Affiliate programs and what little I know of them

One of the ways that people make money online is by being an affiliate site. If you a website that has traffic you can parlay traffic into profit. Use links to send sales to websites and you then get a commission. I actually found the affiliate program for Oriental Trading Company (my childhood business partner). But it doesn’t look like my blog is down their alley.

Now I’m on the hunt for an affiliate program that would benefit my readers, the affiliate site, and in the end, myself. I don’t want to come off sounding self-centered but I think it would be disingenuous to act like I’m some altruistic person that isn’t worried about his own business. Charity is helping people, business is helping people and also being compensated for it.

In the internet alphabet book, A is for Amazon, which happens to have an affiliate program. This one seems like a quick win for me since I’m likely to recommend some personal finance books. If I recommend a book, I’ll certainly let you know why I think it’s important to read and I’ll try not to suggest buying them if I don’t think it’s worth owning.

Ok, back to the affiliate thing. As I dig deeper into finding where these programs are and how I can get in on them I’m starting to see that there’s a whole network of this stuff that I never imagined.

In the future I’ll try to provide more details about what I find and how I’m make it work (or not). On to Amazon’s program.

Getting started with Amazon’s Affiliate Program

  1. It’s free to join and I already have an Amazon account so the first step is pretty easy.
  2. Add my blog to the list of sites. Copy, paste, done. Apparently, you can also add Mobile App info if you also have an app.
  3. Fill out some general information.
  4. Get your identity verified and you’re in!

That was actually pretty easy and I almost feel dumb for not doing it sooner.

From here on out I will create links to products and then when people buy things which I link I’ll receive a commission. Current passive income generated from this: $0.00 but at least now I’m set up so that this number can potentially increase. I also feel pretty good about opening up this new potential revenue stream, even if nothing is happening with it.

Now it’s time to see how I can add something to the blog that can help generate some income. In poking around with my associates account (where the affiliates program gets managed) I found that there’s a WordPress plugin that helps integrate this into the blog. However, I would have to have a paid (Business) plan for my blog. Since this blog generates zero dollars and zero cents, I’m not yet ready to pay for a plan; perhaps if the readership gets high enough.

So, back to setting something up with the affiliate program. From the amazonassociates page, up at the top, I go to Product Linking and then Product Links. Next, search for the item you want to promote. I chose a book I read a few years ago. I used to follow Ramit Sethi’s blog, “I Will Teach You to Be Rich,” and then I purchased his book when it came out. It contains good practical advice for getting yourself into a better financial position and I really liked the way it was written.

Here’s my link: I Will Teach You To Be Rich

If you click the link and buy I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Amazon will pay me commission on the sale.

If I’m reading the fee schedule correctly I believe I’ll be getting 4.5% commission for physical books (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). By my calculations that would give me roughly $0.50 per book sold. If you’re interested in the book, by all means, please try it and I’ll report back on how the affiliate program is working for me (no pressure though).

I also see that Amazon has featured promotions and something called bounties (fixed advertising fees). The bounties appear to pay fixed amounts and it looks like they’re mainly for getting people to sign up for free Amazon service trials.

Here are some examples:

There are so many of these it’s almost overwhelming but what I like about these is that they don’t cost people any money (unless you forget to cancel). By all means, feel free to sign up for some so I can report back on how well it works.

That’s my quick guide to getting set up with an affiliates program. If you have a blog or website and you haven’t already, get over to Amazon and get yourself set up with an account.

Tomorrow: Automating your finances.

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