The Amazon affiliate program, also called “Amazon Associates,” can be an easy way to monetize your website or blog. Simply sign up, receive immediate approval, and place Amazon affiliate links on your site today. When someone makes an Amazon purchase via one of your links, you get the commission — it’s that simple.
But how do you get started? Below, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to becoming an Amazon Affiliate, with screenshots. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, starting your own business, or just looking for a small business side hustle, I hope you’ll find this guide a helpful place to start.
What is the Amazon Affiliate Program?
The Amazon Affiliate program, or Amazon Associates, is an affiliate marketing program. It’s free for website owners and bloggers to become Amazon Associates. They advertise products from Amazon.com on their sites by creating links. When customers click the links and buy products from Amazon, they earn referral fees.
Amazon Affiliate Program Rules and Requirements
Being an Amazon Associate is a great way to monetize passion projects or make supplementary income from your brand. However, Amazon has guidelines for associates to follow, so it’s best to understand those before you dive in. Noncompliance may result in being banned from the program.
The majority of the rules are in place for ethical promotion as well as preventing associates from gaming the system. Here are some of the big ones to keep in mind:
- You must disclose on your site or in your communication that you may be eligible to earn from your recommendations.
- You must not make false or deceptive claims in your recommendations.
- Avoid referring to prices (with some exceptions) since prices frequently change.
- Do not use Amazon affiliate links in offline promotions, eBooks, or email.
- Do not use link shorteners on affiliate links.
You can read Amazon’s full policy here.
1. Create a website or blog.
To become an Amazon Associate, you must have an active website, blog, app, or YouTube channel. It’s also helpful if you’ve pre-populated that site with content, so it appears active and authentic to both users and Amazon.
Remember, you must be able to describe the purpose of your website as part of the application process. So, have a firm idea of why you’re creating your site, the audience you’ll target, and how you’ll bring in traffic.
2. Navigate to the Amazon Associates homepage and click “Sign Up.”
In order to become an Amazon affiliate, you’ll need to create your Amazon Associates account. To do that, visit the Amazon Associates homepage and click Sign Up. From there, you’ll be prompted to log in to your existing Amazon account or create one.
3. Enter your account information.
Enter your account info (including the name, address, phone number of the payee).
4. Enter your website address.
Enter your website address(es), apps, YouTube channels, etc.
5. Enter your preferred store ID.
Enter your preferred store ID (usually the same as your primary website name), explain what your websites hope to accomplish, and select Amazon topics your links will likely target.
6. Explain how you drive traffic to your site.
Explain how you drive traffic to your websites, how you use your website or apps to generate income, how you usually build links, and how many visitors your site brings in each month.
7. Choose your payment method.
Choose whether to enter your payment (credit card) and tax ID information in now or later. Then proceed to your dashboard.
8. Create Amazon Affiliate links.
Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be sent to your personal Associate homepage. This is where you’ll find your performance dashboard (including an earnings overview, monthly summary, and total clicks).
It’s also where you’ll search for relevant products to link to from your content. Here’s how:
1. Log in to your Amazon Associate account.
Doing this ensures that the link text is generated in away that associates the product you’re promoting with your account.
2. Click on Product Linking in the top banner and select Product Links.
This will take you to a page that will prompt you to create your link.
3. Add the ASIN of the product OR search Amazon for the product.
An Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) is a 10-character alphanumeric code assigned to a product by Amazon for identification within their product catalog. You can find the ASIN of a product within the Product Information section of the product’s Amazon listing. That means you’ll have to grab it within another window.
Alternatively, if you can’t find the ASIN, Amazon will allow you to search the catalog for the product you’re promoting.
4. Click the Go button.
This will generate a result at the bottom. Be sure to verify that this is the intended product you wanted to promote.
5. Click the Get Link button on the right side.
This will copy your new Amazon Affiliate link to your clipboard, and you can now use that link in your promotions.
6. Alternatively, you can use the Amazon Associates SiteStripe to generate Amazon Affiliate links.
A simpler way to generate your Amazon Affiliate Links is by using the SiteStripe bar that shows up on product pages when you’re logged in to your Amazon Affiliate Panel.
Just click the Text button in the Get Link selector. Then copy the generated link that is provided in the popup.
7. Use the generated link on your site or other promotional materials according to Amazon’s standards.
Just remember that Amazon’s guidelines prohibit the use of the link in offline promotions, email, and eBooks or PDFs. As with most marketing and sales, quality content is at the heart of success. Ensure you’re attracting your audience with quality content and share relevant affiliate links with them on your site or YouTube channel.
Your account will be approved for 180 days. During that time, you must make at least one sale, or your account will be closed. That’s why it’s so important to have a strategy for your Amazon Affiliate endeavors. However, you can reapply for the Amazon Associate program after you’ve made certain adjustments to your site.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.