Amazon Associates As A Side Hustle?

THE IDEA

You can promote Amazon products via their affiliate program, Amazon Associates, and earn a commission.

To promote your affiliate offers, you’ll typically write some sort of “review” content that analyzes specific products to help people make a better buying decision. And it’s likely you’ll be relying on SEO for traffic generation.

PROS

  • It’s free to join.
  • You have a selection of over one million Amazon products that you can promote.
  • If someone clicks your affiliate link, anything they buy in the next 24 hours will earn you a commission.
  • Amazon is always testing conversion rates. Amazon has millions of data points to help them optimize the product pages you promote, which can help you earn more with their program.
  • There’s a wide range of tools provided to promote Amazon products. You can use contextual links, native ads, product widgets, mobile pops, and more.
  • There are some horror stories of other affiliate networks not paying out on time or not paying out at all. But with Amazon, it’s highly likely you’ll be paid on time. Amazon pays 60 days after the end of the month of earnings (this may be a potential con).

CONS

  • Amazon Associate commissions are very low compared to other affiliate networks. Typically, you’ll earn 4% commissions. This will range depending on product category (some are as low as 1%).
  • Affiliate cookies only last 24 hours. Meaning, if a visitor clicks your link and decides to buy 25 hours later you will not be credited with that sale. With other affiliate networks, cookies last much, much longer (i.e. days or months).
  • To create the content you’ll either have to write up long, detailed reviews yourself or pay a writer to do so (expect to pay in the $100+ range).
  • This also requires some funds for domain and hosting.
  • You’ll also need to create your website, setup the layout, setup your affiliate links and widgets, get the proper plugins, etc.
  • Amazon has some weird Terms of Service that, if you don’t follow, could lead to your suspension or ban from their affiliate program. For example, you can’t promote Amazon products to your email list and you can’t talk about price directly. Refer to their TOS or support staff for any clarifications or changes.
  • Each Amazon store will require an independent sign-up process. For example, if you want to promote products from Amazon US and Amazon UK you’ll need to get approved for each one.

VS Digital Flipping

  • Amazon Associates (and any affiliate program for that matter) is similar to Digital Flipping because you don’t have to actually create the product nor fulfill shipments. This makes it very beginner-friendly.
  • Also, both Amazon Associates and Digital Flipping allow you to break into practically any industry because you’re not creating or fulfilling the product. And in this case, Amazon has an advantage due to the sheer amount of products in their inventory.
  • However, with Digital Flipping your margins are much, much larger. For example, if someone wants a website done for $500 your profit margin will depend on how much less you can outsource that work for. So if you’re able to outsource that work for $100, you’ll pocket an extra $400. Compare that to the 4% earnings you’ll see with Amazon.
  • Also, Digital Flipping has some slight advantages because no upfront investment is needed for a website or hosting. In fact, profits are secured in escrow first before you pay to outsource the work.
  • Next, Digital Flipping is much faster because it does not require any content creation or SEO. We go straight to buyers that already have their credit cards ready and know how much they want to spend. In fact, once you close a deal and deliver the work (which you outsourced) you’ll receive the money from escrow in 5 days.
  • In closing, Amazon Associates isn’t a magic bullet. Like I say, every real business is a process. With Amazon Associates, you’re essentially blogging and just using Amazon products as your monetization method.
  • Fundamentally, you need a buyer and an offer they value to exchange money. Amazon Associates is just one way to provide something of value to a potential buyer. My suggestion: Start with an audience’s problem then find how to offer that solution (don’t stay stuck to just one affiliate network, especially if they don’t provide the ideal solution).