One of the first successful ways I was able to make money online was through the use of the Amazon.com affiliate program. Back in the late 90′s I was creating hundreds of celebrity focused pages for a site that featured all of their movie titles. I would write a bit about the celebrities and then link all of their movie titles back to Amazon.com through my affiliate link. Since the SEO world was a lot different then I was ranking extremely well for various celebrities and their movie titles. This was quite a successful business model and it allowed me to earn over $100,000 in commissions through Amazon without any paid advertising.
A lot has changed since then but Amazon.com is still a mega power house that nearly ever person shops through. While many people don’t like Amazon.com because of their low commissions, you have to factor in how easy it is to make a sale through their site since they are a well trusted brand and sell virtually everything.
With all of that said, there are many ways to promote Amazon.com on your site and some work better than others. In this post I’m going to give you a few quick tips on how you can improve your Amazon earnings and maybe even get you started as an affiliate with their site in the process.
It’s All About Niche Sites
Time and time again we are talking about niche sites, and this is simply because they work so well. The two easiest ways to make money online for a web site are through Google Adsense and Amazon.com, but this doesn’t mean that they will both work well for any site. If you have an entertainment or informational site, you will probably due much better with Google Adsense than you will with linking to Amazon.com. If you have a product and review based site, you will likely do better with Amazon.com as people are already in “buying mode”. If you want to make good money with Amazon’s affiliate program a great place to start is with a niche site that focuses on the products they sell through their site.
Instead of looking at the best selling products on Amazon and trying to build sites around the big name items, break down the categories and find what’s hot within smaller niches of their own. In the example below we are looking at Pet Supplies > Dogs > Carriers & Travel Products… and you can just keep going deeper and deeper to find some great hidden gems. Build sites around these smaller niche items and you will not only right easier in the search results, but your audience will find exactly what they are looking for.
Use Product Images and Blue Text Links
Some people like to get too fancy with their sites and switch things up. There is no reason why you should complicate the process of getting people to click a link on your site. Everyone is used to seeing a BIG BOLG BLUE LINK, and it makes people want to click. Product images are also very important when people are browsing through your site. In addition to the blue link, people want to click on images for more information and views. Give your audience what you need and make the process as simple as possible. Amazon has also a lot of fancy widgets, word clouds, and search tools that you can add to your site. It’s usually recommended that you stay away from these as they don’t convert as well as simple text links and images.
Link Directly to Specific Products
Amazon’s affiliate program is one of the best around because they make it easy to link to any product on their site. You have a much better chance of making a sale through their site if you link directly to what you are talking about on your site. Send the visitor to the actual product and not the main page or even the category of Amazon.
Sell More Products, Earn More Money
I mentioned earlier that a lot of people don’t like to promote Amazon because of the low payouts. If you can sell a lot of products through their site, you will earn higher commissions. This scale is on a monthly basis and if you can push some nice volume, you can be earning over 8% on each item sold. What’s really cool is that the commission increase is retroactive across all items sold for the month. You can see a breakdown the affiliate payout structure below.
Best WordPress Plugins to Simplify the Process
As great as the Amazon affiliate program is, their affiliate backend and setting up links can be quite a pain. Fortunately there are plenty of tools, plugins and software that have been created to make the process a whole lot easier. I’ve listed some of the tools I personally use below. I highly recommend you checking them all out.
Long Tail Pro – I can’t say enough about this product that was created by Spencer Haws and I’ve already written a thorough review on it a few months ago. This software allows you to really dig down and find long tail niche keywords and let’s you look at the sites currently ranking for these keywords and give you a figure on how easy or hard it will be for a site to rank at the top of the search results for your desired term.
EasyAzon – If you are going to create a niche site and focus on using Amazon as your revenue source EasyAzon will make it so much easier for you to build links through your affiliate site. Instead of having to go back and forth between Amazon and using their affiliate link generator, you can install this plugin, search for your desired product and post it your page. This plugin has saved me a ton of time!
Niche Web Site Theme – In addition to having some great WordPress plugins to create links and content for your site, having a great theme will also help. Niche Web Site Theme was created by Chris Guthrie who has done over six figures in sales with Amazon.com over the years. In short, the theme makes it extremely easy for you to build out customized niche sites that focus on your content and getting people to click on your ads, whether they be Amazon.com, Google Adsense or affiliate offers. I’m currently using NWST for a few sites and I love the simplicity and effectiveness of it.
There are lots of other Amazon plugins and themes out there that are worth looking into as well. Some of them are free and some are premium, but the three I recommended above have worked really well for me. In the coming weeks I will probably do a case study and walk you through the process of how to find a winning niche (product) on Amazon and build out a niche site.
Amazon.com is going to be around for a very long time and they are a legitimate business and name your customers can trust. If you aren’t currently working with Amazon.com, now is a great time to start as we quickly move into the 4th quarter of the year when everyone starts to go nuts and spends their money on Halloween, Black Friday Shopping and of course Christmas! Make sure you are ready to get in on the massive spending!