As a blog publisher not located in the US, I sympathize with Darren Rowse (of ProBlogger.net fame). He’s posted an open letter to Amazon, in regards to their affiliate program, called Amazon Associates. Darren’s making a lot of money on Amazon, around $2,000-3,000 monthly, and he estimates that he’s sent around $1,500,000 in sales over the last 5 years. Impressive.
Problem is, Darren isn’t located in the US, so he can get paid either with gift certificates, which sucks for so many reasons, or by checks. Now, I know nothing about how it is in Australia, and Darren writes about that in his post, but I can tell you, he’s not alone in not wanting checks. Not only do they take time to get and deposit, it’s also costly. My bank want something close $100 to cash in a US check.
International publishers with a big American audience always has this problem. The various affiliate programs need to realize that not all publishers who run ads for US shops and products are actually living in the US themselves. It’s a global world, the internet has no boundaries, you know, that sort of thing that we all learned back in ’97…
In fact, if it weren’t for services like PayPal, who by no means is free to use either, with their fees and whatnot when you pull money from the account, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I do for a living.
I think it is time for the affiliate networks to wake up. I’m amazed that Amazon is still so far behind on this. After all, a quick look at the statistics should show them how many shoppers they have from around the world, and it’s only natural to assume that the same ratio applies to publishers these days.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.