Congratulations, you have a high-traffic website!.. Ok, even if you don’t, you should read on if you want to monetize a website and just have no idea where to start. I am here to help!
There are, of course, numerous ways to monetize a website. I will not attempt to list most of them here, because I don’t want you distracted. Instead, let’s concentrate on something that is easy, worry-free and relatively profitable: Amazon Associate program. The gist of this program is that you can have links on your site to just about anything that’s sold on Amazon. When someone follows this link and buy a product you get a percentage of that sale. Not a huge percentage, but it adds up. It does not even matter if they bought the exact product that your site advertised! A lot of people will probably recommend a different approach, namely Adsense – Google’s contextual advertising system. I could just tell you to trust my words, but I will gladly allow you to make your own educated decision. Here is what you need to know.
Why choose the Amazon affiliate program?
- It is easier to apply and be accepted into Amazon’s program. That’s because Amazon primarily cares about sales. They are unlikely to question what practices you follow to bring traffic to your site, how trustworthy and authoritative your site is and so on. Google might actually have a whole number of criteria on which they will evaluate your online assets.
- With Amazon Associate program you get to decide what individual products or categories you want to see advertised on your site. Google Adsense will attempt to make that decision for you, sometimes with strange results.
- Everybody shops on Amazon. Sure, you can have affiliate links for all kinds of websites, but if your audience is broad and diverse Amazon will look familiar to everybody.
- If your traffic is high enough there is always a chance to get some high rollers. They will almost accidentally go to Amazon from your site and end up buying several high-ticket items. Don’t forget that around Christmas time everybody is a high-roller. If someone decides to quickly take care of their shopping list after following your affiliate link you can be well rewarded.
- When Amazon pays you it is possible to ask for a check or to get a virtual gift card instead. Sometimes “Amazon bucks” are preferable. If you end up getting a free Bluray player as a result the satisfaction may be far greater than getting $100 in your bank account. A free Bluray player is something to talk about, especially when it comes to getting support from your family members in your online efforts.
- Google Adsense has different rules about what you can do with their contextual ad blocks. They have strict policies about their positioning on your web pages in relation to other design elements. Amazon, on the other hand, does not worry about it. The reason is simple. Google protects the interests of paying advertisers, who need to be sure that they get quality traffic. Amazon welcomes all traffic, because you only get paid as an affiliate when a sale happens.
How to implement Amazon affiliate links
Once you have been approved for Amazon Associates program and log into your account, go to the regular amazon.com page and look around for some medium to high-priced items that might be relevant for your audience. If you are convinced that your site’s audience is completely random and there is absolutely nothing that all your visitors have in common, try to find some popular items that everybody wants, such as the latest model of Kindle. Amazon gives you a choice of different ad formats that you can use, but you can also create your own graphics, so that your ads looks fresh and inviting. If you think you know what exact products your audience is interested in you can go to those products pages on Amazon and click on “Link to this page” in the gray strip on the top. This will create a link with your affiliate code for this precise product. Make sure you use tracking ids. This way you will know which ad got more clicks even if the actual sales data does not look significant.
The absolute best place for an affiliate ad on a web page is “above the fold” which means that your visitors will see it immediately after coming to the page in a browser. You may also want to place ads in those locations on the page where the visitor’s attention will be naturally drawn by your content, and also at the very bottom where their eyes will pause after the page had been scrolled all the way down.
Setting up your site with Amazon affiliate links is a solid way to start maximizing its earning potential, but your should certainly not stop there!