How to beat Amazon at it's own Game?

by cmarkc
55 replies
I have a site that is primarily an Amazon affiliate site. It's not doing well, and i ask myself the same thing everyone else is asking:
Why would I buy through an AFFILIATE site when i can go straight to AMAZON and buy it?
So how do i resolve this? How do i make it better to buy through my affiliate link (which takes you to amazon), than to buy from amazon itself?

The only thing i've come up with is to work out the searches strings more carefully than the average shopper might think of.

Another popular answer to this question is to do product reviews...but don't i have to buy the product first? And amazon carries tons of reviews for every product - how do i compete with this?

It's a frustrating dilemma but there must be an answer. Can anyone help? PLEASE?

Thanks, and Merry Christmas
Mark C.
Phoenix
#amazon #beat #game
  • Profile picture of the author kilgore
    The short answer is that you add value. You make it so that your customer gets something out of going to you that they wouldn't get out of going to Amazon directly. How you do that is up to you and depends on your own business, your own skills, your own talents, your own resources and of course the needs and wants of your customers. There's no single easy way to do it.

    As you mentioned, a lot of people suggest that you write reviews. But my problem with this approach isn't that you have to buy the product. It's that Amazon already has tons and tons of reviews on it -- reviews that may well be better than anything you'll write. Which basically means you have the same problem you started with: Why should someone read your reviews when they could just read the reviews on Amazon?

    One example that I love to talk about is GoodReads (Share Book Recommendations With Your Friends, Join Book Clubs, Answer Trivia). If you're not familiar with that site, it's basically a social network for book lovers. People talk about books, recommend books, and share books with both friends and strangers. And while it's different now, they started off monetizing primarily through the Amazon affiliate program. So any time you saw a book you might like there was the button for you to purchase on Amazon. Sure, you could go directly to Amazon to buy all your books, but without GoodReads, you probably never would have found them to begin with. That's the value add. And that's why people keep going back to GoodReads over and over and over again.

    Obviously you're probably not going to create the next GoodReads, but there are countless other approaches. GoodReads was founded by a bunch of book-loving techies, so they used their talents to create a software system that solved people's desire to connect with each other and discuss the books that the read. Others do add value with reviews that are far better than those in Amazon already (though as I said, I think that's a tough model to succeed with). One of the ways my own business adds value is through curation: we know our customers and the products well promote extremely well, and so we're able to find and recommend products that most casual users would never find, and we've also developed a taxonomy that speaks to our customers in a way that Amazon's own taxomomy doesn't. Moreover, we used our own technical knowledge to build an information system that's intuitive, easy to use and very accurate.

    These are just three examples. You'll need to create your own model based on your own skills, talents, resources and preferences. But whatever you do, the idea is the same: Add value beyond what Amazon's already doing. Create a reason for people to come back to you. And that's true for any business, not just affiliate businesses.
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    • Profile picture of the author cmarkc
      Thanks for your reply; it is helpful.
      When i started this site, i approached it as a shopping site, similar to the ones i see on line: the more products, the better... somebody will clik on something because there's so much to choose from.

      The description that you (and others that responded) allude to is tailored towards less product and fewer links; and more support (added value) for the few products I sell. So for example, I have a lengthy page of dance shoes, with probably 200 choices. If I understand you correctly, it should just be dance shoes as articles, videos, comments, interaction (i.e. "what's your favorite?"); laced with just a few links into amazon. Same thing for the other shopping areas such as Dance Apparel, Dane Music, Dance Books, etc.

      Of course this takes work, and I'm not afraid of that. I just want to work on the right thing this time. Plus it means taking down a lot of work i put up, in order to go in a new direction...which i'll do if necessary.

      Am I on the right track? I checked out GoodReads, and got a bit of a feel for how to apply this technique. Do you know of any examples?
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        You are on the right track, but don't take down any pages; link from any page that you were thinking of taking down to new pages... internal linking helps.

        Or, add content to the existing pages, and link to new pages too.

        Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

        Thanks for your reply; it is helpful.
        When i started this site, i approached it as a shopping site, similar to the ones i see on line: the more products, the better... somebody will clik on something because there's so much to choose from.

        The description that you (and others that responded) allude to is tailored towards less product and fewer links; and more support (added value) for the few products I sell. So for example, I have a lengthy page of dance shoes, with probably 200 choices. If I understand you correctly, it should just be dance shoes as articles, videos, comments, interaction (i.e. "what's your favorite?"); laced with just a few links into amazon. Same thing for the other shopping areas such as Dance Apparel, Dane Music, Dance Books, etc.

        Of course this takes work, and I'm not afraid of that. I just want to work on the right thing this time. Plus it means taking down a lot of work i put up, in order to go in a new direction...which i'll do if necessary.

        Am I on the right track? I checked out GoodReads, and got a bit of a feel for how to apply this technique. Do you know of any examples?
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

    Why would I buy through an AFFILIATE site when i can go straight to AMAZON and buy it?

    Simple.

    It's called added value, and it's something that anyone can do. In addition to the product that is purchased through your link, capture the buyer's email address and provide additional value to the sale that is only possible by purchasing through your link.

    Provide added value in the form of relevant additional information or products that will enhance, explain, add to, or offer additional utility to what the prospect is purchasing. Make your added value targeted and relevant to the purchased product.

    Of course, the sky is limit with what you can come up with to add value. Depending on what the product it, It could be anything like:
    • an explanation of how to use a product
    • where to purchase supplies or accessories at a discount
    • tips on maintenance and service or how to make the product last longer
    • examples of getting better results from the product
    • a video tutorial of an expert using the product or caring for it
    • cautions, safeguards, warnings, potential dangers
    • really anything that makes for a better user experience
    Yes, of course, this is a little extra work. But chances are good that all the information you need to create extra value is already online. Just put it in your own words and organize it to become your product.


    For a few hours of work, you could add enough value to make purchasing through your link a "no brainer" that increases your sales dramatically.


    Think like an entrepreneur. Don't say it can't be done for my products . . . because definitely it can be done for any product!


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author SmartTim
    Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

    I have a site that is primarily an Amazon affiliate site. It's not doing well, and i ask myself the same thing everyone else is asking:
    Why would I buy through an AFFILIATE site when i can go straight to AMAZON and buy it?
    So how do i resolve this? How do i make it better to buy through my affiliate link (which takes you to amazon), than to buy from amazon itself?

    The only thing i've come up with is to work out the searches strings more carefully than the average shopper might think of.

    Another popular answer to this question is to do product reviews...but don't i have to buy the product first? And amazon carries tons of reviews for every product - how do i compete with this?

    It's a frustrating dilemma but there must be an answer. Can anyone help? PLEASE?

    Thanks, and Merry Christmas
    Mark C.
    Phoenix
    Do SEO and rank for the keywords. For example, if that person is buying for Apple TV. You must rank above Amazon page for that keyword. "Buy AppleTv"
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      Start with the problem the product you're promoting solves... Write some content that people looking to buy that product are looking for.

      Reviews is only one type of content.

      Rank for some of the keywords those people are using...

      Elliptical machine is too general.
      Sole E35 Elliptical (amazon and the big boys, including Sole) are hard to beat.
      Same for Buy Sole E35 Elliptical

      'Elliptical machines for small spaces" or "How to use an elliptical machine properly" get a lot fewer searches... But you can outrank the big boys here... And you can link to amazon's sale page for a bunch of elliptical machines from inside your articles...

      '
      Originally Posted by SmartTim View Post

      Do SEO and rank for the keywords. For example, if that person is buying for Apple TV. You must rank above Amazon page for that keyword. "Buy AppleTv"
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    It's a frustrating dilemma but there must be an answer
    Yep. Promote something that Amazon doesn't sell and isn't being "reviewed" by 69 Gazillion others.

    To me, it's painfully obvious.
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  • Profile picture of the author wlasikiewicz
    Try making your URLS - what i mean by this is use a URL shortening service.
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  • Profile picture of the author dndoseller
    Summarize all the pros and cons from the product reviews on Amazon, but in your own words.

    This will save visitors the time of having to sift through hundreds of reviews.

    That is definitely adding value above and beyond what Amazon does.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joan Altz
    Ryan Deiss talks about a time when he and Perry Belcher tried to come up with a strategy to beat Amazon at its own game.

    After a lot of attempts and testing, they came to this conclusion: How to beat Amazon at its own game? You can't.

    They quit wasting their time and resources and moved on.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      You cannot "beat" Amazon, but you can certainly leverage their name recognition and marketing system to your advantage. In my not so humble opinion, it is actually detrimental to use the common affiliate practice of writing product "reviews". Even though you may get some sales with this method, Amazon's marketing machine takes over and any subsequent sales to these customers are directly produced in-house.

      Here are some simple ideas I've used over the years that have kept buyers coming back over and over again, resulting in repeat commission sales:

      *An online/offline funnel system promoting niche-relevant products, ideally with incrementally higher price points. Never use direct links nor mention Amazon in your emails or any other off-site marketing collateral, because this is against their TOS.

      *Produce downloadable (pdf) "white papers" or spec sheets for high-end products with application recommendations. Encourage customers to share this with their colleagues and friends. All links must point to your own website per Amazon's TOS.

      *Offer unadvertised Amazon gift cards to your best customers based on sales volume. For example, I send my top customers holiday gift cards, anniversary, and birthday cards roughly equivalent to one dollar for every twenty dollars spent. This expense is always covered by previous commission receipts.

      *Produce videos of Amazon products in use by satisfied customers. Share these on social media, webinars, live seminars, group networks, etc, with links to your website.

      *Participate memorably in forums related to your niche(s), and share your posts with your non-forum member customers and prospects through email, webinars, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc, again linking only to your website.

      *Publish articles regularly and submit to online/offline trade publications, magazines, newspapers, specialty newsletters/ezines, etc. Share reprints with your customers and prospects.

      In essence, what I do is position myself as a concierge in purchase decisions, which effectively draws customers to me for consultation before going to Amazon or any product "review" site. This approach is particularly effective in highly competitive niches and where there are many similar products and choices available.
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  • Profile picture of the author SFNY
    Listen, there are plenty of "review" sites ranking in top 10 for major keywords. I don't know what everyone is talking about. Review sites are NOT dead. In fact, there are plenty of review sites that are too 5,000 sites on niche products. Study them!

    Make sure your linking is organized, your on and off page SEO is not spammy and natural, and most importantly - build value. That means, improve your engagement. Build a resource, not a website.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      The OP created a site where he/she listed products.

      The OP was told that he/she will not beat Amazon that way. That she/he needs to add value, just listing products is not a good way.

      Reviews were given as one of the options. A few people gave some other options. A few feel that it's hard to rank review pages...

      Overall, the consensus is, rightly, that just a list of products doesn't work, extra content is needed, be it reviews, articles around the product, videos showing how to repair product or use product, etc.

      The OP is left with choosing a method and doing keyword research right, then producing the add-value content.
      Originally Posted by SFNY View Post

      Listen, there are plenty of "review" sites ranking in top 10 for major keywords. I don't know what everyone is talking about. Review sites are NOT dead. In fact, there are plenty of review sites that are too 5,000 sites on niche products. Study them!

      Make sure your linking is organized, your on and off page SEO is not spammy and natural, and most importantly - build value. That means, improve your engagement. Build a resource, not a website.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

        Why would I buy through an AFFILIATE site when i can go straight to AMAZON and buy it?
        So how do i resolve this? How do i make it better to buy through my affiliate link (which takes you to amazon), than to buy from amazon itself?
        One way is to make it as easy as possible.

        Contrast making it easy to click once and land on the product page directly from your site, versus opening a new browser or tab, navigating to amazon.com, searching for a product, sifting the results, and eventually landing on the same page.

        That's even without adding any value. Or, you could say that providing the shortcut is adding some value.

        Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

        Thanks for your reply; it is helpful.
        When i started this site, i approached it as a shopping site, similar to the ones i see on line: the more products, the better... somebody will clik on something because there's so much to choose from.
        Basically, you did try to out-Amazon Amazon. Big mistake, as you are finding out. There are studies (help me out with the links, anyone?) that show that giving people too many choices is a good way to get them to make no choice at all.

        Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

        The description that you (and others that responded) allude to is tailored towards less product and fewer links; and more support (added value) for the few products I sell. So for example, I have a lengthy page of dance shoes, with probably 200 choices. If I understand you correctly, it should just be dance shoes as articles, videos, comments, interaction (i.e. "what's your favorite?"); laced with just a few links into amazon. Same thing for the other shopping areas such as Dance Apparel, Dance Music, Dance Books, etc.
        Instead of overwhelming people with 200 choices, is there a way you can group them and offer just two or three choices for different market segments?

        Like "Best ballet flats for beginners" with a good, better, best theme, or a budget, mid-range, high end flight of choices?

        You could do the same thing for ballroom, tap, whatever.

        Help people zero in on the group of products germaine to them. Don't make them open that new browser, go to Amazon, type in "dance shoes" and sort through 64,806 choices.
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Basically, you did try to out-Amazon Amazon. Big mistake, as you are finding out. There are studies (help me out with the links, anyone?) that show that giving people too many choices is a good way to get them to make no choice at all.
          Indeed, it is a big mistake to try to beat Amazon at its own game, as anyone who attempts to do so soon finds out.

          All top Amazon affiliates I know have learned to adapt their promotions to leverage Amazon's uniquely masterful marketing powerhouse.

          Generally, it's best to promote only one niche-relevant product to your traffic source. Just get your prospects/customers to Amazon and let their powerful conversion algorithm do its magic.

          It is a recognised marketing practice that once someone makes a purchase of just one product, they are highly receptive for additional suggestions or recommendations for additional apparently unrelated products.

          Amazon has spent millions on developing this classical "market basket" approach used by offline merchants for decades, and applied it to ecommerce. As oflline merchants have learned long ago, getting shoppers to buy one product (even at a low profit margin or loss), often leads to a market basket full of purchases and repeat customers.

          Affiliates are leaving fortunes on the table by not leveraging Amazon's unmatched marketing prowess. It is a big mistake to think that the so-called "product review" model can even come close.
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          • Profile picture of the author TheGMa
            1. Why the hell would anyone want to beat Amazon at their own game?

            2. Why buy anything through Amazon instead of going straight to the manufacturer?

            Anybody?

            Yeah! You - in the checkered shirt - Right: Added value. Amazon makes it easy.

            If I'm a craft-a-holic, and hang out on craft sites, why would I want to go find what I want at Amazon when my favorite blogger has the link right there next to an article about it?

            Sheesh.

            - Annie
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        • Profile picture of the author LindyUK
          Hello JohnMcCabe

          Re your: "Intead of overwhelming people with 200 choices, is there a way you can group them and offer just two or three choices for different market segments? Like Best ballet flats for beginners; with a good, better, best theme, or a budget, mid-range, high end flight of choices? Help people zero in on the group of products germaine to them. Don't make them open that new browser, go to Amazon, type in;dance shoes and sort through 64,806 choices"

          I completely dissagree with you. Your thinking is really taking the shopping experience back a few centuries, where you might have walked into a cobblers shop an been given the choice of 2 or 3 styles of shoes.

          But we will test your advice out in real life, jus to be sure of what I am saying.

          As well as running large IM Business's I also have a Band, I am the lead singer an lead guitarist. We jus do this for fun but we are pretty good, we play at some large Music Festivals here in the UK, but more at clubs an pubs in London.

          Now I want to buy another Guitar, so what 2 or 3 choices would you recommend for me???

          See, your advice is rubbish. You likely know nothing bout Guitars, let alone what I want or would like. You might be offering me a £250 Guitar when I am in the market for a £2,500 Guitar. An so on.

          The same with Dance Shoes, are you an expert on them too? You can recommend 2 or 3 styles that 10,000 little girls would jus love?

          As for: "There are studies (help me out with the links, anyone?) that show that giving people too many choices is a good way to get them to make no choice at all"

          Thats rubbish too, or perhaps Amazon jus hasn't read those studies do you think? Nike obviously hasn't either, heaven knows how they have a US$28 Billion Global turnover when they confuse people with so many product choices!!!

          But your thinking is typical of many Internet Marketers, geez we will give them 1 choice (or 2 or 3 to be really generous), they will jus love that! NOT.

          That thinking is why most Affiliate Marketers don't make any big income, they are doing product reviews, trying to sell one product at a time, where they have the chance of beating out any High Street Store with the sheer variety an choice they can offer. Then they are also competing with everyone else doing things the same way.

          To be really successful with any type of Business you have to be different from your competition. If you are all doing things the same way, where is your competitive advantage? I will tell you how we do Affiliate Marketing.

          Affiliate Marketing is the smallest part of our Business but we still earn round US$3 Million a year in Affiliate Commissions from only 7 niches. We build SuperStores for particular niche markets, for example the music niche. Our Music SuperStore includes 5 Amazon music stores, offering over 110,000 items. No one could find that range of products in even the largest High Street Music Store. We create our own traffic to these SuperStores by building lists for each niche market. We are not competing with everyone else in Google, we create our own large customer base, our own pond of fish to fish in. To deliver our advertising we create our own Online Flip Page Magazines, published monthly with interesting content for that particular niche. Our customers look forward to receiving each new issue of our Magazines. We might run up to 40 different Ads per issue but that is fully accepted, they expect a Magazine to have Ads, the same as any Print Magazine does.

          Cheers
          Lindy



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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Lindy, I wouldn't presume to offer you suggestions on a new guitar because, as you surmised, I know very little about guitars. Certainly not enough to recommend one to someone in a somewhat successful band.

            The same goes for ballet shoes for little girls. Or Nike shoes for that matter.

            Now, if you were to ask me about a fishing rod and reel for a beginner, I could make some recommendations based on 50 years of chasing finny critters. And within this niche market I do know well, one of the most common statements I get is to the effect of "I walked into the tackle shop and saw row after row of rods and cases of reels, and I didn't even know where to start."

            Offering hundreds or thousands of choices is great if you are marketing to people who already know what they want. For those looking for advice, offering credible advice and recommending a few items, while acknowledging that there are more choices out there, is doing those people a solid service.

            If you're doing as well as you say you are with your superstores, more power to you.

            The OP was trying to do that and failing at it. I offered him another way. And if he is as knowledgable in his market (ballroom dancing) as I am in mine, his credible advice and recommendations could be doing a lot of people a lot of good until they reach the point where thousands of choices is a good thing.

            As for your "rubbish" digs, just remember that one man's rubbish is another man's treasure...
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            • Profile picture of the author LindyUK
              Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

              Lindy, I wouldn't presume to offer you suggestions on a new guitar because, as you surmised, I know very little about guitars. Certainly not enough to recommend one to someone in a somewhat successful band.

              The same goes for ballet shoes for little girls. Or Nike shoes for that matter.

              Now, if you were to ask me about a fishing rod and reel for a beginner, I could make some recommendations based on 50 years of chasing finny critters. And within this niche market I do know well, one of the most common statements I get is to the effect of "I walked into the tackle shop and saw row after row of rods and cases of reels, and I didn't even know where to start."

              Offering hundreds or thousands of choices is great if you are marketing to people who already know what they want. For those looking for advice, offering credible advice and recommending a few items, while acknowledging that there are more choices out there, is doing those people a solid service.

              If you're doing as well as you say you are with your superstores, more power to you.

              The OP was trying to do that and failing at it. I offered him another way. And if he is as knowledgable in his market (ballroom dancing) as I am in mine, his credible advice and recommendations could be doing a lot of people a lot of good until they reach the point where thousands of choices is a good thing.

              As for your "rubbish" digs, just remember that one man's rubbish is another man's treasure...
              Hello John

              Don't mind my "rubbish" remark, thats jus the way I talk, I'm not posh an polished. lol.

              I still disagree with you re limiting choices. Have you ever been shopping with a woman? Do you think we would rather look at 1, 2 or 3 pairs of shoes or 64,000 pairs of shoes??? lol. Now seriously, any Boyfriends or Husbands who have ever gone shopping with us should be able to answer that question!!!

              If you walked into a fishing supply store I bet you also jus love the huge range of products too. If the store gave you the choice of 1, 2 or 3 fishing rods an nothing else, would you be going back there, or finding somewhere else to enjoy your shopping experience.

              Same with our Musicians, they might want a 50cent guitar pick, if we don't offer them they have to go elsewhere, an they might jus find that £2,500 Guitar at the same time. We have lost that sale but also likely lost that customer.

              That is my point. You can still advise an educate customers without limiting what you offer them, you jus do it in a different way, like we do, or like MYOB does, or AnniePot with her Authority Site.

              I also don't think you need to be an expert in your niche. I could say we are in 2 of our niches, the Music Niche an another for Women, but our biggest affiliate niche is Online Dating, an I'v never been on an Onlind Dating site in my life. Maybe I should though, cause the Guys round here are scared of me! lol.

              Yes the figure I quoted for our Affiliate Marketing is true, we could easily double that figure by using that same formula an going into more niche markets, but Affiliate Marketing is jus a small part of our Business now, it's mainly run by junior staff an a Supervisor. My Dad an I have built a near US$15 Million a year group of Companies, mainly in Offline Services for SMB Offline Business's now. Have 65 full time employees an operate 24 hours in 4 countries. I am not very formally educated, I was kicked out of home by my parents when I was 16 so couldn't even finish High School. Was on my own with a baby in London by time I was 17. At 24 I met my adopted Dad, he taught me Internet Marketing, we live an breath it, a love an passion

              Cheers
              Lindy
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              • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                Lindy, I've been shopping with the same woman for almost 35 years now, and I do see your point.

                Remember, we're talking Amazon here. If someone asks me to recommend a fishing outfit for a rank beginner, and I give them one that they follow, they're going to land on a page where they can find almost infinite choices. That's what Amazon does best.

                I'm not really trying to limit choices. More like offer a solid starting point. If my advice proves sound, that person is likely to come back to me for more recommendations, which means more commissions.

                We simply approach things from different directions. I figure that Amazon has already built the superstore.

                There's an American comedian that does a bit about having to buy sanitary supplies for his daughter. He goes into the aisle and is overwhelmed by the variety of choices. Guy's name is Bill Engvall, in case you stumble over the bit on YouTube or somewhere. He really, really doesn't appreciate having 200 choices, and would dearly love for someone to hand him a package and say "buy these."

                Never mind, I found the clip...

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                • Profile picture of the author myob
                  Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                  Remember, we're talking Amazon here. If someone asks me to recommend a fishing outfit for a rank beginner, and I give them one that they follow, they're going to land on a page where they can find almost infinite choices. That's what Amazon does best.
                  ^^ This, exactly.

                  You really can't top Amazon for hitting shoppers' hot buttons. The downside is you must massage your prospects to the point they can quickly make a purchase decision within the 24-hour cookie window.

                  Offering them too many choices will nearly always cause hesitatiion beyond the cookie expiration. Timing, not choices is essentilal for maximizing profits in Amazon's unique marketing algorithm and affiliate system.

                  In my experience I have found that strongly recommending a single product on the strength of your perceived authority is ideal for leveraging Amazon's masterful marketing prowess.
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                • Profile picture of the author LindyUK
                  Hello John

                  Thanks for the video, was funny. TYPICAL MAN!!! lol

                  Re "We simply approach things from different directions. I figure that Amazon has already built the superstore"

                  Yes an thats fine, everyone to his own. I'll jus sell more than you an MYOB with my way! lol.

                  Our idea of the SuperStore is different to yours. We don't consider each Amazon Store to be a Superstore. So in our Superstore we are grouping a number of Amazon Stores, all relating to the target audience. This also allows us to include other non Amazon Stores an other Affiliate Program Websites in our SuperStores.

                  For example, if we had a SuperStore for men, we could add say fishing stores, camping stores, hunting stores, sporting stores, clothing stores, an so on, whatever Amazon or other product range we think might interest men.

                  Our Magazine Advertisements (or Articles) might feature certain products but clicking on them takes people into the SuperStore, not directly to the product page. Entering the SuperStore they find a graphical image of each Store (hyperlinked to the actual Amazon or other Affiliate Store/Website).

                  So someone say going from our Magazine Advertisment for Guitars, also sees we have a Store selling Recording Equipment, so they might proceed into the Guitar Store, then pop back an go into the Recording Equipment Store for example.

                  Our concept actually builds on Amazons cross marketing process but in a much bigger way. Another example of that is that we have a Business that provides Marketing an other services to Bands an Musicians. That website is linked from within our Music Superstore as well. So someone going from our Online Magazine Advertisements re an Ad for Guitars now sees these services that we offer as well. Or someone coming from an Advertisement for our Marketing Services For Bands, that we might run in a traditional (printed) Music Magazine or News Paper, or elsewhere on the internet, now discovers we also have all these related Music equipment stores as well.

                  Our Magazines have an even broader marketing style an run a large number of Advertisements for products not offered in the SuperStores. For example in summer months we run Ads for sunglass's in all the different niche Magazines, everyone is a prospect no matter what their interest.

                  Cheers
                  Lindy
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                  • Profile picture of the author cmarkc
                    would you be able to PM me some links about what you're describing - it would be easier to follow.

                    thanks
                    mark c
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                    • Profile picture of the author LindyUK
                      Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

                      would you be able to PM me some links about what you're describing - it would be easier to follow.

                      thanks
                      mark c
                      Hello Mark

                      I'll PM you.

                      This thread might be interesting to you, it's from October2013 an about Amazon.I posted a heap of posts an answers re how we do our Affiliate Marketing with the Lists/Magazines/SuperStores. MYOB also posted a lot of great information bout his ways.

                      Some information outdated now, like how we were using a software to build lists from FB Groups, we now have to do that with paid FB Ads.

                      It's a long thread, 9 pages an over 400 posts but a lot of people contributed. Unfortunately at the end 3 people started attacking me, then I started receiving very vile threats from 4 brand new WF accounts in my PM, against myself, my Daughter an our staff, so the thread was closed.

                      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...000-month.html

                      Cheers
                      Lindy
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                      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                        Lindy, I just finished reading over that old thread you referenced. I think I have a much better understanding of what you do (or at least did then).

                        While the scale is vastly different, what you described is very similar to what I was doing over ten years ago. Back then, text newsletters were the way to go. But the combination of audience-focused content and links scattered throughout worked very well. Kind of embarrassed that I got away from it.

                        We may also have miscommunicated somewhat earlier. I think you may have gotten the idea that I used an entire site limited to offering one or a few products. Not so. My example of answering a question about a rod and reel for a beginner would actually be a single blog post now, and would have been one of the articles in my old newsletters.

                        Now you have me thinking about going back to my roots with a domain I've had since 1997. Thanks for the thoughtful discussion...both of them.
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                        • Profile picture of the author LindyUK
                          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                          Lindy, I just finished reading over that old thread you referenced. I think I have a much better understanding of what you do (or at least did then).

                          While the scale is vastly different, what you described is very similar to what I was doing over ten years ago. Back then, text newsletters were the way to go. But the combination of audience-focused content and links scattered throughout worked very well. Kind of embarrassed that I got away from it.

                          We may also have miscommunicated somewhat earlier. I think you may have gotten the idea that I used an entire site limited to offering one or a few products. Not so. My example of answering a question about a rod and reel for a beginner would actually be a single blog post now, and would have been one of the articles in my old newsletters.

                          Now you have me thinking about going back to my roots with a domain I've had since 1997. Thanks for the thoughtful discussion...both of them.
                          Hello John

                          What we do is produce a very high quality free monthly Magazine, bout 48 pages of content an advertisements. It is a Flip Page Magazine that can be read online, but customers can also order a glossy printed version, they have to pay for the printed Magazine but many do. We can hyperlink full graphic Ads or links in articlesto lead back to our SuperStore or to any other Affiliate website, we can even have live videos that can play from the Magazines.

                          The free Magazine is actually also the List Bait, people are Subscribing to the Magazines.

                          If you want to see an example let me know, can't show you any of ours for security reasons, they have our address, phone numbers etc in them, an my Dad won't let me share any of that now after those threats, but can show you an example of a SuperStore an Magazine that someone I mentored from that thread set up.

                          Yes maybe we have misunderstood each other. We did similar to your text based newsletter when we started Affiliate Marketing, we were also one of the first doing review sites many years ago. One key to our success we think is that we try an stay way way way ahead of the pack, like people are still doing review sites an trying to compete with each other ranking them in Google, where we gave them up as well as being reliant on Google bout 5 years ago.

                          When you are marketing to your own lists, you actually have no competition at all, not from any other marketer, they don't have your list. An we don't have to even bother trying to rank any website, or worry bout what Google are going to do next, or if your competitor is going to reverse engineer how you are ranking, then take steps to outrank you. It is sheer joy! lol
                          Cheers
                          Lindy
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      • Profile picture of the author SFNY
        Actually the OP asked why anyone would buy through an affiliate site as appose to going straight through Amazon.

        I guess I was answering from a consumers perspective. If I'm looking to buy a baby monitor, I'm going to Google and typing in "Best baby monitors" or "baby monitor reviews." Guess what pops up? Some IM site on the best baby monitors.

        So what do I do? Maybe I'll spend 2 minutes skimming through some of the content. I than click a link that takes me where? Maybe I'm ready to buy, maybe I'm not, maybe there are 500 other people doing the same thing that month on this site.

        Essentially, the content AND SEO on a review site in a specific niche has to be good enough in the eyes of Google to get on that first page for that keyword.

        I could be mistaken, maybe the OP meant buying through a dropship site.

        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        The OP created a site where he/she listed products.

        The OP was told that he/she will not beat Amazon that way. That she/he needs to add value, just listing products is not a good way.

        Reviews were given as one of the options. A few people gave some other options. A few feel that it's hard to rank review pages...

        Overall, the consensus is, rightly, that just a list of products doesn't work, extra content is needed, be it reviews, articles around the product, videos showing how to repair product or use product, etc.

        The OP is left with choosing a method and doing keyword research right, then producing the add-value content.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    I guess one way would be to try to outrank them on keywords
    Or as others stated, figure out how to add value, what will your visitors get from you that they wouldn't get from going direct
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  • Profile picture of the author cmarkc
    Hmm... I can see i stirred up a bit of controversy, about "beating amazon at it's own game". I didn't intend controversy, i simply wanted feedback and guidance, which i'm getting. Thanks!

    My goal as an affiliate is to catch the traffic onto my website, and send them to Amazon, so i get credit for the sale. So it's only "Kind-of-like" beating Amazon, but it still works.

    When i started my website, i tried to emulate the shopping sites I saw - lot's of products, descriptions, etc. I bought EasyAzon and FreshStoreBuilder , which also led me down that path. Now I know it's the wrong path.

    It seems now the correct path is to focus on just a few items, and "SEO the Hell" out of them, and then send the traffic to Amazon. My concern is the risk of becoming a 2 or 3 product website.

    On the more innovative side, the thread has given me a lot of ideas for marketing. For example, on one of the major dance websites I posted a thread of "what do you want for Christmas". It's legitimate and interesting to read. AND it gives me clues about what products to go after on my affiliate site.

    So I've climbed back onto the learning curve and will be riding it again for a while... then back to the implementing phase.

    Thanks, and Merry Christmas
    Mark C
    phoenix
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

      It seems now the correct path is to focus on just a few items, and "SEO the Hell" out of them, and then send the traffic to Amazon.
      This path will lead you to some pocket change at best. The most successful Amazon affiliates that I know (high 6+ figures/yr) have never depended on the search engines (especially the Big G) for any significant amount of convertible traffic. And no matter what traffic generation method you use, list-building is essential. Consider that as much as 70% of Amazon's revenue is generated in-house, including followup promotions of high ticket products initiated by traffic from affiliate referrals and sales.
      Signature
      “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
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      • Profile picture of the author cmarkc
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        This path will lead you to some pocket change at best. The most successful Amazon affiliates that I know (high 6+ figures/yr) have never depended on the search engines (especially the Big G) for any significant amount of convertible traffic. And no matter what traffic generation method you use, list-building is essential. Consider that as much as 70% of Amazon's revenue is generated in-house, including followup promotions of high ticket products initiated by traffic from affiliate referrals and sales.
        Thanks for your reply.
        How does this translate to me? It seems to mean that mailing list with follow-up is more important than google keywords and SEO. I don't have inventory of my own - maybe in the future, but i thought it necessary to get the affiliate side built first. So at this point, if i build a great mailing list, I can offer only Amazon products. Is this the right approach?
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        • Profile picture of the author SFNY
          Not always the case and it also depends on your niche. If you're reviewing nutritional supplements and the burn through rate on product is quick, you'll want the emails. If your doing reviews on products that have long term life span, prob won't need them (doesn't hurt though to build more equity).

          It really depends on your site. I can name hundreds of sites that rank really well that totally crush it on Amazon and don't even have an email list - that's a fact.

          When I ran my Ecommerce business though, my email list was important. With some of my Amazon earners, I focused more on SEO and buyer intent keywords.

          I like to have some passive web properties but to be quite honest, I much rather be involved with 1 or 2 authority sites. If you have an interest in something that you can build a review site around and a following, go after that. You can build your list than and monetize your site through all sorts of methods.

          With online business, I never could find my "passion" because there's just so much out there that I'd like to get into. Instead, I just looked for opportunity. If you can find both, you're ready to rock!

          Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

          Thanks for your reply.
          How does this translate to me? It seems to mean that mailing list with follow-up is more important than google keywords and SEO. I don't have inventory of my own - maybe in the future, but i thought it necessary to get the affiliate side built first. So at this point, if i build a great mailing list, I can offer only Amazon products. Is this the right approach?
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          • Profile picture of the author cmarkc
            Originally Posted by SFNY View Post

            Not always the case and it also depends on your niche. If you're reviewing nutritional supplements and the burn through rate on product is quick, you'll want the emails. If your doing reviews on products that have long term life span, prob won't need them (doesn't hurt though to build more equity).

            It really depends on your site. I can name hundreds of sites that rank really well that totally crush it on Amazon and don't even have an email list - that's a fact.

            When I ran my Ecommerce business though, my email list was important. With some of my Amazon earners, I focused more on SEO and buyer intent keywords.

            I like to have some passive web properties but to be quite honest, I much rather be involved with 1 or 2 authority sites. If you have an interest in something that you can build a review site around and a following, go after that. You can build your list than and monetize your site through all sorts of methods.

            With online business, I never could find my "passion" because there's just so much out there that I'd like to get into. Instead, I just looked for opportunity. If you can find both, you're ready to rock!
            Re: authority site - that's what i thought i'd do when i started this site. To me, authority meant lots of content, articles, event calendars, news threads, along with lots of product links. Which is why i wound up with a site so diluted, it's not working. How do you see an "Authority Site"

            Fortunately, I have found my passion. I've been into ballroom dancing for several years, and still love it. But it's expensive, and i decided i needed something to help pay for itself. So as they say, blog about your passion.
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            • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
              Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

              Re: authority site - that's what i thought i'd do when i started this site. To me, authority meant lots of content, articles, event calendars, news threads, along with lots of product links. Which is why i wound up with a site so diluted, it's not working. How do you see an "Authority Site"

              Fortunately, I have found my passion. I've been into ballroom dancing for several years, and still love it. But it's expensive, and i decided i needed something to help pay for itself. So as they say, blog about your passion.
              Ballroom dancing is a hot market right now. Witness the continuing success of shows like "Dancing With the Vaguely Familiar."

              If you've been involved for several years, to the point where your passion is getting expensive, you're in position to create an authority site with actual authority behind it - something of a rare commodity.

              Yes to lots of content - articles, both your own and curated snips with links, news, advice (with carefully selected links) and other content designed to get people onto your list.

              "Lots of links" isn't authority. As you read above, there are plugins and scripts that will create lots of product links with the single mouse click. Carefully selected and presented links are much better.

              I like to use a variant of the good, better, best list. Something like, "if you are on a tight budget, X will get you started. If you can afford a bit more, Y is the way to go. If you want top of the line, Z is your answer." Most of the sales will be for Y, followed by X and then Z. What's cool about this is that whichever choice someone makes, Amazon does what they do to max out the order, and you get credit for all of it.

              Merry Christmas...
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              • Profile picture of the author DABK
                Once upon a time someone did a test with jars of jam.
                They had a couple of dozens of types of jam on the shelves and tracked how many they sold.

                They had 2 or 3 options only and tracked how many they sold.

                They sold a lot more with 2 or 3 options then when they had lots of options.

                Choosing one among many is hard work. If you don't have the prerequisite information.
                Read about the test, quite useful: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/yo...cuts.html?_r=0
                And some interesting discussion of it: Is Too Much Choice Killing Your Conversion Rates? [Case Studies]

                and some interesting discussion of it, with examples of websites that make many choices feel like fewer: https://www.usertesting.com/blog/201...-online-sales/


                Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post



                Instead of overwhelming people with 200 choices, is there a way you can group them and offer just two or three choices for different market segments?

                Like "Best ballet flats for beginners" with a good, better, best theme, or a budget, mid-range, high end flight of choices?

                You could do the same thing for ballroom, tap, whatever.

                Help people zero in on the group of products germaine to them. Don't make them open that new browser, go to Amazon, type in "dance shoes" and sort through 64,806 choices.
                John's right about authority. You can speak from actual experience. You can have a section called "Ask the expert" where people ask questions and you answer, with examples from your own life... Very powerful. And can be used, when you have a bunch of them, as a powerful freebie, and when you have lots and lots of that, you can make it in to an actual book...

                You become expert and famous. Very powerful combo.

                Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                Ballroom dancing is a hot market right now. Witness the continuing success of shows like "Dancing With the Vaguely Familiar."

                If you've been involved for several years, to the point where your passion is getting expensive, you're in position to create an authority site with actual authority behind it - something of a rare commodity.

                Yes to lots of content - articles, both your own and curated snips with links, news, advice (with carefully selected links) and other content designed to get people onto your list.

                "Lots of links" isn't authority. As you read above, there are plugins and scripts that will create lots of product links with the single mouse click. Carefully selected and presented links are much better.

                I like to use a variant of the good, better, best list. Something like, "if you are on a tight budget, X will get you started. If you can afford a bit more, Y is the way to go. If you want top of the line, Z is your answer." Most of the sales will be for Y, followed by X and then Z. What's cool about this is that whichever choice someone makes, Amazon does what they do to max out the order, and you get credit for all of it.

                Merry Christmas...
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                • Profile picture of the author myob
                  Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

                  Over the past 15 or so years I've learned a lot about being an Amazon affiliate, and these days, what I learned in the early years has been superseded as Amazon has progressed and developed. I long ago learned that if you depend to any extent upon SEO you are wasting your time.

                  I've had most success developing a large authority site focused upon a specific niche. It's chock full of tons of stories, advice and guidance related to that niche. Actual "selling" plays a very small role. First, you need to be accepted as a significant authority in your niche, then, and only then, your audience will listen to your advice on the products you are promoting.

                  And yes, obtaining email addresses and developing your relationship still further with useful, personable emails (never selling anything), is all part of the authority perception.

                  Sites such as this cannot be produced quickly. Good, steady, reliable results can often take a year or longer.
                  Actually, I have been wildy successful starting out with 3 page websites promoting single Amazon products in dozens of niches. Developing an "authoritative" position can be quickly established by publishing articles in publications recognized by your targeted audience as authoritative.

                  For SEO purposes, writing articles may take a year or more to see "reliable" results (if ever). But in my experience it's just a matter of weeks to drive massive quantities of highly convertible traffic when good relevant content is placed in online/offline publications which are regularly read by real eyeballs.

                  "A mighty flame follows a tiny spark."
                  - Dante
                  Signature
                  “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
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                  • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
                    Originally Posted by myob View Post

                    Actually, I have been wildy successful starting out with 3 page websites promoting single Amazon products in dozens of niches. Developing an "authoritative" position can be quickly established by publishing articles in publications recognized by your targeted audience as authoritative.
                    Different strokes for different folks . . .

                    I began, donkey's years ago with small 3,4,5,etc. page sites, but I enjoyed nothing like the success I achieved once I moved towards just a couple of big, authority sites. Having said that, I never, ever attempted to publish appropriate articles in off-line publications, just on-line. I assume that was the missing step from my formula.
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                    • Profile picture of the author myob
                      Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

                      Different strokes for different folks . . .

                      I began, donkey's years ago with small 3,4,5,etc. page sites, but I enjoyed nothing like the success I achieved once I moved towards just a couple of big, authority sites. Having said that, I never, ever attempted to publish appropriate articles in off-line publications, just on-line. I assume that was the missing step from my formula.
                      As I inferred earlier in this thread (post #12) and mentioned many many other times over the years, online promotions often pale in comparison to the potential of offline venues.

                      In my experience of working nearly two decades as an affiliate in some of the most hotly competitive niches, offline promotions continue to produce the highest conversion rates; beating the competition all-to-hell.

                      About 67% of my existing customers originated from offline media, including newspapers, magazines, authoritative special-interest newsletters, etc. So indeed, ignoring this huge offline traffic source can be said to have been a major misstep for perhaps all but the top-producing affiliates.
                      Signature
                      “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
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  • Profile picture of the author Dhira
    Pre-sell... optin + free gift, send to Amazon with your affiliate link.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

      Thanks for your reply.
      How does this translate to me? It seems to mean that mailing list with follow-up is more important than google keywords and SEO. I don't have inventory of my own - maybe in the future, but i thought it necessary to get the affiliate side built first. So at this point, if i build a great mailing list, I can offer only Amazon products. Is this the right approach?
      A mailing list of your Amazon customers would be ideal. Almost all Amazon affiliates who try to rank their sites in the search engines as the only source of traffic fail over 96% of the time. Astonishingly, a conversion rate of 4-8% is considered "excellent".

      Without an effective followup system, you will nearly always miss the end of the decision cycle and Amazon's 24-hour cookie. You may hit some low hanging fruit occasionally, but the probability of substantial purchases resulting from search engine traffic within a 24-hour window is extremely low. This "rank and pray" method has a snowball's chance in hell generally, and specifically it is incompatible with Amazon's commission structure.


      Originally Posted by Dhira View Post

      Pre-sell... optin + free gift, send to Amazon with your affiliate link.
      And you will be banned from Amazon if the email contains your affiliate link. All online/offline marketing collateral must have links pointing to your website or interstitial page, never directly to Amazon.
      Signature
      “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
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  • Profile picture of the author dsimms
    Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

    I have a site that is primarily an Amazon affiliate site. It's not doing well, and i ask myself the same thing everyone else is asking:
    Why would I buy through an AFFILIATE site when i can go straight to AMAZON and buy it?
    So how do i resolve this? How do i make it better to buy through my affiliate link (which takes you to amazon), than to buy from amazon itself?

    The only thing i've come up with is to work out the searches strings more carefully than the average shopper might think of.

    Another popular answer to this question is to do product reviews...but don't i have to buy the product first? And amazon carries tons of reviews for every product - how do i compete with this?

    It's a frustrating dilemma but there must be an answer. Can anyone help? PLEASE?

    Thanks, and Merry Christmas
    Mark C.
    Phoenix
    at one point those affiliates that are making over $100k/yr probably
    asked that exact same question, but they are doing it.

    Last year I had around 20 affiliate sites, and at one point I was making
    around $500/mo, until all my sites crashed, and that was because
    the store seller designed her sites to fail, and they did...I heard Xenia
    was making over $100k/yr seller her sites; Her design was pretty
    damn good, and that is what sucked you in, why? because you never
    seen affiliate sites designed as good as hers, but her sites had a
    serious flaw, and I would not be surprised if every person that bought
    stores from her ended up failing, her system had a flaw, simple as that.

    If you can not setup your own, then you need to find trusted sellers
    that sell amazon/adsense stores, and develop them, and do not try
    to husstle google, it will take time, maybe long time, as there are
    no get rich schemes, you are competing with lots of other affiliates too.
    a lot of affiliates can not even beat each other out because you guys
    continue to repeat the same old cheap repeats over and over, then fail.

    all 20 of my sites fail pretty much at the same time, and they all failed
    because the stores were just pumping dup content into the stores, and
    the script would not allow me to add/edit/change or delete content, and it
    does not take a IQ10 to realize at that point what was going to happen.
    Xenia or whatever name was did not listen to what I told her, and i
    did tell her if she did not change her system, then it will not work.

    I just found out recently that she had since closed her business.
    I have no idea why she gave up that income, unless amazon
    caught up to her tricks, maybe they banned her and she could
    not continue, and had no reason to sell stores anymore...

    Her plan was simple.

    1: Build a good looking site.
    2. assign her affiliate ID (before the store sold)
    3. blow some power links at the store.
    4. she often made decent money before the store sold.
    5. once sold, then she would transfer over to the buyer
    6. Buyer puts up the stores, and the they made money
    for about 6 months or so, then they all dropped dead.

    You can make money as an affiliate.
    It is not easy, and can be a long process, at
    least until your site is well established....You may even spend
    a small fortunate on just one site, however, when the site
    does start paying back, then it will get easier, then again,
    with google lurking around, nothing is guaranteed to succeed....

    If you bought one of those $95 amazon sites, then I am
    sure the guy thanked you for paying his bills; because I do not
    think those cheap amazon sites will do you any good. I have
    seen some of those cheap sites, and they do look cheap, even
    if you have content on the site, over-all the site is low quality,
    and low quality will result in high bounce rates any day of the week.

    and to be honest with you; affiliates are not going to tell you how much
    they are making, and all you hear is the bad stuff how affiliates fail...
    If I did not lose all my sites; I would have never said a damn thing...

    Sorry for all my spelling mistakes...
    I am cold, and I am tired...
    tired of failing like others are....

    Whatever the hell you do; please do not run and setup 20
    stores because you are in a rush. All you are doing is repeating
    one mistake from one store to the next. You need to setup just one
    store, and work that b%$# until you learn every and little thing
    you can, and once you see something working, then may you
    are ready for the next store. Do this is not a short term process
    where you can just do 1-2 things then sit back and think that
    google is going to take care of you for the rest of your life.
    Sorry, it simply just does not work that way in todays market...
    today, everything is much harder to accomplish then it
    was lets say 5-8 years ago when it was a bit easier...
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    • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
      There are just two people who have posted here whose advice I always sit up and take notice of: myob and JohnMcCabe. In addition I strongly advise you to follow jan roos and Sojourn (Erica Stone). Jan Roos especially.

      Over the past 15 or so years I've learned a lot about being an Amazon affiliate, and these days, what I learned in the early years has been superseded as Amazon has progressed and developed. I long ago learned that if you depend to any extent upon SEO you are wasting your time.

      I've had most success developing a large authority site focused upon a specific niche. It's chock full of tons of stories, advice and guidance related to that niche. Actual "selling" plays a very small role. First, you need to be accepted as a significant authority in your niche, then, and only then, your audience will listen to your advice on the products you are promoting.

      And yes, obtaining email addresses and developing your relationship still further with useful, personable emails (never selling anything), is all part of the authority perception.

      Sites such as this cannot be produced quickly. Good, steady, reliable results can often take a year or longer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eoon
    First of all, you don't really compete with Amazon per se. It's not black and white and it's not Amazon or you.

    You have a website, you rank it, you catch the eye of the reader (this comes down to testing) in your titles. OK, you'll rank below Amazon for the big keywords but you'll get the traffic, I know it first hand.

    Here are a few things that worked for me:
    • you might not want to hear it, but I actually buy most of the products. I don't buy 50 blenders (just an example, not my real niche) but I filter the ones that look like they could be the best and get those. I send them out to authorities in the field to test and review. You get pictures, videos, in-depth reviews.
    • A more in intricate and detailed rating system. An average Amazon reviewer will say a few general sentences. Make it your mission that to provide something different (eg. leave the blender running for an hour, try how it works on different food consistencies...)
    • Be the Seth Godin's "purple cow" that goes above and beyond. Here's a good example - just today I contacted some Indian guys that make machines for testing just the kind of products I review. Of course, these machines are ridiculously expensive but that's just a goal for me right now. Imagine that you scientifically test something that other just offer opinions on. The first money the site makes goes to getting those machines. It's the road to an authority website, which is my mission.
    A confession: You're probably thinking, "f off, I don't have the money for that".

    Let me make it a bit easier by confessing that I started out with a website with simple reviews. I also confess to making claims that were not always true (like buying and testing each product). I did buy some but not all of them.

    I made it by just getting the rankings. Got some nice dough out of that and what I'm doing right now is far more serious and honest. So, with my Amazon business it was basically "fake it 'till you make it"...

    I might receive some "friendly fire" for what I said here but it's the truth and it's what I wish somebody had told me a year ago.
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  • Profile picture of the author 52.ct
    This is a very interesting thread. There something I am surprised no one else has mentioned. Let's say you create an authority site around your niche, use a mailing list for back end sales; then are you not eroding Amazon's value preposition to you as an affiliate?

    If you are able to make arrangements with the manufacturer to fulfill orders then why not cut Amazon out of the the picture entirely?

    If you are will established you could poach your competitor affiliates from Amazon and make them your affiliates by offering them a better deal?
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  • A great solution around this is 'Price Comparison'

    Test changing the site into a site that compares many online stores including amazon and ebay, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author parka
    You either do it better than Amazon, or do it differently.

    It's going to be incredibly difficult to do it better than Amazon when it comes to reviews.

    However you can do it different.

    E.g. There's a DVD review website that shows screen quality of the DVDs. This is something that Amazon reviewers won't be bothered to add to their reviews, but is something that's useful to DVD collectors.
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  • Profile picture of the author xnice
    Originally Posted by cmarkc View Post

    I have a site that is primarily an Amazon affiliate site. It's not doing well, and i ask myself the same thing everyone else is asking:
    Why would I buy through an AFFILIATE site when i can go straight to AMAZON and buy it?
    So how do i resolve this? How do i make it better to buy through my affiliate link (which takes you to amazon), than to buy from amazon itself?

    The only thing i've come up with is to work out the searches strings more carefully than the average shopper might think of.

    Another popular answer to this question is to do product reviews...but don't i have to buy the product first? And amazon carries tons of reviews for every product - how do i compete with this?

    It's a frustrating dilemma but there must be an answer. Can anyone help? PLEASE?

    Thanks, and Merry Christmas
    Mark C.
    Phoenix
    Add value to your site, it may help people save their time for choose products.

    You can not win them with keyword: product + reviews. You can go for other relate keywords as best ....., or product 1 vs product 2. You can find some keyword ideas at thewirecutter.com
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    I read once to use the reviews on Amazon, but you need to rewrite them a little or you might run into trouble. I thought after reading that, that if you say this is what some are saying about the product, and then show a few reviews. If you want to go the review route.

    In all the years I have had affiliate account, I have made $3.xx from it. And not have lost access to it. So I am no expert at all. Just wanted to relay something I read about this subject on e time.
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    Tim Pears

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  • Profile picture of the author cmarkc
    "You Can't Steer A Parked Car"

    I started this Amazon thread, and have been following it through. I've received excellent advice, and hope it continues. The varied viewpoints have given me many choices (almost too many) in how to proceed. Some of the things I've learned include:

    * by popular vote, my website sucks. I need to fix that
    * I need to add value to my website. I thought I had, but apparently not. I'll work on it...

    What i know for sure is this. "You can't steer a parked car". You can get in, turn the wheel, shift the gears, operate the levers, and listen to the radio. But unless it's MOVING, it won't CHANGE DIRECTION.

    So my goal is to use all of your advice, to get things moving. Once it's moving, i can revisit this thread and change directions to what looks best at the time.

    Keep it up, this has been a valuable thread for all of us. Thanks again, and Happy New Year

    Mark C.
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA
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  • Profile picture of the author allseowork
    The best part is that you can use the amazon 24 hour cookie. It isnt necessary that they buy your product, they may buy any, but you get commissions from it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sumon2k7
      Beating Amazon on their head terms is not possible or it's very difficult. Instead, you can create content that users have great demand, also you can find some alternative keywords that are not have much KC but still matches with the head terms of Amazon affiliate products.

      By doing so you can rank higher and will get great response at purchasing through your website.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jon Crimes
        Beat Amazon at it's own game, that's a nice thought.

        But you can get ahead of them in search engine results for some niches and products.

        You're unlikely to get anywhere near page 1 on Google for most main keywords or product names and even if Amazon aren't ranking high for these, you'll probably find plenty of other affiliate marketers who are.

        Go for the long tail keywords.

        As for do you have to buy the product, of course you don't.

        You can build up a very good opinion of a product quite quickly just by looking at the reviews of it on their Amazon page.

        If I was you I would pick some products which interest you on Amazon, find some longer tail keywords for these products and look at some affiliate sites that are ranking well in Google. Might need a bit of time to find these sites but it'll really give you some ideas about how to proceed.

        Good luck,

        Cheers, Jon.
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  • Profile picture of the author cititoru
    Most of the websites I have landed on had some really good lists of best books in a specific field and most of the links to those books, not all, were pointing to the Amazon book as affiliates. I am sure that if your article ranks well in Google you would get a few buys through your affiliate links.
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    • Profile picture of the author shellerik
      I've enjoyed this thread, which could have been called "How to add value beyond what Amazon provides".

      My Amazon affiliate site has earned just over $10k this year and here are some ways that I add extra value.
      • More specifications about each item than Amazon
      • More accurate specifications (users can provide feedback/corrections)
      • More search criteria (about 40 so far)
      • More sorting options (currently five)
      • Most popular model lists (calculated using model views and Amazon's sales ranking)
      • Side-by-side model comparisons (all specifications for any two models)
      • Lists of similar models (for any model being viewed)
      • Recommended accessories (as appropriate for each model)
      • Links to owner's manuals
      • Seven region/currency options (international Amazons)
      • Email alerts when models become available for purchase
      • Email alerts when a model price drops below a specified value
      • Buyer's guide

      I took a slightly different approach from most people in that I don't have any product reviews on my site. I simply include an overview of the product along with a list of its specifications. I figure I can get away with this because of the other ways I add value listed above and because the various models in my niche are generally of similar quality.

      I'm a software developer and my site is probably best described as a search engine for its niche but perhaps traditional review sites could still implement some of the ideas in my list without needing to develop custom code like I did.
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      • Profile picture of the author cmarkc
        I'd love to see what you're doing. Can you PM a link?
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