Amazon Affiliate is Dead: What To Do Next

If you’re active in the affiliate marketing groups online, you already saw the news about Amazon’s rate cuts for affiliates. I won’t be going over the details because you already know how much it sucks.

Instead, I’ll be sharing my thought on why Amazon wasn’t always the best and what to do about it.

This is more of a strategy guide on what products to promote and what you should be looking for. If you’re looking just for a list of Amazon alternatives, this isn’t it. However, what you will learn here can earn you a lot more money.

Why Amazon Never Was The “Best”

While there are lots of people shopping on Amazon, a lot of products are still being sold through direct manufacture websites. I’m not talking about cheap no-name products, but rather products from reputable companies.

A lot of people are actually buying products directly from the manufacture for a few different reasons:

  • They support the brand
  • Amazon doesn’t carry the product
  • It’s cheaper
  • It’s a better shopping experience

This might seem counter-intuitive at first. Lots of people believe that Amazon has a wonderful buying experience where you can get items for the cheapest prices. This is not always the case.

Amazon Doesn’t Sell Everything

While Amazon is dubbed the Everything Store, it actually doesn’t carry everything. I’ve often searched for certain products on Amazon to be left disappointed.

Here’s one example. REI is a huge outdoor company that carries its own products. If you go on Amazon and search for REI, you won’t find anything. But you can find them on their REI website. REI isn’t a small brand. They have 154 stores,17 million members, and have an affiliate program through Avantlink.

Amazon Isn’t Always Cheaper

When people think about saving a buck, they often think about Amazon. This isn’t really the case anymore. Many places are cheaper than Amazon if you do a little shopping.

One of the biggest reasons is that manufactures often have sales that are only on their website. Here’s one example of a sale:

When it comes to expensive items, people are shopping around for the cheapest price, whether that is Amazon or someone else.

These manufactures also have newsletters that are sent out. This can work great with 30+ day cookies.

Amazon Isn’t a Better Shopping Experience

If you’re buying used books or toilet paper (haha good luck), Amazon is great. They ship fast and you can order in seconds. They are also good for conversions.

But when it comes to branded items, lots of people like to shop at the manufacture’s website. These websites offer a better user experience because they are more targetted. These websites often have more detailed information and video to learn more about the product.

Just head over to the NutriBullet website. They have recipes and a Getting Started Guide full of videos on smoothie prep and cleaning that you won’t find on Amazon:

Oh, and these pages are often still linkable with affiliate links. Linking to such pages is a great way to get cookies planted.

What to Do Instead

You can still promote Amazon and sometimes it still makes sense to. On one of my sites, I promote some bungee cords on Amazon that people buy. It doesn’t really make sense for me to promote such a cheap item somewhere else. It’s a big hassle for someone to create a new account elsewhere and enter in their credit card info. For items like these, I’ll continue to use Amazon even at 1%.

But what about more expensive items? What else can you do to promote them?

Find Programs From Big Brands

In my examples above, each one of those was a popular brand product. These brands are trustworthy and many times people will go to the manufacture website, especially for higher-priced items.

What you can do is find the most popular brands in your niche and find if they have affiliate programs.

What I like to do is go on Google and search for: affiliate program site:example.com

Many companies are signed up with places like Shareasale, Avantlink, CJ, and others. Some even have private affiliate programs that pay really well.

Promote Multiple Programs on the Same Page

This is something I tell people to do all the time. Using Amazon is not either-or. You can still promote other networks alongside Amazon. In my reviews, I actually tell people to shop around for the best price and give them 3-4 affiliate links. I do something like this:

Where Can I Buy Widget X?

Here are the best places to buy widget x. Shop around for the price:

  • Amazon Link
  • Shareasale Link
  • Other Affiliate Link

I actually want them to click all 3 links so they get all the cookies.

Promote Digital Products

Digital products is one area that Amazon can’t compete with. Products like software and online courses often have high payouts, some as high as 50% or more.

Clickbank has traditionally been the go-to network for digital products. I know some people who are doing well promoting them.

One place I think is often missed though is online courses. Skillshare, Udemy, and MasterClass all have affiliate programs. I’ve even emailed course creators in my niche and was able to be signed up with private affiliate programs.

And as one genius tactic, I know people who even bought the rights to courses and sold them on their website.

Wrapping it Up

While Amazon has a ton of shoppers and is great for conversions, you’re holding yourself back by only using Amazon. For cheaper items, it makes sense to use Amazon. But for big brand items, you should definitely be looking for additional affiliate links to add as well.

5 thoughts on “Amazon Affiliate is Dead: What To Do Next”

  1. Hi Ben,

    Great post.

    One needs to make sure that they are not using Amazon API to pull image or price in a page where other offers for the same product are being promoted.

    Just a heads up

    • Hi Jay, good point. I think my understanding is that you can use it on the same page, but you can’t use the API to promote other affiliate programs.

  2. Hello Ben,
    Do you know about any alternatives for digital products in Spanish? Affiliate comissions haven’t changed yet here in Spain, but it’s good to be prepared.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Luisa,

      I haven’t heard of any Spanish programs. I think if you do find some though, it could be a good opportunity if there is less competition.

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