Hmmm… Should You Use Amazon’s New Affiliate Tool?

13 January
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amazon publisher studio

I know a lot of you don’t like Amazon’s affiliate program.

After all, the commissions are incredibly low and why use them when there’s AdSense, Clickbank, etc?

Well I love it.  It’s a catch-all affiliate program when you need an affiliate link for products that aren’t tied to an affiliate program.

I don’t earn a lot from Amazon, but I did have a record 3rd quarter in 2013 and made $459.

Most of the earnings were from products I didn’t even promote.  They were from Amazon’s effective “recommendation strategy” that gets people to purchase more than they planned to.

C’mon, you know you never buy just ONE product when you shop on their site! :)

amazon affiliate earnings

My yearly earnings are about enough to cover one major bill for the year. Not impressive, I know.  But hey… it’s still nice, passive income.  And I just look at it like Amazon is paying my cable bill. :)

Hello Publisher Studio!

At the end of last year, Amazon launched a new tool called Publisher Studio.  It allows you to create links on your site without even editing your page.

All you do is highlight/click text and images with your mouse, and you can create the affiliate links right on your live page (as long as you are logged into your Associates account.)

You can watch the demo in the video below…

Seems pretty cool, right?  At least I thought so.

The only thing I don’t like is that I have to add additional code to my site, which could impact loading times.  What if their plugin technology is down?  How will that affect my links or how my site functions/loads?

The good news is you can add the code to the footer so it shouldn’t really have much of an impact on load times as long as everything is working on their end.

Call me paranoid, but I don’t like that the overlay technology is hosted elsewhere.  Granted that’s how some other tools work online, but this product is still in Beta, so I’m going to wait on this.

I’ll just keep using manual links or Chris Guthrie’s Easy Azon plugin (affiliate link).

Chris sent me a free copy in exchange for an affiliate review a few years ago.  Thanks Chris! Watch my video demo here.

As soon as I heard about Publisher Studio, I wondered how this new functionality would compete with his product, but I don’t think Chris has much to worry about.  His plugin gives you more control over how you create the links anyway.

How I Promote Amazon Products

I wish I had some fancy strategy to share, but my Amazon promotion strategy is ridiculously simple.  (Watch my Amazon affiliate program introductory video.)

I hardly ever use banners.  I just use good ole’ fashioned contextual text links — meaning I just add them to my content when relevant.  And as you can imagine, I convert best when I promote products I use.

For example, people are ALWAYS asking me what camera I use for my YouTube videos.  So on my Tools page here, I have a simple link to Amazon.com.

Sounds pretty boring, eh? But it works!

You just need the two T’s.  Traffic and Trust!

Creating Comparison Charts

Just recently I started using another strategy I got from Spencer Haws’ blog.  He recommended the WebSimon Plugin on a post about creating a product comparison chart.

This is a great plugin to use for Amazon affiliate links and it’s free!  You can easily create a comparison chart/table and the plugin even re-sizes the images automatically.

Once you install the plugin, you access it from the Tools menu in WordPress.  Then you simply choose how many rows and columns you want…

websimon

As you can see from the screenshot above, you can even import the data from a .CSV file.

Then you just edit the table and add your HTML code for the links and images…

websimon

You can even move columns/rows left and right or up and down by using the arrows on the side and top.  You can also adjust the styling of the table pretty easily.

After you’ve entered the data for your chart, just grab the WordPress shortcode that is created and paste it into your site.

The only thing I don’t like is that it’s not mobile responsive, so some columns may be cut off when viewing on smartphones.   In today’s times you have to consider the mobile view with so many people using smartphones to browse the Web.

To remedy that, try to keep your columns to a minimum (no more than 3 or 4.) Or if you must have a lot of columns, put the most important info in the first 3.

Here’s a quick chart I setup using WebSimon that shows cameras from Amazon.com.

Product Name Price
Product Name Price
Sony HDR CX220/B High Definition Camera $229
Sony HDR CX 190 High Definition Camera $229
Canon VIXIA HD Camera $249

What’s great about this plugin is you can use it for any comparison chart, not just Amazon links.  If you’re a hosting affiliate, for example, you could setup a comparison chart of the various hosting platforms.

Just one quick tip.  Instead of listing the price, you might want to create some kind of rating to indicate cost — especially if you’re promoting Amazon products.   Their prices change all the time so that would be a pain to monitor.

On my hair site I use dollar signs to indicate price range.  So products under $10 get one dollar sign, etc.  I used the star ratings on Amazon for the Ratings column. Granted these change too, but not as drastically and often as the price.

products

So that’s my Amazon strategy in a nutshell.  See, I told you it is simple!

What Do You Think of The Publisher Studio?

Are you impressed?  Will you start using this or will you continue to add affiliate links the old way?

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