Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tip #3: Amazon Associates affiliate program can boost your blog income

Since Amazon is such a big internet presence, the obvious question is asked by bloggers who want to monetize their blogs. How can the Amazon Affiliates program help me?

The program is free to join, and you have the freedom to create a number of different banners and text links. However, Amazon is an affiliate program, not a pay per click. So the only way you make money is if/when people make Amazon.com purchases through your links. And as with most affiliate programs, it is against the program rules to use your affiliate links to make your own purchases (with the exception perhaps of Buy.com which allows you to do that!).

The program gives you a flat 4% on consumer electronics, and 4% to 8% on everything else depending on volume. Yes, volume, not dollar value. Amazon apparently wants to encourage people to move products, which led to this decision.

Now how to make these work? The traditional banner ads are not particularly effective. The vast majority of internet users have become familiar with them and they have been programmed to ignore them, even if they don't want to :) What makes the Amazon program work more is to make the product links an organic part of your blog.

And by that I don't mean force it, but find ways to blend it organically. For example if you are talking about the movie "300", insert a link to Amazon's 300 DVD product page. If you are discussing product X, at the end of the discussion include a link to X, or make the reference to X an Amazon link.

Amazon recently introduced a new wave of widgets that make it easier to use their program. For example, their Quick Linker widget allows you to link a program without having to know its ASIN number. You just type its product name using a special tag. They also introduced product clouds, and other Web 2.0-like widgets.

But ultimately it depends on a number of factors, what type of content your blog or website has, what type of items are you promoting, how well you are promoting, how much trafic you are getting, what type of readers you have (buyers vs browsers), etc, etc.

Oh and one more thing, payment! You can get paid either by Amazon Gift Certificates or with cash. Cash can be delivered by check, but their preferred method is direct deposit to your bank account. If you don't want to use your regular bank account for internet purposes, a number of banks offer a secondary internet checking account that you can use for these type of purpose. Washington Mutual for example has an Internet checking account for this purpose, and the good thing is that it costs nothing to open, no fees, and no direct deposit requirements. Then you can just transfer your proceeds to your regular account and spend it or pay bill$.

Any questions? :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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