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When you’re just starting out as a blogger, you’re keen to make money in any way you can, and a great way to do this is by opening up and using an Amazon Associate account. It allows you to pepper your articles with custom HTML links to Amazon, which sends you a commission for every product sold. The great thing about these links is that they stay on your website forever and will continue to send you money for years to come.
What is Amazon Associates?
Amazon Associates is a service designed to attract affiliates who want to use their website to promote Amazon products while receiving a designated commission. As Internet usage grows, affiliate marketing services advances and with thousands of products to promote on your site or blog, Amazon makes affiliate marketing fun and easy.
One of the unique features that Amazon provides for their Associates is the ability to create an online store that can be embedded within or linked from a website. The store, called an “aStore”, promotes Amazon products and allows visitors to browse all Amazon products or only the products you select. Affiliates customize their store’s individual features.
We found that it is easy to build a store with our Associates account. The account provides a setup tool that took us step by step through the process to generate a URL to our very own aStore, complete with a shopping cart and product details.
Step By Step Free Registration
- go to Amazon Associates Affiliate program
- click on the “join now for free” button at the top right corner
- fill in info
- registration can take a few days, be patient =)
- if they turn you down, don’t despair, it might be that you don’t have enough content on your website. You can try again at a later stage.
Amazon refers to commissions as “Advertising Fees.” The standard advertising fee starts at 4% for most items, though a few of their verticals (partner stores) may be as high as 15%. For most Amazon products, there is a Performance Fee Structure based on your sales volume.
- 1-6 products sold – 4%
- 7-30 – 6%
- 31-110 – 6.5%
- 111-320 – 7%
- 321-630 – 7.5%
- 631-1570 – 8%
- 1571-3130 – 8.25%
- 3131+ – 8.5%
Payment Methods – Amazon offers several ways to receive your commissions. Payments are made approximately 60 days from the end of the month that you hit your threshold. (Ex. If you make payout in January, you will receive your payment towards the end of March.)
- Amazon Gift Card/Certificate – $10 minimum
- Direct Deposit – $10 minimum
- Check – $100 minimum
Pros & Cons
Through the “Reports” tab found at the top of your account home page, Amazon offers report summaries and links for the full report on earnings, orders and links. After selecting to receive the full report Amazon will provide you with options for the full report you would like to receive, link-type report, orders, misc. referrals, earnings report, daily trends or tracking ID summary report. After selecting the type of report you want to generate, you can select a pre-selected period of time, including quarters, months or weeks; or generate a new report for an exact period of time. The report can be opened and displayed on the page or downloaded to CSV or XML.
A Link-type Report will provide data on impressions, click-through rates, clicks, conversions, items ordered, items shipped and advertising fees. An Orders Report provides information on items with orders and information on items with no orders. The report provides the item, the product link conversion, product link clicks, items ordered through product links, other items ordered and total items ordered. It also supplies a clicks and conversion summary.
Each report is unique and makes available different aspects of the data from your website or ads. Generating the reports is as easy as navigating your way around the site.
Ease of Use
Signing up for an account with Amazon Associates is a simple process that includes providing Amazon with your contact information in the specified areas. Once accepted and signed in to the affiliate program, the website and account center is very simple to navigate. With tabs lining the top of the page guiding users to their desired area, this website is simple and hassle free from the first time you sign in. After selecting how you want to promote Amazon products on your site, you follow the step by step instructions and before you know it, you’re set to start earning commissions.
Amazon allows users to search for products by category and product type. Users can also search the products they promote against other Amazon products.
Help & Support
Amazon Associates provides an excellent customer service program that allows users to contact them regarding any questions or concerns through a contact form or over the phone. We used both forms of contact to get in touch with customer support representatives, and found both forms very helpful. After filling out the contact form we received an email within 30 minutes to discuss our questions.
We also called their toll free phone number and within a matter of minutes connected with a customer support representative who was very helpful in answering our questions. The representative was patient and knowledgeable about their services.
Straightforward and dependable
Once you sign up and provide the details of how you’d like to be paid (cheque, direct deposit, or gift certificate) you’ll receive your payments once you’ve reached or crossed the pre-established threshold limit (e.g., $100, with a two month delay for the payment). If you move enough sales, after two months, you’ll be receiving a steady monthly paycheck from them.
Other affiliate programs can make you jump through hoops to sign up and get approved, or may require certain conditions to be met before issuing payments (e.g., ClickBank’s requirement for five different credit card purchases before releasing the funds, which progressively reduces the amount that you’re owed over time until you get those five separate credit card payments).
Amazon’s cookie has site-wide coverage, and is not just limited to a specific product
Yes, you only get a 24-hour window, but in that timeframe you’ll get a cut of anything a referred visitor buys, not just the product you pointed out to them. I’ve had visitors buy
all sorts of expensive and odd items when they left my site to check out a $10 book on Amazon. And trust me, pink vibrators can add up quickly.
Amazon has a humongous inventory of extremely reputable products
You don’t have to promote “belly fat secrets” on your blog to make a buck. Their huge selection of high-quality books and other products, means that you can be selective and only recommend or point out items you truly believe are worth your readers’ time and investment. You can select books that are entirely relevant to your topic of expertise, and review products you have actually read/tried/consumed.
People trust Amazon
Being such a well established household name implies that most of your visitors won’t think twice about putting a purchase through on Amazon. Many will have accounts already, and perhaps even have their credit card stored on the site for quick checkouts. This in turn means that more people will buy instead of second guessing whether it’s safe to use the shopping cart.
Amazon is a master at converting visitors into customers
Amazon spends millions of dollars in research to optimize the amount of sales they squeeze out of new and existing customers. All you really need to do is send people to Amazon and they’ll do a good job themselves for the most part. Of course, if you are considered a trustworthy expert in your field and you send people to Amazon to check out a specific item, your conversion rate will be even higher.
The percentage of your cut raises in a given month, as you sell more items
The more products you sell, the greater the percentage of your total sales will be awarded to you. You start at a very low 4%, but can reach the 8% range in a relatively short amount of time (if your sales are good).
Low commission rate
Some complain that the commission rate is low. However, I find it comparable to other big merchants for which I am an affiliate.
The Amazon Associates Program is prohibited in some states. However, Skimlinks is a way around this
1 – traffic
2 – Loyalty and trust converts
3 – The intent of readers matters
4 – Relevancy
5 – Let Amazon do what they’re good at
6 – Genuine recommendations and reviews
7 – Informational links
8 – Contextual promoting
9 – Promotions and discounts
10 – Multiple links per post
11 – Link images to amazon
12 – “buy now” buttons
13 – Focus upon the holidays
14 – Promote related products
15 – Promote pre orders
16 – Track your campaigns
17 – Time is a major factor
Why Many People Don’t Use the Amazon Affiliate Program (and Why I DO)
The usual reasons I hear people giving for not being an Amazon affiliate include:
- The commissions are too small. They start at 4% and for most products can go as high as 8% depending upon how many products you see sold.
- Because most people on Amazon buy low priced products like books, so 4% of a $10 product doesn’t add up to a worthwhile commission.
- Because people have to make a purchase from you within 24 hours otherwise your affiliate cookie stops working
Why You Should Still Join Amazon Associates
The main reasons I still am an Amazon Affiliate (apart from the obvious fact that it converts for me) are:
- Amazon is a trusted brand – everyone knows Amazon. If someone were going to buy online, Amazon would have to be one of the safest options.
- Commissions on higher value products – while 4% on a book isn’t a high commission, if you promote a high value product (like a camera) the commission can be decent.
- People buy more than one item at a time – when you send someone to Amazon you earn a commission on whatever they buy, whether they end up buying what you sent them to or not. Many people load up their cart with numerous items so commissions can add up.
- Easy integration – Amazon provides some good tools and widgets to help you integrate the sales channel into your website.
- Holidays are boom times – Amazon runs some good seasonal sales. Thanksgiving to Christmas can be a particularly profitable time to promote.
- Amazon has a wide array of products – Amazon is so much more than books these days. There are so many promotional option
Although you can only promote products found on Amazon, the number of products is almost limitless compared to other service companies and their selection of merchants.
Amazon Associates has created a very user-friendly website that allows everyone, from a large business webmaster to a personal blog writer, to utilize the services. I found this program to be an excellent choice for affiliate marketing. Combined with other affiliate platforms, it is an excellent and reliable way to generate income from a website!
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