I've now been an Amazon affiliate for over 2 years, and I have to say that I started seeing considerate sales only this year around. The first year I was wary of it, as I am with any NEW thing I try out. Because of this, I didn't have many affiliate links embedded on my sites -- just one here and there. Then I saw my first sale and I was tempted to test out more product links related to my niche topics. Yet, I shied away from taking Amazon too seriously, because I had heard horror stories of how the checks never reached your place especially if you resided in India. Only after I received my first check, that I knew this was a real deal -- even for Indians. It takes around 2-3 weeks for me to get Amazon check. It arrives faster than Clickbank's, and more or less the same time as Google AdSense, ShareASale checks.
If you are thinking of becoming an Amazon affiliate, and are feeling apprehensive of the whole thing -- don't be! If I can get checks whilst staying in a rural place in India, so can you! But yes, you can't expect yourself to get sales by carelessly dropping in links all over your site. The product HAS to be related to what your niche topic is about. For example, you can't expect to sell a Paulo Coelho book when your blog is all about sports. If someone has landed on your sports blog after searching for a sports-related topic on Google, they're more likely to purchase a product that is related to your theme. This is one of the first lessons that I've learnt in affiliate marketing.
I've seen a number of newbie blogs where the author talks about everything under the Sun and then drops in an affiliate link for Amazon Kindle. If you ever get a sale out from those links -- it's pure luck. More often than not, you are NOT going to get a sale for those.
Here are some tips -
1. Search for products that are related to your niche. For example, if your blog is about wedding ideas and supplies, look for products that are useful for weddings.
2. Don't just drop links. I've seen that web pages that have loads of content tend to perform well in terms of sales as opposed to those that don't. So yes, use affiliate links, but take your time in explaining why YOU think they're useful. This is probably one of the reasons why affiliate marketing is not for lazy marketers -- coz you need to convince the visitor why your product is useful through your words as quickly as possible. Why quickly as possible? The attention span of readers browsing through the Web is not so good. They are mostly scanning through pages and if they find that a page doesn't convey what they are searching for in the first few seconds of this "scanning" phase - then quick exit left (or right) it is!
3. Do proper keyword research. If you are targeting a general topic, you won't get anywhere. There are loads of competition for keywords like "wedding", so narrow things down a little. What type of wedding supplies do you want to target? There are so many themed weddings happening nowadays, perhaps you should target one particular theme? I will tell you how I do keyword research in another blog post altogether. After doing your keyword research, you can start a blog on the same topic and include appropriate products.
4. One of my favorite features on Amazon affiliate progam is the ability to link to any page using the cute "Link to this page" option at the top left of the screen of Amazon.com. This saves you a lot of time and you needn't keep going back to the affiliate program to build customized links. Use this as often as possible. You can link to a whole results page, or you can target any one specific product.
5. People love pictures. If you want to use a picture of the product on your site, use the 'Image link' after clicking on the "Link to this page" option. Select size "large image" and copy paste the code to your page. People tend to click on pictures that they like, and if they do -- they'll be taken directly to the product page.