I’m back with another instalment of Easy side hustles, or are they?’
If you haven’t already, please check out my earlier blogs on the others that I have tried and reviewed so far.
In this post, I will be giving you feedback on one of the more widely advertised ways to make supposed “easy money” by registering to become part of the Amazon associate program.
If you would prefer to watch the vlog edition of this post please click here
A little background for anyone who has not yet come across this apparent amazing phenomenon of making money whilst you sleep, Amazon have 2 programs available which allow creators or affiliate marketers to register with one of 2 platforms.
The Amazon Influencer program is designed for social media creators to share products and earn commission through qualifying sales across social outlets. There are entry requirements in order to be accepted onto the program, namely that you have to have at least 1 social media platform with ample followers and good traffic volume.
The Amazon associate program which I will be reviewing today does have requirements in order to be accepted onto the program but takes into account various platforms that you have currently have in order to promote and sell their products.
You have to provide links for both applications to prove that you meet the criteria and there is no guarantee that you will be accepted onto either program (Which is the first thing that the creators promoting Amazon affiliates rarely tell you)
I applied for Amazon associates after seeing it mentioned so many times across social media, after a relativly straight forward application process, I was accepted onto the program and given instant access to my dashboard where I could find out more about the offers that I could promote and how to do so.
You are given a unique tracking ID which links back to your account and this is how your commission will be calculated, The more people click your promotional links the more money you can earn….Sounds good eh?
In theory it is but there is one very important factor to bear in mind before applying for the program which I didn’t realise at the time of my application.
Firstly and most importantly, even though I had social media platforms, I had no way of storing my links to products in order to advertise them to sell on those platforms.
As a home educating Mum, I had so may resources which had ironically been purchased from Amazon, I decided that I would make product review videos rather than just copy and paste links.
As I didn’t have over 1000 followers on Tik Tok, I wasn’t able to add any links to my bio.After posting a video with links written on screen, they quickly sent me a violation message and removed the video which I had spent so long preparing!
Instagram will not allow links in descriptions and will only allow 5 individual links in the bio, After every 5 videos I had to remove earlier product links to fit updated ones in. This meant that anyone wanting to buy any products from my review videos would not be able to find earlier links as they had most likely been changed.
Facebook and You Tube were a little more accommodating and will allow you to add links to products in the description but I had very few followers on You Tube which was less than ideal!
I opened a business account on Pintrest and soon learned that this was a good outlet which I could not only post review videos up to 5 minutes in duration but also generate my unique product links and list them directly onto the platform but as a newbie, I had zero followers and a small audience reach.
I began posting at least 5 pins a day.
Fast forward and Im currently 3 months, I have not had 1 sale!
I also received an email from the Amazon associate program to inform me that if I did not reach the minimum of 3 qualifying sales in a 120 day period then I would be removed from the program.
Word on the affiliate street is that once your account is deactivated, You have more chance of winning the lottery than getting accepted back onto the program!
Time for me is well and truly ticking!
I now have my own website up and running so I can insert my web link into the bio and descriptions on social platforms and have now created the all important, and lesser talked about sales funnel, that I have learned is vital if you want to begin making any money whatsoever in the affiliate marketing game!
A sales funnel is a main hub where the action takes place when it comes to making that crucial sale to earn your commission.
I use my social media platforms to direct potential buyers back to my website where I have a dedicated menu for all of my affiliate links and discount codes available. I also continue to utilise Pintrest daily.
I find that by posting short snippets of review videos with a tag line ‘Head over to my website link in bio to see the full reel’ also directs people back to one place.
My advice to anyone starting out is to research individual affiliate programs before applying, I decided to encorporate it into my own website as affiliate marketing is more of a side venture for me but if you want to make it your main gig then there are various platforms available for you to use such as Stan store, Linktree, Pensight and System I.O. (Please note that I have never used or trialled these platforms)
Each of these will allow you to create your own platform or store front however to get access to the better promotional and user features, there are usually monthly or annual fees involved.
Overall, I have to say that the pitch could potentially equal reality with this particular side hustle but only for those with a solid user platform and a regular volume of mid to high traffic to your social media and affiliate sites.