An Affiliate Experiment: Buy Kindle in the UK

February 19, 2010

UPDATE: As of 14th March 2010, due to copyright infringement, I’ve changed the original uk-kindle domain name in this article to a new domain: cheap-find.com/kindle-uk/

I’m increasingly coming across stories about people who make a full-time living through affiliate schemes; I’m sure we’ve all read a similar story.

These people set up dedicated websites to sell a particular product/service, then use SEO or Online Advertising to get traffic to the website, making a percentage of any sales that arise from the website.

This sounds too good to be true, so I thought I’d try it out.

I’ve chosen the Amazon Kindle as my item of choice, specifically targeting it to UK customers. I’ve set up a website, called UK Kindle (uk-kindle.com), with Amazon affiliate links to the Kindle 2 and Kindle DX. My reasons for choosing this combination are:

  • I needed to buy one anyway, so might as well get some money off!
  • I already had an Amazon Affiliate account (we use it on The Januarist).
  • It’s a high-value item, with excellent (currently) affiliate percentages – at 10%, you can currently earn between about $25 and $45 per sale.
  • There’s little information about how UK customers can buy a Kindle (you have to buy them through the US store).
  • There’s not that much competition.

At the moment I’ve set up a Google AdWords campaign for relevant keywords, and it’s doing pretty well – I’m getting about a 11% click through rate, resulting in about 80 clicks a day. This costs around £15 a day, so I need to sell, on average, about one a day to make back the costs.

It’s only been running about 4 days so far, but it’s been extremely hit-and-miss: most days result in no sales, but one day (Wednesday) resulted in 3 sales (of the Kindle 2), plus some accessories, meaning I’m currently just above breaking-even (by about £10). But that could change tomorrow, if nobody bought anything today.

Two frustrations so far:

  1. Google Analytics and AdWords are almost real-time (within an hour or so), so you can track fairly accurately how the site is performing. BUT, Amazon Affiliates reports don’t update until the next day, and then it’s on US time, so I have to wait until about 36 hours after each day until I can tell whether I made a loss or not.
  2. Because the actual ‘sale’ is made on Amazon, I can’t hook a ‘Conversion’ or ‘Goal’ into my Analytics/AdWords, so I can’t accurately track which keywords perform, and which are costing me money with no results.

This weekend, I’ll spend some time working on the SEO side of it too (to hopefully make it appear in natural search results), though it may take months for Google to index it. Either way, this post is the first step towards that SEO goal – please feel free to re-blog this post! Or, if you really want, buy a Kindle from the site!

I’ll let you know how it goes after it’s been up and running for a couple of weeks, which should give me a better idea of how it’s all averaging out.

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