There are thousands, if not millions of ways to make money online. Amazon Associates is one of these that have better and guaranteed returns if done the proper way. The journey to creating an associate’s site is long and requires patience.
Do you know the biggest problem in this journey?
If you are a beginner and are trying to create a niche site, one google search will reveal hundreds of thousands guides that are either too complicated to follow or lack information necessary to help you create a foolproof site that will help you earn a decent passive income.
The guide below details a step-by step plan that will help you design and publish a site that will help you build your monthly income.
So let’s start with the basics.
What is an affiliate Site?
Have you ever googled an article and chanced on a website that detailed the specifics of your question with product or service recommendation links? Chances are you have either clicked on these links and bought a product or viewed them. If so, you have come across an affiliate site.
An affiliate site is one that earns a percentage commission by redirecting visitors to products and services sold on other host websites like Amazon, Maxbounty, and Clickbank.
There are two main types of affiliate sites:
- Niche Sites
- Authority Sites
What is a Niche Site?
A niche site is one that has products and services targeted at a specific group or audience. Examples of niche sites include Pet lovers, Car enthusiasts, and Vegans. Niche sites are considered both broad and specific. This is because they target a wider audience by considering a group in its entirety. A more specific form of niche site is known as a micro niche.
Micro niches are more specific sites that target a specific group within a niche. For instance, you can target Alaskan malamute owners from the Pet Niche, or choose to target people looking for dog food recommendations. The advantage of this type of site is that it is easier to find out what the demographic of your group is and what their shopping or spending patterns are.
Niche and micro-niche sites are easier to rank on google and other search databases, and are much easier to maintain.
Pro Tip: If you are looking to earn faster and are dependent on organic audience then you should choose either a niche or micro niche site.
However, if you are in it for the long ride and are looking for higher and more sustainable income, then you should build an authority site.
What is an authority site?
An authority site is one that is respected and valued by industry experts. These sites contain well-researched and informative articles that can also be used in academic citations.
Don’t worry; you are not building a wiki or –pedia site
You are building a site that can be referenced by other smaller bloggers and can attract big companies into sponsorships. These kinds of sites can be monetized in a variety of ways making them more appealing for the long-term.
Think about it this way, companies are more likely to advertise or sponsor posts on your site if it is a brand rather than if it’s a blogger-kind of site.
As you probably know, building a brand takes a lot of time and patience. But the rewards are worth it.
So what site should you create?
This entirely depends on your EXPECTED RETURNS, PATIENCE, and BUDGET.
The main Advantages of a Niche site are:
- Easy to create and maintain
- Easier to rank on google
- Faster ROI (Return on Investment)
- Easier to target the audience.
- Needs lower initial investment
The disadvantages of a Niche Site are:
- Restricted number of audience
- Can be easily outranked by competitors.
- Less income
- Less ways of monetization.
The Advantages of an Authority Site are:
- Higher Returns
- Larger audience
- Numerous ways of monetizing your content
The disadvantages of an authority site are:
- Takes longer to become an authority site
- Needs a lot of knowledge on Link-building and SEO
- Takes longer to earn a return
- Needs higher initial investment
This all boils down to:
If you need faster returns, need an income for a shorter period, and have a lower budget then go with a NICHE/MICRO NICHE site
If you need more consistent income, higher returns, greater opportunities, long-term income, and have a relatively stable budget then go with an AUTHORITY site.
To create either kind of site, you need to understand the basics of the Amazon Associates program.
How does Amazon Associates Program Work?
Amazon Associates Program (Amazon Affiliate Marketing) is an affiliate network where content creators are paid a commission when a client buys a product through their affiliate link. This is considered one of the fastest and simplest ways of making passive income online. The basics of the program are that you will create content and monetize it with affiliate links. You do not only earn commission on products that you refer traffic to, but on all purchases made by your readers. The commission ranges anywhere between 1% and 10%.
The affiliate marketing program on Amazon has several perks that include: that it is easy and free to join, you have full autonomy to create content that will appeal to your audience, you have millions of products to choose from and can choose any niche of your liking, both large networks and content sites/bloggers are accepted in the program, the user interface is fairly simple and easy to use, and there are a variety of link building tools that suit your needs as a blogger.
All you need to do is create an Amazon niche website, provide valuable content, get traffic to your site, and watch as your income grows. You can choose to either build your website or pay someone to build the site. I will detail the step-by-step procedure for joining the program and building your own website. First, let’s focus on the mechanics of the program.
How much does Amazon Associates Pay?
Amazon pays different rates for each product category. These commision rates are included below
Table 1 – Fixed Standard Program Fee Rates for Specific Product Categories
|Product Category||Fixed Standard Program Fee Rates|
|Luxury Beauty, Amazon Coins||10.00%|
|Furniture, Home, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Pets Products, Pantry||8.00%|
|Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments, Business & Industrial Supplies||6.00%|
|Digital Music, Grocery, Physical Music, Handmade, Digital Videos||5.00%|
|Physical Books, Health & Personal Care, Sports, Kitchen, Automotive, Baby Products||4.50%|
|Amazon Fire Tablet Devices, Amazon Kindle Devices, Amazon Fashion Women’s, Men’s & Kids Private Label, Apparel, Amazon Cloud Cam Devices, Fire TV Edition Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV Devices, Amazon Echo Devices, Ring Devices, Watches, Jewelry, Luggage, Shoes, and Handbags & Accessories||4.00%|
|Amazon Fresh, Toys||3.00%|
|PC, PC Components, DVD & Blu-Ray||2.50%|
|Televisions, Digital Video Games||2.00%|
|Physical Video Games & Video Game Consoles||1.00%|
|Gift Cards; Wireless Service Plans; Alcoholic Beverages; Digital Kindle Products purchased as a subscription; Food prepared and delivered from a restaurant; Amazon Appstore, Prime Now, Amazon Pay Places, or Prime Wardrobe Purchases||0.00%|
|All Other Categories||4.00%|
Table 1: Amazon Associates Commision Rates
Other rates can be found here
How Often Does Amazon Associates Pay?
Amazon pays on a net-60 basis. This means that:
- Payment for January is made in late March.
- Payment for February is made in late April.
- Payment for March is made in late May.
However, you have to meet the $10 threshold to get you payments. Most importantly, you have to know that Fees are earned after the order has shipped. This means that you may not be paid if a client has made an order on the day of payment.
Now let’s move on to what has brought here:
Creating a Niche Site
This is the most important part of this process. You need to choose a niche that is appealing to an audience that is also willing to spend. You may have tried finding out the best way to choose a niche and come across articles advising you to choose one that you are passionate about. This is a great advice for those who are interested in niches that can be monetized. However, most people are interested in niches that cannot be monetized. For instance, you might have a passion for cooking and decide on creating a recipe blog. However, this kind of blog is the hardest to monetize with affiliate links because most of your audience are interested in the recipe and not purchasing anything.
However, if you are the one who will be writing your content, like most niche site owners, then you should pick a niche that you at least have information access or knowledge about.
Remember that your audience is enthusiasts of whatever you are trying to sell and there is no buyer turn off like insufficient or erroneous information.
So how do you select a profitable niche?
Amazon- The Easier Way
Click on Amazon.com and check on the Bestselling categories. You should select a niche that has goods that satisfy a need rather than a want. For instance, someone is more likely to buy an anti-aging cream or sunblock than they are to buy shimmering lotion. Also make sure that your product is a low-ticket one that falls in the range of $10 and $150. Also ensure that these products have lots of positive reviews. These products are easier to convert than high-ticket items that sell for more than $500.
Amazon is available in different countries and continents. Keep this in mind while searching for a niche. If you are targeting Canadian people, make sure that you are using the Canadian Amazon.
Head over to google trends. Click on the region you are trying to target. For instance, if you want to target clients from the US, you should ensure that you have designated this region. You will find a list of top trending items in the US. If you don’t find a niche from these trends, check and see if your favorite niche or hobby has an upward trend.
Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)
Social media can be a great source for niche selection. Find pages and groups that have higher engagement. Use the search button on these social media platforms and there is a keyword. For instance, if you want to find out if the niche “dolphins” has a sizable following, search the keyword and look at the pages and groups. You are looking for groups/pages that have medium following like10k to 300k. These are easier to target.
Pinterest is a great source for niche selection. Use the Pinterest search bar to determine what people like. You can also sign up for their newsletter which details trends and upcoming niches people are interested in.
Reddit is a great source of finding competitive niches. Use their popular sub reddit suggestions to find which niches have a substantial following.
Top Ten Reviews
This is a popular review site that ranks top amongst amazon associate websites. You can find niche recommendations from their categories and research on their viability.
Pro Tip: Stay away from niches like electronic gadgets, smartphones, and laptops. They are oversaturated.
Don’t rush into picking a niche before you fully understand the ins and outs. Take your time to research and delve into the nitty gritty of the products before you start recommending them to your audience.
You can also use a simple, free, web tool called AmaProfits that will help you calculate the earning potential of a niche. This tool is not accurate but will provide an approximation of your expected earnings as an affiliate.
Domain Name Selection
The domain name is the prefix used to identify your website.
For instance, the domain for my website is “the savvy worker.”
This is as important as niche selection.
Have you ever wondered why people keep buying expensive products from brands that you feel are overrated, yet they can get the same quality at cheaper prices from other brands?
Well, they are buying the brand not the product.
You have higher chances of building a loyal fan base if you have a “brandable” domain name that is registered with an “authority extension”.
I call these authority extensions (.com, .net, and .org) because of the professionalism and reputation associated with them. If you are looking to create more awareness about your brand then you should definitely consider one of these extensions coupled with a brand domain.
There are several FREE domain name generators that use artificial intelligence to help you create brandable domains. I would recommend you check them out:
- Lean domain search
- Bust a name
You could also get paid help from name connoisseurs by creating contests on sites like
- Name station
If you would like to stand out above your competition, pay attention to this step and you will be surprised at how your brand name can help you outrank others.
Exact match domain names may seem like a good idea but they are not as powerful as they used to be. For instance, if you want to review dog foods, an exact match domain would be something like “bestdogfoods.com”
While this may sound like a good idea, it is not a brandable and catchy name. People are more likely to refer to a brand than exact domain names.
Domain Name Registration
After selecting a domain name, you need to register it. There are hundreds of thousands of service providers that you can find on a quick google search. You might be tempted to use the cheapest service provider but you should know that cheap is expensive.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look for a deal. I would recommend using Namecheap to register your domain. They are relatively affordable and have a variety of services that can help you establish the credibility of your domain. If you would like a cheaper domain then use GoDaddy (I would not recommend them). Other affordable registrars include
I thought I would touch on this topic before concluding on domains. You may have come across guides advising you to get an expired domain. These types of domains are those registered earlier and may have redirecting links and backlinks that may give you some residual traffic. That is one of the main reasons why people buy them. However, the cons of expired domains outweigh the pros, in my humble opinion, and you shouldn’t buy them.
Hosting is the house that shelters your prized possession. If your house is weak, then it will probably be swept away by wind or storms. You need to choose super-fast hosting that is dependable and reliable.
If you are a beginner, you also need to look for a service provider that can help you with WordPress and theme installation.
If you have no money to invest in such a provider, you can go with free hosting. But I would not recommend them because of their speed and security issues.
The most affordable and reliable service provider in my opinion is
However, if you have money to spare and have no knowledge of WordPress, go with managed website hosting. The top service providers in this category are
Bigscoots (look out for my review on their service)
They may be expensive, but if you want your site secure, relatively fast, reliable, and user-friendly then go for the two mentioned above.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
I am no SEO guru or expert, but I can tell you that optimization is key in getting free and valuable traffic from Google and other databases. The engine that drives SEO is keyword research.
When you are using google, you often type a few keywords that pertain to your interests. For instance, if you are looking for a recipe for quinoa, you will type “how to cook quinoa” or quinoa recipe” and a variety of other keywords.
Google will then crawl their database looking for websites that have these keywords. Sites found on their first page are ranked on a variety of elements that include keywords.
I cannot stress enough the importance of keyword research.
I would recommend using free keyword search sites like
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner
- Ahrefs (free trial)
When searching for keywords, focus on long-tail keywords. When people begin searching for products on the internet they often use generic key terms. For instance, if I am looking for an antiaging cream to buy, I would begin with anti aging cream. However, after searching, I will refine my term to “anti aging cream for women with acne”
This is known as a long-tail keyword. You are likely to rank if you have such keywords than if you use generic ones.
Take your time and do your research. If you have a budget, you can use paid services available online. However, I must warn you that they don’t come cheap and you may end up paying hundreds or thousands for keywords that won’t even help you rank.
This refers to the content optimization techniques. The basic checklist for this technique is:
- Create a title that has your main keyword and brand name in the format: Title (keyword) + Brand Name
- Use keywords sparingly with a recommended density of (0.8% to 2%)
- Add a meta description that has your keyword
- Ensure your keyword is in the introduction paragraph
- Create one H1 Heading that has your keyword
- Include a subheading with one keyword for each product
- Add optimized images
- Always cite external authority sources
- Add references at the end
- Create social media profiles on all major platforms and add those using plugins and widgets.
- Encourage your readers to share your articles
- Add email popups after your site has received at least 500 visitors.
In addition to keywords, Google uses backlinks to rank your site. These are links on other sites that refer to your site. You need to create QUALITY backlinks that will help you rank and redirect traffic. You can build backlinks on sites like:
- Photo sharing sites like Flickr and Tumblr
- Article directories like EHow
- Q&A Sites like Quora
- Guest Posts
- Blog outreach
- Web 2.0 Sites
- Social Media
- Quality Web Directories
- Social Bookmarking sites, like Reddit
- Logo Design
In line with building your brand and creating more awareness, you need a logo.
A logo may look like an inconsequential element but it improves the credibility of your site.
You can design one for yourself, if you have the art in you. You can also choose to pay for a design on sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
If you don’t know how to design a logo, or don’t have the time or budget, then you can use free sites like Freepik, Pexels. If you choose to go this route, then you can use the following steps
Go to your selected FREE site
Search for your niche and include a logo. For instance if your niche is makeup, search for Makeup logos.
Download your preferred design and tweak it to your liking.
Website Design/Theme Installation
If you had a budget and decided to go with the managed website service providers, they can help you install your theme.
You can also choose to hire a website designer on sites like Fiverr.
However, if you are on a budget you can use free WordPress themes and use YouTube tutorials to install them.
However, I wouldn’t recommend using free themes. Think of a theme like home décor. Let’s assume you want to buy a house. The seller and real estate broker always go to great lengths to stage the house and make the interior décor appealing. This is a technique meant to attract potential buyers.
Now let’s go back to your website.
Free themes are not as appealing as paid ones. This is a one time purchase that will make all the difference.
If you decide to buy a theme, then I would recommend the Astra Theme and FocusBlog theme.
Amazon Disclaimer (set to no index)
After installing your themes, make sure that you include the Amazon Disclaimer. This is a written note that advises your audience that you are in the affiliate program and is a perquisite for all sites associated with Amazon.
You can find examples of disclaimers with a simple google search.
If you don’t have the funds to hire a writer, you can create your content.
Look for competitors in your niche and get inspiration on how to compile this page. Don’t copy and paste (we are not about that life)
Amazon Buying Guides.
This is not mandatory but will help you create more credibility. Tell you users about each contributor or writer and what motivates them
This is the backbone of your site. You may choose to hire a writer but it can be expensive. I would recommend that you write your articles in the beginning and pay writers as soon as the income starts rolling.
The content on your site should include Amazon Buying guides and informative pieces. Don’t focus solely on creating guides because your audience will see right through you. Offer more value by creating formative pieces about your niche.
The types of content that you should create include:
Informative Articles- provide information on the niche
Answer-Type Articles- answer popular questions about the niche e.g. which type of running shoes are right for you?
List Type Posts—lists be benefits/other information on products and reviews them e.g. 10 ways of using your [XXX-brand name] Facial steamer
Best Product Reviews (most common content format that will be the driving force of your earnings, usually 2000+ words)
Individual Product Reviews –single product review approximately 800 words
The most popular content format is the Best product reviews
To create an optimized best product guide, use this format
Title of Article
Recommendations Table e.g. Most Affordable, Editors Recommendation (Our Picks),
I will create a more detailed guide on creating your Amazon Reviews
Use keywords wisely and sparingly. Most people assume that since keywords may help you rank your site, you should use as many as possible. This is an ERRONEOUS assumption and is known as keyword stuffing.
Google will “de-rank” you faster than you can say hello if you stuff your keywords.
The rules for content creation are:
- Use keywords wisely and sparingly
- Keep your paragraphs short and concise
- AVOID copy pasting
- Cite your sources (for credibility and link building)
- Include optimized images
You need images to make your guides more appealing. Always use stock photos because you often don’t need a license to use them.
I recommend using
You can add watermarks on your pictures
Mandatory WordPress Plugins
Plugins are automated assistants that optimize your sites content and security. I would recommend installing the following plugins:
- Yoast SEO
- GDPR Cookie Consent
- Jetpack by WordPress.com
- WPS Hide Login
- WordPress Backup to Dropbox
- W3 Total Cache
- Social Locker
- Contact Form 7
You need traffic to get sales.
This is as important as any other step listed above. For beginners, I would recommend using Pinterest. Create a business profile and boards.
Use Canva to create appealing pins.
You can use software like Tailwind to join boards and communities which will help you reach more people.
Create a pin schedule and pin regularly!
You can also use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to your advantage. Create posts and ensure that you have a schedule. Consistency is key!
If you have reached this far, then you are determined to start earning a passive income online. Remember to work smart not hard!
Consistency is key to your success. In the beginning create a schedule where you post twice in a week and increase gradually.
I have created a checklist that will help you accomplish these steps with ease.
You can print it and use it as a visual guide for your success.
Lastly, sharing is caring!
Share this post on your social media and look out for more detailed and interesting tutorials that will help you secure your bag!