Wouldn’t it be nice to earn money every time you post about your emotional support water bottle or that must-read book you devoured in an afternoon? Here’s the key: Amazon Associates. Even if you’re just starting out as an influencer, becoming an Amazon affiliate could be a great way to earn as you grow.
Sound complicated? Don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the well-oiled affiliate marketing program that is Amazon Associates. Discover how to get started, how to post your recommendations, and how to reap the sweet, sweet rewards of your great taste.
Bonus: Download a free, fully customizable influencer media kit template to help you introduce your accounts to brands, land sponsorship deals, and make more money on social media.
What is Amazon Associates?
Amazon Associates is an affiliate marketing program. It allows creators, influencers, and bloggers to monetize their reach. Participants—called “Amazon affiliates”—can earn a percentage of sales that come in through their recommendations when they post Amazon affiliate marketing links on their website or social channels.
Anyone can sign up for Amazon Associates, regardless of how many followers they have. (Note: this does not apply to the Amazon Influencer program). Of course, the bigger your following, the greater your reach and the more commission you’ll make.
Amazon Influencer vs. Amazon affiliate: What’s the difference?
The first thing you need to know: Amazon has a few different affiliate programs that fall under the Amazon Associates umbrella. Start by figuring out which one is best for your style of influencing.
The standard Amazon affiliate program is best for those who run blogs and websites. It’s also ideal for those who are still growing their follower base on social media. Plan to get most of your referrals through writing articles, blogs, or emails? Choose this option.
If you’ve got a healthy following on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook, then Amazon Influencer may be better for you. Amazon Influencer is an extension of Amazon Associates. It’s designed for social media creators and influencers who already have a following.
Amazon doesn’t specify how many followers a creator needs to become an Influencer. But we’ve heard of creators with less than 200 followers getting accepted and some with many more getting denied. If you’d like to sign up, our best advice is to give it a try! You have nothing to lose.
There is another big difference between Amazon Influencers and regular affiliates. Influencers can build their own dedicated site on Amazon, called an “Amazon Storefront.” This is where influencers can showcase products in shoppable lists, photos, videos, and live streams.
How does Amazon Associates work?
Imagine if every time you recommended a product to a friend you got paid to do it. That’s what the Amazon Associates program is all about. Like something? Tell your friends and make money. It’s that simple.
Sign up, determine what you want to promote, and then create affiliate links while you browse.
Browse Amazon while logged into your affiliate account and you’ll see a toolbar called “SiteStripe” at the top of each page. The SiteStripe toolbar will generate links and photos for each page so you can easily share them to your website or social channels.
Each link has a built-in code that tells Amazon the referral came from you. Paste it into your post, add it to your Amazon Storefront, or use a link in bio. Amazon will track how many users visited the link and then made a purchase. Once they add the item to their cart, you’ll get credit as long as they make the purchase within 24 hours.
You then get a percentage of that sale mailed to you via a monthly check or Amazon gift cards. Boom. Riches!
How to become an Amazon affiliate
Ready to get started? Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to sign up for affiliate marketing with Amazon.
Step 1: Sign up to become an Amazon Associate
Start by heading over to Amazon Associates Central and clicking sign up. You can either use your existing Amazon account or create a new one using the email you associate with your website or social media channels.
Step 2: Add your website or social channels
The Amazon Associates sign-up will take you through a series of prompts. You will be required to add your name, address, and phone number. You’ll then be asked to add your “website and mobile apps.” These are the websites where you will promote your Amazon affiliate links.
Here, you’ll want to enter the URL of your website, blog, or social media pages. Don’t have a website domain but plan to promote Amazon products on your social media pages? Be sure to put in the public-facing links that take users to your profile.
Step 3: Create your Amazon Associates profile
Next, create your Amazon Associates profile. Here, you’ll create an Associates ID. This is the identification code or store ID that Amazon uses to track your link referrals. Choose a short version of your business name or social media handle so you can easily tell which clicks are coming from which channels.
During this step, you’ll also need to tell Amazon a bit about your business or focus. It will ask about your audience, the types of products you plan to promote, and how you drive traffic to your website or social media channels.
Step 4: Add your tax and payment information
The final step of setup is to add your payment and tax information so that Amazon can pay you. Once you begin to earn commissions, Amazon will either pay you via check or with Amazon gift cards. You can specify your preference during this step.
Be sure to fill out the prompt about tax information. You will need to put in a social security number, employer identification number, or another tax identifier.
Step 5: (Optional) Sign up for Amazon Influencer
Want the option to build an Amazon Storefront? Apply for an Amazon Influencer account. Here’s how to become an Amazon Influencer.
Head to the Amazon Influencer dashboard and tap sign up. We recommend using the account you used to sign up for the Amazon Associates program.
Once you’ve created your account, Amazon will ask you to link your social media accounts. By doing this, you grant Amazon permission to evaluate your content, follower count, and engagement rates. It will in turn use this information to approve or deny you for the program.
Not all creators will be approved for the Amazon Influencer program. Some users receive approval right away, while others are denied or go under review. If you are approved or your application is pending, you can begin building your Amazon Storefront right away.
If you’re not approved for the Influencer program right away, don’t panic! You can still use your Amazon Associates account to earn commissions while you grow your following. Consider setting up a link tree and adding it to your social media bios so your followers can still shop all your recommendations in one place.
How much can Amazon affiliates make?
And now for the big question: How much can you really make as an Amazon Associate? Since Amazon pays a percentage of sales, it all depends on your reach, engagement rate, and how often you post affiliate links. We’ve seen some creators rake in over $16,000 a month and others earn $0. It varies widely.
How much you get paid per sale depends on the category or type of product you’re promoting. Each product category or event is associated with a commission percentage or flat fee. Amazon counts non-purchase actions, such as Kindle or Audible sign-ups, as “events.” These usually earn affiliates a flat fee.
So how much is each category worth? According to Amazon, Associates earn 20%on Amazon Games, 10% on luxury beauty products, and 3% on toys, furniture, and pet products. Other categories have lower payouts. As you can see, how much you earn depends on what you’re promoting.
Amazon will also pay creators a fixed commission or “bounty” when people follow their links and then complete a specified action. For example, creators earn $5 each time one of their referrals registers for an Audible trial and $3 each time one of their referrals registers for a Kindle trial.
How to make more money as an Amazon affiliate
If you’ve set up an Amazon Associates account and are ready to kickstart your social selling game, you’re going to need a few tools to help bolster your sales. Here are some tips to help you make more cash with the Amazon affiliate marketing program.
Carve out your niche and cater to it
In general, users see your content because something you posted directly applies to them. Look at key social media demographics and make sure you’re recommending products that honor them. Age, gender, income, education level, and other metrics can guide what you recommend.
Zero in on products that apply to your messaging and content. If people come to your page for healthy recipes, don’t spend too much time designing a Storefront packed with trendy apparel and accessories. Pay attention to how many clicks each link receives to evaluate relevancy.
Make demo videos with TikTok and Reels
We’re not saying static content is out, but you definitely want to take advantage of the popularity of Instagram Reels and TikTok right now. The secret sauce of these tools is in an all-knowing algorithm that shows users the most relevant content at the most appropriate time. That means more clicks for you!
So how do you leverage these features to earn more referral cash? Create Instagram Reels or TikTok videos that showcase the specific products you recommend. Demo videos and try-on hauls will get you lots of traffic when you showcase the products you love.
Inspo alert! For ideas, check out the satisfying kitchen organization videos on TikTok or browse crafting Reels on Instagram. These niches are packed with pros who are great at monetizing their content with Amazon affiliate links!
Reels and TikTok are essentials if you want to expand your reach, but you don’t want to miss out on opportunities to sell to your existing audience, either. Be sure to regularly post affiliate links to your Instagram and Facebook Stories as well as your static grid.
Go deep with product recommendations on YouTube
Instagram and TikTok may be having a moment, but that doesn’t mean that old standbys like YouTube should be put on the back burner. According to our Global State of Digital Report, YouTube is the second most-used social platform in the world, just after Facebook. In fact, users spend nearly 24 hours a month on YouTube!
But it’s not only YouTube’s popularity that should entice you as an Amazon affiliate—it’s the way people use it. Searchers on YouTube often seek more in-depth comparisons, demonstrations, and how-to videos. Less restrictive time limits let creators go deeper and answer more user queries.
Depending on your niche, YouTube may be a bit more competitive than other social channels. It provides more opportunities for bottom-of-the-funnel users who are ready to make a big purchase, so it might earn you more in the long-run.
Note: Make sure to include your affiliate product links in each YouTube video description.
Meet your users where and when they scroll
Knowing your followers well means knowing which socials they frequent and when. Evaluate the kinds of content they want to see when they visit a specific channel.
For example, if they’re visiting you via your blog or YouTube channel, they’re likely looking for a more in-depth exploration of a certain topic. Consider this an opportunity to go deep with product comparisons or how-to guides. If they’re checking out your Instagram or TikTok, they likely want something short, snappy, and visual.
You’ll get more affiliate link clicks if you post during the time of day your user is the most active. Use Hootsuite to determine the best time of day to post and increase your reach and engagement.
Go after higher paying categories or events
Not all products are created equal, at least in Amazon’s eyes. If you want to earn more with less effort, target the high-commission categories.
The highest commission categories on Amazon include Amazon Games, luxury goods, physical books, kitchen products, and automotive products (between 4.5 and 20%of sales). Amazon Games will earn you a 20% commission, so consider this your sign to start posting gaming content.
The highest bounty events include sign-ups for Audible and Kindle paid memberships (up to $25 per sign-up). What does this tell us? It may be time to pick up a love for reading and join in on the #booktok fun!
Note: Amazon’s commission rates can change, so check the latest commission income statement before deciding where to focus.
Get easy clicks with Pinterest
Whether they’re into fashion, crafting, or interior design, users head to Pinterest to get inspired. That means the platform is a hotbed for curated product recommendations put together by savvy shoppers like you.
The great thing about posting your Amazon recommendations on Pinterest is that it doesn’t require you to make video content. Though, of course, doing so may earn you more clicks). Simply design eye-catching static Pins that link out to your website, blog, or social media channels.
Tip: Be sure your Pinterest image size is optimized for the platform. Pinterest recommends using a 2:3 aspect ratio or 1,000 x 1,500 pixels for static Pins.
Write gift guides and listicles on your blog
Bloggers and journalists were the original affiliate pros, and they still reign supreme when it comes to Amazon Associates. Create blog posts with gift guides, product review articles, comparisons, and listicles of your favorite items. This will help you get more visibility on your product links.
And don’t forget to let your audience know! Not only should you direct your followers to your website content via social and email, but you should also learn a bit about optimizing your site so Google displays it when people search for relevant terms. Brush up on your search engine optimization (SEO) skills to make the most of your non-social content.
No matter how tempting, don’t gatekeep
In general, your followers are looking for the next best thing that’s going to make their life better, easier, or more glamorous. Try not to post the obvious and instead focus on clever, innovative, or lesser-known items. Inspo: this influencer-approved water bottle that is flavored by smell.
We know that hot new beauty products and game-changing gadgets have the potential to go viral and sell out fast. (See: the Dyson Airwrap or anything by Charlotte Tilbury). But, no matter how tempting it may be, don’t gatekeep your favorite products! Share the best of the best and you’ll be rewarded handsomely.
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