Amazon is one of the world’s biggest marketplaces that attract millions of buyers and billions of dollars each year. The platform is trusted by a huge number of loyal customers who prefer buying products from Amazon even if it costs them more. Amazon Associates Program aka Amazon Affiliates is a great way of earning a passive income and getting started is free and easy. This guide covers the fundamentals of the Amazon Associate Program and things affiliates can do to earn a decent amount of money.
What is Amazon Affiliates Program?
Launched in 1996, Amazon Associates is an easy-to-use and free-to-join affiliate marketing platform. Amazon is among the pioneers of affiliate marketing and allows site owners to make money by promoting Amazon products on their sites. Site owners or Amazon associates create links pointing to products on Amazon and get a commission or referral fee if someone buys through those links. For comparison, around 75% sellers who promote their products online use Amazon while around 25% use AdWords
Here is how it works: you direct your audience to RELEVANT Amazon products by including a link in your blog, website, mobile app or on the social media. You get a pre-defined commission or fee for qualifying sales so the amount of money obviously depends on how many people you can refer to Amazon (and how much they spend).
Although new comers can also earn a decent passive income through the platform, the program works best for site owners and bloggers who already have a following and get a substantive internet traffic. It requires time and patience to generate traffic and start earning as an affiliate, but there is a lot you can do to speed things up. Let’s start with the basics before moving on to finer details.
Why Amazon Associates?
- The program is free-to-join and very easy to setup and use.
- People trust Amazon and a large base would pay more to Amazon even if a competitor is offering the similar product at a cheaper price.
- Millions of customers buy products worth billions each year from Amazon.
- The higher the price of a product, the higher commission you can get.
- Customers usually buy more than one product from Amazon at a time. Many end up buying multiple products from affiliate links, which means more commission.
- Amazon seasonal deals attract a lot of buyers, especially during Christmas and Thanksgiving.
- Amazon has products from almost any niche one could imagine.
- High conversion rates. People who read your product reviews, comparisons and how-to-guides are more likely to buy through your affiliate link.
Who Should Sign Up as an Amazon Associate?
Amazon is looking for bloggers and site owners who provide value to its customers. Whether you are passionate about a particular niche, create informative content or want to refer your existing audience to Amazon products, Amazon Associates program can be the right fit.
How to Create Amazon Associates Account?
Creating an Amazon Associate account is free and super easy. It usually takes 24-48 hours for account approval after which you can acquire affiliate links and place them on your blog or website. You don’t need approval from any third-party and can start selecting from more than a million products after a single approval.
Requirements for Becoming an Amazon Associate
The program works equally well for bloggers, large networks and content sites. Simple linking tools make it easier to monetize your site/content and start earning up to 10 percent in advertising fees. You need to drive at least three qualified sales within the first 180 days of signing up (excluding personal orders). Amazon also checks content (at least 10 quality posts) of the sites you have provided, which should be original, robust and offer something of value to the customers.
Website and Mobile Apps
Amazon requires you to have a website that is owned by you and frequently updated with fresh content. Mobile App requirements include availability on Apple, Google Play or Amazon app stores, should be free-to-download and must not require customers to pay a fee for accessing content (which should be original). Your app must not emulate the functionality of Amazon’s shopping app or host Amazon web-pages (in WebView).
Amazon only accepts Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Twitch.tv and you have to list your group or account clearly. The social media account also needs to be well established and have a good amount (at least 5,000) of active and organic followers/likes.
You don’t have to be a web developer to use Amazon Associate tools and all you need to do is to simply copy-and-paste a few lines of code. Different site tools include Site Stripe, Banners and Product Links, while more experienced users can also gain access to the product advertising API.
Amazon Associate Program Fees
Fee rates depend on the product category and you can earn up to 10 percent on qualifying sales. For example, you can earn 10% on women fashion, digital video games and luxury beauty items and 8% for products belonging to the furniture, lawn and garden, pantry and home improvement. Video game consoles would only get you 1%, while techies can earn 2.5% on PC components.
Types of Affiliate Links
You have different options to choose from to generate Amazon Affiliate links including:
Text links are considered the number one driver of conversions and can be placed anywhere within the content. Customers prefer text links mostly because they are natural don’t look like ads. However, they work best when you have quality content with a natural flow (links should not feel like they have been included just for the sake of it).
To generate a text link simply login to your associates account, click ‘Product Links’ (under Product Linking tab) and search for the product you want to link to. You can shorten the link after generating it and choose between text only, text and image or image only. Once you have generated a link, you can simply generate the HTML code, copy and paste it on your website.
Carousel Banners work better than static banners and help increase conversion rates. Banner ads might not be the best way of generating sales, but they work well in certain situations when you need to act quickly. For example, when a competitor runs out of stock and you want to showcase available items or lower pricing, a Banner can be more effective in grabbing attention than links buried deep in the text. You can also generate banners for Amazon Lightning Deals.
Generating Banners is fairly straight forward. Just click Banners under the Product Linking tab, choose the size, generate and copy the HTML code to your website.
You can also include native shopping ads in your blog or site, but they usually don’t generate a lot of clicks as visitors see them as generic ads. Although Amazon displays native ads based on the content and users, they are not as targeted as direct text links that point to very relevant products.
Which Products Should You Promote?
Amazon offers a huge variety of product categories and just about anything one could imagine. This makes it difficult to choose product categories and related products. That’s why it’s recommended to stick with your own niche and products that are highly relevant to it. The better you understand your niche, the better the chances of recommending highly relevant products.
Checking the Best Sellers page is a good starting point and allows you to identify hot items. Choose products that are closely related to your niche. It’s highly recommended to niche down to very specific products (instead of selecting broad categories). For example, laptops -> gaming laptops -> portable gaming laptops -> portable gaming laptops under $1500.
Then comes selecting the price point of products to promote. Although it’s easier to sell low-priced items, you get very little commission in return and vice versa. While it depends on the niche you are dealing with, mid-priced products ($50-$200) are relatively easier to sell and offer good commission. Regardless of the price point, you should always promote high-quality items with a lot of positive customer feedback.
Content is the king when it comes to generating revenue using Amazon Associates program. That’s why it’s important to consider the type of content and keywords to use. Although you can use your existing blog or site to generate affiliate sales, product reviews and product comparisons work best as they give visitors ready-to-buy products that are highly relevant to what they are searching for.
Quality product reviews including unboxing, in-depth, why-and-why not and best-of-category-x reviews. They help you establish authority and generate organic traffic. Product comparisons make it easier for potential customers to make a buying decision and they are likely to buy through affiliate links if you provide with enough information. You can also showcase discounted products or other sales promotions in your reviews.
How-to-choose or things-to-consider before buying X guides can also be very helpful, especially when people are about to buy a certain product for the first time. You can include links to relevant products in how-to-choose content. Customers are more likely to consider your recommendations when you walk them through the process of picking a product from a category they are not familiar with.
New Product Launches
A lot of customers are looking for information related to newly launched products. Although you’d have to face fierce competition in new product launch content, the effort can be worth it and help you grab launch traffic.
Tips for Generating Traffic and Making Money Through Amazon Associates.
- Use multiple affiliate links (at least two) per post.
- Link to as many Amazon products as possible, especially in long reviews and product guides.
- Make images of products inside the content clickable.
- Be ready for holidays and seasonal sales.
- Make sure your site/blog is mobile friendly and has a proper layout that makes it easier for readers to find affiliate links.
- Take advantage of WordPress plugins such as EadsyAzon.
- Attract as much organic traffic as possible using the social media, stay active on social networks and share useful information.
- Keep your audience engaged by regularly sending updates to email subscribers.
- Be honest and only recommend quality products or products you have used/tested yourself.
- Content marketing is like an experiment. Test and tweak your content and see what readers respond to.
- Always keep your top posts updated. Update them with fresh product links (where they fit naturally) or write new sections.
- Consider your local rules about affiliate disclosures while keeping Amazon’s guidelines in mind.
- It’s not recommended to go for niches solely based on the commission percentage. Target what you are passionate about and choose a niche you are familiar with.
- Include a Buy Now or Buy from Amazon button in your content.
- Product comparison grids make it easier for readers to skim through a lot of information.
- Regularly publish a post about recurring deals e.g. a weekly post about best deals.
- Monthly best seller lists can help generate revenue as customers are usually looking for the best products and deals.
- Pick narrow niches and filter down broad categories. The lesser the competition, the better (consider highly specific long-tail keywords).
- Product-focus niches can drive more revenue (niches that require customers to purchase a lot of items together such as backpacking).
- Use long-tail tools to research for different variations of keywords.
- Learn at least the basics of HTML. Although it’s not a must, it helps a lot when dealing with code.
It’s fairly straight forward to start working as an Amazon affiliate, but there is a lot going on under the hood. Patience and commitment are the key traits needed in this business and can mean the difference between success and failure. What’s important is to stay focused and success will eventually find you. Just make sure to pick a niche you are passionate about and provide customers with valuable information that helps them pick quality products. This creates a win-win situation for all the parties involved and leads to loyal following and online authority.