Is Amazon affiliate marketing profitable in 2023? Considering that an Amazon affiliate marketer can earn up to a 20% commission on each affiliate sale, Amazon affiliate marketing can certainly still be profitable in 2023. In fact, some Amazon affiliates, like Jim Harmer from Income School, earn over $147K+/year just by promoting Amazon products. Amazon has over 900,000 affiliates, making it the largest and most popular affiliate network on the internet. There’s a reason why so many digital marketing professionals are still flocking to Amazon to generate affiliate revenue.
However, Amazon affiliate marketing has tended to become less profitable over time. This has led many Amazon affiliates to look for alternative online business opportunities, like local lead generation. Similar to Amazon affiliate marketing, local lead generation relies on generating web traffic to make money online. A local lead generation website can make thousands of dollars per month by connecting customers with local service businesses. So, is Amazon affiliate marketing still worth it these days?
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?
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?
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 2023, 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
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.
Amazon affiliate does not pay daily. Instead, Amazon affiliate pays monthly.
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.
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.
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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.