A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. ~ David Brinkley
If you are just starting out in the over saturated arena that is affiliate marketing, here are a few of my lessons learned. I’m brand new to affiliate marketing. I recently started a website and immediately jumped in feet first. I enrolled in Google Adsense and was initially rejected due to lack of content. However, when I enrolled in Amazon Associates I was immediately accepted.
Amazon Associates Rejection
The site I was working on was inspired by a deals site that I follow. This site posts multiple direct Amazon links on facebook and website so I assumed that this was an acceptable practice. Well I learned the hard way that Amazon actually does care about the content on your website. The problem is that they won’t check it out until you have made your first sale. Upon making your first sale Amazon will evaluate all websites associated with your account and reject/shut down your Amazon Associates account or accept the sale and credit your account. Unfortunately upon making my first sale (not even sure what it was since Amazon won’t tell me), my site was rejected.
I was able to chat with an Amazon Associates customer service agent and here’s what I learned:
- To pass the content requirement, the site must have at least 50% original content.
I asked for clarification on what is defined as original content and I was advised that content obviously from other sites are excluded. This seemed a little vague since it is often useful to have a compilation of information from various sources.
I was advised to simply add personal reviews to the products that I was promoting. So I’m guessing some personal opinion is important to be considered original content? I’m still a little uncertain in this area.
- Once your Amazon Associates account is rejected you are allowed to reapply, however, you start from scratch.
Upon receiving the rejection notice I immediately tried to login to see if reapplying would reconnect all of the past links that have been made. Well unfortunately this is not the case. I asked in a few different ways if there was a way to gain access to the reports or have things reinstated once the site is approved for content and I was advised that it was impossible.
- When you open your Amazon Associates account and create aStores, save the list of ASINs.
As I just mentioned, in the event that your Amazon Associates account is rejected you will no longer have access to anything, including any aStores that you set up. This was especially frustrating since I had invested some time in developing aStores for my niche. Now they are gone!
If I ever try to promote Amazon products again, I will save my list of ASINs so it can be imported if I should ever have to perform the setup again. In addition, I have learned that it is faster and easier to make a list of ASINs to add to the aStore as opposed to clicking to link each item and selecting a category. As you save your ASINs, sort them in categories to easily import.
One Tip for Future Success – Add More Content
When I hit this road block the first thing I did was search for advice on how to overcome it. Apparently I am not alone in being rejected by Amazon for content. I reviewed several forums that had threads by individuals rejected by Amazon and there is one commonality: don’t be discouraged, just keep on posting good content.
In one of the threads an experienced affiliate marketer recommended that a site should have at least 15 articles before applying for affiliate programs. This is good, concrete advice that I can strive for. Now to brainstorm and come up with those articles so I can try again.
On the bright side, at least I know that there is some potential here.
- I gained a Twitter following of more than 500 in a matter of weeks.
- I received over 300 clicks on my Amazon affiliate links and finally earned one sale (although I sadly won’t get paid for it)
- I’m quickly learning about social media marketing, blogging, and SEO
- and most importantly I’m enjoying the ride.
If you have any advice on how to be accepted as an Amazon Associate please share. Thanks in advance!