Welcome to episode 176 of the Food Blogger Pro podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork interviews Chris Guthrie about making affiliate marketing work for you.
Last week on the podcast, we re-shared episode #24 with Ali Martin from Gimme Some Oven. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.
Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
This is the greatest time of year. No, not because of the holidays…because it’s gift guide season!
Joking aside, gift guides are just one of the many ways that you can make affiliate marketing work for you, and that’s exactly why Chris is here.
He’s sharing some unique strategies for affiliate marketing, and he chats about important keywords for affiliate marketing, optimization, and more.
If you’re looking for ways to up your affiliate income game, this episode is for you!
In this episode, Chris shares:
- Why he started product review sites
- Why buyer intent is important and how to create content around it
- Why keywords like “best” and “top” are helpful for affiliate marketing
- The biggest mistakes affiliates make
- How you can authentically use affiliate links
- How you can win an optimization session with Chris
Listen to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast below or check it out on iTunes, Google Play Music, or Spotify:
- Top 7 Tips I Used to Make $41,438.42 in 2009 with Amazon Associates
- Amazon Associates Program Fee Schedule
- Amazon OneLink
- Up Fuel
- Follow Chris on Twitter
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].
Thanks to our Reviewer of the Week, Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest! If you’d like to be featured, leave a review for us on iTunes and include your name and blog name in the review.
If you’d like to jump to the comments section, click here.
Alexa Peduzzi: Hey, Hey, wonderful listener. Alexa here. And you know that when we start an episode of the Food Blogger Pro Podcast with a cold open like this that it typically means something big is happening. And it’s true. Food Blogger Pro enrollment is now open but only for a few more days. We’ll actually close enrollment for the entire year this Thursday, November 15th. And we would absolutely love for you to be a part of our last enrollment class of 2018. And if you’re ready, you can sign up at foodbloggerpro.com/signup right now.
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Alexa Peduzzi: Again you can signup right now at foodbloggerpro.com/signup and if you have any questions or hesitations, my email address again is [email protected] All right on to the episode.
Alexa Peduzzi: In this episode Bjork talks to Chris Guthrie about rocking your affiliate income as a blogger.
Alexa Peduzzi: Hello again friend, you’re listening to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast and we are so excited that you’re here. I love this time of year so very much and I’m sure I’m not alone with that. Quarter four is such a busy time for bloggers, food bloggers especially because everyone is looking for recipes for their holiday meals. But at last this time of year is magical. American Thanksgiving is coming up next week already and then comes holiday gift guide season. You know all about gift guides, right.
Alexa Peduzzi: They’re the posts that bloggers publish full of gift ideas, things like for the home cook, for the teenage girl or for the boyfriend who’s impossible to shop for. I love checking out blogger’s gift guides and as bloggers, gift guides are actually an incredible way to make some extra mula. So I’m talking about affiliate income and that’s actually the topic of today’s episode. Chris is an affiliate marketing fiend and he’s chatting about affiliate marketing strategies and affiliate marketing plugin, how the Amazon Affiliate Program works and so much more. So if you’re looking to up your affiliate marketing game, this episode is for you. Let’s jump in.
Bjork Ostrom: Chris, welcome to the podcast.
Chris Guthrie: Thank you so much for having me.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s fun to have you on the podcast. We’ve connected a couple of different times at a conference once, we had a call way back in the day. It was may be like four years ago and then recently reconnected again. So it’s good to be back connected up and to be chatting here with you on the podcast.
Chris Guthrie: Yeah, it’s fun because I think we’re in this space long enough if you can make those connections, it’s important to try and continue to do that. And it’s so great to see you randomly. I was like, Oh, it’s Bjork.
Bjork Ostrom: Wait a minute. Yeah, in real life it’s such a strange thing.
Chris Guthrie: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: So one of the things that we’re gonna be focusing in on here today is we’re gonna be talking about Amazon and Affiliate Links. And you have a lot of experience with that. Not only in creating products around that but also building sites around that. And I know just a little bit of your story but for those that aren’t as familiar, can you share a little a bit, you can rewind the tape. We like to hear kind of the origin story of where people started. And then one of the things I would love to hear specifically with your story is the review site that you built.
Bjork Ostrom: What was that and kind of the outcome from building that review site? So kind of a spark note’s version of who Chris Guthrie is and then talking about that tech site as well.
Chris Guthrie: Yeah, perfect. So I’ve started doing various things and I first found that you could make money online when I was looking at someone’s Nintendo GameCube website, several Nintendo consoles ago. I saw this little message at the bottom it said, ads by Google, and I was like, huh, this interesting. So I contacted the owner, I was like, hey this is kind of forward of me but how much do you make from these little ads? And he was like, oh, $2 a day or something. And I thought well, I mean if it’s … that’s still money and if you get a lot more people to look at your website then you can probably make more money.
Bjork Ostrom: And I feel like it’s money from something that seems so fun.
Chris Guthrie: Exactly.
Bjork Ostrom: You’re talking about the GameCube and getting $2 a day, like it’s a win, win.
Chris Guthrie: Exactly, so I was like, I don’t know 12 or 13 years ago, and I thought okay, I’m gonna do this. So I started building out … I started doing various forums, some of them are related to video games and things like that but even at like the peak of these forums I was getting maybe half a million page views a month from my most popular one. It was still maybe $500 a month in ad cents and I was thinking man this is just … I need so much traffic to actually make a lot more money or the traffic that I’m getting is just not valuable enough. And that was kind of the very early thing for me to think okay, what can I do where I’m still making these websites and having fun doing to. I’m making money, but it’s something where the traffic is more valuable. And that’s really what led me to doing product review websites.
Chris Guthrie: And so I thought, okay, I’m gonna create websites that are review based because the keyword people are searching for are gonna be more focused on buying something. So if it’s just really any keyword you can think of right now with the word review or best or top or things like that. After that keyword, then people are more likely to buy something and that was really the idea I went with and then that was my kind of why I started doing Amazon Affiliate Sites. And I started building various tech type review sites and things like that.
Chris Guthrie: I had one kind of primary site that was driving a larger portion of my affiliate commissions but ultimately it was about … nine years ago in October I was fired from my day job because I think they knew that I was not really that committed to this company because I was doing a side business whereas most their employees were just kind of drinking in the evenings and never try to do anything else. Anyways, but fortunately at the time after I got fired, my Amazon Affiliate account had already surpassed my day job income so I was like, okay, well, this is my thing now. So I just started doing that and that was nine years.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it. And one of the things that’s kind of fun about your story is one of those sites you had built and then somebody came and said, “Hey, we’re actually interested in acquiring this.” So you sold one of those sites early on, can you talk about what that experience was like and what that felt like to go through that process?
Chris Guthrie: Definitely, so one of the very first conferences I went to, it’s not really around anymore, so it’s not even worth mentioning but it was a much higher end conference. I’d pay $5,000 to go to it. Then two weeks after I got back that’s when I got fired so I was like, dang, I just used like a large chunk of my income for the month for my website to pay for this. But I met people that since then were, looking back, so it’s hard to connect the dots of how things will lay out as life happens to you. And it’s really easier to see that when you look backwards.
Chris Guthrie: And even now, some of the people I met back then I just spoke with them a few weeks ago and he actually introduced me to an investment bank that’s … I can’t remember where they’re based of now, but he introduced me to them and said, “Hey, this guy has … he’s got a site, it’s a little bit smaller than what you’re usually sell,” because they were usually selling sites in the seven figure range whereas my sell was gonna be in six figures. And said, “Hey, just go ahead and go forward with this sell and then he may have something else in the future to work with.”
Chris Guthrie: I was able to use these investment bankers, listed the site for sell, sold it, it was a nice exit for me and because it’s been so long now, it’s like I forget where everything kind of fell together. But I used the proceeds from that to start getting into doing software things and EasyAzon and other types of WordPress plugins and things like that, way back then.
Bjork Ostrom: One of the things that you had mentioned that I feel like is really important to point out and a really good perspective for people to have that listen to this podcast is the way that you approached content as somebody who is thinking strategically about affiliate marketing and about using Amazon links. And you had mentioned that just kind of briefly this idea of being strategic about the types of keywords that people are using and for a lot of people, myself included, that are a part of our community think about keywords like chocolate cookies, or peach cobbler. Like how do we rank high for a specific keyword related to recipe or diet or nutrition or something like that?
Bjork Ostrom: But in your world a lot of times people are thinking strategically not about just generic traffic but generic traffic that has buyer intent and that being such an important thing. And it doesn’t have to be everything that you do. I feel like it’s important for us to talk a little bit about what buyer intent is and how we can go about creating content that potentially has a keyword or ranks for people who are searching for things that have buyer intent. So can you talk about what that is and how you can be strategic about that from an affiliate marketing or Amazon Affiliate perspective?
Chris Guthrie: Definitely, so I think that, I’ll give an example, so if you’re typing in what is and HDMI cable? It’s very, very likely that that person is probably not looking to buy one, maybe they are looking to buy one, but they’re just looking for something for informational perspective. Whereas, if they’re thinking review of Belkin model number, cable, or top five Belkin HDMI cables, something along those lines. Or best TVs, best Samsung HD TV of 2018. Those types of keywords are much more … it’s much more likely that searching that term is likely to buy.
Chris Guthrie: So I think that if you’re thinking about it in the context of people that are in your space, there are similar keywords that you would think of for what you’re doing as well. So it could be like x number of tools that you might use to make … and this is funny because I don’t know much about food but whatever tools you use to make nice things I see that are posted on Instagram and-
Bjork Ostrom: Fill in those blanks, yeah.
Chris Guthrie: So anyways I’m giving away I don’t really know that much about making nice food but anyways, so that’s kind of like the general idea of doing buyer intent. So when we’re doing Amazon Affiliate type sites and why then in the past it’s much more like okay what’s a niche that we can go into and then what are the types of keywords in companies that we can build out-
Bjork Ostrom: … types of keywords and content that we can build out. And then either creating it yourself if you’re just getting started out and don’t have as much cash available or paying writers do it for you.
Chris Guthrie: Got it. So do you have an example of either somebody that you know or like a site that you know, a site that you’ve built that you’ve gone through the process of thinking through that saying, "Okay, I know that there’s going to be a lot of people that are searching for this specific thing. I’m going to build a site around that and then what the result of that was.
Bjork Ostrom: Well, I don’t know if I can say the sites like the site that I sold specifically, the URL, but what you can pretty much do is if you just think of a specific consumer, electronics, or something like that.
Chris Guthrie: You can use blenders, blenders would be a good example.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, if you were to look for, especially, specific brand names and then search for reviews. You’re eventually going to find sites that aren’t related to you. Maybe what we’ll do after this is maybe find one so you can put in the show notes or something.
Chris Guthrie: Great, but you’ll find eventually that there are sites that are very clearly someone’s Creating this content and it’s for affiliate purposes, right? Because it’s not just an amazon.com listing and it’s not some other major site. I’ll find one and then we can link in the show notes.
Bjork Ostrom: Awesome, that’s great. The reason why I think it’s important to point that out and to be aware of that is because, again, I think for this niche for the way that we think about content, so often we think about content that is first and foremost traffic oriented and is ad income or maybe sponsorship type income. But for the listeners, as you’re thinking about the type of content that you can build, it’s important to think about the other types of ways that you can create content that creates an income for your site and for your business. One of those ways is by creating buyer intent, affiliate related content, so a post or page on your blog.
Bjork Ostrom: But one of the questions that I would have and I’m sure that other people have is how do you know if it’s going to be something that’s worth pursuing? How do you know if there’s enough people that are searching for it or once they do search for it, how do you know if they’ll actually click and convert? Are there tools that you can use or suggestions that you’d have for people that where they can start to understand that a little better?
Chris Guthrie: Yeah, so I’d like to look at pretty much anytime I’m looking at content, so it’s really anything online. It’s a lot of what I’m thinking about is just how I can differentiate what I might try and create versus what has already been created. But first you need to see what actually has been created out there in the first place, right? If you have an idea for an article that you could create, I would search that idea to see what people are already saying about that. You could do this manually using just google, of course, but you could also use a tool like SEMrush or aatrust.com. Those tools are good. I like to use those tools just to analyze what various pages my competitors may be ranking for and then also where they’re getting most of their traffic from.
Chris Guthrie: So that can give me then further ideas for content to create or just ways that I can look at how a topic has already been covered. Because at this stage of the internet, something’s always been covered, right? But there’s always ways to do it differently or to do it better. Those are a couple tools and ways that I would look for that.
Bjork Ostrom: Awesome, and then how about on page? Once somebody is there, are there ways that the low hanging fruit that people can think about when it comes to optimizing a page for clicks or for conversions as it relates to affiliate income?
Chris Guthrie: Yeah, so one of the most common errors I see especially people that are first starting out with Amazon’s Affiliate Program is when they are … They’ll write this huge long 2000 or 3000 word post about whatever the topic might be, and they might be talking about a specific product throughout that post but they only really mentioned, “Hey, buy this on Amazon with a link at the very end,” or maybe a couple links throughout there. So really if you can find more ways to include links. One of the things I used to do is like if I’m talking about something that’s a consumer electronic product, then I’d say, “Here are some of the specs but click this link to see all the specs.” It would take them to Amazon because the goal is to just provide as much information as possible, but then to get them over to Amazon because then they can convert pretty well.
Chris Guthrie: But that’s one example. If there are images of the product that you might be talking about in your content, you can convert that into an affiliate link. If there are comparisons you want to link to and you want to say, “Hey, here’s this product versus this product.” That’s something you could do. Anything like that or you find more ways to include links, and then creative ways to get people to go to Amazon can be really effective.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and it’s interesting because it’s a little bit of a mindset shift where usually you’re thinking about, “How do I keep people on my page and my website as long as possible?” In the example of monetizing through affiliate links, it’s how do I get them to leave? Like not how do I get them to stay but what does it look like to get them to the place where they would make the final purchase of whatever that product is? It makes sense that you’re thinking, “Okay, what does it look like to provide that link to make that clear and to make sure people know that they’re able to click over and get there?” You had mentioned Amazon as being the affiliate program, can you talk about why the Amazon Affiliate Program is such a popular and attractive affiliate program versus other affiliate networks or other ways that you can do affiliate advertising?
Chris Guthrie: I think the biggest reason is it’s just been around for so long. I think they’ve had the Affiliate Program around since the late ’90s or maybe early 2000s but you know. Then, of course, everyone is using Amazon so it’s just if you’re using another affiliate program for say a different retailer, then there’s a high probability that unless that product’s only available to that retailer, people will just look at it there and then just go buy it on Amazon anyways. Rather than trying to fight it, you just give in.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s like everybody’s using it so everybody’s using it.
Chris Guthrie: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: The power in the reach.
Chris Guthrie: It’s a basic reason. In the past, back in 2017, they used to provide you a variable, a referral rate based on how much you referred so that one of the reasons would be always use Amazon because the more people you send there and the more sales you get, then you get a higher commission rate. Now they have like a fixed rate per category. You will find though that in some niches it’s better to use other affiliate programs. I have some content sites that don’t use Amazon at all because it doesn’t really make that much sense to use them. But so I wouldn’t say ignore the other affiliate programs, but if it’s something that is a typical consumer good that can be purchased then just use Amazon.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it. One of the things that you had mentioned was the tiers for different categories and the price percentage. Can you talk about … Obviously, these aren’t going to be numbers you have off your top of your head and we can link to that in the show notes where it gives an overview of that. But just the different parts of an affiliate program that you should be aware of in terms of the different terms and the different numbers as a publisher that you need to be aware of and what those are in general terms for Amazon?
Chris Guthrie: Yeah, so you want to know the mechanism with which your page through any affiliate program. Some affiliate programs might be just you’re paid when they sign up and put their email address in. There’d be like a CPA type offer and it may be $1 or 2 or something.
Bjork Ostrom: And CPA is standing for?
Chris Guthrie: Cost per acquisition.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it.
Chris Guthrie: But in the context of Amazon Affiliate Program it would be when someone buys something, that’s when you get paid. I actually do happen to have the percentage is up for them so I can give some examples specifically.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, great.
Chris Guthrie: If you’re saying something that’s in … Let me see if I can find something specific to … Well, I’ll just pick something else. If it’s Amazon fashion, women, or men’s and kids, private label, luxury beauty Amazon Coins, that’s 10%. If it’s video games and video game consoles, it’s 1%. Amazon gift cards and wine is 0%. That’s something that I believe they used to pay for but they don’t anymore. Then there’s all those different categories and again we can link to this later. Then it says all of the categories 4%. There’s just a range between that single digit percentage on up to that 10% range.
Bjork Ostrom: Which is interesting because it used to go up to like six, seven, eight just generically. Is that right?
Chris Guthrie: Yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: What was the top two before?
Chris Guthrie: Yeah, eight and a half percent was the peak that you get to and then so I would … One of the things I used to do is try and buy other smaller Amazon sites just to get more sales because then it would retroactively prove that higher percentage to all the proxies done throughout the month. But, yeah, it’s not applicable anymore. Another thing that I should mention too is that each affiliate program is going to have a different, beyond just how you get paid, but they’re going to have a different way that they track it. Amazon’s Affiliate Program is a 24 hour cookie and so once someone clicks something from that moment in time, 24 hours after that, anything that they buy, it doesn’t even matter if it’s a thing that you link to that, you’ll get a commission on it. I had like I’ve never had any watch related websites but I referred some watch sales thousands of dollars for a watch and then got a couple hundred dollars on the commission.
Chris Guthrie: Because it’s just something they happened to buy. This is like another thing to keep in mind too, if you’re going to think about your content calendar or how you’re trying to schedule your content, making sure you really hit on Prime Day doing things for Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Even if you’re not really and you won’t be that focused on just specific products if you listen to this podcast. Maybe you are outside the niche, but if you’re just focusing on those days, you can do pretty well. That’s something to keep in mind. One other thing I’ll mention is that if you get someone to click the item and add to their shopping cart and there’s some ways that you can create links to do that, then it’s 30 days cookie length. If someone comes back and buys it later then you can still get a longer time for that sale to convert.
Bjork Ostrom: Oh, interesting. So point being if somebody has put something in their cart but they didn’t buy it, then that cookie life extends to 30 days. Essentially, it was saying like, “Okay, you get credit for this if they check out within the next 30 days.”
Chris Guthrie: Exactly, for that specific item, yeah.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it and that makes sense too when you were saying it’s a great, great little tip and takeaway is for those days where people will be buying A lot from Amazon, it makes sense if you are talking about Amazon and linking to Amazon because if they click that link, there’s a really good chance that people are just going to be buying more in general. If you can get credit for that, it doesn’t have to be the thing that you recommended because it can be anything. During those periods of time would be peak time to talk about and share Amazon links.
Chris Guthrie: Yeah, if you take nothing away from this podcast and you have reasonable amount of traffic on your site right now and you just create some content around Black Friday and Cyber Monday this holiday season, then you’re going to make some extra money that you were probably not going to make before.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s interesting. Yeah and it’s interesting even to pull up the … When I’m looking at Pinch of Yum’s referrals here, this is a great example where one of the products that we have referred is a Buccaneer Pirate Costume. I don’t know for certain but I’m guessing that there’s nowhere on the blog that we talk about that but apparently somebody clicked on an Amazon link and then went over and bought that Buccaneer costume. Which, if you’re listening to this podcast, you bought that, I hope that it’s a great, great buy. It sounds like it is. In terms of promoting the content, let’s say that, let’s use an example. Let’s say that you started a food blog, somehow you got inspired in your food and recipe development knowledge went through the roof.
Bjork Ostrom: You have 100,000 pages a month, but it’s primarily people that are coming for a singular piece of content without necessarily being in a buying mindset, they’re more in a, “I want to make this recipe mindset?” What are some ways that people can strategically and authentically start to think about including and mentioning Amazon affiliate links within their content?
Chris Guthrie: Yeah, so I think that if, especially, if you had something …
Chris Guthrie: Yeah so I think that if … especially if you had something, say it’s just a standard blog post. Or not standard but maybe it’s a blog post about some recipe that you’ve made, I think that you can just kind of say, especially if you have pictures of what you’re doing or pictures of some of the tools you’re using. Then you could say here’s … if it’s the bowl and then a mixing spatula or something, something along those lines. This is that item, right?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah.
Chris Guthrie: So that’s some of the easiest ways, you could do … one actual thing I just thought of is that Amazon’s starting to add more and more food items on there so if you happen to be using items that are sold on Amazon, you could say here’s how you can buy that specific recipe. And you can bundle together all those different items and then they could click a single link and then add that to your shopping cart. So that’s something that you can do as well with other software and stuff.
Bjork Ostrom: Can you talk about that? What that looks like and how that would work because it’s different than just linking to a specific ingredient item. You talked about bundling it all together and then adding to cart. So how does that work and how do you go about doing that?
Chris Guthrie: So there might be a manual method to do it, I’m not as aware of. That’s something that we have in our WordPress plugin that we built. Is so that if you want to make a shopping list of things and you can add a bunch of different items and then they click a link and then it gives you a prompt on Amazon to add, say seven items to your shopping cart click continue. And then they can do that. So that’s like something you can do that would help. I see that lot especially the fashion space people will do that. They’ll have like, here’s all these different pieces that people are wearing and then you can, if you like this outfit, I click it and then buy the whole thing.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it.
Chris Guthrie: So something like that.
Bjork Ostrom: And you’ll see that whether it’s somebody wearing a certain outfit or if they kind of lay everything out and they do a photo of here’s a combination of different clothes that you could be wearing. Assembling a different outfit and then saying essentially with one single click you can go and you can check out and get everything that I’ve highlighted here.
Chris Guthrie: Exactly, yes.
Bjork Ostrom: And you had mentioned your plugin, do you want to talk about that a little bit? What it is and maybe kind of where that came from? Why you created that and what are some of the things that it does?
Chris Guthrie: Yeah, so it’s EasyAzon. So it’s just easyazon.com and I’m sure you’ll probably have a link after in the show notes or whatever. I created that plugin because way back when I was first building these Amazon affiliate sites I was really frustrated with the process of going to Amazon’s website and then clicking that little side stripe, you know, link to this page. Then copying the code and then going back into the WordPress editor and then pasting it in there. And so I thought let’s just build that all into the plugin, or the WordPress editor itself. So now you just click a button and then you can search for various products, create links for … a text link, an image link, you can do a link that’s like an add to cart button. So all those different types of things and then just put that into the plugin and make it simpler to create that.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it. It removes the step of having to bounce back and forth between Amazon and your WordPress site. So everything is there tied into your WordPress account but it still is linking when you want it to, using your Amazon link.
Chris Guthrie: Yeah. And the other thing to is we built in some … and obviously if you have any, again using your example, if it’s a hundred thousand page users a month, you’re likely to have some of that traffic coming from international. So one of the things we’ll do too is we can redirect that international traffic to the correct location. It’s not always a hundred percent matching the exact product that they’re looking for because it might not be available in the store or it’s more like a search for that product in the other location. Anyway so when you redirect that traffic then you can make money from Amazon’s other affiliate programs outside of maybe the main demographic or main country that you’re targeting.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it.
Chris Guthrie: So that’s really one of the main things that people use the plugin for. I’ve had people come up to me at conferences and be like hey, I’m making an extra couple thousand dollars a month from international traffic that would have just went to Amazon.com and you wouldn’t have been credited on it.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and so the idea with that is obviously Internet, global, so people are coming from all over the place. You can see that in Google Analytics. And if you are using just a plain vanilla, let’s say you are in the U.S. and using just a plain vanilla Amazon link. Or let’s say you’re in the U.K. and trying to figure out which type of link do I use. Do I use one for the generic amazon.com or would I do a dot code U.K. link. And you’re having to make that decision. Essentially what you’re saying is you can have it all. You can have your cake and eat it too. You can use that single link and then the software will redirect people to the appropriate landing page, or one that’s close to the product that you had recommended.
Chris Guthrie: Yeah. And the way in which … the actual mechanism for that may be changing in terms of how we implement it. Amazon’s done some things on their side as well to kinda do this as well with their own one link program which is kinda somewhat similar. But anyway, that might be changing in the future. But that’s something to keep in mind if you’re linking in to Amazon products then you can make more money by taking advantage of the international traffic as well.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Yeah, great tip and a great thing to think about especially if you are somebody who’s leaned heavily into or are interested in doing Amazon links, knowing that and remembering the globalness of your website and also the audience that you can serve. And there’s been a couple people that have reached out and we have it set up to do that. And have said hey, it’s so nice when I click on something and it goes to the appropriate landing page for this, which is awesome.
Bjork Ostrom: So if somebody’s never gone about doing affiliate marketing, they’ve never gone about using Amazon links, they’re just looking to get started. What would you recommend for somebody as the first steps to make sure that they’re kind of capturing this important part of having an online business? How would they go about taking those first steps to implement the most important things?
Chris Guthrie: Let me think here. Are you thinking more about just getting set up to actually start creating the first affiliate links type of thing?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, what would that look like and how would you know … what would your advice be for the first piece of content that you focus on optimizing? Let’s say somebody has some posts that have some traffic, should they focus on those first and try to find creative ways to start folding in Amazon links into that? What would your recommendation be for getting started?
Chris Guthrie: Yeah so I definitely would say that if you don’t have established traffic, one of the easiest ways to make more money from the traffic that you’re getting is to look at where are you getting that traffic. And then finding ways to improve the monetization for those specific pages. So that could be as simple as if there’s a page that gets a lot of traffic and you’re talking about some products but you’re not really linking to them. Then just simply adding affiliate links into those pages.
Chris Guthrie: If you’re really new and just starting out, then just signing up for Amazon’s affiliate program is really straight forward. You just have to have an existing website already set up before you apply. And then also too, because again every space and niche is different, there are other affiliate programs you could sign up for, other affiliate networks. And you might find other affiliate offers. I think I’ve probably used dozens of affiliate networks over the years. For various niches because some niches, certain networks, are gonna have more offers and more things available. That’s be another part.
Chris Guthrie: Another thing to keep in mind too if you’re using Amazon’s affiliate program you’ve got to put a little disclaimer that says you’re participant in the Amazon associates program on your website to comply. So that’s another thing is just keeping track of making sure you look at the rules that they have so you don’t break those because you don’t want to get banned or anything. So that’s kind of some of the basis I’d say.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s great. And as we’re coming to the end here one of the things that you had mentioned is … and we can share about this in a little bit, is number one a give away. So doing EasyAzon and I want you to talk a little bit more about EasyAzon at the end here. What that is, how people can check it out, how they can learn more about that, potentially use it on their site. But we’re gonna do a giveaway so if there’s one take away that you had from this episode, one thing that you felt like was oh, that’s something that I can implement and start using on my site or on my blog to experiment with and potentially create some income from Amazon’s associate program.
Bjork Ostrom: You can go and leave a comment on the show notes, the blog post for this. And you can get there by going to foodbloggerpro.com/176, those are the numbers you don’t want to write it out, actually typing in the numbers foodbloggerpro.com/176. That will redirect you to the page for the show notes for this episode. Leave a comment with your number one take away and then what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna go in after that, pick one of those people and Chris you said that you could meet up with that person, maybe do a little screen share and talk them through some of things that they can implement on their blog and some improvements that they can make and potentially how EasyAzon could also help with that. So kind of an optimization conversation is that right?
Chris Guthrie: Definitely. Yeah, I mean I love talking about website optimization and just in general right, beyond just Amazon’s affiliate program.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool.
Chris Guthrie: But that way I can … happy to help out someone.
Bjork Ostrom: Awesome that’s great, thank for doing that, super awesome. So that’ll be for anybody listening in real time to this podcast. You can go and we’ll set a date on that. Make sure to get those comments in by the 23rd of November. But before we wrap up, would love to hear from you Chris a little bit more about EasyAzon. What that is, how people can check that out and how they can start using that for their site if they want to up their Amazon game a little bit.
Chris Guthrie: Yeah so it’s just easyazon.com is the site and again there will probably be a link in the show notes. But it’s pretty much the very first software product that I ever created. Since then I’ve done a lot of others. I think that our very first version was way back in 2011 or 2012 to give some timing. And we have over 10,000 websites that use it. Basically it’s just anything that is related to Amazon’s affiliate program, it helps you with saving time and then also just helping you make more money for the clicks that you do get through the link localization, stuff we had built into the plugin. And also too just the time that you save through creating those links as opposed to going and doing it manually through Amazon’s website or doing some other strategies. So that’s kind of the main high low overview of how it works.
Chris Guthrie: You can check out, we have a video that kind of shows how it does and all different features. But overall it’s just if there’s a way to make it better and more user friendly, that’s where we kind of aim with the plugin. And certainly if there’s feedback that people have then we’re looking for that as well. We’ve probably done hundreds of different updates now over the years to the plugin.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool, that’s great. And then how about you personally Chris. Where can people follow along with you online?
Chris Guthrie: Yeah, so best way probably is just my blog which as of this recording I don’t publish that frequently but it’s just upfuel.com. And I’m at Twitter @chrisguthrie.
Bjork Ostrom: Awesome, great. Chris thank you so much for coming on the podcast. Really fun to chat.
Chris Guthrie: Yeah, thanks so much for the invite.
Alexa Peduzzi: And that’s that. Thanks for tuning in this week friends. Instead of a traditional reviewer of the week right now, I’m actually going to read you one of the testimonials that one of our members left about Food Blogger Pro.
Alexa Peduzzi: This testimonial comes from Tieghan from the amazingly gorgeous blog Half Baked Harvest. And it says Food Blogger Pro is a great tool for any blogger whether you’re in the development stages or are looking to step things up. Food Blogger Pro will help you avoid timely and potentially costly mistakes by providing tips that have already been tested. I wish Food Blogger Pro had been around when I started my site. It would have made things so much easier.
Alexa Peduzzi: We’d love to have you as a member friend and you can head to foodbloggerpro.com to sign up and learn more. And that does it for us this week. Thanks for listing and from all of us here at FBP HQ, make it a great week.
Thanks for this great podcast! I hadn’t thought about bundling products through Amazon and am keen to have a look at EasyAzon.
EasyAzon sounds fantastic as I am a hardcore Amazon affiliate user!
If you try it out, tell me what you think 🙂
The idea of writing with the intent to move a reader OFF my site and ON to Amazon is something new to think about. I’ll have to check out EasyAzon. thanks for the podcast!
Great podcast as always! My question about afflliate marketing on Amazon…(or anywhere else) what about photo permissions? Perhaps you are raving about your Electrolux mixer, but would also like to suggest Kitchenaid and want to include a photo. Do we take the photo from Amazon? Or do we do obtain photos a more copyright appropriate way? Thanks!!
When it comes to linking to products on Amazon we just use the image that comes up with EasyAzon and haven’t had any issues.
If you want to use images beyond that you could search for commercial use royalty free images to include or look for a press kit from a brand. We don’t typically go to that extreme though that’s my non legal expert opinion.
Hi Bjork and Chris! I am such a fan of the FBP podcast and have listened to every episode! I loved this episode as I always do. Thank you for the reminder to link to Amazon whenever possible throughout a post, including ingredients, items used for a recipe, etc. I also learned about getting people to add items to their Amazon cart and thereby, increasing cookie time to 30 days – great advice. As a blogger in France, I have been using a monthly service to redirect Amazon links, so I will definitely be checking out EasyAzon. Thanks so much!
What a great podcast and great fresh perspective. I’m still in the process of building my site and making major foundational decisions; of course, I’m always thinking of the customer, but targeting “info seeking behavior” versus “buying behavior”, is a key paradigm shift. Thank you!
Also, keying in on international affiliate $$ was a huge eye-opener! It never even crossed my mind! Information like this, that FBP provides, can help my website dreams come true!
Glad you enjoyed it! Buyer intent content can be really profitable and regardless of the niche, there are ways to incorporate it into your strategy.
Thanks so much for having me on! I’m happy to answer any follow up questions and you can also reach me direct via chris at upfuel dot com.
My biggest takeaway is that I am probably doing it wrong and would looove some time with Chris Guthrie. 🙂
Thank you Bjork and Chris for sharing such great information about ways to monetize with Amazon affiliate links. I would love to learn more about adding a few recipe ingredients directly to an Amazon shopping list/cart with EasyAzon. I also have questions about products listed on Amazon (US or CAD) and their availability in different countries and such. Amazing podcast as always! Thanks!
I’ve been WAITING for this podcast. It was SO helpful and provided such a mind shift for me. I’m happy to be focusing on content I know my readers WANT… but I’m also realizing I’ve got to find ways to monetize — and justify all of this time invested! I’ve included a handful of amazon affiliate links but NOTHING compared to what I’m sure is possible. A huge takeaway for me was the idea of writing content with the intent of attracting someone looking to buy something, with appropriate key words etc. And providing links all throughout a post… with references as Chris suggested. “Go check out the specs here.” Also a little worried I’m breaking the rules.. hoping I don’t get banned. Ha! Definitely need a little Chris in my life. Thanks for all you do!