Can You Really Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate?

First, let’s look at some figures, shall we?

  • 90 million paying Amazon Prime subscribers in the United States.
  • Amazon Prime members spend an average of $1,300 annually (as compared to non-Prime members who spend $700).
  • And on top of that, Amazon Prime international customers are growing at an exponential rate.

Based on these figures from Forbes.com, you must now be wondering how you can join the bandwagon. You’re probably asking yourself, can you really make money as an Amazon affiliate?

Well, it’s not really that hard. Anyone can be an Amazon affiliate, as long as you can drive traffic and make sales.

Let me help you understand why there are people who rave about it, and why there are people who simply hate it.

If you have any questions or want to offer you own personal review or feedback, feel free to share any insights you have at the bottom of this page.

What is the Amazon Associates affiliate program?

Amazon Associates, Amazon’s affiliate program, is one of the first ever online affiliate marketing programs. It is also probably one of the most popular ways to start making money from home with Amazon.

Think about it, you don’t need to create any products or services, you don’t need a warehouse nor take orders, and you can choose from millions of products.

All you need to do is advertise products on your website, and when people click your links and buy products, you earn a referral fee or commission.

Name: Amazon Associates

Website: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/

Year Founded: 1996

Price: None

Recommended: Yes

How does Amazon Associates work?

Before anything else, read the Amazon Associates Operating Agreement. Most people don’t read this. You might lose your account at some point if you don’t understand Amazon’s Terms of Service. Just a heads up, there are a lot of rules.

In saying that, I think it’s quite understandable as they are protecting their brand and business. If you have any questions about the rules, it’s always a good idea to contact them directly.

When you’re ready, go to the Amazon Affiliate Program. Click “Join Now for Free” and build your profile.

Remember that your account will be approved for 180 days and you must make at least one sale. Otherwise, your account will be closed. If this happens, don’t worry, you can re-apply to the Amazon affiliate program after you’ve made adjustments to your site.

Once approved, you will have access to your own dashboard which looks like this:

You can then get your Amazon affiliate links that you can include in your website. I would do a quick search for the product and click the “Get Link” button. I suggest that you shorten the URL and copy the link to your website.

Since Amazon operates globally, you just need to check if your country has it’s version of Amazon and you can join the affiliate program just about anywhere. In the past, there were several states in the United States that could not participate in the program, but at this time, residents of all 50 states in the US can sign up.

At this time, Amazon Associates operate in 13 countries:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. Japan
  6. Canada
  7. China
  8. Italy
  9. Spain
  10. India
  11. Brazil
  12. Mexico
  13. Australia

Did you know that Amazon allows you to earn from purchases from other countries? I suggest that you check your location overview in Google Analytics so that you’ll know if you’re actually getting traffic from other countries. If you are, then you might want to create Amazon associate accounts in those countries.

And then you just need to make sure that you set up your Amazon links in a way that you can collect commissions from those who live outside your home country.

How can you promote Amazon products?

Now that you’ve set up your account, The next step is to get links, banners, or widgets that you can use for your website or even through social media. Depending on your niche, you can select different types of links. For instance:

  • If you have a digital camera blog, you can create a page called “Recommended Digital SLRs”.
  • If you have a children’s fashion blog, you can add a widget on the sidebar with affiliate links.

The possibilities are enormous and depending on your niche, you can add links and monetize your site to a considerable degree using Amazon. In my experience, the best converting ads are text links to the product that you are promoting.

I recommend that you select products that are closely related to your niche. You can choose a broad category and look at specific products for your target audience. That way, visitors are much more likely to click through and buy. For example, Pet Supplies > Small Animals > Feeding and Watering Supplies > Water Bottles.

It’s important to promote high-quality products so keep an eye on customer reviews and ratings.

Amazon affiliate program: love it or hate it?

In all honesty, I think being an Amazon affiliate is a great way to monetize your site. You are providing value to your readers and you are able to make money as well. Here are reasons to love it:

  • People trust Amazon and they have a huge customer base. I mean, even my family and friends trust Amazon as their go-to online shopping site.
  • They have a wide array of products and since they are awesome at conversion, people tend to buy several products.
  • Signing up as an affiliate is a walk in the park. It’s easy.
  • You can sell Amazon branded products and services such as Amazon Prime, Audible, Prime Video, and Amazon Family.

However, I do think that you will find other reviews where people simply don’t want to join the Amazon affiliate program for valid reasons. Here are reasons to hate it:

  • They have a 24-hour cookie period which limits your revenue if people don’t purchase right away.
  • Commission rates are very low, unless your niche falls under the product categories that have the higher commission rates.
  • You get kicked out if you have no sales in your first 180 days. You need 3 qualifying sales within your first 180 days, otherwise you lose your account. I would recommend that if you have a new site, get your site built first and get traffic before you apply.
  • Prices change. It may be better to use Amazon’s own plugins or link code to display photos and prices of products. These display like ads.

How much can you make? Can you really earn money as an Amazon affiliate?

You have to identify which niche you want to go into based on Amazon’s affiliate payout percentage. Given that the commission rates vary depending on your product category, you might want to go for those that have a higher yield like women’s, men’s and kids fashion or luxury beauty.

Amazon used to be more volume-based since they had a variable fee structure. Essentially, you can earn more money if you referred more sales to Amazon. It would start at 4% and you could earn up to 8.5% of a sale if you referred enough items.

To give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, here’s the commission rates for specific product categories:

You can also earn from the Amazon bounty program. You get a commission when your visitors sign up for Amazon services and programs:

Here are some tips to make money as an Amazon affiliate:

  1. Write quality product reviews. Think about it, don’t you love reading in-depth reviews from real people?
  2. Write product comparisons.
  3. Write a tutorial on what tools or products you use. It could be a step-by-step process.
  4. Write a list for certain occasions. For example, best gifts for moms on Mother’s Day.
  5. Build your subscriber base so you can have repeat customers or people who will spread the word about you. Consider building your email list.
  6. Keep an eye out for promotions that are definitely worth promoting.
  7. Create posts with affiliate links on your Facebook business page, your Facebook group, below a YouTube video, and on a Pinterest board

Final thoughts on the Amazon affiliate program

Overall, Amazon’s affiliate program is so diverse that you have products for almost every niche, and it is so unique that you can promote physical and digital products. While they have lower commissions rates as compared to other affiliate programs, their customer base is so huge that it will definitely do you a lot of good if you add Amazon affiliate program links to your website.

So if you’ll ask me, can you really make money as an Amazon affiliate? I still don’t think it will make you rich, but if you do it right, you’ll be able to generate revenue from it. My first sale as an affiliate marketer was actually from Amazon and I’ve continued to earn from it.

If you have any questions or any feedback, please leave them below and I will be more than happy to help. Hope you enjoyed reading this review!


About Raquel

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6 thoughts on “Can You Really Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate?”

  1. Hi Raquel,
    I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to your site. I am an Amazon affiliate myself but I found it very useful to go over the details and see how it all works out. My feeling is this is a good place to start out on the road to affiliate marketing but one needs to look for something a little more lucrative as one expands one’s horizons. Thanks. I shall certainly look to your site from time to time. It is very useful.
    Alister

    1. Thank you Alister. Spot on, completely agree that while you should look into being an Amazon affiliate, you shouldn’t ignore other affiliate programs either.

  2. Thanks for the insights. I knew about the commissions, but didn’t know about the bounties. That’s great news. So all you need is steady traffic coming to your page. 

    I also heard that Amazon is going to change the commission rates from May onwards. I’m wondering how much difference that is going to make for people. But maybe it just depends on the amount of traffic that websites get anyway, so it shouldn’t make much of a difference hopefully. 

    1. As long as you have traffic to your site, you should be fine. Bounties are great!

      Based on what I know from Amazon Associates, as of May 1, 2019, they have changed the rates for Amazon Fashion Women’s, Men’s & Kids Private Label, Apparel, Amazon Cloud Cam Devices, Amazon Element Smart TV (with Fire TV), Amazon Fire TV Devices, Amazon Echo Devices, Ring Devices, Watches, Jewelry, Luggage, Shoes, and Handbags & Accessories to 4%. 

      Hopefully that doesn’t affect your niche too much.

  3. I am an Amazon affiliate and I have never taken the time to read the rules and regulations. Maybe I should.

    I think Amazon is a good place to begin when one is just starting out. Joining up and posting links is all very easy. However, you need a lot of traffic/sales to make this worthwhile as the commissions paid are usually under 5%. This is fine on high ticket items, but not really worthwhile on low priced items.

    They will kick you out of the affiliate program if you make fewer than 3 (I thought it was 1 sale) sales in a 6 month period. Overall, that’s fair enough. You can, if you wish to, re-apply to repeat the process. The key to success is always traffic. Perhaps you should have a facility whereby visitors can sign up to receive ongoing information since I certainly want to know more.

    Alister

    1. Thanks Alister. Yes, its really good to understand Amazon’s terms of service first. This will help you understand things like how to promote products, terms, termination, tax provision, etc. Generating traffic to your site is indeed crucial. 

      By the way, thanks for the suggestion! Will definitely consider that in the future.

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