Once you're running one advertising program on your blog or website, it's a smart idea to find a few others that might add to your income. Amazon Associates is a free program you can sign up for to earn a referral free on Amazon.com sales. The thought process is that you select products relevant to your site material and then get code from Amazon Associates to display product ads on your blog/site. If one of your site visitors happens to click on your product ad/text link, they are taken to the item's Amazon page. Even better, if they buy any product at Amazon once they get there, you earn a referral fee for their purchase(s).
Here's the explanation from Amazon on how you earn referral fees:
"You earn referral fees whenever a visitor follows a link from your Web site to Amazon.com and makes a purchase. Under the Classic Plan, you earn 4% for both Amazon and third-party items; under the Performance Plan, you earn from 4% to 8.5%, depending on your shipped items volume for both Amazon and third-party items. You can earn a maximum of $25 in referral fees on personal computers--for all other product groups, referral fees are unlimited."
4% might seem like a very low rate, especially if you are pitching products that will only bring a few dollars to you. However, Monetizer has read about various mastermind salespeople online who have implemented Amazon Associates to sell big ticket items, such as a $700 42" Ed Plasma Monitor, a $1000 or so Variation Parent: NIkon D80 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera, or a $1,275 Yard Machines 358cc Riding Lawn Mower #13A1762F700. A 4% commission on those items isn't too shabby. And even if they end up purchasing something less expensive, you still earn a referral fee.
Depending on what your blog's about, you can write up reviews of relevant books, DVD's and CD's or other related products that you've checked out. When you refer to the item, simply go to your Amazon Associates account and "Build Link". Amazon makes it easy to build text links, you just type in the name of your item in the search box, and then select a category. For example, you would type in "Blades of Glory (Widescreen Edition)" and then select DVD from the drop down. Amazon gives you results for your search term and you should see the DVD listed among the top. You then can choose what type of display you want for your item, whether its just a picture of the DVD, a picture with text, or a regular text link (preferred for Blogger blogs). But that's not the only way to pitch Amazon products.
Amazon Associates offers a multitude of other ways to refer customers to relevant products on the Amazon.com site. such as building an "astore" which is a standalone webpage you can integrate into your site containing various products of your choice.
Most recently, Amazon Associates has started to offer a great selection of cool, customizable widgets. These include everything from small video players that link to streaming videos for purchase (see image to left), as well as widgets that display your Amazon wishlist or favorite Amazon items. Build an archive on Amazon of your favorite items related to your blog topic and then use the Favorites widget in your sidebar. Another cool new widget is the "Quick Linker". Adding this to your blog, Amazon will automatically recognize keywords in your blog entries and include custom HTML links to products. These links will take the customer to an Amazon page full of items related to the keywords in your blog entry.
While many bloggers and site owners seem to frown upon Amazon Associates for the low payout rate and lack of sales generated, it does offer some potential value and may be worth including as another option for you to make money. The key with most monetization ideas on your blog or site is getting enough traffic. With enough traffic, having that Amazon product link might just pay off and give you some extra revenue.
And best of all, it's free to join Amazon Associates.
You also may be interested in one of the best books around about implementing and profiting from Google Adsense: The AdSense Code: What Google Never Told You About Making Money with AdSense