Monday, June 20, 2011

Using Amazon Affiliate Programs for First-Timers

This article is a guest post by Marian Ashley, just read the guidelines if you want to be My Guest Blogger

So your blog is becoming extremely popular? Starting to get some decent income through AdSense, and think you can make more through Amazon Associates? The good news is the Associates program is very easy to use, and you can implement it into your blog in a variety of ways. The not so great news is that it won't make every blog rich. But since it's free to use, why not at least try it, right?

What Are Affiliate Programs?

For those unfamiliar with the affiliate programming business, affiliate programs are a marketing practice in which a business (in this case Amazon) rewards affiliates (that would be you and other bloggers and webmasters) for each customer brought in through the affiliate's marketing efforts.

How Do They Work?

Try looking at it this way: Amazon wants your traffic. Particularly if your blog covers a product or line of products that Amazon offers, they have a lot to gain from even the mere mention that Amazon sells a certain product. So when you link a customer to Amazon, and they buy a product there, Amazon rewards you with a commission. The commission varies depending on the product.

Because you are not only marketing but directly increasing their sales, Amazon offers their affiliate program to bloggers and webmasters at no charge. Amazon's affiliate program offers a variety of ways to market their products and allows you to customize links and banners to fit the design of your site.

What Are the Different Marketing Tools Amazon Provides?

Amazon give you quite a few options, so it can be a little confusing at first to decide what marketing tool to use.

Links & Banners
These are the most common marketing tools used by Amazon affiliates. These are also both extremely easy to implement on your site. Simply decide what product you want to link or what product category you'd like a banner for, customize the look of the link or banner to your liking, and copy and paste the HTML code Amazon gives you into your own blog, wherever you'd like (though probably somewhere people will see it and click).

Amazon Widgets operate on the same concept as links and banners, but provide more options for people to explore Amazon without leaving your site. For instance, the Search Widget allows your readers to find and explore Amazon products while still on your site. Some widgets are catered to certain types of content. For instance, the MP3 Clips Widget, which allows users to listen to MP3 clips from your site, would be great if you run a music blog or are a musician yourself, trying to promote your music on Amazon. If you're not sure which widget is right for you or whether you even need one, just experiment around. You can always track how many purchases are made through which widget.

Tips for Affiliate First-Timers

Having a highly popular site definitely helps with affiliate programs, but what really get you income is people clicking your affiliate links and buying stuff. The following tips will help establish consistent revenue through an affiliate program, provided your site covers a topic involving products that Amazon sells:
·         Traffic is important
·         Loyal readers and trust is more important
·         Consider the intent of your readers (would they be looking to purchase the products you're linking? Or is your site more aimed at readers who already have the product?)
·         Link to products relevant to your readers
·         Readers don't have to buy your linked product for you to get paid. You just need to send them to Amazon.
·         Make genuine product recommendations and reviews.
·         Reader reviews can make huge sells.

Author Bio:
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online schools. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031
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