3 Lessons I learned from my $11,000 Amazon Associates Income in the First Year

3 Lessons I learned from my $11,000 Amazon Associates Income in the First Year
3 Lessons I learned from my $11,000 Amazon Associates Income in the First Year

On March 14, 2011, I pushed the “Buy” button and took my first step to learn how Amazon Affiliate works and tricks to earn a paycheck from Amazon.

As one year anniversary (this blog post published on Mar 12 2012), I’d like to reflect about my first “success” and let you know my 3 learned lessons. Hope it inspires you to take actions on whatever you are doing.

1/10/2014 Update: I’m focusing on my Niche Site income these days and only work for 30 mins to an hour a day besides 9-to-5.

I plan to share my new lessons to bounce back to 4-digit Amazon Affiliate income in 2013. After all Google Penguin and Hummingbird update, I could bank in some good extra income in Nov/Dec 2013. Will share with the Niche Site Community later.

It’s a little bit history about what happened to me before taking Niche Profit Course.

Early 2010, I was spammed by Make Money Online ideas.

I finally bought my first domain name and started this blog early July 2010, I wrote about 5 posts in a few weeks with “excitement”,  my passion faded out and I gave up, It was just hard to blog about blogging, without making a dime online.

2010 was over and all the sudden I stopped all Online Business Activities except bought a few $7 training here and there and reading some blogs.  I would say it was a good break after the information overload after long period of time.

I was a little bit frustrated and wasn’t determined to success.  It didn’t work out for me.

Is there any real business model out there?

Early 2011, I learned about Niche Profit Course from Smart Passive Income Podcast Session 10. I saved up some money. On March 14, 2011, I finally took the courage and bought NPC. I finished watching the video in a week.

Then did my product research and bought the first niche domain name within a week. I was slowly creating content and building up the traffic. It wasn’t very successful. I had my first sale which was $1 in May.

I almost gave up because the commission rate 4% is just too low for me. Then I built a few more as experiment. Honestly, I didn’t really trust the model and I just wanna get the best out of $77.

Tell you the truth, I didn’t make $1000 a month for 11 months straight to make this income. Most of the sales were coming in from Oct to Feb.

Many of my niche sites are slowing down and sales dropped recently. Traffic and Online Business is very dynamic. I’m ramping up a few and building new ones on monthly basis. I’m still working on my second $10,000 these days.

I’m not selling you a Making Million Online Dream. I’m doing this part-time after 9-to-5 as many of you guys do.

Amazon Associates Income One Year
Amazon Associates Income One Year


These are the BIG lessons that I have learned through the process and hope they are inspiring to your Online Business no matter what you are doing.

1. Focus on Execution persistently

Building Amazon Affiliate Niche Sites is not a rocket science.  It’s just a series of business processes that involve time and dedication to complete.

No matter what you have trusted and picked such as Adsense, Blogging, or creating your own information product, serving offline clients, get focus on your plan and don’t be tempted.

Winners never quit.

Break down your goal as tasks and attack them one by one. Many times I had some great product niche ideas, but didn’t take the actions.

Many times, I have some dreams and goals, but didn’t even start implementing them. And you?

Sometimes, we are overwhelmed by how “big” the project is and don’t even finish a few tasks in the list.

I learned to just break down the tasks into 30 min truck and finish them by one. They don’t need to be perfect to move on. You could always go back and re-visit them.

2. Don’t let blockers and failures stop you

Many times, we are blocked by some tasks that we are not familiar, and then STOP such as building my first WordPress blog, Writing my first Product Review Article, or even A backlinking task.

Don’t let the “blocker” to block you.  Google is your friend and you could find tons of free information helping you solve the problem FREE. You could outsource to Fiverr.com or oDesk.com (Anywhere that you could get help to unblock yourself.)

“Failures” come and goe. They are my best teachers. The first few Niche Sites didn’t work out for me. As today, some have a few visit a day (Low Traffic). Did those “failures” stop me building the next niche sites?

NO. I think the first niche site was tough and took me time to complete. Also I lost the motivation to add in new content and grow the traffic.

Don’t fear to fail.

On June 26, 2011, I got an email from Amazon that my Affiliate Contract is terminated due to the new tax law in California.

“As a result, we will terminate contracts with all California residents that are participants in the Amazon Associates Program as of the date (if any) that the California law becomes effective.”

The sky was falling as I was making “some money” back to June 2011.

During July to Sept, I shifted all my focus on Adsense and grew my Niche Site Traffic. Sometimes you just need to have a backup plan and different income stream.

Thankful that Amazon re-activated my account on Oct 3rd and the traffic and sales kept rolling in.

Yes, I had high peak traffic and Affiliate Sales in Nov and Dec 2011. I shipped hundreds of physical products during the shopping seasons.

If I gave up on building niche sites and driving traffic during the “down time” from July to Sept, I wouldn’t have had that “sudden” success.

3. Saying NO to Noise

I am a WSO sucker and IM junkie and you could tell how much Information, Training, and Software products I bought via WSO last year. Hundreds of Dollars! This is just a portion of my purchases:

Purchased WSO Screenshots
Purchased WSO Screenshots

For me, education is precious. I treasure about it, but I learned that I don’t need to know perfect steps before taking any actions.

Trust me. Saying NO is one of the most difficult lessons I have in my Online business.

I got to say NO to Offline Marketing, Creating my own product, Make Money Blogging, and various Make Money Online Ideas so I could focus on my core business.

Many times, I was just distracted and browsing around the web, and reading other blogs, tweets, or Facebook Activities instead of “completing my tasks in to-do-list”.

Instead of Saying YES to all “shiny objects”, I filtered out hundreds of email offers and “free stuff”.

I was just head-down on executing my niche site process, get it done one by one such as writing product reviews, adding new content, backlinking, and driving traffic.

I didn’t have thousands of dollars to invest in the beginning. I did most of stuff myself and using various free resources. When the business picked up, I spent hundreds and investing in various software saving me time and helping myself being more productive.


Like I said, you don’t need another training to make money online.

You may have read various free information and bought many trainings and business ideas. Didn’t you? Just pick ONE that you trust and focus on execution on daily or weekly basis.

Your next success is a few miles away. Are you willing to run an extra mile?

After Thought

Be honest, US $11,000 after tax is not much to me. I’m just thankful to make some extra money for my family and I could re-invest thousands into this business.

I am not a guru at all and I was just a hard-working student and followed the success one. One year ago, I knew nothing about Amazon Affiliate.

Many readers have asked what the best Amazon Affiliate training is and if there is any discount available? Be honest, I don’t have many to compare and I don’t have answer.

I only know what works for me.

Indeed, Niche Profit Course  (As 2015 update, ANSF [my affiliate link] was all I had to start with and it’s my blueprint and foundation about my niche site business process.

You will not only get a series of high quality video training, but also the Azon WordPress Theme, plugins, and all your need as a business start-out package, which is converting, and I’m using it on most of my niche sites.

Lyman showed many great examples with his “template”s, which is gold-mine to me,  that I have been following and trying to replicate the success.

If you decide to get it via my Affiliate link, it’s greatly appreciated. You will access my 3 month action-plan in Email Series as a bonus. You will get my to-do list and motivation tips as an appreciation. Just forward your receipt to me and I will send you.

Sorry, ANSF is not a push-button and Easy-Cash Information Product and Make Money Fast Scam. Amazon Affiliate is a real business. If you are not committed to put in time executing the steps and doing your best, you may be disappointed.

After all, go and take actions on any information product that you have on your hard-disk, commit to success, focus, and say NO to other noise.


What have you learned in your success? Any questions about my Amazon Niche Sites are more than welcomed.


  1. ade says

    Great post on keeping your eyes fixed on the prize and trusting in the process, Kent.

    That technique of chunking your time is called time-boxing, and I have found that it really helps. Focusing on one task and one task alone, for 20 – 30 minutes at a time is a sure way of getting things done.

    Someone once gave me this piece of advice – For every hour you spend learning about something, spend another hour actually implementing it.

    Constantly doing this will lead to massive steps in your action-taking.

    Cheers, mate

    P.S – For those of us already on your list, do we get access to your 8-week NPC action plan?

    • Kent Chow says

      Yeap, I find that 25 min task time-boxing works for me. I just head up working one task at a time.

      That is a great advice, I learn much more by doing instead of reading & watching video.

      This 8-week NPC action plan is a bonus offer, but definitely consider giving it out to my exclusive list after a few weeks. Indeed, not everyone on my list is interested in being an Amazon Associate. :)

  2. says

    Great post Kent,

    I also love to break down goals into little bits, I usually have a list with check boxes in front of me of things I need to finish for a website.

    Do you have a minimum price for the Amazon products you target? I have one site that gets about 20-30 sales a month but the products are $10-$40 so I don’t make much off commissions.


    Matt recently posted..Link Authority Case Study

    • Kent Chow says

      I love Check-boxs on my To-do list too. I feel great checking them off and accomplishing task after task. :)

      Yes, I target selling the products more than $100 per NPC. Indeed, I get those $50 product sale in mass volume like hundreds over Nov and Dec. Every penny counts and it’s just a number game.

      As simple as this, if you sell $100 product at 7% commission everyday, you make $200 a month. What if you have 10 niche sites like that, it would be easy $2000 a month – which is my current goal ramping up some existing ones and growing new ones.

    • Kent Chow says

      Thanks, Benny! I followed the backlinking methods in NPC in the beginning. Once I got more experience, I built various backlinks naturally as to this blog.

      The key is to let Google trust and love your niche sites so your pages rank high.

  3. says

    I think I will target products around the $100 mark from now on but at least the small sales help to boost up the commission rate. I did have someone buy an iPhone yesterday from my site that has nothing to do with electronics, so just get people onto Amazon!
    Matt recently posted..Link Authority Case Study

    • Kent Chow says

      Exactly, I got many sales that are not even promoted on my niche sites. Some products were more than $500. :)

  4. pip says

    Thanks for sharing, Kent. I made $3 in one of my 2 month old Amazon sites early this month and I saw the potential of promoting physical products, though I am struggling still to monetize using Adsense.

    OT: The contents of your post went beyond the wrapper. I think your css is some kind of messing up. Or it could only be in my screen.

    • Kent Chow says

      I’d suggest you to mix using Amazon Affiliate links and Adsense. It works!

      Yeap, I used one text format and it messed up the CSS. I just fixed it. :)

  5. says


    Its nice sharing your succss story and this all I love to read online.

    I hope you continue in this and make your $10k p/m soonest.

    Amazon publishing rocks!


  6. says

    Hi Kent,

    as you mentioned in the post, I too had problems prioritizing what to do. Distractions are easy to get and quality ones too (blogs, courses, books …ah books). It is a bit downer to work hard and see no results or even feedback in return. When you talk in ‘just do it’ tactics and think later I feel you all the way. Not to be all gloomy, I need to say this online adventure, from my side at least, can only be described as shear fun when all pieces are added together.

    Really genuine perspective, thnx.
    And thnx to Pat for tweeting this :)

    • Kent Chow says

      Vedran, many times we are just hesitant to even start working online.

      You have taken the first step and just focus on executing your goal. You are almost there.

      Thanks Pat for tweeting it too! He is my model and SPI isn’t built in short period of time. It has been a few years and I have followed him since early 2010.

      May Success come to all IMT folks too!

  7. Lonnie says

    Hey Kent – this post really hits home, because to find any type of success online it is about finding a course of action that works for you and then implementation. It will come if you do it. To help boost your online income, you should consider putting one of your successful sites up for auction. What I learned from my experience on Flippa is that if you have a site that shows 3-4 months of consistent sales and traffic you will have buyers and it can go for 12x monthly revenue.

    So if you have a roster of sites that are consistently earning, sell one or two off. And if you want to really want to increase the value of your auction, February is a good time to put an Amazon site on Flippa because you can use your holiday sales boost to help increase the valuation of your site.

    • Kent Chow says

      Lonnie, thanks for your dropping by. I saw your auction success and definitely consider selling a few.

      Indeed, I’m growing a few as authority sites and hit the summer sales. :) Then I may sell them off in the Fall.

      I haven’t done Flippa and may get distracted. As I said, focus one thing at a time.

  8. says

    Fabulous post Kent. I haven’t really dabbled in Amazon (other than Kindle) but have been meaning to now for years. I totally agree with your “focus on execution persistently” – it is so critical to finding success online.

    I used to be a WSO junkie like yourself and know how tempting it can be once you dip into that forum. It seems like every third thread holds “the secret” to making money online.

    I’d say the “secret” is exactly what you’ve written about in your post. Consistent action, not being afraid to fail and keeping your blinders on to all the “noise” out there.

    Nice job man – $11k part-time is very impressive indeed.
    Jon recently posted..Lost And Found

    • Kent Chow says

      Jon, thanks for your great comment. I have learned a lot in the last year and these 3 are the best that I could share. I keep reminding myself everyday and hitting home run for another one.

      I started an Adsense Case Study and need to focus on execution. I’m sure that I will hit another $10K on Adsense in 1-2 years.

      Working online as a part-time is do-able. (It takes dedication and good time management; I work when the kids are in sleep.) I think it’s better than working in McDonald and trading in hours for dollars. :)

      • says

        I know all about working when the kids are asleep! It’s amazing what kind of work you can get done in the middle of the night :) – and yes, trading hours for dollars is a bum deal if ever there was one. Time is finite, you only get 24 hours every day whereas you can always find ways to generate more income.
        Jon recently posted..Lost And Found

  9. says

    Hi Kent,

    I certainly had my moments of Shiny Object Syndrome last year. I did end up buying a membership to NSM but I left after I got what I needed. It definitely helped me to focus, and now I seem to be on the right track. But I actually haven’t bought anything else other than that, just SEO tools and content for my sites.

    Consistency is a major contributor to success, I think. If you can do what’s going right over and over, without getting bored or tired, you’ll make it. At least, that’s what I’m finding so far. Although lately I’ve been distracted by Twitter (!) of all things and other peoples’ blogs. :)

    Andre Garde recently posted..St. Patrick’s Day Massacre: Panda 3.3 Post-Mortem Thoughts

    • Kent Chow says

      Andre, you totally get the point about Consistency. I have been bored by Backlinking and I haven’t done much lately. I’m trying to outsource more what I don’t like doing or good at (like article writing).

      Then I could focus more on high return activities like “business thinking” and managing “outsourcing”. :)

      I found those social media could be very distracting. I’d suggest you just block out those time for productivity usage.

  10. says

    $11,000 may not seem like a lot now, but when you look back to the beguining, some years latter, you will be proud of what you have accomplished.

    Thanks again for another in-depth post covering topics we, Internet Marketers need more of. I will be coming back soon to see what you have come up with.

    I will be also working on my Niche sites, so this holiday season I can see the surge from “present Purchases”
    Rory recently posted..Best Backlinking Tips To Help Your Website

    • Kent Chow says

      Rory, I could call it that this $11,000 is my first bucket money online. I’m investing a few thousands back to this business this year, so sure that it will grow.

      I’m trying to build out a few authority type sites for this Shopping Season too. All I have is traffic data from the last one.

  11. says

    “I was spammed by Make Money Online ideas.” <— Don't we all get like that! Don't be fooled guys!

    I like how you never quit. Keep it up. Do it consistently like the first lesson you wrote.

    break things up so your goals can be met with everything you've got.

    Pick one and stick to it! Right and awesome! :)

    Excellent article, Kent.
    Samuel recently posted..How To Write A Killer Article Like A Killer!

    • Kent Chow says

      Lemuel, I will send out the Action Plan to my list in a few weeks. They are just action items and checklists following NPC material.

  12. ShirlleyFai says

    This is an inspirational post! And I am sure these lessons you stated here can help motivate people to earn more too…

  13. says

    Nice post.

    The make money online always come and go. Actually some are really good! BUT i think we all get in trouble when we follow so MANY and don’t sit and focus on a select few.

    Preferably one!

    Keep it up! Look forward to seeing your progress my friend.


  14. says

    You make some good points….number one is to keep your eye on the prize. Trying to rank your sites using seo is a slow process and many people can get impatient hence they start looking around for other things and the whole process goes on and on.

    The thing that I like about Amazon is the extra things that people buy..it’s kinda fun looking at what has been bought…especially when you find out it cost $800 or such like.
    Ade recently posted..More Heads Roll As The Long Winter Continues To Bite

    • Kent Chow says

      pip, I refer using Amazon links as people trust their brand and know that your link directing to their site. At the end, you want them to buy on Amazon.

      I heard someone got banned because using the cloaking links. For me, I use tracking id for most of links so I know what converts better or not.

  15. Fredrick Solomon.S says

    Hi.. Kent I just Read your Post its amazing and really motivated me dude, i am interested in Amazon affiliate …till now i have doubt in my mind, can i achieve like you if i promote products. i am a beginner in this,is there any Tutorial videos or E-books in the internet to learn this Marketing strategy.Please suggest me dude..Eager to do this.

    With regards
    Fredrick Solomon

    • Kent Chow says

      Fredrick, as I suggested, Niche Profit Course is way to go. You could learn more about how to build niche and authority style ones.

      I have many tutorial video and ebook, but NPC is the core and blueprint that I have followed so far. Amazon has paid me $12K check and I love to make couple thousands this upcoming Christmas shopping seasons.

  16. Fredrick Solomon says

    Hello Kent,

    Thanks for Suggested “Niche Profit Course”. I had purchased it and watched all module from that..One of the excellent Video course i purchased its helps me allot.however i had a few doubts..can i ask you through e-mail if you wish or can i post it in this comment section..?

    Waiting For Your Replay

    Fredrick Solomon

    • Kent Chow says

      Nice that you got NPC. Now, it’s time to put all those in actions. Please feel free to leave your questions and I will get back to you later.

    • Kent Chow says

      Thanks, Rajesh. I see that you have a great programming website. I learned C programming when I was in college too.

  17. says

    hi Kent..newbie here. u’ve some great info! thks.. i hope to ask u some qns:

    1) do u put all your niche sites into one google accounts? by this, I mean, one google account to access webmaster tools, analytics, adwords, etc.

    2) how many sites did you build before you achieve your first success?


    • Kent Chow says

      I prefer getting different new account for each site. So I can track, and when one day I sell/flip my site, I can pass along to the new owner.

      I think I built like 3 sites when I had my first 5-digit paid check from Amazon. I had some “failing” sites as a newbie back to 2011.

  18. says

    I just the NPC through your affiliate link, and will forward you the receipt shortly. Chris is trying to upsell me with another plugin, but I’m still considering it.

    • Kent Chow says

      Ebuka, thanks. Just note that NPC was created back to 2010. Some may not apply these days. Thanks!

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