There are a couple ways that you can make money with Amazon, including selling items through an Amazon store and writing Kindle ebooks. However, one of the most powerful ways for newbies to get started is to make money as an Amazon affiliate.
There are a few very clear reasons why being an affiliate is the most newbie friendly way to make money with Amazon:
- 1) It's free to join
- 2) The startup costs are low
- 3) It's a simple business model to follow
- 4) Making mistakes is free (great for newbies!)
1) Free To Join
It’s completely free to be an affiliate of Amazon. You just need to apply to their Amazon Associates program, and as long as you have a website, you’re in! If you don’t have a website, you can start one here, or you can keep reading below to find out what kind of websites are most successful (and generate the most money).
Unlike some styles of home based business that charge your to be a member, being an affiliate of Amazon is free. Selling their products simply doesn't require any kind of monthly membership cost! The only cost you have to worry about is your website costs (details below).
This means you can “test the waters” and see if building an online business is for you.
Actually, there are thousands of other affiliate programs that operate very similarly to Amazon's, so this is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you have your website running, you can work with multiple companies at once, and promote any products you think are worth promoting.
2) Startup Costs Are Low
The cost of doing business is also extremely low. Freakishly low. Did you know that it would cost over 1 million dollars just to start a tiny nano brewery in your local town? Starting a restaurant could require that you take outa $200,000 loan or more! Rent for a small space in your downtown area could cost hundreds, or even thousands per month.
If you can't secure the loan, you might have to get a second mortgage on your house or use up your entire savings.
By contrast, it costs only $14/year for a website domain name! Hosting (where your website files are stored) costs about $10-$50 per month depending on your hosting company.
Your entire online business can operate for about $20 per month. Yes, you can start an affiliate business for the cost of a single restaurant meal.
3) It's A Simple Business Model to Follow
Even just comparing affiliate website operating costs to other methods of making money with Amazon, consider that you don’t need to stock inventory, don’t need to source goods, and don’t have to deal with any shipping, returns, or customer service.
The Affiliate Niche Blog Business Model
There are five steps you’ll need to take to be a successful Amazon affiliate.
- 1) Choose a topic for your website
- 2) Build a website (blog)
- 3) Do research on your website topic
- 4) Write articles based on your research
- 5) Link to products in your articles
Step 1: Choose A Topic
Think about something you are good at, passionate about, or interested in.
- Do you like eating healthy?
- Are you living a gluten-free lifestyle?
- Do you like playing games with your kids?
- Would you like to learn more about astronomy?
- Did you have an injury and recover from it?
- Are you into holistic healing?
- Do you love pugs, boxers, or huskies?
- Can you fix up old Harleys?
These are all possible website topics. For me, I love to brew beer at home, so I made a website about that.
Whatever topic you choose, there’s going to be a million other people in the world that are interested in the same thing as you. When they browse the internet, your website will pop up and they will look to you for advice.
When someone wants to know how to brew a stout, or needs to know how to find a keg leak, they can find my website online. The articles I write are designed to help them figure out problems, or to tell them interesting information.
This is why we choose a topic that’s interesting to us. Any topic can make money, so the focus of starting your first affiliate website should be picking something that will hold your interest for a long period of time (so you don’t get bored or burned out!)
We can discuss more about which topic will be good for you in a bit, I know this is something that a lot of folks struggle with.
Step 2: Build A Website
Probably the scariest part of the process for newbies is building a website. If you already have a website and are just wondering why your site isn’t making any money yet, keep reading to the next section.
Actually, these days, building a website is pretty simple. Software like WordPress builds the framework of the site automatically, with no code necessary.
You’ll be responsible for moving a few pieces around here or there, like menu items or links, but all of that is drag/drop.
Again, no code necessary!
Don’t get me wrong – this will be a new skill you need to learn, and it may take a couple weeks to familiarize yourself with how the guts of your website work. But you certainly don’t need a degree in hacking to build an affiliate site. lol
In fact, you can start building your first website right now. The site can be built and online in about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Do Your Research
Once your site is built, you need to start thinking of topics to write about. One of our main jobs as an affiliate website owner is to write articles. But how do we know what to write about?
There’s a few different methods, but the main two I use are these.
Keyword Research Tool: I use something called Jaaxy. If you are interested in knowing more about that, click the link to see some demos and how that will help you build your business.
But it may be a bit complicated for you right now, so I suggest just using the simpler method:
Google Instant: Know how Google finishes your sentences for you? That data comes from real web searches, so it can give you insight into what people are searching for.
For example, regarding my homebrew website I can type “how to beer” into Google to see what people are looking for related to beer.
Nothing interesting turned up, so I then type “a” and see what changes.
Now I know I can write an articles about how to make alcoholic ginger beer at home, and it will get some traffic to my site. Then I can promote some products like grain, boil kettles, or other brewing equipment.
I can try this with other letters to see what else turns up. People also want to know how to make beer can chicken. So I can write an article about that too. Then maybe I can promote some grilling tools or even a cool barbecue!
Step 4: Write Articles
Writing articles is pretty easy. Some people worry that they are not a good writer, so won’t make a good salesman. However, sometimes casual writing performs better than formal writing.
People want to read real information written by real people, not a stuffy library book. What’s more interesting: Learning how to barbecue some ribs from a Harvard graduate or a 50 year old, white bearded dude with decades of grilling experience?
Of course the second choice!
This is another reason to pic a topic you are familiar with or interested in. You can write in any style you want. Write like you are talking to a friend instead of a high school essay, and you’ll be fine.
You do not need to be a professional writer or use good grammar in order to make money as an Amazon affiliate. You just have to help people find the right products for their needs.
Step 5: Link To Products
There are many ways to link products, but the very basic technique is just making a text link. Find the product you want to promote from Amazon. They’ll give you a picture, a link, and then you create the link on your website.
Creating the link is a skill you need to learn, but once you do it 2-3 times it will become second nature. This really is a small step in the process.
After someone reads your article, if they like your recommendation and click your link, they are taken to the Amazon product page.
You get credit for anything they purchase within 24 hours of clicking your link. If the person actually puts some items in their cart, you get credit for those items as long as they purchase them within 90 days.
The code in the link makes sure you get credit for the sale.
Amazon pays 4% to start, but if you make more sales, they can pay up to 10%. That may seem like a tiny bit, but keep in mind that some people are making hundreds of sales per day through Amazon. A five dollar sale times one hundred sales is five hundred dollars per day.
Of course, it takes time to work up to those numbers, but many Amazon affiliates are making a full time income with the business model I just walked you through. It’s quite possible to have a five or six figure business just by writing articles and promoting Amazon products as an affiliate.
4) Mistakes Are FREE
This is a funny idea, but it's my favorite part of affiliate marketing. I was a newbie once, and my first websites were terrible! I would surely have failed and quit if I was running a traditional business. Running an online business is a whole different ballgame. For example…
What happens if you purchase $500 worth of inventory and it doesn’t sell? You are $500 in the hole!
What happens if you run a promotion for your clothing store, but no one comes? Your advertising budget was spent for nothing!
How about if no one walks into your restaurant this week? You still have to pay rent at the end of the month.
Contrast that with an affiliate website…
I write many articles per month that don't rank and don't make money. Total cost: $0
I do lots of online research and make notes about the topic of my website that never get published. Total cost $0
With an affiliate marketing business, the worst that can happen is that you waste some time moving in the wrong direction. You make a mistake, then you fix it. That's how we learn. With affiliate marketing, learning is just an interesting experience, and you don't have the stress of inventory sitting in your garage or rent due soon.
Remember, your business is only costing a couple hundred dollars per year. Wow. The internet is a crazy place.
How To Get Started
We’ve talked a lot today about the outline of how making money as an Amazon affiliate works. I hope you have some ideas of what topic you want to use for your website!
But I’m sure that the process of how to get from an idea to a money generating business is still a little blurry. That’s OK! This is just the beginning.
You can get a much more detailed set of training modules, plus personal assistance on your business at the online business training center Wealthy Affiliate. They specialize in training people on how to start an online affiliate business. Amazon’s Affiliate program is certainly part of the discussion, but they will also cover other affiliate programs, which can make your job of earning money faster and easier.
This training center is actually how I got started online, and I highly recommend them because I was able to personally produce some amazing results by following their lessons.
Got any questions about how Amazon’s Affiliate program or online marketing with them? Let me know in the comments below!