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The Secret to Increasing Amazon Associate Earnings – Time

Amazon-Logo-1-1One of the income streams that I’ve been using lately that’s really starting to prove to be a worthwhile one is the Amazon Associates Program.

I’ve noticed an upswing in the earnings from the program over the last few months and have been a little confused as to why there’s been a continued increase in earnings.

At first I thought maybe it was as a result of some unknown page on one of my blogs getting and then sending extra traffic to Amazon – but after analyzing the types of products that people are buying and by doing a little tracking of outbound traffic I was still unable to identify any single reason that explains the increase in performance.

But then it struck me – the reason is actually quite simple.

The reason for the increase in Amazon earnings is simply that I’ve been using the program for four or so years now and that over time I continue to add new doorways into the Amazon site.

Everyday I continue to add new pages to my blogs and while I don’t link to Amazon in every single post I do link to products there each week and every time that I do it I create another pathway for readers into the Amazon store.

Over the last four or five years I guess I’ve added 1000 or more Amazon links to my blogs (in fact it could be 2000 or even more) and while in the early days I was lucky to earn see a sale on any given day it’s now not unusual to see 50 sales in a day.

Overall income isn’t quite as spectacular as some of the other income streams that I’ve got running but it’s coming close to make me have to update the rankings on my How I Make Money from Blogs post.

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. Ryan Holiday says:

    Big or small, I would say that for many sites, Amazon Affiliate is more profitable than Adsense. I know at Rudius Media, the company is selling close to 2000 books a month from casual links.

    But anyways, great post. The awesomeness of the program cannot be stressed enough. My only advice, you only get one shot with your recommendations, so only link to products you trust. Trust is the best way to make money with Affiliate links.

  2. limeade says:

    I’ve heard quite a bit about the Amazon Associate program, but I’ve never really looked into it. Maybe it’s about time.

    -limeade

  3. Mahala says:

    I haven’t had much luck with Amazon, but I’m still getting my feet wet when it comes to earming money.

  4. Trent says:

    For me, other sources are substantially better than Amazon. However, I write roughly two book reviews a week and regularly link to other stuff at Amazon, and I would estimate that every single month I have about 8-10% more items purchased than the month before. This trend is pretty solid for all of 2007, as May is about 60% higher than January was. I attribute it to the solid base of links that I’ve built up – I agree wholeheartedly with the conclusion here.

  5. pearl says:

    although I newbie at blogging, I signed up with them but was totally confused as to what needs to be done in order to get some benefit out of this program… thanks for the hint.. :)

  6. pearl says:

    although a newbie at blogging, I signed up with them but was totally confused as to what needs to be done in order to get some benefit out of this program… thanks for the hint.. :)

  7. Agreed, it’s one of those programs that seems to benefit from steady growth over time. I almost dumped it at one point, but then the odd sale started rolling in from an old post that found new legs. I kept it, occasionally add the odd product link when the mood strikes, and there’s been slow but significant growth. Again, patience pays off in blogging…

  8. Don’t feel bad Darren, I’ve not made a lot with Amazon either. I’ve used them for years and they have never been a good performer for any of my sites (even the book review site…go figure!)

    If memory serves me well, I think they have something like a 1 day cookie. Your surfer has to pretty much buy the same day they visit your site in order for you to get paid. Since I’m relying on memory here, I could be wrong, if so, someone set me straight.

    I think people make more with Adsense than with Amazon. I recently read a post somewhere from a lady who owns a homeschooling site. He knocked down about 6 grand a month with Adsense and less than a grand with Amazon in the same time period. Guess who she gave the top ad spots on her site to?

    Don

  9. Grace says:

    But then without Amazon, you wouldn’t be making the amount that you’re making today, would you? ;) (even though it isn’t as spectacular…)

  10. Peter Cooper says:

    Did you think of trying it out on your Digital Photography School site? I’d have thought with the whole camera angle, you might be able to encourage purchases of products like lenses, cameras, etc.. all high ticket items and ones you could make a killing on.

  11. Hari says:

    50 sales per day ? Thats awesome. Wish i can make that much too :(

  12. I’ve tried Amazon Associates a little for the past eight months or so, mostly just with simple text links embedded in blog posts. I’ve seen a few sales but not a lot.

    Can anyone point to a good explanation of exactly how their system works? I understand the payment side, but what exactly do you get credit for – just that specific item purchased that time? What if they buy the hardback instead of the paperback, etc., or if they come back later and buy it or put it on their wish list?

  13. Sharon says:

    I know isn’t that just fantastic! When I started blogging I used Amazon on my diet site up until late last year, and eventhough I don’t carry Amazon ads anymore, my $$ are still increasing. I just checked my stats.

    The power of affiliate advertising! Yoohoo!

  14. Ali says:

    I’ve yet to make a sale with them. I guess time is one of the most essential factors in getting anything to convert on the internet.

  15. Deb says:

    I use an Amazon search box as I found I earn more money this way than when I linked to a specific product or types of products. While I get some money each month, it really picks up around the holidays and that’s when I really earn from Amazon.

  16. Mike Goad says:

    Interesting.

    I’ve had Amazon ads on some old sites for several years and don’t remember the last time I placed one of their ads on a page. I used to spend a lot of time trying to build pages centered around books from Amazon, but was never successful at that. I guess I’ll have to try an occasional ad, but nothing that takes a lot of time away from working on my content pages.

  17. Rich Minx says:

    Hi Darren,

    It’s good to hear from someone making money from their Amazon links. I’ve been using them for years but never made more than a few dollars, but the idea of creating more and more links which are sprinkled through your archives makes sense and encourages me to keep using them. At the very least, the graphics provide a nice illustration for a book review post.

    Deb – I didn’t even know there was an Amazon search box. That’s a great idea!

  18. Michael says:

    Amazon links were the very first ads I embedded on my site way back in 2002; with my subject matter and the accompanying book reviews, it seemed a natural fit.

    They’ve never been a top revenue generator for me, but as you say, the more Amazon-affiliated pages you put out there, the more “doorways” you open for affiliate dollars to come in. As you and others mention, my Amazon revs have grown over time, little by little, just by virtue of this “more is more” factor.

    I’ll say this, though: I’ve sold so many Dave Ramsey books those guys ought to at least send me a Christmas card. Or something.

  19. Trent says:

    For me, it’s linking to products that slowly builds earnings over time. When I write about a personal finance book, I use an Amazon link to link to the book. Over time, Google visitors visit that review. Perhaps a small fraction of them follow the link to Amazon. But the more pages I have in Google, the more people are able to follow the links to Amazon, the more people order stuff, and so on. It builds on itself.

  20. Rico says:

    I’ve always wondered what is the ethical way of affiliate linking. Should you make the link’s nature clear, or present it as a normal one?

  21. I really want to use ad programs like Amazon and Adsense, but I don’t want to give out my social security number. Do you enter your SSN into these things, or have you managed to create a tax ID? Got any advice?

  22. Matt Jones says:

    Amazon are pretty good,… but the comission rates are so low! Even the top rate (which I think is 8.5%?) is low! Why don’t you use a more lucrative affiliate program? (something like Bluehost? – which is my favourite:D).

  23. Trent says:

    Amazon has a lot of stuff people actually want, so it’s easy to have a very strong volume of referrals to Amazon.

  24. James says:

    Plus everyone trusts Amazon, so although the percentage commission might be lower than elsewhere, Amazon will convert more of your referalls…

  25. Tantowi says:

    I think the best product for amazon affiliate program is a book.

  26. Cutie says:

    I also join that program, but I haven’t get any order from amazon. So Amazon Asociates keeps email me why my account active but haven’t get any order…

  27. Chuck says:

    I used to make a boatload of money from Amazon…but found that the income really dried up at one point, so I got rid of all my links. Last time I checked, I found their process for creating simple links to single items very frustrating, or I would use them more often. Their inventory is their biggest asset, but their UI is their worst drawback…and they’re very slow to make positive changes. Like most companies, I believe they’d be well-served to sit someone down who doesn’t know how to use their system, and then ask them to perform various routine tasks (without helping them do so) and making a study of how that process can be made easier and more intuitive.

  28. Mike Panic says:

    The nice thing about Amazon is that it is one of the most recognizable internet retailers out there and people feel very safe buying from them. Additionally, it is not hard to get 6% commisions or more on every sale based on volume.

  29. Paul says:

    Can Amazon be used as a kind of tip jar?

    I have many readers who have left a tip using PayPal. As an alternative to this, how about asking readers to go through your Amazon search box anytime they’re going to buy something from Amazon?

    Would this comply with Amazon’s TOS?

  30. Marcel says:

    Darren, your on another level…
    50 sales a day from amazon is really good

  31. Thanks for great advice .. I have had amazon for about 4 months have not seen much with them as of yet – maybe as my site grows it is almost at a year old now.

  32. Paul says:

    FYI, I received info from Amazon regarding using an Amazon search box as a kind of tip jar. Here’s their reply to my question:

    You can tell your visitors that they can help support your web site by using your link to Amazon.com. You can tell them you will earn a percentage of any order they place after using your link.

  33. Harleyrdr says:

    I am fairly new at blogging. I am still learning about it. I am in the associate program for amazon also. As my blog is new I haven’t got any sales yet. Another place to look for affiliate companies is Linkshare. Walmart, Macy’s and even Petco are involved with them. You can earn a small percentage of a sale when someone purchases a product through you link.

  34. seshadri says:

    Amazon is truly amazing indeed.

    Affiliate programs of amazon works well simply because, amazon is a FMCG ( Fast moving Consumer Goods) website and has heavy traffic besides value.

    The result? Win – Win deal for amazon and its affiliates.

  35. analogstuff says:

    Great Input Darren,

    I never know about Amazon Affilates program. Only things i use is google adsense. I will try to monetize my blog with amazon and will post the results soon.

    Thanks.

  36. analogstuff says:

    Thanks for the information about amazon.

    I never know about Amazon Affilates program. Only things i use is google adsense. I will try to monetize my blog with amazon and will post the results soon.

    Thanks.

  37. Ricardo Dias says:

    I start using amazon aff about a month ago. I have a blog about surf music, but it used to be monetized only by adsense. When I check amazon.com for an affiliate program i registered immediately, and i’m very happy with this choise. It’s a great income booster e diversifies your income source.

  38. Muratos says:

    I run Amazon product links with StumbleUpon traffic and was successful to get nice commissions up to now.

    Now, I continue to add every 1 of 5 posts on my blogs with links to Amazon products with reviews. I aim a success in a year with these doors 3% of what Darren does currently. :)

    People buy at Amazon easier and more regular than other sites, so it logical to develop on Amazon

  39. Webmaster says:

    I only got a little $$ from Amazon :(

  40. Einna says:

    wow!!! create link into amazon store. look good
    I will try

  41. Peter says:

    Do you find that amazon is as good for individual websites as it is for blogs?

  42. hersu says:

    a few month had been passed but still no $$$ come in…:-P:-(:-(:-(

  43. Brad says:

    I just joined the Amazon affiliate program and am now going through each post and putting the appropriate links into place. I haven’t been at it more than a few days and am excited to see the results.

    One thing I love so far is the bar at the top of the page for affiliates, makes it really easy to add links from inside the store.

    Thanks for the post.

  44. Maalika says:

    I would like to know what are some of the other sites such as stubhub, fandango etc that might make some money for me? I sell general stuff…

  45. melissa says:

    I too have seen the ranks go up and up, the more content you have, and the more links that relate to your content the better! Congrats!

  46. Tim says:

    Darren – I think this is a great illustration of persistence works, time and time again. Many (including myself for a while!) gave up on the Amazon programme. But, as you say, repeat use of links which leverage over time is really powerful. As always, great stuff.

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