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My Experience of Being a 7 Month Amazon Affiliate (Do's & Don'ts for an Amazon Associates Beginner)
Basically, being an Amazon Affiliate allows you (almost anybody) to 'promote' Amazon's countless products and should a sale be made through any of your promoted products, you will receive a varying commission percentage.
When I first encountered Amazon Associates Program I was thrilled, specially after being so tired of all the attempts to make money on 'fake' online sites. But this was different. Amazon is a trusted brand, and buyers trust it too. So I shouldn't have a problem convincing people to buy, right? But after 7 months being in the associates program for 7 months, now I realize I couldn't have been wrong. Let me show you how and why.
7 Month Experience as an Amazon Associate
Being just a 7 month old baby into the world of Amazon Associates, I still have mixed feelings about the program.
First of all Amazon Associates is a 'great' program and a huge opportunity for those who try to make some pocket money and also for those who try to make a living out of it. That's the beauty of it. Amazon Associates reaps to the amount of effort and time you invest in it. Here investing in your time does not necessarily mean that you have to work long hours, but rather you have to wait a pretty good time to see any encouraging results.
I have been an Amazon Affiliate since January 01, 2013 to date (July 18, 2013) which is roughly seven months. Below is my earnings report for the period.
Now, anyone who wishes to get into Amazon Associates program need not be discouraged by the above picture. Because let me tell you, I have earned that $60 odd amount without spending a dime and doing almost everything wrong. In that context I can say, I have accomplished a marvelous feet. Don't be confused, let me explain what I did wrong so you can not do them.
If I had done it right from the beginning, my experience with Amazon Associates would be much different than that. But I was impatient, saw the possibilities and jumped right into it without checking the water first. However, the following are some mistakes I have done.
- Fighting Amazon.com head on!!!
Boy, that hurts! I didn't fight Amazon.com per say, but unintentionally that is what I have been doing all this time. How? Let me explain to you how my thinking worked. There are millions of online shoppers right? And they all want different products. So if I build up a site and put almost every product I can find, I will cater to the mass population right? Yeah, right, but so wrong. Theoretically this is 100% truth. But practically this is suicide. Amazon.com itself offers almost a million types of products, and trying to get them all in my site just means that I'm taking Amazon.com head on. Don't get me wrong, but this is a touch beyond 'impossible'.
So what should you do? Well, specialize. Develop a site focusing on one specific category of products. For an example: "Air Conditioners" Now believe it or not, if you really work on your site focusing specifically on 'air conditioners' keyword with a lot of 'original content', you will be able to beat Amazon or any other popular brand names and get your website in the number one spot of the search results. Number one spot on search results mean a boost of about 40% of traffic to your site. So please do specialize your site on one category. But also make sure that there are enough traffic for that search term by visiting "Google Keyword Tool". Also make sure that your product is worth over at least a $100. Else your effort may only result in a little commission amount.
How to use the Keyword Tool...
More on your website...
- Your website
Your website and it's appearance will be very very important to most shoppers. I used a blog from Blogger, since it is free and I really didn't want to invest any money in an unknown venture. If you too are in my mindset, I advice putting up a blog. But if you are seriously going to consider Amazon Associates as a long term source of income a real website, with a .com or .net domain. That will look more professional and people will have much more respect and faith towards your site. And more faith means more sales and more returning customers.
One more thing, when you select a business/domain name don't include the term 'Amazon' in it, because some associates have mentioned that Amazon has asked them to change such names with the word Amazon in it.
Watch and learn...
- Don't be lazy
Promoting a product takes effort. Let me tell you one thing, copy pasting the same product description on Amazon.com and pasting it in your product description does NOT work. Why would anyone be bothered to buy from your 'unknown' site when they can get the same thing from the world's most trusted online retailer! So when writing product description, be original and write your own description. This will generate some faith in customers about your site, giving them the idea that you actually know something about this product. Here specializing about one product really helps again. You can't possibly know about every product Amazon sells. So when specializing think about you ability to write some 200-300 word description about the product.
Original content will not only make your site stand out, but will also help you get a PageRank and not get detected as spam content. I know it's a lot of work, but if you get it right from the beginning, one day your reports may look like the one below. It's not mine btw (I wish).
- Be patient!!!
Probably one of the most important things when you are just beginning as an affiliate. It takes time. It takes time even for Google to index your site and make it show up on the 30th search result page. And everything you do will get your site one page closer to the number one ranking. Traffic is everything. Google is the road. Be patient till Google lets your vehicle on the road. It may need background checks and inspections before that happens. So let them do their part, while you do yours. Don't expect to have earnings from the very first day, or even in a month for that matter. But with time you will see people travelling on your vehicle and occasionally some of them brave enough to pay you for the journey. That's when the thrill begins. So, be patient!!!