Are Amazon Affiliate Websites A Stable Business Model?

31 replies
Hi,

I wanted to build some large amazon review websites. I would write quality reviews and make the website a good one. But I am afraid I will "live and die" by the latest seo changes. I have never heard of anyone building an email list doing this so I do not think I would build a list.

Instead I would create rather large amazon review websites for quality products. If I put quality reviews out on the web can I expect my rankings to stick eventually and I will not have to worry about google updates? Just curious. Thanks
#affiliate #amazon #business #model #stable #websites
  • Profile picture of the author Clockwork
    Hi

    I recently tried setting up Amazon affiliate stores using Covert Store Builder. It was very fast and convenient. Furthermore, I used the content builder plugin which automatically sucked in all the Amazon products by category.

    Pretty soon, I had 6 different Amazon stores running with about 1000 products each in different niches. After 2 months each store was bringing in a respectable $60 of commissions without any SEO.

    I guess if you have a 1000 products then you will get high Google rankings for some of them.

    However, here is the kicker, after 3 months every store was slapped by Google for having thin content. They weren't deindexed, but I did lose the rankings and the affiliate income went down to about $2-3 per month (not good).

    I've now rebuilt some of the stores on new domains and created original content targeted at good keywords. 4 months later, I have retained my rankings, but the affiliate income is still low. I just haven't created enough product entries to make a decent affiliate income stream. It's very time consuming writing original reviews that Google likes.

    Have also done an experiment with one store where I'm importing the Amazon reviews but spinning them with the Best Spinner. It's too early to tell yet whether this will work or not.

    Hope this catalog of experiments helps you plan your affiliate stores.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stevie C
    Yes still doable I make an income from Amazon and I know a lot of other people who do as well. You can build a list in the right niches, the previous post gave you some pointers what not to do. Autoblogs work for the short term but soon get kicked into touch.

    What I would suggest is find a niche you can write plenty about and make sure you keep your affiliate links diluted, so make sure that you have plenty of informational articles that have no affiliate links in them and then link them to your posts that do have affiliate links in them.
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  • Profile picture of the author extrememan
    That is a good idea. Why not build a list just promoting amazon products. You could eventually become a eCommerce provider. That's an excellent idea...
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  • Profile picture of the author coreytucker
    can you build a list and sale physical amazon products though?
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  • Profile picture of the author coreytucker
    anyone know a good amazon guide/wso?
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  • Profile picture of the author BradVert2013
    I think it's a good business model. The only caveat being not to put your eggs in one basket. Amazon can suspend your account. Google can stop indexing your site, taking away your traffic. Have another equally good revenue stream just in case something happens.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brand New Guy
    I started a handful of Amazon affiliate blogs about a year and a half ago. Last year I didn't really work on them at all, so they each had about 10-15 posts apiece, with about 75% of the content being reviews. I started getting decently converting traffic a few months in, and I've never been hit negatively by Google algorithm changes. In fact, over time most of the sites got steadily more traffic. I've never done any backlinking or anything at all besides just posting content to my sites.

    This year, since I've started adding more content (this time about 50/50 articles and reviews), my traffic and conversions have only increased. My goal for the next 6 months or so is just to widen my net, so to speak, by writing more content and starting more sites like this.

    I think the key is always relevant, well-written, informative content. Remember, Google is in the business of making the internet better. If you're writing content that people want when they're searching for something, Google will put you at the front of the line. It's pretty common to hear IM folks complaining that their efforts to fool Google into giving them a higher rank, through shitty backlinking or low-quality (often spun) content, suddenly stop working.

    I suggest you include related articles that aren't reviews, but if you are just planning on writing reviews exclusively, make them something people would want to read. Keep people engaged, add your own voice and insight. Nobody likes to search for info on a product only to find a poorly written "review" that's really just the product specs in paragraph form. Google knows this, and adjust accordingly.

    If you provide good content that people want, I don't see why Google would ever derank or deindex you.
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  • Profile picture of the author coreytucker
    thanks brand new guy. Do you make decent money from your sites?
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    • Profile picture of the author Brand New Guy
      Originally Posted by coreytucker View Post

      thanks brand new guy. Do you make decent money from your sites?
      There are various factors at play, and not all of my sites perform at the same level, but yeah, it's definitely respectable :-D Over time, I make several times more per hour of effort than I've made at any desk job I've had, and I make an order of magnitude more per article than I do for my copywriting. The only thing is it takes time, which is why I'm trying to scale up my operation.
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  • Profile picture of the author AntonioSeegars1
    This strategy still works, and good won't punish a review site that is only posting good reviews, and isn't doing any blackhat market, so you'll can make money from this strategy and have nothing to worry about.
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  • Profile picture of the author coreytucker
    thanks guys. I am just wondering though how long its gonna take to even reach 1k per month. I think it could take 6 months just to reach this level
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  • Profile picture of the author lotsofsnow
    Originally Posted by coreytucker View Post

    I wanted to build some large amazon review websites. I would write quality reviews and make the website a good one.
    This will work if you really write quality reviews.

    Now, quality review means:

    1. you have physically inspected the product
    2. you take your own photos and/or videos
    3. you simply write what is there and give the potential customer
    helpful guidance to make a wise buying decision

    If you just write a review that is of high quality as far as the writing is concerned: sorry, that's not what is needed.

    In order to physically inspect the product you do not have to necessarily purchase the product even though that would be best.

    With tools for example you can rent them for a small fee at a local store. Same is true for cameras for example or musical intruments.

    You can also team up with a local store and ask the store owner whether he let's you take a few pictures or videos of the products in his store.

    You would simply offer him a JV: he may use the pictures on his web site to get more local business and you would use them on your review page to get customers from all over the world.

    If you pick the right store and the right niche this could develop into a huge business. And the best part: Google would love you and send you traffic by the truckloads.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lightlysalted
    Amazon affiliate stores still work, I agree it's about how you target keywords to drive traffic
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    • Profile picture of the author tekken2
      Nothing that relies on a single source of traffic, and a single source of income is 100% stable.

      However, its as safe a bet as anything!

      If you do build a solid site, not a thin 10-15 page affair. Post regularly with good articles. Make Comparisons etc then there is no reason why your efforts won't be profitable.

      I decided to 'put all my eggs in one basket' and so far it is paying off. $1200 last month, and looking like an increase for Feb.

      What you can do when you get big enough is apply to suppliers directly to become affiliates. This allows you to say "buy direct for $xxx, but I often find the price better on amazon". - you cannot quote the amazon price without it coming via the API

      Good Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Media_Mogul
    Erica Stone, AKA Sojourn, has a WSO that's all about developing an e-mail list to help promote Amazon products. It might have the kind of information you're looking for.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...zon-sites.html
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Many of the most successful Amazon affiliates I know do not rely on "review sites" or even SEO at all. It is perfectly OK to drive traffic to product presell pages by email, content syndication, online/offlne advertising, social media, telemarketing, direct mail, webinars/seminars, direct (face-to-face) sales, etc.

      You've got a snowball's chance in hell trying to make consistent sales by trying to rank "review sites" these days. In fact, did you know that Amazon sends promotions to their (ie your) customers? You need to get back to your buyers before Amazon does.
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      • Profile picture of the author donhx
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        You've got a snowball's chance in hell trying to make consistent sales by trying to rank "review sites" these days. In fact, did you know that Amazon sends promotions to their (ie your) customers? You need to get back to your buyers before Amazon does.

        This has always been the big issue with me. I like the idea of building some Amazon sites, but my problem was always this--how can I out-rank Amazon itself for the product? That's the part I don't get about making money with Amazon. They get the ranking, they have a bazillion reviews there, and everyone knows that.

        So, what am I missing? How do you out-rank Amazon with your own review/article site?
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by donhx View Post

          How do you out-rank Amazon with your own review/article site?
          The notion of out-ranking Amazon (or anyone else) has never been the slightest bit of concern for me.

          Due to the nature of niches in which I market (competition dominated by SEO heavy hitters), none of my sites have ever ranked in the SERPs. Repeat sales are made to my customer lists through email promotions, social media, telemarketing, direct mail, webinars/seminars, direct (face-to-face) sales, etc.
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        • Profile picture of the author Brand New Guy
          Originally Posted by donhx View Post

          This has always been the big issue with me. I like the idea of building some Amazon sites, but my problem was always this--how can I out-rank Amazon itself for the product? That's the part I don't get about making money with Amazon. They get the ranking, they have a bazillion reviews there, and everyone knows that.

          So, what am I missing? How do you out-rank Amazon with your own review/article site?
          I think people get hung up on trying to rank for one keyword. If Amazon is selling Awesome Product Number 249b, you don't have to rank for "Awesome Product Number 249b" or even "Awesome Product Number 249b review". You can rank for a whole slew of keywords, like "best awesome product", "using product number 249b to maximize awseomeness", "does awesome product number 249b really work", "best product for being awesome", "how can i be awesome", etc. If you mess around with the keyword planner, you can find a ton of things people are searching for. Serve people that information, and Google will bring them to you.

          Also, if you're writing good content, long(ish) articles and reviews rather than 300-500 word fluff pieces, you'll natural end up ranking for a ton of keywords just because they naturally show up when you're talking about a specific product or topic. You'll find yourself ranking for things you never even planned for, and then you can expand upon those keywords to bring in more traffic.
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        • Profile picture of the author tekken2
          @donhx

          There is no need to out rank Amazon. I have plenty of keywords on the Front page of results with good conversion.

          Lots of readers seem to want to avoid amazon, and maybe get a professional perspective on a product. Maybe amazon is soaking up 50% of the traffic, but there is still plenty left to make a margin on!
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        • Profile picture of the author MJ Collins
          Originally Posted by donhx View Post

          This has always been the big issue with me. I like the idea of building some Amazon sites, but my problem was always this--how can I out-rank Amazon itself for the product? That's the part I don't get about making money with Amazon. They get the ranking, they have a bazillion reviews there, and everyone knows that.

          So, what am I missing? How do you out-rank Amazon with your own review/article site?
          I'm working on an Amazon affiliate site that groups items in a way that's not done on Amazon. Will it make money? Who knows, but it doesn't feel like I'm trying to outdo Amazon.
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          • Profile picture of the author AmarieP
            This is my personal experience with Amazon Sites. I have been creating Amazon Sites for the past 2 years with success without any SEO or any type of marketing. Just recently (maybe 2 months ago) Amazon banned my account. The reason was I was using a 3rd party plugin (which was a wso) and they refused to keep my account active even if I deleted and stopped using the plugin.

            So if your going to do an amazon site, I would suggest that you don't use any auto product upload plugins or any plugins for that matter. I would suggest that you upload the products manually.

            I'm a little pissed because it was a good business and I had a lot of sites and I was making good money selling them too.
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            • Profile picture of the author Stevie C
              Originally Posted by AmarieP View Post

              This is my personal experience with Amazon Sites. I have been creating Amazon Sites for the past 2 years with success without any SEO or any type of marketing. Just recently (maybe 2 months ago) Amazon banned my account. The reason was I was using a 3rd party plugin (which was a wso) and they refused to keep my account active even if I deleted and stopped using the plugin.

              So if your going to do an amazon site, I would suggest that you don't use any auto product upload plugins or any plugins for that matter. I would suggest that you upload the products manually.

              I'm a little pissed because it was a good business and I had a lot of sites and I was making good money selling them too.
              I'd be interested to know which third party plugin that got you banned - if you don't want to divulge it in public could you pm me?
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  • Profile picture of the author hustlinsmoke
    Not No but Hell NO!!!

    Amazon is ever changing. they flinch at regulation. It could change in an instant and why would you want to go into something that has an average return of five percent for all the work.

    Go sell used autos and get your 35 percent commission you will be better off.
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  • Profile picture of the author onlineleben
    To get an idea what is possible with Amazon, check out the below post from end of 2013.
    Pay special attention to what LindyUK and also myob (he posted above) have to say.
    That post made me change my business model. Highly recommended:
    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...000-month.html
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  • Profile picture of the author lwjc
    I promote Amazon not on a regular basis but just ads on my blogs. Even though the click thru isn't enormous it still brings residual income without doing anything extra
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  • Profile picture of the author Shankar Rao
    From my personal experience amazon is a very good business model. I do by created a detailed review sites for the products. my traffic is 50/50 seo and social.

    You can do very well with amazon product review sites if you do the reviews properly. Selecting the product, competition and quality reviews play an important role
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  • Profile picture of the author davidpham
    I think amazon is not stable since their product will belong the time and not exist too long. If you want one product to promote long time then amazon is not a good option.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEO Powers
    Amazon is good, but you need to drive lots of traffic. Even though I focus on SEO getting traffic from social media is very powerful these days. It's all about traffic if you want to make money.

    Write high quality articles/reviews and use a good SEO plan plus get into places like Pinterest and Facebook. You will have more then enough traffic to make money with your website.

    Even though Amazon pays very little for your hard work it can pay off over time just keep writing good reviews and articles.
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  • I don't believe amazon will stop paying affiliates.

    So that part of the business model is stable, however..

    The traffic part is not. If you are planning to get traffic from SEO, then you could lose all your traffic and commissions at any time
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