I am always curious to learn about revenue streams, and affiliate income is a revenue stream that many of us who run blogs rely on as a way to pay the bills.
I have “dabbled” in being an Amazon Affiliate for a really long time and with very modest returns. I wanted to learn more about being an Affiliate so I reached out to our Facebook community looking for a resource. I was really fortunate that Jan Thielemann jumped in and offered to speak with me.
Jan and his lovely wife left Germany 3 years ago with the intent to spend one year traveling through Australia and would keep a blog to let their family and friends follow their journey. Through their travels they met other nomads who were earning money through affiliate programs. Jan is a developer Which made him a quick study and began registering for various affiliate plans that were compliments to his blog, (a few of his products you may already be using):
Jan and his wife are now on year three of their trip and when we met on Skype he was calling in from his BEAUTIFUL, I mean to die for, patio which is about a mile away from the beach in PHUKET! Here are his tips, and some I pulled together. Below is our conversation – he is in paradise and it looks like I am calling in from a pit in a basement when you see us side by side.
Tip 1: You need to be specific in your content and specific in your blog posts around a particular topic. Jan and his wife already had a travel blog, so when they began sprinkling links Amazon link into their content to the gear they were using it made sense.
Tip 2: Only recommend products you know and use yourself. Jan feels comfortable talking about the products and services they use, gear, international credit cards, etc because he has used several and knows the pros and cons and feels confident that he is sharing good information. Trust is huge, be mindful that people are putting their trust in your words. If you want to write about a category, and aren’t an expert, consider a Best Seller post. Each month Amazon has a page of their best sellers by category so while you aren’t an expert, be clear that this a BEST SELLER crowd sourced list, you are merely a reporter.
Tip 3: Consider creating micro-sites. If you identify that people are interested in one particular aspect of your content, consider breaking that into it’s own site and being laser focused on products related to that topic. Example, Jan and his wife were getting lots of interest in their travel gear, and based off their affiliate sales they knew this was a good subject for them to expand upon, so they created a website which is all about gear. As anyone who has taken a trip before knows, the backpack is your essential item and is a true investment because of the cost, they built loads of content that featured the backpack. Note: you may like this podcast with the founders of Wayfair who had hundreds of micro sites before merging into one mega ecommerce super store.
Tip 4: Don’t just say it. Of course you should write about the products – but VIDEO it!!! Use YouTube and any other social media platform you can find and customize your content and of course SHARE with your audience. Make sure to be very descriptive in our comments and LINK to the product with your affiliate link, right from YouTube.
Tip 5: Set up multiple tracking ID’s so you are clear as to which link people are clicking on. To do this, login to your Amazon Dashboard and at the top of the page scroll over your name to see a drop down of options, select Manage Your Tracking ID’s and then Add New. If you are running a post on Backpacks, create a tracking ID for backpacks. Same for water bottles, solar chargers, etc.
Tip 6: Use Affiliate links on your images and buttons.
Tip 7: We both prefer to display images that don’t include the Amazon branding.
Tip 8: Don’t forget to build your email list! All bloggers know the money is in the list.
Tip 9: Don’t put all your eggs into the Amazon basket. Sign up for many affiliate plans, Amazon’s terms aren’t the best and while you may earn a living, chances are greater it will be a side trickle – NOTHING wrong with that, but we both suggest you diversify.
Amazon has a WordPress Plugin which you may find helpful. Thank you Jan!
How about you? Are you an Amazon Affiliate? Do you run ads on your site? If I have missed tips, please share, I really am keen to learn more and perhaps attend a conference / workshop on the topic.