Bloggers! Make money with Amazon.

As a blogger I’m always trying to find ways to make money through my website.

It’s how I make my living now, so it’s kind of necessary. Because eating is kind of necessary.

A year or so ago I introduced you to the Secret World of Blog Advertising. I went over all the different things you can do to make money through advertising on your website.

Since then, I’ve discovered a few more ways to make money from my website, one of which is Amazon.

People have been telling me for years to become an Amazon affiliate. I didn’t want anything to do with it. It seemed scammy and pathetic to me. I thought that, because I was stupid.

What does being an Amazon affiliate mean?  It means you, the blogger, link to any Amazon products you want to on your website and then you get paid if someone buys something.

There’s nothing scammy or pathetic about it. And THIS is how I discovered that fact.

 

amazon-logo

A few weeks ago I was plugging away, writing my post on how to mash potatoes without having to peel them when I went to Amazon to put up a link on where you could buy my exact potato ricer.  I do this with a lot of my stuff.  That way if you see something on my site that you like you can just click and either have a look at it or buy it. I’ve been doing it for years.

I do it with my favourite book posts all the time.

So as I was linking to the potato ricer on the Amazon site I realized … omg … I link to Amazon all the time anyway.  Why wouldn’t I become an affiliate so I can make money off of my links?  Suddenly being an Amazon affiliate wasn’t pathetic … I was.  How could I have been so slow on the uptake?  I’d lost tens of cents by not doing this sooner.

You see, you don’t exactly make a fortune as an affiliate, but with blogging, as with life, the more diversified your income the better.  Little bits here and there all add up.  Plus if you have 10 sources of income and you lose one of them for whatever reason, it’s not such a big deal.  If you only have one source of income and you lose it … it’s a big, BIG deal.

The more things you sell, the greater percentage you make.  Your first sale gets you 4% of the product’s price.  The next sale gets you 6% of the product’s price.  And that’s how the system works.  The more you sell the higher percentages you make all the way up to 8.5%.

Curiously, even if someone doesn’t buy what you’ve linked to, the potato ricer for example, you can still make money if they wander off and buy something else.  As long as they come from your site you will make money off of what they buy.

You can sign up to be an affiliate for Amazon.ca, or Amazon.com or Amazon.uk or whatever other countries Amazon happens to operate in.  You can even sign up to be an affiliate for all of them.  I am an Amazon.ca and Amazon.com affiliate.  So if someone from Canada or the States (where most of my readers come from) clicks on an Amazon link on my blog, they’re automatically directed to either the Canadian or American site, depending on where they live.  And I, get a percentage of what they buy.

I’m not planning on linking to random weird things just for the sake of linking to them, but I will make sure to link to the products I love or use all the time like I’ve normally done.

Because not to, would be pathetic and stupid.
 


98 Comments

  1. Kat says:

    Hmmm go figure… that was pretty interesting and as Forest’s mom would say “Stupid Is As Stupid Does”

  2. Elle says:

    Even our local library is an Amazon affiliate!
    You go on their website looking for a book, see someone’s reading it and you are 23 in line (happens with new hit books – which means you’ll get the book in about 10 months!)) so you might decide to just go to Amazon and buy the book instead of waiting.

  3. Angela that London says:

    I think your initial skepticism was sensible not stoopid. You took the time to decide whether something was right for you and fit with your ethics. Also you have informed your readers in your own fun way. I love your blog Karen, you stand out in a busy blogiverse and I hope you are rewarded for all your hard graft!

  4. Auntiepatch says:

    You go girl!

  5. marilyn says:

    i find it unusual that most of your readers come from the u.s of a…whats wrong with canadians..do they not like humour..or humor?

  6. Monica says:

    I bought two of those ricers!

  7. Kim says:

    Handy tip for sure. And locally I just found out you can RENT chickens. What next?

  8. gogothrift@etsy.com says:

    Hmmm….
    What are you hiding from us in that kitchen of yours????

  9. Mariella says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thank you for this post. It is so generous of you to share all this knowledge. I am in the process of creating a blog myself. People tell me about advertising but all i can think is: “please! I’ll be lucky if i have 1 non-friend or non-family reading my blog :-)” anyway… I love ur blog. It’s a lot of fun to read it.
    Thanks,
    Mariella

  10. Deborah says:

    Whoa….did you read all the fine print in the Agreement?? I am now dizzy….

  11. Lily says:

    I bought a ricer from Amazon because of you! My hubby is now my main masher and the taters are great, thanks. BTW, the sweet potatoe fries are excellent too. Thanks again!

  12. Jim Barry says:

    Hi Karen,

    We have been doing what you just realized since the early 1990’s. 😉 We keep to the market place of woodworking and diy. In fact also have our own affiliate program at our online store for selling woodworking plans. So if you are looking at another 10% revenue avenue, head over to the Affiliate page at http://www.woodworkersworkshop.com/store/index.php

    Thanks,
    Jim in Nova Scotia

  13. Nora says:

    Karen … I hope you signed up to be an affiliate of Amazon before you actually POSTED your blog about the potato ricer because — you guessed it!! I bought one. Haven’t used it yet but tonight might be the night. I LOVE riced potatoes. And I would love to think that I have been a small part of why you might have to pay income tax for 2013!

  14. I’m gutted, really gutted, and disappointed too….

    “I’m not planning on linking to random weird things just for the sake of linking to them”

  15. J9 says:

    I really respect you for being so honest about making money off blogging… So many bloggers I follow kind of skirt around the topic and that’s what can feel a little sketchy sometimes.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah. I’m not sure why they do that. It’s a real job that takes every hour of the waking day. Doing a blog similar to mine is like publishing a magazine feature every day. You’re responsible for the creative, advertising, photography, photoshop, writing, layout etc. etc. Everyone else makes money from working, why shouldn’t a blogger! 🙂 ~ karen!

      • Pam'a says:

        Absolutely a blogger should make money. That is, if:

        –said blogger writes consistently interesting and pertinent material
        –uses correct grammar and spelling (Ugh. My biggest pet peeve)
        –has the ability to view blogging as the tough commitment it is vs. “something I can do without getting dressed”

        That’d be you and a few others, who stand head and shoulders above the crowd. 🙂

  16. korrine says:

    I love you.

  17. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    So if I want to order some things for my cats or anything in general from Amazon..And I want to help you out cause I like you..sort of a way to give back to you for all that you do for us..All I need to do is link to Amazon through something you put on your blog..don’t buy that certain thing that you linked to but go on and order the things that I do want and you will get paid a percentage?? Does it have to be a recent link or can I go back and link from an older post?? This would be a great way to do something nice for you and help buy a big juicy T-Bone steak for the Fella for giving me lots of laughs!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nancy! That’s exactly right. If you want to help support me and my blog if you’re looking to order something from Amazon, you come to my site, and go to Amazon from any of my Amazon links. Doesn’t have to be a recent one. Any of them. And you will indirectly help me to make money. The more expensive the thing you buy, the more I make but every single purchase helps. If you’re thinking of buying a house, I would strongly recommend you purchase it from Amazon. ~ karen!

  18. Kathe says:

    Sadly, I live in one of the states in the States where you are banned from becoming an Amazon affiliate 🙁 (Banned States are, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.)

    • Karen says:

      How strange. I wonder why! ~ karen

      • Kathe says:

        ~Karen~Something to do with taxes here in CO. There is a supposed work around, http://www.viglink.com but I have not looked into it completely as yet.

        • mrsblocko says:

          I found this out today too. This is the reply I got from Amazon when I tried to join:
          Because you are located in Illinois, we are unable to accept your application to join the Associates Program because of unconstitutional legislation enacted in your state. In the event that Illinois repeals this tax collection scheme, we would certainly be happy to re-open our Associates program to Illinois residents.

          GRRRR!!!!

  19. Jeannie B says:

    How very honest and forthright you are Karen. Thanks for explaining this. I love your blogs and know that it takes a lot of creative energy to come up with something new and fresh each day. I look forward to reading the “Art of Doing Stuff” every morning to see what you have to share with us and get us thinking outside the box, so to speak.I like the way you do things and encourage us to give it a try too.More power to you! And way to go Amazon!

  20. Debbie says:

    I love the idea of being able to in a small way give back to you through Amazon. I will be happy to do that. I try to look through your advertisers when birthdays and holidays pop up. That way I can keep reading and learning from you for a long time. (Plus I don’t have to go out and do it, more time for me!) Maybe in time our little wood working company can join your advertising group. Here, where I live we shop local for fresh and try to buy from people who are special and so are their products. You qualify.

  21. Barbie says:

    I should really get on doing some of the fabulous suggestions you have here!
    My favorite sentence of all time “I’d lost tens of cents by not doing this sooner”.

  22. toekneetoni says:

    i am happy to be educated by your blog and the products you suggest. i’m not as domesticated as you and many of the readers, and had never heard of a potato ricer until your blog. glad to know that my purchase will benefit you in even a small way.

  23. Alex says:

    I’ve wanted to do this but I have a quick Q about the Canada vs US thing. If I am Canadian do I have to go with Amazon.ca or is there a way to work with Amazon.com as well (like you do). Thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Alex – LOL. *I’m* Canadian. Did you not know that? So yes, if you’re Canadian you can go with both. Amazon.ca & Amazon.com. 🙂 ~ karen

      • Alex says:

        No I know you are. 🙂 I phrased it wrong, I was just referring to your post where you mentioned you are both with .CA & .COM and I had no idea that you could be with .COM as a Canuck. I thought we only had to use the .CA program. So your post was eye opening in a good way!

  24. karla says:

    I wonder how many ricers Amazon sold as a result of that post? I bought one, too!

  25. Denise says:

    Thumbs up! I’ll use your link . i need a new ricer as the handle bent as I was using it! 🙁

  26. Stephanie says:

    “I’m not planning on linking to random weird things just for the sake of linking to them”

    But, Karen, you would find such wonderful weird things to entertain your readers! Please do a “strange things you can buy on Amazon” post from time to time.

    Throw in something super-useful you can recommend, too, for those lovely affiliate bucks.

  27. Jeannie B says:

    Karen, if you’re having a stressful day, and I don’t doubt it, with renovations and all, make yourself a nice cup of tea and relax for a few moments. That’s what I’m doing, sipping a nice brew of Earl Grey, out of a fine, bone English china saucer, with the periwinkle blue flowers. Cheers! And Denise, that happened to my ricer too.

  28. Linda S says:

    I had no idea all this Amazon affiliate stuff was going on. Good for you for wising up! Now, if I can just overcome my fear of shopping on Amazon. I know…I know.
    If I am not prying too much, how does “A” go about paying their affiliates? Do they wait for the earned “tens of cents” to add up to a certain $$ figure? Or do they perhaps pay quarterly, semi-annually, or yearly? In otherwords, when should I just be casually standing beside your mailbox when the postie arrives??
    Truly Karen, I’ll do whatever I can…the laughs I’ve had here are worth $millions$.

  29. Shauna says:

    I did click your link that day and I did buy two potato ricers (one for a friend), so I hope you had it set up at that time.

    I used to be an Amazon affiliate, but if I remember correctly, bad news for California residents, there’s some stupid law that prohibits us from doing it anymore:(

  30. How funny! I am a on again, off again ‘newbie’ blogger and thought that signing up for Amazaon Affiliate would be a good move for me since I have <20 followers in an initial effort to monetize my blog. I literally signed up for the Amazon Affiliate program last night and did my first blog post today with a book I highly recommend with my first affiliate link. I then open up my email and read my daily blogs and low and behold you write about the very topic that I put into action last night. Love that your blog post helped confirm for me that was a good move. 🙂 Love your blog Karen! Love your idiosyncratic inspiration. Iris

    http://treasuringthejourney.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/are-you-in-a-trance-do-you-know-that-you-are-enough/

  31. Amie says:

    Thanks for sharing this Karen. I’ve just started to monetize my blog and your tips have been invaluable! I just signed up to amazon affiliate’s & the book depository’s associate program (which is another goodie!).

  32. Oooh… Karen, this comes at a perfect time! I just got accepted as an Amazon affiliate not two days ago! And I’m Canadian.

    And I have no idea what I’m doing, but fingers crossed I make a buck. I’d do a dance in the living room! 🙂

  33. Rachel says:

    Thanks for the good tip! I am definitely going to look into this!

  34. Jan says:

    If you buy anything from Amazon, be sure to review it. If you become a top 500 or higher reviewer ( or sometimes even much lower) you can get invited into Amazon’s Vine program and choose 4 free items a month from a select list.

    These items are NOTHING to sneeze at- everything from vacuum cleaners to refrigerators and, of course, free books (before official publication). But you do have to review items quickly. And review 100% of what you get. But no obligation to give a positive review. Just an honest one with helpful info and opinions.

    Karen. They often have tons of gardening products and outside furniture. Just saying (hint, hint)….

    I’m a top 100 reviewer. And love it.

  35. speaking of $ for your blog, I’ll be wanting to advert on your site again come fall. Over the summer, my biz sloowwwwws down. Go figure. So do keep me on your list 🙂

  36. Cathy in Colorado says:

    I buy tons of stuff from Amazon. I’ll make sure I link to Amazon through your site. Fellow friend of Chickens!

  37. Susan says:

    Thanks for telling us about that, I’m headed over to sign up right now! Do you know if it’s allowed to purchase things through your own link? So if you put a link up for a potato ricer, and coincidentally break your potato ricer next month, could you use the link you put up to go and purchase a potato ricer, and get a commission on that? What about other people with separate accounts in the same household? I really appreciate the information you provide about blogging. Thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan I bought a camera the other day and sure enough it showed up on my Amazon “buys”. I don’t think I bought it by linking through my site, I can’t remember. I did make $12 off of it. That’s all I know. 😉 ~ karen

  38. abitito says:

    Hi Karen, I wish you could do a post on juicing. I so need to buy a new juicer and would buy it from your affiliate link. I find doing research on the best juicer is so overwhelming.

  39. Jaswinder says:

    Nice blog and tips. I am making money through MaxBounty Affiliate Program and recently have 10 orders with Amazon, but no commission yet.

  40. Olga says:

    I’m a new comer, i found your site on google was searching for amazon affilate bans or something, your site was on first page 😛
    n im not from USA or Canada but still i find your post useful, maybe not that much of use tho, its just basic for noobs i guess, Lol
    But i have a question…
    how can you sign up on amazon for all locales? like US Canada or Germany? you said you could i wonder how
    Btw now that iv found your site imma see what other things you got on your site
    Bye

    • Karen says:

      Hi Olga – You can sign up for all the Amazon affiliate accounts you want, but you literally have to sign up for each and every one. ANd each and every one will be considered separate affiliate accounts. So go to amazon.com and sign up for their affiliate account. Then go to amazon.ca and sign up for their account. Then amazon.de and sign up. And so on and so on. Good luck! ~ karen!

  41. Mike says:

    Like you, we started using Amazon affiliate links only recently. It’s funny, considering how long I’ve been blogging and buying things online, I’ve rarely gone through Amazon to do so. But, it’s an income stream worth exploring, so why not?

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