SPI 010: Crushing It with Amazon Affiliate Sales with Chris Guthrie of MakeMoneyOnTheInternet.com

The Smart Passive Income Podcast Logo

In this session (the 10th session!) of the Smart Passive Income Podcast, I interview Chris Guthrie of Make Money On The Internet, who is making a killing as an affiliate for products from Amazon.com.

Out of all the places to sign up as an affiliate and earn a commission from the products you can sell, Amazon was my least favorite of all – that is until asking Chris a load of questions about why he chose to sell products specifically from Amazon and how he does it.

Last year, he sold almost $1,000,000.00 in products from Amazon and earned a full time income as a result, all from niche sites that he’s built and set virtually on autopilot. He’s also got a very interesting story about how he got into this business, thanks to a little video game called Halo.

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • How to maximize your conversions for products that you sell from niche sites (and your blog too).
  • What linking techniques have the best click-through rates for Amazon products, and which ones are the worst (backed up by hard numbers).
  • The one thing that most people building product niche sites tend to forget.
  • What you can do to maximize your search engine rankings right from the start.
  • How picking a less searched for keyword can increase your income.

Chris is an awesome, down to earth guy who I became really good friends with at Blog World Expo last month. What impresses me most about him is not how he’s making a full time income from Amazon.com, but how he’s so willing to help others.

I hope you enjoy, and just like Chris says in the interview, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’m sure he’ll be around to answer them from time to time.


Right click here to download the MP3

Items Mentioned in this Session:


Click Here to Download the Transcript (PDF)

  • http://www.youngprepro.com Onibalusi Bamidele

    This is awesome Pat,

    I have been following Chris since his first guest post here and the guy surely knows a lot about making money from Amazon – I’ll make sure I give this podcast a listen.

    Thanks so much,

  • http://www.mentorlog.com mentorlog

    Not only Chris, our Pat is also down to earth..Haven’t tried Amazon yet..Downloading the MP3..Cheers!

  • http://www.freetrafficwiz.com Vinay

    great podcast! I have heard of Chris’s success before so excited to listen. Many people stay away from Amazon due to the low commissions, but their conversion rate is so high and they have a great upsell program. I remember Darren Rose at Blogworld was talking about it. He said that he posts links to Amazon Camera products from his photographer blog and people would end up buying lawnmowers lol

  • http://www.freetrafficwiz.com Vinay

    lol! you were only 5 feet tall in your sophomore year at high school!

  • http://mycloudliving.com Jay

    Downloading the MP3 now, those Amazon results are amazing!

  • http://www.consoleblogger.com Jason Young

    This is a very cool podcast, I got a lot of really great tips from Chris on this one about how to increase conversions on mini sites. Pat, I thought you asked some really good questions on this one, a lot goods questions, because I wanted ask them too! :)

  • http://www.passivejourney.com Shawn | PassiveJourney.com

    I just dove head-first into Amazon affiliate sales, so this podcast comes at a great time for me. Spot on, Pat.

  • TrafficColeman

    Pat this was an steal of an interview..Chris is one the good guys who do share a lot of valuable info with people…Plus I’m suppose to be doing an interview soon also…so I’m looking for to that…another great podcast Pat

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

  • KimP

    Thanks Pat for another awesome interview. I’ve been interested in incorporating Amazon’s Affiliate program and this is exactly the kind of information I need.

  • http://jeffbeer.net jeffbeer

    Affiliate marketing holds no prejudice to niches, people are too worried about top paying keywords and other analysis — people need to get back to basics and just focus on being passionate with whatever it may be (product reviews, sales, marketing, etc.)

  • http://qualityplrzone.com Kelly @ Quality PLR Zone

    I do a lot of Amazon marketing, and I love it. For me personally, I feel better suggesting physical products to people than I feel about ebooks and the like. A lot of people complain about the low commission rates, but I think that when you combine higher ticket items with the ease of Amazon conversions you come out as well or better than promoting e-products.

  • http://www.endingthegrind.com Steve Roy

    Nice interview! I have been turned off by the idea of using affiliate marketing through Amazon due to the low commissions, but I am reconsidering it now. Thanks for shedding some light on this for me.

  • http://www.devinelder.com Devin Elder

    Thanks for the interview Chris and Pat!

    I have a guitar related site that I have yet to use Amazon on (historically I’ve not been a fan of the low commissions), but this info was helpful. Thanks for sharing!


  • Bo Johnson

    Loved this interview. I’ve been an affiliate with Amazon for a few months, but haven’t promoted anything yet. I’ll give it a go now.
    I do have one question regarding these mini sites. Is it better to buy a new domain name, or make a relevant category within an existing site, and go from there, and why?
    I do get bogged down by the smallest details.
    Thanks so much for all your good info on here.

  • http://www.makemoneyontheinternet.com Chris Guthrie

    Thanks again for having me on the show Pat. I had a blast. I would mention that part of my income is from niche sites but I also make a chunk from more authority style websites as well. In either case, I certainly work way less than 40 hours a week on this chunk of my business (my Amazon earning sites).

  • http://www.murlu.com Murlu

    NICE! Listening to it right now but too excited to wait to comment – Amazon niche sites are the best because you KNOW the items can be in demand. It’s not like you’re trying to sell an information product that people have to juggle around in their mind to buy – people are just so used to hard products that it becomes a no brainer when they are in “buying mode”.

    Additionally, physical products have the benefit of being *required* – I like to think of it as razors and razorblades – the razor is uber cheap but where they make the money is through selling the blades. Doing research, you can find these markets all over the place; when you KNOW people need an item and you rank high – you’re boss.

    Additionally, Amazon has optimized the hell out of their site so you don’t have to worry about sending people to some lame landing page.

    Final bonus: Cross selling – when’s the last time you went to amazon and only bought one item? That suggested items do amazing things.

    I’ve had a bunch of sales that were completely away from the products I promote on some of my niche blogs – someone bought a ton of bikini posters haha.

    Anyway, back to the podcast – this is awesome – it’s like clash of the titans.

    • http://www.murlu.com Murlu

      (Updating as I’m listening)

      There’s a great way that you can get around copyright names for the URL – it’s not the greatest but it can be killer: Use the SKU/Product Number.

      You KNOW that if someone knows the SKU than they’re probably very likely to buy because let’s face it – how many people specifically goes for that. Although, it does mean less flexibility in your domain name but once you start building up the ranking, it will help especially when it’s used with the product.

      Just play with it in your keyword research tool and you’ll see that you’ll barely see others going after the SKU.

      • http://www.mkakan.com mk akan

        quick question…what is SKU?

        • http://www.murlu.com Murlu

          A SKU is just a number given by the manufacturer to identify a product – think of it a lot like the ISBN of a book – or a barcode – SKUs sometimes overlap when you add in a ton of companies but most will keep their own set.

          For example: B003FZA1O2 <- is a SKU/ASIN of a clip-on light.

          Additionally, you could go with a model number – which is a lot like a SKU.

      • http://www.mycloudliving.com Jay

        Could you not have something like http://www.exactmatchdomain.com/sku? So as to get the best of both worlds?

    • http://www.murlu.com Murlu

      (Okay, final *ninja* trick)

      Trust plays a really big role overall; since they’re on your site, you may as well implement a bit of copywriting to sweeten the deal.

      One great way to to do just that is to either buy the item or find someone that may have it – then do a video review of the product. Not only can you pull people from video websites to the blog but those that are on your page will have that added level of trust and emotional connection. When you see people holding a product, you project yourself in their position – emotional baby!

      • Murlu

        (I apologize for taking up so much of the thread – podcast got me fired up and inspired to work on some new projects – hope everyone feels the same way :D)

        • http://www.makemoneyontheinternet.com Chris Guthrie

          No worries you’re sharing some good tips :)

  • http://www.mkakan.com mk akan

    Just listened to the downloaded version of the podcast….cool stuff and very timely..i am presently building a niche site that i geared towards selling some musical products /albums of an popular Nigerian artist on Amazon.
    i just have a few posts on the blog and is presently building backlinks (thanks to the back link post,it should start ranking high soon)
    i noticed somethings i wasn’t doing right after hearing the podcast ..
    but just have a question cos i will build another soon.

    Chris…Apart from the bestsellers list ,what products in your experience easily make sales and converts
    Thanks Pat and Chris

  • http://www.guidegoods.blogspot.com Edwin

    Chris is awesome. I saw some of his stuff in the NicheProfitCourse and it was great quality. Nice interview Pat

    • http://www.makemoneyontheinternet.com Chris Guthrie

      Thanks Edwin glad you liked it :)

      (sorry for delayed response I was in Hawaii this past week)

  • http://www.thenichethinktank.com Larry Clark

    Sounds very similar to what I do, I use a mix of Adsense and amazon though, If Google dumps me, I have Amazon, and other bookstores. I don’t know why people base on Amazon, I make a nice chuck of money from my amazon affiliate sales as well.

    • http://www.thenichethinktank.com Larry Clark

      I haven’t listened yet, but will shortly, when I take a break from editing tomorrows podcast release, and I walk with the iPod.

  • http://www.megabizflakes.com samuel

    Great podcast Pat! It helps a lot. Thanks for sharing.. Have fun.

  • http://www.ehowtopreventsnoring.com Peter

    Wow! His results are great! Downloading the MP3 now. Thanks! :)

  • http://www.investparttime.com Brett

    Hey Pat,
    Look forward to checking this out. Keep the great content coming!

  • http://wilsonusman.com wilson usman

    I really liked this interview, I think Chris is pretty humble and nice. Definitely doesn’t give out that “guru vibe” that’s what I really respect about him. He’s just one of us guys looking to make a side income.

    Thanks for sharing some awesome tips. Got a lot of new ideas…

    • http://www.makemoneyontheinternet.com Chris Guthrie

      Hey Wilson thanks for the kind words! I definitely don’t plan on putting out any sales video while I’m driving a Ferrari or anything like that it’s just not my style lol. Now that being said, I don’t have make money to feasibly buy a Ferrari anyway hah hah.

  • http://dcj21.net Derek Jones

    Thanks! Because of this I reduced my Google Ad Sense ads and added a Amazon banner showing a related product.

    And I’m a COD fan too (xbox gamer tag dcj21). The site I’m building using your techniques is for the new Black ops. I created it last week and am already at #75 – http://BlackOpsCOD.net Thanks for all your help!

  • http://postafterpost.com Blaine Sword

    Hey Pat, this was such a great interview and I will be going over to facebook to follow you as well as Chris. Keep up the great work on the podcasts, I listed to them all of the time.

  • http://www.estrategiasdemarketingonline.com Jose

    Really nice interview Pat! I love it because it proofs that there are so many ways and systems to make money online and to build a business. I would like to ask you something: which analytics tool do you use to know the number of downloads the podcast have? do you know how many people listens each episode?

    Thanks in advanced!

  • Charlie Mosez

    Hi Pat,

    Excellent Podcast! I’ve been following your blog for a couple months now and I have to thank you for all of the valuable info you are providing all of us. Anyway, I remember reading one of your posts where you reveal your results after using P90X and you wished P90X had an affiliate program. After interviewing Chris Guthrie, do you wish you could of just linked to the product on Amazon.com? Thanks again!

    • http://www.makemoneyontheinternet.com Chris Guthrie

      That’s why I love Amazon so much. There’s always a product that I could link to 😀 and besides they do have P90x on the site as well.

  • http://BuildYourOwnBusiness2Day.com Patrick Seeber

    WoW – Nice Content!

    Glad I found this place… I’ll be *BACK*

    Thanks for your help.

  • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

    This interview was actually really fascinating. I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks Pat and Chris.

  • http://dressyourdollinstyle.com bfine

    I love dealing with Amazon, however, Colorado has joined RI and NC as the three US states where residents are not allowed to be Amazon Affiliates. So now all I can do is watch, listen and drool that someday A will let us back in.

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  • John

    I enjoyed the interview. To bad I live in North Carolina.

  • http://cashcampfire.com Christina Crowe

    Hey Chris,

    That’s amazing that you can make a full-time income with just Amazon affiliate earnings alone. Before the podcast, I didn’t even know that was possible.

    I’m not a huge fan of other affiliate networks, but I absolutely love Amazon and have been an active buyer since God knows when. So, as you can probably imagine, the thought of selling through Amazon is definitely more appealing to me than the thought of selling through other affiliate networks like ClickBank.

    The only reason why I haven’t really looked into Amazon’s affiliate program is because of the low commission. I’m definitely going to give it another look though. Thanks for the inspiration!


  • http://www.obliviousinvestor.com/ Mike Piper

    Any word on the transcript to this interview? My wife runs a cooking blog, and I suspect this would be very useful information. :)

    • Pat

      Hi Mike – sorry for the delay! It is now available :)

  • http://mariosotojr.com Mario Soto Jr

    Creating your Own Review site is great I use amazon as well. It’s kinda funny he got fired in Oct 2009. The Company I was working for decided to shut down their doors rather quickly. I had no choice but to go full time into Internet Marketing. I have a few amazon sites as well. Recent changes I do recommend that people go with the authority model for sites. Having more content is the way to go at least for now. Great pod cast I love your site Pat.

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  • David

    Amazon cancelled the affiliate program in Colorado. Does anybody know how to get around this at all? Besides moving out of the state of course. :)

    • http://www.thenichethinktank.com Larry Clark

      They canceled the program in only Colorado? What do they say on the website? That’s interesting, I’d like to know why?

  • David

    Yeah…I guess our state gov’t decided to pass into law some extra sales tax mumbo jumbo to collect more money on affiliate programs (especially Amazon). They thought Amazon would comply, but they just quit allowing Colorado citizens to be part of the program. So now we’re outta luck with that. And I don’t think our state’s the only one who does this, but not sure who else. We’ll find a way around it though!

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  • http://www.ShopShack360.org Nvergiveup05

    I have an astore that obtained to help raise money for my two nonprofits Students Of Survivors, Inc. and Athletes Kickin’ Cancer, Inc.. I understand we are not allowed to use the name of amazon in any way when we advertise the store. Did I read that correctly in our store agreement? I have a different store name and when you get there you click on our store logo and it takes you to the Amazon astore (www.ShopShack360.org). What do you think I would have to spend per month on search engine marketing in order to gain an ROI of 10,000 a month? I am currently looking at different Seach products right now and trying to make a decision as to who has the best program to bring me the most bang for my buck. There are so many marketing companies out there. Even AT&T has search engine products to promote your web site.

  • Angela

    Is the Azon theme still included free when purchasing this course? Also, is there still a $20 discount? Thanks.

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  • http://tokitover.com Toki Tover

    I was wondering what I could do if I have been terminated from being an Amazon affiliate because of living in California?

    What are my options?

  • http://goodfinance-blog.com StrongRene

    Set your life easier take the loan and all you require.

  • Dave

    Hi Guys,
    can someone of you tell me how the advertising fees are calculated, please?
    Do I get advertising fees only on the product i’m linking to or do I get fees of all products bought by the customer in this session?

  • http://www.howyoucanmakemoneytoday.com rory

    Outstanding Podcast Pat and Chris. I myself have created an outlining course that will show perspective Internet Marketers how they can make residual income from many of the steps you have discussed.
    Thanks for explaining about copy-writing and CC content problems when it comes to website names. I myself cringe at not 100% knowing if I can avoid a lawsuit when choosing a name.

    Overall thanks again pat, and I will be launching an in-depth Ebook and lesson plan that will be finished close to Fall.

  • http://www.trendsandgadgets.net/ Trends

    Overall thanks again pat, and I will be releasing an in-depth E-book and class strategy that will be completed near to Drop.

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  • Nino Hamza
  • Naeem

    Thank you both this was really informative, this is the 1st pod cast I have listened to and i have to say both of you sound really nice people

  • http://hsnyc.co/ Henry Sanchez

    Great episode. Chris Guthrie knows what his is talking about. I agree that links do work much better than the banners when it comes to Amazon.

  • Andy

    Thanks for share Pat. Great strategies for how to do affiliate marketing

    Step by step to make money with clickbank

  • huyennhi

    who is making a killing as an affiliate for products from Amazon.com.?
    ẩm thực,giảm cân,giải mã giấc mơ,Tin trong ngày,chuyện lạ

  • http://www.the-webdesign.net/ Tobias Gebauer

    Great podcast about the affiliate marketing. I’m also using Amazon for most of my sites (like herrenuhren24.net). It’s great to hear the opinion of an expert.

  • http://2AussieTravellers.com/ Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers

    I found your podcasts last week so I’m listening from the beginning and working through them. I understand what you mean by an authority site but would it be possible to give an example of a couple of niche sites to show how they differ from a standard site? Thanks

    • CB33

      A niche site would be a website dedicated to a specific “niche” / “category”. Or better yet, a website that focuses on specific information that is interesting and useful for the audience you’re trying to target.

  • Patrick Buckley

    so this question may have already been asked and answered, but in the beginning of the podcast Pat, you said Chris made nearly $1m in affiliate marketing product sales but only profited about $64K? this seems like such a low return but i’m not sure what percentage is average/low/high for affiliate product sales. can you offer an explanation of these figures? thanks man!

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