Whether you are looking for your first side hustle or looking for another revenue stream to your existing hustles, Amazon Affiliate Marketing can be a great way for you to generate some extra income, from home in your spare time. This is the ultimate Amazon affiliate guide that will walk you through the steps on how to get started with the Amazon affiliate program!
This article, like many on our site, contains affiliate links to products and/or services. When you make a purchase from one of these affiliate links, we are paid a small commission. We only promote products or services we use and we can recommend. As always, you should do your own research to make sure these products or services are right for you! Thank you!
The concept of affiliate marketing isn’t a new one. Affiliate marketing has its roots in referral programs that retail stores used years ago. It worked something like this – if I really like my new car, I might tell my neighbor. That neighbor might go to the dealer and buy a car. The dealer, appreciating that I’ve sent them a new business, might pay me a referral fee as a “thank you!”
Affiliate programs work in a similar fashion. You can tell your friends and family about a product or service, and if someone buys that product or service, that company pays you a little money for your effort. Now, you could stick to just telling your friends and family about these great things you’ve found and make a few extra dollars – OR you could tell the internet and make a lot more!
You might be asking yourself “how can I make money on Amazon?”. But first, you have to learn the two different types of affiliate websites, and your first decision will be deciding which you want.
Single Product Websites – are usually smaller and more focused. Single product sites have fewer products and are easier to both start and maintain. For example, your niche site might be about cordless drills. No other power tools, no electronics, no clothing. Just cordless drills.
Authority Websites – these are larger sites with more products and information. You want your authority site to become, well, an authority in your genre. If you had a website about board games, this would be an authority site. There are dozens of different sub-categories of board games – party games, strategy games, kids games, etc. You will want to cover all of them.
There are pros and cons to each. A niche site is less work to set up so you can get started more quickly. But with fewer products and keywords, you’ll have to work harder to market your site. With an authority site, you’ll be “casting a wider net” and will likely get more traffic… but you will have to put in more work.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. I prefer to go the niche site route and keep it nice and condensed. As you are brainstorming your idea (below) keep this in mind.
Many companies have their own affiliate program to promote their product or service. If you’re interested in learning more, you can do some research on how to find these types of programs.
For the purposes of this guide, we’re going to focus on one company – Amazon. I’m going to assume, as a user of the internet, you are already familiar with Amazon and the many, many products they have to offer. Amazon has one of the best affiliate programs in that they have good payout and they have tools that make it easy to be an affiliate for them.
We’ll walk through the steps in a moment. But in a nutshell, you’re going to build a website, place links to Amazon, get traffic to your site, and (hopefully) profit!
Coming Up With Your Niche
Coming up with an idea for your affiliate website can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of creative brainstorming, you can come up with a great idea and can get you on the right path toward building your affiliate website. One piece of advice:
Don’t overthink this!
Give it some thought, do a little research, maybe ask your friends… but don’t dwell or agonize over this step. Come up with something and move forward!
What makes a good affiliate website product idea? It should:
- be something you enjoy. If you like baby strollers and will want to do research on baby strollers, then that’s a good candidate. If you have no interest in power tools, then that might not be a great niche for you to explore.
- have some items on Amazon. If you want to have an affiliate website for “widgets,” then you should check Amazon for widgets. If there aren’t any… then you might want to pass on that product. Ideally, you’ll want something that has several products to choose from.
- NOT be over-saturated. Be careful about picking an item that has TOO many items and is too general. You could pick “footballs” for instance, but that’s a very broad category, and there are dozens and dozens of footballs. This could be a perfectly fine affiliate site if you are really into footballs, but you might want to keep looking.
Keep a list of ideas as you brainstorm, and you will come up with a winner in no time!
Getting Your Domain Name
Once you have your idea, you will want to get a domain name. A domain name is the “dot com” for your website (amazon.com, microsoft.com, ebay.com are all domain names). Picking a domain name isn’t hard – you’ll want something that matches your idea. So, if your affiliate site is about, say, cordless drills, then you’ll want a domain that matches.
Here’s the hard part – you’re never going to get cordlessdrills.com. I don’t even have to look, and I can tell you that cordlessdrills.com is taken. You’ll still want to check – you might get super lucky! But, it’s more likely that you’ll want to get something that’s “close enough.” You can try variations on your idea name by adding other words or hyphens. So, you could try:
You might have to try several different variations before you get one that is available. How do you check to see if a domain name is available? You can do that at namecheap.com. Name Cheap is a domain registration company, and they have an easy-to-use search tool that will let you search all available domains until you find the right one.
Once you’ve picked the perfect domain name (and confirmed that it’s available), you can buy it right from Name Cheap. Prices vary, but it’s usually around $10/year (but you can often get deals by looking around online).
Hosting Your Website
Next, you’ll need to have a highly rated web hosting company. A hosting company is where your website is “stored.” Think of it this way, you have files on your computer. Those files are typically only available to you, not to everyone on the internet. Your web hosting company will have all the files that make up your website on THEIR computers – but they open it up so anyone with an internet connection can view those files.
There are lots of hosting companies out there. I’ve used many of them at one point or another. The one I recommend and use for my websites is SiteGround. SiteGround is fast, secure, and they have some of the best customer service I’ve ever encountered from a web host. SiteGround has a basic hosting package (more than enough for your needs) for only $3.95/month.
Getting your hosting is easy. Just go to SiteGround, pick the hosting package you want (go for the $3.95/month package!), and check out!
Next, you will want to install WordPress on your new SiteGround account. WordPress is the software that “runs” your website. It provides the structure of your site, lets you do cool things like add text and images and contact forms and the like. This is a necessary component to running a successful affiliate website.
The good news is WordPress is FREE and EASY TO INSTALL!
WordPress is “open source” software, so it’s free to use. And if you go with SiteGround (and I hope you did!), they make it VERY easy to install on your website. They’ve included a wizard on your account; all you have to do is press a few buttons, type in the name of your site, and click install. It does the rest for you. To make it even easier, SiteGround has made this very simple, step-by-step “How to Install WordPress.”
Get a WordPress Theme Made for Amazon Affiliate Marketing
Now we’re getting to the fun part! You’ll want to get a theme for WordPress. Think of the theme as the gift wrapping that covers WordPress and makes it functional and attractive.
There are lots of different themes out there that you can use, but for our Amazon affiliate site, we’re going to use a theme called UltimateAzon. UltimateAzon is a theme that is specifically designed to let you run an Amazon affiliate website. With the UltimateAzon theme, you can:
- Customize the look and feel of your site
- Add reviews for any number of products
- Add images
- Connect your products directly to your Amazon affiliate account
- Add blog posts
- And much more!
The UltimateAzon theme is inexpensive and totally worth the investment! It can be a little complicated to set up, especially for the novice. Luckily the UltimateAzon team has come up with both an FAQ and Documentation to help.
Signing Up For Amazon Associates
If you haven’t done so already, you will need to sign up for an Amazon Associates account. Applying, and being accepted, is the only way to get paid for referring people to Amazon. Once you’re approved, you will be provided with a unique code, something like “mycoolstore-20,” which you will use on your website so you get referral credit for the sale!
Setting Up Products
You know your niche, you have your site, now you need to get your products on there! There is a great tutorial on getting started with this process on the UltimateAzon documentation page.
You now have the basics of how to build your own Amazon affiliate programs! But you’re not done yet. Still on your to-do list:
- Write Reviews/Description – provide a write-up of your product. Add your thoughts, experiences, etc. Even if you’ve never had that actual product, you can often learn a lot about the product by reading the Amazon description and Amazon reviews left on the product.
- Marketing Your Site – coming up with a marketing plan depends greatly on your niche. Facebook is a great resource. For instance, if your niche is something related to children, you might find “mom’s groups” on Facebook, and post your link there (be sure to check their rules first!).