What to do with Existing Amazon Affiliate sites? Discuss ROI vis-a-vis Risk

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Apart from a few niches which can be alternatively monetized, most of the other Amazon affiliate sites' earning would be cut to 50-60%!
It is a no brainer now that you should not build new sites solely based on Amazon but what to do with the existing website/s?

I think even if after 50% reduction,ROI is still good enough for at least continuing the existing site's growth?

Typical medium size Amazon site takes around 300-400 articles and 200-300 guest posts/niche edits/links to get to around $10-30k/mo. Now it will be $5k-15k/month

300 articles ~ $15k-25k
250 Links ~$25k

So $40k-50K investment for a shot at $5k-$15k+/mo and $150k-$400k valuation
------------
Risk

Amazon might close the affiliate program altogether or reduce it to 1%.


-----------------
Opportunity Cost

There is always a better niche that can be found etc. But Amazon projects are very easy to run/outsource/find a niche.
Right now fresh $50k investment may not make sense. But if you are already down $20k, how does the equation change?

Please feel free to add what are you thinking? Especially, guys who are in a similar situation.
 

Ryuzaki

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I think even if after 50% reduction,ROI is still good enough for at least continuing the existing site's growth?
This will be the case for one of my projects. The pages that get the affiliate sales will still be worth rolling out because they'll also get traffic and contribute to my display ad revenue. They're worth it because they're diversified. The Amazon money is just icing on the cake at this point though. I see it continuing to erode further.

It is a no brainer now that you should not build new sites solely based on Amazon but what to do with the existing website/s?
It's always been a bad idea to build a site around someone else's business. You should build a site around a monetization model, where many businesses can fill the product orders. The best way to build a site is around your own products or services but let's be real. People in this convo around the web are doing affiliate marketing purposefully, and that's fine as long as you mitigate risk and execute like a mad man.

Please feel free to add what are you thinking?
Your estimates on the costs, amount of articles, number of links, etc. all seem reasonable to a degree, give or take large amounts depending on where you outsource it all.

I think the question becomes less about how much it costs at this point (though we should minimize the expense without hurting quality too much) and more about:

• How we can extract more monetary value from each visitor
• How we can get more of these visitors to make up the loss

The place everyone should start is the first question. For instance, if you have an Amazon site making $10k a month and then it gets cut to $5k a month, you could probably slap display ads on there and get it back up some amount without hurting the Amazon revenue that much. You could do lead generation. You could sell some e-book you whip up to serve their needs. You could push offers to your list. There's a lot of ways to make money online that can be mixed together to salvage a project.

As far as getting more visitors: more publishing, more marketing, more link acquisition, more paid ads, more exposure, more snowball effect.
 

bernard

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Considering what Ryu is saying, now could be a good time, to buy the competition. If they dip 50%, maybe they will sell for only a 30% dip in valutation. Then if you can get earnings to only 20% dip with other meds, you have made a profit.
 

CCarter

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Amazon projects are very easy
Until they are not. Amazon/COVID is pretty much like the first Panda update. It wiped out affiliates that had the easy SEO life. If you didn't double down and create better content you had to go get a day job. That cycle of internet marketers are gone.

This is going to be the same thing. This cycle of internet marketers which cannot survive will be gone too.

The best way to survive is to own your own product and YOU are the one affiliates are driving sales towards.

Think about it - an affiliate builds a site and does a ton of work for "maybe" 5-20% of the sales. OR you build a product/service and have an affiliate program that's netting you 80-100% of the revenue?


It's one thing to do affiliate marketing as an add-on icing since your publishing site has multiple sources of revenue, but it's not realistically a business if someone else can come and turn off 50% of your revenue.

Adsense and Amazon should be stepping stones to generating money online. They shouldn't be where you stay for years, cause eventually if you aren't a brand, haven't created AND NURTURED your audience, you are either playing in Google's sandbox, Amazon's, or someone else.

Build your own sandbox.

"If you aren't first you have to be different." - Dan Peña​

TheWireCutter.com was completely different and they had multiple sources of traffic since they branched out to YouTube and Social Media.

Too many affiliate sites I still see with default wordpress themed sites, MAYBE 1 header image and an inner image, and throw in some affiliate links within their bland outsourced for $0.01 a word content.

What type of effort is that?

What do you expect from that?

Like anything in life you get out of it what you put into it.
 

BCN

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It comes down to the niche. I have affiliate sites where we get paid a few hundred per conversion. The alternative would be to run this service myself, with overhead, marketing, staff, compliance (financial industry), and all that stuff.

For me to start that would be a gigantic amount of work and take my bankroll + additional debt. I'd have to put all my eggs in one basket.

I'd rather have affiliate sites in 5 different niches, work on driving traffic, and not have to deal with running the service. No debt in the company, low risk, and be happy to leave some chips on the table.

I would argue that e-commerce is not the best market for affiliate marketing though, and it's easy enough to buy stock or get something made for a few thousand and fulfill via Amazon. If someone buys an electric toothbrush or some other crap, and you get 1.47$, the math doesn't work out really.

However, I have started to move more into owning the whole funnel. This month we've launched one small financial service and one app, both very niched down. Where we own the whole thing. In these cases, the risk is pretty low. It's very niche dependent though, I still wouldn't convert all my own sites to owning the whole funnel.
 
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I feel like ecomm affiliate marketing(I mean amazon affiliate sites with the same ecomm style as amazon) is a half ass way of marketing and that's why maybe amazon is cutting most of their affiliate pretty much, but the vendors are killing it. An ecomm affiliate doesn't really add value, which took me a while to understand. Some are pretty clever like "thisishwhyi'mbroke.com. They only value i can think of is him categorizing all the cheap products for you. I half assed it a long time ago and try to do something similar. Youaintrich.com. Seems as affiliate marketers need to bring some sort of value like wirecutter, review blog type of site.
 
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BCN

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For every Wirecutter and proper affiliate sites, there are 200 affiliate sites with a stock image of "Joe Davidson who started this toothbrush website because he couldn't find a good toothbrush". With half-assed content, cheap widgets, and the same WP theme.

Sites like that don't invite to a recurring readership, they usually have an email opt-in, but why would you opt-in? After you've bought the toothbrush, it will probably last a while and if you like it you buy it again from Amazon ..., you wouldn't research another - and why would someone follow besttoothbrushreviewsonline.com on Facebook?

I still think you can kill it with Amazon affiliate - as long as the program is available - just not the way many people do it.

The sites I own (and not to toot my own horn) have a wider span. Like money.tld - with all types of money guides, loans, credit cards ... If someone comes to you with tax software and a decent payout, you can throw that on there. Or airline reclaims.... or corona masks ... or anything you can think of. But I wouldn't from that, make my own credit card company.
 

GarrettGraff

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The only benefit of using Amazon's affiliate program is simplicity.

Just about every reputable affiliate network out there pays more than Amazon from the beginning, and once you prove you can deliver traffic, and conversions, you can always negotiate a better rate. Or better yet, if you've been a behaved boy you can go direct to the company.

Better yet? Grow some balls, have your name printed on your own tooth brush and sell it yourself. 90% margin, a little more work but, hey, who does that in 2020.
 

Satvrn

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Apart from a few niches which can be alternatively monetized, most of the other Amazon affiliate sites' earning would be cut to 50-60%!
It is a no brainer now that you should not build new sites solely based on Amazon but what to do with the existing website/s?

I think even if after 50% reduction,ROI is still good enough for at least continuing the existing site's growth?

Typical medium size Amazon site takes around 300-400 articles and 200-300 guest posts/niche edits/links to get to around $10-30k/mo. Now it will be $5k-15k/month

300 articles ~ $15k-25k
250 Links ~$25k

So $40k-50K investment for a shot at $5k-$15k+/mo and $150k-$400k valuation
------------
Risk

Amazon might close the affiliate program altogether or reduce it to 1%.


-----------------
Opportunity Cost

There is always a better niche that can be found etc. But Amazon projects are very easy to run/outsource/find a niche.
Right now fresh $50k investment may not make sense. But if you are already down $20k, how does the equation change?

Please feel free to add what are you thinking? Especially, guys who are in a similar situation.
Product owner here.
Try to directly contact product owners / brands on Amazon and ask them for a joint venture.
We create a different coupon code for every affiliate to use on their site and pay them a bonus commission for the sales that used their coupon code. We use this approach to get a lot of positive reviews on SEO sites for our new brands. Usually review sites pick the best rated product owned by an established seller so if you approach one of the smaller / newer brands they're more motivated to work with you.
 

secretagentdad

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Put up adsense and focus on taking over more keyword real estate.

I've got a weird feeling its gonna pay well these next few years and I'm not as good at monetizing as google is.
 

Cash Builder

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Whenever I build a new affiliate site I always make sure there are other affiliate programs for the products aside from Amazon. I start them off as Amazon sites and when they start getting traffic I swap out all the links for a different program, to see if there is any increase in revenue. There hasn’t been yet, but I think there will be with my new sites.

I make sure there is a good mix of informational content on the sites too so I can earn from display ads.

Just make sure there are at least 2/3 different monetisation streams on the site, and cuts like this won’t feel as bad.