Make Money On Your Blog – As An Amazon Affiliate

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Every blogger’s dream is to either to have a large readership or to make money blogging. Until your an A-list blogger with crazy traffic and advertising deals, you’re going to have to find easy ways to generate what little income you can get.

My blog is a little over a month old and I can tell you right now what’s worked for me is being an Amazon affiliate. Last month when I just barely started my blog, I had just 1 Amazon referral. That referral was a direct word of mouth recommendation to a friend of mine who ended up buying it from my blog as a thank you for recommending it. It wasn’t surprising since I pretty much had no traffic. This month however, traffic picked up via a couple of social bookmarking sites and has already resulted in 8 Amazon referral fees. A couple more of these and my hosting for the month will be paid for. You can imagine with enough traffic to your site, you could earn a nice chunk of change.

So let me tell you a bit about the Amazon Associates program. Now I don’t have anything to do with them; I am not an Amazon employee. I get no benefits from you joining the program. I just whole heartedly think it’s a cool program and since I shop at Amazon all the time and like their online store, I figure many other people probably do too.

Basically the Amazon Associates program is an affiliate program. What this means is that if you successfully refer any business to them, you get a little kickback. You can earn up to 10% in referral fees. By joining, which is free btw, you get access to the Associates site which provides you with tons of ways to create links and widgets to Amazon products on your blog. What’s cool about this is say you recommend a product: If your visitor clicks on the link and does not buy that product, but browses Amazon and ends up buying another product, you still get a kickback. The visitor can even close the browser and start a new session. If they come back to Amazon on the same day and buys something, you also get a kickback.

Now you think wow, I can just load up my site with tons of Amazon products. That’s probably not going to work for you. Think about it, if I saw a page like that, wouldn’t it be easier for me to just go to Amazon? What I do is review the products that I’ve actually used (or at least experienced through a friend) and think they are worth recommending. Part of this is your reputation. If I recommend a crappy product, people are less likely to trust me and/or buy the products I recommend. If I recommend good quality products that I genuinely believe in, people are more likely to buy it and I’m more likely to make money. It’s that easy.

Here’s an example of a widget you can add to your site:

Here are some examples of what I did:
5 Ways to Accessorize and Customize Your New MacBook Pro
Buzzmarketing Book Review

So what are you waiting for silly blogger? Join the Amazon Associates program now.

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5 Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

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If you’re here reading this article, you probably already have a blog. Maybe you hardly get any traffic or perhaps you get a decent amount but could always use more. I know I’d like to increase traffic to my blog. More traffic means more eyeballs means more money. I’d like to share with you what’s worked for me based on my analytics data.

  1. Write a how-to article. People on the web are always looking for information. When you provide that information, at some point, someone will be looking for it. Perhaps not right away, but eventually you’ll start to see some traffic there. To this day, I still get traffic on this Ruby On Rails article I wrote. It wasn’t even an in depth article, but had I had this article when I was setting it up, it would have saved me personally tons of time.
  2. Social bookmarking websites. The idea of these sites are you find something interesting and you share it with other members of the site. I personally like StumbleUpon and Reddit. The key here is to tag your page really well. Try to come up with as many tags as you can that are pertinent to your subject or article. A good way to get the right tags is to see what other people are doing with similar content. Don’t be a tool and submit tags that are not relevant to your content. Not only are you wasting your audiences’ time, you are also wasting your bandwidth needlessly. If your site visitors were mislead to your site, they probably won’t stick around anyways.
  3. Twitter your new posts. Twitter is a new social phenomenon which I’ve written about before. I see many marketers, evangelists and e-preneurs shamelessly plugging their new articles on Twitter and it seems to work for these people. I’ve chosen for various reasons not to do that, but to each his own.
  4. Link from all your other online accounts. It is not uncommon for web savvy people to have accounts on many sites including some photo sharing community like Flickr, or video sharing site like Youtube and maybe a review site like Yelp. The idea here is to provide a link back to your website in your profile OR in the description of each individual content. Examples of this include one of my YouTube videos which has a link back to my site in the description and a Flickr photo of Tim Ferris and I at SXSW. This is just to give you an idea. Obviously you can get more creative with this, but you see where I’m going.
  5. Comment on other people’s blogs. Chances are if you have a blog, you are probably reading other people’s blogs. If an article was interesting and thought provoking, and you had an opinion on it, you should just leave a comment. Don’t be lame and say something like – cool article, great, or awesome. That’s useless and unproductive. If you can leave a thought provoking comment or steer the discussion in a new direction, perhaps people will wonder what this person is about and check out your site provided you leave your URL.

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