Why I’m Adding Amazon Affiliate Links to my Blog and Podcast

My current personal project is to read books about entrepreneurs and share what I learn from them via blog posts and audio podcasts. By sharing the journeys and wisdom of some of the most successful entrepreneurs, I aim to help entrepreneurs increase their chances of succeeding.

Why Did I Start Thinking about Amazon’s Affiliate Program?

I’ve conducted weekly feedback sessions with listeners as part of my feedback loop. A few weeks ago, one listener told me she purchased an autobiography on Amazon after listening to one of my podcast episodes. This was good because my post was valuable enough to her that she took action to purchase the book. It was also bad because I would have never known about the purchase if it hadn’t been mentioned during our conversation.

I wondered how I could get data on purchases that were prompted by my blog or podcasts. This led me to Amazon Associates, Amazon’s affiliate-marketing program.

What Were My Concerns about Using Amazon’s Affiliate Marketing?

I didn't like the idea of adding affiliate-marketing links. It felt tacky, and I thought people would think I was doing it only to make money off book sales. That would make them suspicious and defeat my purpose. I decided the only way to know for sure was to ask.

During my feedback sessions, I asked about the perception of affiliate-marketing links. To my surprise, listeners shared two important insights. First, it’s fair to include them because my blog or podcast might help them discover and purchase a book. Second, it’s such a common practice now that people don’t look down on it. They expect it. People are appreciative when someone helps them discover new things; it adds value for them.

That feedback proved I was thinking about this the wrong way. I decided to move forward and become an Amazon Affiliate.

Have I Implemented Amazon Affiliate Marketing Links?

Yes. I signed up last week. Friends purchased books so I could test the flow of data. I encountered an issue with links on iPhones initially routing to the Amazon mobile app but then quickly jumping to the Safari web browser. That was annoying because the data tracking was broken when the jump between the mobile app and Safari occurred. If I couldn’t fix this, there was no point in moving forward because a high percentage of people listen and read on iPhones. After spending more time on this than I had planned (and being annoyed), I figured out a hack that appears to be working. Fingers crossed!

I started updating links on my blog and podcast. Over the next week or two, most links to books will be updated to affiliate links.

What Should Blog Readers and Listeners Know?

  • I’m doing this only for books and Amazon. I don’t plan on using affiliate links for any other products or websites.
  • Any purchase you make via affiliate links doesn’t cost you anything extra. Amazon sells the item for the same price and shares part (a very small share) of the purchase price with me as a commission.
  • My objective is to get data, not money. From a monetary perspective, this isn’t a great use of my time. On a $10 book purchase, the affiliate commission is maybe $0.50 if I’m lucky. But from an insights perspective, it’s extremely valuable. Understanding what books are being purchased helps me understand what’s valuable to listeners and readers. Knowing this helps me double down on what’s working and focus my efforts on reading books from the type of entrepreneurs listeners and readers are interested in.

I hope this gives you insight into my thinking. If you want to share your thoughts on this decision, I’m all ears. Feel free to reach out!

Prefer listening? Catch audio versions of these blog posts, with more context added, on Apple Podcasts here or Spotify here!