Launched in 1996, the Amazon Associates Affiliate Program is the grandfather of all e-commerce affiliate programs. Amazon Associates has evolved over the years along with Amazon itself and currently offers a number of ways for affiliates to profit from sales generated from their sites.
Generating revenue with the [tag]Amazon Associates[/tag] program is all about choosing the right type of ads/links, for the right product(s) and putting them in the right place/context.
Amazon currently offers 6 different types of ads/links through its web-based ‘Build Links’ interface.
- Omakase ads/links which feature products based on page content;
- Product ads/links which link to specific Amazon items;
- Recommended Product Links that automatically shows relevant products;
- Banners that link to Amazon promos or product categories;
- Text links which allow you to directly link to any Amazon page; and
- Search Boxes which provide Amazon.com search capability.
Tip #1 If you have a website or blog with at least 100 page loads/day, join the program! If you are already using Google AdSense, Amazon ads are a nice compliment. I have found that pages that do poorly with AdSense often do well with Amazon.
Tip #2 Choose ads/products related to your content. Readers are often unaware that products they are interested in are available through Amazon.com. OK, this might be obvious to some. However, I still see unrelated ads on many sites.
Tip #3 Use deep-linking. Product link boxes and banners on a sidebar can be ignored (ad blindness). Amazon’s new preview feature makes a simple text-link come alive. Here is an example of a link to relevant book (mouseover) on affiliate selling.
Do not overdo it. One or two text-links per article/post is optimal. Those preview fly-overs can go from being useful to annoying very fast!
Tip #4 Avoid the Consumer Electronics category if possible. Yes, electronics are the easiest products to sell. However, Amazon fixes the commission for electronic items at 4% no matter how many items are sold in a month.
Before linking to an item from Consumer Electronics, check to see if it has a listing under another category. Many electronics items are also listed under the Camera & Photo, Home & Garden or Outdoor Living categories with the same ASINs. Here is example of a dual listing.
Tip #5 Experiment with the new Omakase links/ads. They offer a number of options that are not available with Product links/ads. You can make an Omakase ad look similar to an AdSense ad. Still, it will not violate the Adsense TOS because the Omakase ads are pay-per-action (PPA).
Tip #6 Use an Ad Rotator for header, sidebar, and footer ads. If a reader doesn’t click on an ad the first time it appears, odds are showing it again and again won’t help.
Tip #7 Choose the Performance Payment Plan to earn from 4% to 8.5% commission depending on the number of items sold (shipped) in a month. The Classic Payment Plan pays out a flat 4% rate with no tier structure.
Tip #8 Choose payment by direct deposit (ETF) if possible. It’s easy, free, and pays out (now monthly) once your total commissions exceed US$10*. The fee for payment by check has just gone up to US$15 and the minimum amount is US$100*.
*Amazon USA program.