How Does Affiliate Marketing Work With Amazon?

Amazon boasts that it is the world’s biggest market place today. So when you are thinking about monetizing your website, it is only natural that you would think to join the Amazon Affiliate Program. But how does affiliate marketing work with Amazon?

You can start with looking at the Amazon Affiliate Program website. There is a lot of information there. It can be overwhelming when you are starting out though. So below I provide you with an overview on how you can get started and what to expect as you progress. Amazon Image

The Application Process

You will need to have a website set up first. If you don’t have a website yet and are looking for ways of starting out, take a look at my post on Wealthy Affiliate.

For the Amazon Affiliate Program, there is a straight forward form to complete. You have to provide the usual personal details (name, address, tax payer or not etc) and tell Amazon how you wish to receive your commissions (into your bank or by gift certificates). Amazon will then review your application and look at your website. You should then get a response within 24 hours of submitting your application.

You then receive your Affiliate ID which will be connected to the links that you place in your website.

It is best to have some traffic to your site first. For if you do not make 3 qualifying purchases within 180 days, your account will be closed. You can re-apply again but it is frustrating (I know, it happened to me!) as you have to remove from your website all the links from that old account and replace them with your new account.

You can apply to any number of Amazon Affiliate Programs (e.g, etc). For example, the site can be found here. The ones you apply to will depend on what countries your traffic is coming from. You can find out where it is coming from through Google Analytics.

Rules of Engagement

Be careful to abide by Amazon’s rules as you might find that your account is closed for any contravention of these rules. For example, you must display somewhere on your site the following: “as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases”.

Writing Posts & Adding Links

When you apply to be an Amazon Associate, you will have a number of posts on your website already. However, to start to monetize it, you will have start writing posts where you are recommending products from Amazon. This could be, for example, by writing product reviews. These reviews will need to be engaging, informative and be compelling enough so that the reader goes on to buy the product(s).

There are different ways to get the links from Amazon so that you can add them to your site. However, I think the easiest way to do it through the Associates Sitestripe. This appears at the top left of every Amazon page you go to when you search a product.

You can then copy from there the short code for the link itself or just the image or even the image with text. This can then be inserted into your website. The short YouTube video below explains more.

When someone clicks on the link, it will take them to the Amazon page. If your reader puts this item (and any other item, even those not advertised by you on your site!) in their shopping cart in the space of 24 hours and then goes on to purchase them (even if it several weeks after clicking on your link!) you earn commission.

The amount of commission does vary depending on the product you are advertising. It is between 1% and 12% of the product value. Some affiliate programs do offer a lot higher commissions. However, I think when you are starting out, it is more likely you are going to get more sales through Amazon as it is a trusted brand.

Keeping Track of CommissionsGrowing Commissions

Once you have reviewed a number of products and set up your links, you should start to see commissions coming through. The Associate website has a useful graph showing you how many clicks on the links there have been and how many purchases have been made.

You can then get details on what your readers went on to buy. This is useful information. It informs you which of your posts are performing well (and those not so well) and what products your readers are most interested in. Using this data, you can plan what you are going to focus your next reviews on.

For example in one of my web sites, I saw that the review I did regarding supplements was bringing in the most commissions. I therefore intend to write some further product reviews on that subject.

Other Ways To Make Money Through Amazon

Commissions through product links are not the only way. There are also native shopping ads (advertising products in banners or widgets on your site) and bounties (advertising Amazon services like Amazon Prime) that can bring in further commissions.

You don’t want to go crazy with stuffing your site full of Amazon products and services. This is going to be a turn off for your reader and will harm your rankings. However, if you can get a good balance of non review posts and review posts with Amazon links, you can then establish a passive income.

A Good Place to StartStart Line

For its ease of use and the tracking information it provides, the Amazon Affiliates program is hard to fault. There is a lot of information on the website which may give you the impression that it is complicated to set up. As I said though the easiest way to get going without too much effort is by using the SiteStripe function. Once you become established in using this method, you can then look at the other ways to make money like native shopping ads.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and found it informative too. If you have a question or opinion on the contents of this post, please leave it below and I will get back to you.


4 thoughts on “How Does Affiliate Marketing Work With Amazon?”

  • Hi James

    I think affiliate marketing is a great way to make money with your website.

    Amazon associate program offers a ton of possibility with the large number of product’s category. And each category can be a potential niche for your website.

    And I liked the fact that you have explained all the possible way to take advantage of Amazon associate program. Personally, I didn’t know how to use banners and widget, but now I will take your suggestion to use them in my post which are not products review related.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi James, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. Amazon is truly one of the best ways to earn income online but honestly, it can be a little tough until you make those first 3 sales. It is true that commissions are low but I can say that it converts very well.

    • Daniel, thanks for your comment. You’re right at the beginning it can be tricky to make those initial sales so you need to make sure there is enough traffic coming to your website first. But hopefully once that hurdle is overcome, the number of sales will increase as your site becomes more established. 

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