Affiliate marketing became an online trend when online retailers found that they could add a new sales channel to their portfolio. By working with publishers of online content, marketers were able to find a means of producing third party verification for their products.

Affiliate marketing is popular among bloggers, v-loggers, online personalities and content producers. These producers are able to successfully sell the products that they recommend to their online communities. Some content producers find affiliate marketing to be a great way to monetize their websites.

Amazon was an early believer in the online affiliate marketing program. The company launched its Associates program in 1996. Amazon knew that many websites could benefit from being able to link to the millions of products available on Amazon.com and its subsidiaries. To entice web developers and content producers to join in, Amazon keeps their program free and offers a competitive tiered incentive scheme.

There are many benefits to Amazon’s affiliate marketing program for both Amazon and producers. Amazon has huge brand recognition. People who are directed to Amazon.com know exactly which website they have landed on. Amazon also does not limit its commission only to low value products. If a member of the program can sell 100 TVs in addition to 100 pairs of socks, they will be rewarded well. Finally, Amazon is one of the biggest online resources for shopping. All of these benefits translate into an inclusive experience for Amazon, producers and shoppers.

The way Amazon’s affiliate program works is simple. For every customer that you direct to Amazon.com, you will get a percentage of the sales. If you sell more products, you will receive a higher percentage. The current rates on Amazon range from 4% to 15% and there is no limit on the number of sales you can earn money from.

The Complete Guide to Amazon Affiliate Links

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In this article, you will learn about 1) setting up Amazon affiliate links, 2) four ways to buy on Amazon, 3) tactics for making money through affiliate links, and 4) how to promote products on Amazon.

SETTING UP AMAZON AFFILIATE LINKS

To get started with Amazon’s affiliate program, you will need to sign up through the link on Amazon’s affiliate program website. Signing up for the program is free of charge and only takes a few minutes. You normally have to wait a day before you receive confirmation from Amazon that you are a full-fledged member of the program. After you are fully registered for the program, you will need to integrate the program with your website. Integrating these links with a WordPress site could not be easier. It can be done in only three steps.

  • First, log in to your new affiliate account. Once you are logged in, you should click on the Links & Banners. From here, you should select the Product Links option.
  • To feature a product link in a new content post, all you need to do is search for the product you are looking for in the search function and then click on the product you want to feature. Once you have found it, you simply have to click on the Get Link.
  • The Get Link function will automatically generate a code that you can copy and paste into your WordPress article. All you need to do is paste it where you want the link to be seen.

FOUR WAYS TO BUY PRODUCTS ON AMAZON

One of the greatest aspects of Amazon’s program is that it is very versatile. You are not required to use one particular format to participate in the program. In fact, you can take part in the program through four different advertising methods.

  1. Links:
    • Links are one of the most popular ways to run affiliate marketing programs because they push the customer to visit the site without being an overt advertisement. Links are easy to use. The link will be set up to take the visitor directly to the product on Amazon. The link also hosts your Associate account. This helps Amazon keep track of where their customers come from. It also helps them keep track of any sales that you have earned.
    • You can choose to include embedded text links, image links or even a combination of text and images.
  2. Banners:
    • Banners are a more transparent form of advertising. They often serve as a visual reminder of promotions happening at Amazon.com. Banners are stylish can be integrated into any part of your website.
  3. aStore:
    • The Amazon aStore is a product that is offered to every Associate involved in the program. The main benefit of the aStore is that you can set up an online store without having to worry about design, software or taking payments. Visitors will complete their payment with Amazon.com.
    • Your aStore will be unique to your account. You can use your aStore to highlight the products that you are interested in or that are aligned with your brand or content. You also have to option to include all Amazon products in your store if you choose.
    • Setting up the aStore is very easy. When you decide to set up your store, Amazon will take you through a four-step process. You can have your own store operating in a manner of minutes.
    • The aStore is a free benefit of the Amazon program. You do not need to pay any money to open the store or to keep it running. It is probably one of the fastest and easiest ways to open an online store.
  4. Widgets:
    • Amazon offers the opportunity for their affiliates to include Amazon widgets on their website. Widget is a generic word for standalone code that will redirect users to a larger application or program.
    • A widget is just another way to redirect your customers to Amazon.com from your website. They are more visual than links. Widgets are also more targeted than banners.
    • You can show customers exact products through your widget. Widgets provide another way for you to advertise your relationship with Amazon without going down the road of a traditional advertisement. Customers can see what your store offers without having to leave your website. This makes customer interactions with widgets more meaningful.
    • It is fairly easy to set up a widget for your Amazon store. You can reach everything you need from your associate account. When you set up your widget you can either curate a list of products or allow Amazon to select some products for you.
    • Some of the widget styles that you can set up include: wish list, deal of the day, slide show, or MP3 clips.
    • Depending on how much you want to customize your widget, you can have it all set up in under a minute.

TACTICS FOR MAKING MONEY THROUGH AFFILIATE LINKS

Working with the Amazon Associate program to make money from affiliate links is like any other business venture. You will get out of it what you put into it. It is not enough to embed some banners on your site or include a few links in each article. If you really want to benefit from the serious earning potential of the affiliate program, you will need to continue to drive value. The following list contains the key tactics for making real money through affiliate links.

  1. Choose a niche:
    • If you own a business or a website, you have probably been told that you have to choose a niche. The Internet is the home of niche culture. It rewards people who are very good in a very specific area.
    • Your affiliate program can directly reflect your niche. Because Amazon sells millions of products, you will be able to find products related to your website. If you want to sell products and make commission, you should ideally be suggesting products that are relevant to your website.
    • For example, if you run a food and culinary arts website, you can provide affiliate links to recommended cooking products, tools and books. Your customers will appreciate your insight. They will also feel that you have personally recommended these products to them. This personal touch makes them more likely to buy.
  2. Drive traffic:
    • Driving traffic to your website is probably the biggest key to success for both your site and your affiliate program. The more people visit your website and see your links, the more people that you can convert to a sale.
    • Traffic is driven by a variety of methods. Many of these methods are dictated by the search engines. Google’s algorithms have the biggest influence here. Your site will receive more traffic if it is SEO optimized according to Google’s latest standards. Google also now relies on quality and regular content.
    • To drive content to your website, you need to write great content that is relative to the customers that you are targeting with your SEO strategy.
    • Implementing a social media strategy always helps. You can even include Amazon affiliate links on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  3. Build credibility:
    • By participating in the Amazon affiliate program, you will essentially be selling the products listed in your store or through your links. The key to closing more sales is to build a high level of credibility. You need your customers to trust that you are an authority on the subject.
    • People who visit your site regularly will probably have connected with your content. If you can build a relationship of trust between you and your readers, they will be more likely to purchase a recommended product.
  4. Learn from Amazon:
    • Take some time to browse Amazon. Amazon is the ultimate salesman and there are more than a few hints and tricks that you can pick up from their top-rated products.
    • Look at the product descriptions, reviews and the amount of information provided by the product link to get a better idea of what makes a product fly off the virtual shelves.
    • Amazon is also great at upselling products. Their recommended products lists are a big key to their success.
  5. Provide and promote only the best and relevant products:
    • Do some research on the products that you provide links to. You want to make sure that they are great products that will satisfy your target customers.
    • Make sure you are choosing products that are well reviewed on Amazon. It is important the product actually fits the needs of your customers.
    • Providing mediocre and uninformed recommendations will often reflect poorly on your site rather than on Amazon. It is important to recommend products that will maintain your reputation.
  6. Implement visual elements:
    • You should always try to include a text link within the body of your content. Text links are easy and direct.
    • However, you should not rely solely on these text, or embedded, One of the best ways to sell on Amazon or on any website is to include a clickable image link. The image will remind customers why they are interested in this product. By providing several types of visual links, you will provide your customers with many opportunities to purchase products.
  7. Sell more products to make more money:
    • It sounds painfully obvious that when you sell more products you will earn more money. However, this is especially true on Amazon. Amazon will reward you with a higher commission or referral fee when you sell more products.
    • This tiered system is typical of many affiliate programs. The tiered rewards system provides you with just one more incentive to make the most of the program.
  8. Take advantage of seasonal offers:
    • Amazon’s Black Friday and Christmas are often exceptional. If there was a time to ramp up your product drive with the affiliate scheme, it is when Amazon is already heavily promoting their products and value. Amazon runs special offers during most holidays. It would serve you well to keep up with their holiday calendar.

HOW TO PROMOTE PRODUCTS ON AMAZON

Promoting products on Amazon requires many of the same facets that building relationships with your customers does. When you are promoting products, you should be genuinely promoting them. You want to make sure that your content is not so transparent that it looks like you are just out to take your customers’ money. You should always aim to be honest with your customers and only promote products that you would buy yourself.

  1. Write reviews
    • Product reviews are one of the best ways to promote products. You will automatically become a reliable source by providing in-depth information about the product. You will also be able to interest the customer by providing exciting facts and opinions about the product.
    • Product reviews also convert better than other types of articles. This is because if a customer takes the time to read a review of the product, they probably intend to purchase the product now or in the near future.
  2. Create a ‘Best of…’ list
    • Creating a ‘Best of…’ list will provide similar benefits to the product review. You will present yourself as knowledgeable on the topic. You will also present several options for customers to choose from. This can have positive impacts on your sales conversion rate.
  3. Write in-depth
    • If you have done a good job at choosing your niche, you will be able to write in-depth articles about the products that you recommend. You should take the opportunity to discuss more than just the product’s basic functions. You can use this time to speculate about the product and introduce real-life scenarios in its regular use.
  4. Product comparisons
    • There are several ways that you can write a product comparison article. You can use a combination of short reviews and a ‘best of…’ list for those who are looking for information-heavy content.
    • You may also decide to make the information visual. Using a product comparison grid will help your customers find the product that is right for them faster. When they can get the information they desire faster, they are more likely to buy.
  5. Product launch
    • You can use your website to help drive excitement about the launch of a new product. This is a great way to get customers to pre-order products. It also demonstrates that your site is a great source of information about new products.

Amazon runs an affiliate program that is incredibly easy to use and understand. However, you will only get out of the program what you put into it. If you put time and energy into building relationships through valuable content, you could find yourself participating in Amazon’s massive revenues in no time at all.

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