A Beginner’s Guide to The Amazon Associates Program

A Beginner's Guide to the Amazon Associates Program

We’ve all probably shopped using Amazon to buy something, but what we really want to share with you is how you can make money promoting products on Amazon using the Amazon Associates program instead!!

There are affiliate marketers earning thousands of dollars in passive income a MONTH!!  Just from promoting stuff on their blogs and recommending Amazon as where to buy it.  That’s what we love about affiliate marketing!!

Hi, I’m John and I want to share with you my beginners guide to the Amazon Associates Program.  I want to ensure you get all of the relevant information you need to know before you get started with the Amazon affiliate program.

Let’s get you started with earning your own commissions online with this amazing affiliate program… Before we get into the Amazon Associates program (and everything you need to know), let’s just make sure you know what affiliate marketing is all about.  If you’re ready to get started with the guide already, click here to skip straight to it…

Table of Contents

What's Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is my favourite way of making money online, as it can help you spend more time doing something you enjoy (like a hobby) and can make money from it too.  Affiliate Marketing has grown massively over the last few years, with many different ways of promoting products or services in return for commissions.  It’s awesome.

But not everyone is clear on what it is.  There are also a lot of scammers online, that try to convince beginners that you need to spend a lot of money to get started with it too, or that it is actually a get-rich-quick scheme.

When it’s nothing of the sort.  Yes, there is big money to be made from it.  But nothing in this life is given out for free.

In essence, Affiliate Marketing is free… from a money point of view.  It actually costs you time and effort, more than money.

I spend money on my affiliate marketing business.  But I spend a lot more time on it, especially in the early days to get the return on investment I want.

So, don’t get fooled by anyone who says you can get rich overnight.  This is about you spending a lot of time making this business model works.  It definitely works, but not straightaway.

Anyways, I got sidetracked…  Let’s clear up how it works to give you an idea (as this is exactly how you are going to make money from the Amazon Associates program…

This graphic gives you a good idea of how affiliate marketing works…


Basically, Affiliate Marketing is about promoting products that are relevant to your target audience, with an affiliate link and program to manage the transactions, etc.

We focus more on Content Marketing, which is a free method of bringing traffic to our blog.  We use affiliate links for an awesome affiliate training program, which if someone was to join and upgrade, we would earn a commission.

With Amazon, it’s a product.  But the beauty of affiliate marketing, is that it doesn’t cost you (the affiliate) or the customer (the buyer) anything.

Help your customer with their questions, and make suggestions (don’t sell the them!) and when they trust you enough they will start to possibly click on your affiliate links and you can earn commissions.

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What's The Amazon Associates Program?

A Beginner's Guide to the Amazon Associates Program - What's the Amazon Associates Program

Amazon is the largest marketplace online, and is one of the largest E-commerce platforms too.  It’s an easy starting point for someone looking to buy or sell anything online.

So, if Amazon is this well trusted, why is there an opportunity for Affiliate Marketers?

Well, that’s because most of us are not sure of what to purchase straightaway.  There will be a select few that already know what they are going to buy, that’s fine.

But the reason why Affiliate Marketing is such a good option is that most people are looking for opinions about what to buy.  Which brand is best?  Which one is best for this specific use?  Which is the best for value, price, or quality?

People are also looking at stories from experience to help them with these decisions.  Others are just looking for help and advice, which leads to a purchase.

So, there will always be a need for these touch points, and that is the option for affiliate marketers to benefit.

As for the Amazon Associates Program…  It’s the name for their affiliate program.  It’s a separate login from the one you use for your shopping account, but it’s free to sign up with.

By signing up with the Amazon Associates program gives you access to generate an affiliate link to anyone of their products that they sell.

This video will help you understand a little more about the Amazon Associates program and how it ties in to Affiliate Marketing…

Who's The Amazon Associates Program For?

I want to be quite honest with you, as Amazon do get a lot of applications to join their Associates program.  But most are trying to join too soon.

It’s free to sign up, so that naturally leads to people putting in their application straightaway.  Without really thinking about what they really means.

There are a couple of things you need to consider before deciding whether you are ready to join…

  1. It’s not available everywhere – Amazon is open worldwide, but there are a few exceptions where Amazon is not supported
  2. You need a website – if you don’t yet have a website then don’t try to apply, as you will not get accepted (Click here to learn how you can get one)
  3. You need to make sales quickly – If you do get accepted, it’s provisional, based on you getting sales in the first six months, which isn’t as easy as you might think

If I’m honest, the main issue with those looking to get started with affiliate marketing is that they try to speed through the steps to the “making money” part and end up not actually achieving what they want.

There is a reason why it’s the last part of the process, as you need to build up trust with the reader, the affiliate program, the search engines, etc.

So, if you have a new website without much content, I would wait before applying for any affiliate programs.  Create some helpful content in and around your niche, find out who your target audience is through that stage.  That way, you will know what to promote, and then apply for the affiliate program accordingly.

Amazon is a great starting point as they sell everything, but if you have no traffic coming to your site, then you have no chance of making money anyway.

A good idea of blog posts is to have about 40 blog posts.  Some how-to guides, some info guides, some comparisons, and reviews.  Once you have people starting to come to your blog, then you can consider signing up for Amazon Associates.

Like I said, you need to make sales to stay in the program.  You have a much better chance if you have people coming to your blog.  If you want to know how you can get more blog traffic, click here.

Why Choose the Amazon Associates Program? Top 4 Benefits

With all that being said, there are still plenty of benefits for a beginner using Amazon as their starting point for affiliate marketing.  With the right traffic levels, through your content, there are some real opportunities to make money with the Amazon Associates program…

Here are the top 4 benefits…

#1 People Already Trust & Buy From Amazon

Here are some stats you need to know about Amazon and why it’s so trusted:

“80% of US Amazon Shoppers purchase something at least once a month” – Source

“40% of Amazon Prime members spend over $1,000 a year on Amazon” – Business Insider

“Most Amazon consumers rely on reviews when deciding which product to buy” – WordStream

These three points prove that people are buying a lot of stuff through Amazon, but the final one is the one that you should be really interested in.  As it shows the potential for Affiliate Marketers.  Affiliate Marketing is about reviewing and recommending products, which these consumers all rely on to help make their purchasing decisions.

Think about it.  When you shop online, you cannot see or feel the product, so you start to rely on what other people think about it.

That’s the opportunity that is Affiliate Marketing, and why you should definitely get started with it now!

#2 Amazon Sells (Almost) Everything

One of the biggest hurdles, new affiliate marketers have is choosing a niche.  People always think you have to go with a “profitable” niche, but then run out of content ideas as they know nothing about it.  

There is a lot of potential in any niche, and Amazon can both help you choose a niche (using their categories) but it also helps you turn something you enjoy into an income stream.

Affiliate Marketing only works if you invest a lot of time into it.  Why work at something you don’t enjoy, so pick a hobby or passion you have, and you’ll enjoy spending more time researching it, writing blog posts in it, and everything else that makes this work.

Amazon sells (pretty much) everything, so if you choose a hobby, you will find something that fits within that hobby on Amazon.

It also proves that there are products to target in that niche too.  So, if you love hiking, there will be stuff like hiking boots, water bottles, map covers, compasses, that will fit with it.

#3 Amazon Is Great At Selling

Amazon knows how to make a sale, which only helps you.  Especially if you have someone who is sitting on the fence.

They’ve read your review, click on your link and go to Amazon.  They might still be unsure.  But the way Amazon works is that they help with the “selling” part.  You’ve done the “help” part, which is your role and Amazon finishes the job.  They also help with the upsells, or frequently bought together.  Which helps you, as we will go through in the next point.

#4 You Earn Commissions From All Purchases (24-Hr Cookie)

It isn’t the longest cookie period online, but it is still a huge benefit to affiliate marketers.  This is because it helps you benefit from anything that they buy within 24 hours of them clicking on your link.

It also counts even if they don’t actually buy the product you were promoting.

Let’s say you had a blog about the latest tech…  I’m looking at which new laptop to buy.   I’m looking at your blog and checking out a few, and decide to follow one of your links to Amazon.  I might still not be convinced, so decide to not buy the new laptop. 

But whilst I’m on Amazon, I go and buy some other stuff, or maybe I decide to buy a new tablet instead.  It doesn’t matter, as long as I do it within 24 hours of clicking on your affiliate link, then you will earn a commission from the sale.

This is how you can make money from Amazon, even when they don’t buy what you were promoting.

The Amazon Associates Commission Structure

There are a couple of downsides to the Amazon Associates program, but the four benefits above usually outweight them…

But those downsides are, a low commission rate and the cookies only last for 24 hours.

There will be those that compare these to other programs, which do offer higher commission rates and longer cookies, but there are still many affiliate marketers earning a 4-figure monthly income from Amazon.  So, it shouldn’t be discounted…

A Beginner's Guide to the Amazon Associates Program: amazon-associates-commission-structure

The commission levels do seem low, however there are still many people who are making hundreds and thousands of dollars from Amazon.

I think there are two main reason why this is:

  1. People trust Amazon over other marketplaces. People are more willing to handover their money to Amazon because they trust Amazon.  This benefits Affiliates as people are less likely to just walk away and not buy stuff via your affiliate link.
  2. The sheer number of products Amazon sells. There are plenty of independent affiliate programs out there, so any niche is covered.  But because of Amazon having such a wide range and is less difficult for a new affiliate marketer to join, then it makes sense to start here.

But the main thing to know is that if you can drive enough traffic to Amazon via your affiliate links, you will make money.

How to Apply to The Amazon Associates Program

Joining the Amazon Associates program is free to do, but it does require you to have your website.  You’ll also be required to give your phone number over to verify your identity.  If you have a website already, then click here to sign up with the Amazon Associates program…

The video below will give you a good way of understand the process for signing up with them…

After completing the initial sign-up process, you can start to explore the Amazon Associates dashboard.  But know, that you will not receive any commissions, until you complete your tax information.  Here is another video to show you how, this video also is good if you are not from the US too:

There is also another factor you need to consider here too.  If you sign up for the Amazon.com associates account, then that allows you to earn commissions from sales in the US.

So, if you are getting traffic from other parts of the world, you need to sign up to the different country’s version too.

For example, we live the UK.  If you sign up for the UK associate program, you can automatically sign up for the European programs too.

But as most of the traffic to our other site is from the US, we also needed to sign up to the US program. You would need to also sign up with the Canadian store potentially, etc.

You would need to consider where your traffic comes from.  There are different programs for all the different countries.

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Not Eligible for Amazon Associates? What to do...

This goes for any affiliate program you try to apply for.  Rejection comes with the territory, I’m afraid.  Amazon gets a lot of applications to join their affiliate program and not everyone is eligible.

But what I can share with you is the most common reasons for those rejections, so you can be as ready as you can be, so that hopefully, it doesn’t happen to you.

Your Application Has Been Rejected...

Let’s start with the most common reasons for why your application might get rejected…

#1 Not Enough Traffic

This is relevant to anything to do with anything online.  If you don’t have people coming to your website, then nothing will happen.  You won’t get people joining your email list, you won’t have people commenting on your blog posts, you won’t have people to click on your affiliate links.

So, the most common reason why Amazon (or any affiliate program) will reject you is that your website has little or no content on it.

If you’re brand new, then it’s something you can factor in and wait until you have plenty of content on it.  If you have got a good level of content, but still got rejected, it might be about the quality of your content.  Or, you’ve written loads of reviews and nothing else.

I recommend that you have at least some basic content and structure in place on your website before you apply.

Write some high-quality content related to your niche before you start writing product reviews that you want to add affiliate links to.  If you have some high-quality posts that are offering insight into your niche and they show you are building an authority website around that niche, then you are more likely to get accepted into the program.

Most people get rejected because they have a 2-day old website with no content on it, or very little content.  That is a recipe for disaster when it comes to being accepted.

If you do get rejected, just keep on writing content and keep an eye on your traffic levels through Google Analytics, and then try again later down the road.

If you think about the people who are going to click on your links, they are looking for a helpful and decent website.  So, show Amazon that is what you are offering, and you will be accepted.

#2 Too Many Ads On Your Site

Another common reason for getting rejected, is that your website has too many ads on their website.  If your website is littered with ads everywhere, it takes away the focus from your content.  If that is happening, Amazon starts to think that readers will not click on your affiliate links, as the content is getting lost.

It can also affect the user experience.  The income potential from affiliate marketing is much more than display ads, so the question needs to be as to why you have so many ads on your blog?

No traffic = no income from any route.

Your In An Unsupported Region

There are some regions where you will find that you will be unable to sign up for Amazon Associates.

For example, certain states in the US are actually banned from having an Amazon Associates account due to certain tax law issues.  It doesn’t actually list them on the Amazon FAQ page though.

But you might find out when you sign up if you happen to be in one of the affected states.  If you one of the affected people, know that there are other opportunities which we will get into, shortly…

For more information about Amazon Associates eligibility, then check out this post.

The Alternatives to Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is a great starting point for most beginners, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option out there.  If you’ve been rejected, or you are in a region where you cannot join, then here are some alternatives to Amazon…

There are two main types of affiliate program – an affiliate network or an individual/private affiliate program.

An affiliate network, like Awin, gives you access to a lot of affiliate programs, all from one login.  For example, we use Aweber for our email marketing campaigns.  But they don’t manage their own affiliate program, they use CJ Affiliate by Conversant to manage their affiliate program for them.

An example of a private affiliate program would be Amazon themselves, as they manage their own affiliate program.  Another example would be eBay Partners, who manage eBay’s affiliate program.

Other Affiliate Networks

There are loads of affiliate networks when you start looking for them.  Picking the right network for you will depend on your niche and what you want to promote.

But the list below will give you a good starting point to go with…

Ensure you take the time to do your research before signing up with anything online, but you will find they all have options for you to promote products – so find a good one to fit with your niche

Private Affiliate Program

Affiliate Networks are good, it makes it easier to access a large number of products or services to promote.  But the commission rate is typically lower, than if you went direct to the merchant.

Private Affiliate Programs are ones managed by the company themselves (like Amazon or eBay).  They usually have a higher commission rate, as they don’t have to pay a network to manage their affiliate program.

Finding these individual affiliate is easy, just use a Google Search.  Type in “Your Niche + Affiliate Program” and you might be surprised by the results.

Again research is important, to ensure you are signing up to a legit affiliate program.  But there are plenty of results when you start looking for them 

In-Text Advertising Networks

Another alternative is to us In-text advertising networks.  These are tools that help connect marketers to merchants to create a win-win situation for both the marketer and the merchant.

There are platforms like Viglink, where you can join for free and get access to over 30,000 affiliate program opportunities in one platform.

There are also places like Skimlinks and Infolinks that offer a similar service.

When you start getting into affiliate marketing properly, you’ll find that you can benefit from many different affiliate programs.  Amazon Associates is a great starting point, but it is by no means the only option out there.  

There is also no restriction on how many you can join.  It’s more important that you are choosing products or services that are going to benefit your target audience, rather than the profit level.  Remember you need your target audience to click your links to buy the products for you to make money.

If you are promoting stuff that isn’t relevant to them, you are not going to make money.  So always remember who you are writing for.

Affiliates are considered an asset, because they benefit from marketers like you to promote their products.

You will need to pass certain criteria to be accepted, but the main ingredient is a good website that is offering helpful content.

Once you are accepted, there will often be some training and guidance provided to help you get the most out of their program.


There you have it…  a Beginners Guide to the Amazon Associates Program…  I’m really hoping that you found that useful, but if you still have any questions or comments to add, then please write them in the comments section below…

Affiliate Marketers are making 4-figure or even 6-figure monthly incomes from promoting products on Amazon.  It’ll require some hard work and time to get to that level, but it is a great starting point to get your affiliate marketing campaigns up and running.

If you are serious about making money online, then you cannot waste this opportunity.

It isn’t going to be an easy route, it is going to take hard work but that could be said of achieving anything in life, right?

But if you take this seriously and put the effort you, the rewards are definitely worth it.

Imagine, you could be in a position to quit your job if you want to, make passive income whilst you sleep and maybe travel the world… All of these is possible by leveraging Amazon Associates.

If you’re still in the research phase and haven’t got started with affiliate marketing yet, then don’t miss out on our in-depth step-by-step guide to affiliate marketing.   But if you want my personal help, then click here for my 7-Day Online Passive Income Bootcamp, where you will learn how to launch your own affiliate marketing business in just 7 days!!

Remember, if you want to find success with this, you need to hustle and put the time and effort into achieving it.  But that doesn’t mean you cannot get help.  Contact me if you need any help and support and I’ll try my best to help you out!

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1 year ago

We have enjoyed the read on Amazon and didn’t know that 40% of customers spend 1,000 a year and Amazon products that’s a lot of money to spend so we think of the potential it could earn us as well. Glad that we have ran into your website it explains so much of what Amazon does and sells even us, we have signed up for it in the US. Proud to sponsor Amazon.


1 year ago

What makes the Amazon Associates Program so enticing is the wide variety of products available for sale as well as the trust associated with Amazon. The big letdown in my opinion is the fact that the Amazon Associates Program has quite a low affiliate commission percentage and the second issue is their strict advertising rules.

The Amazon Associates Program is one of those programs where I struggle to decide whether I love it or hate it.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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