Amazon Affiliate Marketing / Beginner Guides

How to Build A Money-Making Amazon Affiliate Website

Building an Amazon affiliate website can provide you with extra cash. This post outlines a framework you can use to create yours right now.

Sean Brison November 4, 2022
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Do you want to learn how to make money with an Amazon affiliate website but have no idea how to start? This guide details choosing a profitable niche, making great content, generating long-term traffic, and more. Let’s dive in.

What Is An Amazon Affiliate Website?

An Amazon affiliate site promotes products selling on Amazon. You’ll create content for your website and then place Amazon affiliate links in it.

You earn a commission whenever you send Amazon merchants qualifying sales through your affiliate link. amazon affiliate site being built by two workmen The Amazon affiliate program (aka Amazon Associates program) lets you make money by driving sales to Amazon. It is perhaps THE most extensive affiliate marketing program on the planet, which is why it’s so appealing as a gateway into the industry.

Bloggers, social media influencers, content creators, and website owners of all types participate in its program. It’s also free to sign up.

Sidenote: Amazon is the most popular eCommerce app in the US, with over 150 million mobile users

Mobile shopping continues to surge, so having a mobile-friendly website is a good idea.

With so many people reaching for their wallets to shop with Amazon, it’s no wonder their affiliate program is so popular.

5 Reasons You Should Build An Amazon Affiliate Website

It’s straightforward to get started. There are several reasons why it’s so appealing, especially to beginners.

1. Significant Volume of Amazon Products

Amazon has a substantial product inventory.

So if you want to sell something on Amazon, it’s a virtual certainty you’ll be able to. In the first quarter of 2021, Amazon’s revenue topped $108 billion – in a single quarter!

Amazon currently has 40 product categories by department on its site.

2. Anyone Can Join the Amazon Affiliate Program

It’s accessible to anyone with their own website, and there’s no waiting period to sign up.

The only caveat is you must generate sales from at least three affiliate links within 180 days, or else Amazon will remove you from the Associate’s program.

Once you sign up and get your tracking ID, you can start adding Amazon affiliate links to your content.

3. Millions Trust Amazon

Amazon is a household name, and when you sell on its platform, you can leverage its customer base to your benefit.

There’s already an established market, so it’s easier to start selling.

4. Getting Affiliate Links Is Easy

You’ll only need to copy and paste the Amazon URL into your content, and you’re ready to go.

Amazon’s tool, SiteStripe, lets you add affiliate links to your posts without diving back into your Associates account.

Or, if you’re using a tool like Lasso, you can copy the Amazon URL into the dashboard and generate an instant affiliate link, which you can add to your posts and pages.

5. Commission Extends to All Items In A Shopper’s Cart

While Amazon’s cookie duration is short (only 24 hours), you can earn a commission on every product bought using your affiliate link.

For example, if your website visitor clicks your affiliate link for a $100 blender, and then adds another $150 worth of items (unrelated to your website), and then buys all of them using your affiliate link, you get a commission for that entire $250 sale.

Further Reading:

Before You Build Your Amazon Affiliate Website

There are a few things to consider before getting started. First, you don’t want to invest much time (or worse, money) only to find out you’ve made a terrible mistake.

Here’s what to do before building your Amazon affiliate website.

How to Do Niche Research

The first thing to consider is the niche you want to start. If you’re stumped, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What are you interested in?
  • What do you already know?
  • Is there income potential?

three intersecting circles for finding profitable niche

Check your bank statements if you’re struggling to determine what interests you.

What do you pay for regularly? What do you buy on Amazon? How do you spend your time on the weekends, early mornings, or after work? What could you talk about for hours?

And “what do you already know?” revolves around your previous work experience, interests, or hobbies.

Perhaps you’re an experienced rock climber or carry a deep understanding of carpentry. Those are a couple of examples of profitable Amazon affiliate websites you could create.

Further Reading:

How to Do Keyword Research

While using paid tools to perform it isn’t required, it helps. But let’s start with a few free tools before getting into the ones requiring your credit card.

Three ideas for getting started:

  • Answer the Public
  • Keywords Everywhere
  • Amazon’s search engine (autocomplete)

Let’s say we’re building an Amazon affiliate website about snowboarding.

Amazon’s Autocomplete

If you start with Amazon’s autocomplete method, type “snowboard” into the search bar and let Amazon fill in the blank:

amazon auto complete using search bar

Amazon gives you several options, including:

  • Boots
  • Helmet
  • Bindings
  • Goggles

Next, take any of those keywords, for example, “snowboard boots,” and search the Best Sellers category for snowboard boots.

Answer the Public

Using snowboards again, Answer the Public will divide your query into “Questions,” “Prepositions,” “Alphabeticals,” “Related,” and “Comparisons.”

answer the public snowboard keyword results

Clicking on “questions,” you can see terms like:

  • Snowboards with boots
  • How to choose snowboards
  • Why do snowboards need wax
  • Can snowboards get waterlogged

These question types can serve as content you could create based on the products you promote from Amazon.

Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is a free browser extension that shows related, trending, and long-tail keyword ideas when you scroll down the SERP of whatever seed keyword you’re searching.

See the screenshot below:

keywords everywhere data appearing in sidebar of google search for snowboards

If you want to use a paid tool, we use Ahrefs. We like it for conducting keyword research because you’ll see:

  • Search volume
  • Traffic potential
  • Keyword difficulty (KD)
  • Competing Site’s Domain Rating (DR)

Takeaway: You can apply search filters for specific content types (e.g., product reviews and best lists, as these have a higher buyer intent – more on that in a minute).

When using filters, try targeting words that have:

  • Low KD score
  • High search volume
  • Low Domain Rating

How to Research Competitors

Check the “Traffic” column too, when using the filters above.

It estimates the amount of traffic competing websites actually get (compared to search volume).

One idea is to take popular review sites or competing blogs in your niche, enter its domain into Ahrefs Site Explorer, and click the Organic Keywords Report.

Sticking with our snowboard example, try running a Google search for “best snowboard review site” or “best snowboard blogs.”

Try this search template:

  • Best [product/ keyword] review site

best snowboard review site search results on google

Let’s use the first example, thegoodride.com, listed at the top. But, first, pop its domain into Site Explorer.

thegoodride snowboard review site domain rating in ahrefs

We can see it has a DR (Domain Rating) of 35 – the lower, the better. Next, head to Organic Keywords and set your filters for:

  • KD <10
  • Traffic >500
  • Position <20
  • Modifiers “best, review”

volume and keyword difficulty in ahrefs containing word best for keyword phrase

You’ll see the keywords ranking on page one for those keywords.

Then, click the SERP button to see the top-ranking pages:

competing sites with low domain rating and low referring domains

For example, several posts rank on page one with a low domain rating and a low referring number of domains.

Takeaway: Low number of referring domains (or backlinks) means you’ll need fewer of them to get your post on the first page.

That can potentially mean ranking for one of those target keywords on page one.

Each of those sites gets a decent amount of traffic (all between 500 – 1,000 monthly searches when looking under the Traffic column)

So there’s potential there.

You must consistently produce great content to establish yourself as an authority site.

An example of an Amazon affiliate site crushing it is The Wirecutter (more on them below).

How to Build An Amazon Affiliate Website

To create a profitable Amazon affiliate website, you can do a few things for the best and quickest ways to succeed.

This step-by-step guide walks you through what’s essential and what’s helped us build seven-figure online businesses.

Register A Domain

This is the easy part. Google “best domain registrars.” Choose one from that list.

You’ll see popular registrars like Go Daddy, NameCheap, and Google Domains (we use Google Domains).

Next, pick a domain name and find if it’s available. Once you’ve found one, choose the suffix (e.g., .com, .co, or .net) and buy it.

This is how people find your site on the internet.

Choose A Host

HostGator is our budget pick for a high-quality, low-cost plan.

They serve over two million sites, offer unmetered bandwidth, deliver free SSL certificates, and have 24/7/365 support. You’ll also find many theme selections with easy drag-and-drop website builder tools.

Right now, you can create an account for $2.75 per month. And if you buy a 12, 24, or 36-month plan, you’ll get a free domain with it.

If you want to go premium, we use WP Engine. It’s more expensive, but you’re paying for managed hosting, making your site run even more efficiently (and less prone to any tech issues that could slow it down).

Install WordPress

To run your blog, you need a great content management system (CMS).

Without it, you’ll be able to do very little. There are many available, but we like WordPress. WordPress is free, open-sourced software used by 43% of the web.

Moreover, many people use it, from niche bloggers to premium news sites. As a result, its functionality is virtually limitless.

Developers continuously create plugins for it, designers create new themes all the time, and its support is world-class with a substantial knowledge base.

The best part: it’s all customizable, mobile responsive, and SEO friendly. You can create an account and install WordPress for free

Choose A Theme

The theme you choose impacts your WordPress blog’s overall look and design.

It also dictates its functionality. For example, a poorly coded theme might load slowly, which hurts the user experience.

You’ll want to choose one that:

  • Loads fast
  • Has a page builder
  • Gives layout options
  • Is mobile responsive
  • Has SEO functionality (or plays nice with Yoast or RankMath)

If you can’t afford a premium theme, consider using a free version that offers a premium upgrade (like Kadence, Astra, or GeneratePress). That way, you could start free and upgrade later.

You can head to WordPress.org/themes to find both free and premium themes.

Publish Your First Post

Once you’ve done all the above, it’s time to start publishing.

The important thing to remember is consistency pays off. So, decide your publishing cadence (daily, weekly, fortnightly) and stick to it. Your readers will start to expect your content, and your audience will grow.

But, expect crickets in the beginning.

Building a profitable Amazon affiliate website takes time and money, and traffic doesn’t happen overnight. A good rule of thumb is to create content that matches search intent.

Tip: The more successful you’ll be when you understand the psychology behind search queries. And targeting product-focused content tends to convert best.

These could be search terms with a low volume but high transactional intent (meaning the searcher is in ‘buying mode’).

Three examples of product-focused content to create are:

  • Comparisons
  • Product reviews
  • Best lists (aka ‘product roundups’)

Product Reviews

Try using search terms like “[product name] review.”

For example, iPhone X reviews. Then, examine what the top-ranking posts did. Look for both commonalities and content gaps. Notice what’s popular and should be included AND what people do NOT have in their reviews.

People are ready to buy but want to know about the product. And most consumers nowadays perform some product research before making their decision.

Product Comparisons

Search term: [product name] vs [product name]

Comparison posts are good choices when buyers want to compare the pros and cons of new products.

For example, Rocker snowboards vs. Camber.

You’ll want to list each product’s features and explain the pros and cons of each one. It helps your audience determine whether the product is the right choice for them.

Best Lists

Search query term: best [product name]. These listicle posts are curated lists of the best, high-quality products in a category.

For example, “best snowboards.” These are typically popular terms that:

  • People want to know about
  • are searching for
  • Ready to buy

Product Tutorials for Amazon Affiliate Marketing

Creating in-depth, how-to, or step-by-step guides for different products is the last content example to model.

Any items people find difficult to use are worthy of a well-researched guide – especially if nobody has created it. These content examples are your bread and butter for creating material relevant to your audience as an affiliate marketer.

Successful bloggers earn significant money and build organic traffic by regularly creating articles. The amount of content you develop compounds over time.

Further Reading:

How to Create Your Amazon Associates Account

You’ll head to the Associates homepage, answer a few questions, and then Amazon issues your affiliate ID.

It’s a quick three-step process consisting of entering your:

  • Account information – Your name and address
  • Domain name – the website sending traffic to Amazon
  • Profile – what your Site’s about, how you plan to monetize it, how you drive traffic, and how many monthly visitors you get

Once approved, you’ll get your affiliate ID, and you can start promoting Amazon products on your blog or website.

Just search Amazon for products related to your niche site. You can get more details about how the Amazon affiliate program works here. 👇

Further Reading:

How Amazon Affiliate Links Work

We wrote an article about using Amazon affiliate links on your WordPress site. But the quick explanation goes like this:

  • Amazon gives you a unique store ID, which consists of your name followed by a number

It’ll typically look like this:

  • yourstorename-20

That tracking code is your affiliate ID and how Amazon knows to pay you.

Here’s the full breakdown of an Amazon affiliate link:

a color coded url breakdown of an amazon affiliate link

When someone clicks your affiliate link and purchases on Amazon, they know who to send the commissions to based on your affiliate ID.

Without that unique tracking code, you won’t get paid.

This is why having a link management tool is an excellent way to monitor your affiliate links. For example, our tool, Lasso, lets you monitor every link in a single dashboard.

Further Reading:

No API Credits Required

Copy and paste any Amazon URL into the dashboard and Lasso grabs the product title, image, and price automatically without needing API keys. Then, converts it to an affiliate link and updates that data every 24 hours.

Convert Your First Amazon Link

How to Choose the Right Products to Promote for Your Amazon Affiliate Website

Once you know your niche, you can explore Amazon’s product listings.

Head to the “Best Sellers” category and look at the left sidebar, “Any Department.”

amazon website sidebar containing all best seller categories

Those are only broad topics. You’ll see niched-down lists for specific products when you click on any of those. For example, when you click “Automotive,” you get these:

amazon best sellers in automotive category

You can gauge what kinds of affiliate products are popular and start promoting those. It’ll make it easier for you when you’re starting to find best-selling products you’re interested in or already know about.

Check Amazon Affiliate Commission Rates

It’s also a good idea to check Amazon’s commission rates to see the percentages Amazon pays. For example, you can take a look at Amazon commission rates on the screenshot below:

amazon commission rates

Is there a sweet spot between your interests and affiliate commission rates?

It’s not meant to deter you; it’s only meant to give you an idea of the kinds of products with the highest payouts. You could easily choose products with a lower commission rate, but you may have to generate a higher volume of clicks to earn more revenue.

Sidenote: Check out Lasso co-founder Andrew Fiebert’s thread about amplifying your Amazon affiliate commissions. 👇🔥

Amazon Affiliate WordPress Plugins to Run Your Website

Plugins can make your life as an affiliate marketer easier. There are a number that perform different functions, such as:

  • Link cloaking
  • Affiliate link management
  • Help to improve conversion rates

Many plugins are good at doing one thing, but not many are great at doing them all – which is why we built Lasso.

Lasso

Lasso is a WordPress affiliate marketing plugin that lets you create custom link displays so you can promote your links.

It also helps you find new affiliate income opportunities and manage all of your links in one dashboard. Example of a Lasso product display:👇

Our Pick
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
$27.00 $13.96

The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s not about getting less done. It’s about getting only the right things done. It’s about the pursuit of the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.

Pros:
  • Will make you more effective.
  • Quick read and highly actionable.
Cons:
  • You have to be open-minded.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/28/2023 01:08 pm GMT

Here’s how the above product display appears while creating it on the backend (what you’re seeing is an example of a product’s Link Details page in Lasso):

essentialism link details page

Most importantly, Lasso integrates nicely with Amazon.

For example, you’ll get alerts when links break or products are out of stock. And all Amazon data gets updated every 24 hours (without needing API keys).

lasso link alerts in dashboard

Turning an Amazon URL into an affiliate link is as simple as copying and pasting. First, paste the Amazon URL into your dashboard, then click “Add Link.”

adding a new link to lasso

If you want to add a product display to your post, You can do it from inside the WordPress editor by clicking the cactus icon.

clicking cactus icon to add new link to posts in wordpress

Then, Lasso adds a piece of shortcode, and your product display will appear.

lasso adding shortcode to your wordpress post

If you’re adding simple text links, you’d do it the same way you’d add any link inside WordPress.

Enabling Auto-Amazon

You can also enable Auto-Amazon on Lasso, which automatically detects and monetizes your Amazon links with your tracking ID. To do it, head to Settings > Amazon. 

enabling auto amazon display settings for your amazon affiliate website

The Auto-Amazon feature is in the left column.

Under “Tracking ID for This Site,” add your primary tracking ID and toggle “Allow Multiple Tracking IDs” to the “On” position.

Under “Tracking ID Whitelist,” add any Amazon IDs you’d like to ignore (when Lasso monetizes your Amazon links, we won’t change those IDs).

Then, toggle “Enable Amazon Auto-Monetization” to the “On” position and hit “Save Changes.”

how to use auto amazon in lasso for your amazon affiliate website

Sidenote: You can also choose to show the Prime logo in your displays, as shown in the above screenshot. To get more details about Auto-Amazon, head here.

3 Successful Amazon Affiliate Website Examples

If you’re like me (and prefer seeing things in action), here are three examples of Amazon affiliate websites doing it right.

Swim University

Lasso co-founder Matt Giovanisci built this site devoted to pool and hot tub care.

swim university as an amazon affiliate website example

He founded it in 2006, drawing on his experiences working in the pool industry since he was 13.

It’s still his primary site and earns him over $160,000 in affiliate commissions. SwimU provides articles, videos, and simple step-by-step guides. It’s a single niche site with only 200 posts getting over four million visitors annually.

It doesn’t take much when you create insanely valuable, well-researched content.

Sidenote: Matt tripled his affiliate commissions in a year when he rolled out Lasso product displays across his site.

Since diversifying income streams to include digital and physical products and YouTube ad revenue, he’s now earning over $500,000.

Giftlab

Giftlab is one of our sites focused on niche gift lists for consumers.

giftlab category page for friend gifts as an amazon affiliate website to model

You’ll find new and unique products for everybody — from skiers to 3-year-olds to pilots — and everyone in between. It’s categorized by:

  • Popular
  • Interests
  • Occasions
  • Recipients

Since Amazon is the most popular shopping search engine, it made sense to start there. The site’s got a 37 domain rating yet still receives over 400k monthly visitors.

Sidenote: Giftlab earned $1.2M in affiliate income and reached 17.5M uniques in under five years with the automations and displays built with Lasso.

Another reason for the high conversions is the blog posts perfectly match the intent behind the queries. For example, somebody searching for the “best gifts for wine lovers” has a strong buying interest.

They’re looking for a curated, hyper-targeted list written for them. That’s where Giftlab comes in. And that’s why it’s performing exceptionally well.

The riches really are in the niches. 😉

The Wirecutter

The Wirecutter is the GOAT in terms of successful affiliate marketing sites.

the wirecutter amazon affiliate website inspiration

It’s also one of the most referenced across the internet.

Brian Lam founded it in 2011 and established it as THE product review destination for consumers. It generated $150 million in eCommerce and sold to the NY Times for $30 million five years later.

They kept their business model simple:

  • They wrote detailed product reviews
  • Every product had an affiliate link to a merchant where the reader could buy
  • They earned a commission every time someone made a purchase using their affiliate links

It’s lean (because their sole revenue stream comes from affiliates) with a broad focus (they review every consumer product imaginable). You won’t see any display ads either.

When readers go to the site, they know they’re getting sold, and that’s what The Wirecutter wants. They’re one of the most active members of Amazon’s affiliate program.

Start Building Your Amazon Affiliate Website Today

Whether you’re blogging or an e-commerce store owner, you can replicate a successful Amazon affiliate website by following the above steps.

Sites like The Wirecutter are extreme examples of how much affiliate income you can earn. However, it does require patience, as building an audience takes time.

But don’t give up!

Looking for more inspiration? Join our newsletter and get actionable affiliate marketing advice delivered straight to your inbox weekly.

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