Amazon has been forgotten about by a lot of affiliates due to its (perceived) low commission rates of 4 to 8.5% and a cookie of only 24 hours. Despite it’s commission rates been lower than many other websites and services, it’s a very lucrative affiliate program. When people go to Amazon, they go to buy. They’re very aggressive in their price matching, which is why so many people shop there.
One of the best ways to make money through the Amazon affiliate program is to link to Amazon within your content area. In the short term, you will probably not see great results, but over time Amazon can prove to be a great earner. Also, bear in mind that even though you might be linking to Amazon for something cheap like a book, anything they purchase will be credited to you. I was reminded of this recently when Darren Rowse tweeted about how someone when through one of his Amazon affiliate links and then proceeded to buy a watch costing more than $4,000. Not too shabby!
Like many bloggers, I use a simple link cloaking plugin for all affiliate links in order to track click throughs and make them look prettier. If you are linking to Amazon regularly, it can be time consuming to setup a unique link for each link (though it would give you better stats). I read a lot of books on Amazon and plan on doing some reviews here from time to time so I went looking for a good plugin that would save me the time of creating links all the time. The plugin I found was Amazon Affiliate Link Localizer.
It’s a fantastic little plugin from Pete Williams that will automatically append your affiliate ID to any Amazon URL’s that are posted on your website. It’s so simple to use; all you have to do is enter your affiliate ID for each Amazon store.
The great thing about the plugin is that it not only adds your own affiliate ID, it also redirects the visitor to their local Amazon store. Normally this is a real problem as if you use the USA links, someone from the UK will go to the wrong store and may not click through to the UK shop. Pete (the developer) fully discloses that if you don’t enter an affiliate ID for a certain area, his affiliate link will be used. I think this is pretty fair as if you are redirecting a visitor to an Amazon store you have no affiliation with, you’re not going to make a commission anyway, so I’m all for the developer getting a commission in that case. Particularly as he released the plugin for free.
If you are looking for a way to automatically add affiliate tracking codes to all Amazon links, I recommend checking it out.