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How to Make Money Using the Amazon Affiliates Program

Updated on October 10, 2010

The goal of this article is to explain how you can make money using the Amazon Affiliate Program. First, I will explain what an affiliate program is and how you can use it to make money. Then I will explain the various tools and techniques that you can use to implement the Amazon Affiliate Program on your website.

Making Money With the Amazon Affiliate Program
Making Money With the Amazon Affiliate Program

What is an Affiliate Program?

You may have heard the term affiliate program, but what exactly does it mean? Essentially an affiliate program is a system that allows webmasters to earn money by referring customers or leads to another website that sells goods or services.

When you sign up for an affiliate program such as that offered by, you are known as the affiliate. The affiliate does not sell any product. He or she simply refers potential customers to the storefront on another site.

To use the Amazon affiliate program as an example, the affiliate gets a small percentage (commission) whenever an internet user goes from the affiliate's website to the website and buys something from that website.

The Amazon Affiliate Program
The Amazon Affiliate Program

How Does the Amazon Affiliates Program Work?

This section explains the basic workings of the Amazon affiliates program.

The Amazon affiliates program is one of the oldest on the internet. Amazon pioneered this method of marketing when the internet was still in its infancy.

At its most basic level, the program works like this:

1. You sign up for the Amazon Affiliates program.

2. Once approved by Amazon, you will be given access to a special area on their website which gives you a number of ways that you can link to the Amazon site or specific products they sell.

3. You then create affiliate links on your site which point to or any product on their site. If a visitor to your site clicks on one of the approved affiliate links and goes to and they then buy something from within the time period specified in the affiliates agreement, you get credit for the sale and a commission on the total selling price, not including shipping.

4. Once your total sales reach a certain minimum level, will pay you your commission. Commissions are paid quarterly (every 3 months). If your sales do not reach the cutoff level in any given quarter, they are carried over to the next quarter and so on until you qualify for a pay out.

5. As with all affiliate programs, you have to follow the terms of the affiliate agreement carefully, and make sure that the way you promote your affiliate links in accordance with the agreement. You may be kicked out of the program and lose whatever commission you earned. For example, a big no no is you cannot buy stuff from Amazon using your own affiliate links. Otherwise everyone could give themselves a secret discount simply by signing up for Amazon's affiliate program and then visiting from a link that they place on their own website.

6. Obviously, in order to make any money, the visitor must go from your website to using an approved link. If you just place a normal HTML link to you will get no credit. An approved affiliate link, on the other hand, incorporates your unique affiliate ID which guarantees that Amazon can keep track of who referred them the customer and give you proper credit.


How Much Can You Earn Using the Affiliates Program?

How much can you earn? It is not possible to predict what you will earn because the affiliate commissions you earn will be affected by

  1. the cost of the item sold ( the higher the sale price, the greater your percentage)
  2. how many items you sell in a quarter. Amazon has an incentive program in which your percentage or commission increases once you reach certain performance levels.
  3. how many visitors you get to your site and how many of these follow the affiliate links to
  4. And lastly, how many of the people you send to actually buy something once they are there. This is known as the conversion rate. You should also note that under the terms of the affiliates agreement, the customer you refer must buy something within 24 hours in order for you to get credit. So if you refer someone but they take two days to make up their mind, you will not get any commission.

Making Money With the Amazon Affiliate Program
Making Money With the Amazon Affiliate Program

How to Make Money Using the Amazon Affiliates Program

This section explains how to make money with the Amazon affiliate program.

Making money with the Amazon affiliate program (or any other similar program for that matter) involves driving visitors from your site to Amazon's site for the purpose of buying something. The more visitors you send over, the greater the chance that someone will buy and that you will earn a commission.

Sounds easy, right? Well, obviously, it's not that simple. First, you need to get people to your website. Secondly, you need to give them a reason to want to buy something from Amazon.

Let's use an example: Jane has a website dealing with tropical fish. She writes informative articles about how to care for tropical fish, how to choose an aquarium, what foods they eat, how to treat tropical fish diseases, etcetera.

Because Jane's site has niche content, she is not competing with millions of other sites selling the same thing so she ranks high on the search engine results for terms such as "tropical fish".

Jane is happy. She gets lots of visitors, but she wants to make some money from all the internet traffic. So she signs up for the Amazon Affiliate Program and places links from her site to But she makes no money. Why?

The reason is that it is necessary to make the visitor to your site want to check out more on the Amazon site. So for example, Jane could write an article about fish, and then provide direct links from the article to specific products mentioned in it. If her article recommended a specific type of aquarium, she could provide a link directly to that product on

In other words, the links should be relevant to what the people who came to your site were looking for in the first place.

How Do You Create Links Using's Affiliate Program?

This section explains how to create links on your site using your Amazon affiliate ID so that you get credit for all sales that you generate.

Amazon offers a number of creative ways that you can link to their site and make money whenever someone goes from your site to theirs and buys something. Not every link will work for your site. I will discuss the best linking methods below. You should also note that this page itself displays amazon products using an affiliate link, so if you were to click on any of the products shown and then buy from Amazon either I would get a commission or Hubpages would, given the Hubpages revenue sharing model.

  • Recommended Product Links : this system allows you to display several product images and descriptions based on a key words that you pick. This will guarantee that the products displayed are relevant to your site. You can also control the size of the display box and its appearance such as color.

  • Search Box: You can place a search box on your site that lets people search the Amazon website. If they find something and follow the link to Amazon to buy, then you get credit.

  • Omakase Links: Omakase comes from a Japanese word meaning, I'm told, leave everything to us. Using this method, you place a code on your site and Amazon can tell what your webpage is about and display products relevant to your content. In principle, it works similarly to the Google Adsense program in which ads are displayed based on the content of your site.

  • Context Links: This method allows you display text links within the body of your article which lead to relevant products or pages on For example, let's say that you wrote an article about Harry Potter. The word Harry Potter could be linked directly to the movie on the Amazon site.

  • Slide Show: This is a really fancy and eyecatching linking method, though I find that it can slow your site down a bit. Basically, you select products that you want to show and they are then displayed in a rotating slide show. The movement of the products is sure to get everyone's attention, which increases the chances they will click on them

  • Unbox Videos: This method allows you to display studio movie trailers and previews of TV shows available for download from This method is well suited to a movie review site or a site devoted to a particular actor.

There are many more linking methods, and not all will work for you or your website. For more information about Amazon's affiliate program and where you can get tips and ideas on how to make money with it, please check out the links provided. I am not affiliated (no pun intended) with any of these sites and they are presented for information purposes only; their content and suitability may have changed since I posted these links.

Books About Affiliate Marketing

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Please Give Feedback

Comments and Suggestions

Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Please give feedback! You may also want to visit my article on Advanced Amazn Affiliate Techniques.


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