Blogging can be very lucrative.
With proper planning and some effort on your part, your blog can easily replace your “day job” income and get you out of the rat race.
One of the easiest (and profitable) ways I’ve come across in my 4 years of making money online is by using Amazon and today I want to teach you how you can make money as an Amazon Associate.
What Is The Amazon Associates Program?
The Amazon Associate Program is the official affiliate program for Amazon.
This platform allows online marketers, bloggers and affiliate marketers to earn money by promoting any of the many products available on Amazon to their readers.
This is how it works:
- You send your readers to Amazon (through your affiliate link).
- The reader makes a purchase.
- You make a commission on the sale.
Whenever you send a customer to Amazon, your affiliate link will be in the URL and every purchase he/she makes, you earn credit for it.
The best thing about the Amazon Associates Program is that it doesn’t matter what the customer buys, you still get paid.
They don’t even have to buy the product you referred them to, as long as you’ve sent them, whatever they buy, you will get credit on.
Your affiliate links are valid for 24 hours and if they add the item(s) to their cart, you have 30 days till your link becomes invalid. Fear not though, most often people buy their products in less than 30 days.
This only means one thing; the earning potential here is incredible.
Amazon Is The Best When It Comes To Selling
Amazon knows how to sell. Their sales funnel is probably the best in the online commerce space and they have an amazingly HUGE catalog of things you can sell and promote.
I’m sure you’ve been on Amazon before, browsed some items and then all of a sudden you’re shown similar items in your Amazon homepage and you even get emails relating to what you viewed on Amazon.
This is their sales funnel in action, the same sales funnel that generates $35,000,000,000 each year (and growing).
And when it comes to making money as an Amazon Associate, this will be your biggest ally cause this insane funnel will work in your favor.
Why Do I Love Amazon So Much?
But first let me tell you a quick story before getting into the guide….
I made my first sale ever on Amazon. A whopping $0.87c and since then, I’ve had a special place for it in my heart.
Ever since that day, when that magical 87 cents appeared in my account, I started to believe that “making money online” was indeed possible and since that day, I vowed to make the internet my full-time job.
And I did… mostly by using Amazon and other affiliate networks to be able to make money from my blogs.
But today it’s all about Amazon and about you getting started and making money with it.
By then end of this guide, you’re going to know how to:
- Pick out a niche to promote (a blog topic)
- Have your own blog set up and ready to go
- Be registered with the Amazon Associates Program.
- Make daily sales!
If these are all things you’re interested in, please read on:
Making Money With Amazon Is Easy If You Know How
Amazon makes it easy for anybody to get started and you can even sell with just posting links on social media.
While that may work, I find that it is not an ideal business model to have (not to mention borderline spam).
My way of doing things is to have your own blog, your own audience and your own content to use to drive traffic to Amazon and I’m going to teach you just that.
What Can You Promote From Amazon Associates?
You can sell and promote every single item on the Amazon website but it is always ideal to keep the things you promote related to your blog topic.
If your blog is about a hobby (like fishing, gardening, golf), it’s best to promote products that are related to that topic. it would be weird and confusing if your blog is about fishing and you’re promoting baby clothes right?
However if you happen to mention a product in a blog post and it’s not really related to your niche, there is no harm in linking to it on Amazon if you think it people will be interested in it. Just don’t make it the point of your promotion.
Using Your Blog To Sell On Amazon
Your blog is what will drive the traffic to Amazon but to first get traffic, you have to learn how to drive traffic to your own blog first.
Here are the 2 main ways you can do that that have been proven time and time again as the best traffic source.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
A proven (successful) way to make money is to write product reviews. If you’re talking about photography, you can review all the products that are related to photography in individual posts and then link to them on Amazon.
A common thing you might hear is that search engine traffic is the best traffic you can get and that holds true when it comes to selling on Amazon.
An interested buyer will (typically) look for reviews before buying so once he lands on your page there is a good probability that the buyer will buy.
If he’s online looking for reviews for a specific kind of model or product, chances are he/she is close to buying and your review (if good enough) will be enough to convince him.
Let’s take some examples shall we?
Let’s say my blog is about photography and I want to promote this DSLR camera I found on Amazon:
The first step to do is to write a detailed review of the product in a blog post and publish it. A good title that comes to mind is:
“My Review Of The Canon EOS Rebel. Is It Worth The Price?”
If done right, this piece of content will likely rank well in the search engines and anytime somebody is interested in buying this camera, they would find your review, read it and if he/she decides to buy it, that’s a sale for you.
This Canon DSLR camera is $400.00, your commission on this will be around $16 – $32 (depends on sales volume).
That’s a pretty good income and if you sell one of these a day, that’s nearly a part-time income already.
That’s from one post, and one camera. There’s 100s or even 1000s of cameras and camera accessories you can do reviews on, get ranked and earn commissions on.
You’re not seeing the income potential yet? Hold on…
Don’t forget that whatever else purchase the visitor may make while linked to your affiliate link, you get credit on.
Maybe while the reader is shopping for a camera, he opts for a new tripod or some SD cards to go with the new camera.
That’s where the magic of the Amazon sales funnel comes in… and you get paid for all of it!
I’m sure you’re starting to agree with me here on the business potential that is the Amazon Associates Program right?
Things To Remember When Doing Reviews
Always write from your own perspective:
Don’t copy or paste reviews from other sources. Going to Amazon and copy/pasting their reviews will not look professional at all and won’t get you ranked. You can cite a resource and link to it but don’t overdo that either.
Bad reviews are OK too:
If you review a product and it’s not satisfactory, you can still publish the review. It’s perfectly ok to publish a bad review and you should still feel comfortable linking to the product page.
Just make your thoughts known and let the reader decide for himself.
You can also link to another product review that you think would be a better option for your reader. All is acceptable as long as you keep it honest and ethical.
Cover as much as you can:
A detailed review should be just that.. a detailed review. Make sure you put as much information as you can with the right mix of facts and your own opinions about the product.
The more information you provide your reader, the more chance you have they will trust your review.
OK enough about SEO, let’s talk about the other traffic resource that can make you money!
Social Media Marketing
Every serious business needs social media and you do too. Especially if you’re promoting products from Amazon.
Social media is very visual and images do great on all social networks.
This is perfect for you as you will be able to share on social media the images of the products you’re selling.
Pinterest is where my heart is right now and product pins are super successful on there. If you’re going to be promoting Amazon products then I do suggest you spend some time on Pinterest.
Instead, direct the traffic to your review and let your content convince the buyer.
If done right. Social media and SEO together will (in time) bring you a lot of visitors to your blog and making Amazon sales will start to happen daily.
So What Do You Need To Get Started?
- Pick a Niche (Blog Topic)
Picking a niche (or blog topic) is a very important step that you should give some attention and focus to. You want to pick something that is:
Make sure that whatever you pick can actually make money. If you can find something that is popular on Amazon then your job of making money as an associate will be much easier.
Something You Enjoy:
Whatever you pick, make sure it is something that you personally enjoy talking about and have a good knowledge of the subject.
You will need to come up with a lot of content that is related to the topic you pick so the more you know about a particular subject, the more you can offer advice. + It will make your job much easier if you’re enjoying it (trust me one this).
How To Pick A Niche On Amazon To Promote
First go to Amazon.com and check out the categories there. If there is something that you’re interested make a note of it.
Once you pick something that you think you have a good knowledge about, check out how many items there are and how popular they’re selling.
Also, make sure that it is something specific.
“Men’s fashion” is not a niche, it’s a category. “Men’s Shoes” is a bit better but “Men’s Running Shoes” is way better.
Do you get my point on this? feel free to drop me a comment below if you have any problems picking out and make sure you check out this great video tutorial about what a “niche” is and how to pick one.
Getting Started: The 5 Steps You Need To Do
1: Start Your (Free) Blog
The first thing you have to do is to start our blog (website) and have it set up properly.
My favorite blogging platform and the one I personally use is WordPress, it’s by far the best option there is and super easy to use. I won’t go into detail as to why WordPress is so great, but I do here in a previous post.
Free Blog or Paid Blog?
You can get started right away with using a free website or you can buy your own domain and get it hosted.
The price to register a domain is about $10 a year but the hosting will cost you around $12 per month.
If you’re a premium member of Wealthy Affiliate, you can get free hosting for all multiple websites (huge value for money here) or you can buy hosting from your domain registrar.
If you’re a premium member of Wealthy Affiliate, you can get free hosting for all multiple websites (huge value for money here) or you can buy hosting from your domain registrar.
I do suggest you sign up with Wealthy Affiliate since you’ll be getting the free hosting + a lot of training but if you want to go for it “independently”, my top choice would be NameCheap for buying your domain and hosting.
Get Started Now With A Free Website
If you want to get started right away (and for free), you can use the free SiteRubix website creation tool.
By using Siterubix, you will also be enrolling as a free member with Wealthy Affiliate. And when I say free, I mean 100% free…. no hidden costs and no credit card required.
After you get your blog set up and ready to go (which WA will show you how too as part of the free training) we can move on to the next step.
2: Applying To The Amazon Associates Program
Now is time to apply to be an Amazon Associates (exciting right?). It’s not a complicated thing to do and it’s also free.
I won’t go into detail on how to join here because Amazon has already set up the perfect step-by-step guide on how to do so.
3: Write Blog Posts and Reviews
Now that you have your niche picked and your blog ready to go. It’s time to get to work. This is where your job as a blogger and an online marketer come into play.
Start writing blog posts and reviews that are related to your niche. Use the right keywords, target the right audiences and your content will start getting ranked on the search engines and shared on social media.
I have to warn you: Progress will be slow at first but all you have to do is get the ball rolling, once you start (and keep going) you’re well on your way to making money with Amazon.
Your work as a content creator is accumulative so don’t judge your work and progress by one post. One post is not going to do anything. It’s your consistency that will make or break your new business.
4: Link To Amazon
Now that you’ve set up all your pages and posts, it’s time to start linking to Amazon.
When you write a review or mention a product, you can go to the Amazon Affiliate page, find the product and get the link. Here is how easy it is:
Find the product you wish to promote and get your affiliate link:
Add it to your blog post:
And that’s that.
You can also add banner images that are related to your blog topic to your sidebar on WordPress. You will find these banners in the Amazon Associates page once you’ve been accepted.
Your job now is to keep adding fresh content daily or weekly (find a comfortable posting schedule and stick to it) and keep adding those links.
Remember reviews work perfectly when promoting Amazon products so make sure you work on those.
5: Follow A Proven System
Learning how to make money online is not an east task, but it is possible if you know what you are doing.
Like you, I was a complete n00b at making money online but one fine day about 5 years ago, I’ve stumbled across a free training program that thought me exactly in a step-by-step manner how to make it happen for real.
The training program in question is Wealthy Affiliate, I’ve been recommending this product for years now and only because I know that it works. It’s the same training me and my other money-making bloggers used to make it happen.
I would like for you to have that advantage as well. Here is your invite to try this free training for yourself.
I hope this article has helped you understand how to use the Amazon associates program to make money with your blog.
It’s the perfect place for newbie bloggers and online marketers to wet their beak in and start earning money online.
I hope I have made everything easy to understand and if you have any further questions, just drop it in the comments below and I’ll be glad to help you out.
Get to blogging, keep learning and start earning.
Want To Read More? Check out some related posts down below:
The number above is for the month of March and before any fees and expenses (some fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $1,900, which includes virtual assistants/staff writers for my other websites, technical assistance on my websites, giveaway expenses, PayPal fees, etc., however, this does not include taxes) being taken out. After expenses and fees, I made approximately $15,151. I could run my website for as low as just $25 per month but I outsource a lot so that I can have more fun while I’m traveling
Below are some of my other monthly side income reports. I publish an online income update every month but only included some of them below as it would be a very long list. If you head on over to my extra income page you can find all of my monthly income reports from the past few years.
- $672 extra in May (2012)
- $1,425 extra in July
- $3,275 extra in September
- $6,523 in January Extra Income (2013)
- $11,927 in October Income – I Finally Left My Job
- $12,640 in January Income (2014)
- $23,758 in February Income – My Monthly Online Income Report (2015)
I am in the process of selling two more websites and I’ve already noticed how beneficial the extra time is after selling the first website. Yes, I probably could have just outsourced the tasks from the other websites and possibly made money that way, but I do still believe this direction is a better option for me.
I won’t lie, I was a little lazy with my blog this past month. While I did still write several articles and network a little, I forgot about other areas. I barely did any interviews, I didn’t reach out to any publications, or anything like that. That is something I plan on changing in April.
I still need to go through many, many of my posts here on MSOC and fix the formatting, change the pictures to Pinterest-worthy images, and more. I have probably only done 15% of my posts so that means I still a lot more to go!
Top new posts on Making Sense of Cents last month:
- Is Your Laziness Costing You Money?
- Everything You Need To Know About Selling Your Stuff For Cash
- Pros and Cons of Paying Off Your Mortgage Early
- Why I’ll Never Buy A Timeshare
- Feeling Stuck And Unmotivated When It Comes To Your Finances?
If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own for cheap, starting at only $3.49 per month (this low price is only through my link) for blog hosting. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free blog domain (a $15 value) through myBluehost link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting. FYI, you want to be self-hosted. This is essential if you want to monetize your blog as you will appear more professional and this will help you monetize your blog tremendously.
Traffic on Making Sense of Cents.
Many of you have asked if I would start sharing traffic stats here on my monthly income reports. It’s something I’ve never done before and honestly it scares me a little to do so! Not sure why, but I guess if everything else is already out there then I might as well include this as well.
I’m not sure if I will post this every month, as looking at stats isn’t always helpful. I know many, many bloggers who receive less than 50,000 monthly page views who make MUCH more money than people who receive over 500,000 page views each month.
So, as you can see traffic doesn’t always directly relate to how much money you might make.
What matters is how much work you put into it and if you are trying the correct ways (to make money) that actually work for your exact blog.
If you are a new blogger or you are thinking about creating your own blog, I want you to know that it is possible to create a blog that people will read. I know many of you often wonder about traffic stats and whether anyone will read your blog, but if you produce posts that people want to read and you spend time marketing your blog, you will be just fine!
To get back on point, traffic on Making Sense of Cents has grown significantly over the past few months. I still can’t believe how much traffic has grown. Much of it has to do with Pinterest and getting my name out there as much as possible.
I do need to start working harder on retaining all of these Pinterest readers. My bounce rate is the highest it’s ever been. I’m not sure where I’m supposed to be, but I would like to be somewhere less than this!
Below are my traffic stats for March of 2015.
EDIT: In more recent income reports, I have been including featured questions from readers. Below are some of the questions that have been asked.
- Where does blog income come from?
- How do I increase my affiliate income?
- Do I need millions of page views a month in order to make money blogging?
- How do you build websites up to sell them?
- Do only celebrities make money through owning websites?
- How much money can a person make blogging?
- Is there enough room for new bloggers to make money?
Welcome to March’s online income report where I show you how I make money online. It’s time to look at this month’s update and track how I did.
If you are wanting to start a blog of your own, read my post How To Start a Cheap WordPress Blog. It gives step by step instructions on starting your own blog at a super affordable price. You can also get a free domain by signing up through my link. Plus, you can email me at any time and I can help you along the process so that you can launch a successful money-making blog.
Background information on my monthly online income report.
If you are new here, you might be wondering why I would want to publish my online income reports each month. If you are not new here, you can just skip to the next section
This all started out as my side income report because in the beginning it was all about the money I was earning from my side jobs. In my side income reports from the beginning, I included all of the income I made except for what I made at my day job (that was a fixed amount and boring anyways).
However, I left my day job as a financial analyst towards the end of 2013 and now my monthly income reports consist of the several different ways I bring in an income each month.
Many people have asked why I would ever want to publicly post my income each month. Some think I’m crazy, and some are glad I am open about what I’m doing. Whatever you think, I enjoy publishing my monthly online income reports and I share them publicly for three main reasons:
- Before I started blogging, I knew nothing about side hustling and making money online. I didn’t think side jobs were worth the effort, and I thought the only way to significantly increase your income was through raises and promotions at your full-time job. If it weren’t for others publishing their monthly income reports each month, I don’t know if I would have ever tried side hustling. This is why I like to publish my income reports. I want to help others see the positives in side hustling and how it can change a person’s life. There are many different ways to make money online, and I like to share my story each month to help motivate others to improve their financial situation by making more money.
- Secondly, I like to publish my income reports because it’s a way for me to look back, learn from my mistakes and see what areas need improvement. It’s also entertaining to go back to older income updates and read about the interesting things I did to make money. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?
- Lastly, I like to show others that making side money is possible, and that there are many legitimate ways to make money from your home. If you are looking for information on the many ways to make money online, I published the article Monthly Income Report Roundup – My Favorite Income Bloggers that showcases many awesome bloggers who are kind enough to share their income with the public each month. Just a few years ago, I didn’t think making money online was possible at all. Now, I realize that it is possible!
I know I say this every month, but it is the truth. Life is great now that I’m my own boss. I look forward to each and every work day and it is an amazing thing. Work and life balance is a real thing for me now and I truly love waking up each morning.
Above is exactly why I enjoy publishing my monthly income reports. I like to show others that you don’t have to hate your job and hate your life. You can make changes to your life and make money in a way that allows you to truly enjoy the life you are living. I’m not saying that you have to LOVE your job, I’m just saying that your job should at least allow you to do what you like to do outside of work (whether that be spending time with loved ones, painting, hiking, etc.).
Also, if you have any questions about making money online, you can always send me an email and I always reply back. If I haven’t covered something in this income report, I highly suggest you check out my other reports as well because I have covered A LOT of topics, including reader questions I have received. I am unable to put everything in this single post because this would then become one messy whale of a post.