Becoming an Amazon Associate
Trying to Make Money from Photography?
Like many of you, I am an avid amateur and am looking to make enough money from photography to support my habit- buy new lenses, cover some trip travel expenses, update software. Basically, just not have my spouse on my back about all the money being spent on my photography obsession.
To that end, I started researching some online ways to generate revenue from things that I already did, such as run a blog. Doing an Internet search , I came across a blog by an Irishman named Jimmy McIntyre, where he listed a series of books and articles that he used to learn about how to market photography. Interestingly enough, he had hoped to make this a series of articles, but found that these articles were the least visited on his site. Hence, he cut his series short. Too bad, as there really is a dearth of internet information about how to use the web to capitalize on turning a profit with photography. At the top of the list of books, Jimmy made a disclaimer,” I am an Amazon Affiliate…” This program was news to me, so besides signing on to the Amazon Affiliate program, I did a search for other affiliate programs that I thought I might naturally gravitate to within my blog. Besides Amazon, Itunes, Ebay and B&H photo also use affiliate programs. These are just a few of the sites I thought I might use. I am sure there are many more.
Signing up for the Amazon Affiliate program was easy enough- ( Look all the way down on any page in Amazon and there is a section called “Make Money with Us”, under this heading you will see a link that says “Become an Affiliate”). However, I had a very hard time making the links work in my WordPress blog. After signing into Amazon and my affiiliate account, I tried using the site stripe “Link to this page” button, but for the life of me, I could not get it to work, though the process seemed simple and straight forward. I did work with an Amazon Affiliate representative that helped me establish a clumsy work around, but he thought the issue really lay with something in WordPress.
This led me on another search about how to get my Amazon Affiliate links to work in WordPress. From this search I came across a Plugin called EasyAzon. I ordered and downloaded the Multisite use license. The video and help on EasyAzon is not very detailed, especially if you are a beginner to adding plugins to your WordPress site. So for a beginner, here is the way to go about adding the plugin:
On the left side of WordPress dashboard, you will see many icons. Click on the one that looks like a plug and from the dropdown menu click “add new“. From this menu you will see a page that says ” Install plugins“. Just below this title you will see a series of links, click on “upload“. From this window , the easiest thing to do is to upload the Zip file from your desktop. This insures that all links are correct. If you click back on the plug icon you will see a flyout menu that says “Plugins”. Click on this and you should see, EasyAzon and EasyAzon Pro.
In this plug-in menu click on the “Settings’ button under one of the EasyAzon plug-ins. This will lead you to a new page, where you have to set up an Amazon AWS Management account. I know it is another step, but the EasyAzon Plug-in will not work without this account. Follow the steps to set up this account and you will get an email with an Access Key ID and a Secret Access Key ID. Make sure you save these account numbers and then plug them into the EasyAzon Settings page on WordPress. Once all the steps are in place, you will have a EasyAzon button at the top of your wordpress blog, next to the add media button:
From here, the EasyAzon tutorials will explain the rest. But I have to say, that even for a novice like me, the linking was very straight forward and intuitive. They also offer a section to becoming an Amazon Affiliate in other countries, which makes your target audience unlimited.
As many photographers have said, they generate more money- up to 70% of their earnings- from teaching others how to take great photos. Indeed, with the the advent of digital photography, just making great images is not enough, so as photographers we are always looking for other ways to make some kind of living from our passion. Associate programs are just another arrow in our quiver.