I'm still seeing stars
OK, so here goes…
I was minding my own business the other day when disaster struck :O
“What happened?”, you say.
Well pull up a seat and sit down. Or if you are already sitting down; stand up and then sit down again.
The day I got smacked upside the head with the ban hammer
If you have all been following along with my niche site case study, (which of course you have been because we are all friends here, you will know that I have been making steady progress and that I am using a program called Amazon Associates to monetize it.
Well the other day, 10 June 2016, I logged in for my daily ritual of seeing how much moola I had made and low and behold…they had banned my account 🙁
What's the fallout?
Well there are 3 very major issues here that really suck balls:
- I had just over $6,000 waiting to be paid out, which I will not see now
- I had partnered up with an expert with one of my sites and it was just about ready to make some serious money
- I might not be allowed to use this program again
I will go through each point here to show you how bad this feels…like rubbing salt into an open wound and then washing it away with bleach kind of bad feeling.
So everything else aside; I will never get to see that money that I had earned which is nightly annoying.
Luckily I had reinvested a lot of the earnings into other sites and some long term things that will help me to regroup and start again…but that is still a shit load of money that I really wanted in my bank account!
I won’t go into too much detail here out of respect for my partner, but suffice to say we may have to seriously reconsider and possible find a load of different affiliate programs to recoup something.
This is bad because Amazon is such a conversion machine, that we will never make as much money as we could have done otherwise, (slight chance we could make more though because other affiliate programs generally offer 10% or more, which is higher than Amazon).
Lifetime arse pain
Yep, this is the one that pisses me off the most.
I have been researching like crazy to see whether they ban websites, or people and I just can’t seem to find an answer.
If this is a lifetime ban, I can kind of live without the lost money, but I really want my other website to be cleaned up to comply with their terms of service then added to another associate account.
I also want to be able to use this program again because it is just so dammed convenient.
There is a few silver linings though:
- I will try to create a new account and let it marinate for a bit to see if they shut it down again. The purpose here being that if they keep it open, I will start to add my niche site case study site to it and hopefully start making some money again.
- If they shut it down completely, I will just use someone else details and open a completely separate account with a brand new website. I don’t really want to do this because it is a royal pain in the starfish and I will have to use a different computer, name, bank details and IP address. All very doable, just time consuming and frustrating.
Well I’m not going to give up…that’s for pussies and fucking wankers.
I will make money online one way or another and I just need to regroup myself a bit.
Most likely situation will be that I will take a bit of time off to gather myself, (I am also renovating a house so a bit busy irl), and then get back into it.
My first step will be to clean up my recent niche site and make it as compliant as possible. This is because it is just starting to rank for some medium competition keywords and really seeing some movement and traffic.
Luckily, because it is in the kitchen/ cookware niche; there are plenty of other affiliate programs so not the end of the world.
I have also slowly been creating a new, authority site that I will try to monetize with AdSense and Clickbank offers. However this is a really long term site and I don’t expect to start making even 1 cent for at least a few years.
I also need loads of content for it and I was previously buying it, but I guess I will just have to research and write it all myself now!
What you can do
If anyone reading this has an Amazon associate account, I would highly recommend reading this post from Marketever, and then going through your site/s with a fine tooth comb and get it nice and compliant.
I have noticed a shit load of accounts getting banned recently and a whole load of lives being turned upside down. So be safe and make sure to stay clean. Remember kids…drugs aren’t the answer. Unless you have just had your account banned, then it might be the answer, (DISCLAIMER: probably better to stick with the whiskey).
It is also a lesson in not putting all of your eggs in one basket. Try to diversify your income as much as possible. This means that if you are currently only running 1 kind of site with 1 source of income, start to invest heavily in other forms of income so you are more secure if one goes down.
Wrapping it up
As frustrating as this is, it isn’t the end of the world.
I am not even bitter towards Amazon, (although I do wish that they would just allow people to correct their site and then reapply…a lifetime ban is a bit much imho).
I will see about making a new account somehow, and I will start to focus my efforts away from 1 source of income to hopefully several and I really think that I will try to transition to creating and selling my own products when I get some decent traffic.
Let me know what you think in the comments and I will get back to you.