Amazon has a fantastic feature called the Amazon Associates Program.
A lot of people dream about making income online. Better yet, if it’s passive income. Who wouldn’t like spending just a few hours a day (or a week) to work on their online business, and watch as the dollars roll in every day, every month? It’s the ultimate goal for many people.
Which begs the question, is it really achievable? If so, how can you do it yourself?
One of the most popular online income opportunities lies in affiliate marketing. And the most popular among all (after Clickbank and ShareASale) is Amazon’s affiliate program – also known as Amazon Associates.
What is Amazon Associates
Amazon Associates is the official name for Amazon’s affiliate program. Anyone can register to be an Amazon Associate and earn an affiliate commission from almost any product available in Amazon.
Commissions are paid based on clicks that lead to a sale (within 24 hours) on Amazon through an Amazon affiliate link. There is a commission fee structure that varies from 1% to 10% based on different product categories.
For example, if your affiliate link points to a product that costs $25 and has a fee of 5%, your affiliate commission will be $25 x 5% = 1.25$.
The majority of Amazon Associates share affiliate links on their own blog or website, while others share it through their YouTube videos.
Most affiliates operate in large markets for Amazon Associates like UK, India, Canada, USA, and Australia.
(Click here to learn about how to get started and register for an Amazon Associate account)
Why choose Amazon Associates
Let’s be real. There’s no such thing as the perfect affiliate program out there. Different programs have their own pros and cons, and it all depends on what you want to market, promote and ultimately sell.
It also depends on what is your goal. Are you looking for a modest secondary income, or do you want to quit your full-time job and be a full-time affiliate earning passive income? It’s possible either way, provided you work hard, be patient, and do it right.
Other than Amazon Associates program, the next two biggest and most popular affiliate networks are Clickbank and ShareASale. But why should you go with Amazon instead? Here’s a summary:
- Consumers and online shoppers trust Amazon’s brand.
- Millions of people browse and shop on Amazon every month.
- The variety of products offered on Amazon is massive.
Those three reasons alone are strong enough for most affiliates to earn a decent amount of income through Amazon. Though admittedly, one of the biggest drawbacks to being an Amazon Associate is its relatively low affiliate commission fees compared to other affiliate programs. But don’t worry, there are ways to work around it.
Is $1000 monthly income as an Amazon Associate possible?
Earning a thousand dollars a month through Amazon is not as easy as most people think, but it’s definitely possible! Lots of people have done it and still do it on a regular basis. But of course, seeing that kind of numbers in your Amazon Associates dashboard will take time and a lot of effort.
Some even make five figures every month from relatively small Amazon affiliate websites, like this one:
You may be able to hit $1,000 in Amazon affiliate income in a month, or maybe it’ll take over a year for you to get there. For some, they may even struggle to get past a few hundred dollars a month. There’s no guarantee to this exercise nor a fool-proof plan.
The beauty about aiming to get your first $1000 is that it’ll be a specific, measurable goal that you can work hard towards. Once you hit that milestone, scaling your income to higher figures won’t seem that far out of reach.
Calculating your Amazon Associates commissions
Now, let’s do the numbers. The best way to look at this is to work backwards, using average and estimated clicks and conversion rates:
- Percentage of web visitors that clicks on your Amazon affiliate links = 10%
- Estimated conversion rate on Amazon = 2%
- Average commission fee for all products promoted = 5%
- Target total commissions for 1 month = $1,000
Let’s then assume that your website is getting 100,000 visits a month. Based on the estimated numbers above, you should be receiving around 200 converted clicks on Amazon (that resulted in a sale).
If the average price of your promoted products is $25 with an average commission fee of 5%, your total commission for 200 conversions will be $250.
Since that is much lower than your targeted income of $1,000 per month, you’ll need to multiply your web traffic by 4x to at least 400,000 visits per month.
On the other hand, if your product’s average price is $100 at a commission fee of 5%, the total commission may reach $1,000.
As you’ll soon realize, there’s no exact science for how to get $1,000 per month on a consistent basis. But these calculations will give you an idea of a baseline that you can work towards, then improvise and improve further to achieve your targeted income figure.
Note: Amazon affiliate income rarely stays consistent month-to-month. It often varies, based on searchers’ behaviour, trends and seasonal fluctuations. Your monthly Amazon Associates profits will be a monthly average based on the cumulative total affiliate income for the year.
How to be a smart and successful Amazon Associate
From the commission calculations in the previous section and the commission structure of between 1% to 10% set by Amazon, you’ll notice that there is more than one way to scale your affiliate income. And there is always a smarter and more efficient way to do that.
Amazon affiliates can be broken down to two categories – those big sellers and the niche sellers. In essence, there are two primary ways to earn an income as an Amazon Associate:
- Sell in larger volumes.
- Sell higher ticket items.
The first option can allow you to sell more mainstream products or run a blog or website with a mass appeal to maximize the number of visits and clicks through your Amazon affiliate links. The second option will largely require you to sell niche products that are promoted through a niche or specialized blog or website.
Either option will require a lot of work, and it may take time. Most importantly, any work you put in will need to see one most important metric – a high amount of organic visits through search.
Creating a high converting website that attracts a lot of organic clicks
Being a successful Amazon Associate depends on how many clicks does your affiliate links get and how well they convert on Amazon.
That means you’ll need a website (to share your affiliate links) that can not only attract a lot of organic visits but also be designed in such a way that will help to maximize conversion once a user clicks on your affiliate link and land on Amazon.
Now, this is important especially if you’re planning to be an Amazon affiliate for the first time. Once you register and get approved to be an Amazon Associate, you will be kicked off the program if your account doesn’t record a sale within the first 90 days.
Which is why the first and most important part of the work needs to be done at the beginning – building a website that has solid SEO.
Why SEO is the key to affiliate marketing
If you’re looking for the largest amount of organic traffic at the lowest cost, there’s no better option than SEO.
Sure, you can use Google AdWords or Facebook Ads to draw clicks to your blog or website, but the ROI will rarely justify the amount you’ll be spending on ads. On top of that, getting web traffic through paid ads are not scalable.
With SEO, once you do your groundwork and maintain it regularly, you’ll be able to see a consistent amount of traffic over a long period of time. And that kind of ROI is definitely suitable for affiliate products like Amazon.
As an affiliate marketer, the most cost-efficient type of traffic is SEO.
How to grow traffic to your Amazon affiliate website
If you’ve never built and grown your own blog or website, and if you’re new to SEO, don’t worry. It’s not exactly rocket science. But you’ll definitely need a lot of hard work, patience, attention to detail, and some basic analytical skills.
Once you’ve registered for a domain, paid for web hosting, finalized the layout or template for your chosen content platform (e.g. WordPress), the next and most important step is to start creating content.
To grow traffic to your website, you’ll need SEO. Your content needs to be optimized for search and be easily discoverable for people searching for your type of product. Most importantly, you need to have good, solid content.
Here are the steps that you’ll need to take if you want to improve your website’s SEO:
- Identify your products or niche by researching on Amazon and Google Trends.
- Begin with keyword research, before writing your content.
- Use both high volume focus keywords and lower volume long tail keywords.
- Create compelling content and focus on quality, not quantity.
- Create social media channels (and find other channels) to distribute your content.
The steps may seem simple, but the process will be tedious and in most cases, it will take time to see an increase in traffic to your website. Especially if yours is still fresh and new. It can take months for all your SEO and content work to see a positive impact, so be patient.
Using a good keyword tool to skyrocket your Amazon blog
Once you’ve identified your niche or type of products you’d like to promote through Amazon affiliate, the next step will be keyword research. This process often takes a lot of time and detailed analysis.
You’ll need to dive deep in your niche or product category to find relevant, suitable keywords to use in your blog or website’s content. To do this, you can either use Google search or Google Keyword Planner. It works to a certain level, though you’ll only get a rough overview of what type of related keywords people might be searching for.
You won’t be able to get important data like keyword volumes, trends, and competition level. On top of that, doing manual keyword research without insight into its actual data can be very tedious and yield inaccurate results.
Instead, you can use Keyword Tool. It’s an incredibly easy-to-use tool that makes keyword research a lot easier and quicker. The paid version, Keyword Tool Pro, gives accurate and real-time data like keyword volumes, trends, cost-per-click (CPC), and competition level.
To start building your Amazon affiliate website’s content with the right type of keywords that people are searching for, you’ll need to:
- Identify the niche or product category you’d like to target.
- Do keyword research and find relevant focus keywords and long tail keywords.
- Create content topics around your keywords.
- Write your content (in no less than 1,000 words) and insert the appropriate keywords in the title tags, meta description, and image alt tags.
These steps are the core tasks that you’ll need to do in order to ensure your Amazon affiliate website is well optimized with the right keywords. As you can see, every single piece of your content needs to be built around its related keywords. And it all starts with keyword research using a tool like Keyword Tool.
How to use Keyword Tool to increase organic clicks to your Amazon affiliate blog
Keyword Tool is incredibly easy to use and packed with tonnes of data that will be useful for your SEO efforts.
There are many ways to use the tool, such as:
- Finding high volume keywords to maximize the number of organic clicks to your website.
- Identifying long tail keywords that are lower volume but has higher conversion rates.
- Understanding keyword trends, and thus, gaining an insight into searcher habits and consumer behaviour (for a month-to-month and yearly overview).
- Gaining insight into the competitiveness of different keywords, in order to improve the optimization efficiency of your desired keywords.
These are all the type of valuable data and insights that you’ll be able to get by doing keyword research using Keyword Tool Pro. To help make this process easier for you, here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to make the most out of the tool:
1. Choose a niche (or product category)
Let’s say you’ve decided to go with the organic baby products niche. You’ve done the numbers and it looks like that’s a fast-growing and popular niche. But what is the search trends like in this category?
Head over to Keyword Tool and key in “organic baby products” to the search bar:
After pressing enter (or clicking the search icon), the results page will show you the total number of unique keywords and the monthly trend over the past 12 months. It also shows the average cost-per-click (CPC) and competition level. Then, scroll down to see the list of generated keywords based on your organic baby products niche:
2. Study the keyword trends (to understand search seasonalities)
Keyword trends can show you many things, like what do people search for and when. It shines a light on to search behaviour and consumer habits, especially when you’re looking for the type of keywords that an online shopper would use to either find a product to buy or learn more about it (before purchasing).
As you can see, your chosen category keyword (or focus keyword) of “organic baby products” has a decent volume of 4,400 searches per month. Now, let’s look at the overall trend for your focus keyword. Click on the blue colored chart icon to expand that keyword’s trend chart:
Comparing the previous chart showing the average trend of all the keywords shown in “Keyword Suggestions” and the chart above for the focus keyword “organic baby products,” there’s one trend that you can see clearly – there’s a larger and more consistent search volume between the months of March to August.
You can now use this data to create content and plan your content distribution schedule that matches with the search trend of your chosen niche. One way is to ramp up your content creation and publish them consistently within these months, another way is to ensure that you distribute them as widely as possible during that period – through email marketing, social media, and influencer marketing – to maximize your website’s reach.
3. Identify the right keywords and use them strategically
The baby products industry is a huge market. It’s growing rapidly and definitely lucrative, but it’s also highly competitive. As you can see from the quick search on Keyword Tool, the keywords found in organic baby products niche are also pretty competitive.
The competition level is rather high at 1.00 (the competition metric on Keyword Tool for high is between the range of 0.70 to 1.00). Even the long tail keywords have high keyword competition levels. So, how do we tackle this problem? You’ll need to find more related keywords.
To do that, scroll up and click on the “Related Keywords” tab:
There is now a larger list of keywords with more than 4 million search volume! Now, let’s scroll down and see what we have:
You now have a wider variety of search terms to use alongside your focus keyword. This part of your keyword research can not only result in a larger pool of high volume keywords but also give you product ideas and content angles.
High volume keywords are great to draw in a lot of clicks, but if you want the traffic to convert, you’ll also need to rank for long tail keywords. They are usually lower in search volume but people who use long tail keywords have a higher likelihood of having purchase intent.
When looking for keywords for conversion optimization, it’s a good idea to find keywords that have a bare minimum of 100 monthly search volume but less than 1,000 searches. Long tail keywords are also a lot less competitive than more popular, higher volume focus keywords.
To find your low competition but high converting long tail keywords, click on the “Competition” tab in the results page to show keywords arranged in descending order of competition (from low to high competition):
Scroll down to find long tail keywords with at least a search volume of 100:
And voila! From these two long tail keywords alone, you can create 2 detailed articles:
- 5 Must-Have Certified Organic Products for Your Baby
- A Comparison Between Two of the Best Baby Product Companies
Keep scrolling and looking, including searching for different keyword permutations (or synonyms) to find more low to medium competition and high converting long tail keywords.
Remember, SEO is a long term game. And so is earning a good income as an Amazon Associate. If you’re looking for passive income, there’s no better combo than using SEO to grow your affiliate marketing website.