Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Affiliate Program

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Amazon is one of the world’s biggest retailers. In reality, it’s responsible for almost 40% of all online sales in the U.S. alone. And anyone can earn a share of the profits of the retail giant— all you need to do is have a website or social media presence so sign up for the Amazon affiliate program.

The affiliate program of Amazon, also known as Amazon Associates, is a promotional affiliate program that allows users to monetize their websites, forums and social media. Amazon affiliate users simply put links to Amazon goods on their website and the user earns a fee when a customer makes a purchase through one of their links. Read on to learn how to engage in the affiliate program of Amazon and discover methods that you can use to increase your profits.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate and partner advertising services like Amazon’s are simply deals where an online retailer like Amazon charges a fee to give them traffic and/or sales to affiliate websites. Affiliate sites connect to the site of the merchant and are charged as per the agreements of the system. For example, Amazon’s affiliate program rewards affiliate sites based on the number of customers they send to Amazon who also make on-site transactions within 24 hours.

For both the retailer and the participating partners, affiliate advertising has several benefits. It is an opportunity for the merchant to extend scope and increase sales by means of inexpensive advertising. Since affiliate marketing is performance-based — affiliates are only charged when the desired action occurs— affiliate program participants are also encouraged to drive sales.

Participating in an associate marketing program allows partners to participate in ecommerce without having to set up and operate their own store. It also offers a chance to monetize a website, blog or social media and receive a commission.

There are three types of affiliate marketing:

  1. pay-per-sale: In this type of program, the merchant pays an affiliate when the affiliate sends a customer who makes a purchase. Some merchants pay the affiliate a fixed rate per sale while others, like Amazon, pay a percentage of the sale.
  2. pay-per-click: In this arrangement, the affiliate is paid based on how many visitors arrive at the merchant’s site via the affiliate link, and the affiliate is paid regardless of whether visitors make a purchase.
  3. pay-per-lead: This type of program pays affiliates based on the number of visitors to the merchant’s site who sign up as leads or fill out the requested information on the website.

How does Amazon’s affiliate program work?

Amazon Associates is simply a referral program that charges a website referral fee. So when you send a customer to Amazon through a connection on your website, you get a percentage of what they buy in the next 24 hours.

Based on what sort of product a consumer orders, the fee varies. Refer to the following graph to see what the set default service fee price for Amazon is for different product categories.

Amazon-affiliate-product-categories

It’s important to keep in mind that not the only factor in your fee is the percentage of the revenue you get. The conversion rate also matters because, after visiting the page, it shows how many people actually click an affiliate connection and make a purchase.

Your conversion rate is the percentage of your website visitors who make a purchase from the total number of visitors to your site through your affiliate connection. For example, if your website received 5,000 visitors during the month of August, and 10 of those visitors make a purchase after clicking on your affiliate link, that would be a 0.2 percent conversion rate.

The average affiliate conversion rate is 0.5 percent to 1 percent. However, some affiliates regularly have much higher conversion rates.

Estimating your potential Amazon affiliate profits can be tricky and involves more than just your conversion rate and Amazon’s fee rates. Learn more about estimating profits from Amazon Associates links — and get access to a free calculation tool

Because you get a percentage of everything a consumer buys from Amazon within 24 hours from an affiliate connection once they arrive at Amazon.com, there is also the opportunity to gain additional money from items you don’t directly advertise. For example, when you run a beauty blog that features affiliate links to premium beauty products that have a 10 percent payment limit, you may get 10 percent of a high-end moisturizer purchase, but also 8 percent of a dog treats box price if the consumer also buys cookies.

Nevertheless, a customer must place an order within 24 hours of arrival at Amazon.com from your affiliate connection to receive a discount on Amazon purchases. Once that 24-hour window is closed— or if the consumer re-enters Amazon through a connection from another partner, no payments will be paid for future transactions. Nevertheless, if the customer returns to Amazon via one of your affiliate links, a new 24-hour window will open, and you will once again be eligible to earn customer-based payments.

If a customer comes from one of your affiliate links at Amazon, adds a product to their shopping cart and leaves Amazon without completing their order, you can still receive a portion of that purchase. So long as the product is added within that 24-hour period to the shopper’s cart, you will be billed the referral fee if the order is placed before the shopping cart expires, usually 90 days.

Amazon affiliate program: Pros and cons

Earning revenue simply by linking to an Amazon product may seem like a no-brainer, but before becoming an Amazon affiliate, there are a few things to consider. Let’s dig at some of Amazon Associates ‘ pros and cons.

Pros:

  • It’s easy to become an Amazon affiliate. You can register and start sharing affiliate links, detailed in the following section, in just a few minutes.
  • Amazon is an ecommerce authority. The retail giant is a trusted, well-known brand, so affiliates don’t need to sell visitors on purchasing from the website.
  • There are many products to advertise. With more than 3 billion items for sale, in addition to services like Prime Video, there’s no shortage of products to promote via affiliate links.
  • Participants earn income from products besides the ones they link to. When you send traffic to Amazon via an affiliate link, and that user makes a purchase, you get a percentage of everything they purchase within 24 hours. And because Amazon is skilled at conversion and upselling, it’s very likely that a customer will add multiple items to their cart.

Cons:

  • Amazon’s commissions are very low in some categories. While the Amazon Associates program has a commission rate of up to 10 percent for some items, such as luxury beauty products, others, such as video game consoles, are as low as 1 percent.
  • The Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement can be difficult to understand and is frequently updated, so members can easily be found not in compliance if they don’t stay up-to-date.
  • If you don’t already have a website with product reviews or other suitable content that would be a good fit for affiliate links, creating one can require a lot of time, effort and upkeep.

Given the benefits and challenges, who should become an Amazon affiliate?

Just because you don’t have a personal blog or a consumer reviews page doesn’t mean you’re not eligible to become an Amazon affiliate. You can release a website that contains affiliate links to items that you support and, over time, continue adding content and links. Although your platform may not be successful instantly, this is a good way of long-term generating a steady stream of additional revenue.

You may also include affiliate links in YouTube videos if you have a YouTube channel or are interested in starting one. Adding affiliate links to videos can make them more professional by providing additional value and improving user experience.

Amazon affiliate connections can also be shared on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, making the affiliate program a great option for anyone with social media activity. To benefit from using such connections, you don’t need a big follow-up. Promoting products that you know and love is powerful word-of-mouth advertising, and friends and family that take your recommendations more likely because you are a trusted source.

How to become an Amazon Affiliate?

Registering for the Amazon Associates program is a simple process. To begin, simply visit affiliate-program.amazon.com and click “Join Now for Free.”

join-Amazon-AssociatesNext, you will need to enter your account details, including your name, address and phone number. First, enter websites and mobile app URLs where you expect to view banners, advertising, or affiliate links. Up to 50 websites and mobile app URLs can be entered together.

In the following section, you’ll select a store ID and provide information about your websites or mobile apps and what kind of products you intend to promote, as illustrated below.

Join-Amazon-affiliate-program

You will also pick topics from a drop-down list that best describe your websites or mobile apps, such as clothes, books, games, or movies.

First, you will need to explain how you drive traffic to your pages, how you generate revenue from your sites and apps, how you create connections usually, and how many total unique visitors you receive on a monthly basis.

Amazon-Associates-form

Simply enter your phone number once this section is through, click “Call Me Now” and respond if you receive an Amazon call. You will be told to enter a four-digit PIN and then set up your account.

From here, you can choose to enter your payment and tax details now or later, and then move to your dashboard to start creating affiliate links with Amazon.

How to create Amazon affiliate links

Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be taken to your Amazon Associates dashboard where you’ll be able to view a variety of analytics, including earnings revenue, as well as create affiliate links. You can create Amazon affiliate links in two ways: by using the Product Link Tool or using SiteStripe.

Creating affiliate links with Amazon’s Product Link Tool

The Product Link Tool is the most common way to create an affiliate link. To access it, simply click “Product Linking” at the top of the Amazon Associates dashboard and select “Product Links,” as illustrated below.

Amazon-Associates-product-links

This will take you to a screen where you can search for a product. You can enter a search term that’s fairly generic such as “yoga mat,” or you can search for a specific brand, model or product. For example, if you’re creating an affiliate link for a review of tennis shoes, you can search for “tennis shoes” or search more specifically for the exact product you’re reviewing like “New Balance Men’s 990v4.”

search-for-Amazon-affiliate-product

Once you’ve entered your query, the search results will appear below, and you can select the product you’d like to create an affiliate link for. To get this link, simply click “Get link” next to the product you’d like to advertise, as in the example below.

select-Amazon-affiliate-product-for-ad

A box will pop up with your affiliate link, and you can copy the HTML code for your site as-is, or you can customize it first. Your ad can be an image and text, just text or an image only. You can also customize the look of the ad. For example, you could change the title or price color to match the branding of your website.

create-Amazon-affiliate-ad

Once the code is copied, simply paste it into the code for your website.

Creating affiliate links with SiteStripe

The SiteStripe tool allows you to create an affiliate link directly from any item’s Amazon product page. Once you’ve set up your Amazon Associates account, the tool will automatically appear at the top of any Amazon.com page as long as you’re logged into your account.

To use SiteStripe, simply visit any Amazon product page for the item you’d like to create an affiliate link for.

create-Amazon-affiliate-ad-with-sitestripe

The SiteStripe bar at the top of the page enables you to create several different types of links. You can create a native ad as illustrated above, or you can get a plain text link, an image with an embedded link or a text plus image ad. You can also click to share on Facebook or Twitter.

Once you’ve selected the type of affiliate link you’d like, the ad code will appear in a box beneath it, and you’ll simply need to copy the code and paste it on your website or social.

Amazon affiliate program: Getting paid

Profits earned from Amazon’s affiliate program are paid approximately 60 days following the end of each calendar month.

Payments can be made by direct deposit, by check or via Amazon gift card. The payment option you select plays a role in how often you’ll receive payment because Amazon has a minimum payment amount for each type, as indicated below.

Amazon-Affiliate-payment-minimum-chart

Three types of payment methods

  1. Direct deposit: If you choose to receive payments via direct deposit, you’ll need to provide Amazon with your banking information, which includes the bank name, account number and other identifying information. Amazon will hold payment until you earn the payment minimum of $10.
  2. Check: For payment by check, you need to supply Amazon with only a mailing address. Amazon will hold your payment until you reach the minimum payment of $100 + a $15 check-processing fee.
  3. Amazon gift card: For this payment method, Amazon will send gift cards to the primary email address on your account in the amount you’ve earned. Fees will be held until you reach the payment minimum of $10.

Amazon affiliate program: Strategies to maximize profits

Looking to turn your website into a profitable Amazon affiliate site? Try these tips to grow traffic to your site and maximize your Amazon payouts.

1. Find a niche.

Websites that earn most of their revenue through the Amazon Associates program are known as niche sites, and the key to setting up a successful niche site is to first determine which part of the ecommerce marketplace you’ll target.

Finding a profitable, low-competition niche can be challenging, but it’s a good idea to look for a niche that you have knowledge of or an avid interest in. For example, if you’re into natural skincare, you may want to start a beauty blog, or, if you’re interested in gaming, you may want to review games or gaming consoles. Creating review-focused content is one of the best ways to establish a profitable affiliate site; however, it can be repetitive and challenging to upkeep if you’re writing about home improvement products when you have no interest in the topic. You’ll also struggle to create compelling content if you don’t understand the market or the audience you’re targeting.

However, having an interest in your topic alone isn’t enough to make your niche site competitive. Before settling on a niche, do some keyword research to determine how competitive various niches are and which keywords you could most easily rank for.

2. Create regular, original content.

While you can promote Amazon products on social media or on YouTube, most people — including those making six figures from affiliate links— do it by blogging. While writing single product reviews of various Amazon products is a popular option, there are other ways to create review-oriented content that can be more engaging.

Writing roundups of a few similar products can be effective. This could include reviews of the “The 5 Best Handheld Mixers” or creating a roundup of several reviews that declares a winner and a runner-up, such as “The Best Fitness Tracker You Can Buy on Amazon.” For example, in the screenshot from Wirecutter below, the writer reviewed a few mosquito control devices and identified the top pick that performed the best.

example-of-Amazon-affiliate-ad

Another option is to create product tutorials or articles that demonstrate how a specific product provides solutions, such as “How to Use Your Ninja Air Fryer” or “10 Tips to Use Your Ninja Air Fryer.” For example, the screenshot from Wirecutter below is from an article titled “How to Back Up Your Computer,” which details the process of backing up a computer and highlights various products you can use.

It’s also important to post regularly to keep your site up-to-date and to create unique content that doesn’t simply rehash a product’s Amazon description. If you’re not testing a product yourself, read other people’s reviews of it to create content that’s both original and useful for potential buyers.

3. Optimize for specific products.

Most traffic to affiliate websites comes from product-related searches or searches for reviews of specific products, so use long-tail terms and use the exact keyword in your URL. For example, if you’re writing a review of a certain appliance, include the product’s brand and model number, such as “Review of AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage – 28-Inch” both in the title and the URL if you can.

To learn more about optimizing for search, check out this post from FollowUp on ecommerce SEO tips.

4. Use a link localizer.

Link localizers enable you to redirect visitors from certain countries to a specific site. For example, if a UK-based user visits your website and clicks an Amazon affiliate link, a link localizer will direct the user to amazon.co.uk. If you don’t use a link localizer for your affiliate links, you won’t get paid a commission for the foreign traffic you drive to Amazon.

Is Amazon’s affiliate program right for you?

There’s a lot to consider before signing up for Amazon Associates. If you already have a website with suitable content that you can add affiliate links to, it can be a simple way to start earning additional income in the long-term.

However, if you’re creating a website from scratch with the goal of making it profitable via Amazon affiliate links, the process of launching a site and populating it with reviews and product-related content can be time-consuming. However, developing a niche site optimized with affiliate links also has the possibility of becoming profitable in the short-term.

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