How To Become An Amazon Associate

🛈This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through those links at no extra cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read my full disclosure here.

Are you wondering how to become an Amazon Associate? If you’re in the affiliate marketing world then Amazon has one of the biggest affiliate programs out there.

Regardless of what niche you’re in, Amazon is a great choice for monetising your site because it has such a large selection of products to promote and the good news is that it’s pretty easy to get started.

What Is The Amazon Affiliate Program

The Amazon Affiliate Program is basically a way to monetise your website by giving you the opportunity to promote a vast amount of Amazon products by adding Amazon affiliate links to your blog posts.

When a visitor clicks on one of those links, it takes them directly to Amazon and if they make a purchase, you’ll receive a small commission as a result. If you’re completely new to affiliate marketing, here’s a more in-depth post on what affiliate marketing is and how to do it.

It benefits all parties involved because the affiliates are driving traffic directly to Amazon which in turn increases their sales.

The affiliate earns a commission for sending that traffic (if any of them make a purchase) and the visitor is happy because they’ve been sent directly to where they can buy the product they were interested in without having to go off and search for it.

How Does The Amazon Affiliate Program Work

Let’s say you have a website and it’s in the gardening niche, for example. You’ve just written a spectacular review post about a fancy lawnmower and now you want to add a link to that review that will send your readers to a site where they can buy it.

how to become an amazon associate

You also want to make some money for all your hard work. You did just spend two days writing this thing after all so you deserve it. Well, this is where the Amazon Affiliate Program comes in and every other affiliate program for that matter

Once you sign up for the program and get accepted, you’ll be given an ID that relates to your affiliate account. From here, you can now create a link from Amazon for that fancy lawnmower that will automatically include your affiliate ID.

Once you insert it into your review, if a visitor clicks on it and then buys that fancy lawnmower (or/and anything else on Amazon – more on that in a moment), you’ll get a commission for that sale.

How Much Money Can You Make As An Amazon Affiliate

Depending on the niche you’re in, there are different commission rates for different product categories and they range anywhere from 1% to 20%.

how to become an amazon affiliate

I have several websites and most of my niches fall into the 4% category with one falling into the 10% category if I pick the right products. The lower-end commissions don’t sound like a lot but they can all add up the more content you create.

Despite some of the low-end commission rates, Amazon sells pretty much everything and that fact makes it pretty handy as an affiliate program. No matter what product you’re planning to promote, chances are that Amazon sell it.

There’s also the fact that almost everyone uses Amazon or at the very least knows who they are so you won’t have to worry about sending them to an unknown retailer that they may not trust.

An Added Bonus To Using The Amazon Affiliate Program

As an added bonus, you’re also entitled to a commission for anything else they buy during the cookie window (more on that in a second).

For example, your visitor clicks on your affiliate link for the lawnmower which sends them over to Amazon and let’s just say in this example that they decide not to purchase it.

However, while they’re there, they remember that TV they were thinking of buying and decide to take the plunge and get it.

As long as it’s in the cookie window and they haven’t clicked on anyone else’s affiliate link in the meantime, you’ll get a commission for that purchase and any other purchase they make.

make money as an amazon associate

Amazon does only have a 24-hour cookie window though. This means that from the time the visitor clicks on your link, you will only receive a commission if that visitor makes a purchase within the next 24 hours from the time of that click.

Once the 24 hours are up, your commission window closes and you won’t receive any commission for any purchases made after that time.

Some Amazon Rules You Need To Follow

Amazon is a great affiliate program but they do have some strict rules that they expect their affiliates to follow and they’re not afraid to suspend or even cancel an affiliate’s account if their rules are being broken.

There are way too many to list here so make sure you have a thorough read of their terms and conditions before you start adding their links. In the meantime, though, here are some of the important ones.

Display An Affiliate Disclosure

This one is really important, not just for Amazon, but for all affiliate links that you have on your site so you should always have a general affiliate disclosure.

amazon affiliate disclosure

Amazon, however, has their own line of text that they insist you display on all posts containing Amazon affiliate links so you’ll need to also add this to your existing disclosure.

Failure to add this could cause your affiliate account to be suspended or even cancelled so this one’s definitely not one you want to miss.

If you need any help with creating an affiliate disclosure, you can check my tutorial on how to add one automatically to the top of every post on your site.

Don’t Copy And Paste Amazon Images

So many people do this without realising that this is not permitted and many have lost their affiliate account because of it. That’s not to say that you can’t use Amazon images, it just has to be one of their link images.

Copy and pasting is not allowed so you have to make sure that you only use the SiteStripe link image that’s provided for image links.

Don’t Show Amazon Prices On Your Site

This is another one that many people do without realising it’s prohibited. Because the prices change so frequently on Amazon, they don’t want affiliates to include the prices on their sites.

amazon associates

The only time it’s allowed is when you use the image and text link from SiteStipe because this link shows the current price but because this link is synced to Amazon, it is updated automatically if it changes on the Amazon site.

Don’t Cloak Your Amazon Affiliate Links

Amazon really doesn’t like it if you cloak your Amazon affiliate links. They are all about transparency so cloaking your affiliate links is an absolute no-no.

This also includes using link shorteners if they obscure the URL and make it unclear that the link is to an Amazon site.

Don’t Make Purchases Through Your Own Links

As tempting as it may be, you can not make purchases through your own affiliate links. This one is strictly forbidden so avoid it at all costs. Even asking family and friends to buy through your links is not allowed.

You might be thinking, how on earth would Amazon find out but imagine if you’ve had 20 sales through your links but they’re all within a 10-mile radius of your home address/IP address.

amazon associate rules

To be honest, I don’t actually know how Amazon would police this (other than my wild guess scenario in the last sentence) but it is forbidden in their rules so why risk it?

There are many more rules when it comes to Amazon and its affiliate links so make sure you go through them with a fine tooth comb to avoid any unwanted reactions from the Amazon affiliate police.

Before You Get Started

Before you apply to the Amazon affiliate program, you’ll need to have your website up and running first. If you’re not sure where to start or you want to learn more about website building and affiliate marketing, check out my post on the training platform that got me started.

You don’t necessarily need lots of content first before you apply but you do need to have a least a few pieces of content up (according to Amazon, at least 10 posts).

Amazon will check your site so you’ll want to have something for them to inspect so that they get an idea of whether or not your site is suitable.

As long as you have original, good-quality content that isn’t on their unsuitable list (explicit, discriminatory, etc) then it’s actually pretty easy to get accepted (although there are a small handful of areas that can not apply due to tax laws).

How To Become An Amazon Associate

Like most affiliate programs, the Amazon associate affiliate program is completely free to join and use. The application process is relatively quick and easy and you will be granted instant access to Associates Central (on a probationary basis) at the end of the application.

becoming an amazon associate

The only stipulation is that after you’ve been temporarily accepted, you’ll need to make 3 sales within the first 180 days to remain in the program. This is another reason why it’s a good idea to have some content up before you apply and ideally some traffic too.

As Amazon US has the most amount of traffic, it’s a good idea to start with their program and if all goes well, you can then move on to the Amazon affiliate programs in other countries.

Amazon also has a feature called OneLink which lets you connect all your worldwide Amazon affiliate accounts together so that your traffic can be directed to the Amazon site in their own country.

If you’d like to learn how to set up OneLink, you can check out my full tutorial on it here.

The Amazon Affiliates Application Process

To sign up for the Amazon US program, simply head to and click the sign-up button.

amazon associates sign up

On the next page, if you already have a customer account, simply sign in using your customer sign-in details. If you don’t have a customer account then click “Create your Amazon account” and fill in your details on the next page.

amazon associates sign in

The next page will require you to enter your personal details including full name, address, etc.

amazon associates account info

Next, you will need to add your website URL

amazon associates website info

On the next page, you’ll need to complete your profile. You’ll need to create a Store ID which Amazon will use to identify you. You’ll also need to write a brief description of what your website is about.

As an example, if you had a gardening website, you would start with something like, “gardening website with helpful tips, how-tos, and garden equipment reviews for gardeners” or something to that effect. The last detail on this page is what type of website you have, ie, blog site, etc.

amazon associates profile info

The final page will confirm your application and you can now choose to add your payment and tax information or do it at a later time but I personally think it’s better to get it set up and out of the way. It literally takes no more than a few minutes to complete.

On a side note, if you’re not a US citizen, the tax form might look a little scary but don’t worry, it’s relatively simple to fill in. You just need to confirm that you’re not a US citizen so that Amazon knows you’ll be dealing with your own tax in your own country.

There are a few pointers after the next few paragraphs just in case you get stuck.

Congratulations, You’re In. Well, Kind Of

Congrats, you are now a probationary Amazon affiliate for the next 180 days and have full access to Amazon’s Associates Central so you can now start using their affiliate links.

You will, however, now need to make 3 sales in the next 180 days to get your Amazon Associates account fully accepted.

Once you’ve made those sales, Amazon will review your application by reviewing your site and if all is well, you will be fully accepted into the Amazon Associates Affiliation Program.

If you’d like to learn how to add your Amazon affiliate links, then I have a full step-by-step tutorial on how to do that.

Some Pointers On The Tax Form

Most of the information needed on the tax form is pretty standard like name, address, etc so it’s not that difficult to fill out.

amazon associate tax info

There were, however, a few things that I know I was uncertain about the first time I filled it in so here they are:

Tax classification – If you’re a blogger then you should select “Individual” here.

Are you acting as an intermediary agent – Unless you’re filling in the form for someone else then the answer is no.

Tin Value – You have to fill this in no matter what country you live in so use the number that you use for tax purposes in your own country ie, UK = National Insurance Number, Ireland = PPSN Number, etc.

Location of services performed – If you live outside of the US then choose “Outside US”. It doesn’t matter if your website is shown to a US audience and your traffic and sales are coming from the US. This question is purely about where you are in the world and not where your website will be seen.

Signing Up For Other Amazon Affiliate Programs In Other Countries

The easiest way to sign up for other Amazon affiliate programs in other countries is by doing it straight from your Associate Central dashboard.

amazon associates in different countries

Simply click on the country at the top of the page and a drop menu will appear with a list of all the other countries that have the Amazon associates program.

Click on any of the countries on the menu and you’ll be taken to the sign-up page for that country’s Amazon associates program where you can complete their application which is similar to the Amazon US application above.

How Do Amazon Pay Their Affiliates

When you set up your payment information, you’ll have a few choices as to the methods in which you’ll receive payment. You’ll also get the option to change the minimum payment amount but there is a minimum threshold amount that you can’t go below.

Amazon pay their affiliates each month but you have to be above the minimum payment threshold first. If you haven’t reached the minimum payment threshold by the monthly payout date then your earnings will be carried forward to the next month.

For as long as fail to reach the payout threshold, your earnings will continue to be carried forward each month until you’ve earned enough to be at or above the minimum payment amount.

To set up your payment or tax information if you didn’t do so at the end of the application stage, you can access them from two places.

amazon associate payment info

You can click either the “Important Notice” banner at the top of the page (this banner will remain until you’ve set up both sections) or by clicking on your email at the top of the page, then clicking “Account Settings” from the small menu that appears as per the image above.

Are There Any Amazon Alternatives

Don’t worry if you don’t get accepted into the Amazon Affiliates program because there are plenty of other ones out there to choose from.

If you’re looking for something like Amazon that sells a variety of different products then you could try the likes of eBay, Etsy or Walmart for example.

There are also numerous affiliate networks that you can join that are basically large platforms where lots of different affiliate programs are available from lots of different brands all in one place. Some examples of affiliate networks include:

The only difference is that with an affiliate network, you’ll have to sign up to the network first and then sign up individually for each affiliate program that you want to join that’s within the network.

It is worth noting that brand affiliate programs tend to have better commission rates and cookie windows than Amazon but you are giving up the added bonus of those extra sales like the TV sale example I used earlier and the fact that so many people shop for everything on Amazon.

Get Your Applications In

Amazon really is a great choice to get your affiliate marketing journey up and running. If you do get accepted into their affiliate program (it is fairly easy) then you’ll have a vast amount of different products for your niche that you can promote on your site.

You can also join numerous other affiliate programs and networks at the same time so that you’ll always have plenty of options as to who you can use anytime you want to create an affiliate link on your site.

I hope this post was helpful in your affiliate journey and if you have any questions or just want to share your own affiliate or Amazon stories then please feel free to do so in the comments section below. I’d love to hear them.

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