Adding links to your content is a great way to generate extra income from your blog content. Opportunities are there for the asking but there are some rules you need to follow in order to make sure you aren’t removed from the program! Here are some Amazon Associate Do’s and Don’ts.
Amazon Associate Do’s and Don’ts
First off, in case you’re not aware, here’s what being an Amazon Associate means:
An affiliate marketing program—like Amazon Associates—is one where bloggers who join can create links to products within their content and elsewhere on their site. Readers click through to the company (in this case, Amazon) and if they make a purchase, the blogger gets a commission, or what is termed by Amazon as a ‘referral fee’.
As a blogger, you sign up to be an ‘Associate’, which is free and set up links to products that you’ve mentioned in your content. Sounds easy, right? Well, it is, but there are still some rules to be aware of to keep you in Amazon’s good books!
What You Can and Can’t Do as An Amazon Associate
Prices change on products all the time and you might not be aware when it happens so when you’re talking about a product that is available via your affiliate link on Amazon, don’t quote any prices.
Bloggers sometimes worry that they have too many links in a review post or other content. Too many can affect your positioning through the Google algorithm BUT you’re fairly safe if you keep it to one link per 80-100 words of content.
Amazon links can be long and when you’re re-posting your content to social media, you might be tempted to shorten or cloak them with TinyURL or another tool. Don’t. Section 8 (w) of the Participation Guidelines makes that clear! That said, Amazon does offer link shortening on the Affiliates page with Amzn.To, so you are okay if you use that tool.
“(v) You will not cloak, hide, spoof, or otherwise obscure the URL of your Site containing Special Links (including by use of Redirecting Links) or the user agent of the application in which Content is displayed or used such that we cannot reasonably determine the site or application from which a customer clicks through such Special Link to the Amazon Site.” (Source)
DO make sure you have the disclosure statement
If you don’t want to get banned from the Associates program, a major requirement is that your website has an affiliate disclosure. This is a statement that clearly indicates that you have posted affiliate links in your content and that you will receive remuneration if the reader clicks on and purchases the item.
Here’s one recommended style: “[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [insert the applicable site name (amazon.com)].” (SOURCE)
Promoting your links offline by posting in an email, for example—in other words, not on your site—is a big no-no! Instead, in your email, refer your reader to the content page where the links are located.
You also can’t include affiliate links to Amazon in eBooks or online courses. However, you can make a page on your blog with a roundup of tools/resources for your course/eBook and link to that. That’s what we did with Recipe Video Gear for Beginners.
Obviously, the first and best way to make sure that you’re on the right side of the program is to read the policies. Yes, there is a lot of small print but if you get banned, saying you didn’t know about the restriction won’t help you. Take some time to learn the details and you’ll be on your way to earning some dollars!