Want to sell more Amazon Associates products? Grab my rss feed and add me to your Google Reader to keep up with future posts listing my Amazon Associates income take...
Nearing the end of December 2008, my Amazon Associates sales and earnings figures look like this:
Total items shipped 409
Referral Rate (Increase this to 8.00% by referring 222 more items) 7.50%
Referral Fees $2,021.90
Gift Certificate/Card Earnings $6.00
Kindle Subscription Earnings $0.00
Prime Subscription Earnings $0.00
TOTAL EARNINGS THIS MONTH $2,027.90
Now before you get all jealous, realize that I've spent about $1,184.58 in Adwords advertising to promote Amazon Associates and other affiliate program products that allow you to advertise them.
Update: I discovered I was linking to Amazon from Google Adwords the wrong way. If you advertise Amazon products via Google Adwords, make sure your URLs are formatted like this, for example, with your tag at the end:
Not like this, for example:
I guess Google Adwords and/or Amazon doesn't like all those redirects.
EITHER WAY, MAKE SURE TO COMPARE YOUR ADWORDS CLICKS AGAINST YOUR AMAZON ASSOCIATES CLICKS (UNDER EITHER THE PRODUCT CLICKS ORDERED, OR PRODUCT CLICKS ITEMS NOT ORDERED IN YOUR AMAZON ASSOCIATES ACCOUNT EACH DAY TO ENSURE THE CLICK YOU'RE PAYING FOR ON ADWORDS ARE IN FACT BEING TRACKED IN AMAZON.)
★★★★ Update: I bought the Mastering Search Advertising: How the Top 3% of Search Advertisers Dominate Google AdWords book and absolutely love it.
Already I learned about things I was doing wrong, like bidding too high and for the wrong position -- and lots of other tips on "coverage" -- making sure you get loads of impressions.
And therefore more click-thrus...
And therefore hopefully more sales.
Combining what I learned in that book and over at James' Dominating Amazon website, 2009 will see me maximizing my affiliate earnings profit with minimal advertising costs spent.
(I'm getting more sales, learning to minimize my CPC, so I'll let you know how January 2009 closes out.)
But in the meantime, in the Spirit of Christmas and giving, I'm giving my blogging and pitching readers some tips that will hopefully help you increase your Amazon Associates sales that I've learned in the past three years or so:
- Pitch Everything That Sits Right With Your Soul - The minute you hear something on TV that might be a hot product, look for it on Amazon and write about it. That's what I did the minute I heard Beyonce say that she lost 20 pounds on Oprah using that Master Cleanse diet.
- Go Back and Delete the Stuff That Doesn't - I've pitched some TV shows and stuff (Amazon has Video on Demand shows to download) that just didn't let me sleep at night, knowing that kids (or even adults) would be watching sleazy stuff based on my recommendation. When my conscience won't let me forget it, I'll go back and delete the post, or alter it and send them to a better, more wholesome alternative. I've learned that I can't control what people buy once they get to Amazon thru my account -- but I can control what I pitch...
- Be Honest - If you haven't tried the product, tell your readers. If you find something you think will work better, tell them that too and pitch it to them.
- Go Back and Update The Post - Again and again, if you have to. I've updated that Beyonce Master Cleanse diet post so many times it's not funny. I even told readers of a better product, a book -- so I let them make the decision on what to buy.
- Pitch Mispellings - Bless God for the Amazon Kindle, which many people don't know how to spell. Take advantage of that and pitch the wrong spellings of a product -- like Kindel, Kindel, Kindel!
- Tell Your Readers When the Product Ships and When It's Available - The Amazon Kindles are looking at an 8 - 10 week ship date right now. But it might be less, I pray, because I can tell when the Kindles are being shipped, because Amazon adds the revenue to our accounts when the product ships. For that reason, I've made the effort to tell my readers of Kindle's shipping and in stock dates and availability by constantly updating that post with the info. It's paying off royally.
- Act on Coupons and Hot Sales - When Oprah gave readers the $50 off coupon code of OPRAHWINFREY on her show -- I immediately wrote a post about it. It expired Nov. 1, 2008, and that immediacy coupled with Oprah's influence -- and God leading me on the longest fast ever and not checking into my account that week and devoting more time to Him instead and painting my house -- gave me the pleasant surprise of my Amazon Associates earnings' life when I logged in to see that around $3,500 in Kindle revenue came my way that month. Boy, it's really coming in handy now to pay Uncle Sam...
- Keep it Interesting - Don't use the same old banners that every other Amazon Associate and their grandmother is using. Mix it up! I love to put these two great books on my websites, because they're a great ministry tool, and it gets my Amazon cookie on customers computers -- at least for 24 hours, that is. A two-fer!
- So Use Difference Images and Formats......to get customers onto Amazon, and make sure your Amazon Associates ID is in the link that leads them there.
- Pitch Individual Products......either thru Adwords (but study up and don't lose your shirt on advertising costs) or by blogging about them. People research individual products before they buy, so consider writing up reviews or a detailed post about a product -- especially if you own it and love it.
- Consider Setting Up a Product Blog......dedicated to pitching products alone. That's what one of my blogs is becoming, but I pitched products willy nilly on my WatchFreeEpisodes.com for a while, just because the ranking is so good, and Google loves immediately ranking those posts. Sure, I lost some RSS readers, but I got fed up with working so hard at an entertainment blog without being able to use its potential for product selling as well.
- Focus on the Customers Ready to Buy...with debit cards in hand. How do you find those people? Some people actually type "Buy Vizio TV", for example, into Google. (Use SEO Book's free online keyword tool -- Google it -- to find the buy people.) You can target those people thru Adwords campaigns. But I lost traffic targeting only "buy" keywords. Read both this guy's book on Dominating Amazon, it's worth the 7 bucks...) and definitely that Mastering Search Advertising book above to find so many more secrets to getting your bids rights and making sure your ads are being displayed often enough. Using that book, I discovered I was paying way too much by only bidding on position preference #1. It's a great book!
- Post Fast and Often, and Quick and Long and Short - Because you never know which post is going to hit with customers and take off. One product's sales might surprise you. Log into your Amazon Associates account, and use the nice "link to this page" strip they've added at the top now to make quick links to post. Put larger images in your posts, or pull a quick product link code by hightlighting the image and link text and plopping it into the "WYSIWYG" mode of your blogging platform. Blogger doesn't always work well this way. Anyway, play around until you hit your stride -- it can work if you work it.
- Check Google Trends List for Hot Products - And they will let you know if customers are typing in a misspelled version of the product.
- Protect Your Amazon Associates Affiliates Links - If you're on WordPress, there are plugins that will let you protect your Amazon links from redirects. Otherwise, there are a number of programs and ways out there that protect your Amazon referral links from being redirected somewhere else...Question:
What method do you use to protect your Amazon Associates affiliate / referral program links from being redirected? Plugin? Cloaking software? Do tell...