Making Money With Your Own Amazon Affiliate Website

Making Money With Your Own Amazon Affiliate Website

Amazon Affiliate Website Guide For Beginners

Amazon has been a great income earner for affiliates for many years, but changes to a variety of factors such as SEO and the habits of your typical web surfer have made it a much different environment than it was a few years ago.

It was once possible to create micro niche sites that focused on a very specific niche subject, or even one single product, and make very good money. Google seemed to love those micro niche sites, and it was very easy to rank them and make a lot of money quickly.

But times change. Google apparently decided they wanted that most micro niche sites were spam, which was mostly true, and decided it wanted to rank sites that had huge amounts of quality content instead. It destroyed a lot of businesses, and domains began expiring left and right because they lost their rankings and were no longer profitable.

With all these changes making old methods difficult, if not nearly impossible, is it still possible to make money as an Amazon affiliate?

The answer is a resounding, “YES!”

The methods may be different, but it certainly is possible to earn very good money as an Amazon affiliate, and you’re going to learn how in this guide.

So let’s begin.

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do is toss out your old notions of micro-niche sites. These sites are a lot harder to make profitable, and it requires a lot more marketing and promotion. It’s simply not feasible.

Google doesn’t like tiny Amazon affiliate websites, because tiny websites are generally nothing but spam. For this reason, it’s incredibly difficult to rank a “thin” website, meaning the original purpose of micro niche sites (to bring in a large amount of traffic to promote just one or two affiliate products) is pretty much dead unless you’re willing to put in a ton of time and effort into other marketing methods.

Instead, it’s important to focus on wider niches, because if you’re going to put so much effort into promotion, you might as well have a lot more products that you can potentially sell.

Another thing that is practically dead is the review site. Review sites just aren’t going to rank in Google, and most people just go to Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, or some other major retailer to find reviews. People online are more savvy than ever, and they have learned that the average “review site” is nothing more than a thinly-veiled affiliate site.

While review sites can work, it’s just so much harder than it once was. You can no longer easily rank these sites, and they require a lot more promotion, and since people no longer trust them like they once did, they really aren’t as profitable.

Fortunately, there’s a better way.

It does NOT involve:

  • Creating “thin” affiliate sites with little to no original content
  • Focusing on single products or narrow niches
  • Spamming Google and other search engines
  • Registering dozens of domains (or more)
  • Intense keyword research
  • Paid advertising

This method is actually easier and more fun than the old method, and requires less financial investment than the old micro niche method, because you only need one domain, or maybe a handful, instead of dozens, hundreds, or thousands. You can focus on a broader niche, while still attracting Google traffic and getting traffic from other sources.

In fact, this is actually the type of method Google prefers, because you’re creating REAL website with REAL content and REAL benefits to your visitors!

amazon affiliate website

Choosing a Niche

Alright, the first thing you need to do is choose a niche to focus on. This method is so much easier than the micro niche method, because it doesn’t involve hours upon hours of researching products, affiliate networks, and keyword tools. You just pick a niche for your Amazon affiliate website and go.

Okay, so it does involve SOME research, but the research is faster and easier using this method, and using a few free tools you can complete this in an hour or less in most cases.

The first thing to do is figure out a niche that has voracious buyers but NOT a ton of competition. This is the toughest part, because most markets with voracious buyers are insanely competitive. (Some competition is good, but too much competition makes your job much harder.)

Golf, for example, is a popular niche for internet marketers to get into. This is especially true for beginners. Yes, golfers do tend to have excess income to spend. Yes, they do tend to spend a good chunk of that excess income on their on their hobby. But because pretty much everyone knows this, competition is ridiculous. There are just too many established golf websites for the average marketer to compete.

Is it possible to compete? Absolutely. But unless you are extremely good at marketing and/or have a huge budget for advertising and content creation, you’re not likely to make a whole lot of headway in this niche. It’s just far too over-saturated.

A great idea is focusing on a broad interest group rather than a more competitive niche. Take a look at DIYReady.com (http://www.diyready.com), for example. They have a niche—DIY—but it’s broad enough that they have a huge number of topics they can focus on within the DIY spectrum, which also gives them a broader range of products they can promote.

Because there are so many individual topics under the DIY umbrella, virtually anyone can compete in this particular niche. People who enjoy this type of content typically frequent multiple DIY websites, and those users are easy to access because they are prevalent on Pinterest and other social websites.

This is the type of niche you should try to locate. You want something broad—but not too broad—with voracious buyers and fans that are easy to locate.

Some examples include:

  • DIY, crafts, home improvement, gardening, etc.
  • Prepping, survival, outdoor skills
  • Model building (cars, ships, airplanes, etc.)
  • Various careers
  • Pets (specific breeds, or types)

The great thing about this method is that if you discover one aspect of a particular niche isn’t working for you, it’s easy to switch to another one as long as you get a domain that covers the whole, broad niche.

For example, if you decided to market to model builders and want to focus on model cars, you might want to register a domain like modelbuilders.com instead of modelcarbuilders.com so you can branch out into planes and ships later. (I’m sure those domains are taken, I’m just using them as a basic example.)

Worst case scenario, if you create a large amount of custom content in a niche and it doesn’t pan out the way you hope, you could sell the website or articles to someone else in the niche to recoup some of the costs you incurred, and probably make a good profit.

Once you’ve chosen a niche and bought a fairly broad domain, it’s time to move on.

amazon affiliate website

Building the Website

I’m going to recommend the use of WordPress to build the site, simply because it’s easy, quick, has pretty decent built-in SEO, and has tons of customization options available for appearance, security, functionality, etc.

I’m not going to give you a step-by-step guide to building a site with WordPress, because there are thousands of those online already. Just search Google or YouTube if you need a tutorial on how to build a site with WordPress. It’s a lot easier than you probably think!

You’ll need the following:

  • Domain name, purchased through NameCheap or other registrar
  • Hosting, purchased through NameCheap, HostGator, or other
  • WordPress, free and easy installation often included in hosting
  • A WordPress theme, free or paid

Once you have a basic website built, all you have to do is start adding content. You can create this content yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. Just make sure the content is well-written, grammatically correct, and interesting, because Google has become a lot more strict about the quality of the content it indexes.

We’ll talk more about content creation in the next section, so let’s move on.

amazon affiliate website

Content Creation

The content on your site is probably the single most important element of this system for many reasons. Because you won’t be focusing solely on getting traffic from Google and sending that traffic straight off to an Amazon product, the content on your site must attract the right types of traffic and grab and keep their attention and interest.

We’re going to take a look at a few different factors regarding the content on your site.

Content Quality

The quality of the content on your site will have a lot to do with its success—more so than ever before. Not only are web surfers more in-tune with what quality content should be like, but Google also uses quality as a ranking factor.

Google does check the overall content on your site to make sure it’s relatively free of typos and errors, so it’s important to make sure your content is well written.

In addition to this, Google also pays attention to the average length of time a visitor spends on your site, and whether or not they visit other pages of your site. This is known as “bounce rate”. If you have a high bounce rate, it means people are leaving your site without looking at any other pages, which Google takes to mean your content isn’t what people are looking for. This will hurt your rankings.

Google wants to see the average user staying on your site for a good length of time, as well as visiting other pages. Make sure your content quality supports this!

Keep in mind that visual content like videos and photo slideshows, along with interactive content like quizzes and surveys, are more likely to go viral and bring in a lot of traffic, as well as getting people to spend more time on your site.

Make sure you include relevant images in your articles, too. Images are vitally important these days. Not only do they make your article more interesting to visitors, but they provide a great way to let people share your content on social media and bring you more traffic. If you don’t include relevant images, you won’t see anything show up on social media, or you’ll see only your site’s logo or background, which could be worse than having no image at all.

Content Length

The length of your content goes hand-in-hand with its quality, at least in the eyes of Google. While it’s been proven that the average surfer these days has a very short attention span, Google seems to thing that very, very long content is “quality”, and short content is not.

It used to be that putting up ten 150-word articles would bring in far more traffic than putting up one 1,500-word article, but those days are gone. These days, content should be long—the longer, the better. Not only that, but Google seems to favor content that is actually updated on occasion—meaning it’s better to add a bit of content to an older article than to create a new one—at least once your site already has a good amount of content on it.

Generally, articles should be at least 500 words, and up to 3,000 (perhaps longer in some cases) is even better. Who knows why Google seems to be so adamant about longer content considering declining attention spans, but as it is, length matters.

Content Variety

Another important factor is making sure you create a variety of content, including various forms of media such as videos, slideshows, and even downloads.

You don’t actually have to create videos yourself. You can just embed other people’s videos in your pages. But if you can create your own, it will help you get additional traffic from places like YouTube and Facebook.

Having a variety of posts on your site will help you get more traffic and make your site more interesting, so try to include some different types of content for variety.
Aim for having at least ten posts on you site before you attempt any type of promotion or add any affiliate links. This will help you rank in Google, as well as giving visitors additional content to visit, hopefully lowering your bounce rate.

Affiliate Products

Once your site is up and populated with a few articles, you can start adding some affiliate links. But remember, you can’t treat this the same way you might have those micro niche sites that were so popular a few years ago! It takes finesse!

Don’t put affiliate links in every single article of your Amazon affiliate website. Don’t use banners on your site unless you’re using a PPC ad network for extra income. Banners just don’t work as well anymore.

Instead, you should create posts that are solely mean to promote a particular product, without making it seem like you’re promoting the product.

Basically, this means demonstrating the use of the product in some way without making your post seem like nothing but an ad.

For example, let’s say you want to sell some really cool kitchen gadget. You could make a video of yourself preparing some dish that uses the gadget and shows just how cool it really is. (Alternately, you could embed someone else’s video and just talk about how cool it is in your article.)

Then you could provide an affiliate link to the product at the end of your article. Do not use banners or anything like that, because you don’t want to seem too promotional, but at the same time, don’t hide that you’re using an affiliate link, because that’s against Amazon’s terms, and could also upset your visitors.

I would promote an affiliate product in maybe 1:5 posts or 1:10. I know this seems like you won’t be making much money, but if you’re promoting affiliate links more often than that, people will become blind to them and think you’re all about money rather than user experience. In the long run, you’ll make more money with fewer ads, because more people will visit your site often in anticipation of new content.

Make sure you find the best-of-the-best when it comes to the products you promote. If possible, test each item yourself so you can be sure it really works. An added bonus to testing it yourself is the ability to post your own pictures and/or videos, which will help you seem more authentic in its promotion, thus increasing sales.

Also, be sure to promote products in a wide range of prices. If you’re only promoting products over $100, people will grow tired of it. Not everyone can afford to splurge on expensive items often. Be sure you throw the occasional $5 item into the mix. You can even say, “I can’t believe how inexpensive this is!”

And don’t worry about the miniscule commission you’ll receive when you promote a $5 item. Many people will end up ordering more than just that $5 commission, and you’ll make money on whatever else they purchase, too!

Traffic Generation

Perhaps the most difficult part of this process is finding traffic, but even that isn’t particularly difficult once you understand the various social media outlets and how they work. It’s actually easier than ever before to get traffic to a website!

It’s a good idea to have a presence on all of the most prominent social sites, including:

  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat

If you’re not very familiar with social media, it’s time to change that. If you’re going to be successful online these days, social media is an absolute must unless you’re willing (and able) to shell out big money on paid ads. Plus, the most effective paid ads these days tend to be on the social networks, anyway. Either way, you need to get familiar with all of the major networks.

If you want to get started learning how to use social media for effective website promotion, I recommend checking out:

>> http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com

This site has a ton of articles and tutorials to help you get started on social media. If you spend a couple of days on this site, you’ll learn the basics of all the major social media platforms on no time.

Don’t want to jump into too many new sites at once? If you only want to get started on a handful of sites, first, that’s okay. There are really three sites you should focus on in the beginning:

  1. Facebook – This is the goliath of social media. It’s important to get a fan page created for your website ASAP.
  2. Pinterest – There’s not many sites that can bring more traffic than Pinterest, especially if you use it correctly. Post often, post relevant content that is likely to be re-pinned a lot, and follow as many accounts relevant to your niche as you can.
  3. Instagram – You may have been expecting Twitter to be the third site, but I’ve actually found Instagram a lot more effective than Twitter. There are no “secrets” to Instagram, really. Just follow relevant users, like and comment on their content, and post great images on a regular basis with relevant hashtags. It’s easy.

Twitter is probably the next one you should focus on, followed by YouTube, and then others like Snapchat.

Be careful to grow your social media at a natural rate. If you follow too many people, make too many comments, etc., too quickly, you could get banned.

Conclusion

I know it’s tempting to hold onto those old methods of making micro niche sites that focus on a single product, or a single niche product, but those days are over—at least as far as making nearly hands-off income. Google isn’t ranking tiny websites well anymore, and making a micro niche website work requires so much promotion through social media and/or paid traffic that it’s no longer profitable to create them.

These days, it’s all about creating niche sites that are broader in coverage, creating killer content that keeps people coming back, building a solid base, and promoting a wide variety of products within that broader niche.

This method does require more work, overall, than building micro niche websites that you could “set and forget”. Instead of creating a website, getting a few backlinks, and letting it run on its own once Google rankings kicked in, it requires an ongoing commitment to keep creating new content, updating old content, and promoting on social networks.

However, the rewards are also much greater. Instead of making $3-$10 per website each month and needing to keep up hundreds of domain names each year to make good money, you only need a handful of domains—or even one. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort it takes, you can make huge money with your Amazon affiliate websites.

Good luck!  Let me know how this goes for you in the comments below!

Affiliate Marketing With Michael Cheney

Affiliate Marketing With Michael Cheney

Have you heard about making money with affiliate marketing but you aren’t even sure where to start learning about what works and what not?

Wondering how come some of the people in this industry make loads and loads of money while you failed so far?

Looking for straight answers about becoming an affiliate after all you’ve got so far were riddles?

Give yourself a round of applause, because you just reached one of the gates into the world of affiliate marketing and the knowledge we gathered for you can only be described as massive. Michael Cheney, the affiliate marketing leaderboard king, sat down with me to discuss how to start out as an affiliate marketer the right way, select your niche, find the best products, and get record conversions.

Keen to start making money with affiliate marketing yourself?  Visit Michael’s Commissions Machine page – he is an AMAZING teacher, very down to earth and fun to learn from.

About This Episode on the 7 Figure Furnace series

First of all, thank you for our website!   As you might have noticed, we’re a rapidly expanding community of internet marketers and product creators looking for the best ways to sharpen our tools and minds, and we usually do it with the help of our esteemed guests.

That is also the case in this 7 Figure Furnace episode when Michael Cheney is our guest. He is talking to us about making money with affiliate marketing, taking us through the most common people staring up face and how to overcome them.

Michael-Cheney-Making-Money-With-Affiliate-Marketing

For those of you who aren’t familiar with his name, let us just say that he got where most affiliate marketers want to go. He’s been in the internet marketing game for years and has generated several million dollarsí worth of revenue from his internet businesses. His name appears on the leaderboards of the most popular affiliate marketing platforms, so there’s no surprise his students and mentees praise him for how vital his advice was for their success.

Rather Listen?

If you’d rather listen to the episode than read about in, go ahead. I won’t mind. You can always come back later to check out the resources and links Michael talks about in the interview.

Play the audio in a new window or download it.

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS or Stitcher.

Here are the things you should know about making money with affiliate marketing:

A Business Model with No Restrictions

Back in ’99, Michael Cheney was building websites and testing the powers of SEO, helping business owners get noticed, but he realized there would always be a limit to the number of people he could see every day, and thus to how much money he could make.

He realized he had the marketing knowledge to do more, but he was just not applying it to his own business. So he did something about it – created a first digital product and started selling it online. There were no more restraints. He made good money. Currently, he only focuses on making money with affiliate marketing, selling other people’s products, finding appealing angles for promoting those products.

With digital products, you can sell as many as people want to buy, you don’t have to invest your time to make sales one by one, or handle shipping. With affiliate marketing, you don’t even have to sell your own products. The possibilities are endless.

The Simple Formula of Affiliate Marketing

Think about web traffic. Everybody wants it. A product that delivers something people want is a product that will make you money.† With affiliate marketing, instead of creating a product that helps people get free web traffic, you find a product created by somebody else that does that. You promote it, and you receive a commission for each sale you generate.

As you can see, affiliate marketing is simple – you find and promote products people want. You’re the middleman matching the prospect that has a problem with the product that is the solution. When you make that connection and the potential customer buys, you receive an affiliate commission of 15% or more of the value of the product.

The Only Thing That Matters in Affiliate Marketing

This might come as a surprise to many people, but you don’t have to be a programmer or a designer or an advertising guru to get started with affiliate marketing. The most important thing is the traffic you’re able to generate and to do so you don’t even need a website or an email list.

If you don’t want to, or you just don’t afford to pay for video ads, solo ads, Facebook ads, or AdWords, you don’t have to, you can start without any of those things.

You can start with a free WordPress.com blog or a Facebook page, you don’t even need a website. You can slowly build you reach by using what it is available to you. The only things you’ll need is a JVZoo account so you can find the products you could sell and a way of getting your message in front of people.

JVZoo-Making-Money-With-Affiliate-Marketing

The easiest way to do this is to create a new Facebook account or Facebook page. Start building a network by initially following groups, pages, people that are involved in the online marketing space. Don’t start promoting products from the start. Listen to others are saying, then start contributing, adding value. Start bringing external articles into discussion, share useful resources. Only after these initial 24-48 hours you can start introducing the products you’re promoting.

People who started this way quickly made a few hundred dollars a day; all with no list, and no website, and no money for ads.

As long as you know the right way to find the best products and the best way to promote them, you should be able to succeed in making money with affiliate marketing.

Why Make Money Online (MMO) Is Probably the Right Niche for You

The principles of affiliate marketing are the same, no matter what niche we’re talking about: you spot in a problem, you find a product that offers the solution to that problem, and then you get the message about that product in front of the market.

Make Money Online always sells, it’s always a hot topic, and you should go where the money is. Chasing your passion and finding a niche that would help you monetize it might prove to be a more difficult path that it should be. By entering, at least when you’re starting out, in the Make Money Online niche, you can make sure you’re doing the thing you came into this space to do in the first place – to make money.

With affiliate marketing, you should be able to build a business that enables you to go off and fulfill your true passions in your spare time, or in the time you set aside from work especially to achieve your personal goals. Michael Cheney uses the MMO niche as a vehicle to get a lot of money in and a lot of free time to follow his passions without worrying that he can’t find a way to monetize them, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love internet marketing.

Don’t Get Caught Up in the “Monetize Your Passion” Mantra

Some people fixate on finding a niche that would help them make money off their hobbies and passions. This can be an excruciatingly painful process, that could also take many years.

By going where the money goes, you give yourself the opportunity to branch out later, or to dive deeper into another niche you’re interested in.

Finding the Best Products to Sell

There are metrics you could analyze to determine if a product would be a good choice, and these are readily available on platforms like JVZoo that connect affiliate marketers and vendors.

Some of these metrics are how many sales a product has, how much money would 100 clicks bring affiliates, how much money they could make each time they send a click out to a vendor’s website. All of these metrics are important, but there are other factors to take into consideration:

  • Who is the audience? How easy can you reach those people?
  • Do you like the product? Are you naturally drawn to it?
  • Do you understand the product? Do you see why people would buy it?

If you’re not scoring high on all of those factors, it’s going to come up when you’re promoting the product and people are going to see that. If you see something that offers you $100 per sale but you have no understanding of it, people will see right through you and they won’t buy.

Many people fail in affiliate marketing because they’re looking for shortcuts and this field isn’t really about that. Even though it’s so easy to get started, you still need to do it the right way. If you just use the swipe files you get from the vendor and set your campaign up like everybody else, you’ll just get the same results as everybody else.

You need to think differently, find those hidden products that on paper generate as much income per click as others but that you can resonate more with, so you would become more passionate about them when you explain why people should buy them. The most successful promotions are the one in which people can see and feel that you are excited about the product. If people know you used a swipe file to email them about a product, they know you don’t care that much about the product, after all, you made the minimum required effort. If you are emailing people 30 times this week about a single product, and you publish a video, and do a bundle, and post about it on social media, people will think “hey, I’d better check this out.”

Why You Need to Buy the Products You’re Promoting

People react well when they see an affiliate using and getting great results with the product they’re selling. The usage-results proof is very powerful in generating conversions, but this can’t always be the case. For many products, you just don’t have the time to use the product and get some case-study worthy results before your promotion starts.

If you can’t test a product, at least buy it. Demonstrate to people, on video or with a screen shot, that you trust the product enough to make a purchase. If you used it or not matters less, but you need to show people that you have bought the product. This will go a long way in generating sales for you for that product because the prospects can see you’re not just promoting the product for the commissions, you’re proving you believe in the product.

How to Dominate the Competitions for the Most Sales

Right after a launch, many vendors organize challenges for their affiliates, to determine who can bring in the most sales. Michael Cheney is one of the most common names on these leaderboards. What he does different to get his name up there is:

  1. Frequency

People are usually afraid they’ll have people unsubscribe if they email them too often, or if they post too often on Twitter or Facebook, but Michael Cheney doesn’t think that way anymore. For each campaign he runs, he sends out 25-30 emails. He emails people 3 times per day. He figured out that his emailing frequency is actually helping him generate more sales, thus more revenue, and the burn rate isn’t even as bad as people think it would be.

When he first started making money with affiliate marketing, he wasn’t even emailing people daily. When he began doing it daily, he saw his earnings going up and he wondered what would happen if he’d email people twice per day. The result was more money.

When you’re blasting so many messages out there, content is also crucial, because you need to really bring something useful to the table. Michael Cheney believes in edutainment – he entertains and educates.

  1. Curiosity

Give people one little thing that would draw them to the rest. Gary Halbert once said that the reason why most people buy something is curiosity, not benefits, nor features. If you can use that in the messages you put out, you’ll get traction, people will click to see the rest.

Making-Money-With-Affiliate-Marketing-Michael-Cheney-Emails

You need to use a little thing like “You’ll Be Shocked to See How Easy You Can Rank on Google in 20 Seconds” or ì42-Year-Old Man Makes $30,000 Worth of Commissions per Month with No List, No Money, and No Ads” and then draw people in with the rest of the promotion. You don’t want to answer the entire question in an email, but you want to hook people and get them to click.

Everything You Put Out There Should Make You Money

Every email you send should have a link to something people can buy. Pitch people constantly but do it in a fun, entertaining way so they wouldn’t lose interest. Don’t use a swipe file when you can talk from your own experience, from what you achieved or learned after you bought the product. Most affiliates email people or post a message somewhere and they start explaining how the product works, what are the benefits, but that is something that everyone can do. You can actually differentiate yourself by sharing your own experience with people.

Own Who You Are and What Your Style Is

Don’t walk on eggshells with the people on your list or on your Facebook page or website. You donít have to sound like an affiliate marketer. Use whatever language you want, express yourself in your own way, embrace your style. This is something that you’ll later wish you did from the start because it really helps you stay connected only to the people that click with who you are and what you have to offer.

Making Money with Affiliate Marketing – Where to Start Today

Here’s your game plan for the day:

  1. Decide what niche you’re going into.
  2. Go to JVZoo, sign up, see what products are available.
  3. Check out the metrics of the products – try to understand what is popular, what people are buying.
  4. Get a new Facebook account to use for your internet marketing. Or setup a free WordPress blog.
  5. Start connecting with people relevant to the niche you selected and their friends.
  6. Start contributing and get noticed.
  7. Slowly start introducing products to your newly created network.
  8. Figure out how you can increase your exposure, been see by more people.

The first 7 steps could be completed in 48-72 hours, and it will cost you nothing. So, don’t hesitate. Start making money with affiliate marketing today and share in the comments below if you have any questions, experiences you want to share etc!