I love the Amazon Associates program, though I will be the first to admit it took me a long time to make the most of it. Today, I couldn’t remember the last month I didn’t get a deposit from Amazon. And it isn’t unusual for me to be in the 7% commission bracket (111+ sales). Though Amazon is not my sole avenue for affiliate income, it is definitely worth the time. Here are a few of my favorite tips for making money with Amazon’s affiliate program.
Don’t Grasp at Straws – First things first – be honest with what your audience expects, whether your site is new or old. Choose products to promote based on your content. Is there a book that further covers the topic you are discussing? Do they need special tools or ingredients to make that recipe or craft?
Product Selection – Don’t start posting about every product relevant to your niche. You will lose your reader’s trust if they hop over to see everyone else is giving the item 2 or 3 stars. Feature products you love, bestsellers and hot new releases. If there is a flaw, point it out and let your reader know whether it’s a deal-breaker or a minor inconvenience.
Dig down – Especially at this time of year, everyone is posting Top 10 lists. Rather than going generic (Top 10 Laptops), dig down deeper to catch their attention (Top 10 Budget Laptops for Broke Students).
Promote via Post – The conversion rate for banner ads is far lower than text links – Amazon or not. You are going to make your money pre-selling products. That may be reviews, product comparisons, gift guides or other types of recommendations. Include at least two links and a product image. If you need to fill those sidebar widgets, try the Carousel Widget. It is far more interactive and engaging.
Mix Inexpensive with High End – Many want-to-be-successful Amazon Associates go for broke straight out of the gate. Your reader pool for 3 Ct. diamond engagement rings is far smaller than those looking for wedding invitations and the former is going to be a much harder sell. Mix up your price points to get moving through the performance ranks. And you will likely find it is rare that you ever make a single-item sale on things priced under $35. That is Amazon’s new “free shipping” threshold. Even if your recommended product is $7 your reader is likely going to keep adding to their cart until they hit the free shipping mark.
Let Amazon Close the Sale – You do not need to be high pressure, nor should you be. Inform your reader and let Amazon close the sale. Amazon will also recommend complimentary products, push that free shipping and show alternatives. Let them do the heavy lifting.
Get Some Cool Tools – There are some really neat things out there to help save you time and boost your conversion rates. I have been using EasyAzon for over three years. This nifty WordPress plugin will help you create text and image links without leaving your blog. You can also add information blocks, international links and hover pop outs. Their latest version even includes Add to Cart buttons that will set those 90-day cookies we love.
Pinterest! Pinterest! Pinterest! – Pinterest is full of shoppers. Make sure you have a Pin-worthy image to go with your post. Remember, you cannot add specific prices to an image per Amazon Associates TOS.
Throw in a Freebie – I have been able to generate a slight increase my Amazon commissions by taking advantage of Kindle eBook giveaways. Many authors make their eBooks available to download free periodically. When your reader clicks through to grab the freebie, it sets that cookie. Any subsequent sales within that time frame are yours. Do remember you need to stay within the Kindle eBook guidelines or you can lose your Associates account- no more than 20,000 and 80% free downloads.
Amazon Associates Program Pros
Amazon offers several ways to receive your commissions. Payments are made approximately 60 days from the end of the month that you hit your threshold. (Ex. If you make payout in January, you will receive your payment towards the end of March.)
- Amazon Gift Card/Certificate – $10 minimum
- Direct Deposit – $10 minimum
- Check – $100 minimum
In addition to the multiple payment methods and low threshold for receiving payment, there are a few other things I really like about the program:
- Easy to implement, even for beginner affiliate marketers
- Huge variety of products to promote
- Well-known and trusted merchant
- You can link to individual products easily rather than having only a generic creative available
- The cookie duration is short – 24 hours – UNLESS the person adds an item to their cart. Then your cookie is locked in for 89 days.
- Some complain that the commission rate is low. However, I find it comparable to other big merchants for which I am an affiliate.
- The Amazon Associates Program is prohibited in some states.
The Amazon Associates program is a natural fit for many bloggers and is very beginner-friendly. If you are looking to make money with affiliate marketing, I highly recommend adding it into your monetization mix.