The Amazon Associates Program is the most popular affiliate program in the world and it’s not hard to see why. Amazon is a widely recognized and trusted brand and its program is one of the easiest to both sign up for and use.
While I’m a big fan of diversifying income sources, most of my sites will have Amazon Associate links because Amazon’s program remains one of the best options out there for easy but effective monetization of a content-based or product review website.
What’s important to know about buying an Amazon affiliate site for sale? Let’s jump in to find out!
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Where To Find Amazon Affiliate Sites For Sale?
Dozens of reliable website brokers and marketplaces exist where Amazon affiliate sites are listed for sale. Four stand out for consistently having a large number of these types of sites listed for sale.
Flippa is the largest unvetted marketplace in the world for online businesses. Content websites are a common feature of auction listings, and while due diligence is crucial there are some good deals to be found here.
One of the largest and most trusted marketplaces online, Empire Flippers focuses on more established and higher-earning Amazon affiliate sites. A good option for finding Amazon sites for passive income or that might really hit heavy earnings if they have obvious easy wins.
Motion Invest is an excellent marketplace using the Dutch Auction style of listings. While the occasional big six-figure site is listed there, many more Amazon affiliate sites are on the lower price cost as they are smaller or relatively new.
This means plenty of opportunities, but many of these sites also get snatched up very quickly.
Investors Club focuses on larger sites that meet the interests of their cultivated list of buyers. These tend to be mid-sized to larger-sized Amazon affiliate sites.
Breakdown of Amazon Affiliate Model
The Amazon affiliate model is relatively simple and very easy to systematize, which is part of the reason it’s so popular.
While getting the most out of an Amazon affiliate site involves knowing the details of how to optimize monetization, which comes with time, study, and experience, the basic Amazon affiliate model works this way:
- Set up a niche website focused on a product-heavy subject
- Add large amounts of content, especially focused on product reviews or informational content specifically related to products including Amazon affiliate links as appropriate in every article/blog post
- Use good keyword research, content, and SEO to rank those articles in Google and other search engines
- Scale through mass publishing content
- Look for optimization opportunities on your highest-traffic articles
- Repeat as necessary to reach your financial goals
Amazon makes it very easy to find products and add affiliate links to posts, making it as easy as possible for affiliates to make money.
Amazon Affiliate Sites Examples
The Amazon affiliate site model is still very alive and well, with some huge sites
Wirecutter was such a large Amazon site and such a recognized authority in the tech product review space that they were bought out by The New York Times for an estimated $30 million.
Wirecutter remains heavily monetized through Amazon affiliate links and is one of the prime examples of just how big a great Amazon affiliate site can get.
Swim University started as a small hobby blog and grew into a hobby authority site focusing on everything surrounding swimming, and products that might interest swimming enthusiasts.
The site expanded to related topics of home pools and hot tub care to expand the products that could be offered through Amazon, and the rest is history.
Baby Gear Lab
Baby Gear Lab is one of the largest Amazon affiliate sites considered a solid authority website in its niche.
Chances are if you’ve been looking online for advice on baby gear as a new parent, you’ve visited this site in the last few years.
Why Purchase Amazon Affiliate Site? 4 Benefits
While I’m not a proponent of going hard into the traditional Amazon affiliate site model, there are multiple potential benefits to purchasing one of these sites.
1. Own Digital Real Estate In Your Industry
Search results often bring back 10+ results on a page. Why work for just one of those spots when you can own multiple rankings positions via multiple sites?
Buying a quality Amazon affiliate site, or one with a lot of potential once you revise and improve it, can be a strong strategy for gaining even more online real estate in your niche or industry.
2. Passive Income
A strong Amazon affiliate site can bring in consistent cash flow month after month via passive income. More cash flow means more money to invest into current or future projects in addition to acting as a safety net because it is a consistent monthly income.
3. Adding To Existing Blog Network
Blogs in related niches can be great for not only expanding the main brand but also for building up a blog network. These can support your SEO efforts for sites in parallel niches or even build up all of your sites in a given niche or industry. Buying a blog can be an excellent strategy.
A large blog network can be harnessed in a variety of ways to grow both current and future projects.
4. Website Flipping
Many niche sites built with Amazon Associates in mind are built-to-sell (i.e., website flipping). They usually have a higher concentration of commercial buying guides and product review content as compared to informational articles.
This makes many smaller Amazon affiliate sites prime targets for buying, improving monetization, increasing content, and increasing revenue for a profitable website flip.
3 Issues When Buying Affiliate Sites
While Amazon affiliate sites offer plenty of opportunities, I pay attention to the obvious potential issues that exist with focusing too much on these sites.
1. Google Algorithm Updates
Google is always changing and tweaking its algorithm, and sometimes those changes are directed specifically at affiliates.
This article from Search Engine Land even discusses the 2021 December Product Update, which Google even confirmed was really aimed at product review affiliate sites – which many Amazon-focused sites were hit by.
One big hit from a change in Google’s algorithm can result in drastic changes in rankings and resulting revenue.
2. Amazon Slashing Commissions
Amazon has changed the commission rates many times, and the direction is almost always down. Ask the owners of Amazon affiliate sites after the major 2020 cuts. Commissions in the home niche went from 8% down to 3% while Health product commissions went from 5% to 1%.
Focusing on sites that only build around Amazon means a commissions cut can be devastating to the website’s total earnings, which not only tanks the monthly income but also the total overall value of the asset.
3. Getting Amazon Account Banned
While it’s not overly common, an Amazon account can get banned. If a site is only focused on monetizing via Amazon then a banned account eliminates all the revenue.
How To Do Expert Website Due Diligence
No matter what type of revenue-generating website I’m looking to buy, due diligence is a crucial part of the process. I never buy a site without proper due diligence, and neither should any other buyer or investor.
Traffic & Earnings Verification
Many good screen recording tools exist that allow for video confirmation of signing into earnings accounts, as well as getting set up to see Google Analytics to be able to see the actual traffic numbers on the site as Google records them.
I don’t want to buy a site where I have to re-write every single blog post. Google wants high quality so if I can find content written by hobbyists or experts who don’t understand the SEO/monetization side of things, that’s perfect.
Content quality matters immensely when it comes to whether or not a site is interesting enough to consider buying.
Content Diversity (Informational vs Commercial Ratio)
Many Amazon sites have all commercial content, which is a mistake. Not only does informational content open up monetization through display ads but informational content focused on a specific product or the topic/issue/solution those products deal with can be used to support the commercial content.
This helps monetization across the site, not to mention on-site SEO because of internal linking opportunities and the building of authority.
Site Penalties & Traffic Drops
I look for major traffic drops and any signs of penalties. Has the site received frequent Google penalties in the past? Is the site simply seasonal? I want to know if there are any red flags that pop up that give warnings about issues the site might have in the future with Google.
Different niches will differ in the average conversion rate, but there are average ranges. I’m very curious how a site with an abnormally high conversion rate is accomplishing that rate.
If a site has a terrible conversion rate on Amazon compared to the average I want to see if it’s because of fixable easy wins I could easily correct.
Easy Wins For Improvement
An Amazon affiliate site that has multiple easy changes that only take a day to complete in return for massive results is a great opportunity.
If the easy wins have all been covered, meaning building the site to bigger results will take a lot more time, effort, and income, then it’s much less appealing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about the Amazon Associates program.
Participants can cash out at relatively small amounts (the number varies by home country, it’s $10 for the United States) but thousands of Amazon affiliates make thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars a month.
The absolute top percentile of earners average six figures a month just from Amazon commissions.
These are purchases that are made through an Amazon affiliate link that follow the TOS. Generally speaking, purchases you make from your own account (or family members from the same computer) do not count and links that violate the TOS (like links in emails or newsletters) don’t count as qualifying purchases.
Very. Virtually anyone can sign up to be an Amazon affiliate for their home country and OneLink allows sites to earn commissions from international visitors.
Visit the Amazon Associates program page, sign up, and then you are required to make a small number of sales in the first 90 days. If you don’t, you will need to reapply once you can make those sales.
There are currently no signs that Amazon is going to get rid of its affiliate program completely, however the frequent cuts to the program over the past decade have affiliates rightfully concerned about the future.
While there’s no current signs of plans to end the program, those cuts over the years show the importance of monetization diversification.
So what are the actionable takeaways about buying Amazon affiliate sites that are for sale?
- Understanding the Amazon model is important before purchasing a site
- Due diligence is crucial
- Be wary of potential pitfalls of Amazon affiliate websites
- Look for the balance between commercial/product content and informational content
- Amazon is a solid part of a larger monetization strategy
Follow the advice in this article, focus on the best value that acquiring an Amazon affiliate site could provide for your long-term online goals, and each action will then get you that much closer to your goals.