Why Your Amazon Affiliate Site Is Failing Miserably

by El Plumber (admin) on October 17, 2009

amazon best shopping season Why Your Amazon Affiliate Site Is Failing MiserablySome of the mainstays of Ethical Affiliate Marketing are always provide readers and search engines valuable content, never use any black hat techniques for driving sales or traffic, and only promoting real products that have real value.

With that in mind, we’ve been part of the Amazon Affiliate program for a year now, and have used various techniques and websites to drive traffic to Amazon and earn over $10,000 in profits since starting last fall.  Part of that was by advertising Amazon products on Google Adwords before Amazon decided to stop the practice.  But the rest comes from a couple of websites we made that did product recommendations and reviews.

Amazon can be a fickle beast for affiliates, since the affiliate cookie used to track the purchases only lasts for 24 hours, but Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world and thus move a CRAP TOP of products.  Their revenue last year, meaning the amount of money they brought in for sales of products and advertising and everything else, was $19 BILLION dollars.  That’s Billion with a B.  A big B.  From that they made over $600 Million in profits.  So if you can guess at an average item price they ship, I’d say it’s probably hovering around $15.  That’s an average since they sell lots of paperbacks for $5, bestsellers for $15-20, and tons of larger items like video games and power tools in the $40-$950,000 range.   That’s right, you can buy a $950,000 giant diamond on Amazon.  Divide $15 per item by the revenue and that makes… carry the 1… probably over 1 BILLION products sold.

So the Amazon Affiliate program is quite popular despite the fact that it only pays out on average 6-8% of a sale (it’s really 4%-15% depending on product types and numbers sold) and only for items added to your Amazon cart within 24 hours of clicking your affiliate link to Amazon.

Thus there has grown up an industry to basically scam people into thinking they can use a magic script to create an online store filled with Amazon products and have money just start pouring in!  Ummm, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but really?  You thought it would be that easy?

Let’s break it down with some examples.  If it seems to you that we’re bashing on your site, look at it as practical advice and a free link!

Look at your Amazon Affiliate Site From an Outsiders Perspective – Does It Attract You In?

Would you buy anything from your Amazon affiliate site?  Look at it with a very critical eye and think, if I came to this site from some other site, would I be interested in clicking on anything?  Of would you head for the door?  Your site must be well laid out and relevant to what a visitor is interested in.

Bad Example: cookwithbrian.com.  There is nothing on the home page but blinking banners and ads.  Even if I did click through to one of your categories (which I never would), they’re just pages with one Amazon widget on them.  Google will hate your site.  There is very little original content to attract search engines to rank your site well.

Good Example: besttoysguide.com.  Well designed and attractive.  Plenty of original reviews over 500 words long which include YouTube videos of the product in question.  Updates with new reviews frequently, 3-4 per week on average.  Main page has links to their targeted keywords.  No Amazon affiliate links on the homepage only sub pages. Google LOVES stuff like that and besttoysguide.com site ranks very well for a number of popular search terms.  I bet they’ll make a nice chunk of change this Christmas season and the site deserves it.

Do You Have Traffic?

Lots of people comment in the Amazon Associates forum that they bought a site from someone and they get no traffic and can not imagine why hordes of people are not spontaneously typing in greatthingstobuytoday.com into their browser.  You need to earn traffic!  Either through paid advertising or through getting links back to your site from other sites.  The more links you get, the more ways for people to find you, and your site will rise up in the search engine rankings.  If you expect Google to send you traffic because you setup a site that just duplicates a bunch of descriptions from Amazon with your affiliate link in them, you are sadly mistaken.  You need clear compelling unique content with targeted keywords to rank in Google.

Bad Example: life-user.blogspot.com.  Subject matter is all over the place, any traffic they get is likely from people clicking the “Next Blog” link in Blogspot then quickly moving on.  Start over life-user.  Go grab a real hosting account and three domains around your top two interests, heavy metal, geek tech, then FOCUS the each site on that topic.  Signup for a Google Adwords account and use the keyword tool to find top keywords for those interests, then write posts around them.

Good Example: www.dvdbeaver.com.  Clear relevant products and advertisements laser targeted to the sites focus.  People come there for DVD reviews and advice, and the site delivers.  Traffic is high for a site with just DVD reviews, with Alexa putting them in the top 50,000 sites on the planet out of hundreds of millions.  That ranking puts them in the thousands of visitors a day level.

Is Your Traffic Relevant To Your Ads?

If you think you have “traffic” but are not getting clicks or any actual sales, is your traffic targeted to your site and what products you are promoting.  Again, look at it from an outsiders perspective.  How would you get to your site?  And not just how would you get there, but would you be looking for the products you are promoting when you do get there?  For example, if people find your site through an ad you place or search engine, is the page what they are looking for?  Good traffic can have a click through rate over 20% and a conversion rate (that’s the rate of purchases made vs clicks through to Amazon) of 10% or more.   Bad traffic can have a click through rate of less than 1% which basically represents misclicks and no conversions.

Bad Example: paulanealmooney.com – Paula does a lot of things right on her sites.  She targets trending keywords which Google loves to rank highly for a few weeks.  Sorry to pick on you Paula, can I call you Paula by the way?  You left a comment here a few weeks back and have multiple pages that talk about various Google scams that are heavily targeted to search engine queries for the scams, yet the sidebar is filled with ads for books about how everyone is going to Hell when they die.  Maybe you want the Google Biz Kit scammers to go to hell, but that stuff is not relevant at all to the visitors you are trying to attract.   Luckily your blog is WordPress based and can easily be fixed.  Create categories for your posts, then use a plugin called Widget Context to deliver targeted ad widgets to the content for that category.  Hell books for posts in the religious categories, money making books for Google scam categories, toys for toy posts, etc.  Do that and I’d bet you double your Amazon earnings easily.

Good Example: gosale.com.  Most pages are just price comparisons between different Amazon 3rd party sellers, but the pages are very relevant to the product search that will bring a person to that site.  Similar products to the one searched for are listed and a review is there for each product.

Want Us To Review Your Amazon Site?

Drop the site in the comments below if you are feeling brave and want actual unbiased and truthful feedback.  I’ll give it to you…

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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula Neal Mooney October 18, 2009 at 12:18 am

It’s funny, I was just scanning this post, thinking — oh man, I hope my site’s not in the bad category — then up pops my name!

And yes, feel free to call me Paula.

Um, the books are actually about NOT going to hell, but some people make that assumption, since that’s the first assumption I made when I saw the “23 Minutes in Hell” book in Walmart a year or so ago.

Sometimes I think — man I could make more money using that website real estate for other ads — but those books have changed my life so much, it’s worth having them there.

It’s more like an eternal investment so much more important than trying to further my Amazon income, which — by the by, has dramatically increased lately.

I’ve found that going outside the box and boring web ideas has amazingly helped me. Like the time last year when the Lord helped me go on a juice fast and I didn’t log on to my Amazon account all week. And when I did, I was amazed to find one post about Oprah and the Kindle had earned me over $3,500 in Amazon earnings — not sales but earnings — just for that week.

So go with your gut. You never know…

…and thanks for the link love. At least they’re talking about you, as the saying goes.

Antony October 18, 2009 at 2:26 am

Hey El Admin,

You have just uncovered another scam. I wonder if you realize that. How about making this one yet another cautionary tale for your readership?

The owner of the first site – dwlane.com is likely out a lot of $$$ right now. Far more than the few hundred $$ a month than the Google Cash types take folks for.

While dwlane.com doesn’t look like much, it cost anywhere in the neighborhood of $1500.00USD to $6000.00USD to have “developed”.

The poor owner of dwlane is an innocent who fell for the high-pressure sales tactics of a group called some outfit called the “Onlinehostingnetwork” who promises to build you an “Amazon Store”, often with a banner or two from a couple of other popular affiliate programs. They also promise a minimum of say, 10,000 (useless) clicks to “get your business off the ground”.

Of course, as El Admin notes, dwlane’s store is not likely to generate much if any sales. dwlanes “Coach” at the “Onlinehostingnetwork” will soon offer “help”. The “help”? Well, because s/he only invested $1500.00USD for the “Basic” package, the “coach” will do a hard-sell to get dwlane to upgrade to the “Platinum” package for about $3500 which is absolutely certain to generate the promised riches — likely another banner or two and some more empty promises.

Of course, even the Platinum level will begin to wear down dwlane’s patience after a while. However having invested so much effort (read dollars) in this website, the Coach will aggressively suggest upgrading to the 5K “Gold” package.

Of course the “Gold” package will be similarly yield nary a sale. At this point, the “Coach” gets harder and harder to contact since the max $$$ have been taken from the unsuspecting dwlane and heaven forbid dwlane should contact an attorney or the FTC or the local DA’s office in Phoenix. These schemes seem to thrive in AZ, possibly because of some loophole in the law. Also the “Onlinehostingnetwork” is likely to undergo a name change if things get complicated and will morph into one a new company name among the galaxy of similar operations that operate in this cruel manner. Company names in these sort of schemes change faster than you change your undergarments.

IMO, this sort of high-pressure, heavy-duty, big ticket scam is much more pernicious than even the slimy “Adwords Riches” spam offers that are all over out Inboxes each morning. The Adwords type scams which will create the headache of cancelling credit cards are pikers on the scale of evil compared to the outfits that “helped” dwlane create that “store”.

Those “stores” often wipe out the live savings of the unsuspecting and folks desperate to make a living in this so difficult times. Contracts are signed, in-your-face high pressure “investment” tactics have been honed by the “Coaches” and the companies behind them.

It’s enough to make one almost thankful if they’ve only been taken by a “Google Millions” scam which I believe was the impetus for El Admin starting this blog to educate folks to the lies and just barely within the law “opportunities” that we’re inundated with.

El Admin, I think it’s time for a new thread devoted to these types of operations. While I’ve only read of angry folks taken by “Google Riches”, I’ve been brought near tears after reading of folks who “invested” thousands of dollars in a “store” like dwlane.

Antony

Retrofaze December 4, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Thanks for this article. I found it to be very useful. Your examples of good and bad really showed exactly what you were talking about with each topic. I now know why my affiliate program is failing me miserably! Thanks a bunch!

gary osmond December 21, 2009 at 4:52 pm

When I was contacted by Online Hosting network and asked them where they were located I checked their adress and it comes back to a UPS store. Its a scam!

Brian December 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Please review and give comments.

El Plumber (admin) December 27, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Brian,
Read everything above about dwlanes.com. Your site is complete and utter junk, it’s a cookie cutter copy site from the Online Hosting Network that’s just filled with links to Amazon and Drugstore.com. I’ll be absolutely and completely shocked if you make more than $100 a year off that site.

Seriously, try to get your money back at all costs.

Chris December 30, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Thanks for highlighting my blog Life User (any publicity is good publicity). I agree that my lack of a single fixed topic is a weakness, but I don’t think your advice is as relevant to me as to the average blogger, because I’m a university student. I don’t have the expertise to write about tech regularly (except product reviews, which would require that I spend hundreds of dollars every week buying a new gadget to review) or the free time to listen to and review new music regularly. So if I followed your suggestion, my two blogs would probably each get only one or two posts per month. Is that enough to be worth shelling out for domain names and paid hosting? (Hosting through my school isn’t an option on its own, since it doesn’t allow server-side scripting or custom domain names.)

El Plumber (admin) December 30, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Chris,
The only thing you actually need for a successful money making site is time! Time in the sense that you need to spend time to write stuff AND site age. The longer your site exists, the more traffic you can get from search engines and links. The minimum you should post is twice a week on average, around 100 posts a year. If a good post takes around 2 hours to research and write, that’s 4 hours a week. Find it.

You don’t have to write about tech. Write about something you know and like. What are you studying at university? What do you do in your free time? Movies, video games, books, drinking, whatever you like can be a good subject.

Don’t worry about expertise or actual products to review either! Look at any popular gadget site like Gizmodo or Engadget. They only have their hands on products for 1 out of 20 posts, probably less! The rest are simple rehashes of things found on other sites or rumors. For example, here are the five posts on Gizmodo right now:
Something they found on GadgetMix and reposted: http://gizmodo.com/5437479/ex+google-china-president-says-apple-tablet-is-a-101+inch-iphone-with-webcam
Something they found on Digg and reposted: http://gizmodo.com/5437199/apparently-lithium-batteries-cure-constipation
Something they found on CNN and reposted: http://gizmodo.com/5437455/britains-newest-knight+to+be-captain-jean-luc-picard
Something they found on CoolHunting and reposted: http://gizmodo.com/5437176/a-day-in-a-photographers-life
Something they found on Fark and reposted: http://gizmodo.com/5437088/cop-tasers-unconscious-diabetic-11-times

Seriously, there isn’t a single original story on there! Yet by most accounts Gizmodo rakes in well over $1 million in revenue a month.

For site hosting, you need $8 a month for Hostgator, which is our favorite host. They have a one click install for Wordpress that will get you started. Skip one pizza this month and next, and in 3 months you’ll be covering the hosting costs and then some from Adsense. In a year, you could be making a couple hundred bucks a month or more, in two to three years over a thousand a month and up from there. It’s the best part time job any college student could ask for!

Chris December 31, 2009 at 7:26 pm

The problem is that research and writing aren’t the only kinds of work involved. I’d have to convert my heavily-customized layout to whatever format Wordpress takes, and then I’d have to spend time finding specialty directories to submit myself to and forums to announce myself on. Plus, most of what I write is best suited to longer articles that take a lot more than two hours to research, draft and edit (although I do split them up into multiple parts when I can).

As for just blogging whatever I find and like on other sites: If I do that, what will I be able to offer that the competition (which, as you yourself point out, includes such giants as Gizmodo) doesn’t?

Having said that, if you’re as sure as you say you are that I can write a blog that will make money, then I’d be interested in a staff writing position that paid per hour, per post or per word.

Brad January 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Signed yesterday,now feeling worried.

Rebecca March 2, 2010 at 4:41 am

I’ve just signed on with OnlineHostingNetwork, and have been busy setting up my site. I’d like to know first impressions, ideas, hints…anything. I have read multiple reports of OnlineHostingNetwork being a scam, and have read some that say otherwise…so I’m not sure.

El Plumber (admin) March 2, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Rebecca, we have heard from a great many people who have lost money with OHN, and not a single person who has made money using their service. If you know of someone or have read a review from someone who is successful with OHN, we’d love to hear about it. How much have you paid them so far?

Take a good hard look at the site you paid for. If you clicked on a link and ended up there, what would you do? Would you bother to click on one of the many random disjointed ads or would you hit the back button on your browser as fast as you could? I know what I would do.

Rebecca March 2, 2010 at 10:51 pm

I haven’t read a success story as such from OHN, just people saying that you never know unless you try and if you think everything is a scam, you’re going to lose out on alot. I was a little bit sceptical about OHN, but they are fast talkers and even though I said I’d try their basic package simply because I could not afford any others, he said he’d go ahead and forward me my first x-amount of dollars for referrals and upgrade me to the next package…kind of embarrassed to say what I paid them to be honest…thinking I should see about getting my money back.
They’ve sworn that I will make money within my first 90 days or I get my money back, but I’m sure there is a catch there too.
Hmm…seems maybe I’ve been caught in a scam-web?

Chris March 3, 2010 at 12:00 am

Hi Rebecca,

The biggest problem I see is that you’re not offering any original content. If all people want to do is shop, they’ll quickly realize that “your store” is Amazon and that it’s more convenient to go straight to Amazon.

Chris March 3, 2010 at 1:01 am

If you paid with a credit card, whether you went through PayPal or not, call the card issuer. Chargeback protection saved me a trip to Small Claims Court, and it can save you one as well.

Shaun March 25, 2010 at 5:45 am

Plumber,

I’m interested in being an affiliate for amazon, I can build a website and everything. But I have no marketing knowledge. I have been reading about internet marketing but I find it difficult on how my amazon affiliate website should be, Like what products should it include. I was thinking of having everything, from books, cloths to electronics, but now I think its a bad idea because I have no experience on affiliate programs (I wanted to include everything because I thought I’ll get more traffic). I live in Australia, so is that a factor? Should I be focusing on just 1 category? for E.g. Just TV’s or just toys? Should my website only include amazon products? If my website only had products and I did my reviews and articles submitted on a website like ezinearticles, is that good enough to drive traffic to the website? Or should I do the reviews/blogs on the same website that has the products?

Please assist, I’m really confused. I’m sure If I know how I should start I will be able to make it better. At the moment I don’t know where to start.

If you have extra tips for a beginner please write. I would really appreciate it. I will return the favor one day if I’m successful. :) lol thats a big IF.

Thank you

Shaun Fernando

Chris March 26, 2010 at 1:28 am

Shaun,

I’d suggest you get your own blog, so that it’s clear to people that if they like your reviews and want to read more, here’s the home page to bookmark and here’s the feed to subscribe to. I’d also suggest putting the product links right into the blog post, floated off to one side, in order to save the customer a click or two. It needs to be more convenient to buy through your links than through the Amazon homepage, even when the latter is on the user’s bookmark bar.

Nick April 6, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Ok i’m game – hit with me with your best shot:
http://www.senseo-coffee-pods.com

Jaime-lyn Baston April 25, 2010 at 2:53 am

PLEASE give me feedback…I need it!!~!!!!

Aussie Sucker ? April 27, 2010 at 11:07 pm

When pressed, the only thing OHN will offer to refund in first 3 months is approx. $300, not the $10,000 you may spend on their total packages. Take it from someone who was desperate for $refund to ask. I’ve lost heart, received no income, but hey I’ve received approx. $220 for 6 months of just having the affiliate companies sitting on my website, sadly no real income generated.

There’s also more $ and time spent setting up a legal entity as a US LLC company, plus The Tax Club and a tie in with a ruthless finance company called Prestige Financial Services/ Duvera/Palomar Associates. The clincher will be when Duvera & co- companies start chasing you up for money owed and you can’t work out why, when it’s already being deducted from your credit card ! If you live in Australia they’ll send all bills and collection advices via land mail that takes a month to receive and it may be too late to dispute. DON’T electronically sign your name to a contract with a tie in to the finance side, I’m still trying to work out what I’ve done wrong and it’s going to cost me dearly. I’m just hoping to get a reasonable US tax refund for all my outlays/set up costs, fingers crossed.

With all of OHN’s promises and hard sell, not one cent from a real customer yet. If I had my time again I would take 3 months to fully investigate every aspect of e-commerce and on line marketing first without giving my credit card details to anyone. OHN’s professional hard sell on the phone plays on your “gambling” nature to make money fast, get in quick, make quick profits ….. buyer beware. Think about it first and get them to call you several times and still think about it each time. Don’t be rushed to sign up with their sweet talking. If you live in Australia, OHN’s training / help desk is very limited due to time difference.

The other people making money are the piggybacked emailers who convince you to sign up for more online guru profit making gimmicks, CD’s, etc. again and again and again. Avoid giving out your credit card details, check your monthly balances for all their hits you may not be aware of.

Some advice from a sucker who’s still wanting to make it work.

PS: Suggest you do some online investigating for any negative information on Goldwares, Mining Gold Corporation, Shawn Casey, Jeff Paul, Michael Cheney, etc. Work it out yourself.

Steven Rogers April 28, 2010 at 12:20 am

I have not heard one good thing about OHN – not one thing at all. In fact based on what I have read you really can do EVERYTHING they do for a fraction of the price. Heck you could probably hire El Plumber to do it for a fraction! What would you charge for their service?

Evrol May 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm

http://www.moonbuckscoffee.com Please feel free to critique

Gord May 24, 2010 at 10:47 am

I think I have been scamed by OHN!! I guess there is no hope to get my money back?
Here are a couple of sites that OHN say are doing well. What do you think?
- baypats.com
- sdfbeauty.com
- shoppersinternetedge.com

Reid May 24, 2010 at 11:49 pm

I could always use some helpful reviews of my site. Tell me what you think.
http://www.new2younow.com

Basically, my site displays the latest products/gadgets/electronics or helpful tools that are out of the ordinary or are really cool. To show these products, we release a newsletter and also have a cool products page.

rasheed July 11, 2010 at 3:36 am

I am having trouble getting any sales from my website. In total I have more than 200 clicks in the last six days why isn’t there any sales ? I can’t even see any sales in my adsense account.

Family Camping Tents July 26, 2010 at 4:10 pm

If you have time Mr. Admin, I’d love some constructive criticism. I’m getting around 600 – 1000 click through per month to Amazon and have made $21.00 for my efforts. I use both SEO and Offline promotion of my site to stay off the beaten path of other marketers in my niche. I’m also in IT and resolve networking and computer problems (mainly viruses) every day in my real world. Some new variants of virus’ and malware are written specifically to intercept affiliate ID’s in TCP packets as the pages are being downloaded and cookies set.

This is a tough enough game to play without Amazon ripping us off too. Today I found out that (2) $100+ purchases that friends made through my site are not being credited to my account. Amazon says it looks like I made the purchases, so they dropped my commission. I didn’t. How many others are getting ripped like this?

Bottom line- don’t be an affiliate for anything you could sell yourself. Whether it be as a drop shipper, or through your own shopping cart and affiliate account direct from the manufacturer. I don’t trust Amazon anymore and I’m gonna pull all their links shortly.

stereodog September 13, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Thanks for this article. It helped a lot.

josh dann September 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm

i just started ohn and i am feeling big mistakes has been made . . . i dont see potential in making money here in the past month i made 4$ whoopie doo i understand to work at it but like said earlier if ya want something from amazon then just go to amazon why the runaround to my site and then get there like taking the scenic route when your on your way to your mother on laws??? dose anyone know of a trustworthy internet money making site? there is so many out there now.

tcs0 September 22, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Here’s my site: http://thegameeye.blogspot.com/
And its store: http://astore.amazon.com/thegameeye-20
Just be honest and tell me what you think.

Carl December 17, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Hi…

Im sorry if you think im such a newbie at this affilliate when you see my site, but i’d
appreciate any feedback you can give me on them, i say them because i have 2.

1st one i built is here: http://www.cjs-incredible-product-shop.co.uk
2nd one i built is here: http://www.solveit-uk.com

I am still building/fixingup ect but i think they could be close to finished.
You may look at them and say there not but all feedback is appreciated. I
have not even entered them ANYWHERE to get visitors, no search engines
ect. I dont know how to do this blog thing and would also like some tips on
achieveing this if possible.

I intend to make lots of just affiliate sites of many different catagorys, e.g
an electrical site/a Home and garden site ect ect. all will have individual domains.

Can you tell me what i need to advertise to make the most £’s.?

Thank You.
Essay over :p

El Plumber (admin) December 17, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Oh Carl. Oh Carl. I hate to tell you this, but you are likely completely wasting your time. And when I say likely I mean definitely. Creating page after page filled with nothing but Amazon widgets and ads isn’t going to do you any good. Search engines won’t give you any traffic, no one in their right mind is going to link to you. You don’t add any value to your visitor at all. How are those sites any better than just going straight to Amazon.co.uk? Step outside your body and think of yourself as a browser on the internet. If you clicked on a link to your own site, would you be interested in it or would you hit the back button on your browser?

Look at the examples I listed above. Try to notice the difference between besttoysguide.com above and your site and completely start over.

Carl December 22, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Thanks bud, Ive learnt a little more on the same subject and created a frontend to my shop,
well i mean…. Ive created a site with info about how safe it is/not to buy online. and then what ive done is bought the domain http://www.amazon-paroducts.co.uk so the shop part can be its own thing sort of, but im not driving people to that site… more driving them to the info sites im creating and then with links if they wish to follow to my amazon affiliated shop site.

Am i getting there bud.?
I have installed that wordpress too and my blog site thing “hehe” is here if you’ll check it out for me please:

http://www.solveit-uk.com/2010/
and
http://www.amazon-products.co.uk/wordpress/

I got a blogging thing from amazon that gets all the info… fills all the details in and posts them AND reapts the posts every when ever i set it too. (ok i did have a little help from my nehpew hehe).

But am i on the right tracks here.?
Basically up to now ive created 1 site about “online security” and ive created 1 site that all the rest of the sites i do will link too. the amazon-products site has 1 html file full stop, all the links on them take people to my astore for browsing and buying.

Please ell me im getting it a little.? :)

Thanks for info. all is welcome.

Matt Saunders January 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Hi El

Fantastic post and one that I am pleased to say has filled me with confidence! I am new to affiliate marketing and have recently set up a blog to review albums – makes sense as I love music. Your honest opinion of my site would be appreciated – I intend to add 2/3 reviews per day, up to 300 words long including album artwork and maybe a youtube video (though I dont want this to distract from the aim of getting people to click through).

Anywho your thoughts would be appreciated: http://www.heartmusic.co.uk

Many thanks!
Matt

Carl January 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Please check out my site. I only blog to get people to it and its my newphew that does it as im only learning, is my site ok or not.?

Thanks :)

El Plumber (admin) January 3, 2011 at 2:09 am

OMG Carl. You just ignored every suggestion in the article above haven’t you. Your site is NOT ok. A page full of Amazon widgets is NOT a site that will ever be indexed by a search engine. Never.

Plus, you’ve violated the Amazon Affiliates Terms of Services by putting the term “Amazon” in your domain name. They won’t pay you any commissions even if you manage to somehow get traffic to that widget infested page.

El Plumber (admin) January 3, 2011 at 11:01 am

Matt, you are on the right track! Stick with it. Don’t post too often, give Google time to find and index your posts before they drop off your front page. Once per day on average is generally accepted as ideal for most sites.

Now get links to each post. Use Social network sites like Mixx or Propeller or Digg. Create Hubpages, Squidoo pages and put in links to your posts, not just your home page.

Matt Saunders January 3, 2011 at 11:09 am

Thanks El! I’m about to digg and reddit my posts, will check out the other sites you mentioned :)

Carl January 3, 2011 at 11:46 am

Oops… didnt know i couldnt have “amazon” in my domain name, Thing is i do get purchases on my site so why the negativity huh. AND my earnings are paid by amazon.
So where your comming from i dont know.
I just wanted to see what you thought of the site, not dash if it will work or not because IT DOES.

pffff

El Plumber (admin) January 3, 2011 at 11:51 am

Carl, I’m trying to be honest here and save you time and effort. Come back in six months and let me know how your site is doing.

Carl January 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Listen…

Cheers for your comments, you know way more than me i know that and
all your comments are appreciated. I spot negativity when i read it and thats all
i spotted. I am now sourcing wholesalers to sell on an escomerce site instead that im building.

Same web address but with /escomerce on the end. Im ignoring dropshippers as i dont
see the point, it means your too lazy too find wholesalers yourself and are willing
to pay someone to find them for you – nieve idea.

I have sourced a company out that will post out there items to my customers which is a start, ive just got to sort the ssl settings on the site now (well my host does) but i think this is a better avenue than affilliating.

whats your feedback on that bud.?

Cheers

El Plumber (admin) January 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Now wholesaling I like, Carl. Be careful if you start carrying your own inventory, as things like electronics are becoming obsolete faster than you might be able to ship them.

That’s the beauty of just affiliating or being a dropshipper. You can make the profits without any of the inventory risks.

I like it EXCEPT for the domain name with Amazon in it. Once you start making a good name for yourself and your site, Amazon will come after you with an avalanche of lawyers and take the domain from you.

Carl January 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Ahhh but…

I have a hosting package £24 per year, i can add domains to it and they get there own
cpanel/ftp ect ect. totally seperate from each other. That escomerce site is just a test bud, i installed it thinking it just adds a cart and the ability to buy from my site, i didnt know it installed a complete site lol.

As its just a test and now i know all about setting it up… adding products/shipping ect
i am buying something like lets say… solveituk-products.co.uk. Basically im getting a new domain and installing it there as the only site. My host already provides with my package an ssl cert for all domains i add. and i can sell out a hosting package to people with it too, pretty neat. so im creating (in the long trem) many sites of many catagorys and one with all catagorys. Just maximising my sites and chances of pulling in people to my prodcts.

I am new to this but i fully understand it.. well im getting there lol. Advertising is i’d say 95% of the work isnt it, no use haveing a site full of goodies with no traffic, thats the only bit i really am a noob at. first get the site up and the products then when i get to wanting it advertised i’ll prob get someone who knows about that area to do it for me.

My mate who owns an electrical store actually has an array of lighting for the home for sale so i poped in to ask can he get me produtcs to sell and omg what he said…
He pointed to a catalgue and see see that there (so i had a quick look) i said “yes” he said there our products… we make them. so hes letting me stock all of them. that must be good surely.?

But no good if people dont know where they are (my site) so as said. im taking things in as quick as i can and if i dont understand a certain area then im moving onto things i do know or understand then going back to it later. Alot to take in mate alot.

Cheers :)

Carl January 5, 2011 at 11:12 pm

EL Plummer…

the web addy i gave you last was wrong. i did go off your info and created the one
ive supplied you with this time. i was miles away sorry… i gave you the amazon
site in the very first place, then you gave me the advice and i went and did the other
site (an info site like you said) something people can be interested in. THEN i went
and bought that amazon domain just for the affilliate site if you get me. so this site i
have given you this time has links to the amazon site.

Its on the lines of what you was telling me anyhows, i dont advertise the amazon
site at all, the only way to it is from the site link i gave you with this post. So google
should never see the affilliate site.

Is that what you was on about mate.?

Carl

Isobel January 13, 2011 at 9:52 am

Carl, Google follows links. So if you’re linking to the Amazon site from somewhere else, Google will find it.

Carl January 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm

OH RIGHT…

I was told different.?
Was told it only checks your main index.php The front page.
Where is this stated Isobel so i can read it for myself instead of
someones review.?

Cheers.

Geraldine Spencer January 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Been contacted by Online Hosting Network, no doubt by some form or other I filled in, without thinking properly!
It seems to be a good thing, if you take on board what the person(s) are saying, (in my case Sheldon Pitzer and Ruby Cunningham), add to that they give you your own website and domain name and say you can choose the products you sell.
From the comments I have seen, I have had a narrow escape; they tried to pressurise me into paying upfront, even lowering the price “because they wanted to help me earn money”, but I said I was not in a position to pay immediately; they (Ruby to be precise) is calling back next Wednesday (19th January 2011) for my payment.
Any comment? Please feel free to contact me via email: geraldine.spencer@yahoo.co.uk.
I would love to hear from you.

Michael January 30, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Dear El Plumber,
Im just beginning to research becoming an affiliate. Besides your site, which I find very helpful, what are some other good resources for me. I believe I have realistic goals and I am committed to making the most out of my time so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Denise February 15, 2011 at 7:09 am

I would love you to give me some feedback concerning my website.
Thanks.

Neville March 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I would like feedback regarding my website

Overcoming Addiction March 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Hi, I really love this site.as soon as I came to look up “30 day tracking cookies” I scroll clicked all of the recommended articles to the right so I could read them all in a row. I was instantly hooked on your content. I am also amazed at the success that you have had in only a year of doing this. I’ve been at it for about 8 months and have only generated $37 (all from Ad-sense). I did not even realize that I could monetize the site when I made it. I thought that was only for the big shots. I started from complete ignorance about the Internet or marketing. I’m a recovering drug addict that wants to help people find good information about overcoming addiction and how to get help. So I know that I have learned a lot about web marketing and site building as well as SEO, but now I need to get some one that knows what it really takes to look at it and key me in to some good advice. My traffic is not good but rising.. I did not realize the importance of keywords when I started out, so I have really improved my positions for some lower traffic phrases that I can compete with. I use Market Samurai for research and have been real happy with it’s performance.

I’m really looking forward for your critique !
Thanks,
Mike

kainezee April 6, 2011 at 11:08 am

Hi El Plumber, what do you think about my site?
will appreciate your review.

cheers!

Halogen Oven April 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Hi El Plumber,

I started my first site about one month ago now and have pretty much got it the way I want it. I now need to improve the rank as it is only on the 2-3 page of google search so will now focus on back linking will try the build my rank program to start. Anyway as I am new to all of this I would really appreciate you having a look at my review website and give me a few pointers. I am getting a few visit’s daily, between 10-20for last 10 days, but no sales yet, traffic is still pretty rubbish at the moment.

Thanks

Mark.

Jeremy April 15, 2011 at 12:06 am

Wondering what you think of this site: clothdiapersexpert.com

Do not spare my feelings (as I’m sure you won’t!). I started this site with google adsense in mind, basically by targeting keywords, going for longtail related keywords, and backlinking like crazy. I decided to switch to Amazon Associates b/c I felt like the adsense ads popping up were a bit off (example: a disposable diaper ad). I read what I thought was a decent post on creating an affiliate site.

I have made a few dollars, but nothing substantial. Last month I had a conversion rate of 1.55% (258 clicks and 4 items shipped). Clearly, I need the site to age to compete in google (most of my traffic is coming from the sites I have guestposted for backlinks).

I feel like the issues have to do with my layout and call to action (if any). I wonder if I need to just change it up…make more review pages with stronger push toward products, rather than just information articles.

Also, I wonder if I should consider a niche site that has higher end products, so that when clicks do convert, I make more money.

Thoughts?

Ray May 6, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Hey you know you have an advertisement on this website that says Secret ck software that will make you 283,191 dollars per month legally.
Objectively that destroys all of your credibility.
This is not a troll attack, the ad is there.
Maybe it is so ridiculous it’s a joke.
Wonder if this comment will get published?

El Plumber (admin) May 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm

I’d suggest you don’t click on it then Ray.

Note, I wrote this in response: http://electronplumber.com/should-publishers-stand-by-their-advertisements/

John June 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Hey, I was wondering if you would give me an honest opinion about my blog? I just started it last week. I review fitness equipment (mainly for the home gym) and provide tips and DIY guides for making your own fitness equipment. I only have 3 posts, but I am working on more! Thanks.

Adam@ThisIsWhyImBroke June 15, 2011 at 4:18 am

Really informative post. It’s kinda crazy to think about how much Amazon sells per year. I just hope they never decide to screw over their affiliates with crazy low commission rates or other limiting terms of service.

lowerpri June 17, 2011 at 8:30 am

Hi El Plumber,

Can you review and provide your comments about lowerpri.com
We appreciate your help.

El Plumber (admin) June 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Did you read the article above lowerpri? That site is exactly what I say not to do! You’ve just listed a whole bunch of random products that don’t even go together on a page with duplicate content for the descriptions.

You need unique content for each item. UNIQUE. Not copied from Amazon or anywhere else. You need to group products into categories that make sense. That’s the only way you’ll get traffic from search engines. You can work your butt off getting links, but Google is going to ignore that site. If you want to get traffic other ways, you need to have a hook. Look at the comment right below yours and check out ThisIsWhyImBroke.com for a great example of someone doing it right.

Tom June 30, 2011 at 2:14 am

I’d love to hear your feedback about a site a started a while back. It gets a small amount of traffic which is gradually growing (and Im currently trialling BMR to look at building up my links) however I just get the impression that the site just isnt very compelling. Its hard to look at it with impartial eyes.
Any comments appreciated – and feel free to be ruthless:)

Matthew Perks August 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I’d love for you to take a quick look at my blog. It’s not supposed to be a pure Amazon Affiliate site, but as you can see, that’s part of it. I was slowly but steadily increasing traffic until about July 12, when it just mysteriously dropped down to one or two hits a day.
Thank you very much.

Adam S August 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I am a newbie to this and started this Amazon/Adsense website. I did not want the site to look like a sales page for Amazon until you start getting into it. Am I on the right track or not? Want a straight, no BS review.

Thanks a Lot,
Adam

Musings August 17, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I would not mind you looking out our site. Any advice to make the site better for visitors is always welcome. Look foreword to your recommendations.

Roku XDS August 20, 2011 at 4:54 am

I’m a beginner in affiliate marketing and this is my first site. Please give me a few advices how to improve rank in Google. My home page somehow (I don’t know how), getting 13000 back links from one site and I think it’s no good. I am getting a few visits daily, but got only two sales.

Sorina September 5, 2011 at 6:40 am

Hy El Plumber,

Can I ask you to check my website? accessorizebeauty.com
I know it’s crap, but I have no idea what I’m doing wrong.

Thanks!

Peter September 17, 2011 at 3:55 am

In terms of brand-ability, I have the domain CompuSATIONAL.

I originally intended to use it as an all-you-can-eat affiliate site for everything to do with computer hardware, software, printers, ink, toner, mobile computing devices, PC accessories, etc (in appropriate categories of course).

All other things being equal, should I revive it and try to make a go as far as the name is concerned?

Adriana September 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm

I just discovered your blog today and spent the last hour reading through it. Awesome information! I love your lessons for Amazon affiliates, and I’d be delighted if you chose to review my site
Thanks.

Libyan Food October 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I have a Libyan recipe blog, a tiny nich area so i only get 8-10,000 visitors a month but for the same reason I am top search result, have followers and average visit length is 5 mins. I also get visitors looking for more widely known Arabic recipes or just searching ingredient.

I have just decided to try and monetize the site after a reader commented that they couldnt make a recipe till they ordered ingredients online. I have no ideas about online marketing and would really appreciate any advice, especially mistakes in the type and integration amazon ads I have now added.

Not expecting to make more than pocket change here but that would be a bonus as I put a lot of effort into the recipes.

Margus October 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Hmmm not sure why you say thisiswhyIambroke does it right. Unless you have some great knowledge about the commission and sales they do, it seems the site is way too thin on content to pull in any real long tail traffic from google. The descriptions of each products are like 100 words long, it has like 100 affiliate links right on front page, makes me question really.

From my personal experience a site is able to pull in good traffic from google only if it has a clearly defined niche (like lets say black boots) and then it has separate pages on every possible types, shades, sizes makes etc. on the black boots. This site seems to be way all over the place for Google to actually understand what the site is about (other than it is obviously affiliate site with little content and lots of outgoing links).
So in order for it to get traffic to its site, it would need to build a lot of back links to each product page, and even then it is a bit questionable…

Only thing that is intriguing for me about it has things on there that are quite expensive ($17 000 dollar table??? WOW) So I guess if you manage to make a commission on that just once, you would be happy….

The Nerdy Nurse November 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Great tips for aspiring amazon affiliates.

Thank you for sharing your insight.

aria December 5, 2011 at 10:07 am

I want to ask el plumber, does it;s worth it become an affiliate amazon but only has blogspot to sell stuff?. After I read your article here I am going to change everything. Thanks.Dont review my blog please. It’s like pain In the a*s after reading your advice.

Galyna December 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm

I thought that nobody follows scam offers anymore but after reading comments I see that they do…
After all there are SOOO much free info on Internet Marketing out there!
You don’t have to buy ANY products/software to LEARN.

And learning should always come first. Don’t open your wallet (login to your Paypal) until you fully understand what you are offered and how exactly it works.

El, I’m totally in love with your blog!! Keep it coming!

Scott December 23, 2011 at 7:59 am

Hi EP

great article, really useful info. I´ve had this site up for a while and would appreciate your thoughts on it.

thanks in advance!

S

Keyword Comment Spammer December 29, 2011 at 1:46 am

Great tips for aspiring amazon affiliates. Thanks for share this

Ana January 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm

In my opinion…the problem i don’t think it is the construction of the website itself…if it has target traffic… it sells… cause these days people search and buy… the most serious problem… is the fact that.. once your new, you wont be having any sales even if they go through the system on Amazon.What happens now a days is that in call centres per example(not going to mention any names) the people that work for the company itself(disregarding if the company top managers know abt it or not) they the workers themselves, who take the orders with the correct codes(webmasters codes so they get their commission for their hard work), as the company workers or friends of the workers are also affiliates, what do they do… they just alter the webmaster number and put their own code instead(or their friends code) of the newby web master that had all the work to make his good sale… them the webmaster doesnt get his sale but the worker in the firms gets it for him… brilliant! Then to the workers there….we ask… and if the webmaster calls regarding to the orders that came from his website, because the orders that came from their website isnt counting onn their commission? Answer: Reply asking him if he has the order number… guess what… theres no way to trace it! so He wont have it, that way you can mention that… oh the order didn’t went through, and if they do have the order number…then just tell the webmaster that it was a System error that takes time to update… apologize… and that’s it! That way u make money working in a places like that, that works for companies (not saying Amazon in particular but big like Amazon). It end ups being a very Expensive Lesson! And now come and tell it is the websites problem!!

marvin January 21, 2012 at 2:17 am

hey i leave my site am totally gonna get a custom header what you thing about the layout with a better custom header? its not finish yet

Tony February 5, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Hi,
I find your Site to have a wealth of Information and would be grateful for any advice you can offer.
I have 5 Sites,the one I have listed is the oldest which receives a fair amount of traffic but very few Sales.
Could you please tell me what I am doing wrong?
Warm Regards,
Tony

El Plumber (admin) February 6, 2012 at 10:30 am

Tony, check out my Amazon Affiliate Lesson posts for some suggestions. No offense, but looks like you’ve basically bought a script that scrapes Amazon’s products and reviews and even button images and throws them on your page. And you’ve thrown a bunch of disparate categories together. Anne McCaffrey, digital cameras, GPS, Wii games, and music? There is no focus.

If I clicked on a link and landed on that page I would immediately hit the back button thinking someone was trying to scam me. You don’t provide any value to a visitor vs going to Amazon itself.

Again, no offense, I’m just being honest of why you aren’t getting people clicking and buying. My advice, each site needs to focus on ONE thing that people are interested in. Say Cameras. Then write original camera articles or reviews telling people why they should choose a particular camera over another. You can’t just copy product descriptions from Amazon and expect people to click. Check out the besttoysguide.com site I mentioned in the article above. They’ve picked ONE topic, toys, and written original content for it.

Also, all your sidebar ads are targeted to Australian products or services. Amazon is US based! It’s VERY expensive and slow to ship items to Australia vs buying locally. You can have the best Amazon affiliate site in the world, but if most of your traffic comes from Australia you aren’t going to make many sales.

Paul Dodd February 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Hello, I found this site while looking for ways to correctly build an amazon affiliate site and I have found the information you provide and the examples of right and wrong ways very useful. Can you please take a look at my site http://www.placeforwatchesonline.com and give me your honest opinion. Bear in mind I am not looking for search rankings but to advertise through PPC. I just set the site up a couple of weeks ago and haven’t spend a lot of time on it. The content is auto generated like you have said don’t do, but apart from that, is the layout allright. Would you suggest I replace the auto content with original reviews, or add reviews below or above the auto posted content, or start from scratch. In the future i will use original content on one subject. Be honest,thanks.

El Plumber (admin) February 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

So Paul, you did exactly what I suggested doesn’t work. Honestly, layout doesn’t really matter much, the main things that matter is will a site get traffic and then will that traffic convert to sales. Without original content you won’t get search engine traffic, Google may send you some at first but then will start to ignore your site. Without original content or a feature that is some benefit you really won’t be able to buy PPC traffic anywhere that counts really. That site will get rejected for Google Adwords and Bing as a “bridge page” that doesn’t provide value to a visitor. Which leaves you to try and buy untargeted traffic which will never convert.

Being honest, you should scrap the auto content with 100% original reviews yes. Can’t just be cookie cutter reviews either, you need to provide value to a visitor to get them to click. Then go read my Amazon Affiliate Lessons that I linked to a few comments ago.

Paul Dodd February 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Thankyou for your quick response, will take on board advice and work on putting it right. Also, I will read Amazon Affiliate Lessons and also look at successful examples to work from before going any further.

Harris February 26, 2012 at 5:05 am

Hi,

Great place for Amazon sites. I have my site here at http://www.dogtrainingchronicle.com …. I am still working on this site, but I did not build the site only for Amazon purpose, but had integrated Amazon Store in it. I am still not being able to drive enough traffic to this site, but wondering if everything from my side (at least as much as I have done with the site) is good or not. Looking for your honest feedback, thanks a lot in advance. :)

Best wishes,
Ellen

ricy March 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Its very difficult these days to make money with amazon o clickbank the market is too saturated

Claire April 23, 2012 at 8:57 am

Please give me feedback on my site? Thank you!

Ramona Morrow May 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I was wondering if you look at my site and tell me where I am going wrong and changes that I need to make. This has the right www. address. not the other comment.

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