Making sure you stay compliant with the Amazon to protect your Amazon Affiliate earnings is no easy feat. Working efficiently with the Amazon affiliate program and your wordpress site is always something you need to be careful with! Here is a great tool to help you increase conversions and make your website look great to visitors!
As an online business owner, you are constantly finding ways that you can improve your website’s value to readers, increase your monthly income, and essentially convert more users into buying products on Amazon. Part of how you can improve conversion rates and higher sales each month is dependent upon how you format your website and craft each post with the user intent in mind.
One of the things you need on any niche site are quality images that contain your affiliate links without risking your Amazon Associate’s account. If you aren’t already routinely using images to direct your readers over to Amazon, or are burdened by the time commitment involved in doing so, you might be interested in using a plugin like AMZ Image. Below, we will cover all that you need to know about why this is my go-to plugin. Check it out since it will save you a ton of time and help you make more affiliate commissions.
If you are already using images on your website, then they are probably from stock-photos or you manually download and upload them to your site to make things like Alt-tags, centering the image, and so on. In just about any case, though, there is a pretty hefty time commitment. Not to mention, it is risky to upload pictures from Amazon to your site manually as this can even cause account closure since it’s a breach of their terms. Enter the AMZ Image Plugin, which is 100% Amazon compliant and much faster to use than any alternatives, since you don’t have to leave the WordPress editor to insert Amazon product images.
Here are some of the main features we find in the AMZ Image plugin:
Anybody who wants a smoother and more efficient experience while editing posts and inserting images will enjoy using AMZ Image since it makes it as easy as touching a button and selecting your product to put in your images. This will save you lots of time going over to Amazon and doing this manually by downloading the images and uploading them to your site on your own.
Using AMZ Image is practical for those who are already approved for Amazon Associates, but need a better way to input images on their site that include their affiliate links following the Associate’s Program Operating Agreement. If you are still on the fence as to whether or not this plugin will work best for your business’ needs, let’s consider some of the main benefits that this plugin provides.
It has been widely reported throughout authorities on the matter that having quality images on your site increases conversions. In one instance, images have been shown to increase conversions by at least 27%. Also, click-throughs have been increased by 95% simply by throwing in some pictures of the product being discussed.
Think of this as a customer. If you find your way to a niche site, you are probably already in a buying mood and are simply seeking some quality information on the product. If all you see are large blocks of content with no clear description or critical feedback on the product being discussed, you will probably go back to Google and find a different site to reference.
However, those who have images, bullet points, use bold text, and separate their paragraphs well to make the content easily skimmed through will have better results. Using the AMZ Image plugin is a great way to put up quality images on your content that is attractive and proven to generate clicks.
If you have already gotten sick of going back forth between Amazon and your website to put up images, then AMZ Image is the tool that you might have been waiting for all this time. As we can see below, adding in an image is as easy as clicking a button on the top of your page builder. Instead of clicking “Add Media” and uploading the image manually, AMZ Image will embed the image on your site for you.
Even if you are accustomed to using the SiteStripe feature on Amazon directly, this plugin is still faster. This is because it can help you manually adjust settings like adding in a “no-follow” tag, alt-text, and so on, without hefty work adjusting the coding on your site or ever leaving your WordPress site in the first place. These sorts of features are great for those that aren’t as tech-savvy but still want to optimize their site’s potential for success.
One of the top concerns that people have before using a plugin that works with an Amazon niche site is whether or not it will impact their good-standing status as an Amazon Associate. Since AMZ Image utilizes Amazon API and complies 100% with the Associate’s Agreement, you will be able to use this plugin with some peace of mind.
You will never have to worry about this plugin harming your good reputation as an Associate. The developers of AMZ Image monitor all the latest developments in the Operating Agreement to ensure their plugin will never get your Associate account banned from Amazon.
If you are using the new Gutenberg page builder and/or the latest version of WordPress, you will not have to worry about compatibility issues with the AMZ Image plugin. The plugin developers stay up-to-date with all the latest WordPress updates to ensure that they can meet the needs of a diverse range of website owners. Especially the ones that use modern tools like the Gutenberg page builder.
If you want to check that the plugin will work on your website, then you are welcome to a 30-day money back guarantee. Just install it on your website to make sure it works before the 30-days are up. This will give many people the peace of mind they need since you have plenty of time to test it out.
Before you head over to your WordPress dashboard to install this plugin, there are some factors that you should be aware of. To use the AMZ Image plugin, you need to have an active Associates account with sales in the past 30-days. Otherwise, you won’t be able to connect your account to the plugin and add in images. The AMZ Image plugin works by connecting directly with your Associate’s Account.
Otherwise, the plugin would not be able to credit your affiliate account with any sales that are directed towards Amazon from clicking on one of the images. If your account is still under review, make sure that it gets accepted before you start using the AMZ Image plugin for your website.
If you are reading this right now, then then you will be able to access a 15% discount on the AMZ Image plugin. Since the plugin already comes at a pretty fair price, this extra discount might help lessen any potential financial burden that purchasing a premium plugin would entail.
To be able to access this discount, you will need to click “Buy Now” and navigate into the checkout screen. Once you are at checkout, you will notice that the discount is applied automatically for you.
As we explored above, the AMZ Image plugin is a great way to save yourself some time as an Amazon Associate by putting images up on your site in an efficient manner that avoids manual downloading and uploading. If you are still unsure about whether or not this plugin is right for your needs, you are invited to check out the official AMZ Image website and learn more about the features and latest pricing straight from the AMZ Image team.
In this post, I am going try to answer the question of are PBNs safe and do they still work?
There is no black and white answer but by trying to look at this from a few different angles and my years of history building and buying and selling websites I hope to be able to provide a deeper understanding for you to make your own informed decision.
The decision ultimately around the risk vs reward will be unique to your situation.
There is no form of rank manipulation that is risk-free, even supposed white hat strategies of outreach / guest posting comes with risk. The short answer is PBNs are still effective and being used by many. However, once site builders are established and have very long term time horizons and sites of significant size many move away from using PBNs.
This post is going to cover…
A PBN is an SEO tactic where you purchase a group of domains, typically recently expired domains with quality backlinks to them, and then build a relevant site linking back to your money site. This shows Google that high authority sites in your niche backlink to your site and backlinks are still the #1 ranking factor in Google or another search engine.
Risk is the probability of a negative event occurring and the consequence of that event. So in the context of are PBNs risky the question becomes…
Let’s go through a few examples first before we dig into the data.
In this case and using the formula above your current probability of getting penalized by Google for the use of PBN backlinks is near zero and the consequence is very high.
Therefore, it would not make sense to increase the probability of a penalty by building PBN links.
In the case where the site already has PBN links. You are currently living with the potential of a penalty and therefore building additional PBN links (if they are built properly) does not increase the probability/risk in a significant way.
Therefore, adding additional PBN links to your site would not significantly change your risk while helping you rank.
This becomes a very personal decision for you based on your timeline, aggressiveness and overall appetite for risk. As shown below when we look at do PBNs work it is clear PBN links are still effective in 2020, however, are you wanting to optimize for short term success or long term success.
Therefore, it depends on your personal risk profile.
I first started using PBNs in 2013/2014 and created some ultimate guides which have been used over the years and stayed remarkably relevant.
However a few critical things are different then they used to be…
Now to try and answer this question I am going to look at a few sources of data.
First, looking at the histo
EmpireFlippers provides some great data by publicly identifying the content sites on their marketplace that use a PBN. I have done this analysis other years and therefore can compare is the rate of use of PBNs in content sites increasing or decreasing.
Looking at the number of content sites
Big Pile of Data to Answer These Questions…
A smaller % of people are now using PBNs to rank their Amazon Affiliate websites. Those that do use PBNs make 31% more per month than those that don’t and the valuation multiple is unchanged between the two groups.
Google has made it more and more difficult to build a network of sites to help another website rank effectively driving up the cost to build a quality network of sites.
As a result, what we have seen over the last 5 years is fewer people making the decision to invest in building a PBN to support their site but the answer to the question of do they still work is clear.
PBNs are still effective in 2020 however they are not without risk.
These online entrepreneurs continue to adapt. Although the future is difficult to predict, many are now comfortable with their new direction after all the world changes. Many have found success in catering to their customers’ new lifestyles, which includes a lot of staying at home!
#1 Takeaway – Cater to Your Audience – Throughout these highly turbulent times, the thing that has lead to success for most of these online entrepreneurs is to cater to the lifestyles of their audience. The common theme with success is that entrepreneurs have geared their content and their digital offerings towards peoples’ stay-home lifestyles. Things such as do-it-yourself blogging content, e-books, and online courses have been where many have seen the majority of their sales.
When I started my online entrepreneurship journey I took a lot of inspiration from others that were sharing everything they did online. Seeing that people like me were making REAL money and that the opportunity to replace my day job was possible.
It has been 3.5 years since I left my day job – https://authoritywebsiteincome.com/quit-my-job/
The more transparent the report the more I appreciated and was motivated by it.
Over the years I have tried to be as transparent as possible sharing along the way my goals, business successes/failures and the ultimate results(profits).
After years of sharing monthly income posts I decided that it made sense to stop these… a decision I actually regret as I wish I had found a way to keep sharing some of what I was doing.
My reason for stopping was my online world and “real” worlds became more connected and it was becoming very odd to share these numbers.
Looking at many of the people that originally had an income round up posts they have also stopped. Namely the most famous in the space Pat Flynn no longer does income round ups.
In this post I will cover…
Last Month Profit – $16,069.73
Name – Ron Stefanski
Website – onehourprofessor.com
Business Model – Authority Affiliate Site
Checkout the video I did with Ron and be sure to read his gripping story here!
Last Month Profit – $4,240
Name – Lidiya
Website – letsreachsuccess.com
Business Model – Blogging
Income Report – https://letsreachsuccess.com/june-2020-blog-income-report/
Last Month Profit – $204,121.13 (Quarterly Revenue)
Name – Alex & Lauren
Business Model – Affiliate Blog & Online Course
Income Report – https://createandgo.com/blog-income-report/
Last Month Profit – $10,543.44
Name – Johnny FD
Website – johnnyfd.com
Business Model – Mixed – Dropshipping & Investing
Last Month Profit – $37,008.60
Name – Ryan Robinson
Website – ryrob.com
Business Model – Authority Website (affiliate earnings)
Income Report – https://www.ryrob.com/blog-income-report-june-2020/
Last Month Profit – $6,875
Name – Anne
Website – www.yeys.com
Business Model – Web Publishing Blog
Income Report – https://yeys.com/june-2020-traffic-revenue-report/
Although they don’t do exactly income reports, there are a few reports that are worth mentioning and when they publish new reports I will be sure to include.
Am I missing any I should include? Please drop a message in the comment section below with anyone I should include next month!
Several this month didn’t publish so I wasn’t able to include but will again when they publish.
Should you get an SBA loan or any other form of debt to buy your first online business? The math and potential is undeniably attractive! But at what risk?
I strongly believe buying most online businesses (especially your first) with personally guaranteed debt (SBA or other) you can’t afford to pay back without the business is a VERY BAD idea!
Despite my strong bias, I will try and present both sides of the borrow, or not question.
In one purchase you can transform $100k of your money (or even an equity partners money) combined with a loan (SBA or other financing) for 90% of the purchase price and have a Million Dollar online business with ~$300k+ in discretionary earnings.
You want out of the 9-5, be your own boss, have financial freedom and be location independent? Great… just one business purchase away… right?
Hack the startup process and live the successful entrepreneur lifestyle immediately all while running a fully remote business.
Sounds pretty great… in fact, it is a great way to live… as I write this I am at my Cottage during the workweek loving my new 2 days entrepreneurs schedule
No path in life provides a greater ability to engineer your own lifestyle then as an entrepreneur, so I definitely get the desire!
But what are the risks and is it worth it?
This post will look at the risk vs reward of purchasing an online business (especially your first) with an SBA Loan or any other form of debt.
As mentioned above if you can successfully pull it off the results are incredible. Shortcut YEARS of hard work and buy your way with leverage to the entrepreneur lifestyle.
A fantastic book that looks at buying businesses and then building them is Walker Diebels book Buy then Build. In this book, Walker makes some great arguments in his book for the use of debt. I just finished it and its great… I agree with much of what he says and specifically the application of the margin of safety when using debt to buy a business.
Compared to traditional financial investment alternatives with bonds at incredibly low returns and the stock market typically returning 4%-8% the ability to get 100%+ ROI using debt is attractive.
So if it works out and the business even stays flat you can achieve full financial freedom at a cost of under $100k! Very incredible.
Before I dig deeper into the downside there is one scenario when I think adding debt into the equation of an online business acquisition makes sense. If you have…
Under that very restrictive model I believe it is not fiscally irresponsible to borrow.
However, I would ask someone in that situation if the juiced returns impact the quality of your life or would needing to pay off the debt impact the quality of your life. If borrowing risks your chosen lifestyle then you are trading financial security for (I hate the word but…) greed? I am not anti-greed and there is nothing wrong with a person that makes that decision as long as they are aware of it.
So why do I think if the debt you are taking out would risk your family’s financial security it is a terrible idea?
In value investing a popular term is margin of safety.
The margin of safety is when the market value is significantly below the intrinsic value of a company.
So what is intrinsic value? In financial analysis this term is used in conjunction with the work of identifying, as nearly as possible, the underlying value of a company and its cash flow per Investopedia
For a high margin low overhead online business with no assets beyond the domain name and some content (ie affiliate site) the intrinsic value includes no “real” assets and only the present value of future earnings (ie the value is set at some multiple on the websites income 3x annual income as an example).
Many online businesses have a single point of failure that can send the business to ZERO. Some of the common single points of failure for online businesses include…
So if the amount of money being borrowed is more than is capable of being repaid then if the business fails you are taking a SIGNIFICANT risk with your family’s financial future for years(decades) to come.
Not all online businesses have a single point of failure, but many/most do.
Let’s estimate the stability of an online business based on both SBA loan defaults and the volatility of online businesses.
I would argue that the volatility of online business is higher than the typical SBA eligible business, but even if not many people are going in with a 20%+ chance at a negative life-changing financial consequence. Granted a <80% at a positive outcome.
Lets use a couple gambling analogys…
If it is so risky then why is most of the content discussing SBA loans being used to buy online businesses positive?
The majority of the information out there that is pushing the mandate of borrow money and buy an online business is coming from the ecosystem that benefits from the liquidity being injected into it.
I am not immune, I contemplated not posting my strong views as less liquidity could drive down multiples, the value of my businesses and the number of deals done at MotionInvest.com would be negatively impacted.
For anyone that is selling you the dream make sure to separate out their bias… SBA lender, business broker, accountant, lawyer, seller or investor not on the hook for the personal guarantee all benefit when a deal gets done. If your source of information is someone who benefits from the transaction then do your own research (DYOR always a good principle with money to be able to avoid the worst scams like IncomeStore).
Don’t you hate people who point out a problem without a solution, I will try not to be a debby downer.
It sounds like I am saying I am not a believer in this asset class of online businesses if I don’t think they are credit worthy. That is definitely not the case, they provide an unparalleled opportunity for income scale while operating them efficiently fully remote. As an example of what is possible one of my former employees has scaled his commerce business to half a million dollars in monthly sales with reasonable net margins within ~1 year!
What I am a believer of is finding exposure to this type of business that is a fit for your unique situation. Everyone coming to this asset class has some combination of…
Based on where you sit between those 2 factors should dictate where you are prepared to start. If you have limited time and loads of money with the ability to get a manager than looking at larger deals may be the right decision. If you have <$100k but want out of your day job…make a multi-year plan and start off with what you can afford.
Invest the money you can afford to lose (this might mean starting from zero), grow the crap out of the business then scale up to bigger sites!
I tried to layout the landscape of the online business buying world on a graph with capital on one axis and time/skills on the other to paint a picture of where people can start their online business search.
MotionInvest Buying Guide…
I hope this article has been helpful in presenting a different view point than the common view being shared online currently.
Summer (especially in Canada) is short! So how do I optimize my schedule to maximize summer family fun while pushing the business forward?
For entrepreneurs who have the ability to modify their schedule how do you optimize summer while still pushing the business forward?
Assuming my kids will be less interested in hanging out with me by the time they are ~15 (optimistic) given my low level of coolness I am 50% done the summers I get with my oldest.
Maximizing summer family fun is definitely a priority.
This post looks at some past attempts and the structure I have for this unique COVID-19 summer.
However, despite me wanting to maximize summer I also want to make sure the businesses get pushed forward!
4 Day Work Week + 2 Weeks Off
This has been my attempt in the past couple of summers to maximize family time while still making sure everything needed gets done for the business.
This summer I am trying a more extreme schedule to try and deal with the major downsides of the last schedule specifically no growth time to push a new project forward and no grit building. While increasing the amount of time we can spend at the cottage.
2 Work all Day Days, 5 Stay on Top of Email Days
Now my schedule has 2 days where I work from 8am to 11pm at the office and then the other 5 days I work 1-2hrs just staying on top of email.
Total hours is still near full time at 40hrs/wk but highly concentrated making every weekend a VERY LONG 5 day weekend.
The Bad – Not sure yet but could be…
Visually what does this look like…
I am interested in hearing other peoples schedules… what do you do?