Are Amazon sites worth the effort?

35 replies
First hello to everyone, ive been around the forums for a long time but not really been a poster more a lurker!

My question here concerns Amazon affiliates viability in the way ive tried to make it work. I have a server at home and host off it which ive done for around 10 years. It started as a gaming server for our Warcraft guild and voice server using TS2 & 3 later but over time I became more interested with the web dev side of things and drifted into the trap of randomly trying out stuff to make money getting nowhere really.

I came across Warrior Forum a few years back and like an idiot its took a long time to actually wake up and realise im going nowhere online in any sense of the word other than pocket money. I dont have any hosting overheads and apart from buying addresses the outlay is low.

Ive had a couple of Amazon sites up for a while now and play about with them trying to improve them but the sales dont really add up to much. Ive bought a few WSO's for populating and the likes to speed up the process of item posting but although I get thousands of reported clicks I barely make a sale.

Ive tried not to clone anyones site and be original and ive paid for ads and been top on google but I just think my templates are crap tbh and ive tried a few and dont think they appeal good enough. Ive stripped one site back to basics now and im targetting a specific set of items but ideally I need to know if im going totally about this wrong or im overlooking something major.

Ive tried to just stick to this so as not to have many projects going at once but its getting me a bit down why even doing what appears to be right doesnt work. If you need more specific information I can provide it but any ideas even if it means bin this idea and concentrate somewhere else ill consider it as im not closed minded and im no expert here!

Thanks for reading anyway and for any reply.
#amazon #effort #sites #worth
  • Profile picture of the author entrepreneurjay
    I noticed you did not say anything about collecting leads are you building an email list?

    Second thing I would suggest is to go for the highest ticket items that you can in your niche that alone will ramp up your earnings if the high ticket items convert well that is
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    Are Amazon sites worth the effort?
    It used to be, until the Google updates. You can still make money, but it takes alot of targeted traffic. It used to be possible to set up a bunch of micro niches sites, but Google did away with that
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Scott Jr
    I noticed that many of the Amazon affiliates have websties that are already receiving a lot of traffic for the content that they provide and one of their ways of monetizing their website is with related Amazon products.
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  • Profile picture of the author pxjenkins
    I believe that some people still are making very good money with this method. Prosociate, one of the Amazon store building solutions, recently put out a case study of a German guy who was doing very well. The chances are though, as others have pointed out, that relying on Google to provide your traffic is probably not going to be a viable solution. You're to drive traffic in other ways also.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by pxjenkins View Post

    I believe that some people still are making very good money with this method.
    I don't.

    Almost all the people I see who claim to be making very good money with that method are people whose income appears, on closer inspection of their signature-files and websites, actually to come from selling "Amazon affiliate guides" to aspiring internet marketers.

    Originally Posted by nightbre View Post

    Ive had a couple of Amazon sites up for a while now and play about with them trying to improve them but the sales dont really add up to much.
    Originally Posted by nightbre View Post

    although I get thousands of reported clicks I barely make a sale.
    That's probably because your traffic comes from search-engines and you're not collecting the visitors' email addresses.

    The sales aren't usually made from the website alone.

    These two threads will both help you ...

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post8659398

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post6608638


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    • Profile picture of the author pxjenkins
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      I don't.

      Almost all the people I see who claim to be making very good money with that method are people whose income appears, on closer inspection of their signature-files and websites, actually to come from selling "Amazon affiliate guides" to aspiring internet marketers.



      That's probably because your traffic comes from search-engines and you're not collecting the visitors' email addresses.

      The sales aren't usually made from the website alone.

      These two threads will both help you ...

      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post8659398

      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post6608638


      .
      Here's an example of a guy who I know to be doing well: The Store - Top Documentary Films

      Basically what he did was to set up a video blog about 4 years ago. now getting tons of traffic and engagement. and guess how he monetises it?...

      Very clever business model. Business is building out almost every day.
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      • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
        Originally Posted by pxjenkins View Post

        Here's an example of a guy who I know to be doing well: The Store - Top Documentary Films

        Basically what he did was to set up a video blog about 4 years ago. now getting tons of traffic and engagement. and guess how he monetises it?...

        Very clever business model. Business is building out almost every day.
        Wow - you know that guy? I've been using that site for YEARS and have watched probably close to 100 documentaries on that site!

        It's an excellent resource - a great example of someone who built something awesome.

        Do you know how well he's doing with it? I looked into it at one point and saw some of his competitors, but his looks like the strongest in the space.
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  • Profile picture of the author alvinhy
    I think google is really cracking down on affiliate websites.
    You need to create a lot of value on your website so it doesn't look like a typical affiliate site.

    I would suggest you focus on one affiliate site rather than many.
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  • Profile picture of the author sharpturn
    Yes I still think Amazon review sites are worth it. Add tons of great content and offer full reviews. Include all the information you can on a page. None of those 500 word articles...I'm talking a minimum of 1500 words.

    Create an authority site with Amazon links.

    There are Warriors doing very well with this business model.
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    • Profile picture of the author Niche Blogger
      Amazon definitely wouldn't be my top choice to promote just because of the low commissions but that doesn't mean it's not worth the effort.

      My Amazon blogs are currently making a few hundred dollars per month and when I've built them up to a certain level I'm going to try and sell them on Empire Flippers for 20x the monthly income.

      I do know marketers making $500+ per Amazon affiliate site and they're not selling Amazon affiliate guides or collecting subscribers and doing email marketing - they spend quite a bit on backlinking campaigns though and I wouldn't say their sites have alot of longevity.
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  • Profile picture of the author Caitlinz
    You need to be unique and show google that yours is not one of those shady affiliate review sites. Add unique content, comparisons and reviews. Find out relevant products and add content for them. Don't choose products less than $100 to promote unless they have zero competition.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Most of the top Amazon affiliates I know use multi-channel promotions based on basic online/offline marketing fundamentals. For example, email, article syndication, social media, telemarketing, mobile marketing, webinars, local seminars, direct mail, direct sales, etc. It's nearly impossible to depend upon Google alone for consistent sales. Also, all seem to agree overwhelmingly that building niche lists is essential for repeat sales - especially in the high end product price ranges (ie 4-5 figures).
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  • Profile picture of the author nightbre
    Thanks for the suggestions and ideas from everyone who has posted. Traffic wise no I havent been collecting an email list and also I did pay for some ads.

    I have got a US version of one site only lists items over $100 IIRC and it made 1 sale at Ā£1400 ish and netted me $44 but it appears to be a fluke!

    I think from what ive read here I need to re-read the whole thread and make a proper action plan rather than throwing darts blindfolded. One thing is should we grow a list from scratch or is it deemed ok to buy one? I see so much conflicting info (dont mean this thread) that its hard for new guys to tell the truth of it all.

    Thanks all

    Nightbre
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by nightbre View Post

      I think from what ive read here I need to re-read the whole thread and make a proper action plan rather than throwing darts blindfolded.
      Yes - good plan. I think the two threads linked-to in my post above will both help you, too.

      Originally Posted by nightbre View Post

      One thing is should we grow a list from scratch
      Yes.

      Originally Posted by nightbre View Post

      or is it deemed ok to buy one?
      No.

      They won't be your subscribers who know and trust you, so you won't sell that way. Email marketing is permission-based. Nothing devalues a list like selling it. Besides which, it wouldn't even be legal to send them email, unless they'd all given permission on opting-in for their email addresses to be sold. And no autoresponder company would ever allow you to import and use such a list. Further information here: http://www.warriorforum.com/email-ma...ml#post9331922


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      • Profile picture of the author nightbre
        Theres some really good info in them links as for me it weeds out a lot of the offtrack stuff I may have considered.

        I did do an experiment where I signed up to a few of the squeeze pages on sites for the response and found later down the line I was getting round 25000 mails a month. The interesting part is when you get clone mails from different senders all telling me the same items in little trends. Even the posts could be seen evolving over time as the strategy changed. I have read over mail shots and buying lists so now I will grow my own and try and get a targetted customer base who joined because they wanted too.

        Ive saved the links for reference and will review how to present my site more objectively. Ill post back what I do in an update.

        Cheers

        Nightbre
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        • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
          Amazon works fine. Suggestions:

          - Have a reason to promote the product other than it just happens to be on Amazon. For many products, Amazon has long lost its price advantage.

          - Unique content, and lots and lots and lots of it.

          - By the way, that unique content needs to have value. Not just words spewed on a page.

          - Keep Google from seeing those affiliate links. An absolute must for affiliates.

          - Forget the email list for most Amazon products. It is a completely idiot idea (not to mince words or anything) to use a squeeze page for most Amazon products. Someone looking for an Acme toaster wants information about the Acme toaster. Not some email list where you're emailing about toasters.

          - Now go visit your site. If you saw it would you go wow - this is great! Or would you go yuck, another generic site with Amazon links. I'll just go to Amazon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jrivera680
    You can make some decent cash. It's really all about setting up a system that you can scale up. You have to sell higher ticket products with Amazon in order to make what I would call decent cash. I use to be an affiliate for Amazon, but I found other marketplaces where the commission is higher. I use paid marketing if you haven't given it a try I suggest you do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Angshuman Dutta
    Affiliate sites still make money and are worth the effort if you don't rely on search engines to send you traffic. Did you try Pinterest? If you can get into boards with thousands of members, you wouldn't have trouble making sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chri5123
    Yes, they are worth the effort.

    However it is like anything, or at least any site you build online, you need to know your market, the top questions in the niche and know how to target traffic.

    I have had success for years building niche specific sites for RED HOT products that are getting a lot of interest and getting picked up in the search engines, this gives you an awesome start - and THEN you need to expand and start using social media, email, interaction to turn these sites into authority sites.

    It is a lot of hard work, it is also a numbers game but once you hit a winner it is worth it.

    I recommend reading up on how to build a standard blog, write decent content, pick a decent niche and most important - have the discipline to update your site and syndicate your content and don't give up.

    Hope this helps,

    Chris Jones
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  • Profile picture of the author SEO Power
    They are worth it. I'm still building Amazon affiliate sites and there are several recent case studies of bloggers building and making more than $1K from their sites. Google 'amazon niche site case study' to see the case studies I'm referring to.

    Building amazon affiliate sites and filling them with products isn't the best way to make money. Focus on publishing helpful product reviews and comparison charts and you'll see the money start to roll in.
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  • Profile picture of the author nightbre
    I tried to post but was getting a server error. I have stripped the site down to bare almost with just a few categories and items to get the template in order. I have been using Suffusion which seems to have a fair few layouts. If anyone has any good ideas with it they are welcome to chip in.

    I figure based on the knowledge in this thread from everyone I have been setting the whole thing up wrong. Im hoping to fix this then buy a new name to reset all the bad rep its likely got now with the search engines.

    Ill post an update once its more straightened out to let you all know how things may have changed for the better hopefully.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by nightbre View Post

      I have been using Suffusion which seems to have a fair few layouts. If anyone has any good ideas with it they are welcome to chip in.

      I figure based on the knowledge in this thread from everyone I have been setting the whole thing up wrong. Im hoping to fix this then buy a new name to reset all the bad rep its likely got now with the search engines.
      Consider also selling B2B through AmazonSupply.com. You'll get a flat 8% commission rate, and it is not uncommon to see 3-5 figure orders and/or re-orders from business and industrial accounts. Note that business professionals, decision makers, or high end consumers seldom make substantial purchases from search engine results.

      Your best option is to demonstrate expertise within specific niches and position yourself as one who "recommends" products for applications or solutions. If you're trying to write product "reviews" which seems to be so ubiquitous despite low conversion rates, business professionals and decision makers most likely will not take you seriously.

      Establish credibility by writing industry standard articles for professional publications that are read by your targeted audience. Most online/offline publications allocate a byline or short ad (3-5 lines) at the end of articles, directing readers to your sales funnel system.

      Best conversion results are achieved through continuity-based promotions, with incrementally higher end products through follow-up online/offline marketing. Promote nominally priced products for list-building, such as air hoses for auto repair shops, shipping supplies for industry, nitrile gloves for scientific/medical, etc.

      Be sure to have an opt-in form (including full contact info) on every sales page, because Amazon will also be doing some heavy duty email follow-up promotions to your customers. You're really not going to make much of anything with Amazon using the method so commonly touted here on the forum (including this thread).

      Sorry, but putting up "affiliate review sites" and wrestling for top spots in search engines is not how the really successful Amazon affiliates are doing it. They're building customer lists, establishing affinity-based relationships, and directly marketing to proven buyers.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie123
    Why don't you source product and sell on Amazon through their FBA program. As for the affiliate program, there are numerous WSO's about Amazon. I don't know how effective they are in generating money for those whose who implement. My two sense!
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris30K
    Focus on delivering value. I go to a website that's offering amazon, I'm going to leave without buying. But if I see a website that focuses on solving a problem with intensity, creativity, and passion - I'm going to spend my money on that site.
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  • Profile picture of the author xIllumination
    Yes, of course they are worth the effort. Like few people before me said, if you can help the visitor make a decision on a specific product and help them, then they will buy the product and you will get your commission.

    What does not work is filling your site with amazon products and links without adding any value to your site besides the said products. Effectively making a bridge site.
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  • Profile picture of the author fatchap
    I agree with the general tone. Put yourself in the buyers shoes. A site with details, reviews and comparisons looks better than just filled with amazon pics.
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  • Profile picture of the author aspic791
    It is SO worth it! Yes, the commission start out small at 4% but it's not hard to end up at 6-8% with the proper base of sites. Amazon has an online trust factor that is higher than almost all other online sites.

    I've never believed in putting all of your eggs in one basket when rolling out campaigns so you will find that targetting different niches with different sites, you won't have to worry about products being sold out or niches growing out of favor....Diversifying your portfolio is very important.

    There are THOUSANDS of keywords that you can setup Amazon sites right now and have relatively low competition....Don't look at just the obvious niches....If you think long-tail keywords, you will be rewarded handsomely!
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  • Profile picture of the author colinph970
    If you act on anything above then read the posts by Sharpturn and Kindsvater.

    They have it nailed.

    You must add value to the reader - if they can simply go to Amazon and get the same information then that's exactly what they will do.

    Proper keyword research, followed by adding value to the reader and giving then a good browsing experience is the way to go.

    Do this and its easily possible to earn over $1000 a month from just one site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    If you're solid at keyword research, know how to find buyer intent keywords, and examine them for rankability then have the means / resources / funds to rank your site (you'll probably need to use private blog network links etc) then yes it can be profitable.

    However even the most famous of amazon site creators like Spencer Haws of NichePursuits.com are talking about focusing more on building authority sites away from SEO traffic or turning those profitable niche sites into bigger sites instead of launching new ones.

    So that should tell you something.

    However I still know plenty of guys making a generous living from this style of site.

    If you're new, have no experience, and no resources or funds it's going to be tricky,
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  • Profile picture of the author Sojourn
    Originally Posted by nightbre View Post

    Ive had a couple of Amazon sites up for a while now and play about with them trying to improve them but the sales dont really add up to much. Ive bought a few WSO's for populating and the likes to speed up the process of item posting but although I get thousands of reported clicks I barely make a sale.
    This, to me, was key in your post. You may be sitting on an opportunity with this site and need only some revisions to make use of that traffic.

    If you're getting clicks but no sales it's time to do some analysis before you toss the project.

    Sometimes it's easier to think about what you'd do if this were a brick and mortar business. If you were a tire store and 1000 people came into your store and no one bought anything, would you close up shop and try something else or would you try to figure out what's going on with those 1000 people?

    You'd figure out what's going on with those people! (I'd hope!)

    Figure out how these people are coming to your site. What keywords are bringing them? Are they buyer keywords? Are they coming from another site? Are you attracting lots of empty-pocketed teenagers?

    More questions: How are your links presented? Are they disguised text links and people are just clicking to see where the link goes and are surprised to arrive at Amazon? Or are they buy buttons or a link that says "buy it today"?

    If they're clicking on a buy button or a clear "buy it now" call to action and still not buying, why might that be? Is the product price too high? Are the ratings poor?

    My suggestion would be to NOT throw away the work you've already done until you've fully understood the flow and mindset of the traffic already moving through your site.
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  • Profile picture of the author schttrj
    Originally Posted by nightbre View Post

    First hello to everyone, ive been around the forums for a long time but not really been a poster more a lurker!

    My question here concerns Amazon affiliates viability in the way ive tried to make it work. I have a server at home and host off it which ive done for around 10 years. It started as a gaming server for our Warcraft guild and voice server using TS2 & 3 later but over time I became more interested with the web dev side of things and drifted into the trap of randomly trying out stuff to make money getting nowhere really.

    I came across Warrior Forum a few years back and like an idiot its took a long time to actually wake up and realise im going nowhere online in any sense of the word other than pocket money. I dont have any hosting overheads and apart from buying addresses the outlay is low.

    Ive had a couple of Amazon sites up for a while now and play about with them trying to improve them but the sales dont really add up to much. Ive bought a few WSO's for populating and the likes to speed up the process of item posting but although I get thousands of reported clicks I barely make a sale.

    Ive tried not to clone anyones site and be original and ive paid for ads and been top on google but I just think my templates are crap tbh and ive tried a few and dont think they appeal good enough. Ive stripped one site back to basics now and im targetting a specific set of items but ideally I need to know if im going totally about this wrong or im overlooking something major.

    Ive tried to just stick to this so as not to have many projects going at once but its getting me a bit down why even doing what appears to be right doesnt work. If you need more specific information I can provide it but any ideas even if it means bin this idea and concentrate somewhere else ill consider it as im not closed minded and im no expert here!

    Thanks for reading anyway and for any reply.
    It's the age of authority, my friend.

    In fact, in a recent survey, they found out that the average length of the top 10 ranking posts are about 2000-words long.

    (Excluding some of the highly popular sites that tend to rank high even with a page of less than 200 words long)

    So, amazon sites, or micro niche sites, are probably gone down the drain to be honest.
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  • Profile picture of the author nightbre
    schttrj
    It's the age of authority, my friend.

    In fact, in a recent survey, they found out that the average length of the top 10 ranking posts are about 2000-words long.

    (Excluding some of the highly popular sites that tend to rank high even with a page of less than 200 words long)

    So, amazon sites, or micro niche sites, are probably gone down the drain to be honest.
    Writing for me is not an issue,but what I am lacking when I ask myself truthfully is the vision to translate that into something that can connect with the users and make them feel compelled to purchase from my site. 2000 words of drivel wouldnt help so I have to be writing anything for the site in a way that interests the visitors.

    I am also thinking of some video's as from what im learning they seem to be taking precedence over the stats for the extra content. I may be wrong but I think its right. I might get some use out my adsense stuff then. I dont use it on the Amazon sites.

    Sojurn
    This, to me, was key in your post. You may be sitting on an opportunity with this site and need only some revisions to make use of that traffic.

    If you're getting clicks but no sales it's time to do some analysis before you toss the project.

    Sometimes it's easier to think about what you'd do if this were a brick and mortar business. If you were a tire store and 1000 people came into your store and no one bought anything, would you close up shop and try something else or would you try to figure out what's going on with those 1000 people?

    You'd figure out what's going on with those people! (I'd hope!)

    Figure out how these people are coming to your site. What keywords are bringing them? Are they buyer keywords? Are they coming from another site? Are you attracting lots of empty-pocketed teenagers?

    More questions: How are your links presented? Are they disguised text links and people are just clicking to see where the link goes and are surprised to arrive at Amazon? Or are they buy buttons or a link that says "buy it today"?

    If they're clicking on a buy button or a clear "buy it now" call to action and still not buying, why might that be? Is the product price too high? Are the ratings poor?

    My suggestion would be to NOT throw away the work you've already done until you've fully understood the flow and mindset of the traffic already moving through your site.

    The site links are search engine friendly links naming each item rather than a page number.

    Theres 2 buttons, 1 takes you to your Amazon cart and the other takes you to the item within my site. Then if you click your on Amazon.

    I think my site doesnt have anything to offer really other than items. After reading through all this and having time to digest it then its obvious I was lucky to make some sales with the setup as it is now.

    My main concern now is where to focus Niche wise. I know a lot on some subjects but they are not necessarily high priced items so im still toiling what to focus on. I have a few ideas that im toying with but not set a certain path yet.

    Its basically one of those hello-goodbye sites i guess as it stands. If I can get one straightened out and making inroads then it will give more incentive to try in other Niches too. I am going to stick to one though at this stage.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sojourn
      Every site is a learning experience. Sticking with one site is the best thing you can do. It's too easy to give it up and move to something else because you don't see results right away but often a site is right around the corner from seeing better results just when you give it up.

      I do recommend doing some research on the niche before you get in and without knowing your niche it's hard to say whether you should stick with it or what could be done to turn it around. If you don't want to write about the site and create more content in that niche then it might be best to find something else.

      If you're comfortable doing so don't hesitate to PM me the URL and I could send you my thoughts.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Hooper
    You can make some great money, but not a longterm business.

    If you're wanting to get into it, I'd say go for it -- ride it like a surfboard until the wave dies. But know that's how it's going to go...eventually.
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  • Profile picture of the author fagstv
    Amazon affiliates program is very Good for earning but this is too much hard i trying on our webiste fagstv.com but no result
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