First things first: If you live in North Carolina or Colorado, there is no need to read any further, because your state governments through legislation have assured that Amazon will not accept any affiliates from your state.
On with our regularly scheduled programming...
If you are concerned about the Amazon Affiliate program, you may be right to pass this affiliate program by.
They only pay 4% affiliate commission, so it is not the kind of commissions you would expect in other affiliate networks.
Of course, they do offer a sliding scale commission. Their commissions start at 4% and go up according to how many items you sell each month. Volume-based sales can earn as much as 8.5% on your sales.
Certain fixed-rate products with Amazon will pay 10%. A couple third-party sellers pay as much as 15%.
In most cases, these are legitimate affiliate rates, because Amazon deals mostly with hard-goods that must be shipped.
Of course, the profit margin on those will always be less than the profit margin on digital products, so the Amazon affiliate commissions will be viewed by many as very generous.
The Amazon products that pay 10% on affiliate commissions are digital download products such as MP3's, Video Downloads, and Video Games.
Generally those who have a problem with the Amazon commission structure have a problem, because they want bigger commissions.
Please ignore the fact that conversion rates on Amazon products tend to be much higher than conversion rates on most digital products you can sell online through other affiliate networks.
During December, the conversion rate for the traffic I sent to Amazon was 7.69%. It is not the highest sales conversion rate on the Internet, but it remains much higher than other affiliate stuff I do.
Your ability to send better targeted traffic to Amazon or lack thereof will impact your Amazon conversion rates up or down.
When you are selling books and other items valued under $20, you will have to send Amazon a lot of traffic to make decent money. But if you direct traffic to Amazon for higher value products, you can make more a lot more money in less time.
We hear stories all the time about people who don't make much money with Amazon.
Of course, most of those stories come from people who really don't know how to send targeted traffic into Amazon.
There are two types of consumers who would follow your affiliate link into Amazon, and they are: People seeking a solution for a problem, and people looking for a specific product.
If you can match those two consumer groups with the Amazon products that will satisfy their needs and desires, you can generally direct targeted buyers into Amazon, which in turn will help you profit better from the Amazon Affiliate Program.
The same things that make the Amazon Affiliate Program attractive to newbies, also make it a bad idea for many newbies.
The Amazon Affiliate Program is free-to-use and easy-to-setup. It is so easy, my wife could do it.
But when it comes to driving targeted traffic to any website, my wife would be at a total loss. I think she would send her affiliate link to a few friends and sign up for a traffic exchange.
Neither of those strategies would ever work with the Amazon Affiliate Program.
What you don't know could prevent your success with Amazon.
Now don't get me wrong... There are a lot of people making money with Amazon... Selling low-end products, high-end products, and digital products.
Can people make a lot of money with Amazon? Yes.
Can you make any money with Amazon? Well, that depends entirely upon you. Are you going to get the education you need to deliver targeted traffic to Amazon, and are you going to do what is necessary for your to be successful with it? Only you know the answer to those questions.
I am an Amazon affiliate, so I am committed to making money with them, selling a combination of low-end products to get my volume-count up and high-end products to keep my commissions high.
I know people that make a lot of money with Amazon, and I know people who think Amazon is a huge scam.
If you follow the bold sentences in this post, it looks like I am slamming the Amazon Affiliate Program.
Yet, if you read things through, my assessment is pretty positive.
Why? Is this more head games from Bill? Not exactly...
Do you remember the subject line of this post? "Marketing Success Tip: Give People What They Want"
Most people asking the questions about whether they should do Amazon or not want people to tell them why they should not do it.
I have given them exactly what they want. If they are scanning for answers, then I will have answered the question as they wanted it answered.
And for the rest of you, who took the time to read, the prognosis for Amazon is good...
By telling people what they wanted to hear, maybe we will have fewer people to compete with for those Amazon referral earnings...