At the end of last year I published a post about my financial goals for 2017. Two of these goals were related to a site I built for Amazon affiliate income. I was planning to sell the first item within 90 days, furthermore achieve EUR 500 affiliate income during 2017. As we are getting close to the half of this year, it is time to review how it went so far. As the title already suggests, not good…
Not good might be too soft expression to use. A total failure would fit better here. Long story short I didn’t earn a single cent. I have probably made a lot of mistakes in order to have this shameful result. But what did I do wrong? Honestly I’m not sure. Let me just summarize what I did for two reasons: First of all this might be a good list about how not to do it if you want to make an Amazon affiliate site. Secondly someone who is more experienced in the topic might point out the mistakes for the better understanding of all readers, including me.
First of all I read quite a few articles on how to start an Amazon affiliate site. Examples below:
- How To Make A Profitable Amazon Affiliate Website
- The Ultimate Guide to Making Money with the Amazon Affiliate Program
- How To Make Money With The Amazon Affiliate Program: The Newbie Guide
It took some time to go through the articles and digest the content, but at the end it all made sense. And all seemed easy. I was ready to build up the site and see the affiliate income flowing in!
Choosing a Niche
I chose a niche that I personally like, have some understanding about and I believed that could generate some traffic that can be converted to Amazon purchases. This was garden and outdoors.
My thinking was that this niche is evergreen (even in the wintertime I can post about snow blowers, indoor gardening etc.), and I can benefit from both high volume, low cost purchases (e.g. pruners) and low volume, high cost purchases (e.g. lawn mowers).
Setup the Site
Setting up the site was very easy. I even wrote a how to start a blog guide, so it couldn’t be a problem for me. I registered the site with Bluehost, setup WordPress, made a basic design and started to write some articles.
Working on the SEO
Well, this is the area where I probably need to improve the most. Including the SEO of this site…
What I did was that I have commented on some other blogs in the niche and bought some social signals on PBNButler. I have tried to write posts with keywords that could potentially rank higher based on Google Keyword Planner. I have also made some internal links between the posts, plus some external links with further information in the area.
Altogether I must have put quite a few days in net in order to build up the site, make researches in the niche, write the articles and put everything together in order to make it ready for the visitors (and their clicks). The result? Around 10 visitor per month on average. How many clicks and purchases? See below yourself:
10 clicks, zero orders and zero revenue. Not exactly the way I planned, but this is the result of about 6 months. The facts are stubborn things…
I also have to mention that after around 3 months I have stopped writing new articles and only relied on the “traffic” of the already existing posts.
Is it impossible to make income via an Amazon affiliate site? No, it’s not. There are plenty of success stories out there and many people use such sites as their main (or only) source of income. But it is definitely much-much difficult to get any kind of income than I initially thought.
It takes a LOT of time and effort to build up a site with quality content and well optimized SEO that has a lot of traffic. A fraction of this traffic will turn out to be actual purchases, but you definitely need a lot of visitors.
I have to admit that at this point of time besides of my daytime job, my family and this blog I simply do not have enough time to properly manage another site with its own special requirements. Maybe I should improve this blog first before thinking about other ones. There are a lot of areas of improvement here too…
Based on my experience, if you wish to start an Amazon affiliate site, you really must get ready for a lot of work. Just like any other sources of income, this is not a get rich fast scheme. Rich? As you can say you will not even have any income for quite a long time.
By the way, you might have noticed that for some weeks there is a “My Amazon Picks” book recommendation at the bottom of each post. These are actually books that I really do recommend to read, so it is not just there as a pure advertisement. And if you are interested, so far my income from it is equally zero 🙂
How about you dear readers? Have you ever thought about launching and Amazon affiliate site? Maybe you already have one? I would be really interested to read your thoughts and experience in this topic.
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Disclaimer: This post or any other information on the site is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice or any other advice. I am solely sharing my idea, plan and progress on early retirement.