Welcome to affiliate marketing, where the Amazon Affiliate Program rules!
It’s one of the easiest and most natural ways to monetize your blog. Most beginning bloggers start with affiliate marketing and using the Amazon Associates program is one of the best places to start.
There are millions of products you can recommend and review. And as of June 2018, almost 60% of Amazon customers in the United States are also Amazon Prime members. That means more than half of American households buy items regularly from Amazon.So how do you make money with your blog using the Amazon affiliate program? Like The Office’s Michael Scott would say, “Why don't you explain this to me like I'm five.”
Affiliate marketing 101
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing, in a nutshell, is a when you promote somebody else's product on your website or other channels. You do that by adding an affiliate like, for example, within a relevant blog post. So if your readers click on that link and end up buying the product, you get a commission from Amazon or any other online retailer with a program that you've signed up for.
What is an affiliate link?
An affiliate link is a link with a tracking code. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission on that item.
With the Amazon Associates program, you also get a commission on anything else they purchase within 24 hours from clicking on your affiliate link.
So if you recommend a toy and the reader purchases the toy, a bike, and a new computer, you get a small percentage of that entire sale!
Who should sign up for an affiliate marketing program?
It usually works best for content creators who already have an online presence with an established website or blog, simply because they get a reasonable amount of traffic to their website. That doesn't mean newbies can't become affiliate marketers. It will just take some time to make additional income from it as they have to build their readership first.
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How the Amazon affiliate program works
Amazon’s Associates program is free to join and open for anyone. Once you create an account, you’ll have the ability to create links directly on Amazon that contain your special referral code, also known as an affiliate link.
When someone clicks through your affiliate link, a cookie is placed on their computer. And when they make a purchase, Amazon knows to attribute that purchase to you, because you referred them!
Amazon then rewards you with a commission percentage on the entire sale.
For example, if the reader clicked through your link where you recommended a handy dandy sports water bottle, but they ended up buying a treadmill too, you’ll get a commission on both items!
Is it easy to sign up for the Amazon Associates program?
Yes, it's a very straightforward process. Here are 3 steps you need to take:
- Sign up for free to the Amazon Associates program.
- Find a product that will help your readers and use the Stripe tool at the top of your Amazon browser to get your affiliate link.
- Add your affiliate product to your blog post.
Note 1: Make sure to have a disclosure page on your blog and also a disclosure statement before you use the affiliate link in your blog post.
Note 2: It's also important that you review the affiliate program rules and requirements to avoid being kicked out for noncompliance.
How much affiliate earnings can I make with the Amazon Associates program?
It depends on different factors, such as:
- The number of referrals you get for products on Amazon, remember it's commission-based.
- If the person who clicked on your link only buys the promoted product or additional ones within 24 hours after clicking your affiliate links.
- Also, the % of the commission rate varies per product category, so please make sure to check that in the Amazon Affiliate program when signing up.
How to get the most benefit from the Amazon affiliate program
Now that you know how Amazon affiliate links work and how to create your own, let’s dive into how to make the most sales from using the Amazon Associates program.
#1 Write articles with a clear goal in mind
Even before you sit down to write a post, make sure you have a clear goal for that article aka your sales intent.
Think about the user intent you want to target. Will you make more sales if someone is searching for “What is a ring light”, or will you make more sales if someone is searching for “The best ring light.”
The second search has a true user intent of making a purchase. Writing “The best” articles increases your chances of making more sales!
#2 Create curiosity by not revealing the product's name
Humans are hard-wired for curiosity. We naturally want to learn and explore. And whenever there is a little mystery, our brains seek to solve it!
So how can you incorporate this natural human inclination into your blog posts? Don’t reveal everything!
When you write a post, casually mention that “this item” helped you. But don’t mention the item by name, let the reader follow their curiosity and click through to Amazon to find out what the item is.
I recommend using this method only occasionally as doing it too much could lead to a poor user experience.
#3 Review expensive items and increase your earnings
Review posts are a fantastic way to increase your passive income through your blog. If you write an in-depth review post about a particular item, your reader will feel secure knowing they have all the information they need to make the purchase.
As stated before, consider the reader’s intent.
Will someone be searching for product reviews on “the best hairbrush”, or rather, will they be looking for reviews on something a bit more expensive, like “the best high-speed blender.”
Readers do not seek reviews on inexpensive items. Who would do a week-long search for a $10 item? But for something that costs over $500, you better know I’ll be reading every review I can before I depart from that sum of money.
#4 Prepare for the holiday season
If you can time and market your posts at the right sequence, you can easily double your passive income. Many bloggers make a big portion of their passive income during the holiday season.
Readers are in the mood to spend money and are eagerly looking for products to purchase as presents. If it fits your blog well, write a “best gifts” post for your audience.Create multiple pin images for the post and promote the holiday pin images starting in October. You can visit the Pinterest business blog to know when to start promoting your seasonal content.
#5 Use Google Analytics to fine-tune your strategy
Login to your Google Analytics and find your top ten posts. Even if these aren’t review posts about a specific product, think of ways you can incorporate a few well-placed Amazon affiliate links in the post.
If one of your top posts is “why do babies spit up”, can you recommend a burp cloth or gripe water from Amazon as a helpful solution? Can you internally link from your top posts to your “best baby products” post?
Sometimes a direct affiliate link doesn’t make sense, but you can always recommend one of your best affiliate blog posts.
Examples of smart Amazon affiliate program posts
When writing a post with the intention of making affiliate income from it, take your time and invest in making it the best post possible.
Carolina from MamaInstincts makes over $1,000 in additional income with this piece of content on nontoxic baby playmats. It’s detailed and contains a list of baby playmats that allows the reader to choose the perfect item.
This post reviewing the best laptop is a huge moneymaker. I love the scrolling images that allows the user to see the product from multiple angles. This article gives the reader the confidence to click through and make a purchase.
You may not be able to rank for “the best laptop” because the competition is so fierce on Google. But I wouldn’t discourage you from writing the post, you can still market it well on Pinterest and through your email list or social media channels.
Amazon Influencer Program
Amazon just came out with their Influencer Program. And it’s free to sign up!
The Amazon Influencer Program is a separate program from the Amazon Associates program and is intended for social media influencers who do not have a blog.
But as a blogger, it’s a fantastic resource to use as well!
The Amazon Influencer Program allows you to create your own storefront on Amazon. Whenever a reader visits your Influencer page and makes a purchase, you receive an affiliate commission.
You can see on my storefront here where I earn a commission from sales, I have multiple categories including Healthy Gadgets, Mom Productivity and Kids Activity Toys.
Pro Tip: Create your own Amazon storefront and include the link in your Instagram profile! You are also allowed to include the link to your storefront in your emails or sequences.
If it doesn’t fit my weekly broadcast well, I will occasionally include the link in my PS line.
Start small and stay consistent
The Amazon Associates and the Amazon Influencer programs are fantastic ways to start monetizing your blog passively through affiliate marketing.
Focusing on your user’s intent, optimizing your top blog posts, injecting curiosity, and following trends throughout the year will help to increase your affiliate income dramatically.
There are so many techniques to monetize your blog, but don’t be overwhelmed. I would recommend starting with affiliate marketing before you move on to another method of monetization, such as creating your own product.
Start creating valuable content for the Amazon affiliate program today.
The most successful bloggers have a simple rule, create amazing content that people search for on a consistent basis.
Making money with your blog is not rocket science, it just takes dedication and the willingness to try new ideas.