Making Sales with the Amazon Affiliate Program
How I came to love selling with Amazon
I want to tell you a little about myself and my experiences to date before I go into the nitty gritty of making sales with amazon. I personally like to know a bit about a person who is giving me advice and feel that I should offer what I like to receive. If you are not really all that bothered and want to go straight to the nitty gritty please feel free to scroll down to tip one
Earning an income with affiliate programs can be a difficult venture and it can be a steep learning curve. An affiliate program like google ad sense might seem like an easier venture assuming you can write enough articles and bring in enough traffic you are likely to see some earnings.
When I first started writing on hub pages I very quickly got discouraged with trying to sell products with amazon and focused primarily on information pages. After many months I made my first amazon sale and I started to see more clearly a strategy for making those sales and making some good money.
My focus has now shifted toward writing about products and I do find it to be lots of fun finding a range of different products to write about in the hopes for a sale. From big ticket items to smaller gift ideas it can be a real rush when you hit on a good seller.
If you would like to sign up now and try your hand at writing a few hubs (you can market your own websites with these articles as well as earning with them directly) please feel free to sign up now.
Step one - Your Layout
When I made my first amazon sale through Hub Pages I caught the amazon bug! I started picking the brains of those members who are well known for being very successful with amazon. One tip I read over and over was to do with the layout of a product hub. The exact formula for where and how to place ads does not exist but then again each product hub with sales text is going to be different anyway. Advertisement placement feels like a bit of an art for me.
Depending on the item (items) I am promoting and the length of text I write will effect how many advertisements I place on my hubs and where. I try to make sure that there is always an advertisement visible just in case the reader has read enough and is ready to buy. One thing people advise on writing hubs in general is to include pictures, as people like nice pictures. I like to find amazon products with a nice image and use the ad (containing that image) in the way I might use a picture, the reader has a nice image and they could buy it.
When placing your ads you have a few options. If you have a long block of text you are wise to place a few items to the right, running down the side of the text. For a very product orientated hub you will even want the product you are reviewing at the top of the page, if you think a layout is not going over well with your readers you can always edit layout. I have yet to decide which is better, an ad at the top (before the text) or right aligned next to text, one item for a smaller block of text, many for a long block of text.
I do write pretty long blocks of text but I try not to. The reason is that you can get a better feel and look to the page if you can break your text up, this will allow you to break up the ads throughout you article. A hub can actually have lots of ads and still look nice. Lots of ads increase the chances of making a sale and a good layout means your page is still attractive to the reader.
Ad's 2 x 2
Attract Traffic You Can Sell To
When publishing content online its all about the traffic. Everyone and their mother want more traffic. I want more traffic too. Who doesn't want to be seen and read right? We know traffic is important for a number of reasons. Good things happen to sites that get good traffic consistently, even a site that is not selling earns more from more traffic.
This said I do not worry to much about traffic on product hubs. Why? Well this is because I want people who read my product hubs to have an interest in buying from them after reading (or half way through). I personally know many people who do not like being sold to and will click the back button when presented with heavy advertising. Why bother with that type of traffic when you are selling? When I write a fun hub or an information based hub then yes I go for all the traffic I can get.
This is not to say that I don't practice any SEO when planning and writing a hub, I do just as much for a product hub as any other. What I will do different is to add the words buy to the title so that anyone who comes to read a product hub already knows that I am writing about something they can buy. There are many people who will click on a buy this article happily, either because they don't mind being sold to or they didn't notice.
One thing I have done and want to do a lot more of to get relevant traffic is to link up hubs more. What I mean is to break one hub into many. I recently thought I might be able to get some traffic in the Pink Laptop niche. While looking at products and sub-niches I started seeing the potential to write several hubs. So the one hub idea turned into many, Pink Laptop Skins, a great laptop for kids from Disney and last a Pink Laptop Sleeve hub (more are in the works currently). My strategy here is to get these hubs sharing traffic.
I started with pink laptops and realized that this is an expensive item and a hard sale. If I convert one or two sales a year I will be tickled pink! I did think that a potential reader may already have a computer or may be looking for something second hand with say eBay (I am not an affiliate with them, sadly). On finding out about laptop skins I realized that they would be a great solution for someone wanting a pink laptop who already has one. Imagine a reader finds it and thinks they want one but... well they can see a link in the hub to pink laptop skins and may go over there to have a read.
What I am getting at is when you have a niche you think you could do well with break it down. Are there individual products to review? (I am not done reviewing individual pink laptops) What about accessories to the main product, can they be made into a hub or several hubs? Have a bit of fun when going through the products with amazon (you may get an idea for a hub based on them, I did when writing this hub). The larger group of hubs you have on a topic the better the chances for dominating that niche (even if thats just within hub pages). You will want to link your hubs, don't forget!
Writing an Amazon Hub
I have the fortuitous talent for talking a lot, in life its hard to get me to shut up! I take this talent for chattering away on most any subject and turn it to writing. If I felt the product was pretty awesome I can put together enough text to create a hub. If you are not so blessed with the gift of gab then you are going to need to ask yourself as many questions about the product as you can.
What are the specifications for the item? What does it do that a reader might want to know? Read the product description in amazon, some have a lot of information you could be inspired by. Does the process that got you thinking about writing about this item have a story you could share? Perhaps you decided to write a hub because you bought one yourself, or one for a family member. Use that as you may find readers connect with you in a friendly way (also it pads out the text).
Use all available resources. If while writing about some item you wonder if it can do this or that, FIND OUT. Chances are your readers may wonder the same thing. If you can address their question before they have ask it then you look good. Can you see a problem with the item and more importantly can you fix that problem easily? These are things that might be of real help to your reader and means you are doing more then just selling, you are also helping.
No to people will write the same and that is why I don't worry about you guys taking my ideas and advice and becoming competition (if my writing isn't good enough then I need to keep improving). If you feel inspired to write something but are unsure if its good 'sales' text, don't worry about it! If you feel inspired to write something that positive energy will come across for most readers and may get them excited too. Anything that helps you to share you excitement with your readers is going to help.
Making Sales with Amazon
My last thoughts on getting sales with amazon are pretty simple and yet seem hard, mostly because being patient is not easy for me. Patience and persistence are virtues that I am becoming stronger with. My first hubs were a lot of how to hubs. I might write about something I know how to do and place relevant products that you will need to do whatever it is.
My first sale came from just such a hub, my wood carving hub. It took about 5 months to make a sale! Eeeep! When it sold it was not a big sale, a few wood carving knives. I did find myself wanting to learn more now that I had actually made a sale. My next selling hub was a bit of brilliance. I saw a lot of hype around the movie Avatar and wrote a hub about Avatar stuff (collectibles). I got real lucky and hit the market before to many people were trying to sell Avatar stuff and I made quite a few sales with that one. I do not expect it to make big sales forever and I will do it again in a heart beat when I see another trendy type product to promote. Keep your eye on what is up and coming in popular culture, I sure am!
My latest hub to convert has been my celtic jewelry hub and this is the type of hub that I want lots and lots of. It may not be a hot item seller but it should continue to make sales for years to come. It's a long term seller. This hub is not a high traffic hub but the traffic it pulls in seems to convert to amazon clicks very nicely. This is what I am going for, steady clicks to amazon. Some traffic will take ages to actually buy as they want to talk to their spouse about it and this may mean your cookie timer runs out for the affiliate sale. Some people will want to buy but decide to look at the amazon competition to find a better price, nothing you can do about that.
For myself I find that I can consistently see a conversion of 1 in 50 clicks turning into sales. It has happened that that one person went on a little shopping spree creating a larger conversion rate in amazon but the fact is one in fifty seem to buy after clicking my ads. My SEO skills are not good enough to drive 50 people or more a day to amazon from one hub. If I was running a product blog I would aim for it to do just that. With hubs it seems like a different strategy will work to create the same effect. Instead of one blog with so many posts it can bring in that level of traffic I have many self standing hubs and aim to have many more.
Writing hubs to generate sales is a very future based way of thinking about your marketing. I do not worry to much about past hubs (or I try not to anyway!). Hubs can take time to mature and have authority. A good long term hub might not make a sale right away, this doesn't mean that it wont pay well over the years to come (especially if it draws in high value sales or even a spending spree from a reader). If I were to allow worries about this or that hub and why it has not got people through the amazon door I would be more likely to look at making it a part of a series of hubs, assuming that my keywords all look good and the text is not rife with errors.
When making consistent sales with amazon you need to have quality hubs, you need lots and lots of them. Quality plus quantity should be your aim, don't favor one over the other. Quality+Quantity=sales. The best bit is that as you write more and more hubs your quality of writing should improve all the time. If you must worry about something worry about what to write next not what you have already written. When you have enough hubs that do bring traffic to amazon and you are seeing lots of sales you can always go back and take a look at your first hubs to see if you have learned something that could be applied to your 'green' hubs.
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I did write this hub for the community of hub pages and it is very centered on making amazon sales with writing hubs. I do not really expect this hub to make sales and the ads are for illustration purposes (feel free to buy anyway if something takes your fancy!).
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