Why You Should Avoid Building An Entire Website Around Amazon!
Yea, I said it.
I know everyone loves Amazon, right?
Seems like the ideal program to build a website around because it’s so easy to convert sales for them, right?
I thought that too.
For years I was running a blog that made over $100,000 annually in Amazon Associates commissions.
It was awesome, no doubt.
But last year that all changed when Amazon dropped the nuclear bomb on their Associates income.
There were always FLAWS to being an Amazon Associate but the fact that I was making decent commissions outweighed the bad crap about their affiliate program…
But now.. well, not so much.
I don’t believe anyone should build a website with the intention of only using the Amazon Associates program as a means to monetize.
I’m glad you asked.
1. The Referral Fees
Before, we were able earn more in referral fees by selling more products, it was a tier program and every month we start out at 4% and we could reach commissions as high as 8.5%!
It was a decent amount of change for the volume I sold.
I consistently hit 8.5% every single month for YEARS!
But now, it’s fixed rate.
A really low fixed rate for most categories.
There’s no guarantee they won’t drop it again either.
Check out gift cards and wine.. a whopping ZERO!
That’s a really sad amount if someone comes along and buys gift cards!
Imagine waking up to a $10,000 sale that you made – but the affiliate program pays you $0?
It happens more than you think!
If that doesn’t suck, well I have more, don’t worry.
2. The TOS
Amazon has so many “gray” areas in their TOS that they can literally shut you down for anything.
There are numerous stories of people being shut down by Amazon Associates and never receiving their commissions for the items they sold.
This was always a big fear for me when I was making a ton of money.
Amazon changes their terms of service like I change my underwear, OFTEN!
They have so many rules that contradict one another that you really have no idea what you’re doing, no one does.
We try to comply the best we can but do we really know for sure if we’re ever fully in compliance? Nope.
What’s worse is you can call Amazon representatives for the Associates program and you will get totally different answers.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the rules were clear and concise?
Amazon’s terms of service are so extensive and spread out it that it makes it hard to follow unless you’ve got some sort of legal background.
Most of us are just bloggers, not lawyers.
It’s hard to afford lawyers on Amazon commissions.
3. The Cookie Duration
Amazon has a 24 cookie, that’s it.
A cookie is set when a visitor leaves your site and goes to Amazon and you have a 24 hour period from that point for them to buy something.
The standard for most other affiliate programs is at least 30 days.
There are plugins out there “that claim they can extend your Amazon cookie to 90 days,” but that’s not what’s going on at all.
It’s not a 90-day cookie, its an extension and it’s not the most ideal way to go about making Amazon sales.
The plugin is forcing the reader to put an item in their cart on Amazon, which forces a 90 day extension on that item only.
You won’t get credit for other sales and the reader may click off completely because they were expecting to go to a detail page, not to their cart.
Amazon only gives a 24 hour cookie. That’s it.
There’s no reoccurring commissions and there’s no money to be made once your 24 hour cookie crumbles.
Amazon Should Not Be Your Game Plan in Affiliate Marketing!
Those gurus out there are going to send you emails on how you can build an Amazon review site in a week and make millions, I know.. 🙄
But the truth is, they are blowing smoke up your (__[__) to make a $27 sale on their eBook.
If you want a long lasting revenue stream out of your website, don’t build it with all your hopes piled on Amazon.
I know they are easy to make sales with, but 5 sales on Amazon might buy a burger, but 5 sales with a higher paying program could pay your electric bill!
I know this for a fact.
I built another niche site last year and it’s already making $600 a month with WAY less sales per month.
I make $22-53 per sale now instead of some change.
When I created this niche, I created it with the intention of diversifying it’s income because I know from personal experience that you can’t rely solely on one income stream (especially Amazon).
Yes, Amazon is a powerhouse of conversion but the commissions are low, the TOS is strict and the cookie duration is so short.
There are a TON of better affiliate programs out there that will pay you so much more (and some on a reoccurring basis),
I’m not against using Amazon because I still use them too but getting to 6-figures a year is a lot harder these days, especially if you’re just starting out.
Start considering digital products because those tend to pay more than physical goods on average.
People are consuming digital information all the time – ebooks and videos are very popular ways to deliver content and the affiliate commissions can be really good!
Think outside the box.
Perhaps you can create your own products or services?
Whatever you do, don’t build your whole website around Amazon Associates affiliate program!