State of Amazon Associates in 2021?

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I know this program has made many people millionaires and is a great place to send people especially for comparison-styled websites. Is it still a viable place to monetize traffic? Anything to be aware of? Compliance a big issue? My project is whitehat...

I've got a project that would possible do well with comparison-styled posts like "13 Best %NICHE_CATEGORY_ITEM% for 2021" styled posts you see everywhere.

I've got a niche on my hands that I just don't see a lot of people doing it right and only sparse monetization through Amazon. Anybody have any comments on the viability of the Amazon Associates?
 

Ryuzaki

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Amazon Associates is reliable in that they pay on time, every time, and their tracking always works.

I've suspected that they occasionally shave big ticket items in some niches to make up for losses on returns, but that's anecdotal and very possibly inaccurate.

The best part is, you can use them exclusively and not have a nightmare on your hands of other vendors going up and down on Commission Junction or ShareaSale, etc. If a product goes down on Amazon, someone else is selling it or a similar item you can swap out too, and even if you don't swap you're still dropping the cookie.

They're also NOT the monsters idiots out there would have you believe. They don't ban for no reason or for silly reasons. There's a very simple list of things you can't do and things you need to do to not get banned.

Stuff like:
  • Don't use their logo or their colors on buttons, etc.
  • Don't imply any relation with them.
  • Don't use their customer reviews, or images from the reviews.
  • Do submit your site into the dashboard and check the box that it's COPPA compliant.
  • Do have a statement in your privacy page or whatever that you get paid for sending them traffic.
  • Don't list prices unless you're using their API which will make sure the prices are always accurate.
  • Don't let your affiliate links go out on your RSS feed or into your emails to your list, etc. Don't go pasting them around the web or on social media. Learn what platforms are approved and how to get your profiles approved first (Pinterest, for example).
It's very viable. I get a sizable monthly deposit from them each and every month.

They now provide more analytics and stats about what's converting and which links are getting clicked if you use their OneLink option, which also lets you sell internationally instead of just in the US or UK, etc.

The one downside you can count on is that the commission rates will keep dropping. In my time with them we've gone from tiered commissions based on product volume to lower commissions in those tiers to no more tiers with static rates to lower static rates to lower static rates again.

My rates have easily been cut to 33% of what they were when I started with them like 15 years ago. You have to be able to scale to keep up the difference. But even if you don't, it's some of the easiest money you'll make if you can compete for those kind of "best product" SERPs, which are becoming more and more competitive and requiring more and more freshness. There's a lot of maintenance involved in those SERPs that eat at your time and revenue.
 
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Since Amazon cut their commission rates drastically last year, I’ve certainly changed the way I use Amazon Associates.

Where I used to get 70% of revenue from Amazon, I’m now getting more like 30%.
It’s still a great program, but instead of building endless product round-ups and product reviews centered on getting people to click over to Amazon, I find the content I’m having success with is much more informational in nature.

I will often link to Amazon through my articles whenever I can, but I don’t center most of my articles around the goal of that Amazon click.

Ad revenue is plenty high enough to support content creation, and any Amazon earnings are gravy.

There are lots of benefits to this: the site looks (and is) much less spammy, the target keywords are less competitive, there’s more variety of content, and earnings are a bit more predictable.

By all means make those Top 10 lists, especially if you’ve found a good product area that costs $100+ and does good volume. But don’t limit yourself to “best” keywords and Amazon’s cookies.
 
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Can anyone explain to me the whole Amazon Associates Affiliates deal? So you create multiple accounts one for each region, big hasle. Then you figure out a way to serve the right link to the right user depending on their region, then you have to submit tax forms on all of them? And if you don't do it all right you basically lose most or all the money. That's what I understand. But so many people use and it's so popular that I might be missing something.
 
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Can anyone explain to me the whole Amazon Associates Affiliates deal? So you create multiple accounts one for each region, big hasle. Then you figure out a way to serve the right link to the right user depending on their region, then you have to submit tax forms on all of them? And if you don't do it all right you basically lose most or all the money. That's what I understand. But so many people use and it's so popular that I might be missing something.
There are saas/plugin that can do the location redirection for you, you just need to give them your amazon tag for each country
 
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What do you guys think about utilizing PAID (adwords) traffic to generate traffic to these posts?

Example of this would be typing in "robotic vacuum cleaners" and seeing an SEM ad that is like "top 5 robotic vacuum cleaners in 2020" with brief review and links that say like "check price" and it links out to Amazon.

I am bummed out to see that if I sell a $300 product I'd only see like $10 myself. The conversion rates on Amazon would have to be reallllly good in order for paid SEM to work out like that!
 

Ryuzaki

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There are saas/plugin that can do the location redirection for you, you just need to give them your amazon tag for each country
Amazon's own OneLink does it too, albeit more poorly at the moment. I'm sure it gets better over time. But I think the reigning champ is Genius Links in terms of finding the right and available products on other international Amazon stores.
 

Boy

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My last website doesn't have a link to Amazon anywhere on it and any website I create moving forward won't be a part of the Amazon Affiliate program. Or, at least AA won't be a significant portion of earnings or a focus at all.

A lot of people convince themselves that other affiliate programs aren't worth it for reasons like people trust Amazon, people won't make accounts for other sites, the affiliate doesn't want to manage other programs, product swapping, etc. But really going the SEO -> Amazon route is like doing affiliate marketing on hard mode disguised as easy mode.

Competition is worse or you have to discover some obscure product category, it takes too long to get traffic, then you're getting a shitty one or two percent for a sale.

But I'm also into creating products & services of my own and using the skills I got from affiliate marketing to drive traffic. The "no-code" movement is fantastic for taking those next steps away from primarily selling someone else's product.
 

Cash Builder

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I still use Amazon, although it’s not as big a percentage of my earnings as it used to be. Like a lot of folks on here, I’m transitioning to more informational content. I’ll probably always use Amazon as long as I’m building sites, the range of products and the fact that everyone uses them are positives in my eyes.

As a side note, I received an email from Amazon Associates UK program, stating that they are changing the commissions again.

As far as I can tell, nothing is being reduced. The 1.5% for products that are not in your category has been there for a while, they have just clarified it. The one thing I noticed is that they are introducing a tiered system again, although only for items that are in the category you are promoting.

In the old tiered system you could easily make up the volume with all of the other purchases people make, this will no longer be the case. The items have to be in the same category to count towards your tiered sales.

Here is the link - https://affiliate-program.amazon.co.uk/help/node/topic/GJ4X6Z5AE9KJVEMA?ref_=pe_3641111_558988121

The benefit of Amazon Associates is that you earn a commission for every product a customer buys. This benefit is reducing with every commission update. I’ll bet it won’t be long until you only earn a half-decent commission on the exact item you link to and everything else will be 1.5% (or less).