John Chow today posted a post outlining why he’s not an Amazon Affiliate. It’s a good post in that it gives an insight into his approach to affiliate marketing. The best point John alludes to is that Amazon doesn’t ‘fit’ with his blog. He makes more from other better targeted affiliate programs than Amazon.
However the Amazon Associates Program is well worth considering for some bloggers. I use it and this month it’ll earn me over $2500 USD – not my biggest income stream, but not the ‘pennies and dimes’ that some say it has the potential to earn.
To bring a little balance to the debate over the Amazon Affiliate program I thought I’d give a few reasons that I am an Amazon Affiliate:
1. Amazon is a trusted Brand – I surveyed some of my readers a year back and asked them to give me a list of online stores that they had made purchases from in the last 12 months. Amazon came up number 1 as the most popular shopping destination mentioned. Readers know Amazon and are familiar with it – they trust it and do spend significant money there.
2. Commissions – John writes that he’s not satisfied with a 4% commission. He’s right in some ways, 4% isn’t that much when you’re selling a $10 book – however when you’re selling a Get a Price on the $5000 Camera or a $25,000 Tractor (I know someone who does quite well out of ride on mowers and tractors) it certainly adds up. Not only that, the 4% rate that John talks about is the base rate. Unfortunately it is as high as it goes on consumer electronics – however on most other products there is a sliding scale where the more you sell the higher your commission goes to. Sell more than 6 items in a month and your commission goes to 6% – sell over 630 and you’re up to 8% (the rate I’m on). The 4-Hour work Week that John uses as an example earned me around $1 a book. Still not a lot – but I did sell 100 or so of them (after my interview with it’s author) which not only earned me $100 but also helped push the numbers of sales up for the month, moving me into the next earning bracket.
3. People Buy More than One Item – the great thing about Amazon is that you don’t just earn a commission on the product that you people to, but anything that they buy once they’re at Amazon. I did an experiment earlier in the year where I published a review of a digital photography book on my blog and placed a tracking code in the link to see how much the review earned me specifically. What I found was that the product in the review did quite well – but the sales of other products that people made once they got to Amazon was actually much greater than the sales of the actual book. People went on to buy all manner of products (other books, electronics, cosmetics etc) – I earned a commission on each one of them – now that’s passive income. You earn a commission on anything that a person buys within 24 hours of you sending them to Amazon.
Interesting. I was looking for some info on the amazon-program, and here is defenitly some good info. Thanks!
Thanks for the advice, sounds like amazon offers a pretty good affiliate program i might consider them in the future.
Great article! Amazon has come along way, and so has technology.
I really appreciate the information on this post.
I am seriously contemplating to include Amazon in my affiliate programs, and your perspective helps.
Thank you very much.
[…] today when I send you tens of thousands of dollars of business each month. I’ve written about why I believe in your program and have no doubt sent you hundreds (if not thousands of affiliates in my […]
Great post, I just signed up with Amazon and I believe there is potential, I just hope I can utilize all the tools for positive results. Here’s to a successful 2009!
I have an amazon account but never used it. I will consider using it based on your article.
I am not pleased with the 4% comissions.
I signed up for an account at Amazon and you need to sell alot to make money. When your dealing with multiple streams of income everything counts.
I have never really thought about Amazon, partly because of the low commission. But I guess it does not hurt to have it up.
Are you abel to choose one specific product, something that you’re reviewing, and put a link that would give you commission directly to the product?
What a good article you wrote here. My blog also focus on affiliate Amazon for newbie, so it use a local language.
Thanks, this inspiring me to write on my blog.
Thank you for your review of the Amazon Associates program. We appreciate you sharing your opinion and doing the research needed to fairly evaluate Amazon Associates. We have seen fit to link to this article in our independent Amazon Associates reviews section. Anyhow, Keep up the good work spreading truth.
Hi! Just wanted to let you know how helpful your site has been for me as a new blogger. Thank you!
Great article! Thank you very much for the layout and the additional resources at the end of the article. I run an amazon affiliate site that focuses on xbox 360’s and other video games, but after reading your article, I think I will add a blog to my list of affiliate sites. Thanks again.
Thank you for the article. I am in the process of integrating the amazon store within my site.
I will be using amazon as it does not hurt or cost me anything but time to put up the links.
The 4% and 24hr cookie are not that great but it I agree that it doesn’t hurt or cost anything to post the links. Commissions add up over time.
Thanks for the article with good points. I’m in the process of adding something else to Google Ad-Sense on my blog. http://originalwavelength.blogspot.com/
Hi, Thanks for the great post. I have 2 questions:
1) I use wordpress. Can you recommend a plugin that makes adding amazon affiliate links easier?
2) How do you track amazon affiliate sales and activity?
Thank you for your service. I think your humble tone of voice seems to attract many people to your site.
Great post! One way I always think about it too, is if any website on the internet knows about conversion it’s Amazon with their huge amount of data they have.
4% commission is kinda low but considering if you can get triple the conversion rate from Amazon instead of anywhere else then it’s well worth it and you will make more money in the end.
You also gotta love their product recommendations as well. I don’t know how many times that I’ve been shopping and ended up buying more than I wanted just because of those.
I have all but quit using Amazon. I have heard nothing but negative most places and I have had no luck with them. After reading your post, I guess it is possible to still make money. I am planning to try it again and tweak the way I do it. Thanks for the information!
Amazon has been my second-best earner after Adsense. I am still in the start-up stages of IM in general but I do get a check from Amazon every month. I agree fully with the reasons you give and I have found that the small commissions is far outweighed by the points you list above. I make far more with Amazon than I do with any other affiliate program though they might have higher commissions.
This is partly because my main site is very product related – to physical products. I also attribute the success of this program mainly to these points which you brought up above: #3, #4, #9, and a little bit of #1.
There’re too many affiliate programs available to anyone who are looking for such money making opportunities.You may overwhelm by too many choices and need time to study which program to join ! However,with those useful pointers from Darren as an affiliate marketer for Amazon will help you to decide whether you should consider Amazon as one of your best choice !
I have not tried it yet but I am planning to :)
I’ve been using an amazon plug in for ages with no real success. Given the use of a 24hr cookie I think there are better ways to monetize a site.
I’ve been an Amazon affiliate for many years. At first it was great but now Amazon treats affiliates more like competitors than a feeder of business. Amazon’s performance after a transaction is “handed off” to them is horrible. In any given month they “loose” from 60% to 80% of my customers’ orders at check out. These are not conversion rates on a link but actual orders at check out.
To make matters worse. Amazon does not share information. Amazon takes people from MY website but leave me “holding the bag” when there are problems. Who do customers contact with their complaints? Me! All I can do is suggest they contact Amazon and my reputation, not Amazon’s is hurt.
Another reason not to become an Amazon affiliate is their new policy on advertising. As of May 2009, Amazon will not pay ANY commission to affiliates who use search advertising. Yes, you heard me right. They will pay no commissions to any site that even indirectly markets anything that Amazon sells.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have invested my time and money somewhere else.
[…] make a few odd dollars from it – however in recent times it has become a significant earner for me (as I’ve shared previously). This quarter it overtook TLA as my third biggest earner – largely on the back of me directing […]
Darren, I a new to your site, and am thoroughly impressed. You provide excellent and thorough information. I am going to check out Amazon, but would guess that they are screening applicants these days. Thanks for an interesting post. Many people could make ends meet with $2500 each month.
it seesm you are making good money. Some other posts are really negative and i was put off and thought about ebay affiliates. Ill give it a go..
Nice article!! Amazon is really great place to get start your affiliate marketing. You can earn a good amount.
You have convinenced me to sign up for the program. You really do not have much to lose.
Amanzon is big company, and trusted brand. So people like to buy there. thanks.
Great post, I promote products on my site as an Amazon
affiliate and I’m really disappoint by them, the decision to
stop affiliates from using PPC, low commission rates, the
24 hour cookies… on and on.
But the Amazon name is so powerful it’s hard to pass up, mainly because I don’t’ have a specific product to sell. The money I make as an affiliate is negligible.
But lets not forget, when I started building this site I was making nada, but this has changed, now the income I
generate, is increasing little by little. I’m in a highly
competitive market, and I must have been crazy to even
attempt to build a site in this massive market.
To make any money with the big A I think the key is massive
traffic to your site and build it over time, this is what I’m trying to do, my site is mostly content driven, and I’m in this for the long haul.
I write or buy articles via elance, have them rewritten and add to them, I use joomla CMS which is very powerful compared to the MS front page editor I have used in the past.
If I stay with amazon, and continue to build this site will I be
successful, that’s the burning question? I don’t have the
answer. Who in the world wants to spend all this time on a
site without any substantial return.
Staying focused is something I had to learn, I will continue to
build, test, change, and stick with them because I know the action I take will produce the results I’m searching for.
Good Luck Folks, no make your own luck. Stay focused, and try not to get frustrated.
Sir its not true… I have share a link for particular product on my website. However my visitor after clicking on that link purchase different product. In my amazon login id amozon is showing that click and even showing purchase of that product but not showing any commission for me. How it is possible…