You may have come across some of your favorite bloggers, influencers, or YouTube videos saying that they’ll earn a small commission when you make a purchase using the link on their post’s description box. If this link is an Amazon link, chances are, they’re an Amazon Affiliate.
The Amazon Affiliate Program, or Amazon Associates, can be a potentially viable income stream for content creators, publishers, and websites.
It’s a fairly straightforward process: you become an Amazon Affiliate, add Amazon links to your website, have people make purchases using your Amazon Affiliate link, and earn a commission from the sale. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or someone looking to have some extra income, the Amazon Affiliate Program can provide opportunities and benefits aside from having a new income stream. Read on to find out how you can become an Amazon Affiliate, and start monetizing what you love.
Everything You Need to Know About Becoming an Amazon Affiliate in 2023:
- What is the Amazon Affiliate Program?
- What is Affiliate Marketing?
- The Types of Affiliate Marketing
- Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
- How Does Amazon’s Affiliate Program Work?
- How Much Can You Potentially Earn as an Affiliate?
- How to Become an Amazon Affiliate
- Creating Amazon Affiliate Links
- Rules and Requirements You Need to Remember
- Earning as an Affiliate
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Amazon Affiliate Program?
The Amazon Affiliate Program is one of the world’s largest affiliate marketing programs, with over 900,000 affiliates. It allows you to monetize your website traffic by featuring Amazon products on your site or social media channel. More than its capacity to generate revenue, it gives you access to a broad selection of Amazon products that you can promote on your site. It also has tools that allow you to create customized links that work best for you, as well as reports that help you better understand your visitors’ behaviors and your links’ performance.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Simply put, affiliate marketing is a tactic that helps brands drive sales through affiliations with content creators, publishers, and websites that promote unique affiliate links to their product pages through their channels. Affiliates earn a commission when someone visits the link and makes a purchase.
81% of brands and 84% of publishers leverage affiliate marketing, implying its growing popularity, as US Affiliate Marketing spending continues to significantly increase every year. In 2017, affiliate market spending was capped at $5.4 billion, while in 2022, it increased to $8.2 billion.
Becoming an affiliate is relatively simple:
👏 You join a store’s affiliate marketing program
👏 You show the affiliate ad or link on your website, blog, or social media channel
👏 The customer clicks the link and is redirected to the store
👏 The customer makes a purchase on the store’s website using your affiliate link
👏 The purchase and transaction details are recorded by the affiliate network, which will then be validated by the store as a valid sale
👏 The proceeds of the transaction will be credited to your account
👏 You get paid
In affiliate marketing, there are three parties usually involved:
👉 The seller or brand and/or the product creators
The seller is the entity with the products to sell, whether it’s a physical product or a service. There’s no need for the seller to be actively involved in the promotion of the product; however, in some cases, they may also work as the advertiser and split the revenue with the affiliate through revenue sharing.
👉 The affiliate
The affiliate is responsible for marketing the seller’s products to their audience. If a visitor ends up buying the product that’s being marketed, the affiliate earns a commission, which is a portion of the revenue generated from the sale.
👉 Visitors or consumers
The consumers are the driving force behind affiliate marketing. When they buy a product, they generate revenue for the seller and the affiliate. It’s worth noting that consumers won’t need to pay extra for purchases made using affiliate links, as the price already includes the affiliate’s share.
How Do Affiliates Get Paid?
There are several ways to pay an affiliate, according to Adam Enfroy:
✨ Pay per sale
Considered as the standard structure for affiliate marketing programs, pay per sale is when an affiliate gets their share of the sale price after a product they’ve promoted has been purchased.
✨ Pay per lead
The pay per lead method is when an affiliate gets paid when a lead undergoes conversion. This entails a more complex process where the affiliate encourages the visitor to visit the seller’s site and complete a desired action, whether it’s leaving their contact details, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading certain files.
✨ Pay per click
Pay per click requires the affiliate to encourage the visitor to move from their site to the seller’s site. The affiliate is paid based on the performance of the seller’s web traffic.
The Types of Affiliate Marketing
According to Pat Flynn, affiliate marketing has three main types:
✨ Unattached affiliate marketing
This represents the standard pay-per-click marketing campaigns and doesn’t necessarily require affiliates to establish a connection with the product consumer. With unattached affiliate marketing, you won’t be required to have a presence or authority, making it an appealing prospect for many affiliates. There’d be no need for you to build a reputation or engage your visitors. All you need to do is run ads and hope that your audience will click them and make a purchase so you can earn a commission.
✨ Related affiliate marketing
This is another common affiliate marketing type that you can see on blogs, videos, or social media. Here, you’ll be featuring affiliate links that are related to your niche on your site. The affiliate links under this type of affiliate marketing are for products that you don’t necessarily use.
✨ Involved affiliate marketing
Involved affiliate marketing is when you actually have some form of involvement with the product that you’re promoting, such as when you’ve used the product or recommended it to your visitors. It’s basically something that you put in our blog, for example, because you believe in it or it plays a key role in what you’re talking about in your post or video.
It’s worth noting that affiliates have several types, including:
⚡️ Coupon and cashback sites
Coupon sites offer deals or discount codes to consumers. When a consumer uses the discount code, they can earn a commission from the sales proceeds. Cashback sites operate in a similar manner. Unlike coupon sites, they give back money to consumers who’ve made a purchase using the affiliate links on their site.
As an affiliate, cashback sites receive a commission for every sale. However, they opt to give their proceeds back to their visitors.
⚡️ Content websites
Content websites like online magazines are a viable source of affiliate links. These sites may monetize traffic through ads that double as affiliate banners. They can also include affiliate links within the body of their content.
Blogs work in a similar way to content websites, where they can feature affiliate banners or links on their website.
⚡️ Mobile apps
Mobile apps are also one type of affiliate partner. These apps can use affiliate links to redirect consumers to a vendor’s site or to an incentivized offer.
Influencers are seen by their audience as credible sources of recommendations. Given their large following, it’s relatively easy for them to promote a product and get their followers to visit their affiliate sites.
Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
More than being just an alternative revenue stream for passive income, affiliate marketing offers a lot of benefits to entrepreneurs and content creators.
💯 You can work wherever you like
Affiliate marketing lets you earn passive income wherever you may be, whether you’re at home or in your favorite coffee shop. It gives you the opportunity to work on your campaigns remotely, giving you the freedom to earn according to your own terms, without having to worry about restrictions or regulations. Moreover, you’d be able to determine your own hours and which products to promote.
💯 It’s a cost-effective means to earn
There’s a lower barrier to entry with affiliate marketing. It doesn’t require you to have a large capital and is fairly easy to set up. Most programs also don’t require you to pay registration fees.
💯 It’s performance-based
Affiliate marketing offers affiliates performance-based rewards. This means that you’ll earn according to how much effort you put in your campaigns or promotions. Being able to create content skillfully encourages consumers to click on your affiliate links and make a purchase, which gives you the potential to increase your revenue.
With this in mind, it helps if you’re able to leverage SEO best practices to create a website that’s more appealing to your audience. Optimizing your website for SEO doesn’t just apply to your affiliate links, but to your entire website. It can drive more leads and conversions, which translates to more sales and earnings for affiliates. In addition to those benefits, search engine optimization can boost your website’s organic discovery and bring you improved website traffic, all while giving you an edge over your competitors.
💯 Affiliate marketing is a lucrative industry
Affiliate marketing is already a very lucrative industry, with affiliate marketing spending predicted to grow to up to 10% in the coming years. In 2020, affiliate marketing spending grew to almost $7 billion from around $4 billion in 2015.
💯 Doesn’t entail a steep learning curve
Affiliates don’t necessarily have to be marketing experts to start this venture. Given its convenience and flexibility, you’d be free to choose how you want to execute your campaigns. For example, you can use optimized content on your blog to promote affiliate links.
💯 It offers many opportunities for marketing
The beauty of affiliate marketing lies in the various marketing methods that you can apply. You can promote the affiliate links through your blog, in your YouTube videos, or in online courses, where you can recommend the product to your audience. You can also create a separate website that’s dedicated to affiliate marketing, where you feature or review the products you’re sharing links to.
How Does Amazon’s Affiliate Program Work?
Amazon’s Affiliate Program lets affiliates earn a commission through unique product links that are promoted on their website. These links drive traffic to the e-commerce giant.
Basically, the affiliate program works like a referral program. As an affiliate, you need to create an Amazon Affiliate account, where you’ll be given an Associate ID. Once your application has been approved, you can start creating unique affiliate links that you can place on your website.
When a visitor clicks the affiliate link and makes a purchase, you’d earn a referral fee, which can vary depending on the product category you select.
How Much Can You Potentially Earn as an Affiliate?
How much you earn will mainly depend on two factors: how many referrals are generated and the product category you select.
In general, you can earn anywhere from $100 to $20,000. In rare cases, some affiliates may even earn six-figure incomes from the program.
For example, if you sell five products under Amazon Games, which has an income rate of 20%, with each product costing $50, you would get $10 for every item, bringing the total to $50. If you manage to sell 100 units in one month, you can potentially earn $1,000 in a month.
Note that calculating how much you could potentially earn may be a bit tricky, as other factors, such as affiliate conversion rate and timing, should also be considered. It’s worth noting that you get a commission when a visitor buys from Amazon using your affiliate link within 24 hours of its launch on the Amazon website.
If you’re just starting out or if you don’t have a large following yet, the figures may not be as impressive. However, if you work on optimizing your campaigns, you can eventually earn more.
How to Become an Amazon Affiliate
Before you can become an Amazon Affiliate, you first need to qualify for the program. One of the primary requirements for a candidate is that they should have an online platform where they can promote any Amazon product.
You’ll also have to disclose details like how many monthly visitors your online platform has, your drive-to-site plan, and why you want to become an Amazon Affiliate. You’ll then be asked for your tax information and your preferred payment method. Let’s go into more detail on how you can become an Amazon Affiliate.
✅ Start a website or blog
Before becoming an Amazon Affiliate, you need to have an active online platform. It can be in the form of a website, a blog, or a YouTube channel, among other channels. It’s beneficial if you already have a website or a large audience you constantly engage with. It also helps if you’re able to determine the purpose of your website, especially if you’re just setting out to create one.
✅ Sign up for an Amazon Associates account
Visit the Amazon Associates website and sign up for an Affiliate account here.
✅ Fill out the application form and include your website’s address and preferred store ID
You’ll be required to fill out an application form that asks for account information including your name, address, and contact details. You’ll be required to include your preferred store ID, as well as information on what you hope to accomplish with your online channel.
✅ Include how you’re going to drive traffic to your site
You’ll also have to indicate how you’re going to drive traffic to your online channel. Will you be using email, lead generation, SEO, or other methods? Include how you’re going to build links and how many unique visitors you get per month, as well as your reason for wanting to join the Amazon Affiliate Program.
✅ Select your preferred payment method
Choose your preferred payment method and tax ID on the next page. You can skip this process and work it out later.
✅ Start creating Amazon Affiliate links
Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll be redirected to your Associate homepage. Here, you’ll find your performance dashboard, which also doubles as a search engine where you’ll be able to find products that you can create affiliate links for.
Creating Amazon Affiliate Links
There are two ways to create Amazon affiliate links:
⚡️ Amazon’s Product Link Tool
If you’re going with Amazon’s Product Link Tool, here are the steps you need to follow:
📌 Log in to your Amazon Associate account.
📌 Click the “Product Linking” button at the top of the dashboard and select “Product Links” from the dropdown menu. This redirects you to a page where you can search for a product. Using this search engine, you can look for a product using generic terms or a specific brand or model.
📌 Click the “Go” button to start your search. Once the results appear, select the product you want to create an affiliate link for.
📌 Click the “Get link” button found next to the product. This will open a pop-up window that lets you copy the HTML code, which you can use as is or customize.
SiteStripe lets you create affiliate links directly from an item’s product page. If you’re using SiteStripe:
📌 Log in to your Amazon Associates account.
📌 Visit the product page you want to promote.
📌 Select “Text” (for plain text link) from the “Get Link” menu found at the top of the SiteStripe dashboard to get the link. Alternatively, you can also choose “Image” (image with embedded link) or “Text+Image” (text and image ad) from the menu. You can also create your own link by clicking the “Custom” button found next to the “Get Link” button.
📌 Once you’ve selected the type of affiliate link you want to use, copy the ad code that appears below your selection.
Rules and Requirements You Need to Remember
There are guidelines and requirements that you need to be mindful of when you become an Amazon Affiliate:
🔍 Amazon Affiliate cookies only last for 24 hours after a visitor clicks the affiliate link on your site. This means that if they make a purchase within these 24 hours, part of the proceeds will be credited to your account.
🔍 You need to disclose on your online channel that you may earn a commission from your affiliate links.
🔍 Refrain from indicating prices as these can periodically change.
🔍 Don’t use your Amazon Affiliate links for offline promotion campaigns.
🔍 Refrain from using link shorteners for your affiliate links.
To learn more about Amazon’s Associates Program policies, click here.
Earning as an Affiliate
As an Amazon Associate, you’re paid monthly and often, payments are made two months after the purchase date. For example, a customer purchased an item from Amazon using your affiliate link in March. You will receive your payment two months after, which will be no later than May.
Amazon currently offers three payment options, shares Kristin Crabb:
🧷 Direct deposit
You’re required to provide Amazon with your banking information, where Amazon will deposit your share of the sales. Note that Amazon will deposit the commission once you earn a minimum of $10.
This method of payment requires you to share your mailing address with Amazon. Once you earn $100, Amazon will mail a check to you. However, you’ll have to take note of the $15 check processing fee.
🧷 Amazon gift card
You can also opt to receive payment in the form of Amazon gift cards, which will be sent to your account once you earn $10.
There are cases when you won’t be able to receive a commission for purchases, adds Crabb, such as when an order was cancelled before it was shipped or is about to be shipped. It may also happen when the product you’re promoting is considered as ineligible for commission by Amazon.
To start earning as an Amazon Affiliate, it helps if you already run a website that has a specific niche. As with regular Amazon sellers, having a niche gives you a more competitive edge. Niche products don’t have as much competition, compared to, say, more popular products under saturated categories, like home improvement tools or beauty and skincare products.
Having fewer competition means you’re more likely to land sales and conversions. In a similar manner, having a niche for your website means you can promote the products that interest you and you can promote them without sounding too salesy. Moreover, having a niche gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert, thus making you come across as more trustworthy to your audience.
Another way that you can earn as an Amazon affiliate is through writing product reviews or comparison posts. These types of content give you the opportunity to tap into a segment that’s looking to purchase a product. In addition to that, another benefit of creating these types of posts is that you’re giving your audience several options. Once they’ve made up their mind with the help of your article or review, they can click on your affiliate links.
It’s also important to work on your website promotion. Not promoting your site can negatively impact your traffic, which can lessen the likelihood of visitors coming across your affiliate links, clicking on them, and making a purchase.
The Amazon Affiliate Program is a potentially lucrative way to generate revenue. It’s more accessible and has a lower barrier of entry, as Amazon affiliates aren’t required to shell out a large sum of money for capital or be a marketing expert. However, it works best for candidates who have already established an online presence and amassed a significant following.
Signing up for the program is also relatively easy and is free. The challenge lies in how you can utilize your online platform and optimize it so you can encourage more visitors to click on your affiliate links and make a qualified purchase you can earn a commission from.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to join Amazon’s Affiliate Program?
Becoming an Amazon Affiliate is free.
Is there a quota I should meet?
There’s no minimum quota or referral requirement that you need to meet before you can start earning commissions.
I run multiple websites or social media channels. Can I still use my Amazon Affiliate links on these channels?
Yes, you may be able to participate as an Amazon Affiliate even with multiple websites or channels. You’d still be able to monitor the performance of your Amazon links on each website. You may contact Amazon’s Associates Customer Service to request the tracking IDs you want to check.
What can I market as an Amazon Affiliate?
As an Amazon Affiliate, you can market any of the three common product types:
The bottom line is, you can choose any product from Amazon’s over 350 million products on offer.
Can I participate even if I don’t live in the US?
Yes, you can join the program wherever you are in the world, as long as your site isn’t violating any intellectual property rights or promoting explicit materials or discrimination.