Home Affiliate Marketing Blog 6 Anime Affiliate Programs: Make Money Off your Favorite Anime

6 Anime Affiliate Programs: Make Money Off your Favorite Anime

6 Anime Affiliate Programs: Make Money Off your Favorite Anime

Loyal readers of the Affilorama Blog, particularly Niche of the Week posts, know that I tend to venture into niches that are close to my own personal interests. This week’s niche is one such example, but what makes this niche different from all the others is that I had not thought of this one myself. I blame it on my familiarity with with the niche.

Surely, there's no way to make money from anime. Right?

But our dear content editor, Melissa, said there is. And so here I am, featuring anime affiliate programs as Niche of the Week.

For those who have absolutely no idea what I have been rambling on about, check these out: Rurouni Kenshin, Attack on Titan, Naruto, and Sailor Moon. Oh and we must not forget the series that helped make anime a worldwide obsession: Dragon Ball.

Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball. The Super Saiyan of all anime series. 

Dragon Ball will probably tip you off what this whole anime niche is about, but if it doesn't and you haven't heard of any of the other series, don't worry. Anime information is up ahead!

For those who breathe and live anime, settle down. We will get to the dollar bits soon enough so you can move on to the next episode of One Piece.

“Anime? What's Anime?!” or “How Do I Make Money From a Bunch of Cartoons?”

Japanese animation has a strong following and is a billion-dollar industry.

“Anime” is a term for Japanese animation. This includes both TV series and films.

Anime is huge in Japan, naturally. And it's also extremely popular in the U.S. So much so it has become a way of living for some (check out the otaku sub-culture). There are over 400 animation studios in Japan, and a large number of manga (graphic novel) publishers. Many anime series are adapted from manga, so the two are very closely entwined.

I won’t go into the history, but if you’re interested, here’s a timeline of the growth of anime. In the US, subtitled series are in demand (as well as dubbed adaptations). It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to license these anime programs for television, compared to a few thousand dollars to stream them over the Internet. This gave way to anime streaming sites like Crunchyroll.

In 2009, the anime industry in the US reached over USD $2 billion in earnings and it's just been growing since then. Most of that money comes from DVD and Blu-ray sales of popular series and movies. Suffice to say, this is how you’ll be earning off this niche -- DVD/Blu-ray sales coupled with sales off streaming sites like Crunchyroll.

Spirited Away

The animated film that broke records around the world.

We have an Affilorama member who created a Transformers site, mostly to share his love for the series, which has its roots in Japanese anime, but also to earn money promoting the extensive number of collectibles and action figures the franchise has spawned. Unfortunately, I can no longer find his site to share it here.

Other sites you can refer to are HalycyonRealms.com, Kurugane, and Chizumatic. These are mostly blogs that do episode commentary or recap. These sites earn money from AdSense and referrals to anime online stores. And note too that these are sites by adults, not teens, and they discuss not just anime, but politics, culture and art, too.

Anime-ted Keywords

Your site is all about anime, but it will not be just about "anime."

I fired up Affilotools to look at keywords to target for the anime niche. Note that our niche is “anime” but that will not be our target keyword at all.

Your target keyword will be anything, and everything, to do with your favorite anime. Or the anime you’re interested in, if you’re not following a particular series.

If you run a search on “anime,” you’ll get a bunch of anime-related keywords. Mostly low competition with good search numbers, but they are random, and don't make much sense. You could write something like “Top 10 Romance Anime“ or similar lists to target these keywords. (You could even write about the best episodes from individual series, like "Fairy Tail.") It's great information for your readers, but will not get you anyone who wants to buy or subscribe to something anime-related.

Anime - Affilotools Keyword Research Results

 

So, you need to make your keywords specific. This is where your passion for the anime niche comes out. You can target your fellow anime lovers by going after keywords that contain the title or the name of the characters that appear on your anime of choice.

As you can see in the following screenshot, I searched for Rurouni Kenshin, a popular series,  and the results look much better than the generic "anime." Still low competition, but with fairly good monthly searches.

Rurouni Kenshin Affilotools Keyword Research Results

 

Unfortunately, those are still mostly information keywords. If you go for keywords with buyer intent, like “Rurouni Kenshin Blu-ray,” the situation is reversed: high competition with extremely low monthly searches. This is only a problem if you’re promoting Blu-rays and DVDs, though. Thankfully, there are other products you can promote in the anime niche, like collectible anime figurines and other merchandise.

Rurouni Kenshin - Affilotools Results Buyer Intent

 

These keywords, while showing the level of interest and demand in the niche, are tricky in that you have to come up with a combination of both information and buyer-intent keywords. The good thing is that there is plenty you can write about in this niche that will allow you to target either or both types of keywords.

Anime Affiliate Programs: The Top 6

These are the best 6 anime affiliate programs you could use to monetize your anime website!

I went to check ClickBank’s Marketplace, despite the strong feeling that it wouldn't have any anime affiliate programs. My instincts proved to be right, so I searched web instead, and found the following:

Amazon.com - Anime Affiliate Program

1. Amazon.com

About Amazon.com
Amazon.com is one of the largest and most popular e-commerce sites out there, offering online shoppers everything from books to household items to toys. That includes a decent selection of anime and collectibles.

How much can I make?
The Amazon Associate commissions are a measly 4%, but this can easily add up once you start to sell items on a regular basis. It’s not much, but consider that anime products aren't the only items your customers can buy from Amazon through your link. You get commissions from the entire purchase, anime item or not, so this may actually be a substantial amount after all.

How do I apply?
Apply at Amazon Associates.

Crunchyroll - Anime Affilliate Program

2. Crunchyroll.com

About Crunchyroll.com
Crunchyroll.com is a video streaming website, similar to YouTube. The main difference is that the company only streams Japanese anime and subtitled Asian dramas. Subscribing to Crunchyroll gives you access to a large collection of anime and manga.

How much can I make?
You can earn 10% for each subscription through your link. That's a pretty good commission. The catch is you only get paid the commission if they subscribe to the streaming service. You don’t get commissions on any purchases from the Crunchyroll store.

How do I apply?
Go to the Crunchyroll website to apply.

J-List.com - Anime Affiliate Program

3. J-List.com

About J-List.com
J-List.com is like Amazon.com. The only difference is J-List all about Japan: books, toys, kitchen items, stationery… even chopsticks! And of course, a wide collection of anime DVDs and collectibles.

How much can I make?
You can earn 10% for each sale. You need to reach at least $25 in commission before you can withdraw your earnings.

How do I apply?
Sign up directly through the J-List website.

Play-Asia.com - Anime Affiliate Programs

4. Play-Asia

About Play-Asia
Play-Asia.com sells video games, toys and electronics. It's a Hong Kong-based company that ships worldwide

How much can I make?
Play-Asia has the highest commission of the bunch, at 12% per sale. Affiliates have the option of using their commission as store credit. They get an extra 5% to their earnings if they opt for store credit.

How do I apply?
Head on to the Play-Asia website to sign up for the affiliate program.

Plamoya - Anime Affiliate Programs

5. Plamoya

About Plamoya
Plamoya is a Japan-based online store offering a wide selection of action figures. It also carries DVDs and books. The company ships worldwide.

How much can I make?
Commissions are 5% of the total sale. This is paid to you with a discount coupon you can use for purchases on the site.

How do I apply?
Sign up directly through the site at Plamoya.com

CDJapan.com - Anime Affiliate Program

6. CDJapan

About CDJapan
CDJapan is more of a music store where you can purchase J-Pop CDs, but the site also offers apparel, crafts, and anime products. It's based in Japan and ships worldwide.

How much can I make?
You can earn 5% to 7% of the sale. The commission varies depending on the sales you earned in the previous month. I can’t find information on the site about how the commission is paid, though.

How do I apply?
CDJapan manages its own affiliate program, so you need to sign up through the site at CDJapan.co.jp

These are the best anime affiliate programs I could find that you can sign up with to monetize an anime site. There are a few others you can try, like TokyoToys.com and AnimeCornerStore.com. AnimeCornerStore.com appears to have a strict sign-up process, though, and the commission is only 5%.

Must-See, Must-Have: A List of Traffic Methods

Strategize and line up traffic methods so you can get more people to your site.

Before you can promote affiliate products, you need to promote your site first. And getting people on your site, regardless of what niche you’re in, is challenging.

This is why I always say to have a list of link-building and marketing methods on hand. You can do this while you’re researching and planning the site. It doesn’t have to be a complete list with a budget and all that. You can draw up a rough draft in the early stages of building the site, then revise and finalize it when the site is almost done.

By doing this, you get to jump into link building as soon as the site is complete. No nail-biting moments worrying how you’re going to get people to your site. If your marketing strategy includes paid traffic methods, then you could at least set aside funds ahead of time.

A few link-building or marketing methods to consider include:

Social Media Marketing

I think this method is on everyone’s list for top marketing methods. Not only can you promote almost anything through social media, there’s also the huge market, which is logged on 24/7, that you can tap into.

It can be tricky, but there’s plenty of tutorials online to guide you. On the Affilorama site alone, you’ll find free lessons on how to promote your blog on social networking sites and blog posts on how to hit your target market using Facebook.

Blog and Forum Commenting

The anime community is huge. While this certainly makes this niche a competitive one, it also gives you plenty of link building opportunities by way of blog commenting. You’ll find plenty of blogs like this and this that you can comment on.

If you’re a long-time anime fan, then this would be easy enough for you, going into discussions of your favorite series, or a specific episode. If this is your first venture into anime, fear not. Be honest and let them know you’re new to the genre. What’s important is to join in on the conversation and try your best to give honest and helpful responses.

As with social media marketing, there’s a variety of online how-to's that show you how to properly comment on blogs and forums. We have our own version published on the Affilorama Blog: SEO Blog Commenting 101.

Content Strategy

If you clicked on the links to the sample blogs above, you already know what you’ll be up against. These bloggers publish content on a regular basis, and these are not your general "what-is-this-anime-about" articles. The reason these blogs are popular is because they do episode commentary. They follow a specific anime (or several!) and they go over each episode, summarizing it and adding their own thoughts.

A good content strategy will help you keep up with these sites. It will also help you to properly allocate time between research and writing your article, or getting it written. We have free lessons on content creation, or you can follow this how-to on creating your own content strategy.

Anime Affiliate Programs: Killer Earnings or Total Dud?

It's more of somewhere in between. And then some. But you do get to do what you want to do: watch and talk about anime. And for most who are engaged in the anime niche, that's more than enough.

4%
Commission
10%
Comission
10%
Commission
12%
Comission
5%
Commission
5-7%
Comission

Promoting anime affiliate programs will not make you a ton of cash. But it won’t put you under either. This is one of those niches that you do for the sheer love of the niche itself, and not really for its earning potential.

The commissions are good, but not good enough when you think about the kind of competition you’ll be going up against. From what I’ve seen most websites on this niche make money from AdSense, more than any of the affiliate programs featured here. With the traffic they get on their sites, it may not be so bad at all, considering that these bloggers are doing it for the love of anime, not love of profit.

There are small, personal anime websites that thrive despite the competition, as the anime niche appears to be more of a robust community than cutthroat competition. That doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. As with any affiliate marketing endeavor, you want to get as big a portion of the niche’s target market as possible to get more sales, so work on those link-building and marketing strategies.

If you’re an anime fan who wants to build a site and talk about what you love, then go for it. The commission you’ll get for promoting the anime affiliate programs here will be enough to cover for the hosting and domain name fees over time. Maybe you’ll get more.

Those who are new to affiliate marketing and thinking of going into this niche might want to reconsider. Don’t go into this unless you have a genuine interest in anime; otherwise, you’ll struggle with creating content for your site, and in this niche, you need to do that pretty much on a regular basis. You’ll also find it difficult to connect if you’re only feigning interest.

If you already have an anime website and are getting considerable traffic… Well, what are you waiting for? Monetize the site and get more from watching anime than just viewing pleasure!

Looking for a solid link building strategy? AffiloBlueprint has it!

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