Chin’s Story: I Gave Up As An Amazon Affiliate

There are hard ways to make money online, and then there are easier ways…

The hard way is to sell an affiliate product (or line of products) where you make an average of $0.50 from each buyer, and they usually only buy from your affiliate link once in their lifetime.

And, if you don’t make the sale within 24 hours, you don’t get the commission.

This is what Chin tried in his first go at internet marketing. And to make it even harder for himself, his traffic was dependant on his rankings in Google… We all know how risky that is!

But on the positive side, Chin has gained a huge amount of knowledge, that with some guidance, will help him realize his goals.

Chin’s story

[box]
Suk Fun Chin

Suk Fun Chin

My name is Suk Fun Chin and I live in Malaysia. I am a lecturer and work from 8am to 5pm. My hobbies are jogging and reading.

I learned about internet marketing from the Income Blogging Guide which cost U$282.00.

I have made very little money from the Amazon affiliate program (about $14) and I’ve given up.

I have put a lot of time and effort into building a blog, but could not get it to rank high in Google.

Because of this I got a very small number of visitors and I gave up. I’m not sure what I would like to do next.

I am thinking of selling physical products from Amazon, but don’t know which niche to focus on.

My goal is to make $1,000/month within a year and then increase it to $2,000/month in the 2nd year and then $3,000/month in the 3rd year. [/box]

My comments to Chin

Thanks Chin for telling us your story. There are MANY people like you that have put in a HUGE amount of effort, for a very dismal return.

But, you have also gained a huge amount of experience along the way which is valuable and can be put to good use.

I would love to know what your website url is, because then I could offer suggestions to turn it around, and make it profitable. I think it would be a mistake to waste the effort you put into it and go off on a completely different path with physical products on Amazon.

There is great money to be made from selling stuff on Amazon as an affiliate, but you have to be smart about your approach.

You should convert visitors to subscribers before sending them to Amazon.

That way you build an asset and can send them to Amazon (or any affiliate product or your own) as many times as you like. I’ll elaborate later on how to do this effectively and get your subscribers to love your recommendations…

At the time of writing, Amazon only pay you a commission if the person you referred buys and pays for the order within 24 hours.

If you refer them, and they go to the Amazon product page, but buy the next day, you don’t get the commission. This is something most people aren’t aware of.

I believe there are ways to extend the 24 hours to a few days, by sending them directly to the Amazon checkout page rather than the product page, but I am not sure if this still works.

If you send your visitor directly from your blog review page to Amazon your conversions are typically low, which results in a dismal income… This is because there is no urgency when they arrive at Amazon to buy now. They’ll look at the product you recommended, do some browsing, they may add stuff to their cart, but then they decide to search Google for some other reviews, or the kids distract them, or the phone rings and your 24 hours is ticking down…

I used the eBay and Amazon affiliate programs to regularly add $1,000 to $2,000 per month to bulk up my own model train membership sales. I did this by first converting visitors to my blog to subscribers. Once they are on my subscriber list, I can then recommend Amazon or eBay affiliate products (or other products) every now and again… But making sure that the recommendations will add value to the subscribers needs.

I used to watch Amazon and eBay for model train related bargains (and rip-off’s) and then tell my subscribers about them.

On eBay, I used to find DCC locomotive’s that retailed for about $800 being auctioned for $100, or sometimes less!

My subscribers loved me for these tips and I had also educated them to not bid the price up, but to wait until 5 minutes before the auction, and then put in a reasonable proxy bid. One subscriber would usually win the auction, which produced a great testimonial for my services, but the others had browsed eBay and bought other stuff, which I received an affiliate commission for.

My email open rates were high because of the money I was saving people and the credibility I had built.

[box]QUICK TIP: Always position yourself to help people.

In the model train niche I was always thinking… “How can I help beginners build their dream model railroad cheaper, faster and easier”. I was solving problems and saving them time and money in exchange for $27/month. My service took all the frustration and guesswork out of model railroading.

This built credibility and eventually some model train clubs around the world were recommending my service to their new members. I had no idea this was happening, until some of the members emailed me and thanked me for the service. I then asked how they found out about it and they said the experienced model railroaders of the club had recommended it… That’s when you know you are doing something right![/box]

The secret is to build a subscriber list based on the niche, and then build an awesome relationship with your subscribers by helping them.

Let me know what you think…

Regards
Ian

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  • owen

    Great story from Chin. I do find these stories interesting and informative, especially Ian’s replies. I like reading your thoughts.
    I think a membership site or ecommerce site model is the way to go. With adsense,amazon and affiliate models, the companies can make changes and the end result will be, you losing your income.
    Keep the posts coming Ian.Good work

    • Ian McConnell

      Thanks Owen.

      The recurring income from membership sites goes a long way in increasing lifetime customer value, and makes for a good asset that can always be sold in the future.

      Brokers tell me that membership sites and ecommerce sites are the easiest to sell and get a higher price. This is because they are cash generating systems that can be taken over and continue to be run successfully by the new owner.

      Cheers
      Ian

  • dvb t

    Great post and right to the point. I am not sure if this is truly the best place to ask but do you guys have any idea where to employ some professional writers? Thanks 🙂