how to make money with amazon associates

Wondering how to make money with Amazon Associates? You aren’t the only one.

Technically, I’ve been earning money with Amazon Associates for ten years. But I have to confess that for the first 9 years and 5 months of that time, I made a grand total of £26.

However, over the past six months, I’ve managed to increase my affiliate earnings so that I’m now earning between £300 and £500 per month. That’s not fortunes, but it’s a nice additional income, in exchange for very little ongoing effort. The nice thing about affiliate earnings is once something is set up and working, it doesn’t need tending to, very often.

Today, I wanted to share what’s worked for me as a small-time blogger to create a steady, modest income from affiliate earnings. I know that times are tough for many of us, and a few hundred pounds per month is nothing to be sniffed at.

How much can you earn as a small blogger on Amazon?

I know there are bloggers with 1m+ page views per month who are earning around £50k annually from affiliate income.

That’s not ever going to me.

I have a small blog that generates around 60,000 page views per month. But I would love to end 2021 and be earning a steady £750 per month from affiliate income. That would be enough to pay for a summer break and siphon some savings into my pension.

My strategy to make money with Amazon Associates means focusing on three areas: 

  • Identifying the best content in terms of potentially driving sales
  • Growing the audience of that content through effective SEO
  • Adding relevant affiliate content to those posts

Currently it’s April 2021, and I’m earning around £400 per month from Amazon Associates. Some months it’s higher, some months lower. October and November were my best months of the year, thanks to Christmas.  Here’s how my earnings have grown over the past couple of years:

  • From January to December 2019 I earned £21 on Amazon
  • From January to September 2020 I earned £3 on Amazon
  • From October to December 2020 I earned £1,600 on Amazon
  • From January to March 2021 I earned £950 on Amazon

Now it’s still not enough to retire to a private island, but Amazon gives me a few hundred pounds every month that I siphon off into my savings.

Want to know how I did it? Here’s how.

amazon associates tips

How to identify content for affiliate links

Before I got started adding affiliate links to my content, I took a good look at what content on my site performed particularly well – either seasonally, or year-round. This is about finding what posts you’ve already written will work well for affiliate content because a) they have very high traffic OR b) they have a high rate of click-throughs.

I then used Semrush to help build those posts up so they ranked for more keywords and keyword variations. Each of these posts now has at least 10 keywords where they are ranked in the top three results on Google. I identified four key posts that I wanted to start with:

Post 1: Seasonal Content

Post 1 is a Christmas-themed post that is a round-up of 20+ gift ideas. The post is about four years old but every year between October and December, it sees a jump in popularity, and with a little work on SEO, I got it to around 300-400 visits per day. Two of the products recommended on the list are available on Amazon, so I added affiliate links here.

Total income per month: £200 (Oct-Dec) 

Post 2: Seasonal clothing

My second post is about summer-themed clothing and again, is a round-up of plus-sized clothing. The post is two years old and ranks well for 10+ keywords, giving me an average of 200 page views every day between March and July. The most popular links on this post aren’t available on Amazon, but those that are, I linked.

Total income per month: £200 (Mar-Jul) 

Post 3: Garden tips for new homes

The third post I chose was a post that has small traffic – around 20-50 page views a day. But the post does well all year round and has one link in the post to an Amazon product that generates a very high click-through rate to a relatively expensive item. I knew that every sale generated from this post would net me around £4.

Total income per month: £100 (Feb-Oct)  

Post 4: Movie round-up

The final post I selected for my affiliate campaign was a round-up of films, most of which are available via Amazon Prime. When you use affiliate links to Amazon services like Prime, Movies, Audible etc (rather than products) you can earn a Bounty of £3 per sign-up. This post generates around 100 hits per day, year round, and I’ll typically earn anywhere from £3 to £9 a day in Bounty fees.

Total income per month: £250 (year round)  

What I’ve Learned about Making Money with Amazon Associates

After six months, what I’ve learned is that to create a steady income stream from affiliate content it’s better to have a combination of posts that do well year-round, with posts that have very strong seasonal peaks.

Track your featured content in a spreadsheet (I use Google Docs) to monitor peaks in traffic. This ensures that you know the right time to go into a post and update it so that new products are listed – nobody will appreciate a bunch of links to Christmas gifts that are no longer available.

Other than that, my top tips are:

  • Be creative. A successful Affiliates post might be a shopping round-up but it could equally be a recipe where you recommend a specific piece of cookware or ingredients. It might be a wedding guide with affiliate links to Amazon’s Wedding List service. Look at ALL the types of links Amazon gives you, and where it might work best for you.
  • Don’t forget Bounty links. They can seriously boost your income. Bounty payments account for the biggest share of my affiliate income.
  • Layer affiliate programmes. My seasonal clothing post makes a relatively amount via Amazon, but I added two Affiliate Window links for other retail brands to that post, and I estimate that these will add around £200/month in the summer to my affiliate income.
  • Don’t forget other ways to make money online – from doing surveys to collecting reward vouchers like Swagbucks.
  • Target the best categories. These change from time to time, but right now on Amazon you’ll earn 10% commission for direct sales of fashion products, but only 3% on electronics. You’ll also earn 10% on promotions of Handmade items, and 7% on home purchase.
  • Keep an eye on Amazon Associates promotions. Sometimes you’ll see a bounty payment increase for a short period of time (such as Popcorn Month, when the bounty payment for Amazon Movies increases to £10) or a specific category of products might have a higher payout rate.
  • Indirect sales count. Remember on a link that gets lots of clicks, you can earn even if people don’t buy the product you linked to. Amazon pays around 1.5% commission on any qualifying purchases someone makes after clicking on your link, if they go on to buy something else.
  • Get social. Remember you can share links in places other than your blog. If you have a really relevant link, you might share in on IG as a swipe-up, via a Tweet, or on a Facebook page. Just make sure you check the policies for each platform and follow the rules on what is allowed, and what disclosures are needed.

How not to make money with Associates

The key thing NOT to do if you want to know how to make money with Amazon Associates is blindly adding affiliate links to everything you do. That’s what I did for years and it’s frustrating to know that now I make more money from four posts than I ever did when I was adding links here, there and everywhere.

We all have a limited amount of time for these things, so my advice is to get strategic about affiliate income, and focus your efforts where you’re going to see the best return, and the best traffic.

For other tips on making money online, do check out this post from my friend Jen at Mum in the Madhouse, about

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.