“By listening, marketing will re-learn how to talk.”
– Doc Searls & David Weinberger
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I’ve been using Amazon’s affiliate program for a little over two years and during that time I’ve had a lot of success with it. In fact, this income source was the second largest chunk of my total $100k+ 2015 income.
Ok, seeing my income is great and all but how does it help you? Well, the reason I told you is to make sure you know that the advice I’m sharing is based on stuff I truly know and that this isn’t just another one of those list posts built on fluff that sucks.
Top 19 Ways To Make Money With Amazon Associates:
1. Niche Selection Is Key
I’ll get to the actual methods I use on my websites in the next tips, but the first thing I want to say is that the niche you choose is the absolute most important decision you can make.
I love to target physical product focused niches and keywords
It’s easiest to make money using Amazon’s affiliate program if the people coming to your website are looking for a specific product that your website discusses. It’s more difficult to use a website like my blog here and make money linking to physical products because the people coming here are looking for advice on how to earn money online – not what iPod speakers they should buy.
2. Link To Products Inside Your Content
Roughly half of my Amazon income comes from basic text links posted inside the content body area of a blog post or page.
Simple text links in the content of an article are the most effective way to get web visitors to click. People trust the body of the content on a page more so than any other area of the website and I know this because the tracking data I’ve collected.
3. Make Product Images Clickable Affiliate Links:
Roughly 15% of my total Amazon income has come from simply making all of the product images on my websites clickable affiliate links.
4. Link To Amazon.com As Many Times Possible
I alluded to this in the previous few tips but I want to make sure you understand that each link inside one of your articles is another opportunity for a visitor to click through and make their way onto Amazon.com.
It’s common for me to link to Amazon five to ten times in a single article (more if I’m doing a product review).
5. Product Review Articles Convert The Best
Doing a quality product review for a product directly related to your niche is a very easy way to garner higher click thru rates and increased sales, but only if your review is higher quality.
Ideally you contact the manufacturer’s marketing team or PR agency and get them to send you a demo unit of the product to review, but this takes a lot of effort and may not be worth it on a smaller traffic site (at first).
You want to convince the reader to investigate their purchase options by the time they finish reading an article, which is why I’ll always include links to all of the products mentioned in a review at the end of the article. That way it’s an easy transition from learning about the product during your review and then at the end it’s time to make a purchase.
6. Build An Email List
You’ve probably heard this a hundred times by people telling you to build an email list from the blogger and internet marketing crowd, but building an email list is way easier on a physical product oriented website.
Why? People don’t have their guard up when they are researching a physical product to purchase (when compared to other purchase decisions online i.e. digital goods). So what I like to do is offer some type of freebie like a buyers guide or some type of information that provides more details about the products they’re researching.
For my newsletter provider I use Aweber and highly recommend them. Overall I could attribute at least five to ten percent of my total income due to my email lists because I like to focus on promoting products heavily to my lists during the holidays which leads into my next tip.
7. Write Sales And Promos During The Holidays
I typically made between $500 and $1,000 a day every day during Black Friday Week, Cyber Monday and Cyber Week. It is lower during other holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Presidents Day, Valentines Day etc. but you can still promote various sales during these holidays as well. I target every holiday because Amazon creates an actual dedicated sales page every time one of these holidays come around. The deals shared on these pages are generally really good too.
So what I’ll do is put together an article of all the top products that are on sale in my niche using the tips I’ve shared earlier like linking as many times as possible, making the product image clickable and then sending out an email to my list etc. to get even more conversions.
8. Sell More Products To Make Incrementally More Money
This one sounds simple enough and it really is. The more you sell with Amazon the more you make AND the higher percentage you earn. During holiday months I will typically hit around the 8% mark which is double the 4% rate you start with for shipping only 1 – 6 items per month. Even if you sold 7 items you get bumped up to 6% and the best part is that this increase in commission percentage is retroactive (meaning once you reach the next level you get to apply the higher percentage referral fee to every product you’ve sold during the entire month).
9. Sell Large Quantities Of Inexpensive Products To Boost Your Payout On High Priced Products
One thing I do is have websites that are set up in lower competition niches where the items typically aren’t as expensive and where it’s easier to sell these products in larger quantities ($50 or less). Then I have other niche sites that sell more expensive products at much higher prices ($XXX – $X,XXX) that are sold less frequently. So this way I get to use the increased quantity of sales from these lower priced product websites to help me get up into higher payout brackets so instead of making 6% on that high end item I’ll get 8% instead.
10. Use Multiple Tracking ID’s For Each Website
By default Amazon assigns you one tracking ID like blahblahblah-20 but you can create additional tracking ID’s here up to a total of 100. If you hit that total you can always ask for more so feel free to be liberal with your creation of tracking ID’s for your websites.
You wouldn’t install the same Google Analytics code on every single website you own right? Of course not, because you wouldn’t be able to tell how much traffic each of your websites were receiving individually. So the same thing can be said for tracking the money you make on your websites (and yet people still tell me they use only one Amazon tracking ID for all of their websites /facepalm). In the past I’ve gone so far as to create 15 different tracking ID’s for use on a single website.
11. Use EasyAzon To Save Time And Make More Money With Amazon
One of the ways I’ve also been able to make good money with Amazon is to automatically populate information from a WordPress plugin that I had developed based on the needs I had for building Amazon centric websites. The result was EasyAzon. The plugin allows you to insert information and affiliate links to Amazon in a much faster way than creating the links yourself by hand from Amazon.com.
Short Summary: Basically what the plugin does is allow you to quickly insert a text based affiliate link, the image of the product as an affiliate link, a product information grid, convert US Amazon links to UK, GR etc. via link localization etc. etc. and have all those things be affiliate links to Amazon.com so it does a great job of improving click through rates.
The plugin is currently only $47 and available at EasyAzon.com
12. Insert Buy Now Button Into Your Articles
This is something that EasyAzon could do for you, but if you don’t want to spend the money you can simply insert your own buy now button and turn it into an Amazon affiliate link.
13. Create A Product Comparison Grid
Creating a product comparison grid for all of the products within your niche and allowing people to sort by various features is a great way to get some additional sales. I’ve used this tactic on several of my websites and the product comparison page alone can add an additional 5% to 10% income increase for a website.
14. Publish A Recurring Deals Post
If you want to find a way to be able to mention products that are on sale more frequently on your website one of the easiest ways I’ve done that in the past is to just do a weekly deals post. So what I’ll do is publish a post every week with the best deals for my niche and then incorporate all of the previous tactics I’ve discussed above to link to the products on Amazon.com. Depending on how often you publish articles you could do it more or less frequently (I’ve seen some websites do these style of articles every day).
15. Publish A Monthly Bestseller List
Amazon has a bestseller page found simply at Amazon.com/bestsellers and so one thing I’ve done on my site is publish a bestsellers list and simply mention the currently trending bestsellers. Generally speaking the cream rises to the top so if you write an article talking about the bestselling products those are likely to be the best products your visitors are looking to buy anyway.
Just go to Amazon.com/bestsellers and look for your respective niche category. I shoot for top 5 or top 10 products.
16. Use Native Shopping Ads Over Static Banner Ads
Update: I used to recommend carousel style Amazon ads, but they don’t exist anymore. When I used them they converted about 3 times better than static style Amazon banner ads. I suggest using Native Shopping Ads instead which is essentially a replacement to the carousel style ads but allows for greater flexibility. You can display products by recommendation from the content, by search or with other options. Here is what the a Native Shopping Ad looks like for the keyword search “Chris Guthrie” Amazon displays the Kindle books I’ve written:
17. Don’t Bother Creating An Amazon Astore
When I created a store page and used the Amazon Astore tool to “build my own store” I found it converted terribly. Less than 1% of my total income came from Amazon Astore pages before I stopped using them. If you’re not familiar with Astore’s just take my word for it when I say they suck.
I know people like to shop, but sometimes I believe they’d rather just find a resource that tells them what the best deal is instead. Whatever the reason, the tracking data I used to track my Amazon Astore’s showed that they routinely under performed.
18. Use A Website Layout That Improves Conversions
I’ve been using Amazon’s affiliate program heavily for a little over two years now and the one thing I found through constant testing is that the layout of your website matters when it comes to how well it converts casual visitors into affiliate sales.
Armed with this knowledge you’d think that people would spend more time testing their theme or website layout to determine the optimal way to make money from their website right? Well, I still see some of the worst converting themes around and that’s why I actually paid for a theme to be created specifically for these physical product focused websites I had been building.
19. Just Get People On To Amazon.com
I know 30% of my earnings came from products people bought because I happened to be the one that sent them onto Amazon.com. For example, I sold a watch a while ago for $5,000 and got a $400 commission but I don’t even own a website that even remotely discusses watches. This is one of the other reasons why I love using Amazon’s affiliate program.
When you send someone to Amazon.com you get a percentage of anything they buy for the next 24 hours (30 days if they added an item to their cart) so if you can just get them onto the website and they happen to buy something completely unrelated you’ll get the money for it.
Amazon spends millions of dollars on improving the way they get people to convert. The fact that they provide a custom user experience for every person that goes to Amazon.com based on the buying behavior and viewing patterns tells me they know what it takes to close a sale. Some of the best closing advice I can give is to simply find ways to get your visitors onto the Amazon.com webpage and they’ll take care of the rest.
This article has taken me several hours to create and edit so I’d love to hear your feedback. Please let me know what you think of my tips by posting in the comments below. As always, because I love my readers I respond to each and every question that comes in so get to it!