Amazon’s recent decision to cancel the affiliate agreements of 25,000 California-based affiliates has inspired a lot of attention across the media and the blogosphere. While some blame Amazon, suspecting that Amazon is using this crisis to reduce the cost of their Amazon Associates program, others, such as affiliate advocate Pace Lattin, have looked to a more sinister agent – WalMart – who sees online commerce as a threat to their retail dominance.
As of this writing, Amazon and the Performance Marketing Association are preparing a voter referendum to fight this California legislation. If they win, it could potentially rollback the affiliate tax in California. Regardless of what happens in California, it’s a great time for affiliates in other states to consider joining the Amazon program.
All of this negative energy surrounding the Amazon Associates program is doing something that’s great for affiliate marketers – creating an opportunity. If you can look past these specific challenges, and if you’re in a state without an affiliate tax – you can seize an opportunity to promote Amazon products while others leave the program or sit on the fence.
Here are five reasons why you should stop worrying about taxes and join the Amazon Associates program today.
Reason #1: Amazon’s a great brand
The visitors to your site already know and trust Amazon. As one of the top destinations on the web, you can be certain that more of your visitors will have an account with Amazon than other similar retailers such as Buy.com.
Reason #2: People buy more than one item
While you might fret that the commission on a $19 book isn’t terrific, you need to recognize Amazon’s ability to upsell. When I’m evaluating my commissions from the Amazon program, approximately 25 percent of them come directly from products mentioned on my site or highlighted in the banners on my site. What I’ve learned is that people are finding one thing they’re looking for on my site, then going to Amazon and buying additional items. While some of these items are related to the niches on my sites, many are not. Remember, you can earn affiliate commission on everything purchased within 24 hours of a buyer clicking from your site to Amazon.
Reason #3: The holiday shopping bonanza
Like all retailers, Amazon makes most of its money during the holiday shopping season. If you plan ahead and have your site updated with the top selling products in your niche before the season starts, you can make a terrific income in November and December alone. A great way to capitalize on holiday shopping trends is to follow broadcast and web news coverage of the “top” gifts in a specific niche. Use those lists to determine the strategy for your site.
Reason #4: It’s easy
Amazon makes it easy to shop. They also make it easy to be an affiliate. There are banners and widgets you can use on your site. You can also use a WordPress plugin that makes it easy for you to review products and link directly to them from your site.
Reason #5: Amazon’s wide product selection
Regardless of the obscurity of your niche, it’s certain you’ll find something you can sell from Amazon. You can sell everything from ladders to bicycles to barbecue grills. And remember, if you focus on high-dollar products, you’ll be much more likely to see better revenue from your site.
This video shows you what a successful Amazon affiliate website looks like. I hope it inspires you to start your own site!
Regardless of what happens in the California courts, I still think it’s a great time to consider becoming an Amazon affiliate, particularly if you’re not in California or one of the other states affected by affiliates taxes – Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, Arkansas, Rhode Island. However, if you are in one of those states, talk to your lawyer about setting up an LLC in a state without the affiliate tax.
Are you an Amazon affiliate? Tell us about your success or challenges in the comments below!