I seem to have got caught in a 2 day cycle of updates and I don’t really know why this is, but I’m going with the flow at the moment. Maybe I’ll get back up to one a day when I have more results to post about.

I was looking at my adsense earnings for 2 days ago and noticed that although I did get a clickthrough on that day, Amazon decided to pay me precisely zero for it, so I’m guessing that they think that was a dodgy click in some way. Have you seen this happen in your own accounts, I’d be interested to know?

Yesterday was a good day in terms of getting things done. I spent some time researching my other two satellite site subjects and wrote them an article each, more needed, but it’s a good start. The Amazon plugin (WPZonBuilder) is up and running on the sites, so I have the raw information for all the products in place. I’m going to experiment with changing the templates around – maybe to allow me a space to put my own review in. Eventually I hope to have them all personalised, but for now the data is flowing so that’s good.

The title for the post is all about the dilemma of being an Amazon affiliate based in the UK (as I am). We have a load of things in the terms and conditions over here that make Amazon UK a distinctly unappealing place to be an affiliate, unless you get a lot of extra items bought off the back of an item you’ve sent a customer to.

The biggest problem is that they cap every single item payment at £7 (roughly $11) and it doesn’t matter what tier you are on, that cap stays in place. So, say I sell a $4000 TV. At 4% for electronics that would be £160 in most programs and that might be worth having if you could do enough of them, but Amazon UK will give you £7 for all your work!

Now, at anything over about £300 it’s obviously a clear-cut victory for selling on Amazon US (provided there are about the same number of buyers from each region), but in the £175-£300 area it’s not so obvious. It is still true that we have a roughly one-to-one exchange rate where many goods are concerned and so a £200 item in the UK may well be only $200 on Amazon US. It’s not always true, but it happens enough that it raises the following question.

Since a pound is roughly 1.5 dollars a the moment, is it better to get capped at £7 for a £200 pound item rather than to get a full $8 for the equivalent $200 item on Amazon US – of course the answer is yes – for a very thin band of price ranges. This doesn’t even start to take into account the application of higher tiered payouts where it all gets even worse.

My feeling is that unless the thing is selling exclusively in the UK, then it is almost always better to head to Amazon US. Even on smaller priced items where selling more will tend to push your higher-priced goods ever closer to that nasty cap if you were in the UK.

Do you have a strong opinion on this, I’d be interested to hear what you have to say below.

The one thing I really know about myself is that I’m not a good finisher/completer. I think the Myers-Briggs test told me I was an owl or something daft like that because I like to think about things and strategise.

Well, yesterday was an owl day. I sat down to write my articles and got completely side-tracked into generating more keywords for my sites. Now in a way this is good, because I now have a load more topics I can add to my sites and use as articles in the outside world, but in another way it sucks because I didn’t get on with the work – lousy finisher/completer!

The upside to this is that the keyword research made my smile grow bigger and bigger throughout the process. I was using a little technique I’d seen before to ramp up the number of my keywords from an initial few seed words. Now, I know that these already form the basis of a good few sites for use with Amazon but I couldn’t believe how many keywords I was finding.

It looks like my little niche has turned into a monster market (with relatively little competition across the board).

If you haven’t tried it yourself, what I was doing was building a keyword list using the Google external keyword tool. You may need to switch to the old interface using the link at the top right of the new page. This version gives you suggestions for more related keywords in the results – not to self….must investigate what the new version really does!

What you can do, is “add” all of the suggested keywords. This moves them to the right hand side in a kind of temporary storage. From there (on the right) you can click to get more suggestions and that copies all of your saved keywords back into the search box and goes rond again. It greys out any words already found, so you can just select any new ones,  or you can just hit add all again since it eliminates duplicates.

The difficulty with this technique is that eventually you get too many keywords to put back in the search box and it blows up. So, what you have to do at this point is to export all your saved keywords to a file and then just cut and paste them back in manually 50-100 at a time. I recommend staying with a lower number as the suggestions from the first few of your pasted keywords will fill up the 200 keywords limit and you may never see the suggestions for the last of your pasted words. This sounds long-winded but will give you a stack of keywords in the end that you can use for months.

As I said, the greying-out of keywords gives you a good idea if you are nearing the limit of what can be discovered….eventually it will all be grey.  The reason I got so excited was that this didn’t happen to me for a veeeery long time yesterday. What that means is that I kept finding new untapped avenues for new keywords and just kept going and some of those keywords were monsters.

I’ll try to put a short video together to illustrate all of this stuff in case I have described it poorly, but in the meantime I have some articles to write!!

Earnings for Day 2:

Adsense $1.40

Amazon $0