Prior to working on AnotherWindowsBlog, I was already a huge fan of Amazon. Nothing has changed till this day. Living on an island makes it very hard for us to find products of various categories. We don’t have the luxury of being able to shun one store and hop to another to make price comparisons. This is especially true when it comes to electronics and computer parts. It was only recently when I started looking for ways to monetize my blog that I stumbled upon Amazon’s Affiliate (AA) program. Within this program, you get a small commission every time a visitor successfully purchases something through Amazon as a result of clicking a link on your website or blog. I’m going to go over how easy it is to get started and why this program is such a good idea for blogs that isn’t necessarily at the top of the blog chain.
How Amazon’s Affiliate Program Works
To cut to the chase, AA’s program is very simple to understand.
- You first tell Amazon that you want to join in on the program. This can be easily done by signing in to your Amazon account and filling out a short form. In this form, you basically tell Amazon what your site/blog is about, where it’s located, how many visitors average do you have per day, etc.
- Amazon will then investigate your site. This is done more to prevent unprofessional blogs from being in their program. These most likely include blogs that promotes pirated software or pornography and the likes. Once you have been approved (which I’m sure you will as long as everything is legit), you’ll receive an email from Amazon welcoming you into their program. You’ll have your very own associate’s ID which ties in to all the links and banners you serve on your site.
- You then start to create product links to place on your website or blog and hope that not only does someone click on them, but to click on them in addition to purchasing an item. Amazon includes a myriad of ways for you to build links, banners and even fully customized widgets to put on your blog to attract potential customers. The HTML codes Amazon provides allow you to simply copy and paste them into your site. Everything else is done from Amazons side.
- Once you’ve earned enough money, Amazon can pay you in one of three ways. First, you can request an Amazon gift card/certificate. The minimum amount you would have to earn is $10. The second method is via a direct deposit to your banking account. Again, the minimum you would have to earn is $10. The third method is for Amazon to write you a personal check. This payment method requires you to earn a minimum of at least $100.
It’s important to understand that you will still earn a commission even if someone clicks on your links but doesn’t actually buy the product you’ve advertised but something else instead. For example, I could create a link to a specific camera model I have reviewed. A visitor is first interested in the camera and clicks the link to Amazon. However, after some research, he/she decides to buy a different model. You will still earn the commission for that product. Here is a more specific definition of how Amazon actually tracks referrals:
Why Use This?
With AA’s program, a visitor must actually follow through and purchase an actual product for you to earn a commission. This might seem negative at first but the commission you’ll earn is a lot more than what you’ll get with Adsense or other similar type advertisements if you don’t have a high ranking site with thousands of visitors per day. You’ll start off small with just a 4% commission rate but as you get more referrals, the percentage climbs up. The maximum is is 8.50%. It’s definitely difficult in the beginning (isn’t everything?) but I’ve earned more money through AA’s program than I did with Google’s Adsense program even though I’ve implemented the former a lot earlier. If you don’t have a lot of visitors to your blog, it makes more sense to become an AA. You’ll earn more money if you get your visitors to purchase items from Amazon through your affiliate links.
Tips and Advices
– This is not a get rich scheme nor an easy way for you to earn the most amount of money in the least amount of time. Amazon, I’m sure you would agree with me, is a trusted source. By that I mean that they are a company who has a good standing reputation as an online merchandise provider. Be glad that they even offer the AA program so that individuals like you and me can hep generate some revenue through our website. You help them make money and they do the same for you. Fair enough right?
– In order to have even a small amount of success through the AA program, you have to work for it! Everything, and I mean everything, depends on the wellness of your website. If you don’t spend time maintaining and updating your blog, don’t expect to draw a huge crowd of visitors. The less visitors you receive, the less chances of you succeeding in your advertisement campaign. You can simply do a search online on how to legitimately attract more visitors to your site and I’m sure you’ll be able to learn a lot on the subject matter.
– Target your Amazon ads based on your website as best possible. There are two modes of thinking here. If your blog or website is all about new gadgets and technology, then it would make sense for you to place Amazon banners focusing on that category. This allows your campaign to be more successful because your readers are more likely to click on your ad and buy a certain product that they can actually relate to. Why would a reader click on your banner for automobile parts when your blog is about plants and gardens? This leads to the second mode. You can choose to advertise products that are hot in the market even though it might not have anything to do with your blog. For example, smart phones are all the craze now days. Therefore, you can place a banner for that category or for a specific phone product on your site in hopes to entice users (the sidebar is the best placement for this type of ads). You need to find out what works best for you and your site.
– Try to place your ads in a location where your readers can see them the best. The top of your blog along the space between your blog title and where your post actually begins is also a good location. Your sidebar area is also an often used space for advertisements. The other important factor is choosing the correct banner/widget size for each ad placement. Again, you’ll have to play around with it for a bit before you feel comfortable. My rule of thumb is that if it doesn’t look or feel right upon first glance, then go with your instinct and change it.
– Try not to bombard your site with advertisements. This is always the rule of thumb. Rather than placing 5-6 different banners and links to Amazon in random places, you’ll be better off placing just 2-3 links in highly “noticed” areas as mentioned above. Go overboard and not only will you risk the visitor not clicking on your link but also from them not visiting your blog ever again.By default, ads served through Amazon’s servers are automatically blocked by ad-blocking software. A simple way to bypass this is to host the advertisement images yourself while still earning the commission should someone purchase something through your link. I’ve talked to Amazon and they have confirmed that I am definitely allowed to host the Amazon advertisement pictures myself, just as long as I don’t modify anything on the original banner image itself. I am allowed to re-size the picture, however. This also means that you can even create your own custom advertisement banners and logo images! If you want to know how to accomplish this, simply send me an email and I’ll gladly show you.