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Google’s Blogger Integrates with Amazon Associates

Back in April, Google added a Monetize tab within Blogger to help its users earn money from AdSense on their site and in their feeds. Now they’re adding a new feature to that stable—Amazon Associates integration.

We’re used to hearing about the two companies as “frenemies” in the emerging eBook market—but hey, if cooperation makes things easier for users (and make the users and Amazon a buck), it’s definitely a good thing, right?

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You’ve always been able to use Amazon Associates “manually” in a Blogger blog, but now there are options to make it fast and easy to use from right inside Blogger. (And I’m pretty jealous.) The above screen shows the default. Once you set up or enter your Associates ID, you’re given the option to add the Amazon Product Finder to the Edit and Compose New Post pages. The finder not only locates products within the Amazon store:
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Product Placements with Nobodies?

Let me guess: you’re looking for a way to get your clients’ products placed in all kinds of media—but you can’t afford any celebrity endorsements. Well, if you’re okay with your products being hawked by nobodies, you might be in luck, according to an AdAge article on Udorse.

Okay, at first it doesn’t sound so appealing: pay everybody and his dog for taking pictures of themselves with your products sounds like a good way to bankrupt yourself. But naturally, these people aren’t pulling in the same endorsement fees the big stars are.

But the real genius of the system isn’t from paying people to be pictured with your product—it’s the implementation. Udorse automatically uses Facebook photos for images with tagged products. Join the system and tag the product, and you’re taken to a short endorsement form to fill out.

New Study: One Word Describes Affiliate Marketing via Social Networks – Craptastic!

If you’re an affiliate marketer, 2009 doesn’t hold much growth for you, but Forrester predicts a healthy rise in spending after that–through 2014. In fact, US affiliate marketing spend will increase to $4 billion over that 5 year stretch, realizing a very healthy 16% growth rate.

However, if you’re hoping Facebook, Twitter, and others social networks will be your secret to success, you may wish to think again.

Sixty-two percent of US online buyers use social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace.com for communicating and keeping up with friends. Only 2% of US online buyers have purchased products through social networking sites. Affiliate sites get paid based on transactions they drive, not simply click-throughs. Thus, affiliate sites currently experimenting with social networks may be getting traffic from these sites, but they are sending very few qualified leads to marketers. Little money will therefore change hands in this scenario.

Affiliate Marketers to Courts – Kill the Amazon Tax!

By Trisha Lyn Fawver

Oppose the Advertising TaxIf ever a cause was near & dear to me, this is definitely one of them. As an affiliate manager, affiliate marketing is my livelihood.  Over the last year, several states have introduced legislation defining affiliates as tax nexus for businesses.  This means that if a merchant has affiliates in a state with this kind of law, they are required to charge sales tax for all online orders made to customers in that state. 

This started in May 2008 with New York, and quickly spread to California, Minnesota, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Hawaii, and other states.  Affiliate marketing advocates were successful in stopping the laws from passing in most states, however Rhode Island and North Carolina have passed similar laws to New York. 

California, Hawaii Veto “Amazon Tax”; NC & RI Still Plan Affiliate Nexus

It’s somewhat hard to keep up with which state is passing the so called "Amazon Tax," which have vetoed it, and which retailers have pulled the plug on their program–just in anticipation of it.

Let’s start with the good news. Both California and Hawaii look set eject the planned affiliate nexus, with vetoes from their respective governors.

CA’s Arnold Schwarzenegger stated:

"After passing the largest tax increase in California history, it makes absolutely no sense to go back to the taxpayers to solve the current shortfall – that’s why yesterday I vetoed the majority vote tax increase passed by the legislature."

Meanwhile HI’s Governor Linda Lingle says:

Amazon Calls NC Lawmakers Bluff, Cancels Affiliate Program Early

It appears as though Amazon’s email to affiliates regarding North Carolina’s pending taxes was not a bluff. I just received a follow-up email from the company saying it has decided to shut down its affiliate program in the state, as of today.

We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account has been closed as of June 26, 2009. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional tax collection scheme expected to be passed any day now by the North Carolina state legislature (the General Assembly) and signed by the governor. As a result, we will no longer pay any referral fees for customers referred to Amazon.com or Endless.com after June 26. We were forced to take this unfortunate action in anticipation of actual enactment because of uncertainties surrounding the legislation’s effective date.

Should You Fear the FTC’s Sponsored Blogging Crackdown?

It appears the Federal Trade Commission is continuing its sloth-like race to enact new standards for bloggers that don’t currently disclose compensated endorsements.

The AP does its best to make bloggers out to be "quite different" from the "journalists" that work for mainstream media–and therefore must all be on the up-and-up, right? So, I’ll spare you the fluff and cut to the chase:

New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.