Amazon Affiliate Income: 9 Tips for Earning More This Year

Getting extra affiliate income from Amazon is excellent. But perhaps there's other ways you can boost earnings? Let's explore your options.

by Sean Brison | Last Updated: February 22, 2021

If you’re looking for ways to boost your Amazon affiliate income (or tired of wasting time with little to show for it), picking one of the proven strategies below might be the answer.

This post outlines ways you can focus your efforts from choosing the right affiliate products to understanding Amazon’s commission structure to increasing affiliate commissions and more.

Let’s get to it.

How Can I Increase My Amazon Affiliate Income?

The short answer: it depends.

While there isn’t one answer that rules all, there are things you can try when promoting your Amazon products to move the needle.

Here’s a shortlist you can start using right now.

Choosing Your Product Category

Before writing a single product review, you should know what Amazon’s commission rates per category are.

I’m not saying to follow the money because that approach may not be sustainable if money’s your only motivation, as you won’t enjoy your creations (because you have zero interest in them).

But, finding a happy medium between something profitable and something you’re interested in is usually the way to go.

Here’s a look at Amazon’s payout per product category:

amazon commission structure

For example, the luxury beauty category pays 10% compared to a 2% payout for television and digital video games.

But should you create an Amazon affiliate website in the beauty category if you don’t care about the products or its audience?

Probably not.

Go for what:

Understanding how you’re compensated can give you a better idea of how much affiliate traffic you’ll need to turn a modest profit.

Amazon’s commission rates were higher until they recently slashed them.

Much is life; being an Amazon affiliate ebbs and flows. So it’s best to prepare for the worst and expect the best.

Think winter in the summer.

You can always check Amazon’s fixed standard commission income rates here so you can stay updated.

Run A Google Search

One approach you could take is to run a Google search for “popular amazon categories” and see what comes up.

Why do this?

Knowing what’s already selling gives you a jump start on the kinds of products to promote.

popular amazon category serp

This search resulted in over 500 million pieces of content written about the topic.

Head to the top-ranking posts and start your research.

In the post written by JungleScout, it tells you the Top 10 Amazon product categories.

For example, Home & Kitchen ranks number one. If you were creating blogging content (or were an ecommerce site) for that niche, you’d head to that category and look at all of the top sellers.

Pro Tip: Aim to find products with lots of reviews. User reviews are a goldmine of information you can use for content creation. It’s also a good signal of what people like the most.

You can also head to Amazon’s Best Sellers and browse popular products there.

amazon best sellers example

Knowing this information will help you to create content that people are interested in. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel 😉

Create a Popular Products Page

Piggy-backing off the Amazon Best Sellers idea, you could create an entire page dedicated to Amazon’s popular products (***where it makes sense and is relevant for your niche and audience).

Similar to how you’d showcase a Resource page or a Toolbox page on your website, why not create a page that displays all things popular?

Our Listen Money Matters toolbox page generates ~10% of our affiliate income.

Creating this could potentially boost revenue in a matter of weeks, depending on your website’s monthly traffic.

For example, you could create a Popular Products Resource page using our tool, Lasso.

If you have new products in your industry (e.g., tech gadgets), you could create a New Products page where it makes sense.

Build Your Email List

Unfortunately, adding Amazon affiliate links to your emails violates their Associates Operating Agreement.

However, you can insert links in your emails that link to a blog post, product review, or anything else found on your niche site.

You can use your email list to keep your audience informed about new things, trends, site updates, and more.

For example, if you recently wrote a product review, you could blast it out to your list with the review link included.

Your email could say something like this:

Hey folks, my team recently put together this detailed review of [your niche product]. Inside, you’ll learn:

You can read it here (product review link).

Or hit ‘Reply’ and let me know what you think!

Cheers ; )

Email Script

For example, if you were writing a review about MOZ, you might say:

“Hey folks, my team recently put together this detailed review of MOZ SEO tools.

Inside, you’ll learn:

And much more…

You can read it here (product review link).

Or hit ‘Reply’ and let me know what I missed!

Cheers ; )

If you can get them excited and show what’s in it for them, you’ll likely get more clicks to that page.

Ideally, your audience will:

Final result: you earn a commission. The larger your email list, the wider net you’ll cast.

That’s why building it from day one is a good idea as it’s a direct line of communication with your readers.

Email marketing is a traffic channel that nobody else owns (e.g., Twitter or Facebook); it’s yours.

Increase Your Affiliate Link Real Estate

Text-only links are the first start. But what if you could add your Amazon affiliate URLs in other places on your page?

When you’re writing your posts (specifically ‘Best List’ posts, e.g., best glassware), tastefully include your affiliate links in as many places as possible.

That means your H2s and images, along with your CTA button.

If you have more than one place your reader can click your affiliate link, your odds of earning a commission improve.

We’ve found clicks increase when placing them in multiple places – without leaving your website feeling cluttered with affiliate links.

You can do this using Lasso.

Lasso adds a piece of shortcode into your WordPress post automatically.

You’d click the cactus icon inside the text editor:

using lasso with the wordpress text editor

Then, you’re prompted to choose a display type:

amazon affiliate income choose a lasso display

Then, click the ‘Button’ and ‘Image’ displays, and Lasso adds them to your post instantly.

Adding links to your H2s follows the same format as when inserting any text-only link to your WordPress content.

Below is one example of how you could apply this to your site.

amazon affiliate income boost aff link real estate

You could potentially increase your Amazon affiliate income using this strategy (by increasing your affiliate link real estate).

Conduct Affiliate Keyword Research

When deciding which keywords to target, you have a few options.

While ‘how-to’ / ‘step-by-step’ articles and ‘expanded definition’ type posts work fine (e.g., How to Create an Amazon Associates Account or What Is A Backlink?), the three pieces of content carrying higher conversion rates are typically:

These three styles focus exclusively on promoting products for people more inclined to make a purchase.

In other words, they’re in ‘buying mode.’

You’re targeting people already researching specific products because they’re getting ready to make a purchase.

For example, someone looking to buy Bose headphones might conduct a Google search with the term ‘best bose headphones’ or ‘bose headphone reviews.’

Best List Posts include the best (or most popular) products in one category.

These posts have a higher transactional value attached and tend to convert more.

Lasso co-founder Matt Giovanisci mentions these content formats are worth creating because:

Comparison articles are another as the person has narrowed their search (e.g., between Bose headphones and Beats.)

In that case, they might use the search term ‘bose headphones vs. beats.’

As Ahrefs Head of Content, Josh Hardwick says:

Most people approach affiliate keyword research all wrong. They look for low-competition keywords, write a blog post, then shoehorn in as many affiliate links as possible. 

Without the proper targeting, this approach can yield high traffic but carry low conversions.

For a deeper dive, I highly recommend his article, How to Do Keyword Research for Affiliate Sites.

Track Clicks

We recently published a post detailing why you should track clicks here.

But the short answer is:

Tracking your clicks tells you which pieces of content resonate the most with your audience.

Click tracking involves measuring how many times someone clicks a link on your website, email, or app.

But don’t include Amazon affiliate links in your emails!

You can use a heat map from sites like HotJar or CrazyEgg. These generate thermal images showing the most clicked parts of your website.

Or, if you’re using Lasso to track your clicks, you’ll quickly integrate your Google Analytics tracking ID with Lasso.

Lasso sends Google Analytics your data, which stores every click as an Event.

You can then see which affiliate products perform the best on your site by heading to Behavior > Events and click either:

Earn More with International Traffic

Getting commissions through Amazon’s U.S. associates program is great, but what about your international visitors?

Affiliates have lost money because they didn’t sign up for that country’s affiliate program.

Sign up for as many affiliate programs as makes sense for your website.

It’s a time-consuming process signing up for every program (there are currently 13 international affiliate programs).

Tip: A quick way to decide which programs to sign up for is to head to Google Analytics and see where your website gets the most traffic.

Head to Audience > Geo > Location to see Sessions By Country.

Then sign up for those international programs.

google analytics sessions by country

You can see from this screenshot my five top locations are:

So, it would make sense for me to sign up for at least those five.

Amazon creates geo-targeted links using Amazon OneLink as its standalone tool.

Suppose you’re using a tool like Lasso’s Amazon Integration to monetize your website when someone from another country clicks your Amazon link.

In that case, they’re redirected to that person’s local country automatically.

For more details, head to Amazon Associates to learn how to monetize your international traffic.

Experiment with the Add-to-Cart Option

This will be something to test in small doses.

It can make for a negative user experience and can feel spammy.

First rule as a content creator: Be mindful of your audience’s desires while interacting with your website.

Before I explain what the Add-to-cart option is, a quick refresher on Amazon’s cookie.

Amazon affiliates have a 24-hour cookie.

What does that mean?

If the timer runs out – and then they make a purchase – you earn nothing.

This is why long cookie durations matter with affiliate marketing.

The longer the cookie, the longer your chance of making money.

The cookie also lets the network know who should get credit for the sale and earn the commission.

Back to Amazon’s regular 24-hour cookie…

The loophole is that if a visitor clicks a link and then adds that product to their cart, the cookie duration extends to 90-days.

However, this is worth testing:

Note: You don’t get credit for the entire sale within that 90 days, only what they added to their cart within the first 24 hours.

For example, someone clicks your high-priced affiliate link, adds four items to their cart, then leaves Amazon.

Within 90 days, they return to their cart, add five more items, and pay for all nine.

You only get credit for the first four items in their cart in the initial 24 hour period.

It’s Not a Cookie

It’s technically not a cookie.

The 24-hour cookie is a cookie. At the end of 24 hours, it changes to an extended purchasing period.

Consider your customer when choosing which products to test this on.

If they’re buying high-priced items, perhaps the Add-to-Cart option would work as expensive items generally aren’t bought on a whim – they’re carefully considered.

For example, a useful testing metric would be only using the add-to-cart with items carrying a price threshold greater than $350.

Then scale up or down from there.

Publish Consistently

Maybe you publish weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

Perhaps your monthly post is an epic masterpiece chock full of value. The number isn’t as important as the consistency.

Create an editorial calendar and publish content regularly.

The more consistently you create quality content, the more likely your traffic will start to increase.

It takes time, but it’s worth it.

Each article you publish is like compounding interest in your affiliate marketing business.

Over time, it builds up.

Your audience will reward you for your consistency because you’ve established yourself as a trusted authority.

Rinse and repeat this process.

Where Can I Promote My Amazon Affiliate Link?

You can promote your affiliate links in many ways. Blogging is one of the easiest.

You can write guest posts linking back to your website.

Other strategies could include:

If you want to learn more about promoting links, read our detailed post, How to Promote Affiliate Links: 11 Simple Strategies, or  How to Monetize A Website from A Hobby to A Business (with Examples).

Useful Tools for Successful Amazon Affiliate Marketing

There are plenty of tools that can help with your online business. Here are some of the best we use daily.

Or skim to the end of this section for a link to a list of our favorite affiliate marketing tools.

Lasso

Lasso is an all-in-one WordPress affiliate plugin. You can create custom link displays, find affiliate link opportunities, and manage all of your links in one place.

Providing attractive product boxes increase your CTR and conversions.

If you use Lasso, you can create displays in minutes.

Our Pick
Lasso: The All-In-One WordPress Plugin for Affiliate Marketing
14-Day Free Trial

A WordPress plugin that lets you add, manage, and display your affiliate links from any program, including Amazon. Increase conversions. Find new affiliate link opportunities. Earn more revenue! Less than 5 minutes to set up.

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You can read our co-founder’s case study to see how he tripled his affiliate income by strategically placing Lasso displays across his site.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs started as a backlink analysis tool but has added features over the years to include keyword research (e.g., a word’s search volume), rank tracking, and competitor analysis.

Its extensive list of tutorials covers every aspect of how users can benefit from their services.

It’s one of our favorite, most user-friendly tools.

Yoast SEO

Yoast is a WordPress plugin that helps your site’s technical and on-page SEO.

It displays your on-page metrics, readability, schema markup, and previews how your post displays on social media.

For example, Yoast tells you when your headlines and meta descriptions are too long. I’ve found this super helpful when writing content.

Using Yoast is another way you can help search engines find your website easier.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics has a fantastic set of free tools to help you better understand your audience.

You can see data sets from both websites and apps along with:

We use Google Analytics to gauge traffic potential and where to make upgrades to existing posts, and which affiliates perform best site-wide.

Read our article, 37 Fantastic Affiliate Marketing Tools to Use This Year, for our favorite picks.

Is The Amazon Associates Program Worth It?

Every business model has its pros and cons; Amazon’s is no exception. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using Amazon.

Some of these could apply to any affiliate network or program.

Pros

Cons

Last Words

Earning Amazon affiliate income takes time. When you’re starting, it will feel like a daunting road ahead.

Building organic traffic won’t happen overnight. Neither will growing your audience and establishing trust.

It may take a while before you start earning a full-time income through its affiliate marketing program.

But you can do it.

And affiliate revenue is only one piece of the puzzle.

Once your website starts gaining traction, consider alternatives to Amazon.

You may see higher rates with different networks.

Curious to know more? Read this.

Sean Brison is a dad, writer, business owner, and Chief Growth nerd at Lasso. He's spent the past several years in cahoots with Lasso's founder, Andrew, creating awesome things for people. He's also addicted to perfectly-balanced cocktails, the outdoors, and John Mulaney's stand-up comedy.

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