7 Ways You Can Earn Extra Money Today – Forbes

There are many opportunities out there to earn money, you just have to look for them. I will be walking you through 7 different ways you can earn money by thinking entrepreneurially which will hopefully inspire you. Yes we are currently in tough economic times during this COVID-19 pandemic, but this will not last forever. If we look to the future what could you be planning and implementing now for when ‘normality’ resumes?

As an encouraging note, here are some of the businesses that were created during the last recession (2008-2010); Whats App inc, Slack, Uber, Square, Venmo, Airbnb and Pinterest, just to name a few.

1.   Intellectual property

Intellectual property are ideas, information and knowledge which can be a tradeable commodity. So, if you are an individual that likes to write, design and share your ideas with the world, you can make money from it.

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Let’s look at an example: say you have a business idea. You have a business model and ideas, you have the business logo and the content to go with it. But you might not want to go ahead and actively pursue the business, but you don’t want your business idea to go to waste. You will want to firstly copyright, trademark or patent your work (for legal purposes). Here are a few options of what you can do with intellectual property:

Sell your intellectual property: You can sell your whole concept or design to another person or business. This will be appealing to you if you are a designer and want to create business content for others, allowing you to generate an income off of something you enjoy.

Franchise: This is an option which allows someone to set up a business under your brand name, you can provide support and brand guidelines throughout the development of the business. You earn money as your client then pays a fee for the franchise and potentially for any merchandise thereafter.

License your intellectual property. This will allow someone to use your material, which you will then receive a percentage of the value of the product or service it is used for.

Intellectual property is an alternative way of earning money as an entrepreneur, as you can also benefit from your work in many years to come and thus potentially a residual income.

2.   Dividend from shares

Another way you can earn money is through dividends, but what are they? When companies make profit, they negotiate what the profit should go towards. One of the ways they do this is through distributing some of the profits to the owners and shareholders. So, the key to earning the most money is through finding companies that are looking to increase their dividend payments and investing. This will be based on the more sales and profits they generate, the higher the dividend payments.

What is useful to know is that you are able to invest in whatever you can afford at the moment, but make sure you do your research to find companies that are gradually growing and have had previous history or increasing their dividends.

The stock market has been hit considerably by the current crisis, so do you research and consider the brand that have longevity in a situation such as this.

3.   Business/ job incomes

Another way of earning money is through having your own business, many would argue that businesses are struggling now during this crisis. I would agree, but I would also argue that if you can create a sustainable business now to start now or post crisis you would be on to a good thing. The state of the economy (redundancies, lack of job opportunities) may actually force your hand but it is better to be prepared. If you have some downtime at home, why not use it to focus your attentions on problems you wish to solve moving forward.

In order to start a business, you need to think about what you want your business to offer. Do you have a service you have always wanted to provide? Is there a product you feel is missing from the market? If you do, then you are already at a great starting point to creating your own business.

Some feel that, a more stable way of earning money is through having a full-time job but this crisis has proved that jobs can be just as unstable as having a business, why? Because every job has a business above it, if the business fails or struggles, the most expensive resource is often people and that is why they are the first to be cut.

4.   Rental yield from property investment

Property investment has always been a popular way to earn an additional stream of income. In particular, through rental yield. So, if you are a landlord or are interested in becoming one with a buy-to-let property, you will be able to earn an income from rental yield. Rental yield is a measure of the return on a property you have invested in. There are many factors which can impact the rental yield including the value of the property, interest rates, regional factors and demand growth.

How is this calculated? Simply you divide a year’s worth of rent that you charge by the value of the property you bought it for and multiply that figure by 100. If you get a percentage of 7% and above, this indicates that your property is providing a good return. It is important to have a good rental yield as this will provide additional income and help you if you face any unforeseen expensive problems with your property. This is a great way to earn money and is useful if you are interested in hopping onto the property investment ladder.

During a recession, property tends to be cheaper, if you are looking for investments and have the capital this may be an important time to look for opportunities. Note, you will want to look at landlord insurance and alike for situations like this, to secure against scenarios when renters are unable to pay.

5.   Social media accounts

We spend so much time on social media every day, so why not earn money while you’re at it?

If you are good at posting, understand the platforms, you can earn money on social media by becoming a social media manager. Essentially, you will be looking after a business’s social media accounts from scheduling posts on Instagram to replying to customers and engaging with the target audience. The best way to begin is to reach out and explore online to see if there are influencers or small businesses that may need someone to manage their social media accounts for them. Talk to other social media managers, ask questions about their experiences and skills that they offer. It is a fantastic way of earning money as many businesses are not interested in managing their own accounts and would prefer for someone else to do it for them. So, if you are organised, social media savvy and have good time management then seek out to become a social media manager!

6.   Ecomms store

Ecommerce is any type of business that happens online. The most popular ecommerce is buying and selling of goods online. Do you have something you have always wanted to sell? In today’s digital age, you can have your own ecommerce store and manage it all from your mobile phone or laptop making it a great way to earn some money.

First step into building your own ecommerce store is knowing what you want to sell. You want it to be something that might not already be available in the market, offering something unique for your potential customers. You can gain inspiration from looking online and browsing what already exists and what products are gaining popularity.

The next step is sourcing your products, exploring different suppliers which provide the product you will want to sell. This will take some time as you want to explore what different suppliers have to offer, ensuring you get the best deal as it is all about making the most profit.

Once you have sourced your product, you will now need to set up your online store. So, you need to create a website! There are different ecommerce website builders like Shopify which also give you a 14 day free trial to test it out. Have a play around, download a website theme you like the look of and get designing. Make sure you present your products well and include as much description and information to entice your customers in, leading to them making a purchase.

It is essential to drive traffic to your website in order to earn money. This can be done through advertising your ecommerce store online. It is also helpful if you have a following on different social media platforms, attracting your target audience onto your ecommerce store. You will rely on your social media presence and advertising to drive traffic onto your website, generating more profit over time.  

So, if you have ever wanted to sell a product that you think will be successful, now is the time to do it! Lots of consumers are wanting to spend their hard earned money with independent brands, why not you? Take advantage of how easy it is to earn money online and grow your own ecommerce store.

7.   Consultancy/ niche expertise

Being a consultant is a great way of earning money as you can make money offering the skills, experiences and knowledge that you already have. That sounds ideal doesn’t it?

The first step to becoming a consultant is thinking about what you can offer as an individual: what skills do you have? Are they in demand? Do you want to take those skills and provide a service to others?

As a consultant you can provide business problem solving services which can include: helping a client improve their business performance, providing your on demand specialised skills to their business, providing support and also providing solutions and recommendations for those wanting to enter a new business market. 

But it does not always have to be about solving business problems, as a consultant you can offer any form of service that allows you to share your skills, experience and knowledge. You may want to provide coaching, training programmes and courses. Or you may want to provide clients with a self-help books which you can share your experiences. 

So, if you have a particular skillset that you think can impact other people around, why not provide it as a service? Consultancy is a great way of helping those around doing what you already enjoy.

As you can see there are many different opportunities to earn money, so go out there and start exploring! And as I tell my mentees and clients, this current time is not a holiday – it is an opportunity to explore, develop and launch businesses and passion projects to change the future trajectory of your life. If you do not know how, find someone that does!

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How to Make Money From Your Blog in 2020 (3 Simple Tips) – Business 2 Community

If you own a blog, you’re probably wondering how and when you can start to make money from it. Many businesses maintain blogs to grow their audience, cultivate relationships with readers, and increase revenue. In fact, companies that blog receive 434 percent more indexed pages and 55 percent more website visitors.

But how exactly do you get your blog to this level?

In 2020, there are more than a few options to choose from so you can make money blogging. If your blog sits stagnant on the internet with no one to engage with it, then no one benefits.

If you want to start making money from your blog this year, here are a few tips to help you get started.

Market to the Right Audience

It doesn’t matter what stellar promotional tactics you use or what connections you have; if you don’t produce high-quality content for your blog, you won’t attract any readers.

Think about it: in one month alone, people worldwide view more than 20 billion blog posts. With so much content readily available, your readers have a lot to choose from. You can make the decision easy for them by consistently providing value.

The best and easiest way to offer value is by marketing to the right audience. Your target market is the group of people your brand specifically caters to. If you try marketing to everyone, the right audience will never see your content, so it’s important to narrow down your target.

Research your competitors to see what their audiences want and what they’re struggling with. Track your site analytics to assess where readers spend the most time on your blog. Take notes on what content they share, like, and comment on the most. Send surveys asking your readers what they want to see from your blog in the future.

Build an Email List

What if you could keep track of your most loyal readers so you could engage with them and move them through the sales funnel? By building an email list, you do just that.

Over time, your blog should rack up its readership, and as it does, you want to stay connected to your subscribers to get the most out of your following.

There are several benefits to building an email list:

  • Building strong relationships with readers. By sending them relevant content, you continue to provide them with the information they need.
  • Sending personalized, targeted messages. Email segmentation is proven to boost your conversion rate as it caters to specific needs and interests.
  • Converting subscribers into customers. It’s easier for users to move through the sales funnel when they’re informed about your brand and gain familiarity.

But how do you rack up your subscribers? Start by creating free, relevant lead magnets and inserting them into your blog posts.

Image source

While the lead magnets themselves won’t earn you money, they will build your email list and earn you loyal subscribers who are likely to turn into paying customers.

Around 57 percent of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog, likely through an email list. Making money from blogging is a marathon, not a race. Because of all the readily available competition, mainly from big brands, you need to focus on the progress instead of the end goal.

Use Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing scares some people, but it shouldn’t. It’s simply another tactic to earn money online by promoting worthy products and services. When you recommend a product to your audience by using special links, you get paid every time they click through and purchase.

Have you ever seen a post online encouraging you to click on a referral link or buy a product for a percentage off? That’s affiliate marketing at play. By actively recommending another brand’s products, you receive a referral commission and boost your passive income.

With affiliate marketing, you choose what products you want to promote so you can still create an authentic selling experience. Since 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from those they know, including brands, the referrals you add to your blog posts can provide you with a lucrative income.

Make sure you promote products and services relevant to your brand and blog content. If you’re a cooking blog, recommending a clothing brand in your posts wouldn’t make sense. You want your promotions to align with your content so you increase your chances of making money from your blog.

Your Turn

Making money from blogging takes patience and time, but it’s well worth the effort you put into it. By knowing your target readers, building a sturdy email list, and leveraging affiliate marketing, you too can make money from your blog. How will you earn an income through blogging?


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Diversification Gains Urgency For Business Impacted By Amazon’s Reduced Affiliate Marketing Fees – Forbes

Reduced commission rates on select product categories go into effect today for Amazon’s affiliate marketing program. Those who reply upon the program to monetize their websites are unsurprisingly unhappy; many, however, saw the cuts coming and have one word for those caught off guard: Diversify.

Amazon’s affiliate program, called Amazon Associates, pays bloggers, website owners and digital publishers a referral fee when links from their online content drive purchases from Amazon. While the income generated can be a side hustle for small players just dabbling with the program, the revenue loss will be bigger for online publishers like CNET, Consumer Reports, BuzzFeed and the New York Times.

For some product categories, such as Luxury Beauty, the commission Amazon pays is as high as 10%. The affiliate payout rate for Luxury Beauty remains unchanged while fees paid on Amazon sales in the Furniture, Home, Home Improvement and Lawn & Garden categories now are reduced by more than half—from 8% to 3% as of today. Grocery commission fees were slashed yet more dramatically, from 5% to 1%, effective today.

“This is no doubt a harsh blow, not only for large digital media outlets and publishers, but also for smaller website owners who have spent the last several years building up content dedicated to recommending products purchased on Amazon,” says Kelly Fedio, founder of Digital Shelf Strategy, an Amazon consulting firm.

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“For these smaller businesses, sadly, their livelihoods could very likely get wiped out.”

The new commission structure includes deep cuts to product categories experiencing high demand due to the COVID-19 outbreak, such as Health and Personal Care items whose payout rate plummeted to 1% today, down from 4.5%. For that reason, some speculate it was the global health crisis that prompted the changes even though an Amazon spokesman told CNBC last week the fees were updated as a result of its periodic evaluation practices.

“I don’t think this is only due to COVID. I think this is Amazon routinely reviewing its programs and profitability, and adjusting as necessary,” says Fahim Naim, founder and CEO of eShopportunity, the Amazon consulting firm he founded after serving as a category manager at Amazon.

It was only a few years ago, in 2017, when a similar restructuring of commission fees sparked an uproar from affiliates enrolled in Amazon’s program.

Naim said the fee changes Amazon put into effect today are likely part of a long-term play, though the timing could be better. “Even if it’s the right business decision, they aren’t doing themselves a favor by announcing this during the COVID chaos,” he says. “I’m a bit surprised they didn’t wait another month or two before announcing this.”

Amazon stock hit an all-time high, soaring to $2,283 per share April 14, the same day the commission rate reductions came to light.

Reddit posters registered their dismay over the fee cuts: “What a cruel time to do it, but it is, as you say, capitalism’s way,” wrote okletsdothisthang last week after the changes were announced. “Lots of sites are about to go on sale, too. I know we say these things every time this happens, but to add one last cliche: diversify diversify diversify.”

Fedio, who founded and built her One Savvy Girl outdoor lifestyle brand on Amazon before launching her consulting firm, agrees those who rely on commissions from Amazon should anticipate change and strategize for the long term.

“If you want to survive for the long haul, then you need to adapt to the changes. This should be a stark reminder of the need to diversify, as there are huge risks to a singular monetization method around a platform you don’t control,” she says.

While some businesses will be hurt by the changes and others may move away from Amazon entirely, Fedio says there are other opportunities and affiliate networks to consider. “Amazon is by far not the only game in town,” she says. “Look for opportunities to diversify both with traffic and revenue streams.”

The Amazon Associates affiliate marketing program and other programs may see more changes in the future as subsequent reviews and adjustments are inevitable.

“I expect Amazon to start pushing their offshoot influencer programs harder in the future, so I believe they still understand the importance of external traffic,” adds Naim. “They are probably just trying to right the ship as it relates to the profitability of the program.”

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos provides more cues for what’s ahead in his annual letter to shareholders released last week.

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Learn to make money by blogging with the help of this online training – Mashable

Products featured here are selected by our partners at StackCommerce.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Learn to find your own voice.

Learn to find your own voice.

Image: pexels

TL;DR: Learn how to market and monetize your ideas with the Ultimate Build Your Blog Bundle for $29.97, an 83% savings as of April 17.


Images of that awkward diary-style website you made in middle school might come to mind when you think of blogging, but in reality, blogs make up a quarter of all websites on the internet. And more than 77% of internet users read blogs regularly. They are alive and well and aren’t going anywhere.

We maintain that it is very possible to make blogging a successful venture. You just need a little instruction — and this Ultimate Build Your Blog Bundle can show you the most effective marketing tools and creative techniques to help you get started.

In just three courses and 62 lessons, you’ll learn how to find your own voice, launch your blog, market yourself, and even monetize your content with the help of blogging pros.

Here’s a peek at what’s in store:

Build a Successful Creative Blog with April Bowles-Olin

Led by April Bowles-Olin, a writer, creative business consultant, marketing strategist, and photography dabbler, this crash course in blogging shows you what it takes to write, create, and market a successful blog. Through 26 lectures and 15 hours of content, you’ll learn how to build a strong editorial strategy, find your own voice, attract readers, and have some fun along the way. Over 34.3K students have enrolled in this course and 98% recommend it, with one describing it as “the first blogging course that really clicked.”

Double Your Followers with Creative Marketing by April Bowles-Olin

Also taught by Bowles-Olin, this 18-hour course will help you understand the psychology and ins and outs of marketing your blog. Through short daily lessons, you’ll learn how to reach the right audience, grow your business by increasing your Instagram and Twitter following, and increase your newsletter subscribers. Join 28.6K other satisfied students in discovering how to double your blog readership.

How to Write a Blog Post that Drives Traffic with Guinness World Record® Holder Darren Murph

Darren Murph, the former editor-at-large for Engadget and Guinness World Record® holder for the most prolific professional blogger, leads this 10-lecture course that focuses on improving your writing skills and building a portfolio. And considering his background, he knows a thing or two about thriving in the writing world. You’ll learn a bit about the inner workings of publications and what editors are looking for, plus how to improve, market, and monetize your work.

Usually priced at $177, you can sign up for this blog-building bundle for just $29.97 — a whopping 83% off the usual price.

Learn to make money by blogging with the help of this online training

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Amazon slashes commission rates for program that gives publishers a cut of sales – CNBC

A worker assembles a box for delivery at the Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., April 30, 2019.

Clodagh Kilcoyne | Reuters

Amazon is cutting commission rates for members of its affiliate program.

The company notified members of the program, known as Amazon Associates, that it will slash commission rates beginning April 21, according to an email obtained by CNBC. 

Amazon has for years operated the affiliate program, which allows members to advertise and link to Amazon products in exchange for a percentage of the sales. The program drives significant revenue for online websites who link out to Amazon products in their content. It’s especially important for online publishers like BuzzFeed, The New York Times and Vox Media that publish buying guides that drive readers to buy products from Amazon for a cut of the sales.

Rates are being cut for a number of affiliate product categories. For example, the affiliate cut from purchases of furniture and home improvement products has fallen from 8% to 3%, while the commission rate for grocery products has slid from 5% to 1%, according to a document obtained by CNBC. 

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that the company notified U.S. associates Tuesday of the fee change. The spokesperson declined to comment on whether the decision was a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The spokesperson said Amazon regularly evaluates its program offerings to ensure it’s competing with the broader industry and added that such rate evaluations are a standard industry practice. 

Here are the rates for product categories before the change:

And here are the rates after April 21:

Here’s what Amazon is telling members of its affiliate program: 

Hello Associate,

We hope you are staying well during this time. We are writing to inform you of upcoming changes to the Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement, which governs your participation in the Amazon Associates Program. All changes are effective as of April 21, 2020.

Visit the What’s Changed page to see a summary of these changes. You can also find the Operating Agreement, Program Policies, and the Fee Statement if you would like to refer to the current, pre-change versions.

Sincerely,

The Amazon Associates Program

Amazon’s business has been impacted on a number of fronts as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Hit with a surge of online orders, the company moved to prioritize shipments of essential items in its warehouses, though it has since begun winding down those restrictions. The virus also forced Amazon to temporarily pause its Prime Pantry delivery service, while its Amazon Shipping pilot program will be halted in June.  

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Amazon had already made some cuts to its commerce marketing deals. Last month, the company informed digital media firms it would suspend commerce marketing deals, according to The Information

One member of the program, who asked to remain anonymous, said they “cannot afford” the fee cuts that were announced, since a main portion of their income comes from commissions earned via Amazon links. The member runs several Facebook groups that advertise shopping deals across the web, including Amazon products. 

“All the affiliates I talk to make the majority of their money from these categories,” the member said. “It’s going to hurt a lot of people.” 

Bloggers and online businesses voiced their frustrations about the cuts on Twitter and Reddit. In a Reddit forum for affiliate marketing, one member of the program wrote: “These slashes are ridiculous. Together with a high chance of upcoming recession, SEO/affiliate outlook is pretty gloomy, to be honest.”

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Amazon reportedly planning drastic cuts to affiliate commission rates starting next week – The Verge

Amazon is planning to make dramatic cuts to commission rates for its affiliate marketing program, which allows media organizations, e-commerce companies, and small and independent businesses to receive a cut of revenue from a sale if a customer lands on the product page and purchases the item through a provided link. The cuts go into effect on April 21st, according to CNBC, and some product categories will see drops of more than 50 percent.

For instance, commission rates under the categories home improvement, furniture, lawn and garden, and pet products will see a commission rate of 8 percent per sale drop down to just 3 percent. For headphones, beauty products, and musical instruments, commission rates will go from 6 percent down to 3 percent. Many other categories — including grocery, sports, baby products, and outdoors and tools — are all dropping down to 3 or 1 percent, CNBC reports, from 4 percent or higher.

The changes will be a harsh blow to digital media organizations, many of which spent the last few years building out commerce divisions dedicated to recommending products that are largely purchased, at least in the US, on Amazon. Other retailers, like Best Buy and Walmart, also run affiliate marketing programs, but Amazon remains the leader in US e-commerce with nearly half of all online sales. Last month, Amazon and other retailers also began suspending dedicated commerce marketing deals, which are separate from the standard affiliate program, with big digital media firms amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital media companies like BuzzFeed and New York Times-owned Wirecutter are among the more prominent commerce providers in the industry. The Verge’s parent company Vox Media is another, with affiliate partnerships that include Amazon. (For more information, see our ethics policy.)

But there are scores of other news organizations that do the same and non-news companies that have spun up small to medium-sized businesses around online deals and product reviewing. Quoted by CNBC, one person — who runs some Facebook groups dedicated to sharing online deals — says they “cannot afford” the cuts and that the changes will “hurt a lot of people.” The change will hurt not just websites, but also prominent deal and e-commerce YouTube channels and even deal plug-in makers and stores like Honey and Rakuten.

Amazon isn’t citing any one reason for the commission rate cuts, according to the email it sent to program members obtained by CNBC, and the company declined to comment on the situation.

Amazon is one of the few US businesses that has only become more vital during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is hiring hundreds of thousands of new workers to keep up with demand in its warehouses and for its grocery and package delivery platforms.

Yet despite the huge surge in demand for Amazon’s services, the company is struggling to maintain operations like its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery option, which now has a waiting list to use, and is outright pausing some services like its Prime Pantry service for ordering bulk household goods and nonperishables. It only just yesterday said third-party sellers can now resume sending in nonessential products for shipping to customers, after the company restricted its warehouse shipments to essential goods like health and cleaning products and nonperishable food.

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Report: Amazon pulls third-party vendors from affiliate program – Marketing Dive

Dive Brief:

  • Amazon cut third-party vendors including Skimlinks, Sovrn and CJ Affiliate from its affiliate program, AdExchange reported citing unnamed sources.
  • Since the beginning of April, these affiliates will not earn a commission on purchases made as a result of traffic they sent to Amazon. Previously, select vendors received a cut of the total order amount, not just the percentage of the item that they added to their cart from the affiliate, the report explained.
  • Amazon’s affiliate program will maintain its direct relationships with thousands of digital publishers and supply-side ad exchange Transparent Ad Marketplace (TAM).

Dive Insight:

Amazon’s move to trim down its affiliate marketing program could be a cost-cutting measure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help the e-commerce giant manage programs that have a reputation as being prone to high levels of fraud or over-collection of commission on the actual sale.

As AdExchanger notes, third-party affiliates can earn a larger percentage of a final sale than simply a commission on a single item. Items sold via affiliates generate a different commission depending on the category. Beauty products can earn a 10% commission, while a video game brings in less than 5%. However, if a customer adds a $5 eyeshadow to a cart that already has $500 worth of items in it, that affiliate that drove the shopper to purchase the eyeshadow could earn $50.

Amazon appears to be tightening up this business model to keep more profits from its sales, especially as consumers search the platform for new products after clicking links from external sources. By cutting off these third-party affiliates, Amazon could increase its own profit margins and potentially increase returns for publishers that send traffic directly to the e-commerce giant. 

The move follows news last week that Walmart cut its influencer affiliate programs with social commerce site MagicLinks and e-commerce giant Rakuten. Additionally, retailers Macy’s, Patagonia and Victoria’s Secret have taken similar steps, per a recent Business Insider report.

Publishers without direct relationships to Amazon will likely take a hit if the pullback on affiliate marketing continues. These developments come as publishers are already hammered on the revenue side as marketers cut ad spend and block ads from running on coronavirus-related stories.

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Amazon Removes Third-Party Vendors From Its Affiliate Program – AdExchanger

Amazon has removed third-party vendors from its affiliate program.

Starting at the beginning of this month, affiliate networks such as Skimlinks and Sovrn (which acquired VigLink) can no longer send traffic to Amazon and get a cut of transactions, according to sources at many affiliate networks and publishers.

Removing third-party affiliate networks frees up significant profit margins for Amazon and, potentially, for publishers that traffic sales directly to Amazon.

Amazon offers different commissions for different kinds of purchases – beauty products and apparel could be as much as 10%, while video games return less than 5%.

But affiliate networks didn’t just get a cut of the single item they linked to, they got their commission for any products added to the cart within 24 hours of the original item. That meant if someone carted a $10 pair of socks via an affiliate link, and then added $300 worth of other products, at checkout the affiliate network would earn $30 on those $10 socks.

While Amazon could have limited affiliate commissions to only products added to a cart, instead of removing third-party vendors, this policy change is a kind of supply-path optimization, said one publisher exec with a large affiliate business.

Amazon declined to comment.

Amazon has direct relationships with thousands of publishers, including its own header bidding network. So the ecommerce giant isn’t giving up on affiliate entirely – it’s just creating a single channel between Amazon and digital publishers.

“Amazon has enough publisher relationships now and TAM (Amazon’s Transparent Ad Marketplace, its supply-side ad exchange) is strategic enough at this point that it clearly outweighs the value of the affiliate network traffic, even if that is profitable,” said another publisher monetization exec.

Publisher direct programs temporarily halted due to COVID-19

The Information reported last week that Walmart and Amazon suspended direct ecommerce deals (i.e. affiliate marketing) with digital media companies including BuzzFeed, Vox and Vice.

However, Amazon is only suspending publisher-direct programs because of how strained it is by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to two publisher execs and two sources at affiliate vendors. With so many products zipping out of stock and the added complications of nonessentials not being shipped right now, Amazon is temporarily halting its ecommerce deals with other publishers.

By contrast, the removal of third-party affiliate vendors is a true policy change, not just a health crisis response. According to one affiliate network exec who said he was warned of the change, Amazon has planned to remove third-party affiliate networks since before February.

Rethinking Amazon affiliate strategies

The Amazon affiliate policy change has major ramifications for ecommerce ad tech. In recent years, affiliate vendors such as VigLink have added publishers to their rosters by creating products that dynamically insert links to Amazon and other ecommerce sites, based on factors including commission rates, consumer history and likeliness to convert.

Consumers are generally most likely to convert on Amazon, which therefore gets the most traffic. But publishers had the flexibility to divert traffic to other sellers to capture higher commissions or as part of larger marketing deals. (For example, Barnes & Noble might cut a deal with, say, BuzzFeed, to generate stories about the best games and books to order during quarantine – and those would obviously link to B&N.)

Now, digital media companies will need deliberate Amazon and non-Amazon affiliate strategies, and won’t be able to dynamically insert links to capture audience value, said a publisher monetization exec. Many publishers will commit to being 100% focused on Amazon.

Mayuresh Kshetramade, CEO of CJ Affiliate, said Amazon has created an opportunity by removing third-party vendors from its affiliate program.

“We are actively working with our publishers who have been seeking ways to diversify their affiliate commerce beyond Amazon and our advertisers who see this as an opportunity to grow their market share,” he said.

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