For anyone who wants to start making money online, few methods are as easy to start using as affiliate marketing. Though most major companies now have their own affiliate programs, the giant of the online retail world, Amazon, has offered a leading affiliate program for years.
The program, called Amazon Associates, has helped many people make money online by promoting Amazon's massive array of products to customers.
Here is what you should know about how you can make money with Amazon's affiliate program.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Affiliate marketing is a model under which non-employee marketers, called affiliates, promote a company's products to their audience online. Affiliates are given access to unique links that direct those customers to sales pages.
When a customer clicks through an affiliate link and purchases the product, the affiliate is then paid a commission for referring the sale.
Though the commissions are usually relatively small, they can add up to considerable sums of money for affiliates who drive enough traffic and sales.
Since affiliate marketing is done entirely through online content, it is also a semi-passive stream of income that can be built up over time.
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The Specifics of Amazon Associates
Amazon was not only a pioneer of the affiliate marketing model but has built and maintained one of the most effective affiliate networks on the internet over the years.
Under Amazon's model, a user who clicks through an affiliate link has a 24-hour cookie placed on his or her computer. For those 24 hours, any qualified purchases made on Amazon will be counted toward the affiliate's commissions.
In fact, affiliates can even earn money from users who don't purchase the product they were initially directed to but instead buy something else on Amazon within 24 hours.
This is a large part of why Amazon Associates is so popular, as it allows affiliates to earn commissions on products other than the ones they promote.
Amazon offers different commission percentages for different categories of products. Though the list is extensive, some of the major categories and their respective commission rates are as follows:
- Jewelry and apparel: 7%
- Business supplies: 6%
- Toys: 3%
- Lawn and garden: 8%
- Books: 4.5%
- Furniture: 8%
Here's a complete list of their commission rates:
As you can see, Amazon's commission rates vary fairly widely and come in at relatively low percentages. The money-making power of Amazon Associates, however, lies in a combination of moderately high pricing and volume sales.
Suppose, for instance, you were promoting a $150 piece of lawn equipment, a category which pays 8 percent. Each sale of that product would pay a commission of $12.
An affiliate campaign that could manage to sell an average of just ten units of this hypothetical product per week would produce $120 in revenue weekly, or $6,240 annually.
By promoting many products, affiliates can also increase their volume of total sales.
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Different Ways to Make Money With Amazon Associates
Now that you know the basics of Amazon Associates, it's also important to understand how affiliates drive traffic to Amazon.
Here are some of the most popular ways to get your affiliate links out there and start driving sales to earn affiliate commissions.
1. Niche Websites
Starting a website dedicated to a particular niche has always been one of the most popular and effective ways to drive affiliate traffic.
Sites with search engine optimized content can draw in considerable organic traffic from search engines, then direct that traffic to sales pages via your affiliate links.
When writing content on your niche website, keep in my that product comparisons are especially lucrative, as they allow affiliates to post links to multiple products in the same category and tend to draw in readers who have already decided to buy one of a set of similar products.
Niche websites take time and effort to build but can pay off very generously once they are established.
2. YouTube Videos
The process of building a website may be too much for some new affiliate marketers, especially those who don't have the money to invest in hosting and site design. Another way to get started as an affiliate marketer is by creating product review videos on YouTube.
As with niche websites, you should create a YouTube channel dedicated to one specific niche or topic, then make videos reviewing products or services relevant to that niche.
You can then post your shortened Amazon Associate's link in the video description to drive traffic to Amazon and earn commissions.
This method is very beginner-friendly, as anyone with a camera (yes, your phone camera will work fine) and a product to review or demonstrate can do it.
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3. Use Facebook Pages
Creating a Facebook page is a great way to build a large, engaged audience. Once you have done this, that page becomes a valuable tool for affiliate marketing using Amazon links.
After creating your page, you can start posting tips and tricks related to your niche, as well as photo and video content to accompany them, in order to build up your audience.
After a while, your social media base should be large enough to generate clicks and sales from your posts, though it will take time and consistent posting to turn a Facebook page into a significant stream of income.
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4. Combine Channels
Okay, you've now read about using a niche website, YouTube channel and Facebook page to drive traffic to Amazon and earn affiliate commissions. The next logical step from there is to combine all of these channels to build multiple related income streams.
If you build a niche website, a YouTube channel and a Facebook page that are all tied together by a common name and then share content between them, you can build a cross-promotional affiliate marketing strategy.
For instance, you can share YouTube videos and blog posts to your Facebook page, or use new YouTube videos to drive traffic to product comparisons on your website.
By cross-promoting, you can increase your audience's engagement, create a more significant online presence and ultimately create more opportunities to send valuable traffic to Amazon and earn commissions from it.
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#Bonus Tip: Use Native Shopping Ads
Affiliate marketers have said that they receive more clicks on their Amazon Affiliate links when they use the native shopping ads as opposed to only using text links. Give Native Shopping Ads a try and see if it increases your income.
These are just some of the basics of making money with Amazon affiliate marketing. Once you get started, you'll discover what works best for the niche you select and what strategies you prefer. Keep building your audience and improving your content, and you'll be able to start making money by partnering with the world's largest online retailer.
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