How To Do More With The Amazon Associates Program

But today, we will discuss three strategies on how to increase Amazon affiliate sales that are not that easy.

They are not complex in a technical sense, but they will take some time, some effort, some knowledge, some dedication, and probably a few other things.

We’ll also share a couple of stories of people who have done these things with great success.


Amazon Affiliate Sites And Amazon Associates – Short Introduction

You’ve heard of the Amazon affiliate program if you’re a blogger at just about any level.

If you are not familiar with how the Amazon Associates program works, click here for your getting started on the tour.

Amazon Associates is an Amazon affiliate program that allows you to send people to Amazon using custom links (which they give you) and then earn a commission if that visitor makes a purchase. The visitor should not buy the item you linked – the commission would apply to any purchase they make on Amazon in the next 24 hours. Based on how many sales you refer in a given month, commissions generally range from 4% to 8.5% of the purchase price.

Since Amazon sells over 250 million different products in the United States alone, it’s easy to see why so many bloggers use this program:

1. No matter your niche, chances are they sell things that your audience wants.

2. Many people are loyal Amazon customers, and some pay more for fast delivery with Amazon Prime.

3. Since Amazon sells such a wide variety of items, it’s not uncommon for you to get commissions on totally unrelated products.

I will not spend any more time explaining the “how and why” of Amazon Associates.

I’m going to assume you’re interested, and you already see the potential value of having a successful Amazon affiliate site.

Although the technical aspects of getting started with the Amazon Associates program are relatively straightforward, being a very successful Amazon affiliate is not.

Here are three ways to make more like an Amazon affiliate if you’re willing to work for it…

Don’t Look Like a Typical Affiliate site if you’ve been at it for a while; you can spot a “typical” affiliate site the moment the page loads. It doesn’t feel like an authentic brand and it feels like everything on the site exists solely for you to go to Amazon and buy whatever they’re reviewing.

How can you see this?

Check out this Amazon affiliate example of what Brian Lam and his team do at The Wirecutter.

To make money reviewing amazon products write real in-depth product reviews and comparisons. In the context of those reviews, they have affiliate links to buy the product from Amazon, like this:

In addition to specific guides like “The Best Android Phone,” they also do broader categories like the best travel gear. Note that they have a custom-designed image which further creates a sense of trust with the user that this is a legitimate and trustworthy site.

In their guide to the best gear for travel, they cover just about everything you can think of.

The complete experience in “Wire Cutter” shows that they are experts in the topics they cover. In the end, you would almost feel foolish if you didn’t buy the products they recommend.

That’s the recipe for an Amazon Affiliate site that makes good money.

How well are they doing?

After all, many of your visitors have come to your site because they intend to make a purchase, and you have provided them with almost everything they need to know to make an informed purchase decision.

According to a 2012 New York Times article on The Wire Cutter: “The vast majority of their income comes from payments made by affiliates, mostly Amazon, for referrals to their sites… Between 10 and 20 percent of their visitors click on links, a rate that would make ad sellers drool.”

Further on, they say “Mr. Lam’s income is low, about $50,000 a month, but it’s doubling every quarter, enough to pay his freelancers, invest in the site, and keep him on surfboards.”

That was in 2012…

How can you do the same

Let’s face it, going from nothing to The Wire Cutter is a monumental task.

However, it should encourage you that according to the same New York Times article, Brian Lam managed to get that site off the ground without outside investors.

Fortunately today, there are tons of free and cheap tools available for web design, graphic design, and other services that can make you look much bigger than you are without spending a fortune.

I’ll also assume that many of you don’t need to make 6 figures a month – you’d be more than happy to make just a few thousand, which is much more achievable.

There are tons of low-quality Amazon affiliate sites on the web, but there are very few Wire Cutters.

Here are some tips:

· Really know your niche, or hire an expert/writer who does. Experience or lack of it will be noted.

· Do not abandon the design. 

· Use Canva to design top notch images like “Best Travel Gear” above. It is fast and easy.

· Once you start to grow, look for influencers in your space to contribute to your site.

  1. How To Increase Amazon Affiliate Sales – Targeted Buyer Keywords

We have already established that your site should stand out. You must differentiate yourself and provide high quality, correct and useful content for your users. 

But what is the best way to get potential buyers for your site?

One of the most effective ways (besides free) is to target the right “buyer keywords” in your content. Buyer keywords are simply phrases you search for that show clear intent to buy something. Maybe it’s “Brand A vs Brand B” or “Best Laptop for $500”, etc.

Here an example of what I mean:

Let’s assume you’re creating an Amazon affiliate site that deals with books. You are going to review books of all kinds and topics.

Wouldn’t it be great if your page ranks on the first page for “books”?

Bad news…

It just won’t happen. Let’s look at “books” in Long Tail Pro:

The term is searched for more than 90,000 times per month, with a competitiveness tip of 55. The first 9 results are scattered among the big names in the industry.

Somehow, I don’t see a site called “ making it into the top 10 here…

Focus on the Positive

You can absolutely build a niche/authority tire site and do very well by targeting the right buyer keywords.

If you’re looking for ideas on terms that typically appear in buyer keywords, it’s possible to find lists of them. Better, avoid, compare, dependent, how to get rid, are just a small sample of things that show the intention to buy.

To illustrate this point, someone simply looking for “books” does not have the clearest intention. What exactly do you want to know about books? You may be just doing general research, looking for children’s books, and a bunch of other possibilities.

However, whoever searches for “best mystery books” has a very clear intention.

You know what they are looking for and your site has a much better chance of ranking in Google for “best mystery books” than for “books”.

Here’s how you can use Long Tail Pro to search for keyword ideas that contain purchase intent. Notice that in this search, I’m using “books” as a base keyword and then adding “best” to the list of words to include. Therefore, all of my keyword ideas will include the word “best”

Focus on the negative

On the other hand, don’t forget about “negative” keywords.

It can be something like this in case of a search related to the best tires for driving on snow:

“Yes, the Cooper x3000 has problems in the snow. But, if you do X,Y and Z you should be fine. If you live in an area with a lot of snow, then I’d suggest taking a look at our top rated snow tire, the Goodyear B105 (Amazon affiliate link).”

Here is another example where something negative can be a sales opportunity:

Someone searching for “how to get rid of steering wheel vibration” is someone whose problem could be solved by buying a new set of tires. By educating those people on the common causes of your steering wheel vibrating (such as worn tires), you then have an opportunity to suggest a recommended set of tires for them.

2.Let your passion guide you

Before you start rolling your eyes, pay attention to me on this.

You have probably heard and seen countless times about “following your passion” and that things will work out.

That’s not exactly what I’m saying here.

However, I want to show you a shining example of someone who hired on a mission they were passionate about and then turned it into Amazon affiliate income.

Lisa from “100 Days of Real Food”

Meet Jake and Lisa Leake from “100 Days of Real Food”

According to their story , they are the parents of 2 children who were eating a “diet” just like a typical American family. Then, in early 2010, they learned the importance of eating unprocessed food and the benefits it brought.

They started a personal challenge to eliminate all processed food from their family diet after reading “In Defense of Food”

Lisa says “It’s been such an eye-opening experience that we didn’t want to keep all this exciting information to ourselves. So shortly after I started making changes, I launched a blog called “The Food Illusion…”

The original blog morphed into a challenge, which eventually became 100 Days of Real Food .

Interestingly, I was a personal reader of Lisa’s blog for a couple of years and never realized that Amazon affiliates was part of her business plan.

I was drawn to the clever ideas for eating well on a budget, real food substitutes for picky eaters, tips on what to have in your kitchen, etc.

More recently, I discovered her husband Jason’s blog which takes a look at how they make money on their real food site. According to this report , they actually make a full-time income blogging and about 23% of that comes from affiliate sales (mostly from Amazon).

The most relevant thing about this story was his mentality when entering this

They didn’t start by saying “I’d really like to do an Amazon affiliate site, what can we do about it?”

Instead, real life events led to them sharing their healthy eating story, which became a natural opportunity to make money with Amazon affiliates (among other things.)

This is a HUGE difference.

As we said at the beginning. Amazon sells just about any type of product you can imagine. So while some niches are more lucrative than others, if you’re creative enough, there are probably opportunities to embed Amazon affiliate links on a site that’s focused on what you’re really passionate about.

Here’s how “100 Days of Real Food” did it:

It is interesting that they have several different types of pages/posts that are having good results. It really helps to drive home the point above about the variety of keywords that can be a buyer if you structure them correctly.

They have a “tutorial” post like “How to Use Insulated Food Pitchers” which answers the question and links to your favorite thermoses on Amazon.

They have posts like “10 ways to change your kid’s lunch” where again they give authentic product recommendations in the context of a very helpful post.

They also have pages that are useful, but surely were built to sell – such as “recommended reading” and “kitchen essentials”.

In the blog post referenced above, Jason said “Talk about products that you actually use and recommend. People actually value an authentic review of a product, and giving examples of product use can make people want to buy.”

Again – this is a change in mindset.

When you’re looking to increase Amazon affiliate sales, your site is there to genuinely help people first, not to sell products.

To end

That’s good news because most of your competitors aren’t willing to get into keyword research and build high-quality sites that provide user value.

It’s bad news because you can’t be successful overnight. However, you can start today!

If you have any other tips to add, please share them in the comments!

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