How To Make Money As Amazon Affiliate

Updated: February 23, 2022
by Ray Alexander

Amazon affiliate program, known as Amazon Associates, is perfect for anyone who is getting started with affiliate marketing. The program's "pre-approval" system allows you to join almost immediately, and will provide you with an easy-to-use affiliate linking tool bar (SiteStripe). But beware! Just like any other business partner programs, there are rules to follow. Ignore the Amazon operating agreement, and you'll be risk at being kicked out. So here's how to join Amazon Associates, what you should be aware of, and how to make money as Amazon Affiliate.

How To Make Money As Amazon Affiliate

Before I begin, the information below is based on (US) Associates agreement. Each regional Associates program (such as Amazon EU) sets out slightly different rules, just so you know.

What Do I Need To Become An Amazon Associate?

There are two things you need in order to be able to join Amazon Associates;

  • Your true identification: Particularly you need to have your phone number ready, which Amazon will use to make an automated phone call to verify PIN number. You will also need to submit your tax identification number wherever in the world you live (W8-BEN TIN number if you live in the US).
  • Your own website or mobile app: Website must be your own, not a web space within a third-party blog-publishing service. If you haven't owned a website, you can create one for free from here - it won't take you a few minutes!

Signing Up

You can join in from Amazon Associates program is entirely free. 

One Associate Account For Multiple Websites

First question it asks is a list of websites or mobile apps (if you are a software app developer) where you intend to promote Amazon products. So if you have a number of websites in totally different niches, you can list them all here. You don't have to open separate Associate accounts.

Answering Questions - Your Promotion Methods

Amazon will ask you to ask you how you're going to promote the products, and how you drive traffic to your website. They're easy to answer and it won't take a few minutes to complete. But don't forget, it's an application - you're applying for an affiliate position. You should have a courtesy to show that you're not messing about, so be honest and sensible with your answers.

"What are your websites or mobile apps about?"
Promotion Methods

Be brief, but don't be abrupt by just saying "Health and Fitness" or "Work From Home".

In fact there are three supplementary questions underneath the box ("What can users do on your website or mobile app, who is it for, and what kind of products do you intend to promote?") So you can answer each one, for example;

Health and Fitness tips & advice primarily for men over 40. I intend to promote affordable home gym / exercise equipment, fitness-related books and nutritional supplements.

Traffic & Monetization

The first question "How do you drive traffic to your website(s)?" has 12 checkboxes - if you have just started building your site and have yet to promote it anywhere, "SEO" is the most appropriate answer. If you are a Wealthy Affiliate member and display your new website in your profile, you can check "Forums" and "Blogs" also.

You can answer all the questions honestly. For example the question "How many total unique visitors do your websites get per month?" - nobody expects thousands of visitors to a brand new site. So don't be afraid to choose "Less than 500" if that's the case, Amazon Associates will still pre-approve your application.

How Does Amazon Associates Review Your Application?

So I've said your affiliate application will be "pre-approved". It means you will receive a confirmation email from Amazon Associates almost immediately, and you can start placing Amazon affiliate links in your website. The real approval process will start when you've actually made 3 x qualified sales; when 3 people have have accessed to Amazon site via your affiliate link and made a purchase. Amazon will make sure that;

  • Your website has a quality, original content - 10 posts, at least.
  • Your website is publicly available (not closed group or paid access).
  • Your website is - simply put, good and ethical. It does not contain anything like sexually explicit, hate, violence, discriminations, illegal, deceptive... Check the detail from here if you're not sure.
  • You have to make at least 3 x sales within the first 180 days. Personal orders (purchased by you or anyone in your household) don't qualify!

The application review process can be viewed from here.

When and How Do I Get Paid?

When and How Do I Get Paid

When Amazon sees your sales are qualified and your website is suitable, it will start making the commission payments to you.

If someone accesses to Amazon via your affiliate link, any items that the person adds to the shopping cart in the next 24 hours will be subject to your affiliate commission entitlement. The commission rate depends on the product category, varying from 1% - 10%. You can check the fee schedule from here.

Payment will be made at the end of each month, within 60 days, i.e.

  • Commissions made during January will be paid out in late March,
  • Commissions made during August will be paid out in late October, and so on. 

Your payments can be made by check, by Amazon gift certificate, or by Direct Deposit (U.S. bank account only).

Can I Use Product Images From Amazon?

Amazon SiteStripe

This is the question I get asked most frequently by new affiliates.

The best way to place a product image from Amazon is to use SiteStripe feature. How to use it is explained in my previous post (How To Create A Website For Affiliate Marketing).

You shouldn't just download images from Amazon site and place them on your site. Although Amazon does not specifically disallow you to do it - that's because Amazon doesn't own the copyright of the images. Each product holder does, and they allow Amazon to use the images. But by all means Amazon advises you not to freely use the product images on your site.

Another way to display Amazon's product images on your site is to place a link directly to Amazon's image URL. I'll show you how to do it. The Associates' help desk confirms it's ok to do this.

Copy Image Link Amazon
  • 1
    Firstly right-click the image and get the image URL. Depending on the browser, it should say "Copy Image Address", "Copy Image Link", or something similar. The example above is an image of product Echo Dot. This particular image URL is
  • 2
     Place an HTML code in your webpage - if you're using WordPress 5 (Bebo/Gutenberg), go to "Add Block" > "Formatting" > "Custom HTML".

<img src="INSERT THE IMAGE URL HERE" width="300">

<img src="" width="300">

  • 3
    Insert the above code with the image URL in between, just like the example above. If you want the image to be larger or smaller, change the width accordingly. Do not set the height. (Because you don't have to. But if you do, skewing an image is something that's prohibited by Amazon so you need to be careful in resizing in the same proportion!)
  • 4
    That's it. This is how it will look.

Having said that, it's definitely more advisable to embed the code from SiteStripe, because when a user clicks the image, they'll be directed to Amazon site via your affiliate link. Whereas the image is not clickable if you link it this way (you could make it clickable but Amazon does not specifically approve it, so why should you, rather than using SiteStripe?)

How To Make 'Good' Money As Amazon Affiliate

Use Native Shopping Ads

Place Native Shopping Ads (you can access it from the "Product Linking" menu in your Associates account) somewhere within your blog content. The ad space is responsive to all device types (mobile, tablet) and the feature will show the most relevant products to your visitors.

Write Comparison Reviews

Writing a product comparison review is the best way to get people to visit Amazon via your affiliate link. Yes, you often find those when you Google search, such as "10 most popular digital radios" "15 best vacuum cleaners under $100".

While product reviews convert the best, it's actually a hard work. You need to update the pages very regularly because new items come in constantly and the bestsellers can become obsolete quicker than you think.

Keep Up With Holidays And Sales

Like any other shops, Amazon runs special campaigns ahead of holidays - Christmas, Valentines Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving Day... You can get ready well ahead of each holiday and promote products early.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday period is the best time to make money, so you can plan ahead - months ahead if you want, and write as many promo articles just before the period starts.

4 Things To Do To Get Your Affiliate Position Revoked

#1 Promoting Products "Offline"

You're not allowed to promote Amazon products and earn commission anywhere other than in your website or apps. To clarify, you cannot place your affiliate links in;

  • your email newsletter to your subscribers
  • as an attachment to email
  • ebook
  • phone text message
  • any printed material
  • ...or any oral solicitation! 

#2 Using A Link Shortener

Not just cloaking your affiliate link but use of link shortening service is also not permitted by Amazon. Don't use, or Pretty Links to redirect your Amazon affiliate link.

#3 Messing Around With Amazon Logo/Banners

Plenty of banners are supplied by Amazon - don't try to modify the design of any of them. You may be good at graphic designs, but don't create your own Amazon banner. Or play with the logo - by adding a patterned background, for example. 

#4 ...And With Trademark!

Not just the logo or banners but the whole trademark issue - be careful not to do anything to mislead users when mentioning Amazon on your site. Don't misspell the brand (e.g. Ammazon, Amazoon). Don't even think about using the brand name as part of your site title (e.g. "Discount Amazon 4U") or domain name (e.g.

Do You Want To Know More In Detail?

The information above is based on the latest US Amazon Associates policies (updated December 1st, 2018) at the time of writing. You might want to double check the documents yourself, i.e.

And please note, each regional Amazon Associates program (, Amazon EU, etc) issues its own policy documents and sets out different rules. For example, Amazon Associates EU has recently confirmed to me that you can place your affiliate link in your email newsletter, whereas clearly prohibits it according to the policy.

I will try to update this post as often as I can, but if you have spotted errors or have any questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.

About the author 

Ray Alexander

ASD. Recovering alcoholic. LGBTQ+ advocate. Semi-retired. 15+ years of web-designing experience. 10+ years affiliate marketing. Ex-accountant. I'm nice and real. Ask me if you need any help in starting up your home business.

Thank you for your Comments!

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  1. Amazon affiliate programs are very popular worldwide, everyone ought to know that this is the best opportunity. It took me a while but I never gave up because I knew this ecommerce giant helps thousands of affiliate marketers make money, likewise affiliate marketers help consumers choose the right products and together they help the world economy. I knew I needed to be part of it and I was right.

  2. Wow, this is almost like a free complete tutorial that everyone should read. I know many people including college students who want to learn about affiliate marketing. I also know Amazon is the best program. I will book mark this page and let everyone know about it.
    Thank you and congratulation for this amazing post.

  3. Hi Ray, good to know some do’s and dont’s. I’ve seen many emails with a link to Amazon products but it’s not allowed then. A few things that they are doing wrong without realising. What happens if Amazon finds that out? Do they ban them?

    1. Hi Gareth, that’s right, Amazon affiliates are not allowed to place their link on emails and if it’s found out, yes their agreement will be terminated. Any more questions don’t hesitate. Thanks for your comment!

  4. This is just what I needed…. I am brand new to affiliate marketing. I was only told that Amazon offered the best affiliate programme but I didn’t know where to start. It will be good if you or someone can offer a marketplace kind of platform where affiliates can buy Amazon products using each other’s link to avoid cancellation after 180 days of no sale.
    Your advice will be appreciated.

    1. Hi Kilo, thanks for your comment and question. As I mentioned in the post, affiliates are not allowed to let their friends and family use their link. That kind of ‘marketplace’ would be against the rule. It will have to be genuinely your website visitors or social followers that you can promote Amazon products, I’m afraid.

  5. Hi, this is a brilliant step by step site. I usually use Amazon India and Amazon UK site but I think the principles are the same. I would like to become an Amazon affiliate. This site makes it very easy for me to learn how to do this. I’m happy to know the procedure.

  6. I was an Amazon Affiliate until about 4 years ago. It was easy back then, because as I seem to remember, it was never as competitive to start with. People simply searched for certain products and whatever page they land, they would click only to be directed to an Amazon page, not knowing they were on an affiliate link.

    It was gradually becoming so difficult over time, it was the very reason which made me decide to call it a day. I wish new affiliates all the best.

    1. Hi Kenneth, thanks for sharing your experience. Yes you’re right, it is pretty competitive right now. But thankfully there are a lot more most up-to-date training materials easily obtainable too. The more you understand the consumers’ psychology the more chance of success you’ll have as an affiliate. Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it.

  7. Hi I’ve seen a company called Amazon Insider but it’s not Amazon. Are they breaking the law because this company has sent me 100’s of endless emails that I was not interested. I never signed up with them. How can I report it to Amazon?

    1. Hi Mani, if it’s an unsolicited email, you can report it to the email marketing provider. I wouldn’t report it to Amazon though, if I were you. Whether THEY are breaking the law or not is not your problem, best not to put your foot in it, I hope you agree. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Hey Ray, another great piece of content. I wonder how much time does it take to do such a deep research? To me reading the small prints is the last thing I’d do. I find posts like this one so valuable. Great job, thanks!

    1. Hi Isaac, thanks for your comment. I don’t mind ‘reading the small prints’, but things that are important for users such as operating agreements should never be in small prints in the first place, online AND offline!

  9. Thanks Ray for your awesome post, especially about Amazon images was eye opening for me. Can you please write a detailed post on how to build authority websites.

  10. Hi, how long have you been an Amazon affiliate? I want to know how long you are allowed to stay as an affiliate with Amazon.

    1. Hello, thanks for your comment. You can stay as an affiliate as long as you like – as long as you keep making sales though. If you don’t for a long time, they can terminate your agreement. If you need any help don’t hesitate to get back to me.

  11. Hi Ray, at last I became an amazon affiliate! Thank you so much for your help! I will see if I can sell something very soon! I just wanted to let you know. I appreciate your help and also this page. I took my 1st step!

    1. Hello, and congrats! It’s great to hear that. If you need more help or encounter any problems at all, don’t hesitate to get back to me at any time. Thanks for letting me know!

  12. Yeah a friend of mine stupidly built a website with Amazon in its url and got shut down. You gotta b careful about that.

  13. Hi, I was so used to making websites in the old days but never thought about monetizing them! I knew about affiliates but didn’t have a good idea for it! I didn’t know you could just promote any products from Amazon. This will expand my horizon as my future retirement job! Thanks for that!!!

  14. Hi, I just bookmarked this page. I’m planning to join Amazon Associates program but I need to get a few things done first, to plan where to run campaigns etc etc. I’m really excited about it. Thanks a million!

  15. Hi, promoting Amazon products as an affiliate for the first time seems easy but it’s actually not. Many people struggle just to understand their own affiliate link. This post has made it easy for many new marketers. Thank you for your educational post. This is useful and easy to understand.

  16. Hi Ray, this page is super useful, thank you! Especially about what not to do, because I hate reading the small prints. When I usually decide to do something I just carefully go for it without reading t&c, it makes me realize how I should be careful. I’ll try applying it right now. Thank you for your help!

  17. Hi, Ray. Thank you for the step by step. I can make use of this page. It will help me to promote Amazon products at any time now. As I always wondered if there were things not to do. Now I know. Thank you.

  18. Hi, someone I know has taken an online job and not making it as a successful business. It’s been 3 years and he’s making very little money. Amazon affiliate sounds to me like a legitimate, and sounds like a very good idea, should I recommend it to him, what do you think? He now is in debt and he owes me quite a lot of money also. Please advice, thank you.

    1. Hi Josie, Amazon Associates is a good program but depending on what kind of online job your friend has, it takes time and effort before he can become a successful affiliate. You can get him to contact me if he’s interested, but I can’t really answer for him. Thanks for your comment anyway. I hope everything will work out for you and your friend!

  19. Hi, your post is great. Packed full of information and I’m so impressed. if you ever want to work for an online store similar to Amazon, I know some connections and we can give you better rates although you have to be a USA citizen. If interested, contact me because it will benefit your readers also. Thanks

  20. Hi, thanks for the detailed explanation, especially “small prints” are something that I’m not good at following, i.e terms & conditions. I appreciate you explaining so much in detail but in easy way. I have been Amazon affiliate for 2 months now but I’m not making any commissions yet. Because I’m not promoting actively. Maybe I will learn more from your site. Thanks.

    1. Hi, glad to hear that the post helps. The terms change from time to time (a few times a year) so I’ll try to update the post accordingly. I hope you’ll make some sales soon, good luck! And thanks for your comment!

  21. Hi Ray, thanks for the great review. I emailed you about a year ago and asked about the Amazon affiliate program and you took me through. Unfortunately for many personal reasons I had to give up the idea of affiliate marketing. Now I’m back ready again and just found this page. It’s very informative. I’ve bookmarked this page. I will make it a success this time round. Thanks for all your help. Prat

    1. Hi Prat, I remember you! I was wondering what had happened. I just checked back my emails to you, and all I said about Amazon Associates is still valid today. Any more questions don’t hesitate to ask. Good luck! Thanks for your comment.

  22. Awesome content, man. I tried to become Amazon USA 3 times and didn’t make money within 6 months period I finally gave up, but I decided to go for other affiliate marketing network like JV zoo, if you find the product that you believe in and follow the steps you can be a success. The problem I had with Amazon was that I didn’t have anything particular I wanted to promote and I didn’t have a passion for it. But I still have a chance I might try again. Cheers for the encouraging post man.

    1. Hi Cane, it’s great to hear your story. You’re right, if you don’t have anything to promote in mind or don’t have a good niche idea, there’s no point joining an affiliate program even a place that’s versatile like Amazon. Thanks for sharing your experience, I appreciate it!

  23. Hi, it’s a very useful guide. I’ve never used Amazon Associates before because my site is not ready for it but it’s been in my mind. Hopefully I can sell when it’s up. Too many regulations make me nervous a bit about it. Also I can’t buy my own stuff do I need to make another account for that? or can I use the same email address? Thanks

    1. Hi Pé, you don’t have to be ‘nervous’ about the rules. Just as any other affiliate programs, you have to follow what the agreement says. About your email accounts, you don’t need a separate email address. When you make a purchase on Amazon for yourself, just simply buy it (!) whereas an affiliate purchase only occurs if someone accesses to Amazon via your special (affiliate) link. So if you wanted to buy something for yourself and make a commission (which is NOT allowed, I must emphasize!) you’d have to place the special link on your webpage and access via the link yourself.

      I hope this makes sense, any more questions don’t hesitate to get back to me. Thanks for your comment.

  24. Hi, your post is very thorough and educational, thanks. I didn’t even know how to become an affiliate for Amazon, I have bought millions of items in the past and I think I wasted a lot of money for not becoming an affiliate. Your post helps as step by step. Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Saiful, thanks for your comment. I’m glad this post helps. Just to be clear, as I mentioned in the post, you can’t receive affiliate commission on the products that you purchased yourself, so you couldn’t have earned income anyway. I hope this makes sense. Any more questions don’t hesitate to get back to me. Thanks!

  25. This is just what I wanted…..thank you. Amazon affiliate programme is very convenient for everyone. It can be used for any websites and flexible. I like the flexibility. I am going to advertise as much as I can. Thank you.

    1. Hi Amanda, thanks for your comment. That’s right, it’s versatile and suitable for any (most of) niches. Apart from the fact that the commission rates that are not super great. I wish you the best of luck in promoting!

  26. Hi, the day I’ve been dreading is near….I’ve had no sales with Amazon and my affiliate status will be taken away soon. Is there any way I can stop this….?

    1. Hi Ingrid, sorry to hear that you haven’t made sales with Amazon. I’m afraid you cannot really ‘stop it’. Good news is, although your Associate account may automatically be canceled after 180 days, you can re-join the program right away after that. The only pain is that you’ll have to replace all the affiliate links… Apart from that, there’ll be no problem so don’t give up and keep going! Thanks for your comment. Any more questions don’t hesitate to get back to me any time.

  27. Hi Ray. This is very useful information. Thank you very much.
    I can know it is very difficult to learn about rules also to put image from Amazon.
    Can I ask question please. As you know I live in New York now, but I will move to Europe in 6 months.
    How can I transfer my Amazon affiliate?
    Thank you, I already messaged 3 times to you. Now I write in comment.
    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Jun, you can continue to be an affiliate for even if you move away. When you join, you need to fill in the relevant tax form, and when you move out of US you’ll need to update it. I can help you with it. You can also join Amazon EU Associates and link two of your accounts together (as well as Japanese Amazon, Canadian, etc.) Good luck, I’ll speak to you soon!

  28. Thank you so much for your valuable information. I was not allowed to become Amazon associate and now I read your step by step I’m very confident that I will be able to in the future. It’s good to know about how to put images from Amazon also. Thank you for your help. Aaran.

    1. Hi Aaran, thanks for your comment. I’m not sure why you’ve not been “allowed” to join the Amazon Associates program, but am glad to hear that the post helps. I wish you the best of luck with success. Any questions don’t hesitate to get back to me any time -)

  29. Hi Ray, there’s so much information here. I have just joined Amazon Associate recently and have not made money just yet. I found it fairly easy to join and I knew about the 180 day rule but I didn’t know about other restriction. Especially about the use of images now I have to be really careful. Hopefully right now I’m learning and improving my WordPress skill, I can place images easily and hopefully promote as many Amazon products so that I can make a sale within the next 6 months. Great advice, thanks Ray!

    1. Hi Ben, glad to hear that the post helps. From your other comments, I know you’ll make great success with your niche marketing. You will make some money pretty soon for sure. Thanks for your comment!

  30. Anybody can become Amazon affiliate but the commission rates it offers are too low, if you want to make money online you should try some other affiliate networks like Clickbank, JV zoo. Amazon is not ideal if you really want to make it as a full time affiliate job. That’s all I can say.

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment. I personally know a few people who make a living solely on Amazon affiliate commissions. Commission rate may be one of the elements, but also the popularity of products count. People don’t buy internet marketing products (on Clickbank, for example) every month, but I’m a pet owner and buy pet products on Amazon every month, you see?

      You can make a great success by becoming an Amazon Associate. Thanks for your comment!

  31. Hello. Is it possible to become Amazon affiliate even if I don’t live in USA? How about Amazon UK can you make enough money from it. Thank you for your assistance, I look forward to hearing from you.

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment. Yes you can become a US or UK Amazon Associate regardless to where you live. Obviously UK is a much smaller country, so depending on your target audience, the number of commissions you earn may be less than USA. Any more questions don’t hesitate to get back to me. Thanks!

  32. How do they know that your promoting over email? They don’t. Kinda pointless prohibiting it. Your aff. links are links wherever they are. People buy using your link an that’s what matters.

    1. Hi, yes of course they will know if a user has accessed to their site directly rather than via your website. If a hundred people accessed to Amazon page via a particular affiliate link, but not the redirect source (i.e. your website)… It would be obvious these people clicked a link placed on either email or PDF.

      I have written this post hoping to help new online hopefuls to understand what Amazon Associates program is like and what they should be careful of. Rules are rules. It’s all up to your responsibility whether you want to follow them or break them!

  33. I used to make $14k – 16k per month solely as an Amazon affiliate selling computer equipment. About 2 years ago Amazon suddenly terminated my account without any warning in advance. To this date I don’t know why. Your post helps, thanks. I never promoted anything from Amazon offline, never breached the trademark issue.

    It hit hard when my income stopped all of a sudden. Luckily I had enough savings to move on to another business.

    1. Hi, sorry to hear about the incident. It was so unfortunate for you, but it perhaps also means we should always have a backup plan – to keep different sources of income going, or have some savings for a rainy day just like you did. The fact that you were making so much as Amazon Associate is so encouraging too. Thanks for sharing your experience, appreciate it!

  34. Hello, I am very impressed by your article. I have been reading many articles regarding Amazon affiliate to find out how to be successful in making commission from Amazon. I now realize nothing is straight-forward and I may struggle on the way especially to follow the strict rules set out by Amazon. But your article helps me a lot. I learned some new lessons from this page and now I think I’m ready to give it a try.
    Thank you so much for helping newbies like myself.

  35. Great tips, wow. I wish I had known this when I started Amazon affiliate. It was a few years back but I didn’t even know about Site Stripe. I struggled to copy and paste the code. I struggled to understand anything to be honest lol. Now nothing seems tricky when I read your advice. I would like to start my website. I only own a domain name for my email marketing business. I just bookmarked this page for the future. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jaime, SiteStripe appeared only a couple of years ago (?) as I remember, this certainly does make it easy to place a product image as well as a text link on your website. It’s great to hear that you’d like to start your website. If you need some assistance don’t hesitate to contact me any time, I’m more than happy to help! Thank you for your comment!

  36. Hi, some great information here, I’m extremely impressed. I didn’t know particularly about email promotion not being allowed. I have 12000+ subscribers and was just thinking about promoting upcoming Amazon sale…that’s got out of the window lol!

    1. Hi Damian, yes unfortunately right now, Amazon US does not allow you to promote products in your email, though Amazon EU confirms it’s ok. We’ll see if the policy changes in the near future! Thanks for your comment.

  37. Hi Ray, this is amazing! Thank you! Thank you!
    So many people say different things, don’t do this, don’t do that… Never use images from Amazon, or you can use them, OR you can take a screenshot… I didn’t know who to believe.
    I have also tried to read the agreement and just could not get my head around it.
    Too many jargons!
    Your blog has helped me clarify all the questions I needed to know.
    Thank you for your advice!

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