My oh my, where has the month gone? With the holidays right around the corner, trying to take some time to finish creating the Amazon associate site has been difficult. Thankfully I’ve been able to do a little bit here and there. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to work on the content calendar as I hoped. With that said, I was able to get quite a bit done!
In today’s post, I’m going to walk you through what I’ve been able to complete this month. I’ll also share the total investment into the project thus far, just for complete transparency.
Warning: This is going to be an image-heavy post which may cause older computers or slower connections to experience longer loading times.
Creating an Amazon Associate Site: Your Brand
What do Twitter, Nike, or Disney have in common? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the moment you see the little white bird, the infamous “swoosh” or the castle, you know what company they represent. That is the same type of recognition you want for your business.
Well… Your affiliate site probably won’t have a global audience, but you want people to know who you are. Your logo is your brand identity and you’re going to want to use that across all of your social media accounts, as well as your website.
To create your logo and graphics for your site, you can hire a graphic artist to make your vision a reality. However, I’m trying to keep costs down as much as possible, so I signed up for a membership ($119.40 billed annually with Canva.com – a useful site you can use to create all sorts of graphics for your posts, social media posts and whatnot.
Creating my graphics was pretty easy, but it took a little finagling to create something I liked. Using the tools does require a bit of patience and practice. Right now, the graphics for ClearlyBrewed are fairly simple and when the time is right, I hope to rebrand and spring for a graphic designer.
Here’s a look at what I came up with:
I created a backup banner just because I wasn’t entirely sure what look I was going for. I’m still deciding, to be honest.
Best Plugins for Creating the Amazon Associate Site
In the last post, I listed a bunch of plugins that are useful for affiliate marketers. However, when it came time to install plugins on ClearlyBrewed, I compared a few popular options to find the list I’d ultimately wind up with.
Here’s a look at the plugins I went with so far. I’d like to note that some of the plugins have pricing plans for premium features.
Yoast SEO Premium
Of all of the SEO plugins and tools, none of them are on the same level as Yoast – or at least I think so. The free version of the plugin allows you to set one keyword or keyphrase per post. It’ll give you a readability check, maintain the backend of your site, and will always be up to date whenever Google’s algorithm changes.
While the free option is an excellent tool, I chose to go with the premium version ($89 billed annually) because it has features that will increase your traffic from Google and Bing, it’ll attract more visitors from social media, and so much more.
You can learn more about the plugin to see which version is right for you.
This plugin is a must for all WordPress sites because it monitors the comments of your site against spam and malicious content. All URLs are shown in the body of the comment so that you aren’t clicking on some hidden or misleading links.
Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsight
After signing up for Google Analytics, I knew I had to install this popular WordPress plugin because it will give me the ability to connect my site to Google Analytics easily. It provides you with an audience report so you can learn more about the people who visit your site. It also provides behavior reports that show how people find your site, what they clicked on, and more.
The plugin does offer three deals that you can opt to purchase:
- Plus – $199.00 per year
- Pro – $399.00 per year
- Agency – $799.00 per year
As you can imagine, the premium plans have advanced features that’ll help you grow your business, but for the time being, I’ll stick with the free version.
To create a Google Analytics account:
Sign in to your Google account and go to https://analytics.google.com/analytics.
I choose this option just in case there may be an app in the future.
Note: Property Name means what’s your domain name.
Once you hit “create,” you’ll have to read and accept the terms of service agreement. With that done, this is what you’ll see:
I recommend checking out this guide on how to use Google Analytics.
The Jetpack plugin optimizes your site for maximum performance, tracks information about your visitors, protects from spam and malware and much more. This is another plugin that has a few monthly subscriptions with some awesome features you could choose.
For now, I’ve chosen to stick to the free version.
I installed this plugin because I wanted to be able to create tables in my posts, which will be great for product comparisons, roundups, recipes and more.
Social media is an important marketing tool, so it makes sense that you’d want to have a plugin that allows you to add social media icons and share buttons to your posts. I went with the paid version ($24.98 billed every 120 days) because you can use custom icons, helps keep your site loading quickly, it’s optimized for sharing content on social media and it’s mobile-ready. If you choose the paid version, you have the option to cancel the auto-renew and still use the plugin for free. However, if you do cancel the plan, it’s not going to get regular updates and you won’t be able to contact the support team.
Here’s a look at the USM dashboard you’ll use to customize your social media buttons.
For my socials, I’ve created a Facebook Page and Facebook Group, a Twitter account, an Instagram account, and a Pinterest account. I highly recommend keeping the same name across all platforms for brand continuity.
The process for creating most of these profiles is the same as if you were creating personal accounts. However, creating the pages for Facebook is a little different because you’ll be able to link your personal Facebook account to your new site’s page and group. All you’ll need to do is click on the “Create” tab and fill out the pertinent information.
Once your group and page have been created, you’ll see that your page has been successfully linked to your profile.
WP Affiliate Disclosure
As an affiliate site, you need to make sure you’re abiding by Amazon’s Associate’s TOS. Not only that, but you have to make sure your site is FTC-compliant as well. This plugin will automatically add a customized disclosure statement on the pages and posts you outline in the “rules.”
The paid version ($19.00) is a one-time fee and it will give you the ability to create limitless rules, choose multiple post types when creating a single rule and more. For now, I’m sticking with the free version.
Here is an example of the disclosure statement I created to appear on the sidebar of ClearlyBrewed.
Creating an Amazon Associate Site: Joining the Program
Now that our site and socials are just about up and ready to go, it’s time for the fun part – signing up to the Associate’s program! Simply follow the steps in the images below!
Step 1: Locating the Link to Join
Scroll to the bottom of the Amazon home page and you’ll find this menu.
Step 2: Join for Free
Step 3: Fill in Account Information
Step 4: List the Places You’ll Display Affiliate-Related Links, Banners, etc.
Step 5: Create Your Profile
Step 6: Congrats Screen
Step 7: Choose Payment Method
Step 8: Enter Tax information
Step 9: Validation
And that’s it! Kep in mind you have 180 days from signing up to make at least one sale in order to keep your account open.
Creating an Amazon Associate Site Wrap Up
As you can see, there was a lot of things that needed to get done before we could start getting into planning content and whatnot. I hope that this guide was useful and answered some of the questions about all of the processes.
To date, I have invested in:
Web Hosting: $116.23
Canva Subscription: $119.40
Yoast SEO Premium: $89.00
USM Premium: $27.98
The total investment thus far equals to $352.61.
You know what they say, it takes money to make money!
Next month, I will be working on a content strategy, research products, and work on creating the first bits of content for the site. How exciting!