Used by hundreds and thousands of webmasters to make money online, the Amazon affiliate program is probably the largest and most popular of its kind. No wonder you’re curious to know about it too!

Count on me to give you more reasons why (and why not) the Amazon affiliate program can be the best way to monetize your niche site. Through this guide, allow give you a complete look at how to enjoy the most income – complete with tips and tricks on the best tools and product selection tactics.


Pros of the Amazon Associates Program

Wondering why the Amazon affiliate program is such a hit for niche sites? Don’t blame me if you’re jaw dropped open after checking out all these reasons:

  • Let’s be honest – who doesn’t know Amazon? Unless someone’s living under a rock, every internet user has once browsed this eCommerce metropolis or even ordered at least a package or two
  • Amazon offers good customer service and fast shipping, making them a reliable partner
  • To secure their purchase decision, meticulously analytical buyers can read customer reviews at Amazon
  • No matter what topic your blog has, you are sure to find suitable products
  • Depending on the category, you can earn up to 10% advertising cost reimbursement per product sold
  • At Amazon, you always get commissions for a customer’s entire shopping cart – not just for the products you recommended!
  • Amazon offers an API that can be used to display prices and other product information automatically. No need to manually check listings to update your site!
  • Simple registration and integration of links, no need to be a technical expert
  • Reliable receipt of payment
  • Extensive statistics to help you optimize your affiliate marketing strategy

When done right, you can even earn enough to live off your income from the Amazon affiliate program alone. Let me tell you about my personal success story. I’ve first enrolled as a partner in 2011. After getting the hang of it, I was able to generate over 3.5 million USD for Amazon in the next five years! With this, I have received a whopping 150,000 USD in commissions. Not bad huh?

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Things You Should Watch Out For As An Amazon Affiliate

While the Amazon affiliate program is heaven-sent for countless webmasters, it’s not an absolute wish-granting factory. Watch out and prepare for these red flags:

  • One-day cookie duration. This means that when someone clicks on your affiliate link, they have to buy something within the next 24 hours for you to earn a commission. This is a whole lot shorter in contrast to the 30 to 90 day period granted by other affiliate programs.
  • Some products offer very little commission. You might want to stay away from mobile phones, smartphones, or TV sets.
  • Regardless of how much sales you’ve generated in a given period, you’ll always get the same amount of commission. Quite a bummer since other affiliate programs will reward higher sales with more bonuses.
  • Amazon’s Terms and Conditions, including rates for commission, are not set in stone and can change at any time. Not a big deal if you ask me, since the same is true for any other affiliate program.
  • Don’t expect special treatment. You are only one of many affiliates of a large corporation.

I was able to experience how frustrating the fourth disadvantage is. In October 2014, their commission model was drastically changed with little notice or consultation. Gone were the days when the referral bonus for each item sold is dependent on the number of total sales you generated. From then on, the commission for each item became based on its product category.

There were winners and losers with this change. Too bad I’m on the failure side. My niche sites back then dealt exclusively with consumer electronics (e.g. smartphones) Imagine, from about 3,800 USD, my monthly Amazon income dropped by half! The old 5 to 8% commission rate was slashed big time to only 1 to 3%

To avoid the same fate as me, try to diversify your revenue streams. No matter how high you can earn, do not be dependent on the Amazon affiliate program alone! Don’t worry, I have listed a couple of alternatives too in the latter part of this guide.

How to Become an Amazon Affiliate

Ready to be a partner? Let’s walk you through the steps on how to join the Amazon affiliate program:

  • Step 1. Go to the start page of the Amazon PartnerNet and click on the button “Register now for free.” You’ll find this under the registration form on the right side of your screen.
  • Step 2. Log in with your Amazon account. If you don’t have one, simply select the option “I am a new customer.”
  • Step 3. If you are not yet a customer, you must first enter your personal data. No need to do this if you already have an Amazon account.
  • Step 4. You now have to enter your “website profile.” These include the name of your main niche site, its URL, and its contents. Make sure you typed all those accurately, since it will also be the basis or your unique affiliate ID. In my case, my partner ID “thehanadd-21” was generated from my very first website, “”
  • Step 5. Wait for a confirmation via email. Once you receive it, scroll down at the very end where you’ll be given a link to set up your payment method.
  • Step 6. Now comes a short waiting game. Your registration will be processed within the next 3 to 5 working days, then you’ll have full access to the PartnerNet.

To avoid having your application rejected, make sure your niche site has absolutely zero quality defects or offensive content (e.g. racism, violence, and eroticism). If you’re clear of these warning signs, I see no reason for you to worry.

How to Embed Amazon Affiliate Links In Your Niche Site

Don’t fret, mad coding skills isn’t a requirement for building an authority site. Let’s take a look at these options to get you started with embedding Amazon partner links in no time:

SiteStripe Links

The easiest way to include affiliate links in your blog articles is via the SiteStripe. When accessing Amazon as an affiliate, you will see a useful bar that can help generate links to any page you desire (e.g. products, product categories, search results, bestseller lists, etc.).

SiteStripe will give you three options when creating a link: (1) text only, (2) image only, (3) or a combination of both. The third option is only available for product listings alone, and does not support other kinds of Amazon pages. Moreover, expect that it will slow down your loading time. Every time someone visits your site, the link still has to be loaded through the iFrame from Amazon servers. So if you don’t want a snail-paced blog, avoid including too many product boxes in each article.

Amazon Affiliate Plugins

If you want to get around the text + image links’ speed downgrade, you can check out WordPress plugins instead. These have hardly any negative effects on your loading time since the displayed product data is cached and can be customized as desired.

Even better, it allows you to display a lot more data (e.g. product features, shipping options, etc.) other than a product’s price. However, these require you to check and disclose when each product data was last updated. To be sure, you’d also want to put a price disclaimer. Displaying any incorrect data will be a violation of the conditions of participation in the Amazon partner program.

Short URLs

The affiliate links generated by SiteStripe are often very long and can make a blog article unclear in the HTML view. As a quick fix, I like to use the shorter variants for affiliate links. These are especially helpful when directing readers to tables or product lists.

When you refer to a product, you can use the format [aawp link=”ASIN” title=”NAME”] in your sentence. When published, this will automatically embed the link on your blog.

ASIN is simply a unique product number that Amazon assigns to each product in its range. It contains letters and numbers and always starts with a capital B. You can find it on every product page under Product Information > Additional Product Information, or in the URL of each product.

Let’s give you a quick example. If you’re writing a review for iPhone 11, you can embed a short URL by simply using [aawp link=”B07ZPKR714″ title=”Apple iPhone 11″] every time you refer to the model in your blog article.

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Amazon Search

Another great way to include Amazon links on your website is via Amazon Search.

When your reader enters a product name, product category, or identification number (e.g. ASIN, EAN or ISBN) in the search field, they are directed to the corresponding search at Amazon.

Monitoring Your Performance With Statistics

Like any revenue stream, being successful as an Amazon affiliate requires you to monitor and optimize your routine. The key to getting better? Statistics. Thankfully, Amazon lets you access different reports by:

  • Using the small blue tabs in the menu; or
  • Clicking on “Show Details” in the profit list or order summary

Among the most important reports you’ll want to regularly check are:

  • Tracking ID Summary Report – gives you an overall view of your earnings
  • Advertising Refund Report – gives you a detailed overview of all the products your readers have purchased from Amazon
  • Other Reports – gives you insights on your performance in advertising Amazon Prime or Audible subscriptions

Here’s a quick tip if you’re using more than one tracking ID. To avoid manually generating statistics for each of them, simply tweak the “Tracking ID” and “Summary” boxes on the upper left corner of the partner network. Checking these will let all the data of your selected tracking IDs appear in the reports you generate.

Amazon Affiliate Tips For Making Money

Before you finally optimize your niche site as an Amazon affiliate, allow me to equip you with 7 tips to help you earn more money with Amazon.

Find out what your readers need!

There is little to no point in including Amazon’s homepage or product category banner ads in your blog. Your visitors may click on them from time to time, but they’re unlikely to buy anything! Similarly, it’s useless to embed links to product listings that are lightyears away from your readers’ needs and interests.

In my experience, you can reach an all-time high conversion rate (the percentage of clicks that become sales) when at least one of the following conditions is met:

  • Your readers are already in one of the purchase journey’s phases even before they visit your blog. This is why affiliate marketing works best with SEO. By optimizing your articles with strategic keywords, you become more visible to Google users who are interested in buying.
  • Your readers have a particular problem, and you’re able to provide solutions by recommending products. This works best when you already used your referred items or services yourself.

Expert tip: your users are not dull enough to not notice that you’re trying to sell them something. If your recommendation turns out as a total waste of money, your sales statistics and overall credibility can be compromised. Always be skeptical when choosing products!

Do not link to products that are no longer available

If you link to a product that is no longer available, your conversion rate drops significantly. Your readers might end up checking out alternatives Amazon naturally offers instead (e.g. “What other items do customers buy after viewing this item” and “Customers who bought this item also bought” sections).

To avoid this problem, you might want to stick with popular products that are sold by many retailers. It’s also worth it to check linked products regularly. But if you have hundreds of links on your niche site, the plugin ASA 2 Pro can save you time from doing manual inspections.

Make links stand out with call to action buttons

Normal text links can easily be ignored by your readers. To make sure that your recommendations stand out, use call to action buttons that display enticing messages like “for more details” or “buy now.” Trust me, this tactic will greatly increase your click rates. You can easily get the job done by using WordPress plugins like AAWP or ASA 2 Pro.

Amazon widgets are useless!

Heed my words – do not use Amazon widgets on your niche site! Let me break down why I hate this advertising media so much:

  • They look terrible and aren’t really that inviting to be clicked on.
  • They’re extremely outdated. It even uses the Adobe Flash Player which is now blocked by a lot of browsers.
  • They sabotage your loading time, since it needs to request a ton of images and scripts for display.

Use your statistics to find products with high conversion rates

Try to weed out bogus products from your recommendations by regularly checking the Advertising Expense Reimbursement Report:

  • Step 1. Go to Reports > Advertising Cost Reimbursement in the top menu bar
  • Step 2. Adjust the period for the report, preferably longer so you can get the most comprehensive trend possible about product reimbursements
  • Step 3. Click on “Download Report (TSV)” and open the file on Excel
  • Step 4. Navigate the report with Excel’s filter functions

Expert tip: The Advertising Reimbursement Report gives more valuable insights than the Order Report. As a bonus, it also shows product returns which will allow you to better measure each of your recommendations’ performance.

Use multiple tracking IDs

By using multiple tracking IDs, you can compare the performance of different factors and settings (e.g link types, link positions, blog articles, buttons, product images, etc.), allowing you to play around and evaluate which setup brings the most clicks and revenue.

To create a new tracking ID, simply click on the link “Manage” found on the left sidebar, directly above the selection field “Tracking ID.” The page you’re redirected to also gives an overview of all IDs you’ve already generated.

Examine how much commission there is for each product category

Don’t waste your time with product categories that have frustratingly low commissions, no matter how enticing its conversion rates are.

You can check out the Associates Program Standard Fees Schedule on the Amazon Associate’s website for a quick look at updated commission rates. Right now, the highest paying products are in the Luxury Beauty and Amazon Coins category, offering a 10% referral bonus.

Check how your niche site looks like on mobile devices?

Did you know that 70% of niche site visitors access the web through their smartphones or tablets? This makes mobile display optimization definitely worth the effort. Remember these guidelines to make sure mobile users won’t be turned off when visiting your pages:

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  • The line spacing of your texts should be large enough, so that text links are clickable on touchscreens
  • Your product boxes or banners should not overlay or “squeeze” other elements in your page
  • Call-to-Action buttons should be clickable and readable on every device

Alternatives to the Amazon Affiliate Program

While the Amazon affiliate program is the leading option in the market, it does lag in several areas. Especially if you’re hunting for the best commission rates, check out other affiliate programs that possibly offer greater deals. Your pool of options could include:

Affiliate networks with large databases of available programs

  • AWIN (formerly Zanox)

Online retailers that have high-paying affiliate programs

  • Otto
  • Zalando
  • Notebooksbilliger
  • Cyberport
  • Bonprix
  • Tchibo
  • Conrad
  • Alternate
  • Redcoon

Expert tip: If you find a retailer who offers products you’d love to link on your blog, do a quick check to see if they have an online shop. If they do, reach out and ask if they offer an affiliate program or if they’re interested to set one up. Convincing them will be a breeze, since selling outside of Amazon saves them up to 15% sales fees.

eBay Partner Network

Similar to Amazon, eBay is a successful marketplace that offers such a large product selection. Instead of receiving commissions that are based on the gross sales price, your bonus will be computed based on the fees eBay receives for each purchased item. Depending on the category, you can be granted 50 to 70% of these sales fees.

How To Avoid Getting Kicked Out of the Amazon Affiliate Program

Access to the PartnerNet is not a lifetime privilege, and you can get kicked out any time! Even worse, you might not even be granted a way back. It’s could take long, boring minutes, but be sure to read the Agreement to Participate in the Amazon Affiliate Program and the Affiliate Program Guidelines contained therein.

Common reasons why affiliates are stripped off of their title include:

  • Masking or shortening of affiliate links with URL shortening services such as (see point 6 lit. v of the participation requirements)
  • Integrating the Amazon website or parts thereof into frames of your website (see point 6 lit. n of the participation requirements)
  • Using Amazon partner links in e-mails or PDF documents (see point 4 of the participation requirements)
  • Using the Amazon logo or any other Amazon trademark (e.g. in your domain or subdomain) in violation of the trademark guidelines (see point 8 of the trademark guidelines)
  • Publishing inaccurate, broad, false or otherwise misleading information about a product, Amazon and its corporate policies, promotions, or prices (see the General Requirements for all Partner Links in the Eligibility Requirements)

Frequently Asked Questions

There might be a few things that still confuse you, so let me answer common queries in this section.

Is it possible to create affiliate links for wish lists?

Yes! This is possible via the SiteStripe of the Amazon partner network.

Expert tip: remember to change your wish list privacy settings from private to public! Otherwise, visitors will not be able to see the products you wanted to recommend.

Is there still a limit of 100 images when using Amazon images?

Nope. This rule, or any similar image count limits, haven’t been around for a while.

Which WordPress plugins do you recommend for integrating Amazon products?

Based on years of experience as an Amazon affiliate, I can warmly recommend the following plugins:

  • AAWP – Generated affiliate links’ prices and discounts are refreshed automatically. Also have tons of templates to choose from, so embedded links complement your niche site.
  • ASA 2 Pro – Allows you to quickly embed Amazon products in your pages without sabotaging your loading times. You could even display star ratings with this plugin!
  • ASA 1 – Choose from tons of templates that enable you to use shortcodes when integrating Amazon products on your page. Plus, it’s free!
  • WooZone – Perfect for creating a WooCommerce affiliate shop.

Am I allowed to use images from Amazon just like that?

Yup, you can! Just take a closer look at Amazon’s terms and conditions to make sure you’re clear of any violations. For instance, images may only be used if they contain a link to the respective product.

Should I put all affiliate links to Amazon on nofollow?

Yes, that is highly recommended. Whenever you do this, it’s as if you’re instructing search engines not to count that link when ranking your website. This is a great precautionary measure to avoid getting affiliated with pages that turns out to be bogus. Don’t worry, nofollow links won’t hurt your SEO strategy.

May I cloak or shorten Amazon affiliate links?

Absolutely not! This is against the conditions of participation and can get you kicked out (see point 6 lit. v of the participation requirements).

Am I allowed to create my own advertising banners and embed them with Amazon affiliate links?

Yup, you’re free to do so. Just remember that if you plan to use the Amazon logo, you have to follow certain trademark guidelines to avoid getting permanently banned from their affiliate program (see point 8 of the trademark guidelines).

Can I use the Amazon PA API even if I have no sales?

Yes, you can. According to the Developer Guide, the API is available (with 8640 queries per day) to new affiliate program participants in the first 30 days, even if you haven’t sold anything yet.

However, if you still have absolutely zero sales after your first 30 days, you will be denied access to the PA API. The same thing will happen if, at any given period, you fail to assist a successful purchase within 30 consecutive days.

Can I use “Amazon” in a domain or subdomain?

Definitely not. Both are strictly forbidden by the conditions of participation in the Amazon affiliate program (see point 8 of the trademark guidelines). Adding “Amazon” in your domain is also classified as a violation of the trademark law.

Do I need to sign an AV agreement with Amazon to use the Amazon PA API?

No, you don’t. The Amazon PA API does not process any personal data of website visitors anyway.

Can I apply to the Amazon partner program even if my website is still in progress?

No, I personally wouldn’t do that. Make sure your website is fully operational and has a privacy policy before applying. Otherwise, it’s likely that you’d just waste your time. You’ll have extremely low chances of getting into the affiliate program.

Can I link to a single customer review?

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Absolutely. Doing so is a breeze with the SiteStripe.

Why are sales via my affiliate links not being counted?

This could be really frustrating. To make sure not an ounce of your effort will go unrewarded, take note of these common reasons why sales on Amazon are not counted in favor of your links:

  • You have cloaked or shortened the affiliate link (e.g. with
  • Your affiliate link contains the noreferrer attribute
  • The visitor’s browser does not support cookies, or has blocked the Amazon cookie
  • Your affiliate link does not work properly
  • The visitor has not ordered the product within 24 hours, so the cookie from your link has expired

Can I join the affiliate program without a website?

Yes, it’s possible. Especially for influencers, you can also apply as an Amazon affiliate with a YouTube or Instagram channel.

Do I have to register a business if I generate income via the partner network?

Yeah, you do. Don’t try to get away with business laws and tax policies!

Do I only get commissions on the product I link to, or on the buyer’s whole shopping cart?

Great news, your commission will always be computed based on the entire shopping cart. The product you have directly recommended does not even have to be in the final purchase! Protection Status