The Common-Sense Approach to Earning With Amazon’s Affiliate Program
This is a guest post from Jeff Carson from Azon Classroom. Jeff makes some very solid, practical, and simple tips that will help you improve your Amazon affiliate business.
Amazon Niche Selection – My 3 Most Important Lessons Learned
I’ve learned a lot over the past couple years creating niche blogs that sell Amazon products. Perhaps the most important lesson was, don’t put the word ‘Kindle’ in a domain name…you’ll get your account shut down and all your accrued earnings held hostage for months, provided you can get them at all.
Uh, okay…moving onto other lessons…
Some (other) most important lessons I’ve learned about making money with Amazon Associates surround the process of selecting a niche.
I personally found it difficult in the beginning to choose a niche that I felt comfortable with. Would I make any money with it? Would it be a waste of time? These are thoughts my mind wrestled with. The more I teach people, the more it seems we all think the same way about this.
But it doesn’t need to be so mind bending and stress causing in my experience.
In this post, I’m going to detail three lessons I’ve learned that allow me to make money each and every time I enter a niche now.
I’m not going to tell you any formulas to follow, as I haven’t been able to identify one with my experience with Amazon Associates.
What I have been able to identify, are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way about selecting niches that seem to make or break my success. Here they are…
Lesson 1 – Choose Something You Have an Interest In, Or a CHANCE of Being Interested In
I used to find myself asking the success-shattering question, “What if I don’t succeed in this niche?” I then later found myself asking a more relevant question – “What if I DO succeed in this niche?”
Here’s what I mean…
I started out writing about all sorts of very strange subjects for the purpose of entering a niche that I thought would make me money. What I ended up with were niche sites based on topics I had absolutely no interest in whatsoever.
Coffee tables? Office furniture? Shoe storage? Good Lord…just reading those topics has put you in a state of boredom. I’m sorry I did that to you…But nonetheless, I built entire blogs around those topics.
What happened? They started making money at the beginning, but I simply despised the blogs. So, I didn’t even look at them. I didn’t add more content. I looked forward to getting myself on a different track. So I moved onto another strange niche, and so the process repeated itself.
In the end, these sites dropped in rankings, stopped making money, and I didn’t care. Done.
Conversely, when I was interested in a niche, the writing came naturally and was very persuasive. I didn’t even have to think about it. I had more to write about, so I had more content bringing more traffic. The sales increased dramatically and work was actually enjoyable.
Specifically, golf is my favorite niche. I love golf. I feel like I could have an informed sounding, coherent conversation with anyone about golf. I feel I could teach anyone golf. I would listen to or watch anything that was about golf over most anything else…you get the point.
So, back to the “What if I DO succeed with this niche?” question…
So now if someone asked me, “Oh cool, you make blogs. What are some of your blogs?”
Telling them I have a few golf blogs and listing them off felt cool. “Yeah, I have a site that reviews the best GPS’s, one that sells training aids, and another that reviews golf nets, I also have an instructional site…” etc… I felt good about it.
I can tell you when people asked me about my blogs and I was saying “Uh, I have a blog about coffee tables, office furniture, kitchen tables, ummmm, what else…oh yeah, shoe organizers…” I was thinking to myself AS I was telling these people what I was doing, what the heck am I doing? Their facial expressions would tell me they were asking the same thing.
I wasn’t proud of what I was doing, and my level of success followed suit.
I don’t mean to demean anyone for any niche they have chosen. Because the bottom line is I made some good money with some of those sites! Some random niches I chose became VERY interesting me when they were making hundreds or thousands of dollars a month!
I’m just saying, I go with topics I like from now on. I find success easier – much easier.
Lesson 2 – Niches With Cross Selling Items and Items That Sell In Numbers
If there aren’t any items that are an obvious cross-sell, or any items that sell in numbers in the niche, I don’t usually go into it.
A Good Example – Golf Grips
If someone is purchasing a golf grip online, then there is a large likelihood they are going to purchase 16 to 20 of them. That’s because if a golfer knows what they are doing, then they will want a consistent feel on all the clubs (and I’ll tell them they do!), so they’ll purchase new grips for ALL the clubs.
Because the golf competition rule states that one can only carry 14 clubs in the bag, most people have 14 clubs. So, let’s add a few in case they screw up putting them on. That means they are buying at least 16 grips.
Furthermore, most amateurs have more clubs than 14, since they aren’t in competition, so they’ll probably buy 20 grips.
THEN, the customer will need some double-sided tape, a pack of hooked razor blades, some fluid, a vise, maybe a blowtorch and maybe even a few more things if they want to do the job right!
It’s now easy to see how this one person has just purchased 33 things from my link in one sitting!
My commission percentage is now going to go up for all my items that month. That’s going to make a huge difference for the $500 golf mats I’m selling!
(NOTICE – Since I’m so interested in golf, I know about this opportunity. You can see it’s very related to the first lesson.)
A Poor Example (for me) – Shoe Organizers
I don’t know what people want to buy along with shoe organizers. Shoes? No, that doesn’t work…I don’t care…why are we talking about this again?
Lesson 3 – Don’t Be Afraid Of Hot and New Niches
The hotter a niche is -> the more reviews products within the niche are going to have -> the more products are going to sell in the niche -> the more potential money your blog can make per visitor to the blog.
That’s what logic says, and I’ve found it to be the truth in my experience.
Most people balk at the competition at this point, however. “Yeah, but everybody and their sister is trying to sell these things then! How will I stand out?”
Yes, but everyone is usually trying the exact same angle. They are trying to write content that is “Product X” with a “Review” tacked onto the end of it. That’s great for unsaturated niches, but for established hot niches, you may need to find a different angle into the niche.
So, instead, perhaps you could talk about “Product X vs. Product Y – Which Is The Best?”
Or, maybe a how-to topic that teaches a subject, then recommends the product There are many different ways to claim a portion of commissions for a hot product, or hot line of products.
What about NEW hot products?
I learned a couple years ago that a large percentage of people simply do not take action writing content for brand new products.
I learned this by writing about products that came out the day, or maybe the day after, they were released, and finding my content on the front page of Google for many relevant keywords in a just a day or two.
These are often products that become very hot, and then everyone else is playing catch up and climbing over themselves to rank highly months later, when it’s much more difficult. Why? Because your site has been at the top getting shared, and getting commented on, and getting views…and that kind of stuff can entrench content in the search engines.
The point is, a little action with hot niches, or new niches, can really go a long way.
It’s tough to calculate your way into these opportunities as stats often won’t exist. Instead, it’s more done with gut feeling and action.
I hope that you found my three learned lessons useful to you.
Jeff has put together a very in-depth training course that walks through setting up a successful Amazon niche site from top to bottom. It’s called Azon Classroom and it’s a great course that will teach you how to set up your site the right way, and how to write content that generates sales.