If you’re aiming to grow your ecommerce business and income, then implementing an affiliate marketing strategy may be the answer. Even if you’ve already adopted this strategy, it’s not too late to double down.
Amazon hosts one of the top affiliate marketing programs. With more than 900,000 affiliates, Amazon’s program has an extensive network and can be an effective marketing resource.
The Amazon Associates program, also known as Amazon Affiliates, helps content creators, publishers, and bloggers monetize their traffic, taking nearly 48% of the market share of affiliate networks.
What’s more, people love to shop on Amazon. Research shows that the platform is the first stop for 75% of people when product shopping. So sending people from your content to Amazon products could result in higher conversions.
Ahead, learn how to become an Amazon associate today with this guide, featuring tips and real examples.
What is the Amazon Associates program?
The Amazon Associates program is the largest affiliate marketing program online. Like the Shopify Affiliate Program, it is one of the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners. Amazon Associates allows creators, publishers, and bloggers to monetize web traffic by promoting Amazon products in their content.
Once you sign up for this free program, you’ll get links to promote to your audience. When someone clicks on your link and buys a product, you’ll receive a commission. Amazon commissions range from 1% to 20% depending on the product category. Amazon’s affiliate program is perfect for entrepreneurs and marketing newcomers.
Amazon Associates has been a critical factor for monetizing our blog traffic and providing readers with reputable, quality product options.
“When it comes to reputation and reliability, Amazon’s affiliate program is among the top. It’s the largest online shopping site where you can get, and sell, everything. That’s why it’s perfect for new affiliate marketers,” says Elise Dopson, founder of Sprocker Lovers. “Amazon Associates has been a critical factor for monetizing our blog traffic and providing readers with reputable, quality product options.
“Sprocker Lovers is a niche website about the sprocker spaniel breed. We promote pet supplies to help readers care for their pets. Amazon sells over 380,000 pet products we can promote and earn affiliate commission from.”
Elise also appreciates that the supplier vetting is done by Amazon. She knows she can trust the products she recommends will be high quality and get to readers’ doorsteps in a timely manner.
For example, say you start a blog about the husky dog breed. You write a blog post about scent games to play with your pup. Similar to Sprocker Lovers, you could promote Amazon products in your article.
Elise includes in her blog post on Scent Games for Spaniels an embedded Amazon link, directing readers to the marketplace to purchase a variety of “snuffle mats” for their pups.
It’s easy to see why both new and veteran marketers become Amazon affiliates. In minutes, you can sign up for the Amazon affiliate program and get access to tens of thousands of products to promote and earn commission from. You can tap your entrepreneurial spirit even more by building your own Shopify store to work with the Amazon affiliate program.
While high-ticket affiliate programs and working directly with companies are viable options, Amazon gives you the opportunity to promote thousands of products to turn your side hustle into a profitable venture.
How much do Amazon affiliates make?
Your Amazon affiliate program earnings can vary based on a few factors: the size and engagement of your audience, your niche, and how much work you put into your digital marketing. Amazon affiliates can make as little as a hundred dollars a month or as much as six figures per year. Hugo Guerreiro, founder of The Men Hero, knows this firsthand.
I started my men’s lifestyle blog at the end of April of 2021. In November, we made $963.69 from Amazon Associates and the number keeps growing.
“You can earn good money with the Amazon affiliate program,” shares Guerreiro. “I started my men’s lifestyle blog at the end of April of 2021. In November, we made $963.69 from Amazon Associates, and the number keeps growing. Amazon has opportunities for every niche to make money online.”
According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for an Amazon affiliate is $85,416 per year. The top 3% of earners make between $117,500 and $126,50000, while the lowest 5% earn between $24,000 and $33,499.
Your earnings are also defined by commission rates. For Amazon affiliates, those rates differ between product categories:
Amazon’s affiliate program also has fixed rates typically ranging from 50¢ to $25 for “special commission income” relating to service (rather than product) offers.
📚 Read more: Is Selling On Amazon Worth It For You?
Amazon affiliate program requirements
To earn money from the Amazon Associates program, you must apply to join and meet the following requirements:
- Enrollment and eligibility. Your site must contain original content and be publicly available. Among other requirements, it can’t contain sexually explicit, violent, or otherwise obscene material, be aimed at children under 13, use Amazon trademarks, or violate intellectual property rights.
- Links on your site. Using special links allows Amazon to track, report, and calculate income. Therefore, you’ll also need to have a robust cookies policy.
- Responsibility for your site. You are responsible for the development, operation, and maintenance of your site.
- Promotional limitations. You can’t engage in promotional (online or offline) or other advertising activities in connection with Amazon that aren’t permitted (e.g., using special links in printed material, ebooks, email, private messages).
- Distribution of special links through software or devices. You can’t use special links in any client-side software (e.g., a plug-in or toolbar) on any device, including television set-top boxes or smart TVs.
- Content on your site. You can’t try to buy Amazon’s trademark or bid on its keywords, hide your affiliate links or make it unclear you’re linking to Amazon, offer “rewards” in exchange for purchasing, use fake product reviews, or generate fake traffic.
These are the main six participation requirements outlined in Amazon’s thorough program policies. While there are a lot of legal clauses, most of them are common sense, and honest affiliate site owners won’t need to worry (but it’s still a best practice to read them).
Becoming an Amazon affiliate: pros and cons
While there are a lot of great reasons to join the Amazon affiliate program, it’s not for everyone. Let’s look at the pros and cons to decide whether Amazon affiliate marketing is right for you.
- Amazon links are trustworthy and well known.
- You’ll have access to a global marketplace.
- You can choose to be paid by direct deposit, check, or Amazon gift cards.
- There are millions of Amazon products for you to choose from.
- You can build an ecommerce Amazon affiliate store on Shopify, which gives you access to the Shopify app store and other benefits.
- The cookie window for purchase is short—only 24 hours. This could affect your conversion rates.
- You can’t promote products via email.
- Commission rates are low (compared to direct brand programs).
- If you’re an influencer on social media and don’t have a website (yet), you’d be better off going with Amazon’s influencer program.
For some, access to a huge worldwide market with virtually unlimited products is enough reason to sign up. But for others, not being able to promote affiliate links in emails can be a deal-breaker (especially those with a large email list already).
If earning money as an Amazon associate sounds good to you, read the step-by-step tutorial below on how to become one.
How to become an Amazon affiliate
- Go to the Amazon Associates center and click the Sign up button
- Fill in your information
- Add your website, mobile app, or YouTube channel
- Set up your profile
- Explain how you drive traffic to your site or app
- Add your tax and payment information
- Integrate with Shopify using the Amazon Associate Connector app
Signing up for the Amazon affiliate program to become an Amazon affiliate is easy, as long as you have one important thing: a website, app, or YouTube channel.
Before you head to Amazon, make sure you have one of these options that are up to date and already populated with content. From there, you can apply for an Amazon Associates account.
1. Go to the Amazon Associates center and click the Sign up button
To start the process of signing up for the Amazon affiliates program, you’ll be asked to either sign in with an existing Amazon account or to create a new one. If you only have a personal account, it would be best to create a new one to separate your business. However, if you have a phone number linked to your personal account (and no business phone number), you won’t be able to create a new account.
2. Fill in your information
Next, you’ll need to fill in your affiliate account information for Amazon to be able to pay you your earnings correctly.
3. Add your website, mobile app, or YouTube channel
You can add up to 50 websites or mobile apps. If you have more than one digital home, feel free to add them. These are all places where you could place an affiliate link.
Once you’ve added a website and hit the Next button that appears, you’ll also be asked if your site or app is targeted toward children under 13 (these sites aren’t eligible for the program).
4. Set up your profile
This section asks you to fill out the information about your website (as well as your preferred store ID, which will normally be your business name). Amazon wants to know what your website is about and what type of products you’ll build affiliate links for.
5. Explain how you drive traffic to your site or app
The next section of the Amazon affiliate account process asks you to explain how you drive traffic to your site (you can choose more than one option). You’ll also need to share how your website or app currently generates income, how you build affiliate links, your total unique visitors, and why you want to join the program.
After that, you’ll need to complete the security CAPTCHA and agree to the operating agreement.
6. Add your tax and payment information
Once you’ve completed the application, you’ll be prompted to add your payment and tax information, though you can choose to do it another time. From there you’ll be able to start using Associates Central to create affiliate links.
7. Integrate with Shopify using the Amazon Associate Connector app
If your website runs on Shopify, you’ll be able to use the Amazon Associate Connector app. Using the app allows you to import Amazon products into your Shopify store with ease.
This way you can create a high-quality Amazon affiliate website, earning from existing products rather than selling your own. First, log into your Shopify store from the app page and then link your Amazon Associates account.
From there, you can import specific products using the product URL (searching Amazon products in the app requires Amazon Web Services credentials). Once you’ve added the product through the connector app, it will be displayed in your Shopify store, where people can purchase it and you’ll earn a commission.
Affiliate marketing tips to boost income
So you’ve applied to be an Amazon associate, and you’ve connected the Amazon Shopify app to your Shopify store—what next? It isn’t enough to have your store exist. To make the Amazon affiliate program work, you’ll need to strategize.
Here are some tips and strategies on boosting your affiliate income and building a stream of passive income after you’ve set up your Amazon affiliate account.
- Find a niche
- Create original content on different platforms
- Invest in SEO
- Start a blog
Find a niche
As with any brand strategy, for customers to buy from you, you need to let them know you’re what they need. You do that by establishing yourself in a niche. A niche is a segment of the larger market defined by its own needs and knowledge. It becomes your specialty as an affiliate marketer.
Affiliate marketing is about adding your own insight and perspective and becoming an authority for a particular niche or problem.
“Dive into your niche and really know the ins and outs of it to be able to solve the problem someone might have with a particular product,” advises Arun Grewal, founder of Coffee Brewing Pro. “Affiliate marketing is about adding your own insight and perspective and becoming an authority for a particular niche or problem.”
If you featured a random assortment of products on your website, people won’t know what kind of site it is (and will be less likely to find it in a Google search).
Focus on a particular product category you’re genuinely interested in. That way it’ll be easier to market, as well as help you stay engaged with building the business. For example, Beardbrand is a store focused on male grooming products, with a particular focus on beards.
As an authority on beard care, Beardbrand could easily add Amazon affiliate links to its content. When you set up an Amazon affiliate account, be sure you can build authority around your niche.
So, how can you find your own niche? Consider the following criteria:
- It’s a topic you’re interested in. Good affiliate marketers become experts in their industry over time. Stay on top of trends, take part in events, and be constantly learning.
- You can solve the niche’s problems. People will follow you because they enjoy your insight and you add value by helping them solve problems.
- The niche is profitable. Run a Google Trends search to see how popular your niche is. Look at market research reports and check how often people search for your niche topics. This can signal whether or not people are ready to buy.
Create original content on different platforms
As an online entrepreneur, you already know the value of original content. It helps you stand out, build credibility, and foster trust with followers—all things you need for successful affiliate marketing.
But creating original content isn’t enough anymore. You also want to distribute content across multiple platforms, considering that omnichannel customers spend two to five times more than single channel customers.
The YouTube channel is full of content designed to help people live a more sustainable lifestyle. By creating this content and showing expertise, they’re able to attract the type of people who are likely to trust and eventually buy from them. That way, when they place Amazon Affiliate links in the content, they seem trustworthy.
Share your experience with the product to customers and always give the best and the worst points about it with examples.
Another reason to create original content elsewhere is to target long-tail keywords in multiple formats. In the image above, you can see some of those long-tail phrases on playlists such as “easy zero waste alternatives” and “zero waste shopping.”
Keep in mind that building a content library is a long-term process. Like any affiliate marketing strategy, time and dedication will lead to significant results down the road.
Invest in SEO
If you want people to come to your website through Google or any other search engine, you’ll also need to think about search engine optimization (SEO). Making sure your website is optimized for search engines helps you appear in search results.
However, SEO isn’t about keyword stuffing. So how do you make sure your website is optimized for search engines? You create webpages or include content that helps them understand your website better.
Including product reviews serves a dual purpose. They help create social proof for potential customers as well as bolster your SEO. This is because they keep your content fresh and up to date.
An affiliate that posts honest, unbiased product reviews, either their own or that of customers, can build loyalty with followers—and turn reviews into conversions. In fact, according to Northwestern University’s Medill Spiegel Research Center, a product with five reviews, for example, has a 270% greater likelihood of purchase compared to a product with no reviews.
“Share your experience with the product to customers and always give the best and the worst points about it with examples,” says Guerreiro of The Men Hero. “Customers want to know what you like about it and what you didn’t, because they have a particular fear of buying the product that can disappear after reading your experience, making them purchase it faster.
You can also create buying and gift guides for products you recommend as an affiliate. Affiliate marketers frequently create gift guides as part of their content strategy and post recommendations with affiliate links like Amazon.
If a reader wants to make a purchase, they can click the link and buy it on Amazon. For example, The Everyday Farmhouse is an Amazon affiliate with a homesteading gift guide.
Whether created as blog posts or dedicated web pages, product comparisons are also a great way to boost SEO, since data shows 60% of customers start their product search on Amazon. Offering comparisons to similar products helps customers with their research.
A great example of product comparison articles comes from TechRadar. The publication covers the latest technology news and reviews, publishing many best-of articles with links to Amazon to buy.
TechRadar makes it clear to readers they’ll purchase on Amazon by using the call-to-action button “View deal.” This sets expectations and can improve conversions, since readers already trust buying on Amazon. Each button has an attached affiliate link, earning the publication referral fees within valuable content.
It can be easy to forget about SEO for your homepage. Some easy ways to optimize your homepage include having your target keyword in your homepage title, optimizing the page meta description, making it mobile-friendly, adding SSL, and keeping the loading speed fast.
[T]he best way to drive organic traffic to your blog and generate a sufficient amount of revenue is to combine high-quality content with SEO.
“The best way to drive organic traffic to your blog and generate a sufficient amount of revenue is to combine high-quality content with SEO,” says Nicholas Martin, founder of Pest Control Hacks. “If you invest in SEO, you will gain more exposure and drive affiliate sales naturally.”
These are just a few areas you can look at for SEO, but another way to get to the top of Google is to build a blog. When you post high-quality blog content consistently, you build credibility about a specific topic, which can help you rank higher for related keywords.
Start a blog
Building a blog is similar to creating content on other platforms. The main reason to post content on your blog is to help build your subject matter expertise, help with SEO, and direct people to your products.
Let’s revisit the Trash is for Tossers example and look at its blog.
The Trash is for Tossers blog has posts that talk about all things zero-waste. Readers interested in that topic can find all of their questions answered in a blog post. These are the perfect types of posts to place an affiliate link for a relevant product.
As an Amazon affiliate, blog posts are where you’ll place most of your links—create a post that involves your product and add an affiliate link. Easy!
Earn more with Amazon today
Entering the world of affiliate marketing is easy and free with the help of the Amazon Associates program. All it takes is a website, app, or YouTube channel, signing up to Amazon, and creating content that you can include affiliate links in.
However, you can take it a step further by connecting your Amazon affiliate account to your Shopify store using the Amazon Associate Connector app—allowing you to display full Amazon product listings and affiliate links on your storefront, but with your store branding.
Getting started with Amazon Associates is a quick way to make money online. Once you place your first affiliate link, you’re ready to start earning passive income by recommending great products to your loyal followers.
Amazon affiliate marketing FAQ
How do I become an affiliate marketer for Amazon?
You can join the Amazon affiliate marketing program by following these steps:
1. Head to the Amazon Associates website and click Sign Up.
2. Enter the required information.
3. Add your website, YouTube channel, or mobile app.
4. Set up your affiliate profile.
5. Show how you drive traffic to your site.
6. Add tax and payment information.
7. Use the Amazon Affiliate Connector app for Shopify.
8. Place your Amazon affiliate links in your content and wait to get paid.
What are the benefits of becoming an Amazon affiliate?
Becoming an Amazon affiliate comes with a number of benefits including:
- Amazon is the largest online marketplace in the world.
- Consumers trust buying products through an Amazon affiliate link.
- You can get paid by direct deposit, check, or Amazon gift cards.
- There are millions of products to choose from.
- You can connect your Amazon Affiliates account to a Shopify store.
How much do Amazon affiliates make?
The national average salary for an Amazon affiliate is $85,416 per year. The top 3% of earners in the Amazon affiliate program make between $117,500 and $126,500, while the lowest Amazon Associates 5% earn between $24,000 and $33,499.