Alternatives for Colorado-based Amazon affiliates

By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, March 10, 2010 At 11:51 PM

Every since Amazon behaved badly Monday morning by firing Colorado-based affiliates, I've been dealing with the fallout. I decided pretty quickly that I was done with an Amazon — as an affiliate as well as a consumer — and immediately started looking for new affiliate programs for my book review blog, wedding blog, and doll repair blog.

My first thought was to apply for the Barnes & Noble affiliate program. Ironically, I joined their program back when I first joined Amazon, but ended up going with the latter because their system was easier to use. The B&N affiliate program is different now — it's part of the Google Affiliate Network, which includes many more affiliate programs than just Barnes & Noble — and I was pleased to find that the new system is just as user-friendly as Amazon's. And personally, I like the overall results much better — I think the larger image of the book cover provides a much cleaner look than Amazon's ad.

I applied for the program Monday afternoon, and by Monday evening had an acceptance. I immediately changed the book links in the sidebars of all my blogs except my wedding blog (that one is still on my to-do list). Yesterday I also applied for a couple of other advertisers in the program, and set up a few other affiliate ads for my blog about feline hepatic lipidosis.

On Tuesday, I got a recommendation to try the Powells.com partner program. I signed up and was able to get started right away. This system is even more user-friendly than the Google Affiliate Network, and I like it considerably better than Amazon's program. I especially like the fact that Powell's buys used books online — they pay the shipping too. You can check out the program by clicking the link in the sidebar, under the ad for the book I'm currently reading.

Yesterday, I changed over a number of my more recent links on my book review blog. I still have a lot to do though, and I expect it to be a few more days before I am done switching over to the new affiliate programs.

The best thing about these two programs is how much easier payment is than Amazon. With Amazon, if you want cash you have to wait until you reach $100 in commissions, which takes a while for someone like me, for whom the income is only supplementary. But it seems like the businesses in the Google Affiliate Network pay after a set number of days — e.g., 30, 60, or 90 days — while Powell's pays at the end of the quarter where you reach $25. Plus, the Google Affiliate Network (which I keep wanting to call GAN!) links up with your Google AdSense account, which is pretty convenient.

My point is that there are many options for former Colorado-based Amazon affiliates. Much better options with more honest companies, if you ask me. Personally, even if Amazon reinstates the Colorado affiliates (which I really think they will, whether or not the Colorado legislature calls their bluff — they can't give up all those referrals!), I could never trust them again after this. But I feel much more secure after signing up for affiliate programs I like, with businesses I respect. If you ask me, Amazon did me a favor!

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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