If you’ve been around the affiliate marketing space for a while, you’ve probably heard about the Amazon affiliate program. While many people know that Amazon has an affiliate program, there are mixed opinions about how good it truly is.
Because of all these mixed opinions, it’s understandable that you may want to know a little bit more about the Amazon affiliate network before giving it a spin yourself.
Is the Amazon affiliate program a good option for your business, or should you be looking elsewhere? In this Amazon affiliate program review, we will look at this question and how the program works and hopefully help you determine whether it’s a good fit to help you monetize your online business.
What Is the Amazon Affiliate Program?
The Amazon affiliate program, frequently called Amazon Associates, is a program offered by Amazon to help webmasters and content creators generate an income by linking to products or services on the Amazon website.
There’ve been many affiliate marketers over the years who swear by the Amazon Associates program. With a quick Google search for “Amazon affiliate program success stories,” you can quickly find dozens of stories from people claiming to have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars or more through the Amazon Associates program.
However, in recent years, many people claim the program simply doesn’t work as well as it used to. This is due to a few changes in commission rates that occurred a couple of years back.
However, even with the decreasing commissions, Amazon Associates can still be a great program to help you monetize your online business once you understand exactly how it works.
How Does the Amazon Affiliate Program Work?
As briefly mentioned above, the Amazon affiliate network works by giving content creators and online business owners a way to make money with their content by linking to products and services on the Amazon website.
Let’s look at an example of how this works to better understand how the process goes from start to finish.
Let’s say you own a website where you talk about different hiking backpacks, gears, outdoor adventures, and camping products.
A piece of content that you may write is a review of a specific brand of hiking backpacks. If you believe the backpack brand is a good one for other people to try and Amazon offers it on their website, then you can create a link that will take people from your website over to Amazon so that they can buy the hiking backpack and try it themselves. If they choose to do this, you will earn a percentage of what the person going to Amazon spends on the hiking bag.
On many affiliate networks, this is exactly how the program works. You link to a product, and if the customer buys that product, you earn a commission. However, with the Amazon Associates program, you have the potential to make significantly more than just a commission on a single product.
This is because Amazon will pay you commissions on everything that the person clicks over to Amazon from your website purchases for the next 24 hours.
So, let’s say that the person who clicks on the hiking backpack brand you recommend decides that they also need a new sleeping bag, a hydration pack, a tent, and a few other camping-related accessories. On top of this, they also decide that it’s time to purchase a new coffee maker. Instead of earning a commission on a $50-$100 hiking backpack, you are now earning commissions on several hundred dollars worth of products.
As you can imagine, many people will purchase multiple items in a single transaction on Amazon, and you earn commissions on everything purchased so long as they clicked your link to go to Amazon in the first place.
Best of all, so long as someone clicks your link to go to Amazon, they don’t even have to purchase the product you linked to for you to earn a commission. Often, people clicking on an Amazon link from your website will decide to buy something entirely different from the product you sent them to Amazon in the first place. The good news is that you still earn commissions on anything they purchase, even if they don’t buy the product you sent them for.
How Do You Get Paid by Amazon?
So, you may wonder how you can collect the money you earned from your commissions inside the Amazon Associates program. If so, you aren’t alone. Believe it or not, it’s very easy for you to cash out your Amazon earnings from their website, and best of all, they give you a few different ways to do so.
In many countries, the easiest way to get paid by Amazon is to allow a direct deposit to your bank account. In some countries, however, this option is not available, and if you’re selling products to a foreign country, you will often find that you must receive payment in the form of a check rather than a direct deposit.
While direct deposit and check are the most common forms of payment to receive from Amazon, you can also choose to receive your earnings in the form of Amazon gift cards if you so choose.
How Frequently Does Amazon Associates Pay You?
One of the biggest downsides to working with the Amazon Associates affiliate program is that they take a little while to payout. Money that you earn from commissions is delivered to you two months after you earn it.
So, for example, if you earn commissions for sales generated in October, you will receive those commissions at the beginning of December. Also, it’s important to note that you must make three sales within the first 180 days of having your Amazon Associates account, or else it can be closed for inactivity.
If you find that your Amazon account has been closed due to not making sales within 180 days, you can reapply to regain access to your account. However, your application may not be reapproved. Because of this, you must wait until you are generating some traffic to your website before applying to join the Amazon Associates program.
The Bad Side of the Amazon Affiliate Program
As with many other affiliate programs on the Internet, the Amazon affiliate network has both good and bad sides. While we talk about some of the benefits of working with the Amazon Associates program above, like earning commissions on millions of products in various niches, there are a few negative sides to working with the Amazon affiliate network too.
For example, there are many rules and regulations that you have to abide by, or you risk having your account shut down without notice by Amazon. Amazon values its brand reputation above all else and will not hesitate to close your Associates’s account if you do not follow the rules of the letter.
The good news is that all these rules are available inside of the Associate’s area on Amazon. If you ever have any questions, you can contact Amazon Associates support through email or even on the phone.
Another issue that many people complain about with Amazon: their commission rates changed significantly in recent years and are now much lower than they used to be. While some categories like video games and electronics pay as little as 1% to 3% commissions, other categories like luxury beauty products, furniture, lawn and garden, and pet products can pay anywhere from 8% to 10% commissions.
These commission rates change from time to time, including almost every category offered on Amazon. If you’d like to learn more about the current commission rates on Amazon, you can find them here.
On top of the normally fixed commission percentages, Amazon also offers various “bounties” that payout flat dollar amounts depending on the campaign they currently want to promote.
For example, in the past, Kindle fire tablets have paid flat commissions of $20 per sale when Amazon has really wanted to push the product. Another example of this can be seen in the long-running program for Audible memberships. If someone signs up for audible free trial membership through your link, you earn a bounty of $5 per sign-up.
Another important thing to think about is that while these commission percentages may seem low when you compare them to other physical goods retailers like Walmart, Target, and others, the percentages that Amazon is paying is often very comparable to their competitors.
Pros and Cons of the Amazon Affiliate Program
Millions of Products – It’s no secret that Amazon offers millions of products in many categories. Regardless of your niche, you can almost always find quality programs to link to.
Trusted Brand – Pretty much everyone knows what Amazon is, and most people have purchased from the site before. Most people have no hesitation in giving their credit card information to Amazon. The same can’t be said for many other affiliate networks.
Low Barrier to Entry – Many affiliate networks require you to have already established traffic and provide metrics before they approve you for the program. This isn’t the case with Amazon. If you abide by their terms of service and can provide a link to where you’re publishing content, you have a strong chance of approval.
Earn Commissions on All Purchases – As mentioned above, you earn commissions on all purchases made for 24 hours after someone clicks your link, so long as they don’t click another affiliate link. This can result in huge earnings on products you’ve never heard of, let alone recommend.
Available in Most Countries – Amazon has an affiliate program in many different countries. Oddly, if you can shop on Amazon in your home country, you can also create an Associate’s account there.
Quality Support – If you ever run into a problem, help isn’t far away. You can reach out through email or phone should you ever need to.
Long Delay in Payments – You must wait two months before receiving your commissions. While this isn’t unheard of, it’s much longer than many other affiliate networks.
Must Make Three Sales Within 180 Days – Once you’re approved for the program, you must make three sales within 180 days, or else your account will be shut off. While you can reapply to the program, re-acceptance is not guaranteed. So, it’s best to wait until you already have reliable traffic coming in before you try to sign up.
Amazon Affiliate Program – It’s Definitely Worth Checking Out
Over the years, what started as a company created in Jeff Bezos’ garage has become a trusted brand many people refer to in their daily speeches. Instead of saying, “Buy it online,” many people instead say, “Just check Amazon.”
Even after the changes to commission rates that Amazon rolled out a few years ago, earning commissions on Amazon is still one of the best ways to monetize content that you publish online.
Thanks to its low barrier to entry, vast products, category choices, and payment reliability, Amazon is still one of the best affiliate networks to work with.
The key is not to jump in too fast. Therefore, you don’t end up being deactivated for not making sales within the 180-day window when you’re first starting.
Are You Ready to Earn an Income Online?
Working with the Amazon affiliate program is just one of the many ways to earn a full-time income on the Internet. To have the most success with your online money-making efforts, you must follow a method that has been proven to work repeatedly.
If you’re ready to take your online earnings to a full-time level, take a moment to check out my top recommended resource. Once there, you’ll find an amazing group of like-minded people and up-to-date training designed to help you create a full-time income through affiliate marketing.