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How to Add Contextual Amazon Affiliate Links to Articles

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 11 42

Thousands of people just like you are building residual income through affiliate marketing, and you can, too.  Becoming an affiliate marketer is quick and easy, not to mention lucrative.  Just imagine the places you'll go once you've got your programs set up and making money for you while you sleep!  

Here are all the affiliate program tips you need to get started.

According to ISSUU's annual Affiliate Stats Report[1], nearly a third (32.9%) of survey respondents reported earning more than $25,000 during the previous year.  Another third reported earning less than $5,000 in commissions as well, but it's safe to assume they were just starting out, like you.  The point is

There's tons of money to be made in affiliate programs.

Many affiliate programs exist to help the hosting company serve more customers.  Some of the most popular are commission junction[2], clickbank[3], and audible.com[4].  

One of the best affiliate programs available, however, is with Amazon. You not only get access to the leading online store in the world, but they make it very easy to place affiliate links and start earning money with them today. Once you get the basics down, it won't take you more than a couple of minutes to put an affiliate link into your content.

The very first step, of course, is for you to sign up for Amazon's affiliate program. Just visit "affiliate-program.amazon.com" to sign up if you haven't already done so.  That's not a referral link.  Amazon doesn't have a referral program anymore, so you keep 100% of your affiliate commissions.

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What Are Contextual Affiliate Links?

Contextual affiliate links are links that are placed within the actual body of the text in your article. Instead of seeing a long URL address they will instead see some words that stand out in some way (different color).

Imagine you're having a conversation with a friend.  During the course of the conversation, you talk about the dinner party you're hosting next week, and she mentions some new kitchen gadgets that would be awesome to have in your kitchen.  You make a mental note, and later go purchase those items.  

In the real world, there's no way to track your friend's referral to the store.  But in the online world, she would receive a commission for those purchases because the article (conversation) had a direct link to the products, and the topic came up very naturally.  

That's what is meant by 'contextual', as in "in context of the conversation."  Be sure to choose words that relate as closely to your product or products as possible.

Below are a few examples of how some words are better to use than others.  Be as specific as you can.

  • Warm winter socks would be better than warm clothes.
  • Popular country songs would be better than popular songs.
  • Levi Men's 501 Jeans would be better than Levi jeans. 
  • Top Christmas Gifts would perform better than top gifts.

Remember, your job as an affiliate marketer is to help consumers find exactly what it is they want to buy.  There's a reason it's called Amazon, because it truly is a 'jungle out there'.

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Adding the Affiliate Links - Four Easy Steps

1 – Open up two separate browser windows- the first one with your article in which you want to place the Amazon affiliate link (the article should be in edit mode). Sign in to Amazon on the other window.  If you've already registered as an affiliate, your sign-in will be the same.

2 – Search Amazon for a product that you want to sell through contextual links in your article. Click on the actual item from the results.

• Note- the actual product page highlights one particular product. If at some time in the future this product becomes unavailable, the link will go bad.  You may want to link only to the search results page, but that can be confusing to your audience.

• The affiliate links to the search page, which shows several different products at a time, should never go bad. The page is dynamic and is constantly updated from Amazon's database of items available for sale, based upon the search query embedded in the affiliate link.

3 – Click "link to this page" button from the gray Amazon bar at the top of the window. Below is an example from a single item page (only one product) that will

Amazon Affiliate Code
come up. In the 'Customize and Get HTML' box click 'Text Only' and highlight and copy the affiliate link portion shown highlighted.

4 – Move over to your article (which should be in edit mode). Highlight the text in which you want to anchor your link and then click on the link icon available in most programs. A box will come up allowing you to right click on link URL section and paste in the Amazon affiliates link. Then click "insert" or similar command. And you're finished!

5 – If you are inserting your affiliate link into an Amazon Element using InfoBarrel's article editor, the same steps apply with one minor change: Place the code from step 3 into the field labeled 'Amazon Product URL,' then click 'Save.' 

These simple steps should be part of every article/blog post you put online.  

Steps 1-4 will work for adding affiliate links from any affiliate program, and will work on WordPress, Blogger, and all other publishing platforms.

If you take the time to add affiliate links to all your content, you won't be disappointed (here's what your routine should look like).  Of course, always add value, but after that, it's okay to promote some tools that have helped you along your way.  Better yet, create new tools.

One thing I learned from my days selling jewelry was this:  

You can't sell what you don't show.

We used to tell ourselves that as a reminder to get as much on display as we could.  If a piece of jewelry was locked in the safe, how could a customer know to ask for it?  Worse, they couldn't purchase it!  

The long and short of it is this:  Affiliate Marketing works.  You just have to get started.  

Click here to sign up for a free InfoBarrel account; the writer forums here are the best on the web, and you can start writing right away!

Do you know of other affiliate programs or tips for affiliate marketing success?  What works best for you?  Please share in the comments below.

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Jan 26, 2011 10:57pm
Thanks for this article, I'll be trying this soon as I've never done it and appreciate your info!
Apr 15, 2013 6:59am
Thanks for reading, vetochemicals! Let me know how it works out for you!
Jan 27, 2011 10:54am
very useful info thanks
Apr 15, 2013 7:01am
Thank you for reading!
Feb 3, 2011 5:41pm
Great info Thanks for sharing.
Apr 15, 2013 7:01am
Thanks, Lynsuz. I hope it helps.
Feb 21, 2011 7:49pm
THANK YOU! I just tried it and it works!
Apr 15, 2013 7:01am
Thanks for the feedback!
Feb 28, 2011 10:16am
Nice clear, concise instructions. Thanks for this one!
Apr 15, 2013 7:02am
My pleasure, Scale-of-1-to-10!
Mar 26, 2011 2:58am
Thank you! Just tried out your instructions and they worked perfectly!!
Apr 15, 2013 7:02am
Thanks for the update, Chomina. And thanks for reading!
Apr 12, 2011 10:36am
Thank you so much!

It sounds much easier now!
Apr 15, 2013 7:03am
mrscookie, it really is pretty easy. It just takes some practice. My aim with this article is to eliminate the learning curve so new online marketers can just jump right in and start earning right away!
Apr 18, 2011 10:44pm
My favorite affiliate article marketing explantion of the 10+ I have read so far. Thanks!
Apr 15, 2013 7:03am
That's a wonderful comment, CortCaldwell! So glad it was helpful for you!
Jul 30, 2011 9:58am
Excellent! Just what I was looking for. Thanks.
Apr 15, 2013 7:05am
How's the affiliate marketing going for you, danmont? You have some great articles here on InfoBarrel that are ripe for success!
Aug 25, 2011 3:13pm
I am just starting to use affiliate links and this article is a huge help. Thanks for this!
Apr 15, 2013 7:06am
valerieviolet, thank you for taking time to comment. Let me know if you have any more questions!
Oct 2, 2011 9:26pm
Do you copy everything in the field that Amazon highlights for you when you click the Highlight HTML button? I cannot get this to work. It seems extremely straightforward..but I am doing something wrong.
Apr 15, 2013 7:09am
EGreen, just copy the part starting at the first 'http' all the way up until the closing quotation and bracket, ie ">. It will be quite long and look like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1428318364/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1428318364&linkCode=as2&tag=thep0f1-20

Hope this helps clarify things for you!
Oct 8, 2011 1:06pm
Thank you so much, I was wondering how to do this.
Apr 15, 2013 7:09am
You're welcome, logicalbrit.
Nov 8, 2011 3:01am
This is fabulous, I spent at least an hour wanting to smash the pc trying to do it.
Apr 15, 2013 7:10am
Another PC saved from the dumpster, ha! I feel the same way about technology sometimes, too, Ddraig. Glad you resisted the temptation to smash your PC!
Nov 8, 2011 5:34pm
Appreciate the completeness of the instructions and their ease to be followed.
Apr 15, 2013 7:10am
Thank you, LLWoodard. I aim to please. ;)
Nov 12, 2011 4:44am
I will make use of this, thanks!
Apr 15, 2013 7:11am
You're most welcome, Hypersapien.
Mar 10, 2012 3:38pm
This comment has been deleted.
Mar 10, 2012 3:38pm
Great article, was a big help for me - just starting out with the whole process.
Apr 15, 2013 7:11am
Thanks for the feedback, andrewlemon. Hope all is going well!
Apr 14, 2012 7:31pm
Thanks for writing this! It was a huge help.
Apr 15, 2013 7:12am
Lois_Lane, somebody had to write it, right? I figured it should be me since Superman was so busy saving the world and all... ;)
Sep 25, 2012 7:21am
I'm glad that this works for everyone but I'm unable to get it to work correctly. I've completed all of the steps but when I copy the full html code for the product search link from Amazon, I'm unable to click on the link and i get the error:

The requested URL /<a target="_blank" href="http:/www.amazon.com/mn/search/ was not found on this server.
Sep 25, 2012 7:38am
Ok I think I fixed it. After viewing this article as well as one posted by @JadeDragon for
"Adding Amazon Affiliate Links to IB or a WordPress Blog" I only used the code for the URL and omitted the html markup for the anchor tags. I suppose if I just used the HTML editor I could have used the whole code snippet that Amazon provided.
Apr 15, 2013 7:17am
Glad you found that piece of information, luckydragon07. I've updated the picture to more clearly demonstrate the piece of code you need to copy.

And yeah, the HTML editor allows you to paste the entire link quite easily.
Jan 15, 2013 9:04am
Thank you for this... I will finally give this amazon affiliate a more serious try this time. I don't like the idea of relying on Adsense alone for my income.
Apr 15, 2013 7:13am
xathcruz, AdSense can be a finicky beast, for sure. We shouldn't put all our eggs in one basket either, right? Let me know how else I can help.
Jan 25, 2013 8:43pm
A very important article on Amazon affiliate links.
Apr 15, 2013 7:13am
That was kind. Thanks, Sullysee!
Apr 17, 2013 6:50am
That's how I am doing it! I haven't seen much action there though... Thanks for sharing it anyway!
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  1. "2012 Affiliate Summit Affstat Report." ISSUU. 7/08/2012. 8/04/2013 <Web >
  2. "Commission Junction." Commission Junction. 26/01/2011. 10/04/2013 <Web >
  3. "Clickbank." Clickbank. 26/01/2011. 10/04/2013 <Web >
  4. "Audible Affiliate Program." Audible. 26/01/2011 <Web >
  5. "Amazon Affiliate Program." Amazon. 26/01/2011 <Web >

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