Using Amazon affiliate links on your blog is a great way to monetize your content. However, when it comes to actually placing Amazon links on your site, there are a few things you should know first.
Before we start, I realize that there are quite a few bloggers that don't like using Amazon links for a variety of reasons, and that's perfectly fine.
I've been monetizing this blog using the Amazon Associates Program since 2013. I don't claim to be a pro at it, but when done correctly, anyone can create a nice revenue stream using it.
Firstly, let me disclose that I DO NOT make a huge amount of money from the Amazon Affiliates Program. In fact, each month I might see my earnings ranging from just $12 upwards to $100, so not a big deal, but every penny earned counts, right?
In addition, earnings can vary greatly depending on the type of niche or industry, which I'll talk more about in just a second.
Yes, there is a wide range of products on Amazon that you can promote on your blog, and there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you start adding those affiliate links to your content. If you've never promoted a single product from the Amazon marketplace before, this post will be perfect for you.
One big tip I want to give you is this:
You shouldn't just promote anything and everything you find in the Amazon marketplace.
There are a few factors you need to keep in mind before deciding to monetize your blog. These factors include things like traffic, type of audience, niche type, blog reputation, and credibility.
The truth is, though, you can actually start monetizing your blog at any time.
Recommended Reading: When is it a good time to monetize your blog?
OK, so let's get back to this post.
If you're not yet a member of the Amazon Associates program you can signup here, it's completely free.
If you already have an Amazon associates account then great. It's time to turn your earnings from a few cents a month to a few extra bucks per month.
Below, you'll find a list of 10 simple, yet effective, tips for adding and using Amazon affiliate links in your blog posts.
The thought of earning passive income through an affiliate program is exciting, however, the first and biggest mistake a lot of bloggers make is that they go overboard with the number of links.
The idea is not to plague your content pages and posts with lots of affiliate links. Doing so can drastically damage user-experience. The idea is to link smartly in a resourceful manner.
So, the next question would be, how many affiliate links would be considered too many?
Well, if you're worried about your SEO, remember that Google isn't against using affiliate links. However, if you use too many in posts and pages that don't have a huge amount of useful content, that may cause you some problems.
So, the first golden rule of monetizing with Amazon affiliate links is? Don't go overboard. Keep your affiliate links to content ratio just right.
OK, so this is more of a personal preference than anything else. However, my advice would be to link directly to the products on Amazon using the links provided in your member's area.
If possible, try not to use any form of link cloaking or 301 redirections for your Amazon links. Let them be naked.
The reason being is that it's better to be honest than to appear as if you're trying to hide your links.
I use a plugin called Pretty Links to link all my other affiliate links, but with my Amazon links, I tend to leave them as they are. If you've visited any other posts on my blog you will no doubt have noticed this.
Why do I not hide my Amazon affiliate links?
Because I like to be transparent. I want my readers to know that I'm redirecting them to a product on Amazon.
Like I said, I don't believe in deceiving or misleading my blog readers in any way when it comes to affiliate marketing, just so that I can earn a quick commission on whatever they happen to purchase.
I mentioned this earlier, but here it is again. Plus I'll also explain why you should do this -
Google absolutely loves useful, compelling, long-form content. Agreed?
I hope so.
Google also happens to love content that is frequently kept up to date. Plus you’re less likely to ring any alarm bells in the spam department if you’re adding your Amazon links to your blog content in a resourceful manner.
If you have some thin content on your blog, perhaps a bunch of short-form articles, then there's no real reason to add many, if any, affiliate links in those posts.
Ensure that your Amazon links are set as no-follow so that they don't pass any link juice.
Again, this is also to avoid ringing any alarm bells in Google's spam department and to avoid any risky penalties.
Leave the first paragraph of your blog posts and content-rich pages well alone.
In fact, I would recommend you leave at least the first few paragraphs free of any affiliate links.
You can start adding your links from the 3rd paragraph down.
Why do this?
You don't want to appear as if you're not interested in providing any real value other than to shove an affiliate link in your reader's faces.
Remember what I said earlier:
Link resourcefully. Put the importance of creating value before monetization.
I cannot stress enough on the importance of this.
Don't just promote any old garbage you find on Amazon just because you think you can profit more from it.
Instead, think about relevancy and usefulness when adding your affiliate links.
Perhaps you read a book recently that you think your readers would also love to read. Or, perhaps you bought some new hardware that you'd like to review and recommend.
Let me give you a few examples:
If you have a blog that is about fly fishing, for instance, then obviously you would link to fly fishing equipment, tutorial books, guides, etc.
If your blog is about personal development, again, you would link to things like stress management tools, self-help books, or even exercise equipment.
OK, so what do I mean by links that appear natural?
To help you better visualize the term 'linking naturally' here's an example -
Imagine you’re writing an article on 'how to build a model Airplane'.
You then remember a book that you purchased and read from Amazon a while ago called, Complete Aero-Model Making For Beginners - I just made that up by the way.
You think to yourself, wow, that was a really useful and educational book...
So, you can mention that book in your article and then add a 'natural' link to the book itself.
Here's an example -
"By the way folks, a while ago I read a fantastic book on building model aircrafts for beginners which really helped with with XYZ. You can find this book on Amazon here if you're interested.
With the above example, you would link the word "here" to the Amazon product/book.
That's what linking naturally basically means, the way humans would understand it and find it useful and actionable.
This isn't a bad strategy as long as you're not overdoing it. I would highly recommend using a combination of non-descriptive call-to-actions, and naked URL’s to link directly to Amazon products.
Non-descriptive Call-to-action links such as "click here to find out more" or "Read more about this amazing book", or "Check out this great book I found on Amazon" etc.
If you’re planning on using images of products in your blog posts, perhaps you're writing a detailed book review, for example, make sure those images are of high quality but still optimized for the web.
You can also 'hotlink' some of your product images to the respective Amazon products, but seriously don’t go overboard with this strategy either.
Additionally, make sure you add a no-follow tag to the hot-linked images.
If you have a tools and resources page on your blog, you can hotlink your images to Amazon products on this page too.
Here's a screenshot of mine below.
A great strategy to help you generate more affiliate sales using Amazon is to write detailed product reviews.
If you're using WordPress, consider installing a plugin like Amazon Auto Links for WordPress. You can find this plugin on the WordPress website.
If you're building a niche website that's focused around the promotion and sale of Amazon products, you might also want to check out the EasyAzon plugin for WordPress.
This is a premium plugin, by the way, which you can learn more about here.
EasyAzon has all the required built-in options and features you need to make the most of your monetization strategies with Amazon.
You can read my full review of EasyAzon here.
Vlogging, or using video is a powerful way to showcase, review, mention and promote Amazon products.
Here's an interesting statistic:
87% of marketers use video contentSource
The visibility and level of engagement that videos can fetch are phenomenal. You should definitely consider creating some in-depth video tutorials and reviews of products and books on Amazon to embed into your blog posts.
So, there you have it, a short but hopefully useful list of tips for you to keep in mind when monetizing your blog with Amazon affiliate links.
Follow all of these simple steps above, and you'll create a nice stream of income from Amazon for many years to come.
Best of luck.