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ALWAYS REFER TO THE AMAZON AFFILIATE TERMS AND CONDITIONS IF YOU ARE IN ANY DOUBT ABOUT THE RULES.
Amazon Affiliate – 11 Common Mistakes To Avoid
I started my YouTube channel and my blog, and through my impatience to find a way of monetising both, I stumbled across Amazon Affiliates. I thought, great, I’ll sign up, throw my affiliate links in my descriptions on YouTube, and my blog, sit back and watch the money pile up!
I did make some money, but it did not pile up! Amazon affiliate is a fantastic program, and if you read on, I’ll share ten easy mistakes you need to avoid and how to become an Amazon affiliate.
Mistake #1. Having the wrong expectations for Amazon affiliates.
Amazon Associates is a brilliant program, and there are bloggers who make several thousand dollars/ pounds a month with Amazon affiliates. Check out Sophie Lee’s income report, where she made $3,718 from amazon associates in one month!
The truth of the matter though is that to make that kind of money, you will need a considerable amount of traffic i.e. in excess of 100,000 – 150,000 website views per month on your blog/ website, and that probably won’t happen on day 1.
Mistake #2. Not disclosing prominently that you are an Amazon affiliate
Particularly for those who are new or worried about coming across as scammy or creepy, there may be a temptation to hide the affiliate links. DONT. For people to click on your links and ultimately make a purchase of your produce (e.g. your self-published book/ online course/ affiliate link etc), they need to know you and trust you. And part of the trust starts by being open and honest about what you are doing.
Not only may you get yourself banned as an Amazon Affiliate, but you will annoy your visitors by trying to ‘trick’ them into clicking your affiliate links.
You must disclose that as an Amazon Associate, you may earn from qualifying purchases.
Mistake #3. Read the terms and conditions carefully, or you can be excluded if you fall foul of any rules
I am hugely impatient and probably the last person to read terms and conditions. We are all excited to get going but genuinely, take the time to read the terms.
I think this applies to any affiliate program online. Ultimately the company or the person allowing you to participate in their affiliate program will have a specific set of rules that they want you to follow. To get the maximum benefit from the affiliate program and to protect both you and the other party, you need to know what the rules are to participate.
Mistake #4. You have got to use the advertising materials provided by Amazon Affiliates
This is a big one. Other thank links in blog text, you need to be careful about only using the materials provided on the Amazon associates page. They have an excellent range of text, image, banners, widgets along with many other items you can use to share and advertise the Amazon product on your site.
Don’t for example create your own image and then link that with an affiliate link. You have to use the Amazon Associates image coded directly with the HTML/ widget provided.
Mistake #5. Sharing affiliate links in email marketing, private Facebook groups etc.
Amazon are very particular about how affiliate links can be shared. You are not allowed to put them for example anywhere that is no publicly accessible e.g. closed Facebook groups. Check the Amazon Affiliate terms and conditions for specifics, though.
Mistake #6. No sales in 180 days
If you don’t generate 3 sales within 180 days in a given market place then the account is closed down. You can reapply though. This is worth bearing in mind if you are new. The mistake I made was to open a market place affiliate account in every country that I could.
Inevitably, as a new blogger and YouTuber, I only got the UK and USA sales where the bulk of my traffic comes from, so all my other market accounts were closed down.
The benefit of Amazon Affiliates is a user be sent directly to their local market place in their local currency. If things really take off, I may reapply. Just bear this in mind if you are new and are not generating that much traffic yet. It may be worth waiting for a little until you have consistent traffic and then applying for Amazon Associates.
Mistakes #7. Purchasing through your own affiliate links
This is a big NO-NO, so don’t do it! Same with asking your friends and family to purchase through your affiliate links for yourself. It can be tracked, so don’t do it. Just be careful if you are for example writing/ editing a blog post with your own links and have the affiliate cookie in your browser and then making a purchase later on the same day for something for yourself.
Mistake #8. Using customer reviews from Amazon
Amazon has excellent reviews on its website and one of the most powerful sales tools out there is to share customer testimonials of the product or item you are promoting. Unfortunately, you cannot copy reviews or testimonials from Amazon onto your site or blog in any form.
Mistake #9. Weak content
One of the mistakes I made myself when I was in a ‘rush’ to try and monetise my blog was to have an overly excessive focus on affiliate sales. I look back at some of my earlier posts and cringe at how the blog post was basically a big Amazon Affiliate link billboard.
The main issue I failed to realise is that ultimately it was not about me making a sale, but rather helping someone solve a problem.
I found I get much better results and build trust by genuinely trying to help the user solve a problem and through that if there is an opportunity to recommend a product that is a genuine solution, things come much more naturally.
Mistake #10. Not having reviewed the product or used the product yourself
If you have used a product and honestly found it useful, it is so much easier to make a recommendation and write/ blog/ vlog passionately about it. This will come through much more genuinely to hopefully convince the user to trust you and click through your affiliate link.
I have made a mistake in the past of recommending a product that I had never used myself (and it turned out to be TOTAL rubbish!). People then messaged me saying that the product was terrible and the damage that does to your visitors’ trust to your blog – I learnt my lesson to make sure that I only recommended items that I had used myself.
Mistake #11. No SEO focus
I mentioned at the start of the blog that to be really successful with Amazon Affiliates, you have to be driving a lot of traffic to your site. When you have a new blog/ site, driving traffic is genuinely one of the toughest things to achieve. I remember how difficult it was – you write an amazing blog post, you post it then… NOTHING. Not a single person turns up to your site.
One of the best ways to drive traffic is through organic search i.e. through search engines. People who arrive on your site will be looking for what you are discussing anyway, so it makes it much easier to recommend a product or service through an affiliate link.
To grow my blog via SEO, I use Semrush.
This is how my blog has grown as a result of using Semrush.
One of the best books that I read was How to get to the top of Google by Tim Kitchen.
How do I become an Amazon Affiliate UK?
Step 1: Decide on where you will use Amazon Affiliate and your niche
I joined Amazon Affiliates by ‘mistake’ after watching YouTube videos of how to monetise a YouTube channel and seeing other people put affiliate links in descriptions of their videos. To be honest I had very little success with YouTube and Amazon Affiliates (I was just not generating the traffic).
Much more successful was on my blog recommending products that I had used myself that I found to be helpful. Decide for yourself where best you will use your amazon affiliates and pick a niche.
Ideally, you want to pick a niche that you are passionate about/ have a lot of knowledge in and amongst your peers be considered knowing the topic well. Think of the acronym EAT:
To rank in Google, Google will want to present at the top of search, the expert in a given subject. It is important to have the authority to speak on the subject, and finally to be trusted by people on the subject.
Step 2: Build your web site or blog
A: Choose a blogging platform
I recommend a WordPress blog with BlueHost! There are other platforms available, but after a lot of research, most people were recommending WordPress.
WordPress is best as:
- You own the domain and blog yourself
- You can have a domain name specific to you. Mine is value4money.org
- WordPress provides a lot of flexibility in terms of customisation to suit your need
- As you own the domain and the blog yourself, you are free to do with it as you wish! Provided you don’t break the law!!
B: Pick a web host
A web host is basically where your site is kept. I am a big fan of Bluehost as:
- Price is excellent @ £2.38 per month for a perfectly adequate package to start
- The pricing is transparent. I started with one provider that lured you in with a free website offer, but once all the extras were added in, including SSL certificate, it was nearly double what Bluehost was charging.
- You get amazing support 24/7
C. Complete the Bluehost and WordPress setup.
- Go to the Bluehost website and then Choose your plan.
- The basic option be fine, but choice plus will help as the blog grows and you get more traffic and it doesn’t actually cost a lot more.
- Pick your domain name: Depending on what you will be blogging about, pick on a domain name that suits you!
- Add your account information.
- To start with, I picked the 12 month plan
- I did not bother with any extras, I just did not find that I needed them
Step 3: Sign up for amazon associates
When signing up for Amazon Associates, it is important to bear in mind that you need to have made 3 sales within 3 months. If you are not yet at that stage, do not worry – you can come back to it once you are driving traffic.
The application process is straight forward and just takes a few minutes to apply provided you have all the details necessary. Make sure you complete your tax form too.
a) Visit Amazon Associates
b) Create a new customer Amazon Associates Profile
c) Provide your account information
d) Enter your website/ blog/ YouTube address
e) Enter your store ID
f) Explain how you drive traffic and use your websites to generate income
g) Provide your phone number
i) Fill out your payment details
j) Create Amazon Affiliate links
Step 4: Create Amazon Affiliate link
a) Log in to your Amazon Affiliate account
b) Use Quick links to search for your product or alternatively enter the ASIN/ ISBN number
c) How to get an ASIN number
For any product that you find on Amazon, the ASIN number can be found in the additional information for any given product.
d) Click Go
This will generate the affiliate links for the product that you wish
e) Get the link
This will generate the option to get HTML coding if specifically looking for images, text and images and or widgets that you can add to your side
Step 5: Promote your products and drive traffic.
I drive most of my traffic on my blog through organic search using Semrush. Good opportunities to grow your Amazon Associates is via:
- Product reviews
- Making a recommended resources page on your blog
- Within blog posts sharing
- Product comparisons
If you have any questions on affiliates, please leave me a comment in the section below! It would be great to hear from you!