I’ve never promoted any Amazon products on my sites, because they pay a low commission, so it seems like it would be hard to make any money. I prefer to promote Clickbank products, because the commissions are much higher.
Regarding your other questions:
“When it comes to promoting vendors as an affiliate (found in ClickBank) where is the best place to put the HopLink? And how to promote it? The way I see it is you would write an informative post on the subject concerned and then just before the link write something like, “For an excellent, how to guide on curing X condition then CLICK HERE NOW!” Is that about right?”
Yes, that’s how I do it.
“It seems like only a few vendors on ClickBank have affiliate tools where they provide you with banner ads and so on. Is it OK to go with a vendor who only provides the HopLink?”
It’s okay to go with a vendor who only provides a hoplink, but I tend to stick with the vendors who support their affiliates (i.e. who provide banners, email copy, etc.)
“Do you have to inform your readers that the HopLink is an affiliate link and that you would earn money from the referral?”
If you want to be completely transparent, then yes, you should inform your readers. But if you’re promoting a product that you truly believe in and think will solve a problem, I don’t think it’s necessary.
“Would you want to put the HopLink anywhere else on your site? If the HopLink is only at the bottom of the one post about the subject at hand, is that enough exposure? Is this the normal way to do it?”
In addtion to links throughout the article (not just at the bottom), I also put banners in the left sidebar of the site. You can also try putting a banner at the bottom of each post. (Basically, you have to test out different methods of promoting a product – text links within an articles, banners on various parts of the site, etc – and see what gets the best conversion rate).
Besides what I’ve mentioned here, I can’t think of any other “best practices” for using hoplinks effectively. Bottom line: use a mix of text links and banners throughout your site; use a tracking tool like Ninja Affiliate Link Cloaker to track how many clicks each link gets; and optimize from there.