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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

Please Give Feedback
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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    • Jordanwalker39 profile image

      Jordanwalker39 6 years ago from NC

      Great article! I really enjoyed it and it was very easy to follow and understand.

    • sasta10 profile image

      sasta10 6 years ago from Manchester, UK

      Great article, some good tips. I am currently working on this topic and will definitely use some tips from your article. Thanks for sharing this with everyone here.

    • profile image

      Dario 6 years ago

      We have just launched Minisitescript, a PHP script that allow you to build simple and eye-catching Amazon affiliate stores.

      feel free to take a look

    • quotations profile image

      Robert P 6 years ago from Canada

      Hi LindaSmith - That is a good question. Amazon provides the sales rank of each product as compared to other items in the same category. To find out the rank, click on an item and then scroll down to the "Product Description". There you will find the Amazon's Best Seller's Rank for that category such as books, health and beauty, etc. Hope that this helps.

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 6 years ago from USA

      How can you find the sales rank of a particular product. I can find best sellers, but cannot find actual number of sales.

    • kpfingaz profile image

      kpfingaz 6 years ago from ~~~

      Very thorough article and it's been going for 3 years. Found you on page one. Nice.

    • quotations profile image

      Robert P 6 years ago from Canada

      Hi Sinea - thank you for letting me know about my ranking. It's nice to know!

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 6 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Very thorough explanation of the Amazon affiliates program. Did you know that I found you on page one of a Google search for how to make money with Amazon affiliates? Page one! Not bad.

    • profile image

      Cash Affiliate Sites 6 years ago

      I think the article was well written and expained how you can use Amazon to make extra cash from affiliate work. I do think some other affiliate programs pay better for the effort but atleast Amazon is a legitimate company. Thanks for the great info.

    • Laura Ginn profile image

      Laura Ginn 7 years ago from UK

      That's a great idea! Thank you for your help :)

    • quotations profile image

      Robert P 7 years ago from Canada

      Hi Laura - If you are going to concentrate on making money through amazon, I would also recommend setting up a site dedicated to a specific subject and then building amazon links based on that content. For example, I saw from your profile that you dive. You could have a site that talks about diving and then sell diving accessories etc.

      Though there are no guarantees, such a site may do well because 1) people who visit the site are clearly interested in diving (or whatever other subject you choose) and so are predisposed to buy items related to that topic, whereas if you post an article about diving on a general site like hubpages you will get people who are just browsing, and do not have an interest in diving and so are very unlikely to but amazon products related to the subject 2) you are more likely to rank better in the search results when someone searches diving related terms (or whatever else your site is about)

    • Laura Ginn profile image

      Laura Ginn 7 years ago from UK

      Great hub. I have just started out with Amazon too and it's really interesting to see how people are getting on with it. I may start integrating links into the text as well as including pictures and see how that goes. I have had one click so far wahey :D

    • profile image

      Kashif 7 years ago

      Thanks for the basics, been trying it for a while and getting a decent number of clicks, but very little conversion.

    • profile image

      Ganhar dinheiro 7 years ago

      Great! Thank you very much! Success!

    • arnerog2000 profile image

      arnerog2000 7 years ago

      Very helpful information in this Hub,this is what Internet business is all about and in my book you are one

      of the best!to know that through your information you can help others it's a great feeling THANKS!

    • profile image

      deepakkumaarr 7 years ago

      helpful information

    • profile image

      B Portables 7 years ago

      The only thing I don't like with the Amazon is one day short cookies and 60-day payment.

    • craftybegonia profile image

      craftybegonia 7 years ago from Southwestern, United States

      Interesting information. Thank you!

    • profile image

      TilenHrovatic 7 years ago

      Very useful, thanks!

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 7 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      This is great information and explained in an understandable way. Thank you.

    • sunnymarie profile image

      sunnymarie 7 years ago

      Very nice hub, thanks for sharing

    • Jezhug profile image

      Jezhug 7 years ago from Australia

      Great Hub, with such detail ;)

    • Iontach profile image

      Iontach 7 years ago

      Good information here! I've been thinking about signing up for Amazon lately.

    • profile image

      Alex 7 years ago

      Yeah Amazon is the trusted affiliate. I also have done affiliate marketing. Everyone should go up with the amazon associates where u can build up store with a keyword base domains and try to market it online. It all depends upon the product u chose, by which u can make money.

    • jeke profile image

      jeke 7 years ago

      really nice hub , thank u

    • quotations profile image

      Robert P 7 years ago from Canada

      @jqmurf2 - that depends on whether the clicks that are being reported are from human visitors or from bots crawling your site. If the clicks are from actual human visitors, I would expect you to have received a fair number of sales from that kind of traffic. However, on my own sites I have sometimes had an unusually high number of clicks and little or no sales. Usually when there is a sudden spike in clicks but no sales, the clicks are actually from bots following the links when they are crawling a site - they show up as traffic but they will never generate any sales. If you believe that the clicks are mainly from humans following the links then I think there is something wrong. If you have not had any sales at all, perhaps your Amazon account has been disabled. You could try contacting Amazon's tech support and getting them to check that your links and your account are all in order.

    • jqmurf2 profile image

      John 7 years ago from Windermere, FL

      Question for you...I have been using HubPages and other sites for Amazon affiliate. I checked my account recently and going back to July 1, it says there have been 635 product link clicks and 6870 other clicks..yet zero orders. Is this common? I have a hard time believing that I have been responsible for over 7500 clicks and not one single person has purchased anything.

    • carlmikael profile image

      carlmikael 7 years ago from Sweden

      Great Hub! You cleared a lot of my questions i had on amazon affliates.


    • profile image

      Zee from water heaters reviews 7 years ago

      For me Amazon works, and what I can suggest, in-text product links, with the short review, works the best.

    • Info Bucket profile image

      Info Bucket 7 years ago from Kerala, India

      I was not interested in Amazon, but now gonna sign up for it.

    • profile image

      Shawn Montgomery 7 years ago

      Just started this method, hoping to find some success. Thanks for the share and information regarding Amazon Affliates.

    • MakeMoneyGoal profile image

      James Flynn 7 years ago from Edinburgh

      Great hub on this, voted up! I must admit to having an account with amazon but not really doing anything with it. Having read this I will re-double my effots so thants for the kick up the behind!! James

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 7 years ago from Tennessee

      voted up & useful! thanks for this article, will be looking for more...

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      This is a great hub you have written here. More people need to realise that they can earn serious money from the web using affiliate programs. Amazon and Clickbank are earning me some nice juicy money right now. I recently got a Kindle from Amazon and it cost me nothing, I got it with vouchers from Amazon. I am on the way to earning more from affiliates than from Google. Cheers!

    • profile image

      Directory Tornado 7 years ago

      You write really very nice article/Info.

      I am sure this will help me and all other who want to earn extra bucks. :)

      Thanks a lot.

    • terence64burton profile image

      terence64burton 8 years ago from UK

      Nice information. I've been thinking of setting up an Amazon Affiliate Programme to run alongside my internet and article marketing business, so thanks for the tips.

    • profile image

      health20010 8 years ago

      good article thank for good information,

    • profile image

      jakki 8 years ago

      you are really explain very well.

      yesterday i think to try amazon and start finding information. and reached here from google.

      You write really a very good article.

    • profile image

      henny809 8 years ago


    • profile image

      affiliate review 8 years ago

      Really great helpful hub you got here. I took me a while to get started with the affiliate marketing at the start, but you just have to be persistent :)

    • bryanmccarty profile image

      bryanmccarty 8 years ago

      Very good hub. I am trying to figure out how this amazon program works but I have not made any money yet. I know now that I can not give up!

    • profile image

      scottys thoughts 8 years ago

      Great Hub! I've been thinking about promoting amazon here on my hubs. I'm still new to this and am trying to just get some hubs wrote first, I do however have google ads, have'nt made any money yet. Any advice?

    • profile image

      bahman_vip 8 years ago from earth

      helpful post

    • profile image

      bahman_vip 8 years ago from earth

      helpful post

    • profile image

      scheng1 8 years ago

      It's so easy to join, so easy to get the widget, yet so hard to make the first sale! I wonder when can I get the first check.

    • BEAUTYBABE profile image


      Hi Quotations, I am new to Hubpages. I recently acquired my own website that they told me could be put with google adsense adds on a website, I wondered whether or not Amazon is because it would cost me too much to stay advertising with Google Adsense as I am a Pensioner and I am very sick and and I am unable to work and I need something that will work for me.Any advice that you could offer me would be most appreciated. I would like to become a follower of yours as well,and I hope you and your family have a Happy and Safe Christmas. I look forward to hearing from you God Bless You All. BB

    • profile image

      Nonauthorityfigur 8 years ago

      I need help actually placing the specific amazon ad on my hubpages hub.I know how to do a group one but I want to pick the exact item sold on my hub can and will youhelp me please

    • janiek13 profile image

      Mary Krenz 8 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

      Good information. I m trying to learn everything that I can.

    • quotations profile image

      Robert P 8 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for the comments everyone. @Steven Lanier - I agree that that is the case now, but back before Adsense amazon's program was the best and generated a lot of revenue. The problem now is that Google punishes sites with too many affiliate links, including Amazon, by lowering their rankings. However, it is possible to get around this to some extent. See my new hub:

    • profile image

      Steven Lanier 8 years ago

      Amazon is one of the hardest affiliate programs to effectively promote. But this hub does a good job of getting some useful information out there.

    • profile image

      scheng1 8 years ago

      I'm working hard on the Amazon affiliate marketing. However, no sale yet!

    • sororityhousemom profile image

      sororityhousemom 8 years ago from Southeast US

      I love reading your hubs and you always explain things in terms that I can understand. Thanks so much.

    • linda gray profile image

      linda gray 8 years ago

      Very helpful and well thought out. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sexy jonty profile image

      Sexy jonty 8 years ago from India

      Very well written hub .....

      very much informative ......

      Thank you very much for your great hub, for good advice, good wishes and support. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.

    • profile image

      gps ติดรถ 8 years ago

      good stuff man

    • Andrew0208 profile image

      Andrew0208 8 years ago from Zion

      I've been happily hubbing in HubPages community. Just of recent I got a clear and better understanding of how to actually monetize my hubs and make the money therein . They got some good increasing traffic. Google Adsense is pretty cool, I'm also optimistic about my Amazon Affiliates as I learn and work with the exact necessary information(tips and tools). Thanks for sharing this precious information.

    • Roffi Grandiosa profile image

      Roffi Grandiosa 8 years ago from Bandung, Indonesia

      Amazon affiliate is a great place to learn online affiliate marketing

    • Helen Cater profile image

      Helen Cater 8 years ago from UK

      I have just started on hubpages and have found this topic very informative.After my first day of creating a hub this may be a little advanced for me.But i will become a fan as i know this is going to take time to set up.Your topic is very detiled,clear and consise and has given me a begginers insight into the work i have to do.

    • Johnyboy profile image

      Johnyboy 8 years ago

      Hey quotations,

      This article comes in handy at the right time for me. I was looking for some info about Amazon affiliate program as I never used it before.

      Thanks for the walk through and wonderful tips. I believe Amazon has a great income potential.

    • profile image

      jazzy 9 years ago

      wow what a infromation

    • profile image

      jazzy 9 years ago

      wow what a infromation

    • profile image

      ihunter 9 years ago

      thanks a lot for your fruitfull information on I just made myself first article on hubpages it is a great community on this web 2.0 era.

    • Abhishek87 profile image

      Abhishek87 9 years ago from India

      Hey, great article. 

      I have recently joined hubpages and presently only the Amazon affiliate program  is active.I have had this view that  hubpages  presents ads on its own for my hubs but I haven't seen any amazon ads. Now, that may be either because there are none relevant to my hubs or Do I have to add them personally in each hub ? 

      Would be glad if you could help me out here: 

      Thanks a lot.

    • rharper profile image

      Robert 9 years ago from West Texas

      Greetings! I've recently had success with Amazon by adding quick links I have a country music site. Most people buy the MP3s. Many times people buy six or more songs plus a book, or ugg boots. You never know.

    • profile image

      Ashraf 9 years ago

      I am very happy with the information provided for Amazon Affiliates programme.

      I serached a lot to find the way one can signup for the Amazon affiliates program.

      Thank you very much.


    • Jennifer Cote profile image

      Jennifer Cote 9 years ago from Pinole, CA

      Ha! I did a word search for, "Made no money as amazon affiliate", and your article popped up. I'd started wondering if I was all alone... I've made zero money on Amazon in the last few months since joining, even though I felt like I worked my butt off to get good stuff on my site...

      But I'm so "rich" with adsense... I make about 6 cents a day. Whoo-hoo!

      Thanks for your article :)

      Jen at

    • epictruth profile image

      epictruth 9 years ago from Frisco

      Thanks for the great hub! I have not had much luck with Amazon but I'm not giving up hope!

      -your newest fan

    • tcnixon profile image

      tcnixon 9 years ago from California

      I have been an Amazon affiliate for many years and my experience is that, like most things, it is one part of an overall business plan. While there are folks who make signifcant money, there are those of us who do okay, but only okay. And there are certainly some who make nothing (or close to it). I think it's a good program overall.

    • qatarvisitor profile image

      qatarvisitor 10 years ago from Qatar

      That's useful information - our book review pages do seem to have a very low page rank. As we are in a niche field with no competitors we still rank top, but we mainly do them for the sake of the site so it may well be worth reducing the number of links on each page.

    • quotations profile image

      Robert P 10 years ago from Canada

      Thanks QatarVisitor - I used to do a lot better with Amazon a few years back, but then Google changed search results so that if you have too many amazon links they will rank you lower in the search engines. It is still possible to earn some decent income from amazon but you need quite a lot of traffic because it does not convert nearly as well as Google Adsense. I find that the best performing amazon links such as "click here for more information" embedded in the content of the page. The images served by amazon look nice but I find they convert very poorly.

    • qatarvisitor profile image

      qatarvisitor 10 years ago from Qatar

      Thanks for the tips. We haven't had much success with Amazon at all on our website, even though we make quite a steady income from Google Adsense. March was our record month - at 10 dollars! This month we made about two. Reading your tips I think it is because we don't really write many article about products, with the exception of a few book reviews.

    • premsingh profile image

      premsingh 10 years ago

      good piece of information. None of links to my hubpages yielded any order though I have different type of links on my hubs and several clicks were made by visitors. However, I got commission for two orders placed to Amazon but these orders were linked to a store I just created for fun. I failed to find exaxt details.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Thanks Quotations! I'll try tomorrow. Zsuzsy

    • quotations profile image

      Robert P 10 years ago from Canada

      Hi Zsuzy Bee - Thanks for the comment. To find out if you have any sales you need to log into your affiliate account on Amazon's site. If you have an affiliate ID, you already have an account set up. This is the link:

      Once you're in you can also check how many times people have clicked on your ads and how many times they were displayed. Best of luck with your affiliate marketing efforts.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Quotations!greatly explained. I have one question. I'm advertising product on my hubs and I have an affiliate number but I don't know where to go and check to see if I've had any nibblers.

      Thanks regards Zsuzsy

    • profile image

      Victor 10 years ago

    • quotations profile image

      Robert P 10 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for the feedback Dafla. I agree that the way HubPages displays the amazon products on these pages is not great. They should let you build better links or slide shows. But unfortunately the only option is these image displays.

      On my own websites I find that simple text links such as "click here to buy the video" work best.

    • profile image

      dafla 10 years ago

      Good hub! I have been looking into ways to get ANY sales at all from Amazon. I think I'll be using them on my own webpages, instead of here at Hubpages. I just can't seem to monetize them here. I think I would do better if I could advertise specific products.


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