If you have been looking for articles on how to monetize your blog, you may have come across Amazon Affiliate as one way to earn from your blog. Amazon Affiliate which is more officially known as Amazon Associates, is Amazon’s own affiliate network that allows you to promote products from Amazon on your blog.
Some bloggers are earning thousands or tens of thousands every month from Amazon Affiliate, including Problogger’s Darren Rowse.
He managed to earn more than $500,000 in total from this affiliate network mainly through his blog Digital Photography School by sending his readers to buy cameras and its accessories.
Nonetheless, earning that much is not as easy as you think. Most bloggers don’t even earn from affiliate networks. Sending visitors over to Amazon doesn’t guarantee earnings.
What you should worry about is converting those traffic into money. Before we go into that, how does it actually work?
Note: Amazon Affiliate and Amazon Associates are used interchangeably in this blog post.
How does Amazon Affiliate work?
Basically, you sign-up for an Amazon Associates account here and you need to fill up tax forms as well. It’s relatively easy to get approved. Once approved, you will get access to a dashboard like this:
Basically, Amazon will provide you with all kinds of product links, i.e. banners, native shopping ads and text links. Native shopping ads will give you the highest commission, i.e. 12% of the product price.
However, it may not be the best way to promote affiliate links since native ads are pretty general in nature. It can be ads on gift cards, mobile phones or even beauty products.
The best converting ads are normally links to the product that you are promoting.
You can search for products using the Amazon Associates dashboard itself. You can simply type in keywords and they will fetch you all of the relevant products. You can create text links, image links or even both.
It may be quite cumbersome to use the dashboard all the time. Luckily, there’s a faster way to do that. If you go to Amazon’s main website, you should be able to see SiteStripe at the top of the screen.
As you can see above, you can create a text link using SiteStripe and copy it into your blog post. It’s really easy this way.
Interestingly enough, there’s an even easier way where you don’t have to access Amazon’s main website at all.
If you are on a self-hosted WordPress, you can use plugins (normally paid ones) like EasyAzon or WooAffiliates where you can search for products from within your blog.
Now that you know how to create links, how much can you earn?
They usually pay 4% commission on items sold and it may increase to 8% if you’re making a lot of sales. UPDATE: Amazon has revised the fees schedule and has now fixed your commission based on category instead. This was implemented in 2017.
If the visitor bought a hairdryer for $50, you will earn maybe $2 (if it’s 4%). It’s not a lot of money but it adds up if you have a lot of visitors.
Why is Amazon Associates a great affiliate network?
There are many reasons why Amazon Associates tend to be popular among bloggers. Some bloggers even built niche sites that are centered around Amazon.
For instance, they may build a blog that is only about coconut oil.
Niche sites tend to rank well if done properly because Google may perceive those sites as authoritative.
But how do they earn getting a 4% commission on coconut oil?
Here comes the best thing about Amazon Associates. You earn a commission regardless of what product the visitor ends up buying!
Assume that someone comes to your website and clicks your affiliate link on coconut oil. She goes to Amazon and buys a television. You earn a commission for the sale of the television and everything else in the cart at the time of the transaction. It’s pretty incredible!
Furthermore, Amazon is a well trusted e-commerce giant in the world. Most people are already shopping on Amazon anyway. Hence, it’s easier to make a sale.
So what’s the catch?
Amazon’s cookies only lasts for 24 hours, unlike other networks’ cookies that usually lasts for 2 -3 months. This means that Amazon only stores the visitor’s data for 24 hours and it will know if the visitor came back within 24 hours.
24 hours is a really short time. However, if within 24 hours the visitor adds items into the cart, you will earn for those items if the sale is made within the next 89 days. All hope is not lost!
Now that you know briefly how it works, there are some less obvious things you should (or should not) do to prevent your account from being closed.
- You have to make a sale within three months. They actually close your account for failing to do so. It’s in their terms. No worries though, you can always re-apply easily.
- You can’t reproduce reviews from Amazon on your own blog. If you have a review blog, do your own reviews instead of copying them from Amazon.
- Don’t spam your Amazon links everywhere. It might be tempting to put your Amazon links all around Facebook but you may face an account closure if you’re caught. It’s safer to leave your affiliate links in your blog.
- Don’t insert direct affiliate links in emails! Most people don’t know this but it will get your account closed. It’s against their terms and conditions.
What are ways to promote affiliate links on your blog posts?
1. Write lengthy and quality product reviews. As there are so many websites that are doing reviews, it’s really hard to rank well on Google. Hence, you should write long reviews. Some reviews are even 8,000 words long (Wirecutter)! They are hard to write but they rank well. It’s better to write 1 quality post than 10 mediocre posts that won’t rank at all.
2. Do a “list” post for certain occasions such as Mother’s day and Valentine’s day. As people search for gifts during some occasions, writing such posts can get you more traffic and result in more sales.
3. Create a resources page to show what tools you use. For instance, if you run a travel blog, you can promote your camera and link it to Amazon. You may be able to generate some sales there if you have a loyal following.
The above are just some suggestions on how you can insert links into your blog posts. You may have some other brilliant ideas in mind.
This post is just a brief introduction to what Amazon Affiliate is and how you can earn from it as an affiliate. There are plenty of success stories on Amazon Associates. Having said that, be wary as not every blogger may be honest with their earnings. Perhaps some are trying to sell you stuff that you don’t need. It takes trial and error to know what works for you and what does not.
If you’re interested in starting a blog, here’s a guide in setting it up a blog!