Alright – You Have the Traffic So Why Aren’t You Converting

One of the things we struggled with early on in this business were conversion rates. Although we had reached the point where we were getting a decent amount of traffic, we just weren’t making much money from all our hard work. Our earnings at the time were around $1000 a month and that’s not chicken feed by any means but by the time we paid taxes, paid expenses and split the remainder between the two of us, it didn’t amount to much and it certainly wasn’t enough to allow us to give up our regular day jobs.

However, since we were in what I call ‘money making mode’ we weren’t really analyzing what we were doing so we stayed this way for quite some time. Our tunnel vision got in the way. If we had stopped and really looked at why we weren’t converting earlier on I am sure things would have been much different.

As it is, we eventually got there, but all up it was about 5 years of hard work with very little to show for it. Not that we regret any of it because without all of that we wouldn’t be where we are today, but it would have been nice if it happened a lot sooner.

So if you are getting a decent amount of traffic to your site but aren’t converting then you need to find out why and then do something about it. Now a ‘decent amount of traffic’ is a relative thing but I like to see at least 500 clicks through to a merchant for a page on one of our sites before I start getting concerned about conversion rates. So you need a bit of traffic coming into your site in order to achieve that sort of click through rate (CTR). Often we will receive emails from people who have had 10 clicks through to Amazon and they are concerned because they haven’t made a sale yet. You need bigger samples than that before you start worrying. Even 100 clicks is not enough.

Once you’ve had at least 500 clicks through to Amazon (or whatever other merchant you are using) you can start to take a look at whether you are converting well or not. Just remember however that there are so many factors to consider that knowing whether you are converting well or not isn’t always easy. Some products convert better than others so you can only use a ball park figure when determining all of this.

We were told some years ago that the industry average for affiliate sales is around 1 in 100. In other words, you can expect 1 sale for every 100 clicks through to the merchant. We’ve found that Amazon does a lot better than this but the 1 in 100 average is a good base to use when determining whether you are converting well or not.

So if you have reached 500 clicks through to the merchant and have had around 5 sales then you are achieving average sales. So you are doing okay but there is definitely room for improvement particularly if you are promoting Amazon products.

If you have received less than 5 sales or no sales then you need to start looking at what the  problem might be.

Okay, so what could be wrong?

1. Poor Product Selection

The number one reason why you may not be converting as well as you should is the product you have chosen to promote. Too many people just randomly grab products to review without even thinking about the quality of those products. Only choose products that you yourself would be happy to buy. Look at the reviews of those products – are the buyers happy with it?…if the answer is ‘no’ then why are you promoting it?

Product selection is critical if you want to establish good conversion rates. People are more likely to buy something if it is actually worth buying.

2. Poorly Written Review

We always thought that as long as we could get the reader to click through to Amazon it didn’t matter what our review was like. It took us a long time and hundreds of reviews later to realize that this method wasn’t working. Amazon are pretty good at converting to sales which is why many people think their own review isn’t important, but I can tell you from experience that the better your review is, the better you will convert. We realized this first hand when we reworked one of our poorly written reviews to a long, detailed, informative review and immediately noticed a major increase in sales. There was no turning back for us from that point on.

We’ve said this many times before but in order to write a good review, you have to put yourself in your readers shoes. Just about all of us at one time or another have looked for a quality review online before buying a product. You know yourself that you don’t want to see a short poorly written review with a few dot points. You want to see a review with substance that answers all of the questions you have about the product.

So take your time with your reviews and make them as detailed and helpful as possible.

3. Non-Relevant Keyword Searches

Sometimes website owners get a lot of traffic to a page that isn’t exactly related to the content on the page. For instance, you might have a product review for a Singer XYZ Sewing Machine but people coming to that review came to it after searching for a Janomi ABC Sewing Machine. So although it is somewhat related, your product is not what your readers were were really looking for as they were interested in the Janomi ABC model not the Singer XYZ. So they may read your review and click through to Amazon but they are less likely to buy as  they really want the Janomi model.

So take a look at the keywords that your readers are using to get to your page. Are they specific to the product on the page?

4. Trust Issues

People want to be able to trust you and they will often base their trust on what your website looks like.

Is it simply full of Adsense and flashing ads and pop-ups? It seems to be quite common for those new to this business to plaster their sites with banners and Adsense ads and widgets with the thinking that the more affiliate links they add the more likely they will be to make a sale. I can tell you that the opposite is true in our experience. Our sites have very few banner ads as we have found that they don’t really work. And we only really use Adsense on sites that we are no longer giving much attention to. The best affiliate links are simple text links.

I know that when I am ready to buy a product and go looking for a product review I avoid those that include any obvious links to a merchant.  Usually these will be reviews where at the very top of the page is a little Amazon icon link or the words saying “buy now from Amazon”. I avoid those completely because I know that the author is simply trying to make a sale…ironic isn’t it since that is what I do for a living. But because I think like this I know that my readers will probably think like this as well so any reviews we write won’t include any obvious links to Amazon. Our links are simply text links using a keyword that links through to the product on Amazon. You wouldn’t know it was linking to Amazon until you actually clicked on it. It’s only at the very end of the product review where we give advice on where to buy the product that we add ‘obvious’ links to Amazon. At this point, the reader has hopefully gained our trust and is ready to buy so coming right out and stating that they can buy it from Amazon is okay at this point as we are just being helpful.

One final thought…

Quality, quality, quality…we can’t stress this enough. If you really want to get great conversion rates then provide quality product reviews. Go back and look at your reviews and be honest with yourself and see if they are really worth reading. Are they helpful? Do they really provide enough information to help your reader make up their mind?

UPDATE: As per the comments below here is the code provided by Joy to allow the date to be updated on your product reviews. Joy tells us that this has increased her click through rate to Amazon.

Click here to today's low price for cordless drills on Amazon:

Discounts change every day, so check out today's price now!

  • Andy says:

    Yet another great post, Thanks very much! :-)

    Paula, after I sent you that e-mail (right after it), my Amazon stats were updated and Yahoooo – I got 2 sales. So 2 sales out of first 30 unique visitors – that’s all I wanted to see :-)

    Now my motivation levels are up again and I’m ready to work on the traffic!

    Thanks again,

    • Paula says:

      Fantastic Andy!!! That is great to hear. That’s the beauty of Amazon – they do convert extremely well.

  • Monja says:

    Paula and Wanda,
    you are so right

  • Hi Paula and Wanda,

    Thank you for another great post. They always seem so timely. My site is starting to get decent traffic(over 100 visitors daily according to Google Analytics) but still not much from Amazon. I think part of the problem is getting people to the reviews. My site has 80 pages and only 5 are reviews that I’ve done following the Amazonian Profit Plan.

    Is it ok to put Adsense ads on informational pages that have keywords with decent per click income? My traffic is starting to snowball and I haven’t added adsense yet. Thanks so much,


  • Dawn says:

    It’s human nature to be impatient for results so showing a “normal” affiliate click through rate helps people to be realistic.

    Most affiliates will always have more lookers than buyers – that’s just the way it is. When I go shopping offline, I always look at way more products than I end up buying. Same goes for online.

    • Paula says:

      Exactly Dawn, that’s why I like that 1 in 100 statistic because as you say it’s a ‘realistic’ base.

  • I still don’t think most sellers realize just how important the trust factor really is. Damn near #1 if you ask me.

    They all think, you find a popular product, write a decent review, maybe throw in a discount somewhere, and it really doesn’t matter who is behind it…..nothing could be further from the truth.

  • you could also put related products up, just link walmart or best buy. especially if the review for a particular product is bad

    • Paula says:

      That can work David. You can add a review for a product that has received bad reviews and then suggest other related products that are worth buying as recommendations.

  • Cathy says:

    Ya’ll must have read my mind. I was thinking yesterday, “It’s about time for another post from ABO. I need my Paula and Wanda fix. And up pops a post from you!

    Great post! I’m not sure how I’m doing yet. I got a new blog up (the one my name is linking to) and have Amazon and Adsense integrated through out the informational pages. I only have one review style post up (no adsense on that of course)so far.

    The site has had about 150 clicks to Amazon and 6 sales. Not too bad for a 6 week old blog but I got some work to do to get those conversions up.

  • Joy says:

    It’s interesting how our minds can get lazy and tell us, “Just write enough words to bring the visitors via SEO, and then stick lots of Amazon ads in front of their face, and they’ll click on one of ’em!”

    The truth is that when people come upon a web page that they don’t like, they don’t click on its links. They just click the back button. That is why the trust factor is so important.

    I have been testing putting something like this in blockquotes in the top, middle, and end of my long reviews:

    “Amazon’s discount prices change daily so check out the June 13, 2011 sale price for this item right now by clicking here.”

    I have an html code in there that keeps changing the date to the current date automatically. It’s driven up my clicks to amazon, although I can’t say if it’s turned some people off. And my conversion rate from these pages is around 8%.

    Thanks Paula and Wanda, for all these golden nuggets!

  • Bruce says:

    I’m like @Cathy, I do enjoy your blog, so it’s always a good day when it appears in my Reader. I’ve actually unsubscribed to as many lists, blogs as I can, in an effort to focus, focus, focus – on back linking.

    I know I have to master the art of Guest Posting for my back linking, but it’s a struggle. Until my linking efforts kick in, I know I’ll not have enough traffic to determine if I’m converting well or not.

    Just trying to co-ordinate the writers, the requests, the articles is a bit of a smodge for me, but I’ll get there!


    • Paula says:

      We’ve unsubscribed to most things as well Bruce. This business has too many distractions. Just being on the Internet is one big distraction.

  • Ted says:

    hi Paula

    This is greeting from china, i am a big fan of your amazon profit plan, i have done a niche research and prepared for build a amazon site, but the biggest problem kicked my ass out of the amazon door is english issue, i can do anything:website building, seo and other stuffs except article writing, so the only way to approach getting a little success on amazon is outsourcing.even though i have read your great outsoursing advices in your book, i couldnot verify the real quality of the outsourcing articles, could you give some advices?


    • Paula says:

      If you are getting your articles written by writers at Elance.com or a similar company then the only thing you can do to ensure that you have well written articles is to choose a quality writer to begin with. So when you are choosing a writer make sure they have plenty of positive feedback. If they do then it is more likely that the articles will be well written.

  • Alex says:

    Brilliant post Paula,
    and because you wrote it I was hanging off of every word ;)

    I have been really busy with some family crisis that came up over the last week but am about to finish the guest post for you.
    My apologies that it has taken so long, but I wanted to get it perfect.
    The reason I bring it up now is because you raise many good points that I reflect on in my article – luckily for me though, we cover different elements of the same point. (phew)
    I love that you not only talked about how to increase conversions, but gave a guide on what you could expect.
    To be honest, I know I could triple my monthly income with a few tweaks to my methods, as I am averaging about 4% conversion across the board.
    I have to admit that my old strategy was based on many pages off of one site, utilising easy navigation to lead visitors to the pages they wanted.
    This clearly is not working and I am beginning to really appreciate the methods you teach around one quality page being the target.
    You’d think with my sub 5k a month earnings and your +20k earnings I would have listened earlier right?
    Typical bloody male.

    I should have that post over to you by this Friday, and again I apologise for taking so long with it AND not emailing you about it.


    • Paula says:

      That’s okay about the post Alex. It will be a little while before it goes up anyway as we already have one guest post before you and that won’t be going up for a couple of weeks. We’ve been a bit behind ourselves as Wanda isn’t well and our first priority is always our niche sites so that’s where most of my time has been spent.

  • Charles R says:

    Thanks ladies as always. I have had about 20 click throughs. Clearly I need more traffic but the information here is really invaluable.

    • Paula says:

      Traffic is the key Charles. For real success, that’s where you need to be spending the majority of your time.

  • Zach says:

    You guys point out so many things that at times, I tend to forget or simply overlook. Thank you for many great reminders!!

    • Paula says:

      I think we all do the same thing Zach. We are all desperate to get the business working and start making money that we tend to overlook things. It’s always a good thing to stop every now and then and reassess everything that you are doing and see what can be improved upon.

  • Keith says:

    Your post is very well written and informative. As you say without question the most important thing is quality.

    I would also like to add being very conscientious and taking pride in what you do, which will show in the product selection, written reviews and relevant keyword searches.

    • Paula says:

      Taking pride in what you do is so important Keith so its good that you brought it up. If we take pride in everything we do then it really reflects in the quality of our websites.

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Paula and Wanda

    Wanda I hope you are on the mend:-)

    Just wondering what kind of click-through rate to Amazon as a percentage of total traffic we should be aiming for (as opposed to conversion rate once they get to Amazon)?

    Second question – that “Subscribe to Our Newsletter” box above the comment form – how do you get that there? Is it a plugin? Thanks

    Thanks again girls

    Kind regards

  • IMpopstar says:

    Well you are building a great community here gals! I think for me the big key to credible conversions is always targeted traffic. Getting the right balance between who reads you and what they buy is the big blogging challenge. But direct monetization is not the only way to profit from blogging: you may also consider developing your social networking links, building credibility as a writer and marketer, linking to other blogs or squeeze pages you have, or redirecting your readers to your video channel…or just giving away free downloads that contain a link to your optin so you can build your list.

    • Paula says:

      I definitely agree that targeted traffic is key to conversions. There is no point having lots of traffic if those people aren’t interested in what you have to offer on your site.

  • Ben says:

    Hi Guys,

    Great article and I completely agree about the quality of the reviews being important. I too re-jigged some of my poorer reviews and received a huge jump in conversions from those pages.

    Just a question… Do you target any other countries besides the US as an amazon affiliate?

    The reason I ask is that I convert really well for the US but I get basically nothing from Canada and the UK.

    I use a link localizer plugin that directs visitors to their local amazon site when they click my links but despite huge click thrus from Canada I get no conversions at all.

    • Paula says:

      We have only ever targeted the US, however just recently we created a website targeting Australia only. A lot of Australians are still too scared to shop online so we have been reluctant in the past but I think things are changing so it is worth a try. The only problem with building an Australian site for Amazon is that we can’t purchase a lot of products from Amazon so it is very limiting.

      And for our US sites although we get traffic from other countries we have never bothered with redirecting them to the other Amazon sites for their specific country. However, recently we were given a plugin to review called Easy Azon which automatically displays location specific links so we won’t lose out on the sales from international visitors.

      I would suggest that if you aren’t getting any conversion from those Canadian visitors that you check the plugin and make sure it is working okay. Also you’ve probably done this already but I am pretty sure you also need to be separately registered with Amazon Canada to receive commissions from them.

    • Paula says:

      Also can you let us know which plugin you are using to redirect your links?

      • Ben says:

        Thanks Paula

        The plugin I use is the Amazon Affiliate Link Localizer.

        And yes, I’ve signed up for 3 Associate account: US, Canada & UK so no problems there.

        When I log in to the UK and Canada accounts I can see that there have been a heap of clicks through to the site, just no conversions. In fact, I generally get more clicks through to Canada Amazon than I do US on my best site.

        I’m not too worried as the US clicks convert quite well. However, I could be making a lot more if those Canadian click throughs started converting as well.

        The visitors are definitely being directed to the Canada Amazon site but I should probably do some tests as you have suggested to check if they’re being delivered to the specific product page.

        I may even just turn it off completely for a while and see what happens.

        Thanks again!

        • Paula says:

          There must be a reason why they aren’t buying. Have you taken a good look at the product page they are going to on Amazon Canada? Are the reviews bad for that product? Is the price a lot higher than what they could get it for offline or in the US?

          The other thing you might want to do is gear the page/s they are coming into onto your site more towards Canadian visitors. In other words, just add a couple of lines that say something like “…and if you’re from Canada you can buy this from Amazon Canada.”

          It’s just a small addition but it just triggers in their head that you are aware of their presence on your site and provides them with a little more trust.

        • Paula says:

          This is the link to the plugin Ben is referring to if anyone is interested.


  • Shirley says:

    As always the information you provide is of great value.

    I am at the stage where I’m getting traffic but no where near enough. I have had some sales on Amazon but again few and far between. it’s going to take some a lot more traffic and more time before I can say I’m making money.

    I’m in my third year of IM and I believe no matter what, you have to pay your dues and put in the time. In reality there is no magic wand in this business.

    Thanks for another great post!

    • Paula says:

      It took us about 5 years before we really started making a decent amount of money. It took us that long because essentially we did three things wrong. The first was focusing on too many things at the one time. The second was not spending enough time on backlinking. And the third was focusing on quantity instead of quality.

      If it’s been three years Shirley then it’s time to make it happen for you. The best thing I can suggest is to step back and look at where you are spending your time. Write down what you do on a daily basis for your internet business and then look at each thing and ask yourself “is that task helping me to move forward in this business AND is it going to help me make more money?”

      If the answer is no then you need to think about why you are doing it.

      We spent a lot of time on forums, Facebook, Twitter and so on and one day realized that that the time we spent there wasn’t really helping us. And yes, I know that a lot of people make money from those sites but for us it didn’t so why were we wasting our time there?

      That’s just an example but you need to do the same for you. Really look at what you are doing and then focus in on what tasks will help you move forward.

      Can I also suggest that you read The Science of Getting Rich if you haven’t already done so. (You can download it here for free – http://images.thesecret.tv/The-Science-of-Getting-Rich.pdf) I don’t know what your thoughts are about money but this book can really help to change any negative thoughts you may have about it. The book is freely available on the net so just have a search for it.

  • Adam says:

    I`m not really blogger, but I try at least to make product reviews as good as I can as non-native English speaker. I know that quality is very important and many people don`t like mistakes. I don`t like either in my native language, but made by natives rather, than foreigner. I understand that it`s not always easy to write in not own language. I can say that in spite of very low traffic I convert it. However, it is not what I want to see, not enough for me. I`m planning to build more websites also for Amazon. I admit that I`m lazy with SEO and backlinks and I know many people don`t like to do it either.
    I like what Paula wrote above:

    “It took us about 5 years before we really started making a decent amount of money. It took us that long because essentially we did three things wrong. The first was focusing on too many things at the one time. The second was not spending enough time on backlinking. And the third was focusing on quantity instead of quality.”

    At the end, we have to put some work into it or later we can blame only ourselves.
    Thank You

    • Paula says:

      That’s right Adam. It all comes down to how much we really want it. You have to do the work to get it and most people hate the backlinking part but that is really the final key to making it big online…at least in the affiliate marketing arena.

  • tantan says:

    Regarding to the Javascript code to display the current date. How about Amazon product preview? I think it’s almost same, wherein it displays the latest price. :)

    • Paula says:

      I personally prefer not to display the price on our product reviews and I’m not fussed on Amazon widgets. But for anyone who wants to display the latest price then the Amazon Product Preview will do it quite well.

  • tantan says:

    Hi Wanda & Paula :) You have mentioned before that you are not using video marketing, But did you use other people’s videos on your content or sidebar? Does it effect to increase conversion rate?

    • Paula says:

      The main reason why we don’t use our own video is only because of time constraints. They can take a while to shoot and edit. I am sure they work great for some people and probably would for us as well if we had the time.

      And we haven’t really tried using other peoples videos much. I think we probably have it on a few pages but haven’t really tested enough to see whether it improves the conversion rate or not. I think it could help as a lot of people love seeing a product in action before they buy.

  • Ken says:

    Hi Paula and Wanda, another great article with valuable information and insight. Unfortunately, it is a sad time in Caifornia for Amazon affiliates, and just as my conversions were avg 5-8% per month using tips from the Anazonian Profit Plan. Due to recent legislation passed by our governor to tax Amazon affilite sales, Amazon has cancelled all affiliate contracts in CA, due to this legislation. Luckily, I have learned so much from you two in your articles and the APP, and since this has helped my reviews reach #1 or first page of Google, I expect to continue to grow my commissions, whether I am with Amazon or not. I will stay on your list as a committed fan of your blog. All the best, Ken

    • Paula says:

      This seems to be a growing trend with Amazon. I just wonder if they are eventually going to give in. So far, they have maintained their stance.

      I know that a number of people are starting up companies in other states so that is something you might want to explore.

      You can also try other merchants at cj.com or shareasale.com.

  • Ken says:

    Hi Paula, unfortunately starting an Internet business in
    another state would require relocating for tax purposes. I moved my products to CJ and Linkshare. This issue does not affect Amazon itself, just affiliates. Good thing u are outside the US as you are shielded from this nonsense. Hope Wanda will be well soon and back to help you out.

    Thanks, Ken

    • Paula says:

      I really don’t know enough about your tax laws to give any advice but I am sure there have been people who have started companies in other states without having to relocate there. It might be worth you going into the Amazon Discussion Board in your Amazon affiliate account and look at the discussion going on there about it.

      • Ken says:

        Hi Paula, sorry if you thought I was asking for advise on our most confusing tax laws, just making a statement. LOL. But, even Amazon states when I relocate to a state with more favorable tax treatment and show proof of residence, then they will reopen my account. This bit is just info for your other readers dealing with this issue.

        BTW, I hope Wanda will be well soon, and rejoin you, as I really enjoy your articles and learn so much!

        All the best, Ken

      • Joe says:


        You might be interested in the link re Amazon in California:


        • Ken says:

          Hi Joe, thanks for sending me the link to Jan’s blog on how he got reestablished as a Cal affiliate. I followed his advice and got set up as a NV LLC, then Amazon reestablished my account, which had several hundred dollars in sales that I got immediate credit for.

          Thanks again, Ken

    • Ken – I’m not in the US but I have heard of several US affiliates who have created an LLC in another State along with a correspondence address to get round this issue – there may be some other measures too that they took. This does raise costs – 2 sets of accounts for the IRS but it can be done.

      Who knows overseas affiliates may get ditched next!

      Good Luck!

      • Ken says:

        Hi Sandy, after doing some research I got my company set up as NV LLC which allowed me to get reestablished quickly with Amazon. I also got a year free of Resident Agent service, so I am pretty happy. I am also having my tax preparer go over details to make sure I am in compliance with Cal and IRS tax codes.

        Thanks, Ken

  • Jackie says:

    Sorry, let me try this again. Please delete previous comment.

    I had to modify the code listed above to get it to work. I am using it on an HTML site and not a blog. Should work on a blog though. Here is the version that worked for me.

    “Amazon’s discount prices change daily so check out the ”

    var d=new Date();
    var weekday=new Array(“Sunday”,”Monday”,”Tuesday”,”Wednesday”,”Thursday”, “Friday”,”Saturday”);
    var monthname=new Array(“Jan”,”Feb”,”Mar”,”Apr”,”May”,”Jun”,”Jul”,”Aug”, “Sep”,”Oct”,”Nov”,”Dec”);
    document.write(weekday[d.getDay()] + ” ” + monthname[d.getMonth()] + ” ” + d.getDate() + “, ” + d.getFullYear());

    “sale price for this item right now by clicking here.”

  • Bethany says:

    What a great idea Joy! I just implemented your tip on my websites. My Amazon conversion is pretty decent though I think I need to focus on traffic. I’ve also been under the weather (pregnant and tired, actually) and so maybe I just need to bite the bullet and hire someone to write some PAD articles for me. Great info as always, ladies! I almost broke $100 last month, which I’m sure seems like peanuts to you all, but my goal is only $2500/month before our life makes a huge change and I know it’s doable.

    • Paula says:

      That’s excellent Bethany. There is no limit to what you can make on Amazon – $100 this month, $200 next month, $500 the month after and so on. You will find that it will build up as it gets close to Christmas so keep at it now so you can reap the rewards when that holiday season hits.

  • Kate says:

    Wanda thanks for all this great information. I take it that the 500 clicks is per month. You will gather I am a bit new to all of this and am trying to get my head around what I need to do.

    • Paula says:

      Not necessarily. It’s just the first 500 clicks that you receive for each product review page. So you create your product review and start getting backlinks to it. The traffic then starts to come in and you start getting clicks to Amazon. When you reach 500 clicks (whether that be in the first week, the first month or the first three months), then you can start looking to see whether you are converting well or not.

  • Elena says:

    What a relief it was to read this post!

    I wonder whether PR of the reviews pages influence the traffic.
    I found that of my 5 rather new review sites ( about 3 months old) one, that got PR2 has most sales. But I got only 753 clicks totally for all 5 products and CTR is 2.79% . I worried a lot about that , but after reading your post I realized it’s too earlier to judge.

    So far invested much more money than I got from Amazon( I have to pay for all my reviews and articles as English is not my mother tongue) but I’m very positive I’ll get better results.

    What is returning rate of your visitors to the blogs/reviews?

    Thanks a lot to Paula and Wanda and everyone who posted comments to this post!


    @Ted I got reviews written by a VERY good writer and they cost accordingly, but all blog posts cost me moderately. We shouldn’t be discouraged because of our limited English skills! :)

    • Paula says:

      I’m not sure why you are worried about your English skills. You write better than a lot of people who have English as their first language. You could probably save money by writing the reviews yourself and then paying someone to just tidy them up for you.

      • Cathy says:

        That’s what I was thinking Paula. You would never know she was not a native English writer.

        • Elena says:

          Thank you Cathy!
          You made my day :)
          I’m Russian living in Sweden for 20 years. Well, worked three years in USA.
          Probably this is the first time I ‘publish’ my own words on Internet :) Even my personal IM blog is written by my writer :(

      • Elena says:

        Thanks Paula!

        Probably it’s a mental barrier that I have about writing and trust other better than myself.

        Now I discovered that I mentioned 2.79% as CTR , but it was a conversion rate, I got 21 sales from 749 clicks on Amazon products and I was worried about low conversion rate. But your post calmed me down a bit though I have to work on getting more traffic.

        • Adam says:

          Elena, I`m in familiar situation to yours. I`m not English native speaker and I`m actually thinking to put together a basic review and then try to find somewhere English native speaker to put altogether for me. Where did you find your sources? Thank you in advance?

          • Elena says:

            Adam, my writers are from Elance and oDesk (not at the moment). Paula and Wanda described in APP how to hire a good writer.
            Sometimes even ‘cheap’ writers are good enough. You have to try few of them before you find the one you want to work with. You have to be very specific about what you want to get from a writer. And if they don’t know SEO, you can teach them. Good luck!

  • You say [link] is at the end of the product review. But how is the link type ? when user click, it display new page (Amazon product page) ? or only one page from review page to Amazon product page ?

    • Paula says:

      The links at the end of our product reviews might look something like this:

      “We’ve found that the best place to buy XYZ is at Amazon. They currently have the best price and include free shipping for this product.”

      The link will appear where the word “Amazon” appears in that text and will link directly to the XYZ product on Amazon.

  • Brandon says:

    I’m curious if you taken a look at whether the product previews convert better than simply having a link without it? Do you have any studies about that or have you heard about that? Thanks.

    • Paula says:

      We haven’t really used product previews mostly because we have just found over the years that text links seem to work the best for us. We try to avoid any obvious promotional style links. Text links are about as un-promotional as you can get so our sites don’t look like we are trying to sell something.

  • Helen Neely says:

    Nice post. However, I just tried the code but realised that it did not properly print the day. f you’d like to use the code, it would make sense to print the day rather than the date.

    So, if anyone is interested, I will post a piece on how to dynamically show the day of the week with the latest hot Amazon item on page load.

    Lovely post BTW :)

  • Amee Davis says:

    Interesting – I’d be curious to see if whether your conversion ratio would go up by using the previews or go down. I’ve used them in the past but have never tried taking them off.

    • Paula says:

      I’d like to see that too Amee. It would be nice to see whether they do actually work.

      I must admit that I’m not a fan of the Amazon product preview widgets. We’d rather just use text links as we don’t want to be overly obvious that we are advertising anything.

  • Adam says:


    I`m back here again. Ladies, something happened. I had very small but steady traffic which converted. Now, for some reason there is barely someone on my website. I haven`t written any post for quite long time, but there must be another reason. Is it possible that WP plug-in which stops from pinging website each time posts or pages are edited prevent from spreading it? I also used people on Fiverr who do backlinks. I tell you, stay away from them. They have 99% positive feedbacks but they do not deliver the way they promise. Better take time and do by ourselves. I was happy to get 200 backlinks and when I saw report I realized these are not rank 1,2,3,4 but some kind of unknown websites with 0 rank or sex pages. There are also a lot of WSO which suppose to help with “juice” as they call, but I never purchase it. It`s all b**t I`m sorry. There is no better method than doing manually or you get porn pages with the same words “Thank you, good writing” or “I love your website, I have to tell my kids about it. Keep going”. Most of them have nothing to do what you write. I get a lot of such comments which goes to spam.
    Any advice ladies and gentlemen?
    Thank You

    • Paula says:

      Not adding content to your site on a regular basis can make a difference to traffic but it shouldn’t have caused a complete lack of traffic.

      I’m not sure what type of plugin you are using but I’m not sure that would make a difference although the only way you will be able to tell is to deactivate it.

      If you are getting backlinks from someone on Fiverr then you need to be careful. There are a lot of reputable people on there but also many who just generate poor quality backlinks. You get what you pay for. They aren’t going to help you too much especially if they have come from those types of sites so steer clear of them. They could have affected your ranking.

      Remember that QUALITY is more important than QUANTITY when it comes to backlinks. One good quality backlink can be worth more than hundreds of poor quality backlinks.

      • Adam says:

        Thank you Paula,

        Backlink is my biggest problem. First of all to get right one. As you said: Quality not Quantity. When I started my offer on my page it was so nice. There must be some reason. I sometimes think that there are so many competition that my keywords were good before, but not anymore. I probably have to take a closer look into it and change something.

  • Nigel says:

    I don´t seem to be getting any click throughs let alone converting, but I´m beginning to wonder if the link I am putting in correct.

    I´ve taken my Associate ID out of the link for this example for obvious reasons

    I was taught on the text link to only include this:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003922VGM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=MY ASSOCIATE id GOES HERE-

    But now I´m not sure if I should be putting in the whole link like this:
    Morphy Richards 48319 Premium Plus Breadmaker

    There is a lot more to this code. Do you think that by only putting in the shortened version I am losing sales, even though it has my Associate ID in it?

    I would be grateful if someone could answer this as I am really beginning to pull my hair out over this matter.

    Many thanks

  • Nigel says:

    Hi Paula,

    I took your advice and changed my links and guess what, I now have clicks coming through to Amazon.

    Even better than that, after taking your advice and changing my reviews to more detailed I am actually selling good. Hurrah!

    But, I am a little confused with Amazon at the moment. I am selling bread makers in the UK. One bread maker I have sold yesterday is priced at GBP 101.90 on the Amazon page my review directs people to.

    But I have just checked my earnings report for yesterday and this machine is listed as only being GBP 84.92. This has also happened with a more expensive bread maker too. I am given commission on a much lower price than the one advertised on the webpage.

    Why is there such a huge difference? These are not third party sales or second hand items so surely I should get commission on the full price listed?

    As I an new to making sales on Amazon I am not sure what their policy is.


    • Paula says:

      Great to see you are doing better with Amazon. And even better to see that you have worked on your reviews…it really does help as you have found out.

      As for the price discrepncy on Amazon it’s a bit hard to say what it could be. I do know that Amazon prices fluctuate constantly so it could have been discounted on the day the consumer purchased it.

      You could find out for sure by emailing Amazon and if you do find out please let us know.

      • Nigel says:

        Hi Paula,

        I did actually get in touch with Amazon and they gave me the answer.

        I must admit I could have kicked myself for not working it out myself, but the price difference is because the price on their website is including VAT (UK sales tax) and the price they quote and pay commission to me is less VAT.

        So that at least clears that one up.

        Many thanks

  • “WE’RE TRYING TO MAKE A SALE HERE” Yes indeed! a relevant issue about the product is such an outstanding idea but we should consider the needs also of every individual. Quality and affordable products are a MUST! we’re on the age of crisis and in some cases VAT increases. Being firm and wise on every decision made counts..

    • Paula says:

      That’s right Veronica. There is a fine balance when promoting products. We need to meet the needs of our readers and at the same time make a sale. It has to be a win-win for both parties.

  • Adam says:

    This has helped me greatly. Thank you :)

  • Paula and Wanda, I had to chuckle when I came to item #4 on your list. It’s a plague that every Web surfer has to deal with these days. Sometimes I often wonder if that miseducated (can I call it “greedy”?) practice of littering one’s pages with ads actually makes first-time visitors come back again. The sad thing about that practice is that it drowns the real content, which is what the visitor is on the site for anyway. And, when that happens, the visitor’s experience is diminished, and information searching become exhausting that it might be more relaxing to just call up someone or go to a local shop and ask for information. I myself have grown distrustful (more like cynical) towards sites that shove a lot of ads to my face. I still believe that the best and most effective advertising/marketing is one that appears deliberately indeliberate, or selling without selling too hard.

    • Paula says:

      We know all about adding lots of ads to our sites. We did it at the time because we weren’t making sales even though we were getting traffic. So we thought that adding more ads to the page might get people to click them. It didn’t work and it resulted in more people clicking the back button.

      The reason we weren’t making sales wasn’t because there weren’t enough ads on the page but because our reviews weren’t helpful.

  • @DeanMBB says:

    This was is a helpful and well written article!
    You have a friendly grass roots personality.

    Your 1 sale in 500 matches well with my figures although it is product dependent and also depends greatly on the “buzz” of the moment. With regard to your review quality comment, I have split tested several products using a hard sell squeeze page and “normal” in depth review landing page and have to agree with you. The quality as well as the thoroughness of the review will win out every time.

    If I had to give one word of advice to anyone wanting to get involved iMarketing, it’s “over-deliver” (OK. So it’s a compound word :-)

    Thanks and I will retweet!

    • Paula says:

      It’s good to hear from someone who has actually split test this. We don’t split test, we really just go from experience and we know the better quality reviews work for us.

      And yes, I definitely agree about over-delivering. It’s all about providing quality.

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