New Amazon Commissions Got Ya Down? Here’s What To DO About It



How to recover your lost earnings AFTER Amazon's affiliate commission change.  Great Case Study from PotPieGirlI don’t know about YOU, but since Amazon changed their affiliate commission structure to a flat percentage rate based on product category, I’m taking a hit in my Amazon earnings right along with other affiliates.

How about YOU?

Kinda sucks, doesn’t it?

So – NOW WHAT?

Do we bail on the Amazon affiliate program? No.

Do we whine and complain about it? No.

Do we DO something about it? YES!

Here’s what *I’ve* been doing about it to not only bring my Amazon affiliate earnings back as they were BEFORE the commission rate change…

but to also INCREASE my earnings in spite of the commission change.

I’ve been waiting to make this post until I had some real data inside my own account to work with since the Amazon commission change…

AND – most importantly –

I can tell you what I’m doing about it and give YOU some ideas to fix your own Amazon earnings.

Well, today is the day. So let’s dig in and get to work.

Amazon affiliate case study from PotPieGirl

Amazon Affiliate Case Study

As a Case Study example for this post, I’m going to use a blog post I have out there on the interwebs that is monetized 100% with Amazon affiliate links (ie, no other ads, no other affiliate links).

While I have LOTS of these types of blog posts all over the web, this ONE blog post in particular is a great “case study” web page because I have 2 unique Amazon affiliate tracking IDs for this post – meaning, I can get some real hard data stats for myself – and to share with you.

(yes, I watch and track affiliate link clicks CTR and sales/conversions like a HAWK!)

Always be testing, tracking, and tweaking those affiliate blog posts, right?

About The Case Study “Niche”

The “niche” for this blog post is kinda seasonal.

Traffic, clicks, and earnings “ebb and flow” throughout the year, but the products sell all year long (just some months are better than others).

About the Case Study Post Earnings

The main product price point on Amazon is about $80 and up.

Before the Amazon commission change:

I’d make at least $6.40 per product sale in commission.

Now, after the Amazon commission structure change March 1st…

I’m lucky to make $3.60 in commission for the same product sale.

So my commissions for the one blog post have pretty much been cut in HALF.

Yep, it SUCKS!

Before the commission change, that ONE blog post earned $19.92 per day on average in Amazon commissions… and hitting a high month of earning $30.73 per DAY in commissions to ME about 4 months ago when the post got it’s traction and took off.

In March, AFTER the sucky commission structure change, that one blog post was down to earning me $9.37 a day in commissions – and I was selling the normal amount of product that month as the month before.

My Google rankings didn’t change, my affiliate link clicks didn’t change – nothing like that.

ONLY the commission percentage I earned changed from February to March.

That means, I have this awesome single blog post out there that makes great sales and…

It WAS earning up to $30.73 per DAY in commissions.

NOW it’s earning about $9.37 a day in commissions.

{insert BIG frown here}

{{ AND add a mean scowl here, too }}

{{{ ok, go ahead and add a bad word or two here as well }}}

So, NOW WHAT??

Just accept defeat?

Try and find another affiliate program?

Toss some AdSense ads on the page?

No, NO, Nooooooo!

There is an absolute Bright Side to this whole story.

And it involves:

DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

What *I’m* DOING About It

In the first 2 months of this year (ie, BEFORE the Amazon commission change), that page converted at 4.08%.

Here’s a screenshot of an average span of time BEFORE the commission change:

Not bad – not EXCELLENT, but not bad (especially for high-priced products).

And when that ONE blog post was averaging at least $6.40 per sale in commission to me, selling 100 products in that time frame is a pretty good deal and GREAT EARNINGS for a SINGLE blog post, right?

That’s like $640 in Amazon commissions from that ONE blog post.

Cool.

But here’s the thing –

It’s NOT “cool” – not at all.

Affiliate bloggers, including myself, have this nasty, NASTY little habit.

When a blog post is making money that is “good”,
we get lazy and don’t do ANYTHING to make it BETTER.

I’m tellin’ ya, I do it, too!

And it’s SUCH a waste!

So that is EXACTLY where I started to fix my loss of Amazon affiliate earnings.

Step One – Improve your Conversion Rate

Here’s the thought process here…

If my blog post is converting at about 4% before the Amazon commission changes, and that commission change cut my affiliate earnings in HALF…

If I can DOUBLE that 4% conversion rate, I’d be back on track with my earnings, right?

Lost HALF your Amazon commissions?
Then sell TWICE as MUCH to recover your earnings.

Same traffic, same Google rankings, same EVERYTHING –

except you convert twice as many affiliate link clicks to sales.

…and you’ll probably get more affiliate link clicks, too =)

And it’s NOT HARD TO DO.

The problem is – and why many affiliates DON’T do this is:

  • 1. That “lazy affiliate” thing we all got going on, and
  • 2. Many affiliates are not set up to KNOW what’s happening on ONE blog post to know if anything they “tweak” improves it or makes it worse.
  • As I said, that is EXACTLY where I started to recover the lost Amazon affiliate earnings for this one blog post.

    And by golly, a few tweaks and a little creativity, and it worked!

    and it worked almost instantly with the first traffic that hit that blog post following my “tweaks”.

    WHAT Did I Tweak To Improve My Conversions?

    Blogging for Money?  Getting hard to convert and make sales?  Perhaps Amazon cut your affiliate commissions in HALF with their commission change?  Here's what to DO about it!I knew I already had a very powerful “Money Link” on that blog post so I didn’t mess with that at all.

    That ‘Money Link’ is such a subtle yet very effective little bugger – it’s my favorite =)

    So, I didn’t touch my Money Link at all

    I worked on the rest of the blog post.

    Here’s What I Did:

    I removed any and ALL “distractions” from the post.

    If it had nothing to do with the topic of my post – it was removed.

    I added a lot more “eye candy”.

    I wanted to keep readers eyes moving down the page AND draw (subtle) attention to my affiliate links.

    I added subtle “social proof”.

    Following the marketing mantra of “everybody wants what everybody wants”, I added in more ‘social proof” types of things to give readers the security that lots of other people like so-and-so product (and people DO… it’s not BS)

    I Added additional HELPFUL information

    I call the type of post this Case Study blog post is a “UBG” post (sorry, that’s my internal slang, not sharing what that means here publicly)

    So, to keep more in line with my UBG type of post, I added more information that truly helped the readers make a good choice.

    MOBILE!!!!!!

    The MOST IMPORTANT thing is making sure the post looked AMAZING on mobile devices.

    I get SO frustrated at myself when I forget to REALLY look at my blog posts on my cell phone – AND look at the post/interact with the post from a READERS point of view.

    As you can see by my little screenshot of my Amazon affiliate conversion rate for that one blog post…

    My Tweaks WORKED!

    I almost DOUBLED my conversion rate VERY quickly –

    heck, almost INSTANTLY.

    which means:

    that ONE blog post is making TWICE as many sales…

    Which easily replaces the lost Amazon earnings caused by the commission change.

    Step Two – Increase Traffic

    Now that I doubled my conversion rate on that blog post, it was time to get more traffic.

    Here’s my mindset on doing that:

    I already got my lost Amazon affiliate earnings back simply by doubling the conversion rate for that post.

    Now, if I can get MORE traffic to that post, I’ll make MORE sales.

    And end up earning MORE than that post was earning BEFORE the commission change.

    (and yes, my mindset was correct – it worked!)

    First Stop:

    My Rankings in Google for that Blog Post

    I pulled out my bestest tools and ranking data and dove in to find my best keywords people were using to find my blog post, found where I ranked – and did my best to start ranking BETTER.

    Just moving from position 5 on Google Page One for your keyword
    to position 3 can make a BIG difference in traffic.

    But I didn’t stop there…

    Next Stop:

    My Google CTR

    I also took the effort to improve my CTR (click thru rate) FROM Google search results for my keywords.

    It’s all fine and great to rank #1 for your keywords,
    but if no one CLICKS your Google listing
    it ain’t worth squat!

    Have you ever really looked at HOW your web page listing in Google really LOOKS?

    Would YOU click it?

    Here’s some advice, from one affiliate blogger to another:

    You have GOT to know:

    What keywords you rank for
    What keywords bring you traffic
    What your Google click thru rate is from your ranking keywords

    You simply can not improve what you don’t know.

    All there is to it.

    Another Cool Google Trick I’m Doing

    I’m getting pretty darn good at grabbing that “position zero” in Google keyword search results.

    What is “Position Zero”?

    That is those Answer Boxes also called “Featured Snippets” that rank ABOVE all the other organic listings in a Google search result.

    Like this:

    What is Position Zero in Google?  Position Zero is the Featured Snippet (Answer Box) at the top of Google's Orgnaic search results.  These rankings get more traffic that when you rank #1 for your keyword.

    Grabbing that Position Zero Featured Snippet (Answer Box) is a BIG DEAL.

    Those listings get a LOT of traffic from Google (or at least, *I* get a lot of traffic from them).

    I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing what my post needs to be a potential Position Zero result, formatting my blog post FOR that Position Zero ranking, and being able to see when Google is about ready to consider my blog post for that ranking.

    For me, it’s really fun (I’m weird like that!)

    And above the “fun” part of it – it’s TOTALLY worth the effort!

    Case Study Results

    After putting my “tweaks” into action, that ONE blog post has seen a dramatic difference in traffic, Amazon affiliate link clicks, and SALES.

    Just TODAY, and today is far from over as I type this….

    That ONE blog post has sold $421.23 worth of products in a few HOURS today.

    Which brings me back up to about a $20 a day earnings average – and it’s improving every, single day.

    So, got my money back =)

    Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

    Hope this Case Study helps YOU regain your lost Amazon affiliate earnings.

    Questions? Comments?

    Care to share your own “tweaks” to regain your earnings?

    I’d love to hear it all!

    Comments are open for the next 7 days.

    Thanks for reading!

    jennifer-potpiegirl-pic-signature

    15 Comments

    1. Karen De Haan
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    3. Nick