Amazon made some big changes early this morning causing ripples throughout the affiliate community. I honestly think if you didnt see this coming then you need to now take control of your revenue. I made big moves away from Amazon in late 2016 after they blundered a big investment in Amazon FBA and made some bogus claims against my Amazon associates account.
I opened my eyes and looked for other alternatives. They do exist and they are always better to work with than a huge corporation who at any moment can screw its affiliates. Funny enough the screwing happened in the early hours this morning.
Summary of what happened:
assive fee changes for some categories on the Amazon Associates program, starting on 21st April.
Home improvement, Garden, Pets,Beauty and more go from 8% to 3% Ive added a change table so you can see what the commissions were and what they are as of 21st April 2020.
To change table by Amazon – Heartbreak link
The Opportunity For Amazon Affiliates To Pivot
Amazon associates program is not the only revenue stream for affiliate sales. There are so many more opportunities available and I’ll show you some of the better places to get affiliate deals setup.
I would suggest taking the approach of diversify your revenue stream just like COVID-19 taught us that things can change. Never leave all your eggs in one basket, make moves to secure multiple revenue streams and this works for affiliates as well. Look at using multiple affiliate programs to monetise your websites.
Think of these platforms like Landlords:
You don’t control them, you cant control them. All you can do is play by their rules and hope they don’t change the rules on you after you have invested time and money building your empire around their goal posts. These are goal posts that move when they say they need to move.
Google will make algo updates and ruin your organic strategy overnight.
Facebook will create social engagement changes so you can no longer bait people to click and share your promotions.
Instagram will hide your engagement metrics so people have to do more things to engage with yoru content making it less rewarding for them.
YouTube can ban your account because you posted more videos in one day than they think you should. The list goes on about how you can loose everything because of these platforms changing their goal posts.
I actively search for new affiliate programs every 6 months in my niches and I would ask you to do similar. Book a date in your calendar and set it to 6 month reoccurring and do the searching you will be surprised at what you find.
My Advice: Consider expanding your site’s potential profit by diversifying your affiliate networks.
Amazon being a big orange bag of dried up apricots is not the end of the world. In fact there are other alternatives and I went through this process when I swore off Amazon when they F#@cked me over back in late 2016.
Here is a roundup of the affiliate networks I would suggest you look at joining to get that loss of revenue back while still selling from your site you were using with Amazon. Each network has strengths and weaknesses and different terms, I found most are decent enough and when you can verify traffic results and sales your almost set to renegotiate your percentage of commission that you get for a sale #winning.
Check them out below.
How to find affiliate programs?
10 Other Affiliate Networks and Programs
The staple in affiliate marketing and where I began my journey into promoting other peoples products. ClickBank is a well-known name with more than 20 years online marketing history they are the belly of the beast. ClickBank has developed a reputation for relatively high commissions ranging 10-75% and a name that pays on time every time. They say they have reach of more than 200 million customer base
ClickBank comes with a learning hub for beginners, very functional analytics dashboard, extended opportunity for partnerships and has many reoccurring commissions offerings.
This is a great starting point for beginners and really should be in everyones marketing arsenal.
CJ Affiliate by Conversant
CJ Affiliate are a big player with a LOT of offers. They are a massive affiliate network that works with and promotes products and companies all over the globe, I am surprised by some names that keep popping up in the dashboard of local companies near my home city. It’s a surprise to see but just goes to show the power of online marketing.
I love the simplicity of the affiliate dashboard and search functions for finding those winning offers. They have history and experience on their side and it shows. Great experience with them so far and Ive been really impressed with their dropshipping component. They have extended features for more experienced affiliates called “premier” where you can earn $10k a month and upwards.
This is free to sign up to and a great starting point for beginners, the more experienced marketers will thrive with this platform.
Hosting a library of household names think Best Buy, Lacoste, Wal-Mart, Macy’s, and the like this is a one stop shop for affiliates who want to promote more retail type offers. Think big machine style affiliate marketing, they say they have pushed over 120 million orders a year and growing.
They have some high profile industry awards thrown their way thanks to mThink, they picked up Best Affiliate Network seven years running.
Rakuten manages the quality and reliability of products and services being promoted. I found this platform a little clunky to use and staying on top of it was a chore. Useful to be part of and you can find amazing offers that do convert really well.
This is good for beginners who want to test the general retail sales offers and clothing etc. Really decent network of offers available but I just found the dashboard clunky, that does not mean the program stinks. Very much worth your time to join and start promoting sales offers.
eBay Partner Network
If you’re already familiar with Amazon’s affiliate network platform, adding eBay’s affiliate program into the mix should be fairly easy to do. With 1.2 billion listings on eBay, there is certainly a wide array of options to choose from, and potential to make money. For Australians eBay is the choice to buy online before Amazon.
On the flip side, eBay’s payment structure could be a deterrent, as the percentage commission in comparison to other programs is smaller (50 to 70 percent), and partners are only paid monthly. This is part of why the platform doesn’t have my undying support. I would say use it more but the payouts and structures are not enticing enough for me to focus efforts on here.
This is best for those who liked Amazon associates program. Very similar experience and offerings.[/et_pb_text]
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Ive used this damage report before and I have a feeling that 2020 will be the year that I absolutely wear the colour out of this image. Every week its like getting a speeding fine when driving on the freeway.
I like promoting digital info products and downloadables. This is where Avangate comes in to play, a very simple to utilise platform that removes a lot of cumbersome fiddling with settings and crap you just dont need to be doing.
They have a decent sized database roughly 22,000 software products available. They pay pretty good commission rates and have a pretty extensive network of partners. This wont be the best fit for people selling physical products.
Shareasale has been around for 18 years and works with more than 4,000 merchants across a wide range of product categories. I like this platform for the range of options it provides. Ive made a lot of money with Shareasale and find them a solid platform for affiliates.
The actual support team are legends they actually take time to help you and keep it real. No slick sales or anyone pulling te ewool over your eyes, the typical internet marketer and affiliate manager stereotype. I give them props for doing a great job consitantly.
Great for beginners to advanced.
Billed as an “exclusive performance marketing agency,” GiddyUp works with “innovative and disruptive brands” around the world. This site is particularly attractive for affiliates who are working in more obscure or highly specific niches.
Their GiddyUp Publisher program allows affiliates to get weekly Net 5 payments on every offer, and all campaigns are tested and optimized before they go live.
JVZoo is a software as a service (SaaS) company that focuses mostly on online or digital products. It is free to sign up and use JVZoo, and their “newbie-friendly” site design and signup process help facilitate and teach those who might be fairly new to affiliate marketing how to really get going without a lot of risk.
Some of the benefits of using JVZoo are up to 100 percent instant commissions one of the only platforms where you will be getting 100% of the sale. Dashboards show real time tracking of your commissions and alerts on purchase notifications.
This platform gets a bad wrap because a lot of vendors are sharks, they create software thats not complete so that it can be resold in 6-12 months rebranded for another cash grab. Ive lost count of software Ive purchased through JVZoo where Ive had to contact the vendor about support or functional assistance because the domain is down or the logins not working or the entire screen of the dashboard is messed up. All fun with JVZoo.
This network is a headache but it also does have some sweet deals available. You just need to know how to spot the sharks from the actual marketers.
This is for beginners and advanced marketers. Please check your vendor and offer before putting your name behind it as a suggested action from me.
Avantlink is all about data, customization, and better understanding the relationship between the products you promote, how you go about marketing them, and making adjustments so as to better reap the benefits of your work. The Avantlink network is connected with hundreds of merchant partners to work with across different fields, so many different kinds of affiliate marketers may find options there.
With dedicated international affiliate networks, product-level tools, and custom tracking links, you can make sure you are being focused with your time and efforts.
FlexOffers connects you with more than 12,500 affiliate programs and lists just on 5,000 premo advertisers. You can find a host of categories to promote using FlexOffers.
Apart from its partners, FlexOffers also has a sleek interface for tracking your account, as well as on-call support for publishers.
Similar to Sovrn, Skimlinks will create affiliate links in your content automatically for you. For content that’s created without your involvement (like a forum), this might be a good option.
You can also insert links manually as well. They currently have over 24,000 merchants they work with, so I recommend you signup for this one as well. They have a wide range of niche markets.
Bonus Affiliate Marketing Tactic
Another strategy I’ve used is to contact individual companies and ask about their affiliate programs. Not every company will have an affiliate program but if you can explain the benefits to them you can often twist their arm and get them setup with a program.
Some companies run in-house affiliate programs, which means they have a select few affiliates that they work with. Such companies can be quite profitable to work with as you’ll be competing with way less affiliates.
reaching out to these companies to set up a private affiliate deal with them. These can often be worth far more than going with an affiliate network’s offer, as the payouts can be higher.
If they don’t have an affiliate program, you can offer to set one up for them using a tool like http://reversion.com/
Diversifying Your Affiliate Networks Matters
Being in the online business world, you probably already know that things change pretty quickly and that having flexibility is key to success. When it comes to affiliate marketing, that remains true.
If you haven’t already, expanding your potential profit by diversifying your affiliate networks is a great way to build in additional revenue streams for your business. Before diving into any one in particular, make sure to do some research on the program or network to confirm its legitimacy, potential for profit, and alignment with the types of products and services highlighted on your website.
Despite the affiliate program you use you should have a niche where you have the knowledge and advantage to produce great content that you can layer monetization opportunities over that content to make you money. Your business goals can bend a little to accommodate the alternative affiliate marketing network that you have added. This will be a new opportunity to try new things and it might just be the wake up call that you needed. Thanks Jeff.
The learning from this move by Amazon remains the same as I say again and again diversify your revenue streams, and do not forget to diversify your traffic channels. This works for using several affiliate networks to make money from yoru website because if one (Amazon) goes down you will still have 2 or 3 programs making you money until you can replace the one that went down.
This is a smart lesson for website owners and online marketers to be more involved in your asset management. Take more control of your asset to keep it future proof against thrid party interference.
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