I just received an email from Amazon this morning. As you may have noticed, Hot Sauce Reviews has Amazon links, and if you buy anything using these links, Amazon gives me a small commission for each purchase – literally a few cents, and we are talking about single digit here. I don’t make enough money to be rolling in dough, and what I do get now and then allows me to save about $10 in shipping fees when I order a book or two from there. There are months when I don’t make enough to meet the payment threshold. This website is, in a way, a true labor of love, because it’s barely monetized – I actually pay out of my pockets for hosting fees and such every month.
Not that I am complaining, because this is something I like to do. And if you are one of those who use the links – thank you so much. The money does help lighten the costs of getting my books from Amazon, as I have a hard time physically going out there to purchase books from stores these days. It’s mostly online shopping for me.
But with the new Amazon affiliate rules that came in that email, I suspect that bigger blogs who are more reliant on affiliate income are going to scream.
You see, in the past, the more you sell from your website, the higher the percentage of commission Amazon will give you – as high as almost 9% if you move thousands of things a month. However, all that will change from March, when Amazon will start implementing straight flat fees for all sales, regardless of the volume moved from the affiliate’s website. Here’s the actual payment structure from that email. I’ve shrunk the table for mobile-using visitors – just click on it to see a larger, clearer version (link opens in a new tab).
Under this new payment structure, if you used to rake in commissions in the 8% to 9% range, you may easily see a drop of about half your usual commission. Yes, the big boys and girls out there are going to take a big hit.
What does this mean to our favorite big blogs, all those free Kindle book mailing lists, and other folks that rely on affiliate commission to make money? I have no idea, but it’d be interesting to see what happens. Blog ads are pretty much dead with people using adblockers, so what will we see next? Increased number of sponsored blog posts? People renting out more blog space for “cover reveals” and other things that blog tour promoters used to get for free? I do wonder.