Affiliate marketing is a time-tested approach to monetizing your blog. If you’re patient enough to break into a profitable niche and build up an audience, it can earn you a decent bit of money. However, to succeed in the first place, you need to find an affiliate program that’s a good fit.
For most people new to affiliate marketing, Amazon Associates is an excellent bet. It’s one of the most popular programs around, and buyers know and trust Amazon, which can help drive more sales. However, joining their affiliate program requires you to do some prep work.
In this article, we’ll talk about how Amazon Associates compares to other similar affiliate programs. Then we’ll go over three steps to becoming a part of it. Let’s get you set up!
How Amazon Associates Compares to Other Affiliate Programs
There are a ton of affiliate programs you can join online. In fact, I’d be willing to bet there’s basically no niche you can think of that doesn’t have at least one program you can join to promote it. However, if you’re looking for the best bang-for-your-buck affiliate program you can use, I’d say to go for Amazon Associates:
That’s the name of Amazon’s official affiliate program. The way it works, you can link to Amazon products from your site and if users click on them and make a purchase, you get a commission. However, the best part is you get that payment even if they don’t buy the exact same product you linked them to.
Ultimately, that means you can earn money by referring people to Amazon, as long as they purchase anything. Keep in mind, though – the commissions you get will vary depending on what type of products your users buy.
There are a lot of reasons why I’d recommend signing up for Amazon Associates including:
- The sheer range of Amazon’s product catalog
- Payments are always on time and you have several options to collect them
- The Amazon brand inspires trust
However, no single affiliate program is perfect for every niche. In most cases, you will be able to find programs that pay out a lot more than Amazon does. However, they might not convert as well.
It’s also worth noting that Amazon has some pretty strict guidelines for members of its affiliate program, which change from time to time. That means you have to make sure your blog is always ‘Amazon-friendly’ if you don’t want to get booted from it.
Getting Started With the Amazon Associates Program In 3 Steps
Now that you know what you’re in for, it’s up to you whether to apply to Amazon Associates or not. If you decide it’s a good fit, then follow the next steps.
Step #1: Set Up Your WordPress Blog
You can’t join most affiliate programs without a website to promote their products. Amazon, in particular, likes to check if your blog is up to snuff before accepting applications, so you need to make sure everything’s good to go.
Setting up a WordPress blog isn’t complicated, but it does involve a few steps, including:
- Figuring out what niche you want to target
- Registering a domain name
- Signing up with a hosting provider
- Installing WordPress
- Setting up any themes and plugins you may want to use
If you haven’t used WordPress before, then check out our Start a Blog guide, where we walk you through the entire process, step by step. Take your time to get everything set up just right.
Step #2: Publish Your First Blog Posts
Amazon Associates is famous for rejecting applications from websites that don’t have enough content. That means if you just set up your blog and haven’t posted anything, then your chances of getting into the program are non-existent.
In fact, I’d recommend you put off applying to Amazon Associates for one to two months after creating your blog. Here’s what you should be focusing on during that time:
- Brainstorming a bunch of article ideas
- Coming up with a posting schedule that you can commit to
- Getting comfortable writing blog posts and formatting them
After a month or two, you’ll know if blogging is a good fit for you. That’s important because growing a blog to the point where you can earn a decent income from affiliate marketing takes time. If you burn out before you get to that stage, then it’s all for nothing.
Also, keep in mind that Amazon likes to see a healthy mix of content within blogs. That means you shouldn’t focus 100% on product reviews, roundups, and the likes. In other words, your blog needs to provide real value and other types of informative posts, instead of just promoting products.
Step #3: Apply to the Program (And Wait for Approval)
Applying to Amazon Associates is simple once your blog is ready. First off, go to the program’s homepage and click on the Join Now for Free button:
You’ll need to fill out a few forms including personal information. You don’t need our help for that part, but do make sure you enter your blog’s URL correctly:
The next part of the application requires you to write a bit about what your blog is about, how you drive traffic to it, and how much traffic you’re getting:
It’s important you be honest at this stage. Amazon doesn’t really care if you’re not getting that much traffic, but it does care if you’re doing some shady stuff. Next up, you’ll need to enter a phone number to get a verification code:
Finally, you can add your payment and tax info right away. However, you can also choose to wait until after you have heard back from Amazon about your application before you get to that part.
In my experience, it takes a few days for Amazon to respond. However, if you have enough content and your blog is above board, you should be a lock in for admission.
Just remember, once you get accepted, Amazon gives you 180 days to make a sale using your affiliate ID. If you can’t swing that, then your account will be deactivated. However, that’s about half a year and if you’re doing things right, you’ll get a lot more than one sale within that period!
Whichever affiliate program you choose, the steps to growing a successful blog remain pretty much the same. You need to pick a robust platform, choose a niche with potential, set up your blog, and publish content on a consistent basis. If you work hard, your blog will gain traction, and you will be able to monetize it.
With Amazon Associates, you get access to the biggest online retail catalog of the world. That means it’s a good fit for almost any niche you can think of. Plus, people know and trust Amazon, which helps you seal the deal on sales.
Do you have any questions about how to get started as an Amazon Associate? Ask away in the comments section below!
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