Welcome to Book Blogging 101, a weekly feature on Parajunkee’s View that answers your questions and strives to share great book blogging tips and some helpful hints to assist you on your book blogging endeavors.

Hey PJ – I know everyone uses this Amazon Associates thingy, I guess I’m a little slow on the draw, how do you even make money on it? Is it big money or just cents? Is there any tricks to making big money? – Amazon Dunce

I can’t tell you there is any “magic” way to make the BIG bucks on Amazon, or other affiliate programs. But, there are wonderful methods for raking in a few extra bucks, especially if your goal is to fuel your book buying addiction.

To make any money though you have to be an Amazon Associate so I would suggest signing up: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com

<— Will banners like this translate into big affiliate bucks??

1. The Basics of Using Amazon Associates

Understand that your readership is directly proportionate to your affiliate sales. If you do not have a large readership, you will not have a large amount of click-throughs that convert to sales.

These click-throughs that lead to sales are dubbed, “conversion rates”. Websites that exist on online sales crunch these numbers all the time to try different tactics to drive the number up. Most of their returns show under a 10% conversion rate. That means less than 10% of the people that visit their site makes a purchase. Putting this in perspective for you as an affiliate, most likely 10% of your readers will click an advertisement and then most likely a small percentage of those clicks will result in a sale.

My numbers run much lower than this. I wish I was at 10% conversions. But, I don’t chase it. When I have chased it — when I’ve pushed links and tweeted out deals, my numbers greatly increase. We are talking 25% conversion rates, compared to the average 1%. This is a huge difference but follows the usual standards of making money – the more you work at it, the more returns you get. And it is a lot of work.

If you have 1000 unique visitors daily that accounts for nearly 250 clicks, and potentially 25 orders a day, which can account for close to $5 – $10 a day. This is just for books. Which is close to home and what I recommend “pushing”. But, I’ve heard of people earning 15K a month doing clothes links, electronics etc. Sales of books isn’t going to make us a fortune, but a little extra grip doesn’t hurt, either.

2. Intentions of your Readers

The marvelous thing about our blogs is that it is a very direct target market. We are blogging to people that love books and want to buy books and are on your blog to get ideas about what books to buy. This has the potential to be great. But, you have to work the angle and get your readers in a buying mood. If they already have an out of control TBR list, why would they purchase something “on the spot” from your blog?

Think about what would get you to purchase a book “on the spot.” A great review? That is the most obvious. I wouldn’t pepper a negative review with Associate links. Why would someone have the sudden urge to buy that book?

Sales! Those are good ideas, I always tweet out a great sale I find on Amazon. Why not? I’m excited about the low price, maybe someone else is.

My best advice would be to you, as a reader, thinking about what might prompt you to make a sale and translate that into a few posts without being too overly in-your-face about it.

3. Relevant Links

Where most bloggers mess this up, is when it comes to “other items”. You are blogging about books, the majority of your conversions will be for books. I wouldn’t try to sell clothes or electronics on your book blog, because that is not what your readers are there for. You might try your hand at eReaders, but I would not post a 3D Television link on your blog. Only if you were maybe doing a review of a 3D television.

Take it a step further, if you are always promoting YA, I really doubt that you’ll get a lot of clicks if you put up adult themed Associate links.

4. Use Internal Links

Slapping a banner ad or sidebar advertisement is great and all, but the more relevant your topic and the more relevant your link is the more traffic you will generate. I highly recommend doing internal links inside your blog posts. Generate links every time you mention the book title or the author name. If you mention an eReader maybe offer a link to your favorite eReader. These type of targeted links will be much more effective than sidebar advertisements. They take a little more time though.

Making money through affiliate links5. Link Your Book Images

Always have your book images link back to the Amazon page and always remember to include an ALT tag. On top of increasing SEO effectiveness it will also generate a click-through.


6. Buy Now

Buy Now buttons at the bottom of your reviews can be a good way to convert sales

7. Pay Attention

Every time you do something new in one of your blog posts, pay attention to the sales generated, you’ll learn what works and doesn’t work.

Hi Rachel!
Here lately I’ve noticed an interesting/disturbing giveaway trend.A few weeks ago I did a giveaway (for a single e-book) and noticed two IP addresses had entered multiple times. It was pretty obvious they were trying to “trick” me – using different names, that were the “same”. For example, Sarah/Sara or Amanda/Mandi/Manda. They also used free email addresses that were all virtually the same, just different numbers tagged on. (ie sar3434, sarah5453). Each IP had entered the giveaway 5 times, within a span of a minute.Then today I was checking giveaway entries for a different giveaway…same IP, same deal.Now, I know technology isn’t perfect and I’m sure I’ve accidentally entered giveaways or other things multiple times, but this is kind of blatantly obvious.I’ve thought of just banning the IP outright. My plan right now is to make screen shots for awhile of every time they do this. I’m also planning on adding a “policy” to my page saying I can remove multiple entries to cover myself…I’m honestly not one of these dramatic people or I’d already have strewn this person’s name all over everywhere, but I’m pretty annoyed. Any ideas? – Amanda

Running these giveaways on our own Amanda just begs “cheaters” to take advantage of the system. I would definitely add a giveaway policy that says you have the right to disqualify entries due to possible scamming, multiple entries or ineligibility. I would also include some vague descriptor that says something like “or any other reason that deems an entry unfit.” In case something pops up in the future.

No matter what, there is always some “AHOLE” that has to take advantage of things. Just like anywhere else. My suggestion to you, use the Rafflecopter Widget, it accounts for IP addresses and has people enter via Facebook or a login area. This way there is some accountability. I’m sure there are ways around it. In fact, I check that the Rafflecopter widget is working with my “gaming” Facebook account and it logs that in. So, if people really want the book or item, I’m sure they could do something similar. The best way to do it would be once you pick a winner go back and check IP addresses. If that IP only comes up for that one email you have a winner, if they are a cheater, pick again. I would also state this in the giveaway deets.

XO – Happy Thursday, Talk Less, Read More.

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