How to Build an Amazon Affiliate Website in 2018

These days you have so many different options for making money online and one of the more popular methods, especially for beginners, is building an Amazon affiliate website.

Apart from using this method of monetization, there are also plenty of other options such as creating a blog, building a niche site, doing freelance work, creating an Adsense site, and a seemingly endless amount of other possibilities.

Creating an Amazon affiliate site is pretty straightforward so it’s not surprising to see why so many people start out going down this road.

Even if you already have a blog or website are ready, you can still take advantage of the affiliate program that Amazon offers.

Today, I want to talk about how to build an Amazon affiliate site and start making money from it so you can scale your earnings and quit your job or just move onto bigger and better things in the online marketing world.

Why You Need to Consider Building an Amazon Affiliate Site

blogging regularly

Rather than just immediately starting with the tutorial, I want to quickly go over why I think Amazon affiliate sites are such a good idea for beginners looking to break into the make money online world.

If you have already done a little bit of research, you might have discovered that the Amazon commissions are actually quite low compared to the other affiliate programs that are available out there.

Commissions on some products start as low as just 1% with the highest commissions being around the 8% to 10% level depending on the product that you’re promoting.

At first, this might seem really low but you have to remember that Amazon is a very popular e-commerce website and they spend millions of dollars every year to improve their own conversions and to get people to spend as much money as possible.

Despite the low commissions, they definitely have one of the higher conversion rates in the industry, and if you’re promoting higher priced products than your commissions can really start to add up quickly.

Even if you’re promoting lower priced products, you’re more likely to sell something off of Amazon compared to almost any other platform and this results in more money in your pocket.

Apart from the decent conversion rates, there are also a few other reasons why it’s a good idea to start an Amazon affiliate site.

These reasons include:

  • Amazon websites are easy to set up and get going, making them a great choice for people just getting started in the Internet marketing world and wanting to learn SEO
  • Once you figure out the basics of how to start making money with Amazon you can quickly scale into higher profits
  • There are a wide range of different niches to choose from so it’s very likely that you can go with something that you’re actually passionate about
  • You earn commissions from anything you sell off of a visitor cookie for a 24 hour period
  • Hundreds of thousands of different products that you can promote
  • Amazon is a conversion machine so your focus is just getting your visitors to click over to the site rather than trying to sell everything on your own
  • It’s easy to outsource the content creation
  • Earnings will typically increase the older that the site gets and the more content that you add

Keep in mind that even with all these benefits, Amazon isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and there are a few disadvantages that you want to consider before you set your site up.

These disadvantages include:

  • They can take quite some time before you start earning a decent amount of money
  • There is a lot of planning and organization involved to set everything up properly for success
  • Lots of competition depending on the niche
  • Creating the same type of content can get really boring once you’ve written 100+ posts
  • The commissions are quite low compared to the other affiliate programs to choose from
  • You have to be in it for the long term, making money from Amazon isn’t a short term game

Should You Pick Something You’re Passionate About to Promote?

One of the most popular questions that people have when they start building an Amazon affiliate website is whether or not it’s important to pick a niche or certain products to build the site around that you’re actually passionate about.

In my opinion, it’s very important to pick something that you’re at least remotely interested in unless you’re going to be completely outsourcing everything from the start.

The reason why you should go with something you’re passionate about is because you’re going to be spending a lot of time researching and creating content around the topic of your site and if you’re not interested in it then you’re going to lose focus very quickly.

One problem is that not everything is going to have a lot of different products available to choose from depending on what your passion or interests are, so if that’s the case then you might want to go with something more broad that’s at least somewhat related to your interests.

I know that there are a lot of people saying that you should just chase the money and pick topics that you can earn alot from but I would still argue that you’re better off going with something that you’re interested in for the long run.

Choosing an Amazon Affiliate Niche

blogging office

Even before you set up your hosting or choose a domain name, you need to take the time to pick the right niche to go after.

A niche is the general topic related to the types of products that you’re going to be promoting on your website.

For example, some different niches you could choose include:

  • Boating
  • Woodworking
  • Basketball
  • Outdoor Lifestyle
  • Interior Design
  • Pet Food

Some of these are broad, some of them are more targeted, and for your first site I recommend going with a broad niche with the goal to turn it into an authority on the topic given enough time.

What I mean by this is that you’re better off going with something like outdoor lifestyle and writing about topics and products related to things like camping, hiking, mountain climbing, cycling, etc.

This way you have a lot to write about and you can easily fill up your website with more content rather than just focusing on one or two things and eventually running out of ideas.

Even after choosing a specific niche that you want to go after, there are still a few more things you need to consider:

Getting Relevant Traffic

The amount of traffic that your website gets is going to mainly determine how much money you’re able to make.

Because of this you want to find keywords and search terms that people are actually searching for related to the products that you’re promoting and in most cases these will be product reviews or list/”best product” types of keywords.

These are known as buyer phrases and the people that are searching for these terms are very close to buying the product that they’re searching for.

This means that if you rank for these types of terms that your traffic is going to be very relevant and just a few clicks away from actually making a purchase.

Some examples of these types of keywords are terms like:

  • Best boat covers
  • Best running shoes for trail running
  • Nikon D5300 review

The people that are making these searches are just looking for a little nudge in the right direction because they’re fairly confident about what they’re interested in and just need a little bit more information that confirms their thoughts.

From the beginning I recommend creating a mix of content that uses both keywords with buyer intent as well as informational keywords that you can use for getting backlinks or social shares.

It’s important remember that you want to be providing value to your readers and that your website isn’t just affiliate posts.

There isn’t really a set amount of daily or monthly traffic that you need to achieve to make a good amount of money and your profitability really depends on the price point of the products that you’re promoting to your readers.

Promoting High Priced Products

high priced amazon products for affiliate commissions

Like I already mentioned, the commission on Amazon products in their affiliate program is quite low and ranges from 1% up to 10% depending on what you sell.

I would say the average is around 5% so you’re going to be much better off promoting products that are at least $100 or more rather than something that’s just a few dollars.

Even a $100 product is only going to earn you $5 as a commission, or maybe $10 depending on the type of product that you’re promoting, so it’s easy to see why you’re better off promoting higher priced products.

It might be easier to sell something inexpensive but creating content is the same regardless of whether you’re promoting a cheap product or something worth a few hundred dollars.

One more thing you should keep in mind is that whenever one of your website visitors clicks on an Amazon link and are directed to Amazon, a cookie is placed on their browser and it lasts for 24 hours so you earn a commission for anything purchased during that time frame.

How to Determine if You Chose the Right Niche

Along with keyword research, making sure that you chose the right niche is one of the most important things you can do when you’re getting started with your site.

The reason for this is because you don’t want to spend too much time or put in too much effort only to determine a few weeks or months later that the competition is too hard to beat for a beginner or that the keywords you chose don’t result in enough traffic for you to make money.

The following section covers how you can find low-competition niches to enter that have enough sustainable traffic that you can profit from in the long run.

Keyword Research

kwfinder keyword tool for finding profitable keywords

Keyword research is something a lot of people get hung up on but it’s actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

What is keyword research you might be wondering?

Well, it’s when you use different keyword research tools to find search terms that people are using when they’re looking to buy or find out more about certain products.

I prefer using KWFinder and there are a few free options you can check out as well.

Google has their own Keyword Planner, but lately it has undergone some changes that don’t make it so ideal for beginners so I recommend trying out some of the few free tools or just investing a little bit of money into a better tool.

Using KWFinder to Find Keywords to Go After

I’m going to show you the process using KWFinder and you can easily replicate it with whatever tool you want to use.

In this example I’m going to choose a high-end niche that has a lot of expensive products:

Fitness, and more specifically, treadmills.

The first thing you want to do is head to Amazon and do a general product search.

In the search bar type in “treadmills” and then search to take a look at the results.

amazon treadmill results page

As you can see, many of the treadmills have hundreds of reviews, with some even having a thousand or more.

The price is also quite high and ranges from a few hundred dollars all the way up to nearly two thousand dollars.

Selling just one treadmill at two thousand dollars would earn you nearly $100 in commission.

So the price is good and with so many reviews you can tell that people are definitely buying treadmills on Amazon – but what about the specific keywords?

Head over to KWFinder or your keyword tool of choice and start by typing in “treadmills”.

kwfinder treadmills keyword search

On its own, treadmills as a search term gets more than 33,000 monthly searches and this shows there is some demand for these products.

To find profitable keywords that you can actually write content about you need to go one step further and check keyword results for terms like “best treadmills” or “treadmill reviews”.

best treadmills results

I can quickly see that there are still thousands of monthly searches for many of the top buyer keywords, so from the keyword point of view you can determine that so far treadmills seem like a decent niche to go after.

Now what about the competition?

Analyzing Your Competition

analyzing google competition

Once you have found a few keywords with buyer intent that you’re interested in targeting you’re going to want to check out the competition to see if it’s worth it for you to compete.

When you’re just starting out it’s a good idea to go after low competition keywords for those quick wins while you grow your website and develop your SEO skills.

Using a keyword tool, like KWFinder or the one from Ahrefs, you’ll automatically be shown a competition level, though you’ll still want to see for yourself what you’re up against.

I found a pretty easy keyword for the treadmill niche, “best foldable treadmill”, so let’s analyze the competition for that and see if we should use this keyword or find something else.

Head over to Google and just make a search using the keyword.

There are a bunch of chrome plugins you can use for a better look at the website metrics in the results but for now let’s start off doing everything manually.

Right away I notice three main results that stand out to me:

  • Treadmillreviews (an authority website, which helps to validate your niche selection)
  • Fitrated (an affiliate site)
  • HomeGymHeaven (an affiliate site)

Seeing two affiliate sites already in the top 3 already goes to show that this keyword has potential and that it could be something worth going after.

I wouldn’t worry about TreadmillReviews at the moment, it’s a huge site and one you can worry about later on after your own site has grown quite a bit.

However, I quickly noticed that Fitrated doesn’t seem to be adding much value to its users and the post is just a collection of treadmills, a short description, and affiliate links.

On the other hand, HomeGymHeaven looks like a quality post and one you would want to model your own post after.

I checked the backlinks on Ahrefs and noticed that the treadmill post on HomeGymHeaven only has 15 backlinks, all of which you could easily replicate or nag for yourself once you start building links and doing outreach.

A 5 minute manual search has proven that this keyword is definitely one you can target from the beginning and rank fairly quickly with just a few links.

The sites on the first page show that there is definitely a demand for this type of content and you can use something like the Skyscraper Technique to get your own post on the first page, and eventually into the top 3 results.

At first you’ll want to do this with every keyword you find and once your website has aged a bit and gained some decent backlinks you can start to go after more competitive keywords.

To sum it up, there are two things you need to focus on when you’re checking out the competition for your keywords:

  • What the current top posts look like (if they’re providing quality to the users or if they’re lacking in content and substance)
  • How many links the top posts have (you can replicate many links that top posts get if you create amazing content that provides more value).

Creating amazing, high-quality content and doing outreach for backlinks are the two main factors of building up your Amazon affiliate site and getting your posts to rank.

When you’re starting out you’ll want to focus most of your time on creating content, until your site has at least 30-50 posts on it and is decently fleshed out.

Then you can slow down on the content creation and start replicating the backlinks that your competitors have so you can move up in the rankings and get your affiliate posts in the top results for low-competition keywords.

How to Setup Amazon Affiliate Websites on WordPress

After you’re finished with choosing a profitable niche, doing keyword research, and analyzing your competition, you can now get started on actually building out your website.

This can seem daunting at first, but it’s actually pretty easy after you do it for the first time.

Make sure you actually follow through with all of the different steps I listed above so that you don’t get stuck in a few months dealing with too much competition or running out of things to write about.

I recommend using WordPress as your blogging platform and although there are plenty of alternatives that you can choose from, most people are starting out using WordPress and it’s a great platform for just about any type of website.

Choose Your Domain Name

choosing a domain name on namecheap

The first step in setting up your website is choosing a domain name.

It’s a good idea to go with something more general in scope rather than something that’s very targeted because you don’t want to limit yourself when it comes to the different topics and products that you can write about in the long run.

For example, you’re much better off going with the domain name like “HealthyActiveLifestyle.com” if you’re going to be writing about things like treadmills and other health and fitness related products rather than going with something like “besttreadmillreviews.com”.

With the second option, you’re only able to write about treadmills and once you’ve written about all of the best ones then you’re going to have to create a new site rather than branching off into a different type of product.

You really need to think of the long term success of your website and how you can potentially  turn it into an authority site about the niche that you’re in.

In the long run, this is going to bring you a lot more money and it’s easier to focus on a single site rather than having to deal with a whole bunch of different ones.

After you have decided on the name you can go ahead and buy your domain.

There are quite a few options out there when it comes to buying a brand new domain and I recommend Namecheap personally because it’s what I have used for the past few years without any issues at all and they have some pretty affordable domains.

Alternatively, you can register a domain with any other popular registrar such as Bluehost  or HostGator depending on your preferences and the pricing.

I am most familiar using Namecheap, so in this post I’ll be referencing them mainly.

Once you have purchased your domain name you have to set everything up with your web host and I recommend choosing a host that is separate from the domain name company just to avoid any problems.

Be sure to take a look at my article on how you set up your Namecheap domain so that you can get it working and access your WordPress dashboard once you have paid for your hosting.

Choose Your Web Host

siteground best web hosting for affiliate sites

Your web hosting is basically where your website files are stored and displayed for people that access your URL online.

There are actually quite a few different options available these days when it comes to the web hosts that you can choose from and this means that there are some great options that are well suited for beginners.

Starting out, I recommend going with shared hosting and once you start to get more traffic and build up your website you can upgrade to something that’s better for WordPress sites and higher traffic levels.

For hosting, any of the more popular shared hosting options are going to be good enough and the monthly costs are quite reasonable for all of them.

I recommend going with a host such as Bluehost or Hostgator if you’re looking for something more affordable and if you want a better quality host from the start then I would recommend going with Siteground.

Keep in mind that some hosts will offer a free domain name for signing up and although I don’t recommend using the same host and domain, this could be a good idea if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to buy a domain separately.

Once you have signed up for your hosting and paid for everything you’re going to get an email that should detail how you can get into your cPanel.

wordpress cpanel home page

Your cPanel is basically the back end of your hosting and this is where you can add a new domain or setup your WordPress for your new site along with plenty of other different features that you don’t need to worry about.

To set up your domain with your cPanel you want to start by logging in with the information you got from the email and then scroll down to the Domains section of the main cPanel page.

Click on the “AddOn” domain icon and add your domain name once the screen opens up into a new window and prompts you for more information .

add a domain to cpanel with wordpress

Follow through with all of the information that you need to include and once everything is finished you can get WordPress installed and start working on your actual site.

Install WordPress on your Domain

Any of the hosts that I recommended have a very easy process when it comes to installing WordPress on your new domain and will typically feature a one click installation that’s very easy to follow through with.

If you’re not already there, head back to your cPanel and scroll down until you see something like “Install WordPress” or “Softaculous Installation” depending on the host that you’re using.

wordpress installation

From here you just need to click on the Install WordPress icon and follow through with the prompts that will come up asking for more information.

Some of the information that you need to provide are things like:

  • The email that’s tied to your actual website
  • A title for your blog/site
  • The administration username and password

Once you add all of this information you can click on the Install WordPress button and after a few moments WordPress will be installed on your domain and you can finally login.

You should get an email that contains the login information for signing into your WordPress account and most of the time will be accessing the dashboard from a URL similar to yoursite.com/ wp-admin/.

Choosing the Best Amazon Affiliate Theme for WordPress

wordpress themes

There are a lot of free themes to choose from after you first make your site, though the problem with the free options is that they don’t offer a lot when it comes to customization and they don’t look nearly as professional as the premium themes.

Premium themes are pretty affordable, ranging in price from around $35 up to $70 depending on the theme, and I recommend buying one right away for a few reasons.

First, premium themes allow you to customize just about every aspect your your website fairly easily and if there’s something you need help with there’s typically support you can email or ask.

Second, they look a lot more professional and will improve the overall design and appearance of your site so that your readers will assume you’re an expert and actually have their interests in mind.

There are quite a few different premium themes to choose from and I recommend taking a look at the following sites to get a better idea of the available options:

How to Install a WordPress Theme

Once you’ve picked out a theme you like you need to go ahead and install it onto your domain.

This is really easy and to start you need to head over to your WordPress Dashboard by accessing the following:

  • “YoursiteURL.com/wp-admin”

wordpress admin login

Use your username and password that you created when you installed WordPress and you’ll be brought the the dashboard, or back-end, of your actual WordPress site.

This is where you can make any change you want from adding a new theme and customizing its appearance to downloading plug-ins and installing them.

adding a wordpress theme

To add your new theme onto WordPress you need to:

  • Click on “Appearance” on the left-hand side on the navigation bar
  • Select “Themes”
  • When you reach the Themes page, select the option to “Add New’ right at the top and then select “Upload”
  • Find and upload the .zip file that you downloaded when you purchased the theme
  • Follow through with the upload prompts and make sure to “Activate” your theme once it’s installed

different wordpress themes

When your theme is installed you can customize it to match your preferences until you find a layout or style that you like.

I also recommend setting up an email list (I prefer MailChimp for beginners).

WordPress Plug-Ins for Affiliate Marketing with Amazon

wordpress plugins

There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of different plug-ins for WordPress that you can choose from.

Thankfully, only a few of them are good for affiliate marketing and can make promoting products on your Amazon affiliate site a lot easier.

At the beginning, you don’t need to worry about any premium and paid plug-ins so you should just be checking out the free ones from the start.

There is one paid plug-in that you might want to consider – EasyAzon – and I only recommend it because it makes formatting and adding the correct links and images to your Amazon money posts a lot easier than doing everything manually.

Let’s take a look at the other plug-ins you should be using.

Yoast SEO

This is the first plug-in I install every time whenever I get a new site going.

Yoast is an SEO plug-in that helps you to organize on-page SEO for WordPress so that you don’t miss anything.

This results in better search engine rankings and it even helps with things like making a sitemap for your site and getting in indexed in Google more quickly than if you didn’t have it.

W3 Total Cache

This is a caching plug-in and it helps to make your website load faster for your users.

User experience is important and a quicker site is also going to enjoy a slight rankings boost in the search engines compared to slower ones.

The reason you want a caching plug-in is so that if you have repeat visitors they can more quickly access your content and also new visitors will be able to start browsing your posts much quicker than without caching.

Site speed is important and once you have everything else set up properly you should focus on making your site as fast as you can.

WP Review

This is an interesting plug-ins that helps to increase engagement on your blog posts by creating a review system that you can apply to different product features.

You can really make it so your review posts stand out and provide a lot more value to the reader by showing a quick review rating of the features you choose.

Creating Great Content for your Amazon Affiliate Site

how to become a professional blogger

The theme and plug-ins are just the beginning when it comes to making money with the Amazon affiliate program.

Once your site is working and set-up to your liking you need to shift your focus to putting out high-quality, in-depth, and useful content on a regular basis.

It’s a good idea to upload a blend of “money” posts with informative posts so that you can provide even more value with helpful content related to your niche and still make money from the posts where you’re promoting products.

Let’s take a look at the most common types of content you’ll want to have on your site and some tips on how to implement each type effectively.

Best-Of Posts

The “best-of” post is likely going to be the type of content that you’ll be creating the most.

Whenever you do a product search like “best lawnmowers” or “best shovel for wet snow”, you’re present with results that cover these keywords in-depth and recommend a list of products that the site owner wants to promote.

This post style is easy to write and consists of a summary of some of the best specific products related to a certain keyword search term.

The reason these are so popular is because you’re able to cover a wide range of different products and the reader should be clicking over to Amazon quite a few times to check out your recommendations.

These types of posts can range from 1,000 words at the lowest up to 10,000 or more words depending on how in-depth you want to go and which products you’re covering.

Here are some examples:

In each post you’ll want to make sure you include a few different aspects of the product you’re recommending.

These aspects include things like:

  • An introduction about some pain points related to the product and how you believe you have some answers to the users problems
  • The benefits and features of each product
  • A quick look at some of the drawbacks or negatives of certain products
  • An easy to read description of the product that covers all the main features of the product
  • Your final recommendation and CTA links to Amazon

These posts are pretty easy to write and I recommend starting with a minimum of 5 product recommendations, though you can always add more in the future or if you want to write a more in-depth post.

Review Posts

Review posts are also really popular in the affiliate marketing on Amazon world.

The way they work is simple – you just find a product and write up an in-depth review of all of the features, benefits, and drawbacks of the product you’re reviewing.

These reviews can tie in with your “best of” posts because you can interlink them together.

Sometimes the review style of posts have lower competition keywords and it’s a good idea to have both of these main styles on your site so you can see which work better and are more profitable for you to write.

Some examples of product reviews for affiliate sites include:

Comparison Posts

While not as popular, comparison posts are a great way to showcase two different products and have the chance of earning a commission from both.

This type of content is basically a review, where you’ll provide an overview of each product, and you’ll also add in a comparison.

In the comparison part of your post you can make a recommendation on which product you believe is the best one for a specific purpose, or simply compare them and recommend them both  – letting the reader decide which one they want more.

These can work really well for affiliate sites, though I’m not a fan of comparison posts and simply don’t enjoy writing them.

Some great comparison posts include:

Informative Posts

I’m a firm believer that every site designed to earn money should have an equal mix of both informative and money posts.

Informative content is just where you share helpful information without such an emphasis on promoting a product.

These typically fall under the guise of “how-to” articles or just in-depth guides on certain aspects of the niche you’re in.

While these aren’t going to make you money directly, they’re going to help build your site up as an authority and can really help when you’re doing outreach for backlinks or promoting your content on social media.

Some great examples of informative posts include:

Amazon Affiliate Website Examples

amazon affiliate program

There are so many Amazon affiliate sites out there that it would probably be impossible to list them all out.

Even sites that you wouldn’t expect are likely promoting products from Amazon and I’m always doing some keyword research or something when I stumble onto a random site and easily snipe that aff link sprinkled into some content.

A lot of people aren’t fans of affiliate content, but when it’s done right you can find a lot of value in it even when you’re looking for products on your own.

Anyways, plenty of other bloggers out there have done a great job of listing Amazon affiliate website examples so I won’t dive too far into it here and just share with you the best posts I’ve found.

The team over at Wallet Squirrel has created a super in-depth post on 50 different examples that you can take your time going over:

Tung Tran, one of the internet marketers I look up to the most, over at Cloud Living has a great write-up on 5 of the most well known Amazon sites:

Will Spears of One Mans Brand did a really awesome write-up as well and covers 7 different sites that are earning at least $100,000 per year from Amazon:

Conclusion

So, there you have it!

This turned out to be a pretty epic 5500 word guide on how to start an Amazon Affiliate site and I still only scratched the surface with everything you can learn and apply to start making money on Amazon.

Hopefully I’ve been able to help you out on your own journey and I plan on going more in-depth into some of the other aspects of using the affiliate program from Amazon to make money with so keep an eye out for those future articles.

If you follow the steps in this tutorial and hustle for the next few months I don’t see why you can’t start earning some cash from your own site, or at the very least get introduced to SEO and take the skills you learned and move onto something even bigger and better.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to let me know down in the comments below.

Also, feel free to contact me if you want to talk about starting your site or anything else SEO or internet marketing related.

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