Before you join Amazon Associates, you should learn some of the biggest Amazon affiliate rules. That way, you can share all of your favorite products with your audience.
Amazon is one of the best affiliate programs for beginners, including musicians. If you want to make the most of the program, you need to learn what you can and can’t do.
Use an Affiliate Disclaimer
Whenever you use an Amazon affiliate links, you MUST disclose that it’s an affiliate link. Not only is this a rule for Amazon Associates, but it’s a rule for every affiliate program out there.
If you or any of your followers live in the United States, you have to comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its regulations. You need to make it clear that you can get paid if people click on your links.
The disclaimer doesn’t have to be super complicated. But it does need to appear before the inclusion of your affiliate links in your blog posts or other website or social media content.
Don’t Mention the Price
It can be super tempting to talk about prices, especially when you’re promoting cheap alternatives. However, doing so goes against the rules of Amazon Associates since prices change so often.
You can mention things like whether a product is cheap or expensive. But avoid sharing specific numbers. Not only will you not have to edit your blog posts every time there’s a change, but you can get more link clicks.
People will be curious of how much a product costs. And since you can’t list the price, their only option to learn the price is to click on the link. The more link clicks you get, the more you can increase your earning potential.
Market to 13 Year-Olds and Up
Another one of the biggest Amazon affiliate rules is that you can’t market your affiliate links to kids under 13 years of age. This can be a problem if you’re a private music teacher and have a lot of young students.
However, you can tailor your content to their parents. After all, the parents are most likely the ones spending the money anyway.
Ask your young students to refer their parents to your website to find the appropriate links. Then, you can still make a sale without breaking the program rules.
Avoid Third-Party Link Shorteners
Using a link shortener can be a great way to track your affiliate link clicks. It can also keep other affiliates from “stealing” your commissions by swapping out their affiliate ID.
While you can use a link shortener for many programs, Amazon isn’t one of them. If you want to use a short link, you have to use the native one. You can find it in SiteStripe near the top of the Amazon website.
The tool lets you choose between a short link and a full link. Then, you can get all of the benefits of a link shortener without breaking the Amazon affiliate rules and getting kicked out of the program.
Don’t Buy Through Your Own Links
Maybe this sounds obvious, but you can’t use your own affiliate links to get to Amazon when you want to buy something. Doing so would artificially increase your commissions, and that sounds great.
But Amazon prohibits you from doing so. You need to visit the Amazon website on your own and buy without using your affiliate links. I’d also avoid telling other people, like family and friends, to buy through your links.
Now, you can refer students or clients to a page on your website with affiliate links. Use your disclaimer as normal. Just don’t tell people they have to buy through your links.
Don’t Offer Incentives
One great way to increase affiliate commissions is to give a freebie to the people who buy using your link. Unfortunately, you can’t use that strategy to increase Amazon affiliate sales.
You’ll need to use other methods to get people to buy through your links. For example, you can focus on publishing great quality content. You can then use that content to encourage sales.
Keep the Links Public
Amazon prohibits “offline” affiliate marketing. That means you can’t share your links in PDFs, emails, private messages, and similar places. You must only share your affiliate links on public web pages or blog posts.
If you want to promote affiliate products via email or in PDFs, you can do so. But you’ll need to link to a public landing page on your website. Then, you can use the landing page to link to the products you want to promote.
Yes, it’s an extra step that you and your audience will have to take. But it can be worth it to stay in the Amazon affiliate program.
Don’t Use Links in Paid Ads
A great way to increase link clicks is to pay for ads in search engines or social media. But you can’t link directly to an Amazon page with your affiliate link in the ads you pay for.
Like with private methods, you can link to a landing page on your website. Then, you can make sure to include the affiliate link on that page.
Be sure you also write the content on the page in a way that will encourage people to click. You’ll still be able to make affiliate sales, and you can even promote the page organically to increase your earning potential.
Get Your First Sale in 180 Days
One of the Amazon affiliate rules that can be trickier than you expect is to get at least one sale in the first six months you’re in the program. Sure, it sounds easy because that’s half a year.
But if you’re new to affiliate marketing, it can take time to get sales. That’s especially true if you have no online presence or a very small presence.
If you don’t get a sale in that time, you’ll get kicked out of the program. You can reapply, but it’s still annoying to have to do that. So make sure you have an affiliate marketing strategy before you apply to increase your chances of getting a sale.
Only Use Amazon Buy Buttons
Buttons can be a great way to attract attention as people scroll through your website. They can get more clicks than a simple text link in the middle of a blog post.
However, if you want to use a button for your Amazon links, you must use the buttons that Amazon provides. You can’t just use the button block when writing a post or page in WordPress, for example.
Don’t Manipulate Cookies
Another one of the big Amazon affiliate rules is that you can’t use any cookie manipulation software. This software can affect how clicks and visitors get tracked, so it could increase your sales.
However, Amazon doesn’t allow you to use any of these programs. The store tracks cookies itself, so you just have to get traffic to click on your links. As long as people buy something within 24 hours, you’ll get credit for the sale.
Don’t Copy Product Reviews
A great way to drive traffic to your affiliate links is to write a review post for different products you love. I’d recommend reviewing products you have experience with so that you can share what you know.
You can review products you haven’t used but that you know about. But if you do that, you shouldn’t copy reviews from Amazon or other product review websites that you find.
Following the Amazon affiliate rules can mean the difference between successfully making extra money and getting kicked out of the program.
If you want an easy way to promote your Amazon affiliate links, start a blog on your website. I’d love to help you create content or a strategy to help market your favorite products.