7 Ways To Make More Money As An Amazon Affiliate

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I fell in love with being an Amazon affiliate a few weeks after I started. My health/beauty blog was now getting a few hundred visitors per day and I wanted a way to make a few extra dollars from the traffic I was getting.

I stuck some links to a few beauty books at the end of some popular blog posts and waited. I checked my Amazon earnings every afternoon (the stats update at about midday) and would make the occasional sale – probably earning me $1 or $2 per day.

Then one afternoon, when I checked my Amazon stats for the previous day, my conversion percentage read something like 150%. From about fifty clicks, I’d made around 75 sales.

This really excited me.

The way Amazon record your stats, you can’t see how much the total value of the items you’ve sold are, UNTIL they are dispatched so to see how much I was going to earn, I clicked on every single item I’d sold and added the price up with a calculator.

It seemed to me as if a school teacher had clicked on my referral link and now was blowing their entire department budget on textbooks for her students. They were buying $50+ textbooks in batches of four or five and bought a total of around 70 odd textbooks. I can’t remember how much I earned in Amazon commissions that day, but I know it was the day when I realized how powerful the Amazon affiliate program can be.

In this blog post, I’m going to share seven ways you can make more money as an Amazon affiliate, but first let me give a brief intro to the Amazon affiliate program for those of you who have never used it before. (Skip this section if you know about it already)

An Introduction To The Amazon Associates Program

Once you become an Amazon affiliate, you can link to any product on the Amazon website and send traffic, via your affiliate link, to that product.

Your referral cookie lasts for 24 hours, meaning if someone clicks on your referral link and buys anything on the Amazon website in the next 24 hours, then you will receive credit – no matter what they buy. That’s one of the best things about Amazon – you don’t just earn for the items you send traffic to, you get credit for any other items that are sold, too. And since Amazon has optimized its sales process so much, most customers end up buying more than just the one item.

The commissions you can earn range from 4% to around 8.5% for most items. For items in the electronics category and grocery category it is a flat 4%, but for most other items you earn a commission based on the volume you sell.

So if you sell six items you’ll earn 4%, but as soon as you sell the seventh item in a month your commissions are bumped to 6% and that applies retroactively to the previous six items too. If you sell 3,131 items in a month then you will earn 8.5%.

Here’s a table showing how the commission rate structure works…

HINT: Amazon recently bumped commissions for Magazine subscriptions to a flat rate of 25%. There’s definitely money to be made in selling magazine subscriptions!

Okay, now that you have a brief understanding of how the Amazon associates program works, here are seven ways to make more money as an Amazon affiliate from your blog.

1. Link Out More

The key to earning more money is simply to get more clicks. Send the traffic and Amazon will convert it into sales.

Add more Amazon links to your blog posts, put links in your sidebar, link to books when you can.

The great thing about linking to Amazon is that the regular blog reader won’t be aware of their affiliate program, they’ll simply believe that you are providing an outlet for them to buy the products you recommend.

NOTE: You should have an affiliate disclosure on your blog stating that you may earn commissions from outbound links.

2. Be Vague

I couldn’t believe my Amazon stats the other day when I checked them and saw that I’d sold this weird item.

Okay, I didn’t actually sell that item, but it is pretty weird.

The purpose of that above sentence was a little test. Was your curiosity peaked enough to click that link because of my vagueness? I imagine many of you did, and now, while I don’t expect you to buy any wolf urine, you are cookied with my Amazon link and if you decide to do any shopping in the next 24 hours, I will earn a commission.

Incidentally, I have sold some weird items this month, but I’d imagine they aren’t exactly “safe for work” and I didn’t want to get any of you lovely readers into trouble if you happen to be reading this at work.

Sometimes you should be vague with your Amazon links and not state what’s “on the other side”. Peak your readers curiosity so much that they just have to click your link and then let Amazon turn clickers into customers.

3. Create A Bestseller List

This is a tip I learnt from Darren Rowse, author of ProBlogger: Secrets To Blogging Your Way To A Six Figure Income.

(SIDENOTE: There’s another quick tip. If you ever refer to an author, link to their book on Amazon to get more clicks and more sales.)

On his photography blog he sells a lot of photography equipment via Amazon, such as cameras, lenses, stands, printers etc.

He regularly creates lists of the top selling products (based on his Amazon reports) and publishes them as a new blog post. Here’s an example post.

I’ve taken this idea a little further and instead created a new page which is pinned to the top navigation bar on every page and post of my blog. You can see my bestseller list here.

4. Create “Top x Products” Lists

This is one of the best ways to get lots of clicks to Amazon and lots of sales.

Blog posts which list the top products are great traffic generators, readers love them, and they earn lots of commissions.

I have a few of these posts on my health blog, such as…

The Top 5 Best Natural Shampoos – This post used to (when Google actually liked my blog) rank for keywords like “natural shampoo” and “best natural shampoo” which, as you can imagine, generated lots of traffic and sales.

The Top 5 Best Natural Sunscreens – Again, this post ranked for all sorts of keywords and almost every day I’d sell one of the products listed.

Top 7 DIY & Homemade Beauty Books – This post rounds up the top seven books on a particular topic and generates lots of sales of books and Kindle books.

HINT: Contact the authors of the books you include, or the company who produces the products you list, and ask them to share your post. Many will be honoured to be included and so will share with their Twitter and Facebook followers.

5. Write Reviews

Writing detailed product reviews for products your audience can relate to is another way to get lots of Amazon sales. This is something I need to do more of on my blog.

The great thing about posts like these is that they convert visitors to sales at a really high rate so you don’t need to send many clicks to make lots of sales.

And of course, you can rank for keywords like “product name review” to bring extra traffic to your blog.

HINT: Once you have a blog with a significant readership you can get all sorts of freebies sent to you by companies who want free publicity in the form of a review on your blog.

6. Deal Of The Month

This is something I’ve only recently started using but this month it has sent me lots of Amazon clicks and sales.

In my sidebar I have put a “Deal Of The Month” feature. Here I list a product that I have found on Amazon that is high quality, yet inexpensive and that my readers would be interested in. This month it is an Essential Oil Starter Kit which is listed at $19.90 instead of $69.95. Here’s what my deal of the month feature looks like…

I’ve made a double figure number of sales so far this month for that essential oil kit which is $200+ in Amazon sales.

7. Use Your Social Networks

Something that I’ve started doing more regularly in the past few weeks is using my social following to get more clicks and more sales on Amazon.

If you find a good deal, why not Tweet your followers and let your Facebook fans know? It’s a great way to get instant clicks and sales.

Often, when I post an update to Facebook sharing a deal, I get comments like…

“Great deal, just bought!”
“Thanks for sharing, just got myself a couple!”

Make the most of your social following because they can be a goldmine!

HINT: Share links to free Kindle books with your social following. They will love you for it, they will share your update and you’ll get lots of clicks through your affiliate link – many of whom could go on to buy more products from you.

NOTE: It would be great to promote Amazon products to your email subscribers, but unfortunately Amazon don’t allow this – BUT, there’s nothing stopping you from sending your email subscribers to pages on your blog which you know convert readers into Amazon sales.

I love promoting products on Amazon.

Consumers trust them, they often buy more than one product when they are there, there is an incredible variety of products, the commissions structure motivates you to sell more (since your commission rate increases as your sales increase) and there is always the possibility that someone very rich (or someone with an entire department budget – as happened with me) decides to come and spend a fortune via your link.

If you aren’t promoting Amazon via your blog then I urge you to at least start testing it out. Now is the perfect time to start since commissions explode come November/December time.

Any thoughts/questions? Please post a comment below.

And, as always, if you enjoyed this post, please share it on Twitter/Facebook/Google+. It would be much appreciated!

Thanks,
James Penn

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Comments

  1. Great information thank you for sharing.

  2. the social media sharing worked for me recently, 12 sales in a day. It needs to be done carefully, not spamming links.

  3. As usual James, very helpful advice. Thanks!:)

  4. I like the “Bestsellers List’ Idea. I noticed you put it up on your Health Blog quite a while back. A good idea, and something I will implement on some of my sites straight away.

    Another good post James,

    Keep it up,

    Chris

  5. With your “Deal of the Month” – do you pay attention to it to check if the sales price stays or don’t you worry about it or what?

  6. Lots of great information. Thanks. I’ve been using amazing on Squidoo, but not really on my personal blog. I also haven’t been sending it to my social network. But it’s a great idea to share free stuff from amazon with them and they might go on and buy other stuff while they are at it. Very smart :)

  7. Some good tips here James.I have only just recently become an Amazon affiliate and have started linking to books in my blog posts on my detox blog. I did not know that you were not allowed to promote Amazon products in emails to a subscriber list. I wonder why that is?

    Sandy

  8. Great ideas, James. I plan on getting into promoting some Amazon products as soon as I get the sidebars on my blog configured the way I want them. I have a lot of wasted real estate there that could be making money. Thanks for all the information.