great help.

Thanks again

Comment provided April 12, 2011 at 9:50 AM

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3
Josph D Shiller writes:

Thanks for the clarification, especially on the sub-directory/sub-domain thing. I assume we can use sub-directories/sub-domains as long as they don’t redirect, is that right?

Comment provided April 12, 2011 at 10:18 AM

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Harib writes:

Hi

I believe that it is ok to use subdomains, but not to redirect to the affiliates.

This is what is allowed almost everywhere else:
You use your subdomains to provide a review or articles related to that topic or nich and you reffer readers to any of the affiliate webpages usiing a affiliate link, and if your readers click the link and be forwarded to an affiliate website you will make money when they buy from your affiliate website as long as they do not clear the history and cache or buffer ot their web browsers.

This is my opinion, please reffer to the Ezine editorial guide at http://ezinearticles.com/editorial-guidelines.html

Thanks
Harib

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Joseph,

You can include sub-directories and sub-domains in your resource box as long as they don’t direct a person to a direct affiliate link nor redirect to an affiliate link.

Also, we have automated scanners as part of our aggressive link management behind-the-scenes software and dedicated systems that continually checks for link quality and whether a member has bait and switched after an article is published. Many members have lost their accounts because of deceptive post-publication URL rewriting, so I’m only sharing this as a gentle heads up.

What we’re really after: Wanting to make sure our users are delivered to a positive experience when they leave EzineArticles and come onto your website.

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4
Anna writes:

So I still dont understand. I am affiliate. Polish merchant – http://www.zlotemysli.pl pays me some money for advertising their ebooks, and they give me my affiliate link http://www.zlotemysli.pl/amiel,1/. This link goes to main page of zlotemysli.pl, but it is not my own domain, it belongs to merchant, so can I promote this merchant using my affiliate link in resource box or not? Because, if I own a website and domain, i dont need EzineArticles to write articles on my own website!

Comment provided April 12, 2011 at 10:54 AM

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Anna,

You cannot include ANY affiliate link in any article submitted to EzineArticles.com.

After you own a website and a domain, EzineArticles can help you to get high-value pre-qualified visitors/traffic back to your website.

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Chris, One of the things I think Anna may be alluding to is that some of us may be hired or just helping others to write and/or publish articles articles. So the domain may not be technically owned by the author of the article, but owned by a friend or business associate. Would that still be acceptable.?

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Anna writes:

Thx Joseph,
or for ex. for my chef who gave as affiliates links to check how we work and promote his company products :-) But i think i know the answer – i will show it to my chef:-) Joking.

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5
liza shaw writes:

Thank you for these tips Marc video’s like this sure make learning the rules so much easier, and saves us a lot of headaches from having articles rejected

Comment provided April 12, 2011 at 11:31 AM

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6
Johnny Roof writes:

Thanks for another enlightening video, golden information as usual.

Comment provided April 12, 2011 at 11:58 AM

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7
Manuel writes:

Thanks for the tips, this will help us a lot.

Comment provided April 12, 2011 at 12:46 PM

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8
Gerald writes:

What about MLM or Network Marketing urls?

Comment provided April 12, 2011 at 2:29 PM

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Gerald – Could you clarify your question please? What did you want to know about MLM or Network Marketing URLs?

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9

Hi Marc,

Link Ownership is so important and hearing you today made me wonder why so many people still do not own a domain or company name. It just seems like common sense.

Thanks for always helping us out.

Comment provided April 12, 2011 at 2:52 PM

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Exactly… Especially when it’s less than $15 USD to buy a domain name! :)

Most web hosting companies have starter packages in the $30-$100/yr.

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10
Gerald writes:

For eample, If you join an MLM or Network Marketing business opportunity, they give you your own replicated website(www.xyzcompany.com/myname). Are those allowed?

Comment provided April 12, 2011 at 4:29 PM

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Gerald,

No, you must own the domain and website to redirect to an affiliate link. See Chris’ comment above where he states: ‘You cannot include ANY affiliate link in any article submitted to EzineArticles.com.’

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11
Karen writes:

What about a rewritten article, meaning each and every sentence is rewritten, paragraphs rearrange, but with the content more or less the same? Thanks.

Comment provided April 13, 2011 at 12:26 AM

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Karen,

I’m not sure how your question relates to affiliate linking. Can you rephrase?

Also, we don’t accept derivative content. A rewritten article is derivative.

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Karen writes:

An article submitted to EzineArticles, that is linked to exactly the same article on my site. Of course,only the article from my site will have affliate links. Thanks.

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12
John Box writes:

Got it. I am willing to do whatever it takes to get approved faster. It is important to comply.

Comment provided April 13, 2011 at 1:59 AM

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13

Affiliates, besides you want to sell your affiliate products, don’t you know the additional value of the links in your resource box?

In the past, I don’t know the effective way to be a successful affiliate. I bought domain names and redirect them to several affiliate links. Huge mistake.

As far as I understand, the link at our resource box tells Google that the site stated in that link is a popular site. And it helps increasing PageRank at Google.

Now, I choose to build my own site, write each page valuable content about the products. Then I put the links to my site on the resource box.

By this way, I named article writing ‘The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs’ because my site will get more and more inbound links from my increasing articles submitted at EzineArticles.com.

Marc, please kindly correct me if I am wrong about the value of inbound link from EzineArticles.

Comment provided April 13, 2011 at 8:41 AM

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Your focus should always be on a positive user-experience by delivering your expertise with your reader in mind. When this is done, we help you to get high-value pre-qualified visitors/traffic back to your website.

Without a positive user-experience, the traffic won’t exist. Increasing your article portfolio increases your exposure which is needed when you are competing with other experts in your niche. This doesn’t mean that you should purchase domains for the sake of affiliate marketing and write in niches that you have no knowledge/experience in. This creates confusion with your readers and is where you lose credibility points. You’ll be perceived as a ‘Jack of all Trades, but a Master of None.’

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“…This doesn’t mean that you should purchase domains for the sake of affiliate marketing and write in niches that you have no knowledge/experience in…”

Penny, you have addresses a significant point that I absolutely agree with you.

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14
Dennis writes:

the above is my domain name for an affiliate my articles were refused because there was not enough info on my site they said. Show it is not just owning the domain name????

Comment provided April 13, 2011 at 4:59 PM

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15
Gerald writes:

I can see why your article was refused. There is no content on your site.

Comment provided April 13, 2011 at 5:51 PM

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Dennis writes:

yes that is what they said. however it is a lead page which most affiliate articles would have. In this case we cannot ad more info. Also I noticed my page has been down I have corrected this may be why there was no info. Can you check again to see if you get a site with info. Thank you for your help.

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16
Henry Bolden writes:

Wow,I really appreciate the comments here in regards to having your article approved. I had a few questions regarding affiliate links in your article,they have now been answered.

Comment provided April 16, 2011 at 8:54 AM

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17

You didn’t mention if cloaked links were accepted like tinyurl, bitly, google url shorterner, etc were accepted.

Comment provided April 17, 2011 at 10:35 AM

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They are allowed providing the guidelines for affiliate link inclusion are followed.

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18
James Bowen writes:

This whole affiliate link restriction is pure hypocrisy on the part of EzineArticles.

My articles are always surrounded by at least 12 to 15 adsense ads that are all in competition with my resource box links, yet I can’t have an affiliate link.

These adsense ads are affiliate links for EzineArticles in essence, in that they take the reader directly to a sales page that is off site, not to a review website, like we are told to do.

Why don’t you play by your own rules and limit yourselves to 2 adsense links? Or better yet, no adsense links? Create review sites to send people to like you insist we do.

Comment provided April 19, 2011 at 9:23 PM

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Interesting point James. A couple things come to my mind. 1- If I am not mistaken I believe the Google adwords guidelines are pretty tough. Meaning that you can’t submit Google adwords ad links that go direct to affiliate pages. They have other link restrictions too that advertisers must abide by, even tougher than EzineArticles, if I am not mistaken, otherwise you get the Google slap. 2- As the owner, EzineArticles has the privilege of doing what they want. They don’t have to abide by the same rules we do. 3- If a quality user experience is the main goal, I think EzineArticles should be more concerned with the quality of the page the user is landing on, rather than how they get there. The user only sees the end result (landing page). The redirecting happens at lightening speed and is practically invisible to the user. Furthermore, if the author uses anchor text, the user won’t see the link at all, no matter what kind of link it is.

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James Bowen writes:

No, the adsense ads go directly to the advertiser’s website. Click on one and you will see. Adsense ads are entirely controlled by Google. A website owner has a certain amount of input as to what ads he doesn’t want to see, but not much. I am one.

A user can see an affiliate link anytime he wishes by hovering over the link, unless it is cloaked or leads to a re-direct, which we are also not allowed to do.

Regardless of being the owners, I still feel they are being hypocritical by surrounding our articles with adsense ads and not allowing affiliate links within the articles.

All this hoo-haa about affiliate links is related to Panda. Not allowing affiliate links is a way for EzineArticles to look good to Google, who are also being hypocritical by smothering websites with adsense ads while penalizing article directories that do allow affiliate links.

They are posturing that they are trying to improve the end user’s experience by requiring higher quality content, but somehow have no qualms about commercializing that same experience with adsense.

The bottom line for me is that there is no substantive difference between adsense and affiliate links, just that the big boys are always going to try to maintain whatever edge they have and they will always hide behind rhetoric to do it.

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19
John Kotuby writes:

I own a number of domains with excellent information, pictures and videos. I also have certain pages that include affiliate product information and links. Can I place a link in the Resource Box of an article that directs to a specific page on my domain that has more information regarding the article? Must my Resouce links point to ONLY the top level domain home page? It makes more sense that the reader be directed to specific a page related to the article.

Comment provided April 22, 2011 at 9:03 AM

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Gerald writes:

John,

That shouldn’t be a problem. It’s okay to direct to a specific page on your domain. I had my articles approved doing that.

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20

I must say i loved this post. You describe this topic adequately.

Comment provided June 29, 2011 at 8:56 PM

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21
Juni writes:

So I’m guessing capture pages are out of the question? I just started using EzineArticles so from what I’m seeing, redirecting someone back to my own domain is alright, but I can’t direct them to my direct affiliate link?

Comment provided August 14, 2012 at 12:50 AM

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22
John Arnold writes:

In my resource box an error stated that the actual link had to be identical to the link description.

The problem is that looks ugly:

track.mypcbackup.com/?hash=4a44a230.com

…and shouts out loud its an affiliate link. What can i do?

Cheers,
John

Comment provided September 24, 2012 at 5:14 PM

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Hi John,

You are able to use words in anchor text instead of using the full URL. For tips on how to do this please visit a recent post we did on the topic here: http://blog.EzineArticles.com/2012/07/html-code-basics-for-expert-authors.html

In regards to affiliate links, please keep in mind we are only able to accept those that redirect from a Top-Level Domain that you own. For more information on this please see our Editorial Guidelines here: http://ezinearticles.com/editorial-guidelines/guideline/4a

~Vanessa

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23
Scentsy writes:

These rules seem ridiculous. Why the heck would EzineArticles have guidelines that only allow links to TLDs if a site has affiliate links on it, rather than to specific pages on a site that can be MORE relevant to the article? That would create a BETTER reader experience, so they’re not sent to a TLD and have to look through menus, sidebars and the homepage content to find the single product that the article was talking about. It’s like dropping someone in a grocery store when they’re looking for a particular item, rather than being extra-helpful and guiding them right to the item.
Nick

Comment provided November 2, 2012 at 12:56 PM

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Hi Nick,

As Chris mentions in the thread, you can include sub-directories and sub-domains in your resource box as long as they don’t direct a person to a direct affiliate link nor redirect to an affiliate link. If you plan on using affiliate links, please ensure they redirect from a top level domain that you own, and include these in your Resource Box.

~Vanessa

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24
Kerry Wickens writes:

Hi Vanessa, I’m new to affiliate marketing and EzineArticles and have a clickbank product I want to promote. I wrote an article which I haven’t published yet because while I understand the afifliate Link rules I’m not sure what I should do to follow them correctly.
What happens if you do not have a domain to redirect interested readers. I would hate to have worked on this article just to have it rejected.

Comment provided December 8, 2012 at 2:07 PM

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Hi Kerry,

We recommend purchasing the domain in order to redirect your readers to the affiliate link you wish to promote. As we are only able to accept affiliate links that redirect from a Top Level Domain that you own. As Chris Knight said in this thread, we want to ensure users are delivered to a positive experience when they leave EzineArticles and are directed to your website.

~Vanessa

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25

Thanks for the tips. I was just getting ready to publish my article and you saved me time and my article being refused.

Comment provided June 9, 2013 at 12:49 PM

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26
Jerry Boutot writes:

At the risk of being Politically Incorrect, the rule is retarded, plain and simple. I’ve got a business plan that includes affiliate marketing for hundreds of products, and it involves writing lots and lots of really excellent, informative content in the form of reviews, product comparisons, case studies, etc. To exclude affiliate links to those products from the body of the articles that write about them is straight out of the “how not to succeed on the internet” manual.

But, hey, by all means, go for it. Just keep trying to make the internet into your own small minded vision of the way “things ought to be” and some other company is going to come up behind you and wipe you out of existence by allowing and embracing affiliate article marketing, charge half of what you charge and stay out of the business of trying to control content. They’ll cater to the writers that actually want to make a living selling other peoples products.

Please don’t pontificate about Google and being “slapped” either. There is no faster way to get on Google’s bad side than being deceptive, and what you are forcing writers to do is 100% deceptive. A URL that only redirects is suspect and has no value to Google. It has ZERO value in terms of rankings because there is no content connected to the URL. Not only that, but if I was reading and article about Article Marketing, for example, and there was a link that looked like this:

http://www.abc-articles.com

and clicked it and ended up on EzineArticles, I would be HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS of the entire experience and would most likely bounce. The alternative, then, if I understand your reasoning, is to create a dummy page on my own site that has links people can click to get to the affiliate site. As an web user with very little time to waste, I’d be suspect of that too. That’s not what you are advocating? Then I guess what you are advocating would be to write yet another piece of nearly duplicate work on a web page that does contain Affiliate links. As a user, that would really annoy me and I probably would bounce.

It would be really funny if it weren’t so disturbing, this really baffling policy. Why? Because I became a member of EzineArticles after I read a really excellent, informative, educational and important article about the burgeoning Article Marketing business, and that very article contained INLINE AFFILIATE LINKS to EzineArticles.com right in the middle of the article, three times just like the guru’s tell you to do, and it was one of your own affiliates that sent me to your site! How do you think a large number of your members find you?

Yes, that is correct: one of your own affiliates wrote a great article about your service and sent me right to you with a link going directly to EzineArticles.com, not some deceptive url switcheroo. It was honest, talked about how to use your site and had a nice video example of how easy it is to use your site.

Your policy is making your authors appear dishonest (shady link re-direction). It’s also precluding your own affiliates from writing articles about your service and posting them on the service itself. How dumb is that?

Do yourselves a favor and get rid of this nonsensical rule. It’s the Internet stupid. Article Marketing is going to be a huge part of a lot of peoples income. Get with the times.

I’d love to write all day about how stupid this really is, but I’ve got work to do. I have to go find another company to post my articles and blogs on that isn’t living in the stone age.

Comment provided July 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

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Hi Jerry,

To answer your question “The alternative, then, if I understand your reasoning, is to create a dummy page on my own site that has links people can click to get to the affiliate site. As an web user with very little time to waste, I’d be suspect of that too. That’s not what you are advocating?”

We are not recommending you create a dummy page in order to deceive your readers. What we do recommend is that you purchase the Top-Level domain. Affiliate links by their nature are suspicious. By purchasing the Top Level domain you are showing your readers you are trustworthy, credible, and shows your readers you stand behind your product for the long-term because you went the extra step to purchase the domain for it. The reason we created this guideline is due to an influx of PLR and non-exclusive rights content that was submitted by affiliate marketers who were only out for a fast buck instead of being invested in the products/services they were promoting.

If you are not able to or unwilling to purchase your own domain in order to promote your affiliate products, then we may not be a fit or the right platform you are seeking. If you’d like further information or tips on affiliate marketing that we recommend our authors pursue, please visit: http://blog.EzineArticles.com/2012/03/the-best-article-writing-strategies-for-affiliate-marketers.html

~Vanessa

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27
Maybelle writes:

Thanks in support of sharing such a good thought, piece of writing is pleasant, thats why i have read it completely

Comment provided October 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

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28

Great delivery. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the good effort.

Comment provided September 29, 2017 at 11:23 PM

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29

Thank you for the great checklist for getting approval, I hope now I will be able to make it.

Comment provided October 18, 2017 at 6:02 AM

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