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How to Succeed with the Amazon Associates Affiliate Program

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.

Reference Links:
Join Amazon’s Associates Program (USA)
Join Amazon’s Associates Program (UK)
Amazon Category at AffiliateBrand.com

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