A Case Against Amazon Associates


if you’re not sure if you want to get
into Amazon affiliate marketing this video is for you
a viewer sent in a question the other day basically there was an article out
there written by me shacks or niche hacks as I say the word and it was all
about why the Amazon affiliate program is no good if you’re new to the channel
awesome I’m really glad to have you here take a look around and if you like what
you see please subscribe they make some valid points in there and they also make
some points that I kind of want to just answer right it doesn’t mean the points
that they made weren’t valid but I have my own spin of
course I’m biased I really like the Amazon affiliate program and it’s not
for everyone so I’m gonna tell you some of the pros and cons and I’m gonna go
over a couple of the great points that’s me shocks me so let’s get into it right
now the five things I’m gonna go over are these so number one the Amazon
affiliate program is not a sustainable business model number two the commission
rates are too low number three most of the time these Amazon affiliate niche
sites they rely on organic SEO traffic number for these sorts of review sites
that are based on product reviews usually don’t get natural backlinks and
number five you can’t do email marketing with the Amazon Associates Program
here’s the question of the day which of the five cases against the Amazon
associate program do you think are most valid leave a comment below I’ll take a
look at each of them and if you think I missed any leave a comment and tell me
what you think it is number one they say Amazon niche sites are not a sustainable
business model so here’s the downside this is why they say that there’s three
main areas so number one because it’s an affiliate program we have virtually no
control over the Commission rate Amazon can change the commission rate the
second issue is Amazon could potentially end the Amazon associate program
altogether and no longer have affiliates at all it’s unlikely but it’s possible
and number three because it is an affiliate program any person in the
affiliate program could be kicked out they could terminate your account and
I’ve had friends and colleagues who have actually been kicked out and they
lost their earnings and they had to figure out another thing to do but my
argument is that if you have traffic on your site you could figure out how to
monetize it some way so even if you can’t say work with the Amazon associate
program for whatever reason you can work directly with the manufacturer
you could put ads on your site there are a lot of different things that you can
do if you have traffic on your site you have a leverage if you have traffic on
your site as far as other options there are a lot of other affiliate programs
out there so Walmart has one there is a company called share sale and they have
tons of different companies that use their platform to do their affiliate
program so if you have traffic you could usually figure out a way to monetize it
and as far as being kicked out of the program well that’s not good we do have
rules that we need to follow in the operating agreement there are a number
of things that you need to watch out for but if you follow the rules you should
be an okay shape the thing is the thing that people don’t really talk about is
it doesn’t matter what industry you work in it doesn’t matter let’s say you have
that billing company for healthcare right a lot can change and literally
your business could go away it could just be eliminated based on one law one
amendments or something like that so it doesn’t matter what business you’re
working in there are always external constraints that you have to deal with
so the second point is around the Amazon Commission rate and the actual
Commission amount rates can change so I’m not actually going to mention any
specific rates here but I’ll put a link below so that you can see whatever the
current Commission rates are essentially the Amazon affiliate program pays out
generally lower commission rates than if you work directly with a manufacturer or
if you work directly with a larger company or something like that so a lot
of times you’ll see other commission rates in the 12 15 20 percent range if
you’re looking at different affiliate programs sometimes through Clickbank
maybe it’s an info product they may be able to offer you like a fifty or
seventy-five percent commission rate which is very very high the downside is
if you’re working with one of the other you know companies other affiliate
programs your conversion rate is often going to be lower it turns out people
just buy a lot of stuff on Amazon lots of different things on Amazon – when a
person goes to your site and click on your affiliate link maybe they were just
looking for a ballpoint pen for example but they also bought a digital camera
and a microphone for a few hundred dollars you would also get a commission
on the expensive equipment right so the thing is if you’re working with some
other affiliate program you only get a commission on the single thing that the
person purchased by the way it’s not going to convert as well because people
trust Amazon more than they trust other brands so typically if someone gets onto
Amazon Amazon will be able to convert a little bit better so even though it’s a
lower commission rate a lot of times it’s worth it because people buy so much
other stuff on Amazon so point number three is that the Amazon niche site
model relies on organic search traffic now that’s true that’s the ideal
situation if I could have it that way a hundred percent that’s what I would do
the reason why is you know the visitor intent if they came through search
traffic in my model where I look at the keyword golden ratio and if you’re
unfamiliar with it I’ll put a link about the keyword golden ratio for you but you
can write content that is underserved on the internet using a data-driven system
called the keyword golden ratio and essentially get traffic to your site
where you know someone is looking for the best ballpoint pen for journaling so
you know they probably want to buy a pen maybe even a journal and that’s great
that it is exactly the kind of traffic you want to have now the argument that’s
made is the traffic could go away if you lose your rankings the traffic can go
away that is a hundred percent true the upside is if once you start ranking and
by the way if you use the keyword golden ratio you can probably start ranking
your posts just about as soon as you publish it usually within a few hours
maybe a day or two if you get that position you’re usually gonna stay there
for a little while and you’ll get traffic even without doing any
additional work so you have to do more work up front if you get that post
ranking and then the traffic should come over time it should keep producing that
revenue hopefully right if people are buying
stuff because you know they’re searching for like a buyers term that’s great the
argument is it’s better to have traffic from social channels like Facebook or
Pinterest or reddit or Instagram my issue with those social platforms other
than I’m really bad at social media and I kind of ignore it and don’t pay
attention the downside with that Facebook traffic
or that Pinterest traffic is it’s not well targeted it’s random people right
trying to waste time on Facebook or maybe they’re looking for projects and
stuff on Pinterest it’s rare when someone is scrolling through their
Facebook feed and they’re thinking hey I want to make a purchase right now that’s
know what they’re thinking they’re trying to get distracted from work pay
attention to something else and for Pinterest I don’t know I’m not big on
Pinterest at all so my hunch is it doesn’t convert that well because people
are looking for projects or some inspirational stuff they’re probably not
looking to make a purchase in the next 24 hours so even if you can get traffic
from a social channel it’s not going to be well targeted it’s literally not
going to convert as well the other downside in my opinion because I’m not a
big social media person is if you were getting your traffic from a social media
platform then you’re going to have to keep feeding that machine right think
about your Facebook feed or Pinterest you have to upload and make status
updates you have to feed the Machine and keep trying you have to keep adding more
content are there tools that you can use yes but it is not trivial to set those
up you do have to load the content and guess what you may not have the same
reach over time there are plenty of documented case studies where people
built their platform they built their whole audience on say Facebook and then
Facebook change the algorithm and basically guided people forced people if
they wanted to get the same kind of reach you had to pay for ads right they
have to make money somehow so they charge for ads and the platform went
away right their whole audience basically they couldn’t reach him
anymore it’s not that great in my opinion I’d rather have the search
traffic where it’s gonna convert better you do the work up front and then
keep paying off overtime the social media front if you’re into social media
may be a great option me not my thing number four is around these affiliate
sites actually earning natural backlinks the reality is there’s a lot of gray hat
SEO that’s prevalent in this niche site area right these Amazon affiliate sites
have a lot of folks that are doing things that are against the rules put
out by Google now they’re not illegal this is gray hat so it’s not illegal
it’s just against the rules of Google it doesn’t mean you can’t do it it doesn’t
mean it’s not effective it just means it’s a little more risky you can
literally this happened to me a few times I wake up one morning I have an
email in my inbox and it says your site’s been penalized it’s terrible
because you could be making you know hundreds several hundred dollars a day
and it literally goes away overnight just because you don’t do great hat
activities doesn’t mean you are without risk usually if you do white hat which
is following the rules put out by Google if you do white hat stuff your risk is
lower it doesn’t mean their risk is zero it
just means it’s lower so the argument here is if you’re creating a review site
you’re probably not gonna get backlinks on one hand I know that’s true if you
look at the full set all the data if you go look at all the different niche
websites that you could find out there there’s gonna be some terrible content
there’s gonna be content where you know people didn’t know what they were doing
they don’t understand how to write a review and it’s just and I would say
yeah that none of those sites you’re gonna earn backlinks however I know my
sites are natural backlinks and my students also get natural backlinks and
it’s because they put time into their site they have a legitimate looking site
to have good reviews with good valuable information and their networking within
their niche alright so if you spend the time you know producing good content and
networking and making friends within your niche then you’re probably going to
be able to get backlinks if you look at niche site project I’m in the internet
marketing space and it is extremely competitive however my site
snichlt I project does get natural backlinks niche hacks gets natural
backlinks too I can tell you for a fact that I got out there and I networked
within the niche I made friends with people I helped them out and I know for
a fact that Stuart did the same thing so Stuart is the founder of niche hacks and
he did tons of networking was able to make connections to help get his brand
off the ground so if you think that you’ll be able to just put a site out
there and get natural backlinks without doing anything that’s crazy it’s just
not gonna happen it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in
just because you build a site with really interesting content people are
just not going to show up to your site you have to tell people about it it
doesn’t have to be pushy or anything like that but like I said if you go make
friends with other people in your niche in your industry then you may have the
opportunity to help each other out in some way and backlinks could be one of
those ways number five you can’t do email marketing with an Amazon affiliate
site that is largely true basically what this means is you can’t put an affiliate
link directly into your email and send it out it’s against the Terms of Service
with Amazon right so they spell it out you can’t put it into an email so if you
see something like that affiliate link in your email from you know some website
then they’re breaking the rules right they’re not supposed to do that I don’t
know how often the Amazon goes and audits that and checks it out but I’m
pretty sure they could figure out if a link is coming from like Gmail a lot of
links are coming from Gmail and going to your account it’s probably going to set
up some sort of trigger and they’ll know that you’re sending out those type of
links so you’re not allowed to do it that’s 100% true it is a bit of a
downside however there is a way to get around it and that is to write a post
right you publish a post and you can send out an email and if you write good
copy you can get people to click look at your post and hopefully go to Amazon so
it’s a bit of a workaround but if you really want to you know get people to
your particular offer you should be able to you know write compelling copy so
they go check out your post and then hopefully go check out the item and/or
buy something now I actually tested like this or in the Black Friday time
period last year and it worked out pretty well here’s the deal you have to
start somewhere just pick something and do it it doesn’t matter if it’s an
Amazon affiliate niche site or Adsense or maybe you saw this cool idea about
clickfunnels and you want to do that really it doesn’t matter you just have
to pick something each of these arguments and all the arguments on this
niche hacks article are valid right but they’re really just excuses right it
doesn’t matter if you found all of these really compelling and you don’t want to
do an Amazon site guess what you’re gonna find issues and any other business
model if you want to work for yourself there are going to be a lot of hurdles
there’s gonna be things that are hard it’s gonna take a longer than you think
and if you find excuses in this business model you’re gonna find excuses and
other business models so like I said you’re okay to just pick something and
move forward because once you start you’re going to encounter problem but if
you try and solve the problems you’ll learn you know ask people that are a
little further ahead of you how to solve this problem and then you’ll be further
along most of these business models will work just fine if you want to do a
podcast with your YouTube channel niche site anything can work but you have to
do something and you can’t make excuses key thing right if you can find
opportunities where other people see excuses then you’re gonna win it doesn’t
really matter what you’re working on because you have the positive mindset
you’re going to be able to solve the problems when you encounter them

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