How to generate a regular income with the Amazon Associates affiliate scheme

If you want to start a small or part time business then affiliate marketing can be one way to do it. There are lots of affiliate schemes out there. But one of the biggest and best known must be Amazon’s own affiliate scheme, which is known as Amazon Associates.

In this article I’ll outline how Amazon Associates works, and how it could earn you up to 10% on the purchases of every customer you send to Amazon.

What is affiliate marketing? In case you don’t already know, an affiliate scheme is a system which allows one Internet marketeer (you in this case) the opportunity to promote the products and services being sold by another Internet business – and get paid a commission (or referral fee as it is sometimes known) for doing it. It’s a very simple idea that is widely used in Internet marketing.

What is Amazon Associates? Amazon pioneered the affiliates marketing method when the Internet was still in its infancy. But today their Associates programme is an advanced and very sophisticated, yet user-friendly, affiliate scheme.

In some ways, the name is a bit misleading. You’re not really an associate of Amazon. It’s your own independent business introducing customers to Amazon’s products and services.

Pros and cons of Amazon Associates

The great thing with this kind of marketing is that you don’t need products or services to sell… You don’t need to spend time developing, creating or manufacturing them. You don’t need to handle payments, store, handle or ship products, or provide any kind of customer service. Amazon does all that for you.

There are, however, a few disadvantages to bear mind… Because affiliate schemes are simple to get into (and Amazon’s is very popular) there can be competition from other people selling the same products. You can’t control the price, or undercut other sellers, nor compete on customer service. Also, you’ll need to generate high levels of traffic for your site to make a good income from affiliate commissions.

How does Amazon Associates work?

Here in simple terms is how it works:

* You set up a website or a blog on your chosen interest and generate traffic for it. You could also set up an email newsletter and use it with affiliate marketing.

* You sign up for the Amazon Associates programme.

* You choose the products you want to promote. This can be most of the products from Amazon’s range – including books, entertainment products or whatever fits in with the theme of your website and the interests of your visitors.

* Amazon provides tools to help you promote their products (known as widgets).

* If you want to take it a step further you can also set up your own customised online store and stock it with products chosen from Amazon’s range – this is known as an aStore.

* Every product you promote to your customers contains an affiliate link to Amazon. If a visitor to your site clicks on one of the affiliate links and goes to Amazon and buys something within a certain time period you get a commission on the selling price. This can be up to 10% (check with Amazon for exact details of how this works).

* Amazon pay out your affiliate commissions on a monthly basis.

Amazon Associates isn’t the only way of getting involved in affiliate marketing and it isn’t necessarily the most profitable. But if you want a simple route into affiliate marketing, backed by a proven and respected international brand name, it’s well worth at looking at what Amazon Associates has to offer.

Here are some useful articles from WBO which tell you more about affiliate marketing:

Affiliate marketing – how does it work and is it for you?

Which affiliate products really sell?