Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular choices for creators to make money from their content. The Amazon Affiliate Program has grown over the years to become the largest network in the world, offering millions of products from vendors across the globe who use this successful e-commerce marketplace to sell their goods.

In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about the Amazon Affiliate Program including its commission rates, eligibility requirements, and how to boost your affiliate income once you become an Amazon Associate.

What Is the Amazon Affiliate Program?

The Amazon Affiliate Program, also known as Amazon Associates, allows website owners, influencers, bloggers, and other content creators to earn commissions by linking to products on It is one of the largest and most popular affiliate programs available today.

Amazon launched the program in July 1996, making it one of the oldest affiliate programs on the web. The program has grown and evolved over the years into a massive platform that accounts for a significant portion of Amazon’s e-commerce revenue.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a method of earning money online by promoting other companies products or services. As an affiliate marketer, you earn commissions when someone makes a purchase through your unique affiliate link. It provides a way for companies to market their products at a low cost while affiliates get a cut of the profits.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work

Affiliate marketing involves three main parties – the merchant, the publisher, and the customer.

The merchant is the company or brand that offers a product or service for sale. They establish an affiliate program to pay commissions to marketers who help sell their products.

The publisher is the affiliate marketer who finds products they want to promote and tries to get customers to make purchases through their links. This is done by sharing links on websites, social media, videos, emails, newsletters, blogs, and more.

When a customer clicks the affiliate link and completes the desired action, like making a purchase or filling out a form, the publisher earns a commission from the merchant. This compensation is typically expressed as a percentage of the sale price.

Top Affiliate Networks

While you can apply directly to become an affiliate for certain brands or websites – i.e. the Amazon Affiliate Program – affiliate networks provide access to multiple programs in one place. Some top networks include:

  • CJ Affiliate.
  • ShareASale.
  • Rakuten Advertising.
  • Awin.
  • ClickBank.
  • Impact Radius.

These platforms allow you to compare and select from thousands of affiliate opportunities in various industries and niches.

Types of Affiliate Marketers

Depending on their relationship with the product, affiliate marketers can be grouped as follows:

  • Unattached – these marketers simply advertise products to generate money via affiliate links but have not built a valuable connection or shared relevant content with the product’s target audience.
  • Related – marketers in this category have some degree of authority in their respective niche but they may have not tried the product themselves. They just recommend it to make the most out of their influence and audience of followers. The risk comes if the product or services turns out to be of poor quality as they can lose some of that hard-earned reputation and credibility.
  • Involved – this is the way how the many successful affiliate marketers often advertise their products. They test the products and communicate their findings to their followers and recommend only the best options out there or provide details reviews so consumers make more informed decisions when purchasing these goods. Their goal is to add value to the consumer by providing honest and thorough reviews about what they are advertising.

Virtually anyone can become an affiliate marketer as long as they have some way to refer traffic to merchant sites. First, you have to focus on on providing value through content to build a loyal audience.

How Does the Amazon Affiliate Program Work?

Now that we have explored how affiliate marketing works and what the Amazon Affiliate Program is, we can dig deeper into the details of this attractive program for anyone who may be interested in earning money by becoming an Amazon Associate.

#1 – Choose Products to Promote

Once approved, you can browse Amazon’s massive catalog of products and choose the items you want to promote. Almost any physical product sold directly by Amazon is eligible for affiliate commissions. However, there are some restrictions on products like alcohol, gift cards, and Amazon devices.

#2 – Create Affiliate Links

After choosing which products to promote, you need to generate your unique affiliate links. These allow Amazon to track your referrals. When someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you get a commission from that sale.

The links are created in your Amazon Associates account dashboard. You simply search for the product you want to link to and click the “Get Link” button. Custom text and images can be added as well.

#3 – Promote the Links

Now it’s time to drive traffic to your affiliate links! This is where your website, blog, social media accounts, and other marketing assets come into play.

You can share links on your website through product reviews, “best of” lists, comparison articles, tutorials, and more. On social media, you can link to products in your posts, stories, and profiles.

The key is to provide valuable content that gives readers a reason to click your links and make purchases on Amazon (AMZN).

#4 – Earn Commissions and Get Paid

When someone clicks your affiliate link, then makes an eligible purchase on Amazon within 24 hours, you earn a commission. Commission rates vary by product category but are typically between 4-10%.

Amazon pays commissions monthly by direct bank deposit or Amazon gift cards. The minimum payout threshold is $10.

There are a few other ways affiliates can potentially earn besides direct purchases. For example, if a customer adds an item to their cart from your link but doesn’t complete checkout right away, you may still get credit when they eventually purchase.

Who Can Join the Amazon Associates?

One of the best aspects of Amazon’s program is that it’s open to almost anyone wanting to make money through affiliate marketing, including:

  • Bloggers
  • Product reviewers
  • YouTubers
  • Podcasters
  • Influencers
  • Website owners
  • App developers
  • Students
  • Small business owners

Basically, if you have a platform that you can use to refer traffic to Amazon, you can participate, and earn commissions. That makes it one of the most accessible affiliate programs around.

The Keys to Success

Driving targeted, high-intent traffic to your links is crucial for affiliate marketing results. Here are some proven tips:

  • Focus on specific niches and really understand your audience’s needs and wants.
  • Provide detailed, honest reviews, and recommendations.
  • Compare products head-to-head when applicable.
  • Share deals, discounts, and special offers.
  • Make helpful “best of” lists like best gifts under $50.
  • Publish in-depth tutorials and how-to content.
  • Optimize pages and posts for buyer keywords.

The more value you provide, the more clicks and conversions you will earn from loyal followers and new visitors alike.

The Amazon Affiliate Program has enabled website owners, content creators, and marketers to monetize their platforms for over 25 years. With millions of eligible products and a trusted brand like Amazon, it remains one of the top affiliate programs today.

Does the Amazon Affiliate Program Pay Well?

The Amazon Affiliate Program, also known as Amazon Associates, can definitely pay well for publishers who are able to drive a high volume of qualified traffic and generate consistent sales.

However, the commission structure and rates vary significantly depending on the types of products promoted. Some product categories earn commissions of up to 10%, while others earn less than 1%.

Amazon Affiliates is not generally considered to be the best paying affiliate program, though it isn’t the worst by any means either. . Many other affiliate programs offer lower commissions per lead but they can also be much easier to generate. For example, it’s much easier to get someone to sign up for an account on a crypto exchange for 0$ (assuming it’s the right audience) than it is to get someone to buy a product. Each conversion will earn less but it would be easier to generate much larger volumes of them, potentially leading to greater earnings than on affiliate programs like Amazon’s.

How Does the Amazon Affiliates Commission Structure Work

Amazon pays affiliates a percentage of the total sales price (excluding taxes and shipping) of eligible purchases made after a user clicks on an affiliate link. The commission percentages are fixed and predetermined based on the product’s category.

amazon affiliate commissions per category

As you can see, commission rates range from 1-10% for physical products. Digital products, Kindle books, and Prime signups earn between $3-$15 per action.

Overall, categories like luxury beauty, fashion, jewelry, home goods, and furniture tend to pay the highest commissions. Electronics, media, and consumer packaged goods are on the lower end.

How Much Can Amazon Associates Make?

The earning potential through the Amazon Affiliate Program really depends on your niche, content quality, audience reach, and promotional strategies.

For example, let’s say you have a home decor blog with 50,000 monthly visitors. You join the Amazon Affiliate Program and start sharing affiliate links to furniture, rugs, lighting, and other home products.

On average, you generate 500 clicks per month to Amazon and convert 5% of those visits into purchases. The average order value is $150. With a 10% commission rate on home improvement goods, you would earn:

  • 500 clicks x 5% conversion rate = 25 sales
  • 25 sales x $150 average order value = $3,750 in total sales
  • $3,750 in sales x 10% commission = $375 per month

In this hypothetical example, the home decor affiliate is able to generate $375 per month on 25 sales.

With a larger audience and higher conversions, you could easily see how earnings could scale to over $1,000 or even $5,000+ per month. Some Amazon Associates make closer to $20,000 per year, but they often have massive audiences.

Tips to Boost Your Amazon Affiliate Program Earnings

Here are some tips to increase your Amazon Affiliate Program commissions:

  • Focus on high-ticket items that pay at least an 8% commission in categories like home, fashion, and beauty.
  • Create detailed, honest reviews of products you have actually used or tested. Video reviews tend to convert well.
  • Optimize affiliate content for buyer keywords like “best [product] to buy” or “where to buy [product].
  • Feature comparison articles and buying guides that recommend top product choices.
  • Promote newly launched products and timely deals/sales.
  • Leverage email lists, social media, and influencer marketing to broaden your reach.
  • Track performance data to double down on what’s working.

Amazon Associate Requirements

amazon affiliate program eligibility requirements

The Amazon Affiliate Program has some specific eligibility criteria and requirements that publishers must meet in order to join and remain active participants. Here is a detailed breakdown of the main requirements:

  1. Have an Active Website or Blog

In order to join the Amazon Affiliate Program, you must have an active website, app, podcast, social media channel (Facebook (but not a personal page), Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tik Tok, and only), or blog. Amazon states that it should contain original content that is publicly accessible to site visitors. Its s

Your website can cover any topic as long as it doesn’t violate Amazon’s guidelines. For example, you can have a website or blog focused on beauty products, tech gadgets, recipes, pet care, fashion, books, and more. The key is that you need an established online presence with an engaged audience to promote products to.

  1. Abide by Content Quality and Relevancy Standards

Amazon has strict content policies for affiliates. All content on your site should be high-quality, relevant, and useful for your readers.

For example, you can write detailed product reviews, how-to articles, gift guides with Amazon suggestions, interviews with influencers who use certain products, and other valuable content for your niche audience.

However, Amazon prohibits affiliates from creating fake reviews or recommendations (which are both also illegal in many places). All content should come from your genuine experiences and opinions to build trust with readers.

  1. Transparently Disclose Your Affiliate Relationship

As an Amazon Associate, you must clearly disclose your relationship with Amazon anywhere that affiliate links are present. This builds trust with your audience by being transparent and is a legal requirement in many places.

Most affiliates place a simple disclosure in their site’s footer or sidebar stating they are a member of the Amazon Associates program. You can also call out affiliate links individually on posts and pages for greater visibility.

  1. Have a Comprehensive Privacy Policy

A privacy policy is required to clearly explain how you collect, use, and protect all user data. It provides transparency for your readers on how their information is handled.

You can easily create a privacy policy from scratch or use an online generator like to create one automatically based on questions you answer.

  1. Make 3 Sales Within 180 Days of Joining

One of Amazon’s application requirements is that you must generate your first affiliate sale within 180 days of joining. This ensures only serious publishers who are actively promoting products are accepted.

If you don’t make 3 sales in 180 days, your account will be automatically closed. However, you can reapply once you are driving enough traffic and engagement to start earning commissions.

  1. Only Use Approved Product Links and Images

When promoting Amazon products, you can only use affiliate links and images provided through your Amazon Associates account dashboard. Do not try to generate your own affiliate links or pull images from other sources.

Using anything other than your approved links and assets is a violation of Amazon’s terms and can get you banned from the program.

  1. Avoid Making Pricing Claims About Products

Since prices change frequently on Amazon, affiliates should not make any outright pricing claims like “X product costs $50 on Amazon”. Simply advise readers to click your link to view the current price.

The Amazon API can be used to display accurate up-to-date pricing on your site dynamically. But don’t try to manually list prices that may soon be outdated.

  1. Do Not Use Link Shortening Services

Affiliates must use direct Amazon affiliate links. Do not use link shorteners like or affiliate link cloaking services. Amazon can detect these and shut down your account.

  1. Read and Sign All Program Participation Agreements

Thoroughly read Amazon’s Program Participation Agreement and Operating Agreement documents to understand all guidelines you must follow as an affiliate. Violating any terms can lead to account suspension or termination.

  1. You Cannot Promote Violent, Explicit, or Illegal Products

Any content or products deemed obscene, inappropriate, or illegal are strictly prohibited from promotion per Amazon’s program policies. Make sure all products you recommend meet their guidelines.

How to Get Started with the Amazon Affiliate Program

Becoming an Amazon Associate is the perfect way to monetize your website or social media presence. Here is a step-by-step walkthrough on how to apply and get approved for this lucrative affiliate program:

Step 1 – Have an Active Website, Blog, App, YouTube Channel, or Social Media Account

The first requirement is having an established online presence to promote Amazon products and links. This can be a website, blog, YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram account, mobile application, or Twitch channel.

Ideally, your website or social media accounts should already have a decent amount of traffic and engagement. The larger your audience, the easier it will be to generate affiliate commissions once approved.

Step 2 – Sign Up for an Amazon Associates Account

amazon associates sign up

Go to the Amazon Associates sign-up page and click the “Join Now for Free” button. You can either sign in with your existing Amazon account or create a new one specifically for managing your affiliate links.

Make sure you use an email that you can easily access since Amazon will send approval notifications and other updates to the email tied to your Amazon Associates account.

Step 3 – Complete Account Information

Amazon will take you through a short application process to get your account set up.

You’ll need to provide your name, physical address, phone number, website URL(s), details about your website niche and content, and specify how you currently make money from your site or social accounts.

Step 4 – Agree to the Amazon Affiliate Program Terms & Policies

Make sure to thoroughly read through the Amazon Affiliate Program Operating Agreement. You must agree to the terms, which outline all guidelines and policies you must follow as a member of the program.

Once you agree, you will officially submit your application for review and approval.

Step 5 – Add Payment Method

After submitting your application, you will be prompted to enter your payment information. This allows Amazon to pay your affiliate earnings either via direct deposit or check.

You can also opt to be paid in Amazon gift cards, which is the easiest method if are just starting out. Enter all required banking or tax info if selecting direct deposit or check payments.

Step 6 – Wait for Your Affiliate Account Approval

Amazon states that affiliate applications are typically reviewed within 1 business day.

Once approved, you will gain full access to the Amazon Associates dashboard where you can browse products to promote, create affiliate links, track your earnings, and more.

If your application is rejected, it simply means you need to better optimize your website or social media presence to meet the program’s guidelines. But you can reapply at any time once you start driving more steady traffic.

Following these steps will get your Amazon Associates account set up so you can start generating commissions from the world’s largest affiliate program!

Are There Better Alternatives to the Amazon Affiliate Program?

Aside from the Amazon Affiliate Program, there are affiliate networks and other retail companies that offer website and digital content creators the chance to monetize their audiences by embedding links to their products.

Here, we share 6 alternatives to the Amazon Affiliate Program that creators can consider.

Affiliate Programs from Online Retail Companies

#1 – eBay

eBay (EBAY) is one of the largest online e-commerce marketplaces in the world. Both new and used goods are offered through its platform by individuals and small businesses.

According to the company’s own stats, eBay has more than 1.4 billion listings, a global reach, and over 183 million buyers.

Through the eBay Partner Network, affiliates can earn commissions ranging from 1% to 4% of the sale.

#2 – Walmart

This affiliate program is a huge opportunity for US-based creators as Walmart is one of the largest retail companies in the country. In 2023, its website,, has received over 400 million visits while the company’s e-commerce unit experienced some stellar growth in 2020 during the pandemic.

Through the Walmart Affiliate Program, creators can earn commissions ranging from 1% to 10% depending on the category. The application process is reportedly fast and tracking cookies last for up to three days.

#3 – Target

Target is another titan of the United States retail industry with nearly 2,000 stores spread across the country’s territory and more than 45 in-house brands that allow it to sell affordable yet high-quality products both physically and online.

The Target Affiliate Program offers commissions ranging from 1% to 8%. They make available several different content formats for creators to advertise their products and cookies last for up to seven days, which increases the chances of monetizing visitors.

Affiliate Networks

Affiliate networks are online marketplaces that creators can use to find hundreds of affiliate marketing opportunities from companies across the world in multiple niches.

They are a great alternative to websites that cater to a niche audience and, through the use of an intermediary, these websites essentially guarantee that the payouts will be handed over as long as the program’s requirements and guidelines are met.

The commissions that can be received per product or service sold vary based on who is offering the program (the publisher) and there are minimum payout thresholds that need to be attained to make withdrawals.

These are 3 of the most popular affiliate networks out there:

  • Rakuten Advertising
  • CJ Affiliates
  • Impact

Is the Amazon Affiliate Program Worth It?

Affiliate marketing has delivered billions of dollars worth of gains to creators from all over the world who leverage their audiences and monetize them by offering third-party products and services.

The Amazon Affiliate Program is the largest of its kind globally and it offers creators the chance to make money by tapping on this gigantic e-commerce marketplace. The commissions offered by Amazon are attractive and can be turned into thousands of dollars of side income if you have a digital asset with a loyal user or fan base.