It’s no secret that Amazon is a pioneer in ebooks and expanding opportunities for indie authors. But Amazon also led the way in online affiliate marketing. In 1996, Amazon was a small online book retailer run from Jeff Bezos’ garage. With a limited marketing budget, Amazon decided to tap into readers’ love of books to help spread the word. Instead of having an initial outlay of money to buy advertising, Amazon paid people a commission when they referred buying customers to Amazon.
This commission was paid AFTER the customer bought, eliminating upfront marketing costs.
When the Amazon Associates Program launched in 1998, there weren’t many easy, affordable ways to make money online. Amazon’s affiliate program changed that. The only problem was that to make any significant income required selling a ton of books. As Amazon has expanded its product line, the ability to make income from Amazon has become easier. It still has a fairly low payout compared to other affiliate programs (4 – 8.5% depending on the product and sales volume), but with a vast product line, huge customer base and credibility, odds are you’ll find something to promote and make money.
Like any other home-based money-making scheme, earning an income with Amazon requires research, work and marketing. Here are some tips for maximizing the Amazon Associates Program.
Getting Set Up with the Amazon Associates Program:
1. Signing up for the Amazon Associates Program is free and easy. Just visit Amazon and fill in the forms.
2. Determine the product(s) you want to promote. Amazon allows you to search based on keywords, ISBNs (for books) and product numbers.
3. Decide how you’re going to promote the products you choose. Amazon provides ad scripts that you can run on a blog or website. You can get links to use in email as well.
4. Build traffic. All affiliate income does best with a large, steady stream of targeted traffic. There are many easy and affordable ways to get people to visit your blog or website.
5. Make product recommendations fit with your website topic. If you blog about surviving zombies, don’t have a link to tulip bulbs, unless tulips repel zombies.
6. Choose products carefully. Don’t promote something you wouldn’t buy or don’t like just to make money. It will backfire and cause you to lose credibility with your website visitors
7. Include multiple links and linkable photo in your content. Web readers can be blind to ads, but will pay attention to links and photos within an informative article.
8. If you’re a blogger, don’t forget to include a disclosure that the link is an affiliate link per the FTC blog disclosure guidelines. While it’s the law in the U.S., it’s also important to keeping your readers’ faith in you.
Maximizing Sales and Your Amazon Affiliate Income:
1) Write content for your blog or website about picking or buying a product available on Amazon. Now more than ever, people go online to research their buying options. If you’re a mom blogger, you can write an article on picking a low cost vacuum with a link to your top choice or several links to your top choices.
2) Write reviews of new products. Again, people want to know about items before they invest money in it.
3. Write about bestsellers. You can use the best sellers listed on Amazon or if you have an affiliate sales history with Amazon, check your stats to see what has sold best in your blog’s community.
4. Promote special offers and sales. This requires you watch Amazon for special promotions on products that fit in your website’s topic area.
5. Discuss/promote related products. When you order a burger, you’re asked, “Do you want fries with that?” Many items work best or are enhanced with accessories or other products, which you can promote.
Affiliate marketing with Amazon and other vendors is a great way to make a living at home. But it takes more that posting a website or blog and a few affiliate links.
It takes knowing a market’s needs, providing information and resources to meet those needs, and then helping the market find your solutions.