This week I experienced a fluke. I had a run on sales of books on my Amazon Associates account. I experienced 20% sell through from clicks. That was amazing. I’ve never sold anything through Amazon Associates before, and I’ve dabbled and worked at it for over 3 years.
I’ve tried a number of things over the years.
- I read a lot of fiction books, and I’ve tried writing reviews of the books that I have read myself, while including a link to the book on Amazon. Result – Zero Sales.
- I’ve tried covering movies and DVD’s and including image links to the DVD movies on Amazon. Result – Zero Sales.
- I’ve tried covering gadgets and electronics that I have written about including image links to Amazon. Result – Zero Sales.
I have never spoken with anyone that has been able to employ the midas touch or even witness it second hand themselves. The conventional wisdom is that Amazon Associates just doesn’t work, and that from a publisher’s perspective it will return very little revenue if any at all.
A FEW Lessons Learned from my Amazon Success
Now, I have just experienced some success with Amazon Associates. This could very well be a fluke and it may not repeat. Maybe some crack smoking nut job just happened to click on my Amazon link and buy some books. :) Then again, maybe I did something right and stumbled upon a formula that might repeat. I’m writing this to share my experience and see if anyone else has had similar success. As you can see from my previous results above, I have nothing to lose from sharing my notes!
The Key was in the Carousel Widget
Using the embedded flash object of the Carousel Widget, which you can set up in Amazon Associates, I was able to display about 7 products in a moving rotating carousel. From this widget, one of my readers saw something they were interested in, went to Amazon, investigate some other books and bought some.
Below is an Example of an Amazon Carousel Widget
Getting Your Readers Engaged
One thing I really like about the carousel is that it gets your readers engaged and doing something.
Always be clicking!
It helps them to turn their vision into a mouse action and rotate their view to consume more content. It gets them clicking. It moves them one step closer towards clicking their way to Amazon where they might move from reader to clicker to browser and buyer.
Now, I’m treating my success like a fisherman. I have felt the nibble of a bite. It could have been chance or it could have been something done well. So I’m throwing additional lines out into the water to test some of this and try and determine if there is something there.
One of the things that seems to have worked in this case is that I offered up books, that were How TO or DIY in nature. Furthermore these books covered topics that were a little too complex to cover on a website. The articles were also targeted towards people that do have or will typically have limited internet access. Ergo, they come online from time to time to do research, but then have to go offline to dig in and finish their knowledge gathering from a book.
In a globally connected world, that is likely a somewhat small audience. Furthermore, I suffer from being over connected so it is not easy to think like a reader that is not connected.
Unlike the example above, I experienced my success with vertical skyscraper like carousel widgets. These were in the sidebar of one of my sites and not within the article itself. I have the theory that these could work inside an article, so I’m going to keep experimenting with the layout, size and form to see what might resonate and work better.