Amazon Affiliate? Trying To Make Your First 3 Sales? Read This.
Important Info for Amazon Affiliates: When you sign up to become an Amazon affiliate, you have 180 days to make at least 3 sales. Once you make those 3 sales, what happens?
You're all good, right? You're approved, right?
That's when the real "approval" process happens.
The Amazon Affiliate Approval Process
In a nutshell, this how it works..
1 - You sign up to be an affiliate for Amazon.
99% of those original applications are instantly accepted and you can now make affiliate links to Amazon products and put them on your site.
Note: I said the application is "accepted" and I did not say "approved".
2 - You now have 180 days to make at least 3 sales
If you do not make at least 3 sales in those 180 days, you are kicked out of the program, BUT you can always go apply again and start the 180 days over again.
3 - Once you make 3 sales, THEN Amazon comes and reviews your site
Many new Amazon affiliates think that they are 'good to go' once they make those 3 sales, but that is NOT the case.
Amazon WILL come officially review your site once you make those first 3 sales and make an official decision if you are APPROVED or removed.
Your site NEEDS to be ready for that manual review!
Just tonight, on a private Facebook Group I am a member of, I saw yet another new Amazon affiliate removed from the program.
She made her sales, too!
I went and looked at her site and it's GORGEOUS!
It has lots of posts with her own recipes and her own pictures of the food she makes.
It's truly stunning!
Let's Talk About WHY Her Site Was Rejected from Amazon
In the email from the Amazon Affiliate program, they stated that her application was rejected because:
1 - Lack of Content that is Original To Her Site and Beneficial To Her Visitors, and
(what that means in "Amazon Speak" - using unchanged PLR content or content that is found elsewhere on the web... Neither of which that blogger is doing. It's all her own very original content)
2 - Pages That Are Mainly Empty When Advertisement Content is Removed
(what that means in "Amazon Speak" - if you remove and ads and affiliate links from her posts, the content does not stand on it's own. Amazon has this "fantasy" that their affiliate links should only be added to posts as an 'after thought' to complement the content. Again, her posts were very useful without her Amazon affiliate links and she DID add them in to complement her content)
Now let me tell you a little something...
Amazon "lies" ...lol!
When they choose to reject an Amazon application after those first 3 sales are made, they send out a generic "canned" email, like the one this girl received.
Here's WHY Her Site Was Really Rejected (most likely):
As I said, her site is gorgeous - lots of original content and her own unique images. She even has some posts that are not "commercial" (about trips she's taken, etc)
So what is WRONG with her site?
Amazon requires every affiliate to have THEIR official affiliate disclosure on their site.
And this girl does NOT have it anywhere on her blog.
Heck, she didn't even KNOW about it.
But it's most likely too late for her now - she will have to start the process to become an approved Amazon affiliate all over again with a new account, and new links, and make those 3 sales again in the next 180 days.
I don't want that to happen to YOU.
Make sure you have that disclosure!
What IS The Amazon Affiliate Disclosure?
For years, the official Amazon Affiliate disclosure has been this (from my blog):
PotPieGirl.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Now, it appears that they recently updated that statement to also accept:
“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
From our Amazon Affiliate Operating Agreement (#5)
Where Do You PUT That Disclosure?
This is where it gets fun: Amazon has never said WHERE they require that disclosure statement to BE on your site.
(or at least I have never seen a clear and official answer from Amazon in the 11+ years I've been an Amazon affiliate)
I rarely link to Amazon on that blog so I'm comfortable with it there.
Now, on my other "Amazon heavy" blogs, I will have it in the footer of every page or at LEAST at the top of every post I have a "this post may contain affiliate links" FTC disclaimer followed by a link to my full policy page where the full Amazon disclosure is prominent.
This is up to you to do your due diligence and do what is comfortable for YOU.
If you are waiting on those first 3 sales to get your official approval as an Amazon Affiliate, be obvious with it.
Don't make the Amazon reviewer LOOK for it.
Other Tips For Official Amazon Approval
- Make sure you have a lot of content (posts) on your site.
- Have some obvious posts that are NOT commercial with NO Amazon affiliate links (or ANY affiliate links)
- Make sure your posts are helpful and stand on their own WITHOUT any affiliate links
- ONLY use your Amazon affiliate links on the blog you used in your application until you are officially approved
- NEVER put an Amazon affiliate link in an email or a pdf or anywhere Amazon can not SEE the page the link is on
- Do NOT ask family and friends to buy through your links. Amazon KNOWS stuff - and they do not credit for family and friends sales.
- Never EVER mention Amazon product prices - that is a "No No" ALL the time (with the exception of approved tools via the Amazon advertising API, but that's a story for another day)
- Never claim your link to Amazon is "the cheapest" or is "the best" or any generic claims like that.
This "waiting for 3 sales and official approval" time is CRUCIAL for your long-term ability to be an Amazon affiliate.
Play it super SAFE until you at least receive your first payment from Amazon.
Those "Other Tips" above apply to ALL Amazon affiliates tho - so always play it safe with those rules.
Ask away in the comments below and I'll answer the best I can!