Is Amazon Affiliate Marketing Profitable in 2024? | 4 Expert Tips for High Profitability

May 10, 2024

Amazon affiliate marketing is not profitable in 2024 for many affiliates because Amazon pays some of the lowest commissions in the industry at just 1% to 4% in most cases. As such, Amazon affiliate commissions don’t always cover the costs of content creation and purchasing products to review.

For example, one Amazon affiliate using YouTube to promote affiliate links says that they make just $50 to $100/month from Amazon affiliate links on 1.6 million video views per year. Another says they make between $50 to $150/month on around 100K monthly video views.

Considering that the average price for the most popular Amazon products is $142.74, according to an Amazon pricing study by SEMRush, these Amazon affiliates likely aren’t even covering the cost of buying one Amazon product to review on their YouTube channel with their monthly earnings from the Amazon Associate program. That’s not even considering their costs for content creation, such as paying for video editing software and film equipment. 

Even so, Amazon affiliate marketing can be profitable for those who already have a large audience on the internet or those in higher value niches like tech who can earn substantially more for Amazon purchases. 

Stevie Sells was able to generate $53.99 in Amazon affiliate commissions in just 7 days by creating meme style posts and publishing them to a variety of social network networks he had already accumulated large audiences for. 

Even when Amazon affiliate marketing is profitable, there seem to be better options with higher profitability for many creators. An Amazon affiliate who generates $200 to $300 in Amazon affiliate income each month notes that they make substantially higher profit margins by selling their most popular Amazon offers directly to their audience instead of accepting the low commission through the Amazon affiliate program. 

An alternative online business model with substantially higher profit margins than the Amazon affiliate program is local lead generation. Local lead generation entails building websites that attract customers for local business owners. Each website can generate upwards of 90% profit margin because website costs are low and business owners will pay $500 to $3,000 a month for the high quality leads that organic marketing attracts. 

In the following article, we discuss the profitability of Amazon affiliate marketing and the factors that determine your profit potential when promoting products through this popular affiliate network. 

How profitable is Amazon affiliate marketing?

Amazon affiliate marketing is not very profitable. Although you can earn up to a 20% commission, most affiliates only earn between just a 1% to 4% commission rate. The Amazon affiliate commission rate that you earn depends on which product category you promote. For example, if you have a blog about dogs and promote products from Amazon’s Pet Products category, you earn a 3% commission rate. If you promote a $30 dog bed, you’ll only earn $0.90 for the sale! Or, say you have a website that compares the best laptops on the market. With Amazon’s 2.5% commission payout on PC products, you would only earn $50 by selling a $2,000 laptop. 

Was Amazon affiliate marketing more profitable previously?

Amazon affiliate marketing was more profitable previously. On April 21st, 2020, Amazon slashed the commission rates of some of the most popular product categories in its affiliate program. For example, affiliates promoting products in the furniture, home, home improvement, lawn & garden, and pet products saw their commissions fall 5%, from 8% down to just 3%. These were considerable decreases that caused many Amazon affiliates to consider whether it’s still worth promoting Amazon affiliate links.

What determines how profitable you are with Amazon affiliate marketing?

Your traffic sources determine how profitable you are with Amazon affiliate marketing. If you have a free traffic source that generates many clicks on your Amazon affiliate links, you will be very profitable with the Amazon Associates program. On the other hand, if you use a paid traffic source but don’t generate many Amazon affiliate sales, your Amazon affiliate profits will be low, and potentially even negative. Therefore, your traffic source, or combination thereof, play the biggest role in determining whether you're profitable with Amazon affiliate marketing. 

What are common traffic sources for Amazon affiliate marketing and how do they compare?

  • Website - Web traffic, like from a blog or niche website, makes up 64.48% of affiliate marketing traffic, according to Zippia. Although setting up and maintaining a website can cost anywhere from a few hundred to $5,000+/year, it’s often worth it. Websites can establish substantial, long-term consistent traffic by using SEO. Your website stays on the internet as long as you keep your website active, so you can earn passive income from affiliate links in your content long after publishing it. 
  • Social media - Social media is a great place to promote Amazon affiliate products because it's where the majority of people are spending their time on the internet, with users averaging 2 hours and 31 minutes daily across social media platform options, according to TechJury. Social media channels like YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram have many of the same benefits as using web properties like the ability to use SEO, but are typically completely free to use. However, social media can be incredibly competitive because there is a low barrier to entry. Furthermore, product linking can be more complicated because you can’t embed links into the content like you can on a website. Instead, you typically have to direct the user to go to description or bio to click on the affiliate link.
  • Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) - PPC advertising channels like Google Ads and Facebook Ads only generate traffic when you pay for it. Although you can’t use PPC advertising to drive traffic directly to an Amazon affiliate link, you can use them to drive traffic to your Amazon affiliate website, where you embed your Amazon affiliate links. However, using PPC usually isn’t recommended for Amazon affiliates because Amazon’s low commission payouts make it nearly impossible to be profitable when running ads.
  • Email marketing - Email marketing is often recommended for affiliate marketing because it enables you to target specific segments of your audience with relevant offers. However, using Amazon affiliate links directly in email campaigns is against the Amazon Associate program rules. Even so, you can still use email marketing in your marketing strategy by linking your readers to a landing page or website page with your Amazon affiliate links instead of product linking directly in the email itself. Email marketing tools like MailChimp can cost anywhere from $0 to $100+/month depending on the size of your contact list and amount of emails you send out. 

How long does it take to become profitable with Amazon affiliate marketing?

It can take anywhere from 1 week to 1 year or more to become profitable with Amazon affiliate marketing, depending on your traffic situation. If you already have an established traffic source like a social media following or blog you’ve been working on for many years, you can start generating income from your Amazon affiliate links almost instantly. However, if you’re just getting started in affiliate marketing, it can take a few years to establish a consistent traffic source to promote Amazon affiliate products to. In that case, you won’t be profitable until your Amazon affiliate sales overcome the resources you put into your chosen traffic sources. 

For example, say you spend $500 to set up a website and pay a copywriter $1,500 to write some product review articles. Here, you wouldn’t be able to consider yourself profitable with Amazon affiliate marketing until you generate over $2,000 in commissions. When considering a typical Amazon affiliate commission rate of 4%, you would have to generate over $50,000 of product sales for Amazon before you would be able to call yourself a profitable Amazon affiliate marketer. 

How do you start affiliate marketing with Amazon for beginners in 2023?

1. Establish a traffic source 

Before you can promote any affiliate product on Amazon, you first need to establish an organic traffic source. Amazon requires you to list out all the organic traffic sources where you plan to promote Amazon product links when signing up for their program. Some of the most popular organic traffic options for an Amazon affiliate partner are YouTube videos, blog posts, Pinterest pins, and TikTok short-form videos. It really doesn’t matter how much traffic you’re currently generating, Amazon just wants to ensure your traffic methods adhere to their affiliate program rules. 

2. Sign up for the Amazon Associate program

Once you have at least one traffic source with some content activity, head to the Amazon affiliate program signup page. Start by completing your account information, including information like the payee name, your address, and phone number. 

Next enter your web properties like your blog or YouTube channel. You can also enter you mobile apps and Alexa Skill URLs if you have those and plan to promote through those channels.

Finally, create your profile by choosing your preferred Associates Store ID and letting Amazon know what kind of content you create.

3. Promote your Amazon affiliate links

After you finish applying for Amazons affiliate program, you’ll be able to start generating Amazon affiliate links and promoting products. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve been accepted into the program. Once you submit your application for the program, you have 180 days to generate 3 qualified Amazon affiliate sales before you can get approved as an Amazon Associate. If you can generate the 3 sales, Amazon fully reviews your application and verifies that your traffic sources comply with their rules before making a decision.

4 Expert tips for high profitability with Amazon affiliate marketing

1. Focus on traffic

It's hard to make money from Amazon affiliate. Amazon’s low commission payouts mean you need do bring in a substantial amount of traffic in order to make a living wage. For example, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the Making Sense of Cents blog is often considered one of the top Amazon affiliates. Her blog brings in around $4,000 to $5,000/month from Amazon affiliate income alone, but it takes upwards of $600,000 monthly visitors to generate those results. To optimize your traffic potential, you can leverage a variety of traffic sources to attract a larger audience. 

2. Choose a lucrative niche

Not all affiliate marketing niches are created equally, some are better for making money than others. For example, a niche like PC gaming is very lucrative. The online PC gaming market is worth around $42 billion, according to Statista, so it's clear people are willing to spend money on the hobby. Furthermore, you can earn some of the highest commission payouts on Amazon by selling gaming niche products like gaming computers and video games. In fact, if you promote Amazon’s own line of games, you can earn the highest commission, as the Amazon Game product category pays out a platform topping 20% commission rate. 

3. Write like a copywriter

Standard content writing can attract traffic to your affiliate content, but if you want to sell, you need to use high quality copywriting. Copywriting is persuasive writing that gets people to take action by clicking on your affiliate link and buying the Amazon product that you’re recommending. Even if your chosen traffic source is video content on TikTok or YouTube, you'll still need to use copywriting principles in your video scripts like a hook that gets viewers to continue watching your video and an effective call to action that pushes them to click on your affiliate link and buy the Amazon product. 

4. Choose a quality hosting service

If you choose to promote your Amazon affiliate links through a website, it’s essential to choose a high-quality hosting service. Although you may be tempted to choose a cheaper web hosting option when setting up your website like BlueHost’s shared hosting plan, don’t do it. According to Think with Google, mobile sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load are abandoned by 53% of potential visitors. Therefore, it’s often worth spending the extra money for a higher quality hosting service like SiteGround to ensure more visitors reach your website and affiliate links.

What are the highest paying Amazon affiliate products?

  • Massage chairs - You can find massage chairs selling for $7,000+ on Amazon. With a 3% commission payout for the furniture category, you can as much as $210 from this product.

  • Diamond jewelry - Diamond jewelry, like a pair of 4 carat diamond earings, can sell for as much as $60,000+ on Amazon. When considering Amazon’s 4% commission rate for Jewelry products, that’s potentially $2,400 in commissions from a single sale.
  • Autographed sports memorabilia - Some autographed sports items, such as a rare 1989 Joe DiMaggio Baseball Card, sell for as much as $10,00,000 on Amazon! Although this falls under the Fine Art Category and Amazon caps commission payouts for Fine Art products at $200, this is still one of the highest paying affiliate products.
  • Gaming stations - Gaming stations sell for as much as $19,000+ on Amazon. The Amazon Home product category pays out a 3% commission, so you can make as much as $570+ by selling expensive gaming stations. 
  • Espresso machines - You can earn $55+ by promoting $1800+ espresso machines in the Amazon Home category.
  • Gaming PCs - Gaming PCs can cost up to $4,000+ on Amazon, with affiliates earning around $100 by promoting these items from Amazon’s PC category.

How does the Amazon Associates program compare to other affiliate networks?

The Amazon Associates program compares to other affiliate networks as a good option for beginners. Amazon Associates is easy to join and start promoting affiliate links because Amazon doesn’t require you to have a large traffic source or proven experience like other affiliate networks do. Is Amazon affiliate program worth it? Yes, it can be worth it if you continuously generate high affiliate commissions. Furthermore, approximately 66% of US shoppers have bought something from Amazon, so it’s a trusted company that people are comfortable buying through. However, Amazon does pay some of the lowest affiliate commissions on the internet, so experienced affiliates often look for more profitable affiliate networks.

Which affiliate networks are more profitable than Amazon Associate?

  • CJ affiliate - Commission Junction is free to join and typically pays between 5% to 10% in commissions depending on the brand you partner with. 
  • ClickBank - ClickBank is free to join and offers some of the highest commission rates of any affiliate network, with some programs paying up to 90% commissions. 
  • eBay Partner Network - The eBay Partner Network only pays up to a 4% commission. However, this program is only for eBay sellers promoting their own product link. When considering a typical eBay seller profit margin of at least 20% and the affiliate commission, the eBay partner network offers higher profit margins than Amazon. 

How profitable is the affiliate marketing industry in general?

The affiliate marketing industry is very profitable in general and continues to grow in profitability each year. As of 2024, the global affiliate marketing industry generates over $17 billion in affiliate marketing revenue, according to Kinsta. The affiliate marketing worth in the United States is over $6 billion alone.

Is affiliate marketing scam or legit? Affiliate marketing is legit. In fact, affiliate marketing is especially effective for brands because they only pay when marketing initiatives like sales or sign-ups are actually achieved. Therefore, it’s no surprise that a survey by affiliate platform AWIN found that 17% of brands plan to spend 80% to 100% of their entire marketing budget on affiliate marketing. These affiliate marketing statistics show that affiliate marketing spending is clearly on the rise and promoting products through an affiliate platform like Amazon Associate has a promising future.

Amazon affiliate marketing FAQs

How much do Amazon affiliates make a month?

Amazon affiliates make between $0 and $25,000 per month, according to Thirsty Affiliate. You can make a lot with Amazon affiliate, potentially up to $300,000K per year, based on this figure. However, you could also make $0 because affiliate marketers only get paid when they produce results.

Does Amazon affiliate pay daily?

Amazon affiliate does not pay daily. Instead, Amazon affiliate pays monthly. 

How profitable is Amazon's affiliate marketing program for Instagram influencers?

Amazon affiliate marketing can be very profitable for Instagram influencers because Instagram is free to use. Instagram influencers can earn between 1% and 20% commissions by promoting Amazon products through Instagram.

How long do you have to earn Amazon commissions after a visitor clicks your affiliate link?

You have 24 hours to earn Amazon commissions after a visitor clicks your affiliate. Although Amazon has a universal tracking cookie in that you can earn commissions even if someone clicks on your Amazon link and buys something else, they need to buy something within a day in order for you to earn money.

What is the difference between Amazon Associate and Amazon Influencer?

The difference between Amazon Associate and Amazon Influencer is that Amazon Influencer is a special program within Amazon Associate that allows you to have your own store on Amazon and recommend those products to your audience.

Related Articles on Amazon Affiliate Marketing

  • Journey To The Center Of Amazon Review - This Amazon affiliate marketing course by Debbie Gartner contains everything you need to know to start making money with the Amazon Associates program.
  • How To Be a Middleman on Amazon - This article discusses 3 effective opportunities to make money as a middleman on Amazon, including: Amazon affiliate marketing, Amazon dropshipping, and Amazon wholesale.
  • Simple Profit System Review - This course by Travis Stephenson is a training on how to make money online with the Amazon Influencer Program, an alternative affiliate marketing program on Amazon. 
  • Is Affiliate Marketing Illegal? - No, affiliate marketing is completely legal as long as affiliate marketers disclose their affiliate partnership and affiliate link. This article highlights the legal requirements potential affiliates should know before diving into the affiliate marketing industry.

Will Amazon affiliate marketing still be profitable in the future?

Amazon affiliate marketing should still be profitable in the future. However, if history has taught us anything, it’s only going to get less profitable over time. Amazon offers some of the most accessible opportunities for making money online, like the Amazon affiliate program and Amazon FBA. This leads to Amazon’s programs becoming extremely over saturated, so they don’t need to worry about incentivizing people to stick around because there are plenty of people willing to participate either way. Therefore, it’s likely that at some point in the future, Amazon will slash their affiliate program commission rates again. 

Those looking for a more profitable opportunity may be better off starting a local lead generation business. Local lead generation relies on organic SEO to drive website traffic, so overhead costs are incredibly low and you take home most of what you make as profits. Many people, like myself, set up multiple local lead generation websites and are able to earn over 5-figure figures in passive income every month. Whether you decide to participate in the Amazon affiliate marketing program or try out another online business model, becoming profitable starts with a solid plan and giving consistent effort towards your business goals.

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Ippei Kanehara

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