How Free Can Turbocharge Amazon Associate CommissionsWhen I first started getting into affiliate marketing, there were only a few programs available and Amazon Associates was one of the kings.
To this day, Amazon remains one of the most popular programs despite various changes (1 day cookies, argh!!!) because few affiliate programs that give you access to such a wide range of products. It could monetize a personal finance blog as well as a grilling blog as well as a scotch blog (all those examples are from personal experience).
The name of the game in affiliate marketing is to have your readers click on the links, get delivered a cookie, and, hopefully, buy something on the site. If you’ve been at it for any period of time, you’ve probably developed your own ways of providing value and enticing readers to click through.
Here’s something you probably didn’t think about — offer them something free.
Give your readers free Kindle ebooks.
Why Free Kindle Books?
People love free and there’s nothing like being able to give the people what they want. What’s nice about free, especially if it’s only free for a limited time, is that people will click through and download the ebook even if they have only a passing interest in it.
For example, I was searching through the Business & Investing category and stumbled on Kindle Money Mastery: How I Make Six Figures Through Amazon Kindle Publishing Revealed by Stefan Pylarinos. I have no interest in publishing a book, let alone an ebook on the Kindle, but the book was free and I downloaded it. I might want to read it one day even though I have no idea who the author is (it’s Stefan Pylarinos and he runs ProjectLifeMaster.com).
A few clicks and the book is waiting in my iPad kindle reader.
How To Find Free Kindle Books
It’s quite simple, go to the Kindle eBook Store and do a search for a title that matches whatever niche your site is in. Then sort by Price: Low to High.
I found that searching by keyword was hit or miss, I preferred to search by Department, sort, and pick and choose from there.
The left arrow points to where you can pick the department, the right arrow points to the sort. Sadly, if you change your search you have to re-select Price: Low to High each time.
Beware the 80%/20,000 Rule
Don’t go overboard, Amazon has a rule against too much promotion of free Kindle eBooks:
Starting March 1, 2013, Associates who we determine are promoting primarily free Kindle eBooks and meet both conditions below for a given month will not be eligible for any advertising fees for that month within the Amazon Associates Program. This change will not affect advertising fees earned prior to March 1, 2013.
1. At least 80% of all Kindle eBooks ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links are free Kindle eBooks
2. 20,000 or more free Kindle eBooks are ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links.
The bar is fairly high and according to Amazon, it’ll affect less than 0.1% of affiliates. You have to have a pretty large audience in order to promote 20,000+ free Kindle eBooks in a month.
To find out how many books you’ve “sold,” log into your Associates account and look at your Misc. Referrals Report. There is a box for Kindle Free E-books Summary, that’ll tell you how many Free units, Paid units, and the ratio.
To protect yourself, I recommend using something like Pretty Link for your affiliate links (Amazon calls them Special Links). When you see that you’re getting close to 20,000 free Kindle eBooks, change the links so that they aren’t affiliate links anymore (or promote a friend!).
In the event you do manage to trip this rule, you won’t be kicked out of the Amazon Associates program. You just won’t earn any commissions for that month.
Have you used this strategy to set your cookie? If so, do you have any tips and tricks to be more effective?
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