Everyone knows what Amazon is, but not everyone knows that you can actually use Amazon to make money online instead of just spending it. It’s not too difficult either, especially if you already have an established website, blog, YouTube channel or even a following on social media.
When I first started out in affiliate marketing I was told to avoid using Amazon as a primary source of monetization – I’m glad that I didn’t follow that advice because Amazon tends to earn a lot more than individual programs do, in my experience at least.
I run a couple of different websites that I’m not going to list here, but each of those sites started out with targeted affiliate programs to monetize with, yeah they made a few bucks /month, but once I started to integrate Amazon into the mix my profits started to jump by quite a bit. This site isn’t included with my other sites as I don’t really use Lucrative Online as a way to make money.
There are other ways to make money using Amazon also, like drop shipping or selling your own stuff, but this post is going to focus solely on their affiliate program.
It’s not a very complicated process, but it takes a lot of time & dedication. Your first step is going to be building an audience of some kind. YouTube channels, personal blogs, niche sites, and basically anything else can be monetized with Amazon, so using a combination is usually your best bet to avoid placing all of your hope on a single platform.
If you don’t have any kind of captive audience you’re going to have to create one, how you do that is entirely up to you but I would suggest starting with your own website. What matters the most is that using Amazon as a way to make money online does work – there are lots of people out there who make anywhere from $5000-$10,000+ each and every month through Amazon alone.
If you do already have some kind of audience, then you should definitely head over to Amazon’s Affiliate Program and sign up for a free account. From there you’re able to create customized ad blocks and other things, but text-based ads still work the best. There’s also a browser extension that you can download through Amazon called SiteStripe, it really makes getting links easy as you can do it right from any product page, opposed to the back end.
If you’re completely 100% new to the scene, then chances are you don’t have a website, any kind of social media following, or a big YouTube channel. This does pose somewhat of a dilemma for sure, but you’re not completely out of the race yet. There are lots of places where you can learn all about affiliate marketing for relatively cheap compared to what you could potentially earn with that knowledge, places like Wealthy Affiliate and Affilorama are great starting points for any beginner.
If you are in this boat, you’re probably now considering the fact that you might not have the level of technical skills required, but that’s untrue. With the advances in website building technology, it’s become very simple to get your own site built and online within minutes, this doesn’t mean you’ll start getting traffic right away, but the process will be started. You don’t even need to know any coding languages or anything like that – that’s how easy things have become!
The absolute hardest part about launching your own endeavour is sticking with it and keeping motivated. I’ve watched more people drop out of really strong ideas because their site didn’t turn a profit in the first 2-months, expecting that is completely unrealistic for someone who’s completely green.
You will feel like you’re working for free for the first little bit, and that’s to be expected, but if you stick with it, chances are you’re eventually going to start turning a profit – if you’re really focusing on giving your audience as much “value” as possible in your content, otherwise the next person will and they’ll get the traffic and ultimately the sales. This is just the way of affiliate marketing, it’s very competitive for a reason.
Once you have your site launched, you’ve started to produce some content, and you’re bringing in a bit of traffic, you can then start to monetize that site (or whatever) with relevant Amazon links to good, reputable products. Sometimes (aka: quite often) you don’t even need to own said product! You might even have companies approach you to review their products, in which case they’ll likely send you a free sample – it doesn’t sound plausible, but trust me when I say that it happens!
You’ll have to invest a lot of your time into your site in the beginning, but once you get more & more established, the amount of time you’ll have to dedicate will eventually diminish. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should spend less time on it, but you will eventually be free to do as you like for the most part.
The Best Way
The best way to use your Amazon links to generate conversions is by placing it where it will be useful to your audience. Just slapping a link in their face and saying “CLICK IT!” probably won’t work, and it’s actually a violation of Amazon’s Operating Agreement (something you will want to read). But, placing the link in a product recommendation / review, or anywhere that it would actually help someone instead of looking like spam would be a better choice.
Targeted product reviews are usually the best place, though – people reading reviews are generally interested in eventually buying something, and a conveniently placed link might be all they need.
Even if you only make videos on YouTube and you don’t have a website, you can drop links in the video description and guide your viewers to them if they wanted to “check the price” or “see what you used” etc. As long as you don’t directly tell someone to buy something from your specific link, you’ll be just fine. A lot of big YouTubers do this and they make a lot when it’s done right.
Here’s a snapshot from one of my newer (just a year old) site’s performance last month using Amazon:
That’s not too shabby for a website that’s only a year old, is based entirely on free organic traffic, has a monthly advertising budget of $0, has 0 email subscribers, and about 250″ likes” on Facebook. The only overhead on this website is my invested time, roughly $15/month for hosting and about $10/year for the domain name, so pretty much nothing. Basically, this website paid me out $25/hr assuming I invested 8 hours /day last month, which I definitely did not – it was more like an average of 2 hours or less /day on this site. These numbers are also constantly growing, and what you see above is more than it made the previous month, this month it will be more again and so on. That’s just how affiliate marketing works when it’s done right.
I’m not saying that you’re going to be able to come out of the gate and start making $1000+ /week with a website; but, with enough dedication and perseverance, this and A LOT more is well within your reach. It took my example site 1 full year (and 1 month, technically) to turn that profit; it might take longer in some niches, or it could even be faster.
One thing to keep in mind is my example of ~$4k/mo ($50k/year) made entirely through Amazon could be a complete income replacement for some, allowing for a significantly increased level of freedom. Or, you keep at the FT job and have an awesome side-income to play around with. The choice is yours, but it has to be done right!
In any event, it’s entirely possible (and not very difficult) to take Amazon and turn it into a revenue generating machine, instead of just a place where you only ever spend. In fact, you could use Amazon and only Amazon as a primary source of monetization depending on your niche, but like the old saying goes: never put all of your eggs in one basket!