Make Money with Amazon Associate Program
The Amazon Associate Program is, hands down, one of my favorite affiliate marketing program, even though it has one of the lowest paying commission structures. The commissions are based on the number of items you sell each month. They start at 4% and go up to 8.5%, except for a select few special programs that pay 15%, like Audible.com. I normally earn 7% each month, which corresponds to selling between 111-320 items per month.
I like the Amazon program as a way to make money online because it’s the largest online store and almost everyone knows about it and trusts it. They have thousands of products that have free shipping and in many states they don’t even charge sales tax to the buyer. On top of that their prices are VERY competitive. Sometimes I can buy things on Amazon, like baby diapers, for 15% less than I can get them in my local Walmart store. All those reasons mean that shoppers are very likely to buy an item on Amazon if someone just shows them that the product they are shopping for is in fact available to buy on Amazon with free shipping and at a better price. This makes an easy sale. Not only that, buyers tend to buy a few other items in addition to the original item they were shopping for. So you send a buyer to Amazon to buy a cell phone case, and they end up putting a new pair of shoes and a case of baby diapers into their shopping cart too.
So even though the commissions might only be 7%, shoppers I send to Amazon tend to buy more items, boosting my commissions. On the other hand, when I just send someone to a stand alone website, for example one that only sells cell phone cases, the buyer only buys the cell phone case they were shopping for. I may earn 10% on this sale from this merchant, which is higher than Amazon’s commission. But remember they are likely to only buy that one item. There are no other types of items they are interested in. At Amazon, because they sell everything under the sun, the shopper puts 3 or 4 items into their cart, and even though my commission rate is lower, I’ll end up making more money from that one shopper because they bought more items.
This is a great way to make money online.
My most profitable way to earn Amazon affiliate commissions is by writing one page webpages on Squidoo, which is a free writing platform. (Update, Squidoo is no longer in existence, as it has been acquired by Hubpages. I am currently using Weebly to create my own affiliate websites with their easy to use drag and drop interface.) I find that writing a one page Squidoo lens on a very narrow topic works best. I like Squidoo because it’s a huge network with millions of pages and has found favor in the eyes of Google, so Squidoo pages that are well written can rank really easily in Google for your targeted keywords. Squidoo allows you to use your own Amazon affiliate links in addition to offering you push button modules to add feeds of Amazon and eBay items for sale. But if you use these feed from their modules, you’ll have to split the commission with Squidoo. Squidoo earns 8.5% on it’s Amazon sales because it sells so many items across it’s pages. After splitting that commission with you 50/50, you’ll earn 4.25% if you use their links. So I use a lot of my own Amazon links and collect 7% directly from Amazon.
To be quite honest, I joined the Amazon Associate program years ago, but didn’t have any idea what I was doing. I had no idea how to make my own website, and it wasn’t until I started putting my Amazon affiliate links on my Squidoo pages that I made any money. Now my Squidoo pages are my most profitable source of Amazon income.
If you are not at all familiar with affiliate marketing as a way to make money online from home, here’s how it works. Basically affiliate marketing simply means that you are getting paid to promote other people’s products. You link to different products, recommend them, and send visitors to someone else’s website to buy these products. When a shopper follows one of your links over to the merchant and then makes a purchase, you earn a commission for sending them a customer. This is one of the easiest ways to make money online because you don’t have to actually have any products yourself to sell. You have no inventory to manage. No products to ship. No returns to deal with. No customers to service. You simply need a website, and actually you don’t even need your own website. You can join free writing platforms like Squidoo, and write there. Squidoo takes care of all the webhosting and technical website stuff. You just sign up and start writing. You can put your Amazon links on there and start making money.
****Update May 2015 – I am currently creating my own websites using Weebly website builder. I add products to the website that I like or my kids like. I write about what I like about them or my experience using them. Then I share those items on Pinterest (from my website page). Customers click the pictures on Pinterest, which lead them back to my website where they can see a larger selection of items. Then the customer clicks over to Amazon to make the purchase, earning me an affiliate commission.
If you are serious about making money with Amazon, then I also highly recommend this video course by Chris Guthrie, who has made more than $94,000 in Amazon affiliate commission in the last 2 years, plus he sold one of his best revenue generating Amazon sites for more than $100,000. It’s called Niche Profit Course.
If you are looking for a less expensive guide (with less information too), then you can pick up this kindle ebook about making money with Amazon.