I had Amazon affiliate links on my sites for over a year and only made a couple of sales. Finally pulled it all down.
Product dependent. You can receive a significant amount of revenue quarter to quarter but it tends to limit your own product sales since the only way (usually) of getting much out of this is to advertise "top picks" that directly compete against your own products.
Incidently three years with various clients in this, and never one affiliate sale that provided 15% referral, 5% only.
I make money from them on one site. I won't retire on the proceeds but I get a nice check from them each quarter although I tend to sell more expensive ($100+) items more often than books. I like using them because they are a stable company and it is very little work for me to keep up.
To make any real money off of Amazon you need good search engine placement and plenty of traffic. I'd say 50,000 - 60,000 unique visitors a month for starters. I don't use the Amazon provided search boxes, etc. I've had much better success attaching my own articles to Amazon provided photos. Also, the items I sell are directly related to the content on my site.
Amazon search boxes are for random sales. You can't make money off of random sales.
I sell a lot of books through Amazon. I've found that my pages have to place well on Google in order to sell books. I think it's because Google is the SE people use who are information oriented and probably more likely to buy books.
|I'd say 50,000 - 60,000 unique visitors a month for starters. I don't use the Amazon provided search boxes, etc. I've had much better success attaching my own articles to Amazon provided photos. Also, the items I sell are directly related to the content on my site. |
Amazon search boxes are for random sales. You can't make money off of random sales.
My experience is exactly the same. I tried the boxes and removed them all. I never sold anything from them. Individual books can sell well if you have very targeted pages. For example a page on blue widgets with green embriodery could do well selling a book called "A Guide to Blue Widgets with Green Emboidery".
I've been an Amazon affiliate for over three years. In that time, I've made a lot of money from my Amazon links. I not only do books, but a number of other product lines as well. I get nice checks quarterly, although they used to be larger. Over the last year, I haven't focused as heavily on Amazon as I used to. There are many other fish to fry in the affiliate game. And there are some serious drawbacks to the Amazon program as compared with many of the others.
Just throwing up Amazon banners is practically useless. It takes product specific targeted pages to make this work.
I'll add my vote of agreement. I've tested all kinds of links, including the nifty "targeted search" ads. Nothing produces like targeted content with a direct link to the relevant title. Plus, you may get 15% instead of 5. Amazon is really tricky about that, though. If your buyer doesn't click on your link and buy immediately, you'll get knocked down to 5%. Even if the buyer checks another title, looks at shipping charges, etc., you'll lose the high margin.
My company is going to look at implementing Amazon's XML Web Services. We'll see how that turns out..
I would say it's very much like any other affiliate scheme use links but stay on content, simply placing the amazon search box on your page wont create sales. Use links within your text and link direct to specific products.
Indeed, text links are the way to go with Amazon.com .. I found I needed to be a little tricky about it but it is definately a cash cow.
I run a gaming web site and found the two best ways to use amazon are through news articles and a direct text link in my navbar. When putting it into the navbar don't say anything about amazon but instead post it under a category 'other information' or 'see also'.
On my site I get 17k unique users/day .. and my link 'NEW! Prima Guide' in my navbar directs ~500 people a day to amazon and of them 1 to 8 buys it. The nice thing about amazon is that when they buy something, they tend to buy something else (albeit at only 5%).
When the game NeverWinter Nights came out I made an announcement and put up a link to amazon in it. I sold 47 copies, 5 prima guides and 20 other things that day .. raking in over 200$. Wish I could have more days like those :).
[edited by: engine at 10:50 am (utc) on Aug. 9, 2002]
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Targetted amazoning is good :) I get a few sales a month for a single link i have on my site. and people buy all sorts of other stuff. its not huge bucks but it helps pay for my domains ;)
Amazon's got a new developer's platform that is REALLY cool and I hope it'll be a lot more effective for my movies site. In the past, I've had to rely on searchboxes and taking the time to enter in ASIN #'s into my database - which, for 12,000 movies and only slightly fewer soundtracks, there isn't really enough time.
I've been working on the scripting and, despite a few little glitches here and there (some movies with only 1 name in the title, or movies that are way off into the future tend to screw it up on occasion), I've put up the "Movies" section. Now, when you go to the details page for any movie in my database, it fleshes out general movie information with info from the Amazon Database. For example, I've rarely taken the time to enter in the theatrical and/or Video release dates into my database, so I just poll Amazon and get the data if it exists.
Further down the page, it lists all the different versions of the video available (DVD, VHS, DVD Director's Cut, etc) or, if it's in theaters, it'll list it as "Now Playing". When you click on a title, you get to another page (still on my site) that gives you product details, reviews, and all of that, plus a BUY button. If you click the Buy button it is the First Time my client leaves my site to visit Amazon (great for not losing traffic).
Another thing that's cool here is that I've got it polling for related books, too. This way, if there's a novelization (or the movie is based on a novel), that will show up, as well. Good for things like "Silence of the Lambs" and that sort of stuff. (It's also good for kids movies like "Josie and the Pussycats" as it pops out a whole huge list of kids books).
Still to do is add the "add to my wishlist" buttons and a few other pieces of data I can manage to glean out of the database. Once all that is done (the movies are the hardest part as they often have similar names, so you've got to come up with the right film - that's where most of my bugs in the system lie, but it's pretty rare).
After that, I do the same thing for each actor in the database (and books will show up if there are biographies, or the person has written something on their own - such as Howard Stern). Should be pretty cool. I'm really happy with the movie results right now. Another couple hours of bug smashing and it'll be perfect.
Link to my site is in my profile if you want to check it out. Just browse movies along the sidebar, or search for one and you'll get right to the details page.
|Targetted amazoning is good I get a few sales a month for a single link i have on my site. and people buy all sorts of other stuff. its not huge bucks but it helps pay for my domains |
About a third of my Amazon sales are products that aren't even listed on my site. True, I don't get as large a commision from these sales as I do from the direct links, but it beats a kick in the head.
|it beats a kick in the head |
Yeah, I'm amazed at some of the weird stuff we get credit for. We target books on a highly specific topic, but occasionally get commissions on books of ALL types, DVDs, consumer electronics, etc. It's a slow way to get rich, though. ;)
Yeah, you never know. Try a "Woodstock Percussion WWCS Woodstock Wee Celtic Chime".
|About a third of my Amazon sales are products that aren't even listed on my site. |
a friend of mine wrote a book (top 500 of amazon.de). i installed a amazon-ASIN-link on the book's homepage, only for this very book. (no amazon-homepage-link, no search-field.)
to my surprise the 5%-sales of OTHER books during the sessions induced by the link about outnumbered the (already numerous) sales of this very book. quite a surprise.
One thing you have to remember about Amazon is that if they click the link for a product you have listed, a cookie gets set. They say the cookie lasts 24 hours and if anyone makes ANY qualified purchase during that time you get credit for it. I have suspicions that the cookie actually lasts a lot longer than that, though. In my experience, if someone clicks your link, you'll get credit for their next purchase, period (unless, of course, they click someone else's link and that cookie overwrites your own).
I think the "extension" of cookie duration is just a quiet little thing Amazon did to improve Associate Relations. There really aren't many folks getting rich from them (although, I will say that since adding my web services features to my site that my overall number of clicks are down, but so far this month I've had as many sales as I've had in the three months prior). It's really no hair off of Amazon's backside to give out a nickle on the dollar and by increasing the cookie duration, they're "spreading" that nickle around a bit.
I have amazon links for audiophile CDs on one of my sites.
To my amazement, I have sold baby toys and movies more than anything, though a majority of my click throughs are for the CDs on the site. I sell few CDs.
Though my users are interested in baby toys, I have no idea how to work baby toys into that site's content. :)
It's nice to have some payback even if they decided the CD wasn't important but found an interest in something else.
I have two complaints against them: their reporting can be as much as a week behind, and they pay only 2.5% for marketplace sales.
Quick question. I vaguely remember that in the past Amazon didn't allow you to have other affiliate links on a page if you were an Amazon affiliate.
I looked through their affiliate contract today and didn't notice any such restrictions. So can you be a member of other affiliate programs, as well as an Amazon affiliate, and put both of their links on your site at the same time?
Last time I checked the contracts, Amazon lets you have links to other book affiliates, but Barnes and Noble wants exclusivity (with a few exceptions for specialty and foreign book dealers).
I suspect this is because B+N has highr prices so they know they'll probably come out behind if people have the opportunity to comparison shop within the same site. Amazon may not have the friendliest affiliate program around, but I think they have the best combination of lowest pices/good name recognition of any of the online book stores. I know a lot of the moms of my kids' friends (my informal market research group) only buy at books and CDs online from Amazon because they've never heard of most of the other online bookstores.
Its a pity, there's a specialty book I want to sell on my site but its only carried at B+N. For all of the other books on my site I get a much better conversion rate with Amazon than I do with B+N, so it's not worth giving B+N an exclusive just to sell that one book.
>Its a pity, there's a specialty book I want to sell on my site but its only carried at B+N
From humble storefront beginnings in 1971 on a derelict corner of northwest Portland, Powell's Books has grown into one of the world's great bookstores (www.powells.com), serving customers worldwide.
Powell's offers 10% on every sale you bring them.
They used to do Amazon's used books for them.
Barnes and Noble dropped their exclusivity clause. You can now have other book affiliates.
Powell's is excellent.
|From humble storefront beginnings in 1971 on a derelict corner of northwest Portland, Powell's Books has grown into one of the world's great bookstores (www.powells.com), serving customers worldwide. |
Even Powell's doesn't carry this book. I just checked. I think the editors have an exclusive on the series this book is in with B+N.
> Barnes and Noble dropped their exclusivity clause. You can now have > other book affiliates.
Brad, thanks for the update. I've got a high ranking page on a highly targeted topic. I think there is only one book in print on the topic in the whole world and now I can carry it on my site! Woo-hoo.