My first affiliate website relied primarily on amazon associates. It never picked up as much as I thought it would, but this had more to do with the relatively low commission rates Amazon pays out to its affiliates PLUS the low dollar, awfully narrow niche site I’d chosen to invest my time into.
I received a good amount of traffic, not a lot of conversion. That was another issue.
I didn’t keep up with seo trends. not that i didn’t understand it, but life gets busy sometimes. I was picking up other projects, working a regular 9-5 (let’s not fool anyone, I still am).
I just didn’t see the purpose. Meanwhile, the Google landscape was changing. Algorithms were evolving. And my dying website continued to die.
I’d almost given up. It didn’t seem worth the payout. but the truth was, I wasn’t educating myself, and I was falling behind on the trends.
Adsense was earning pennies, Amazon was averaging pennies. I spent more and more time on outsourcing articles, endless hours on keyword research, all for very little payout. It was exhausting, spending money on nothing.
I looked for excuses all over the place, but ultimately, my lack of performance came down to my suckiness.
I made a lot of core errors in the beginning when choose a niche:
- product value was too low
- affiliate payout was below market average
Those two factors combined meant that I was going to fail financially, even if I had phenomenal traffic growth because I would then have to become a volume business, churning out article after article. And that can get expensive if you’re going to outsource any of it.
Overall, Amazon has the lowest commission rates of any affiliate market out there, but because of Amazon’s omnipresence, you’ll always have an influx of buyers who are willing to buy just because they trust Amazon.
so is amazon associates dead or not?
Right, forgot that’s why you’re here.
Recently, with the covid stuff, Amazon slashed its already low commission rates to ridiculously low standards. sadly, this is true for a lot of affiliate programs right now.
Although you can likely get a higher conversion rate promoting items on Amazon because of the trust factor, you would need to target very high dollar items in order for it to be worth your time.
Also, amazon isn’t the only game in town. There are plenty of other affiliate marketing networks you can join for free.
Browse the marketplace to brainstorm ideas for your niche. Look at commission rates and reputation to make an informed decision.
Whether or not you have traffic, if you’re not making sales, it’s probably your content. And if you are making sales and they’re only a few bucks, you might be focusing on the wrong niche.
If you’re just starting out, using Amazon associates is a breeze and easy to understand, and I would recommend it IN CONJUNCTION with other affiliate programs.
Never rely on just one network. If Amazon removes its programs, you’re stuck with a website with a bunch of dead links. Sprawl your income across the board.
Amazon associates isn’t dead, but it’s dying, at least right now.
If you disagree, let me know in the comments below! I’m holding out hope for them, but time will tell where amazon lands in terms on being a viable source of online income.