When it comes to making money online you’re going to have a lot of options at your disposal. Frankly, it can be quite overwhelming just choosing an online business type to run with. There are blogs, niche sites, selling your freelancing services, and on and on. However, a lot of people are drawn to the Amazon Associates affiliate model.
Some people even decide to add elements on an Amazon affiliate strategy into their existing blogs or websites. It’s truly up to you. However, to keep this post to the point we’re going to show you how to build an Amazon affiliate site from the ground up.
If you’ve been trying to get a business off the ground or thinking about starting a business, now’s your chance. We cover everything you need to know to start your very own profitable Amazon affiliate website and ultimately your dream online job.
Benefits of Building an Amazon Affiliate Site
Before we jump in it’s important to get to the core of why you want to start an Amazon affiliate site in the first place. To start, Amazon has a very low payout for affiliates, usually hovering around the 1-3% mark.
However, don’t let this dissuade you. There are some very high ticket items you can sell that’ll still provide you with a decent amount of revenue per sale. In some cases you only need to sell 2-3 items a day to cross into the $100/day threshold.
That being said, there’s a lot of reasons people will decide to start an Amazon affiliate site, the most common are listed below:
- They are relatively easy to start, making it a great way to start and learn the ropes of internet marketing
- They have a clear path from creation to profit
- The Amazon “cookie” allows you to gain income from other products besides the one you’re promoting
- Amazon already has built in authority, so there’s less “selling” on your end
- There are lots of opportunities if you choose the right product
- Review posts can get good traffic and are relatively easy to create
- These sites can be easy to scale if you pick the right niche
- Can make good money in the long-term
That being said, there are also some disadvantages to setting up an Amazon affiliate website that you might want to be aware of.
- Amazon commissions are often lower than other affiliate programs
- Creating review-oriented content can get quite repetitive over time
- Link building and ranking does take time and energy
- Today Amazon niche sites need to be planned effectively in order to last for the long-term
Is Passion a Necessary Ingredient?
When creating a website the following question always comes up: should I create a website on what I’m passionate about? This is a tough question to answer, because it doesn’t have a cut and dry answer. It completely depends on what you’re actually passionate about.
For example, if your passion is underwater basket weaving, there probably isn’t a large enough market supporting that to generate income via selling affiliate products (I could be wrong). On the other hand, if you’re passionate about dogs and love to purchase the latest high-end pet accessories, then you might have a niche you can work with.
When considering a niche make sure it’s in an area that you wouldn’t mind writing about for the long-term. But also, keep in mind it’s often easy to become passionate about something once it starts bringing money into your bank account month after month.
Below we dive into a niche discovery process that’ll help you get started in choosing the best niche for your business goals.
How to Choose the Right Niche
Before you jump into building your site, you’re going to need to pick a niche to target. Creating a site that reviews every single Amazon product under the sun isn’t going to do anyone any good. To have a successful site you’re going to need to narrow down your market and the products you’re going to sell.
For an Amazon affiliate site to actually work, you’re going to need two things:
1. Solid Targeted Traffic
Most of the traffic for your affiliate website will come from product related searches, and product reviews. Generally, these will be more long-tail terms such as, “Blendtec 570 vs Vitamix 5300”, or “greenworks mower vs black and decker”. The traffic coming from keywords like these will be very targeted, as the searcher has the intention to purchase something.
These kind of searches suggest that the person is just looking for more information so they can make an informed purchasing decision.
It’s best to avoid keywords (in your initial research) like, “how to build a treehouse”, or “homemade coffeepot”, as keywords like these are more informational and won’t translate directly into a sale. However, we do show how you can incorporate these kinds of keywords into your overall content strategy.
The amount of traffic needed to have a successful site will depend upon the price of the products you’re promoting and what rate your site converts visitors to buyers. Sometimes, you don’t even need a large amount of traffic to have a very profitable site.
2. A High Price Series of Products to Promote
If you’re primarily going to be promoting Amazon products it’s important to choose a set of products that has a relatively high price point. After all, it’s hard to make a solid income off of promoting $1-5 products, since the commission on Amazon is so low. Items that have a higher price point, like high end appliances, furniture, BBQs, blenders and juicers, or bikes can net you over $50 a sale at least.
However, if you can’t find a high end series of products you’d like to promote don’t let this discourage you. You can still make decent income by promoting cheaper products if the volume is high enough. We also highlight an example below that solely promotes books via Amazon and still makes good commissions.
Remember, the Amazon cookie stays active for 24 hours. So, you’ll receive an affiliate commission for any products that are bought during that time period.
How to Verify Your Website Niche
You’d hate to choose a niche only to find out later that the competition is too stiff, or there isn’t enough traffic to sustain your website. Below we highlight a repeatable process that will enable you to analyze the overall traffic for your niche, and determine the competition level of the market.
1. Keyword Research
To get started with the process of narrowing down our niches we’re going to use trusty old Google. By now you should already have a few niche ideas in mind.
Use Google Search for Seed Keywords
Navigate to Google and type in your niche keywords. For the sake of this example we’re going to use the niche of high end grills and BBQs.
First, we’ll type in “high end grills amazon” into the search bar. This will give us a series of products we can think about reviewing and promoting.
The second product that stands out is the Weber Summit 7170001 Grill.
This product has a high price point, is in a relatively small niche, and has a solid number of reviews, which means the product is high quality and people are already buying it.
You can repeat this search to find products in your niche, until you find a series of products that are worth investigating further.
Use Google Keyword Tool for Keyword Breakdown
For the keyword research phase we’re going to use the Google Keyword Planner. To get started navigate to the tool, and create an account if you haven’t already.
Click on ‘Tools’ and you’ll be taken to the keyword research home screen. Input your product related keywords into the box, as shown below.
Click ‘Get Ideas’ and then navigate to the tab titled ‘Keyword Ideas’. This will give you an idea of the search volume each keyword is getting per month. The keyword volume isn’t incredibly important. We just want to make sure there’s a decent enough volume to translate into at least a few sales a month.
As you can see we now have a number of keywords we can investigate to see the competition level of each product. All of the keywords in this market have a great search volume for the kind of site we’re building.
2. Competition Analysis
Take some of the product name keywords and input them into the Google search bar. For this example we’re going to be using the keyword “weber summit s-470” that we found from our keyword research.
The search results for this term gave us a few Amazon listings, and a few review sites. On the first page is a site called Amazing Ribs. This grabbed my attention, so I decided to investigate further.
This site might seem authoritative, but it doesn’t really cater to the visitor. As you can see the site contains a ton of ads, and doesn’t do much to provide a good reading experience. The content is long, but it’s also very hard to read. You could easily create a site that reviews this product and provides a better reading experience and higher-quality review.
The next step is to check out the backlink profile for the page.
This is also good news. This page has four backlinks pointing to it, all from a single source. This is something you could easily outdo on your own.
When analyzing content you’ll need to keep two things in mind.
Quality of the Ranking Content
If there’s a site that’s ranking that has low quality content, meaning it’s poorly written, has a low word count, and doesn’t actually provide value to the reader, then this is a good sign.
Simply spending more time on content creation can help you create a better quality site.
Number and Relevance of Backlinks
Indicator number two is the backlink profile. We’re looking for a site that has a low number of backlinks from non-relevant sources. The more backlinks the site has the harder it’s going to be to outrank. To analyze the backlink profile of the site, use a tool like MajesticSEO.
Continue to repeat this process for your product keywords, so you can ensure you’ll have a series of products you can begin promoting that have a relatively low level of competition.
How to Set Up an Amazon Affiliate Site With WordPress
Once you’ve done all the heavy lifting of niche selection, keyword research, and competition analysis, then you can finally start building your site. It’s important not to skip all the steps above. You’d hate to spend months on a site, only to learn that it won’t be profitable at all. All that hard work for nothing. You can read more about why I use WordPress for my Amazon sites.
1. Choose a Domain Name
When you’re picking a domain name you’ll want to choose an authoritative domain, that doesn’t limit the potential of your website. For instance, topoutdoorgrillreviews.com might sound like a good choice, but then you’re limited to just writing about outdoor grills. Something like theultimatebackyard.com will allow you to expand your site into different niches as your site becomes more established.
This will help to ensure that you don’t become limited by your domain name into the future. Online success today is all about long-term thinking.
You can buy your domain from a number of sources, we recommend, Namecheap, Hostgator or Bluehost and many other domain registrars.
We do not recommend GoDaddy.
For the sake of this example, we’re going to assume you purchased your domain from Namecheap.
Once you purchase your domain you’ll need to point it towards your web host. So, you’ll actually need to purchase your hosting before you set this up, but we’ve included it here for reference.
Navigate to Your Dashboard
Your NameCheap dashboard will show all of the domain names you’ve purchased through their service. We’re going to edit the nameservers, so they point to your web host (purchased below).
Click the ‘Manage’ button on the far right of your domain name. This will bring up all the relevant information on your domain. Navigate down to where it says ‘Nameservers’
Click ‘Add Nameserver’ and input the nameserver information you received from your hosting provider. It should look like what’s shown below:
1st Nameserver: ns3097.hostgator.com
2nd Nameserver: ns3098.hostgator.com
This will have your domain name pointed towards your servers.
2. Pick a Web Host
Your web host is responsible for hosting all of the files necessary for your site to function. When choosing a web host you’re going to have a variety of options to choose from. Some will be dedicated towards sites with large volumes of traffic, while others will specifically host WordPress sites. We offer a detailed breakdown of hosting options here.
In order to walk you through the install we’re going to assume you decided to go with HostGator for website hosting.
If you do decide to go with HostGator to set up your amazon affiliate site, then you can get hosting + a FREE domain name from hostgator for just $3 per month by using this link.
When you sign up for hosting they’ll send you an email which gives you access to cPanel, along with your login credentials.
If you already have your domain name associated with your hosting account, then you can skip this step. If not, then keep reading.
Inside your cPanel navigate to the ‘Domains’ section and click ‘AddOn’ domain.
When this screen opens you can input the domain name you purchased above. You only have to worry about entering the New Domain Name and the Password boxes.
Click ‘Add Domain’ and this will associate the domain with your hosting account. Once this is done we can finally begin installing WordPress.
3. Install WordPress
Luckily, most web hosts make it very easy to install WordPress on your new site. Most offer a one-click install that guides you through the entire process.
Once again, the instructions below pertain to HostGator hosting.
Within your cPanel navigate to Software and Services and click on ‘QuickInstall’.
On the QuickInstall page navigate to the WordPress link on the left-hand sidebar, underneath Popular Installs. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see a form that looks like the one below.
Select your domain name from the dropdown. Insert your email address, the name of your blog, and the name of the admin user (this will be used for login purposes). Then click ‘Install WordPress’.
Once it’s finished you’ll receive an email with your login credentials sent to the email address you provided in the form. Keep this close, as you’ll need it for the next steps.
Amazon Affiliate WordPress Theme Recommendations
When you’re choosing a theme for your fresh WordPress site you’ll want one that easily caters to your affiliate site. Below we highlight five of our favorite theme choices, and how you can install the theme after purchase or download.
This theme is completely geared towards selling products in the Amazon marketplace. This theme allows you to create and publish an affiliate page in a matter of minutes. The theme’s dashboard enables you to easily search for relevant products to promote and obtain all the necessary information at a moment’s notice.
REHub is a multi-purpose theme that can be easily used to create a beautiful affiliate website. This theme comes with a wide array of features that can be used to create a multitude of different content types.
This theme is also easy to customize as it comes with a visual composer that allows you to see what the post is going to look like before you press publish.
3. Affiliate Board
This theme is geared towards affiliates of all kinds. It makes it very easy to sell and promote a wide range of products. Affiliate Board also comes equipped with built-in tracking and analytics software. This allows you to easily see what is and isn’t working when it comes to your promotion strategy.
There are a variety of page options you can choose from, such as, landing pages, authority blogs, and even webinar pages.
4. Price Compare
Price Compare is one of the sleekest themes on the market when it comes to easily creating beautiful review and comparison posts. If you’re showcasing products that are heavy on features, then you can easily create tables and sliders for each review.
This theme is completely responsive, and allows your users to drag and compare products on the fly. This theme creates a great user experience for a comparison oriented website.
5. Rethink V2
This theme is very simple and minimalist in nature. It also has a built-in review feature that allows you to easily create stand-out review posts. This theme is very fast and responsive, so it will load quickly and look good across any screen size.
This theme has the traditional blog style of website, which could be the perfect theme for your style of affiliate site.
Installing Your New Theme
To install your new theme navigate to your dashboard, by going to “yourdomain.com/wp-admin”. Input your username and password from your install and you’ll be taken to your WordPress dashboard. It’ll look something like the image below.
Once you’re inside navigate to Appearance>Themes. On the Themes page, click on ‘Add New’, then ‘Upload’. From here you can upload the theme files that came with your purchase. It will usually be a .zip file titled something like ‘yourthemename.zip’.
Must-Have WordPress Plugins
There are a number of WordPress plugins that will benefit your website in a number of ways. There are literally thousands of plugins to choose from. Thankfully, you don’t need that many for your site to function properly. Below we highlight our favorite plugins that are both free and paid.
To install plugins on your WordPress site navigate to Plugins>Add New. From here you can either upload the downloaded plugin, or search for plugins to install.
This plugin allows you to easily create Amazon affiliate links from within your WordPress post editor. This can be a huge timesaver. The Pro version of this plugin also includes a number of additional features, like the ability to create image-based Amazon links, call-to-actions, and clickable product information blocks.
Check out my EasyAzon review to really see what this plugin can do for your Amazon niche sites.
2. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a very intuitive plugin that will help you optimize every piece of content for improved search engine rankings. Even if you know nothing about SEO this plugin has everything you need to get started and even offers recommendations for improving each post.
3. WP Review
WP Review adds another layer of depth to your review posts. With this plugin you can create a review system for various product features. This plugin is also very easy to use and will have you creating an elegant review system very rapidly.
4. Pretty Link
Pretty Link will help to cloak your links, so they look less spammy. For instance, if you have a link that looks like “amazon.com/product-one/76/dprertet4454354rwefsrer43545”, people are less likely to click on it. With this plugin you can transform that link into something like “yoursite.com/go/product-one”. This plugin also provides data and tracking information.
5. W3 Total Cache
Faster sites provide a better user experience, and even perform better in the search engeins. Caching plugins will help to speed up your website. It’s easy for your website to become bogged down and perform much slower once you have a large site with a ton of content and media.
How to Create Solid Amazon Affiliate Content
Your Amazon affiliate site is only as good as your content. If you remember from your initial research, one of the indicators that we could take over a niche was when a competing site had low-quality content. Below you’ll learn about four common content types you’ll be using to populate your site.
1. The In-Depth Review Post
One of the most frequent pieces of content you’ll be creating to promote products are in-depth review posts. You should spend a lot of time on these posts, as they are essentially acting as a piece of sales copy to convince your visitor to head over to Amazon.
This post will provide your buyer with everything they need to know about the product in order to make an informed buying decision. We give a few ingredients you’ll want to include in each post below:
- Connect to their journey and speak to what pain points this product will remedy
- Answer any product objections
- Highlight the benefits of each product feature
- Find information the Amazon product description doesn’t cover
- Mention any drawbacks of the product
- Give your final verdict and tell them where to buy the product (through your affiliate link)
2. The Comparison Post
For a comparison post you’ll typically compare and contrast two or more of the top selling products in your niche. Your goal might not even be to have one product come out on top, but instead to show how each product is a better fit for different individuals.
For these posts you’ll include the same elements of the review post above, but you’ll also highlight differences between the two products, and breakdown which product performs best under certain conditions.
3. The How-To Post
Aside from just creating review content it can be beneficial to publish helpful posts that exist only to serve your target market. For instance, if your site is dedicated to backyard furniture you could create posts that cover topics like:
- 5 Awesome 10-Minute BBQ Meals
- 10 Family-Friendly Backyard Games
- The Ultimate Guide to Hosting A Backyard Cookout
- How To Determine When It’s Time To Buy A New Grill
Think of this kind of content as purely informational. It’s only purpose is to serve your target market without mentioning any of the products you’re promoting.
4. Roundup and Listicle Posts
Listicle posts are incredibly popular. Since these are usually shared very widely, they have the chance to bring a lot of traffic back to your website. These posts can also be seen as massive resources, which means they might attract relevant links to help improve your search engine rankings.
To continue from the previous example, some listicle posts in the backyard furniture list could be:
- 100 Of The Most Awe-Inspiring Patios in The World
- 50 Design Experts Weigh In On What Makes The Perfect Backyard
- 30 BBQ Kings Show You How To Make The Perfect Kebab
Examples of Amazon Affiliate Sites Done Right
I know this post contains a lot of information, so it can be helpful to see some real life examples of sites who are doing this strategy right. Below you’ll find three examples of successful Amazon affiliate sites that exist in completely different verticals.
1. Kitchen Faucet Divas
This site reviews hundreds of different types of kitchen faucets. They also provide in-depth how-to guides and a ton of other helpful content. Their review content is filled with starred reviews, and product details you can only get from them.
2. Pick My Shaver
Pick My Shaver provides in-depth reviews about electric shavers. This shows that affiliate sites can be built around just about any niche. Their content is very in-depth, and they offer comparison posts, so you can ensure you’re getting the right shaver for you.
3. Brain Pickings
I was hesitant to include this site as an example, as it’s a bit of a different take on an Amazon affiliate site. But, it does show the diversity in the type of Amazon affiliate site you can build. You’re only limited by your own creativity.
This site primarily promotes books, which won’t result in a ton of affiliate income, but you do also get a commission for any other products purchased within that 24-hour window.
Building a successful Amazon affiliate site does take a lot of work. But, even if you’re a beginner it’s a great way to learn the fundamentals of working online. The steps above gave you everything you need to know to get started creating your very own website. Now it’s time to get to work! Remember, success will only come with consistent and sustained effort.