A Beginner’s Guide to Amazon Associates Affiliate Program

Everyone seems to know about Amazon, it is a great place for buyers and sellers… But it is also a great platform for affiliate marketers too…

There are people making thousands of passive income per month just from Amazon, and they are doing it by promoting other people’s products.  That is the beauty of Affiliate Marketing!

We have created this Amazon Associates Guide to help you learn the essential knowledge you will need to get started with Amazon’s affiliate program and start earning your own commissions online.

Table of Contents

What is the Amazon Associates Affiliate Program?

an image of the amazon associates logo

Amazon is the largest marketplace online, and is one of the largest E-commerce platforms too.  It is an ideal avenue for people looking to buy or sell anything online.

This benefits anyone wanting to take advantage of affiliate marketing, as the Amazon Associates program allows you to promote any of the products that are sold through the platform and earn commissions from doing just that.

In simple terms, that is just how affiliate marketing works.  You make money online by selling other people’s products.

(Click here to see our step-by-step guide for affiliate marketing and why it is the best way to monetise your passion or hobby).

Who is Amazon Associates For?

It is free to sign up with the Amazon Associates program, although you do need to have a website to be able to join.

It is open worldwide, although there are a few exceptions where Amazon is not supported in some regions.

If you are interested in making money online, then you can leverage the Amazon Associates program, but like we said you are going to need a website.

If you don’t currently have a website right now, then you might want to check out our post on how to create a website for beginners

Know that it is really easy to get your own website these days, in fact the guide we just mentioned will show you how you can have your own website up and running in a matter of minutes without any need to know coding.

You shouldn’t feel like you cannot make money online these days.  With our guide on how to create a free website and a free Amazon Associates account you will be well on your way to making money online!!

Just follow our lead and you will have a website and a route to making money.

Why Choose Amazon's Affiliate Program? Here are The Top 4 Benefits

Let’s just go through a few reasons why Amazon offers the ideal affiliate program for those looking at making money from affiliate marketing:

People Trust & Buy from Amazon

I am sure most people will either know what Amazon is or have made a purchase from the Amazon marketplace.  It is a brand that people know and trust and these are backed up from these 3 statistics we found:

“80% of US Amazon Shoppers purchase something at least once a month” – Source

“40% of Amazon Prime members spend over $1,000 a year on Amazon” – Business Insider

“Most Amazon consumers rely on reviews when deciding which product to buy” – WordStream

If we consider the first two, this shows and proves that many people trust Amazon and are also spending more and more on the marketplace.

But the last one is the one that proves that Affiliate Marketing is going nowhere.  Affiliate Marketing is about reviewing and recommending products and a lot of consumers are relying on recommendations (reviews) to help make their purchasing decisions.

It makes sense, when you shop online you cannot see or feel the product, so you rely on what other people make of it first. 

That is the opportunity that presents itself from Affiliate Marketing.

Amazon Sells Everything

Often people ask what niche can I choose for my affiliate marketing business, well the answer is anything.  That is why we often suggest people choose a hobby and we can pretty much guarantee that Amazon will sell something related to that hobby or niche.

Their marketplace is huge and as an Amazon Associate, you can promote anything that they sell through their marketplace.

Regardless of your niche, there will be products available for you to promote and make money from.

Amazon is Great at Selling

If you have ever been on a product page at Amazon, you will see how good they are at selling to you.  Not just the product you were going to buy, but the other ways they get you to buy more.

I admit, I often get caught up in the frequently bought together section and end up buying related products.

They have refined their platform and sales pages to achieve maximum results.  Check out the below sales page and you will see what we mean:

a product page on amazon including relevant upsells

They are always looking at ways to improve their platform and keep their place at as the top E-commerce platform in the world.

It all makes for Amazon being great at selling, and this is only a good thing for Affiliates.

You Earn Commissions from all Purchases (24-Hr Cookies)

Another benefit of the Amazon Associate program is that you are not only rewarded for the products that you promote.

If your visitor goes through your affiliate link, then you will earn commissions on any products that they purchase within 24 hours.

It counts even if they do not buy the product that you are promoting too.

So, if you are promoting a coffee machine and they visit your website, follow your affiliate link and go to Amazon and buy that specific coffee machine you earn a commission.

If they go through your affiliate link, ignore the coffee machine but buy another coffee machine that is displayed on Amazon you earn the commission.

It even works if the visitor goes through your link, decides they aren’t ready to purchase a coffee machine but go and buy a high-end TV you will earn the commission.

As long as they make the purchases within 24 hours of clicking your link, you will earn commissions from anything and everything they buy.

The Amazon Associates' Commission Structure

When you compare Amazon’s commission structure there are a couple of disadvantages with it.

It has a low commission rate and the cookies only last for 24 hours.

Whilst people will compare it to other programs that offer much higher commission rates and longer cookies, there are still plenty of affiliate marketers who are earning thousands a month from Amazon.

Here are the different commission rates:

a list of the different commission rates within Amazon's affiliate program

The commission levels do seem pretty low, however there are still many people who are making hundreds and thousands of dollars from Amazon.

I think there are 2 main reason why this is:

  1. People trust Amazon over other marketplaces. People are more willing to handover their money to Amazon because they trust Amazon.  This benefits Affiliates as people are less likely to just walk away and not buy stuff via your affiliate link.
  2. The sheer number of products Amazon sells. There are plenty of independent affiliate programs out there, so any niche is covered.  But because of Amazon having such a wide range and is less difficult for a new affiliate marketer to join, then it makes sense to start here.

But the main thing to know is that if you can drive enough traffic to Amazon via your affiliate links, you will make money.

How to Apply to the Amazon Associates Program

  1. Sign up with Amazon Associates here.
  2. Add your website URL and fill in your website details
  3. Enter your phone number to verify your identity

That completes the initial sign up.  There are a few more hoops to go through, but the video below will give you a more thorough guide:

After completing the initial sign up process, you can start to explore the Amazon Associates dashboard.  But know, that you will not receive any commissions, until you complete your tax information.  Here is another video to show you how, this video also is good if you are not from the US too:

There is also another factor you need to consider here too.  If you sign up for the Amazon.com associates account, then that allows you to earn commissions from sales in the US.

So, if you are getting traffic from other parts of the world, you need to sign up to the different countries version too.

For example, we live the UK.  If you sign up for the UK associate program, you can automatically sign up for the European programs too.

But as most of the traffic to our other site is from the US, we also needed to sign up to the US program. You would need to also potentially sign up with the Canadian store, etc.

You would need to consider where your traffic comes from.  There are different programs for all the different countries.


Not Eligible for Amazon Associates?

You also need to be prepared to not get accepted by Amazon associates.  They get a lot of applications to join their program and not everyone is eligible (unfortunately).

Below are some of the most common reasons why you may not be able to take a slice of this huge pie.

Application Rejected

If your application is rejected it is often down to one of these reasons:

#1 Not Enough Content

Traffic is the main ingredient to making sales from Affiliate Marketing, so if you have a brand-new website with very little content on it, then you are highly likely to get rejected from Amazon, let alone any other affiliate program.

This doesn’t mean it is the end of the road, but if you have been rejected because of a lack of content, then the answer is to create some more high-quality content.

WE recommend that you have at least some basic content and structure in place on your website before you apply.

Write some high-quality content related to your niche before you start writing product reviews that you want to add affiliate links to.  If you have some high-quality posts that are offering insight into your niche and they show you are building an authority website around that niche, then you are more likely to get accepted into the program.

Most people get rejected because they have a 2-day old website with no content on it, or very little content.  That is a recipe for disaster when it comes to being accepted.

If you have been rejected or do get rejected, it just means you need to go and create some more content and then you are able to reapply.

Luckily, it doesn’t mean that you can’t reapply, you just need to meet their need for more content.

If you think about the people who are going to click on your links, they are looking for a helpful and decent website.  So, show Amazon that is what you are offering, and you will be accepted.

#Too Many Ads

Another reason why you might get rejected is if your website is littered with too many advertisements.

Having too many ads will lose the focus of your website, it will make your website look like a page of spam.  Your audience doesn’t want to see that, and Amazon won’t either…

Unsupported Regions

There are also some regions that are not available to sign up to Amazon Associates.

For example, certain states in the US are actually banned from having an Amazon Associates account due to certain tax law issues.  It doesn’t actually list them on the Amazon FAQ page though.

But you might find out when you sign up if you happen to be in one of the affected states.  If you one of the affected people, know that there are other opportunities which we will get into, shortly…

For more information about Amazon Associates eligibility, then check out this post.

What Are The Alternatives to Amazon?

It might not be the time for you to join Amazon, or have been rejected to try again later, but know there are also some good alternatives to Amazon out there too.

There are 2 main types of affiliate program – an affiliate network and a private affiliate program.

Affiliate networks are platforms that manage affiliate programs for companies.  It gives an affiliate market access to a large number of different affiliate programs all in one place.

For example, we use Aweber for our email marketing campaigns.  They don’t manage their own affiliate program, they use CJ Affiliate by Conversant to manage their affiliate program for them.

On the other hand, a private affiliate programs are offered directly by the seller/company on their own website.

Amazon would be an example of a private affiliate program, as they manage it themselves.

Other Affiliate Networks

There are quite a number of well-known affiliate networks.  Depending on your niche, you will find the right network for you, or you might find that you end up with an account at each.  But the main thing to know is that when you sign up to any of the ones below, you will get access to a high number of products or services to promote.

  1. Awin
  2. ShareASale
  3. CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formally known as Commission Junction)
  4. Rakuten Marketing
  5. Pepperjam
  6. ClickBank (Digital Products)

Take the time to check them out and find which platform is more suitable to yourself and your niche.

Private Affiliate Programs

The alternative to signing up to an affiliate network is to research and look for private affiliate programs in your niche.  You will normally find that they have a higher commission rate, because they are not having to pay a network to manage their affiliate program.

The simplest way to find program affiliate programs is to use Google.

Just search “Your KEYWORD + Affiliate Program”, you will then find results for available affiliate programs.

In-Text Advertising Networks

Another alternative is to us In-text advertising networks.  These are tools that help connect marketers to merchants to create a win-win situation for both the marketer and the merchant.

There are platforms like Viglink, where you can join for free and get access to over 30,000 affiliate program opportunities in one platform.

There are also places like Skimlinks and Infolinks that offer a similar service.

You will find that you can sign up with many different affiliate networks and affiliate programs, all for FREE.  Affiliates are considered an asset, because they benefit from marketers like you to promote their products.

You will need to pass certain criteria to be accepted, but the main ingredient is a good website that is offering helpful content.

Once you are accepted, there will often be some training and guidance provided to help you get the most out of their program.


Amazon’s affiliate program benefits a huge number of affiliate marketers.  Many are making a 6 or 7 figure just from Amazon alone.

Then you can factor in the other affiliate opportunities too, and you can start to realise the real full potential behind affiliate marketing.

If you are serious about making money online, then you cannot waste this opportunity.

It isn’t going to be an easy route, it is going to take hard work but that could be said of achieving anything in life, right?

But if you take this seriously and put the effort you, the rewards are definitely worth it.

Imagine, you could be in a position to quit your job if you want to, make passive income whilst you sleep and maybe travel the world… All of these is possible by leveraging Amazon Associates.

Affiliate Marketing is our top recommended business model and has put so many people in the position we just spoke about.  If you are serious about making this work and want a step-by-step guide that will help you build a solid foundation for your affiliate marketing business, then you need to check out this AWESOME GUIDE!!

Hopefully you have found our guide useful, if you have any questions or want some help then all you need to do is write them in the comments below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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8 thoughts on “A Beginner’s Guide to Amazon Associates Affiliate Program”

  1. Thanks for this informative piece on Amazon Affiliates. It will be very useful for those planning an affiliate campaign to actually make enough money to warrant the work invested. My goals for Internet domination are a bit different but I was still going to use Amazon Affiliates until I listened to a webinar about it and then I decided that the amount I could make on what I was thinking of selling was just not worth it. So I’ve ticked Amazon Affiliates off my to do list because we have to focus on what is going to bring us the biggest bang for our buck. If I was going to focus on AA I would be looking at much bigger ticket items with higher commission and really target in on promoting those. Thanks again for the post, really helpful.

    • Hi Debs,

      thanks for checking out our guide.  Everyone will have a different path, those with more knowledge and experience are able to use their marketing experience to go after bigger commissions.  But most beginners benefit from the ease of Amazon and as it has such a big and trust-filled brand it definitely helps when people are learning the skills they need.

      All the best


  2. Thank you so much for writing such an informative post. I have tried and failed with Amazon 2 times now but they are the best affiliate to be in. Like you said it has not been an easy route for me as well. Amazon rejected my application after 180 days, I did not make enough sales to maintain my account. (but I re-apply again though) 

    Hands down, Amazon is still a great affiliate to join but maybe if your site is new and you do not have enough traffic yet go for share a sale or ebay. 🙂

    • Hi Nattanee,

      thanks for checking out our guide.  It can be frustrating when they remove your account after 6 months if you do not make a sale, but it kind of makes sense as I bet they are inundated with applications and want to sift through the people who are not really serious.  They make it really easy to reapply and only the serious people will do that, and create the content to help them make sales.

      It needs to work out for you both.  But if you are struggling with traffic, as that is what will get you sales, then you might want to check out our guide to affiliate marketing.  it can give you a great insight into how to generate quality traffic for you to stop having to keep reapplying.  

      All the best


  3. Hi John, very good post. I am currently studying affiliate marketing. And I can say that being an Amazon associate is a good step to make money. And thank you very much for every guidance and step by step that you teach.

    In my opinion, the product becomes one of the important pillars for an affiliate marketer. Amazon which has a strong brand image of course also has a quality product so to sell their products, is a good step right?
    And by the way, if I am a NON-US Citizen, can I also apply to be an associate? Or are there certain countries that are not allowed by Amazon?

    And one more thing, is it necessary to have a website to be an Amazon associate?

    Thank you for your help!

    • Hi Kylie,

      thanks for checking out our guide.  Amazon is a great starting place for many affiliate marketers.  It is good for when you are testing the water around affiliate marketing, and learning your marketing techniques before expanding into other independent affiliate programs.

      There are certain countries areas that are not eligible for Amazon, but when you apply with your details it will tell you as the FAQ page doesn’t specifically detail them.  But it again depends on where your target audience is. If you are getting a lot of traffic from Canada, then you would apply for that program and not the US one.

      As to your other question, as we said in the post you will require a website to sign up with Amazon.  If you want to learn how to create one really easily, then check out this guide and you will have one up and running in a matter of minutes.

      All the best


  4. This post has come at the perfect time for me for my new niche website which is going to explore memoirs and autobiographical works.

    So, say I write a review about a certain book which is globally known so I want traffic to come from everywhere (I’m also in the UK) and I’ve signed up for all Amazon’s countries they operate in, how would I know which country like to place in my post? If I put in my UK affiliate link and someone reads by post in USA and chooses to make a purchase, how will I collect the commission on that without the USA link?

    Also if I have changed email addresses and my Amazon email is redundant should I open new accounts?

    • Hi Dave,

      thanks for checking out our guide.  There is a plugin you can install.  The plugin will capture them in their country and make sure you are recognised for the right affiliate commission.  Here is a link to the WordPress directory, it gives you a little more detail. 

      But it is ideal if you are getting traffic from all over the world.  Here is the link:


      If your amazon email is redundant, then you might be able to contact them.  But it sounds like you might need to open up a new one.

      Hope that helps Dave?



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