Amazon Affiliate: How to make money from home
What is affiliate programme?
Amazon affiliate (Amazon Associates) is a type of affiliate programme. An Affiliate programme or marketing can be described as a type of performance-based marketing whereby a business rewards one or more affiliates for every visitor or customer converted through the activities of the affiliate marketer. There are many affiliate programmes. The top 10 affiliate companies can be seen here. Apart from this top 10 list, you can get other trusted and well paying affiliate programmes in this page
What is Amazon Affiliate?
Amazon Associates is one of the first online affiliate marketing programs and was launched in 1996. The Amazon Associates program has a more than 12 year track record of developing solutions to help website owners, Web developers, and Amazon sellers make money by advertising millions of new and used products from Amazon.com and its subsidiaries. When website owners and bloggers who are Associates create links and customers click through those links and buy products from Amazon, they earn referral fees. It’s free to join and easy to use.
Provide customers the convenience of referring them to a trusted site where they can immediately purchase the products you advertise on your site. And when they do, you can earn up to 10% in referral fees.
Take advantage of various Amazon retail promotions and leverage our newly created advertising features to drive traffic and earn referrals.
How do I start Amazon Affiliates?
To become an Amazon associate, you need to sign up for free. Remember that you need to have a website, blog or social media page/group for you to join the program. All you need is to create your dream (by developing a website) and then monetize it through the help of Amazon.
Visit Amazon Associates to sign up and follow the stipulated guidelines. The sign up process is very simple. It involves building your Amazon Associates profile and creating your Amazon Affiliate links.
What are the guidelines in Amazon Affiliates?
It essential you play by the rules. Any violation of the policy will lead to total loss of revenue and/or suspension from the affiliate program. Amazon can be very ruthless when you violate their terms. To further complicate the issue, Amazon policy guidelines are spread out in over 6 documents with the total page amounting to 25 pages. It is quite difficult to read all and comprehend well. The following are the documents:
- Associates Program Operating Agreement
- Associates Program Linking Requirements
- Associates Program Participation Requirements
- Associates Program Advertising Fee Schedule
- Associates Program Excluded Products
- Trademark Guidelines
I will summarize these documents and show what to avoid so that you will not be suspended or even taken to court.
Avoid using Auto-tag, iframe, automatic cookie install
Amazon by default stores cookie information for users who click on your links and end up on Amazon. If they click on the link and just browse on Amazon, cookie lasts 24h. If they add the product to cart cookie lasts 90 days. People who manipulate the cookies expiry date uses iframe, etc. so using any of the above will trigger red alerts.
Do not use your affiliate link for personal purchases
Most affiliate programs with Amazon inclusive do not allow buying for yourself through your own affiliate link to get a commission.
It is prohibited to use Amazon affiliate links in email
Amazon explicitly forbids any use of affiliate links in “offline promotion or in any other offline manner.” Email is involved in offline manner. Instead of sending traffic to Amazon in emails, link to a page on your site that includes your affiliate links.
Avoid including links in eBooks or PDF documents
Just like email, ebooks and PDF documents are easy to access offline. This means placement of Amazon affiliate links are prohibited.
Do not use link shortening or link cloaking
Amazon have this to say: You will not cloak, hide, spoof, or otherwise obscure the URL of your site containing Special Links (including by use of a redirecting page) such that we cannot reasonably determine the site from which a customer clicks through such Special Link to the Amazon Site
Amazon wants users to know where they are being directed to as the reputation of the Amazon depends on how affiliates are referring the site to visitors. For this reason, Amazon bans link shortening that doesn’t make it obvious that you are sending users to Amazon.
It is recommended to use Amazon’s default link shortener service, Amzn.to. You can also use any shortener plugin to make links look shorter. But you have to mention product name or Amazon, so the person knows where he will be redirected.
Do not have more than one account
Having more than one account is prohibited. To limit spam and make sure that their bans carry weight, Amazon only allows one account per individual but some business owners may qualify for an exception. Feel free to contact Amazon for details on this.
Promoting Amazon with copied content is prohibited.
The quality of your site is very important to Amazon. You should not copy chunks of texts and paste them into your site. You will not be penalized if you copy little text from other websites. What is important is that you maintain the quality of your website when you first joined as an Amazon Affiliate.
Do not copy Amazon user reviews to your website.
You are not allowed to copy user reviews into your site but you are permitted to rephrase the user reviews. You can also use plugins to directly pull the user ratings for a product on Amazon into your site.
Offering incentive is prohibited
Amazon is against offering incentives by associates in other to promote sales. Hear what Amazon says about incentives: You will not offer any person or entity any consideration or incentive (including any money, rebate, discount, points, donation to charity or other organization, or other benefit)
Do not link from sexually explicit or violent sites
Amazon prohibits using affiliate links on sites that contain certain sexually explicit materials.
Paid search to Amazon
Amazon defines paid search placements as follows in their Associates Operating Agreement: “Prohibited Paid Search Placement means an advertisement that you purchased through bidding on keywords, search terms, or other identifiers.”
No sales in 180 days
According to Amazon: If there has not been a referred sale through your Associates links within 180 days of sign-up, the application and your Associates Central access will be withdrawn.
Once you sign up for Amazon Affiliate program, you need to sell at least 1 product within 180 days, or you will no longer be an Amazon affiliate. However, you can re-apply to become Amazon affiliate anytime later only under this circumstances.
Do not violate Amazon’s trademark policy
No matter how big your Affiliate site is, Amazon can shut down things quickly if they believe you are in violation of their trademark rights.
Amazon owns a ton of trademarks, not all of which have anything to do with the phrase “Amazon.” Proprietary products like Kindle are trademarked too, and you can quickly violate these trademarks by including trademark information in your site’s domain name.
Social media promotion without knowing rules
While Amazon generally does not allow you to share affiliate links on sites you do not own, social network sites are an exception. However, there are a few important rules that govern sharing links on social media. In general, avoid sharing links on a sexually explicit or violent social media pages or using Amazon trademark info in your page titles.
Avoid mentioning price in content
Amazon changes the prices of items regularly. Putting price information in your content means that your site will look obsolete when changes occur.
According to Amazon Operation Agreement:
If you choose to display prices for any Product on your site in any “comparison” format (including through the use of any price-comparison tool or engine) together with prices for the same or similar products offered through any web site or other means other than the Amazon Site, you must display both the lowest “new” price and, if we provide it to you, the lowest “used” price at which the Product is available on the Amazon Site. You may not otherwise include price information on your site.
The truth is that you can mention the price in your content but you must put the disclaimer under the price mentioning when was price last updated.
- Who is collecting this information? (you + what other third-party partners)
- What kind of information are you collecting on them and how? (e.g. credit card numbers, email addresses, names, mailing addresses, IP addresses, demographic data)
- When do you share it?
- Where do you use this information?
- How do you protect sensitive identifiable information? (especially credit card numbers!)
- How can I find out what you know about me?
- Why do you collect it?
Not having disclaimer that you are Amazon affiliate
Amazon requires you to identify yourself as an affiliate. But they help you out by giving you the exact text they want you to use on your website:
[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
Most people place it in the privacy page or terms and condition page. You can also place it in side widgets and footer section of your website.
Using proper BUY buttons
You can’t use any Amazon buy button except the ones provided specifically for Amazon Associates. You can’t use button images find on various places like Google, nor you can’t create your own.
The only Amazon buy buttons you can use are the ones provided by Amazon to participants of Amazon Associates Program.
How do I generate more revenue from Amazon Affiliates?
There are many ways to increase your revenue. I must warn you, always make sure that the means you are using is legal else your account will be suspended. The following are some ways you can increase your Amazon affiliate revenue.
- Before you attempt to sign up to Amazon Associates, make sure your website is ready. You should have an audience that trust you so that your affiliate links can be clicked.
- I recommend you promote only products that are relevant to your site content. This will lead to more sales.
- Make it Sound Natural. You need to find a way to promote the products seamlessly and naturally
- Allow Readers to Review Products.
- Be Aware of Timing. Promote products at the right time.
You can make money from home through Amazon Affiliate programme. It is free to sign up to Amazon Associates. You need to obey all the guidelines to avoid suspension or even court cases. If you are in doubt about some issues in the policy, it is best to contact Amazon . Don’t risk your status as an Amazon affiliate.