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In 2017 alone, Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items around the world through its Prime program. In total, Amazon made more than $177 billion dollars in net sales just in 2017. If it is hard for you to grasp that scale, you’re not alone. Clearly, Amazon is dominating the world of online shopping. For many men and women, Amazon and similar online sellers also offer opportunities to make money while working from home.

Whether you run a website, a blog or popular social media profiles, you can turn a profit by working as an affiliate marketer. Take a closer look at some of the ways that you can make money online, monetize your blog and become an official Amazon affiliate.

The Rise of Work-From-Home Opportunities

In the past, making money translated directly to having a 9-5 job. Opportunities where you could work from home, or work on your own terms, were few and far between. Many of the so-called work-from-home jobs turned out to be scams, or they paid little more than minimum wage. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. An increasing number of Americans across all fields are working from home.

Sometimes, that means working remotely, just like as many as 43 percent of American employees do for some or all of the year. However, working from home can also mean being your own boss and harnessing the power of the internet in order to generate income without working for a traditional company.

If you’re interested in making money online, there are countless opportunities to choose from. You can freelance as an author, you can promote products or services through sponsored social media posts or you can host ads on your website. One of the fastest-growing ways to make money online is through affiliate marketing.

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Understanding Affiliate Marketing

The simplest way to think of affiliate marketing is to think of it as a job in sales. Your job is to bring your readers’ or users’ attention to certain products. In exchange, you’ll get a kind of commission from every sale made as a result of your ad or promotion. The bigger your audience, the greater the number of sales that are possible. The more ads, promotions or links you provide, the more opportunities there are to make a commission.

The way you earn money through affiliate marketing varies from one organization to the next. Sometimes, you’ll earn a set amount of money for every sale that is made. In other cases, you can expect a percentage of the total sale amount. You might receive codes to share, or you may generate personalized links to ensure you get credit for relevant sales. There are countless affiliate programs that you can become a part of, but there is no question that Amazon has the largest.

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How to Make Money Online

If you’re committed to making money online, then affiliate marketing is an obvious choice. Often, the hardest decision you’ll make is what affiliate marketing program to choose. The best affiliate programs aren’t always obvious. After all, what is best for a running website won’t necessarily be what is best for a cooking website. It is important to spend some time exploring both the best-known affiliate programs like Amazon Associates and the eBay Partner Network as well as some of the smaller programs geared toward niche audiences and sales.

Amazon Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing through Amazon is by far the most popular way to earn money online as an affiliate marketer. If you’re new to the world of affiliate marketing, you’ll appreciate that Amazon’s affiliate marketing program is easy to use and understand. Since Amazon boasts more than 1 million sellers, there are countless products for you to make money on.

Amazon Affiliate Marketing

Most importantly, Amazon Associates allows you to pick and choose the products you want to promote. With hundreds of millions of items available for sale, that gives you complete control and flexibility to match the products with your niche and your audience. Imagine that you have a baking website. On a single blog post, you could link Amazon affiliate items and make a commission on such products as:

  • Holiday aprons

  • Nonstick baking trays

  • Silicon oven mitts

  • Toaster ovens

  • Colorful spatulas

Each of these items can be purchased through Amazon, and they all directly relate to the kind of content you might create on a baking website. Best of all, your audience probably already trusts Amazon. There is no need to convince your readers that Amazon is a safe and trusted company for online shopping. Odds are good that most of your readers already confidently purchase similar items from Amazon, making your job much easier.

eBay Affiliate Marketing and Additional Affiliate Opportunities

Another hugely popular online affiliate marketing program is the eBay Partner Network. Once again, a huge benefit to partnering with eBay is the sheer size of the sales network. Millions of sellers use eBay, and there are millions of different products available. Since eBay is widely recognized, your audience should feel comfortable purchasing items from eBay as well.

Ebay Affiliate Marketing

Keep in mind that whatever affiliate marketing program you choose, you’ll get paid through a commission. That commission can vary significantly from one program to the next and even from one type of product to the next. On toys purchased through Amazon, for example, you can expect a relatively low commission of 3 percent. On gift cards or digital purchases like e-books, there is a zero percent commission. Here is a brief chart showcasing some of the most popular Amazon categories and the corresponding fixed standard rate fee for affiliates.

  • Clothing and Accessories: 7 percent

  • Luxury Beauty Products: 10 percent

  • PCs and PC Components: 2.5 percent

  • Headphones and Musical Instruments: 6 percent

  • Outdoor Equipment and Tools: 5.5 percent

Amazon and eBay are two of the largest and most comprehensive affiliate marketing programs out there. However, you can also participate in smaller affiliate programs with individual brands or with marketing agencies. If you write a blog exclusively about running, for example, you might become an affiliate marketer with a treadmill manufacturer. With specific, big-ticket items, you’ll probably make fewer sales but earn larger commissions with each one.

Finally, keep in mind that it is possible to become an affiliate marketer for more than one business. You can become an Amazon affiliate and partner with an independent company. Although spreading yourself too thin and participating in a dozen programs is not recommended, two or three affiliate marketing programs can work well for a single website or blog.

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How to Monetize Your Blog

Many people start a blog and immediately want to know how they can monetize it. While it is absolutely true that blogs can be monetized, and they can bring in a substantial amount of money, you need more than just affiliate links in order to be profitable. First and foremost, you need to have a blog that delivers value. Once you’ve generated a sizable audience, established a voice and earned the trust of readers, you’ll have more success with your affiliate marketing.



Building Content to Generate Income

In order to establish an audience, you need to generate content. Your blog has to provide something of value that will bring people in. There are several routes to growing your blog in order to monetize it, and they all include content creation.

If you’ve already established a blog, think carefully about what you want the website to focus on. Ideally, your blog would revolve around passions and interests that you already have. Generating content on a regular basis is challenging, but it will be easier if you’re focused on a subject that you’re already familiar with. Then, consider how you can add value to the lives of your future audience.

Your content should answer a question, entertain or inform. Imagine that you’re a fashion blogger. What kind of things are people searching for online that relate to fashion? Some common search engine terms might include the following:

  • Fashion trends for 2019

  • Professional office attire for women

  • Are boot cut jeans back in fashion?

  • Cheap summer dresses

These are all things that users are searching for, which means that those users are seeking information. Answer their questions by creating content, such as a blog post, that revolves around these search engine queries. This approach means that users will find you organically, and they might already be learning more about products they plan to purchase. By supplying them with answers, you increase your credibility.

The more traffic you have, the more money you can potentially make through affiliate marketing. With that in mind, you’ll need to work to increase traffic in a variety of ways. As already mentioned, one of the keys is increasing organic search traffic by creating content that is search engine-friendly. Another approach is to get active on social media.



Getting Active on Social Media

On social media, you can build brand awareness and cultivate a community. On Facebook, you can post pictures that will spark the interest of your followers, and on Twitter, you can share updates throughout the day. If you have a website or a blog, it makes sense to utilize social media at the same time. The kind of social media platform you use should be one that your audience relates to the most. If you’re appealing to retirees, then Facebook might be the best way to reach your intended audience. If you’re linking products geared toward teenagers, then Snapchat could be a better fit.

Keep in mind that your affiliate links aren’t limited to your blog. You can include affiliate links in email correspondence if you have an email marketing campaign already in place. Alternatively, you can add direct affiliate links in the captions of social media posts, which might work well if your posts are about a specific product.



Creating a Community Around Your Brand

Think about the last time you purchased something online. Why did you buy it? The odds are good that you heard about the item from a friend, saw it mentioned on Facebook or had a co-worker recommend it. In a world full of online reviews, we still value personal recommendations. When you know and trust someone, you’re more likely to follow their shopping advice and seek out similar products or services.

Now, think about how to help your audience feel closer to you and begin to trust you. Perhaps the best way to achieve both goals is through content. When you share more about your passions, your activities and your preferences, you’re opening up to your readers. The more they learn about you, the closer they will feel to you. This, in turn, boosts your power of influence. If a reader loves your recipes and you recommend a specific cooking tool, they are more likely to follow your advice.

How to Become an Amazon Affiliate

If you’re ready to dive into affiliate marketing, joining Amazon’s program might be the right choice. Becoming an Amazon affiliate is straightforward and doesn’t take long. Follow these steps to learn more about becoming an Amazon affiliate and how to be successful as an affiliate member.

Signing Up as an Amazon Affiliate Marketer

First things first: If you want to be an affiliate marketer through Amazon, you need to have a blog or a website. You can also have an app or even a YouTube channel, but you have to have some way to distribute content through a link that is yours and yours alone.

Next, make your way to the Amazon Associates homepage. Here, you can log in using your existing Amazon account. If you don’t have an existing Amazon account, you’ll be prompted to create one.

After you input all of your personal account information, you’ll need to supply details like the full addresses of your websites, blogs or YouTube channels. You can also pick which categories you’re most likely to promote and how you plan to drive traffic to your site.

At this point, you’ll need to supply a phone number where you can receive a call or a text. You’ll be sent a four-digit code that you can input into the Amazon Associates form to complete your profile. If desired, you can input payment information and a tax ID, which will be required for any substantial payouts in the future. After that is all complete, you’ll have a unique Amazon Associates ID that is linked to your account.

Once you’re an official Amazon Associate, you’ll have access to a dashboard that allows you to create links for any products you want to promote. You can then share those links, embed them in content or use them in any way you want. When users click those links and then make purchases from Amazon, even if the purchase isn’t what you initially promoted, you’ll make a profit.

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Being a Successful Amazon Affiliate

With your account created, you can focus on becoming a successful affiliate in the Amazon Associates program. Successful, in this case, usually means bringing in a lot of traffic, facilitating lots of sales and earning a large commission.

Once again, content is critical if you want to achieve those goals. The kind of content you create can depend on your brand, your expertise and your audience. For many Amazon affiliates, reviews are particularly effective. If you have a blog about running, you could compare and review two of the most popular treadmills available on Amazon. The people drawn to those posts will typically be individuals interested in buying a treadmill. If they click your links and purchase a treadmill through Amazon, your review will be what scores you that commission.

It is also important to think about the links you use. Through your Amazon affiliate account, you’ll be able to tweak links so that they look a certain way. You can include a simple hyperlink if you want to provide a link without making the review look like an ad. However, you can also embed images that serve as links. Since these are larger and more obvious, you might get more clicks as a result. This approach is sometimes known as using native shopping ads. Be prepared to make some adjustments and experiment with varying strategies that work for your particular website, your products and your audience.

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Increasing Your Reach Within the Amazon Affiliate Network

Once you’ve established yourself as a part of the Amazon affiliate network, you can explore some of the ways to expand your reach and grow your business. There are a nearly unlimited number of strategies that can help you increase your earnings through online affiliate marketing, but some of the most effective include keyword research, increased content, guest posts, SEO and metadata.

The Value of Keyword Research

Before a potential buyer can find your affiliate link and use it, they have to find your website. That can happen in several different ways, but one of the most common for Amazon sites is organic search engine results. Any time that you type a search query into Google, or any similar search engine, the results that come up are known as the SERPs, or search engine results pages. To be on one of those first few pages, you need to conduct keyword research and then implement your findings.

First, do your research! There are a number of keyword tools that can help you determine what keywords to naturally weave into your content in order to attract a larger audience. Some of the most popular tools include the following:

  • Keyword Planner in Google Ads

  • SEM Tool

  • Google Trends

  • Ubersuggest

Getting a Relevant Audience

Using the right keywords can ensure that the right users visit your blog or website. Ensuring a relevant audience from the beginning means a higher conversion rate for you as well as lower bounce rate since users are in the right place to meet their needs.

In order to make sure that you are targeting the right keywords to reach your target group, it is highly recommended to analyze your competition. Textbroker recently developed an AI-powered tool, which not only shows your competitors’ keywords, which you are missing, but is also able to generate an author brief to get your content created.

Learn how to get the content you need with this FREE tool.

Content Is King

It should be clear by now that content really is king. Do you want to grow your audience? More content can help. Do you want to boost your SEO rankings? Content can help. Do you want to build a brand? Quality, engaging content can help. Of course, some individuals and businesses struggle to create as much content as is truly necessary. In many cases, it makes sense to hire an outside author to craft the content you need to grow your affiliate marketing reach.

In addition, it may be worth exploring the concept of guest posts. If there are people within your network who want to contribute content to your website, usually in exchange for being able to distribute more information about their own business or brand, it may be worth creating a partnership. They can contribute content in the form of a guest post, and you’ll grow your audience and have more valuable content on your website. This can be a win-win situation for everyone involved.

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Don’t Forget About the Metadata!

Even with an abundance of content, there is still more that you can do to grow your audience and increase rankings on search engines. Search engines use programs, or algorithms, to find relevant results for each search. To make their job easier, you can include metadata. This means utilizing headers to pinpoint keywords and writing meta descriptions so that bots know what each page has to offer without crawling through all of the content.

Marketing Campaigns for Affiliate Marketers

As an affiliate marketer, you can and should be marketing yourself. On a small scale, this could mean increasing your social media presence. However, it can also include targeted advertisements. You can sponsor your results on search engine results pages, and you can advertise on social media platforms. You might also build up an email list so that you can increase your connection with your audience on a regular basis.

Don’t forget to track your strategies and your results. If one approach is working well, funnel more time and resources into that channel. Finally, consider retroactively adding affiliate links to older content. If you have evergreen blog posts that still receive visitors, for example, you can go back and add in links to products you may have mentioned in the past. Although you weren’t an affiliate marketer when the post first went live, you can still profit off that content today.

As an eBay or Amazon affiliate, you can generate income through your blog, website or social media platform. Each of the strategies listed can help you build your brand, grow your audience and increase your profit potential as an affiliate marketer.

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