What is Affiliate Marketing?
So, if you’re completely new to the affiliate marketing scene, give this section a quick read. If not, skip straight to “Chapter 2: Getting Started”.
The Oxford Dictionary defines affiliate marketing as “a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals”.
The Parties Involved
So, in simpler terms, an online retailer gives you money for every person that buys the product you promote for them.
This is tracked using affiliate links. If you don’t use the correct link for the product, then the online retailer won’t know that the customers came from you – and you won’t earn the commission.
There are three parties involved in the process –
The merchant is the company or person wanting to sell a product or service (that you will promote for them).
The Affiliate (YOU)
Your role as the affiliate is essentially to promote a product and help it sell. This can be through a variety of ways – product roundup reviews, promoted links, top 10 articles, social media – there are endless ways you can promote a product.
You can promote a product by creating content around the product. If you have a website, write about the product (top 10 articles and buyers guides are pretty common) and for every person that clicks the link to the product and purchases it, you’ll earn a commission.
The key is building traffic to your site. See “Chapter 3: Understanding SEO” for more information on how you can build a successful site.
The customer is who your content is for. Your goal as the affiliate is to get the customer to purchase the product you’re promoting.
You want your content to be interesting and readable for the customer, and you want a lot of customers. The more visitors to the site, the more customers you get, therefore the higher the commission you get.
Amazon Associates, the Amazon affiliate marketing program, is one of the largest and most popular affiliate networks in the world.
The program has dominated the online marketing scene since 1996, being one of the first online affiliate marketing programs available for public use in the world.
Whether you’re a content creator, publisher or website owner, you can monetize your traffic using this program.
Why Choose Amazon?
Amazon is a great place to start making money as an affiliate marketer. There are many reasons why you should choose Amazon – there’s a reason it’s so popular.
- It’s a huge marketplace with over 353 million products on sale right now, excluding books and services.
- The selection of products sold on Amazon is hugely diverse – from makeup products to dog leashes, you’re certain to find products that you’ll want to promote.
- Amazon is a well-known site – it won’t be too difficult getting your audience to trust the website as it’s become a household name. The customer service on Amazon is also great – you can sleep easy knowing you’re not promoting products for a dodgy site.
- It’s completely free for website owners and bloggers to become Amazon Associates. There are other programs available that offer less but cost more, but Amazon has it all and is completely free.
- Link-building tools are easy and simple to understand. The tools and services available on Amazon are great and easy to get to grips with.
- Not only do you (the associate) earn money from referring traffic to the product you’re promoting, but you can also earn money when your customers purchase other products from Amazon on their visit.
Now you understand the basics of affiliate marketing with Amazon, it’s time to get started.
The first step is perfecting your platform – as you’ll need to describe your website or blog in the application process. If you already have a site, skip to the “Sign Up” section.
In order to be an Amazon Affiliate, you need to have a platform to promote the products on. Blogging and websites are generally the most common ways that you can make money using the Amazon Associates program.
Your site can either be a general site that writes about a variety of topics, promoting a wide array of products, or your site can have a niche.
A niche is a super-specialized market that will attract a certain audience. If you’re not sure how to choose a niche, check out our article on Finding a Profitable Niche.
Usually, affiliates write the blog around the product. Here are some ways you can promote your product.
- Write a buyers guide – helping customers know how to choose the best products can be a way for them to choose your product. This should also help your site build organic traffic – as it’s giving people genuine information.
- Product reviews – reviewing products is a great way to promote products. You write all about the product, the pros, cons, features etc, and have the amazon affiliate link on full view for your customers to click.
- Write about why your customer needs the product – writing about the product and how your customer can benefit from the product will encourage more clicks to the product, and therefore more commission for you.
If you already have an account with a large following (for example, an Instagram account with 5000 followers), then you can use that to your advantage.
Use this to share your content, or write posts that include the amazon affiliate link.
Make sure you disclose to your followers that you have used an affiliate link – the last thing you want is to lose the respect and trust of your followers. Your followers are how you make money.
It’s also important to make sure your customers find your page interesting. Nobody wants constant adverts, so make sure you’re posting valuable content too.
If you’re struggling to know what to post, you could always do a poll. Don’t be afraid to ask your followers how you can improve!
Now is time to sign up to become an affiliate for Amazon. If you don’t have an account with Amazon, you’ll need to create one.
- Register using either your mobile number or your email address, and then you’ll need to enter basic information about yourself such as your name, date of birth, etc.
- Then you’ll need to enter your payment and tax information, which will enable you to start earning money straight to your bank account.
- Enter the category of product you want to promote (your niche) into the search bar located at the top of your dashboard.
- Browse the results until you find a product you’re happy selling – the product doesn’t have to match your website but it’s always better to attract a certain audience.
- Click “get link” to copy the affiliate link, and include the link wherever possible – on pictures, buttons, etc on your website or social media (whatever your outlet is).
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