Guys, this is going to be a long article! A really, really long one. I am writing this article for everyone. From those who know nothing about Amazon Affiliate Marketing to those who are swimming the ocean right now, this article will help everyone (i promise). So even if it takes time, i suggest that you stick to it. You will be able to start your own affiliate marketing journey after you finish reading this masterpiece (Yeah, i said it).
What is Affiliate Marketing
To understand Amazon Affiliate Marketing, you first have to understand what affiliate marketing is all about. Remember, the best way to make sure that you become successful as an affiliate marketer is by studying a hell lot of stuffs. On the first page of that massive success book, we have the definition of affiliate marketing.
So, let me use an example to make things easier. Suppose, i have a company that sells car. Now, i have a shop and i do not want to invest in more shops for different locations. Rather, what i do is, i ask my friends to open up shops and to take cars from me to display on their shops. They can also share car images to the shops if they want (and if a customer orders a car, my friends will get it from me to deliver them). Now, when one of my friends make a sale, i send that car to that customer and i give my friend a commission (from my profit) because my friend just helped me to sell a car, right?
This is affiliate marketing. According to the standard theory, affiliate marketing is when you allow people to use your resources and products to make a sell and earn a commission from that sale. It can be a visible product, it can be a service, it can be a digital product or potentially anything on this planet.
What is Amazon Affiliate Marketing
Now, let’s come to the core of it. What is Amazon Affiliate Marketing? Now that you know enough already about affiliate marketing, it will be easier for you to understand what is amazon affiliate marketing. So, the eCommerce giant Amazon has an interesting affiliate marketing policy that they call Amazon Associates. Here’s what happens:
Amazon has millions of products in their website
You as an affiliate will create your own website to talk about some specific products/niches of Amazon and you will redirect people to Amazon
When people go to Amazon from your website and buy something, you get a commission
Yes, it is that simple…
How Much Can I Earn From Amazon Affiliate Marketing?
Update: Things have changed a bit as Amazon went to a fixed payment structure from tiered commission structure in March, 2017. I have a full article about the Amazon Affiliate Commission Change so I am not going to talk about the same thing here again!
So, how much can you actually earn from this industry? What most people do not realize is that this is a zillion $ industry and there are huge amounts to be made with Amazon Affiliate Marketing.
As you can see from the image at the right, if you sell from 1 to 6 products in a month, you get 4% of each sales. As you can see from the image, if you can manage to sell up to 631 products, you can earn a hooping commission of 8% from per sale which is not a small number at all.
Let me calculate the numbers for you….
So you have a site that does bicycle reviews…You talk about bicycles, their models, their reviews and everything else on your site and in the same site, you redirect people to Amazon.
Now when people go to Amazon from your website and buy something (it does not have to be a cycle, it can be anything from Amazon within the next 24 hours) you get 4%. Let’s assume, 10% of people that you send to Amazon buy products worth of $50 each month!
And your website gets around 1000 visits a month!
Now, 100 people go to Amazon and buy $50 worth of product each and the sales number is $5000.
From that image, we know that if we sell 100 products, our commission is 6.50%.
So the commission that you will earn on that month will be $325!
Not bad, right?
Let’s talk about a real example now!
Check One of My Small Sites (Sold For $12000)
Recently, on June 10th, 2016, I sold a site for $12000 to a Canadian person via Flippa (which is a popular site to sell Affiliate Websites). It was not properly via Flippa though. We met and then we did the payment part via Escrow.com.
Unlock this below part to see my site URL. The site is live now! This site was earning around $400 per month when i sold the site.
I started working on this site from December, 2015 and i worked on it till April, 2016.
After that, initially i listed the site on Flippa for $19. I started getting emails and then later on, someone named Scott from Canada (I will post an interview of him by the end of this year) bought the site and paid me via Escrow.
Something about the service of Escrow:
If you are living in an Asian country like me (I live in Bangladesh), the service of Escrow will be really difficult to bear though their cost is very low. It took around $200 from me to transfer that $12000 but the payment took around 21 days to arrive. If that is fine with you, there is no issues!
Step 1: Keyword Research
So, the first step of your Amazon Affiliate Marketing journey starts with a great keyword research. You have to keep a lot of things in mind and this is one section where most people commit mistakes. People do not understand the importance of keyword research and they also fail in searching for the perfect keyword for their niches. I will try to make this process as simple as possible for you guys.
So, the first thing that you will have to understand is that you need to target ‘buying keywords’ if you want to make people buy products from Amazon getting redirected to your website. A keyword “football” has a monthly search of around 1 million in USA. But it is not a buying keyword so it should not be your target. You can target keywords like: Best football, football reviews, top 10 football, cheap football, football under $100 and so on. You get the idea, right?
You have to always target keywords that are searched by people who are ready to purchase something from Amazon.
Now, if you go to Google Keyword Planner and do a search typing Best Football, keeping the location USA then you will see that from 1 million, the search per month has dropped to 1,300.
Is this number good enough? Surprisingly, the answer is YES! This number is more than good enough when you are targeting people to buy things from Amazon.
I have seen from my personal experience that keywords which have around 1-2,000 monthly search in USA are the easiest ones to ranks. This obviously vary but you can always go as low as 800 per month in USA. I would recommend you not to go below 800 and not to go above 5000 if you are a beginner.
If you have seen the site that i revealed in the initial part of this article then you know that the main keyword of that article had around 6,600 monthly search which was more than enough to get a good amount.
How do i find keywords via Amazon?
Now, obviously, you have to select something that is available in plenty on Amazon because at the end of the day, we want people to buy things from Amazon so that we can get the commission, right? Therefore, the first step here is to go to Amazon and search for products. It can be literally anything. Stop for a moment and think about the things that you have used or seen in last one week. It can be a blender, can be a lawn mower or can be a bicycle. Try to dig deep because the items that i am mentioning are common ones with high competition.
After you find the main topic, it is time to add the variables to the topic to make it a buying keyword. So let’s assume, your topic is blender. The buying keywords in this case would be:
best blender 2016
And so on…..
Do a search for each of these on Google keyword planner keeping the country USA. I did the first one for you and the result is around 18,100 per month which is huge. Obviously, the competition is high too so this is not recommended for a newbie. Keep on digging. There are millions of products on Amazon. Find something that is less competitive. It can be literally anything from Knife to generators.
How to Understand the competition?
Now, there are a few ways to figure out the competition of the keyword that you are planning to work on. The first thing that i want to tell you is that do not get deceived seeing the competition tab on Google Keyword Planner (that says low or high). It is not meant for affiliate marketers. This is for advertisers which is a complete different thing.
To understand the competition of a keyword, i always recommend Keywordrevealer. They are easy to use and you can easily figure out everything that you need to know within two clicks. I know a lot of people recommend Long Tail Pro from Spencer Haws who is a brilliant affiliate marketer but i still think Revealer is simple and easy to manage.
I won’t go to the details of Keyword Revealer as that is super easy to manage. Simply type your keyword (in this case, best blender for example) and evaluate the results.
You will find the top 10 competitors of yours on this keyword.
KR will also give you an overall rating of how difficult the keyword is. If it is below 35 (on August, 2016), you can go for it but obviously, the lower it is, the better.
Also from the top 10 competitions that you see there, make sure that these criterions are matched:
- Not more than 3 ecommerce sites in top 10
- If Youtube or Forum type sites are there, it is a good sign
- If you see a lot of affiliate sites already in the first page, avoid that keyword
- We already mentioned about the monthly search
So, invest your time in this because keyword research is an integral part of the whole thing. Bad keyword research will make the complete journey horrible for you. Take your time and select your keyword properly.
Note: You have to decide on the keyword level that whether you want to make your Amazon Affiliate website a big or a small one. For example, if the main keyword is best blender, we cannot really make the site super big. On the other hand, if we create a site keeping a few keywords such as best blender, best juicer and etc. in mind then we can make the site a big one. This will cost more and the competition will be higher too.
My suggestion would be to start small with a super simple keyword at the beginning.
Step 2: Buying Domain
After you have your keyword, it is time to find the domain. A lot of people make this process super complex where there is nothing much to make it that complex at all. You have two options.
- If you find the EMD (exact match domain) of your keyword, go for it.
- If you do not find EMD, simply choose anything you want. Domain names don’t matter at all.
So in my case, if i find bestblender.com, i will go for it. If i don’t find it available, i will pick anything such as blendermania.com, blenderninja.com, blendblending.com or anything (be as creative as you want).
I always recommend Namecheap when it comes to buying domains. According to me, they are the best (especially because of their awesome support team). If you know a better company, go with that, no problem at all.
Step 3: Buying Hosting
Now the next step is to buy your hosting. Again, a lot of people confuse this and ask questions like, “how big the hosting should be”. Think about it. You are targeting a keyword that has around 5,000 search per month. If we divide it, then you get around 166 search a day. There are 10 websites in the first page of Google results. These 166 searches will get divided among those 10 results.
Now think, do you actually need a huge hosting?
The hostings that i always recommend for Amazon Affiliate Marketers is either Bluehost or Namecheap. They both are cheap, they both are awesome and they both have all the features that you need to be successful. Buy the cheapest package that you find in any of these two hosting platforms. This website (where you are reading the article now) is made on Namecheap.
Step 4: Content Mania
The next step that you need to focus on is generating content for your site. Always remember, you are not the salesperson of products in your website, you are the reviewer. There is a big difference there and most people again (i am saying it too many times now) do not understand that. In your reviews, you will be honest, you will ask people not only to buy but to avoid too. Think about your traffic and they will always give you great returns.
If you are a good or even decent enough writer, i always suggest you that you should write articles on your own for the site. No matter who you hire, you will never get the same dedication level that you will have for your website. Now, if you are a bad writer or if you are confused that whether you are good at writing or not, don’t try. Your affiliate blog is not the place where you try and practice your writing skills. In that case, go for an expert.
You can find our writing solutions at our service page. You can also find good writers at Upwork, Freelancer. Be careful whoever you hire because you will be sharing a lot of information with the writer.
I always prepare 10,000 words first before i make my website live. You can do the same too. A good affiliate website should have at least 50,000 words of content in it. Take a look at your competitor sites to get an idea on what type of contents you should have on your website.
Step 5: Making Your Site Live
Now you are slowly becoming an Amazon Affiliate Marketing guy. It is time to make your website go live. Simply use WordPress (Take help from YouTube if you are bad at WordPress) to publish your website. Design creatively using different themes but make sure that your content in the site is visible enough.
Some people do worry about submitting sites to Google, Indexing, Sitemap and Xml. You do not need to worry about any of those and i promise that. If you have good content in your website, your site will get auto indexed within7 days.
Make sure that you add your website to Google Analytics and Webmasters to track the situation of the site from time to time.
Step 6: Installing Important Plugins
As an Amazon Affiliate Marketing expert, you have to understand the power of plugin. Don’t go by my list without understanding the importance or the need of these plugins. Here is a list of the must have plugins for your site:
- Table of Content Plus
- Yoast SEO
- Go Pricing
- Outbound Link Manager
- Contact Form 7
Apart from that, please read my How to Score 100 on Google Speed Insight article and install those plugins too to make sure that your site is getting a good loading speed.
Step 7: On Page SEO
According to Aherfs, the days of on page SEO is going off. We will not have on page SEO in near future. That might be true or that might be false too. I won’t take a chance because Google hasn’t confirmed anything yet. On page SEO is still very important for your website and you have to make sure that all the pages that you publish on your site are perfectly optimized.
On page SEO is a big thing. Brian Dean from Backlinko already did the hard work. I took this infographic from him for you guys. Check it out.
Step 8: Off Page SEO (The Core of Success)
Now, your site is ready, right? You have content and your site is live. What should we do now? We should think about Off page SEO which is the biggest reason that why most Amazon Affiliate Marketing failure occurs. Off page SEO is such a big thing that it is never possible to talk all about it in a single article. Off page SEO is changing every single day. But i will try to make sure that i can talk enough about it. I will mostly be touching the points and your task is to find more information on each of those from Google.
Whenever i launch a website, i do not do any SEO for the site for at least a month. Most of my keywords get a position in Google within that phase organically. After a month when i see no changes in the keywords from my Webmaster tool, i understand that it is time to go for the off page SEO.
Always remember that you do not need 100s of backlinks for your website to rank higher. You just need a few good ones and that’s it. 20 good backlinks are enough to rank 90% of the Amazon Affiliate Marketing keywords.
The first thing that you will do is going for the basic links. These are easy links that do not add much/any value to your website. These are easy to get and these will give your site the first boost. The best sources of basic links are RSS submission, feed submission & directory submission.
Make sure that you are not overdoing it. 4-5 backlinks from these sources are more than good enough for your website.
The next thing that you will be doing is blog commenting. This is another easy but time consuming thing to do. When you are doing blog commenting, make sure that all the comments are on relevant blogs or pages that go with the theme of your website. If your website is about blenders and if you are commenting on a site that is about cats, it will only reduce your ranking. Relevancy is very important.
Also, make comments so that those add actual value to the articles. Do not just comment for the sake of commenting. Read the article and be creative when you are commenting.
Again, 20 blog comments are more than good enough.
Image submission can be taken in a few different ways. The latest and the coolest method is infographic submission. Did you see how i used the Brian Dean’s Infographic in my on page section? I also gave him a backlink for that, right? This is the power of quality images. That is one way to do it. You create quality infographic, you ask relevant people to publish it on their websites with a backlink and that’s it.
The other way is taking the regular approach. There are a lot of websites out there who takes image submissions and gives a link in return. Google and you will find huge lists of sites like those. Take 5-6 quality image backlinks.
Guest Posting/Email Outreach
Till now, the methods that we talked about were all basic and somethings that everybody could do. Now we will talk about the professional stuffs. Email Outreach or the Guest Posting is right now the best way to get quality links for your blog. The rule is simple. You make a list of around 200-300 people who operate on similar niche like yours. You get their contact and ask them that whether they accept guest posts on their site or not.
If they say no, simply maintain a good relationship with them which will work in future. If they say yes, go ahead and write something for his site. Chances are 99% high that you will get a backlink in return.
The main reasons that people do not get replies of their outreach requests is because they copy-paste the same format, same style request to everyone. It should never be done. Always be creative and personalize all the emails that you send to each website owners. Talk about that website a bit, tell about a recent article that you liked and then pitch. You will get a better response though it will take time.
I will not talk much about Web 2 as we already have that service in PassiveJournal. You can find all the details on that service page (SEO section). You don’t have to order that service. Just read it to understand the importance of Web 2.
Power Links From High Authority
The last one that i always go for is power links. I was never a fan of this method as this is a costly one but recently in understood the result or the power of these links. Let me give you an example. Recently, one of my sites came to the 3rd page of Google USA from 21st page only because of a backlink from Buzzfeed.com. I am not saying that your keyword will have a similar jump but i am saying that power links from great sources like Buzzfeed, Life Hack, Entrepreneur.com, Huffington, New York Times and so on will add huge value and trust to your website.
To have a detailed idea on SEO, please visit Point Blank SEO’s this article. It is one of the most complete articles about SEO on this planet.
Step 9: Applying to Amazon Associates
Guess what? You are now completely into Amazon Affiliate Marketing. You have a good site, you are doing SEO, you are uploading content regularly and now it is time to apply for the Amazon Associates Program. You might ask that why didn’t i tell you to apply for this program sooner? The reason is because if you don’t get a sale within 3 months, Amazon bans your account (you can re-open it again but then you have to change all the affiliate links that you have on your website). Therefore, the smart idea is to start proper but start late.
Step 10: Social Media
Recently, my friend Kent from Nicheup gave me an interesting insight. According to his findings, massive organic social share is good enough to rank an article to the first page of Google. Whether that is applicable to your situation or not, you have to make sure that you are using social media perfectly for your niche site. These are the must have social media accounts for you:
- Facebook page
And anything and everything else. No social media is bad to ignore.
Do not only create an account and forget these social medias. Always update them with your site link, news, interesting content and etc. Try to engage your audience with the social media accounts. You will start seeing magic.
Step 11: Selling Your Site
Now that you are great in Amazon Affiliate Marketing, it is time to sell the site. Should you sell the site by the way? I already wrote another big post about buying and selling Niche sites so i will not re-type those words. Please read that whenever you want to sell your website.
If you don’t want to sell your website and want to simply keep on making them, that is great too 🙂 🙂
Remember, there is no limit of how much you can earn from a particular site. Some people actually earn more than $50,000 per month doing Amazon Affiliate Marketing (I don’t earn that much but i have seen people who do).
We are formally done with the article. This is the section where i wanted to give you guys some cautions and tips about your Amazon Affiliate Marketing career.
- Don’t lose focus. There is always a shiny object out there. You should not go for that. Your niche, your website is the one that you will focus on till you make it.
- Don’t get stressed. Things might get complex at times. Take it easy and continue working hard.
- Don’t do something stupid so that Google catches and kills your website
- Do not do poor link building, do not buy SEO services from cheap sources
- Fail once. Failing is a great method to learn Amazon Affiliate Marketing (I don’t know any Amazon Affiliate Marketer who don’t have one/more failed sites)
- Read, Read & Read a lot about Amazon Affiliate Marketing. There is no alternative of that.
I wish you best of luck in your journey. Hopefully, this big article will be of any help in your career.