Hey Courtney, I haven’t had any websites impacted with the update actually. I also don’t really even think about or care about keyword density in my articles either. My recommendation is to remember that Google’s goal is to provide the best search results and if your goal is to make a website that is genuinely better than the website currently ranking in the first position that the rest will follow (particularly if you’re going after an authority website approach)
If you pay attention to it—as I have, in so many hours as a professional human product reviewer—Amazon Choice’s sloppiness becomes apparent. Its product categorizations, for example, often don’t quite make sense: an eyebrow and lash growth serum earned the Amazon’s Choice label in the category of “magnetic eyelashes”—surely someone wanting instant giant lashes would be disappointed with a potion demanding continual use for an eventual result. When I checked the page again a few hours later, the designation had been moved to a set of actual false magnetic eyelashes. While the category was now correct, these lashes had just one review (four stars) and were not available on Amazon Prime. “May arrive after Christmas,” red letters above the buy buttons warned. Hmmm.
As with any affiliate program, your mileage will vary depending on how "ready to buy" the people you send to Amazon actually are. The key is to provide value on your site or blog and a reason to make a purchase. For example, if you run a blog dedicated to photography, start by doing a weekly in-depth product review of new digital cameras and accessories and include Amazon referral links in your review. The review should always be an honest assessment and provide content that is better than anything else on the subject. If you oversell, or come off as fake and commercialized, your readers will see right through the facade and click elsewhere.
“Amazon has shown a willingness to invest in American communities and build up in areas where there businesses are located,” Omar says. “We want to see the company make that same investment in American workers and make sure profits and benefits are being adequately and equitably distributed to their own workers. There is no better time to deliver this message than right now — during a month when the holiday season is increasing not only Amazon’s profitability, but also the pressure on their workers, and time they are asked to spend away from their families.”
Very informative. I left a comment because I know what it is like to spend hours or even days writing a great blog to not even have someone leave a simple comment one way or the other. I started making only something like $3.00 a month with Amazon affiliate when I first started, what a joke! I was about to quit when I read your article and like one other and found out there was real money to be made. Now I am making a million dollars a year…just kidding, I couldn’t even type that sentence with a straight face. Seriously though I have boosted my earnings to a high of around $96 to an average of like $45 a month with still isn’t much, but much better than my adsense earnings. Well good day and thanks for the insights.
LOVED this – thank you Chris. So glad I found it just as I was about to add a store to my blog. I think it would be a better idea to just start linking to Amazon in every recipe and post! (Right?) BTW – I’ve already shared this post on G+ and LinkedIn and sent it to a bunch of friends. I always wish peeps would TELL me when they share my stuff, so here I am telling you. 🙂
If the warehouse deals wasn’t enough, Amazon also have an outlet section. This is where they stick their overstocks, older models, overruns, closeouts, and markdowns. The items are all new, but they put a deep discount on them in order to sell. Right now, you can typically score a deal up to 60% off the regular price. It’s a pretty good section to look at. Not every category has an outlet section, but they deal mostly with clothing, electronics, outdoor equipment, musical instruments, and a few more. You can typically find outlet deals for Amazon’s most popular categories.
Armed with this knowledge you’d think that people would spend more time testing their theme or website layout to determine the optimal way to make money from their website right? Well, this is precisely why once you get your website to start earning ~$1,000 per month you should consider testing out a new theme. It doesn’t make sense to start testing theme changes or try moving to a new theme until you are making at least ~$1,000 per month.
If you’re an avid RV’er with a mobile lifestyle, Amazon CamperForce could be a great opportunity for you to make some money! Amazon will pay your campsite fees (plus most utilities) if you travel to their designated campground to work for the holiday season – from early Fall through December 23. As a member of Amazon’s CamperForce, you will spend three or four months picking, packing, stowing, and receiving orders and merchandise. They don’t advertise their pay, but do state that they’re “good wages” and you receive a shift differential depending on which shift you work. If you work overtime, you’ll be paid time and a half; you can also earn a completion bonus by working the full season through to December 23. That’s all in addition to having most of your living costs paid! And you can earn referral bonuses as well.
One of the ways I’ve also been able to make good money with Amazon is to automatically populate information from a WordPress plugin that I had developed based on the needs I had for building Amazon centric websites. The result was EasyAzon. The plugin allows you to insert information and affiliate links to Amazon in a much faster way than creating the links yourself by hand from Amazon.com.
In March 2015, it was reported in The Verge that Amazon will be removing non-compete clauses of 18 months in length from its US employment contracts for hourly-paid workers, after criticism that it was acting unreasonably in preventing such employees from finding other work. Even short-term temporary workers have to sign contracts that prohibit them from working at any company where they would "directly or indirectly" support any good or service that competes with those they helped support at Amazon, for 18 months after leaving Amazon, even if they are fired or made redundant.
Retail arbitrage isn’t for everyone, because it involves a lot of research and time to find places that are having crazy liquidation and clearance sales (there are even sites you can subscribe to that will give you the inside scoop on where to go for the cheapest liquidation sales), plus it will most likely involve driving to the retail location to pick up the items.
Great article. Thanks for writing it. I am right now picking my theme and building my wordpress. I have my hosting and domain name. What I don’t get though from the article is whether you have to apply to Amazon to be an affiliate or if they accept everyone. How does that all work? Like if I build my site and post links to amazon’s products, they wouldn’t have my details to pay me my commission. Do the templates do all that for you automatically? I am finding it hard to choose one because I want one that automatically integrates the amazon products without making my blog look like a shop per se. I’m going to have a look on the amazon site to see if there’s any clues there. But I thought that was the finishing and crucial touch, which forgive me, seems missing from your well explained and detailed article.
It’s probably worth asking an account rep if you can add “nofollow” to those links and stay compliant. For SEO, it’s not worth worrying about probably. Google has said before that they handle things like this for affiliate programs on their end if the program is big enough (i.e. they have enough data to understand what is going on), and Amazon is the biggest in the world. That’s just my gut, though.
Thanks for your point for point description of what has worked for you. You have certainly given credibility to testing your results. Doing the technical aspect of setting the structured sites and e-mail marketing has been challenging for me. You have clearly described how the more sales you make your percentage goes up and you make more money. Apparently there are tested formulas that work for Amazon sales and getting people to Amazon sounds like a winner.
To sign up, you just head over here. You don’t need to have your .edu email in your Amazon account, but they will use it to verify you’re truly a student. The program will end after four years of your sign up or they can’t verify your student status any longer, whichever comes first. This is just an easy way to save on Prime and get some discounts on books.
"Search Inside the Book" is a feature which allows customers to search for keywords in the full text of many books in the catalog. The feature started with 120,000 titles (or 33 million pages of text) on October 23, 2003. There are about 300,000 books in the program. Amazon has cooperated with around 130 publishers to allow users to perform these searches.
The same goes for when Amazon starts selling a product against you. The best retail arbitrage opportunities are when you're competing against other third party sellers – because it's a level playing field. However, if Amazon decided that Skyline Chili sells so well that they want to start buying and selling it directly, they'll probably have a retail price similar to your local store.
Just one thing probably you would like to update in this post is the list of themes for Amazon affiliate website. I believe 3/5 are not available in the marketplace now. So it’s little annoying when you go in search for a theme and read the whole lot of information and started liking it but later you figure out that theme is no longer available for sale.