Review my Amazon Affiliate site (be honest!)

by pwr406
22 replies
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Hello everyone!

I just completed my first Amazon Affiliate site and I'm looking for some feedback. I'm using Woo-commerce and the Amazon Affiliates plug-in to import the products.

The site is hightopsandhoops.com (not sure if I can link to the site or not here, decided to play it safe!)

Things I still need to work on:

1. Blog posts to drive traffic
2. Custom product descriptions (Amazon's are very weak) to focus on keywords.
3. Need to work on product categories. Right now it seems like it's a bit difficult to navigate once you get into it.
4. I need to re-do the initial slider to have some more dynamic images. I feel like it looks too blank right now.
5. I'm thinking I need to re-write my little blub on the first page to include more relevant keywords...

I'm currently doing a small adwords campaign to see if I can get any sales and am working on other marketing methods.

Please be honest! Does my site suck? Do I have any chance of making sales with this? What else should I be doing?

Thank you everyone for your time!
#affiliate #amazon #honest #review #site
  • Profile picture of the author bymarcot
    Hey, i never suggest to use e-commerce theme/site to make money with Amazon. People buy from Amazon cause they trust the site. Your site is unknown. People must add the items to cart, then check out and finally they see that they`re buying from Amazon. Even if you get some traffic to your site you will get a minimum amount of sales (if any). These sites just kill conversions. The idea with Amazon affiliate sites are to send the traffic to Amazon, let the visitors (potential buyers) surf on Amazon and they will buy (anything) and you get the commission. Easy as that. If the visitors are on Amazon then Amazon will do the rest.

    Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author UnkwnUsr
      Originally Posted by bymarcot View Post

      Hey, i never suggest to use e-commerce theme/site to make money with Amazon. People buy from Amazon cause they trust the site. Your site is unknown. People must add the items to cart, then check out and finally they see that they`re buying from Amazon. Even if you get some traffic to your site you will get a minimum amount of sales (if any). These sites just kill conversions. The idea with Amazon affiliate sites are to send the traffic to Amazon, let the visitors (potential buyers) surf on Amazon and they will buy (anything) and you get the commission. Easy as that. If the visitors are on Amazon then Amazon will do the rest.

      Cheers
      That could be a trust issue but there is nothing to stop you from telling buyers this upfront. Of course you have to add some value to the equation or else they have no reason to buy from your store. If you can position yourself as the expert curating the best items for a certain niche then it could still work IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mubashirshafi
    Nice website but the color combination is looking a bit awkward. But I hope it will convert for you. Best of luck Op!
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  • Profile picture of the author pwr406
    Thank you both for taking the time to check out the site.

    Bymarcot, those were my exact concerns when I started this project but others have seemed to have some success with this model and these plugins so I thought I would give it a try. The thing that really drew me to this was that the Amazon Affiliates plug-in for WooCommerce has a 90 day cookie (which won't matter if people never get to Amazon...)

    Mubashirshafi - Please let me know what you mean by awkward. I thought the light blue with the white was nice and might catch some hipster kids...maybe I'm off...
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Range
    IMO the font is too large for the welcome text, maybe bring it down by about 25% or so. The site took a VERY long time to load on my computer here in Arizona.

    What did you use to build the site, is it some sort of CMS? What plugins are you using?
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  • Profile picture of the author pwr406
    Hi Josh, thank you for taking the time to check out my site. I agree about the initial welcome text and reduced the size.

    I have also noticed the long load time and I'm at a loss at the moment for how to improve that. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

    I built it using the Virtue Premium theme for WordPress. The Plugins I currently have are:

    AdSense Privacy Policy -Version 1.1.1
    Akismet - Version 2.6.0 - (currently not activated)
    All in One SEO Pack - Version 2.1.4
    Cyclone Slider Pro - Version 2.8.2
    Page Builder by SiteOrigin - Version 1.4.7
    Revolution Slider - version 4.1.4
    WooCommerce - Version 2.1.6
    Woo Commerce Amazon Affiliates - Wordpress Plugin - Version 5.0.1
    WP Super Cache - Version 1.4
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  • Profile picture of the author jmedrano
    Really nice niche to be in. IMO some of the fonts are too large and mixed match. You might want to also remove the number of products in your sidebar since the numbers go below the category name.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Bradley
    Nice looking...crisp and clean!!! Easy to browse through and find what you want. My load time was only a few seconds, 3 maybe. Good job, I hope I can get my PLR webstore to look as nice!
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    • Profile picture of the author wholesaledeals
      I think you site with traffic should do well, There is nothing better than marketing something you work really hard. The Website looks really nice!
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  • Profile picture of the author lonlyisalnd
    Ok here is my review a quick rundown:

    Design

    - Design looks cool, clean and targeted to sport/basketball
    - Too much text on the first page (looks ugly) don't mention Amazon here
    Welcome to Hightopsandhoops.com! We scour Amazon to bring you the best deals on basketball shoes and apparel. You can order with confidence knowing that the check out and shipping is handled by Amazon, a company we all know and trust to deliver. Please let us know if there is anything you have been looking for and we’ll find it! From Jordan to Adidas, And1 to Reebok, we have deals on a number of different basketball sneakers. Also make sure to check out the blog for free training videos and advice. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well!
    - You are missing pictures of real people that are showing the products specially on the homepage

    Technical

    - Your redirect is not working so I could not shop on Amazon
    - Make sure that the prices that you are showing are the same like on Amazon (cron job)
    - Long waiting time (Start with VPS 50$ per month and get a cache!)

    Seo/Cost

    - Product description and that is the key point are very weak you probably got already hit by Google 100% copy of Amazon's descriptions
    - Take the Amazon reviews out otherwise you get the same duplicate problem
    You have two options write it by your own or get it written.
    - Most expensive part 250 products x 5$ = 1250$
    - Reviews a bit cheaper but still 50$-100$ per month
    - Same goes for blog posts 1 daily 30 x 5$ = 150$ per month
    - Sure you can write by your self but it will be a lot of work
    - No Backlinks!!
    - No Social Media/ Social Signals/ Comments etc
    - Meta Titles/descriptions are too long
    - Optimize the blog posts (more pictures, easy to read etc)

    Competition

    - You have strong competition for this kind of products
    - Any Plans to be better then the other sport shoe shops? Videos, Basketball Tricks, Interviews, Great Pictures etc something that the others don't have
    - Check who is the competitor (all pretty good and the list is endless)
    finishline.com
    sneakernews.com
    sneakerhead.com
    pickyourshoes.com
    nicekicks.com

    Trust

    - The domain name is ugly (too long, hard to spell)
    - About page needs some real information with a person/company that runs the website
    - Telephone number, address etc
    - Security checked? Place a logo that proofs that it is safe.
    - Payment options?

    Check if you are not violating the Amazon TOS.

    And the most important factor calculate if you can make a winning. Especially when you sell lower priced products via Amazon. In my opinion at least 5000$ worth of content + seo optimization + time investment + 300$ monthly cost. But when I look at the competitors even more then that. That is a good amount of products (100k in sales with 5% commission) that needs to be sold. What is the average basket size 50-100$? Over 1000 baskets...
    And now my personal opinion stop dreaming of "easy" passive income with copying Amazon products. Sooner or later you will get hit by Google. You need cash that you can invest especially when there are so much competitors out there.

    Choose who you want to be (so far you are a beggar, be a trader!):
    http://www.officenomore.com/thiefs-b...-money-online/

    Hope I could help and good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author pwr406
    Thank you everyone for your responses. Sorry for my delay, I've been dealing some issues in my "real job" and haven't had time to focus on this.

    LonelyIsland, I really appreciate your detailed breakdown. Here are my responses:

    Design:
    I removed the block of text I had. I agree, it didn't look good there.
    I agree that I need more pictures of people using the products but I'm not really sure how to go about that. The only 100% legit way I know of, is to actually buy the products and do my own photos so I own the content. I would love to be able to just re-post a Nike or Adidas ad, but I'm guessing that might get me in trouble

    Technical:

    Thank you for letting me know about the re-direct. It appears this is only affecting people using Firefox and I have opened a support ticket with the plug-in developer to correct this.

    I do have a cron job set to refresh the prices every 15 minutes that has been running correctly but I have noticed a couple of price discrepancies myself. Maybe I should increase the frequency of the update?

    I'm not really sure what to do about the long waiting time. I'm not ready to invest $50 a month for a VPS until I'm sure this is something I want to keep going forward with.

    SEO/cost:

    I'm slowly working on going through and re-writing all of the product descriptions. Going to be quite a job though...I'm not in a place where I can afford to hire out the work so I'll have to plug away when I have free time.

    I really haven't begun to work on the backlinks and the promoting aspect. I did set up a Twitter and Facebook account but haven't done much with either of them. The blog posts were done quickly, really I just wanted to have something there to see what it would look like.

    Competition:
    Yes, there is a ton of competition in this niche. All of those sites you have listed are great. Honestly, it's somewhat intimidating looking at those sites and trying to figure out how to make my site stand out. Obviously need to put some more work into this.

    Trust:
    I thought the domain name was good, a nice combo of product reliability and branding but I do appreciate your comment. Not a lot I can do about it now though...
    I agree, about page needs work. I'll have to focus on that soon.

    I re-read the Amazon TOS and I do think this plugin I'm using may be violating it. I'm worried about the fact that the plug-in downloads the images when the Amazon TOS specifically says not to do this but to only use a link to said image.

    I was wondering what section you thought I was violating though? Is it the lack of date by the price? I have a cron job set for every 15 minutes and the TOS stats you only need to include the date if the prices aren't updated hourly. I do see that I need to include the disclaimer that the content is from Amazon and subject to change.

    I'm honestly not sure if I can make a winning on this or not. Certainly not if I hire out all of the writing...Thank you for sharing the article, I agree, I'm more of a beggar now than a trader. I guess I need to re-evaluate my approach and figure out how to become more of a trader...I guess I was hoping that I could create 5 to 6 of these types of sites in different niches and make some kind of profit. Perhaps that was naïve thinking on my part.
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  • Profile picture of the author malik4u7861
    i suggested that make your fan page and run some giveaway and some cash back
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    midrees

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  • Profile picture of the author ringmaster
    I would call it hi-ho.net or something your URL is way too long esp on mobile
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  • Profile picture of the author onlineleben
    I do have a cron job set to refresh the prices every 15 minutes
    Disable the Caching plugin and check if prices get updated better.
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  • Profile picture of the author profiterole
    *out of topic*
    how is your traffic buddy ? Alexa says 1.200.000 rank. Does it start to generate some traffic ?

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author jex1
    This bit
    http://hightopsandhoops.com/wp-conte...fitifade50.jpg
    And the links on it, are absolutely terrible. They ruin the site for me, and make it look like you made it in wysiwyg web builder.

    Other than that it looks pretty cool.
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  • Profile picture of the author pwr406
    *out of topic*
    how is your traffic buddy ? Alexa says 1.200.000 rank. Does it start to generate some traffic ?

    Thanks
    Thanks for checking. I have been generating traffic but still really haven't put much into it. Currently I'm getting between 50-80 sessions a day. I think once I start putting some more effort into the blog and backlinking, that should improve quite a bit.

    This bit
    http://hightopsandhoops.com/wp-conte...fitifade50.jpg
    And the links on it, are absolutely terrible. They ruin the site for me, and make it look like you made it in wysiwyg web builder.

    Other than that it looks pretty cool.
    Would you mind elaborating on this? Do you not like the image? Is it the opacity? Does the image need to be more relevant? Should there be no image at all? Any font suggestions for the links?

    Thanks for your time!
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  • Profile picture of the author AngelaHayes
    Is there any way to integrate this service into a mobile app?
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  • Profile picture of the author menuu
    do you make all those banners by your self? Where did you get the images, needs some clean up but looks good. Any sales?
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  • Profile picture of the author never3den
    Have you started to make commission off this site? It does look nice, must say. I just did add to cart and it shows but then when I goto view cart, it says its empty.

    What did you use to make this?
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    • Profile picture of the author pwr406
      Hi all,

      Sorry for the lack of updates, real work has been getting in the way of this project.

      So far I have had a whooping three sales from the site...I've decided to stop my adwords campaign until I can add some more value to my site. I've also been having issues with the cart and the redirect to Amazon. Hopefully the latest updates I applied have fixed these issues. The plugin developer has very slow support response time which has been pretty frustrating.

      Currently have a 1200 word article that I've been working on that I'm going to split into smaller posts with some training videos to see if I can get some more traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author cgamp
    You can add social media sharing button which ensure more traffic
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