Setting up an Amazon affiliate store is a pretty lucrative endeavour. Minimal effort for maximum returns is the logical aim, but only to facilitate that you’ll need to deal with the technological side. It’s actually not a particularly difficult task; if you follow the seven steps in this article, you’ll be ready to rake in the cash in no time.
The great news is that using the same concepts you can set up an affiliate store with other retailers too, broadening your financial horizons immeasurably. Promoting retail products without holding stock means that no drop shipping is required; all you need is your computer and a little time to do the basic administrative tasks. You won’t have to process any orders or deal with any customers, which is what makes the program so attractive in the first place.
Here is what you’ll need to do to get your Amazon affiliate store underway:
Get Yourself a Domain Name
As nobody wants to shell out cash unnecessarily, choose a reliable but affordable domain name registrar like GoDaddy or Internetbs. Once you’ve chosen your provider, you’ll need to come up with an appropriate name.
The kind of domain name you opt for is important. Lengthy, obscure names aren’t going to be memorable, so even if customers bookmark it, they may not locate it easily later. If you can come up with a name that’s like a brand of its own, this is ideal.
You should choose short keywords related to the kind of products you’re selling; for example, if you’re selling skincare products, go for something like skincareempire.com, skincarenow.com, or skincaremart.com. These names are both memorable and congruent with the products.
Get a Web Hosting Account
You’ve got a domain name, but that’s no use without web hosting. Again, this doesn’t have to be expensive – you can expect a monthly fee of around $8 to $10 – and you’ll easily recoup that when your store takes off.
You can usually get web hosting with your domain name provider, but prices vary. Popular webhosting providers include HostGator, BlueHost and Siteground, all of which offer various plans based on your anticipated usage. Choose according to your specific needs to increase your SEO power, as well as your sales potential. There are a range of WordPress hosting options open to you, from free to VPS, dedicated, shared, and managed.
If (as many affiliates do) you’re thinking of setting up several domains, it makes sense to take a package that allows you to host a reasonable number. Also, if you’re not using the same supplier for your domain and your hosting, you should make sure you have your hosting account nameservers handy. This way you can easily point your domains to the hosting account. Once you’ve done this, it should all be ready to go by the next day.
Make Sure You Have An SSL Certificate
SSL (Secure Sockets Layers) are online encryption protocols that ensure information is exchanged securely; they provide certificate information that assures your website visitors that the site is legitimate and their information is going to be safe. It might help to know that it’s sometimes called TLS (Transport Layer Security protocol), so look out for that too.
Most web browsers have a little SSL icon within the address bar, so that the visitors can click on this to see your certification status, identification, etc. When you have an SSL certificate, your website is more secure, which allows you to accept personal details and card numbers, process payments, and more. You can probably get your SSL certificate with your web hosting provider.
The next stage in the process is to install WordPress on your hosting account. Go to WordPress.org or WordPress.com. This is a quick and simple process. It’s also free, which is a bonus.
If you’ve opted for a HostGator account, you can use their installation guide; if not, your chosen web hosting provider will surely have a guide you can use. There will be some configuration required, but it’s nothing too taxing.
Sign up for your Amazon Affiliate account
Now you will need to set up your Amazon affiliate account. This doesn’t cost anything either (although there will obviously be fees dependent on your usage). It is merely a case of following the steps on the sign up page, which you can access through the Amazon affiliate program overview.
There are no particular skills required, so if you’re not a webmaster or web developer, it’s no issue. You simply need to know how to cut-and-paste so that you can link to the products, categories, best sellers, etc.
Install the Necessary Plugins
There are two plugins required to set yourself up as an Amazon affiliate: WooCommerce and WooCommerce Amazon Associates. WooCommerce basically simplifies the process of adding affiliate products to your site.
This can be done automatically, as WordPress will manage the file transfer. You will be able to find the WooCommerce plugin inside the ‘Plugins’ section in the WordPress admin panel. Do this by selecting ‘add new’, then type ‘projects’ into the search bar; next, select ‘search plugins’. Before installing, ensure that WooThemes is the author, and click ‘install now’. WordPress will do the rest.
Installing WooCommerce Amazon Associates
It’s also necessary to install WooCommerce Amazon Associates, but this one you’ll need to pay for. It’s not as cheap at the domain name and monthly hosting, but the license is unlikely to break the bank at $42. What’s more, that license can be used on every store you ever set up – it’s a one-time purchase.
The point of this extremely handy plugin is that it makes it easy for you to choose products on Amazon add them to your store. You can also drive recommendations based on a key phrase, so you can conveniently choose other similar products for your store. There is also a function called keyword click, which auto-searches keywords for import.
Fill your store with products
At this point, you’re only one step away from being Amazon affiliate. All you need to do now is add the products you want to sell. Now that you’ve got the WooCommerce plugins, this process is simple.
To add a product, go to ‘Products’, and then select ‘Add New’. Give the product an appropriate, straightforward title and add your description. You should also put in the metadata in the product data meta field (this information is displayed on the shop front page and in search engines). Then go to ‘Product type’ and choose ‘External/Affiliate Product’.
Next, add the product affiliate URL, which you can find in the Amazon Associates account dashboard. Search the product and select ‘get link’, then paste it into the WordPress product edit page. You won’t be able to enter a price, as consumers must be able to check the price on Amazon. Finally, upload an image or gallery.
That’s it – you just need to publish it and your store is live. There are more tweaks you can do as you familiarize yourself with your store, but for now you’ve got the basics. So… go forth and prosper!