We’ve mentioned in the past how a turning point for us was when we started adding Amazon affiliate links to our websites but I’d like to expand on that a little so that you can see the true potential of their affiliate program. I’d also like to share exactly how much we make on Amazon – or at least how much we made this month to give you an idea of what you can achieve.
So where did it all begin?
Last year we were struggling as affiliate marketers. We had over 20 blogs but were only making around $500US a month. After we took out expenses and the money we paid for a writer, we were left with pretty much nothing. We really needed to get to the next level if we were going to live the dream of working from home on a full-time basis.
One of the sites we were working on at the time was a website that provided reviews of products. At the end of each of those reviews we would provide links to different online merchants so that our readers could find the best price. But since, at the time, we were thinking of the money first and our readers second we never added Amazon as an option despite the fact that it would have benefited our readers as Amazon have some of the best prices. So why didn’t we add them?…because we saw that Amazon only pay 4% commission and we didn’t think it was worth it. After all we were getting around 8% from other affliate merchants.
Now Amazon do pay more once you start selling more but at the time we didn’t think we could sell that many items to increase our commission. Talk about limiting beliefs, but you have to remember that prior to this we were using merchants from CJ, Shareasale and Linkshare and to see a sale a day was quite exciting – to see 2 sales a day was amazing and 3 or 4 sales a day would have been a major celebration.
Thank goodness we started to focus on our readers because when we did we realised that we needed to add Amazon links in order to provide them with better buying options. So we did just that to about 10 pages of that site.
Two days after adding the links, I checked Amazon stats and was quite surprised when I saw 11 sales. I also realised that we had already jumped to the 6% commission level. I didn’t get too excited though as I really thought it was just a fluke. I even remember telling Wanda that it was probably just one person who went on a shopping spree. I definitely wasn’t expecting to see any further sales.
But then the next day I checked again and we had 9 sales, the next day 3 and the day after that 12…I started thinking that maybe this wasn’t such a fluke after all.
You can see the results here in the table above.
We were pretty amazed since we weren’t used to that many sales in one day, let alone continuous daily sales like that.
The Benefits of Amazon
The main benefit of using Amazon is that they know how to convert. You just have to get your reader there and Amazon will do the rest. Even so, you shouldn’t just rely on Amazon to do all the work for you. We noticed that when we reworked a few pages to provide more indepth reviews for our readers that conversions jumped through the roof. So make sure you provide value too and then let Amazon do the rest.
By far and away the best benefit of Amazon is that although you might send your readers there for one thing, they generally tend to look around and often they will buy the product and other items or they end up buying something completely different.
For instance, if your site is all about dog beds and you provide a link to Amazon recommending what you think is the best type of dog bed, the reader might go to Amazon and decide not to buy the dog bed but because Amazon has so much to offer, something else may get their attention and they end up buying other unrelated products.
And believe me when I say that this happens more often than you think. If we take our stats for instance, for November, 524 of the products we sold were products that we recommend. The remaining 1768 products that sold were products that we didn’t recommend and in fact in a good majority of cases they were for products that were not related in any way to our blog topic.
How to Use Amazon Effectively
The best way to use Amazon is to use text links within a review of a product. Don’t bother with the widgets or the banner ads – they won’t be anywhere near as effective. Use text links and your click through rate will be much higher.
So How Much Did We Make on Amazon This Month?
This is the bit I am sure you have been waiting for but since a picture tells a thousands words I have added a screen print of our Amazon stats for November 2009. The results are for four of our blogs but most of the money is coming from one site…probably about 90% of the income. We haven’t worked much on those other 3 blogs and until we do they will continue to make a minimal income.
Notice that we have hit the 8.25% commission level. This is because we have sold over 1571 items – the more you sell the more commission you get up to a maximum of 8.5%.
It will be interesting to see how we go in December with the build up to Christmas.
Just remember that with anything you do online, that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in the one basket. We use Amazon quite extensively and highly recommend them but we also use Google Adsense, CJ, LinkShare, Shareasale, Google Affiliate Network, Clickbank and more. So that $14,000 + from Amazon isn’t our only source of income this month.
Well we can’t stop smiling at this months Amazon earnings and here is the link if you would like to add Amazon to your website.
Due to popular demand, since writing this post we have written and released the Amazonian Profit Plan e-book. This e-book provides you with a step by step blueprint full of in-depth, highly detailed information on making money with the Amazon Associates Program