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.
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