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Amazon's Associate Program
Joining the Amazon Associates program is free. Once you establish an account, Amazon will walk you through the process of placing snippets of code on your blog with advertising for items available for sale through Amazon. This includes far more than just books.
Once the code is in place, any time a site visitor clicks on an ad on your blog (or Web page or sig line for that matter if you use the code in additional places) and buys something through Amazon, you earn from 4 to 15 percent of the purchase price. Besides, once the blog is in place, why not take advantage of some online marketing?
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How to Join and Get Tips
Start the process by going to Amazon.com and clicking on the “Join Associates" link at the very bottom of the page. Registering requires supplying some basic information including tax id and bank account for direct deposit of payments. Amazon also will pay by check if that is preferable to using your bank account, but there is a $100 minimum before a check is issued plus a $15 processing fee. Direct deposit costs nothing and payments are made when your account reaches $10.
Within the Account Settings section of Associates membership are links to helpful pages such as how to select the best products to feature on your site. It is possible to setup ads so they target specific keywords, categories or products that fit best with the content of your blog or website. At the start, you may wish to experiment with simple random insertions of ads.To maximize income with successful advertising on blogs it is important to ensure blog visitors are presented with ads that have some relationship to what each person expects to learn from the blog. Amazon provides advice on how to do this under the “Performance Tips" link in the account area.
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Finding Ad Links and Copying Them
The mechanics of adding links on the blog do not require knowledge of HTML, simply the ability to copy and paste some generated code into your blog. Begin with a simple text or image link to see how the process works. Later you can get more elaborate with combined text and images, banners or even links to your site from specific Amazon.com pages.
After logging in to your Associates account, one option on a tabbed list across the top of the page is Links & Banners. Find the “Add Product Links now" link and follow it. Do you want to display an ad for the Kindle 2? This happens to be the first link shown. Another option is to search for product links by category. A writer, for example, might chose books as a category and locate books about writing to promote. Get the code to insert by clicking on the associated “Get Link" below the product, which will generate text and image, image only, or text only. There are customization options, but the default is a good way to start. Highlight the displayed HTML code, press Ctrl-C to copy and then paste it temporarily into a Notepad page for later insertion on a blog, Web page, or email signature line.
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Complete the Setup Process
Amazon is not the only source of advertisements. Google's AdSense program offers the ability to place ads on your sites as well.