If you’ve read any of this blog before, you’ll know that we’re big fans of Amazon’s affiliate program. We love the program because it’s a relatively straightforward way for nearly anyone to get started earning money online.
If you’re thinking about becoming an Amazon affiliate, read on. In the post ahead, we’ll cover exactly how you get in the game.
We’ll begin that discussion with the all-important matter of signing up. This process is beautifully straightforward. To sign up for the affiliate program, log in to your Amazon account. (If you don’t have one, creating an account is free and very self-explanatory.) After logging in, look for the “Join Associates” link. You’ll find it on the left side of the home page. Click the link and fill out the subsequent electronic application.
With the application, you’ll be asked for info such as your site’s address, its purpose, and your name (as a contact). If at this point, you don’t yet have a site; no worries. You can skip this item. Amazon’s affiliate program is still able to generate affiliate links for you. The links will have your affiliate code and can be placed in media such as email and Facebook pages. You can also, of course, add the code to your website – if or when you build it.
Not to tangent with this – but Amazon’s acceptance of you not having a site at sign up is another of its affiliate program’s strengths. We love that you can get started without being held up by web design. Bear in mind though that once you get your first sale, they will do a manual review of your site, so you're not entirely out of the woods upon first signing up.
With or without a site, your next step in signing up will be to review the terms/conditions. Make sure to give these a thorough review. You owe it to yourself to do so since this affiliate program is serious business. The last thing you’d want would be to breeze over the terms/conditions and then get blindsided later by something in them. We’re not saying that the terms/conditions is out to get you. It’s not a minefield of manipulative legalese. But it is worth reading.
Once you have read it, click the “agree” button and submit your application. Amazon will then respond, usually within 24 hours, either confirming or denying your request.
If your request is approved, Amazon will then provide you with links to place on your site (or in emails, Facebook, etc.). These links will allow people on your site to order Amazon products.
That’s if you're approved. If you’re not approved, it usually means you’ve had some prior troubles with Amazon. You’ll need to work those out before they’ll let you into the affiliate program.
Once you’ve gotten into the program, the next step is to find products. This is the fun part. You get to browse http://Amazon.com” rel=”nofollow”>Amazon.com, looking through products, and knowing that it’s not wasting time. For once, browsing Amazon is actually productive behavior.
Choosing A Niche
Browse the site and look for products that you could offer to your site’s visitors. You can choose nearly any products for this. As a guideline, think of products that people visiting your site would be interested in and find helpful too. The right product here could be a particular book, an app, or any of a wide variety of consumer products.
While you browse for these products on Amazon, you’ll see a bar at the top of your computer screen. This bar allows you to link to various products. The link you create, in turn, will be shown as text or pictures.
After you’ve found one or more products, post the affiliate link from Amazon on your website (*assuming you have one). Then when visitors to your site click on the link, they’ll be able to reach Amazon (through the link) and purchase the given product. If that transaction does occur, you’ll get your affiliate commission.
When commissions come in, you won’t have to keep track of them yourself. Amazon will send you regular reports on your sales, commissions, and other affiliate program activity. Using these e-mails, you’ll be able to clearly track how much money you’re earning from the program.
As for those earnings, keep your expectations realistic in the beginning. If you’ve never been an Amazon affiliate, your initial earnings may seem meager. You may not blaze out the gate, earning four figures per month in affiliate commissions.
You can succeed as an Amazon affiliate, though. Success is possible through a variety of strategies.
One of the easiest is to just pick the right products. As we said above, pick products that your audience actually wants. Products that are relevant to them and satisfy their needs.
View our “done for you” sites to see some inspiration.
Interestingly, picking the right products is also about you too. Think of yourself, in the sense of how much you want to earn off commissions. Cheap products are going to have low commissions, which probably won’t support your income goals. Avoid low-priced products in favour of ones with higher prices. Otherwise you’ll have to sell more in order to get the same commissions.
Another strategy for success as an Amazon affiliate is to promote products in the right way. By the “right way”, we mean promoting products in a way that walks the line between enough and too much. Unfortunately, we really can’t advise you on what that line is exactly. It depends on your niche and the audience itself.
Know How To Promote Things The Right Way
Some niches and audiences are going to be OK with obvious product plugs. Write a post that is clearly pitching a brand of headphones, for example, and this audience may not even break a sweat. They might expect sites in the niche to contain overt product pitches and affiliate links. Such an audience would therefore be unfazed when they found you engaging in such behavior.
Other audiences, though, might take offense. We can’t tell you who those audiences are, though. But we can say that there are definitely cases where a product plug makes more sense than others. A review of a product, for instance, is an case where you would be justified in putting your affiliate link at the end. Having the link would seem natural to most visitors on the site because it tied in with the rest of the content. In another case, you could put together a directory of tools for readers of your website or blog. With this approach, you’d then have an affiliate link for each tool that you’d featured in your directory.
Also, on promoting the right way, be sure to not hide your affiliate interests. Make it consistently clear, when needed, that you have an affiliate stake in a product or service that you’re linking to. The degree to which you make these kind of disclaimers may, again, depend on your audience. But when in doubt, it never hurts to be transparent.
Being transparent on your affiliate links is comparable to a doctor being transparent with their commission from prescriptions. In the latter case, you’d think differently if you knew that the doctor was paid to prescribe a certain drug. Or if you knew that the doctor would receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Bermuda for writing “X” number of prescriptions. In this example, if you found out later about the commissions and the trip, you’d probably feel misled and angry. But if the doctor was transparent, letting you know upfront, you might feel differently. You might not be happy about the benefits the doctor was receiving, yet you wouldn’t have the sense of being “played”.
You don’t want to be “played” and neither does your audience online. Therefore, it behooves you to be honest about your affiliations. Be honest and you’ll develop a level of trust which allows you to succeed wildly as an Amazon affiliate.
The easiest way to promote Amazon products without your audience getting annoyed, is to write “review” or “bests of” articles. When people read these posts, they WANT you to tell them about the products. This is how we build our done-for-you sites as well.
Speaking of succeeding wildly, you can’t do that just by reading a blog post. A post like this one can give you inspiration. But success is only going to come if you get started, doing it yourself.
With that in mind, we’re going to conclude this post so you can get started. Take what you’ve learned here and go for it. With patience and a bit of initiative, you’re bound to become a successful Amazon affiliate.