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.
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.
Tips for Becoming a Successful Amazon Affiliate
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.
If you don’t set up multiple Amazon Associate tracking IDs and are promoting with multiple sites however, it can become difficult to know what sales came from where and what marketing tactics are working.
Adding Amazon Associates IDs for tracking purposes is rather painless. With a few quick clicks, you are able to analyze your marketing efforts with ease.
Setting Up Additional Amazon Associate Tracking IDs
Once logged in, you will see your email address and Amazon-assigned Tracking ID at the top of the screen. Click the down arrow by your email address and choose Manage Your Tracking IDs. This is where you will add more IDs for tracking purposes.
On the next screen simply click Add Tracking ID and start searching for availability. You may choose to add IDs that relate to the website or marketing campaign (Ex. Facebook, Resource page, a second blog, etc.). It will always have that -20 behind it.
Once you have chosen your new Tracking IDs, you can view their stats separately or as combined reports. Don’t worry. You are not creating any new accounts here. All of your earnings are still going into one place. This is strictly done for stats.
When you go to create links to Amazon products going forward, you will have a drop-down box listing your tracking IDs. Choose the applicable ID, and you are good to go.
If you are an active Amazon Associate with multiple sites, you likely have no problems seeing the value here. Many of our Amazon earnings come from products we didn’t promote. Sometimes they are not in any way to connected to what we promoted. Where did that lawn mower sale come from? I haven’t promoted any home & garden items. It is hard to connect the dots as to where the sale came from in those situations. This will make that connection a little easier.
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.