NOTE: Please read the update post here for important information about the restrictions of the affiliate program.
I mentioned the Amazon Affiliates fundraising idea in “Adopt Without Debt” almost as a side note. I knew a couple people who had done it and made a few hundred dollars. And money is money, right?
But now I’m telling you, this idea REALLY works! Stacy and Rodney have gone gangbusters with this idea and already made $1,400 for their adoption fund. Their friends and family have used their Amazon affiliate link to purchase over $20k worth of merchandise.
I have a quick link in my Safari bookmark bar that says “Amazon-Kennedy”. Every time I need something on Amazon I use the link. I don’t want to know how much of that $20k I’m responsible for personally 🙂
This is a NO-BRAINER! After you have it set up all you need to do is advertise it and remind people. Here’s a couple ideas:
- Post it on your Facebook profile and then post to FB at least once a week. (Once Stacy posted some of the unusual stuff people had purchased – they can’t see who purchased it. That was kind of fun.)
- Tweet it, of course
- Put it in the sidebar of your blog
- Send an email to friends and family with the link. Encourage them to add it as a quick link in their browser.
- Stacy sent her Christmas cards out before Thanksgiving with some cute cards with their link. GENIUS!
So that you don’t have ANY excuses, I’m even going to walk you through the set up process.
2. Click the “Join Now for Free” button.
3. Sign in to your regular Amazon.com account. If you don’t have one click “I’m a new customer.”
4. Verify your account information – mainly where payment should be sent.
5. Tell Amazon about your website. This form is pretty self-explanatory and don’t worry. Most of the answers are just for their research purposes. (You can click on the images below to enlarge if you have questions.)
If you don’t have a blog, don’t worry. I tested it with just putting my Facebook unique URL in the “name of your website” link and it worked fine.
6. Next you’ll get a page with your unique Amazon ID. It’ll look weird like “httpwwwfa0f8d-XX”. Click the “Specify Payment Information” button.
7. Fill out the form. Tax Name is just going to be your name as it appears on your taxes. Tax ID Number is your social security number. Yes, this counts as income and you will need to report it on your taxes. Under “Organization” select Individual. Then select your payment method. Direct deposit makes the most sense as they don’t charge you a fee. If you select that it will expand and you will need your bank account information.
Congrats, now you’ll get to your Amazon Associates “dashboard”. There’s all kinds of information on how to link to specific products and embed stuff into posts. It’s great if you want to dig in to it (and if you frequently mention books I would). But for now you don’t need to bother with it.
8. Go back to Amazon.com. Now you’ll notice the “affiliates” grey bar at the top of your browser window.
9. Click the “Link to this page” (while you’re on the home page). You’ll get this pop-up box. Note the text I highlighted below in between the quote marks. Copy just that portion. That is your affiliate link. Of course that’s super long and not very user-friendly but hang on.
1o. Next we’re going to get a shortened URL. There’s a number of services you can use – bit.ly etc. TinyURL is an easy one. Go to TinyURL.com and paste that link into the box that says “Enter a long URL to make tiny” then click the “make tiny” button.
You’ll get something like this
Copy the tiny url and use it in Tweets, FB, etc. Paste it into a text document on your desktop or something for easy reference.
For printing business cards: Vistaprint.com offers 250 free business cards you could use to make up some cards to hand out to friends.
What other “affiliate” programs are you using to raise funds for your adoption?