This is the first article of the blog with no technical content. It is my first look at monetising a website and trying to generate some passive income. If the website could cover its own running costs, currently £1 a month, I would be a very happy man.
I may be jumping the gun a little. In order for a site to make any sort of profit it first needs an audience, however as part of my education I have been reading a few eBooks and I recommend these in the articles Terraform and Terragrunt and Make it Pretty.
The links within the articles that I used for the recommendation are amazon associate links.
Sign me up
The place to go to sign up is here. If you have an existing Amazon account you can use this to register. If you too are hosting your site on AWS then you can have your root account and the associate account both under the same convenient login. The sign up process is painless, some questions about what your site is and of course what your domain is.
How does it work
Find a product that you want to promote that is available to buy on Amazon via their product links tool. You are provided with a URL and, if you like, an image that will navigate to the Amazon product page. You can embed this URL into your website. When a sale is completed after using the URL you gain a percentage of the sale. The category of the product will determine the percentage of the sale that you will receive. For instance if you promote a 'handmade' product you will, at the time of writing, receive ten percent of the sale, but if like me you are mostly promoting books and eBooks then you will receive five percent.
After your first 3 sales Amazon checks that your site is not breaching any of the terms of service.
Once you have reached the minimum threshold you can make a withdrawal to your bank account. This currently has a minimum of £25.
If you are like me, living in the UK with the chance of a sale perhaps in the US you will want a link specifically for the country that the guest is viewing from. You need to sign up for Amazon Associates in each country where you may make a sale. You can then conditionally show the correct link or for a price use a third party tool such as SkimLinks who charge twenty five percent or Geni who charge $5 a month. I personally have only set up an account in the UK, but will come back to this later.
If you have a large audience or a really good niche then this will be a great way to make some passive income. If you are like me and learning this is a really easy place to start.