Amazon Associates Tips to accelerate your income
For the last 7 months, I’ve earned over $7,000 dollars a month from Amazon, and so far, I’m on track to do the same this month (fingers crossed). I know many people struggle with Amazon Associates and some people say it’s a waste of time. But, I’m here to tell you that you can excel at it.
Clearly Amazon doesn’t work for all categories (e.g. it’s not the best for niches that don’t apply to physical consumer goods (e.g. personal finance, blogging, etc.). But, if you do blog about something that can promote physical products, it can work very well for you…if you know how to work it.
My main blog is about home decor. And, I will tell you that it took me a while to get this to work. Maybe I’m a slow learner. But by month 11 of monetizing my blog, I started to “get it.” And, when I did, my income started to take off.
I think I got better at choosing topics and writing well…and just blogging more (so that I had more in my arsenal). And, I coupled that with time, organic search and a bit of pinterest. Over time, things became synergistic.
So, I want to share my top tips for making Amazon Associates work. I didn’t get here overnight. It took time and practice (and yes, I’ve had plenty of failures along the way. I hope this advice is helpful.
Update 5/11/20: It’s been a nice run. For 13 months in a row, I did super well. I had one lower month at $6,400 and one month over $9,100. In April 2020, I was on track to surpass the $10,000 threshold (just barely).
But, alas on 4/21/20, Amazon lowered their commission rates, so I only hit $8,300 for the month (not bad) and now looking at full month May, I’m projecting to be at $4,700. While it’s not as high as it was, it’s still a nice chunk of money, and these strategies still hold.
I hope to build back up over time, and Amazon is just one of my affiliate partners. It is now my #2 affiliate partner.
This post contains affiliate links. Upon purchase, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Disclosure here.
Key things to remember with your Amazon Affiliate strategy
Now before I get started, I want to remind everyone about a few things when it comes to Amazon. First, if the buyer clicks your link and buys ANYTHINGS within 24 hours, you will get a commission for that. It does not need to be the item you recommended…
….So, part of your goal is simply to get them to click…and then let Amazon do all the hard work. (And, sometimes we get lucky as they end up buying an expensive item in their cart).
And, generally the cookie will only last 24 hours, so you want to make their decision making process easy! Do not over complicate this. Don’t give them too many choices. Less is more!
7 Tips to grow your Amazon Associates commissions
1. SEO is the key to success for Amazon (as well as other affiliate programs)
Yes, in case you missed the memo, SEO traffic is critical to success on Amazon (and for that matter almost every affiliate platform).
Because people are actively searching for the information. They want to solve their problem or question. They are much more likely to be in buying mode and therefore much more likely to convert.
They will also stay on the page longer, which in turn makes them more likely to click your links and actually buy.
Contrast this with Pinterest or other social media traffic where someone just stumbles across your article
In my experience, I earn 3 times the dollars on my organic traffic vs my pinterest traffic. It’s no contest.
So, learn SEO. It is critical to your long term success and super important for your affiliate earning.
Many bloggers put off SEO both because they underestimate its importance and over estimate the difficulty. I’m here to tell you that it’s MUCH easier than you think. I promise.! I have 2 SEO ebooks that will help you learn Search Engine Optimization.
- This first one, is called Easy On-Page SEO teaches you everything you need to do on your blog posts for great SEO. It is the first step in the SEO process and it’s written for beginners and intermediates (but even advanced students have found it super helpful). You can read more here
- The second one is Easy Backlinks for SEO and this is the 2nd part of the SEO – making sure that you have great backlinks to your blog and post so that you have higher authority and trust with google (as well as help you improve our domain authority. You can read more here.
The truth is you need both pieces of the puzzle as they each account for about 50% of your results in the rankings. Too many bloggers, especially newer ones skip the 2nd step. And, because I want you to succeed, I offer a $20 discount if you buy both books at the same time (you’ll see the upsell offer when you click the buy button).
2. Volume is critical
Yes, this is a volume game. Each commission may be small, but if you’re able to generate a lot of well qualified traffic (especially organic traffic), you can get a lot of sales. Amazon has a high conversion rate (compared to other retailers) and they are great at upselling.
The more high quality traffic you get, and the more you can send their way, the more you can scale up. (as you can see from my results). It’s not about having 1 super post…it’s about having many great converting posts.
Now, I don’t mean that you need to have hundreds of post. My top 20 Amazon posts account for 85% of the income.
3. Focus on higher priced items and higher commission categories
Amazon commission rates differ by category. So whenever you can, focus on higher commission categories (that is, assuming it fits in with your blog). Look for items like books, kitchen, automotive, luggage and apparel. Again, only write about RELEVANT topics.
I blog about Home Décor and the commission rate used to be 8% on many items (now it’s only 3%). Look for ones that are 4% and higher
Having a higher commission rate helps (obviously). But, as I said, make sure it fits in with your blog/post. Do not force fit it. I make plenty of commissions on 4%, 4.5% and 5.5% range. I always look for what’s best for the customer, even if it means a lower commission rate. Not only is it best for my readers, but if it converts, that’s what counts, and yes, they can buy other items at the same time.
4. Check out these 2 amazing resources
Now I will tell you that I had some help in my journey to $7,000 a month. These 2 Amazon resources were inflection points for me and change the way the way I do things. They are both super reasonably priced and were game changers for me.
This one is Ashli Dawn’s, and it’s for beginners. Cracking the code on Amazon. She goes over the user intent types of keywords you want to use and all the basics on choosing topics that will convert.
And, this second one is Jennifer Ledbetter’s and is seriously the best ebook I’ve ever read. In fact I think I’ve read i4 times and I’m about to reread it a 5th time. She is a marketing genius and you just can’t find this info anywhere else. Check it out here
Both are very reasonably priced and made a big impact on my income. I’m super choiceful about what I spend my money on and these are well worth it…as you can see from how much I’ve earned on Amazon.
Oh, and if you’re looking for a general affiliate marketing course, I recommend Carly’s Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers. I’ve taken 8 affiliate marketing courses/books and this is the best and best value. (There’s a reason I earn $14,000-$16,000 a month just on affiliates…and I’ve had 2 months earning over $20,000. Use my exclusive discount FLOORINGGIRL25 for 25% off.
5. Make sure your links are obvious, but not spammy looking
I know this sounds sooooo obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many sites do not make their links obvious. The link color may be the same as the text and you may not see it until you hover over it. Or, even more often, the link color isn’t obvious. It may be gray or a pale pink or a pale yellow. Do not do this.
Make your links obvious. It should contrast with the regular text and contrast with the background. Blue is usually the most commonly used and recognized color for links. I make my affiliate links bold as well and underlined so it’s extra obvious.
Related to this, make sure your font is large enough and there is enough space for people to click the links…especially on mobile. Try you own site on mobile and make sure it’s easy to find and click the links.
In addition, I will usually link to an item more than once in a post or section.
It’s also very helpful to use both pictures AND links. It shows people what they’re getting and often gets them to click. Make sure to use Amazon stripe for those pictures so that they can click the link (and to avoid breaking any TOS).
I avoid using the text/picture option as it looks like an ad and kind of spammy. Instead I put in BOTH the text link and picture link in SEPARATELY. (BTW, I haven’t found Native Ads to be effective..I think they only account for 0.2% of my income).
Consider using “buy here” buttons to make it obvious. I’ve just created my own buttons in Canva to do this. I use this for many other affiliate programs as well.
Also, if you’re looking for fancier graphics such as tables/comparison charts, check out Easy Product Displays. It’s an amazing resource that will allow your graphics to look amazing (and the designs are responsive so they look good on all devices). They also have an “add to cart” button which will extend your cookie to 90 days (rather than just 24 hours).
Remember, sometimes it’s all about just getting them to click. If they don’t click, they won’t buy!
6. Use tracking IDs to improve
Amazon allows you to add tracking IDs. These are free and unlimited. You can track whatever you want – different links within a post. For me, I generally track each post. I don’t usually need to get more specific than that. But, if I know which posts are making me the most money, it is easy for me to work on improving those posts.
So, if I have articles making good money, I try to figure out how to grow them further (e.g. create new pins, improve their SEO, share them on social media, etc.) It has been huge for me.
To create a tracking ID, simply look for your email address on the amazon page and hover over the downward triangle. You’ll then see an option to “manage your tracking IDs.” After you click this, then you can create a new tracking ID (I do one for each post).
Click the “Add tracking ID.” Select the ID you want…I make it simple so it’s easy for me to remember. So if I wrote an article about dark hardwood floors, I would make the tracking ID HWhardwoodfloors.
So a few quick notes here. First, Amazon adds on your country ID to the end of it (in the US, that is 20). Second, tracking IDs must be unique…meaning no one else can use the same tracking ID. So, I just start all of mine w/ “HW” (for hardwood). You can pick your own prefix. Third, they have a minor glitch and often, it will say something like that User ID is taken, here are some suggestions…and the first one will the one you requested. It’s stupid. I don’t know why they do that, but just select it.
Then, when you go to your Amazon Stripe, at the top of the page there is an option to select the tracking ID. So select the right one for the post. And, that’s it.
7. Write about topics for your niche and target audience.
You will do much better writing on topics you know and love and that are relevant to your blog. Not only will you be able to give expert advice, but you will have a way better chance of ranking well on these. So don’t just go for high priced items, but rather figure out how to make it work for your own blog.
Common mistakes you want to avoid (as they can get you kicked out)
Now Amazon has a lot of rules and some people inadvertantly break their TOS. Read through them carefully…read it maybe 4 times to be sure. I’m not kidding.
Video on Amazon No No’s and common mistakes:
Here are the most common mistakes I see:
- You are not allowed to use Amazon’s links in emails, private messages, pdfs, courses, private facebooks groups…basically anything that isn’t public. If google can crawl it and anyone can see it, you’re safe; if they can’t, you can’t use it. (Note: if your course is free and public, this one way to get around this).
- Be sure to put in the proper Amazon disclosure. It’s required on every page that has Amazon’s links and must use their specific language (reread their TOS) if you’re not sure.
- Do not include anything in your disclosure statements that says something like “thank you for supporting our blog” or “this helps us pay the bills on this blog.”
- Avoid sharing prices (as they change all the time) unless you are an approved partner w/ Amazon and using their api. (note: usually sharing prices leads to lower click through rates, so it’s in your better interest to avoid using them, anyway).
- Be very careful on how you use their images. You are allowed to use them on your site with the links generated by the Site Stripe. You are not allowed to manipulate the images/add text etc nor use them without the links. This meas that you are not allowed to use their images for pin collages or feature images.
Here’s part 2 of the video. I have a few clarifications.
If you’d like to learn more about getting started with Amazon or some of the restrictive rules they have, check out this article from Tracie Fobes.
Final thoughts on making more money with Amazon Associates
As you can see, it’s very possible to earn a good income with Amazon Associates program if you are focused and determined. I’m certainly not the only one who has done this and, there are many making much more than I do on Amazon. It seems to be a pretty stable income and keeps gradually growing as I get more traffic and write more articles.
Related Amazon articles and resources:
- Cracking the code on Amazon
- Niche Post Conversion Strategies
- Carly’s Affiliate Marketing for bloggers (use my exclusive discount flooringgirl25 for 25% off). This is the best general affiliate marketing course I’ve taken and best value (I’ve taken 8 courses/books)
- 9 free blogging courses to accelerate your traffic and income
Blogging resources to jump start your blog traffic and income
- Amazon – I love affiliate marketing on Amazon. For the last 2 months, I’ve been earning over $7,000/month just from Amazon. Here are 2 super helpful Amazon ebooks that allowed me to leap frog my previous results.
- Cracking the Code on Amazon – This is for beginners and really covers the types of articles you should be writing to drive Amazon commissions It’s for beginners.
- Niche Post Conversion Strategies – Seriously, I think this is the best ebook/course I’ve ever taken. I can not recommend this enough. You will not find these tips anywhere else. It skyrocketed my sales on Amazon.
- PINTERESTING STRATEGIES: – Pinterest is one of the easiest and most effective ways to drive massive traffic to your blog, especially if you are just starting out. I generally get 200,000-300,000 pageviews a month from Pinterest. If you want a jump start on how to use this amazing platform, check out Carly’s course. It is simply awesome. She is so down to earth and straightforward, and you’ll see that in her writing. I LOVE this course (it was formerly an ebook, but now it’s new and improved. Use PINNING5 for $5 off.
- SEO – As you know, I’m hugely into SEO and it has been the key to my success. I generally get 300,000+ SEO pageviews per month, and this traffic converts much better than Pinterest and other social media channels (especially when it comes to affiliate marketing, products and email sign ups. I estimate that every pageview from organic traffic is worth at least 3x as every pageview from Pinterest! Yes, 3 times as much! And, it’s much steadier, more sustainable and more passive. Check out my 2 SEO books.
- Affiliate marketing – I love affiliate marketing and have been earning $14,000-$16,000/month just from affiliate marketing. I highly recommend Carly’s affiliate marketing course. It’s amazing and half the price of some of the bigger bloggers’ programs…and I think it’s much better, too. Use my exclusive coupon code (FLOORINGGIRL25) for a 25% discount.
- Email marketing – Learn from the master, Jennifer Maker. She has over 100,000 subscribers in around 2 years. She’s an incredible teacher. Her ListLove course is amazing. Or get started with her FREE email course here. (If you use my exclusive affiliate link above, you’ll get 25% off).
- Sponsored Posts – Sponsored posts can be a great way to supplement your income, especially during the first few years. Many just don’t even know where to get started or how much to charge or how to create a media kit or where to find the best sources. Well learn from a master, Tracie Fobes. She’s been doing this for 10 years! And, she charges well over $2,500 + per post. Her course comes complete with a media calculator and templates to set you up for success. Check out Sponsored Success here. If you just need the sponsored post calculator, you can purchase it a la carte here.
- Getting started/setting up your blog – If you’re a very beginner and need help in just setting up your site and getting everything set up, check out Tracie Richmond Fobes’ FREE intro course. She goes over all that critical stuff at the beginning that no one seems to cover, but everyone needs to know such as site structure, how to set up google analytics correctly and google search console, which plugins to use (and which to avoid). She is a wealth of information. (and she has may other courses that are soooo good).
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