So you have been working with adsense and the pennies they are giving you are really annoying...you can't even get up to the $10 cash out mark and Blogher won't accept you yet because your traffic isn't high enough. You know that you have a loyal following that supports you, but you don't know how to make money.
Enter Amazon Associates.
Amazon Associates is a simple program that allows you to refer people to their site for a cut. There are hundreds of affiliate programs and opportunities, but they typically connect you with a single brand. For example, you become an affiliate for Shabby Apple, place their ad on your blog and receive a kickback every time someone buys a dress from them. It is a great system and allows you to hook up with advertisers that fit your blog. The only problem is that a company like Shabby Apple is only offering dresses. You have to cast a VERY wide net to get enough readers clicking through and buying dresses for you to make a decent income. Amazon, on the other hand, sells books and movies and food and games and TVs and kitchenware and probably even houses. They sell everything and everyone shops at amazon.
Here is the #1 best thing about amazon associates that I didn't know when I first signed up. If someone clicks over to amazon from your blog through an affiliate link, it doesn't matter WHAT they buy -- you get a kickback. So say someone reading my post on How to Make Vanilla Extract is curious about growing a vanilla plant, so they click this link just to look at it...
...buuuuut they get distracted because they see that book they have been meaning to get on the amazon sidebar. They click the book, purchase it quickly and then go back to checking their email. That person just gave me a kickback even though they didn't buy the vanilla plant. It rocks. (Thank you to all of you people out there buying books about trains and watches and books and movies and other random stuff - I APPRECIATE YOU!)
What does that mean for you?
Well...as a PUBLISHER, it means Amazon is a terrific option for advertising without forcing weird products down your readers mouths. They are already interested in what you are saying, so it is no stretch to simply provide a link where they can buy what you are talking about. Keep in mind that every ad you place takes away a few trust bucks, so tread lightly.
As a READER, it means you should click through blogs when you decide to shop on amazon. Say you buy diapers every month from Amazon -- if you click through your favorite blog's affiliate link to get there, you give them a little income every month. If you are buying something big (like a TV!) you can give a little kickback to your favorite blogger by clicking through their affiliate link before you put that TV in the cart.
So how to get started?
Sign up here and then you can start creating your product links. You can create individual links like this:
or you can create a number of different options, all showcasing products that you handpick. Simply choose the items, amazon will give you a little snippet of html that you plug into your blog post and then you can focus on creating good content while amazon pays you for your time.
This series is part of the Wanna Make $$$? Trust Buck Your Way to Becoming a Publishing Platform by Amy Renea.