In this article I’m going to talk to you about a very different and potentially even more promising way to make money on Amazon. I’ll explain how Amazon Associates works and see if it’s as good as it sounds.
With this way of making money on Amazon, you don’t need to see or touch a single product. In fact, you don’t even need to have a product. You also don’t need to make any sales. Amazon takes care of all of that for you. It is a method that, with time and effort, could make you even more money than selling something on Amazon, with much less work than a conventional operation of storing, buying and selling products implies.
Everything is possible thanks to the very smart and comprehensive Amazon affiliate program which is known at Amazon-speak as Amazon Associates.
Of course, you are probably saying that affiliate programs are nothing new. And you would be right.
But Amazon Associates is not just any affiliate program. It is a proven, highly professional program, relatively easy to get started, and free to join. Not only that, but it allows you to ride on the back of the famous and highly respected brand that is Amazon. That’s why if you’re new to affiliate schemes, or have tried others before and been disappointed in the results, Amazon Associates might be worth a closer look.
What is an affiliate scheme?
You probably know what an affiliate program (or scheme) is, but in case you don’t know, I’ll briefly cover what they are here. Basically, an affiliate scheme is an agreement that allows an internet marketer (you in this case) the opportunity to promote the products and services that another sells and receive a commission (or referral fee as it is sometimes known) for doing it. It’s a very simple idea and it’s proven to work.
The Amazon affiliate program is a very advanced and sophisticated affiliate scheme, yet easy to use. When you sign up for the Amazon Associates program, you don’t need any products of your own. Instead, introduce or refer potential buyers to Amazon’s wide range of ready-made products. More on exactly how that works shortly. If they later buy something, Amazon pays them a commission for the sale.
In very simple terms, what is happening is that Amazon is paying you to find and send potential customers to them. It’s basically a classic pay-per-share or PPA arrangement.
Of course, you can be an affiliate of all kinds of companies. But one of the benefits of being an Amazon affiliate is that people already know and trust the Amazon brand. Therefore, it is (or should be) much more likely that those you refer to buy, and buy more, than other unknown or ordinary affiliate schemes.
How does Amazon work with affiliates?
Amazon calls its affiliate scheme Amazon Associates. Actually, that’s a bit misleading. When you join, you are not really an Amazon associate. You are an absolute affiliate. Amazon’s affiliate program is one of the oldest on the internet. In fact, Amazon pioneered this method of marketing when the Internet was still in its infancy. It works like this:
1. Set up a website and generate traffic for it.
2. You sign up for the Amazon Associates program.
Once approved by Amazon, you have access to a variety of tools and techniques that allow you to refer your site visitors to any or all of Amazon’s product portfolio.
3. You choose the products you want to promote. Then you create affiliate links on your site that point to Amazon. If a visitor to your site clicks on one of the approved affiliate links and goes to Amazon and buys something within a certain period of time, they get a commission on the sale price.
The Pros and Cons of Amazon Associates
* Pro. You don’t need products or services to sell. You don’t need to spend time developing, creating, or manufacturing them.
* Pro. No need to store, handle or ship products. Amazon does it for you.
* Pro. You do not need to handle payments. Amazon does it for you too.
* Pro. You do not need to provide customer support / endorsement. The supplier of the product does it for you.
Now, I said that affiliate schemes are basically simple. And essentially they are. But there are one or two drawbacks you should be aware of before you begin.
* Swindle. There may be stiff competition. Because affiliate schemes are easy to do, there may be competition from other people doing the same as you. Many people are already Amazon affiliates, so there is already fair competition to face.
* Swindle. There is no product exclusivity. Anyone else can sell the same products and services as you. And you can’t control the price … at least not with Amazon.
You will need to choose a good niche and work hard to persuade customers to buy from you; More on this later.
* Swindle. It is not a totally independent business, despite claims made by some people promoting affiliate schemes. You will still need a website (in most cases). You will need to spend time and money generating traffic for this. That can be tricky when you’re new to everything.
* Swindle. Affiliate program commissions can be quite small. Question of pennies per sale in some cases. You need to generate a good volume of referrals to earn a good income. (Amazon promises up to 10%, but frankly, 5% would be safer.)