Affiliate marketers usually sign up with affiliate programs or associate programs, and they get to promote the products and/or services that are sold by that associate marketing program, and they get paid for it. One of those associate marketing programs is Amazon.
Amazon has set some pretty strong records: being the first online retail store (or one of them); having one of the first online associate marketing programs, and being quite possibly the largest online retail store now. Amazon Associates, Amazon’s associate program, has been around since 1996, allowing affiliate marketers to promote their products, both new and used, and paying them referral fees. An affiliate marketer just has to own a site or a blog, join Amazon Associates (for free), select the products they want to promote, create links, and they are all set. However, Amazon has a reputation to uphold, and terms of service that the affiliate marketers have to comply with. When you have teamed up with Amazon Associates, there are certain things you absolutely cannot do, or you would get banned from the affiliate program and lose out on a rather good affiliate marketing partnership. Also, there are some things you cannot do with Amazon’s associate program because they could hurt your affiliate marketing business.
Things You Should Not Do With Amazon Associates
- Do Not List Prices of Products and/or Services
This is basically the same thing as ‘focus on pre-selling’. Amazon does not allow its affiliate marketers to list the prices of products on their affiliate sites. Amazon tends to change its prices frequently due to sales and discounts. Most affiliate marketers, on the other hand, tend to leave their blogs or sites for stretches of time without updating them. As such, the prices they have listed on their sites would vary with those on Amazon’s product page. Also, on the pre-selling front: once customers or visitors see the prices on your site, they might not feel the need to click through to Amazon’s product page. You are supposed to make the customer curious, not drive them away. Amazon can ban you for posting product prices on your site.
- Always Link Back to Amazon Directly
Affiliate marketer’s working with Amazon Associates should always link directly to Amazon, not via a cloaked link or a redirect as it’s against their Terms of Service. Many affiliates do not heed this advice (or even read their terms) and wonder why they get banned or warned from the program’s administrators.
Did you know that ThirstyAffiliates is the ONLY affiliate marketing plugin for WordPress that lets you selectively uncloak your affiliate links? It’s great for keeping compatible with Amazon’s (and others) stricter terms of service while still getting the full benefits of using an affiliate link management tool.
- Always Have Affiliate Disclosure
A disclosure is a statement that says that you, the affiliate marketer, are part of Amazon Associates Program, and you are getting compensated by them for endorsing, recommending, or plain promoting their products and services. This disclosure must be on your site, anywhere will do: at the bottom, at the top, in between lines of content, or on a different page on your site, as long as it is there for visitors to see. Amazon actually has their own affiliate disclosure that they provide to you, you just need to put in your name and some other details and put it on your site. Amazon requires this, and the body that governs the affiliate marketing business sphere too requires that every affiliate site has a disclosure. If you insist on not having that affiliate disclosure on your site or blog, that means quick banishment from Amazon Associates.
- Always Nofollow Affiliate Links
You should nofollow links if you are afraid of attracting penalties for having too many affiliate links on your site, and you should also nofollow links as a member of Amazon Associates because this is important for your business as an affiliate marketer. This is because, as every affiliate marketer knows, affiliate marketing is a competitive business. In this case, the competition is the Amazon product pages. Yes, Amazon product pages also have links. Linking back to the competition is terrible business for you. As this is the case, to even out the competition between your affiliate site and Amazon product pages, nofollow your links. You would be making the Amazon product pages stronger if you don’t, and you would be seriously harming your affiliate marketing business.
- Do Not Leave Dates on your Articles
Articles, descriptions, tutorials, reviews, or videos with dates on them can hurt your affiliate marketing business because the dates show that either the product has evolved past how it was used the time it was written, or is no longer on the market, something else quite unflattering. Customers like the new and improved. Even if the information on your site is very accurate today, once they see that it was written two years ago, they lose interest in the product or service. Very few people would want to buy a blender from a site that has a three-year-old review of that blender. There is no need to date your articles. If you feel the information is still very relevant, leave it on your site, undated, and provide links to the Amazon product page. The customer can get all the information they need from there.
These are five things that an affiliate marketer should not do with Amazon’s associate program. Getting in with them is straightforward, but falling out with them is just as easy. Keep your nose clean and your affiliate site above board so that you won’t get banned from Amazon Associates and lose valuable customers and sales. Also, this is a business. Do not make any mistakes that would make you lose profits while Amazon gains those profits. Affiliate marketers need to be on their toes to stay ahead of the competition.