Beginner's Questions - Amazon Affiliate Program

22 replies
Hi,

I am a freelancer and have been in a marketing business for a years (but always as an observer).
That's why I decided to do something on my own this time.
I have a passion for design and marketing so I would like to use those passions to earn some extra money.
I did some research and once I found Amazon Affiliate Program - I was excited.
I wanted to start it immediately, but I decided to do a thorough research first.
That's how I ended up on this Forum.

I would like to ask you a few questions (I believe that could help me a lot before I start).

1. A friend of mine told me it might be better to just comment on other peoples reviews (blogs, forums, youtube) instead of starting my own website. What do you think about that?

2. If I decide to start my own website...
- Should I buy a hosting plan?
- How should I decide what type of website to build?
I tought I might build something like an "advice site".
I could write there some tips and advices on technology, electronics, etc., and of course write reviews on Amazon products.
- How should I name my website/blog?
With a product name (for example - www.samsung-galaxy-s7.com) or with my brand name (for example - www.top-advices.com)?

3. Should I use EasyAzon at the beginning?

4. What do you think about URL shortening platform?
- Is it legal to use it for Amazon Affiliate?
- Is it profitable?

5. What type of products to chose for reviewing?
Top products? New products?


I really appreciate any help you can provide,
Marin
#affiliate #amazon #beginner #program #questions
  • Profile picture of the author kilgore
    No doubt you'll get a lot of responses here telling you to do this, do that. I'm here to tell you that they're all wrong -- or at least premature.

    From what I gather, right now you still don't have a business model. Without one, none of your questions matter -- because the answer to all of your questions depends on what your business model is. (And no, the Amazon Affiliate Program is not a business model!)

    Should you start your own website? Probably. And almost certainly if you're going to be doing affiliate marketing. But you might not need one if you're just going to be doing freelancing or if you just want to sell garage store finds on eBay. I will say, however, that your friend's idea to just comment on other people's sites seems like a very time-intensive and ineffectual way to try to make money. But maybe you can make it work in a way that I don't see happening. (Agan, see business model.)

    Should you buy a hosting plan? If you have a website, yes. If not, no. (Again, see business model).

    What type of website should you build? The one that fits best with your business model.

    How should I name my website/blog? Use a name that resonates with the customers you are targeting in your business model. (And one that doesn't infringe on the trademarks of a company, such as in your Samsung Galaxy example.)

    Should I use EasyAzon at the beginning? Yes, if it's something you need. No, if it isn't something you need. (Again, see business model).

    What do you think about URL shortening platform? I think they shorten links and can provide some analytics about the clicks on those links. Is that something that's going to help you execute your business model? Then use them. Is that something that's going to keep you from hindering your business model (for instance because they are against the Amazon Affiliate ToS -- and yes, they are against the ToS)? In that case, don't use them.

    What type of products to chose for reviewing? The products that the target customers in your business model are going to buy the most.

    Now for some of my own observations...

    Beyond the lack of a business model, I also get the sense that your approach is wrong. Nothing in anything that you've written indicates to me that you've actually thought at all about what your customers might want.

    Yes, it's nice that you want to make "extra money". Yes, it's nice that you have a "passion for design and marketing". Yes, it's nice that you're excited about the Amazon Affiliate program. But your customers don't give a damn about any of that.

    Your customers want a product or service that is going to be able to meet some need of theirs. If you can do that -- and if you can do that better than anyone else that they know about -- then they'll turn to you to fulfill those needs and so you'll have a shot at making some money. On the other hand, if you can't meet those needs for them -- or if someone else can do it better -- then they'll go elsewhere. And you don't make any money by being someone's second choice.

    So again we return to the business model, which at its simplest is just three questions:
    1. What are the needs that your customers have?
    2. How are you going to meet those needs in a way that is better than the competition?
    3. How are you going to monetize your work?

    Answer those three questions and the answers to all your other questions will start to come into focus all on their own.
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    • Profile picture of the author marin2709
      Originally Posted by kilgore View Post

      So again we return to the business model, which at its simplest is just three questions:
      1. What are the needs that your customers have?
      2. How are you going to meet those needs in a way that is better than the competition?
      3. How are you going to monetize your work?
      Answer those three questions and the answers to all your other questions will start to come into focus all on their own.

      I thought about your questions, and that opened some additional questions for me.

      Briefly...

      I am the most experienced in health related products (drugs, food supplements, etc.) and in kids related products (toys, equipment, etc.).
      I had to learn a lot about medicine, drugs and health related products (because of my wife's illness).
      Also, I am a single-father and I had to learn (and still learning) about kids, equipment for kids, toys and all sort of kids related products.
      So, I have a huge experience and I believe I can provide the most writing about those subjects.

      But, those two subjects are not so close to each other.

      That's why I have a problem deciding what subject to choose, what name to choose (as domain name and website name) and what language to use (because, my native - Croatian market might be too small but also competitive in that field, and on the other side - English market is definitely too big and competitive for me to succeed in those fields).


      Any advice?


      -Marin
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      • Profile picture of the author koolman2000
        Originally Posted by marin2709 View Post

        I thought about your questions, and that opened some additional questions for me.

        Briefly...

        I am the most experienced in health related products (drugs, food supplements, etc.) and in kids related products (toys, equipment, etc.).
        I had to learn a lot about medicine, drugs and health related products (because of my wife's illness).
        Also, I am a single-father and I had to learn (and still learning) about kids, equipment for kids, toys and all sort of kids related products.
        So, I have a huge experience and I believe I can provide the most writing about those subjects.

        But, those two subjects are not so close to each other.

        That's why I have a problem deciding what subject to choose, what name to choose (as domain name and website name) and what language to use (because, my native - Croatian market might be too small but also competitive in that field, and on the other side - English market is definitely too big and competitive for me to succeed in those fields).


        Any advice?


        -Marin
        You can choose both subjects but separate them in two websites. You have to choose 2 niches and build two websites. Your domain names depend on what niches you choose. Maybe you can ask the community here for the suggestion of the domain name after deciding your niches. As for the language to use, if you are choosing between Croation and English, English is the better one because as you said English market is too big. Whether the market is too competitive depends on the niche you choose. Even if it's competitive you can attract visitors by choosing less competitive keywords to bring traffic to your website.

        I see your research is too broad. You should keep it simple by just following 4 steps:

        1. Choose a niche.
        2. Build a website.
        3. Promote your website.
        4. Make money with the visitors you have on your website.
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      • Profile picture of the author kilgore
        Originally Posted by marin2709 View Post

        I thought about your questions, and that opened some additional questions for me.

        Briefly...

        I am the most experienced in health related products (drugs, food supplements, etc.) and in kids related products (toys, equipment, etc.).
        I had to learn a lot about medicine, drugs and health related products (because of my wife's illness).
        Also, I am a single-father and I had to learn (and still learning) about kids, equipment for kids, toys and all sort of kids related products.
        So, I have a huge experience and I believe I can provide the most writing about those subjects.

        But, those two subjects are not so close to each other.

        That's why I have a problem deciding what subject to choose, what name to choose (as domain name and website name) and what language to use (because, my native - Croatian market might be too small but also competitive in that field, and on the other side - English market is definitely too big and competitive for me to succeed in those fields).


        Any advice?
        OK, you're doing better. But you're still not quite there. Let's go back to the three most basic elements in a business model:
        1. What are the needs that your customers have?
        2. How are you going to meet those needs in a way that is better than the competition?
        3. How are you going to monetize your work

        What you've described above sounds like a start to answering question two. You have some interesting experience in two very different topics, and that could potentially be very helpful. I say "potentially" because experience in itself isn't necessarily enough. Nor is it necessarily necessary. It all depends on what you do with it. And while you've started to answer question two, I'm still not sure you have a clear formulation in mind for question one: What are the needs that your customers have?

        I've always liked case studies when learning or teaching. So perhaps a very short case study would help:

        A Brief Case Study: Uber

        I'm almost certain that Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp had never driven a Taxi when they decided to start Uber (https://www.uber.com). But they did almost certainly have experience needing a cab, having trouble finding a cab, and being charged a lot more for a ride than they thought it was worth. Which brings us to:

        Step One: Identify a need.

        People need an easy, convienient and cost-effective method of door-to-door transportation.

        Step Two: Figure out a way to meet those needs better than the competition.

        There are lots and lots of vehicles sitting idle at any moment of time. And those vehicles often have owners who would be willing to drive people who need transportation for a small fee. So Uber's solution was to connect the vehicle owners to the people needing a ride using a smartphone app.

        But of course, a big part of step two is separating yourself from the competition. So saying you're going to connect people to drivers is one thing. But how is that going to be better than the competion? Well, it turns out that Uber is usually cheaper than a taxi. So that's one thing. It's also usually easier to find an Uber than a Taxi. So that's another. But of course, Uber isn't the only company in the world trying to connect drivers to people needing rides. There's Lyft and a whole bunch of smaller operations.

        This is where Camp and Kalanicks experience does become important. They may not know much about driving taxis, but they sure do know technology. Prior to Uber, Kalanick started the peer-to-peer file sharing company Red Swoosh. And Camp founded Stumbleupon. Moreover, their prior success coupled with their tech acumen helped them to secure necessary funding early and often. In other words, it didn't matter that they had no prior experience driving a taxi. Instead, they matched their own skills, talents and resources to a new solution. They made sure that their app was slick and easy to use. They used their funding and their connections to barrel Uber ahead as the market leader.

        Step Three: Monetize your work.

        For Uber, monetization is pretty easy. Take a cut of the fee customers pay out of every ride. Naturally, it's a little more complicated than that (as really everything in this so-called case study is), but that's pretty much it.

        So what does this mean to you?

        You're probably not going to start the next Uber. Your business may not be as big or ground-breaking or complicated. But even so, it had still better meet a real need for real people. So again, what's the need?

        You talk about writing or reviews: Do people need information on the health or parenting topics you know so much about? What's wrong with the information/reviews that's already out there? (Look at the potential competition!) Is there just not enough of it? Is it poorly written? Is it hard to understand? Is it hard to find and sort through? Is it only available in English? In other words, what is the customer need you're trying to meet with your writing or reviews?

        You also talk about certain products. But the same sorts of questions apply here too: What's wrong with the products that are currently out there? (Again: look at the potential competition!) Are the products themselves not good enough? Are they hard to find? Is it difficult to figure out which products are the best fit? Are product sites hard to navigate? Is product information only available in English? Again, what's the customer need you're trying to meet?

        If I were you I'd start modeling at least two businesses, one for each of the subjects you have expertise in (and perhaps another one or two if you are just stricken with a new idea). Modeling is cheap. It's easy. It's fast. Just get out a pen and paper and start brainstorming.

        Start with the need, move to the solution, finish with the monetization -- for each of your ideas. You can probably be done in a few hours or a day or two at most. Time well spent, in my opinion.

        Once you're done, sleep on it for a night or two. Then go back to it.

        After a second look is there anything you should add or change to each of your ideas? And then, of course, evaluate your ideas: Which of the customer needs are most compelling? Which of the solutions is most likely to have an impact on your customers' lives? Which of the solutions is most achievable given your own skills, talents, and resources? Which of the monetization methods is most realistic and most sustainable? Drugs, for instance, might be tough to sell or promote for legal reasons. And as you mentioned, even if there's a need for information in your native tongue, the market size might be too small. But I really don't know -- and you won't likely know until you've done the work I've described above.

        So now that you have (at least) two ideas modeled, is there one of them that strikes you as a potential winner? Unfortunately, it's quite possible that after sketching out these ideas, neither seems very compelling. That's perfectly OK.

        There's no law that says that every person should be able to start a successful business at any particular moment in time. Some people just aren't natural entrepreneurs. And even for some natural entrepreneurs, sometimes the timing just isn't right. For instance, if Camp and Kalanicks had tried to start Uber before the iPhone came out, they would have failed hard. Lots of conditions have to be right for your business to succeed. And sometimes those conditions are completely outside your control.

        So if you find yourself unconvinced that your business ideas are any good, congratulate yourself for having the self-awareness to recognize this fact and move on. At worst, you lost a few days working -- but that's far better than spending weeks, months or years on a project that is never going to go anywhere. And you can always think of new and better ideas later, so that when you do find yourself ready to start a business it's with a solid plan that's going to give you the best possible chance of success.

        That said... Maybe one of the ideas does have real potential... Maybe it really does meet a need... And maybe you've really hit upon a good solution -- a good solution that you've got the skills, talents, and resources to pull off... And maybe, there's a way to monetize all your work... If that's the case, it's time to get to work!

        I'm not going to go into all the steps you'd need to take to get your idea to work. If your business model is any good, most of them should be pretty clear anyway. But before I go, I'd like to suggest that you keep your business model handy. And be ready to modify it. It's almost certainly the case that you've made some very incorrect assumptions about what your customers' needs are, how to solve them, or how best to monetize. Or maybe what you have is correct, but very, very incomplete. That's OK. Nobody gets it 100% right the first time. Nobody. But as you work more -- and especially as you get your product, service, website or whatever in front of real people with real needs, you'll learn, you'll adapt, and you'll adjust.

        So at the end of the day the business model that you end up with may look very different than the one you're planning now. That's perfectly fine. But you do have to start somewhere.

        And that place is almost aways with the customers' needs.

        Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author kk075
    I'm a little confused here- what are you a freelancer in? You mentioned marketing and design, but then you talked about being an Amazon affiliate for earning extra money.

    If you're a strong designer, then you could be averaging $20-40 an hour starting out and upwards of $100/hr down the road once people see they can trust you to deliver excellent work. If you can help people successfully market their products, the the same money is there- that's what freelancers do. So why not go that route while you figure out what you want to do on Amazon and actually have enough money in the bank to start a business the right way?
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  • Profile picture of the author marin2709
    @kilgore
    Wow, interesting post.
    Honestly, I expected some precise answers (but, now I understand it's not possible).
    You're right - I don't have a business model.
    I don't know my customers needs (I don't even have my own customers).
    I don't know how to meet their needs.

    As you can see - There are a lot of things that I don't know at the moment.
    I'm beginner, and the only thing I know is that - I would like to give it a shot.

    I may sound unprepared, but I'm talking about starting the whole idea.
    I didn't do anything so far (I'm still just reading and learning about that)...


    @kk075
    I work for a marketing company as a freelancer.
    I'm a Personal Assistant there, but my tasks usually don't include marketing or design work.
    And, no - Unfortunately, I am not a strong designer.
    That's why I'm looking for some additional ways of making money online.
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  • Profile picture of the author tomako
    Hello, here are my ideas on your questions, I hope it helps.

    1. Have your website, It is very important to have control over the platform. Even free blogs that you think you have control is not a good idea. I learned it the hard way when google deleted my lots of blogger blogs.

    2. I think buying a hosting plan is the best. Start with a small plan. They are usually very cheap for the first 6 months or year.
    Advice websites are great but you must have lots of content and SEO power to beat the big websites, or very carefully and smartly go for long tail keywords.

    Never ever use company names or trademarks in your domain name.


    4. Amazon has its own URL shortener too. You can use it. I always hesitate to click unfamiliar short URLs, you can not guess where you will go.

    5. I think going for products that have a lifespan of 2 or more years(except electronics) is best, best sellers also work great. Do not promote very cheap items unless they are accessories of a bigger item.

    Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    1. A friend of mine told me it might be better to just comment on other peoples reviews (blogs, forums, youtube) instead of starting my own website. What do you think about that?

    you should have your own site and you should comment on all those recommended sites.. you want that traffic to land in a place where you have full control..

    2. If I decide to start my own website...
    - Should I buy a hosting plan? Yes

    - How should I decide what type of website to build? Keep it around the niche you want to promote to.

    ...be specific

    generality is the dilution of enthusiasm


    - How should I name my website/blog? don't pigeon hole yourself to another person's brand name

    why not: mysmartphonerocks.com

    3. Should I use EasyAzon at the beginning? doesnt seem necessary but if you wish...

    4. What do you think about URL shortening platform? amazon offers their own link shorten-er

    Can I use a link shortening service for my links? While you are welcome to use link shortening services, the link checker will not be able to verify that these links are functioning as intended. Please remember that you must clearly state that the link in question will take the user to the Amazon site when clicked and ensure that the site on which you are posting the links includes the required statement to identify yourself as an associate. You must also be able to provide detailed information about the site(s) on which your links have been posted if we request it.

    We do offer our own link shortening tool that can be used with Product Links. To shorten your links, search for a product from the Associates homepage under “Quickly Add Links” and choose the down arrow next to the item you want to advertise. A message box will appear and you can select “Shorten URL with amzn.to” and copy the short code for your site.
    5. What type of products to chose for reviewing? this is based on the keyword research you do...ideally, lots of buyer keyword traffic with very little competition.

    best of luck
    -Ike Paz
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  • Profile picture of the author Sven300
    Originally Posted by marin2709 View Post

    Hi,

    I am a freelancer and have been in a marketing business for a years (but always as an observer).
    That's why I decided to do something on my own this time.....

    I really appreciate any help you can provide,
    Marin

    I was a freelancer for a long time and then I took the path of affiliate marketing. So I will say this:

    1) Find a topic that really interests you in the following areas:

    a) Health / Diet / Weightloss
    b) Money / Make Money Online / Investing
    c) Love / Dating
    d) Self-Improvement / Psychology / Motivation
    e) Travel
    f) Gaming and Gambling
    g) Sex / Adult topics
    h) Esoterism


    2) Find a problem that people have and for which you have a solution.

    3) Create your own website with your own hosting plan.

    4) Write good content on your website. Put the focus on quality and not on quantity.

    5) Read the forum here and study. And read the following:

    a) https://amylynnandrews.com/how-to-make-money-blogging/
    b) https://www.amazon.com/The-Yahoo-Sty.../dp/031256984X
    c) https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo
    d) https://www.amazon.ca/Write-Good-Adv...+advertisement
    e) https://qualaroo.com/beginners-guide-to-cro/

    6) Forget Amazon Associates. These are the ones that pay the least.

    7) Be interested in the following affiliate programs:

    Warrior Plus (U.S.A.)
    Trade Doubler (Europe)
    Click Bank (U.S.A.)
    Click Bank FR (Europe)
    JVZoo (U.S.A)
    Market Health (U.S.A.)
    C J Affiliate (ex Commission Junction) (U.S.A.)
    Rakuten Marketing (ex-Link Share) (U.S.A.)
    PeerFly (U.S.A)
    Max Bounty (Canada)

    8) Do not expect miraculous results in the short term. Be persistent: Quitters never win and winners never quit

    9) Good luck!
    Signature
    I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. Thomas Jefferson
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Do yourself a favor - read Kilgore's post over and over...and over again.

    Dissect it - think about it - use it as a blueprint for getting started.

    EXCELLENT answer!
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    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world will change forever for that one dog.
    It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.
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  • Profile picture of the author marin2709
    Thank you, guys.
    I've received many useful tips, advices and suggestions.
    Now I have to think about the whole idea again and do another research.
    After that - I'll make a decision and start my own business.
    Sounds easy (but I know it's not).
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  • Profile picture of the author cesarsan
    1. I can't see that working and even if miraculously it does the volume would be tiny. Having your own sites is what works.

    2. - Yep, they're are cheap and easy to learn. It's worth it.
    - A wordpress blog is easy to setup and maintain. It's easy to learn as well.
    - A good plan. Sites with just reviews don't perform as well as sites with more diverse content focused on your choosen niche in my own experience.
    - Domain names with brands are a HUGE headache waiting to happen. And they don't even perform as they used to. Google got smart. Use something related to the niche to the main domain and use brands only in the inner pages

    3. Sure. Why not?

    4. Never used it so I can't say.

    5. - Ah, this is a whole topic on its own. If you fail here all your efforts will go to waste. Start your research by going to the best sellers list. From there look for products with large number of reviews (20+) with many questions and votes and commentaries on the reviews. These are popular, are selling and people look for them already on a buying state of mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author RebeccaSpills
    1. A friend of mine told me it might be better to just comment on other peoples reviews (blogs, forums, youtube) instead of starting my own website. What do you think about that?

    Eugh, no, get a new friend. Seriously, it's spammy and naff and why would anyone consider you an expert if you don't even have your own site? If you want to make serious affiliate money then you need to be considered an expert. Sure, comment on relevant blogs, forums and YouTube but have a site to back up your claims as someone who knows what they're talking about.

    2. If I decide to start my own website...
    - Should I buy a hosting plan?
    - How should I decide what type of website to build?
    I tought I might build something like an "advice site".
    I could write there some tips and advices on technology, electronics, etc., and of course write reviews on Amazon products.
    - How should I name my website/blog?
    With a product name (for example – www.samsung-galaxy-s7.com) or with my brand name (for example – www.top-advices.com)?

    Go for a Wordpress website - always! It's easy to set up and there are cheap and professional looking templates out there. Domains and hosting are cheap as chips if you do your research. You could target a keyword in your domain but what if you run out of things to say? Or want to expand? Find the balance. For example: Samsung-Reviews as opposed to S7-Reviews. Personally, I prefer the advice and guide routes as opposed to the constant reviews that people churn out. So, for example, Samsung-Guides.

    3. Should I use EasyAzon at the beginning?

    Don't see the point in this...

    4. What do you think about URL shortening platform?
    - Is it legal to use it for Amazon Affiliate?
    - Is it profitable?

    As someone has already said, use the Amazon one.

    5. What type of products to chose for reviewing?
    Top products? New products?

    What do you know about? What's your hobby? If you're a whizz with drones then create a blog about drones. If you have heck-a knowledge in baby products then write about that. Sure you can spend hours whittling down the most profitable niche in the most profitable category but that's what everyone is doing. And you'll soon get bored researching something to talk about, if they're things you don't really know anything about. Why spend hours researching something when you can just write about your passion? My passion and my 'expert subject' is business. I love every aspect of business, from writing the plan through to generating sales. My site is on business, because I know that even if I don't have all the knowledge, I'd happily research it anyway.

    G'luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author randyman
    Okay, I started like you way back then, reading bunch of stuff on forums and asking lots of questions.

    Looking back, here's what I should've did, and I recommend you do the same:
    - Instead of reading stuff on forums randomly, find a course or guide that can teach you step by step.
    I'm not saying you should buy ebooks ... no no no. There's lots of good blog posts about starting a niche site, amazon affiliate, and white hat SEO on the web. Find several of them which detailed how to do stuff and explaining jargons for newbie.

    - Second is just f***n do something. Start a website as soon as you can. Start small but start now. You will learn tons by experience and trial/error.

    Reading too much is detrimental, IMO. You could spend years and years reading and never made a dime.
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  • Profile picture of the author marin2709
    Thank you all (especially kilgore)

    I have my domain name now and I bought a hosting plan.
    I choose my website's subject and I have much clearer vision about my site now.
    I did some research - I registered on a few forums (child and parents related) and I post some questions there (some sort of survey) to the other users/parents.
    Their answers helped me, because I realized in what direction to build my site, what "niche" to choose, and what are those people's needs (also, how can I meet their needs).

    Currently, I'm working on my site's theme (WP themes).
    So, I'm looking at hundreds of free WP themes and trying to choose the best one.

    I wanted to ask you something I forgot to ask earlier.
    It's about SEO, publishing, promoting and monetizing a website.

    When is the best time to publish and promote your site, also do the SEO?
    Right after starting your site (without any content) or later (when you put some content on it)?

    @kilgore
    I'm still not sure how to monetize my work.
    I was planing to do it with Amazon Affiliate Program (if that's what you mean?).
    Maybe signup for some other affiliate programs, use Google AdSense, etc.
    Not sure yet.


    -Marin
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    • Profile picture of the author kilgore
      Originally Posted by marin2709 View Post

      @kilgore
      I'm still not sure how to monetize my work.
      I was planing to do it with Amazon Affiliate Program (if that's what you mean?).
      Maybe signup for some other affiliate programs, use Google AdSense, etc.
      Not sure yet.
      Amazon is certainly a viable option -- it's by far the largest source of revenue on our site. But it's also not the only game in town. Moreover, even if you do decide to use Amazon, you don't have to limit yourself to using only Amazon.

      The most important thing is that the way you monetize has to be a natural fit for the site you're creating. If you're highlighting products in reviews or otherwise on your site, monetizing through a program like Amazon's might work out very well for you. On the other hand, if you're writing articles like, "10 Free Activities To Do With Your Children", pushing products as an affiliate might not work so well. Perhaps serving up ads might work better.

      Of course, these are just hackneyed examples. You've got to look at what your customers want, what you're giving them and figure out what's going to be the best fit for you. And while I know "it depends" is not necessarily a satisfying answer, it's the truth. It really does depend on your site. That said, one way you might figure out what might work for you is to look at your competitors and your potential partners and see how they are monetizing. It's not to say that what they're doing is necessarily going to work for you -- but it at least might point you in the right direction.

      I'd also suggest that you think of your site holistically. For instance, we do a lot on social media. But our social media content can serve multiple goals. Some posts for instance have the goal of trying to increase engagement and to increase our followers. Other posts are very much directed at driving traffic to our website, which then drives sales. But not all of the best posts for increasing our following drive much traffic. And not all of the best traffic-drivers do much to increase our following.

      Similarly, on your site, you might have sections or features or individual posts designed to increase your authority, to get people to share your website or for some other business goal you have. And you might have other more monetization-focused parts of your site. That's totally fine. Not everything your site has to be designed to get your users to whip out their wallets. The trick, however, is tying these multiple parts of your site together, so that enough people do whip out their wallets so you get paid. But again, a lot depends on your own site, your own customers.

      As for your questions, about SEO, I'll leave those to someone else. We do very, very limited SEO. For us the best SEO is having fantastic content. That's what Google is looking for anyway. So if our site is better than the competition's, other people will link to it, share it, click on it, and stay on it. Basically, that covers most of the important metrics Google is analyzing. To my mind, it's far more important to deliver a top-quality site to real humans than to worry about what machines "think" when they "see" your site. It's the humans who do the buying after all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sven300
    Originally Posted by marin2709 View Post


    When is the best time to publish and promote your site, also do the SEO?
    Right after starting your site (without any content) or later (when you put some content on it)?


    Publish your site once you have some content. Don't build your site offline. Let Google see the progress of your site.

    But you can wait until your site has 10-12 pages before promoting it actively. (Social networks, Adwords, Facebook Ads, etc)

    Same thing for the affiliate programs: they will not accept you as your site is under construction. Wait until your site has 10 pages and a few traffic before submitting it to affiliate programs.

    Good luck!
    Signature
    I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. Thomas Jefferson
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  • Profile picture of the author madstan
    It is always aq good idea to have your website. You should definitely get one as it gives you more control over your content. You should brand yourself into your website in other words do not create a domain name based on the fact that you are reselling certain products.


    Stay away from EasyAzon. Thier support service sucks and once you give them your money you will get NO customer support from them.

    Originally Posted by marin2709 View Post

    Hi,

    I am a freelancer and have been in a marketing business for a years (but always as an observer).
    That's why I decided to do something on my own this time.
    I have a passion for design and marketing so I would like to use those passions to earn some extra money.
    I did some research and once I found Amazon Affiliate Program - I was excited.
    I wanted to start it immediately, but I decided to do a thorough research first.
    That's how I ended up on this Forum.

    I would like to ask you a few questions (I believe that could help me a lot before I start).

    1. A friend of mine told me it might be better to just comment on other peoples reviews (blogs, forums, youtube) instead of starting my own website. What do you think about that?

    2. If I decide to start my own website...
    - Should I buy a hosting plan?
    - How should I decide what type of website to build?
    I tought I might build something like an "advice site".
    I could write there some tips and advices on technology, electronics, etc., and of course write reviews on Amazon products.
    - How should I name my website/blog?
    With a product name (for example - www.samsung-galaxy-s7.com) or with my brand name (for example - www.top-advices.com)?

    3. Should I use EasyAzon at the beginning?

    4. What do you think about URL shortening platform?
    - Is it legal to use it for Amazon Affiliate?
    - Is it profitable?

    5. What type of products to chose for reviewing?
    Top products? New products?


    I really appreciate any help you can provide,
    Marin
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  • Profile picture of the author marin2709
    Thanks a lot!

    Any advice on choosing a WP theme?
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    • Profile picture of the author Sven300
      Originally Posted by marin2709 View Post


      Any advice on choosing a WP theme?

      If you have some budget, I suggest the following companies:

      https://www.elegantthemes.com/

      ThemePalace: Marketplace of WordPress themes and plugins

      https://themefuse.com/


      If you want a free theme, choose one:

      that is simple and clean
      that is relevant to the type of website you want to do (a good theme for a photo blog is not good for a company that sells computers)
      that you like
      that have good updates
      which is relatively popular
      which is responsive

      Signature
      I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. Thomas Jefferson
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Before I move on, I just want to give you a quick take on your friend's lousy advice about just commenting on other peoples' reviews and posts from a site owner's perspective.

    The first time I see someone dropping an affiliate link on one of my posts, especially if it's a review, the comment gets deleted.

    The second time it happens, the comment gets deleted and the commenter banned from any and all sites I control.

    Originally Posted by marin2709 View Post

    I thought about your questions, and that opened some additional questions for me.

    Briefly...

    I am the most experienced in health related products (drugs, food supplements, etc.) and in kids related products (toys, equipment, etc.).
    I had to learn a lot about medicine, drugs and health related products (because of my wife's illness).
    Also, I am a single-father and I had to learn (and still learning) about kids, equipment for kids, toys and all sort of kids related products.
    So, I have a huge experience and I believe I can provide the most writing about those subjects.

    But, those two subjects are not so close to each other.

    That's why I have a problem deciding what subject to choose, what name to choose (as domain name and website name) and what language to use (because, my native - Croatian market might be too small but also competitive in that field, and on the other side - English market is definitely too big and competitive for me to succeed in those fields).


    Any advice?


    -Marin
    Okay, I see you've already gone past this point - you've chosen your subject (and it's the one I would have recommended).

    Choose a domain name you can a) hang onto - no trademark infringement and b) grow with. Something you can build a brand around.

    Don't worry about the English market being "too big" - you aren't going to be going after the entire market. You're going to pick a niche within the entire market.

    Originally Posted by marin2709 View Post

    Thanks a lot!

    Any advice on choosing a WP theme?
    Don't get caught up in finding the "perfect" theme. It doesn't exist.

    Find a responsive theme that works for multiple devices (desktop/laptop computers, tablets and mobile phones). Look for a theme with a record of support and keeping up with WP's frequent updates.

    Don't get caught up in looking for a "niche theme" with images. Once you find a functional theme, you can change out the images to make your site yours, not just a cookie cutter copy of every other person using that theme.

    I'm actually a fan of the default WP themes. Exercise a little imagination and creativity, and you can make a very appealing and functional site. Most of the experts will advise you to buy a premium theme, and most of those recommendations are accompanied by affiliate links. At some point, a premium theme with specific functionality you need may be desirable, but in the beginning growing your list and your tribe is more important.
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  • Profile picture of the author jan roos
    Don't over complicate things.

    Do the following.

    1. Choose a niche. Choose one with lots of buyer's for both Physical and information products. Think the dog niche for example or health.

    2. Create a blog on Wordpress.

    3. Put good content on your site. Forget about selling anything. Just put very informative articles and product reviews on your site.

    4. Link to amazon. No need for url shortener.

    5. Put a popup on your site to build your list. Give away something of value such as a report or cheat sheet.

    6. Focus on driving traffic to your site. PPC, SEO and Social Media

    7. Promote information products from Clickbank etc to your list and notify your list of new articles on your site.

    Focus on those 7 steps only and you'll be fine.

    Cheers

    Jan
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