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How to Make More Money with Amazon.com Affiliate Program

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.

Amazon Niche Sites

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.

Amazon Books

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.

Amazon Direct Linking

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.

Amazon Advertising Fees

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.

Long Tail Pro Keyword Competitiveness

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!

EasyAzon Amazon Plugin

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!

About the Author Zac Johnson

My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.

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John Gibb says

Hey Zac

What a wonderful post. I use most of the tool mentioned herein…

Keyword Canine (a tool I've been using for months) is also a good research tool, you may want to check it out

By the way, do you have niche blogs that you monetize with Amazon yourself? What's your experience with ranking Amazon sites in Google? 🙂

I've recently heard about SkimLinks which promise bigger commissions for Amazon products (and you don't need to have an Amazon Associate Program account… awesome, is it?)
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    Zac Johnson says

    Great, thanks glad you liked it.

    I'll be sure to check out keyword canine as well.

    I have a few sites. It really comes down to making sure they are great content and very tight in topic. I can still get some of them to rank pretty well.

    I've also seen a lot of people talking about Skimlinks and some of the other contextual networks. Lots of different ways to make money with niche sites outside of just Amazon and Adsense.

paultruman says

Just wanted to thank you for this great information. I have been doing similar process with Commission Junction. I have only been utilizing my Amazon links when reviewing books on my blog to link to the actual book sales page.

My recent post Paging All of my fellow COFFEE Drinkers. 3#'s for the Price of 2#'s Special Offer

    Zac Johnson says

    Excellent. So much opportunity out there to make niche sites with affiliate programs. I'm doing this with a few programs now on Sharesale. Be sure to check them out as well.

Tom Jamieson says

This is a really great post on this topic. I have been an Amazon Affiliate for a while now, but had not come across this type of information about how to make it work better for me. Thanks for sharing your insight and knowledge.
My recent post Google Nexus 7 16GB Giveaway

    Zac Johnson says

    I've been with Amazon forever too and it's crazy to think what would have been possible if I strictly focused on building quality sites around their products.

Sunday says

Thanks Zac for sharing this impressive details once again about Amazon affiliate program. Its pretty alluring to know try out. The plugins’ detail is one major takeaway!

Edgar says

I build a nice niche site using both the amazon plugin and Spencer's software.

But I gave it a twist and made the site look a lot more modern.

Let me know what you think Zac. See my nice site.

Btw how did my plugin work out for you? Multipleurl ?
My recent post Michael Kors Black Dial Mens Watch -MK8199

    Zac Johnson says

    Awesome site. Crazy to see items with such high end prices on Amazon. Sell a few of those and you will see some nice commissions!

    Sorry, didn't get a chance to play around with the plugin yet!

Edgar says

thank Zac. I too was impress to see that Amazon carries such expensive watches.

yea.. one sale at 4% will be nice. especially on a Rolex yachtmaster will be killer commission watch is almost 40,000

The trick is to NOT use stock pictures. I try to use personal pictures because the watches stand out more..

When I was using Spenser's Long tail software… going after mens watches is very competitive and almost impossible to compete niche, but that dosent stop me.. I am ranking for some nice brands…

thanks Zac.

My recent post Watch Cases: High-quality watch boxes

Peter says

Hi Zac, that sounds really inspirational, although I have been always sceptic with the affiliate stuff. But now, I think I could turn my hobby into some money with this option. My blog isn't about stuff for sale, it is about my hobby and passion about 3D printing and 3D design. I'm a designer and I share my 3D files for free so everybody can download them and 3D print on their own desktop 3D printer. I don't want money for my open-source designs, I've shared them under the creative commons- attribution-sharealike-non-commercial license, but my blog with my 3D printing and parametric 3D modeling tutorials is getting more popular so maybe I could earn some extra money for some 3D printing material with a couple of affiliate links. Which one would you suggest for me to start with: Adsense or Amazon.com? I've heard that Amazon already sells filaments for 3D printers, maybe this one would be the right choice…
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Michael Rich says

Awesome post. Sharing on our FB page today!
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Inspired says

Hi Zac,

Thank you for sharing. I am new to this making money online…I hope you will "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"…

I am looking forward to reading it, hopefully soon 🙂 when you get a chance to write it up before the seasons begin.

So glad I did my reading on your blog tonight after a busy day at work..


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