Amazon affiliate marketing is becoming an increasingly popular online business model. Although we here at Build Assets Online focus more on high-ticket dropshipping, we’re finding that affiliate sites are making up a growing part of our virtual portfolio.
But just what is it, and how can you get started?
Because it’s becoming so common, I’ve written this guide to cover those topics. I’ll be explaining in detail how to build an Amazon affiliate website for beginners with WordPress, so that anyone can get started right away.
Let’s get this show on the road.
See the video tutorial below or keep reading for the entire guide.
What is an Amazon Affiliate Site?
If you’ve never heard of it before, let me pause for a moment to tell you more about what being an Amazon affiliate entails.
The best way to give you a good idea is to compare it to being a salesperson for another company. Say, for instance, that you’re selling a house for a large real estate agency.
When you sell the house, you get a commission. That motivates each realtor to sell as many houses as possible.
It’s similar when you’re an Amazon affiliate, although to a much smaller degree. You encourage people to make purchases on Amazon through links on your own websites. If someone clicks one of these links on your site and makes a purchase on Amazon within 24 hours, you get a portion of that sale as commission.
As an illustration, pretend that you’re advertising for a specific karaoke machine on your site. You write an article with the link to the karaoke machine’s listing. Someone clicks on it, and is taken to the Amazon listing. As long as they buy anything within 24 hours after clicking on your link, you’ll get a commission.
How to Build an Amazon Affiliate Website
Step 1: Find Good Products on Amazon that You Can Become an Affiliate For
As an Amazon affiliate, you’ll obviously be pulling products off of Amazon. I recommend you start by looking at this affiliate commission table first. You can use it to see how much you’ll earn in different product categories.
You’ll want to avoid categories with really low commission rates, such as physical video games. I personally recommend sticking with things that are 4% or higher on the table.
In terms of price, you’ll ideally look for products that are $50 or higher on average. Although this doesn’t mean you absolutely can’t link to cheaper items, you don’t want to have the bulk of the links on your site pointing to inexpensive products. If that were the case, you’d be making very little on your commissions.
Since you’re going to put in effort to get traffic, you might as well be making a larger commission. Look to make at least $4-5 per order by picking more expensive items.
You’ll start by figuring out what kind of product category is most appropriate for your site. As an example, we’re going to look at singing and equipment used for that. Once you’ve chosen a category, it’s time to start actually searching.
In the search bar at the top of Amazon, you can choose to narrow down your search by department. After selecting music instruments from the drop-down by the search bar, I put in “a” to look for products in alphabetical order.
Once your results come up, filter even further by price. Again, you’ll want to look for things that are, on average, $50 or more. You’ll also want to pay attention to the number of reviews; more reviews tends to mean the product is selling regularly.
You can click here to watch me show you how to search for products on Amazon.
Step 2: Do Some Keyword Research
Once you’ve decided on your niche and selected a few promising products, it’s time to figure out what keywords will be used for your articles. Before we dig deeper into that, I’m going to tell you about the two best keyword modifiers for Amazon affiliate articles.
Here they are: best x for y and x vs y. I’ll give you some examples of how they work.
For both these keyword modifiers, let’s use karaoke machines as an illustration again. In best x for y, you could write an article called “best karaoke machines for children.”
In the x vs y example, you’ll be using your product in comparison. You could write something comparing two specific models of a karaoke machine.
The reason either of these modifiers is so good is that they are long-tail keywords. Not many other sites will go after specific keywords like this. The less competition you have for a specific keyword, the better your site will rank and the more clicks you’ll get.
How do you use these modifiers to get your own keywords?
You’ll go to the Google home page and start by typing in “best karaoke machine for.” Don’t hit enter or search just yet. Instead, wait for the autocomplete suggestions to pop up below the search bar.
These are your long-tail keywords to choose from. You can safely assume that if Google is auto-completing your keyword like this, there’s a demand for the product.
Once you identify a long-tail keyword that looks like it will work, try entering it in and seeing how many search results come up for it. If you’re finding mostly articles that are only semi-related or generic Amazon products pages, you’ve found a good keyword.
Make sure you keep a list or spreadsheet of keyword candidates somewhere, as well as a note about how many results you find with the specific modifier you’re using. Your goal is to find 20-30 of these keywords, with a maximum of 2-3 with the same intent on the first page. (By “intent,” I mean how many others use the exact same keyword as you in their title, or something really similar.)
You can click here to watch me walk through my keyword selection process while I show you my screen.
Step 2: Pick a Good Domain Name & Getting Hosting
The next step is getting ready to make your site. You’ll need to find a good website hosting service, and my personal favorite is WPX Hosting.
Their live chat is amazing. It’s saved me a lot of frustration and time in the past.
They’re also extremely fast, which is incredibly important. The faster your website loads, the less likely people are to get frustrated and leave it right away. You can check them out right here.
If you want some cheaper hosting, Siteground lets you get started for mere pennies a month. Check out Siteground here.
As far as the actual name of your site goes, I prefer to pick things that are broad.
We’ll go with the karaoke machine example again. Picking something like “coolkaraokemachines.com” limits what you can do with your site in the long-term. It also looks kind of silly.
You should spend a little time thinking about this, but don’t worry about it too much. In the end, as long as your domain name is easy to spell, easy to say, easy to remember, and broad enough to allow for future expansion, you’ve picked something good.
I also always suggest choosing .com for the ending. That’s just what most people are familiar with. For our example singing site, we’re going to choose vocalhelper.com, because it’s broad and easy to remember.
Step 4: Choose a Theme for Your Website
With your domain name picked out, you’re ready for the next step: setting up your website.
One of the first things you’ll need to do is pick out a theme. If you’re using WPX and WordPress like I’ve suggested, my go-to theme is GeneratePress.
It looks professional and it runs well on mobile devices. Adding elements of code to it anywhere on your site is also pretty simple through the elements option on the left. Furthermore, it’s a very affordable $49.
Once you pay for the license, you can apply it to any number of other sites, which will be important down the line. You’ll likely find yourself making more than one site, especially as you gain experience.
If you’d like to take a look at the theme yourself, you can click here.
Step 5: Set Up Your Website with the Essential Plugins for an Amazon Affiliate Site
Let’s take a look at plugins now. I really only use two for Amazon affiliate sites: AAWP and Yoast.
You can check out AAWP here. It allows you to pull images from Amazon’s API.
Normally, you can’t just go onto Amazon and save the image to your computer to upload it to your website. Doing so can get your affiliate account terminated or suspended. If you pull anything from their website, you need do it from their API.
My second recommended plugin, Yoast, is for SEO purposes.
Adding plugins to your site is easy. For Yoast, you would just click “plugins” on the left hand side of the page, click “add new,” and search for it.
AAWP, on the other hand, you will have to install yourself with the “upload plugin” button. With AAWP installed, you will also have to set it up, but it’s pretty simple. You can find its settings on the left side of your site editor.
You’ll need to hook up your Amazon affiliate account, but that’s not too difficult. One thing to note, though, is you might get a message about the PHP SOAP extension at the top of the page. You can chat with WPX’s live chat agents to get that disabled.
Using AAWP is fairly straightforward. You’ll need to find the ASIN for the product you’re going to be promoting. It’s located on the Amazon listing, towards the bottom of the page.
Once you’ve found that, you’ll have to plug it into a short code that you’ll put on your site. In addition, you’ll put in the name of the product.
Here are the short codes:
- [amazon fields=”Put ASIN Here” value=”link” title=”Put Product Name Here”]
- [amazon fields=”Put ASIN Here” value=”thumb” image_size=”large”]
- [amazon fields=”Put ASIN Here” value=”button”]
The top one is for a link directly to the product. The one in the middle is used to pull an image for the listing, and the third one makes a button that links to the product’s page.
When you use the short codes, they’re not going to show up on the actual site. Here’s what it will look like:
Please note: currently, Amazon has made it so new affiliate accounts can’t use AAWP right away. I do recommend installing it as soon as possible, though.
You can click here to watch me show you how to add plugins and choose a site theme.
Step 6: Write your Blog Posts Quickly and Efficiently
Time for the most important part of your affiliate site: the articles you’re going to write.
To begin with, your title should include your keyword that you chose earlier. You can add numbers in front of it (such as saying, “5 Best karaoke machines for children”) or even the year.
However, the keyword itself should be the main focus of the title. Your permalink to the article should end in your keyword without any of the extra numbers you may have added.
You’ll also need to add a featured image. You can make these for free on Canva, but there are royalty-free sites you can use, too, such as Unsplash.
This is the part where that Yoast plugin comes in handy. You’ll be able to add an SEO title and meta description to your page. Your SEO title will be the same (or very similar to) the title you put at the top of the page already. Your meta description will be just a brief description of what the article is for.
Here’s a pro tip: pay attention to the bars you’ll see below the SEO title and meta description fields. These will change color based on the length of your title and description. When the bars are green, you’ll have reached the perfect length for SEO purposes.
When it comes to writing the article, the outline and format is critical. I’ve created two outlines you can use for both best x for y and x vs y articles here.
It’s crucial that you have your article divided into headings and subheadings in order to be more SEO-friendly. In the outline, I’ve labeled which parts would be H2, H3, or H4 headings.
For best X for Y articles, you’ll do a list. You can add a section at the end that’s about factors to consider for your product. Then you’ll finish with a wrap up section.
In the versus articles, you’ll have two products you’re comparing on several different points. You can end the article with a section about which one your reader should choose based on a number of factors.
You can watch me walk you through article formatting by clicking here.
Other Important Considerations
Make your Amazon affiliate account.
Your first step is to make your Amazon affiliate account. From that point, you have 180 days to make a single sale, which should be enough time. If that doesn’t happen, you can reapply.
Really, though, it isn’t hard to reach the point where you get a single sale. The previous guidelines I’ve provided should get you there.
Read Also: Job vs Online Business: Which is Better?
A Note on the AAWP Plugin
Unfortunately, in late 2019, Amazon limited what new accounts are able to pull from the API, so you will need to insert your links using your Amazon Affiliate SiteStripe.
To use it, log in to your Amazon account. You’ll have a section at the top of the site that says, “SiteStripe.”
This section has three options: text, image, or text + image. I recommend avoiding the “text+image” option, because it creates something that looks like an ad.
If you create text to put in your WordPress article, make sure you make the link No Follow. The image option will give you an image that you can put into the HTML code for your page.
It’s not that hard, but I just prefer AAWP. Later down the line, once you can add those links and images from the API with AAWP, I strongly suggest doing so. It makes things so much easier.
Click here to watch my walkthrough of using SiteStripe if you need the visuals.
Add an affiliate disclaimer to various parts of your site.
Per Amazon’s affiliate terms of service, you’re going to need to have a disclaimer saying you’re an affiliate. This disclaimer will go on a few different parts of your site.
As far as what the disclaimer actually needs to say, there’s a quote you can take right out of the terms of the service. It begins with something like, “As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”
First, you should have a disclaimer at the beginning of your articles stating that you are an affiliate. In my own articles, I put this right at the top, before the article even begins.
You should also be putting this disclaimer in the footer and on a separate disclaimer page. This needs to be accessible to your readers so they’re aware of it.
This is especially true for Amazon affiliate sites. Because your links could lead to the collection of personal data, it’s important legally for your customers to be able to understand this.
Your “about us” page is pretty self-explanatory. Use that page to provide a little information about your site and the team behind it.
Make sure your website looks nice.
This should go without saying, but your website needs to look good. You can’t leave something up that looks sloppy, otherwise people will be less inclined to stay on your site.
Choose an attractive color scheme and have a logo made for you professionally. We go to Fiverr to hire people for one-off projects like making a logo.
Check Amazon’s Operating Agreement frequently for any updates.
You’ll want to check Amazon’s Operating Agreement for any changes. As an Amazon affiliate, this is your responsibility.
If you fail to check frequently enough, you might miss an update. Of course, if you fail to comply with Amazon’s rules, including their updates, you risk having your affiliate account suspended or terminated.
While you need to check the Operating Agreement yourself, I’ll lay out a couple of the key points:
Don’t say the prices in your articles, because they can change day-to-day. You should ideally just have a button saying something like, “Click here to check the price on Amazon.”
Don’t pull images from Amazon except from their API or by using tools from your affiliate account. That means don’t do things like download the listing images and then upload them to your site.
I hope this helped give you an idea of where to start for your affiliate marketing site.
I know I covered a lot in this article, but it’s not difficult to get the hang of once you try it. If you need to review any of the points, I’ve included links with time stamps under a few of the subheadings. These links will take you right to the point in the video where I show you how to do whatever the subheading covers.
With patience and work, your affiliate marketing site can be a valuable channel for passive income. However, we at Build Assets Online will always tell you to diversify your virtual portfolio. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Or if you need specific help with your Amazon affiliate site, we can help in our coaching mastermind group. Click here to learn more.