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MotionMall Review

If you’re looking for a reasonably simple way to integrate the Amazon affiliate program into your blog you might like to check out MotionMall which is a service that is specifically for this purpose.

MotionMall leads you through a four part process of designing your ad unit selecting the topic of the ads you wish to show, selecting the category of Amazon you want ads to be drawn from, giving some contact information and then getting the code to paste into your blog.

The design of the ads is limited to two ad unit sizes (728 x 90 and 160 x 600) and 13 color themes (each has two options giving you 26 options). The designs will suit some blogs better than others.

The ads that it shows (there is one to the left) use flash to make them more interactive (ie on live ads if you click the arrows at the top and bottom of the product they will scroll to new ones and if you hover over the circles at the top it will give you options to view different categories of products from within Amazon.

Pros of MotionMall

You do not directly pay for these ads, but indirectly it does cost you as 15% of the ads shown have MotionMall’s Amazon affiliate code imbedded into them (the other 85% have your own). 15% is not too bad when you consider that some ad networks take 50% of the income earned from your site.

You don’t have to deal with MotionMall directly apart from generating the code. Payments still come from Amazon. You will need to have an Amazon Affiliate program membership (you can use this with either Amazon.com, Amazon UK or Amazon Canada).

Another thing in it’s favor is that these ads are non contextual and can therefor be used in conjunction with programs like AdSense and YPN. In fact it’s not difficult to set them up as alternative ads for these programs.

Cons of MotionMall

Working against the program is it’s limited ability to be targeted for specific products. You can only narrow down what ads are show to the category and subcategory within Amazon. ie if here at ProBlogger I could choose ‘books’ as the category and perhaps ‘business and investing’ or ‘computers and internet’ rather than narrowing it down to specific books or even ‘blogging books’.

Design of ads could probably be seem by some as a pro but for me they don’t quite fit what I’m looking for. Having just the two large banners will only ever fit certain sites and many bloggers don’t have much success with them. The color schemes don’t fit with most of my blogs either. I do think they are a good alternative to some of Amazon’s standard ad designs though which are plain ugly and quite dated.

The Amazon Affiliate program has it’s own set of pros and cons. On the downside is that you only ever earn income if a purchase is made and that the commission you receive can be quite small. A sale of a book might make you less than $1.

MotionMall has no in built way of tracking results. You cannot tell how many people click on the ads or how many purchases result. Amazon does have some reports for tracking what products people click on but if you already run other Amazon ads there is no way that I can see of differentiating between MotionMall clicks and others.

Another negative I’ve noticed already is that these ads are a little slow to load. I understand that this is probably a result of the flash component, but with web visitors only staying on blogs for a matter of seconds sometimes these ads could still be loading when they leave.

Conclusion

I recommend giving MotionMall a go IF you need an easy way of running Amazon ads on your site in a very general non specific product sort of way. I like to target Amazon affiliate ads specifically to products and deep link them into actual posts – but will try MotionMall in the sidebars of a couple of my blogs as alternative ads to my Adsense ads.

I’m sure MotionMall will have some real fans – they are very easy to implement and I can see how attractive they will be for beginner bloggers – but they are unlikely to be a major player on my own blogs as they currently stand.

I found MotionMall via Feedbuzzard

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Michele says:

    Darren – As you said, it’s really slow to load :)

    Amazon offers a lot of different linking methods, so I can’t see an immediate advantage to this one, as I could just as easily create an ad block based on a search phrase or whatever.

    If you’re using WordPress there is already a very nice plugin that lets you choose the type of link you put in your blog entry body:
    http://manalang.com/wp-amazon

    With regard to tracking the links they’re probably using some form of XML to pull them in, so you *might* be able to see something in the reports, but as you say, it’s not going to be easy to follow them

    Michele

  2. Brian says:

    Another negative……I’m running Firefox and it seems to change my cursor to a little “target” on the WHOLE page. I DO NOT like that at all.

    brian

  3. Tony says:

    I’m using Firefox and don’t have any kind of cursor problem — and the ad seems to load just fine from here in New York.

  4. mark says:

    15% is quite good.

    I use firefox too (version 1.5) and it seems to work fine Brain.

  5. GP says:

    The 85/15 split seemed to worded odd (especially when compared to the 50% split referenced right afterwards… At first I didn’t know if it meant that for each click that resulted in a sale, the commission was split… or if that if there were 100 products to choose from then 15 would be linked through MotionMall and the other 85 through.

    I checked out the MotionMall site and it appears that it is the latter scenario (i.e. 100 choices, 85 you get, 15 they get).

    So it would seem that the odds are in your favor. But being a cynic I would wonder how the 85/15 split is divided… completely random or are the 15 most popular choices per category earmarked for MotionMall?

    Of course, click through a couple more pages on MotionMall and they confirm that it’s a random assignment.

    Sounds better. But worth understanding that it’s not a true 85/15 split of every click and sale.

  6. Chris says:

    I’m using Firefox 1.5 and I’m also getting a problem with these ads screwing things up. It’s turning the arrow pointer into a text insertion one. The ads are also flush with the text next to it, unlike IE (but that might just be a css issue). There is no way I would use these ads if they are affecting the users browsing experience.

  7. I do not even see them as I do not allow flash in my browser.

  8. Digger says:

    Even worse load it up on a dial up connection without it cached in your browser…ugh! I tried this and it literally took more than a minute to load with just the blank box sitting there and none of the content to read while it loaded.

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