Amazon Affiliate Earnings (April 2020 Change) – How Much Will You Make

Amazon has drastically changed their Amazon Affiliate Program payouts as of April 21, 2020. It is not good for many of us! The net worth of people reading this has been cut by millions of dollars.

Read More

Earn Money With Amazon Affiliates – Top 10 Quick Growth Hacks

This guide is meant to provide you with highly actionable Amazon Affiliate earnings growth hacks, it will show you how to quickly earn more money with Amazon Affiliate sites. Not just ideas but the exact steps on how to most efficiently execute the hacks and begin earning more money from Amazon today! 

Implement these quick tips and make more money as an Amazon Affiliate! 

If you have just started using SiteBuddy.io this is also meant as a How-To guide so you can get the most out of SiteBuddy.io. 

Stop losing money and start earning what you deserve! 

This guide does not cover Content, Security, Speed, Display Ads and other general website management topics that are just as important. This is focused on growth hacking strategies to increase your earnings as an Amazon Affiliate. To get similar tips but for a broader range of topics checkout some of these great resources…

Some of the tools you can use to make implementing these tips easier include…

The items below are organized according to the growth hacking ICE method of…

  • Effort
  • Impact

Quick Start Guide:

Many of these tips will need the information that SiteBuddy.io is able to pull out for your site. 

  1. Signup to SiteBuddy.io 
  2. Scan your site

Top 10 Amazon Affiliate Earnings Growth Hacks

#Growth HackTools I Use…EffortImpact
1Earnings disclaimer on all pagesSiteBuddy.io
Amazon Affiliate Disclosure Plugin
EasyHigh
2Fix Amazon Link TagsSiteBuddy.io
Add or Replace Links Plugin 
EasyHigh
3Don’t Link to Removed ProductsSiteBuddy.ioMediumMedium
4Don’t Link to Out of Stock ProductsSiteBuddy.ioMediumLow
5Link to Ideal Top Earning Product CategoriesSiteBuddy.ioMediumLow – Medium
6Use Comparison TablesAMA Links ProMediumHigh
7Localize LinksAMA Links Pro
AAWP
Amazon One Link
EasyHigh
8Use ImagesAMZImageMediumMedium
9Create In Content LinksAMA Links Pro
AAWP
Amazon One Link
MediumMedium
10Place Native Shopping Ads (sidebar and footer)Ad Inserter Plugin
Amazon Native Ads
LowMedium

One – Earnings Disclaimer On All Pages

This isn’t exactly a hack to increase earnings but it is an incredibly easy to execute step to ensure your site is compliant with one of Amazon’s biggest requirements – disclaimer in the right location on pages with affiliate links. 

Tool: 

Procedure:

  • Go to SiteBuddy.io
  • Scan Your Site
  • Wait for the Scan to Finish
  • Go to Pages Report
  • Adjust the settings or use the default settings provided in the plugin.
  • Rescan the site to verify 0 pages are missing a disclaimer

Additional Reading:

Effort & Impact:

  • Effort – Easy
  • Impact – (potentially) Large

Two – Fix Amazon Affiliate Link Tags

There is nothing more frustrating then doing all the work to get traffic to your site and have them click on a link directing them to Amazon… to only find out that you earned no money from the products purchased since your affiliate tag was missing or worse… someone had swapped out your affiliate tag with their own, like some writers shockingly do. 

Tool:

Procedure:

  • Go to SiteBuddy.io
  • Scan Your Site
  • Wait for the Scan to Finish
  • Go to Links Report
  • Fix the links – using the bulk app from Hekkup
    1. Download the plugin and upload it on your WordPress installation
    2. Install and activate the plugin
    3. Go to Add & Replace Affiliate Links for Amazon
    4. Make a backup by clicking Backup, just in case
    5. Enter the tracking code and click Update
    6. Voilá! Your links have now been updated!
  • Rescan to make sure all links are fixed

Additional Reading:

Effort & Impact

  • Effort – Easy
  • Impact – Large

Three – Don’t Link to Removed Products

The Amazon Marketplace is always changing with products being removed. 

Linking to a deleted/removed product returns the page below… obviously not ideal for conversions!

Without knowing you are likely sending some people to this page on Amazon from your site.

Tool: 

Procedure:

  • Go to SiteBuddy.io
  • Scan Your Site
  • Wait for the Scan to Finish
  • Go to Products Report
  • Filter for Products that Don’t Exist
  • Identify the page on your site/link that is pointing people to this error page
  • Go to the page and fix the link pointing it to an instock product

Additional Reading:

  • N/A

Effort & Impact

  • Effort – Medium
  • Impact – Medium

Four – Don’t Link to Out of Stock or Poor Quality Products

Similar to the issue above but not as big a problem… If you are linking to products that are not in stock the conversation rate will be negatively impacted. 

Tool: 

Procedure:

  • Go to SiteBuddy.io
  • Scan Your Site
  • Wait for the Scan to Finish
  • Go to Products Report
  • Filter for Products that are not In Stock
  • Identify the page on your site/link that is pointing people to this product
  • Go to the page and fix the link pointing to an instock product

Additional Reading:

  • N/A

Impact & Impact

  • Impact – Medium
  • Impact – Low

Five – Link to High Earning Products – Category & Price

Amazon over the years has constantly adjusted their affiliate earnings (most recently April 2020). 

There can be a big difference in earnings if a product is in a low earning category vs a high earning category. 

Tools

Procedure

  • Go to SiteBuddy.io
  • Scan Your Site
  • Wait for the Scan to Finish
  • Go to Products Report
  • Filter for products you link to most frequently – alternatively check your amazon sales export to identify your top selling products and use SiteBuddy.io to search and identify which pages that ASIN is located on within your site.
  • Review the top products to identify if there is a better product on Amazon to be linking to…
    1. Better sales rating
    2. Better reviews
    3. Higher priced
    4. In a category that pays a higher commission
  • Change the links/page to make the page make sense to link to the better product

Additional Reading

Effort & Impact

  • Effort – Medium
  • Impact – Low-Medium

Six – Use Comparison Tables

Never underestimate the power of eye-catching displays and clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons for the products you are promoting. Despite the fact that you’ve published highly researched and well thought out content – the fact is, a very high percentage of your visitors don’t even read most of the content. They are just searching for quick answers to their search query.

When a typical visitor lands on your page, they will see the very top first – which is why it is extremely important to insert affiliate links towards the top of your page. We suggest using small product comparison tables towards the top of your pages. Some visitors will start to scroll down and scan the page. Even if they aren’t reading the content, vivid product showcases boxes will stand out and practically scream at the reader – click on me!

For those visitors who never bother to read your content – you still stand a chance to earn a commission by giving them the opportunity to click on one of your Amazon affiliate links. Inserting high-converting Amazon affiliate links can be extremely fast and easy if using the right tool.

Tool:

Procedure:

  1. Identify your product review content that gets traffic (use analytics)
  2. Edit post in your WordPress editor
  3. Identify the product (or products) that you are promoting in that post
  4. Add high-converting Amazon affiliate links right after the introductory paragraph(s)
    1. Consider a product comparison table for multiple products
    2. Use a showcase box if your post is hyper-focused on just one product
  5. Add more Amazon affiliate links throughout the content
    1. Use showcase boxes to break up the content and add visual elements
    2. Use image links with images provided by Amazon (must be pulled from Amazon API)
    3. Use CTA buttons to entice affiliate link clicks
    4. Use text links with clever placement throughout your content

How to Add Links with AmaLinks Pro:

Step 1(a) – Click on the AmaLinks Pro button in your WordPress editor (or find the AmaLinks Pro block in the Gutenberg editor) then type in your product search term (you never have to leave WordPress!)

Step 1(b) – Or, click the Table Builder button to open the Table Builder interface to quickly and easily add a comparison table or insert an existing comparison table

Step 1(c) – Select the product you would like to promote

Step 2(a) – Choose your link type (or copy your API-driven Amazon affiliate link)

Step 2(b) – Edit your link type (if desired)

Step 3(a) – Change link settings (if desired)

Step 3(b) – Insert link into post

Additional Reading:

Difficulty & Impact:

  • Difficulty – Easy
  • Impact – (potentially) Large

Seven – Localize Links

If you are signed up as an Amazon Affiliate in the US only, you are losing out on revenue. However, creating links to target each geography of your visitors used to be no easy feat. Now, many tools have made this easier and Amazon has its native One Link solution. 

Personally I have seen anywhere from a 10% to 25% lift in earnings for a site by doing this step. 

Tool

  • See list under additional reading

Procedure

  1. Signup to all other Amazon Affiliate programs (or check your analytics to see where you are getting meaningful traffic from)
  2. Use the Amazon Affiliate link tool of your choice to customize the links – There are a lot of ways to handle this and it is best to follow the procedure of your chosen tool. See the additional reading section below for some tips based on the tool you use. 

Additional Reading

Effort & Impact

  • Effort – Easy
  • Impact – High

Eight – Use Images

Adding images to blog posts substantially increases conversions and reduces bounce rates considerably. We’ve all been there before. Anytime you load a blog post with a wall full of text, and immediately exit the page. 

This is the same reason Apple utilizes strong imagery above the fold and throughout their entire website. It substantially increases conversions and brings the company more revenue. That is why adding images throughout your website is so important, but sometimes things are easier said than done. 

Adding photos can be complicated due to licensing, photo rights, and ownership. Stock photos have a time and a place, but adding product photos while staying compliant with Amazon’s terms is complex. You are breaking their terms if you download a product photo, alter the size and upload it to your website or blog. 

With a tool like AMZ Image, you can easily add Amazon product images directly into WordPress posts and pages. The process is straightforward and will save you countless hours, increase conversions, and earn you a lot more affiliate commission. Another great thing is you won’t have to worry about getting your account banned since these tools are 100% Amazon compliant.

Tool

Procedure

  • Install AMZImage or other Amazon Image Plugin
  • Enter your credentials
  • When creating a post select Add Amazon Images
  • Search and find an image you want to insert into your post and select insert 

Additional Reading

Effort & Impact

  • Effort – Medium
  • Impact – Medium

Nine – Create In Content Links

In content links is a significant driver of traffic and earnings to Amazon. Making sure your images, feature boxes and comparison tables on the site are great but if you don’t have any naturally occurring in-content links you will be missing out on sales. 

Tool

Procedure

  • Because this is a fairly labour intensive process to do we are going to focus on the articles where this will have the biggest impact. In the first step identify your top pages (depending on the size of your site this could be from 5-500?) 
  • Go to each of those pages
  • Add an affiliate link in the content sending people to Amazon where it naturally makes sense in the article. 

TIP – Provide instructions to your writers and publishers to ensure they are including natural links to Amazon in the articles where it makes sense so you don’t need to go around later and clean this up. 

Additional Reading

Effort & Impact

  • Effort – Medium
  • Impact – Medium

Ten – Place Native Shopping Ads (sidebar and footer)

Amazon’s ability to create tools for its affiliates has been surprisingly poor. However, I feel with one exception and that is the Native Shopping Ads unit has proven to be a solid success. 

Typically this will be the lowest converting Amazon Links on your site and it may make sense to replace this with a featured product box. 

Tool

Procedure

How to add Amazon Native Ads to WordPress…

Additional Reading

Effort & Impact

  • Effort – Low
  • Impact – Medium

Summary

There you have 10 highly actionable “hacks” you can use to increase the Amazon Affiliate earnings on your site. 

My hope is that this will be actionable enough that it can act as a SOP in your site operations. 

Good luck increasing the earnings on your site!

Read More

Amazon Restock Alerts When Does Amazon Restock Items – EssentialGoods.org

A few weeks ago as the stay at home orders were setting in we had a discussion internally about what new problem existed that we were uniquely capable of solving. From that discussion, EssentialGoods.org was born. 

As mentioned on several earlier posts I believe there has never been a time in our lives where the rate of problem creation has been greater and if you are able to solve a problem it is needed! 

TODAY – April 28, 2020 – We are live on ProductHunt and would love your feedback. Currently, we are in the top 5 trending products for the day!

Visit Us on ProductHunt Here

To better understand EssentialGoods.org here is a video I did with Conor the developer…

What is EssentialGoods? 

EssentialGoods.org provides an SMS text alert when a product you want that was out of stock comes back in stock.

  • First, if you go to Amazon to purchase some essentials (education book for your kids, bread making yeast and hair dye) – then realize they are all currently out of stock
    • You can enter a re-stock alert email from Amazon but it will be delayed
  • Signup at EssentialGoods.org and either select from a pre-screened list of common essentials like masks and sanitzer or add your custom essential product
  • Receive a text message as soon as the product comes back in stock to be able to purchase quickly 

Initially, it does this for Amazon but will be adding additional online stores in the coming week(s).  

Who is this for?

It is for anyone who is looking to purchase products on Amazon that are currently out of stock. 

From common essentials like masks and hand sanitizer to less common dietary favorites. 

We have seen people using it for trending products like airpods and nintendo switch. 

We decided to make it free during COVID-19 impact for those most at risk including frontline medical professionals and a free trial for everyone else. 

Who Built It & Why?

Conor the lead developer at adbank.network identified the opportunity and quickly built it. The team at ContentRefined.com helped with the research into products and the buyer guides

The marketing coordination was handled by the adbank marketing team and specifically Catherine. 

The entire team felt there was a need that if we could help address one small problem around the stress of finding out when a product was back in stock it would be a worthwhile activity. 

How Does it Give Back?

It was important for us to ensure that we were giving back in a meaningful way. For that reason we are doing several things with our inventory restock alert app. 

  • Free for frontline medical workers
  • Free for senior citizens
  • Free trial for everyone
  • 5% of any profits to our local hospital foundation – https://cgmhf.com/

When and How Often Does Amazon Restock Items?

The Amazon machine is constantly running unloading shipments and restocking. In addition products can be out of stock on Amazon while shipments are moving between warehouses. So products can come back into stock at any time. 

If it is an essential product sign up for an alert service like essentialgoods.org or if you are prime member and it isn’t critical then Amazon has a free inventory restock alert email. 

Can this Be Used for Popular Products?

When will Amamzon restock nintendo switch or Amazon airpods? As mentioned above this can happen at any time. 

Yes, despite essentialgoods being built for products related to COVID-19 it is being used by people to receive alerts for popular consumer products that are out of stock and sell out quickly when they are restocked, such as Nintendo Switch. 

Read More

My Amazon Associate Account Closed Cost Me 100k And How You Can Avoid The Same

Sometimes I believe I write a little too much about successes and don’t provide a realistic picture of all the ups/downs associated with an online business.

Today in this painful post I will shed some light on a recent failure which will ultimately cost me up to $100k!

Plus I share the process my team built to ensure this wouldn’t happen and had finished it just days getting suspended!

Also, if you have been suspended I do still have one strategy up my sleeve I can’t reveal publicly but if you have had your Amazon associate account suspended please contact me and I would be happy to share.

 

My Amazon Associate Account Has Been Suspended Again Losing $100k!

The irony… I had just hired a full time employee in house whose first job was to prepare a set of procedures for us to audit all of our Amazon associate sites and confirm we were 110% compliant!

I will share all of those procedures with you in this post and everything we have learned to help ensure you avoid getting your Amazon Associate Account suspended.

 

NOTE – IF YOU HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED PLEASE CONTACT ME – I DO HAVE ONE TRICK UP MY SLEEVE NOT REVEALED HERE PUBLICLY!

 

Want More Help?
Losing my Amazon Associate account sucked! We had just finished doing a TON of work to try and make sure we were bullet proof in terms of staying compliant with all of our sites in the eyes of Google. In order to help others I decided to make my entire audit process public so others can do their own audits or if you want help provide access to my in house project manager who studies all the TOC’s from Amazon and built the audit process.

  • See the top 7 reasons why your sites might be out of compliance! – Click Here
  • Have Me and My Team Audit Your Sites – Click Here
    • My new project manager read every single document from Amazon and built the audit process. She has reviewed over a dozen sites and can review your site providing images showing exactly what she recommends you change to stay compliant.

start-your-audit-now

 

The story of my associate account getting suspended goes back to when I sold 2/3rd of my FBA business.

The purchaser also purchased another site which had been associated with a suspended account and therefore when Amazon reviewed his accounts they suspended his personal account, our partnership account and then eventually (months later) my personal account.

Amazon seems to follow a policy of “guilt by association” even if there is nothing wrong with your account or sites you can receive a message saying…

During our research, we have determined that an account belonging to you (or a person affiliated with you) has previously been closed for violations of the Operating Agreement or one of the other Associates Programs operated by our affiliates.”

1-contagin-spread

What was odd was that my personal account remained un-suspended for a much longer time!

 

My Strategy – Go Stealth:

With a substantial chunk of money on the table and after some unsuccessful attempts at getting any information out of Amazon I setup a plan to go very stealth in the creation of another account. My plan I thought was bullet proof! Here are the steps I took…

  • New Entity
  • New Address
  • New Email
  • New Phone Number
  • New Contact Name
  • 301 Redirected Website to a NEW website URL
  • Logged in via a VPN I ONLY used to login to my Amazon associates account
  • Used a browser, in incognito mode, I ONLY used for logging into my Amazon associated account

However, a couple months later it was shutdown with the same message… how I do not know other than they may have physically followed the URL.

To see how a very succesful Amazon Affiliate handled this problem check out Brent Hale.

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t buy a site that has been associated with a banned account
  • Don’t connect someone to your account unless you absolutely have to!
  • Don’t connect yourself to an account unless you absolutely have to!
  • Ensure your sites are 100% compliant (easier said than done!)

 

Why This Pisses Me Off:

Other than the financial loss which will likely close at around $100k!

For every site I am trying very hard to be compliant with Amazon TOC’s, we are not doing anything sneaky and are simply trying to play by Amazon’s rules.

Amazon’s unwillingness to work with their associates/affiliates to resolve small issues drives us to take all kinds of strange actions!

 

Avoid This Pain – How to Ensure Your Amazon Associate Websites are 100% Compliant!

Like I said I hired someone full time in house to help systematize my business and had her spend a week doing the very not fun task of reading every single part of the various Terms and Conditions with Amazon associates accounts and turn it into an auditable process.

The plan was to ensure that every single one of our websites was 100% in compliant and before we could roll it out my account got suspended.

 

5 Steps I took to create an Amazon Audit Procedure for my Amazon Affiliate sites

 

  1. Reading of the Amazon Associates Programs Operating Agreement
  2. Creation of the “Associate Program Requirements Form”
  3. Creating a Standard Operating Procedure
  4. Hiring a Virtual Assistant and Giving Great Instructions
  5. Execute our Audit Procedure Yourself

 

Reading the Amazon Associates Programs Operating Agreement

Reading the Amazon Associates Programs Operating Agreement was probably the most challenging part of this task. You probably are not familiar with this piece of “literature”, but the Agreement is broken into about four different sections that are only accessible via a clickable in text link on the first page of the Agreement. These sections consist of the “Participation Requirements”, the “Trademark Guidelines”, the “ Linking Requirements”, and the “License Agreement”.

3-amazon 2-amazon 4-amazon

  1. To read the Associates Program Operating Agreement click here
  2. To read the Associates Program Participation Requirements click here
  3. To read the Associates Program Linking Requirements click here
  4. To read the Associates Program Trademark Guidelines click here

As you can see, these guidelines are not easily accessible, but if you have the time to read through the ten (10)  thousand word document of legal gibberish (took me about 7 hours to fully understand what the heck they were talking about), then your account MIGHT not get shut down.

 

Creating the “Associate Program Requirements Form”

To make sure that all of our sites were compliant, I decided that an “Audit” process should be performed on every Amazon Affiliate site by an outsourced Virtual Assistant (VA). After I read through the Operating Agreement and felt confident enough with the legal content, I starting building an Audit questionnaire based on these Requirements. I wanted to make sure that the questions were asked in a clear and simple way so that someone with little knowledge of Amazon Affiliate sites could understand and answer these questions accurately. The questionnaire allows you to also insert some images so that you can help guide the Virtual Assistant on where they can find certain website elements.

See example here:

5-question

 

I used Google Forms because I like that the form produces a Google Sheet where I can view all of the Audit Responses. I standardized the questions on the questionnaire so that if the Auditor had to answer “Yes”, it would mean that the question failed the Audit. This way, If I take a quick look at the responses, I’m able to see immediately which sites needed the most work based on how many “Yes” responses I got.

6-form

6-form

Creating a Standard Operating Procedure for the company

Since we have about 70+ sites, I knew this would be a gruelling task so I decided to create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which would allow me to outsource this work to a Virtual Assistant.

The SOP essentially provides a step by step guide and a clear process for all actions taken by the VA while executing the audit on our affiliate sites. The SOP also provides a clear process for how to remedy breaches of Amazon’s Terms and Conditions which, if done properly, will result in a compliant site. Check out the table below which shows the 15 steps we take to Audit and then make any necessary changes to make our sites compliant.

Action By: Step: Action:
Virtual Assistant 1 The VA must go to the Master List of Amazon Affiliate Sites
Virtual Assistant 2 The VA must select a URL and go to the site
Virtual Assistant 3 Once on the site, the VA must open the Associate’s Program Requirements Form and answer all questions
Virtual Assistant 4 If YES has been selected on the Form for any question, the VA must make corrective changes to the site for that question
Virtual Assistant 5 If the VA is unable to make corrective changes because the changes are Out of Scope, the VA must notify the Portfolio Manager
Portfolio Manager 6 The Portfolio Manager must review Out of Scope changes in conjunction with the site and create instructions for the WordPress VA
Portfolio Manager 7 Once the instructions are complete, the Portfolio Manager must send the instructions to the WordPress VA
WordPress VA 10 WordPress VA to implement all remaining  Out of Scope changes and alert Portfolio Manager of changes
Portfolio Manager 11 Portfolio Manager to inform VA of changes and instruct a Re-Test
VA 12 VA to re-test the site to ensure that all questions can be answered NO in compliance with Amazon’s Terms and Conditions
VA 13 VA to report status and completion of audit process to Portfolio Manager
Portfolio Manager 14 Portfolio Manager to look over all approved sites to confirm approved status
Portfolio Manager 15 Portfolio Manager to collect and reporting on status of progress and completion of Audit for each Amazon Affiliate site to the CEO

 

Hiring a Virtual Assistant ( VA) and Giving Great Instructions  

If you read my blog regularly, you might have read my post about hiring a VA. You can find it here if you want to read in depth.

What I like to do is hire a few VA’s via Upwork, give them a test (or in this case a site to audit) and see how they do. Since I want the VA to have the ability to not only find the issues on the site, but also to fix them, I’m going to look for a VA who has experience with wordpress sites.

Two things I like to look for is speed and quality. I can generally get a fast VA who outputs good quality work within a few hires. Once you find a great VA, send them lots and lots of work and great instructions!

Giving great instructions to the VA is absolutely necessary if you want them to produce the desired outcome. I have an instructions template that is specific to the Amazon process. If is broken up into 4 sections.

  1. The Purpose: Here I explain WHY the job needs to get done by providing a blurb about the purpose they are serving by executing this job.
  2. Responsibilities: Here I explain WHO is responsible and WHAT the responsibilities are
  3. Procedure: Here I explain HOW to execute the procedure step by step. I have included this 15 step procedure above.
  4. Table: Here is where I ask the VA to fill out the table if they have answered YES to any of the questions on the form

Example:

Login credentials for the wordpress site

  • Login:
  • Username:
  • Password:
Question number (#): Question:

(Copy and paste from form)

Why did you answer yes? (Short explanation)  
#
# Screenshot of BEFORE change: Screenshot of AFTER change:
#

 

Use My Audit Process & Don’t Get Your Account Suspended!

If you want to use my audit process for your own sites, click the google doc link below and make a copy of it in Google to have your own copy with your own spreadsheet:

Associates Program Requirements From for the Public:

 

Don’t have time? Let us Audit your site for you: Contact me if you would like my team to Audit your Amazon Affiliate site for you.

Read More

Cant Fail Amazon FBA Business Month 2 Update – 117% ROI in 2 Months

It has been 2 months since I decided I was going into the FBA Business with my “Can’t Fail FBA Business Plan” and here is my update!

Todays post is a fun one… I share a LOT of data/graphs and details about my journey over the last 2 months to get this business moving.

If you like numbers, business plans, excel, assumptions and sensitivity analysis you probably have issues (like me) but will enjoy this post…

Picture1 (more…)

Read More