Should You Become an Amazon Affiliate?
Life is short and you should always think carefully what to do with your precious time. We all have options and it is about making the most out of the limited time that you have available, and what you want to do with it.
My honest advice to you the reader is to spend as much time as you can doing what you want to do rather than what you think you have to do. These words may sound like a strange introduction, if you are thinking about becoming an Amazon Affiliate. They are nonetheless true words, and ones that you should give some genuine thought to.
So the big question - Should you spend your time building a website or websites as an Amazon Affiliate?
Making the Decision
There are many people, just like me who make a very good living from being an Amazon Affiliate. There are also about 50 times more people who make very little if indeed they make anything at all.
So what is the difference between them and me?
It is a simple answer I believe - I spend my available time very wisely indeed or at least I hope that I do. So that along with just a single focus on doing one thing very well is what has helped make this method work for me.
The First BIG Decision
If you want this to work for you, or indeed have any chance of it working for you, then you do need to give this 100% commitment. That means avoiding at all costs any distractions or chasing any "bright shiny objects." My single biggest mistake when starting out trying to make money online was diving from one thing to the next thing.
I tried just about anything that there was out there to try to make money online and these ventures included:
- Writing Kindle Books
- Clickbank Marketing
- Selling a course
The problem with that sort of approach, is that although you are busy and doing lots of things, the end result is that you become impatient and move on to try something else. You never do anything that well, nothing gets finished, and you make a few cents or nothing at all.
Learning takes time and with any method of making money online, you need to get really good at it and learn it properly. If you only focus on the money you will end up very frustrated. You can make really good money as an Amazon Affiliate if you go about it the right way.
Starting the Amazon Affiliate Journey
In my opinion there are just far too many so called training courses out there that say becoming an Amazon Affiliate is easy. Well in my experience that is simply not telling the truth. You certainly do not need to have a degree, or a high level education, but you do need to know what you are doing. It is certainly not as easy as many people would have you believe.
What Most People Tell You That You Have to Do
The typical advice you will receive is probably the following and although it is all required, there is in fact many parts left out that are also hard work. You will normally hear the following advice:
- Pick a niche or sub-niche
- Do keyword research
- Buy a domain and hosting
- Install WordPress
- Write articles
- Publish those to your website
- Then build backlinks.
That as you can see looks to be a fairly simple 7-step process and in fact it is. There is however so much more to it than that.
The Missing Parts
The parts that are left out are how to pick a niche that you have a chance of ranking for. It is easy to say pick a niche, but what if you had no chance of ranking for that niche. That would be a complete waste of time and you would never earn a dime.
After that you need to know how to set-up and organise your website in an effective manner. I have never seen anyone advise people how to go about setting up the website properly. If you do that right, then you provide great information for visitors, make it easy for them to navigate through your site, and the search engines like the structure.
When you have achieved that, it is then really important to know how to write quality articles, both informational in nature and product reviews. It is also really important to know how to link all of these together. Again most advice out there is to quickly write product reviews on the top rated products at Amazon and publish them to your website. That is really bad information. You need great content, content that converts and content that visitors will enjoy, read and come back for more.
Another element that is seldom discussed is how to write all of those articles to get them to convert into visitors who go to Amazon and buy something. Before I go into those in more detail I want to show you what I think makes a good Amazon Affiliate website.
The one thing that few people will tell you is the massive learning curve that you need to go through. There are a ton of new skills to learn and learning those can eat up a lot of your precious time.
What Defines A Successful Amazon Affiliate Website?
The most simple of answers is that it makes money. If you can build one website that earns you money every single month, then I see that as a success. The amount that website can earn is just about how much work you want to put into it. Different amounts have different meanings for different people.
So for someone who has made nothing before then $50 a month is a great deal better than nothing. It isn't much but it is a start. $100 a month is of course twice as good and getting towards $500 is certainly going in the right direction. There are four questions you must ask yourself and answer them with complete honesty:
- How much do you need to earn per month to feel successful?
- How much time are you willing to spend to make this happen?
- How much are you willing to invest into making this happen?
- How much time do you want to spend working once you have a successful website or websites?
Time vs Money - The Big Secret
If you take nothing else away from this article, then please take the time to understand this one section. If you do I promise you that many things can change for you. If you go to work each day the agreement that you have reached with your employer is a simple equation:
You trade YOUR time for money
So if you work 40 hours a week and get paid $500, then you earn a salary of $25,000 a year. In effect you are trading the time you have available to earn a wage.
Getting a New Bathroom Installed
You may well wonder why I have now changed to having a bathroom installed- bear with me please. If you decide that you want a new bathroom installed you have three choices:
- Pay someone to do it all
- Do it all yourself
- Pay someone to do a part of it and you do some of it
The first option above is really simple to understand. You bring someone in to do all of the work such as remove the old sink, bath etc, install the new appliances, and do the plumbing, electrical work, add the tiles, and fittings etc. It will cost you money depending on what styles of bath, shower, fittings etc you select and the cost of the firm to install it. In terms of time though it costs you very little as all you have to do is pick what you like and pay for it. It may then take a little time to project manage the installation from beginning to end.
When finished you will not know how to install a bathroom, you will have paid a substantial amount of money to get it done, but you will have a finished product that you can enjoy and reap the benefits from. It will also add value should you decide to sell your home.
In the second choice you can save a fortune by doing it yourself. However you need all of the skills to make this happen or be willing to learn all of these skills. These will include electrical skills, plumbing skills, perhaps drywall or plastering skills, know how to tile, fit a shower, a bath and you will also need a whole variety of tools that you may not own. It will also take a lot of time and if you also work then of course your time will be very limited.
As in Option 1 you will have a new room which you can enjoy and will also add value should you decide to sell. You will also have learned new skills, improved existing skills, own some new tools and would know how to do it again faster and better. The downside is that you will have used up a lot of your available time.
I like to call this the hybrid version. It is the one that many people pick. They pay someone to do most of the work and then do some of the other smaller jobs when they get time. They may pay an electrician to install a shower and a plumber to do the main plumbing jobs like installing the bath and sink. After that the person can attempt to add the fittings like the shelves, toilet roll holder, cabinets, the lights etc.
The option that you go for will depend on many things within the household. Do you really need a new bathroom? What skills does the home owner have? What budget does the home owner have? How quickly does the home owner want this done? How much time does the home owner have?
Say for example two people are bringing in a good income every month and are busy working. It will be simpler for them to pay someone to do this quickly and professionally. They can afford it and their time is very limited.
Other home owners may know it needs to get done and view it as an investment that will increase the sale price of their home. They may well borrow the money, get it done professionally and pay off a loan, knowing they will increase the value of the home when they come to sell it.
There are some home owners who love DIY. They may take this on a little at the time and do it themselves by either learning the skills or already having the knowledge.
The point that I am making here is that when it comes to building an Amazon Affiliate website, you need to treat it exactly the same way. You can pay someone to do it for you, you can do it all yourself, or you can pay for some of it and do some of it yourself.
That BIG decision comes down to time vs money. (And skills of course)
How Much Per Month as an Amazon Affiliate?
When you ask someone how much they want to earn from an Affiliate website you get a whole variety of answers from earning a small amount to earning $10K a month. The amount you can earn as an Amazon Affiliate is limitless if you have all the time in the world or a huge budget to spend.
Most of us do not have that amount of time or that amount of money.
How Much Time Are You Willing to Invest?
This is the one element of building a website that most people just do not really understand. Building a website takes a ton of work in the first three months, considerable work in the next 6 months, a fair amount of work in months 9-12. After that you can reduce the amount of time down considerably. The bottom line is the first year is just darned hard work with little or no reward.
I want to break that down for you but it depends on how you go about doing this that determines the amount of time, so I will cover that later in this article.
How Much Are You Willing to Spend (Invest)?
Now you need to buy a domain and pay for that each year so allow $10 per year for that. You also need to buy hosting which will cost about $90 a year so add those together and you get $100 a year. If you just don't have the money to do that, then my advice is not to consider becoming an Amazon Affiliate.
You will also need to buy a good Theme for your WordPress website and that costs about $100 as a one-off spend. Yes there are free themes but a professional theme makes a huge difference.
There are also a couple of paid tools that you will need. They save you hours of time and also increase conversions. One is a keyword tool that costs $37 a month and the other is a conversion plugin that costs about $47 as a one-off cost.
So for the first year I think you need to be prepared to invest somewhere between $500-1,000 as a minimum. Now I know to some people that may sound like a lot of money, but to start up a business it is about as low as you will ever find.
Let's say you decided to invest $1,000 in doing this. If that website then made you $500 a month going forwards, you would get your investment back in 2 months and have a 6 to 1 return on investment in a single year. That is an excellent return and much of your spend has already been done.
If you built another website you could use the same hosting, same theme, same plugins, same keyword research so in effect your only cost would be a $10 domain to do the same thing again. So as you can see the return will of course be even better.
How much time do you want to spend working once you have a successful website or websites?
Of the 4 questions this is probably the most difficult of all to answer. Once again though there is a simple answer and that is zero. Ideally I would like to spend none of my time updating or adding content to a website that was making me money. That is especially true if I had reached a level of monthly income that had me contented. I would after all rather go and do things I like and watch the money roll in.
Once you have a good website up and earning consistently, the reality is that it takes only 1-2 hours a month to maintain it as is. You need to keep things up to date and that is all that is required. If you want to add more articles and grow the website, then the time taken is simply down to how many articles you want to add each week or month.
All of that will come down to the lifestyle that you want. If you are content with what it is earning then just to the bare minimum. If you want to earn more then put in the extra work.
A Practical Example of a Good Amazon Affiliate Website
I promised you that I would break this down in terms of time vs money to get this done properly. Below you will find, based on my experience, what is required.
How to Build a $1,000 Per Month Amazon Affiliate Website?
This assumes you do everything yourself including all of the market research and writing.
Picking a Niche
Buying a Domain & Hosting
Setting up WordPress & Plugins
Setting up the Structure
Writing the Important Pages
Writing & Publishing 100 Articles
Creating Internal & External Links
Adding Images & Videos
Setting up Social Accounts
Promoting to Social Accounts
So as you can see from beginning to end this process will take about 400 hours of your time to achieve. I hope that you can now understand just how much time this takes to do. I hope that you can also understand that if you only have 4 hours a week available that it will take 2 years to get this done. If on the other hand you had 10 hours a week free then it would take less than a year to produce a website like this.
If you did it all yourself then your cost would be around $300 plus 400 hours of your time.
You will also notice that half of this time is spent writing quality articles. This is one area where you can trade money for your time. You can pay a good writer to do those for you for about $10 an article. That will cost you $1,000 though so your money investment would be about $1,300 but you would save a lot of time and get it done quicker.
At the end of the day if that website starts making $1,000 a month you will have your return in just a couple of months.
The Ultimate Decision - Amazon Affiliate or Not?
Here is what most people do and I can tell you now this is why most people never make a cent. They make the mistake of trying to become an Amazon Affiliate with no idea of what they are getting in to.
There is a lot to learn and that takes a lot of time. Writing articles, especially good ones takes a lot of time and can bore you to death. Picking a niche, doing market research, keyword research is not easy and you do need to know exactly what you are doing.
Most new people are so afraid that this will not work that they do not want to spend any money until they are certain. It does not work like that. I know because I tried to do that and made nothing. If you want to become a successful Amazon Affiliate you need to invest in the right tools.
New people buy cheap hosting, try to do keyword research manually which takes hours of time. They try to write all of their own articles and get bored to death. They use free WordPress themes which go out of date and are hard to configure to the style required.
New people try to become experts at everything - Jack of all trades and Master of none.
New people suddenly realise this is actually a lot more work than they had been told it was and move away to spend their limited time doing something else. You can build an Amazon Affiliate website with 20 articles if you want, but it will never make you a dime.
Some new people buy automated software that quickly generates Amazon style Affiliate websites and churn out a few websites that never make money, become disillusioned and give up.
There is a right way and many wrong ways of being successful as an Amazon Affiliate. The right way takes time, some money and 100% focus.