There are a lot of affiliate programs out there. From stand-alone options to dedicated platforms that contain thousands of programs, products and services; there’s bound to be a match for you when it comes to affiliate marketing.
You might have read my previous posts: What about Affiliate Marketing Programs? and Wealthy Affiliate Added an Awesome New Tool! | Affiliate Programs. These are great introductions to some of the programs out there and ways to discover more. Please check them out when you have finished reading this article. I’m sure you’ll find something of interest.
Today’s post is going to cover another affiliate program and answer the question “What is the Amazon Affiliate Program About?”. I’ll briefly talk about what an affiliate program is and then dive into the Amazon offering. I’ll explain how to use it, how to sign up for it and include a few tidbits that I’ve found helpful when it comes to using Amazon’s affiliate links on my websites.
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THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE MY AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
In short, an affiliate program is a way for companies to encourage others to market their products and services. This encouragement comes in the form of commissions. When you join an affiliate program or network, you’re given the ability promote the products and services they offer. In short, you become a salesperson for that company or network.
The way it works is you refer traffic to them, through what are called affiliate links. If your referrals make a purchase, you get a kickback in the form of a commission. How you go about promoting those products and services is largely up to you.
I say largely because there may be instances where you sign up for a program and they specify that you can’t promote them via email solicitation, etc. Most programs, however, don’t really limit how you promote them, as long as you do so in a professional and respectable manner.
The most common forms of affiliate marketing online are through websites, such as blogs, storefronts, etc.; social media, advertisements, either paid or on the site(s) you run and mailing lists.
Whatever your medium of choice (and you’re not limited to just one), if you make the sale, you get the commission. Commission rates vary from program to program so it is wise to shop around to find the best fit for your particular situation.
I’m not going to go down the affiliate program rabbit hole in this article. If you’re interested in more information, please check out my Affiliate Marketing post.
As you probably know, Amazon is a powerhouse when it comes to selling just about anything online. They have a great selection of product and services and they have a fulfillment and distribution setup that puts many other companies to shame.
Add to that, that they have a great, no hassle returns policy and Amazon Prime service, offering 2-day free shipping on many products, and you can see why they might be a great platform to partner with. They’ve worked hard to build a great reputation and that work has paid off with a huge, trusting client base!
Even with all their success, Amazon is a business and what makes business better? More of it. Amazon recognizes that there’s competition out there. As such, they want to make sure they get as big of a bite as they can when it comes to consumer purchases.
So, how do they get a bigger bite? One way is to get more people referring others to make purchases on their site. Enter the affiliate marketer (you). Using the various avenues you employ (mailing lists, websites, social media, etc.), you can drive more traffic to Amazon by becoming an Amazon affiliate (actually called Amazon Associate) and using affiliate links to refer traffic to them.
It’s actually a great way to get a lot more traffic if you think about it. What could be better than having thousands of people directing even more people to a business? I can see why companies offer affiliate marketing. I look at it like this. It’s a little like sponsorship but with a smaller price tag but, instead of paying millions to have a logo placed on the (hopefully) winning race car or team stadium and so on, they pay a small commission based on performance. If the referral pans out, the company pays, if not, there’s not cost associated with it.
I’ve touched on some of this already but basically, you sign up, build your funnel (website, mailing list, etc.), for lack of a better word, and then market or present the link to the item in question. Take my drone website, for example…
I have affiliations with several companies (Amazon, DJI, Dynnex Drones, etc.). I write a couple of articles every week for that site. Some are reviews, others tips and tricks, I even have troubleshooting articles and so on. Now, in many of those posts, I have affiliate links (not all of them, but a good portion). It may be to an accessory I recommend, an actual drone or even an app to use with it.
What’s important here is to offer my client’s choices. In some of my posts I’ll say “Grab this directly from DJI here” and then I’ll toss in another line that says something like “If you’d prefer to order from Amazon, follow this link”. I can reverse them too. I’ve found that some people like to order direct from the manufacturer and other’s like the familiarity they have with a platform like Amazon (I’m talking to you Prime members).
As people check out my posts, they follow some of these links and may or may not make a purchase. I’ll log in and check my statistics from time to time to see how things are going. If I see a particular link doing well, I’ll revisit it and see what makes it different from the others (i.e. was it a review post link, general one-off that I included in a post, etc.). I can then use that information to see about improving the performance of other links on my site.
One of the great reasons to start with the Amazon Affiliate program is because, not only is it super-easy to join but, it’s free. That’s right. You don’t have to pay to play with Amazon.
To sign up just go here. You can also go to https://affiliate-program.amazon.com and click on the Join Now >> link. You’ll need to fill out some information (contact; site; type of business – i.e. sole proprietor, partnership, etc.; and so on). You’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions and provide payment information (do you want a check, direct deposit, etc.).
Once you get signed up, you can actually start promoting right away. One thing to remember is you have to make so many sales within a specified period (I think it’s 3 sales in 6 months right now) or your account will be automatically closed and you’ll have to try again.
You should also note that your original approval is conditional. At some point, Amazon will come look at your site to make sure it meets the guidelines set forth in the agreement (I actually got my account closed once: Amazon Affiliate Disclosure – Why Did They Close My Account?) and to confirm you’re not acting in a way that may sully their reputation.
If you meet the guidelines, you’re fine. If not, you’ll be rejected and have to reapply or go back and forth with them to figure out how to fix the issue and ask them to reinstate your account. I took the reinstatement route because I had put quite a few affiliate links in and didn’t want to have to go find them all to add a new store ID.
Signing up is really easy. Give it a shot and then start promoting products and services.
Amazon didn’t stop with just an affiliate program. They’ve introduced additional programs and tools to help you grow your business and make working with their program easier. Check out some of the following:
Amazon will actually pay you commissions on selling their services too. Amazon Music, Amazon Video and more all offer subscription services. If you refer a new client to one or more of them, you’ll get a commission for doing so. Check out this introduction video:
If you’ve built quite a following and have authority in your niche, you can take advantage of the Amazon Influencer program. It’s a great way to get products in front of your visitors and organize items easily. It’s actually more than that. Learn more in the video below:
Here are some great examples of influencers using the Amazon Influencer program:
This one is a lot like the Amazon Associates program but tailored more for local brick and mortal engagement. If you have a physical, in-person business, this is a great resource to use.
One thing I haven’t touched on yet in this post is that you have to sign up for the Amazon Associate program in the regions you plan to market to. If you’re in the USA, that’s Amazon.com but, if you want to do business in the U.K., that’s Amazon.co.uk. Signing up for the various regions is pretty easy (although you might need to employ Google Translate to read some of the fields) but directing your visitors to the correct Amazon site for their region, isn’t so easy.
OneLink fixes this issue. I will allow you to offer the item using your primary region’s link and have your visitor automatically redirected to the same or similar item in the region that actually serves them. This feature has actually earned me money from 3 different regions that I normally would have missed out on.
Until I discovered this tool, I would log into the Amazon Associates portal and look up items to build links to. It wasn’t difficult but it was awkward and cumbersome to do over and over. With the SiteStripe tool, I can shop on Amazon like I normally would and generate various affiliate links to use on my sites.
I’m particularly partial to the Text+Image links because they include an image of the item plus a dynamically updating text field that includes the most up-to-date price for that item. If you sign up for the Amazon Associates program, take advantage of this tool.
Here’s a how-to video that you might find useful:
As time progresses I’m sure Amazon will add even more programs and features that you’ll be able to take advantage of.
So, What is the Amazon Affiliate Program About? It’s about making money for both Amazon and you. No matter what it is you want to promote, chances are (with little exception) Amazon has it.
If you don’t yet have a method of promoting affiliate products and services, consider checking out my number one recommended affiliate marketing platform Wealthy Affiliate. This is the platform I use, not only for learning about the latest online marketing trends but this site, as well as my other sites are all hosting on the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
I truly think that the Amazon Associates program is a great one to start with or add to your existing affiliate arsenal. Do yourself a favor and check it out. It won’t cost you a dime and you’ll have a very large selection of items to promote from a company that has a great reputation with their customer base.
What do you think of the Amazon Associates program? Can you see one of the additional programs increasing your sales? Do you have an experience with Amazon Associates that you’d like to share? Did I miss something important that you think should be included in this review? Please let me know by commenting below.