Amazon Associates Program is a really great way to make money online. Amazon Associates is the Best Alternative of Google Adsense and Other Affiliate Programs. At first glance, you may write it off like I did! After all, the starting commission rate is a measly 4%, and it only goes up to 8.5% when you sell a TON of items(3131+). Pretty bad rate of return, huh?
Nope!, there are a TON of upsides as well. For one, Amazon is the most trusted name in online sales, so once you get someone to Amazon, you don’t have a build trust in their name. Amazon does a lot of closing and up selling for you!
Amazon is amazing at converting people into buying both the product you’re promoting, and other products, whether that be similar items, or items that the person has recently viewed that have nothing to do with the product you sent them too. If the person buys within 24 hours of clicking your link, then ANYTHING they buy gets YOU a commission.
Not so bad after all! 🙂
With that in mind, I have scoured all of my favorite affiliate marketing blogs for the top list of how to make $1 Million dollars with Amazon Associates. I’ve gathered them together here for your success!
Using these linked tips, the authors I reference have in total made well over $1 Million dollars! 🙂 Let’s get started!
1. Use Multiple Amazon Tracking ID’s
If you are using only one Amazon tracking ID for each website you’re running, you’re still making a huge mistake and this is a mistake I’ve seen perpetrated across a vast array of websites.
You absolutely need to use multiple tracking ID’s for every single website you run so that you know what is working and what isn’t. Part of why I believe so strongly that this list will be a valuable resource for you is simply because of the fact that I used so many tracking codes during the course of 2009 that I was able to determine exactly what tactics pays out the best and what pays out the worst.
2. Use Bestseller Lists
The bestseller list post has been one of the top posts I run on a monthly basis for almost all of my various blogs and forums. I simply write about the bestselling products within the niche of the blogs I run. I only do it once per month so it doesn’t upset users looking for unique content.
Bestseller lists are a form of social proof and they are incredibly strong at convincing people what to buy, which is precisely why Amazon uses them so extensively on their own website. People on the fence of a purchase decision use what others are buying to help make their decision.
3. Focus on Contextual Links
The biggest chunk of money I earned was by linking to products inside the actual blog posts I was writing about. Say for example I was discussing a new product that was now available to pre-order. First I would link to it because it was available for pre-order with no mention of the price.
Then I’d show an image and use an affiliate link for that (more on images in the later tips). Then after the image I’d share a few of the products specs but then use an affiliate link titled something like “see full specs” and then if there were other colors I’d link to each one of those individually.
Finally, I would end the post with a statement to pre-order it and at what price it was available to purchase at.
4. Just Get People To Amazon!
Yes the cookie length for Amazon.com is fairly short at only 24 hours, but Amazon spends incredible amounts of money on testing their website and improving their ability to converting people browsing for products into customers.
It’s worth mentioning that I exported my chart of affiliate earnings by product category and only 1,367 of the 3,953 items that shipped through my affiliate links during 2009 were from product categories within the main niches for each of the blogs and websites that I run.
Granted, the dollar sum of these items amounted to most of the earnings to the tune of 75%, but by getting people onto Amazon.com and shipping an extra 2,000+ items over the course of the year helped to put me into higher earnings tiers which in turn gave me more money overall.
5. Make Images of Products Clickable
This tip is what I consider to be the most obvious one, but for some reason I still see blogs that discuss a product and include an image but don’t make the image an affiliate link that takes the visitor to that product.
If you are already linking to products on Amazon and including images of them but not making the images an affiliate link – make the change now!
To lean on my first point, use a new tracking code just to test how well the image affiliate links perform and I can assure you that you’ll see some improved earnings.
6. Use Amazon’s “Buy Now” Buttons
If you’re discussing a product that is related to your blog and you’re already linking to it several times within the body of the post as I suggest in tip 3 and using the image as a link in tip 4 then you may as well include a button to buy now.
Use a plugin like EasyAzon to make these buttons easily and skyrocket your income! I personally use this plugin and it has doubled my earnings in just 2 months on one of my websites!
7. You’ve Got to Have Traffic!
Let’s start with the most obvious point – one of the biggest factors in the upward swing in my Amazon earnings has been a corresponding upward swing traffic.
As with most ways of making money from blogging the more eyeballs that see your affiliate promotions – the better chance you have of it converting (of course this is a generalization as not all kinds of traffic converts – but more of that in the next point).
8. Loyalty and Trust Matter
One of the other major factors that has come into play with the increase in earnings that I’ve had has been the type of readership I’ve managed to gather on my blogs.
While I do get a fair bit of search engine traffic I’ve found that in most cases (and there is an exception below) search visitors are not converting with affiliate programs on my blogs – instead it is loyal and repeat readers.
The main reason for this is that those readers who connect with you on a daily basis over the long haul develop a trust with you (and your blog) and so when you make a recommendation or do a review they’re more likely to take that advice.
9. Reader Intent: Are People Ready To Buy When They Visit Your Site?
I began to think about this just over a year ago as I looked at the growing traffic on my photography site but realized that my Amazon earnings didn’t seem to be keeping up with the traffic growth that I was experiencing.
What I realized is that DPS was a blog that was largely writing about ‘tips on how to use a camera’ and that as a result it wasn’t really drawing readers to it who were in a ‘buying mood’.
In fact a survey that I did found that many of my readers had recently purchased a camera and were on my site specifically because they wanted to learn how to use it.
As a result I added to the mix of new content on the site more articles relevant to people buying a digital camera. I wrote tips with advice on buying cameras, reviews of digital cameras and equipment etc. This culminated in a while new section on the blog devoted to ‘gear’.
10. The Products Must Be Relevant
This is another common sense tip that many of us (yes I failed on this one in my early days) mess up. The more relevant to your audience the products are that you promote the better chance you’ll have of converting.
11. Reader Reviews Rock!
However one day I had a reader offer to write a book review for me. Because I knew the reader I thought it’d be OK so published it. As with all my reviews it had an affiliate link to Amazon in it. I was a little skeptical about whether it’d convert though because I thought my readers might not respond as well to a stranger’s review of the book as opposed to my own. I was wrong.
The review not only converted as well as my normal reviews – but did even better than normal! This could have been for many reasons but one that I suspect came into play was the way that I introduced the reviewer as a ‘DPS reader’. I didn’t build them up to be an expert, I just presented them as a normal reader with no agenda wanting to share some thoughts on a book that had helped them.
12. Genuine Reviews
There are two main ways that I promote Amazon links. The first is in ‘Reviews’ for products (the second I’ll cover below in the next point). These links are where I or one of my writers will genuinely look over and test a product and give it the once over.
I insist my writers actually read the books, test the cameras and use the software products that they review and encourage them to be as genuine and unbiased as possible so as to point out both the pros and cons of the product. While there’s some temptation to hype up a product and only talk about it’s positives a real review will help your reader relationship over the long haul and I find actually helps promote sales.
13. Simple, Informational Links
The other type of link that I use to Amazon is when I’m mentioning a product in passing and/or a new product is announced that is relevant for my niche.
For example: when the Nikon D300s was announced recently by Nikon we immediately posted about the news because it was a notable and anticipated camera announcement. The camera was not yet available in stores and we were not able to get a review sample yet – but it was available for Pre-Order on Amazon so we linked to it.
There was no recommendation or review attached to the link but it was a relevant link for readers who wanted to know more about it (price, specs, pictures etc). Some readers pre-ordered the cameras from that link.
14. Special Promotions and Sales
There’s hardly a product on Amazon that does not have a listed discount on it. Most books are as much as 30% off recommended retail prices and at different times during the year Amazon runs other special discounts and promotions on different single products or in different product categories.
Keep an eye out for these kinds of promotions because they can be well worthwhile promoting (if relevant to your readership). In fact last time Amazon had cameras on special I promoted it to my newsletter readers and had readers emailing me to thank me for letting them know about it.
15. Use Keyword Research to Find Low-Competition Niches
Keep in mind whenever you are niche marketing either it be for physical product or digital product, there is always a pattern in keywords to detect which keywords are buyer keywords.
Buyer Keywords are keywords which people type in search engines with intention of buying a product. Keywords with buyers intention can be easily recognized if they appear as follows,
- Product Name Itself
- Product Name Review
- Product Name Reviews
- Product Name Discount
- Buy Product Name
- Purchase Product Name
16. Create YouTube Videos Promoting Products
YouTube traffic was actually the very first traffic source I used when I started out online. Back then I loved playing poker (I still do btw). Having a passion for poker I started promoting poker rooms on the Internet. Actually this is how I made my very first dollar online.
I remember downloading poker videos from the torrent sites, cutting out the best parts and uploading those short clips on YT 🙂 It was a hassle, but it was totally worth it.
Believe it or not – some of the videos I produced five years ago are still there and bring me signups to PokerStars till this day.
17. Quickly and Easily Rank Pages for New Products
Today I’m going to show you how you can find a completely UNTAPPED buying keyword that receives over 20k searches.
Alright first off we’re going to start over at Google News
- Google News
- and type in “announced” in the search bar
- Then you’re going to look for a product that was just announced
- Here’s what I found: Nvidia Geforce GTX690 (for Example )
- Note this product was JUST announced yesterday so the competition is as low as can be…..
- Now we’re going to hit up Google Keyword tool and find the best keyword for it using a predecessor…
18. Use Adsense on Your Site
Some affiliates say that it’s best to focus on a product and product only, leaving no other choice than clicking on your Amazon affiliate link. Yup, I agree that your primary mission should be to send your visitor to Amazon.com. Why then you have built a review site in the first place, right?
However, not everyone will click. And we can’t change that. Some people are just doing research on a specific product. Some will go straight to the nearest local store after reading your wonderful review. What if they didn’t liked your review or simply didn’t find it appealing? And it’s not your fault! You can’t please all your visitors. So this is where Google Adsense ads comes in.
19. Review Related Clickbank Products
Relevant Clickbank products can double or even triple your review blog income. Before you slam any clickbank ads on your site, make sure you do a detailed demographic research of your amazon product.
For example: let’s say we promote toys for kids. This tells us that the buyers most likely will be parents who have kids. And as we know, most parents have problems dealing with their kids when they are growing.
So you can promote some kind of parenting product that teaches how to get their child to listen, pay attention and behave.
20. Build Your Email List
This is golden. It’s nothing better than having a full list of potential buyers. An email list can be super effective on holidays.
For example, sending a few emails just before Christmas telling them that Christmas is almost here and reminding them about Amazon in a gentle way.
Send your affiliate link to best selling product list or something like that. Just find a way to make them click through your link and Amazon will do the rest.
21. Use Amazon’s Hot Products Lists For Inspiration
As I mentioned before the above two pages list products that are proven to sell, however they have a lot competition. But there is one list that provides you with the new and hot products that still has less to none competition and sells pretty well. And this is the http://www.amazon.com/gp/new-releases/ list.
This list is updated daily and provides hundreds of recently released products in various different categories. So, now you have products that are new, which is great because you can go and SEO your review pages for these products and get ranked on Google more easily, plus at the same time they are hot sellers, which will make you money.
22. Use Multiple Links Per Post
When I used to write reviews of products with affiliate links I did so with one link. I’m not sure why but for some reason I thought a single link would be enough and I didn’t want to run the risk of annoying readers with more.
However one day it struck me that the reviews I were writing were quite long and by the time people got to the end of them they’d scrolled down the page so that the link to Amazon was no longer visible.
At this point I started to experiment with a link at the top and tail of the post. I did some heat map tracking of which link proved to be most clickable and also used Amazon’s tracking codes to see which one would ‘convert’ to a sale more often. The results were interesting:
- both links got clicked quite a bit but the one under the article was clicked on slightly more than the top one (despite being under the fold)
- the lower link converted better than the top one
- those who clicked on the top link still made sales (although not as many) – but interestingly it wasn’t always the product I reviewed – often it seemed to be related products.
23. Multiple Promotion Strategies Per Product
I only do this on very popular or highly anticipated products – but it certainly works well. The key is to find a number of different ways to post about the product over a few weeks (or longer). I wouldn’t do all of the following for a single product but here’s a few ways I’ve done it on occasion in the past.
24. Promote “Add-On’s”
One of the challenges I came up against when writing about cameras regularly is that while a certain percentage of my readers were actively shopping for a new camera – many already had them. In fact writing a ‘photography tips’ blog kind of means you attract more people wanting to learn how to use a camera that they already had rather than buying a new one.
As a result I often do more promotions on ‘related products’ than cameras themselves.
In my space that means promoting lenses, flashes, memory cards and other photographic accessories as well as photography books (which is strongly related to my core ‘tips’ focus).
25. Don’t Forget About Pre-Order Products
For example last year when Canon Released the Canon EOS 50D DSLR I used this technique. This post generated 10 sales of the camera before it was even available in stores. While two of them cancelled their orders later 8 sales of a $1000+ product certainly add up!
26. Use Multiple Tracking Id’s
I eventually decided that I needed to know more about what was working for me and decided to start tracking campaigns. Amazon allows you to create 100 tracking id’s. I didn’t realize there was a limit until a month or so back when I hit the maximum and wish Amazon would increase it.
To be honest I find their tracking system pretty messy and think it needs an overhaul – however it is great for testing what works and what doesn’t – most of what I’ve written about in other tips in these articles was learned through tracking.
27. Small Ticket Items Add Up
One of the most common criticisms that I hear of the Amazon Associates program is that it’s just too many small commissions. Getting a commission of a few % on a $15 book just doesn’t cut it for many. Some people use this to justify not using Amazon at all while others just promote big ticket items and ignore the smaller ticket products like books, DVDs, CDs etc.
The other beauty of getting lots of smaller ticket sales is that they go towards increasing the commission tier that you’re on. The more items you sell (not the more $’s you refer – but item numbers) the higher % commission you make from Amazon.
28. Big Ticket Items Add Up Too!
While I strongly advise promoting small ticket items to help boost your sale numbers and for the commission that lots of such sales can generate – it’s also worth
doing some bigger ticket promotions too. 🙂
In my experience they don’t convert anywhere near as well as cheaper items – but when they do they can give your revenue a real boost. As someone promoting cameras that can sell for several thousand dollars – I’ve had single commissions in the hundreds of dollars range (even when the commission is limited to 4% on consumer electronics).
29. It Takes Time
As I mentioned in my first post on the topic – the $119,000+ that I’ve earned from Amazon has only come over 6 years. While this last 12 months has seen me earn over $50,000 of this it took 5 years of building to get it to that level.
That was partly due to traffic but it was also partly due to my regular inclusion of affiliate links in my posts over time. I don’t promote Amazon in every post I write but in an average week I’d say that I’ve linked to Amazon in at least 5 posts. That adds up to 250 or so posts per year and around 1500 posts over 6 years.
30. Start Early With Affiliate Links
As a result I do recommend that bloggers start to use Amazon’s Associate Program early. In doing so you’ll be populating your blog with links into the store that may not convert brilliantly early on before you have readers – but which can potentially convert for years to come as your blog grows in popularity.
31. Experiment With Widgets and aStore
I’ve mentioned in my previous posts that I largely rely upon Contextual links to promote Amazon. I find that these convert best – however I do know of a few bloggers who’ve successfully incorporated a variety of the widgets that Amazon gives their Associates to use into their sites.
32. Be Transparent
There is always debate about the topic of transparency when the topic of affiliate marketing comes up. Should you disclose that your links are affiliate links or should you not? Each blogger has their own stance on this and with a lot of talk about laws changing in some parts of the world it seems that some bloggers are now being forced to make such disclosures.
I personally don’t disclose every link on my blog in a direct way but do have disclaimer/disclosure pages on my blogs.
I also have written numerous times on DPS about how the links to Amazon earn us money and help the site to keep growing and be free.
33. Don’t Overhype – Think About The Long Haul
I’ve been critiqued for taking this stance lately by a group of bloggers who take a different stance and seem to put the priority on ‘making money at all costs’ – but while you certainly can make money without a focus upon quality content or building community on a blog and by hyping up the things that you promote – my approach has always been to put the reader first.
I do this because I want to build a solid reputation and a loyal readership who trust me rather than simply making money at all costs. I’d rather make less money and still have a reader than make lots of money and never see the reader again. For me this comes not only from my ethics but my belief that in the long term building a good profile and reputation leads to other opportunities for profit.
34. Promote Good Products
When you promote quality it is much easier to be both genuine in your reviews and recommendations and get conversions that lead to commission.
Wherever you can test the products you recommend to ensure their quality (or find someone who can do it for you).
35. Be Bold
It has been interesting to read the comments on the previous posts in this series and to see that one of the recurring themes from readers is that they worry about using Amazon links too much. Won’t readers push back?
I’ve always shared this concern – but as you’ve probably picked up by now the reader push back has been almost non-existent.
36. Use Localized Links
Another comment that has come up a number of times in previous posts on this topic is that Amazon.com doesn’t work brilliantly for blogs and sites with traffic from countries outside the USA.
This is yet another way that the EasyAzon plugin makes you serious dough! It automatically detects the user’s country, and customizes the affiliate links to their local Amazon store. Check out EasyAzon now!
37. Different Topics Convert Differently
Some topics will naturally fit with Amazon better than others. In the end a lot of it comes down to the fact that Amazon is a product related affiliate program – it only works when people buy stuff. If your blog is on a topic that doesn’t have any natural connection to people buying stuff it is going to be an uphill battle.
In my experience it’s product related blogs that tend to do best with Amazon. Most blogs probably have at least some possibilities (for example here, I occasionally link to a book that relates or a computer or electronic tool that I think might be useful to bloggers) but the reality is that this blog will never convert as well on Amazon as my photography site.
38. Pay Attention to How Amazon Markets
Amazon have spent years perfecting the art of online selling – they constantly test different ways of promoting products and have evolved their site quite a lot over the years. See what widgets they use to promote related products, watch how they use reader reviews, see the way that they describe products.
You’ll learn a lot about online marketing by observing how they do it and you’ll also be in a better position to pre-sell the products you recommend if you look at the page you’re sending people to before you do it.
39. Create a Product Comparison Table
Creating a product comparison grid for all of the products within your niche and allowing people to sort by various features is a great way to get some additional sales. I’ve used this tactic on several of my websites and the product comparison page alone can add an additional 5% to 10% income increase for a website.
If you do it manually you’ll need to use this WordPress plugin called Tablepress and what I do is include various columns for information about the product and in the final column I use a buy now button that people can click to see more info about the product.
40. Publish A Recurring Deals Post
If you want to find a way to be able to mention products that are on sale more frequently on your website one of the easiest ways I’ve done that in the past is to just do a weekly deals post.
So what I’ll do is publish a post every week with the best deals for my niche and then incorporate all of the previous tactics I’ve discussed above to link to the products on Amazon.com.
Depending on how often you publish articles you could do it more or less frequently (I’ve seen some websites do these style of articles every day).
41. Monthly Bestseller Lists Are Great Too
Amazon has a bestseller page found simply at Amazon.com/bestsellers and so one thing I’ve done on my site is publish a bestsellers list and simply mention the currently trending bestsellers.
Generally speaking the cream rises to the top so if you write an article talking about the bestselling products those are likely to be the best products your visitors are looking to buy anyway.
42. Optimize Your Layout for Conversions
I’ve been using Amazon’s affiliate program heavily for a little over two years now and the one thing I found through constant testing is that the layout of your website matters when it comes to how well it converts casual visitors into affiliate sales.
Armed with this knowledge you’d think that people would spend more time testing their theme or website layout to determine the optimal way to make money from their website right?
Well, I still see some of the worst converting themes around and that’s why I actually paid for a theme to be created specifically for these physical product focused websites I had been building.
43. Take A Course to Accelerate Your Income
If you’re read this far then I’m sure you’re still interested in ways to make more money with Amazon.com (or to just finally get started). So I actually created a training course with over 3 hours of video content to walk people step by step through how I build my Amazon sites in addition to showing a few of my own Amazon income generating sites so you can learn from my example.
I don’t need to push a hard sale here, because my numbers speak for themselves. I’ve earned $90,336.65 with Amazon’s affiliate program in the past 2 years and even sold one of my Amazon style websites in a deal worth six figures five months ago.
If you want to learn more check out my Niche Profit Course. It’s a one time price of $97 and we’re just about to cross the 800 member mark.
44. Don’t Be Lazy
Promoting a product takes effort. Let me tell you one thing, copy pasting the same product description on Amazon.com and pasting it in your product description does NOT work.
Why would anyone be bothered to buy from your ‘unknown’ site when they can get the same thing from the world’s most trusted online retailer! So when writing product description, be original and write your own description.
45. Promote Products Over $100
The more expensive the product your reader buys, the more commission you will make, so make sure you recommend higher priced products with good value.
46. Full 24 Hour Cookie!
One complaint many affiliates have about Amazon’s program is the their cookie duration is too short.
What do I mean by cookie? No, I’m not talking about the kind you eat. A cookie in reference to the Internet is a tracking code that is tied to a web browser.
So when someone clicks your Amazon affiliate link and goes to their site, that cookie is what tells Amazon that you referred the customer if they make a purchase.
However, if they do not buy within 24 hours and return to Amazon a few days later, you are not credited with the sale unless they go through your affiliate link again.
Though the author I linked to doesn’t like the 24 hour cookie– I’m glad for it! Amazon could, if they wanted, only honor purchases of the product that was linked to for affiliate credit. However, they don’t do that, and over 1/4 of my earnings have come from totally random product sales!
47. Curate Top List Posts to Make Big Money
These lists can take a little while to put together because of all their extra parts, but they’re by far the easiest to write about. All you need to do is include a little bit of a personal touch and then copy and paste some relevant information from Amazon.
This isn’t plagiarism because this text has been written by the seller or manufacturer to help promote the sale of their products and that’s exactly what you’re doing.
Same goes with the photos, just make sure you’ve got them looking good and in keeping with your website and you’ll be onto a good thing. I take a lot of time over photos because they can really help to sell the product to the reader.
48. Niche Down Tight!
I started doing really well with Amazon’s affiliate program back in early 2009. I shared some tips on what I’ve learned after making $90k+ with Amazon here. The biggest suggestion if you’re looking to make money with Amazon is to use it on websites with a very specific product oriented focus.
For example, with the Netbook Reviews website I sold in a deal worth six figures I aimed to create the best possible netbook website and so I did things my competitors weren’t such as actually reviewing the product with videos etc. etc.
You can apply this focus to any niche, just know that if you want that #1 Google ranking your site needs to be better than the site currently ranking that spot (in terms of the quality of links, quality of your domain name, quality of your content etc.)
49. Be An Action Taker
Most of the people I talk to fail before they even start. There’s only so much time you can spend learning before you have to take action. If you are reading this interview and haven’t actually done something (i.e. registered a domain name and set up your first website etc.) then you should stop reading this right now.
Figure out what you’re interested in, do a quick search to see who the existing competition is and then make a decision to move forward with building your first website. If you aren’t an action taker you will never be successful with an online business.
50. Don’t Forget Social Media
There are many social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and Others that can help you to grow your Amazon Products sales.
If you have any further query then you can comment below in the comment sections and If you know any others ways you can tell us here at the comment sections. I Hope you like it and please don’t forget to share this article with your friends on social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Others.