The Amazon Associates program is the largest affiliate program in the world. It’s run by Amazon.com, the largest online retailer and provides a way for websites to monetize their traffic by seamlessly incorporating products found on Amazon into published content.
The associates program is a very effective way to make money from blogging as you can build a long term asset that helps people through recommending helpful products on Amazon to your audience. People trust Amazon; so while the commission rates are low at around 1-8% depending on the product category, the conversions are quite high.
Why leverage the Amazon Associates program?
Amazon Associates is an excellent revenue stream because products found on Amazon can be worked into almost any type of website due to their wide range of products. From a blog about coffee to a website about numerology, Amazon will have some sort of product vertical that you can promote within your content.
In addition, some topics are simply very lucrative for Amazon Associates as there are lot’s of relevant products to promote. SwimUniversity.com for example makes well into the six figures from Amazon (though this is the exception and not the rule).
As an Amazon Associate you can leverage Amazon’s strong brand reputation. People feel comfortable buying from such a well known website. So when you link to a product on Amazon it’s not a hard sell getting people to buy.
Also, people most likely already have an Amazon account so getting someone to buy something is not too difficult as the barrier to entry of creating an account and adding in payment information is a non issue.
24 hour cookie
One lesser known thing about the Associates program is that you get a commission on anything someone you refer to Amazon buys in a 24 hour time period. So while they may have clicked a link for puppy food on your blog, if they then go and buy a robot lawn mower you still get the commission on that sale.
It’s this powerful combination of having a high reputation and a 24 hour cookie on anything bought makes Amazon a great income model and it’s one of the reasons why the program is so successful.
High resell value
If you’re able to build a website that makes thousands of dollars a month from Amazon Associates you can easily turnaround and sell that website for a large multiple due in part to how hands off the income source is.
Again, this simply makes building out an Amazon Associates website all that more valuable because the resell value of your website will command a much higher rate.
How to choose the right niche for Amazon Associates
For all website and blogs, some topics will work better than others for Amazon Associates. One some websites, it may be a nice side income in addition to selling something else, but on a true Amazon Associates website it will be the main revenue focus.
So when looking to build an Amazon affiliate website here are the specific aspects should you look at:
Have an American audience
The Amazon Associates program works best if your traffic is mostly from the United States as Amazon is an American company and it’s where everyone in America buys their items online.
Amazon does have a strong online presence in both Canada, the UK and Japan. So a western, English speaking audience will be most effective overall.
Products price range of $20 to $200
People tend to do a lot of research first before buying expensive products, as such if your niche has products in the $20 to about $200 price range you’ll make a lot more sales as those are less difficult to make a purchase decision on.
It’s much easier for someone to buy a Bluetooth keyboard for $50 than it is to get them to buy a $2000 camera. That’s not to say you should not promote expensive products to your audience, it it helps them and makes sense then go for it.
But you’ll make the bulk of your earnings by finding those mid tier products to mix into your websites content.
Targeted, buying traffic is required
With Amazon, the type of content that works best are review oriented content, reviews and helpful buying guides. While you do need to focus on content that’s simply helpful for your audience, think about content that could be more product focused with a buying audience.
If you’re looking to build a blog on beekeeping for example, you’ll need to create comprehensive guides that answer questions. Like, “what moth is best to begin beekeeping?” as they make your website complete. Amazon won’t work well on this type of content, but it helps make your website into a resource.
Then, go ahead and create helpful buying guides like “the 9 best beekeeping suits” as it makes sense for your website.
Create a Website with WordPress
Now that you have a strong overview of the Amazon Associates program. Let’s get into how to create a blog monetized with Amazon Associates. I will fist cover how to create a website and blog and then how best to leverage Amazon Associate products with different styles of content.
The first step to making a successful Amazon affiliate website is to actually create a website. I suggest creating a WordPress powered website that will leverage Amazon Associates.
The advantage of WordPress is that it is a free content management system and their are numerous advanced Amazon Associates plugins available for you to use on your website that will help increase conversions once you have traffic (totally optional).
So to create an Amazon Associates website we need to take care of four things. We need to:
- Decide on a topic
- Get a hosting account
- Install WordPress
Decide on a topic and verify your niche
Build a brand. Don’t start something silly like a toaster review blog. Maybe that sort of thing worked in the past but not anymore. Instead think of a topic that you’re interested where you can provide helpful content on that also has physical products for sale on Amazon.
Next, keyword research and take a look at how many possible questions, tutorials, buying guides and review style keywords there are and what websites are ranking for these phrases.
Are there any smaller websites you can compete with or is everything dominated by large brands? If all you see are large brands when then it may be too competitive. You want to find topics where there is a nice mix under-served topics to create content on, content with good search volume that’s product related and content by other smaller websites (no big brands).
Get a Hosting Account
Now you need a shared hosting from a web host. A web host is a service company who manages powerful servers that are on 24/7. When you purchase a hosting account, you’re renting out a piece of a server in a data center that will have all your websites information.
You have a lot of options when it comes to deciding on what the best WordPress web host is. I suggest using Bluehost as they are the #1 recommended webhost by the team behind WordPress.
First choose your plan
When you visit Bluehost they offer Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro:
Bluehost comes with four different pricing plans:
- Basic – Affordable, but limiting as you can only have one website.
- Plus – Good for growing a website to around 1000 visitors a day and 30k monthly pageviews.
- Choice Plus – Perfect for growing medium sizes websites to 2000 visitors a day and around 60k-80k pageviews.
- Pro – For large, established websites.
I suggest the Choice Plus plan. You can secure a low introduction rate now for up to a few years in advanced if you’re willing to pay upfront. This allows you to get quality hosting for years to come at a great rate from the #1 recommended web host for WordPress.
Get your domain name
Once you decide on a hosting package to purchase you’ll first have to add a primary domain to your account. All shared hosting accounts need a primary domain so here is where you’ll register your .com.
As were building a website focused on earning an income from the Amazon Associates program it’s best to build a brand. Think about it, what website would you trust more? One that’s called RoastyCoffee.com and has lots of helpful guides or bestcoffeemachinereview.com?
Google prefers brands and people trust brands. So get a great domain name (ideally a .com) that allows you to build a helpful, authoritative website on.
When you’re ready to proceed go ahead and select the hosting package you want. You’ll then have to setup your domain for you account.
On this page click on “create a new domain.”
Here you will need to register your domain name. A domain name is the web address for your website. Try to get a .com as it’s the legacy extension of the internet and has the most resell value.
This may not seem important now when you have no website, but if your site grows and become valuable you’ll be thankful you have a .com extension as it commands a higher rate for potential buyers
Next carefully fill out your payment information and proceed through the on-boarding process. On the payment page you can uncheck all extras. You also get a bigger discount the longer your package term is.
Finally, you’ll be presented with your Bluehost dashboard:
Don’t forget to check your email as it will have a welcome message from Bluehost that contains your receipt of purchase and your nameserver information.
You need a content management system to help publish content, design your website, upload pictures and embed videos. All this can be done with WordPress.
To get started with installing WordPress we need to create a website with our Bluehost account.
Installing WordPress with Bluehost is very easy. In your dashboard simple click on “my sites” and click on “create site.” Next you will have to set some admin details for your WordPress install:
The site name and tagline can be anything you like and you can always change this later. From a practical perspective you’ll want the site name to match the domain name you have chosen.
Also click on the “advanced” tab where you can enter an email address which will be your recovery email as well as an admin user name and password of your choosing. If you don’t fill this out, the install process will randomly generate for you an admin user name and password.
Choose Domain Name
With your hosting account you can add multiple domains. At this point you should only have your primary domain name so by default that should be already selected.
You can install WordPress on a directory only, but it’s typically best to leave this blank so you install WordPress on the root domain so leave the directory option blank.
With your WordPress website you can install any plugin you want. In fact, WordPress has over 50,000 plugins to choose from. When you have a moment checkout my best plugins for WordPress guide.
Click on next to continue installing WordPress. Upon completion you’ll be presented with this page:
You have now created a website and are ready to start blogging and building out your Amazon Associates affiliate website.
How To Log Into WordPress
You can log into WordPress from your Bluehost dashboardor you can log in via your WordPress installation.
To log into your WordPress powered website all you need to do is visit example.com/wp-admin
Check to make sure your SSL certificate is working
With your Bluehost account you get a free SSL certificate installed on your website. That means you should see a little “lock” icon in your web browser. If not, contact Bluehost support and they will fix it quickly and easily.
In order to check your SSL certificate:
- Log in to your Bluehost portal.
- Click on the “my sites” tab.
- Find your website and click on “Manage Site.”
- Go to the “Security” tab.
- Under “security certificate,” you will find your “free SSL certificate” status.
If everything is setup correctly you should have a secure website. It sometimes takes an hour or two for everything to get working correctly. But you can still edit and design your website.
Amazon Affiliate Website Design and Layout
Now it’s time to design your website for Amazon Associates. For Amazon affiliate websites, you’re going to want to have a dedicated homepage and a blog posts page. You’ll also want to have your permalink structure be something like example.com/post-name or example.com/blog/post-name.
The homepage should act as a sort of visual menu for the website. Showcase your different blog posts, buying guides and more. Also have a clear call to action at the top of the website.
Categories for your blog posts
When you publish blog posts you need to organize them into categories. Your free to call your categories whatever you want, but it’s best to give them a short, keyword specific name related to your website.
So if you have a blog on backyard games, a good logical category would be something like “backyard games” and “backyard equipment.” Just come up with a handful of broad categories that cover what your website is about. It not only helps your visitors, it signals to search engines what your website is about.
Blog post titles
Last are your blog post titles. You need to create titles for both search engines and people. The best titles make you want to click but also have the specific keyword you’re going after in them.
Like “best bocce ball set for backyard fun and play” is a great title because it has “best bocce ball set” in the description which will help you rank for that term and related terms and is more detailed and specific than just writing “best bocce ball set.”
WordPress theme recommendations
There are a lot of great themes for creating an Amazon affiliate website with. To install WordPress themes please navigate to “Appearance>Themes” in your WordPress dashboard. Then click on add new. You can install WordPress themes from the free theme directory or you can upload a premium theme as a zip folder.
While you have hundreds of potential themes to choose from, here are our top 3 favorites for Amazon Associates.
Kadence Theme – A feature rich free theme
The Kadence theme is a free WordPress theme that comes with numerous downloadable templates, and easy to use header and footer editor and it works perfectly well with WordPress’s default block editor.
In addition, this theme also comes with a specific review style custom post that is perfect for Amazon Associates. The Kadence theme is simply fantastic for all sorts of websites but is optimal for affiliate marketing style content.
Astra Theme – The most popular free WordPress theme
The Astra theme is currently the most popular WordPress theme in the world and for good reason. It’s fast, lightweight, free and comes with numerous templates to choose from using the starter sites plugin.
With Astra, you can easily custom design a website yourself for affiliate marketing or edit any one of the numerous starter site templates.
WordPress plugins recommendations
There are also a few important plugins to be aware of that are incredibly useful for an Amazon affiliate marketing website. To install plugins go to plugins >> add new.
Rank Math – On page SEO plugin
One absolutely essential plugin for helping you optimize your website for search is the Rank Math SEO plugin. What this plugin does is that it allows you to edit the meta data for your posts and pages as we mentioned.
By installing Rank Math, you can easily edit titles, the URL slug and the meta description for all published content. It also gives a readability analysis for your content.
Rank Math also creates a helpful sitemap for your website that you can submit to Google Search console to help index your site quickly and to get data on how Google sees your website.
Smush – Image optimization
Smush is a WordPress plugin that compresses your jpg and PNG image files upon upload to your website. It reduces the overall file size and makes your website so it loads faster.
While you should be using more modern .webp format for images, there are still some instances when uploading a jpeg or PNG makes sense.
AAWP – Advance review blocks for WordPress
This is a paid plugin that allows Amazon Associates to create advanced, custom review blocks like tables, charts, product comparisons, best sellers list easily.
These high converting blocks tend to work better and be much more effective for driving sales as you’re able to give visitors much more information upfront in a visually appealing way to help them make a purchase decision.
Woo Zone – Affiliate ecommerce website
This plugin works in combination with WooCommerce, a free WordPress plugin that turns a WordPress website into an online store. Woo Zone is a premium plugin (that means you need to pay for a copy) that allows you to build an online store using Amazon Associate products.
Your website will look an feel like an ecommerce website but in reality you’re simply promoting products on Amazon.
Keyword Research for content creation
Now it’s time to find some keywords we can use to create content for our website. The kind of content we want to create is the following:
- Product review focused content based on keywords people use.
- Helpful content in the form of tutorials, how-to or that answers questions.
- Comparisons of specific products.
- List article buying guides.
Your goal is to create a long term, valuable asset. Not everything you create needs to be product focused. In fact, it looks a bit lazy and spammy if on your blog posts there are only list article buying guides like “13 best cups you need to know about” followed up by the “12 best plates for stay at home moms.”
People won’t trust of view your website as an authority on the topic if you do this so don’t do it. Product review focused content has it’s role, but it’s a part of an information website. Not the whole thing.
Keyword research tools
We want to write content people want and are searching for in your niche. The biggest mistake beginners make is to just “wing it” and write about whatever they want. This is a sure fire strategy for failure.
You must use some sort of keyword tool to get an idea of the potential search volume or lack there of. I like Ubersuggest, aHrefs or SEM Rush. These are professional keyword research tools that enable you to find content people want and need.
Use Google autofill
Just by using Google can help you get started. If you type in “backpacks for college students” you’ll notice Google autofills some suggested keywords.
Take a look at “backpacks for students with laptops.” That’s a good buying keyword. Does it have a lot of search volume to it? The answer to that is to go and research it using the previously mentioned keyword tools.
Your goal is to find content like this that makes sense for your website. If you have a site focused on studying for college, college success, study tips and what not then it’s a good potential blog post.
Blog post tiles that get clicked
Once you decide on your keyword, please do not ruin your blog post by using a boring post title. Use your keyword but make the title something interesting. It’s a good idea to take a look at the winning blog post titles of other websites and take inspiration from.
If you need help crafting compelling titles you can use this headline analyzer to help you improve your titles.
Blog posts and categories URL’s
Keep your blog post URL’s descriptive but as short as possible with no stop words. A blog post on “how to make a tree house – 7 essentials you need to know” should have a URL of /make-tree-house.
Next, make sure you choose 4-7 descriptive categories that are relevant to what your website is about and signal to Google what your website is about.
Create the best content possible
I like to say, “go for the best, rank for the rest.” That means it’s best to create a singular blog post that is the default guide on a topic. Like my “sunglasses for men” example.
There are more niche phrases like sunglasses for men with long faces and what not. But instead of creating a blog post on each specific phrase, it’s better to create a meaty, 2000+ word blog post covering all iterations based on potential search volume.
Monetize with Amazon
Now your ready to begin adding Amazon Associate links to your website. First, make sure to familiarize yourself with the operating agreement. Many new Associates violate Amazon’s TOS and get kicked out of the program.
Create tags in your associates account
First, create different tags in your associates account for your different web properties. As you can only have one account, you’re not able make separate accounts for each website you want to promote Amazon on.
As such, you’ll want to create tags to know the performance of each of your web properties. This is incredibly helpful if you ever decide to sell your website as any potential buyer is going to want to know the last 12-18 months of earnings.
Get your Amazon Associates links with Site Stripe
Site Stripe is how you get links from Amazon to promote on your blog. First log into your Amazon Associates account with your preferred web browser, then navigate to Amazon.com.
At the top you’ll see a banner called Site Stripe. When you visit a specific product page on Amazon you’ll be able to get an Amazon short link, image or image and text product box.
Text and image
Text and image banners work well in a websites sidebar or centered within a blog post. What’s helpful about these items is that they have the product, price and clear call to action to buy the product.
In general though these are a bit dated by modern design standards and I hope in the future they design a wider product box for use on websites and blogs.
Text only links are optimal to use as a standard link within your blog post or in the description of a YouTube channel. Please note, you must always use the standard Amazon Associate link. Do not use any type of redirect plugin to cloak the link with something like example.com/product.
Image only shows a clickable picture on your website of the image. This is the only proper way to display images from Amazon as downloading images directly is against the TOS. Image only links work by using them in combination with text links and custom buttons you can create with WordPress.
Embed products in your review posts
With content on your website you’ll find topics like “best sunglasses for men” which are inherently a review post. It’s these posts you’ll want to link to Amazon products as well as use the image only feature.
While you can use more advanced plugins to create helpful product boxes, the default tools provided by Amazon are good enough to get started with.
At a minimum, you’ll want to create a sub title for the product you’re promoting and link to Amazon using the basic text link. Then underneath you’ll want to embed an image of the product using the image tool in your Associates account.
Example of successful Amazon affiliate websites
Let’s now take a look at some great brands that use the Amazon Associates program to monetize their website through creating helpful content. You’ll notice all these websites have a wide range of content that’s helpful instead of being overly product focused.
DirtBikePlanet.com – Dirt bike care and maintenance
This site works because they provide helpful answers, tips and solutions to all things dirt bikes and then soft sell products on Amazon as it makes sense. The key focus of this website is to answer questions in order to help their audience.
Then, they combine helpful buying guides in when appropriate. They also don’t use any complicated plugins for promoting Amazon Associates, just the default tools are at play on this website.
Roasty Coffee – Coffee tutorial website
Roasty Coffee is a wonderful example of an Amazon affiliate marketing website. Long detailed posts that go after high traffic keywords like “how make coffee with a French Press” and a blog that promote relevant products from Amazon.
What I like about Roasty is that it’s a great example of building a successful, high traffic website outside any tech oriented topic. With hundreds of blog posts and a professional design, this site uses various affiliate plugins to display Amazon products in a creative, on brand way.
Own the Yard – Backyard blog
Built by a team of writers hired by Spencer Hawes, Own the Yard is currently at over 600 blog posts. This website is now an authority website in the backyard games and lawncare space. It has a good mix of buying guides, tutorials and list oriented posts.
This website monetizes with display ads on non Amazon related content and pushes Amazon heavily on specific buying guides. It uses various Amazon Associates plugins in order to promote products and increase conversions.
Farm House Goals – An affiliate ecommerce website
Powered by Woo Zone, Farm House Goals is a great example of building out a blog that has an ecommerce component to it. It looks and feels like a large store when in reality it’s an Amazon Associates affiliate website.
All this is done using a combination of WordPress, WooCommerce and the Woo Zone plugin that allows you the creator to have traditional product pages on your website.
How to create an Amazon affiliate website conclusion
Amazon Associates is still a great way to monetize your website and blog. With a massive amount of products, there is almost always some type of product you can weave elegantly into your content.
When you’re ready to create your website, make sure to go with a good web host like Bluehost and use an optimal theme geared for affiliate marketing.