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Make Money With Amazon Affiliate Program

Fantastic...we completed How to start a Blog steps from the previous page.  You have your blog up and ready and now want to make money with it.  Blogging is one of the most profitable ways to make money from home.  Monetization of your blog is our next step.  Many bloggers give up way too soon almost at the very beginning because they're not making money.  Don't get too focused on only making money; when you serve, help and give, to your readers the faster you'll reach your goals.  With that said, there are a few ways to make some money quickly and one of those is with Amazon Affiliate Program.

The Amazon Affiliate Program is called Amazon Associates and it can be one of the easiest ways you can monetize your website or blog.  Amazon Associates is an affiliate marketing program that is free for website owners, bloggers or social influencers to become Amazon Associates.  You advertise products from Amazon.com on your sites, blogs or social media platforms by creating links.  When people click the links and buy the products from Amazon you will earn referral fees.  Amazon's affiliate program is one of the most reliable programs on the internet.  Keep in mind, income earnings will vary depending on many factors.  For some, it is their main income stream and for others, it is used as a monetization method.  There are 353 million products available on Amazon; so no matter what your niche of your blog is I am sure you will find a product to link or promote from Amazon.  Either way, below, you will find a step-by-step guide to becoming an Amazon Affiliate, with screenshots.   

Amazon Affiliate.png

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Remember to be sure to complete these steps from "How To Start A Blog" first.

Set up Web Hosting on Bluehost.

You do not have to be a very technical person, setting up web hosting is extremely simple with Bluehost and only takes a few minutes; the step by step guide is on the previous page.  You will need to have at least your website or blog social platforms set up.

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Our next step is to choose WordPress as your blogging platform.  This is the fun part  - designing your blog!  The best part is with Bluehost they have a 1-click WordPress installation.  The two options I recommend are: 

                     Bluchic Themes                                           Elegant Themes

 

As discussed in "How To Start A Blog Page" your legal pages are essential for obtaining approval with Amazon Affiliate Program.  You will get denied if you don't have one on your blog.  A Disclosure page is basically stating and disclosing that you use affiliate links on your blog and that you could earn money from them.  Amazon requires its own verbiage to be used, so be sure to add to your disclosure page.  I include my legal pages at the bottom of all my webpages (in the footer) and I also have the affiliate disclosure there.  Here is the exact phrasing that Amazon uses for its disclosure: 

"We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites."   In addition, anytime you write your blog post you always need to disclose that you are using affiliate links.  "Affiliate links may be used in this post.  I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link."  Lastly, you will need to have a contact page on your blog.  This is a simple page that has either a contact form or gives an email address to reach you.   

Applying to the Amazon Affiliate Program

Step 1: Visit the Amazon Associates homepage and click "Join Now for Free".  You will be prompted to log in to your existing Amazon account or create one.  Once you have signed in to your Amazon account, click "New Customer" and begin building your Associate account.  

https://affiliate-program.amazon.com

Amazon Associates.png

Step 2: Enter your account information (including the name, address, phone number of the payee

Amazon Associates creating .png

Step 3: Enter your website address(es), YouTube channels, apps, etc. that you will promote Amazon

Amazon Associates creating step 3.png

Step 4: Your Profile is next and you will be asked again for where you will promote Amazon and what you want your preferred store ID to be (usually this is your primary website name).  You will also be asked to select Amazon topics your links will likely target.

Amazon Associates creating step 4.png

Step 5: Explain how you intend to drive traffic to your websites.  How you use your website, YouTube or apps to generate income, how you usually build your links, & how many visitors your site brings in each month.  

Amazon Associates creating step 5.png

Step 6: Enter your phone number, press "Call Me Now", and wait for the immediate call from Amazon.  They will ask for a four-digit code, and once that is complete, you will continue with setting up your account.

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Step 7: You will be prompted to enter your payment and tax ID information now or later.  You will then be able to proceed to your dashboard.

Amazon Associates creating step 7.png

Step 8: Once your account has been created you will be sent to your personal Associate homepage.  This is where you will find your performance dashboard (including earnings overview, monthly summary, and total clicks).  This is also where you will search for relevant products to link to from your content.

Amazon Associates creating step 8.png

It can take a few days for your application to be accepted.  Be sure to READ THE RULES of the program before you get started.  I know they are long, but they are important because you can be kicked out of the program for breaking any of the rules.  Just to touch on a few of the major rules:

1. You can't use a link-shortening service to shorten your links.  While this is allowed by almost every other affiliate program, it's forbidden by Amazon.  They provide an option for a short link; so just use the one they provide.

2. You can't use your own affiliate links to make purchases or tell family and friends to use your links.  Amazon has an extremely advanced proprietary method for detecting this and they will know if you do it.  If you are caught then you will be removed from the program; so just don't take a chance.

3. You can't use affiliate links in emails.  You can, however, send an email containing a link to a blog post containing Amazon affiliate links instead. 

4. You can't mention exact prices (Ex. "This vacuum is $149.49) unless you notate the exact time and date next to it, because prices change often.  It is easier if you just don't mention exact prices.

5. You can't use Amazon affiliate links in any EBooks or PDFs you might create and distribute.  However, you can link to a blog post containing affiliate links instead.

6. You can't use your own "buy buttons", you can only use the buttons provided by Amazon.  

These are only a brief list of the major ones but by no means, the entire list so is sure to read them before getting started.

After your application is accepted for the Amazon affiliate program, you have 180 days (six months) to generate three valid sales or else your account will not be approved.  If you are not approved, your account will be terminated.  You can always re-apply and start over, but a waste of time if you have already spent a lot of time putting affiliate links on your blog post.

For this reason, it is a good best practice to apply to the program after you have your website, blog, or YouTube channel getting some consistent traffic.  Click here and it will take you to the Associates Program Policies along with the Fee Statement breakdown.

Setting up SiteStripe:

SiteStripe is a handy feature you will obtain access to once you join the Amazon Affiliate program.  It is a toolbar that will appear at the top of every page on Amazon as pictured above.  

There are a variety of different advertisement options within the Amazon Associates Program. These ads can be individual text links, banner links, and widgets, and they can be quickly and easily created by SiteStripe for use on your website.

What You'll Learn:

  • How to use SiteStripe to create text and image links, or special links which combine text, images, product info and more

  • How to share these links and add them to your website

  • How to enable SiteStripe and use its features

What is SiteStripe?

SiteStripe lets you build your Amazon Associates links right from the Amazon page itself. Once enabled, SiteStripe will appear at the top of every Amazon page and provides quick and easy access for building and sharing links. SiteStripe is a convenient alternative to using some of the Associates Central linking and reporting tools, without needing to visit Associates Central.

What features does SiteStripe offer?

You can use SiteStripe to access the following features within each Amazon store page:

  • Settings: Access or edit settings for SiteStripe

  • Help: Select this for SiteStripe help.

  • Earnings: Access to the 'Reports' tab on Associates Central

  • Share: Click on the Facebook or Twitter icons to directly share links on either platform using your own account. After you select the channel, you can add text to customize your post.

  • Link - Text and Image: Select this to create the HTML code for a Link box with the name, picture, and current price of the product, and then copy to integrate into your site.

  • Get Link - Text: Create an HTML code for a text link while you are on a product page. You're able to create long or short links, and then copy to integrate into your site.

  • Get Link - Image: Create an HTML code for an image link while you are on a product page. You're able to choose from multiple sizes, and then copy to integrate into your site.

How do I enable SiteStripe?

You must be registered in the Amazon Associates Program to activate SiteStripe and display it on the Amazon shop page.
SiteStripe appears automatically at the top of every Amazon shop page. If you can't see it, re-enter your registration data in the Amazon Associates Program and then re-visit the Amazon website.

Still no SiteStripe?

Log in to the Amazon Associates website. Click on My Account > SiteStripe Options. A green 'ON' should be displayed under the 'Display Options' menu item. If this is 'OFF', enable SiteStripe via this activation button.

How can I make settings and adjustments for SiteStripe?

Just click SiteStripe at the far right of the Settings icon and then click SiteStripe Options to amend the settings for SiteStripe. You can also access the SiteStripe options by clicking on My Account > SiteStripe Options within the Amazon Associates Program.

Amazon Affiliate Tips 

The reason why most people fail at affiliate marketing is simply that they don't have a strategy.  They try just throwing some affiliate links randomly into a blog post or on their website and hope to make sales.  Unfortunately, it's not that easy.  If you go into affiliate marketing without a strategy, your blog posts are not going to convert to sales.  

Create Great Content

This is the most important thing you can do to make money with the Amazon Affiliate program is by creating great content.  Your blog posts and your goal is to intercept a customer on the way to Amazon.  Just keep that in mind when you are thinking about what you are going to write about.  You don't need 100s of posts, but you do need to solve a problem for your reader.  Your blog posts containing affiliate links should always be valuable, helpful, and solve a problem or answer a question for your readers.  50% of your content needs to target needs to intercept a would-be buyer on the way to Amazon and the other 50% should be informational content, like "how-to" or again helpful, problem-solving articles.  

Affiliate content reassures your reader that he or she could or should buy a particular product.  (You should only pick a high-quality product based on Amazon reviews - we don't want to market products that are low quality.)  

Tips for Writing Blog Posts

1. Explain the Benefits

2. Share your Experience

3. Show Proof

4. Don't Be Too Pushy 

5. Don't be afraid to include lots of links

6. Know your audience

7. Blog post should be at least 1,000 words

8. Use clickable images 

What If You Don't Own The Product That You Are Reviewing?

If you don't own the product and don't have a way to actually physically hold it, or try it out then this is what you should do:

  • Read the product description on Amazon

  • Read all you can at the manufacturer's website.  Download the user's manual - it will be filled with more than enough great information about the product.

  • Read some reviews on Amazon - Read at least 5 of each star.

  • Search for forum posts or review websites that have reviews for the specific product.

  • Think about what you would want to learn before buying a product and research.                                          

Keyword Research

Keyword research has to do with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  I am not going to cover SEO in this section I will provide much more detail in the Marketing pages of my website.  Just remember, SEO is the process of writing content that ranks highly in the Google search results.  Basically, you want to find popular keyword phrases that people in your audience are searching for, so you can craft blog posts around those keyword phrases and get traffic from Google.  There are advanced paid keyword research tools; however, for beginners, you can try some of the great Free options first.  You can use Google and search for existing blogs or websites in your niche, you can search forums and see what questions people are asking, search Pinterest, and Google Trends is another good one. 

Keep in mind the different types of keyword research.  As an example, if someone is searching "best yoga mats" or "yoga mat review" is probably about to buy a yoga mat.  But if someone is searching "benefits of yoga" they are not at the same stage in the buying intent process.  I am sure they are interested but they are probably just looking for general information.  This is why it's important to write your blog posts around keywords that convey buying intent.   Some Keywords are: Best, Top 10, Gifts for, ____ vs. ____, where to buy, reviews of products, cheaper version of ____. 

Getting Amazon Sales

Amazon was 3rd on the list of "The Top 100 Bst Performing Companies in the World" last year; so Amazon is a sales machine.  You can bet that Amazon is designed with one goal in mine, sell more products.  By writing a great blog post or review that people are searching for you will give the reader a gentle nudge in the right direction and Amazon will handle it from there.  Now in order to get your readers to click on your blog post or review is by setting up some linking strategies.  When you first start to write your blog post, it's important to think about how you will be linking to which Amazon products.  I suggest you have a link at the beginning, middle, and end.  Some suggest not to put one at the beginning; however, if the reader doesn't finish reading your blog post and you only posted a link at the end then you potentially just lost a click and ultimately a sale.  Sometimes you may want to use a CTA (call-to-action) link which is exactly what it sounds like: a link inviting readers to take action. I usually include these at the end of a paragraph or at the end of a blog post for maximum impact.  Let’s say you’re writing a blog post reviewing a book about decluttering. You might include a CTA at the end of the review encouraging your readers to buy the book.  Example: “ Click here to grab your copy of this life-changing book
and banish clutter forever! ”  

Another thing that many affiliates don’t realize is that you don’t have to link to just individual product pages… You can link to almost any page on Amazon’s website!  This can come in handy in getting people to click on your links by giving them alternatives.  For instance, let’s say you’re writing a blog post about travel essentials and one of the items is a hard-shell carry-on suitcase.  You can link directly to the product (ex. “ This carry-on suitcase is my favorite and I’ve been traveling with it for over five years!”) But then you could link to some alternatives (ex. “ Here are some other great options for top-rated carry-on luggage.”) You can search for “carry-on luggage” in Amazon and then link to the search results using your affiliate link you get from SiteStripe.  Then you can filter the search results by star rating, price range, and by Amazon Prime availability.  Then link to THAT search results page using your affiliate link.  

A best practice is to check your links as well especially once you start to recycle your blog post.  Amazon has a Link Checker in the Tools tab on your Amazon Associates dashboard.

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3 Ways To Earn Meaningful Affiliate Income (That Aren't Product Recommendations)

Sharing your favorite products with your audience is a fun and powerful way of generating income as an Amazon Affiliate.  By promoting your tried-and-true items to your community members, readers, or followers you can more effectively be the helpful resource they count on, while supporting your brand with sales commissions.  It's a win-win.  It doesn't cost any extra to your readers.  Promoting products isn't the only affiliate activity.  There are three other types of shopping opportunities your audience would undoubtedly appreciate hearing about, that provide great commissions as well.  You will find them under the Promotions tab in your Amazon Associates Account and I also break them down for you below.  These 3 ways are my favorite.

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Amazon Affiliate Featured Promotions
Amazon Affiliates Promotions
Amazon Affiliates Promotion
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Amazon Affiliate Bounty
Amazon Affiliate Bounty
Amazon Affiliate Bounty
Amazon Affiliate promo code
Amazon Affiliate Promo Code
Amazon Affiliate Promo Code

The time-bound and ever-changing nature of many of these promotions make them especially good for sharing on social media.  A promo code or simple short link for an intriguing limited-time offer makes for the perfect affiliate social content: exciting, and engaging!  Speaking of social media (and of additional affiliate opportunities), the Amazon Influencer program - an extension of Amazon Associates - is full of tools optimized for social sharing.  The program was developed specifically for social media-centric creates.  A few benefits for joining the Amazon Influencer Program are getting to create your own storefront, share products easily to all of your followers, an additional way to direct traffic to Amazon, especially useful where hyperlinking isn't possible (Instagram or video) and get rewarded.  In order to qualify Influencers across any category can participate in this program. Currently, you must have a YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook account to qualify. We look at the number of followers and other engagement metrics of your social media presence.

Amazon Influencer Program

Amazon Influencer Program

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This website contains affiliate links, that may provide me with a small commission if you decide to make a purchase, at NO cost to you. You can trust the integrity of my balanced, independent advice.  I only recommend products or services I use personally or have first-hand knowledge and that I believe will add value to my readers.

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