The Fascination with Affiliates
Small bloggers like me are always fascinated by the prospect of setting up an affiliate program. It appears to be “easy money.” You don’t have to have a business account, or even a premium account–though using a free domain is going to call our credibility into question by both the consumers and the affiliate programs themselves. There are all kinds of affiliate programs out there. Some will accept us, others will say “no, thanks” — so we have to keep that in mind. I figure since I’m getting serious about spending money, I might want to know more about making it.
The most popular is Amazon. Amazon offers the most goods for sale and the widest variety of goods. It is a trusted brand. I’m also a big reader and plan to make more book recommendations in the future. Barnes and Noble’s affiliate program seems like a good companion to Amazon, for those who “Nook” rather than “Kindle.”
You need a blog or website to participate in an affiliate program. It seems simple: you create a link in your blog/website to the book or product you want to “co-sell” from your blog. A reader clicks on the link and buys to book or product. They get the very same price they’d get if they did not use your link. You get a small percentage from that sale, the rate depending on the product sold and the Affiliate programs policy. Essentially, it’s a small finder’s fee for getting the affiliate the sale. I’ve heard that rates of return on Amazon are low for books. Seriously low. Like 4% — in other words, a $10.00 book is going to get me a cool 4 cents. One of my followers sent me a comment that they wanted to know more about how to do affiliate marketing from WordPress.com; I thought it would make a great post. Affiliate marketing at my level is not going to make a dint in my kid’s college fund.:)
Electronics and other goods get higher rates. Food bloggers, makeup and lifestyle bloggers, DIYers might make a better rate of return, because they connect to items of higher value. Amazon’s rates for those sales in higher. Food bloggers have made some respectable side incomes in this way. From all I’ve read, though, this is not the road to financial independence! 🙂 Still, four cents is four cents.
I’m going to set up affiliate programs at Amazon and at Barnes and Noble, In this post, we’ll cover the Amazon.com experience.
You can either create a separate, “corporate” / business account on Amazon or use your own Amazon account. Either way, you find the link to get you set up at the bottom of your Amazon homepage.
The setup process is pretty easy. First, there’s lots of identity stuff that the Amazon interface takes from your customer profile (name, address, etc.) . Then it asks you what website or app you’re going to be sending links from. Pretty simple. This is what that screen looks like.
Next, it asks you to characterize your blog, so that they have some idea what kind of site you’re running. Here’s what I wrote, and chose from the drop down menus.
On the next screen! Okay, I don’t do paid search, but you know, I might try that, just to get you all followers some information on how that works–and if it is effective! Some day! I don’t have an email list yet, either, but I’m planning for the future.
And the last step is a bit trickier. They CALL you. To make sure you’re real and all. 🙂
The call you get is an AUTOMATED call! And then they generate a pin number for you to put into a little box that pops up after the call.
After you submit, then you’re asked about your PAYMENT information and your taxes. So if you’re a US citizen, be prepared for that one. You’ll need your social security number.
Interestingly, you can get the proceeds as an Amazon gift card. 🙂 That’s convenient, but you have to make a minimum of ten bucks. That is now the GOAL of my affiliate — to make ten bucks in an Amazon gift card. 🙂 Smart, achievable, trackable. I’ll let you know how this progresses.
And thanks so much for all the like love!
More soon! ~Lola