Amazon Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Step by Step

amazon affiliate marketing for beginners

Every day, millions of people visit Amazon.com to buy almost every type of product.

In 2017, Amazon did around $28 million in sales every single day which means there is a huge opportunity to grab a piece of that pie.

Did you know that if you refer someone to Amazon before they buy, you will get a small commission of that sale? While 4%-8% may not sound like much, if you are sending 100’s of people to Amazon a day, that number can be quite large.

There are thousands of people making a living from referring people to Amazon and making money from the sale of those items.

This is called affiliate marketing and in this article, I am going to show you exactly how to get started making money online with Amazon Associates.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is defined by Oxford Dictionary as:

“a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.”

On the other hand, Entrepreneur.com defines affiliate marketing as:

“A way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies (“affiliates”) who market the company’s products for a commission.”

In other words, It’s basically promoting other people’s products and getting a commission on the sale of that product.

There are many different facets of affiliate marketing from lead generation to pay per call marketing but we are going to be talking about Amazon Affiliate Marketing.

Amazon Associates Program

The Amazon Associates program is Amazon’s own affiliate management area that allows you to check affiliate revenue, build affiliate links and browse a wide array of advertising tools and ads.

It is completely free to join the Amazon Associates program and make money online.

Amazon Fee Structure

Depending on which products you promote and sell, you will receive a different percentage of commission. So it’s important to choose a category that has a higher commission rate/fee so you get paid more per sale.

Here are all of the Amazon Fees and Commissions:

Category Commission %
Luxury Beauty, Amazon Coins 10.00%
Furniture, Home, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Pets Products, Pantry 8.00%
Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments, Business & Industrial Supplies 6.00%
Outdoors, Tools 5.50%
Digital Music, Grocery, Physical Music, Handmade, Digital Videos 5.00%
Physical Books, Health & Personal Care, Sports, Kitchen, Automotive, Baby Products 4.50%
Amazon Fire Tablet Devices, Amazon Kindle Devices, Amazon Fashion Women’s, Men’s & Kids Private Label, Apparel, Amazon Cloud Cam Devices, Fire TV Edition Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV Devices, Amazon Echo Devices, Ring Devices, Watches, Jewelry, Luggage, Shoes, and Handbags & Accessories 4.00%
Amazon Fresh, Toys 3.00%
PC, PC Components, DVD & Blu-Ray 2.50%
Televisions, Digital Video Games 2.00%
Physical Video Games & Video Game Consoles 1.00%
Gift Cards; Wireless Service Plans; Alcoholic Beverages; Digital Kindle Products purchased as a subscription; Food prepared and delivered from a restaurant; Amazon Appstore, Prime Now, Amazon Pay Places, or Prime Wardrobe  Purchases 0.00%
All Other Categories 4.00%

Now that you know the commission structure, you should choose a niche or category that you are going to promote. As you can see from the table, it would be smart to start with niches like outdoors, tools, headphones, or beauty.

While these are the normal Amazon fee structure, there are a number of other channels you can promote and make money from. Here is the entire Associates Program Fees Schedule.

Getting Started with Amazon Associates

Signing up as an Amazon associate is very easy and free.

If you already have an Amazon account you can simply connect your normal Amazon account to your Associate’s account.

Just head to the Amazon Associates homepage and click ‘Join Now for Free’.

sign up amazon associates

If you don’t already have an account with Amazon, click the Create your Amazon account button to create a new account.

Go through the account creation process by confirming your account information.

amazon associates account creation

Next, you will need to submit a website or mobile app. If you don’t have a website, you can create a free website at WordPress.com or Site123.com and you don’t need to spend any money on a website upfront.

amazon associates account url

Once you have added everything and accepted the operating agreement, you are ready to start promoting Amazon products and making passive income online!

The Amazon Associates dashboard shows you an earnings overview, summary for this month and a quick links search for easy affiliate link creation.

amazon associates earnings overview

To start creating your affiliate links, you can head to the product linking tab at the top and choose Product Links.

Search for any product you want to build an affiliate link for and find it in the table below.

generating amazon associates links

Click the ‘Get Link’ button and it will send you to a page where you can copy a text & image link, HTML Code, text-only and image only links.

Simply copy the code and paste it into your website’s HTML code where you want it to appear.

If you are building a simple text link, then click the Text Only tab and select the HTML for a normal text link and paste it in your blog or website.

Amazon Tracking IDs

In order to better track and optimize your Amazon affiliate campaigns, I would highly suggest using Amazon associate tracking IDs.

The amazon associates tracking id is the value that comes after the ?tag= query string in your amazon affiliate links.

This is how you and Amazon track which sells are coming from which tracking id.

We can use this to our advantage by creating tracking IDs for different videos and campaigns so we can see what’s converting and what is not.

To create a new tracking id, simply click your username in the top right-hand corner and choose ‘Manage Your Tracking IDs’.

amazon associates tracking id

This is where you can view and manage all of your current tracking IDs as well as create new ones. To create a new tracking ID, just click the ‘Add Tracking ID’ button and choose an available name for your ID.

amazon associates add tracking id

Once you have created your tracking ID, you can select it on any of the link creation pages in the Amazon Associates Dashboard.

When you have separate tracking ID’s for each campaign, you can track the performance of each campaign and tracking ID.

amazon associates revenue

Now that you have your tracking IDs created, its time to start making money with Amazon Associates!

Making Money with Amazon Affiliates

So now that you are familiar with what the Amazon Associates program is and how it all works, its time to start making some money with Amazon.

There are a ton of ways that you can promote your Amazon affiliate links to start making commission online. Here are some great ways to generate traffic to your Amazon links and make money:

YouTube Affiliate Marketing

One of the best ways to make money with Amazon Associates is to use YouTube to generate traffic to your affiliate offers.

The great thing about YouTube is that you don’t even need a website. Just a decent camera, a computer with internet and a will to create good videos that reference your products.

You could do this by a number of different ways like:

  • Product Review Videos
  • Product Comparison Videos
  • Top 10 Product Videos
  • Unboxing Videos

Here is how you can start using YouTube to generate Amazon affiliate money.

Step 1: Create a Youtube Channel

To get started, simply create a YouTube account.

Create a new channel in your account and name it something that has to do with your products or niche you will be promoting on Amazon.

Creating a niche channel will help you rank easier and grow faster. A good example would be to create a channel that reviews DSLR cameras.

When you focus on one type of product or one niche, your channel will become an authority in that niche faster, getting you more views and organic YouTube search traffic.

Step 2: Build Content

Once your channel is created, its time to start creating videos. They don’t have to be perfect so don’t worry too much about production value but try to bring value to the viewer because the longer people watch, the better your videos will rank on Youtube.

But how do you come up with video ideas?

Simply doing a search for your niche or product will pull up other people doing exactly the same thing. Find videos with high views and replicate what they are doing.

You can also use keyword search tools like KeywordTool.io to find relevant video topic ideas that get high searches. Just add your niche or category in the keyword tool to see volume and competition.

keyword-tool-io

Look for a keyword that gets a high search volume and has lower competition. These low-hanging fruit type of videos can really generate you a lot of money.

As you can see from the keywords, review-based videos get a high volume and they often convert really well if the product is good. You don’t even have to show your face if you don’t want to!

To make money, you will need to add your affiliate link in the description of the YouTube video. I would recommend using a service like bit.ly so that you can track outgoing clicks to your affiliate link.

youtube-description-affiliate-links

Now when people watch your video and they want to buy, they will click the link in your description, buy the product and you will get the commission!

Once you build up a good amount of videos, your affiliate income will grow more and more.

Step 4: Promote Your Videos

When you promote your videos, they get more views and likes which helps you rank higher on YouTube.

But how do you promote your videos?

Well, there are a ton of great ways to promote your videos and get more views and more affiliate commission. Here are some great ways to get more views to your Youtube affiliate videos:

  • Optimize your videos
  • Embed videos on your blog
  • Add call to actions in your videos
  • Paid Advertising
  • Share on social media

The more and more videos you create and share, the higher your affiliate income will grow so keep creating quality content around your niche and you will be successful with YouTube affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Blog

If you prefer to write instead of creating videos, then building a blog is probably the route you want to take.

Building a blog can be very affordable and very low start-up costs for something that can give you great returns if you put in the work.

I am going to show you exactly how easy it is to start your own blog and start making money with Amazon Associates.

Step 1: Choose a Niche

First, you will need to choose a niche, just like if you were building a YouTube channel. When you are focused on one niche, you can generate more traffic by being an authority in that niche.

Keep in mind to pick a niche that has a higher commission in the Amazon Fees Schedule.

Once you know your niche, you will need to choose a domain name for your website.

Step 2: Buy a Domain Name

The domain is the URL where your WordPress blog will be located. For example, our domain name is solopreneurinstitute.com.

To buy a domain name you can use many providers but Domain.com is a great and affordable domain name provider. A domain name usually cost only around $10 a year so its very cheap.

You want your domain name to be focused around your niche, but don’t spend too much time worrying about and choosing your domain name. what is important is the content you put on the site.

A great way to find domains that recently expired is expiredomains.net.

This way your domain has some age and hopefully even some backlinks. to use expireddomains.net, just sign up for free and then enter your niche keyword or category to find relevant domains that are just expired.

expired-domains-net-search

These domains will cost the same as a new domain and have age to them which can help rank your site faster in Google.

You can even sort them by BL (backlinks) or DP (domain pop) to see domains that already have links pointing to them.

If this is too much for you, you can always go to Godaddy and search for your ideal domain until you find one:

godaddy-domain-search

It will tell you if there is already a domain registered and you will have to find a different one.

Now you will need a server to host your WordPress website online.

Step 3: Choose a Hosting Provider

First, head to siteground.com as you will need hosting to have your blog on the interwebs.

Create your account and login to your cPanel area.

siteground-hosting

cPanel is a web-based server management software that allows you to easily install WordPress, create email addresses, FTP, manage databases and a number of other things that you don’t really need to worry about.

Step 4: Install WordPress

Once you are in the cPanel there is a 1-click WordPress install.

wordpress 1 click install

Simply install WordPress on your new host and remember that you can change your settings later so add an email, password and site name and click install.

Once your WordPress blog is all set up you will need to login to the WordPress Admin area.

wordpress login admin

It’s usually located at www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/ and this is where you will build your site and content.

First, you will need to install a theme so that your site is customized and look professional. If people are going to be buying from you, it needs to look like a legit source of information.

ThemeForest is a great place to get affordable themes that are already SEO optimized, mobile-friendly, fast and easy to use.

Here are some of the best WordPress themes for affiliate marketing blogs:

Voice

Voice is a really great theme for affiliate marketing blogs. Its an editorial format with a custom frontpage featuring your latest posts.

Its fully responsive and is one of the most highly rated themes on ThemeForest. it works with all of the latest plugins and includes its own built-in banner system so you can easily incorporate Amazon affiliate ads.

Buy Voice Here

REHub

REHub is a multi-purpose extended WordPress theme that includes functionality for Woocommerce, coupon sites, compare sites, and a number of other themes that are perfect for Amazon affiliate marketing.

Choose from 13 different themes in all different styles and layouts. It uses the Elementor drag and drop builder which makes building pages without knowing any code a breeze.

ReHub is $59 and can get you on your way to making income with Amazon Associates. It will include all you will need to get a professional site.

Buy ReHub Here

Claue

Claue is a clean and minimal blog that is perfect for fashion, jewelry or watches affiliates.

It features 10 different themes you can choose from that all include customizable layouts, colors, and pages. It comes with everything you need to have a successful affiliate blog with WordPress.

Being one of the top-rated themes on Themeforest, Claue is a very powerful theme that will allow you to customize your site exactly how you want it.

Buy Claue Here

Gadgetine

If you are promoting gadgets, cameras, electronics or computers, then Gadtgetine is the perfect magazine theme for your Amazon Associates blog.

This theme is Retina display ready, fully customizable, Google Rich Snippets ready, SEO ready and includes Visual Composer which is another great drag and drop builder that allows you to create pages in minutes wi8thout knowing any code.

Buy Gadgetine Here

There are also thousands of other awesome WordPress themes that you can use to easily set up your website design in minutes.

Now that your website is ready to go, its time to add content to rank in Google.

Step 5: Build Content

In order to get traffic from Google, you will need to build good content on your site in the form of blog posts.

Like YouTube, we want to do some content research to see what type of content is getting a lot of traffic on Google already.

We can use Ahrefs Content Explorer to find relevant content that is getting good organic traffic. Add your keyword in the Content Explorer and then sort the results by organic traffic.

ahrefs content explorer search

This will show you some great content ideas you can use to build similar content to the articles you found in Ahrefs. You can see here in our example that ‘Best beginner DSLR Cameras’ article gets about 40,000 visitors a month from organic traffic. Not bad!

Just look at the content and build similar or better content adding your affiliate links throughout the content.

Usually, the longer your content is, the better chance it has to rank and the more keywords you will ultimately rank for, meaning more traffic. You rarely see articles that are 1,000 words or less on the first page of Google.

You will also want to build a good amount of content around your niche or topic. Don’t expect to rank if you only have 2-3 articles on your blog. You will need at least 25-50 articles to start seeing any traffic from Google.

You will also need to get backlinks and social signals to get a lot of organic traffic to your affiliate marketing blog.

Step 6: Promote Your Content

Social Media

Using social media to promote your Amazon Associates blog can generate an organic traffic source that returns regularly.

Build a page on all of the popular social networks for your niche blog.

Put out regular content and grow your following on all of your profiles. Connect and engage with other pages or people interested in your niche or category.

We have a great digital marketing guide for solopreneurs that goes in-depth on how to market your blog with social media.

I recommend only focusing on one social media platform and focusing all of your time on that one. Check out our guide on how to start a successful blog to learn more about using social media to promote your blog.

Getting Backlinks

Backlinks are the foundation of SEO. Its how Google knows which site is popular around the web and which ones to rank on the first page of Google.

If a lot of websites are linking to a certain website, Google believes it must be an important website. Of course, there are thousands of other factors that go along with this but without backlinks, it’s unlikely you will get any traffic.

But how do you get backlinks?

Well, there are a ton of ways to get backlinks pointing to your blog. So many that I can’t go over all of them but here are some good methods I use.

Broken Link Building

Affiliate sites are always being sold or shut down so there are a lot of broken link building opportunities.

Frequent other sites in your niche or category and look for broken links to other sites. If you find a broken link pointing to a piece of content, create that content and then reach out to the website owner and tell them about the broken link. Say that you have a piece of content they can link to instead and they will gladly link to you.

Use a tool like Broken Link Checker for chrome to find broken links on websites.

broken link checker tool

Just visit relevant websites and look for broken link opportunities!

Skyscraper Technique

The skyscraper technique is pretty simple. Its basically finding the most highly trafficked content for what you are trying to rank for and create a better piece of content.

It should not just be a little better, but 10x better. Then you can see who is linking to the original article and reach out to those people and tell them you have a 10x better piece of content to link to. Most of the time, they will be happy to update their link to a better piece of content.

Once you start getting more and more backlinks, your blog posts will rank higher and higher in Google. For more information on starting a successful blog and making money, check out our other post.

Email Marketing

Even though Amazon Associates links are not allowed in emails, it’s still a great way to generate more affiliate income with Amazon.

I even run a service that sends subscribers the best daily deals on Amazon every day via email, called Ninja Deals. It simply scrapes Amazon and finds the best deals, then compiles them into an email and sends it to the thousands of subscribers. When they click the products in the email, it takes them to a landing page where they can click to buy the product.

Bam, using email to generate Amazon Associates income.

If you have an email list you can send them relevant deals and products on Amazon, but just make sure you don’t link to the Amazon Product in your email or you may get suspended from Amazon Associates.

If you’ve never built an email list, you are in luck.

I am going to show you a super simple way to build relevant email lists to promote your Amazon Associates links to.

Step 1: Start Building a List

The very first step is to start building an email list!

You can build your list a number of ways but here are what I have found to be the best:

  • Newsletter Opt-In
  • Facebook Ads
  • On Checkout
  • Current Customers

Once you start building an email list, you can start marketing to them on a regular basis. Unlike ads, SEO or direct visitors, email marketing allows you to market to a potential customer multiple times instead of just once. That is what makes email marketing a very powerful traffic source for affiliate marketing.

You can basically automate this whole process using GetResponse and I will show you how.

Step 2: Send Newsletter

Sign up to GetResponse, which is a landing page and email marketing software that will basically automate this entire process.

getresponse-email-marketing

The first thing you will need to do is create a list. This is where we will put all of the emails that we collect on our list.

Go to the Lists tab in the top navigation and click ‘Create list’ on the list page.

getresponse-create-list

Choose a name for your that includes underscores instead of spaces.

create-list-name-getresponse

Click the create button and your list is now created!

Now, we can set up an automated email funnel to send out to people who have subscribed to our list.

Go to the menu at the top and click the automation link.

getresponse-automation

First, we will need to create our automation message, then we can create our email workflow (the fun part).

Click the automation messages tab on the automation page and click ‘create draft’.

getresponse-create-draft-automation-message

You will first need to create your email messages before you set them up in the builder. So create all of the emails you will need first.

Choose a linked list and then name your Message. Create an eye-catching subject line so the subscriber can easily see your email. A good tip is to use the subscriber’s name in the subject line.

Not only will this increase open rates, but it will lessen the chance of ending up in their spam folder.

getresponse-automated-message

Choose the email address you will be sending from and then click next to start designing your email.

I like to choose a blank template and start from  scratch because simple text emails are more likely to land in the inbox instead of the junk folder.

getresponse-email-template

Choose the blank template and then add a text block where you will add your email text. Here is an example of what you could write for your first email in your sequence.

getresponse-email-builder

Build all of the emails you will need, then go to Automation and create a workflow.

create workflow getresponse

There are a number of great templates that you can simply make a few edits and have a working email sequence.

But I am going to show you how to do it from scratch. So click the Start now button on the ‘build from scratch’ box.

getresponse automation templates

Now you will need to name your email sequence and choose an action to start your email. In this case, we are going to start this sequence when someone joins our email list.

automation workflow name

Now you are taken to the workflow dashboard where you can build out your workflow.

Use the conditions on the right side to take certain actions when someone opens, clicks or visits a certain page.

getresponse conditions

To connect actions, just click on the dots and connect them together. In this example below, we are going to send a message when someone subscribes to our list.

build workflow getresponse

You can now build out each step of your email sequence, being sure to add a day or 2 in between sending each email.

getresponse finished workflow

Now that you have your email sequence set up with GetResponse, you can start building your list and running people through your sequences, promoting certain products on Amazon and making money!

Step 3: Promote Your List

Keep building your email list and you will grow your affiliate revenue higher and higher.

You can even promote other affiliate offers that are relevant to your following.

Keep an eye on your unsubscribe rates and try to only send out emails one to a few times per week. If your unsubscribe rate starts going up, send emails less often.

Amazon Influencer Program

If you have a large social media following or you are an influencer, you can make money with Amazon Associates by having your own Amazon Store that people can visit and buy products you recommend.

When they buy those products you get a commission based on the value of those said products. Not bad right?

amazon-influencer-program

The Amazon Influencer Program gives you your very own URL to share with your followers.

To sign up, you have to apply and wait around 2 weeks for them to approve your account. If you have less than 1,000 followers total they may not accept you but that’s ok, because you now know a ton of other ways to make money with Amazon Associates.

 

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