Amazon Continues to Dominate the Online Retail World.
Their latest addition, Amazon.com.au, is now fully operational as of Dec 2017.
Amazon.com, Inc., was founded by Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994.
What does this mean to you?
Well, it depends on whether you’re likely to be buying from Amazon, selling through Amazon, or acting as an Amazon Associate. (Affiliate Marketer)
For me, personally, this is Great News!
I’ve been an Amazon Associate for some time, even though I live and work in Australia. I market various products via Amazon’s US, Canada, and UK outlets through several niche affiliate sites. Now I’ll be able to add the AU site to my list.
Amazon is a great vehicle for affiliate marketers and is the primary income generator for many online businesses.
Want to know how to earn money with the Amazon Affiliate Program?
(For those who aren’t familiar with the process I’ll give you a brief outline of the way affiliate marketing works.)
Basically, it involves folks like myself writing and publishing articles on our websites, and earning commissions from ads or links on these sites. These articles are intended to be informative (and hopefully entertaining), and often assist readers in researching an intended purchase.
We have to research trends, evaluate products, and most of all try to stay impartial. It’s not a good long-term strategy to just promote whoever offers the best commissions or other benefits. We need to prove ourselves to be reliable and trustworthy if we hope to build a long-term investment business. And be aware – this is a long-term business model.
So Why Amazon?
This is where Amazon comes in as one of the best marketplaces for us. Commissions are standard across the range of a particular product category, and it’s easy for visitors we refer to them to double-check the information we provide if they wish.
As a brand, Amazon has a good reputation for reliability and trust. They have a great refund policy and buyers feel comfortable dealing with them. An added benefit is that if you refer a customer for, say, an electric kettle and they end up buying a lawnmower (it happens) you’ll get the commission on the mower sale as well as anything else they buy within 24 hours! (There is a way you can extend that to 90 days – but that’s another issue)
Amazon are also very good at converting visitors into buyers. All we need to do is pique our readers’ interest and direct them to the appropriate product page and let Amazon do what they do best.
There’s a video here that shows a sample of just a few of the thousands of things available on Amazon.
Could you become an Amazon Associate?
Absolutely! You don’t need to be a great writer or a paid-up member of the Grammar Police. You just need to be able to research the products and apply the results in a way your readers can relate to. Or, you could write information articles on a subject that you’re well versed in.
Think your profession or trade, your hobby, or any other area you have special knowledge in. Maybe, if you’re a bit of a globe-trotter, you can become a travel blogger.
If you’re not too confident about your writing skills, you can hire a copywriter to write the articles for you. Many affiliate marketers do just that. You can even buy ready-made affiliate websites with all the initial research and copywriting done for you.
(If you have the funds for this, I can supply built-for-you affiliate sites, with all the research and SEO metrics already in place. Prices for such sites would start at around $500.00. This for a site that could potentially be earning that much per month within a year.)
The best, most economical (and ultimately most satisfying) way however, is to learn the business from the ground up and construct your own sites.
Thankfully, this isn’t as hard to do as you might think. The only real drawback is that it takes time. Time and Dedication. I capitalized and highlighted that because it’s definitely the most important thing that’ll get you from where you are now to earning what could be a very good living as an internet marketer.
(Another very good avenue for affiliate earnings is ClickBank. I’ll cover this in another post however.)
How much can an affiliate marketer earn?
I’m not going to tell you you’re going to become a millionaire. I’m not even going to tell you that you’ll be earning a full-time living in six months.
What I will tell you is that you could become a millionaire in time. Many affiliates have. (No, I’m nowhere near that milestone myself – as I said this is a long term business proposition and if you’re looking for a get-rich-quick plan you’ll be disappointed.) Try not to think of it in terms of how much can I make, as against can I be successful?
It’s best to approach affiliate marketing initially as a part-time proposition. It’s also very much a case of what you put in equals what you’ll get out. With the right attitude and proper training that part-time business could easily replace your current job within a year or even less.
Also, a successful affiliate site is a tangible asset that can be onsold if you choose to. Well-made established affiliate sites are very much in demand.
One of the biggest benefits of online marketing is that you can be anywhere in the world and run your business from your laptop in just a few hours a week. Suddenly even a small income by western standards can have you living like a rock star in some tropical paradise. Where? The choice is yours.
The big difference between those who are very successful and those who aren’t, really boils down to just a few things:
- You must be determined to put in the effort and Stick With It! The biggest reason people fail at this is that they give up way too soon. Often just when they were on the verge of success.
- You must have the right sort of training. Trying to teach yourself this business is almost a guarantee of failure. It’s so easy to be swamped with information overload. Some of it will be good and some will be simply crap! And how are you, a complete novice, supposed to know the difference? (More on this further on)
- You will need to spend a bit of money. Not a lot mind you, but nothing worth doing is likely to be free. You’ll need a website (or maybe several when you learn the ropes) and hosting, at the very least. Website hosting can be one of the biggest single expenses. You could easily spend $200.00 or more per year on hosting just one website as an individual. (Again, more on this further on)
- You’ll need a support network. The internet can be a lonely place, and there’s no shortage of people out there looking to separate you from your hard-earned money. They’ll promise all sorts of get-rich-quick schemes that usually turn out to be scams of the highest order. Add to that an endless stream of virtual “shiny objects” to distract you and it just gets harder. (I’m definitely speaking from experience here!) Hey, look! A unicorn!!
Now for some Good News!
When I first heard about affiliate marketing, back in late 2016, I’d recently retired from my day job in the transport industry and was at a bit of a loose end.
I wasn’t ready for being put out to pasture, and thought this could be the thing to keep those grey cells working while at the same time giving me an extra income.
A couple of weeks of online research, followed by wasting a helluva lot of time and money on the wrong schemes, and I discovered an organisation called Wealthy Affiliate.
This group, founded around twelve years ago by two Canadian guys, Kyle Louden and Carson Lim, was like a breath of fresh air!
What attracted and impressed me most at first was that I could try the whole program for free. They didn’t even want my credit card! WA (as they call it) works on the principle that if it’s not a good fit for you, you can simply walk away. No hard feelings.
I signed up to their free trial and within the first week had upgraded to Premium Membership.
What’s on offer with Wealthy Affiliate?
The training is excellent, the camaraderie between members is great, and the website support is exceptional. Believe me, I called on site support several times in the early stages. I knew almost nothing about websites, marketing, or anything but the WA training made it all just soooo easy.
Because WA is an international organisation, with literally thousands of members world-wide, there’s always someone on Live Chat ready and willing to help if you get stuck. Technical issues? The Website Support is a 24/7 service and will usually get back to you within minutes.
Aside from the regular training there are weekly webinars and other advanced sessions on offer. All included. Techniques and tactics are always changing so it’s important to keep up to date with what the search engines are doing.
What does this cost, and is it worth it?
Prices quoted below are in US dollars. The exchange rate tends to fluctuate, so it’d be best to check the price in your own currency for yourself to be sure. Of course – free is free in any lingo.
The Premium Membership costs just $49 a month (much less if you pay annually) and includes website hosting for up to 25 of your own domain websites. Remember, one website can easily cost around $200.00 annually if you go it alone. The hosting also includes secure https:// setup and other bonuses that usually cost you extra with most host services.
One thing I do need to mention, is that the WA hosting platform is definitely one of the fastest website servers in the world – if not the fastest! If you know anything about Search Engine rankings, you’ll know that loading speed is crucial to getting a good rating from Google et al. Search engine rankings are probably the most critical part of the whole online business. If they don’t like your site then they won’t show it in the search results. It’s as simple as that.
WA members have an edge over the competition. Not only by having the best training, but also by having the best hosting platform. Without proper help and support, you may find yourself spinning your wheels and might as well just go fishing!
If you take up their trial offer you get access to this training for 10 days, completely free of charge. The knowledge you gather in this time alone will be priceless and can’t ever be taken from you. You can also create two shared-hosting websites for hands-on training (you get to keep these, even if you don’t continue). After that you’ll receive an offer to try Premium for a month for just $19.
If you still don’t think it’s for you after the first month you can simply cancel your membership with no questions. (By the way, you’re also free to come back later and pick up where you left off)
FYI, there’s a link here, where members have asked about leaving for a while and then returning. https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/marionblack/blog/what-if-i-leave-wa-and-come-back-later
Affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone. Kyle and Carson know that, and you won’t be pressured into staying or upsold to so-called “advanced levels”. (Upsells are a common theme in most online training schemes) With Wealthy Affiliate, there’s no such thing as upsells, as we all have access to every level of training and support.
Other Affiliate Opportunities
Once you’ve learnt the basics, you’ll soon learn that as well as Amazon, there are affiliate programs for just about every type of product you can think of. Many of us have direct arrangements with wholesalers or manufacturers.
Affiliate networks include ClickBank, Rakuten Marketing, Udemy, Commission Factory, etc etc. You can sign on to these once you’ve learnt the ropes. It’s always a good idea though, to ask the question in Live Chat if you find a network you’ve not heard of. Some are legit and trustworthy, some not so much.
Where to now?
If you’re wondering whether becoming an affiliate marketer is going to be a good move for you, why not give the WA Free Trial offer a go?
You’ve really got nothing at all to lose, except maybe a bit of time. Who knows? This could be the start of a whole new career. Or at the very least a lucrative part-time job.
Just to be transparent; Yes I will receive a small commission if you end up joining. There’s no extra cost to you though. Come on in, the water’s fine!
Once you log in, you can contact me on my WA profile, and I’ll be only too happy to be your guide within the community. As I said earlier, peer support and camaraderie are just a small part of the WA experience.
Personally, I reckon this is one of the best moves I could have made. I’m learning heaps, earning a bit, and making new friends within the WA community. My sites are gaining momentum and things will only get better from here on in. If I ever decide to retire completely I’ll be able to sell my sites and buy our dream home.
So that’s it for now. I hope you got something from this article.
What’s your take on affiliate marketing? Have you, or anyone you know, tried the Digital Nomad lifestyle?
Let me know your thoughts via the comments box below, and yes, please, share this post with your friends.
Cheers for now.
Thomas (AKA The BusyBee)