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Affiliate Programs – Amazon Associates

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This post is part of a series on Affiliate Programs for Blogs

Amazon Associates Program

Amazon’s Associate Program is perhaps one of the most popular ones for bloggers because it is pretty simple to use and has such a wide range of products in their system ranging from books, to electronics, to jewelry, to CDs and DVDs etc. It’s also great because there are many tools that can be used to integrate it into your blog including WordPress Plug ins. Some bloggers even integrate Amazon stores into their blogs (something I need to get set up).

Another beauty of the Amazon program is the variety of ways that they give you to link to their products. Even using just their basic tools on the Associates page you have the option to link to products using text links, pictures, buttons and a variety of keyword triggered techniques.

I personally use Amazon’s program quite a bit on some of my blogs and find it quite effective. While my earnings from Amazon are far less than my Adsense income it’s a nice bonus each quarter (they pay every three months). This quarter (just over half way) my total is just over $900 (USD).

Amazon’s affiliate program pays out in either gift vouchers (to be spent in the store), cheque (check) or direct deposit (if you’re in the US).

Amazon Associates Program Pros:

  • massive array of products to choose from
  • reliable payment system
  • options for different payment types
  • reasonably easy to use
  • variety of linking tools
  • Amazon are fairly well regarded and trusted by consumers

Amazon Associates Program Cons:

  • only quarterly payments (many other programs are monthly)
  • commissions can be lower than some other programs (although they have an incentive/bonus program that increases the % when you sell certain targets)
  • incentive program can be a little complicated to understand
  • some of their buttons and link methods are a little dated
  • not great on some products internationally (ie while Amazon will send books and some products internationally some of the bigger ticket items will not be sent overseas. So if you have a non US readership you might have to also sign up for other Amazon affiliate programs (ie they also have a UK, Canadian, Japanese one etc this can get a little messy)).

I’ll share more tips to help maximise Amazon earnings later in this series – but in the mean time I’m sure others have a variety of experiences with Amazon and can shed some light on it as a program for us. Share your thoughts on the Amazon Affiliate program in comments below.

Sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program here

This post belongs to the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog Series

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Another aspect of Amazon is the Marketplace feature. When I used to review books I’d have scores of new titles arriving by post all the time. I sold most of them through Marletplace for around 75% of the retail price, which is three times what the local second-hand bookshop would pay. You get the postage too. They really are very innovative. Darren, your income from them is awesome. You must be doing something right :-)

  2. Mike says:

    $900 a month is fantastic! I am lucky if I can buy a book with the gift voucher each quarter. Although, it is amazing seeing some of the stuff that people buy which you don’t even have links to on your site.

  3. Markus says:

    if you are using wordpress, take a look at the Amazon Media Manager (AMM http://www.sozu.co.uk/software/amm/ ) which is the best amazon-plugin I know.

  4. Darren Rowse says:

    good tip Markus. I use the Mac version of ecto which has a useful Amazon tool built into it. Works perfectly for me – in multiple Amazon Stores.

  5. duncan says:

    Im not so sure about the guy who left a comment ahead of me but that Amazon plugin you’ve mentioned as amazing. I’ve got to find a way to use it, and the guy is right, its hard having to go to Amazon and search for a link and set it all up, if it works half as good as its works….

  6. un papier says:

    For those who are technically inclined and willing to code amazon offers a webservice interface that you can roll into a tool that can add value. See about my Amazon sales rank tool here.. You ofcourse use your associate id in all products you display.

  7. Mike Sigers says:

    Thanks for this info. I’m off to con my Webmistress into getting on this ASAP !

  8. I haven’t really looked, but does Amazon.com have a content-targeted product recommendation iframe widget, yet? i.e., a widget that tracks what content is on the page combined with what other pages (and their content) a particular visitor has recently browsed, along with perhaps recently browsed Amazon.com product pages — kinda like Google AdSense ads, but for highly targeted Amazon.com products.

    Privacy issues aside (which could be addressed with an opt-out cookie), I bet this would really improve CTR’s for Amazon.com affiliates.

    I wonder if anyone from Amazon.com reads your blog (and your comments), Darren.

  9. IO ERROR says:

    My only complaint with the Amazon program is that someone who clicks through must purchase something within 24 hours for you to receive a commission on the sale. Most other affiliate programs I have seen give 30-45 days for the user to make a purchase.

  10. Tim Flight says:

    I’m currently experimenting with adding an amazon store into my blog rather than just affiliate links. You can see it in action at the GPS Store which is a three week old blog.

  11. I have low amazon conversions. And the 5% commision is a dissapointing. If you still make $900 – it is amazing!

  12. HART says:

    I will have to take a look at this other Amazon Media Manager (AMM) again but, it was a total failure for me. When I first tried to install it, the options and setup inside wordpress looked interesting what it can do and promise. When I tried to get the output, I nearly crashed my blog and showed only a white screen page.

    So, I deleted it and installed my other plug-in .. “WP-Amazon” – from http://manalang.com/wp-amazon/ …. It’s 100 times better, i.m.h.o… you just copy two files into your plug-in folder, activate, change options to use your affiliate code, and you’re done. When you are in WRITE function, you click on quick tag button Amazon and you can pull a text link, or a graphic link with a small, medium, or large picture. It’s just for a one-time input of a product into the current entry – it doesn’t manage or keep track of anything.

  13. Chi An says:

    With little traffic (150-200 uniques), I only capable to get 1-2 orders per month. Still a long way for get a cheque from Amazon. My only complain is Amazon has lower comission (4% onward) than other products.

    @IO ERROR: Walmart got even worse, its cookie only last 0.167 day.

  14. Mac says:

    I’ve used amazon affiliate links on two of my sites, and I’m always stunned to see what people buy. For example, when I post movie reviews on my site filmfodder, I include a “store” module with Amazon affiliate links to related DVDs, soundtracks, etc. I’m certainly not getting rich, but I’ve seen some nice side income from these links. They’re definitely worth the effort.

  15. chen tong says:

    Just a summary of the tools available from the above discussion.

    1. WP-Amazon
    Good, however, simple. No price feed, no description, just titles and authors and some choice of image. You cannot use this as a store. It is merely a quick way to generate Amazon affiliate links.

    2. http://www.sozu.co.uk/software/amm/
    Not easy to use for a php learner like me. But manage to get one up. Emmm…it is better than WP-Amazon as it has more

    3. ecto
    The window version does not support creation of Amazon links. so it is still for Mac only.

    Doesn’t seem to able to identify the download page or description page of Amazon Sales Rank Tool. The web site turns you everywhere to show you all the gedgets, except a clear download page. May be I am sleepy now…

    The Amazon store at Workboxers.com is abit confusing. GPS store is interesting,but how can we build a store like this with feed from Amazon? Any free or affordable script available for Amazon store?

    Thanks everyone.

  16. Roy Osherove says:

    Check out a tool I built using .NET 2.0 (free with source) that creates amazon links for books along with image if needed.
    See more at
    amazoner.osherove.com

    Thanks,
    Roy Osherove
    blog: http://www.ISerializable.com

  17. chen tong says:

    Hi Roy,
    I checked your website. It would be better if it works without the need to download and install Microsoft .NET 2.0…

    wp-amazon works as a plugin in wordpress. so far it is still the quickest way to insert image and text links in wordpress…

    But I am really looking for wordpress plugin that update Amazon prices automatically…

    Though the crowd of problogger have left this topic…

    regards,

  18. lawson says:

    I would like to find a way to sell books from my website with an available Donation above the price of the book. Do you know how I can accomplisht this?
    Your sites are great. Thanks!

  19. Ian says:

    I just signed up for the Amazon Associates too. I was so surprised that I was able to put on ads almost immediately, unlike Google Adsense, where I had to wait for like a week?

  20. exl says:

    I used AA for about 2 weeks. No revenue, just clicks. I stopped. Then I realized why waste ad space, I want that A ad back. Hoping to get sales.

  21. Dornoir Flax says:

    Hello, I am very interest in afiliate marketing programs. And have recntly studied that Amazon has if not the best but amongst the best program to offer. Please notify me to let me know what I have to do to proceed, thank you!

  22. Jason Isaks says:

    Amazon often gets a bad rap, but there are lots of creative ways you can use their affiliate program to your advatage. I’ve been with them for 6 years now.

  23. Roo says:

    I’ve been messing around with a tutorial website on all the things that it’s possible to do with an aStore. Many people don’t seem to get on with aStore’s as they don’t integrate them well with their blog or website, yet there are a huge variety of ways of creating links into amazon that will earn you your 5%.
    Not sure how best to link to it, but if you click my name above it should take you there.
    It’s still in beta testing at the moment and I need to add a few more pages and screenshots to fully justify the adaptability and ease of creating an aStore, but hopefully there’s enough there to get an idea!

  24. Sirius says:

    I’ve sold exactly one book since my blog began in February.

    I had an idea. I spend hundreds of dollars a year on Amazon, maybe more. No one is making a commission on these sales. I can’t get commissions for buying through my own affiliate program.

    So I started thinking. What if there was someone else out there in the same situation? I could make all my Amazon purchases through their site and they could make their purchases through my site.

    If someone out there does a lot of shopping on Amazon and wants to talk about doing this, click the link on my name. You can find my e-mail address on my blog.

  25. coldhitz says:

    I read these coments and feel that , having just started with Amazon , there is allot more information I can use on ProBlogger , than there is on the associates site. Trying to get an answer on there is like trying to make sno-cones with no ice. Thank you for all your hints and tips , to everyone who posted a comment.

  26. sir jorge says:

    I’m trying out the astore feature, hopefully i can get some crossover, but it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. http://astore.amazon.com/sirjcomics-20 is not exactly doing hot, but i’m going to use some of the methods talked about in this post and on the site, and it should pay off….i have my fingers crossed.

  27. Fairy says:

    I am new in here and was wondering if amazon pays per click or wat ??

  28. Darren Rowse says:

    Fairy – no they pay when someone buys something – you get a commission

  29. M1kester says:

    Hello,

    thank you for the article. Could you clarify something for me. My customers come from across Europe and the US. Is the amazon cookie going to be transferable between amazon sites?

    i.e. will i get paid if customers change from .com to .co.uk as they are prompted to.

    i don’t fancy having to sign up as an affiliate in each location, then having to have multiple affiliate links for each product with seperate currencies. thanks :)

  30. Kevin says:

    I’ve just put Amazon on my two blogs. I’m confused though about something. Suppose a reader clicks on one of my Amazon links, is taken to the appropiate page, decides they don’t really want the product, do a little bit more surfing, and then buy something entirely different: they looked at a book and end up buying a DVD recorder!

    Do I get a commission on that sale?

    Kevin

  31. Genesis Font says:

    The Amazon Associates program has been growing at a large rate. It’s a great way to passively generate income just for branding and marketing an Amazon Associate website.

    Commissions on some items are as high as 10%. The ability to market and drive traffic to generate a sale is the only responsibility most Amazon Associates have to worry about.

    I’ve setup several Amazon Associate sites for myself, about 15 of them actually.

    thanks,
    Genesis Font

  32. Kevin says:

    I’m still uncertain about Amazon. First, the length of time my cookie remains active. Secondly, and much more important, unlike say Adsense, Amazon’s ads are country specific.

    That means of course that if I have a site and it appeals to residents of more than one country then I have to find a way of displaying Amazon goods for these countries. An example. Currently I have a blog about vegetarianism now say I want to promote Being Vegetarian for Dummies (For Dummies). The best I can come up with at the moment is to have an Amazon logo in my side coloumn and national flags underneath it – hoping that my reader will select their appropriate Amazon country.

    If I mention the book in a post then the best I can hope for is to direct the reader to one Amazon store or possibly to another page of my blog where I can promote it to more than one country. Again not the best use of time.

    There must be a workaround that can use to overcome this problem and more specifically for WordPress users is there any plugins out there that will do this for us.

  33. Steve says:

    Can someone please give me a link that shows what Amazon pays out in commissions for each product they carry? I guess I’m not looking in the right place because I couldn’t find that.

    Thank you.

  34. PuReWebDev says:

    Amazon is definitely the best affiliate program to work with. It’s good to see so many people using it.

  35. Ricky says:

    http://www.handyzon.com
    This is how http://www.handyzon.com website’s home page starts…
    Handyzon = Amazon General + Deals + Steals + Bestsellers + Most wanted + New addition + Chat zones + Hidden discounts + Product Details

    http://www.Handyzon.com also popularly known as handy amazon is amazon’s biggest and highly paid associate. One single website has changed an old online shopping trend.Instead of using amazon’s homepage, visitors are going for http://www.handyzon.com for shopping on amazon.For all the amazon fans and shoppers, handyzon provides you with amazon’s handy shopping catalog with special features like chat zones,bestsellers,my selection,shopping rooms for searching products with upto 99% discounts for all the nations.Handyzon’s latest search engines for US,uk,Canada,Germany,France,Japan enables users to search for products with discounts of their choice, plus you get to choose categories like bestsellers,top ranked, most wanted,most expensive,cheapest,best rated products.Latest deals are daily updated in ‘steals’ showcase.
    Besides shopping for products handyzon provides you with links to all the amazon pages including discussion forums,products tagged,latest news,associate programs thereby giving users a handy way to reach every inch of amazon shopping world.

    What started as Earth’s biggest bookstore has rapidly become Earth’s biggest anything store. Expansion has propelled Amazon in innumerable directions. The firm’s main Web site offers millions of books, music, DVDs, videos, auto parts, toys, tools, electronics, home furnishings, apparel, health & beauty aids, prescription drugs, groceries, and services including film processing. Why pay regular prices when you can buy discount items online from Handyzon? For those of you having all the knowledge of the best and the worst ( products, brands, offers, rates, latest…) handyzon provides you with search engines, for others there are handy catalogs & chat zones,chat widgets,product reviews so that you don’t miss even a single deal.

    In reference to its popularity,handy amazon is one of the biggest earning affiliate.Using amazon widgets and its own search engines in the best possible way handyzon is a complete website in itself for shopping, giving amazon shoppers a new home page to shop on.With thousands of unique clicks daily handyzon is the talk of the online shopping world.It is the one of the few websites that covers six nations for shopping facilities.Handyzon is based on showing biggest price cuts, newest sale items, and the big cost savers among popular items at the great big Amazon market.

  36. Ricky says:

    In reference to its popularity,handy amazon is one of the biggest earning affiliate.Using amazon widgets and its own search engines in the best possible way handyzon is a complete website in itself for shopping, giving amazon shoppers a new home page to shop on.With thousands of unique clicks daily handyzon is the talk of the online shopping world.It is the one of the few websites that covers six nations for shopping facilities.Handyzon is based on showing biggest price cuts, newest sale items, and the big cost savers among popular items at the great big Amazon market.

  37. Cool Thing says:

    a big plus is amazon doesn’t kick you off if you’re not selling, learning the ropes.

    a big negative is the conversions (partly due to the cookie length). i’m sure we buy much more from amazon just as advertisers looking for stock than we ever receive in comissions. IMO they really need to remedy this

  38. Cool Thing says:

    by the way – for books i’ve heard abe books is much better – both in the amount of books they stock, and how they treat their affiliates

  39. Rene says:

    Can someone direct me to where I can get an easy plug-in for Word Press and Amazon? I want one that uto builds the link with a picture and applies my associate ID to any purchases resulting from the link.
    Everything I find is not compatible with the current version of Word Press.
    Thanks

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This series continues at – Amazon Associates Program, Clickbank Affiliate Program and Commission Junction Affiliate Program. Filed under Affiliate Programs, 31 Days to Building a Better Blog | Get the Free ProBlogger Newsletter [...]

  2. [...] I’ve used Commission Junction for a year or so now and have never really had much success with it – partly because I’ve not found many products in it that quite fit with the topics that I write on and partly because I have found other programs (like Amazon) to be easier to add to my blogs. [...]

  3. [...] Affiliate programs are where you take a commission for referring a reader who purchases a product or service to a company. Probably the most common of these for bloggers is Amazon which has tens of thousands of products that you can link to (I reviewed it here). Other affiliate programs that represent many different companies and products include Linkshare, Commission Junction and Clickbank. [...]

  4. [...] Like publishing AdSense links or using affiliate programs, print syndication will not make you rich, but it’s another way you can add a bit of money to your coffers. And, even if you don’t need the money, you can use print syndication as a publicity tool by getting your blog name and URL in the newspaper so you can attract new readers to your blog. [...]