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Blogs panicked over changes to Amazon's affiliate system.
On Thursday evening, members of Amazon's affiliate programme received some pressing and unanticipated notices. Rumours had been spinning for week, but an e-mail in the evening made it official: on March 1, affiliate ratings changed and shook one of the Internet's longest standing opportunities to earn a fast dollar. Tracy E. Robey, who operates the beautyblog Fanserviced-b, was even more impressed by the effect: a reduction in salary.
As the affiliate average for a typically buy drops from 8 to 6 per cent, she expects her cheques from Amazon to fall by up to 20 per cent. Robey still sees her blogs as more of a side activity than a career, but as she seeks to grow her expanding businesses, she says this decline could have serious implications.
Small blogs like Robey will not be the only ones affected by the tariff changes. The Wirecutter is one of the most popular publishers in the world, with flourishing business based exclusively on affiliate payment made by providers like Amazon when an advertised consumer purchases a certain item. Although a number of corporations have similar programmes, Amazon's affiliate system is the most profitable, and automatically marked affiliate products have become a significant part of the revenues of many on-line corporations.
Although the relation can be profitable, it is also entirely at Amazon's own judgement - and while Robey and others are studying, it can often evolve with little or no caveat. It' difficult to tell what the new Amazon tariffs will mean for participants in the programme, but there is much to worry about.
Most immediate will be the end of Amazon's "standard floating programme fee", which will bring higher reductions to locations as they do more to Amazon. 5%, based on how many items a visitor purchased in a given months. Mr Robey says she never had any difficulty to sell enough product to make an 8 per cent return.
This means that affilates who sell in certain preferred product lines will receive higher prices, to include "digital videogames " and "luxury beauty", while most brands will experience a sharp decline. Amazonia says that the changes were made to make the system simpler and that most employees will make progress, although it is not clear how to compare these forecasts with declining installments.
For a long time, Amazon has been offering short-term rewards and incentives for certain product types, but the new system gives the business more leverage than ever to advertise certain brand names and product groups. Amazon advertisers who sell Amazon's own Prime Video, Prime Music and Kindle Unlimited content get significantly higher prices than those for physically created copies of the same content from conventional publisher.
In particular, Robey is led by the differentiation between "beauty" and "luxury beauty" - a discrepancy between 6 and 10 per cent in the new system. Nearly none of the items it covered are included in Amazon's luxurious beauties catagory, although it regards many of them as such. Robey says she will not modify the product she is writing about, but the outcome is a great stimulus to writing about the brand in the preferred group.