Creating an affiliate ecommerce store is one of the easiest ways to for you to cash in on Amazon’s huge success.
Amazon is the undisputed leader in ecommerce, generating more than $135 billion in revenue last year. They continue to dominate the market by working with other people. And you have the opportunity to cash-in on Amazon’s success by creating an Amazon affiliate store.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
I love affiliate marketing because it is the least stressful way to earn money from selling products online. Inventory, shipping, payments, customer service and returns are all handled by the site that you’re sending customer to. Your only responsibility is educating customers and helping them learn about the products your partner is selling.
If you combine affiliate marketing with your own product line, you can earn even more! But, you will increase the hassle-factor.
Amazon Affiliate Store Examples
Your job, as an Amazon affiliate, is to help online shoppers learn about the products that are best suited to solve their problem – based on your expertise. If you aren’t knowledgeable, you won’t be able to guide them to the perfect solution. And, if you aren’t passionate, you’re going to burn out before you see a meaningful revenue stream
The examples below use content to attract and educate readers then give them a gentle nudge to buy. Some look like ecommerce sites with “Buy Now” buttons, while others look more like blogs. Check out these successful Amazon affiliate sites:
As you can see from the examples above, ecommerce affiliate websites come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s what you’ll need to get your own Amazon Affiliate shop:
- A well-defined niche that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about.
- A WordPress theme with an ecommerce plugin.
- A reliable host for your website.
- An Amazon affiliate account will allow you to list products from Amazon’s online store on your site.
- An affiliate marketing program that matches your passion and preferred market.
- Your own line of branded products.
- Professional, engaging product photos for your product pages.
Steps to Building Your Amazon Affiliate Store from Scratch
Now that you know what you need, it’s time to put all of the puzzle pieces together. Let’s take a look at the first steps you’ll need to complete in order to start generating revenue from your site.
1. Join Amazon’s Affiliate Program
In order to earn bounties and commissions from Amazon, you need an affiliate account. It only takes a few minutes to fill out, and the majority of applicants are approved within 24 hours.
First, head over to the Amazon Associates page and review the terms for Amazon’s affiliate program (Amazon Associates Operating Agreement). You’ll learn about the different tools that Amazon provides to their partners, along with the various types of revenue you can generate.
For example, digital purchases and physical product orders are treated differently. In general, any order that a customer places within 24 hours of reaching Amazon through one of your links is counted towards your commission. And, if they add something to their cart during this period, as long as they checkout within 89 days of their initial click through, you’ll receive credit for the completed transaction.
After you’ve completed the application, you’ll receive an email confirming your approval into Amazon’s associate program. You’ll also gain access to a dashboard with a ton of helpful info. And, most importantly, you’ll find the unique codes you’ll need to inject into your site.
2. Select the Products You Want to Drive Customers To
While you’re waiting for your application to be approved, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching the wide variety of products that Amazon carries. Selecting the right products to help market will have a major impact on how much money your site generates.
Keep in mind that you will be earning a percentage of the total cost for the products you promote. Helping an online shopper find a $3 pair of socks is far less rewarding than helping them purchase a $2,000 Smart TV.
You can pay attention to the number of customer reviews that a product has, in order to guesstimate how popular certain items are. But, more advanced affiliate marketers use tools like Jungle Scout to access hidden information about product trends.
And keep in mind, the cost of an item isn’t the only determining factor in choosing which items to promote. In my sock vs. smart tv example, it could turn out that the higher number of socks that are sold actually outweighs the difference in earnings from the single purchase of a smart tv.
3. Snag a Memorable Domain Name
Once you’ve selected a niche market to serve, it’s time to find a memorable domain name that is relevant to the products you’ll be marketing, and easy for your future visitors to remember.
Your domain name is the address that online shoppers will type into the address bar of their web browser in order to reach your website. It’s like the address for your home.
Coming up with a memorable name is easier said than done. In fact, branding agencies charge buku of cash just to come up with a catchy brand name for a company.
If you are short on ideas (and cash) you can check out these brand name generators:
4. Install WordPress and Select a Theme
We already covered how important a reputable host is for your website. The vast majority of hosting companies provide you with access to cpanel. Cpanel makes it easy to install a content-management system, like WordPress, onto your server.
Click here for an in-depth guide on using WordPress to build your ecommerce site. Mastering WordPress is a great way to avoid expensive invoices from a web designer, without spending months learning how to code.
After WordPress is installed, it’s time to select a theme that will help your WordPress site jump off the screen. Your theme serves as the framework for the site – providing a color scheme, content layout and different elements, including sliders and hero boxes.
For starters, take a look at these killer ecommerce WordPress themes:
Most of these themes, depending on where you purchase them, will offer additional support for novice users for a nominal fee. This can be a huge help in closing the gap between a do-it-yourself solution and a professionally crafted site.
Remember, your most important factor in selecting a theme is finding one that will help you convert visitors into customers. As long as your theme is easy to navigate and allows you to layout your content in an informative, engaging way, you’ll have a solid foundation upon which to build your affiliate site.
5. Install A WordPress Affiliate Plugin
Once your site is setup with WordPress and you’ve selected the market you’ll be attacking, it’s time to take advantage of the many plugins that WordPress offers. Just like themes, some are free, others do cost money – either monthly or one-time up-front.
Get AAWP is a must if you are doing any type of Amazon Affilite marketing
Thirsty Affiliate is another one of my favorite WordPress plugins for affiliate marketing because it helps me track what people are actually clicking on – versus scrolling past without interacting. Measuring clicks is an important way to understand what areas of your site are working (generating commissions).
Shareasale is another one you can use.
By looking at what people are clicking on, you can figure out if the audience that is reaching your site is simply browsing, or ready to buy. This can help guide your efforts to optimize your site for different keywords – helping you realize that certain terms bring in browsers, and you need to keep looking for new keywords that bring in motivated buyers.
6. Inject Your Starter Content into Your Ecommerce Site
Now it’s time to fill your site with powerful content that helps readers make an informed buying decision. Think about the questions your future customers will need to answer in order to feel confident when adding an item to their cart.
For inspiration, head over to Google and type in a phrase related to your category of products. Be creative. Think about how a shopper would phrase their question.
In the example above, I typed in “best summer clothes for” and I let Google suggest the ending. This tells me that people who are shopping for clothes are looking to find fashions and styles that compliment their body type.
So, if my goal was to help Amazon sell clothing, I would start by writing a ton of content about matching trendy styles with specific body-types. Within the content, I would link to different products that Amazon sells.
Remember, this is only the beginning. Based on how your site’s visitors interact with this initial content, you’ll be able focus the future content you write.
7. Setup Your Social Media Accounts to Amplify Your Content
Social media is one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience. And, it will make it much easier for people that “like” your website to learn about new content that’s published on your blog – plus, getting…