The Ban Hammer Hitteth…

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:

  1. I had just over $6,000 waiting to be paid out, which I will not see now
  2. I had partnered up with an expert with one of my sites and it was just about ready to make some serious money
  3. 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.

Money

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!

Partnership

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 

What's next?

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.

 

The Pros & Cons Of Using The Amazon Associates Program

The Pros & Cons Of Using The Amazon Associates Program

Every newbie blogger that comes through my site wants to learn how to make money as an Amazon Associates.

I’ll admit to it myself, it’s great and I’m a huge fan of it.

It’s a huge opportunity for newbie and pro bloggers alike and it is super easy to join.

I’ve been making making money with Amazon for the past 2 years now and it has become one of my main sources of income.

Today I would like to discuss some pros (and cons) of using the Amazon Associate Program.

While it is great (for many reasons you’ll see below), it does have some items that needs improving.

If you are wanting to start as an Amazon affiliate, I suggest you take a look at this post, it would help

you understand if this affiliate platform is right for you.

The Pros & Cons Of Using The Amazon Associates Program

The Pros & Cons Of Using The Amazon Associates Program

Pros

A World Wide Trusted Brand

Everybody knows about Amazon right? It is the biggest online retailer for every imaginable item on the face of earth.

One of the hardest things you need to do to make money online is to get people to trust you. If you send them over to Amazon, the trust is already there.

This gives you much higher conversions rate when you want to sell something.

Safe, Secure For Both Parties

One thing I love about Amazon is the fact that they are secure and safe for both parties.

As a customer of Amazon, you are guaranteed safety and privacy with your CC numbers and purchases and as an affiliate, I also feel very safe that my earnings are there and I will get paid.

You’d be surprised how many affiliate programs usually end up closing down without paying their affiliates.

You can rest assured that this won’t be happening with Amazon.

Products Added To Cart Have 90 Days

Once you send a customer over to Amazon, if they add an item to their cart, you have 90 days until they make a purchase.

Not only that, but if they don’t buy the product but end up buying something else, you still get that commission!

Even if it’s completely unrelated!

A Constantly Updated Marketplace in Every Niche Imaginable

Whatever your blog topic is about and what you want to sell, you will find it on Amazon.

Anything and everything can be purchased from there, starting with a carton of eggs all the way to a $100,000 Rolex and more.

If you’re just starting out and have no idea what you want to sell, simply go to Amazon, type in your niche and watch as thousands and thousands of products in the subcategories of your niche show up.

Amazon is also constantly updating the marketplace with new products and removing items that don’t sell. Which leads us to another benefit of using the Amazon Associates:

If It’s On Amazon, It Sells

If you promote a product from Amazon, you can rest assured that there is an audience out there somewhere that is willing to buy it. Amazon are not going to feature products that do not make them money.

Your job as a blogger and an affiliate marketer is to find the audience that want to buy such items and direct them to Amazon, they will take care of the rest;

State­-Of-­The-Art Sales Funnel

Amazon has perfected the art of selling, in my humble opinion’ they are the best at selling online.

The whole website is designed for one thing: to sell.

From their “One Click Buy” button to the string of promotional emails you get after you check out a product, the infrastructure is there to make money!

As an affiliate, this is your biggest tool because you are literally leveraging the world’s best sales funnel to make money.

VIP GUIDES: Get access to the VIP Section where you can download a growing library of guides for free. FREE to signup; FREE to download!

Cons

Link Cookie Lasts For 24 Hours

In the “pros” section, I’ve mentioned how the cookie lasts for 90 days if the customer adds the product to their “cart”.

While that is awesome, if your customer does not add the item to his cart, you only have 24 hours for him to come back and make a purchase.

While this is understandable, since Amazon is a popular site where customers are being driven there every day, 24 hours is not a lot of time.

Most other programs allow your link to be valid for 30 days minimum, but Amazon doesn’t play by “the rules”.

As I’ve said though, Amazon has the best sales funnel in place so with their techniques, if the customer really wants to buy, he will buy within 24 hours.

Low Affiliate Payouts

The minimum you can earn as an associates is 4% going up to 8.5% commission.

This is not a lot by industry standards, but again Amazon is a giant and it does not follow “industry standards”.

You start off each month with the 4% rate but the more you sell, the higher your commission grows.

Check out this chart for the official numbers:

The Pros & Cons Of Using The Amazon Associates

Anything less than 10% is low when compared to other affiliate programs but obviously, none of them have the same power and reach as Amazon

No PayPal (As Of Today)

This is killing me.

I have no idea why Amazon doesn’t implement the PayPal option to pay their affiliates.

I have a little theory about it though: PayPal is owned by their rivals eBay.

However, I’m sure Amazon is strong enough to build a similar service like PayPal or at least make it available in spite of their competition.

I live in Europe and my check takes me about 3 months to receive and cash in! Not cool Amazon!

There are a lot of people asking for it so fingers crossed they will implement it soon.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading my post. I would like to thank Harry for allowing me to submit this guest post on his amazing blog.

For more information on how to make money as an Amazon Associate, please check out my blog.

Also, I would love for you to read a story I’ve published recently showing how a friend of mine is making $10,000 a month with Amazon. <­ It’s a MUST read!

If you have any questions, be sure to leave them down below. I’ll be jumping in the comment section and answering your questions right here.

Thanks again! Till next time.

Chris Lee


So this was a guest post from Chris Lee over at ablogonblogging.com (got to love the name!), a really fantastic website full of really actionable & interesting information.

This includes his updated Wealthy Affiliate Review for 2016, and if you are just starting out; Wealthy Affiliate is really the only place you should be going to learn the ropes.

I want to thank him for his time writing this post and want to urge all of you to get out there and get something started 🙂