If you're looking for one of the EASIEST and BEST affiliate programs to make money blogging, you've gotta learn about Amazon. For one of my blogs, I earned over $10K from the Amazon Associates program alone! Below, I'll describe everything you need to know to make money from Amazon Associates too.
What Is Amazon Associates?
Amazon Associates is the name of the affiliate program for Amazon.com. An affiliate program is one in which participants can earn commissions for promoting a company's products and making referral sales.
What Are the Requirements for Joining Amazon Associates?
According to the Amazon Associates website,
Your Site(s) must contain original content and be publicly available via the website address provided in the application. You must identify your Site(s) in your application. We will evaluate your application and notify you of its acceptance or rejection.
I recommend waiting until you have a few quality blog posts published on your blog before applying for Amazon Associates. An empty blog probably won't get approved.
How to Join the Amazon Affiliate Program
Step 1: Go to affiliate-program.amazon.com
Step 2: Click “Join Now for Free”
Step 3: Fill out the application.
Step 4: You'll get this confirmation screen:
Am I allowed to use Amazon images on my site?
Short answer: NO. Do NOT save an image from Amazon.com and upload it to your blog. That's against their rules and might even break copyright law.
The only way to legitimately display Amazon images on your blog is to embed them via their Amazon Associates tool.
Step 1: While viewing the product listing on Amazon.com, click “Image” in the top left corner where there is an Amazon Associates SiteStripe.
Step 2: Copy that code and paste it into an HTML block in your WordPress post. It will automatically turn into an image.
Am I allowed to create multiple Amazon Associates accounts?
No, this is against Amazon Associates' terms of service. If you want to have one Amazon Associates account for multiple blogs, simply create unique tracking IDs for each blog, which I will show you how to do below.
How to Create Multiple Tracking IDs in Amazon Associates
If you want to make the most of your Amazon Associates account, use multiple tracking IDs! That way, you'll know which of your blog posts are earning the most commissions. At a minimum, create a different tracking ID for each one of your blog posts. If you want to get really granular, you could create a tracking ID for each link within one blog post, but I think that's overkill and personally don't do it.
Step 1: In your Amazon Associates dashboard, hover over your email address in the upper-right corner. Select “Manage Your Tracking IDs.”
Step 2: Click “Add Tracking ID”
Step 3: Type a short phrase to help you identify the link.
I usually just put the initials of the blog and then words that indicate which blog post it was. This one was a gift guide, so I put “giftguide” at the end.
Step 4: Click “Create” and you should see your new tracking ID.
Step 5: Select your tracking ID when creating your affiliate links.
To use your different tracking IDs to create separate affiliate links, anytime you're perusing Amazon.com, click the “Text” link at the top left Amazon Associates SiteStripe.
Under “Tracking ID,” select the right ID.
Click “Get Link.”
Copy the link that is generated in the box.
How to Make Money with Amazon Associates
#1 Entice people to click
The most important thing if you want to make money with Amazon Associates is to GET THAT CLICK. Why? Amazon Associates rewards you for ANY item bought after someone clicks your link. So even if a person clicks your affiliate link for a book and ends up buying a blender on Amazon instead, you still get a commission for that blender! Because of this, just try to get people to click your Amazon Associate links, even if you don't think they'll end up buying your intended product. Amazon is a master at selling. Get your visitors to their site, and they'll probably end up buying SOMETHING on Amazon.
#2 Link frequently
Playing off of that first point, you increase your chances of people clicking on something if you increase the number of links. Now, that doesn't mean you should have a link in every sentence. But try to link more than once in each post.
#3 Make sure your links stand out
You'd be amazed how many WordPress themes have links you can hardly see. If your links look just like your regular text, how are people going to know to click? Try bolding your links or making them a different color.
#4 Use the EasyAzon plugin
My Amazon Associates earnings jumped substantially when I started using the EasyAzon plugin. This plugin makes it easy to link to Amazon Associates products and embed images from Amazon without breaking the Terms of Service.
Check out the EasyAzon plugin here.
#5 Track the success of individual links through tracking IDs
If you want to make the most money possible from Amazon, you need to know what's working and what isn't. The only way to tell is to track individual links or posts by giving them unique tracking IDs.
#7 Write shopping-oriented posts
Think about your visitor's frame of mind. Are they coming to your post to learn more information or are they interested in buying?
Here's an example: Let's say you write blog posts about dog leashes. If you write a blog post about “the history of dog leashes,” it's highly unlikely anyone reading it is interested in buying a dog leash—they're simply trying to learn more about their history. BUT if you write a blog post called “best dog leash for large breeds,” a person visiting that page is likely interested in buying a dog leash for their large dog, and they're trying to figure out which one is the best.
Keep this in mind whenever you create content. To make money from Amazon Associates, you need to write blog posts aimed at people in the BUYING mindset.
Why was my Amazon Associates account shut down?
I regularly see horror stories about bloggers getting their Amazon Associates accounts shut down. Here are some reasons that might happen and how you can avoid it!
- Going against the Policies and/or Operating Agreement – Amazon Associates has a pretty extensive list of Policies and an Associates Program Operating Agreement that you agree to abide by when you join the program. Make sure to read all of these (I know, it's a lot!) to make sure you don't accidentally break any rules.
- Not making a sale within 180 days – When you join Amazon Associates, you have 180 days to make a qualifying referral (sale). If you fail to do this, they will shut down your account. You can apply again later.
- Failing to use the Amazon Associates wording – In section 5 of its operating agreement, Amazon Associates requires that you identify yourself as an Associate on your website:
“You must clearly state the following, or any substantially similar statement previously allowed under this Agreement, on your Site or any other location where Amazon may authorize your display or other use of Program Content: ‘As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.'”
- Putting exact pricing info – Amazon Associates' policies state that you cannot, in most cases, put the exact prices of the products you are advertising. That's because the price can change. Here's how it's worded in the Amazon Associates policy:
“Product prices and availability may vary from time to time. Because prices for and availability of Products that you have listed on your Site may change, your Site may only show prices and availability if: (a) we serve the link in which that price and availability data are displayed, or (b) you obtain Product pricing and availability data via PA API and you comply with the requirements regarding use of PA API in the License.”
How Much I Earned From the Amazon Associates Program
Over the course of five years, I earned $10,685.58 from the Amazon Associates program.
Here's a screenshot from my Amazon Associates dashboard: $1,000 in one month! During that month, my blog had about 80,000 pageviews.