The real reason to use Amazon Affiliates

(5 min read) Why Logan Nathanson’s business-savvy sets him apart in the world of Amazon Affiliates and brand deals. Featuring Perch, Thrasio, and ConvertKit.

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Logan Nathanson

The main goal of our content is to help our audience find products that will make their life easier in some way…with a side goal of helping people save money as well.

Logan Nathanson of Favorite Finds showcases kitchen, home, and tech products from across the interne- sorry, from across Amazon. Yes, Amazon is that big.

Unlike previous guest Anna Daly, who has a team managing her lucrative affiliate business, Logan manages it all himself - and has strong opinions on why that works better for him.

Let’s get into it!

Links

The Business

.Highlights.

.Breakdown.

.Observations.

When I talk about products right now, 99% of the time they're on Amazon. 

Logan’s affiliate business is overwhelmingly driven by Amazon. Fortunately, their affiliate program is pretty good.

The Amazon commission is better for me [than LTK]…there are bonuses that Amazon Creators get for being in the program and selling a certain amount. There are increased commission opportunities in the future with Amazon Affiliates as well…

On top of all that, Amazon Affiliates get paid on purchases beyond those they actually sent the shopper to the platform for.

When I bring people to Amazon, they cookie the shopper, so even if they don’t buy the thing I sent them for, I'm still earning a commission on all their purchases. I'm not positive that LTK has the same thing. 

That cookie lasts for 24 hours! 

While Logan’s affiliates business is strong, the majority of his revenue comes from brand deals.

Affiliate is such a small percentage of sales you generate. I think there's a lot more opportunity in brand deals when you're properly negotiating, properly understanding how much you're worth, properly understanding the value that you can potentially provide a brand. 

Logan is one of the few business-savvy Creators who considers a brand’s economics in his dealmaking and business strategy:

I could make a brand $100,000 in sales but only get $3,000 in affiliate earnings. 

Maybe they're willing to pay a portion of that $100,000 in a sponsorship deal, which could be way more than that $3,000.

People are willing to pay a lot to generate $100,000 in sales!

A big reason he’s able to think like this is that he’s put himself in brands’ shoes by running his own advertising campaigns, allowing him to learn about return on investment (ROI).

I do a little bit of advertising myself, and I think of it in terms of ROI for the brand. 

If a brand is running a Facebook ad, and they spend $25,000 to generate $100,000 in sales, that might be incredibly successful for them. 

If they can hire a Creator to not only generate the revenue, but also create the content they’d use in an ad - which they also have to pay for otherwise - and that Creator only charges $10,000, that’s 2.5x better than a Facebook ad for the brand.

And for the Creator, on that $100,000 in sales generated, they might only get $3,000 from Amazon.

With the success of his business and the ability to move so much product, it’s clear Logan is influential - a truth he takes seriously. 

A lot of the products I talk about are from small sellers, and I genuinely could ruin their business by not understanding their product fully. 

As a result, he focuses only on what he likes.

I tend to avoid negative wording in my product reviews. If I don't like a product, there's a very high chance I just won't ever talk about it.

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The Stack

Affiliates - Amazon Affiliates + LTK

Product Aggregation Partners - Perch + Thrasio

There are two (2) big challenges that Logan grapples with daily:

  1. Discovering new, interesting products

Finding products is definitely one of the major challenges we have because you just have to search and search until you find things. 

  1. Spending money on all the products he features

Right now we probably buy, even with all these programs and brand deals, probably 80-85% of the products that we talk about. 

So-called “Amazon aggregators” present a solution.

Their goal is to buy out Amazon sellers and aggregate them…They own hundreds of products or brands. 

These companies solve two problems of his + pay him a little extra on top of his Amazon commission. 

1. To have a list of 500 home products helps narrow it down a little bit, versus the 500,000 that I'd have to look through on Amazon.

2. I get to do exactly what I'm doing but earn additional commissions.

3. Those products are free, which could definitely make a difference. If it's a multiple-hundred-dollar product, I don't have to go purchase that myself. 

In return, he solves one massive problem for them - standing out on Amazon, where any search will yield hundreds of lookalike products that are likely manufactured at the same factory in China and sold by generic “brands” with meaningless names like “RORSOU” and “DOQAUS” (seriously, those are real).

Email - ConvertKit

Mailchimp started to get pretty expensive for the number of emails I was sending out. The other reason I switched over to ConvertKit was for the Recommendation platform that they have built in, where it'll recommend you to other similar newsletters. Honestly, though, I don't think I've seen a lot of success with that so far. 

Community / Chat - Was on Discord, let it idle

I wasn’t adding a lot of value to people's lives with the Discord server versus everything else I was doing.

Communication - Discord

I've used Discord for personal messages with my team for a while…now I have a Favorite Finds team Discord server that I use with private channels for all of them, so I can kind of keep everything in one place. 

Project Management - Notion

It’s my CRM database as well. I keep track of every email that comes through, all the emails that I send out, every brand who reaches out to me - Notion automatically tells me when to follow up on certain things like that. 

Finances - Accounting firm + does it manually in Notion

Video Production - Newest iPhone + Shure desktop mic + Lav mic + Editor

Video Distribution - Manually to TikTok & IG + Repurpose.io for others

When I post on TikTok, it'll automatically download that video without the watermark, get rid of hashtags, add in other things to the descriptions or the title, and then automatically repost to Facebook and YouTube for me. 

The primary complaint I’ve heard about reposting tools like Repurpose.io is that Creators worry it hurts their algorithmic performance. Logan has tested this theory and believes it’s untrue.

I have gone through periods of testing with and without using this tool, and I haven't seen any sort of significant differences in terms of the number of views that it gives... I've also talked to quite a few people at YouTube and they've always confirmed that it's totally fine to use.

Operations - Arica (wife) + Contractors

Arica is the person behind the camera for all of our videos, short-form and long form. She's the main person I work with, but there are quite a few contractors that are on our team as well. One for Pinterest, one for LTK. One of them is actually the one that finds new deals and sends out my newsletter every day…

I have an editor for all of my videos. I have a thumbnail designer for YouTube as well. 

Representation - Unrepresented

Logan has been represented several times, but now believes that traditional representation isn’t for him. The reason?

I really want to connect with the people reaching out to me…I think agencies are a little bit quicker to try and get to a conclusion, which totally makes sense. They have 10x as many emails to go through because they're managing a bunch of people, so they don't have the time to dive as deep. 

I've found that the gap between the level of depth that I want when working with a brand and the level of depth that [agencies are] able to get to is significant enough to dramatically impact the revenue that we earn from brand partnerships monthly

Relevant Previous Interviews

LinkedIn Roundup

I write about the Creator Economy on LinkedIn! Here are a few highlights from the last week:

Quite a bit of my conversation with Logan didn’t make it into the newsletter, including how he got shut down by Pinterest, monetization on Snapchat, and the value of LTK as a social network.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch the full interview!

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Written by Avi Gandhi, edited by Melody Song,
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