What Is Amazon Affiliate Marketing? Definition, Requirements, & Startup Process

May 23, 2023

What is Amazon affiliate marketing?

Amazon affiliate marketing is promoting Amazon Marketplace products to earn a commission. Amazon affiliate marketing occurs through the Amazon Associates program. The Amazon Associates program is one of the largest affiliate programs in the world with over 900,000 affiliates, according to Influencer Marketing Hub. Through Amazon Associates, affiliate marketers can generate affiliate links for Amazon products and promote them to their audience. 

What is Amazon?

Amazon is a multinational American Ecommerce and technology company. The company generates the majority of its revenue from online retail product sales and third-party retail Amazon seller services. Amazon’s retail operations take place through the Amazon Marketplace. The Amazon Marketplace is an Ecommerce platform where both Amazon and third-party sellers sell products to Amazon’s 300+ million active customers.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an online business model where third-party marketers promote products for brands to earn commissions for driving pre-specified actions that benefit the brand, like sales. As of 2023, affiliate marketing has a total market value of over $17 billion. Approximately 16% of online orders in the United States come through affiliate marketing, according to Demand Sage. Affiliate marketing falls under the umbrella of digital marketing and is also a type of performance marketing because affiliates only make money when their marketing efforts generate measurable results.

How to work as an affiliate marketer for Amazon?

  1. 1
    Sign up for the Amazon Associates program
  2. 2
    Find Amazon products to promote to your audience
  3. 3
    Create affiliate links for those products to track performance
  4. 4
    Promote affiliate links within the original content of your web property
  5. 5
    Earn commissions when your audience clicks and purchases Amazon products from your links

What are the pros and cons of the Amazon associates affiliate program?

The pros of Amazon affiliate marketing are:

Easy to qualify and start earning affiliate commission

Amazon provides customer support, which helps ensure your affiliate sales go through

Extensive selection of products to choose from

Amazon affiliate product tracking cookies remain active for 90 days if a customer adds it to their cart

Amazon is a reputable company that nearly two-thirds of US consumers have purchased from

The cons of Amazon affiliate marketing are:

The Amazon Associates program is notorious for paying some of the slimmest affiliate commission rates

Unless the product is added to the shoppers cart, Amazon affiliate products only have a 24 hour cookie duration, which is much shorter than the typical period of 30 days most other affiliate networks use

The Amazon Associates program doesn’t support PayPal payments

What are the Amazon affiliate program requirements and rules?

  • Own an active website with original content published within the last 60 days, a mobile app that complies with Amazon’s mobile application policy, or an established social network with at least 500 followers
  • Do not promote your affiliate links in an offline manner or in connection with email, including printed materials, eBooks, private social media messages, or email attachments
  • Do not use any link shortening services, such as Bitly
  • You must incorporate a clear and easy to find affiliate disclosure statement that complies with FTC regulations
  • Do not make any inaccurate or outlandish claims about an Amazon product
  • Do not show Amazon product pricing data unless you have an Amazon approved API to communicate real time pricing and availability
  • Generate at least three qualified sales within 180 days of submitting your application

How long does it take to become an Amazon affiliate?

It takes 5 minutes to become an Amazon affiliate. After you submit your application for the Amazon associates program, you can start generating affiliate links right away. However, if you want to maintain access to your account and make money online from Amazon affiliate marketing long-term, you need to adhere to Amazon’s policies and fulfill the program requirements. After you have driven your first three sales, Amazon will review your affiliate marketing activities to verify you are in compliance and give you full access to the Amazon Associates program.

Can you make money with Amazon affiliate marketing?

Amazon affiliates get paid 1% to 20% per sale, depending on the product category. Therefore, your income potential is heavily based on how much traffic you can generate and what percent of that traffic clicks on your affiliate links and converts to sales. You can earn anywhere from $100 to $20,000/month as an Amazon affiliate, according to HubSpot. Unfortunately, Amazon does not pay for clicks like other affiliate networks with a CPA payment structure offer.

How does Amazon affiliate pay you?

Amazon affiliate does not pay weekly. Amazon pays affiliates a monthly commission and pays that commission out approximately 60 days after the end of the month it was accrued. You can elect to have Amazon send you a check, direct deposit to your bank account, or send you an Amazon gift card. 

Whats the difference between Amazon Influencer and Amazon affiliate?

The difference between Amazon Influencer and Amazon affiliate is that the Amazon Influencer program is an extension of the Amazon Associate program that focuses specifically on influencers. An influencer is someone who has a meaningful social following through social media channels like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. Like standard Amazon affiliates, creators in the Amazon Influencer program earn affiliate commissions. However, Amazon Influencers also get their own page on Amazon with a custom URL to recommend products to followers.

How to start making money online with Amazon affiliate marketing? 

1. Create an online traffic source to target a specific niche

What is the first step to start amazon affiliate marketing? Choosing a niche and creating content to attract an audience within that niche! Choosing a niche allows you to tailor your content for a specific audience and promote relevant products to them. For example, you could target amateur photographers and create content that promotes beginner friendly photography equipment sold on Amazon. 

Furthermore, Amazon affiliate marketing focuses on organic traffic sources and having a specific niche is essential for SEO. The internet is an extremely competitive place. Search engines like Google are designed to show the must relevant and authoritative content to their users. Creating and publishing consistent content within a specific niche allows you to show the search engine you are a high quality source of information for people searching keywords within the niche, thus increasing your search engine visibility for relevant niche keywords.

After choosing from one of the best affiliate marketing niches, you need to decide what forms of content you want to make to target that niche audience and start producing content to generate traffic. Blogging is a popular choice for Amazon affiliates and contributes over 64% of all affiliate marketing traffic, according to affiliate platform Refersion. Video content creation is also immensely popular these days, with platforms like TikTok and YouTube drawing immense audiences. 

2. Sign up for the Amazon Associates program

Navigate to the Amazon affiliate program sign up page and click “Sign up”. If you already have an Amazon customer account, you’ll be prompted to login to create your connected Amazon Associate account. If you don’t have an Amazon customer account, you’ll need to create one in order to start promoting Amazon products. 

3. Enter your Amazon Associates account information

Completing your Amazon Associates account information entails providing your name, address, phone number, and confirming who will receive the account proceeds as the payee.  

4. List your traffic sources

Now you’ll need to notify Amazon of all your traffic sources where you plan to promote your Amazon affiliate links. 

5. Complete your Amazon Associates profile

In the profile section of the sign up process, you need to enter your preferred Associates Store ID and answer some basic information about the kind of content you publish. An Amazon Store ID is essentially an account number that Amazon uses to track and reward a content creator for affiliate sales. To complete this page and finish creating your Amazon Associates account, accept the Associates program operating agreement

6. Enter your payment and tax information

After completing the Amazon Associate application, you are granted access to Associates Central. Now is a good time to complete your payment and tax information so you can start receiving affiliate commissions as soon as you meet the Amazon Associates program requirements. 

7. Generate affiliate links for relevant products

From within your account homepage, you can start generating Amazon affiliate links by choosing “Product Links” under the Product Linking tab. As an Amazon Associate, you have three different amazon affiliate link options at your disposal, including:

  • Favorite destination links if you want to direct your audience to popular Amazon pages
  • Search result links if you want to direct your audience to a specific search results page
  • Any page links if you want to direct your audience to a specific Amazon product page

You can also obtain an Amazon product link directly from the Amazon Marketplace with SiteStripe. When you become an Amazon Associate, Amazon adds the SiteStripe widget above the browser in your Amazon account. Using SiteStripe on an Amazon product page, you can generate:

  • Amazon link to product page
  • Custom HTML to embed product image link on website
  • Custom HTML to embed product image with text link on website
  • Custom HTML for Native Shopping Ad banner
  • Sharable special link for Facebook or Twitter 

8. Promote affiliate links within your original content 

Now you just need to put relevant affiliate links in front of your audience. The higher the internet traffic your internet content generates, the more eyeballs that see your Amazon affiliate links and the more affiliate revenue you're likely to generate. You can update your Amazon affiliate links as often as you like to determine what combination of content, Amazon product, and link style does the best to optimize your Amazon Associates revenue. Those looking for additional support for starting an Amazon affiliate business can consider the Journey to the Center of Amazon course.

5 Effective tools for Amazon affiliate marketing

  1. 1
    AAWP - This WordPress plugin is specifically for Amazon affiliates. AAWP is rich with a range of tools and features, including automated product lists, dynamic text links, and different variations of product boxes. 
  2. 2
    Google Analytics - Google offers this popular web analytics tool to help you track engagement on your site and see who clicks on your Amazon affiliate links. It also shows you the duration and where visitors are spending time on your website.
  3. 3
    Ahrefs - This comprehensive SEO tool allows you to perform keyword research for Google, YouTube, and Amazon FBA. Ahrefs is a popular option for Amazon affiliates looking to boost their search engine ranking.
  4. 4
    Buffer - For Amazon Influencers and affiliates that leverage social media channels, Buffer is a scheduling tool that helps you publish content at the most effective times to maximize engagement metrics.
  5. 5
    Grammarly - Effective copywriting is a key component of successful affiliate marketing. Grammarly is a writing assistant tool that can help publish high quality Amazon affiliate content by avoiding spelling and grammar errors. 

What are some other examples of affiliate programs available like Amazon affiliate?

Some examples of affiliate programs available like Amazon affiliate, include:

How does Amazon Associates program compare to other affiliate networks?

The Amazon Associates program compares to other affiliate networks as being one of the easiest to get started but offering one of the lowest affiliate commissions around. Whereas an affiliate marketer in the Amazon affiliate marketing program can expect at most a 20% commission, other affiliate networks like ClickBank affiliate marketing offer up to 90% commissions! If you run an Amazon affiliate site, don’t expect to make big money like other affiliates who engage in high ticket affiliate marketing are able to.

Amazon affiliate marketing FAQs

What social networks does Amazon Associates accept?

  • Facebook open group and fan pages
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Twitch.tv

What are the highest paying Amazon affiliate products?

The highest paying Amazon affiliate product is Amazon Game with a 20% commission. Products in the Luxury Beauty, Luxury Stores Beauty, and Amazon Explore categories are the next highest paying, offering 10% commission.

Can you sell anything on Amazon as an affiliate?

You can sell anything on Amazon as an affiliate. If the product is selling on the Amazon marketplace, you can generate an affiliate link and promote the product to your audience.

How do I start Amazon affiliate marketing on Instagram?

  1. Choose a niche to focus on and create an Instagram profile name relevant to that niche
  2. Upgrade your account to a professional Instagram account
  3. Write a compelling bio with a disclaimer that you’re an Amazon affiliate
  4. Publish high-quality content within your niche to grow your following
  5. Promote relevant Amazon products when applicable to generate Amazon affiliate commission

Who can qualify to be an Amazon influencer?

To join the Amazon Influencer program, you need to have a YouTube channel, Facebook business, Instagram business, or TikTok account. Amazon assesses Influencer applications by looking at follower count and other social engagement metrics. You need around 1,000 to 10,000 followers to be an Amazon influencer. Although Amazon does not explicitly outline follower requirements, Amazon SaaS Seller Snap recommends having at least 1,000 to get accepted into the program.

How does Amazon affiliate marketing compare to local lead generation?

Amazon affiliate marketing is promoting Amazon products, while local lead generation is promoting services. Both Amazon affiliate marketing and local lead generation entail acting as the middleman between a business with an offer and its potential customer. These business models make money by instigating transactions between two parties using web properties. 

However, many find it easier to make a solid income with local lead generation. The combination of the affiliate marketing industry being very saturated and Amazons affiliate program offering low commissions are a major challenge for Amazon affiliates. It can take a few years for a website owner to generate enough consistent traffic to be able to earn a few thousand dollars a month in Amazon affiliate commission. On the other hand, a local lead generation site can start generating between $500 to $3,000 in just 6 months.

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