by 82 comments
Has anyone run the new amazon site creation software "Zonterest" through its paces? The sites look really good but that doesn't anyone actually making money off these sites. Looks pretty pricey too.

Zonterest, Amazon Affiliate System - Amazon Website Builder
#product reviews #zonterest

  • Profile picture of the author Ethiccash
    Please allow me to jump in this thread as I am the creator of Zonterest. I won't comment on reviews, just add some details about pricing.

    Zonterest is all-inclusive, so it's in fact quite cheap as it includes: domain registration and hosting for 1 year, content, website building, as well as up to 50 social signals per website created (from real social networkers around the world).

    If you compare this to just domain registration + hosting, even using the simplest hosting plan, it would already cost $12 (domain) + $50-$60 for 1 year of hosting... and you would have no website ready.

    We truly believe it's more than fairly priced :-)

    If you have any question, use the contact form on Zonterest.com as I am probably checking WF once a month if not less.

  • Profile picture of the author getsometraffic
    Any website that is put together like that and has traffic is for sure to make some money..

    For under 200 bucks with resell rights sound like a deal to me..
  • Profile picture of the author maverick4u
    Isn't the content just scraped content from the Amazon API? I mean can you add some original reviews to your site? I noticed the demo site had a "blog". Is this a WP blog installed on a subdirectory or just a seperate page? Can you add a WP blog to your sites for additinal content and reviews etc.?
  • Profile picture of the author Ethiccash
    Zonterest is a kind of "Done for you" system. You login, add your keyword and it creates an Amazon affiliate website with your affiliate ID. The "blog" section you refer to is simply the link to all the product details listed on your Zonterest website.

    Zonterest is part of Creative Niche Manager (Creative Niche Manager | Niche Marketing Platform ) and for CNM members, you have access to a Blog management module (you can use to create WP blogs), to a Content Publishing engine (you can use to edit Zonterest content, to add more reviews, to pull articles from a 10 million articles database, to add Clickbank reviews, Linkshare products...).

    But Zonterest will remain as simple as possible as most users are in because of its simplicity: create an Amazon affiliate website you fully own with just one seed keyword ; promote it by pushing a few sliders to create social signals (one-way backlinks) to your Zonterest website.

    If someone needs more advanced features to add blogs, content, they can do it, adding extra modules to their account by joining Creative Niche Manager.

  • Profile picture of the author maverick4u
    Creative Niche Manager looks very powerful too. My bottom line question though is this: How do these Zonterest sites stack up to an ugly WP blog that you put together with original reviews and content? Which one will actually make money? If these Zonterest sites can actually make money then it's a no brainer...I'm in.

    It seems that right now the only way to find out would be to take the plunge as nobody has any results to show.
  • Profile picture of the author Ethiccash
    These are optimized Amazon affiliate websites. As with any website, you still need to get traffic to it. Zonterest system includes Social signals so that you can start building say 50 social signals (backlinks from social networks from real social networkers) within 30 seconds after creating your Zonterest websites.

    So, these websites will make money when they receive traffic. We also recommend you generate traffic through other means, especially Youtube videos and further backlinking.

    We also have "private" solutions for users where we can create a video, upload it to different video sharing networks (Youtube, vimeo...) and then build links to it.

  • Profile picture of the author maverick4u
    Yes-I think your Youtube method would work. But as far as backlinking to get such a site ranked in the search engines would be pretty futile wouldn't it? It would be classified as a thin affiliate site and slapped to oblivion.

    I noticed you have a Pinterest button on the sites. Do you have a software/methodology that would help get viral traffic from Pinterest?
  • Profile picture of the author stevengaa
    We played around with Zonterest on our site for a while did like how it worked but using it in a WP site gave us some issue. Getting it to look right and keeping it tact with our main blog site wasn't working. I would tell you to run it on as a separate site or page and drive traffic to it from You tube as mentioned above and ad links for your main site to your new Zonterest site. From there add links on the Zonterset site. This will give you a great start for backlinks to your new site. This is of course depends if your page ranking is up there. Just my suggestion we have done this in the past with other sites and works well.
    Best of luck!
  • Profile picture of the author Ethiccash
    Steven, not sure how you did that since Zonterest is fully hosted and you can't use it on a WP based website.

    That said, Zonterest allows you to create specific stores (Kindle stores, book store, video games store...) in different country, with products based on your keyword.

    When it comes to traffic, usual technics should apply: link building, social bookmarking, Youtube marketing, classified ads, PPC, PPV... We help by creating 50 social signals on each Zonterest powered websites, but based on your niche and keyword selection, one might need more.

  • Profile picture of the author gcintermed
    I have been using Zonterest for about a week. I think it is a great idea, but so far I have been disappointed and frustrated with the difficulty in trying to get it to work right.

    I purchased one site to test it out. For $37 I was supposed to get one site plus 25 social signals. But everything works on a "credits" system, meaning you need a certain number of credits to set up a site. The problem was that 10 minutes after I signed up, the system automatically deducted 5 credits for monthly support. So then when I tried to set up my site, I got a message telling me I didn't have enough credits left. $37 and dead in the water.

    After a couple of messages to support, they restored the credits, and I went and set up my site. It couldn't have been easier. After adding my personal info and Amazon ID, I picked a domain name, category and main keyword for the site. "Voila", and the site was ready in a few seconds, and hosted on my domain too!

    But then I tried to change the template. It let me change it to one of the web 2.0 templates loaded into Creative Niche Manager for their other content sites. But that turned out to be all wrong, not suitable for the Amazon store. And when I tried to access the Zonterest module to change to a suitable template... you guessed it... "not enough credits". So at this moment I am stuck with the wrong template and a lousy looking site, trying to get support to help me again.

    All these issues might not occur for someone who buys a large package with lots of credits. (And by the way, the smallest package of credits you can buy is $60, so this is not a trivial issue.) But in my opinion (JP, I hope you are reading this with an open mind) they need to tweak some things for the person who just buys one site. I don't think it is too much to ask that we should be able to buy and set up one site after purchase and be able to change the template and content of that site, all without running into the "not enough credits to do that" message. Or to put it another way, I shouldn't have to pay $60 to edit a $37 site.

    I would also suggest allowing us to use our own domain names rather than forcing us to register a new one through their dashboard. I like to have a little more control over my domain names.

    I hope they fix these things (and will be happy to update the review when they do) as I still think this has potential to be a super easy way to set up and manage Amazon sites. I was hoping to use it to park some domains that I haven't had a chance to develop yet.

  • Profile picture of the author Ethiccash
    Gene, your issue is in no way related to Zonterest unfortunately. If you read the Zonterest tutorials, you see that Zonterest is a fully hosted service with no other template. You simply tried to do something not planned for Zonterest. So, it failed. Zonterest is not to blame here. We never explain how to change templates since Zonterest is based on this highly performing template.

    As you say, Zonterest is dead easy: enter your keyword, pick your store type and voilĂ . That's it.

    As a member of CNM 2 (the much bigger platform supporting Zonterest) then you know that we have some Support & MAintenance monthly fees (5 credits). They are not new. That said you can opt out of this program (this program gives you access to more templates for other Creative Niche Manager website builders).

    What happens, is that since you had no credits and were still in this program, as soon as you added credits, we charged you for unpaid Support credits.

    Also, there's a confusion: you can't pay to edit a website... since we edit it for you and for free in case you made a mistake (regarding your keyword selection for example). Then Zonterest has no option to edit the content or change the template. So, here you're also going beyond the Zonterest features which are described in the online Tutorials.

    If you had the "not enough credit message", it means you tried to create a new website using Zonterest.

    These are not bugs at all. This is the way Zonterest works.

    (btw Gene, with CNM, you can build websites listing Amazon products, as well as ebay, Clickbank, Linkshare... with any other templates available). Zonterest is designed to be a fully hosted platform with a completely done for you process (domain, hosting, content, template).

    We will revert your website to the right template, but once again, blaming the service for something Zonterest is not responsible for, is quite interesting :-) (I hope you also have an open mind when reading this).

    I wish you a great day.

  • Profile picture of the author Ethiccash
    Gene, your website has been restored to its original state and it looks really great :-)

  • Profile picture of the author gcintermed
    JP was right... My issue had to do with a lapsed subscription to Creative Niche Manager (the larger platform which now includes Zonterest), so that when I added the Zonterest module, the system automatically deducted credits that I had just added with my purchase.

    Bottom line, my situation is probably unique, and not representative of what the average purchaser would experience.

    I can say that now that they have sorted things out, I am delighted with the ease of use of this system, and the finished product looks great.

    I am also pleased to report that JP and staff were responsive in helping me get things straightened out.

    I am going to see how well the site converts, but I expect I will be buying more, as this is a drop dead simple way to monetize a domain and set up lots of sites quickly.

  • Profile picture of the author maverick4u
    Originally Posted by Ethiccash View Post

    These are optimized Amazon affiliate websites. As with any website, you still need to get traffic to it. Zonterest system includes Social signals so that you can start building say 50 social signals (backlinks from social networks from real social networkers) within 30 seconds after creating your Zonterest websites.

    So, these websites will make money when they receive traffic. We also recommend you generate traffic through other means, especially Youtube videos and further backlinking.

    We also have "private" solutions for users where we can create a video, upload it to different video sharing networks (Youtube, vimeo...) and then build links to it.

    Some of the best traffic you can get for an amazon site though is search engine traffic. Has anyone actually got one of these to rank in the Google (or Bing) index? I just keep getting the feeling that these automated cookie cutter sites would not get any Google love since they have no unique content and visitor value and Google will see them rather dimly.

    Has anyone managed to rank one of these sites for their buying keywords? I would love to know!
  • Profile picture of the author gcintermed
    I just checked and my site is in the Google index with 16 results. I don't expect it to rank for the main keyword, but some of the longer tail product keywords could produce some traffic.

    I think Google cares more about backlinks and social signals than unique content. So if you can get people liking and sharing your pages, I don't see why you can't get decent rankings.
  • Profile picture of the author Ethiccash
    @maverick4u : as Gene reported, you need content on your website. I won't enter the "unique" discussion as it's in progress for like 7 years just on this forum. After so many years online, I don't think Unique content is the issue.

    What matters is good onsite optimization and most importantly good backlinks and ones from Social networks (social signals). This is what search engines tend to favor for sure since last updates.

    Zonterest Amazon stores are just about that. Produce great looking websites with content and sociall signals at a fair price.

    Now, I have no idea how you would want to show an Amazon product and at the same time show unique content for this product... since you would just play against Amazon Associates agreement.

    That's where all the other Zonterest alternatives miserably fail. They just surfed the "Unique content" wave but simply ended up putting their customers' business at risk by providing non compliant Amazon associates store.

    Amazon is really strict about that. The reason is that it's dead simple to follow their rules. So, no point to breakt those. Some of my customers reported having tracking issues and unpaid commissions because of such non compliant plugins or softwares.

    Basically, I would run away as fast as I can from every plugin / software that claim to be integrated with any content spinner (thinking it's a benefit!). As well you can't edit a product description, and many other restrictions I won't discuss here. But they do exist for a reason.

    Now, Associates store service producer have to adapt. Why game Amazon when it's so easy to just make the most of these rules. We decided to do just that at Zonterest, Amazon Affiliate System - Amazon Website Builder

    Instead of gaming them, we have produced highly optimized Associates stores that generate a high click through rate to Amazon product page, and rank high thanks to the social signals we provide and to the other tools and backlinks our users have access to.

  • Profile picture of the author castlefort
    Re: Your question on Zonterest.

    I have not been using it for long so I can only share what has happened so far.

    My time is limited and the more time it takes me to finish a website it means the less time I have to work on getting people to see it. Because of this I had 3 things I wanted to find out about a Zonterest created website.

    #1 Could it really speed up the creation of a nice looking Amazon product website?

    #2 What results would I get from running just a social signals campaign on a new website? Would it be helpful?

    #3 Would this kind of website actually generate sales?

    The test run was on 5 Zonterest only created websites. No changes of any kind were made. 50 social signals were done on each website.

    Zonterest aced the website creation test. It only took a few minutes and I was done. It took a little more time before I could view the finished website. All of this was fast and easy. Once I got going it was actually kind of fun.

    Once the social signals campaign started my Amazon stats started changing. That means the Zonterest website was doing what was suppose to. It was not alot of traffic but this was not a large scale effort yet either.

    The websites were 2 weeks old when the first sale happened. 3 of the 5 websites have generated a sale. Several pages of each of the 5 sites have been indexed. I haven't looked for where they rank yet. Just being found from social signals alone I thought was doing well.

    So far I have been pleasantly surprised. A few sales might not seem like much to you but for me I am happy to quickly know it works. It is a place to start. Now that I know it is possible to generate sales I plan to put more effort into getting traffic to my websites and see what is really possible.
  • Profile picture of the author Ethiccash
    @castlefort: these are great news for your websites. As I understand you only used Zonterest features (including the Social Signals module) to promote your website and create backlinks.

    Of course, we do what is supposed to be done when you setup a Social Media campaign :-)
    You results are coherent with what other members report: websites getting indexed in a week or so (based on keywords) and traffic. We've extensively tested this specific Zonterest design to make sure it would work well with Amazon listings.

    We were pleasantly surprised as it even outperforms all other designs we've tested (even from so-called other Amazon store builders). We've learnt a few lessons regarding how to build effective Amazon stores for sure!

  • Profile picture of the author jtunk
    Can I myself choose the domain name with this?

  • Profile picture of the author maverick4u
    Is there still support for Zonterest? Its going on 5 days with no reply to my ticket...

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