Amazon Affiliates: Money or Bust!

Amazon Affiliates account has been closed

Amazon Affiliates can be a great way to generate income from your blog or website.  That said, I have a few lessons learned that I wanted to share with you with the hope that you can avoid the same pitfalls before jumping in to monetizing your site.

My wife is a professional photographer and has recently discovered the joys of building a blog. Food Blogger Pro has been a great resource for her. I am a software engineer; my wife has stopped asking me what I work on each day because, frankly, her eyes glaze over when I start talking about requests per minute, polymorphism and memory leaks. I have tagged along in her goal to create a thriving and productive blog, from both financially as well as how she can give back to others who share common interests.

I have enjoyed watching the many videos Bjork has assembled to lead even those who know nothing of SEO or analyzing web traffic metrics to create their blog and to find success with each step he gives. Thank you, Food Blogger Pro for providing such a valuable resource!

10 Mistakes that Bloggers Make Free eBook

My wife, Juventa, has been so excited that she actually has two different blogs, and My son loves 3D modeling, music composition for video games and he can’t go to bed at night without playing his guitar first. He has produced several video games and has published one of them so far on his own blog which my wife helped him set up. Juventa has spent much time on her own two blogs, aiming to take advantage of Amazon’s advertising service and has been looking forward to her first customer click on her new blog… which actually happened very recently. Excited to see the money start to flow in, she visited her Amazon account page and found…

Your Amazon Affiliates account has been deleted

What?! I don’t understand. Why did that happen? What did I do to deserve this?! A call was made to Amazon customer support.

“We analyze many accounts. Those that don’t have content that are associated with your Amazon account are deleted.”

“I don’t understand. I have plenty of content on both of my sites. I realize that I have just started, but those sites are still rich with content. What site do you feel was the reason for deleting my account?”

“The site has one simple post which hardly constitutes rich content.”

“But I don’t even have any Amazon ads on that site. That’s my son’s blog; he had just started his blog and hasn’t been able to create more posts yet.”

“I’m sorry, ma’am; that website is linked to the same Amazon account as the other two sites. It doesn’t matter that there weren’t actually Amazon ads on your son’s blog.”

“I have spent hours pulling my viable blogs together and creating links so that I can start earning money. Can’t you restore the account and I’ll take my son’s website off the Amazon account?”

“No. We cannot do that. Your previous account has been deleted and cannot be restored.”

(sigh); now what?!

What happened next was creating a new Amazon ad account (which involves legal work); no, Juventa couldn’t keep the Amazon account name that matched nicely with her account. After creating the new account, she then had to go through all of her blogs, replacing the Amazon ad account token in all of the ad urls. Not the end of the world for perhaps 50 posts, but can you imagine someone established with hundreds of posts? Not cool.

Yes, learning lessons like this can be hard, but this is certainly a lesson my wife and I will not soon forget. Perhaps a smaller company might find a way to grant leniency, but this is Amazon we’re talking about. Yes, we are playing with the big boys now.

The nice thing is, you don’t have to spend hours going through Amazon’s small print or even make the same mistake as we have made. After spending hours learning how and optimizing your blog(s) for web searches, be sure to only integrate Amazon ads once you have rich content in your blog. And if you are tempted to add more blogs to the account, make sure they are all active and rich in content so that when you do get your first Amazon ad click, you aren’t disappointed when, instead of earning money, you are rewarded with a deleted account.


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