The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

Click the damn link – Just CLICK the damn link.

Most everyone understands affiliate marketing well enough to recognize or suspect it when they see it, to resent it, and to agonize over somebody getting money-for-nothing.  Your mother taught you not to trust strangers, and she taught you well.  The world is full of people who will beguile you with smooth talk and insincere recommendations of questionable books, in selfish pursuit of internet riches.

It’s an ambitious plan to make a living by means of affiliate marketing.  It sounds easier than an Avon business, which I see is advertising on broadcast TV these days, but the math is not promising.

Earning a six percent referral commission on a twenty-dollar book through Amazon’s affiliate program yields $1.20 per.  By selling 20,000 books a year this way, a person could support her family at just above the poverty level.  That’s about fifty-five books per day sold through an affiliate link, every day.

Suppose, for example, that one in ten blog visitors click an Amazon affiliate link and one in ten of those actually buy something within the affiliate window of opportunity, without first clicking some other’s affiliate link.  These numbers are optimistic, but if applied they mean a blog would need an average of 5500 visitors per day.  That’s over 2 million visitors per year.

If, as a blogger, you can attract 2 million visitors in a year, I suggest you come up with something to sell that has a higher profit margin than an Amazon referral, and which falls into the category of money-for-something.


Written by Tom Fox

08/30/2010 at 12:35 am

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