I've been lurking on the forum for quite some time now and wanted to give back to the community. I'm not one of those marketers that has a push-button system, use "auto" software or the type to jump around on trends.
In fact, I'm sure a lot of people will take a look at the title and say "$300? That's nothing" but I disagree because while some people will skip over this I know there are a lot of people out there that are just getting started, tired of the hype and want real examples of earning an online income.
$300 (average) isn't a lot for most people but that's still an extra $3600 a year which can be used for vacations, car payments, rent and more.
Anyway, I wanted to share what I've learned along the way and hope you find it helpful if you're trying out Amazon Associates:
Why Amazon Associates is actually quite good
Here's the thing: It's hard to sell information. We have the web right in front of us which is filled with every type of information out there for free. A savvy individual can easily find anything they want online. Likewise, you're trying to sell an information product to a large market that really doesn't understand why they should pay for the information.
Hard products, on the other hand, are a no-brainer. People know what they are going to get when they buy a physical product. You've got the upper hand because the product will sell itself. Combine the massive amount of testing that Amazon has put into their platform and you've got access to a multi-billion dollar industry.
Need a niche? Pick a hobby
I notice that a lot of people get into the IM niche when they first start in earning an online income. Problem is that you're in a weak position because you can't show any proof that you're making an online income; you've got nothing to build trust. Secondly, the IM niche is absolutely dominated by the big boys.
So the question becomes not whether you have the technical know-how but what niche will give you the best chance.
That's why I recommend a hobby.
Hobbies are killer because you probably have a few of them yourself. You have all the information you need right in your noggin' because you're one of the community. It really only becomes you putting that knowledge onto the web, building a following and offering products that you need to do to make money.
Consider this: You have a hobby, you know the in's and out's, products people need to buy to get started, you can talk about it for hours, you know where people hang out to discuss the hobby and much more. YOU are the market. Turn the mirror on yourself.
Hobby + Physical Products = Success
My largest earner is a hobby based website (which is why I'm so partial to the hobby niche). I started it up a few years ago because I was a little bit past the beginner phase and well upon my way of being intermediate.
I noticed that a lot of people were always asking questions about how to get started.
The biggest questions they asked were: What do I need to BUY to start?
This is where Amazon Associates rocks. Because people HAVE to buy products to get started with a hobby it's a no-brainer purchase. If they don't have the products they can't get into the hobby, plain and simple. How's that for a buyer's market?
So now you're in a power position. You're the expert to beginners and other intermediates because you know a ton about the hobby. You can write great content, connect with your audience with ease and make real recommendations on products people need to start.
Combine your recommendations with your Amazon Associates link and boom, you've got yourself an easy sale.
The 'Trick' is to get them to Amazon
I'm sure you've heard this before but it's worth repeating: just get people to Amazon and let them do the rest.
Amazon has spent millions of dollars optimizing their platform. Hell, they spent a crazy amount of time with the color, size and copy of the buy button. They obsess over their stuff and this works out well for you because they're doing the testing.
Likewise, you've got a few things that are going good for you:
- Amazon is the master of making recommendations on other products
- Amazon is one of the most trusted retailers on the web
- The reviews on Amazon do wonders for converting people
- If people buy products in other industries you still get the commission
Although you only get a 24hr cookie and a small percentage it really works wonders because people pick up a lot of stuff while they're on Amazon. Think of the last time you were there; you probably went ahead and picked up a few other items since you were already there.
Things that have worked for me
okay, to get a little bit specific I wanted to share some of the things that have worked best for me:
- I created a free ebook for my email list that covers the required items you need to buy to start the hobby.
- I often create reviews of the items that I already own. I link the pictures, keywords and the best: I always put a link to 'Read the Reviews' (affiliate of course) which does wonders for click through.
- I create lists of the "top 5" and "top 10" for each of the item categories. I reference these any time I can when creating content.
- I use a dedicated page of the top suggestions and best of content for people to get started. It's a simple 'getting started' page that also does awesome in search engines.
- I go after the holiday market by making posts like "Best X Christmas Gifts" and more. Also, Black Friday is killer for Amazon.
I go after long-tail keywords and really stress creating incredible content. This content is easy to make because I'm highly passionate about the hobby. I can easily write a 1,500 word post in a matter of an hour because I'm very conversational in my writing. I make my recommendations and link around the blog. I really don't work hard to make sales but I'm always conscious about making sure I let people know where they can get the products that I may reference in the articles.
Like I mentioned, $300 really isn't much compared to what a lot of people do but it's something obtainable for the average person. We all have hobbies that can tap into Amazon Associates. You can easily write content and become an authority in the niche because it's something you love to do whether you get paid for it or not.
It took nearly a year to go from $0 to an avg. of $300 (sometimes higher sometimes a bit lower) but every month it has grown by nearly $50. I expect that within the next year it will be doing $600 on its own no problem.
I monetize the site in other ways but I just wanted to share a bit of information about Amazon Associates for those that are thinking about getting started with it.
I hope you find this information helpful
Edit: Here is a screenshot of the last few payments from Amazon in case you wanted to see:
Edit #2: This month suddenly took off, I'm at $449 as of July 25th, woo!