Getting Started With Amazon

Amazon is one of the largest, if not THE largest shopping destination on the web today.  In fact they have a market capitalization of over $54b.

From Yahoo Finance:

Amazon.com, Inc. operates as an online retailer in North America and internationally. The company operates various retail Web sites, including amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.de, amazon.fr, amazon.co.jp, amazon.ca, and amazon.cn. Its product categories include books; movies, music, and games; digital downloads; electronics and computers; home and garden; toys, kids, and baby; grocery; apparel, shoes, and jewelry; health and beauty; sports and outdoors; and tools, auto, and industrial. The company serves its consumer customers through its retail Websites and focuses on selection, price, and convenience. It also offers programs that enable seller customers to sell their products on its Websites and their own branded Websites. In addition, the company serves developer customers through Amazon Web Services, which provides access to technology infrastructure that developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Further, it manufactures and sells the kindle e-reader. Additionally, the company offers co-branded credit card programs, fulfillment, and other marketing and promotional services, such as online advertising. Amazon.com, Inc. was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Their biggest competitors are Barnes and Noble, and eBay.

So how do you get a piece of their action?  Buy their shares.  Or become an affiliate for Amazon and drive visitors to their site using YOUR affiliate ID and grow an online business.

Getting started with Amazon is very easy.  Here is a step-by-step in addition to information on how to get the links onto your site — the one thing we don’t talk about in this post is how to pull a site together, we’ve talked about that elsewhere on this blog and you can find information on starting a blog virtually everywhere on the web… however if you really need something like this, drop us a line (comment on this post) and we’d certainly be happy to write something that goes into sufficient details.

So onto Amazon and getting your Amazon affiliate ID.

Your first step is to visit Amazon.com and Join Associates.

Click on the Join Now For Free button.  On the next screen, enter your e-mail address, select “I am a new customer” — if you are, and then enter your password and then click “Sign in using our secure server” and you’re on your way to becoming an Amazon Associate.  Once you get past this, you will be asked to enter your first and last name, e-mail address (again) and birthdate (optional) plus to verify your password.

Click the continue button… and more registration stuff.  Do it.  You have to if you ever want to get paid.

You go through the Account Setup, followed by Website Profile (telling Amazon more about your website and how you will promote their products).

Most of these fields (on the account setup) should be self explanatory.  Here is where the real work comes – on the Website Profile page…

A lot of this information should also be self explanatory, they basically want to know more about your website.  You won’t be able to answer some of the questions easily unless you’ve got some analytics information for your blog – but again, we won’t go into a lot of detail.  If you need help – leave us a comment and we’ll answer your questions.

Once you’ve gone and completed all the information you’ll be taken to your “control panel” – this is where you can learn more about their program, how to add their product links to your website and start making money.

CAVEAT – WARNING

If you have the mentality “build it and they will come” you will be sorely disappointed!  There are Amazon associates that have been doing this from day one and that have built 5, and 6 digit revenue generators.  They’ve put in a lot of work and are tremendously focused.

You WILL NOT be able to compete with them.  I don’t want to discourage you, but they’ve “cornered” the market in their niche.

But that isn’t to say you CAN’T break into it.  You can – but you must focus on particular niches, do them well and then “rinse and repeat” – that is, do it again for another niche and keep going.

TIP FOR YOU – don’t move from one niche to another until you’re making money from your first site/niche.  That might be as little as 3-5 orders per day or $20-$50 per day (which is between $600 and $1500 per month) or more.  It depends on how you define success.

If you can build one site that does very well, and repeat the process for multiple sites – you could have 5, 10 or more sites generating (for example) $1,000 per day but in total $5,000 or more per month (multiple sites, multiples sources of income).

Now to keep going…

What you’ll find as you work through Amazon and read information on other blogs is that you need to specialize on particular niches.  One of the niches that AffiliateBlogOnline talks about is cookware (in a guest post that they did on another blog) – they’re making decent money promoting one small slice of products on Amazon – this is how it’s done.  You don’t want to recreate Amazon on your blog – what’s the point?  This is the KEY STEP.  Pick a product that will do well and build your site and expertise around this product.

Adding links to your site is easy.  Amazon works off of something called an ASIN – this is like a UPC code (universal product code) that manufacturers use to define their product in the market and what retailers use to charge you for the product when you go through their checkout.

Once you’re signed up, and on to their main page for associates I highly recommend that you click on the “Getting Started Now” button to learn more about the program, how it works and how to add products to your website.

If you’ve read everything and just want to get started, keep reading…

Along the top of the screen you’ll have several tabs:

  • Links & Banners
  • Widgets
  • aStore
  • Endless.com
  • Reports

There is also a tab labelled Product Advertising API – but we won’t go into that here as it is an advanced topic and right now we just want to help you get started with Amazon.

Clicking on the Links & Banners tab and you will be greeted with this:

If you’ve got a review site for say, golf clubs – you’ll want to use the product links – banners are good to help generate extra revenue – but they will not perform as good as product links.  When adding product links the key to remember is to make it look like it’s part of the site.  Borders might be fine, but if it looks like an ad – visitors/readers will not click on it.  You should try and build the ad into your content – so consider using text links as your primary links to the product and the product link with an image as secondary and to add the visual aspect to your posts.

If you haven’t already turned on the Site Stripe – do so!  Until you automate your process this will help you build Amazon links to particular products and it’s much easier to work with.  We use this when we’re writing product specific posts.  Scroll down to the Site Stripe information, and click on Learn More and follow the instructions.

If you want to go the Links & Banners route, click on the appropriate item and follow the instructions provided.  From the drop-down list select the category and enter keywords into the text field and click on GO.  Next you’ll be shown a list of products along with an image, description and it’s ranking.  The higher the ranking, the better that product is doing in that category:

Click on the GET LINK button, and you have… more options:

Play around with the options to get something that looks good on your site.  Because you’ve been given the HTML text as well – you can use this and convert specific keyword links on the post/article to clickable links.

As you make a change to the link type, the corresponding preview also changes as does the HTML provided.

Using the default settings, this is what the link will look like on your site (this is an actual link, clicking on it will take you to Amazon).

It’s that easy.

Banner links are good for supplemental revenue but use them sparingly on your site. Most visitors have “banner blindness” in that they tend to see through this type of advertising. I won’t discuss Banner Advertising in this post, perhaps in a later post if there are enough requests for it.

The final method of generating links to Amazon products is using the Site Stripe but this post is now getting onto 1500 words and I’ve probably lost a good number of people.

The follow-up post is in the works and will be up within a few days time and will review Site Stripe and Amazon aStore to make money.

About Rob 'n Mo

I'm a man of mystery. I like anonymity, but on the WWW there is not much of it...
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