Instead of trying to compete directly with every other existing site for a visitor’s attention, Amazon has turned other site owners into potential partners with their Associates Program. By paying site owners 2.5-15% of qualifying item sales that are referred through those sites (called referral fees ), Amazon has encouraged hundreds of thousands of independent site owners to send potential customers to Amazon.
People are using the associates program in hundreds of creative ways to earn money for their web-related activities. Here are a few examples:
Though Amazon has products in every possible category dealing with every possible subject, it’s not always easy to find the best for a given niche. Some sites find the best stuff available in narrow subject areas and refer the sales to Amazon directly from their site [Hack #60], getting some money in the process.
Some sites want to earn a bit of money, but don’t have enough traffic to use a large banner-ad service. Amazon provides the tools for do-it-yourself banner advertising [Hack #62].
As more and more people publish online with journals and weblogs, they’re sharing the books they’re reading or movies they’re watching. They’re providing commentary and criticism [Hack #69], and Amazon’s referral fees can compensate them for their efforts.
Anytime there’s a chance to drive traffic to a web site, there’s a chance to earn money through Amazon ...