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How to Join the Amazon Affiliate Program in Five Easy Steps

Last Modified: July 21, 2023

Because of the sheer volume of sales that occur within its marketplace, the Amazon affiliate program is immensely popular for affiliates of all stripes. Of Amazon’s nearly $470 billion in net revenue in 2021, $279 billion of that was attributable to net sales in North America, potentially driving in untold millions in affiliate revenue.

For many folks in the affiliate space, the Amazon affiliate program, called “Amazon Associates,” is an easy and straightforward way to monetize a blog or website. Because of Amazon’s ubiquitous online presence, gargantuan user base, and extremely high conversion rate of 10 to 15 percent (compared to the average ecommerce conversion rate of two to three percent), Amazon’s affiliate program represents a significant money-making opportunity for affiliates.

To help affiliates capitalize on this revenue stream, today, we will break down what the Amazon Associates program is, what potential earnings affiliates might see, how to get signed up for Amazon Associates, and other important details to help affiliates get started.

What is the Amazon Affiliate Program?

Amazon Associates is the largest affiliate marketing program online, which is unsurprising given the company’s dominance in the ecommerce space. Amazon’s affiliate program enables affiliates and various kinds of creators to monetize their website traffic and social media presence by creating content that promotes Amazon products.

After signing up for the Amazon Associates program, users will be able to generate unique links to products to promote to their audience. When a customer clicks through and converts using one of these links, the affiliate will receive a commission for that sale.

Average Amazon Associates Affiliate Income

Like any other form of online marketing, an affiliate’s revenue will vary, depending on various factors like:

  • Audience size
  • Average engagement rates
  • Niche
  • Hours invested in content creation and promotion
  • Content visibility and discoverability

Thus, using the Amazon affiliate program can net affiliates anywhere from less than a hundred dollars a month to upwards of six figures annually. That said, the average Amazon affiliate income is roughly $58,000 per year (as of this writing), according to ZipRecruiter. Meanwhile, the bottom 10 percent of affiliates generate approximately $20,000 annually and the top one percent rakes in over $124,000 a year.

Again, there are many factors that will influence an affiliate’s total revenue, one of which is the niche an affiliate inhabits.

With Amazon’s affiliate program, commission rates can vary significantly based on the product category. For example, those promoting luxury items can receive a commission of 10 percent, while those driving traffic to video games will only net one percent.

That aside, when just starting out with Amazon Associates, it is likely that new user earnings will be on the lower end of the scale, so it is wise for these newcomers to have additional revenue streams while they work on growing Amazon sales.

Amazon Affiliate Program Rules and Requirements

If there is one drawback to the Amazon affiliate program, it’s that the company puts forth a hefty set of guidelines for users to follow. Those who violate the policies laid out by Amazon could be barred from the program. Therefore, it is essential to become familiar with these before diving headlong into Amazon Associates.

That said, a sizable amount of the rules included in the Amazon Associates program policies dictate conduct for ethical promotion and are there to prevent more cunning kinds of affiliates from gaming the system.

Some of the most important rules to keep in mind include the following:

  • Mandatory on-site disclosure of the affiliate’s potential to earn from recommended products.
  • Not making false, misleading, or deceptive claims about products or recommendations.
  • Avoiding price mentions (as these are in constant flux)
  • Not using Amazon affiliate program links in offline materials or emails
  • Not employing link shorteners for Amazon Associate links

There are just a few critical rules to follow.

Where eligibility is concerned, affiliates must meet the following requirements:

  • Enrollment and Eligibility: To be eligible to enroll in Amazon Associates, affiliates must produce original content that is publicly available and does not contain any violent, sexually explicit, or obscene material or content that promotes illegal activity. Additionally, content cannot utilize Amazon trademarks, violate any intellectual property, or be aimed at (or collect data from) children under 13 years of age.
  • Links on Your Site: Affiliates will be adding Amazon links to their site, which enable the company to track, report, and collect different kinds of data. Thus, it is crucial to have a strong cookie and privacy policy in place.
  • Responsibility for Your Site: Affiliates are solely responsible for the development, operation, and maintenance of their website, meaning that Amazon provides no assistance on this front.
  • Promotional Limitations: Under this section of the Amazon affiliate program policies, Amazon outlines that affiliates cannot use special links in printed materials, eBooks, emails, private messages, and other prohibited forms of advertising Amazon links.
  • Distribution of Special Links Through Software or Devices: This states that affiliates cannot utilize special Amazon links or program content on or in connection with any client-side software like plug-ins, browsers, toolbars, extensions, and the like. The same goes for devices such as computers, tablets, any television set-top box, and similar equipment.
  • Content on Your Site: This section contains a whopping 25 sub-clauses which state that affiliates are barred from trying to buy Amazon’s trademark or bid on its keywords, obscure their affiliate links or conceal that they are linking to Amazon, offer rewards for using affiliate links, and many other activities.

While this presents the Amazon affiliate program guidelines in a nutshell, it is advisable for affiliates to thoroughly review these policies in full to ensure complete clarity on eligibility and expectations.

How to Join the Amazon Affiliate Program

With the foundational materials covered, let’s dive into how to get started with Amazon Associates.

Assuming that affiliates already have a website, mobile app, or YouTube channel up and running, they can join Amazon Associates by:

1. Sign Up for Amazon Associates

Navigate to the Amazon Associates homepage, click the yellow “Sign Up” button, sign in to your existing Amazon account (or create one if you don’t already have one), and choose your preferred language from the menu at the top of the page.

From there, select who the payments will be issued to based on your Amazon account info. This information should include your name, address, and phone number.

2. Enter Your Website and Mobile App List

Next, enter the URL for your website, blog, mobile application, YouTube channel, and other destinations where Amazon links will be listed.

Be aware that you only need to list top-level domains for these properties, not specific pages where the links will appear.

3. Fill Out Your Profile

At this portion of the application, potential affiliates will set their preferred Associate Store ID (this will appear in your affiliate links), fill in additional details about their website or app, the types of products they will promote, and details on marketing tactics.

Starting with website and app information, write a few sentences to explain the purpose of the site and the type of content it houses. Next, select the topics that best describe the website or app from the lists provided. Then, choose all of the Amazon items that you intend to promote via these properties.

Under the “Traffic & Monetization” section, choose the applicable methods you utilize for driving traffic to your site and generating revenue.

Before clicking “Finish,” be sure to read the Associates Program Operating Agreement in full.

From this point, Amazon will move forward with the application review process once an affiliate makes their first sales through their website. If at least three sales are not generated within the next 180 days, the application will be withdrawn.

4. Enter Payment and Tax Info

While affiliates can opt to enter their payments and tax info later, it is best to get this out of the way.

From here, affiliates can add a bank account, select if they prefer to be paid via gift card or check, minimum payout amounts, and provide all of the relevant tax information.

5. Generate Affiliate Links

At this point, affiliates are free to start generating Amazon affiliate program links. However, before doing this, it is advisable to identify yourself as an associate on your website via a disclaimer to avoid accidentally getting banned.

When ready, go ahead and generate an Amazon affiliate link. The quickest and easiest way to do this is by using the Amazon Associate SiteStripe, which appears at the top of every page affiliates visit on Amazon.

Using this tool, affiliates can generate text links, image links, or a combination of the two. SiteStripe can also be used to quickly share product links directly to Facebook and Twitter.

Alternatively, from the Associates dashboard, affiliates can create banners, native shopping ads, mobile popovers, or create custom links to any page on Amazon.

How to Increase Your Amazon Affiliate Program Income

Once you are all signed up for the Amazon affiliate program, the only thing left to do is drive sales.

However, in order to elevate the potential revenue reaped from Amazon Associates, there are some tactics and strategies that affiliates will need to deploy. Those methods include:

Establish a Niche

Amazon offers consumers millions of different items in a multitude of categories. Affiliates aren’t going to score many sales by promoting an array of random products with no throughline.

Instead, it is best to find a niche to focus on and one that is genuinely interesting, as this allows affiliates to build a following in this specific area and promote related items, thereby increasing the chances of earning a sale.

Instead, it is best to find a niche to focus on and one that is genuinely interesting, as this allows affiliates to build a following in this specific area and promote related items, thereby increasing the chances of earning a sale.

Find a suitable niche means you must be able to:

  • Find a topic that interests you: Good affiliates are highly knowledgeable in a specific area and aim to become industry experts. This means that it is important to find a topic that is interesting and compelling to you so that you can follow such a pursuit.
  • Solve consumer problems in that niche: People often follow online creators because they are insightful and help them to solve problems that they are facing. This goes back to the point about becoming an expert. In addition to becoming an expert on a topic, you must be capable of creating helpful, informative content on the subject.
  • Identify a profitable niche: The last thing you want to do is select a niche and pour untold hours into content creation, only to find that it is unprofitable. Therefore, when looking for a topic that interests you, look at market research reports and Google Trends data to determine the popularity of the niche and if consumers in this space are ready and willing to buy.

Create Useful, Original Content

Content is the backbone of affiliate marketing and online search in general. However, the internet is currently flooded with content, which means that affiliates must aim to craft content that is informative, helpful, and appealing to consumers within a specific niche.

Naturally, this will require some keyword research, audience insights, and an overall content strategy that builds a comprehensive library of work that consumers can reference for answers to various questions on a given topic. Some necessary forms of content to integrate into your strategy include:

  • Product Reviews: Product reviews are a critical form of content for affiliates to produce as this will help to create social proof for an item and help to boost a site’s traffic, as nine out of ten customers read reviews before buying a product.
  • Product Comparisons: Product comparisons are another vital form of content for affiliates and are incredibly useful for driving traffic for the reasons cited above. Offering product comparisons alongside product reviews will help to take consumer research a level deeper, thereby making them more prepared to make a purchase. At the same time, this will serve to turn affiliates into authorities on a given subject.
  • Blogs: Blogging is imperative for raising a site’s visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs) as this is one of a website’s primary sources of keywords and freshness, which Google values. Blog content is often an affiliate’s primary driver of building subject matter expertise and an excellent vehicle for promoting products.

Focus on SEO

The internet is a crowded place. Thus, being able to reach consumers who are researching products and looking for advice means that affiliates must make themselves visible in the SERPs.

Working to boost a site’s SEO not only means that affiliates need to do keyword research and develop optimized content. It also means they need to invest in optimizing their site overall by paying attention to essential factors of on-page SEO.

Promote Content Via Social Media

Alongside investing in your website’s visibility and long-term viability, it is also essential for affiliates to cultivate a community and reach new consumers by promoting their content on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch, and other popular places.

Not only can affiliates publish their Amazon Associate links in these destinations, but they can also promote their on-site content in these locations to drive traffic.

No matter which social networks affiliates use, it is essential to reach out to consumers in these locations, given that 75 percent of internet users use social media to research products, thus making them a potential wellspring of sales.

Joining the Amazon Associates Program

Amazon Associates is an extremely popular affiliate program for a reason. As one of the largest and most popular ecommerce marketplaces online, Amazon’s dedicated customer base presents affiliates with a dependable source of revenue.

Fortunately, getting signed up for the Amazon affiliate program is quick and easy. However, once that is done is when the real work begins, as affiliates must find a niche, produce helpful content, optimize their social, and grow their online visibility to cultivate the traffic they need to create a stable source of income as an affiliate.

Additionally, bear in mind that affiliates don’t need to be married to a single platform. Sign up to become an affiliate with Refersion and gain access to thousands of industry-leading brands to grow your affiliate revenue to new heights.

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey