A Beginner’s Guide to Amazon Associates Affiliate Program

A Beginners 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.

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? 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 tupes 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 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 to and you can start to realise the real 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.

How to Become an Affiliate Marketer for Amazon – 5 Easy Steps

How to Become an Affiliate Marketer for Amazon – 5 Easy Steps

Amazon is the largest marketplace in the world, so it is only natural that people start asking how to become an affiliate marketer for Amazon.  We have racked our brains and have come up with 5 easy steps to getting started and want to share those with you… We will also through in 5 tips to making sure you are successful including some great training and tools that we have used to build up our affiliate marketing business and you can learn how to get started too.

Read moreHow to Become an Affiliate Marketer for Amazon – 5 Easy Steps

How to Make Money with the Amazon Associates Program

How to Make Money with the Amazon Associates Program

Did you know that Amazon started out as a small online book retailer in 1996? It was run from Jeffo Bezo’s garage.

Amazon AssociatesLike most small businesses, Amazon decided to tap into the readers’ love of books to help spread their brand and message.  Instead of spending a fortune on marketing, Amazon paid people a commission when they referred a customer who bought a book from Amazon.  Once the customer bought a book, the referrer got paid their commission.

The Amazon Associates Program was launched in 1998 and changed the face of earning money online.  Starting out the only way of earning a high income was through selling a lot of books – but it was the start of something exciting.

Amazon is now one of the biggest retailers in the world and offers an extensive list of products for you to choose to promote.  Whatever your niche, Amazon will have something that fits the bill.

Whilst it has a low commission rate (4%-8.5%) compared to others out there, it’s extensive library of products makes it very easy to find products to promote and a high customer base that trust Amazon (proven in how many people buy off Amazon).

Like any home-based business that aims to make money online, earning a genuine income with Amazon requires research, time and effort and knowledge around online marketing.

I’ll break down the pros and cons of the Amazon Associates program, as well as some tips for making the most of it too.

Pros of Becoming an Amazon Affiliate

There are several great reasons to join Amazon Associates program, including:

  • Amazon is one of the biggest selling platforms out there reaching a large customer basePros of Amazon Associates
  • Its brand is well-known and trusted
  • There are no thresholds to be accepted into the program (minimum traffic figures, etc.)
  • There is a large catalogue of products you can choose from to promote
  • Amazons suite of tools to help you sell specific items is great
  • It has a good reporting system allowing you to track your progress, see what is selling and getting clicked on
  • You can receive direct deposit payments into your bank account
  • Amazon offers good customer service to its buyers, reducing the risk of having your visitors get annoyed at you if there is a problem.
  • Even if your visitor doesn’t buy the product you referred but buy something else you still earn a commission.

Cons of the Amazon Associates Program

Nothing is ever perfect, including the Amazon affiliate program. Here are a few downsides:

  • The commission rate is low compared to other affiliate programs. If you sell 6 or fewer items a month, your rate is 4%. You can earn up to 8.5%, but that’s achieved by selling more than 3,131 products.
  • Cons of Amazon AssociatesTheir cookies only last 24-hours. (A cookie is the thing that shows you were the one who introduced that buyer). That means if your referral doesn’t buy within 24 hours, you won’t get credit. (However, if the product is added to their cart, the cookie lasts 90 days.)
  • You’re not allowed to send Amazon affiliate links in emails. That includes blog posts that get sent as an email. Since email is an excellent way to send great offers to your readers, this rule is a bit disappointing.
  • If you have a U.S. site and are promoting products in the Amazon U.S. store, you won’t get credit for referring someone who ends up buying the product from outside the country (i.e. Amazon UK).  You would need a separate account for both the US & UK and promote both options to your readers.
  • Payment options are only through direct deposit, check, or Amazon gift card. There is no PayPal option.
  • Minimum pay-out is $100, which isn’t that much if you make lots of sales, but a lot of you’re only earning a few dollars a month.

Getting Set Up as an Amazon Affiliate

Amazon Associates Sign in

Getting started with the Amazon Associates program is free and easy. Here’s how:

  • Signing up by visiting Amazon and filling in the relevant forms
  • Check Out the Rules – for example, it is against the Amazon Associates policy to include Amazon affiliate links in an email.
  • Determine the product(s) you want to promote.  This is easy by searching like you would if you looking to buy a product.
  • Choose how you are going to promote the products – best way is with a niche website that includes helpful content and product reviews (with your affiliate links included).
  • Build Traffic – You need traffic to benefit from any affiliate marketing campaign.  A large steady stream of traffic will increase the revenue opportunity.

Getting the Best Out of Your Affiliate Business

Having been in the affiliate marketing business for a couple of years now, I must point out that there are some key things to consider before just deciding to sign up to an affiliate program and thinking it will become an overnight success.  Amazon is a great partner to have in any affiliate marketing business, but there are some key tips I would like to share to point you in the right direction and ultimately succeed.

  1. An Affiliate Marketing Business will benefit massively from having a website and not just a blog.  It is the foundation of your online business and allows you to build up a base of trust with your future readers.
  2. Competition is high, so choose a niche that you can really get behind and focus on – this will allow you to build up an authority business in a niche you know a lot about.  The readers need to trust that you are there to help them, this will in turn mean they are more likely to follow your recommendations.
  3. Keep it Relevant, if you have chosen the ‘Lose Belly Fat’ niche (a profitable niche), then keep it relevant to that.  The readers want to lose belly fat and want to find a website that helps them with ways to do this.  If you started writing about products that do not relate to this, then it will have a bad effect on your traffic.
  4. Help the Readers.  Helping the readers with problems in your niche, helpful guides, how-to guides.  Helping will be more profitable than selling, trust me.
  5. Choose Products Carefully. Don’t just go for the high-end ticket product due to it being a higher commission rate.  Only promote products you would buy or have already bought.  Choosing the right product will build creditability, choosing the wrong one will turn the readers off.

Maximising Your Sales with Amazon Associates

There are some great ideas for posts you could write to maximise your sales:

  1. Write content for your blog or website about a product available on Amazon.  People are increasingly looking to the web to research a product before buying one.  Keep the product choices relevant to your blog and write an article about it. If your blog is about photography, link to cameras and other photography equipment.
  2. Write Reviews of New Products.  If it is new, people will want to learn more about it before investing in it, write a review about it.
  3. Write about Best-Sellers. You can use the best-sellers list on Amazon, once you have an affiliate sales history you can check your states as to what is a best seller in your niche.
  4. Promote Sales & Special Offers.  Keep an eye out for Amazon special offers (such as black Friday) and promote those products that are relevant to your audience.
  5. Write about or promote related products.  Back to the photography website, it may be about cameras – you could explore related products like camera cases, bags, etc.

Affiliate Marketing is a great way of earning money online and working from home.  But it does take more time and effort than most people realise. Some will start a website, put a load of affiliate links on it and wonder why it isn’t actually working.  There are real people searching online and finding these pages and all they want is help:

  • Help to Understand the Product
  • Which Product is the Best?
  • What Other Options Are There?
  • Which is the Right Product for Them?

Ultimately, the main reason why affiliate marketers do fail, is because they try and rush it and do not treat it like a business.

If you are able to build an online business that helps the reader, providing information and resources that meets their needs and has effective product reviews (based on your experiences) you will find Affiliate Marketing Works.  Amazon is a great partner to work with, but they only provide the tools – You need to put the time and effort into it to make it work.

If you are new to Affiliate Marketing or are struggling to get your Affiliate Marketing Business off the starting blocks then I may know where you can get right help and support.

Getting the right help and support is integral to building up a profitable Affiliate Marketing Business – Wealthy Affiliate is our No.1 Recommended Product and helped me build an online business when I knew nothing about affiliate marketing or an online business.  Read the review and make up your own mind on whether it can help you, but I have to say it was the best thing I could have found when I was looking for ways to earn money online.

If you have any questions about Amazon Associates, or anything else to do with Affiliate Marketing then please leave me a comment below.  I will definitely come back to you with an answer.

Thanks for checking out my post.


Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing Doesn't Have to Be Difficult...

Sign up for a Copy of our Free Affiliate Marketing Blueprint Guide