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Increase Your Christmas Earnings with the Amazon Associates Program

Posted By Darren Rowse 16th of December 2008 Affiliate Programs 0 Comments

We are right in the middle of the ‘silly season’ when it comes to shopping for Christmas and as a result as bloggers wanting to make a little extra money from our blogs at the moment we are presented with a unique time of the year – many of our readers are in the mood for buying.

Here’s a very simple way to put yourself in a position to capitalize upon this and to earn a few extra dollars via the Amazon Affiliate program.

Get your readers into the Amazon Store – just get them in the door.

If there’s a time of the year to earn some commissions via the Amazon affiliate program – it is now.

Let me illustrate why it is important to get people in the door at Amazon.

Two days ago I posted about the new Huffington Post Blogging Book that has just been released. In that post I linked to the book on Amazon using a tracking id that enables me to see what people buy as a result of visiting Amazon with that link (#’s indicate how many were purchased).



MP3 Downloads

Office Products

Video Games



When you refer someone to Amazon (an online store with established trust and brand that most people are familiar with) you earn a commission on anything that they buy within a 24 hours period after visiting from your link.

You can see above that the greatest number of people bought the book I referred to – but the biggest items with larger commissions were on other items.

Of course you don’t want to just lace all your posts with random and irrelevant links to products on Amazon – relevancy and useful links for your readers is key – but once you get people in the door you never quite know what they might end up buying (and earning you).

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I started using Amazon Affiliates after a recommendation on this blog and it’s my third biggest income stream now. Definitely worth doing, but make sure you do it in a relevant and targeted way.

    Thanks for the tip Darren :-)

  2. You make a good point. When I buy something from Amazon, I often first find a blog or a website that I enjoy reading that has a link to amazon.com. I click on that to take me to Amazon to buy the items that I was intending to buy anyway. That way, I feel like it’s a “tip” to the blog or website that I enjoy. That may be part of the reason that you see purchases for items that are completely unrelated to the topic of your post or even website.

  3. I never though of that. I guess once your refer someone they can switch to something else. But it is always good to start with a product that matches your blog/post. Thx

  4. I totally agree, the key is getting them in the door so to speak. Then amazon can sell them anything. Especially now, when they already have plans to get Christmas gifts.

  5. Amazon is my best performing affiliate for just that reason, even if they don’t buy the item they clicked on a fair number do go on to buy something else. Or they buy the item I link and go on to buy a few more things to get free shipping.

    I run a forum and my posters know that most of my revenue comes from Amazon so they are happy to use my links. In return, I make sure to notify them of any great deals or promotions. Promoting the free trial of Prime has had fairly good results, people who are trying will do what they can to make sure they’ve received full use of it and will order a good bit.

  6. Wow, I didn’t realise that when you reffer people with one product, you get commision for anything else that they buy too! Thats great news! I definately need to look into this a little more! Thanks for the info.

  7. Frankly speaking, I havent had much success with Amazon’s affiliate program. Although I’m running a gadget blog, I havent seen too many of my readers buying anything on Amazon other than a couple of books on iPhone programming. Any tips on successfully promoting Amazon products will be much welcome.


  8. I see other affiliates using Niche Site builders with great success and still want to add some pepperjam stores to the sites that i run. It’s starting to get a little late in the season but your success shows that there is still time.

  9. I am really not into the Amazon Associates program that much. I haven’t been able to really make that much money from it. I am sure that it works well with different niches though.

  10. Hi Darren.

    It is more of a general question. Was you site ever hacked? (Mine was hacked, just two days ago and I am still working on it). Can you also write a post or two about security? At the back of our mind there is always a looming threat on security and until it happens to us we don’t much care about it(like me).


  11. I started using AA because of the article in the book “clear blogging.” I often write about books that I’ve read or had an affect on me somehow. I just started using the links from the books. It’s a great way to give people value b/c you are recommending good books and a place for them to get it for a reasonable price. Thanks darren

  12. January seems also to be a good month. Many people get money for Christmas and buy more stuff online.

  13. I have to second the value of the affiliate links, not just for the items you link to, but for purchases made during that particular visit. We link to travel-related items, but we’ve even had people buy (expensive) dog treats after visiting from our links. Great tip!

  14. Amazon, undoubtedly, is one of the top five affiliate programs available today… Yahoo Small Business is great as well.

    Ajith / DollarShower

  15. I’ve been using AA for a few weeks now and haven’t had much success, save for one mp3 someone bought ($0.10!). will keep trying though.

  16. Thanks for this – I definitely want to experiment with various affiliate networks during the key buying seasons next year.

    I’d be interested in hearing about how early people prepare for the seasonal traffic – especially at christmas. I was thinking I’d prepare some special posts earlier in the year, and making them a featured post for december.

  17. I’m not sure if you get people into the door at amazon, you’ll be able to generate more revenue.

    “Click through” matters, but conversion also matters. And high click through rate doesn’t always correlate to high conversion rate in a lot of cases.

    I think blogger needs to focus on optimizing their amazon affiliate links based on the blog content — again, the key is contextual relevance.

    GeekMBA360 (www.GeekMBA360.com)

  18. Hi!
    Does it work for people living outside the US? Thanks.

  19. Wow, never really thought of that, but it’s a great idea. I just did an article on a camera I bought, but didn’t even think to put an amazon link in there. Thanks for the article. Will do from now on.

  20. Keith – glad Amazon has worked for you too

    Dave – yes, always start with a relevant product – for starters you’ve a better chance of them buying that product, it also increases click through and it won’t annoy your readers.

    Mike – yes I find January can be good too, although there are also a few returns in Jan which can bring your earnings down.

    Hair on the Brain – yes it takes time to build up. Check out this post which talks about how Amazon earnings tend to increase over time (at least that is my experience).

    Jade Craven – I find that if you start late November and then increase the frequency of more product related posts that it works. You don’t want to do too many though or your readers get annoyed.

    Adrian – as a publisher you can live anywhere in the world and participate in the Amazon program (I’m in Australia). Your readers however can’t always buy everything from the US store. For example cameras and most electronics wont ship outside of the USA. There are also Amazon stores in other parts of the world which have affiliate programs if you have a lot of readers from one area (for example the UK) but annoyingly they are not joined so you can’t just join once – you have to sign up for and link to each program separately so it isn’t really worth it unless you have a blog with a local focus.

  21. Just one question comes in mind What if they visit another site and follow another affiliate link to amazon in those 24 hrs?

  22. good event for making money more online in the last month of this year…thanks for idea

  23. Of course you don’t want to just lace all your posts with random and irrelevant links to products on Amazon – relevancy and useful links for your readers is key – but once you get people in the door you never quite know what they might end up buying (and earning you).

    I assume you wrote that line with your tongue firmly in cheek?

    Great post however, and it does highlight the benefits of linking to amazon products. Looking at the history of purchases made via my site indicate that few people actually buy the item linked, but do go on to buy other things. Wish a few more would go on and buy laptops etc as the commission on those bigger items must be very nice.

  24. I hope this works for people outside of the United States because amazon doesn’t have an office in our country.

  25. Thanks for the tip Darren! I haven’t made any money yet from Amazon affiliates, but i’m working on it.

  26. I like the suggestion and Amazon, but the thing is I can’t seem to find how to create 125×125 button ads that would integrate perfectly within my site.

    Would be kind of strange if that didn’t exist, given this format is somehow the standard these days in the blogging-sphere, no?


  27. Your right, we’re in the thick of the major Amazon Associate shopping period. Yesterday one of my sites sold 28 digital cameras (in one order). It’s quite an incentive to continue developing sites to earn commissions with the program. I like the idea of getting people into the door, but to be honest with you, I prefer the idea of people becoming repeat shoppers through your site (and typically work to that effect instead).

  28. I think the Amazon Affiliate program works best for websites or blogs whose readers are from the U.S. or who are keen on sending stuff to that part of the world. I also note that you need to have a good product to recommend for starters that would get people’s interest and let them shop for something else from there. As you said, get their foot (or mouse) in the door.

  29. I hadn’t tried amazon affiiliates until recently. A week or so ago I put up a post on my personal finance blog called “50 frugal christmas gifts you can give this christmas”, and posted amazon links throughout the list. It’s been up for a few days now, and so far I’ve sold 35 items through the post – and earned my first amazon income.

    Not too shabby! I’ll have to focus more on this in the future! Thanks for the reminder!

  30. Hehe, I don’t think the few hundred a month I make from Amazon will qualify me as an expert, but I have definitely seen the same sort of phenomena. My sites (and affiliate links) are in the home and garden niche, and I get a real kick out of some of the crazy things people wander off and buy after clicking into Amazon from one of my links. A couple favorites from this month…

    The Sex Addiction Workbook: Proven Strategies to Help You Regain Control of Your Life

    Groom Mate Platinum XL Nose & Ear Hair Trimmer

    Vintage Striptease & Burlesque Film: Sunset Murder Case (1938) [DVD]

    Hmm, maybe those were all by the same person. :P

  31. Personally, I still don’t do very well with Amazon Associate Program. That’s why I haven’t recommend it on my site yet. I will find out more from here and share it with my readers.

  32. Great post… I LOVE amazon for that very reason….. people buy all kinds of stuff. Out of all of my orders, items from a product link click were 26% in Oct/Nov/Dec…. the rest of the 74% were items not related at all to the product link from my blogs…..

    This post was a little untimely though…. you posted it the day before free super save shipping before christmas, and 2 days before standard shipping before christmas is over…

    Some good info though for year round commissions.

  33. I’m new to the Amazon Associates program. Haven’t been driving much traffic to Amazon yet.

    Just had my first Amazon sale last month. A reader clicked on a book link and ended up buying a boxed set of a popular TV show. My royalty was nearly four bucks. Not bad for a click.

    Makes me think I should start sending Amazon more traffic…

  34. Hi Darren,
    Thanks for the great post!
    I have been with Amazon Associates program for almost 2 years but only made decent sales last month (xmas time). Not much but $140 is better than nothing.

  35. I love this one! Good to know this!

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