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How to Make Money as an Amazon Affiliate

Kennedell Amoo-Gottfried
July 13, 2022
February 26, 2024
How to make money as an Amazon Affiliate

You don’t need to actually sell anything on Amazon to profit from it. You can make money just by having people buy Amazon products through your links! 

The Amazon Affiliate program - also known as Amazon - lets you very easily set yourself up to potentially make a good amount of cash on the side just by putting links to products up on your site. Any time someone makes a purchase through one of your links, you make some money. It’s that simple. 

At its core, affiliate marketing is a marketing tactic whereby retailers like Amazon can let smaller websites get in on the action by putting links on their sites in exchange for a percentage commission if it leads to a sale. 

If you already have a website, a blog, or some other platform - whether you’ve set it up as some kind of passion project or as a way to make money - then it would be a relatively easy way to make some more money, especially if the links you are promoting are thematically related to your site. 

So how do you do it? 

How to get set up

If you are a website owner, you can get going as an affiliate quite easily: 

  • Create an Amazon Affiliate account (Amazon will give you a unique identifier called an Associate ID).
  • Go to Amazon Associates homepage and select Sign Up
  • Enter information including account information, preferred store ID, and website address, including an explanation of what your website does and how traffic is driven to it
  • Input preferred payment method and tax information
  • Once you receive approval, which Amazon overwhelmingly grants, you can begin putting up affiliate links right away.
  •  Start making money!

In theory, affiliate links lead to passive income, people either click it or don’t, and you don’t have to go far out of your way to get clicks if they are displayed in a visible enough spot. The more you promote the link, the better it will perform, so make sure you display it prominently and refer to it if you can. 

If your site sells things directly then it may not be the best idea to take up affiliate marketing, as there is the risk of taking direct sales - which make you more money per unit - away from you. Depending on how you’re structuring your revenue stack, however, you can get a mixture of direct sales and affiliate revenue, depending on what is more convenient or profitable. 

Amazon will be more than happy to accept you into the program, but there are some rules. To be eligible, your site can’t contain sexually obscene, defamatory material, or hateful materials, nor can it engage in illegal activity. 

In terms of the affiliate links themselves, you cannot make false about the product you’re linking to and you have to disclose on your site that you can earn money from your recommendations.

Since product prices change regularly, you can’t refer to how much products cost (that may inadvertently be deceptive) and you can’t use links in offline promotions like emails or eBooks. 

Setting up the links themselves is similarly straightforward: 

  • Once logged into your account, select Product Linking, then Product Links
  • Search for the desired product, either by ASIN or directly in the search bar. Be sure to verify you have the product you want
  • Select Get Link
  • Use the link!

How much can you make?

How much you will earn will depend on what you are linking to. Different product categories have different commission percentages. 

Fixed commission income rates are roughly the following: 

  • 20% - Amazon Games
  • 10% - Luxury beauty
  • 5% -  Music (physical and digital), Digital videos
  • 4.5% - Kitchen products, physical books, automotive parts
  • 4% - Amazon devices, shoes, handbags, accessories, office products, and other miscellaneous products. 
  • 3% - home and home improvement goods, beauty products, business, baby products, gardening products, watches, jewelry, luggage, outdoors, musical instruments, pet products, headphones, furniture, sports, business, and industrial supplies
  • 2.5% - PC and components, DVDs and Blu-Ray
  • 2% - Digital video games and televisions
  • 1% - health and personal care, Amazon Fresh, groceries, physical video games, game consoles

The rates can go up if there are promotional offers in place, which are temporary but can typically bump commissions by one or two percentage points. 

Not all products yield a percentage commission. Things like gift cards, alcohol, digital Kindle books, and subscription-based services don’t get any commission. Some of the subscription services, however, can give you a one-off bounty payment if you manage to get people signed up.  

Money will be deposited automatically into your account, though it typically comes in 60 days after the corresponding month. 

Best Practices

If you want to make the most of your affiliate status, there are several things you can do to maximize your income: 

  • Content is king: Make sure you keep your content coming regularly, and keep it fresh and different from other sites. This is something you want to make sure you do regardless of the links in order to keep traffic healthy anyways. 
  • Keep the theme: A good approach is to find a niche and use affiliate links related to your site’s theme - for example, if it is a cooking and food blog, you could have links to kitchen appliances, if you have an outdoors-themes blog, you can have links to camping products, and if you have a sports blog, you can have links to athletic equipment. This is especially useful if you plan to get most of your site’s revenue from affiliate marketing. 
  • Localize the links: There is little point in directing UK-based customers to Amazon’s Italian site. Use a link localizer to make sure customers are going to their relevant sites, otherwise you will lose out both on conversions and commission. 
  • Storefronts: You can create attractive-looking storefronts for your products that act like online stores for the Amazon products you are linking to. This gives you another selling tool in addition to your editorial output. 

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Threecolts acquires, launches, and grows e-commerce software with a robust suite of offerings such as SellerRunning, SmartRepricer, SellerBench, Tactical Arbitrage, Bindwise, RefundSniper, ChannelReply, and FeedbackWhiz.

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