How much money is your WordPress site making you? Regardless of the amount, I bet you wouldn't mind making a little more, right?
The Amazon Associates program is an excellent way to earn extra income. This program allows you to choose which Amazon products you want to promote, and then you can earn up to 12% in advertising fees from the sales made through your site. In this post, I'll show you how to get started.
Before we begin, I should tell you that the Amazon Associates program isn't going to make you rich overnight. Don't expect that! But once you get the hang of it, this can be a steady stream of revenue for you.
So, the first step is to log in to Amazon Associates (create an account if you haven't done so already). Here, you'll see a search box where you can look for any kind of product. There's also a “Browse for Product” tab that allows you to manually look for products.
Let's use the search. For this example, I searched for “content writing guide books”. Amazon will present you with relevant products based on the keywords you entered. I wasn't happy with my initial search results, so I changed it to “freelance writing guide books”.
I thought the Writer's Digest's “The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing” would be interesting to the readers of my blog, so I decided to promote that result.
The next step is to click the “Get Link” button next to the product's name.
You'll then be taken to the link builder page.
This is where you can design the URL structure of your Amazon affiliate link. Note that the “Text and Image” option will not work in WordPress, so you'll need to select either “Text Only” or “Image Only”.
“Text Only” links are, you guessed it, text links which include your affiliate code. There's also some pre-formatted anchor text, which you can change to whatever you want. If you would like to promote products with a call-to-action message at the end of your posts, this is the way to do it.
“Image Only” links embed the link and affiliate code in an image of the product. This method is good for promoting products in the middle of posts – the visual aspect of this option catches the visitor's attention and encourages them to click.
We'll use the “Text Only” option for this example.
In the “Customize Link” section, you can choose the text and destination of the link. After that, click on the “Highlight HTML” button and copy the highlighted link for placement on your site (you have the choice between using the full link or an abbreviated link – I recommend using the full link, as these are easier to track).
Go to the page on your WordPress site that you want to add the link to and open the “HTML” tab. Then, insert the Amazon affiliate link into where you want it to appear on your page (for “Image Only” links, the only difference is that you would add it through the “Visual” tab rather than the “HTML” tab).
After you save the changes, you'll be able to see the link on your page. Here's how it looked on my site:
Make sure that you're posting the correct links to your blog. If they're off by even one character, you'll miss out on all the affiliate revenue.
Automating Amazon Affiliate Links
Instead of adding Amazon affiliate links manually, you can use the Amazon Auto Links plugin to automate this process.
Go to your WordPress dashboard and select “Plugins”. Next, click the “Install New” button and search for “Amazon Auto Links”. You'll see it in the search results. Install it, then activate it.
With Amazon Auto Links, you just need to pick the categories that apply to your site for the plugin to automatically display affiliate links relevant to your content. And it's free, too!
Amazon Affiliate Link Strategy
Now that I've shown you how to post these links, let's review the most effective ways to use them.
If you already have banner ads and other forms of blatant advertising, you can seamlessly incorporate Amazon affiliate links with your current advertising displays. For example, if you have a sidebar full of ads, you could easily throw in some “Image Only” Amazon affiliate links.
But if your blog is focused entirely on content, this might rub some of your visitors the wrong way. A sudden infusion of obvious ads could give the impression that you've “sold out”. In this case, you could slip “Text Only” affiliate links into genuine content, such as how-to guides, top ten lists, etc.
Another method is to create a “Store” section on your site with a product catalog comprised of your affiliate links. Social media posts can be used to promote your affiliate products as well.
In the end, it's up to you. Every blog is different. Consider your audience and the general tone of your content, and use this information to develop an Amazon affiliate link strategy that makes the most sense for your specific site.