This week we have an interview with Matthew Allen from Dumb Passive Income who recently co-founded and launched an Amazon Affiliate plugin for WordPress, AmaLinks Pro.
I’ve been using Amazon for quite a while now and have thought about setting up an Amazon affiliate site a few times as a side-project. It always seemed a little too hard to get started though. This solution seemed like it met the needs of many, so we got Matthew on board for a quick interview.
Here’s Matthew’s take on why he and his business partner, AC, decided to build this product and what you can learn from it.
Hey Matthew, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little more about what you do online?
My name is Matthew Allen and I’ve jokingly referred to myself, online, as an ‘imaginary entrepreneur.’ I identify as a blogger and internet marketer – which is really vague, I know. Around 2011 is when I stumbled into blogging and I made my first attempt at striking it rich online with a personal finance blog. I was using Google’s free Blogger platform and, as you can imagine, I wasn’t earning very much money.
Fast forward to mid 2012 and I finally decided to buy my own hosting and give WordPress a shot. I ditched my old personal finance blog and started a brand new blog with the intention of documenting my journey to building up passive income streams online. DumbPassiveIncome.com was born!
During my first couple of years, I blogged regularly and was starting to build up a decent audience and following. Since then, I’ve become engulfed in so many different online projects that it’s become more difficult for me to keep up with writing regular blog posts. But I still manage to update my audience and publish a new post every once in awhile. As of lately – I’ve been 100% focused on my latest project – a premium WordPress plugin for Amazon affiliates!￼
What gave you the idea for AmaLinks Pro and why did you decide to finally build it?
Well… as they say – I was just scratching my own itch. I had been an Amazon affiliate for many years and I had built out many websites that were monetized with Amazon Associates. I had been utilizing other plugins and tools for helping me insert Amazon affiliate links on my WordPress sites. But I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of updates to these tools and, more importantly, the lack of innovation.
I had a light bulb moment one day when I was sending my assistant some instructions, by email, for how I wanted him to combine two WordPress plugins to achieve one piece of functionality on the site we were working on. Specifically – I wanted to be able to create custom CTA buttons and easily link them to specific products on Amazon using my affiliate tag.
I thought – this is crazy! Somebody should really create a new Amazon plugin that has this functionality. Then I thought – I could be that somebody! But why stop with just that one piece of functionality? Why not go all the way with this thing and create the best dang Amazon affiliate WordPress plugin that ever existed! I envisioned a plugin that could do everything and I wanted it to be so simple to use that even the newest newbies to WordPress would be able to understand it.
I pitched my idea to an online acquaintance of mine, who happened to be an expert WordPress coder – and not long after that, we formed a partnership and AmaLinks Pro was born!
How did you bring your idea for AmaLinks Pro to market?
￼Here is where it got a little tricky for me and I had to get creative. You see, I’m not a coder. I have absolutely zero coding skills whatsoever. Throughout my years of blogging I had built some relationships and, fortunately, I knew a guy who is a really good coder. I sent him an email one day, in January of 2018, and pitched my idea.
I knew the scope of this project would require hundreds of coding hours which meant expenses well exceeding $10,000! I did not have that kind of money nor the time to micro manage a coder and tell him every last little detail I wanted. In fact – I didn’t even know every last little detail that would be required, at the time. So, we joined together and formed a partnership and started working on this thing together.
I would like to introduce Alchemy Coder (or AC, as we call him). As you can see – AC prefers to remain anonymous. He is completely comfortable letting me be the face and the voice of AmaLinks Pro while he hides out behind his computer screen making all the magic happen.
Both AC and I agree that there is no way AmaLinks Pro would be what it is today had either one of us tried to take on this project by ourselves. Our skill sets compliment each other perfectly and we’ve formed an unbelievably great working relationship despite the fact that we live on opposite sides of the country and we’ve never met in person.
Can you describe what Amalinks Pro does – for a person who just learned what the Amazon Associates program is?
￼The Amazon Associates program is a means for website owners to monetize their traffic by promoting products that are for sale on Amazon. Within each Amazon Associates dashboard – Amazon provides many different tools for building various link types to place on your site. But, many of the options they provide are confusing, or out-of-date, or just plain don’t work very well.
AmaLinks Pro combines the WordPress experience with Amazon and makes is super easy for affiliates to build and insert many different link types. Users never even have to leave WordPress because AmaLinks Pro gives you the ability to search for Amazon products right within the WordPress dashboard! Like I stated above – one of the main overarching goals we set from the very beginning was for AmaLinks Pro to be as simple as possible to use. We wanted even the newest WordPress newbies to be comfortable using our premium WordPress plugin.
Here are some of the main link types available to insert using AmaLinks Pro:
- Text links
- Image links
- CTA buttons (or Amazon Buy Now buttons)
- Showcase boxes (product information display)
- Comparison tables
Check out the demo videos to see how easy it is to create these links using AmaLinks Pro.
As the person who had the initial idea, can you show us one feature that AmaLinks pro has, that you are most proud to offer for Amazon Affiliates?
Sure thing. Here is a short video of our Amazon Product Comparison Table Builder Add-on.
What’s the single most important takeaway from this interview?
I would like to turn it over to my business partner and the lead developer for AmaLinks Pro to close out this article…
Hey everybody, AC here. Thanks for including me Matthew. I had to crawl out from behind my wall of computer screens, coffee & incense smoke – back into the physical world for a short bit.
I think in my opinion the most important takeaway from this article is that if you have a big idea you want to see come to life – don’t be afraid to reach out to make it happen. (Of course protect any sensitive information and use discretion.)
Matthew had his big idea – but had no idea how to get it developed at the start. It seemed an impossible hurdle. Far away in another state, I’m sitting there developing & selling plugins on top of my day job, knowing that I just never have time for as much documentation, videos & content as I really want – wondering if I’ll ever get my own big idea.
Multiple discussions later, we struck a deal, drafted up some official paperwork to protect us both legally, and got to work …
Do you have a big idea you want to see come to life? Have you had something great happen by reaching out?
Please share any advice with us on how to make it happen. Hey, you can start practicing that outreach right now!
Thank you, Matthew and AC, for taking the time to share your story with us. Congratulations on launching AmaLinks Pro and we wish you all the best on this new adventure!
If you’d like to get in touch with Matthew, leave a comment below or visit the AmaLinks Pro website.