Tonight I was browsing the Warrior Forum and came across another oh-so-common thread where the original poster was asking how people make money from the Amazon.com affiliate program.
Here’s my post to explain what I’m doing. Full disclosure, my Amazon activities are by no means a full time income today, but they are decent and growing and because I see how good the potential is, I’ve been doing a lot more of it over the last couple of months.
What is Amazon’s Affiliate Program All About?
Let’s start with the basics – if you have a website where you promote Amazon products you’ll earn a commission ranging from 4% up to about 7% depending on how much stuff you sell every month. You only need to sell about 6 or 7 items to get to the 6% mark, which is incredibly easy. So you should think about it as a 6% commission. Check the terms of the program because some categories, like electronics, only pay 4% no matter what.
There are two main ways to promote Amazon products. You can either write reviews, your you can contextually market products. Let me explain.
Reviews are pretty obvious, and are probably what most readers here will be doing. You either have a website in a niche and you post product reviews, or you create a website with a focus on niche product reviews. This is very common and is exactly what I’m doing. You summarize the product information along with customer feedback and provide a link to where the reader can go buy the product. You get traffic from people who are researching these products, and if you do a good job writing the reviews, you get clicks through to Amazon. Conversion tends to be around 6-7% based on my experience.
Contextual marketing is different. Instead of reviewing a product, you may write a blog post or an email and you may mention a product in the context of a story you’re telling, or information you’re sharing. This strategy is best suited to experienced marketers with a following. Say you had a popular email list in the health and fitness market. Maybe you’re writing about how you started cooking with coconut oil because of its health benefits. When you create anchor text (just like I did there), linking to Amazon, without offering a “review”, that’s contextual marketing.
But most of you are probably interested in doing product reviews. So let’s talk about that for a bit longer. There are some rules you need to abide by when writing reviews.
Here they are:
1) Make sure you review products that will pay you. You need to consider search volume and price. Most people say don’t promote products under $100 because they don’t pay much commission. That’s true, but if you find a $10 product that gets 30x more search volume than a $100 product, you’ll still make 3x as much money. Factor in volume AND price when you consider writing a review.
2) Always do keyword research on the product name or niche keyword, and then make sure you do proper on-page SEO by incorporating keywords in your title, description, headlines, URL, and several times in your body text.
3) Pick products that your writer is interested in writing about! This is REALLY important. If you are the writer, then you need to be interested. If you are hiring a full time writer from OnlineJobs.ph then you should ask your writer what gets him or her excited. Perhaps you can find good niches that your writer is personally interested in. This will help you add value in your reviews. This leads us to …
4) Make sure your reviews HELP PEOPLE. If they are crap, nobody will click them. If you can’t write, do not write reviews. Hire someone who can. Even hiring an American writer for $0.02 through TextBroker.com will be better than doing it yourself if you are not a good writer.
5) I personally find that text links work best. I link to the actual product page on Amazon, and I link to customer reviews. Amazon makes it easy to get an affiliate link to these variations of pages.
Outsourcing Amazon Review Sites
These days I outsource all of the review writing and most of the niche research. I hire people through OnlineJobs.ph to write for me full time and in their first (probation) month I will assign them a complete website to build. Obviously it takes less than a month to build a site, but I’ll hold their hand through the process without doing any of the work for them. I’ll just show them how to do things. I get them to pick products, pick domain names, install WordPress, write reviews and write articles to promote the site.
Other than “English writing”, everything else is easy to teach, so I focus on hiring people with some writing talent.
I do not have a full time graphics person. I simply outsource some small jobs to a freelancer that I like. A website header for my Amazon sites will cost me $2 (yes, I’m serious).
I spend my time managing projects, doing some niche research, and proof-reading some of the reviews to make sure quality is in check. I send my guys lots of emails or training videos to suggest ways to do things better. I work “on” my business rather than “in” my business. This is the only way to grow, in my view.
Getting Started with Amazon Review Sites
I recommend two products that happen to be sold at Clickbank.com to get started. Both of these should be handed over to your outsourcing team so that THEY can implement these for you, so long as you known enough to guide them. Remember guys – Clickbank forces vendors to offer a 60 day guarantee so I wouldn’t recommend this stuff (using my affiliate link) if I thought it was crap. These are both systems I purchased with my own money.
The first is Dan Brock’s Super Deadbeat Affiliate Program. I previously wrote about it here, and if you use my affiliate link to buy it I’ll send you my notes on how to make the program even better.
The second is Gary Gregory’s MOBS system. He doesn’t advertise this as an “Amazon” system, but it is PERFECT for building sites that promote physical products and it is a very complete system. You really can’t go wrong if you follow Gary’s instructions. He even shows you his own demo site that acts as a perfect model to follow. You need nothing more. If you buy this using my affiliate link I’ll send you a report I’ve been working on (for my team) that explains how to make Gary’s strategy even MORE powerful. Email me at info (at) replace-myself-bonus (dot) com to claim the bonus.
The Most Important Part: You won’t make money sitting on your ass thinking. You won’t make money analyzing stuff. You will only make money by taking action and making LOTS of mistakes. Trust me on this. You NEED to make a ton of mistakes to become profitable and luckily these are low-cost mistakes. But the faster you start, the faster you’ll make money. Once you make money you’ll understand exactly why you’re making money and you’ll be self sufficient. It really is that simple.