This post is not a rant. Rather, I want to help marketers & business owners understand – why you probably shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket and ‘go-all-out’.
Here’s a screenshot from my Amazon Associates (forAudio Mentor) account today.
Tomorrow onwards (21st April), the earnings will be halved, and actually be much lesser.
Last week, Amazon decided to make a dramatic cut to the commission rates for its affiliate program – where anyone, individuals or businesses receive a cut of revenue from the sale if they referred a customer to Amazon through an affiliate link.
While this isn’t the first commission cut, this is definitely the biggest cut (ever since I became an Amazon affiliate).
Take a look at the commission fee schedule, before:
And the soon-to-be commission fee schedule:
In the world of affiliate marketing, a single-digit commission is extremely low. You can usually find deals up to 45% or more. Again, depending on if the product is a tangible or intangible product.
Take a look at Namecheap’s affiliate fee schedule below:
Two questions you probably have right now, if you’re an affiliate marketer or if you’re planning to start.
Q1: What can I do with Amazon’s slashing their commissions?
If you have only relied on Amazon Associates to monetize your website and content, then it’s time to diversify your income streams.
There are many good options, including affiliates programs from smaller companies.
- Impact – Many digital companies partner with the Impact platform to manage their affiliate programs. (Namecheap, Envato, etc.)
- Clickbank – Lots of digital products to promote. But I’m not a fan.
- Shareasale – Another affiliate marketing network with over 3,900+ merchants.
- Shopify Affiliate – Everyone is going online right now, why not promote Shopify?
Just do a Google search for: “Brand/company name” + “affiliate”.
Find brands or companies with products/services that you actually use and love, before promoting it.
The key to affiliate marketing or digital marketing, in general, is to diversify. Sure, I often showcase AudioMentor.com as a site I monetize with Amazon Associates, but that’s not the only revenue source.
Other revenue streams on the site include:
- Google Adsense
- YouTube partner program
- Other affiliate partners
- Media sponsorships & brand mentions.
The point is – don’t put all your eggs into one basket.
How many times have we heard a business lose all their revenues because they only had a Facebook page?
Or the other time when a Google algorithm update came about, and a site like Mercola.com got buried in the search engine?
Q2: Should I still join Amazon Associates?
Yes, you should. Amazon is still one of the largest E-commerce sites on the planet, selling everything your readers probably need. (Amazing, to think they started off as an online bookstore.)
This directly means you get better conversion rates when you refer visitors.
Sure, the commissions are bad. However, if you’re new to affiliate marketing, starting with Amazon Associates will give you the best learning experience – given that they have lots of tools for affiliates. And once you’ve made some revenue, you’ll be equipped with the skillsets needed to monetize on other platforms.
Some positive things:
- Up to 3% in some categories, and bounties for others.
- Easier to see conversions, because Amazon is trustable. (Try promoting a no-name brand and see your conversions take a dip.)
- The criteria to join is quite low.
- Huge product inventory. You even get commissions when your visitors purchase other items on the site.
And the bad things:
- OK.. 3% is really low. You have to make it up with the volume.
- 24-hour cookie duration only. (Unless you use a plugin to enable users to add-to-cart)
- No recurring income.
- Hard to add extra value to products you recommend.
In conclcusion, better to see Amazon Associates as a supplementary revenue source, than your main one.
Bonus question. How much money can you make with Amazon affiliate?
It’s hard to answer this question because it depends on your niche and your audience’s geo-location. Your audience volume also plays a part of course.
I’ve seen people make a few dollars a month and some who became wealthy as an Amazon Affiliate (they are ones who got hit the hardest currently). So there’s no real way to answer this.
As for myself – I’ve used some of the revenue from Amazon Affiliate to fund my engagement and to throw a wedding dinner, so I think that’s pretty good.
Sign up for Amazon Associates here: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/
Learn to monetize your content online (with Amazon affiliates, and beyond) in my course at LEAD here: https://thelead.io/affiliate-marketing-profit-core
And seriously, it’s not the end of the world. Affiliate deals are everywhere. Below is an outreach email I got in my email as I’m putting the finishing touch to this post.