Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Monetizing your website with Amazon Products

“Content is king!” We’ve heard that a million times.  I’ve probably said it myself about a thousand of that. It’s what brings people to your site. It’s what makes Google sit up and take notice of you and value your site with good rankings. And we all know that good Google rankings mean good traffic.

So, if content is the king, then the ads are the queen. At first glance she may seem to be less important, but don’t run your kingdom without! The ads are what bring in money.  The ads are what changes your website to a cute little hobby to an actual money-producing business.

There are many places you can set up your website, and many ways to get ads established. Most of my current students are using a very common combination, that of a WordPress blog/site and Amazon product ads.

With that in mind, here’s how to get that set up!  First, you’ll set up your affiliate account with Amazon.com. Then, you’ll set up a plugin in WordPress to facilitate the affiliate linking process.  Finally, you’ll set up product links on your posts and pages.

Getting set up with Amazon.com

  1. Go to Amazon.com, and scroll down to the bottom. Under “Make Money With Us”, click “Become an Affiliate”. You can also get to this page by clicking here: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/
  2. Click “Join Now for Free”
  3. Fill in your email address, and click “I am a new customer.” Then click “Sign in using our secure server”
  4. Fill in the form, creating a password. Write your password down. Click “Create Account”
  5. Fill in the next form, with your contact information.  Click “Next - Your Website Profile”
  6. It might make suggestions for a better way to format your address.  If it does, choose the best format and click “Save This Address”.
  7. Fill out the information about your website.  When it asks, “What type of site is your website(s)?” select “Blog” or “Content/Niche Website”.  Click “Next” at the bottom.
  8. Next, they’ll want to verify your identity.  Enter your phone number.  They’ll display a 4 digit PIN on the screen, and an automated system will call you.  You can type in the PIN or just say the digits. The screen will change to say, “Congratulations, your Identity Verification is complete.”.  Check the box to accept the terms and conditions, and click “Finish”.
  9. Your account is set up.  Click “Specify Payment Method Now”.
  10. Fill in your tax ID information, and choose how you’d like to be paid. The simplest method to get started is to choose the Amazon Gift Card. It’s not necessarily the best way to be paid, but for now, it’s quick, simple, and it can be changed later. Click “Continue”.
  11. Now you’re at the Amazon Affiliate’s Main Page.  In the upper left, under the “AmazonAssociates” logo, you’ll see your Amazon Tracking ID.  It will look something like: “sohmabl-20”.  Write it down so that you can access it another day. Your Amazon affiliate account is now set up. Write down your UN and PW for later use, too.

Setting up the Amazon Link plugin in your WordPress Website.

  1. Go to your WordPress website login URL, and login with your UN and PW.
  2. On the left-handed nav bar, mouse over “Plugins” and click on “Installed Plugins”.
  3. Look through the list of plugins for one named “Amazon Link”.  If you don’t find it, go ahead with the instructions for installing it, below.  If you do find it, click where it says, “Setup”.
  4. Choose your country, and enter your Amazon Tracking ID (Affiliate ID) next to that flag. Other things on this page are technical and not necessary at this point. Click “Update Options”.  It’s now configured.
  5. If you didn’t find “Amazon Link” in your list of plugins, at the top of the page, click “Add New”.
  6. In the search bar, type “Amazon Link” and do a search.
  7. Locate “Amazon Link” in the search results and click “Install Now”.  When it’s done installing, you can click into the setup, as above, and configure it.

Adding an Amazon Affiliate Link to your website Using the Amazon Link WordPress Plugin

  1. In your web browser, set up two tabs.  This can be done by holding down the “Ctrl” key and tapping the letter “T” key.  
  2. In one tab, go to your website dashboard and login.
  3. Navigate to the editing screen of one of your blog posts, or one of your pages.  This is done by mousing over “Posts” on the left nav bar, and clicking on “All Posts”.
  4. Mouse over the title of the post where you want to place the ad.  Click “Edit”, when it appears.
  5. Scroll through your content to the point in the article where you want the ad to appear. Two good places are: 1 - at the top, and 2 - at the very bottom. Click in the content to place the courser/insertion point.
  6. In the other tab, go to Amazon.com.  Browse until you find a product you want to promote from that post.  It should be a product that you talked about in the post, or one that relates in some way.
  7. Scroll down the page, until you see “Product Details”.  In that section, you’ll see either the “ASIN” or the “ISBN”.  Copy that number.
  8. Go back to the WordPress tab, and scroll down past the text of your post.  You’ll see a section labeled: “Add Amazon Link”.  Where it says “ASIN”, type or paste either the ASIN or the ISBN that you got from the Amazon page.  Select a template/layout for your ad from the “Template” dropdown menu. Click "Insert Link". This will put the link in place where you left the courser. In the upper right, click “Update” to save the changes and make them live.

From this point on, when you post a new blog post or content page, you can find a relevant product and put an Amazon ad for it on that page. There are many other ways to set up Amazon links, and many ways to set up other affiliate links, too.  But for now, this process will get your website started on the path to money.


Mark is currently employed as an Internet Business Coach.

Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot - Dutch Oven Recipes, MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.

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