I am new to this website and the funny thing is that l was looking for an objective analysis on starting an Amazon affiliate site. Your review on this issue is the BEST that i have ever seen in the last 3 years. This article was a joy to read. It was detailed, honest and very hard hitting especially when you are trying to get readers to understand that they MUST diversify their traffic sources and STOP relying on getting to first page on Google. As a result of reading your article l am changing my digital marketing services, affiliate marketing and , e-commerce strategy. I look forward to hearing new and innovative ideas from you on internet marketing. Keep up the great work!!!
Part-time travel blogger Shawna Newman, who runs Active Weekender, agrees. “Simple in-text links are still the best for any blogger, but for advanced display needs, the AAWP plug-in integrates with the Amazon Associates API [application programming interface] and makes it easy to display product images and prices in a way that keeps you compliant with Amazon.”
Hey Jan, glad it made you think. As you've found out it's not easy to rank #1 on Google especially when so few people will link to your product reviews. You need to tackle a specific niche with a focused target audience as a whole and build a community of like minded people around your site in order to make any significant income online sustainably and for the long term.
ClickBank is an affiliate marketing program. ClickBank was founded in 1998 and is privately-held.[1] The company has more than six-million clients worldwide[2] which secured it in becoming the 87th largest Internet retailer in North America.[3] ClickBank is a subsidiary of Keynetics Inc., one of Idaho's largest privately held technology companies.[4] The company has headquarters in Boise, Idaho, and offices in Broomfield, Colorado.
Good comment Jason, at some time in the future Amazon may decide they have so much market share they don't need affiliates anyway. I mean, if you're just sending them people who are already Amazon customers there's not so much benefit there for them. Or they may decide to only work with select HIGH QUALITY affiliates and the average "affiliate site" owner will not be chosen.
Jon Hayes, the author of the Authority Hacker Amazon affiliate site, says, “When it comes to plug-ins, it’s important to remember that Amazon is extremely harsh with their penalties.” Since its very easy to lose your Amazon Associates affiliate account for incorrect linking, Hayes recommends that “affiliates should thoroughly check to see whether the plug-in is compliant and approved by Amazon or not.”
James Goodwillie of the blog One To Multi agrees. “I’ve been an Amazon Associate from day one, and it’s the number-one way I monetize my content. I’ve found that things like big sections of product image links are too much and scare away users,” says Goodwillie. “Adding affiliate links for product pictures or any text where I mention the product is the method that works the best for my site.”
When a site visitor clicks on one of these links or ads, he or she is sent to Amazon. If they complete a purchase there, the site owner — called the “affiliate” — is paid a percentage of the sale. Amazon affiliate commissions range from 1 percent to 10 percent of the item’s selling price. These percentages are based on the category the item is listed under on Amazon.
Part-time travel blogger Shawna Newman, who runs Active Weekender, agrees. “Simple in-text links are still the best for any blogger, but for advanced display needs, the AAWP plug-in integrates with the Amazon Associates API [application programming interface] and makes it easy to display product images and prices in a way that keeps you compliant with Amazon.”
As mentioned in step one, you need to have your website or blog set up and running before you sign up for Amazon Associates. You must provide the URL to your website during registration, so get your WordPress website or other site set up before applying. You can include up to 50 different affiliate sites under one account. Plus, if you develop mobile apps like a mobile deal finder or how-to app, you can include those in your affiliate marketing plan too.
On Nov. 14th, 2018, I purchased an exercise video online. The online ad advertised the merchandise for about ~$25 shipping included. While checking my credit card I notice that on the day of purchase they had charged my account twice ($33.00 and $5.28) and they had me set up for a monthly subscription without my permission. This monthly subscription was going to cost me $50.11 a month. On November 27th I called Clickbank and made them aware that I never received the merchandise I ordered and that I never signed up for a monthly subscription. They sent me an email with a refund for my future monthly payment of the supposed subscription which I never asked for, but they didn’t refund me for the merchandise I never received. So, I called my credit card company to ask for a charge back on the merchandise charges and they credited my account.
For overall site performance tracking, including the number of visits, the most popular pages and how visitors interact with your website, you need to use Google Analytics. There is a learning curve to Google Analytics, but it’s well worth the time investment. Even with a basic understanding of Google Analytics, you can learn a lot about how your visitors interact with your site and which pages attract more readers than others.
For overall site performance tracking, including the number of visits, the most popular pages and how visitors interact with your website, you need to use Google Analytics. There is a learning curve to Google Analytics, but it’s well worth the time investment. Even with a basic understanding of Google Analytics, you can learn a lot about how your visitors interact with your site and which pages attract more readers than others.
You can sign up as an Amazon associate straight away without a site. As long as you have the URL and it belongs to you. They won’t approve your site until you have made your first commission. So what I would do is get the site built and add all the content that you need. Make sure its finished. Then sign up to the Amazon associates, add in your aff codes to your review pages and then you just wait for your first sale. Make sure you read the amazon T&Cs so your site is compliant. If it isn’t then they will not approve your site.
Career blogger Amanda Formaro of AmandasCookin’ says “the Amazon affiliate program is a terrific fit for new bloggers, but it’s important to understand that Amazon only pays you when your readers make purchases.” Formaro emphasizes that Amazon doesn’t pay affiliates for simply listing products or ads on their site. “Amazon affiliates don’t earn money for sending visitors to Amazon or the number of Amazon ad impressions that appear on an affiliate’s website,” says Formaro. “It’s all about the sale.”
The Amazon Associates Program is one of the largest affiliate networks in the world that helps content creators, publishers, and website owners monetize their traffic. With millions of products to choose from on Amazon.com, Amazon Associates use easy link-building tools to direct their readers to products and earn from qualifying purchases. Not only do Associates earn commission on products they refer traffic to, they may also earn on other products their readers may purchase on Amazon. As an associate, you'll have full access to a suite of reporting tools to help you learn what resonates best with your readers.
Formaro also publishes other types of content that appeal to the shopping side of her how-to audience. “You can also do product reviews or write gift guides on creative content websites, and these can be very effective — even more so than just linking to supplies within a how-to post,” says Formaro. “Keep in mind that people are most likely not in the shopping mindset when they arrive at your blog to get a recipe or how-to instructions. But, if they come to a gift guide or product review, the mindset is definitely shopping-oriented.”
Thanks Jamie. This was incredibly useful and well-written. One question that I wasn’t clear on: does the affiliate marking approach assume that we first purchase the amazon products so that we can review them and provide the level of detail and review comments that “cannot be found elsewhere”? I am wondering how we can provide quality and in-depth review content that exceeds competitors if we only have web-based info to go on.
If there’s no products on Amazon for “High end” then you have no Amazon products to promote and no way on earning any commission. Why not try keywords like Best (x) or Luxury (y) where there will be more search volume. Let’s say you want to promote hammocks, you can then target search KWs such as Best Hammock for Under $100, Most Comfortable Hammock, Luxury Hammocks etc. Let me know how you get on.
On Nov. 14th, 2018, I purchased an exercise video online. The online ad advertised the merchandise for about ~$25 shipping included. While checking my credit card I notice that on the day of purchase they had charged my account twice ($33.00 and $5.28) and they had me set up for a monthly subscription without my permission. This monthly subscription was going to cost me $50.11 a month. On November 27th I called Clickbank and made them aware that I never received the merchandise I ordered and that I never signed up for a monthly subscription. They sent me an email with a refund for my future monthly payment of the supposed subscription which I never asked for, but they didn’t refund me for the merchandise I never received. So, I called my credit card company to ask for a charge back on the merchandise charges and they credited my account.

To become a successful, money-making affiliate site owner, you must create interesting and compelling content — and lots of it. Content is what attracts an audience and what that content largely depends on the purpose of your blog. Some bloggers focus on product reviews while others are do-it-yourself crafters who publish how-tos, cooks who create recipes or workout pros who publish fitness-centered articles and posts.
Great article! Thank you. I run a podcast (The Healing Place Podcast), am finishing up a book manuscript, am a public speaker, and write a bi-weekly blog and monthly newsletter. All related to helping others along their healing journey (from traumatic events). I recently had a podcast guest ask me if I would be willing to add an affiliate link to my websites for her book. Cool. So I started researching the idea. And I came across this article. Now my interest is piqued. I love the idea of adding affiliate ads to my blog and website related to self-help, trauma recovery, etc. Many of my podcast guests have online courses, books, etc. that I would be willing to market for them as an affiliate.
Now, Amazon’s categories can be confusing. As you use the program, you’ll find that something that you’d consider a “Home” or “Luxury Beauty” item might be categorized at a lower rate. To be sure of the item’s commission category, check the categories listed at the top of the item page or search by category as we did here to find this Luxury Beauty item:
I have a question: while searching for the niche, and I think I found one that is pretty good, the search on google (for “high end …….”) didn’t revile any brands. Now, I believe it’s possible that there are not many brands for this niche, but checking it little further, I found that there are some, but it was difficult finding it on amazon and even if I did find the products, they didn’t have many reviews, if there were any.
Most of the traffic for your affiliate website will come from product related searches, and product reviews. Generally, these will be more long-tail terms such as, “Blendtec 570 vs Vitamix 5300”, or “greenworks mower vs black and decker”. The traffic coming from keywords like these will be very targeted, as the searcher has the intention to purchase something.
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