One of the first affiliate programs that most bloggers – including Christian bloggers – join is the Amazon affiliate program. Unfortunately, many Christian bloggers fall extremely short in getting their links to convert to sales because they don't really have a solid affiliate marketing strategy in place.
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Getting Your Amazon Affiliate Links to Convert
Amazon has become pretty much the top place that most people do their shopping. You can pretty much buy anything there and often get it overnight without paying an arm and a leg in shipping costs. Even though most products found on Amazon are sold in other popular stores, Amazon offers them at a lower price. Because of this, you can do really well with affiliate commissions through their affiliate program.
But – there are several things you need to keep in mind. Some involve how their affiliate program works. And some about how YOU are going about writing your content.
General Amazon Affiliate Information
The one thing about Amazon that hurts most Christian bloggers is that you must make a minimum of three qualified affiliate sales within the first 180 days of joining their program. The truth is, most bloggers join this program immediately – before they even have a few posts published on their site. (More on this later).
While Amazon is one of the top affiliate programs (only because most people will shop there), they offer one of the lowest commission rates compared to other affiliate programs. Because of this, you must convert a LOT of links (which requires a lot of traffic) in order to really see your commissions increase.
The cookie period for Amazon links is only 24 hours. Many other affiliate programs have a 30-day or longer cookie period. This means your reader has to make a purchase within the next 24 hours after clicking on your link in order for you to earn the commission. (If a reader puts a product in their shopping cart, the cookie will be good much longer. However, if they click on another affiliate's Amazon link, the credit will not go to that affiliate and not you.)
Why Your Amazon Links Aren't Converting to Sales
Getting your Amazon links to convert requires consistent organic traffic to your site. While most of us participate in a variety of Christian blogger threads, the other bloggers visiting our site are more of “forced” traffic instead of organic. Organic traffic is traffic that comes to your site because they searched for something.
I hear it all the time “I'm getting some traffic, about 10-20 visits each day, but no one is buying through my links.” Upon further investigation, almost all that traffic originated from Facebook (more specifically – blogger Facebook groups.” These other bloggers (from the participation threads) are NOT your target audience and therefore have no interest in buying the things you are recommending and promoting.
#1 You don't have a defined target audience.
If you don't have your audience clearly identified, you won't know what they need. If you've been following this blog for any amount of time, you know I'm constantly talking about the importance of defining your target audience. This is a crucial element in ever earning affiliate income with your blog – including from Amazon!
To get those affiliate links to convert, you need consistent traffic to your site. This traffic needs to be from people who are actually looking for the type of content you write about. You can't just write about whatever you are thinking about when you wake up in the morning. It needs to be focused to a very specific person (target audience). This way, you will be consistently producing content for her.
#2 You don't have a blog content plan in place.
Once you've defined your target audience, you then need to create a plan of what content you'll be writing for her. Again, not “Monday morning by the seat of your pants” planning.
You should sit down and lay out your planned post topics for the next several months. This way you can ensure you are consistently writing in a way that truly helps your readers. Using your categories and tags as a guide for what topics you should revisit and write from a different perspective. Consistency is the key!
For every piece of content you plan to write and publish, you should ask yourself “How is this going to help my audience?”. If you can't answer that question with a solid answer, then don't write it!
If you do the homework in the Defining Your Ministry Avatar course, you'll end up with a great starting point for creating your blog content plan.
#3 You aren't optimizing your content for SEO.
Even if you have figured out your target audience and what they want and need, if you aren't doing proper keyword research and formatting your content in a way that search engines can index it, your target audience will not find it!
In order for you to see consistent organic traffic from people searching for something on Google, you need to
SEO is the fundamental component for your content being found in search results. If you don't take the time to learn and implement it, you will not see the affiliate conversions that you are hoping for.
#4 You are writing to promote a product and not to provide value.
Last but not least, the reason your Amazon affiliate links aren't converting is that you are writing with the goal of promoting a product – instead of writing to provide value to your target audience. You should never say, “How can I write a post to promote this product?”
Instead, think about how you can offer helpful tips to your audience. Then see how you can incorporate a certain product into that post.
For example, if your target audience is young Christian moms with small kids – instead of trying to write a post to promote a certain daily devotional, you could write a post about “Ways to Get More Jesus in Your Morning Routine when you small kids.” One of the “ways” could be to read a quick 3-minute devotional. This is where you would include your affiliate link for the product.
Another idea for helping your audience through a blog post is to think of products your audience might be specifically searching for. For example, a Christian mom might be looking for some books to read to her toddler. A post along the lines of “The 10 Best Books to Teach Toddlers About Gratitude” would be perfect. Then you could write the post and list the individual books you recommend and include your affiliate links. Instead of focusing on the product, you are focusing on the needs of your audience.
You can see some examples of product posts I have here on Kingdom Bloggers:
Focus on helping your audience – not helping your bank account!
You Can Make Money with Amazon Links!
Monetizing a Christian blog isn't something that requires a finance degree! But it does require you to put in the work for laying a good foundation for your blog to generate consistent organic traffic. This starts with figuring out exactly who your intended audience is and what you can help them with through your content.
Earning money with affiliate marketing requires a solid strategy. This strategy requires you to get creative in thinking of how you include affiliate products into the helpful content you are already writing. Always put your reader first and not the idea of promoting a product!
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