When getting in touch with the wide field of making money online, you will sooner or later encounter affiliate marketing. It’s one of the most profitable forms of monetizing any website. And with Amazon being the biggest online store in the world, it’s worth taking a look at their affiliate program. Therefore, you will find out how to start affiliate marketing with Amazon.
What Is Affiliate Marketing In General?
Let’s take a quick look at what affiliate marketing is in general. Affiliate marketing in its basic form means you promote a product and, in turn, get a commission when somebody makes a purchase as a result of your recommendation. Of course, there are many more details to a successful affiliate marketing business. However, this is the basic process of how to make money with affiliate marketing. Your job is to figure out how you can promote products in a way that people actually purchase them.
The Amazon Affiliate Program
Amazon has its own affiliate program (called Amazon Associates), and you can use it to lead people to products on Amazon and make money doing so. I personally think it’s pretty cool to get paid by the biggest e-commerce store in the world 🙂
But how to start affiliate marketing with Amazon? What are the steps you need to take? And what else do you need to know in order to make it work for you?
How Much Does The Amazon Associates Program Pay?
You can earn a commission on almost any Amazon product. Here is a list of all the categories and the applicable commissions:
Additionally, there is a lot more to earn with the so-called Bounty Events. This is Amazon’s name for things like Prime subscriptions, kindle unlimited subscriptions, Amazon Fresh subscriptions, and the likes. You can take a look at this page for the complete tables.
How does the Amazon Associates program make sure you get paid?
The technical side of things – stripped down to its absolute basics – looks like this: You have your personal affiliation set up with Amazon. As a result, you get your very own tracking links. This means that whenever somebody clicks on one of those links, Amazon knows the link belongs to you.
This is how they can connect the purchases from your recommendations with your account, thus knowing what to pay you. They do this by placing a cookie into the visitor’s browser (once he/she clicks one of your links). That cookie remains active for 24 hours, identifying you as the referring affiliate. Therefore, when the visitor makes a purchase, Amazon tracks where it comes from with the cookie, and ultimately pays you your due commissions.
How To Start Affiliate Marketing With Amazon?
Now, let’s dive into the specific steps you need to take to earn your first money from Amazon. After reading this article, you will be able to start affiliate marketing with amazon right away and build a decent income on the side.
Step 1 – Set Up Your Amazon Associates Account
First, you need to set up your account. This step is necessary to get your very unique affiliate links. Here’s how it works:
Visit the Amazon Associates Website
Amazon Associates has its own area which is detached from the Amazon webshop platform. You can access the page by clicking here.
After you click the “Join Now for Free” button (the design of their site might change), you are prompted to sign in to your Amazon account. Here, they mean your personal Amazon account. You can use your existing private account or create a new one for your business. Using your private one is perfectly fine as the connection will not appear anywhere publicly.
Fill in further information to complete the setup process
You are now asked to fill in some information about yourself and your website (or app). Furthermore, you have to tell Amazon several details on how you intend to advertise your website and what products you will likely promote. After you’ve done all that, your application is done:
Furthermore, you are asked to fill in your tax and payment information now or later. You can choose whatever you want, but I recommend you do it now because once it’s done, you have everything set up.
This means that you can now start promoting products on Amazon and earn money doing it. As you can see on the screenshot, the only catch is that you need to refer sales in the first 180 days from signing up. By the time I’m writing this, you have to refer 3 sales during this period.
This shouldn’t be an issue, however, as you are most likely aiming for much higher numbers anyways. Why else would you take the time and find out about how to set up affiliate marketing with Amazon?
Step 2 – Create Affiliate Links To Start Affiliate Marketing With Amazon
One of the most common questions people as is “How do I get started with affiliate links?” The process is actually pretty easy, and I will show you how you can start your affiliate marketing with Amazon in the next paragraphs.
Once you log in to your newly created affiliate account, you will see the home screen of your affiliate dashboard. It looks like this:
In the search field at the top of the screen, you can type in a keyword for products you want to promote. For example, you could type in “baby powder”, “razor blades”, “flatscreen TV” or any other broad search term. You can also type in the specific title of the product you want to promote.
Pro Tip: If there are multiple versions of the same product, you can go to the marketplace as a user, search your product and copy the ASIN or ISBN number (found in the product details) and paste it in here.
To get started, you can create one or more affiliate links you want to promote. Simply find some products using the process described above, and then get the specific link. There will be a button next to your search result saying “Get Link”.
Start affiliate marketing with Amazon using different types of affiliate links
There are different types of affiliate links that you can create to promote products on Amazon. Here is a quick overview so you understand the possibility you have.
Amazon text links
These are links in their usual form. They reflect the direct URL to which they lead. You probably know that you would insert them as a link into a text. So, when somebody clicks on the words in your text that have the link on them, he/she would arrive at the product page the link is pointing to.
Text links can also be applied to images within your post. You should always use relevant images. Don’t use an image of your beloved pet to link to your favorite hair straightener.
Amazon featured product links
These appear in tables and are a little more dynamic than pure text links. Featured product links show images and prices, and they update automatically so you always have the most current data showing up in your post. They look like this:
You can use them in sidebars of your website, or you can arrange multiple featured product affiliate links side-by-side to create some kind of a comparison table.
Amazon native shopping ad affiliate links
As a relatively new form of affiliate marketing on amazon, native shopping ads are sections within a post that visually fit very well into your content. The power of using them is in positioning them exactly where they are most relevant within your article. If you are writing an article on TVs for example, and then you list your top 3 at the end of your comparison, that would be a great place to display this section. It looks like this:
Amazon banner links
These are visually appealing advertisements you know from visiting websites. They sit in sidebars most of the time. Furthermore, they are also used a lot by Google for their advertising service. If there’s something that complements your content and overall website strategy pretty well, you should take a closer look at banner ads.
Although the effectiveness of pop-ups and popovers has been proven by countless statistics, I suggest not using them on your website. These are the displays that pop up while you are browsing a website or reading an article. They interfere with customer experience a lot, and I personally always aim for the best customer experience.
Moreover, if you want to use pop-up or popover ads, I would suggest you use them to promote products with higher commissions (like online courses or software). They usually get the most attention, so you should use them for the most rewarding affiliate product you have to offer.
The above-mentioned types of links are those I would recommend using. There are some more possibilities, but unless you have a very specific strategy in mind, you will be better off with one of the affiliate link types described in this article.
Step 3 – Promote Your Amazon Affiliate Links
There are countless ways of promoting affiliate products. I have written an ultimate guide on affiliate marketing for beginners that covers a lot of this in great detail. But let’s cover some of the most common forms in this article as well.
Start affiliate marketing with Amazon by building a niche website
Niche websites are websites built specifically for the purpose of earning affiliate commissions. They are complete websites centered around one category of products and filled with every detail you can possibly find about it. They use review articles, in-depth how-to articles, and tips & tricks to provide a huge amount of information to the visitor. There are niche sites on dish-washers, coffee machines, Bluetooth headphones, and countless more product categories.
The ultimate goal, however, is for the visitor to find all the information he or she needs to go on and make a purchase. However, these websites rely heavily on Google for their traffic. That means your results are dependent on things you cannot fully control. Whenever Google introduces profound changes to their algorithm or another niche website delivers better service in Google’s eyes, you could lose a significant amount of income – or even all of it.
The niche website market gets kind of saturated as everybody is trying to get a piece of the pie. Unlike with unique blogs that also get their value from the individual perspectives of the author, there’s online a limited number of niche sites about the same topic that will make it.
Start affiliate marketing on Amazon by building your own blog
If you plan to build your own website to start making money online, I would recommend you go with a blog. There are several advantages over a niche website, but the most profound one is that you will have multiple sources of income and a much higher earning potential while being a lot more independent from Google.
If you consider building your own blog, you will find everything you need on our resources page. Blogging is the most predictable way to earn significant money online nowadays. So for everybody who really wants to discover this whole earn money online thing, building a blog will most likely where you find your success. Check out the resources page to get started with everything you need in the beginning.
Start affiliate marketing with Amazon creating Youtube videos
Youtube is another great way to jumpstart your affiliate marketing on Amazon. Depending on the niche, Youtube is the perfect fit and can deliver great results. For people who like to be in front of the camera, this might be the way to go.
Imagine you are in the beauty industry and you want to promote some eyeliner. On Youtube, you can shoot a quick how-to video where you show your audience how to use the eyeliner correctly. Moreover, you could also create several videos on different special looks you’ve created using this eyeliner (in addition to other products you also promote). This can be a great way to earn money with Amazon affiliate marketing, especially as Youtube is also one of the most visited websites in the world.
Tips & Tricks To Maximize Amazon Affiliate Sales
There are several tactics you can use to set your affiliate game up for success straight from the beginning. Especially if you aren’t sure yet how to start affiliate marketing with Amazon, you should follow some best practices to see results faster.
Write the right types of content
Whenever you write content for your blog or website, you should consider search intent. By search intent, online marketers refer to what people try to find when searching for specific terms. You don’t want to address people who are only looking for information on a topic. This way you will most likely never see any huge results.
This article you are reading right now, for example, is an informational article. I’m not selling you anything here, but providing you with information, because that’s probably what you expect when reading an article with the title “How To Start Affiliate Marketing With Amazon”.
You need to address people with a clear commercial intention, i.e. people who already want to buy and only need a tiny bit of additional reassuring information. The best-converting content in this field is part of one of these categories:
- How-To Articles
- Product Reviews
- Product Comparisons
Create the majority of your content around these content types, and you will increase your future earnings significantly.The best blog post types for making affiliate sales are how-to articles, product reviews and product comparisons!Click To Tweet
Increase your Amazon affiliate sales by monitoring your stats
Find out what works and then do more of it. That’s a very simple yet powerful approach, especially for beginners. The Amazon Associates stats area you can find when you log into your account is your best ally here.
Take a close look at which posts produce the highest revenue, and create more of the content while using a similar approach to market it. Also, find out what additional products visitors buy after coming to Amazon through your link. This might spark some inspiration for future content.
Create a resources page
A resources page should be placed in the top menu of your website and display all the products you recommend so people can accomplish whatever your site’s main topic is.
If you’re into weight loss, for example, you could link your favorite cookbook, the best workout book, workout tools like yoga mats or dumbbells, and even Amazon’s fresh delivery bounty service.
This way, you give people the complete toolbox they need. Packaging information this way leads to high conversions because friction to buy everything is very low. You have everything presented in one place, thus removing the effort for people to search the items themselves.
Email your subscriber list
You might not have a huge list of subscribers when you are just starting out. However, if you already have a subscriber base and are just implementing affiliate marketing with Amazon into your business, then this might work for you.
Just be aware that it’s NOT allowed to include Amazon affiliate links in emails directly. Doing that, you would act against the Amazon Associates terms which could result in them shutting your account down.
What you can do, however, is send out an email pointing people to a new article which then features your chosen affiliate products.
Amazon Restrictions – What You’re Not Allowed To Do When You Start Affiliate Marketing With Amazon
There are some things that are forbidden by Amazon itself to ensure they can keep their standards. Essentially, these restrictions are there to protect Amazon’s business model and make sure that nobody is abusing it, diminishing Amazon’s reputation. The most important rules are these:
- You may not put affiliate links into any area that Amazon can not track. Examples would be Emails, private Facebook groups, or your own products (video courses, ebooks, PDFs, etc.)
- You have to explicitly state that you are participating in the Amazon Associates program. This statement has to be visible on every page of your website.
You don’t want your Amazon affiliate account terminated, which is why you MUST always comply with their full affiliate terms. It is your duty as an affiliate to always be up-to-date with the current version. I suggest you bookmark the Associates Program Operating Agreement and refer to it from time to time to see if there are any major changes that affect your personal situation.
Pros & Cons Of Using The Amazon Associates Program
- Amazon is a high-authority site, so people have a lot of trust in Amazon.
- There is a tremendous amount of products you can promote, as well as find related products to maximize earnings.
- Whenever a visitor buys products after coming to Amazon through one of your affiliate links, you get commissioned. This is true for all products purchased within 24 hours, even if you haven’t promoted any of the additional products. It’s more of a compensation for sending people over to their platform than for recommending a specific product.
- The Amazon website is set up for maximum conversion.
- Many different types of affiliate links so you can choose the ones that best fit your content and design.
- Affiliate links are only valid for 24 hours. If users make a purchase afterward, you don’t earn anything, even if you played a major role in facilitating the buyer’s decision.
- You have to get 3 sales within 180 days of signing up. Otherwise, your account is not approved. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue, however.
- Commissions are relatively slow compared to alternatives in other fields. So you should see the Amazon Associates program more like a supplemental income stream instead of your main revenue driver.
- Complex affiliate policy.
- You can’t promote Amazon affiliate links directly through email marketing.
Affiliate Marketing With Amazon – The Legal Side
This is a vitally important part of acting professionally, although it can be the most tedious part as well. You need to make sure to comply with all of Amazon’s affiliate terms. We have already covered some of them in this article. However, I highly recommend you read through the whole policy yourself and make sure you understand it.
After all, it’s your own business, and it’s your responsibility to act professional and comply with applicable law. Aside from the making-money part of how to start affiliate marketing with Amazon, this is the most important part.
As Amazon’s terms change from time to time, I can’t give any instructions here because they might be out-of-date by the time you’re reading this article. The only thing you can do is read the whole policy for yourself.
Don’t Use Amazon Affiliate Marketing As Your Only Revenue Stream
This is a very important thing, and here is why I put it that way: Amazon affiliate commissions are incredibly low in many areas. Additionally, many people go to Amazon and buy rather inexpensive items. That means that you get small commissions on inexpensive products, making your earnings even smaller.
The majority of pro affiliate and online marketers use Amazon affiliate marketing to complement other income streams. Most of them participate in higher-priced affiliate programs, earn money from displaying ads or sell their own products. Doing this, Amazon can be a decent additional revenue stream.
Thus, I highly recommend you learn about different affiliate marketing techniques and products as well. Only then can you expect to make a significant income from your affiliate marketing efforts.
To dive deeper into the field of affiliate marketing, take a look at my Affiliate Marketing For Beginners Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide.
How To Start Affiliate Marketing With Amazon – Final Words
To wrap things up, I would like to motivate you to start your affiliation with Amazon if you intend to get serious about making money online. It’s one of the best ways to generate income, although it takes some initial work. Leaving Amazon affiliate marketing out, however, would be like leaving money on the table.
If you haven’t started your online business at all and are just gathering information, check out our resources page. You will find everything you need to get started right there. Don’t wait to make your first step. The sooner you start your journey – however slow – the sooner you will earn your first dollar online! And I really would love to see you accomplish that!
Please let me know in the comments if you have any further questions I could address, or what your ideas on that whole topic are in general.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a commission when you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please refer to my full disclaimer for more info.