What is Amazon Associates?
Amazon associates is an affiliate marketing program run by Amazon.com. If you have a website or YouTube channel, you’re able to apply to join the program at:
Once you apply you’re able to create a probation account account where you can start promoting products from Amazon with a special link tied to your affiliate account.
When someone clicks your Amazon affiliate link your cookie is saved in their web browser for the next 24 hours. Anything they buy during this period of time you get a percentage of the sale.
It’s really that simple.
One you make 3 qualified sales, your account will be reviewed to determine if you can continue as an affiliate for Amazon or not. Amazon Associates is a straight forward affiliate program but they are strict about who they permit to stay in the program and there are quite a few things you can do to get your application rejected or your Amazon account banned even after you’ve been approved.
Lastly, your an Amazon affiliate at their discretion. At any time they can close your account for any reason legally. In practice though, there is always a reason why your account gets banned or your application denied.
Amazon Affiliate vs Amazon Associates
Fun side note, people who work at Amazon as employees are referred to as associates. However, Amazon’s internal affiliate program is also called Amazon Associates. In this piece of content we’re talking about the affiliate program for Amazon, NOT getting a job at Amazon.com.
Amazon Affiliate Earnings & Amazon Associates Rates
The amount you earn depends on the traffic you send to Amazon and if that traffic buys products. Traffic should be targeted so you want to promote Amazon in a way that makes sense for specific blog posts. Don’t just haphazardly promote irrelevant products.
Next it depends on what they buy.
Each product category has a different Amazon associates commission rate structure which you can learn more about by watching the above video of yours truly or by reading this.
So if you send someone to Amazon and they buy video games for example, you get 2% of that purchase. If they buy pet products however you get 8%. So having a pet website means you’re going to make a lot more from Amazon than you would a video game website.
These are fairly small commissions overall however compared to other programs like SiteGround that can pay up to $150 per sale if you can send more than 20 people a month to sign up. But Amazon has the volume.
Everyone shops online, most Americans have an Amazon account. So it’s much easier to make a sale promoting a product from Amazon than it is promoting a high ticket item like web hosting.
For some websites, it’s not uncommon to make thousands of dollars a month given the right niche. Roasty Coffee make 3k -7k a month from Amazon alone.
For my own earnings, I make $500-700 a month promoting products across all my websites. Not enough to live off of, but enough to where it makes a difference for my bottom line.
How To Make Sales
You should never create product centered content. I once reviewed a website about tea kettles. All they did was create thin content on tea kettles. Tea kettle X vs tea kettle Y. It was lame.
The post pages were not useful and it’s the sort of product where I would simply go to a local store to buy it from than order it on Amazon.
These are things you need to take into consideration when promoting products and in general for using Amazon to promote products.
Instead, you should try to solve a problem for people and weave in relevant products as it makes sense.
Two good examples of this:
Both these pages were created to answer a question and solve a problem. These are known as review type posts and you need to do a good job when creating them as your account could get banned or your application rejected if you create content that provides little value for the end user.
Some people like to think that they can simply make a “store” and simply link to Amazon. Thus being a middle man.
Your account will be reviewed, the traffic sources will be reviewed and your website will be reviewed. If its low quality, you won’t pass the probation period.
Images and Links
For the actual promotion you should use Amazon short links and Amazon images.
Amazon short links
When promoting a product simply search for it in your Amazon affiliate dashboard. Then click “get link.” On this page you’ll have three different options. The two best are image only and the Amazon short link. The short link is what you can use in blog posts and YouTube videos to link to Amazon.
DO NOT use images from Amazon per say, that is download and then upload the pictures to your website. These images are copyrighted. Instead, when creating an affiliate link in your Amazon associates dashboard you have the option to select an “an image only.’
In a WordPress blog post simply edit as HTML and copy and paste in the tracking code you’re given for the image. You should now have a safe, legal product image on your website.
Tags / Amazon Associates Tracking ID
Last you can only have ONE Amazon associates account. Not two, not one for each website you own, ONE.
In your one account it’s a good idea to create multiple tags for each website and YouTube channel you use to promote products. Again, you don’t need to do this but it’s smart business sense.
If I want to buy your website, it’s helpful for you to tell me how much it makes. If part of those earnings are from Amazon, I want to know how much. If you’re using the same tracking ID on multiple website you’re not going to know where you’re sales are coming from.
The Amazon Affiliate WordPress Plugin (AAWP) is a premium plugin that can allow you to generate various ways to display products in a visually pleasing and informative way in order to get higher conversions.
Do you need such a plugin in? Obviously not. But AAWP has been shown to boost sales and conversions for products by displaying products in helpful tables. It also allows you to show Amazon as clickable boxes with prices updated in real time. If your promoting with Amazon it’s worth checking out.
How to Not Get Banned from Amazon Associates
Once your account makes 3 sales your account will be reviewed. The following are the reasons why your account could be closed:
1 -You did not list all your website where you’re promoting Amazon. When creating your account you have to tell Amazon every website where you will be promoting Amazon from. No exceptions. This includes a YouTube channel as well. My first account got banned because I had one website listed but was driving sales from my blog and YouTube channel that were not listed. This is not OK and your account will be closed if you do this.
2– You don’t have text in your footer saying you’re a participant in the Amazon Associates program:
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
You must put this in your footer or sidebar. It needs to appear on any page with Amazon affiliate links.
3 – You send affiliate links in your email news letter. You can’t do this. You can send people to your website that has links but not the links directly.
4 – You have 180 days to make sales. If you don’t make any sales, your account will be closed. If you have a specific product page, wait till it is getting at least 20 visitors a day. Not 20 visitors a day site wide, just 20 days to your specific page where you intend to promote Amazon. This is enough traffic where you should make a few sales.
5 – You have to CONTINUE making sales too. If your account stops generating sales it will be closed at Amazons discretion.
6 – Hosting images from Amazon on your own website. Don’t do this.
7 – Hiding your Amazon short links. You can’t do this either. So if I have an Amazon product link or short link and I decide to use something like Bit.ly to direct people to Amazon your account could be closed.
8 – Using your own links to buy products for yourself or encouraging your friends or website visitors to use your links. “Support the site by purchasing through our links” = banned. Again, you have to disclose your relationship with Amazon, but you can’t encourage people to use your links.
9 – Having your links in paid courses or private areas of a website. Your links can only be on publicly available websites.
10 -Using Amazon customer reviews in YOUR blog post promoting a product from Amazon. Don’t do it, you’ll get suspended or banned.
11– Don’t impersonate Amazon. Don’t lead people on to think your website is somehow apart of Amazon.
12 – No links in PDF’s or ebooks!
13 – No links on websites directed at children under 13 years old. So if you have a YouTube toy review channel for example, Amazon affiliate links are not allowed.
14 – Don’t mention the star rating. Not as text nor as an image.
15 – Don’t list prices from Amazon. You can say this “camera is expensive” but you can’t say that “on Amazon this camera costs $599.”
16 – You can’t post links on websites you do not own. Social media accounts are fine if you own the account, but you can promote your link in say the comments on a blog post or in a forum.
17 – You can’t use the word Amazon or any sort of abbreviation in your website URL. So if your website is something AmazonTours.com and it’s about going on a tour of the Amazon rainforest, you’re not allowed to use Amazon links on a site like that because of the potential for confusion.
18 – You can’t provide any reward or incentive for using your links.
19 – No adult themed websites allowed. No violent themed website allowed.
Conclusion – Amazon Affiliate Program Review
Amazon associates is an excellent program for generating income passively given the right mix of website topic and traffic. The real key is to simply use the Amazon affiliate program organically in your content as it makes sense and to create excellent content that ranks in search engines
So the end result is that you get a consistent flow of traffic to specific pages on your website that elegantly convert visitors in customers.
Till next time,
David (yo – sub the YouTube channel – videos every week there!)