This article is contributed by Mariana Ashley.
I will preface this post with the cold fact that not all blogs or websites will benefit much from using the Amazon Associates program. That being said, since the program is free to use, it is at least worth trying out. It is a great affiliate program that is simple to implement and can make surprisingly large sums of money. But for any site or blog to make any serious money from the program, they should fit at least most of the following criteria:
- Your site gets a good amount of traffic – Obviously no one will be clicking on your affiliate links and purchasing things that will give you commissions if no one visits your site.
- Your visitors are loyal and trust your site – This one is huge! Much more important than just having traffic, having loyal visitors will be the most likely users to convert with your affiliate program. Most of the search engine traffic you receive won’t.
- Your site has information relevant to the products you’re marketing – Believe it or not, a lot of webmasters will use an affiliate program and market products that have nothing to do with their site’s content. Of course, you can be a little creative, but try to market products that you know your readers will want to buy.
Where In the “Buying Cycle” Is Your Audience?
Even with the above criteria met, you’re still not guaranteed to make money through the Amazon Associates program because perhaps your readers are at a different stage in the “buying cycle” than the products you’re marketing.
For instance, if you write a blog that offers tutorials on Photoshop, you probably won’t get too many people clicking on your Amazon links to buy Photoshop because they already have it and are looking for tips on how to use it. However, if you’re reviewing the newest version of Photoshop, your affiliate links might be a bit more lucrative.
Great Buying Hooks
Now that we do indeed have a loyal audience and have considered what they are interested in buying, let’s look at the way we can link them into Amazon and start buying stuff, so we can get that commission. Remember, they don’t necessarily have to buy whatever product you link to; they just have to buy something on Amazon through the affiliate link on your site.
Challenge Your Readers to a “Hypothetical” Shopping Spree!
As cheesy as this might sound, this idea works incredibly well, particularly for sites that review a slew of products for a particular niche. Just write up an article of how you would spend $1000 (or however much money) on products related to your topic, and then at the end of your article, call upon your audience to go on their own “hypothetical” shopping spree and post what they would buy in the comments (just be sure to give them the Amazon affiliate link as their entrance to the spree). Odds are some of them are bound to buy something that they realize they could use.
Allow Readers to Review Products
As great as it is to review products yourself on your site, I’ve also noticed very positive responses (in terms of affiliate commissions) to articles in which a dedicated reader of my site reviews the product. I suppose this is because people are less worried of a biased review since the reader has nothing to gain if you decide to purchase the product through the affiliate link. Remember, for both your own and your readers’ reviews, to keep your reviews genuine and honest. If you lie to sell a poor quality product to your readers, you will soon find that you have no readers and no one clicking your affiliate links.
One great aspect of the Amazon Associates program is that it gives you great detail about whether or not people are clicking your affiliate links and what they’re buying. Once you’ve gathered enough data to determine buying trends and popular products, make a best sellers list! This is a surprisingly effective way to gather more support and trust toward your affiliate products and gain more sells.