Tips for Increasing Your Amazon Associates Earnings

Books

Earning revenue from a blog is tough. It’s tougher than most make it seem to be, especially when you’re talking about on-page revenue. It’s one thing to earn money by performing services on the side such as writing, design, or consulting. It’s quite another to persuade the general public to click the right links and make the right purchases in an ethical way.

Recently, I noticed a quick increase in my earnings from Amazon. As a matter of fact, it went from a few bucks a month up to enough for a nice steak dinner for the family in about three weeks’ time. I analyzed some of the factors that made it happen and wanted to pass along some tips here for other Associates to learn from.

Use Book Reviews as Blog Content

You can post banners in your sidebar, but chances are, not many people are ever going to click them. In fact, they may just distract readers from more pertinent and useful resources. What does work, however, is making book reviews part of your content. In other words, turn a review into a blog post and make it useful.

One very significant factor I’ve noticed is that when I simply post about a book’s availability, it receives a moderate amount of click-throughs, but when I actually share “here’s what I learned,” people seem inspired to go grab a copy for themselves. So instead of a title like “A Review of Some Boring Book” I use a title that offers valuable content from what I read, such as “15 Things You Should Know About Smokeless Fire Crackers” and then feature the book prominently in the content of the post.

Recommend Books With Almost Every Post

This won’t work for every blog, obviously, but if you’re in a niche full of readers and you write for their interests, you can almost always point to a book you’ve read that goes along with your content. I’ve started adding in “recommended reading” either in the middle of my post or at the end. I see it as helpful. The book recommendation becomes part of the content.

Make Connections With Authors and Publishers

Some of my own most vital connections have come from offering positive reviews (when justified) of books and then conversing with the authors, who almost always appreciate the plug. What sometimes happens is the author then promotes my post, which promotes their book, which produces sales. Publishers understand this, which is why nearly every publishing company has some kind of “free books for bloggers” program going now. Blogs sell books.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the Amazon Basket

This should be standard advice that applies to almost any kind of monetization effort. Don’t put all your hope in Adsense, or affiliate links, or any other single source of income. Diversify. You can do so without overwhelming your readers with advertisements and sales copy. My rule of thumb is if the revenue source isn’t as valuable to my readers as it is to me, I eliminate it.

Unless your blog has an enormous following, the Amazon Associates program probably isn’t going to bankroll your kids’ college education, but it might just be good date night money. What have you found effective with Amazon links?

photo credit: Eneas

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About Kiesha Easley

This is my blog - where I love to encourage bloggers. My hope is that you'll leave this blog with more than you came with; you'll learn something new or will at least be engaged and entertained.
In addition to teaching others how to blog, I'm also a college instructor who teaches students how to write for mass media.
I've guest posted on Problogger, DIYThemes and many others. I'm also the author of Highly Favored, a blog devoted to Christian inspiration & encouragement. Please follow me on twitter @weblogbetter or on Facebook.

Comments

  1. Hi Brandon
    Very on topic post for me at the moment. I am about to monetize my blog in a week’s time with shopfront for my sourced products. I will also be doing product reviews and then with Amazon I plan to do just what you suggested. Have a techie who will help me put stuff up on my site related to my niche. Thanks for sharing. Very helpful.

  2. I’ve seen that readers are crazy for “the best 10..” type of articles; it’s easier to read and it’s a more focused type of article. Need to try this.

  3. Haven’t been too much successful in Amazon Affiliate ,just learning some stuff here and there. Some nice tips will try to implement

  4. Thanks for the good advice Brandon. I’ve tried Amazon links from my blog with very little success. Probably because they were offered as an “additional resources” sort of thing. I’ll try tightening my focus and see what happens.
    Thanks again.

  5. Hey Brandon,

    Thanks for sharing.

    Honestly i signed up to Amazon affiliate program a way back, but i didn’t get any cash from them LOL

    So i remove the affiliate, now you mention this post, i might try your tips, and come back to you :)

    Thanks!

  6. I’ve tried Amazon recently and it is quite difficult to earn money from them. The commission of 4% is also not very attractive, you must be talented to receive a good earning from it.
    Anyways, thanks for sharing these tips.

  7. As a Technology blogger I don’t just apply this methodology to books, but you can Amazon affiliate gadgets, games, movies and just about anything else. The same concept of review and link to some Amazon Affiliate product sales pages can work wonders, even if somebody doesn’t buy the product you recommended it sets the cookie and you get a % of anything they choose to buy when they have your cookie set.

    I don’t like the tiered commission either, cause I had 9 product sold in one month and jumped to 6% commission only for it to drop down the next month, you have to steady stream constant sales to keep getting higher commission. Though 4% commission is low, it is actually higher than some online affiliate programs like NewEgg.com…etc. Only specific product affiliate programs tend to have 20-30% affiliate commissions, blanket open store commissions tend to be on the lower % range.

  8. hey Brandon,
    long time.
    these are very useful and timely tips as i am currently promoting amazon products on a my niche blog.
    Question -do you think this would work for other products apart from books? maybe i have to experiment that myself.
    my biggest take home-make promoted product the content or big part of the content and not just a link to a product .
    thanks.

    BYW where is Keisha ?

    • One thing I’ve found is that you can often score a higher commission on non-book products through other affiliate networks, but yes, I think these tips could be applied to other things.

      And Kiesha’s still in charge – I just came back to visit. :)

  9. Hi Brandom, Kiesha, another great topic & tips like the previous one.

    I would like to contribute something on what has been written.

    You can write about any topic, work, hobbies, niche (like yours) you know and back it up with quotation, which become the reference books from Amazon (or that of yours—that has a good commission).

    Will depend on yourself (and how you know your viewer—our ultimate bosses); and without creating false expectative, if what you write, and how you organize the references to Amazon books, the content (can be charities, also), is provocative, enticing, inspiring, emotional… enough for your viewers to go shopping or donate—and repeat.

    It helps to know what’s ‘hot’, ‘In’, the best sellers, the things, keywords… most people are reading at the time—in the case of books.

  10. Widening a little the topic, it may be a good timing for meeting and sharing in the family how to use technology, make money, work and create as a team, and the likes (so important for the ‘their’ future)—the adults making their corresponding part.

    All these without stealing their childhood—of course. At their (children) pace, we don’t want irresponsible adults, living like children. And adult do not have to learn anything complicated with our today’s blogs and technology.

    And like one ‘cannot’ reverse to the past; ‘stop’ the way we now do business, progress, help others, or else; while we are sharing, learning, reading,… we also may form a profitable partnership, company—or eventually mastering ‘the technique’ themselves, and earn the enough money to pay for thing like their college expenses.

  11. This was right on time as I am trying to figure out how to get some monetization going on my blogs. And, I read a lot so this is great.

  12. This are some interesting advices, until now I don’t have a affiliate account to Amazon but I was thinking to do one and now I have from where to guide.

  13. Hey Brandon,

    I’ve been an affiliate with Amazon but I never knew those tips that you’ve mentioned here. It’s also interesting to write reviews in the way you mentioned. It’s definitely more creative and engaging. Starting off with “Review of… ” is kind of expected.

  14. You’re right, mate!

  15. Since Amazon sells everything ,if we are able to keep up sales steadily then we could get a good commission percentage.

  16. I loved the Amazon affiliate program – Amazon is the king of upsells, so I got commissions on all kinds of crazy products that I wasn’t even promoting! (Making enough to maybe cover some of the kid’s textbook costs!)

    Unfortunately, I got kicked out of Amazon affiliate when they fired all their Colorado affiliates over the affiliate tax issue. So I totally believe in diversifying!

    Good luck – and thanks for the tips!

    • Absolutely! I’ve earned commission on tech products when I only blog about books. They do have an excellent interface for redirecting customers to related products, an apparently unrelated products too!

  17. I’m learning the different monetization options for blogs and bloggers and this post is helpful. I’d read a lot of about selling other’s product. Your suggestions are directly convincing and must be the best method. I’ll be applying them soon.

    Thanks for the link of books for bloggers!

  18. I’ve just recently started to monetise my blog too and so this is good timing. I’ve put a few amazon links on my top hit posts to experiment. Thanks for the tips!

  19. nice article Brandon. those who make full time income from the web need to diversify .. problem is adsense makes it so easy , so once someone is banned from adsense they find it hard time …

    Sourish

  20. Does anybody know if we get commissions if we direct the user to their iPhone Mobile App ?

    • Sam, Amazon stores a cookie for 24 hours from the referring account, so you’ll earn a commission on any purchases made within 24 hours of the click, on anything. That’s what makes Amazon great. It’s a very short cookie life, but they are masters at upselling “related products.”

  21. #1 is a good suggestions and many plugin can do it for us automatically like wprobot or shopperpress too. I have made some good money with Amazon and my payrate climbed up to 6% now. Thanks

  22. Wow, i never knew i can make money with amazon affiliates. I will join now. Your tips are amazing.

    I will try it out.

  23. This is great information I have dabbled with Amazon a bit but I guess you are right don’t put all your eggs in one basket thanks for the great post.

  24. I’ve not made very much by including book links in my content but I have made some money with deep linking using text that goes to product detail pages on Amazon. A bit more link building and they’ll at least pay for running all of my other online businesses expenses. It can be done on a larger scale, especially if you use virtual assistants to do most of the work, but I just haven’t gotten the motivation to take it to the next level yet. Most people who fail when trying affiliate marketing fail due to a lack of effort.

  25. Very encouraging. I’ve just started earning through Amazon affiliate and already I’m earning a nice little amount which is increasing month after month.

  26. Exellent!!! You have given valid points with this article. Thanks for your site. I am using some different affiliate programs including amazon. I hope it works if I follow your points. But is it against to amazon conditions if we follow other affiliates?

  27. Thanks for the useful tips and suggestions! I always seem to get better conversions when I use in-context product links that relate closely to the content of the article.

    I’ve experimented with WordPress plugins like WP-Amazon that place product links at the bottom of an article but they don’t seem to convert as well.

    I’ve also had situations where an affiliate link was getting many clicks but almost no conversions! There is certainly an art to placing links in order to produce lots of sales.

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