How to Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate
Affiliate programs are one way for webmasters to earn income online, whether to supplement their existing salaries or as their sole incomes. The Amazon Affiliate program, also known as Amazon Associates, is especially appealing to new webmasters. However, just signing up and throwing a widget on your site doesn’t guarantee success with the Amazon associate program. From traffic to trust to timing, it’ll take a lot of hard work on your part if you want your blog to become your main source of income through affiliate commissions. Passive use of the Amazon affiliate program will result in passive income to supplement your day job but nothing more than that.
Traffic, Traffic Traffic
The key to making any amount of money from the Amazon affiliate program is traffic. If no one visits your site, no one will see the links to click on them. Affiliate revenue isn’t just passive. This means that you’ll have to put effort into attracting traffic.
- Use a responsive design that ensures all your visitors can see your content regardless of the devices that they use.
- Brush up on SEO, especially when Google releases updates to its algorithm, like the recent Hummingbird update.
- Promote your content on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Youtube.
- Post regularly, so that Google has content to update and visitors will return to your website frequently.
With this in mind, have realistic expectations if you add affiliate links to your website when you first start out. You have to build up readership before you’ll see income.
Readers Who Buy
While you might have thousands of visitors every day, your amazon Affiliate earnings may still be low. Take a look at the content on your site. Are the people who find your content valuable going to be the the purchasing type? Perhaps all you write are tutorials, which don’t encourage consumers to shop. Buying guides and reviews, however, might encourage the clicks that you want to get your affiliate earnings climbing.
Similarly, “best of” lists are helpful, especially because shoppers tends to like to feel as though they’re shopping in “community.” That’s another perk of Amazon’s review system, too. Of course, you can always update lists to reflect changes in the market.
You don’t just have to focus on big ticket items, either. Consider recommending accessories to go with a larger product. Fashion blogs, for example, have a lot of opportunity for affiliate links to makeup, hair accessories, footwear and jewelry. Creativity provides you with more opportunity to link to products.
Nevertheless, your products must also be relevant to your audience. Your home-improvement blog is a poor fit for fashion-related links. As long as you keep your links relevant, there’s unlikely to be negative comments from your readers.
However, this idea extends further than you might realize. If you’re targeting people who are older, tech might not be the right fit, but CDs and tapes may be an easier sell. Some demographics may prefer printed books or digital editions, so on and so forth. You’ll have to experiment to see what’s the best fit for your blog.
Where and How Your Link Matters
Amazon provides banners and widgets that you can throw all over your site, but you may want to step back before you do. People like Darren at ProBlogger have realized that those Amazon Affiliate tools don’t work nearly as well as contextual links in your content, so link to that product you’re reviewing. You might think that text won’t catch a person’s eye as well flashier link methods, but you’d be surprised.
Furthermore, multiple links per review can help your conversion rate. Add a link toward the beginning and end of the review. Links at the end of the review are especially helpful because readers now feel informed about the product’s flaws and strengths. Furthermore, your second link can include information such as the current price and any promotions that are going on. Remember that affiliate links should be no-followed; otherwise, you risk a penalty from Google.
While you might not expect that people will click on images to go to product pages, they may. Insert a link to the product on Amazon from the images. Finally, Amazon provides “Buy Now” buttons. Those clear calls to action encourage your visitors to make a purchase. Plus, using Amazon’s button relies on a trusted service, which you’ll read more about later.
Don’t Forget About Timing
Timing is a multifaceted issue. First, when the write your posts that include links is critical. You’ll find that consumers are more eager to purchase around the holidays, but your links should go up with enough time for shipping. Write content that’s timely for upcoming events and holidays to take advantage of your audience’s shopping mood. Buying guides are especially helpful when you want to insert Amazon Affiliate links.
Consider the following:
- Father’s Day gifts
- Gifts for your girlfriend on Valentine’s Day
- Birthday presents for girls
- Must-have Halloween decor
- Presents for the techie in your life
You’ll also want to promote those posts on social networks, and this is when timing becomes a factor once more. Promoting posts several times per day with different text can help get you traffic. This ensures you reach people in various time zones and on different schedules. You may even promote Amazon’s current specials directly on social networks, and the same ideas apply.
Reviews are a great way to get readers to click your Amazon affiliate links. However, you’ll better encourage readers to click them when your reviews are detailed and honest. Don’t write “reviews” if you haven’t actually used a product. You want your audience to think of you as trusted, perhaps an authority, and you’ll need to represent yourself with integrity to achieve this.
Amazon Knows How to Sell
“Because amazon does such a great job of up-selling and getting people to buy products, the majority of my commissions are coming from products I don’t even recommend.” — Lisa Irby
The best thing about Amazon might be how well the marketplace really works. Amazon uses reviews, crosslinking, product recommendations and other features to allow shoppers to find the best possible fit. So while they may not buy the exact item that you linked, people are likely to make a purchase when they’re at Amazon. Because of this, you might simply encourage people to visit Amazon for a giveaway or prompt for a comment, which gets them to click the link.
Amazon also has periodic sales and discounts for items that consumers may be interested in. When something goes on sale that’s relevant to your site, feel free to add an affiliate link on your website. If local readers make up a large portion of your demographic, pay attention to the Amazon Local newsletter.
Furthermore, Amazon lists items that are available for pre-order, so you can generate buzz for products that may not yet be available on the manufacturer’s site. These pages often come with plenty of information, so you can link to them as resources from your own site.
Tracking Your Success
The Amazon Affiliate program includes some tools that enable you to make money with the most success. For example, you can create 100 different tracking IDs, and you can use these to see which links are doing the best. When you see that a link is successful, modify your other campaigns to use some of the same tactics. The reverse is also true.
Because of the limit — 100 — you’ll eventually hit it. Consider tracking codes for the following:
- Each blog
- Categories on your blog
- Large campaigns
- Each social network you post on
A Numbers Game
One thing remains true about your success in the Amazon Affiliate program: expensive items net you a larger profit with less work. However, this doesn’t mean that smaller items aren’t important. It’s often easier to convert sales for lower-priced items. Plus, the Amazon Affiliate performance payment plan means your affiliate rate will increase as you make more sales during the month.
For example, the first six shipped items earn 4 percent each, while the seventh through 30th items have a higher rate of 6 percent. If you sell more than 3131 items in a month, you’ll earn 8.5 percent on each of the items sold, which is more than double the commissions you’d earn for the first few items.
Some webmasters worry about negative reactions to the use of affiliate links; however, you can avoid these by remaining transparent with your readers, which you may be required to do by local laws. In fact, you might find that your readers are more likely to use your Amazon Affiliate links if they know that you get commission from their purchases. Transparency also builds confidence with your website or brand, which you’re already trying to do by keeping reviews honest.
Do you use Amazon Affiliates?
What tips can you share with other webmasters to make money?