Why Publishers Should Not Administer Editorial Recommendations Programs

Editorial Recommendations can mean a lot of things for many different people. For retailers, they can be a great way to showcase a wide range of products, offering a third party perspective on these items and giving retailers the opportunity to provide insight into the items they have available without the information they’re giving seeming overly advertorial in nature. Meanwhile, publishers can build up a revenue stream by working on Editorial Recommendations for eCommerce websites, building up an authoritative voice as they craft their articles, and sellers have the ability to get their products seen by a wider audience than ever before as publishers craft their Editorial Recommendations and place various products within these articles. 

It is easy to see many people benefit from having these programs in place. Here, we’ll look at what Editorial Recommendations programs mean for publishers and the importance of publishers’ participation in currently active programs. Additionally, we’ll note why publishers should not administer their own programs and the damage this could potentially do considering the place publishers hold in current programs. While publishers do a great job of crafting articles, attempting to administer their programs and oversee their workloads can potentially be quite damaging, especially considering the position many Editorial Recommendations programs are in at the moment. Many large eCommerce websites are getting ready to launch new programs, and many publishers are preparing to start writing and scaling up their writing capabilities. 

Publishers Need to Be Involved in All of the Programs

When it comes to Editorial Recommendations programs, publishers typically have a lot on their plates. Most publishers are usually not involved in just one program, and in fact, are generally working with a variety of Editorial Recommendations programs. This means they are busy, writing many articles and often writing articles for many different websites, including their own! They must work to manage their own affiliate links as well as their regularly planned content. This is a task they must keep up with if they want to ensure they can continue keeping up with the revenue stream that makes it worthwhile to be a part of these affiliate programs. 

Those who are a part of the Amazon Onsite Associates Program have even more on their plate. The Amazon Onsite Associates Program is a tough market to break into, and being a part of this program can be challenging, though very rewarding. Many other retailers such as Walmart and Target do not yet have the massive onsite Editorial Recommendations programs Amazon does, but seem poised to launch them in the near future. When they do launch these programs, many publishers stand ready to begin writing for these eCommerce giants, and for good reason. Sites such as Walmart and Target will need strong and authoritative publishers when they start their Editorial Recommendations programs. 

However, getting publishers to simply jump ship and stop writing for Amazon when other programs launch is a tremendous ask. It is far more reasonable these publishers will continue to write for Amazon and the Amazon Onsite Associates Program while also beginning to contribute to similar programs for eCommerce giants such as Target and Walmart. This means any publisher working with Editorial Recommendations needs to be ready to work with all the programs, including some of the biggest programs currently available – the biggest being Amazon. 

Publishers Need to Participate at Scale

Among many things any publisher needs to realize is to be profitable and to be successful, they need to be participating at a large scale. Out of perhaps every 20 Editorial Recommendations a publisher posts within a program, such as Amazon’s Onsite Associates Program, only about five will be an instant success. Additionally, Amazon does not give its publishers any real feedback about its Editorial Recommendations to let them know how their articles are doing, how many clicks they are getting, how many people are reading them, and if those articles are being shared and seen. This makes it quite difficult for a publisher to know what they should be doing with the articles they already have posted and what should be done with any future articles they write. 

Adding on to this, writing Editorial Recommendations can be quite expensive, especially if you are uncertain about what will actually get clicks and what will even get sales. Among the many things you need to realize is many sales are actually made without people reading the article. People can see the items linked within an Editorial Recommendation before they even click through to read it. These items appear with the Editorial Recommendation on the search engine results page, and people can click on these items. Publishers receive the same revenue from these clicks and purchases as if the individual had read the Editorial Recommendation, clicked on the item there, and made the purchase because of what they had read. 

Unfortunately, the categories people need help with when making purchasing decisions are not necessarily intuitive. This means the right Editorial Recommendations do not always appear for an individual based on their searches, even if they use search terms similar to what they are looking for. There is no real way for a publisher to make any changes to their articles or to predict how they can ensure their Editorial Recommendations will be successfully seen by those who need to see them, especially with so little guidance given to them by Amazon. 

Publishers Need to Know What They Are Up Against

There is still much for publishers to learn, even for those who have been working on Editorial Recommendations for a while. However, scaling up within categories, within search terms, and scaling up your product selection all requires specialized knowledge. This is something that takes a lot of time and effort, and all the time you put into this is time your competition is placing into putting out new articles. As you work on learning the ropes – on anything, be it learning more about a new category or learning more about how to use those new search terms – your publishing competitors are establishing dominance over you by pumping out Editorial Recommendations readers are seeing and clicking on. As those Editorial Recommendations get seen and get more clicks, your own Editorial Recommendations get pushed to the wayside and begin to get dropped, losing relevance. 

It is also important to note participation results in a tremendous amount of data in need of management, analysis, and execution at a rapid pace. Feedback regarding all this data is not given on an article by article basis but rather used to take note of what you should be doing regarding all of your Editorial Recommendations so you can come up with a game plan moving forward. One of the things publishers may need to do is develop their own special tools and strategies to figure out if anyone is seeing their articles and, if so, which of their articles are actually performing the best. If any articles are underperforming, they may need to develop different strategies to help figure out what they can do to boost their performance and get them seen.

It is important to note even a fully built-out in-house team may not be able to take on the volume required to handle the kind of workload publishers may be seeing, especially when more large eCommerce companies such as Walmart and Target launch their own programs in the future. This means publishers will need to develop a plan for handling their workloads without dropping associates with one of the programs they are with, something which would be a big mistake. 

Third Party Administrators Know This Stuff

There are a lot of benefits to working with a third part Editorial Recommendations administrator. A third party Editorial Recommendations administrator is someone who knows their stuff, who has been working with these programs and these articles for a while, and who has the skills and knowledge necessary to help a publisher continue building their program no matter where they are starting from. This is an individual who knows the challenges of getting started and who can potentially save someone from months of hitting their head against the metaphorical wall when it comes to partnering with Amazon and making their way into the Amazon Onsite Associates Program. 

It all comes down to one thing – experience. A third party Editorial Recommendations administrator has been there themselves and with other publishers and quite simply knows what to look out for. This is someone who has already learned what to do and what not to do, so they can help a publisher avoid common errors while also helping them with common tricks of the trade, allowing them to boost their Editorial Recommendations and get them seen by more people on the site. To use a common phrase, there’s no need to “reinvent the wheel.” When it comes to Amazon’s program, there’s a way that works. Any other attempts to write Editorial Recommendations pretty much fall flat, and publishers may not even realize they’re making some big mistakes with their articles until it’s far too late.

When working with a third party administrator, a publisher can get help selecting more profitable product categories than ones they might otherwise have chosen. They can also better understand the Amazon ecosystem and target high-volume search terms on the site. Among the many things to note when it comes to writing Editorial Recommendations for Amazon is you are not the customer. The data will tell you what actually sells. 

A third party administrator can also help you understand the context of searches and help you navigate the ups and downs of the entire process. Getting perspectives of the Amazon ecosystem can be vital, especially when it comes to knowing whether the hurdles you are facing are yours alone or if a problem you are faced with is something affecting publishers working on Editorial Recommendations on Amazon as a whole. 

In Conclusion

Those who want to gain real success on Amazon – and, in the future, on other Editorial Recommendations programs – should know how important it is to work with a third party administrator. Doing so can lead to real gains. All too often, a publisher wastes their time attempting to figure out what they’re doing on Amazon’s program and missing out when they could gain real profits by getting a third party on board to help them with the process. 

It’s important for a publisher to realize they need to stick to doing what they do best and instead get a third party administrator to do what they do best. This will be especially important in moving forward. As more publishers get the opportunity to work with other eCommerce retailers, such as Walmart and Target when they begin to launch their programs, they will have even less time to figure out what to do with Amazon and its platform. However, a publisher will not want to drop Amazon completely, nor do they want to reduce the scale of the articles they are releasing on Amazon.

Having a third party administrator oversee what is being done will give publishers the chance to ensure they are keeping everything in line with Amazon’s standards (and in the future, the standards of eCommerce giants such as Walmart and Target) so they can ensure their articles remain successful, all while they continue to put out a good number of articles and work with other sites. 

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