A lot of people using InfoBarrel think that the only way or the best way to make money is through the contextual advertisements provided by Google. I contend however that making money on InfoBarrel with the Amazon Associates program is just as lucrative if not mores o if you simply plan your articles the right way.

For this tutorial and case study I'll be referencing my article titled The Best Travel Mug To Keep Coffee Hot For Hours which I wrote specifically for this case study. I didn't even really use any tools to select that article title either. Many people rely totally on SEO keyword tools to choose titles but everything you need to do well is available for free assuming you're willing to use your head a little.

Amazon Tip #1 – Promote A Good Product With Lots Of Reviews & Customers

Best Travel Mug Reviews Of The Thermos Stainless KingYou have to promote a product that is actually good and has a lot of positive reviews and has a lot of potential customers. Well, you don't have to go for a product that has a lot of potential customers but it is nice. I chose a travel mug because most households have multiple travel mugs and people are always replacing them.

Also, people who have travel mugs are always looking for something better so why not title the article "best travel mug". I also deliberately chose to leave the branding out of the article title because I don't want people searching for a particular brand or item title because next year there may be a better mug for sale and I will want to simply edit this article rather than have to create a new one. After all I will be promoting this article so why would I want to throw that effort away when this product becomes obsolete.

You can't just title your article "best travel mug" – well you can but I contend that you shouldn't so I went over to Google's search page and typed best travel mug and Google instant suggested the long tail "to keep coffee hot" so I added this to the tail end of my article and added as a personal preference "for hours" for clarification purposes to searchers in the search engines.

Ideally a searcher will search for "best travel mug" and my article will come up. The title will tell them why it's the best travel mug because I added the "keep coffee hot for hours" on the end of the article. When stacked up against other articles in the search results a searcher may choose to visit my article because they know why this is the best travel mug right up front.

This product also is truly one of the best if not the best travel mug on the market today. My article title is not misleading. I went to Amazon and found what I consider to be the best mug out there based on the customer reviews, product description, and from personal experience. I do actually own this mug and would recommend it to every single person I know. It is the best in my opinion and the customer reviews on Amazon reflect that too… all 200+ of them.

Amazon Tip #2 – Do not rely on the Amazon widget to capture sales.

Generic Amazon WidgetWidgets and sidebar options convert very poorly. They are convenient but they are not to be relied upon. Instead use contextual links to the product or to the product category.

InfoBarrel does not want you to link out to affiliate products in great quantity so keep your links to a minimum. Often times less is more anyway. People click on pictures of products so include a picture of the product in your article strategically located next to a contextual link, that hat way you can make one link spanning the picture and the text as I did in case study article. Note that the picture to the travel mug and the text link next to it is one big link to Amazon.

Taking the contextual link a step further, always make your contextual link stand out. I typically make sure it's underlined, as many people are used to links being underlined this won't look out of place on your article, and I bold my links that I want people to click on.

You'll note that there will be links sprinkled throughout your article going to overview pages on InfoBarrel automatically, by making the links you care about bold the auto-generated links will not be noticed as easily by a reader.

I also make my Amazon link point to a new page by including the target="_blank" tag to the link and I tend to include the rel="nofollow" tag manually in the HTML editor because I usually link to products using anchor text that I want to rank for myself.

When people read a helpful article on exactly what they are seeking information on they will be very inclined to click on strategic affiliate links which are contextually built into your article body.

Amazon Tip #3 – Strategically Link From The Top And Bottom Of Your Article

Picture Included With Link

If you look at my case study article you will see that I introduce the topic and then link to the product contextually and with a picture near the top of the article (the picture and the text is one link). I then talk about the product and at the very end of the article I link to it again contextually but with a different twist. In this case I reference the price and why it's a good deal compared to traditional brick and mortar retailers.

I also reference the many positive reviews of the product again so that people may click through to look at the price for themselves or to read through the customer reviews which I mentioned. If the product is good you definitely want to play up the reviews because people shopping for an item always want to read what other previous customers have to say about the item before buying themselves. This method will get you a better click through rate.

Amazon Tip #4 – Run Split Tests

Basic A/B Split TestingThis is more advanced and even I don't do it all the time. Run split tests to see what works. For this article I setup a two tracking IDs which are only used on this article. I included the first tracking ID on the upper link and the second on the lower link. After I get a good deal of clicks on my link I should be able to see which link is converting better. The one that isn't converting well I can alter the link text or the surrounding paragraph and see if it helps my clicks and conversions.

If the lower link is getting very few clicks then I may consider making a signature and moving the affiliate link to the signature box which is above the fold. Although the sig box is in the sidebar it may convert better simply because it is above the fold.

Because InfoBarrel doesn't want affiliate links plastered all over the place I don't recommend placing more than the two links on your article but if you were doing this on your own site that decision would be up to you.

Amazon Tip #5 – Drive Traffic To The Article

Drive Website Traffic

On InfoBarrel one of the rules is that you shouldn't be making every article you publish an affiliate based article. The site owners want a mix of articles published where many articles are not actively promoting anything. This is fine and you should take this to heart and create a handful of short articles for InfoBarrel which do not link to the affiliate product but link to your main Amazon article. These are what are known as internal links.

My main coffee mug article linked to above in the "money article" and I will now publish a small handful of article which link to it on the topic of travel mugs. This diversifies my article library so that they are not all affiliate articles and also shows the search engines the importance of the "money article" due to the internal links pointing at it.

Once you have some internal links pointing at it then you should promote the article off site by throwing some simple bookmark links at it followed by some article marketing. You may not have to do too much work in the promotion department but the more you do the more benefit you will experience.

Amazon Commission TiersAs many people note with Amazon the affiliate commission rate is low but that is only if you are not selling many items. If you are actually diving clicks to Amazon you will easily sell many items every month and your commission rate will increase from 4% to 6% and eventually to 7% and higher as you start selling even more items.

As I start driving traffic to this post I will start selling these mugs but I will also start selling other items that people buy at the same time. Each item counts and each will bring me closer to the next commission tier and as your commission tier increases, selling more Amazon items gets more and more lucrative – it's like a snowball effect in monthly earnings.

This coffee mug sells for roughly $23 and a 6% commission you are only making $1.38 per sale but once you get your monthly sales to the point where you're at the higher commission tier you can start selling expensive items that retail in the hundreds and start pulling 8% commissions on everything. Sell one $300 item at an 8% commission and you are making $24 a sale. It's definitely worth it to build your way up the commission tiers and the only way to do that is to start learning how to use Amazon to your advantage and start selling more products.

In the near future I'll follow up on this monster Amazon article with a follow-up on this case study and a description of how I promote the article as well as an update on how lucrative the Amazon article is doing. I hope you find value in this – make sure to stay in touch in the comments below and sign up for InfoBarrel if you haven't already.