You've heard about the changes to the Amazon affiliate program, right? In a nutshell, they are cutting commissions to quite a few different products to a point that makes it less profitable for most of us to promote the extensive catalogue of products on their site. It stinks, but unfortunately there isn't much you or I can do about it. Or is there?
No, we're not going to try to reason with whoever at Amazon is in charge of this particular business move, or anything like that. Instead, we have some ideas for you on how you can pivot and change to make sure your content marketing is still just as relevant and profitable, if not more so.
You may not even have to cut out all your Amazon affiliate links. Some products serve your audience well, and getting a 2% commission instead of 4% is better than nothing. But if you want to continue to grow your business, you have to get creative about other sources of income that will replace that check from Amazon each month. Or at least the portion that will be smaller.
Before we get into the three ways you can profit from your content without Amazon affiliate links, we thought we'd quick tip that has saved our bacon plenty of times. (Pun Intended. We are the girls behind Piggy Makes Bank after all).
Redirect Your Affiliate Links
Make sure any affiliate link you set up on your site as a redirect. We like the Pretty Links WP Plugin. It's quick and easy to use and gives you some pretty cool stats that help you determine how well your promotions are doing.
The main reason we suggest redirects is because things change. They change all the time. We've been doing this for close to two decades now and we can't tell you how often we've had to go back and fix or change affiliate links over the years. Back in the days before WordPress and easy plugins like this, it involved hunting down links manually and changing them. It's a pain and sometimes you can't find them all, resulting in lost commissions in the long run.
Do yourself a favor and get into the habit of redirecting your affiliate links so you can fix and change them on the fly.
With that tip out of the way, let's talk about the options you have when you're ready to start to move away from Amazon or at least limit how much you promote products using their affiliate program.
Switch To Other Affiliate Networks
The quickest and most obvious way is to look for other affiliate network options that have the products you want to promote. Sites like ShareASale and Rakuten Marketing have a surprisingly large product offering. If you are recommending books etc, take a look at ClickBank. Yes, it's old school, but still works well. For example, on one of our niche sites, we sell an ebook on tomato gardening on a regular basis.
Spend a few minutes today to look at what other options are out there. Sign up for the various networks and browse around. When you find a good offer, don't forget to set up a redirect for your affiliate link. This will come in handy when the merchant switches affiliate programs, for example, or you find something that's a better deal.
Look For Independent Affiliate Programs
Outside of big networks, there are lots of small shops out there that have their own in-house affiliate programs. This is true for info products and physical products alike. The perfect example is our affiliate program here at Piggy Makes Bank. You can promote any of our PLR packs for a nice 50% commission. Most information products work that way, making it very profitable to promote them.
Physical products can also have their own independent affiliate program. They tend to pay a much lower commission rate, but in our experience it's higher than what Amazon pays. At the very least, it's worth a look.
How do you find these independent affiliate programs? Google is your best friend. Search around for the product or type of product you want to promote and “affiliate program”. Be a little flexible. You may not find exactly what you want, but who knows, maybe you come up with something even better.
If you have a particular product you use and love, contact the product creator or seller and see if they have an affiliate program in place. If they don't, ask if that's something they'd consider. You'll be surprised how often you'll find that they have a referral program already set up that simply isn't promoted well.
Create Your Own Information Products
Let's wrap this up with the most profitable option out there, which is to create your own products. While there are certainly options for making your own physical products, we have zero experience in that area. What we have a lot of experience in and can talk about is information products. We can't think of a niche that couldn't benefit from having a good info product.
Creating them is easier than you think. One of the simplest type of info products you can create is an ebook. Write it from scratch, or if you want to save some time, start with PLR content. Edit and format as needed and convert it into a PDF file. Add a pretty cover, write up a simple little sales page, upload the PDF set up delivery, and you're good to go.
Of course eBooks aren't your only options. You could also create a course, set up a group or one-on-one coaching, consulting, etc. Or how about a self-study guide with video lessons and homework assignments? Or an e-course with email support by you? There are so many options out there. Get creative and come up with a few of your own products.
Curious about how you can do this? Sign up for our guide below and find out how you can start to use PLR to not only step up your content marketing game, but use it to create a variety of different paid info products to grow your bottom line without having to rely on someone else's affiliate program.
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