Amazon Affiliate (Step by Step Guide): How to Use Amazon Affiliates
Affiliate Marketing on Amazon offers a unique opportunity for just about anyone to make some money on the side. Of course, there are also those who’re earning well into 7 figures through the program.
The good news is that everyone starts off on a level playing field. It’s how you use Amazon Affiliates that dictates your success. With this Amazon Affiliate Step by Step Guide, you can jumpstart your efforts and start reaping in the rewards in no time.
Here’s a quick overview of everything I will teach you in this Amazon Affiliate Guide.
- What is the Amazon Affiliate Program?
- How does Amazon affiliate work?
- How to become an Amazon Affiliate
- What is an Amazon Affiliate Website?
- The Crucial Role of SEO for Amazon Affiliate Websites
- How to Build Your Own Successful Amazon Affiliate Website
- Expert Copywriters for Affiliate Marketing
What is the Amazon Affiliates Program?
The Amazon Affiliates program works like any other affiliate program. Essentially, it is an arrangement where an online merchant will pay an affiliate (i.e. you) for the traffic or sales you provide them with, depending on your agreement.
There are several phenomenal affiliate marketing opportunities out there, and Amazon Associates is certainly among the most popular ones.
As an Amazon affiliate, you will be paid when a user you referred to a merchant’s product page on Amazon completes a purchase (pay-per-sale). You get the payment within 24 hours of the completion of the transaction.
The eCommerce industry is booming and although competitive, there is plenty of room for it to grow further. Amazon accounted for 45% of all online sales in the US last year and the figure is expected to go as high as 47% by the end of this year.
How Does Amazon Affiliates Work?
When you sign up as an Amazon affiliate, you get paid only if someone you redirected to Amazon for a merchant’s product buys something. The process is simple:
- As an affiliate, you redirect a user to a product page on Amazon using an affiliate link.
- The redirected user purchases a product from Amazon within 24 hours.
- You are paid a percentage of each sale within 24 hours of the purchase.
Commissions and Cookie Lifetime
The percentage or commission for each sale depends on the product and category. There are a few fixed standard program commission rates for specific product categories in the Amazon affiliate program.
Remember that you earn commissions only if a customer places an order within 24 hours of being redirected to Amazon through your affiliate link.
You don’t get commissions if a customer re-enters Amazon through another affiliate link or directly through Google search. The 24-hour cookie is refreshed each time a customer re-enters the website through your affiliate link.
Amazon Affiliate Links
When you sign up with Amazon’s affiliate program, Amazon gives you a unique tracking ID that looks something like this:
You can add this to any Amazon product URL and create an affiliate link.
Converting it into your affiliate link would make it look like:
One reason why the Amazon affiliate program is becoming so popular is that you don’t necessarily need the redirected user to buy the product you directed them to. As long as the user buys something from Amazon after accessing it from any of your links within 24 hours, you get the commission.
Suppose that you redirected the user to the Amazon for a Nintendo DS through your affiliate link. The user ends up browsing around and buying a PS5 instead – you earn a commission on that. If they purchase the Nintendo DS and several other items through your affiliate link, you get a commission on everything.
How to Start Amazon Affiliate Marketing
Here’s how you can become an Amazon Affiliate
1. Go to the Amazon Affiliate Program’s homepage
2. Sign in with your Amazon account
Sign in on this page or create your Amazon account if you do not already have one.
3.Follow the instructions you see on the screen
After you finish signing in or signing up, you will need to follow a series of instructions that include:
- Enter your account information. It includes your name, address, phone number, and a few other straightforward details.
- After submitting your account information, you will be directed to a list of mobile apps or websites you plan to advertise for Amazon. You can list up to 50 websites and mobile apps.
- Once you’ve entered all the potential affiliate websites, you need to provide information about each one. You will also need to create an associate store ID. Traditionally, this is going to be the name of your website. Highlight the kind of products you want to promote or advertise for Amazon.
- The next step is to prove to Amazon that you can bring in the traffic and sales. Describe how you plan to drive traffic to your websites, how you plan to use your online assets to make income.
- You will receive an automated phone call from Amazon on the number you’ve provided once you finish entering the necessary details. Amazon will provide you with a 4-digit PIN that you need to enter to verify the information you’ve provided.
- After that, all that is left is to read the “Terms and Conditions” then click on “Finish.”
People usually tend to ignore the Terms and Conditions. I will recommend reading through them before you click finish. Once you finish the application, you will receive a unique Amazon affiliate ID. Note this down because you will need it to verify your account later on.
Amazon will get back to you within two to three days with their approval.
You need to make your first sale within 180 days when you become an Amazon affiliate. So, it is necessary to have a plan before you sign up to become an Amazon affiliate. If you cannot make a sale within 180 days, Amazon will close your account.
Many people fail as Amazon affiliates because they dive in head first. The good news is that even if Amazon closes your account, you can apply for the program again. But, why go through all the hassle if you’re going to make the same mistakes again.
Amazon Affiliates Requirements
Amazon has strict policies that you need to comply with if you want to become an affiliate. Amazon is particular about where its products and services can be advertised. If you have a platform or website that doesn’t qualify, your website will be referred to as an unsuitable site.
If you want to become an Amazon affiliate, make sure your platform or website fulfills these Amazon Affiliate requirements and does not:
- Promote or contain sexually explicit or obscene material
- Promote or contain violent materials of any kind
- Advertise false, deceptive, libelous or defamatory materials
- Encourage hate, or is invasive of another’s privacy, abusive, or discriminatory
- Promote or undertake illegal activities
- Violate intellectual property rights in any way
There are additional Amazon affiliates requirements on their website that you should study closely. For instance, if your website content is directed towards children, it should not collect or disclose information about children under 13 years of age in the US. It should also comply with all regional child protection laws.
You can read Amazon’s full policy here.
How to Create Amazon Affiliate Links
Although you can manually create links by modifying the URLs of Amazon products and adding your unique tags in them, the best and most common way to create affiliate links is by using the “Product Linking” tool on the Amazon affiliate program website.
Here’s how to create Amazon affiliate links:
- Login to your Amazon affiliate account.
- Go to the “Product Linking” drop-down menu and select “Product Links.”
- Use the search bar to look for products on Amazon.
- Click on the “Get Link” button to the right of relevant search results to get corresponding links.
- Use the generated link to promote the product on your website or social media feed.
You will notice that your Amazon tracking ID will be included in the links created. It might seem slightly complicated, if you’re just starting out, therefore, we recommend referring back to this section in our Amazon affiliate marketing guide wherever you feel lost.
What is an Amazon Affiliate Website (Content for Amazon Affiliate Marketing)?
Amazon affiliate websites promote products and services available on Amazon.
Let’s make it a little easier for you to understand.
Go to Google and search for “the 10 best something.” I searched for the “10 best coffee machines” and this is one of the top results:
The folks at Roasty Coffee don’t sell any coffee grinders themselves. They researched some of the best coffee grinding machines in the market, summarized everything in the form of a listicle blog, and included Amazon affiliate links for visitors to purchase recommended products.
After that, I searched for “Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder review” and this was one of the top search results:
Both these posts are useful for readers because they make it easier for them to pick out the best coffee grinders.
It saves them time and inspires confidence to purchase products based on research and testing others have already done.
The Crucial Role of Content and SEO for Amazon Affiliate Websites
The best part is, it’s quite simple to create your own Amazon affiliate website and make good money off it.
To make money from an Amazon affiliate website, you need traffic. If you don’t have eyes on your content, nobody is clicking on your affiliate links and that means you don’t earn commissions.
You can generate traffic in a number of ways, but SEO remains the go-to for most Amazon affiliate marketers and for good reason.
There is a simple reason why SEO is better than promoting your Amazon affiliate content on social media or newsletters. When you share your blog on social media, your Amazon affiliate website might see a surge in traffic when the post goes live. However, the traffic will gradually go back to zero.
If your website is optimized, the results are different. SEO helps you content rank on search engines, and if you can rank for relevant keywords, your traffic will be consistent. Gradually, your rankings can even improve.
You can get consistent traffic through paid advertisements. But are the commissions you’re earning enough for you to remain profitable? Even if you make money, the cost of paid ads eat into the commissions you earn through successful sales.
The goal should be to create a successful Amazon affiliate website that is optimized for SEO. Once you set that up, you can use social media shares, paid ads, and other avenues to further boost traffic. With the right SEO strategy that includes using each of these tools, your Amazon affiliate site can quickly start grabbing the attention you need to get sales rolling.
How to Build Your Own Successful Amazon Affiliate Website
Everybody has a different definition of success. For one affiliate, it could be earning $1,000 a month in commissions from one site. For another affiliate marketer, it could be as ambitious as raking in more than $15,000 per month. Both of these are possible.
The steps to create a successful website are the same, regardless of your definition for a successful Amazon affiliate website.
- Choose the Right Niche
- Find Profitable Keywords
- Create High Quality Content for Affiliate Marketing
- Drive Traffic To Your Website through SEO
- Drive Traffic From Your Website to Amazon through Affiliate Links
1. Choose the Right Niche
If you search for any product online, most search results on Google lead to websites like The Wirecutter. This is probably the most popular Amazon affiliate website I have come across.
The website is owned by The New York Times and it has reviews for anything you can think of. From standing desks to coffee grinders, you can expect to see everything here and generates substantial traffic.
Most people new to Amazon affiliate marketing websites look at sites like these and try to emulate their success. The problem with this is that a) it’s owned by a huge publicly traded company and 2) there is no focus on anything.
The Wirecutter has a dedicated team of experienced SEO professionals that can drive traffic. They also have a brand name and credibility that is hard for someone learning how to start Amazon affiliate marketing to compete with.
There is a better, more suitable approach. Choose your own niche that you’re interested in and can dominate through high-quality content.
Here is how you can do it:
A. Find something that interests you
The most common reason people fail with affiliate marketing is that they lose interest in what they are doing. It’s critical that you choose a niche you find interesting.
Think of at least 10 to 15 different niches that interest you. Write them down and decide which one of these is the most suitable for both inspiring your interest and affiliate marketing?
If you are struggling with ideas, you can take inspiration from the different categories on The Wirecutter.
B.Check the Commission Rates
The next thing is to look for Amazon’s commissions for that product category. Here is what the current structure looks like:
If any of the niches you are considering falls under the 0.00% category, remove it from your list. There is no point promoting products that will not earn you commissions.
My advice is to stick with categories that provide you commissions higher than 2%. If you go for a lower commission, you will need substantial traffic to earn decent money.
C.Check the Prices
Commission rates are not the be-all, end-all. The more expensive products you sell, the more money you make even if the rate is lower.
Suppose you’ve redirected someone to purchase a $4,000 Watch. Your 4% cut of $160 will be much higher than if someone buys a new RAM for $40 because its 2.5% commission will get you just $1.
I don’t mean that you should stick to an expensive niche. People don’t tend to be impulsive when it comes to items with high price tags. Fewer interested people mean fewer clicks that can convert to sales. You need to find the right balance between product prices and conversions.
Go too high on the prices, and you might struggle to make sales. Go too low, and your commissions might become too small.
Search for a few products in your niche to get an idea of the prices. I searched for coffee grinders and here’s what I found:
Doing this little beforehand step helped me find out the prices of the products and how popular they are for buyers on Amazon.
D.Estimate Traffic Requirements
After finalizing your niche, you need to estimate how much traffic you need to meet your monthly commission goals. The pages on your website that contain affiliate links are also called “money pages” for obvious reasons. These pages direct traffic to Amazon and increase your chances of sales.
There are several types of Amazon affiliate websites. I have found that product roundups are the best money pages in the business. These roundups are the websites that list down best products in a particular category like this one for the best coffee grinders on The Wirecutter.
Product roundups are the most profitable money pages because they recommend several products and people searching for them are in the mood to buy something. It means that you have a higher clickthrough rate (CTR) on affiliate links like these.
How do you estimate the traffic you need to meet your monthly goals? There is a formula:
I’ll give you an example to help you understand.
Let’s say you really love your coffee like I do and decide that will be your niche and your goal is to generate $1,500 per month. Let’s say the average price of products is $50 and the commission rate for most coffee-related items on Amazon is 4%.
The only things you don’t know here is the average CTR (the percentage of visitors that click on an Amazon affiliate link) of your posts or your average conversion rate.
I will assume a modest 10% CTR and an 8% conversion rate.
Here’s what the formula will look like with these variables:
1500 / (50 * 4%* 10% * 8%) = 93,750
Seems like I will need around 94,000 monthly visits on my website’s money pages to earn $1,500 per month.
Remember that this is only an estimation and not an exact science. However, this will give you a rough idea of how many visitors you need to meet your goals.
2.Find Profitable Keywords
The next thing you need is to do your keyword research. A strategic way to do proper keyword research is to search for related keywords to your “seed” keywords.
You should get hundreds or even thousands of prospective keywords. Most of these will be irrelevant and you need to filter out the ones that are most useful for you.
For instance, if you are going for a product roundup website (“the best coffee grinder,” “best coffee machines in 2020”), you can find massive money-making keywords. The goal is to search for product roundup keywords with traffic potential that you can easily rank for.
Don’t worry if there are thousands of potential keywords. Pick the 20 or 30 easiest keywords to begin.
Most Amazon affiliates do more than just publishing money posts. Ideally, you should publish blogs and articles that provide valuable information. These blog posts can improve your website’s overall domain authority and SEO ranking.
The money posts should be a main part of what your website publishes, but you should add some valuable and informative posts that drive more traffic to your website.
3.Create Content for Affiliate Marketing
Suppose you’ve chosen a niche, set up your Amazon affiliate account and created a website. It is time to begin writing and publishing content. Writing content for affiliate marketing, especially content that converts, needs some expertise.
There are various types of posts that can include content for affiliate marketing. I’ll discuss list-style posts that give you product roundups. It is the most popular type of page for affiliate marketing.
The idea behind the post is quite simple. You want to create a list of products from your niche and review them for your readers.
Suppose your website talks about valuable information on everything related to coffee.
Your articles could be on topics like “The Top X Coffee Grinders” or “The Top X Coffee Machines to Make Coffee On The Go.”
If you are wondering how to use Amazon affiliate links, this kind of article gives you the opportunity to promote multiple products on a single post. Check out the image below of a blog I really like.
It is informative, it talks about several top products, contains plenty of links, and it can give you a good idea of what a list-style product roundup should look like.
Product roundups are just one of the ways you can use affiliate links. There are other types of blog posts and articles that you can use to strategically place your affiliate links, including:
- Individual product reviews
- Case studies
- How-to articles
- Informative non-review articles
I’ve created a detailed guide on article writing for affiliate marketers before. You should check it out to see what kinds of content you can create to promote your Amazon affiliate products, how to place links and improve conversions.
4.Drive Traffic to Your Website Through SEO
SEO is a key element to successful Amazon affiliate marketing and if you want to ace this, you need to learn SEO quickly.
Unfortunately, the topic is too vast to cover in this post alone. Instead, I’ll discuss some of the aspects you need to focus on to improve your rankings on search.
A. Content Hubs
You need to regularly publish posts on your website to help it rank on SEO. Using the right keywords and creating high-quality content like I’ve discussed above can help you a great deal.
Many successful Amazon affiliates use Content Hubs to their advantage. Content hubs are essentially multiple interlinked collections of posts that discuss a similar topic. They consist of three main parts:
- Hub Page: A high-level guide about a broad topic
- Subpages: In-depth pages discussing specific parts of the main topic
- Hyperlinks: These links connect the subpages to the hub page.
Continuing with the example from above, let’s say you have an Amazon affiliate site for coffee-related products. Start with a content hub. A roundup review of the best coffee machines could be your hub page.
You can write in-depth product reviews for each coffee grinder as subpages that you can connect with your hub page using hyperlinks.
This roundup review of the Best Burr Coffee Grinder For You In 2020 is the Hub Page.
As you read the article and get to the first product, there is a short description of each product. After the short description, it tells you where you can read the full review like in the image below.
The individual review of the product becomes one of the subpages and the link connecting the subpage and hub page is the hyperlink.
B. Build Backlinks
Banklinks are one of the most crucial factors for ranking on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). Google does not explicitly state this but there are studies that provide evidence that there is a correlation between a page’s organic traffic and the number of backlinks from unique websites.
When you have an Amazon affiliate website, your goal with creating backlinks should be to create links that lead to your money pages like product reviews and list-style articles like product roundups.
Let’s suppose you want to create a backlink to your list-style roundup article on the Best Coffee Grinders. Focus on the benefit the best product offers. In this case, it would be that it helps you make better coffee.
Now that you know about the product benefit, look for popular blogs that talk about achieving that benefit that also mentions coffee grinders. You can reach out to the blog’s publisher and suggest that they link to your product roundup or see if they are open to you to guest blog for them.
Let me explain this to you with an example.
If you Google “how to make better coffee” you will see plenty of search results talking about tips you can use.
Of course, this doesn’t show you whether the article mentions using a coffee grinder. Let’s use a Google search operator to include results that mention the phrase “coffee grinder.”
Type in “The best coffee grinder intext:”coffee grinder”
Changing your search query will show you all the blog posts that mention coffee grinders. Here is a look at one of them.
The article talks about how you can make better coffee, but it focuses on changing the coffee grind size to make a better coffee. It would be useful if the article linked to a list of the best coffee grinders like the article you want to create a backlink for.
It would make sense if you pitch your roundup for the best coffee grinders that the publisher can link in this article. Here’s an example email you can use:
Hey [Insert name],
I just came across your guide on how to brew better coffee by adjusting your coffee grind size.
I loved the tip about choosing the XX grinder you’ve recommended. However, I’ve spent XX hours testing and researching XX coffee grinders. I found that there are some better options than that for a better price.
Perhaps you could consider including my comparison in your post to give your readers more choices?
[insert link to your article]
[Insert your name]
Sending similar emails to a few site owners can help you gain some high-quality links to your list-style product roundup articles. There are several link building strategies and this is one of the most effective methods you can use.
5. Drive Traffic from Your Website to Amazon through Affiliate Links
The name of the game is to drive traffic to Amazon through your affiliate links. If you want to make money with commissions on sales, you need to facilitate sales.
When driving traffic to your website from Amazon, you need to cover a few basics that can help you get a decent conversion rate:
Use a Recommendation Table Early in the Content
Recommendation tables will list down and link to the top-recommended products that you have reviewed in your roundup post. Placing them near the top of the post is ideal because you can help them quickly navigate to the information in the article that they came for.
The image below shows you what I am talking about:
Make Amazon Links Prominent
Use buttons that visually stand out from your website design so they can attract attention.
The example above shows an excellent example of how to use Amazon links that stand out.
Establish Trust with Your Readers
There is no exact science to gaining the trust of your readers. The best chance you have is early in the article during the introduction. You should write an attractive introduction that resonates with your reader, understands their problem, and provides them the belief that you have the solution.
Strategies like these can help you drive a steady traffic from your website to the Amazon product listings.
Expert Copywriters for Affiliate Marketing
I am certain that this Amazon affiliate step by step guide can be your shining beacon as you set off on your adventure. If you put in the hard work, experiment with content, keyword research and links, and diligently create content, chances are that results will be forthcoming.
- Create quality content that captures readers’ attention
- Perform in-depth research to create holistic articles that answer all reader questions
- Ensure constancy in brand voice and tone
- Help your content to rank with thorough keyword research
- Drive conversions with strategically placed affiliate links
At Content Development Pros our team has years of experience in planning SEO strategies a diverse variety of Amazon affiliate sites. We know what it takes to get your Amazon Affiliate marketing efforts off the ground and up and running. While Amazon affiliate marketing guide will help you get a grip on how it works, you still need a team of pros to help you out! Get in touch and let’s get the ball rolling.