Starting an online affiliate business represents a leap of faith for a lot of people. Not because it looks like something that is hard to do or understand, but because it is something that looks so easy that it seems impossible to not succeed at first glance.

But the truth is that doing online affiliate stuff is a unique way of not only turning a profit but of making a good living. Many marketers are put off by the time that it takes them to drive their first few conversions and then convince themselves that low-profit volumes are all there is for affiliates, yet many others have moderate success and keep their affiliate activity going.

The good news is that you can easily go from moderate to pro by introducing the Amazon Associates program into your affiliate marketing efforts and by applying the strategies that we are going to highlight in this guide, which we have designed so anyone can get on board regardless of online business experience.

Defining A Specific Yet Broad Niche

What is the first thing that crosses your mind when you realize that you need to buy something? Let’s elaborate by revisiting a real-world scenario as our example, so let’s say that your 5 year old niece is coming home for a holiday and that you need to get her a gift.

What do you do about that? You go to the toy store downtown, or to the closest one to your house, or to the one that you know would offer you the best prices, or to the one where the staff knows you and are willing to give you the best, most honest advice about what to gift to your little niece.

There are two takeaways to pay attention to in that scenario. First, that you already know that you have to go to the toy store because that’s where they sell what you are looking for, preferably the one you are already familiar with, and second, that you are aware that you will need a little help with your purchase, even when you are already in purchase mode.

The same thing happens when you decide that you want to purchase a new car, or a new kitchen, or the newest high definition TV. You need a little help from an informed sales representative to make an informed purchase that you are not likely to regret later.

That is the exact same process of the affiliate marketer, who builds a website which serves as an informed middleman for people looking for information about products that they want to buy. When the affiliate website successfully talks people into buying a product through its content, it earns the affiliate money.

And just like an electronics store would only sell electronics and hire someone who knows how to talk and sell electronics, an affiliate website needs to focus on a specific niche. An affiliate website promoting video games and bathtubs would look as bad as an electronics store selling novelty items.

The idea behind creating an affiliate website is, like we said, to talk people into buying products through affiliate links, but that doesn’t mean that you have to populate your affiliate website with all kinds of affiliate links spread throughout random content in the hopes that people will click through by chance.

The truth is that this strategy is doomed from the beginning because websites that talk about everything are exhausting to navigate. The best approach is to simply pick a product niche that you either like or have no problem writing about and then go from there.

Remember that you have to act as middleman between a buyer and the amazon marketplace, and as such you will need to make their purchasing decisions easier, so liking or knowing the products that you promote on your affiliate website will make it easier for you to recommend the products.

Once you have picked up a niche, go to Amazon.com and search for products in that niche that meet the following criteria: products that are low priced but that sell like hot cakes, and high priced items that are popular even when they don’t sell as much as lower priced products.

This is because you have to promote products that sell well enough as to leave you with a healthy amount of revenue at the end of the month. Try not to narrow down your offers too much because you will end up slowing down your profits.

 

 

To give you an example, let’s say that you decided to promote trendy, entertainment centric electronics. In that case, you will have to promote products that are lower priced but sell constantly such as newly released video games and higher priced equipment such as thousand-dollar TV sets.

Yet if you decide to promote rare collector stuff only, you’ll be narrowing down your niche too much, so don’t do it unless you dedicate a separate section for that stuff on your website, or if you have an affiliate website that makes you enough money as to allow you to create a separate micro website dedicated to rare collector stuff.

Improving Your Affiliate Website (For Success)

Having a significantly functional and cool looking website is a must when it comes to any online affiliate website venture, and it is especially true for Amazon affiliates because having a nice, clean online presence is a requirement of the Amazon Associates program.

And having a functional, cool looking affiliate website doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, at least not at the beginning. Because in the beginning you will ideally work with a cheap alternative that will allow you to focus on turning a profit while you grow your website without you having to drain your budget from day one.

This will give you plenty of room to save up money to invest in the future of your affiliate website as you grow, which can take you from one to five months. That said, there are two stages involved creating the ultimate Amazon Affiliate website.

The first stage is to simply create your Amazon Affiliate website without worrying about getting every bell and whistle. You need to simply have a website where you can insert your niche content and your affiliate links.

This first stage requires you to invest in two elements: hosting and domain. The cheapest alternative to web hosting is shared hosting. We recommend you to buy a shared hosting plan that you can pay on a monthly basis to a hosting service provider such as HostGator. Shared hosting plans can go as cheap as $4 a month, and they will work well enough in the beginning.

You will also have to buy a domain name for your website. Your domain name is simply your website address, and you can also buy your domain name from HostGator. Now, acquiring a domain name looks as simple as coming up with a name and selecting the cheapest domain extension available, but there are some rules to follow.

First, don’t be tempted to use “exact match” domains for your domain name. Exact match domains are domain names that are made up from a combination of the exact niche keywords that you will target on your website, such as selecting the “cheapelectronicreviews.com” as your domain name.

It doesn’t only look lazy on your part, but it won’t help you to reach a top placement on search engine results. Lots of marketers use exact match domains for that reason, but the truth is that Google and other search engines caught on to that trend a few years ago and updated their search engine algorithms to ignore exact match domains for SEO.

So the best approach is to come up with a brandable name that isn’t an exact match of your target keywords. After you make up your mind about your domain name, you will have to select a domain name extension.

Selecting the .com extension for your domain name is the way to go hands down, but it can happen that your domain name is not available as a .com. In that case, select the .net extension. If it isn’t available as either extension, we recommend you to come up with a variation of your domain name until you find it available as either .com or .net.

That is because those two top level extensions are the most recognizable ones, and because newer extensions such as .club don’t look attractive to any audience. Many websites get passed by as novelty websites when they sport such domain extensions, so stay away from them.

Now, once your website starts growing and getting more and more traffic, you will have to start making some changes to it. This second stage of the process will require you to invest in a hosting plan that can make your affiliate website faster, to invest in a premium theme for your website and to invest in an SSL certificate.

Now, most hosting service vendors will allow you to do such upgrades easily, and our recommendations are as follows:

  • Upgrade your shared hosting plan to a dedicated hosting plan. Ideally, you should upgrade to a WordPress dedicated hosting plan, as WordPress is the best content management system available for affiliates.
  • Buy a nice looking theme for your affiliate such as “Kingdom by Woocommerce” WordPress theme for Amazon Affiliates.
  • Buying an SSL certificate is recommended, but not mandatory. This will add an extra layer of security for your website, and it looks good on the address bar!
  • We recommend you to also use WordPress plugins to supercharge your Amazon Affiliate efforts. So far the best one available is the “EasyAzon” plugin, which will allow you to search for Amazon products to post on your website right from your website’s editor and to redirect region specific visitors to their respective international Amazon marketplaces on autopilot.

Fine Tuning Your Niche Keywords

Using the proper set of keywords is crucial for any kind of affiliate business because, unlike ecommerce, the idea behind an affiliate website is for it to be found through search engine queries and results in order to increase its search engine ranking.

Keywords play a huge role in increasing your search ranks alongside quality content and loading speeds, but more importantly, they get your amazon affiliate site to rank higher for popular keywords that are related to your site’s niche and the topics discussed in there.

Ok, so you already know that most of the relevant keywords on your site are going to be product related, and to that you have to add purchase based keywords as well. From now on, think of your target keywords as a combination of the two. An example of this combination could be “best cheap refrigerators”, where “best cheap” is the purchase based keyword and “refrigerator” is the product based keyword.

Now you will need to use a keyword research tool such as Google’s own “Keyword planner”, which will allow you to enter your target keywords and determine their search volume and data including their average monthly search volumes, their rank, and their competition.

Once you determine which ones are your target keywords, you will have to do some research around them to optimize your chances to outrank other sites using them. The first step is to use those keywords on Google.

Now, instead of focusing on results from the first page because you already know that the keywords used on sites hitting the first page of results include the ones that you just used, you will need to check sites targeting those same keywords that are on the second, third and fourth page pages of results.

Why would you do this? Because you can then look for other long tail keywords on those sites that are related to your target keyword and use the keyword planner to determine their search volume and data. If some of those long tail keywords have high search volumes, from 500 and upwards, you can use them on your content in order to rank higher.

The real science behind this little known strategy is that you can leverage the search volumes of these keywords by creating better content around them, which will undoubtedly redirect the traffic from those low ranking websites to your website, vastly increasing your organic outreach and your rank in a couple weeks or less!

Creating High Converting Content

Content is king. There is no denying that content can make or break a website, and creating quality, future proof content for your website is as important to your rank as using the right type of target keywords.

In fact, quality content on an Amazon affiliate website is only possible once you find the correct keywords that you can base your content on. Now, quality content on an Amazon affiliate website is not the same as quality content on, say, a bird watching website. Allow us to elaborate.

You already know that the first rule about creating quality content is to base it around your most profitable, most traffic generating keywords, but there are other elements that, put together, will make any niche website to rank on the first page.

The first one is length. One thing that you will notice about most sites on the third and fourth pages of results when you start doing your keyword research as explained before is that they do not offer lengthy content around their keywords. They conform with throwing and repeating their keywords around on 250 word articles in hopes that keyword stuffing will get them ranked higher than they deserve.

The thing is that short form content won’t work for written content. So the second rule to follow when creating quality content for an Amazon affiliate website is to make it long, and by long we mean 2,000 words long and over.

Actual online marketing researchers have found that the average length of articles on Affiliate websites ranking on the first page of Google results is 2,000 words and longer. The effect that this has is three fold.

In the first place, it allows you to target your niche keywords several times without stuffing, which is just pretty bad for rankings. This appeals to the Google algorithm because it will find your target keywords repeatedly throughout content that is not a string of repeated keywords.

The second factor in play here is that it will allow you to create content that is truly relevant to prospective buyers because a piece of content that is 2,000 words long has to include a lot of information about the product being promoted.

In that sense, these product centered articles are then perceived both by your visitors and Google as buyer’s guides, which complies both with Google’s own requirements for quality content to be relevant and with your visitors’ desire to find help with their purchasing decisions.

That takes us to the third factor in play here, which is reducing the amount of time that it takes a buyer to jump to the checkout once they see a product link or image for the second or third time. Now, to achieve this you will need to highlight the pros and the cons of the product in the article promoting it.

And you have to highlight them at the beginning. This creates the effect of informing your leads on the things that they want to learn about the product right before they get to read the entire article, making them very likely to skip the article, click through an image or link, make the purchase, and then coming back to keep reading in anticipation.

This is possible because they will unconsciously realize that the article is long and that they can simply keep reading about the product that they just decided to buy right after they check out, to build up on the excitement in anticipation of receiving the actual product.

Also, longer content allows you to make it future proof because it helps you to build up authority. Speaking of which, we highly recommend you to print the following statement and to paste it on the wall behind your computer so you can see it every day:

“You Shouldn’t Be Building Niche Site. You Should Be Building AUTHORITY Sites”

 

Building Permanent Traffic Sources

Now, this is where most marketers will recommend you to focus on getting on the paid advertising bandwagon, but like I said before, Amazon affiliate marketing is different, and generating traffic sources takes a different approach.

The best way to create a permanent source of traffic is by creating a series of lists with evergreen content, by which we mean content that stays relevant over time.

These are lists that you have to be updating on a regular basis to always attract traffic through a very specific set of purchase based keywords which include the following keywords:

  • Best sellers
  • “Best of”
  • “Best on a budget” (Such as “Best budget wireless headphones)

The good news is that keeping these lists updated is as easy as going to the Amazon marketplace and sorting through the best sellers list on your niche category, by sorting through the products with the highest buyer review scores and also sorting through the lowest priced items in your niche with the highest scores.

Now, the science behind these updated lists is that it is pretty easy to rank on the first page when you use keywords such as “cheap” alongside a product-based or niche keyword as they have very high search volumes on a monthly basis.

In order to keep these lists bringing you fresh traffic all the time through search engine queries is by creating a separate category page on your site. Remember that each product that you insert on your “best of” lists needs to have its own long-form product based article that you can redirect to from your list. Follow these strategies and you will soon be retiring to your newly found Amazon affiliate.


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