|Screenshot Showing Menu Tab with Referral Tools|
Since I've been answering quite a few emails lately about this subject, I thought I'd post about it.
I've been an Amazon Associate for a few years now. I signed up to become an Associate back when I was freelance writing and learning about monetizing my blog.
This is the process of converting existing traffic being sent to a particular website into revenue. Some of you may have Google AdSense on your websites. That's a form of monetization. Other popular methods of monetizing your website are Pay Per Click (PPC) and Cost per impression (CPI/CPM) advertising. You can sign up as a publisher at various ad networks online and place many different kinds of ads on your website. When someone clicks an ad, you have the potential of earning income--if they end up buying something from the site where they're sent.
My Simplistic Approach
Because I hate websites where things are constantly popping up, popping over, flashing, or constantly streaming video in an ad, I just will not put that on my websites. They're intrusive and distracting. I also am careful to make sure the ads I do place are germane to the editorial theme and content on my websites.
Examples of my monetization can be found on the left and right sidebars and on the bottom of the page on this blog. I have ads for my books sold on Amazon, Nook, and other booksellers as well as products I design and sell for writers in my CafePress Shop The WRITE Way.
I also have ads for goods and services that I actually use and like--websites like Vimeo, Audible, Amazon Prime, Nook, office supplies, stock photography sites, music, etc. In other words, for things I, as an author, regularly use. None of these pay me directly. I just think they're good products for authors or anyone else so it's a way I can share information. My only income results from someone clicking the ad, going to that site, and purchasing something.
When you sign up and are approved on Amazon Associates, you're given a special code with your referral link embedded within. Then when you mention an Amazon product on your blog, you use a special tool to create a link with your referral code in it.
|Ad Associates Gray "Stripe" Makes Easy Quick Linking|
Visit the Amazon Affiliate Program and get started. It's easy. Amazon offers a wide range of tools to make it easy to recommend their products and services. When you look at the screenshot at the top of the page, you'll see what your Ad Associates Dashboard will look like. The blue Menu bar has tools you can use.
One of the easiest ways to create a referral link is to login to your Amazon account and keep the "gray stripe" at the top of the page always open. There's a toggle button on the left edge of it, just click show/hide to change it. If I have an author guest on the blog, I can go to their Amazon book page, then go to the gray stripe, click on LINK TO THIS PAGE, and a window opens with 3 choices of creating a buy link with my referral code in it. Choose the one you want.
Steps to Signing Up as Amazon Associate
1. Click JOIN NOW FOR FREE
(Below that is Learn More if you want to read more about it before signing up.)
2. Once you're approved and logged in, you'll be directed to WELCOME TO ASSOCIATES CENTRAL. The page will look something like the screen shot at the top. Just follow the instructions.
Next week I'll tell you how to create an Amazon Slideshow Widget to put on your website.
I can see no down side to signing up. It's an easy and non-annoying way to monetize your website.