Before I answer your question, I would like to advice you on the fact that if you are going to monetize your web site, you are required by law to have an FTC Disclosure posted on your website, so be sure you do that BEFORE you sign up for any affiliate programs.
It's not just Minnesota; California and Maine too, and 2 other states I forget which ones now. 5 states so far, and 11 more expected to follow between now and Jan 2014. Amazon has closed all accounts for these states due to the new "Nexus Law" that has been passed by these states.
So far it is just aStores and Affiliate links, but there's talk of closing the option for authors in these states to upload books to Kindle (because they are internet based with no physical items - which means they too are effected by this law - which in theory means iTunes may be forced to stop selling music in these states as well - this is a bigger issue than just Amazon or affiliates - it effects all sales of all non-physical/downloadable items as well). Amazon said their biggest concern here was Stephen King lives in Maine and his ebooks are among their top sellers - they stand to lose millions if they have to close Maine author's kindle accounts as well.
Overstock.com closed accounts for the same states.
This week of the 1,000+ affiliate programs I was signed up with through LinkShare, all but 99 of them has canceled all Maine, Minnesota, California, etc accounts.
On Commission Junction where I had 3,255 affiliate programs, 600 of them were canceled this morning, and more are expected to shut down Maine accounts this week.
Over on Share-A-Sale I'm down to fewer than 30 programs still active, out of more than 900
No word yet on if Google will be closing AdSense accounts for our 5 states too or not....Google is waiting to see.
All in all more than 4/5th of my affiliate programs were canceled in the past 3 days - accounts I have had since 2004 - because the Nexus Tax Law just went into effect in our 5 states on Oct 6, 2013. Affiliate links on our sites are no longer generating incomes, thanks the the Nexus Tax Law. Amazon has asked us to keep out links on our sites, because they are actively trying to work with the states and get our accounts active again.
It's not just Amazon. This is way bigger than just Amazon. If they keep shutting down at this rate, there will be no online income options (other than direct sales) for our states by the end of the year.
That said there are still lot's of ways to make money online, affiliate programs are only one method and there are still several thousand of them which are accepting applications from residents of Maine and the other Nexus Tax Law states.
Below are the affiliate programs I use, on this website you are currently reading:
Amazon.com (no longer active in Maine and 4 other states)
Commission Junction (my best money maker)
eBay Enterprise (formerly known as PepperJam)
There are many other programs out there besides these, these are just the ones I have personally signed up with and am actively using here on my eelkat.com website.
Some of these are only generating pennies a week and averaging at fewer than $200 a year, but that is largely because I have a very niched topic for my website and I am therefore not heavily promoting these affiliates. I simply keep them on here because they do bring in some income and every penny counts.
My big money makers affiliate-wise are in order of income size coming in: Commision Junction, Share-A-Sale, LinkShare, and AllPosters.com & Art.com, so if you were to go with only 4 affiliate programs, these are the 4 I'd recommend as being the best at making money online for you.
Here is an example of using Art.com & AllPosters.com to illustrate an article. --->
And below is an example of using Art.com & AllPosters.com to place a "dynamic store page" iframe on your website:
Amazon.com was #5 until the program was shut down for us Maine residents.
I will show you what each of these programs looks like on your page and you can decide which are best for your site.
Below is an example of what a PopShops affiliate link looks like:
Below are books I use as reference when self-publishing my own books, articles, and short-stories. A quick heads up, these are not linking to pages where I review each book, here on my website! I have a list of those review pages elsewhere. Each of the books shown below are linked directly to the site/book seller which carries it for sale, so clicking on any of the books below will take you away from my website.
I use three Pay Per Click programs: Google, Infolinks, and Chitika.
I have no control over which companies, services, products, links, or banners are displayed by Google, Infolinks, or Chitika.
InfoLinks are those little green double underlined text links you see at a rate of 7 per page on every page on this website. I can't really show you an example of this except to tell you to find one of those links and hover you mouse over it to see the little pop-up that shows up. I have no idea when or where these links will appear as they show up at random in completely different places every time you refresh the page.
I can however show you what a Google ad looks like. Here is one now. --->
Sometimes it displays text links and other times it displays banners. It never displays Flash ads because I disabled that feature from my Google dashboard, likewise "interactive ads" are never displayed because I disabled those as well. I dislike moving, dancing, singing, blinking, flashing, music playing ads and am glad Google allows us to block those ads from being displayed otherwise I would not add Google ads to my site.
If you like Flash ads and want them on your site, simply do nothing and Google will display those as well.
Google, Infolinks, and Chitika each have their own "secret algorithm" which sends spiders to scan my page, figure out what it thinks my keyword topic of the page may be, based on the text I write, and than displayed text link and/or banner ads that the spider thinks most closely matches the topic of the site. Sometimes these results are VERY odd and I can not figure out how it determined it's chose.
For example, a frequent ad the Google box displays on my site, is for "SteamPunk Corsets", a couple of times I have seen ads displayed for "human rodent traps", many times there are ads for "men only, adult themed video games" (whatever those are) and often ads for women's bras show up. Why does Google choose these ads?
I have no clue, because steampunk, corsets, rodents, traps, video games, and bras are not topics I ever talk about on my website, nor are they things I would ever think to talk about or even think to search for, they being things I'd never use, but for some reason Google has concluded that they are "on topic" to my website and so display these ads frequently.
Here is what Chitika looks like. And you will notice that the Chitika ad looks nearly identical to the Google one, except it only ever displays text links and never banners. --->
Like Google, Chitika has some strange ideas about what adds it thinks are "on topic" to my website.
The biggest difference I see between Chitika and Google is that Google allows you to block ads should you find they are displaying ads you find offensive or inappropriate, and if Chitika has this feature, I've not yet found it in my dashboard.
This is especially good in the case of Google, because if you do not block them, Google will also display gambling, beer, cigarette, pornography (including actual video footage of sex taking place), drug, and other very adult (and bordering on being illegal) ads. The only way to prevent X and M rated ads from displaying on your site via Google is to go to your dashboard and block them manually. This is an important fact to consider before adding Google AdSence to your site, because these sorts of ads WILL show up on ANY website, even children's sites, if you do not tell Google specifically not to display them.
Chitika began making money within 12 hours of adding it to my site. Google began making money before the end of the first week after adding it.
My top money maker, however is not an affiliate program, but rather Zazzle.com where I sell my art on t-shirts, mugs, cards, keychains, etc. This brings in $200 to $600 a month. Below are examples of my Zazzle products:
No, you have NOT reached the end of this article! What you have reached is the end of what it currently online. The rest is coming, hopefully it'll be on here in a day or three so keep checking back. I will remove this message at the same time I put the rest of it online.
As my long time readers will already
know a server crash took down most of the old free-hosted site on June
4, 2013 (which was online since 1997 and had reached 6,000+ pages).
Thankfully everything was saved on a separate hard-drive and the site is
being rebuilt with a new host and for the first time on it's own
I am currently moving all 6,000 questions&answer articles to this site one page at a time, at a rate of about 4 to 7 new pages being added each day, so be patient. Not all links are yet clickable. This process started on September 2, 2013 and will be ongoing at least through to January 2014. (And it may be well into 2017 before all 6,000 pages will be back online if I continue at this rate of 5 a day.)