You Have to Win the Affiliate Wars

Amid all of the discussion of the death of the publishing industry and Amazon’s laser-focused effort to eliminate competition, one point I have yet to see discussed is the competitions’ absolutely abysmal use of affiliates.

I am an Amazon Associate. In truth, I’d rather not be. I’d rather be with B&N at this point. Or even Kobo. But both of these companies just plain suck at running affiliate programs. They have outsourced it all to a link-sharing company rather than grow it in-house. The ability to create a store on your site that links to their sites requires a programmer. You can create an Amazon store on your site with one embedded link.

You can edit that store on Amazon and have it show up on your site. Similarly, you can edit widgets on Amazon and they will update and appear without issue on your site. Try that inside the B&N or Kobo sites and let me know how it goes. I could barely get past signing up for the B&N program.

Amazon wins overall at least in part because it is winning the affiliate program. Sure, it will kick thousands of affiliates to the curb in order to avoid paying sales tax in some states, but the ones who don’t get kicked do a lot to promote Amazon and the products it sells via their own sites. And the affiliates don’t need to pay programmers big bucks to accomplish this. Amazon has done the programming for them.

So, wake up Barnes & Noble, Kobe, Sony, and everyone else. If you want to win the war, you need to raise an army . . . of affiliates.

Z

Amid all of the discussion of the death of the publishing industry and Amazon’s laser-focused effort to eliminate competition, one point I have yet to see discussed is the competitions absolutely abysmal use of affiliates.

I am an Amazon Associate. In truth, I’d rather not be. I’d rather be with B&N at this point. Or even Kobo. But both of these companies just plain suck at running affiliate programs. They have outsourced it all to a link-sharing company rather than grow it in-house. The ability to create a store on your site that links to their sites requires a programmer. You can create an Amazon store on your site with one embedded link.

You can edit that store on Amazon and have it show up on your site. Similarly, you can edit widgets on Amazon and they will update and appear without issue on your site. Try that inside the B&N or Kobo sites and let me know how it goes. I could barely get past signing up for the B&N program.

Amazon wins overall at least in part because it is winning the affiliate program. Sure, it will kick thousands of affiliates to the curb in order to avoid paying sales tax in some states, but the ones who don’t get kicked do a lot to promote Amazon and the products it sells via their own sites. And the affiliates don’t need to pay programmers big bucks to accomplish this. Amazon has done the programming for them.

So, wake up Barnes & Noble, Kobe, Sony, and everyone else. If you want to win the war, you need to raise an army . . . of affiliates.

Z

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