Amazon’s affiliate marketing program needs little introduction. Launched under the name Amazon Associates back in 1996, the service has given website owners, bloggers, video makers and other digital entrepreneurs a convenient way to monetize their content through affiliate links.
Under the present terms, the commission you are eligible to receive per sale generated through an Amazon affiliate link is between 0% and 10%. Since this is not much, the majority of Amazon Associate users are using the service as a supplementary monetization tactic. This is a valid approach for most users, but it is also possible to turn Amazon affiliate marketing into a major source of income.
There is no single definitive strategy for boosting your Amazon Associates earnings. Rather, there is a collection of optimization schemes that you can mix and match to incrementally increase the effectiveness of your affiliate links.
We have endeavored to explore as many of these tactics as possible, and in the rest of this post we will present our findings. So without further ado, here is our list of 5 Amazon Associate tips and tricks for boosting your online income.
1. Target Buying Intent Keywords
The effectiveness of your Amazon affiliate links is directly related to the amount of organic traffic your website receives. For this reason, search engine optimization (SEO) should be high on your priority list. Since the point of an affiliate link is to get prospects to buy Amazon products, your SEO strategy should be focused on keywords that signal buying intent. For instance, when someone makes a search for ‘tablets under $200’, we can take this as a clear sign of buying behavior. If your website hosts content relevant for this keyword, i.e. a post comparing different tablets in a specified price range, you will be eligible to receive a stream of traffic consisting of people looking to buy. All you have to do is place your affiliate links in the post, and start collecting commissions.
2. Target ‘Gift’ Keywords
This strategy is a further elaboration of the previous one. The underlying principle is the same – drive organic traffic to your content by using keywords that imply consumer behavior, and then capitalize on it by incorporating affiliate links in the content. The difference is that here you are pursuing a specific kind of buying intent, namely one exhibited during holiday seasons. In these periods, consumers enter a sort of a buying frenzy, as demonstrated by an increase in search volume for keywords containing the words ‘gift’. You can capitalize on these seasonal trends by creating gift-related content. For example, you can write about gift ideas for a particular niche, such as ‘gifts for animal lovers’, ‘budget gift ideas’, ‘how to choose a gift for a loved one’, etc.
3. Create Product Roundups and Comparisons
In terms of the content you publish, there are a couple of options that are particularly useful for embedding affiliate links. One of them is the product roundup post. Product roundups have been a staple of consumer-oriented content, both in traditional media and on the web. Their role is to provide a convenient overview of a particular product niche. They make it extremely easy to add Amazon affiliate links, and they can facilitate buying behavior by making it easier for consumers to reach a decision on what to buy. Another form of roundup content is the comparison post. These largely work on the same principle, the main difference being that product comparisons are more like in-depth reviews put side by side.
4. Create Guides and Tutorials
Another content marketing staple, guides and tutorials are a great way to provide value to your readers, and entice them to click on your affiliate links. To get started with creating this kind of content, you first need to do some audience research. The goal is to find out what some of the typical problems your readers face are, and then offer a solution in the form of content. The main advantage of using guides and tutorials for affiliate marketing is the fact that you can be explicit about your intent. By providing value up front, you will garner goodwill and credibility from your audience, so you can ask them to support you by clicking on the affiliate link.
5. Use Chatbots to Serve Affiliate Links
Chatbots are a promising new opportunity for affiliate marketers. Their unique advantage lies in their ability to dynamically adjust their output to each individual customer. This ability extends to serving different affiliate links depending on the context. The process works as follows. A customer enters a conversation with a chatbot. They answer a couple of questions in an attempt to find a solution to a problem they have. Based on their answers (specifically the keywords they use), the chatbot determines if there is a product related to their query. If there is, they provide an affiliate link to said product, out of a database of such links you have prepared in advance. By using this approach, you can circumvent one of the major weakness of affiliate marketing, namely the fact that affiliate links embedded in content are static, which makes your content less flexible. Chatbots on the other hand can provide a more personalized experience for users, which means serving more context-dependent, and thus more relevant links.
The Amazon Associates system is simple at its core, but through the use of clever tactics, you can get a lot of additional mileage out of it. In essence, an affiliate link is a call-to-action like any other, so a lot of the same principles apply. It is a matter of attracting qualified traffic, creating valuable content for said traffic, and embedding the link in a way that feels natural. The tactics we have outlined are just some of the examples of this approach at work, and by mastering them you will be adequately equipped to devise new ones for your specific business needs.
Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.