In the blogging world it’s common to hear other bloggers talking about ways to make income. One of those ways is by using affiliate links. An affiliate link is a link with a tracking code; when a person clicks on that link and buys the product you get a commission on that purchase. Affiliate links are a great way to make passive income (see how much I make with affiliate income per month.)
“Amazon must stop using fear, discipline and firing as tools to consistently speed up the work being done,” adds Muse. “Workers are fighting so these are not only good jobs where they have decent pay and benefits, but jobs where they can stay and grow. The rate is at levels that people burn out and are treated as disposable. People are getting hurt and having their bodies wear out because of the stress from increased productivity demands. No job’s workload should mean choosing between risking someone’s health and losing their paycheck.”
At 4 pm, as the winter sun was setting on the Shakopee business park, about 30 workers walked out of the fulfillment center to the cheers of the crowd gathered on the edge of the property. “Haa aan awoodno!” they chanted, which means “Yes we can” in Somali. Abdukadir Ahmed was the first one to reach the crowd. Tall and thin with black fleece earmuffs covering his tight curls, the 35-year-old arrived in Minneapolis from Egypt in March of last year, and has been working at Amazon as a package scanner for a year and a half. On a typical day, he says, he will work a 10-hour shift, and scan and rebin up to 600 packages each hour. “They’re always pushing, pushing all the time,” says Ahmed. “Nobody appreciates us, they just treat us like robots.” He’d like to see his hourly rate drop to something more like 180 packages per hour.
Small-scale bloggers like Robey won’t be the only ones hit by the rate changes. Publications like The Wirecutter have built thriving businesses entirely on affiliate payments, which are made by vendors like Amazon whenever a referred customer buys a product. Though a number of companies offer similar programs, Amazon’s affiliate system is the most lucrative, and auto-tagged product links have become a significant part of many online businesses’ revenue. (That includes The Verge, which auto-generates affiliate links in some cases.) Though the relationship can be lucrative, it’s also entirely subject to Amazon’s discretion — and as Robey and others are learning, it can often change with little to no warning.
Research your niche – To maximize your Amazon earnings, you need to build a site where you can sell the products. More importantly, you need to determine the niche your site will be about. Some niches will be much more profitable than others. On the other hand, the high-earning niches may not be in line with your hobbies or interests. Therefore, you need to find the perfect balance between profit and passion so you can sustain the site until it makes money.
Ibrahin, who works a 12-hour night shift from 5:30 pm to 6 am, says she’s worked about 20 different jobs since moving to the US as a 16-year-old in 2004. These jobs include working a fishing boat in the middle of the ocean off the coast of Alaska, cleaning Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, and packing at a Target warehouse. Her current job at Amazon, she says, has been her hardest.
My biggest frustration is how to drive my target to my site and links. I have to do YouTube videos as part of what I told the publisher I would do. I have cards in my YouTube videos to try to steer the traffic to my site where they can look at the offerings in a very organized fashion (which really is one of two places on the web that provide this for this publisher). I just want to work smarter instead of harder. I have had so many people thank me for the videos but it is not converting through the affiliate links. I can’t stop the YouTube videos because it is part of the agreement. Also posting the reviews on Amazon.com in the product reviews. I don’t think I can add a link to my site in product reviews.
Learn the ins and outs of the Amazon platform or you’re going to be operating at a disadvantage right from the start. Understand how the process works and the different types of selling and fulfillment options available to you — will you be doing self fulfillment or Fulfillment by Amazon? Use all resources available to you to learn as much as you can.
For Mike, who got married and became a dad during his almost two decades at Amazon, ownership isn't just about getting work done; it's about leaving work behind and recharging with family. "I manage my schedule really aggressively," he says. "If you let your calendar get filled up with non-essential stuff, you're not owning your career, and you're not owning your path. You can be scrappy. You can be entrepreneurial. You don't have to give up your personal life."