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Amazon is the future of retail, and it is unfolding right before our very eyes.
What started as an online bookstore has now turned into a one-stop shop for consumers. In addition, people are starting to learn how to make money on Amazon as it turns to 3rd party sellers in various ways.
In 2015, Amazon surpassed retail giant Walmart in size and value.
The trend of online shopping has also affected other traditional retail stores. According to this NASDAQ article, while the war between online versus traditional retail enters a new round, the latter no longer hires as many employees. Also, malls nowadays are much emptier.
The reason for the shift of consumer behavior comes from the power bestowed upon the customers. Back then, they were at the mercy of retail stores as they drive from one store to another, hoping to get the best value. Nowadays, consumers can sit back at their homes while flipping through different online stores.
The convenience of online shopping is evident in this Wall Street Journal article, as sales continue to grow annually since 2014.
More importantly, a 2,000-person survey conducted by BloomReach reveals that 55% of users search on Amazon first for their online shopping needs, 27% more than Google.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “what do these all mean to me?”
The statistics above only prove that there is serious money to be made on Amazon!
As the trend of online shopping continues to become more of a fixture, you need to ride the Amazon wave now before it's too late.
Today, I'm going to share how you can make money on Amazon…in 6 different ways. In fact, a lot of people have earned thousands of dollars, some of which will be featured below.
1. As an Amazon affiliate
Amazon Associates is its affiliate program that lets you earn up to 10% per commission for every product that you sell. Now, I've shared many examples of Amazon affiliate websites; including all the niche site projects.
Once you sign up for free, you can begin choosing which products to sell. To earn commissions, you need to link to the product using a unique tracking ID when selling it. This way, the sale will be credited to your account.
Selling an Amazon product can be as simple as sharing the link on social media and your blog.
However, becoming a profitable Amazon affiliate takes time, effort, and lots of planning.
In fact, I have covered a lot of articles that prove the possibility of making big bucks with Amazon Associates.
One of those articles covers how I was able to make $3,000 a month a year after launching my Amazon niche site.
- Research your niche – To maximize your Amazon earnings, you need to build a site where you can sell the products. More importantly, you need to determine the niche your site will be about. Some niches will be much more profitable than others. On the other hand, the high-earning niches may not be in line with your hobbies or interests. Therefore, you need to find the perfect balance between profit and passion so you can sustain the site until it makes money.
- Find the right keywords – If you want to rank your website on search results, you should be aware that not all search queries are the same. There are those that will be difficult to rank for but will potentially give you the most sales. In this case, I always use Long Tail Pro to help me find profitable keywords that have the least competition.
- Develop a link building strategy – To boost your search rankings to the top, you must devise a link building plan using different tactics. Guest posting and influencer marketing are some of the better tactics you can use since both piggyback on the success of others. By guest posting on sites will lots of followers, you can tap into its readership and get them to visit your site in the hopes of converting them. Also, getting positive feedback from influencers in your industry lets you rub some of their authority onto your site.
2. Selling Private Label Products via Amazon FBA
I've now been selling private label products via Amazon for a couple of years now. The potential to make money with the Amazon FBA program is huge (millions of dollars a year potential).
In a nutshell, you actually need to create a product, find a manufacturer, and start selling that product on Amazon. It's actually not as complicated as it sounds.
This method is different from “retail arbitrage” in which you purchase cheap products and selling them at a higher price. By selling private label products, you get more control on how your products are sold. If you choose your products correctly, there is also less competition, thus giving you greater profit in the long run.
Once you have the product on hand, you can upload the details on Amazon so users can buy it from there.
Aside from being the biggest online retailer in the world, Amazon will take care of packaging and shipping your products to customers. Fulfillments by Amazon (FBA) lets you worry about growing your business as it does the rest for your clients while also scaling your performance.
I actually interviewed Chris Guthrie, another successful seller, about his process which you can listen to here.
- Pick a product that will sell – You need to conduct keyword and market research to see if your private label product will sell or not. WebRetailer provides a general checklist of factors that you need to consider when determining your product.
- Sell low at first – To gain traction from the market, sell your product at the lowest possible amount. With a low barrier of entry, not only will more people purchase early, but they will also leave their reviews, which you can leverage for social proof and more sales in the future.
3. Selling Retail Arbitrage products via Amazon FBA
As mentioned earlier, retail arbitrage lets you determine inefficiencies in the market by marking up low-cost products on Amazon.
Some products are more expensive when sold on Amazon due to factors like availability in your region, convenience in buying from Amazon, and others.
Unlike private label products, the product is already in the market. All you need to do is purchase and ship them to be sold on Amazon. You can reap the benefit once users buy them.
There are also disadvantages with retail arbitrage. Users may end up not buying your stock. Not only will you lose money from your initial investment with these products, but their value may lower over time. Also, going from store to store looking for cheaper prices of the same product can be time-consuming and may not be worth the effort.
Nonetheless, retail arbitrage is the perfect side hustle for people who don't have time to think about creating their own product. This post by Jake Cain goes in depth about retail arbitrage and how it works.
- Use a scanning app – Instead of manually doing your research, tools like Inventory Lab lets you break down the profitability of selling the product on Amazon by scanning its barcode.
- Gateway to private label products – Truth be told, you likely won't earn as much in retail arbitrage as you would selling your own products. At best, this approach is a great way to acquaint yourself with how to sell products on Amazon. Ultimately, you will want to earn more, which will encourage you to move away from this method to a more profitable one.
4. Merch by Amazon
Merch by Amazon is the online retail store's answer to sites like Etsy and Zazzle. You upload your design on the platform and use its promotional tools to make sales and profit.
While its competition has a larger foothold in the market due to years of existence, Merch by Amazon holds the advantage of millions of Amazon users at its disposal. The designs will be searchable from Amazon, which draws the attention of existing Amazon customers.
At the moment, Merch by Amazon is not open to the public. You can only sign up and request an invitation in the hopes of getting an account soon.
To see how Merch by Amazon works, read this post at Passive Marketing. The author also shows how he was able to earn $150,000 using the platform in 2016. In the end, he leveraged the earnings to flip the site.
- Research for your t-shirt niche -T-shirt research software like Merch Informer will help organize your data and provide metrics so you can identify which t-shirt designs to sell.
- Use optimized colors for t-shirts (or other products) – According to the case study, the four most popular t-shirt colors sorted in the display are black, blue, gray, and navy blue. Make your design compatible with these colors to increase the chances of people purchasing your design.
- Feature keywords on title and bullet points – Find the most relevant keywords to your design and include them in both sections of your product details page. Also, put yourself in the shoes of your customers to know keywords that you would type that will get you the results you want.
- Getting the right designer – Find designers on UpWork to get the biggest bang for your buck. To attract good designers, be as detailed as possible in your project description. Also, promise them steady work over time and give 5-star reviews if you like their work.
5. Self Publishing books via Amazon Kindle
Freelance writers struggle with the problem of clients. They need clients who will supply them with paid work. Without clients, writing will be nothing more than just a hobby to them.
The Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing allows writers to profit from their self-published work without relying on clients for their income. You need to upload your work on Amazon and sell the book from there. Now of course, you need to start marketing your book. Most books won't sell unless you promote it and start getting reviews.
If you want to see the steps I recommend for launching a book on Amazon Kindle, read this guide I wrote: how I earned $100 a day by self-publishing a book on Amazon.
- Use your book as a lead generation tool – Create a page on your site that provides buyers of your book access to free resources relevant to the book's topic. Place the link to the page in the first few pages of your book. To download the resources, they need to enter their name and email first.
- Prepare a follow-up book – True profitability as an Amazon Kindle publisher lies in your ability to publish more than one book. The idea is to build a library of books related to each other to increase the chances of your reader to purchase another title from you.
- Develop smart pricing strategy – After getting your self-published book listed, introduce it in the market for free in its first few days to gain traction. You can proceed with marking up the price for less than a dollar for a week to drum up interest. Once you feel that the hype has peaked, increase the price again to its normal price.
6. Get paid for tasks on Mechanical Turk
If you fancy yourself as a busy bee, then Mechanical Turk is right up your alley.
The platform is best used by small business owners and entrepreneurs looking for a quick fix for menial tasks. Mechanical Turk provides you access to people who will help you get the job done on the cheap.
However, if you are looking to make money via Mechanical Turk, its easy to sign up and get started working. You likely won't make a ton of money doing these simple tasks that often only pay 10 cents or so, but it could be an easy way to save up some money to start a business. (I discussed saving up to start a business recently as a great way to go).
Michael Naab wrote a post at Side Hustle Nation on how he was able to make a cool $150-300 a week as an MT user. So, the potential is there to earn some extra spending money for sure.
- Work more to earn more – Higher paying jobs will only be available to users who have completed lots of jobs using the platform (as low as 100 jobs). Therefore, you need to put in the time and effort first before you reap the benefits of your hard work.
- Work more as a supplement to your current job – As mentioned in the link above, Mechanical Turk will pay less than the minimum wage in most cases. If you want to turn this gig into a full-time job, then be prepare to burn the hours answering surveys and doing data entry jobs. However, if you are just looking for productivity ways to spend your extra time, then Mechanical Turk may just be for you.
Wrapping it up
Amazon has proven to be a critical not only for buyers but also for online entrepreneurs and marketers. It has changed the landscape of commerce and has provided a platform for people to get creative and make money using the platform. The ways and examples for each should inspire or give you an idea on how to make the most out your time in Amazon.
Have you tried any of ways to make money on Amazon listed above? What were the results and how do you think you could have done it better? Share with me your answers by commenting below!
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