One of the easiest affiliate programs to sign up for is Amazon Associates, Amazon’s affiliate program. You’ll need a website, app, or YouTube channel to join, but not much more than that — Amazon approves most affiliate applications and generally makes its program available to the public.
Affiliate marketers who use Amazon Associates love it for the wide range of products available. Regardless of which niche you operate in or how many new blogs you start in different niches, there will always be something you can promote.
In addition, there are dozens of ways to promote Amazon products. Even if your website does not get a lot of traffic or there is a lot of competition in your niche, you can still make sales and earn commissions.
Today, I will be showing you 10 ideas for making money with Amazon Associates. In addition to standard methods like starting a blog, I’ll be covering some other methods that you may not have thought of.
Let’s get into it.
You’ll need some sort of website, blog, or YouTube channel to be accepted in the Amazon Associates program anyway. Why not start a review blog where you review Amazon products?
Find products that don’t have a lot of reviews and keyword competition just yet, so it’s easier to rank.
Make sure to review products that are almost always in stock. Secondhand products, for example, aren’t always in stock, so your review may be irrelevant a few months from now.
Many affiliate marketers write articles reviewing Amazon products, but reviewing a product on YouTube is more challenging, as you must have the physical product in your hand.
At the same time, that makes your review much more authentic and trustworthy, allowing you to get more conversions.
Of course, you’ll need to buy the product first, so this method requires a bit of an investment. However, you can take advantage of deals and promotions, including Black Friday deals, to buy a bunch of products for cheap at a time for your reviews over the next few weeks or months.
Not every review has to be positive.
You won’t be able to honestly recommend some products, and that’s okay — you may still suggest a substitute. That’s the beauty of Amazon — there’s such a large selection of stuff.
YouTube is getting a bit saturated with product reviews, so do them on Vimeo and TikTok too. Vimeo is like YouTube, but less popular; TikTok draws a younger audience, so review products teenagers are purchasing or asking their parents to buy.
Have you thought about promoting Amazon products in an ebook?
For example, you can create a short cooking ebook and link to items like crockpots. Alternatively, write a meditation or yoga guide and link to merchandise like yoga mats.
Sell those ebooks on Amazon Kindle or other online bookshops for $0.99-$1.99 each. Remember, your main goal here isn’t to make money from selling the actual book, but from the affiliate sales that come after.
The price is mostly symbolic; you can even distribute the ebook for free.
You have to be subtle about your promotions, however. Your ebook must contain helpful and valuable information; everyone can see through a book that exists solely to push products.
What if you have a website but don’t want to write Amazon product reviews?
While some bloggers link directly to Amazon products in their posts, you may be busy advocating for your own products, or perhaps you don’t want to come off as too spammy.
In that case, you can insert an Amazon banner widget in your sidebar. There are many banner sizes and styles available — you can view them all here.
A plugin like Amazon Auto Links may be useful.
By inserting a single ad in your sidebar, you can still make affiliate commissions without inserting links in your content, which can distract readers.
If you’ve been frustrated with the measly earnings you’re getting from Google Ads, consider doing this as an alternative. While you won’t get paid per click, you’ll get at least a few dollars for every sale as opposed to pennies per click.
Did you know that in addition to writing posts on your blog, you can publish articles on third-party blogging platforms like Medium? Many platforms even allow you to insert affiliate links into those blog posts, and Medium is one of them.
Medium is a website where you can publish unique content, thoughts, ramblings, case studies, and anything else you have an opinion on. Medium articles often rank well on Google, and it can be an excellent way to drive more traffic to your affiliate links.
You can write reviews or promote affiliate products in guides and explainer articles. Alternatively, you can promote affiliate products on your own site (or YouTube channel) and use your Medium articles to increase brand awareness and drive referral traffic to your main site.
While there are plenty of social media sites you can use to increase brand awareness, Twitter is unique because it allows you to be found by anyone through the use of hashtags.
Facebook, in contrast, is more for following friends and pages as opposed to discovering random posts on strangers’ profiles. On Instagram, you can use hashtags to show up on the Discover page, but the nature of Instagram makes it hard to promote affiliate products.
On the Instagram Discover page, users will see mostly pictures, and you can’t even insert a clickable link in the captions. Twitter, contrarily, is a microblogging platform.
That means you can write short tweets and thoughts, and if you use the right hashtags, you’ll get noticed by others.
By using hashtags, you can start sending traffic to affiliate links even without an existing follower base.
I recommend using RiteTag to discover trending hashtags you can capitalize on to get seen. You can either quickly mention a product in a tweet and include an affiliate link directly in the tweet, or you can direct people to your blog post or YouTube video that reviews the product in more detail.
I recommend the latter method, as it’s better for building trust and growing your following. You can also link to your how-to videos and article guides.
If you use the first method, use a link shortening service like Bitly to condense your affiliate links. Otherwise, it will look spammy.
It’s of utmost importance that you provide value, connect with people, and establish relationships. If you spam your profile with affiliate links, nobody will follow you or trust you.
One of the shortcomings of relying on your blog for affiliate marketing is that most visitors will leave without clicking on an affiliate link. Most of those who do click on one won’t make a purchase.
Therefore, you end up losing the vast majority of your traffic without getting a chance to build a long-lasting relationship with visitors.
Enter email marketing. It allows you to reach the same people, day after day, week after week, for as long as they remain subscribed.
It normally takes several exposures before someone is acquainted with you enough to trust your recommendations. Email marketing gives you time to build trust and respect.
Needless to say, you’ll need an email list to promote affiliate products to subscribers. How can you go about creating one?
One of the quickest ways is to use solo ads. Solo ads are ads in emails sent to other people’s lists.
First, you’ll create a landing page where people can sign up for your email list. You may give away a free ebook or use some other sort of lead magnet to convince people to give away their email addresses.
Then, you’ll pay a marketer who already has an email list of 100,000 subscribers (or 10,000, or any other considerable amount) to send out an email promoting your landing page. Some marketers will only let you provide the link, while others will allow you to compose your own text for the email.
Either way, solo ads are highly effective at building an email list from scratch. Why?
You’re not dealing with random people on the internet. These people have shown enough interest in your niche to sign up to someone else’s email list already.
It is even possible to buy a solo ad for a buyer list. Those are lists of subscribers whose emails were collected after making purchases.
Those people have money to spend and have shown that they will spend their cash.
You’ll also get built-in social proof. People will trust you more.
They trusted the marketer you are hiring enough to subscribe to their list, and now that marketer is recommending your page.
Yes, creating an email list with solo ads requires an upfront investment. Nonetheless, those subscribers can turn into repeat buyers who keep purchasing through your affiliate links.
That’s another difference between blogging and email marketing. Even people who do purchase through an affiliate link on your blog probably won’t come back and do it again — but email subscribers may buy once and then again months or even years later.
So, where can you buy solo ads? The best place to buy them is on Facebook — search for solo ad testimonial groups.
Some private sellers have websites where you can browse solo ad packages. However, Facebook groups allow you to see reviews and testimonials from previous buyers — and you can check their profiles to verify they are real people.
Once you’ve built up a sizable list, you don’t even have to pay money for solo ads anymore. Many marketers will be glad to give you a solo ad in exchange for one; you’ll both promote each others’ signup pages.
This practice is known as clickbanking (no relation to the Clickbank marketplace). There are Facebook groups for that as well.
You can do this even with a small list of 500-1000 people. Just swap solo ads with other marketers with similarly sized email lists.
The advantage of this method is that it won’t cost you anything. There are plenty of Facebook groups targeted towards marketers who want to connect with others and swap solo ads.
The downside of this method is that you can end up clogging your subscribers’ inboxes with emails from too many lists. Remember, you’re sending them to sign up to other marketers’ lists, from whom they may receive promotional emails every day or even multiple times a day.
They might come to resent you for that. That’s why it is crucial to only swap with others who you know don’t spam their subscribers and offer valuable, helpful content in their newsletters.
This method isn’t my favorite, but it works. It involves posting your affiliate links in forum posts and discussion threads.
There are two main challenges you’ll face when using this method, so let’s address them here.
The first challenge is that many forums do not allow you to post links, let alone affiliate links. That’s why you’ll need to search for forums that do allow this.
The internet is a big place, so if you hunt for it, you’ll likely discover a forum in your niche that allows links. BlackHatWorld, depicted in the screenshot above, allows affiliate links in a separate section for affiliate programs.
The second challenge is not coming across as spammy. Nobody likes forum posters who show up to every thread just to drop their affiliate links and then fade away.
That’s why you’ll need to become a respected member of every online community you join. In many forums, your profile information, such as how long you’ve been a forum member and the number of upvotes or likes your posts got, will be displayed next to your comment.
Don’t start by posting affiliate links. The majority of your comments shouldn’t have a link, and those that do should not center around the link.
Rather, add to each discussion you comment on. Start your own threads and give advice, state your opinions, and interact with the community.
If you do all that, people will be more open to your suggestions when you slip in an affiliate link here or there. Try to make it personal when you do so; for example, say that you’ve used that product in the past and were satisfied.
Instagram and Linktree make a powerful pair. Together, you can drive a lot of traffic to your affiliate links.
Linktree is a website that allows you to set up a portfolio of links. Many Instagram influencers use it in their Instagram profiles.
Normally, you can only include one link in your Instagram profile. Linktree pretty much allows you to turn that one link into multiple links.
You can link to your website, YouTube channel, Facebook page, and anything else, including affiliate links. In fact, Linktree has partnered with Amazon’s Influencer Program.
Amazon’s Influencer Program is an extension of its affiliate marketing program designed for social media and YouTube influencers. It allows you to get your own customized page while promoting products on Amazon.
If you have a sizable follower count on Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook, you can apply to this program.
Not everyone will be eligible to join the Amazon Influencer Program, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use Linktree with Instagram to drive traffic and affiliate sales.
If you get enough followers, a good portion of them will visit your profile, simply out of curiosity. Some of them will then visit your Linktree profile.
Here are some tips for using Instagram correctly and building your profile:
- Choose a niche and theme. For example, you can post motivational quotes and promote self-help books from Amazon. Or, you can post quick three-step guides in your niche.
- Follow others. It’s a great way to get noticed, and many will follow you back. You can unfollow those who do not later.
- Use hashtags to show up on the Discover page. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post.
- Experiment with making your profile private. If your profile bio is interesting enough, some people will send you a follow request just to see what your page is about.
- You can post personal pictures of yourself if you wish. It helps add a personal feel to your page and can build trust.
- Publish stories in addition to posts. You can be more liberal with what you post in your stories, and you can post long videos (they’ll be broken up into 15-second segments). In those videos, you can review Amazon products.
- Publish reels. Instagram now allows you to publish video reels, which are longer videos that get published under a separate tab of your profile. These reels are perfect for product reviews.
There are many other ways to earn with Amazon Associates. For example, instead of using solo ads to build your email list, you can use Facebook ads.
However, these 10 methods are among some of the easiest and most effective. Use a few of them together to drive even more traffic and sales.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.