Amazon Associates is a convenient way to earn money from your blog. Once you begin blogging consistently, offering up quality content, and recommending a few good products, you will begin to see the referral fees start to accumulate.
As with any blog, you have to keep yours in top condition. One important step is to locate and fix any broken links on your site. I use a plugin called Broken Link Checker. It can take a long time to run, but when it’s finally done it gives me a list of links that need fixing.
The only trouble is that with Amazon links, Broken Link Checker can’t tell which links are broken and which ones aren’t. Amazon has a process embedded with the links that prevents them from offering up a 404 Page Not Found error. Without the 404 error, Broken Link Checker is none the wiser. There is a way to find out if you have any broken Amazon links though. I have a WordPress blog, so these instructions are for WordPress bloggers. I do not know any other blogging platforms.
1. Log into Associates Central and click on Reports and then Orders Report.
Choose a selected date range and click Display on Page.
2. Scroll down to the section marked “Items With No Orders”.
No one could possibly order an item from a broken link, so this is where we will look for the links we need to fix. The items that say (Title not available) are the broken links. They always show up at the top of the list.
The column with the numbers in it shows how many times that link has been clicked. I am embarrassed to say that it has been a long time since I’ve done this little checkup, as shown by the clicks on my broken links! Thankfully it’s only four links. The number on the broken link is the product number, or ASIN. This is what we’ll use to find where I used these links on my site.
3. Open WordPress in a new tab, and log into your Dashboard.
Click All Posts in the sidebar.
4. Switch tabs and copy the first ASIN from the broken link list using CTRL+C.
Then switch back to WordPress and paste the ASIN into the search box in the upper right corner of the All Posts page using CTRL+V. Click Search Posts.
5. Once the post comes up, click Edit, and then select the Text Editor tab.
You’ll need to put your good vision to work here, because you need to find that particular ASIN from among the other codes and ASIN product links in your post.
6. Switch back over to the Amazon tab again, or open a new tab and go to Amazon.com, and search for that product you were linking to.
As they rotate inventory, or new versions of products come out, they add the new versions as new products that have different ASINs than the previous ones they had.
7. Grab the new link for the product, and update the broken link in your post.
That’s it. It’s pretty easy, and as long as you don’t have TOO many broken links, it should not take you very long. Best of all, your recommendations won’t be met with frustration by your readers.