What is Amazon Associates? – How to Make Money through Amazon

What is Amazon AssociatesWhat is Amazon Associates? Have you heard of the name? People all over the world know Amazon, the largest, most popular online shopping site on the globe, but not everybody knows what Amazon Associates is.

Amazon Associates is the affiliate program that Amazon offers for those who like to promote their products. When you join, you become their affiliate, meaning you can not only shop but actually make money on Amazon. 

Let’s find out how to join, what you need, how it works and how much money you can make through Amazon.

Amazon Affiliate Program – A Great Start

If you are new to online marketing, learning how to make money on Amazon Associates will be a great start to your online business.

Their affiliate program is totally free to join, and the setting up process is quite simple. I will walk you through it later in this article.

In case you are not familiar with the concept of affiliate marketing, I encourage you to read this post first “What is Affiliate Marketing?

In a nutshell, affiliate marketing means you promote someone else’s products and earn commissions by doing so. It is same with Amazon. You promote products you find on Amazon, and when people make a purchase Amazon pays you a commission. It is by far the best way to earn income online unless you have your own products to sell. It also generates a passive income for many years to come as your website matures and receives more visitors.

how to make money on amazon associates

Of course, there are other affiliate programs you can join on the internet. However, there is no shopping destination as globally known as Amazon, so if you are new to affiliate marketing Amazon will be a great place to start.

Can Anyone join?

Amazon Associates program is available in countries other than the USA. Within the US, however, there are states that don’t allow you to join this program due to their tax law regarding sales tax from online sales. These states are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Rhode Island, North Carolina and Connecticut.

How Much Money Can you Make?

The common complaints you hear about Amazon Associate is their low commission rate. It starts with 4%. If you sell more than 6 items, it goes up to 6%.

As you can see below, how much you earn depends on how much you sell. Their commission rate can go up to 8.5%, but I know it’s not much when you promote $30-$50 products.

how much money can you make with amazon

The beauty of their program, however, is that the customers you sent to Amazon do not have to buy the product you promote, for you to receive a commission. As long as they purchase something at Amazon within 24 hours of you sending them, you will still earn money.

Let’s say you promote a $50 baby carrier on your website. A reader came to your site, read about the carrier and moved to Amazon through the link you embedded in your article. This person now carries your unique affiliate ID for the next 24 hours.

how to make money on amazon associatesShe didn’t purchase the wonderful carrier you recommended after all. Instead, she decided to buy an XBox ONE with Kinect (Gaming Console) as a birthday gift for her husband, which is $499.99. There you go, you just earned a commission from this purchase.

If you ever had the experience of shopping at Amazon, you know how it is. It’s so much fun to browse around the site that you often ended up buying more than one item. What if the same customer above ended up purchasing a $2000 smart HDTV? The possibility is certainly there and I call it Amazon magic. lol

This is why I recommend giving Amazon a try in spite of their low commission rate. It may not make you rich instantly, but it builds over time and could be quite profitable.

You can choose the payment method from the following.

amazon payment options

How To Become an Amazon Affiliate

Here are the simple 4 steps you need to follow.

1. Have a blog/website
2. Pick a niche and write a few posts
3. Sign up for Amazon Associates
4. Build Amazon links on your blog

1. Have a Blog/Website

Setting up your own blog site or website is a breeze nowadays. There are a number of companies such as WIX.com or Weebly that offer you a free website. All you have to do is Google search under the keyword “free website.”

My recommendation is SiteRubix.com since it comes with free hosting, training, and a wonderful support team. I built this website with them free. Later, I began paying for a domain name and upgraded training, but in the beginning it didn’t cost me anything. I explained how to build a website free in this post.

2. Pick a niche

This could be anything that you are willing to write about on your website. I always recommend choosing something that you are either knowledgeable of or passionate about.

If you could pick a niche that relates to your personal life or history, that would be wonderful as readers always connect better with personal stories. If you live with a certain medical symptom, for example, you can share how you deal with it daily and what has helped you or didn’t help with your condition. If you are a mother of a little one, you can share tips for traveling with an infant during the holiday season, etc. The $50 baby carrier I mentioned earlier will be a perfect item to promote on your blog.

The niche could be anything but just be careful not to cover a topic too broad. Try to be specific with your theme. With the examples above, “living with atopic dermatitis” is better than “Keeping healthy skin” and “Traveling with an infant” is better than “How to raise a baby.” I think you get the point.

Before signing up for Amazon Associates, be sure to write a few posts on your website as Amazon reviews a site manually before approval.

3. Sign up for Amazon Associates

Here is the homepage of Amazon Associates. The sign-up procedure has 5 steps as shown below.

how to make money on amazon associates

Step 3, “Your Website Profile,” will take most of your time to fill out. Expect to answer the following questions. For each question, you are directed to choose answers from the drop-down options (except for #1 & 2) so it is not too hard.

1. What is the name of your website?
2. What is your website(s) about?
3. Which of the following topics best describes the topic of your website(s)?
4. What type of Amazon items do you intend to list on your website(s)?
5. What type of site is your website(s)?
6. How do you drive traffic to your website(s)?
7. How else do you monetize your website(s)?
8. How do you usually build links?
9. How many unique visitors does your website(s) get per month?
10. What is your primary reason for joining the Amazon Associates Program?
11. How did you hear about us?

4. Build Amazon links on your blog

Once you submit all the information and your website gets approved, Amazon gives you a unique associate ID attached to your account.

how to make money on amazon associates

When you log in to Amazon as usual, now you will notice the gray affiliate bar appears on top of the screen. This is where you get links for the product of your choice. Let’s say I found a baby carrier that I want to promote. I click on “Link to This Page” on the bar, and it brings out information as below with all the links.

how to make money on amazon associates

Click on the tab “Text Only” to obtain text only links.

Under the tab “Text and Image,” I can get the HTML code to copy and paste into my site. It will appear as an image link as you can see here.

Click on the link to see where it takes you. Now you see how it works, right? It takes you to the specific page on Amazon of the baby carrier I am promoting. It works quite beautifully, doesn’t it? 

All I did was pick the product and copy the link onto my page. As I said, it is not so hard to start out as an Amazon affiliate. 

What is Amazon Associates? – Now You know

Amazon is the world-famous, gigantic shopping platform on the internet. You can literally find ANYTHING to buy there.

It means you can find any products to promote that is relevant to your niche, no matter how uncommon your niche is.

Learning how to make money through Amazon Associates will be a great start to your journey as an affiliate marketer. Amazon has established a great recognition among online shoppers over years. Nothing beats the trust that brings among your customers.

I strongly suggest to make a website (create free here), pick a niche and set up an Amazon Associates account. It is ok even if your site does not have tons of traffic yet. It grows over time and those links begin to pay you, as long as you keep working on your website.

If you are unsure of how to pick a niche, how to develop a website, or how to write effective blog posts, I put together a comprehensive beginner tutorial: Online Income 101. 

online business free tutorial

In the tutorial I covered the basics of affiliate marketing and how you can start your online business today.  

As always, your questions and comments are welcome here too! If you already have an experience as an Amazon Associates I would love to hear your thoughts. Do leave them in the comment area below. Thank you 🙂


8 Comments on "What is Amazon Associates? – How to Make Money through Amazon"

  1. Hello there,

    Great post. I really love the idea of affiliate marketing as it lets you do what you love and get more knowledge about it and after some effort you gain money from the thing you wrote about. I really found your article helpful and I would say also to people not to rely only on amazon associates program. There are a lot of affiliate programs offering more commissions than amazon.

    • Hi Ehab,

      Thank you for commenting 🙂 You are right. There are tons of affiliate programs that provide higher commissions than Amazon. What I like about Amazon is the wide range of category they cover and its worldwide recognition. Because of these two factors, it’s especially a good place to start out for complete beginners I feel. It’s a great place to practice your skills as an affiliate marketer. Once you’ve learned the ropes you can move on to other programs. Either way, affiliate marketing has lots of potentials and great way to make money online 🙂


  2. Hi Yuko

    I have only one problem with Amazon and it is that they do not pay via PayPal. I really hate it when someone sends me checks because they always tend to get lost.

    I know that Linkshare is now sending money through PayPal and I wish that Amazon could do the same.

    • Hi Viljoen,

      It sure is inconvenient that they don’t have PayPal as a payment option. I too do not like to receive a check so for the time being, I have set Amazon gift card for my commission payment. It does help as I shop on Amazon a lot.

      Once I began earning more commissions from Amazon, I’m planning on switching to direct bank deposit. You never know, Amazon may make payments via PayPal possible for us as I am sure many affiliates feel the same and it simply is the trend in the affiliate marketing world nowadays. Let’s hope that it happens very soon!


  3. Hi Yuko,
    This is a great step by step of being an amazon affiliate. I think it is great to have something like this because some of these affiliate sites do not make it easy for people find their codes they need for the product. Sadly, I live in one of the states mentioned as being out of tax code with Amazon, but that just means pressing on with someone else.

    • Hi Jessica,

      The commission rate at Amazon is not great but due to the worldwide known brand, it’s a good place to start as an affiliate for beginners. Compared to other affiliate network website, I do find Amazon Associate back office super easy to navigate. They make your stats easy to understand as well.

      It sucks that they don’t make this affiliate program available in all the states, but there are a ton of other affiliate programs out there and I am sure you can find one with even better commission rates for your niche. Thanks for stopping by and wish you a great success with your online business!


  4. Internet and blogging career is rapidly growing, and affiliate marketing is one of the best and profitable business but one should know best the niche product. This post is a good guide and well explained for beginners with images. I will start a new blog for affiliate business only but still looking for the best selling product. Thanks Yuko, for sharing your knowledge in this post!

    • Hi Charan,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You are right. In this internet era, affiliate marketing online is fast growing and getting more and more profitable. I am sure in the near future, colleges would begin offering majors in this field.
      Good luck with your new blog site! Have you found a good product to promote? Nowadays people around me keep talking about drones. It may be worth looking into.


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