This is a getting started guide to the Amazon Affiliate Program. Follow this tutorial to signup for an Amazon affiliate account and learn how to create Amazon affiliate links.
If you are into affiliate marketing, I am sure you should have heard of Amazon associates. The affiliate program of Amazon, Amazon Associates is, in fact, one of the pioneers of Affiliate marketing. It is one of the most popular and successful programs in the entire affiliate marketing ecosystem.
One of the reasons why Amazon’s affiliate program – Amazon Associates works is that Amazon is a well known and trustworthy brand. The online giant has something for everyone, and it converts really well. Depending on your niche, you can expect to earn significant commissions by referring several Amazon products.
Amazon Associates is really popular among several (affiliate) bloggers. Many bloggers claim to have made a significant amount in commissions from the Amazon Associates program. Darren Rowse of Problogger, for example, claims to have made more than $420,000 in last ten years of his blogging journey with the Amazon affiliate program.
Few other reasons why I think you should get started with the Amazon affiliate program;
Easy to enroll: Amazon Associates is for everyone, and it’s really easy to get started (see the three steps walk-through below). You can be up and running in less than five minutes.
Simple to Link: Linking to Amazon products is really easy. All you have to do is search for the products in your niche (that you want to recommend) and grab the link.
Paid for Complete Orders: You don’t just get paid for the products that you refer to. You will earn commissions for the entire order someone makes within 24 hours period (affiliate window) of landing on Amazon from your link.
Amazon’s affiliate program, however, is criticized lately as being a complete waste of time. Few reasons that I repeatedly hear criticisms for the program include;
Low Commissions : The commission rate ranges from only 4-8% depending on the product type and your performance (number of sales).
Short Cookie Period: Your referrals need to make a purchase within 24 hours. (Items added to cart within the 24 hour period will still earn you commissions if the purchase is made within 89 days.)
You can take some time to research the program and see if it’s worth your time, but I recommend getting on board and slowly making your way if it fits your blog.
Amazon affiliate program is easy to get started, has wide range of products, and the integration is really simple.
If you decide to go ahead, let me guide you through the process of creating your account and adding links to your content in the tutorial below.
Signing up for Amazon Associates is a fairly easy process. Let me walk you through the three important steps that you need to complete.
First, you need to decide which Amazon marketplace that you want to join. Amazon operates in different countries, and all of them have separate associates program.
You might either want to join your own country’s associate program or the Amazon US associates program. You can decide to join as many marketplace programs as you want, but you want to make sure you can receive payments from those Amazon marketplaces.
For example, programs of Japan, China, India, Brazil, and Mexico currently do not offer international payments, and you might not want to join those unless you are based in that country.
Once you have decided on the marketplace to join, let’s proceed with the steps to create an Amazon associates account.
The first step is to create an account on Amazon with your email address. You can also use your existing amazon account (that you use for purchases) to sign in.
Go to the Amazon Associates website and choose the marketplace that you want to sign up for.
If you are signing up for a foreign marketplace, use Google translate to help you understand the fields.
Click Join Now on the homepage of the desired Amazon marketplace.
You can either sign in with your existing Amazon email address or create a new account to proceed.
In this section, you will need to fill in details about your websites or blogs that you will use to drive traffic to Amazon products.
The information on this page is catered to a broad category. So, don’t worry if your website/blog doesn’t fit in one of the categories provided or if you don’t have specific options to select from.
Amazon collects this information so that it can better serve you and you can also update this information once you are inside the program.
See the below screenshot for general information that I have filled in.
Once you proceed, depending on the country’s program that you are signing up for, you will be presented with additional options to opt for.
For example, if you signup for Amazon Associates UK, you will be presented with options to signup for other EU countries Amazon associates programs. This makes it easy to join several EU programs at once.
Additionally, note that you will get different Associates ID for each program that you sign up for. The Associates ID are unique with part of your name (or full) at the beginning with a number representing the country (20 for the US, 21 for the UK) at the end.
Please make a note of your Associate ID as you might need to provide it occasionally to verify your Amazon affiliate account.
Although you are immediately granted the full access to Associates Central, your account will only be reviewed after you have referred your fist sale to Amazon.
Another important thing to note is, you will need to refer your first sale within 180 days for your Amazon associates account to remain active (More on that in the later section).
Although you can actually skip this and complete this task later, I recommend completing it now so that you have a good idea of how this works. You will need to complete it before you start receiving payments.
Click on Specify Payment now to proceed.
I recommend using the direct deposit option if it’s available. The option is only available if you are signing up for your home country Amazon Associates program.
You will need to enter your bank account number, sort code, IBAN, and BIC number to complete this form. You can contact your bank or refer to online banking to get the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) required to receive international payments.
The next option is cheque payments but there are processing fees (usually very high) associated with this option.
And if you do all your shopping on amazon, you can surely benefit by getting paid with Amazon gift card certificates.
Finally, If you are signing up for multiple associates programs (for EU programs as mentioned in step 2 above), you can use the same payment method for all of the programs.
Click on Continue and you are finally on the dashboard of your affiliate account!
Now that you have signed up for an account, you might want to learn how to link to Amazon products so that you can start making commissions.
Amazon makes it really easy to create affiliate links for its products. After you log in to your Amazon affiliate dashboard called Associates Central, you will have options to search for products and get links to products within your dashboard.
Here’re few ways that you can create affiliate links with your Amazon Associates account.
You will be presented with a search box to search for products on Amazon.
Enter your keywords or ASIN/ISBN (more on that later) to get a list of the products that you can link to. See the screenshot below.
Corresponding to the product that you want to link, click on the “Get Link” button on your left.
You can click on highlight HTML and copy and paste the full link. You can also generate a Short URL for the product that you want to link (see screenshot).
On the next tab, you have the option to browse for products from the major categories on Amazon. (See Screenshot).
Choose your product category and you will be presented with a list of products from that category.
From the list of 400 products, click on the corresponding get link button of the product that you want to link.
In addition to the Associates Central Dashboard (discussed above) that helps you to quickly create links, Amazon provides a dedicated page to generate links and banners for your affiliate account.
Click on the Links and Banners menu and you will have the option to create product links, banner links, quick linker and link checker tools. Let’s further look into the product links page.
Similar to the search box on the home dashboard, you can search for products by selecting categories and using keywords or ASIN/ISBN number.
You can directly find the product by using unique ASIN/ISBN number that is found under Product description on each product page of Amazon.
Once you find the product, you can again create and copy the link that you need.
Using Amazon website stripe is probably the easiest way to get links for the products that you want. When you are logged into your associates, you will see a stripe on top of your Amazon website.
The affiliate stripe appears at the top of every Amazon product page and you can use it to quickly create links.
You also have additional options on the bar including social sharings and link to your earnings summary page.
Now that you have created your affiliate link, go ahead and link it from your content within blog or website.
This is similar to adding any other links in your content. Select the words that you want to link and paste the link that you created above. See the screenshot for WordPress editor.
One additional tip is to add rel=”nofollow” to your links URL. This is rather important for your SEO aspect and it’s easy to add manually when creating the link.
Optimizing and making most out of your affiliate program is another long topic (keep an eye for an upcoming post) but here are few tips to set you in the right direction.
One thing that many beginners aren’t aware of is that you will earn commissions or referral fees from sales in the same locale as your Associate ID. Join multiple Amazon marketplaces and promote products from stores where you get your most visitors and clicks.
Also, find tools that can help to dynamically generate links to the marketplace native to your visitors.
This might take some time, but I suggest you start looking for tools that can help you simplify the process of creating links and inserting in your content.
WordPress plugins such as Amazon Link and platforms such as Geni.us can help you to create links that dynamically change based on the visitor’s location. Geni.us lets you track the countries that you are getting most clicks from and associate your local Amazon Associates ID.
You will see several opportunities highlighted from Amazon to make most out of their affiliate program. Most of such opportunities are available in the spotlight section of your associates dashboard.
Besides, keep an eye on the seasonal promotions (such as this Beautiful Lists, updated daily) and follow the Amazon Associates blog to keep updated with the program.
Amazon expects your websites to receive consistent traffic and importantly wants you to refer more sales. Your Amazon associates account will be rejected or deactivated if you fail to refer a sale within 180 days of sign-up to the program. You will then loose your access to the Associates Central.
You can however always reapply for the Amazon associates program. Just sign in again and resubmit your application. Although you will be accepted immediately, make sure you prevent your account application getting rejected by making a sale within next 180 days.
Here’s the email that you will receive from Amazon associates if your account gets rejected following inactivity or no sale.
I will follow up with another post with more tips to make most out of the Amazon Associates program but if you have more tips for the program, go ahead and share them in the comments below.
I hope the tutorial was helpful to you in setting up an Amazon affiliate account. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.