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How to Make Money Online with Amazon Associates

Updated on August 10, 2011
A picture of my July 2011's Amazon Associates report I shared on my blog.
A picture of my July 2011's Amazon Associates report I shared on my blog. | Source

When I'm not working on my online projects or freelance writing, I'm spending time creating niche websites which are nothing more than small websites dedicated to a very specific group of products or market of information - for example: headphones.

What I'd like to do today, with this hub, is give you a crash course guide on how you can begin making money online using Amazon Associates. The information I'd like to share is based on running hobby based websites for the last 3 years so I believe I'll be able to share a lot of great information. Let's get started.

Browse through categories in Amazon based on the niche ideas you've generated. Find out what products are hot sellers and pay close attention to the ratings because this is a good indication that they sell well.
Browse through categories in Amazon based on the niche ideas you've generated. Find out what products are hot sellers and pay close attention to the ratings because this is a good indication that they sell well.

Step 1: Choose a Niche

The first step of making money with Amazon Associates is to choose a niche that will be profitable. A niche, as noted, is a very specific segment of a larger market.

For example: Shoes -> Running Shoes -> Women's Running Shoes (niche!)

'Shoes' is very broad and will be hard to earn money from because the competion is so rough. Running shoes is starting to niche down but it will still be difficult. However, 'Women's Running Shoes' is very micro niche so you will have a much better chance to earn money because you can certainly grab traffic. This, in essence, is also the basis of long-tail keywords and phrases.

I recommend choosing a niche because you'll have a greater chance at getting your content found which will be vehicle in which you promote and sell Amazon products.

Take a few hours to create a list of niche's which you feel comfortable. Remember, you're going to be creating a lot of content around the product so choose something you like so you're not just writing articles that are killing you and boring you to death.

Choose a product with lots of ratings and has a great price (around $100+) so that you get a good commission if you sell the product. Bonus: choose a product you already own so you don't have to do any research on writing content around it.
Choose a product with lots of ratings and has a great price (around $100+) so that you get a good commission if you sell the product. Bonus: choose a product you already own so you don't have to do any research on writing content around it.

Step 2: Find a Product

The way Amazon Associates works is that you gain anywhere from 4 - 6% (on average) of the products that you sell so if you were promoting an item that's only $10 than you're not making much money; however, if you're promoting something for $1000, than you're pulling in a nice commission off this sale.

Take some time to browse around the Amazon marketplace to see what type of products people are buying. Take a look at your own buying habits or the things you own. I find the easiest way to make money with Amazon Associates is to write about products you already own because who else knows the product better than yourself?

For example, I'm wearing a pair of HD555 headphones which gives me the perfect opportunity to write a review and other content which could promote Amazon Associate links to the product.

Compare your choice in product to the niche ideas you've gathered up in the last step; do they fit? Good. Now let's move on to finding a platform for promoting our content.

Hubpages is a great start for making money with Amazon Associates because it comes built with Amazon widgets for easy addition of links to your pages. Otherwise, create your own website - I recommend a Wordpress blog.
Hubpages is a great start for making money with Amazon Associates because it comes built with Amazon widgets for easy addition of links to your pages. Otherwise, create your own website - I recommend a Wordpress blog.

Step 3: Find a Platform

A 'platform' is nothing more than where you'll be sharing your content which will help sell products on Amazon Associates. Hubpages, for example, is a platform that you can tap into. So is your own website, guest blogging, Squidoo, Facebook and more. More or less, a platform can be any place where you can publish your content.

However, what I suggest is to create your content on a platform that is already getting traffic. Yes, you could start your own blog but since you're just getting started, you're not going to get a lot of people to the website. On the flip side, if you were to write and share your content on a website like Hubpages, it's already receiving a lot of traffic and will improve your chances of making money.

Depending on your expertise, I would lean toward starting your own website if you're in it for the long run and want to create a website around the niche. If you only want to write one or two articles about the product than I recommend websites like Hubpages. It's your choice. But, right now, the most important thing is to create the content and format it in a way that you're going to get the much needed clicks to Amazon (which makes you money).

The article is extremely valuable in terms of information but it also gives people the option to easily find and buy the products, through Amazon, with the inclusion of pictures and links.
The article is extremely valuable in terms of information but it also gives people the option to easily find and buy the products, through Amazon, with the inclusion of pictures and links.

Step 4: Create an Article

Next, you'll be creating the article which will promote your choice in Amazon product.

The best option for earning money with Amazon Associates is to create a review because people will discover your content when they are in a 'buying mood' because they are doing research prior to making a purchase. Your review can help convince people whether or not to buy a product and if you have a link to Amazon - you'll get that click and earn some money.

The second way to make money with Amazon Associates in your content is to share a tutorial and link out, to Amazon, to products that can give additional information. For example, if you were writing an article about how to ride a horse, you could share your best information but also link to books on horses on Amazon. See what I'm saying?

Finally, the general idea for Amazon Associates is to simply get them on Amazon. Amazon has spent millions of dollars optimizing their website and making it easy for people to buy. Think back to the last time you've bought something on Amazon - you probably picked up a couple things because of the recommendations and reviews of others.

Your job, in a lot of cases, is to get people onto Amazon and let them go from there because you'll have 24 hours to make money when people hit the website because of your affiliate cookie.

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Another thing I want to talk about is formatting your articles. Write your articles in a way that logically take people through the information by breaking things up with subheadings, pictures, links and more. Take a look at the picture on this section to see an example of a well structured, Amazon Associates article. You can see that there is a lot of great information for people to read through but also gives them the option to learn more by clicking on the Amazon Associates links and pictures.

Step 5: Promote your Content

Once you've published your content, it's your duty to promote it as much as you can because this is what will get people to the article which may result in the readers clicking and buying products you've recommended. Simple enough, right?

There are many ways to promote your content online but I've found three to be the most reliable:

  • Optimize your content for search engine optimziation
  • Share your content on social networking websites
  • Arbitrage traffic through online advertising

There is a lot of great information already about this type of stuff so spend some time learning it but I'll give you the run down of each.

1. SEO is the process of optimizing your content for search engines with keywords and building backlinks. The basic premise is that you add your keywords and phrases to the title, headings, URL and other elements of your articles so search engines (like Google) knows what the page is about and will be able to accurately rank it for the keyword.

2. Get active on social media with sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and more. Share your content to others and join discussions about the product or the general niche. Share other people's content and build a following so each time you release new content you'll have a virtual army to help promote your work.

3. You can spend money to make money by purchasing cheap website traffic and sending it to your review pages that should hopefully make more money when people buy the product. This isn't recommend for newbies but it's still viable; think of it like ecommerce.

Do all three of these and you'll be golden; however, just doing SEO and being active on social media is enough to get your content ranked so it can begin making you money.

Congratulations, you've just successfully created content that sells. Repeat this over and over for each product you have or others within the niche and you'll soon gain thousands of clicks to Amazon which will result in your Associates payments going up in due time.

Final Thoughts and Suggestions

Getting started with Amazon Associates isn't all that difficult. What you're mostly doing is:

  1. Choosing a niche product
  2. Writing content around the product (tutorials, reviews, etc)
  3. Sharing the content on a high traffic website
  4. Promoting your work

I know this sounds too easy to be true but that really is the basics of it all.

The earnings I've gained have been related to a hobby that I love. I write about the products I've bought and also write about the hobby; all of this sends me traffic and results in me earning money with the Associates program so I get to make money writing about what I love.

My suggestion is to start small: find a product you already own and write a review about it. Expand, over time, by writing about other products in that niche. Keep doing this as often as you can and, in time, you'll get enough people clicking on your Amazon Associates links that you'll start earning an online income.

Good luck!

Have you made money with Amazon Associates?

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