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How to Make More Money with Amazon.com Affiliate Program

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One of the first successful ways I was able to make money online was through the use of the Amazon.com affiliate program. Back in the late 90’s I was creating hundreds of celebrity focused pages for a site that featured all of their movie titles. I would write a bit about the celebrities and then link all of their movie titles back to Amazon.com through my affiliate link. Since the SEO world was a lot different then I was ranking extremely well for various celebrities and their movie titles. This was quite a successful business model and it allowed me to earn over $100,000 in commissions through Amazon without any paid advertising.

A lot has changed since then but Amazon.com is still a mega power house that nearly ever person shops through. While many people don’t like Amazon.com because of their low commissions, you have to factor in how easy it is to make a sale through their site since they are a well trusted brand and sell virtually everything.

With all of that said, there are many ways to promote Amazon.com on your site and some work better than others. In this post I’m going to give you a few quick tips on how you can improve your Amazon earnings and maybe even get you started as an affiliate with their site in the process.

It’s All About Niche Sites

Time and time again we are talking about niche sites, and this is simply because they work so well. The two easiest ways to make money online for a web site are through Google Adsense and Amazon.com, but this doesn’t mean that they will both work well for any site. If you have an entertainment or informational site, you will probably due much better with Google Adsense than you will with linking to Amazon.com. If you have a product and review based site, you will likely do better with Amazon.com as people are already in “buying mode”. If you want to make good money with Amazon’s affiliate program a great place to start is with a niche site that focuses on the products they sell through their site.

Instead of looking at the best selling products on Amazon and trying to build sites around the big name items, break down the categories and find what’s hot within smaller niches of their own. In the example below we are looking at Pet Supplies > Dogs > Carriers & Travel Products… and you can just keep going deeper and deeper to find some great hidden gems. Build sites around these smaller niche items and you will not only right easier in the search results, but your audience will find exactly what they are looking for.

Amazon Niche Sites

Use Product Images and Blue Text Links

Some people like to get too fancy with their sites and switch things up. There is no reason why you should complicate the process of getting people to click a link on your site. Everyone is used to seeing a BIG BOLG BLUE LINK, and it makes people want to click. Product images are also very important when people are browsing through your site. In addition to the blue link, people want to click on images for more information and views. Give your audience what you need and make the process as simple as possible. Amazon has also a lot of fancy widgets, word clouds, and search tools that you can add to your site. It’s usually recommended that you stay away from these as they don’t convert as well as simple text links and images.

Amazon Books

Link Directly to Specific Products

Amazon’s affiliate program is one of the best around because they make it easy to link to any product on their site. You have a much better chance of making a sale through their site if you link directly to what you are talking about on your site. Send the visitor to the actual product and not the main page or even the category of Amazon.

Amazon Direct Linking

Sell More Products, Earn More Money

I mentioned earlier that a lot of people don’t like to promote Amazon because of the low payouts. If you can sell a lot of products through their site, you will earn higher commissions. This scale is on a monthly basis and if you can push some nice volume, you can be earning over 8% on each item sold. What’s really cool is that the commission increase is retroactive across all items sold for the month. You can see a breakdown the affiliate payout structure below.

Amazon Advertising Fees

Best WordPress Plugins to Simplify the Process

As great as the Amazon affiliate program is, their affiliate backend and setting up links can be quite a pain. Fortunately there are plenty of tools, plugins and software that have been created to make the process a whole lot easier. I’ve listed some of the tools I personally use below. I highly recommend you checking them all out.

Long Tail Pro – I can’t say enough about this product that was created by Spencer Haws and I’ve already written a thorough review on it a few months ago. This software allows you to really dig down and find long tail niche keywords and let’s you look at the sites currently ranking for these keywords and give you a figure on how easy or hard it will be for a site to rank at the top of the search results for your desired term.

Long Tail Pro Keyword Competitiveness

EasyAzon – If you are going to create a niche site and focus on using Amazon as your revenue source EasyAzon will make it so much easier for you to build links through your affiliate site. Instead of having to go back and forth between Amazon and using their affiliate link generator, you can install this plugin, search for your desired product and post it your page. This plugin has saved me a ton of time!

EasyAzon Amazon Plugin

There are lots of other Amazon plugins and themes out there that are worth looking into as well. Some of them are free and some are premium, but the three I recommended above have worked really well for me. In the coming weeks I will probably do a case study and walk you through the process of how to find a winning niche (product) on Amazon and build out a niche site.

Amazon.com is going to be around for a very long time and they are a legitimate business and name your customers can trust. If you aren’t currently working with Amazon.com, now is a great time to start as we quickly move into the 4th quarter of the year when everyone starts to go nuts and spends their money on Halloween, Black Friday Shopping and of course Christmas! Make sure you are ready to get in on the massive spending!

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GDPR Rules, Fines and Compliance – What You Need to Know

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As most business people know, taking care of sensitive and personal data of customers is of the utmost importance. Failing to do this could see you getting on the wrong side of your customers and the wrong side of the law – and the penalties can be severe. In the past, the Data Protection Act has provided regulations and guidelines to help businesses to implement data protection policies. However, this is now changing with the introduction of the GDPR.

How will this affect your current business and email marketing efforts?

The biggest question is always what needs to be done next to make sure you are compliant. iContact answers this easy enough with the following statement from the site:

The good news is, if you are already following email marketing best practices and asking your subscribers for permission to join your email lists via a subscription form on your website or requiring the subscriber to tick a box on your ecommerce site (and you can prove this ), you are well on your way to GDPR compliance.

Just like CAN-SPAM came out several years ago, and caused a big fuss, GDPR will likely do the same but everyone (and all of the major solution providers) will make compliance process quite simple and direct.

In order to ensure you do not end up being penalized as a result of failing to implement these new regulations properly, it is important to keep up with the latest developments. Businesses that do not follow these new regulations, which are due to come into play within a matter of weeks, could find themselves facing serious consequences. These regulations are all linked to how data is handled by businesses and it is important for all businesses, large and small, to get to grips with them.

Just like any new laws and regulations that are about to go into place, they have some hefty fines lined up for anyone looking to be made an example of. Imperva has a nice write-up and infographic on the new laws, and their associated fines as well. As you will see from the infographic below, the fines associated with the GDPR are quite high… with maximum fines hitting the $22 million range! In short, prepare your business now, or pay the price later on!

Fortunately, the government has already put a lot of information online about the GDPR, so those with lack of understanding can make sure they do their research to find out what needs to be done. Furthermore, specialist experts from specific industries are being taken on so that businesses can turn to someone with expertise in their specific industry in order to ensure they are following the new regulations to the letter.

One thing to remember is that your business does not have to be located within the EU in order to be tied to these regulations. The regulations also apply to businesses that are not in the EU but that sell products and services to others that are in the EU. Therefore, make sure you do not ignore these regulations just because of the location of your business, as you may find that they also apply to you because of the location of your customers.

How to Prepare for the GDPR Going Live on May 25th, 2018

As fun as it is to read up on all of these new laws and legal jargon, it’s much more exciting to watch a short video that breaks it all down. Not only will you learn more about what GDPR is, but you will also discover eleven things you need to make sure you have in place before May 25th hits and the law goes into effect.

An even better and more detailed resource on how to keep your business safe and compliant is this Forbes article on how the GDPR will affect advertising and e-commerce. With nearly all websites, blogs, and online businesses collecting emails, data, or placing cookies on their visitor’s computers, this is something we all need to be aware of.

How to Stay Up to Date with the Latest GDPR News

Since the new regulations are only just coming in, there may be some teething problems to begin with. This means that there is a chance there could be some changes and adaptations to begin with. In order to ensure you continue to implement the regulations properly, you should keep on top of any chances and developments. You can also hire the services of experts to help you get to grips with the GDPR as well as to help keep you informed as and when any changes are made.

With the introduction of the new regulations, all countries within the EU can benefit from the same data protection laws, which can help to make things much fairer and far easier to understand. Having different sets of rules from one EU country to another could be confusing and frustrating for both customers and businesses. Experts believe that these new regulations will help make things far easier to manage and understand as well as ensuring fairness across all EU countries.

However… only time will tell, and it will be interesting to see how the next few months play out after GDPR goes into affect.

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Affiliate Marketing in Asia – $1 Trillion Up for Grabs

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Affiliate marketing has completely changed the way advertising and business are done on the internet today. What started out as a simple referral-based monetization platform from Amazon, and then soon adopted by Google, quickly spread throughout the industry and is now used by millions of businesses and brands around the internet today. At the same time, affiliate marketing first got its start in the United States, but soon found itself making its way around the world over the years.

One of the most common things United States-based affiliate marketers and brands neglect to focus on is the power of affiliate marketing and targeting towards other countries around the world. Just because you are living in a specific country or region, it doesn’t mean that you should be focusing all of your advertising and online marketing efforts there. This is especially true when you factor in the amazing demographic and geographic targeting options available online today. At the same time, language and translation barriers are really no excuse as well — there are plenty of low-cost services out there that this can be outsourced to.

Affiliate marketing in the U.S. is expected to be worth $6.8 billion over the next five years; in the UK alone it is already worth $1.6 billion. With these two markets already in demand and quite saturated, it might be best to start focusing your efforts on Asia. It was also pointed out that “Asia’s e-commerce spending hit US$1 trillion in 2016 alone”. (source)

With all of this in mind, today we are going to take a look at affiliate marketing in Asia, and why it simply can’t be ignored. Special thanks to Leadbit, an industry leading direct advertiser and affiliate network, for providing the infographic visuals and stats on each of these breakdowns.

Affiliate Marketing in India

Of all the countries and regions in the world today, India is growing at one of the fastest rates — both with people and their technology. More people are getting online than ever before, and with a population of more than 1.3 billion, this market is huge enough for any business or affiliate marketer to see huge results from. At the same time, of those 1.3 billion, less than half of them have access to the internet (whether it be through the internet or mobile devices).

When it comes to internet usage, most Indians are spending their time watching online video and using social networking platforms — both of which offer amazing demographic targeting and advertising options. It’s also important to consider your language usage and targeting as well. While English is one of the main languages in India, it’s just one of many.

As for promoting offers in India, this is something that many affiliate marketers and brands might struggle with, as traffic to individuals with India is usually pretty cheap, but the conversion rate on any type of credit card or payment offer is usually low. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t find success. Evergreen offers like weight loss, health supplements, and anything else that everyday people need on a daily basis is well worth a test in this region.

Affiliate Marketing in Thailand

While India is one of the largest world markets that many brands and affiliate marketers are taking advantage of right now, Thailand is also making its way onto the radar. With a population of around 70 million, and more than half having access to the internet, this demographic is quickly getting online and looking to take advantage of what the internet has to offer.

Just like with promoting offers in India, it will be tough to find winners, but again… traffic costs are also at a fraction of what you would expect to pay to target countries like the United States, Germany, New Zealand and others.

Internet usage in Thailand is mainly focused on search engines, social networks and shopping online. Thailand residents who have access to the internet, are getting online nearly every day.

Affiliate Marketing in Vietnam

The common theme that we are seeing with affiliate marketing across Asia, is that the traffic sources are cheap, and the monetization and affiliate offers are slim. The benefit here is that the competition is low, but if you can master the art of finding success with one offer in an Asian country, you can likely replicate it with others as well.

Next, on the list, we have Vietnam. With a population of almost 100 million people and nearly half of them being online, this market is just waiting to earn affiliate marketers millions of dollars. Like many other countries on this list, social media and search engines are the best ways to reach such audiences.

When it comes to social media in Vietnam, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Google+ Lead the way — which is quite different from what you might be used to seeing in US and English-based markets.

Affiliate Marketing in Singapore

Singapore is one of the most well-known and recognized names in the world, yet they only have a population of around 6 million people, which more than half of them already being online. With an average daily internet usage of seven hours, most users are spending their time in the search results, social networks and watching online videos.

One of the key takeaways to remember about targeting an audience in Singapore, is that 91% of the people in the country are accessing the internet daily. Even though there are less than 10 million people in the country, almost all of them are accessible online.

Affiliate Marketing in Indonesia

As we move away from the small population of Singapore, we jump over the massive population of Indonesia, which is around 262 million. With more than half of the country already having access to the internet, it’s yet another country on our list that will offer an amazing opportunity with demographic and geographic targeting, while also offering low-cost traffic in the process.

Something to consider when marketing to Indonesia, is that Islam is the main religion of the country. Considerations here shouldn’t be just on the language and religion factors, but also what type of offers might better apply to them as well.

Like many other countries, Indonesia is very social media hungry — with more than 106 million people accessing social networks regularly. With Facebook being the number one social platform of choice, it also paves the way for great demographic advertising through the Facebook Ads platform.

Affiliate Marketing in Taiwan

Taiwan is another big name in Asia, and there are currently has more than 23 million people living in the country. What makes this country stand out from others in it’s surrounding areas, is that there is a heavy demand for Facebook, and a great majority of people in the country already have access to the internet.

With more than seven hours of internet browsing taking place daily, most of this time is spent on search engines and social media, while some shopping and emailing, of course, takes place as well.

Affiliate Marketing in Hong Kong

Another well-known name, yet small in population, is Hong Kong. With nearly all of their population already having access to the internet, if you can find a profitable way to market to this audience, you could find some big success.

More than 97% of residents within the country are accessing the internet daily, mostly to use search engines and social networks — while also spending 6 hours a day online in the process. The one demographic stat to point out here is that 38% of the population falls into the 25-34 age range, which is perfect for selling products, services and offers to. However, it’s simply a matter of finding the right offer to promote and squeezing enough profit out in the process.

Affiliate Marketing in China

Last but not least… we have the massive population of China, which currently sits at 1.4 billion. With so many different factors at play, China can be one of the most profitable, yet frustrating, markets to master. Not only will affiliates and brands have to master the art of language and translation, they will also need to cater to a whole new world of regulation, censorship, and limitations that Chinese users have to deal with on a daily basis.

Of all the countries mentioned in our list, China has a steady structure of what users are doing when they get online — which consists of mostly shopping online, checking the weather, communicating through social media and downloading photos online. Something interesting you will also notice is that none of the major social networks are in play here either. (as they are mostly all blocked)

China is a massive multi-billion dollar market, but also one of the most confusing to master. There is also a lot of focus on how affiliate marketing is bringing new brands and businesses into the Chinese market right now as well. Since this method has worked so well in other countries, there is no reason why we shouldn’t continue to see the same success as more brands make their way into China.

How to Find the Best Affiliate Offers to Promote in Asia

While we tried to cover the many different ways affiliate marketing can play a role in Asia, it’s actually more about how to best understand, target, and monetize the audiences around you. With so many traffic sources and demographic targeting options available today, it’s quite easy to run an ad campaign to any of the countries listed below, and also doing a quick split test.

The other factor in play here is to find an affiliate network that provides access to offers for each of these countries. When doing so, be sure to keep an eye out for different ad copy, creatives, and landing pages that are already pre-built to the specifications of each country (ie: in their own language and style).

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, special thanks to Leadbit for the visuals and stats to make this post possible. Affiliate marketing is changing all of the time, and if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to start expanding your campaigns to new areas of the world.

Leadbit currently has affiliate offers for all of the countries listed above. Be sure to check out their ad network and explore your options with affiliate marketing in Asia today.

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5 Reasons Why Media.net Is a Top Alternative to AdSense

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Many online publishers assume that Google AdSense has a monopolistic stranglehold on the contextual ad market, particularly for smaller publishers who may not be able to work out more lucrative deals with other networks or privately with advertisers directly. They assume that Google AdSense is the be-all and end-all of this type of advertising and that is simply not true.

Whether you’re getting into this market for the first time or you’ve been suspended, disabled, unapproved or even banned from AdSense and are looking for a viable alternative, Media.net is more than worthy of your attention. It’s an ad network that powers the Yahoo! Bing network of advertisers, meaning that you are working with a couple of the biggest technology brands in the history of the web. They say you can “tap into one of the largest pools of advertisers in the world” to “maximize revenue from your online content.”

So, what are some of the biggest reasons why you should sign up with Media.net as a publisher?

1. Large Established Base of Quality Advertisers

One of the primary appeals to Google AdSense is just the sheer number of advertisers who are actively bidding on the network. This intense competition lends itself to better ad rates for publishers who run the units on their websites. But again, Google is hardly the only player in town.

As mentioned above, Media.net exclusively powers the Yahoo! Bing ad marketplace. This gives you access to all the major buyer networks and around $6 billion worth of search demand. All of the major demand-side platforms (DSPs) and ad exchanges are actively competing for your traffic, which in turn will help to maximize your revenue.

You’d be extremely hard pressed to find another Google AdSense alternative that boasts that kind of volume, that kind of competition, and that level of quality among its advertisers. That is the reason why huge online publishers monetize their traffic with Media.net too, including everyone from Forbes and Reuters to WebMD and Marie Claire.

2. Dynamic Optimization

Having access to a massive base of high-quality advertisers doesn’t mean very much if the wrong ads are being shown to the wrong people at the wrong time. If you’ve got a website that online marketing, ads about vintage tea sets probably aren’t going to perform very well.

Media.net boasts of some truly impressive ad serving technology that will dynamically optimize the ads to best suit your content at just the right time for just the right audience. Media.net is a pioneer in the display-to-search (D2S) advertising format, monetizing your content using a CPC model. Advertisers bid on your display placements on larger CPC budgets and you get paid the most possible as a result of filtering the intent of the audience.

One feature that is especially handy is the fact that the simple two-line JavaScript code you paste into your website’s design template will dynamically yield either text ads or display ads. The network technology will automatically optimize this decision for the highest revenue potential. You’ll also enjoy a 100% fill rate across all verticals and ad formats, so every last impression is being monetized to its fullest potential.

3. Highly Customizable Style and Design

Relying on the advanced optimization engine is one thing, but you still want to exert a certain level of control over how these ads will look on your website, right?

The Media.net ads that are served on your website can be customized to match the color scheme and style of your design and layout. It has been clearly demonstrated that a “native advertising” approach to such ads is much more effective, blending the ads in more effectively with your original content to create a more aesthetically-pleasing experience for your website visitors. The ads should feel like they belong there.

The versatility of options here, particularly in terms of different ad formats, is equally impressive. You can utilize desktop interstitials, like the above example served on Forbes, to maximize returns on these high-value impressions. Advertisers are willing to pay top dollar for this kind of exposure and attention.

The “below the article” ad unit takes on a form similar to the native advertising that you may see all around the web these days too. It looks like recommended content that is seamlessly integrated with your own content.

On the mobile side, you can take advantage of the mobile docked ad unit. This ad unit remains docked at the bottom of every page, ensuring that every mobile impression counts. It is supported on all iOS and Android devices, including iPads and tablets. Considering the continued growth of mobile usage, it is absolutely critical that you monetize your mobile content just as effectively and specifically as you do with your desktop content.

4. Ad Specialists Optimize Your Earnings

A very common complaint that you’ll hear from just about anyone who has had to deal with Google, whether that’s with AdSense or any other product, is that it becomes almost impossible to connect with an actual real-life person to come to a suitable solution. Your emails may never get answered and, if they do, you may only receive a canned response. That’s no good.

Media.net is different in that every partner, every publisher, every advertiser is assigned a dedicated account manager to address any questions or concerns you may have. That personal touch makes all the difference, because it means that you have an actual person to help. This is the kind of service that is usually reserved only for “top tier” publishers. But at Media.net, every publisher, large or small gets dedicated personal support. Furthermore, there are optimization specialists working around the clock for your mutual success and benefit.

5. Powerful Self-Learning for Contextual Ads

You know how the predictive text on your smartphone’s keyboard gets better and better the more you use it? After a while, it starts to understand what words you use most frequently and in what order, getting better and better at not only completing the words you type, but also predicting the next words to follow? The learning algorithm with Media.net works in much the same way.

The contextual ads that show up aren’t being called up based solely on information gleaned in that single moment. Instead, advanced calculations are being conducted based on your history with Media.net, gleaning what ads perform best on your platforms and channels for what kind of content. It needs some time to understand and absorb your content.

Once it does, though, it will be remarkably well equipped to serve contextual ads that are specifically relevant to your particular audience, ads that are more likely to attract clicks and perform well for you. This auto-optimization process is continuous, so your performance with the network will only get better over time.

Here is where you can sign up with Media.net. You can get started in less than 10 seconds by providing your website and email address.

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Hi, I’m Zac Johnson

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