Over the last few months, I’ve been trying different strategies to increase my monthly affiliate income. One of those strategies has been optimizing in real time.
Today I’m going to show you what I mean by that, and give you a few tips on how you can implement the same strategy on your site right away.
So what do I mean by optimizing in real time?
How have I been using daily reports to get more people clicking on my links and buying the products I recommend?
It’s pretty simple, actually: I let my readers show me which products they think would be helpful to add to my existing content.
A Peek Behind The Numbers
But let’s first take a step back, okay?
Before we dive into the details, let’s look at some screenshots from my Amazon Associates account for my blog.
So, just in the last two months, as you can see from my Amazon Associates screenshot above, my overall clicks and ordered items have drastically increased.
Now, I know these numbers might not be anything super exciting.
Some bloggers have 10x this amount of clicks on Amazon.
But what if I told you this upward trend of conversions was directly related to knowing which items my readers are interested in buying.
This screenshot from my Amazon Associates shows the number of products ordered after clicking on one of my affiliate links on my site:
- Was the product that was ordered the same item I recommended in my post? (“Ordered Through Product Links”)
- Or was the product an additional item ordered after clicking on one of my links? (“All Other Items Ordered”)
As you can see, 39% of the items I made commission on were products ordered in addition to (or instead of) the items I directly linked to.
While many of these “other ordered items” are just random things that readers decided to buy, some of them are worth taking a closer look at.
By digging a little deeper into this “other items” category, you can get a valuable glimpse into related products that are also being purchased.
Let me ask you: are you starting to see the value in checking out this “other items” column?
Optimizing My Amazon Conversions In Real Time
When you’re writing a blog post, no matter what the topic is about, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re going to include links to products that would be helpful for the reader.
If it’s a recipe post, you may make an ingredients & supplies list. Or if it’s a makeover reveal, you’ll likely link sources to all of the items in the room.
What if there was a way to know which products would most likely be purchased along with the items you’ve already linked?
You’d probably want to include those items in your blog post too, right?
Of course! By doing this, you would be adding valuable and helpful content to your site. Something we should always be striving to do.
When one of my most popular posts started converting well on Amazon, I noticed that readers were not only buying the items I recommended in the post, but also purchasing other items.
I took that as my readers telling me – “Hey, ya know what else would be helpful? Recommending this awesome product to go along with the ones you used in your post!“
So that’s exactly what I did.
The Best Way To Know What Products Your Readers Want To Buy
Let’s walk through how to implement this strategy using daily reports in the Amazon Associates portal.
A quick note about Amazon’s recent commission changes:
Amazon recently cut their affiliate commission rates, some by over 50%.
This has a huge impact for bloggers like me and you. While it may be tempting to stop linking to Amazon products because of this, I highly recommend against that.
And here’s why: Amazon has way higher conversion rates than any other equivalent retailer. This is because many people prefer Amazon to other online retailers.
I truly believe that if you change your Amazon links to another retailer, you will be losing even more money vs leaving them in place.
Ok, let’s break down the best way to implement this real time optimization strategy.
1. Start With Your Top Converting Posts
Notice how I said your top converting posts. Not just your top posts.
Just because a post gets a lot of traffic, doesn’t mean it earns you a lot of affiliate income.
So the first step is to figure out which posts on your site are converting the best.
The easiest way to do this is to add tracking links to your blog posts. I’ve just recently started doing this and will be sharing more about how to do that in a future post.
If you don’t have tracking links set up yet, you’ll have to go off of the number of products sold through your links.
Login to your Amazon Associates account and click on ‘Reports‘.
Then change the dates to at least 30 days (or longer) and hit ‘Apply‘. This should give you enough data to see which items you sell the most of.
Next, you’ll want to sort by the number of items ordered through your links. To do this, click on ‘Ordered Through Product Links‘.
This will bring up a list of product links starting with the product you sell the most of. Hopefully this makes it obvious which blog posts are generating the most affiliate income for you.
So now that you know which posts convert best, you can start looking for related products that readers are already buying.
2. Check Reports Often
I’ve gotten into a routine of checking the products that sell at least once every day or two. By checking often, it usually only takes a few minutes to browse the product list.
Note: you’ll notice I’ve blurred out the specific products in the above screenshot so these product links cannot be straight copied.
When you take a look at which products are being purchased, it should be pretty easy to find the related products that are also being ordered.
To be clear, this strategy of leveraging your readers’ recent purchases does NOT in any way mean that you should assume those products are great and automatically add them to your content. No, the products you recommend to your readers should be well researched by YOU in order to maintain your readers’ trust and your own credibility.
Anyway, this is how I start to make a list of products I think would add value to my future readers.
And the best part?
I didn’t have to guess what my audience wanted or needed in addition to the products I already included in my content.
By keeping an eye on which products were being ordered on a daily basis, I can see which items would be helpful to add to my post.
No guessing involved!
3. Do Your Own Research
Now, this step is important.
Like I mentioned earlier, you should not just assume because someone purchased an item that you should then turn around and recommend it to your readers.
This is simply a way of coming up with product ideas. Once you have an idea for a product that should be added to the post, you need to look into the different brands available, read reviews, and potentially purchase the product yourself (all of the normal things you do before linking to an item on your site).
Add Helpful Links To Your Existing Posts
So now that we know which products readers are already buying, what is our next step?
Simply add these links to your post!
From there, you’ll want to continue monitoring your product reports and see which products end up converting and which ones don’t.
Play around with it and hone in on what’s successful!
Why I Decided To Share This Strategy
Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to make money as a blogger.
It’s a way to provide helpful information for your readers while also earning an income. It’s really a win win!
And this strategy of real time optimization is such a simple way to improve both of those things.
Want To Take It A Step Further?
A lot of new bloggers wonder if it’s really possible to make money from affiliate marketing. It absolutely is, although it can feel impossible if you don’t know where to start.
That’s why I recommend checking out one of my favorite courses I’ve ever taken, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Michelle from Making Sense of Cents is an absolute genius when it comes to affiliate marketing. (She makes over $50K per MONTH from her blog…what?!)
I decided to invest in Michelle’s online course because I was ready to get serious about affiliate marketing and increase my blogging income.
This course has been a total game-changer for me!
In May when I bought the course, my affiliate income was $183.20. In July, after implementing everything I learned from the course, my affiliate income was $424.85. That’s a 132% increase!
Since then my affiliate income continues to grow and I’ve recently been averaging over $1,000 per month.
If you want to increase the income from your blog, then you NEED this course.
You can learn more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing here.
Now It’s Your Turn
I hope this case study was able to show you a simple way to increase your affiliate income by using real time data from your readers’ purchases.
Now, I turn it over to you!
If you found this helpful please share it with a blogger friend! Sharing is caring 🙂