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Have You Tested Making Money With An Amazon aStore?

By Sunil
58 Comments

The biggest chunk of my income online comes from a portfolio of healthy niche sites which I have established over time with meticulous keyword research and diligent marketing. Most of these niche sites make money from Google Adsense.

Considering that the biggest chunk of my income comes from Google, I am somewhat at their mercy in many ways. We have all heard Adsense horror stories where publishers are banned from the program without much explanation. A real living and breathing person at Google isn’t easy to reach either. So what’s one to do?

While I have advocated creating multiple Google Adsense accounts in the past, I have also been a proponent of further diversifying your niche websites so that Google ads or a similar program are not your only source of revenues.

The success of a niche site is predicated on the amount of traffic it receives. Usually you would achieve most of this through search engine optimization and internet marketing. Once the site is ranked high for its relevant keywords, you can ensure a constant stream of traffic, which many would tell you is the lifeblood of an internet based business.

If you have a constant stream of traffic and God forbid you are disqualified from a program like Google Adsense, you can monetize the traffic in several other ways.

Integrate An Amazon aStore

I have talked about integrating affiliate programs in the past, as well as creating and selling a digital product such as an ebook.  The method I want to discuss today is an affiliate relationship with Amazon, one of the web’s biggest and most reputable names.

The Amazon aStore Integration feature has been around for quite some time now, but in my experience has been an underutilized method of revenue generation online. This Amazon store integration feature allows you to display products sold on Amazon that are relevant to your niche. You either select the products manually, or specify a set of keywords based on which Amazon will display relevant products. The size of your product page or store is predicated on the number of items sold on Amazon that match your target keywords.

One potential reason for this feature’s under utilization may be the low commission rates Amazon offers its associates. These rates are somewhere between the 4%-6% ballpark and therefore is often passed on by internet marketers in lieu of higher profit margin initiatives such as a product on Clickbank that pays a 75% commission on each sale.

As someone who owns several niche sites, the Amazon aStore integration function has worked very well for me. I like it because of its ease of integration, flexibility in altering design and color scheme, as well as the auto update feature which populates the store with items relevant to your niche.

If you own or are interested in niche websites that you can create and put on cruise control, the Amazon aStore feature is something you might want to consider. It’s easy to implement and it’s free to join.

An Example Amazon aStore Integration

To give you an idea of what this is and how it looks like, have a look at my Dubai Information niche site, a travel site where I use the program to sell souvenirs.

As you can see, one can hardly notice that the store is an external entity outside my website. I like how it blends nicely and naturally. This is the best feature of the program in my opinion. Of course I had to toy around with the color scheme, but I think it now looks like a genuine part of the website.

Why is this important? Do you like to be sold and pitched to all the time? That is exactly why seamless integration is important, and I commend the Amazon team for providing excellent support and service throughout the integration process.

As whereas with the standard Amazon Associate program through which you can display banner images and text links on your website, with the store integration function you are given the flexibility to customize your “store” to fit your website.  

You don’t necessarily have to design the entire “store” from scratch, but you can if you want to. You have the flexibility to modify the color scheme, layout and some other aesthetics to make it blend seamlessly into your website, which is what I did.

Another feature which I really like is the Powered by Amazon logo that you see on the right hand side near the product search bar.

Why is this logo a big deal? Like I said earlier, Amazon is one of the biggest and most reputable names online today. Therefore, by displaying the Amazon logo, you are instantly associating yourself with the brand.

This results in instant credibility for your own brand (your website) and makes it easier for your visitors to trust you and make the purchase from your website.

Gaining a credibility boost through brand name association is an extremely powerful and underrated method applied by many internet marketers, particularly those who run ecommerce businesses.

Another piece of information I’d like to add about the Amazon store is that the statistics are tied to your affiliate account.

Amazon’s calls its affiliate program the Associates Program. If you are already signed up as an Amazon associate and market their products on your niche sites or elsewhere, integrating a store on your website is relatively easy and you can do it from within the same account. Sales generated independently through individual affiliate links and banners, as well as the sales generated from the store all reflect under the same associates account. This eliminates the need for you to manage two separate Amazon associate accounts.

Test It Yourself

After integrating my first Amazon store into one of my niche websites and measuring results over a three month period, I decided to implement the store feature in several other niche websites that I own. Although commission rates on product sales is relatively low, the amounts add up across several niche websites.

Isn’t that the idea behind the niche website model anyway? – To build a website that attracts free, organic, search engine traffic so that you can implement monetization methods, leave it alone and let it generate money for you month over month.

That is exactly what I have done with my niche sites. Once the basic monetization methods are implemented such as private ads, public ads, digital products and affiliate products, the website becomes a self sufficient revenue generating machine.

The integration of the Amazon aStore is yet another monetization method that can be implemented rather easily.  If you are interested in integrating this feature into your website, start by signing up with Amazon’s Associate Program.

Once you login to your Associates account, you will see your affiliate dashboard that has several options across the top. Select the option that reads “aStore”. This is what it looks like:

amazon astore

Notice the various options to the left on the navigation bar. You want to “Add an aStore” and follow a few simple steps to create your store. Once created, you can create a stand alone link to your store (say if you want to email your store link to someone) or embed the store on your website like I did.

To do either, select the “Get Link” option on the left hand navigation bar. Once you enter that menu, select the second option which is boxed in red below.  Once you select that option, you will be provided with a code snippet that you can paste on the HTML file of your website/webpage.

Because sometimes embedding the store in your website gives you a better perspective of its look and feel, you can always select the “Color & Design” option from the left hand navigation bar to continue to modify your store to your liking.

amazon astore 2

Integrating an Amazon Store is fairly simple, so why miss out on this “monetization” opportunity? Why not leverage your traffic as much as possible by parlaying one income producing initiative over another, especially when it’s so easy to do and there is nothing to lose?

Question: Have you taken advantage of the Amazon aStore Integration feature on your website or blog? Why or why not? What other strategies can you share that further diversifies a niche website’s income potential and makes it less reliant on any one single program?

All the best,
Sunil

About Sunil

Sunil is the author of the Extra Money Blog, a platform that discusses expedited wealth building through multiple streams of active and passive income where you can download his FREE report on How to Establish a $1,000 a Month Passive Income Stream in Your Spare Time in Less Than 180 Days. He was a CPA in his previous life and has also authored the CPA Requirements portal which guides CPA candidates in passing the CPA exam and expediting their career success.

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58 Comments

  • Hi Sunil! Can Amazon go side by side with Adsense?

  • Can Amazon go side side with Adsense?

  • Nice article. Many people often overlook the Amazon affiliate program. I know many people who focus just on Google Adsense.

  • You know something buddy, from my personal experience when it comes to make Money online , you should be ready to take risk and always make sure to do trial and error. Learn from errors and mistakes and it will guide you through the process and you will eventually start making money online, even it won;t make you an overnight millionaire. Anyway it’s a very impressive and nice post from you Sunil, keep up the good job..:)

  • Raj

    I have tried it in one of my technology sites, but without much success. Perhaps I was not razor-targeting the products? I am not sure. With Amazon, their Omakase banner, where they display ads relevant to your page / user preferences have worked for me. But then, the sales were mostly from products there were irrelevant to my field!

    • Your success will definitely depend on your niche, especially if you are letting Amazon select which product ads to serve. You can always pick your own if you feel certain products will do well

  • aStore’s are great although the customisation options are a little limited.

    • Mike – relatively speak yes, but they have come a long way since initial implementation. Case in point is my website. Objectively, can you actually tell that the store depicted above is independent / separate from my website?

  • So Much detail and info, plus great links. Really like the Set-up and easy navigation to lots of choices (like your web-hosting link and recommendation). Very nicely done Website.

  • Sunlil,
    I had an Amazon aStore on my blog when it was still a few months old. I didn’t get any sales so I took it down. Plus the 4% commission with Amazon is abysmal.

    About 3 months ago my Amazon sales have skyrocketed having over 100 sales from older posts that had an amazon banner on it plus I recently added an amazon widget to my sidebar.

    I may have to go back and ad an aStore again

    • Good to hear from you after a while Justin. The % is small, but adds up over pages and across multiple sites. The % also increases to 6% with volume.

      What did/are you doing differently to improve your Amazon sales?

    • Seems a good option, I also tried for a month and removed the amazon ad widget. Is it a good idea to implement aStore in a news blog?

  • Jeff

    Excellent article Sunil. I am not internet marketing or internet business sophisticated but I seen the potential and would like to “trial” some sites. I understand niche marketing and like the Amazon idea. Can you suggest some other resources so I can increase my knowledge and understanding? Do you need a website/blog already in place prior to getting in with Amazon? thanks.

    • Jeff – welcome. I appreciate your enthusiasm. Many are generating income online from various methods. I talk about a lot of them on my blog, both methods online and offline. I suggest going through my blog. I’d be happy to answer any questions after you’ve had a chance to do so.

  • Great article. Thanks for sharing. What about states that are not allowed to participate in Amazon’s affiliate program? Does this still apply to the Amazon aStore? Thanks.

    • Paul, I believe you are referring to the Associates program. The aStore however is different. I also believe that some states are back on the Amazon bandwagon – verify that please

  • great learning..

  • I’ve been an Amazon affiliate since 2007 but I haven’t come around the full function of this and that. :( Thanks! Will work on my “store.”

  • Sunil, this is gold, thank you , I just RT this. Come say hi sometimes on my blog.

  • I love to create Amazon Astore’s since I am an Amazon affiliate. I want to be able to put google adsense within the astore itself and not have my own site and add adsense. Is there a way to add the adsense within the CSS of the template? Need help.

  • Mike

    Sunil – You seem to prefer making static niche sites whereas Yaro makes blogs with constantly updating content. Which is better?

  • I use Amazon on a few on my websites, and although the results are modest, I’m seeing a definite increase as my traffic continues to grow. I only use affiliate links, no amazon store, so this may be a useful tip for me to try.

  • I’ve had Amazon stores on several sites without much success, although I may not have promoted them as well as I could have. May try again. I noticed a couple of sites lately that had an Amazon widget with product options on their sidebar. Wonder if that works any better than the store. Anyway, food for thought.

  • Zach S.

    Sunil,

    Appreciate the insight on Integrating An Amazon aStore, and the actionable information. I’m just looking at cross-channel information, and Amazon is definitely one I don’t want to forget. Thanks.

  • I’ve been looking for a site that was more positive about the astore. I do believe that the astore has possibilities.
    I started integrating in my sites, e.g., http://bullhead95.com/freeclass/kindle.asp

    I have used frames. (with a jquery plugin)
    http://iselita.com/

    Then I was curious how the css and scripting came into effect.

    A few days ago I ran into a script… I like it I started using it. In action it looks like this http://angrybirdsshoppe.com Notice the adsense and site content that you can administrate from the admin panel.

    I put the info on http://Bullhead95.com click on the Youtube in the center of the page. Then if you want it download it under the video.

    I look forward to seeing how this new script pans out.

    I have anothe astore script somewhere that does less but is kinda cool. I’ll post it next if you want.

    -prescott

  • Does anyone know of forums or other resources where we can ask questions and learn more about using niche sites, aStores and affiliate programs in general?

  • Great article Sunil! I think I will have to try the aStore and see what happens. Don’t know unless you try! Thanks for this great discussion and tips.

  • Great post Sunil, I’ve been wanting to add amazon products to a couple of my websites, and the astore makes it so easy to integrate, and I agree the more it looks like it’s a real part of your website the more chances you have at making sales.

  • David

    The only issue not mentioned here is that the astore iframe cannot be dynamically adjusted (for obvious security reasons), so intergrating AStore into a website means accepting that the iframe will be a fixed height – a bit annoying when the content of the AStore adjusts dynamically, i.e. reviews, product information. In effect this means that the webpage will have a big empty space beneath the visible AStore content. I asked Amazon about this and asked if they might consider allowing access to the relevant part of the DOM in order to adjust the height dynamically via my site’s script and they said that they couldn’t help with this at all. Astore is good, but its not ideal in the above respect

    • David,
      I addressed this issue by creating “read more, read less” buttons at the bottom of the frame.

      If you get a chance to visit my Computer Components Store you will be able to see an example of how I done this.

  • Hi Sunil
    I am a freelance writer
    I have some questions about amazon astore:
    1. Can I still make an astore and sell products even if I don’t have any website or blog?
    2. After making an astore, can I share its links on social networking sites to get traffic?

  • Ali

    Hi, nice post.
    My only question is, can you mix between publishing (adsense) and Amazon astore?
    Thanks

    • Yes that should not be an issue as long the two are clearly separate ads (which they should be). However, you can’t promote a aStore on Google Adwords because it uses iFrames which Google frowns upon.

  • In a nut shell, how exactly you could integrate the Amazon astore to your website? Do you just insert the html code anywhere into your website?

  • Hi There!!
    I am new at this and I have been with Amazon for over a year and to this date have not recieved 1 penny. I have put thousands of dollars into my online business but I can’t understand why I am just dead in the water here!!
    Please help me. I just heard of the astore. maybe that is the answer but I don’t know anything about it!!

    • I would actually advise against opening an astore especially if you’re planning on promoting it through PPC. This is near to impossible due to amazon’s use of iFrames (Google Adwords will reject it). It is also hard to do any organic SEO using an aStore because google doesn’t index content from within iFrames. I would suggest using associates-o-matic amazon’s store there is free lite version available.

  • As long as peoples still need physical products, amazon is still one of the best online store in the world almost all products we need available in there.

  • Great article indd.I have been weighing up the options.However,i have come to the realisation that Google may actually ban you from using their Adsense program citing competition reasons.As someone who makes more money from Google adsense if i were to be banned from the program that would actually be not so great. The amazon program is great as well,so iam even planning to start new sites which will just focus on Amazon and other products. Great article by the way.

  • Sid

    Yes I just added amazon store today, its really very simple and easy process. now I am looking forward to market it and waiting for your post about amazon store marketing.

  • Teresa

    I subscribed twice, using two different emails, and received nothing to confirm, not even in spam. I wanted to download Blog Profits Blueprint and subscribe to newsletter. submitted early this morning, as of late this evening, no confimation. it is usually instantaneous from my experience.

    • Hi Teresa,

      Has the email arrived yet? If not, just hit the contact tab at the top of this site and send me an email and we will sort you out.

      Yaro

  • Lilian

    I have tried to include an iframe astore on my page but the astore takes the whole page (I only want to display 6 items). I just want a 500×500 px astore and then to be able to continue with text again on my page. I don’t know if I explained myself good but this is the reason why I have not been able to include an astore on my pages. I can’t use it on widgets since I want to use it in a noside bars page that I created.

  • Hey, great post! I just joined the associate program and am trying to decide how to integrate it into my site. Upon reading a bit about the aStore, however, I’m disappointed to find that commission is only received for purchases that are actually made through my aStore, whereas for other links/banners commission is made on ANY purchase made from Amazon with 24hours of a click. From what I’ve heard, many people make the majority of their commission from unrelated product purchases. Thoughts?

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