This is the very first post in what just might become a series of posts here on my Dumb Passive Income blog. People visit my blog for passive income ideas, answers to questions and some who just like to read my thoughts on certain topics. I am creating this post (and/or series) in an attempt to alleviate what I consider one of my biggest stumbling blocks. Call it a weakness – but the fact that I spend SO much time answering questions in private email or in social media groups is one of the biggest reasons that I haven’t been publishing very much content here on the blog.
It’s very difficult for me to ignore questions. And it’s even more difficult for me to produce short and to-the-point answers. I usually end up rambling on, which leads to a reply, and then another reply, and so on. This turns out to be a huge time-suck for me and usually doesn’t lead to more income. So, I’m trying something new. I’m going to save up questions and answer them publicly in published posts on the blog. I figure if one person has specific questions, others surely have the same (or similar) questions. Why not answer them publicly for the benefit of everybody who reads this blog?!
Amazon Associates Account Got Banned
These are a few questions that came in from Paul via email after his Amazon Associates account got shut down.
My account recently got closed without warning and I wanted to seek some feedback before applying again. As Amazon is not being very helpful in their feedback, I’m reaching out to a few individuals whom I’ve been following with regards to Amazon affiliate.
Here are my questions:
1) Besides using the Amazon API on pricing, no quantitative pricing should be made about prices of products correct? Meaning, I can’t write things like “This product costs between $100 and $200.” I’m thinking of using “qualitative pricing” instead: i.e. stating “This product is cheap/moderately cheap/ expensive.”
2) What has been working for you in terms of using product images for your niche sites? Say there are 5 images on Amazon for a given product you’re reviewing; have you been downloading each of these and uploading them manually to your product review post?
Or are associates required to use the “Amazon Site Stripe” to “Link to Image”? The problem for me is that it appears that the “Link to Image” feature on Amazon only allows you to show the first/default picture for a given product. In such a case, how does one go about finding additional images for a given product (or do you just have that one default image for your review)?
Thanks Matt, I’m a little paranoid about the Amazon Associates program now as it seems like they can just close accounts for the tiniest of things without warning and their whole process seems very subjective. I don’t want to go through this whole ordeal again, so I’m trying to make my sites perfect.
As far as I know, you actually CAN open another Amazon Associates account. One guy I know got shut down, similar to you, and got similar non-helpful responses from Amazon. After his account was completely closed – he re-applied for a new account using the exact same email address and got back in. You may want to try that – and just use one of your sites that you know is totally compliant.
- Like you, I previously made the same mistakes on pretty much all of my Amazon niche sites. In tables, I would include price ranges ($25 to $50, $50 to $100, $100 to $200, etc.). I’ve since stopped doing this and have removed all such instances – especially from my ONE Thing site that I have been focusing on. I’ve heard of a few instances lately where Amazon Associates accounts are getting shut down for non-compliance issues. Check out this post on stream-seo.com about a guy who was earning $10k/month from Amazon and got shut down… Overall, I think it’s probably smart to just play it safe and not mention price at all. Just say something like, “Check latest pricing on Amazon,” or “get the best deal on Amazon here.” Something like that. It adds to the curiosity factor and may entice readers to click over to Amazon – which is your main goal anyway.
- I NEVER download images directly from Amazon then upload them to my sites. For ALL of my sites that promote Amazon products, I use EasyAzon to insert images. If you’re publishing on WordPress and not using EasyAzon – you’re insane!! It DOES allow you to choose from several different images available for the product (from Amazon) and offers several different sizes of each. Also – it automatically links to the product page using your affiliate tag. EasyAzon is a MUST HAVE for Amazon Affiliate sites built on WordPress.
Stuck Finding a Niche to Get Started
Here is a question that came in via email from Sergio. I’ve gotten lots of questions similar to this one over the years.
Hello Matthew! I’ve just find your web and it’s great for people who would like to have a passive income.
Also, I am stuck at finding a fine niche to start.
Could you please suggest me some course/books in order to learn how to find and validate a niche?
Thanks in advance.
There are LOTS of resources available on this topic! First off – I personally would not attempt niche research without Long Tail Pro. It happens to be the best keyword research tool available – PLUS, it comes with that course you are looking for – Long Tail University! Check out the Long Tail University preview video below. Then visit my special sales page to access Long Tail Pro at an exclusive discount and also get Long Tail University when you buy.
Here are two more FREE resources I can point you to. The first one is written by me (including video) and walks you through how to find great niches for Amazon Affiliate sites. The second one is from a blog called Niche Desire (by Sarvesh Shrivastava) and it is one of the best guides I’ve seen on how to find niches for Adsense based niche sites.
- Getting Started with Amazon Niche Sites – How to Find Profitable Niches and Limitless Keywords
- The Definitive Guide to Finding Profitable Adsense Niches
All three of these resources should help get you started and get you headed in the right direction.
Will You Do Keyword Research for Me?
This question came in from Grace via email. Although I haven’t provided the service for well over a year – this blog still ranks for keywords related to ‘keyword research service’ – so, occasionally I get requests like this one.
Hi Matt, how are you. I’ve been following your blogs last 2015 until today.
I would like to know if you can provide me a easy to rank long tail keywords related to “[her topic here]”. How much will I pay for your keyword research services.
I’m sorry. I do not provide a keyword research service like that anymore. Several years ago I did – but I simply do not have the extra time now.
To be totally honest – you would be better off purchasing Long Tail Pro and doing the research yourself. You would pay far less than what I would have charged if I was able to take on this job.
Simple Long Tail Pro instructions:
- get Long Tail Pro here – ($1 trial for 10 days)
- Create a New Project in Long Tail Pro
- Add a seed keyword – [your topic here]
- click the yellow button at the bottom – Generate Keywords & Fetch Data
- go to the far right column (Avg Keyword Competitiveness) click the small yellow circle icon to Fetch KC Scores for ALL results
- this will probably take a few hours for the software to complete – check back later….
- Click on the heading in that Keyword Competitiveness column to sort the data highest to lowest – click again for lowest to highest
- Lower KC scores are easier to rank for!
Hope this helps. Have fun with it!!
Good Books on Business, Blogging & Entrepreneurship
This question was not specifically for me, but it was posed to the entire group in the Income Bloggers Club Facebook Group that I am in. By the way, click on that link and feel free to join if you are interested. The group is growing and lots of great conversations are taking place. Plenty of experienced and not so experienced members. Everybody is welcome. Here is the question asked by Merri…
I’m taking a couple of road trips in June and would like to add a few audio books to my account. What do you recommend focused on business, blogging, entrepreneurship?
I jumped in right away to answer this question because I LOVE listening to audio books – especially books around these topics. I’ve read or listened to several and I have several currently on my wish list in my Audible app (Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks). Here are a few highly recommended books by both myself and by others…
- The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
- Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
- The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone
These are just a few. Feel free to put your book recommendations in the comments section below. Tell us the name of the book and why you like and recommend it.
Do You Like This Feature?
Also, please comment below and let me know if you enjoyed this new feature on my blog. Do you want to see more posts like this one? I’m always open to discussing different passive income ideas. I don’t mind answering questions. And I have plenty of thoughts to share – so I might as well make it all public. After all – that’s kind of what this whole blogging thing is all about!
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