Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn a semi-passive income online. However, it can require a lot of work to get your website just right, and you don’t want to end up stuck with a site that doesn’t make any money.
The Amazon Associates program can help you out, by making it easy to find and market products of nearly any type. Once you know how to run an efficient marketing operation through your website, it should only take you a few months to start earning a decent profit.
In this article, we’ll start by explaining how affiliate programs work. Then we’ll provide you with a handful of tips on how to run a successful Amazon Associates website. Let’s get to work!
An Introduction to Amazon Affiliate Websites
In a nutshell, affiliate programs pay you for referring clients their way. All you have to do is include recommendations for specific products on your site, and you’ll earn a small commission on any sales generated by people who click on the links you provide. Affiliate programs provide you with an easy way to monetize your site, especially if it’s aimed at a niche audience that is likely to be interested in specific kinds of products.
Amazon runs one of the largest affiliate programs around, called Amazon Associates. You can become part of the program as long as your website already has some content (about five or ten posts). Bear in mind that once you’ve applied, it can take a few days to be approved. Once your account is ready, you can start to focus on building an effective website.
3 Tips for Running a Successful Amazon Affiliate Website
The advice in this section is tailored towards Amazon Affiliate websites. However, you’ll want to employ similar strategies on any other type of affiliate blog, so feel free to read on regardless of what program you’re using!
1. Write Honest, Natural, and Actionable Content
The keys to earning a decent income from an affiliate website are to reach as many users as possible and build trust with them. If visitors trust you, they’ll be more likely to make purchases from your website. You can compare this to impulse buyers, who might visit your site once or twice, make a purchase based on your recommendations, and then never come back.
To build trust, you need to create content that’s honest and sounds natural. There’s a lot of competition in affiliate marketing, and plenty of websites that churn out product reviews sound as if a robot wrote them. If you take the time to carefully research each piece and are honest about a product’s downsides, however, you’ll be able to establish trust organically.
It’s also important to remember that your content should be actionable. For example, if you’re writing a review for a coffee machine, it’s not enough to talk about its features and how great its brew is. You also should look to answer any questions your visitors might have about it, and explain how the product can benefit them. Focus on the positives, and how they can be valuable to the reader.
In short, your content should be honest, natural, and actionable. This may sound like a lot to keep in mind, but it should become second nature with practice.
2. Use High-Quality Product Images Whenever Possible
Even if your website features the most engaging, honest content, it can be hard to make a sale if you don’t include any product images. Imagine for a moment that Amazon didn’t include photographs on its website. It probably wouldn’t be as successful!
For best results, you should make sure to use high-quality images at all times. Unfortunately, Amazon’s Terms of Service (ToS) forbid you from using their own product images in your content, even if you’re an affiliate. This makes your job a bit more complicated, but there are other options, such as:
- Taking product and service photos yourself. To do this, you’ll not only need the physical items, but also access to decent camera equipment. If that’s not an issue, this can be the most cost-effective and flexible solution. For virtual products, such as services or websites, simple screenshots will usually be fine.
- Ask the product’s supplier for promotional images. In some cases, the supplier of whichever product you’re promoting may be happy to provide you with images you can use.
- Source images from product owners. You can always try to locate product owners online, and ask them to take a few pictures in exchange for a small payment.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to stay far away from stock images, since they can make your website look unprofessional. More importantly, finding stock images of specific products is difficult, and you don’t want to use any content that doesn’t accurately showcase the items. Finding (or creating) your own pictures takes a bit more work, but is worth the effort in the long run.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Write Long-Form Content
Nowadays, most people who shop online are a lot more wary about what they buy. They also tend to do a lot more research, so it’s important that your reviews and comparisons stand out. One way to accomplish that is to make them as in-depth as possible.
There’s no universal consensus for what constitutes ‘long-form’ content. However, as a rule of thumb, you can think of this as any piece over 1,000 words. Research shows people tend to trust long-form content more. On the other hand, most online readers still tend to skim articles. This means you also need to find ways to adapt your longer content for skimmers.
Here are a few formatting tricks to help you out:
- Use subheadings often, and make them as descriptive as possible so readers know what each section covers.
- Implement a table of contents, so users can quickly jump to the sections they care about.
- Insert images to break up long paragraphs and highlight specific points.
- Use tables and lists whenever possible, to display information in a way that’s easier to digest.
Of course, not every topic is well-suited to long-form content. For example, some reviews might not merit over 1,000 words, or even close to that number. It’s up to you to determine which content can benefit from the in-depth treatment, and to not shy away from writing those pieces.
Running a successful affiliate website isn’t always easy, but there are a lot of ways to maximize your odds of earning a decent income. For one, you’ll want to stick with tried-and-true affiliate programs, such as Amazon Associates. After that, you’ll need to draw in potential buyers with excellent content.
To go the extra mile when creating your affiliate content, you’ll want to do the following things:
- Write honest, actionable content that sounds natural.
- Use high-quality product images whenever possible.
- Don’t be afraid to write long-form pieces.
Do you have any questions about what it takes to run a successful Amazon affiliate website? Ask away in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.