The ultimate guide to the Amazon affiliate program (my experience from 9 years and 70,000+ sales)
It is used by hundreds of thousands of bloggers and other website owners to make money online.
In my ultimate guide, I’ll explain why you should (and why not) use the Amazon affiliate program, the best way to incorporate affiliate links, and how to find profitable products.
I will also introduce you to tried and tested strategies and tricks to increase your income as an Amazon affiliate.
1. Why use the Amazon affiliate program?
The Amazon affiliate program is interesting for bloggers for several reasons:
- Amazon should be familiar to almost every Internet user by now, and most of your readers have already ordered there in the course of their lives.
- Amazon offers good customer service and fast shipping.
- Your readers can read customer reviews on Amazon.
- No matter what topic your blog is about, you are sure to find suitable products (a very large product range)
- Depending on the category, you can earn up to 10% reimbursement of advertising costs per product sold.
- At Amazon, you always get a commission for the entire shopping cart (and not just the product you recommend).
- Amazon offers an API that can be used to display prices and other product information automatically.
- Easy registration and integration of links.
- Reliable receipt of payment.
- Comprehensive statistics.
If you do it right, you can sometimes even live on the Amazon affiliate program’s income. I have been registered in the Amazon partner program since the beginning of 2011, and a large portion of my monthly or annual income has always come from Amazon.
2. Disadvantages of the Amazon Affiliate Program
Of course, the Amazon partner program has not had only advantages but also disadvantages, which should not go unmentioned here:
- Short cookie duration of just one day (30 or even 90 days for other affiliate programs), which means that when someone clicks on your affiliate link, they have to buy something within one day for you to receive a commission.
- For some product categories, there is very little commission (e.g., cell phones, smartphones, or TVs).
- You always get the same commission, no matter how many sales you have already generated in a month, year, or the entire term. With many other affiliate programs, you will be rewarded for more sales with a higher commission.
- The commissions and the Amazon conditions of participation are not set in stone and can change at any time (but this is also the case with any other affiliate program).
- You are just one of many affiliates of a large corporation, and you cannot expect any special treatment.
I was able to experience the fourth point firsthand. In October 2014, for example, the commission model was drastically changed. If the amount of commission per item sold was previously linked to the number of total sales, from then on, the commission of an item was based on its product category.
Accordingly, there were winners and losers. With my blogs, which only dealt with consumer electronics, cell phones, and smartphones, I was one of the losers. From then, my monthly Amazon income fell by half, as my product categories only received 1-3% commission instead of 5-8%.
If you want to build a sustainable online business, we, therefore, recommend: Diversify your sources of income and do not depend on just one customer! At the end of this article, I have listed some alternatives to the Amazon partner program for this purpose.
3. How do I register?
Registering for the Amazon affiliate program is quick and not too complicated:
- Go to the start page of the Amazon PartnerNet and click on the button “Register now for free” under the registration form on the right.
- Log in with your Amazon account (if you don’t have an Amazon account yet, select the option “I’m a new customer”).
- If you are not yet a customer, you must first enter your data. If you are already a customer, you can skip this step.
- Now you have to enter your “website profile”, that is, the name of your main website (from which your unique partner ID is generated) as well as the URLs and content of your websites.
- You will then receive a confirmation of the registration by email (you should specify your payment method there using the button at the end).
- Your registration will now be processed within the next 3 to 5 working days. But you already have full access to the PartnerNet.
In individual cases, your registration may be rejected. However, this usually only happens if Amazon looks at your website and it has serious quality defects or contains borderline content (racism, violence, eroticism, etc.). So as a normal blogger, you hardly need to worry.
4. Include affiliate links
The easiest way to include affiliate links in your blog articles is via the so-called SiteStripe. With the useful bar that is displayed to you as an Amazon affiliate on the Amazon website, you can easily and quickly create links to every imaginable page on Amazon. This includes products and product categories, search results, the app store, bestseller lists, or Amazon Prime.
When creating a link, you have three options: text, image, or text + image (in the form of a vertical box). Image or text + image is only available for individual products, but not for product categories, search results, etc.
With Text + Image, you have to expect that your loading time will deteriorate because the content is loaded from Amazon servers via iFrame. So you should avoid including too many of the product boxes in your blog articles.
4.2 Amazon Affiliate Plugins
As an alternative to Amazon’s own “Text + Image” links, there are product boxes that can be integrated into your blog using WordPress plugins. These have hardly any negative effects on the loading time because the displayed product data is cached and customized.
The price also shows other data from Amazon, such as Product features or shipping options.
However, these require a display of when the product data was last updated or at least a price disclaimer, as displaying incorrect data constitutes a violation of the conditions of participation in the Amazon partner program.
4.3 Short URLs
That’s why I like to use the short variants for affiliate links in tables or product lists:
If you want to link to a different product than the Lego Star Wars A-Wing Starfighter, you have to replace the ASIN, which I have marked in bold in the above examples, with the ASIN of your product.
4.4 Amazon search
If someone enters a product name, a product category or identification number (such as ASIN, EAN or ISBN) in the search field, they will be redirected to the corresponding search on Amazon. Including atime-consuming.
The statistics in the Amazon partner network, are not only good for observing the development of your own income, but also for optimizing it. The various reports can be accessed either via the small blue tabs in the menu or by clicking on the Show details link in the small overview box on the right-hand side either in the profit statement or in the order summary .
Most important are the tracking ID short report and advertising reimbursement. The tracking ID short report gives you a good overview of your income, while the advertising reimbursement report gives you a detailed overview of all products that your readers have bought on Amazon.
If you’re promoting subscriptions to Amazon Prime or Audible, then other reports are also important to you. They are listed there separately.
If you use more than one tracking ID, the Tracking ID selection field and the small summary box at the top left of the partner network are also important. If the check mark is set there, the data of all tracking IDs appear in the reports. If the check mark is not set, only the data for the tracking ID selected in the field above appear.
6. My tips for making money with Amazon
6.1 Find out what your readers need!
In my experience, the conversion rate (i.e. the proportion of clicks that become sales) is highest in the Amazon partner program and generally in affiliate marketing when one of the following conditions is met:
- Your readers have a general or product-specific interest in buying before they even visit your blog. Therefore, affiliate marketing works so well with SEO, as you so can optimize targeted keywords your blog articles where Google visitors have an interest in buying (e.g. As product xyz buy, product category xyz test, etc.).
- Your readers have a specific problem for which you recommend a product to your readers (which is actually helpful and with which you are best experienced).
6.2 Do not link any products that are no longer available
If you link to a product that is no longer available, your conversion rate will drop dramatically. Through the numerous alternatives that Amazon offers on its product pages (e.g. in the sections “What other items do customers buy after they have viewed this article?”, “Sponsored products for this article” or “Customers who bought this article have, also bought”), although there are still some sales, most visitors will still drop out.
You can remedy this by firstly only linking popular products that are available from many retailers and secondly by regularly checking the linked products. If you have hundreds of products on your blog, it can be time consuming to review them all on a regular basis. Therefore, I recommend using the ASA 2 Pro plug-in , which saves all Amazon products integrated in the blog and shows their availability.
6.3 Use eye-catching links with call-to-action buttons
6.4 Amazon widgets are useless!
6.5 Use your statistics to find products with high conversion rates
To increase your income and only recommend the products that your readers buy, you should regularly keep an eye on your advertising reimbursement report.
To do this, go to Reports> Advertising Reimbursement in the top menu bar. There you select a slightly longer period of time in order to get the most comprehensive picture possible of which products your visitors are buying.
In order to be able to sort and evaluate the sold products better, I prefer not to look at the report in the PartnerNet, but to download it as a file (click on the “Download report (TSV)” button) and then use the filter function in Excel to make it more clear shape.
6.6 Use multiple tracking IDs
6.7 Note how much commission there is for a product category
Linking to Amazon is not worthwhile for all products because, for some product categories, the commission is simply too low despite a high conversion rate. You can find out how much commission there is currently per product category in the EU partner program’s advertising cost reimbursement table.
6.8 What does your advertising look like on mobile devices?
Many visitors now come via smartphones or tablets, in many channels or subject areas, even over 70%. Accordingly, your advertising material should also be optimized for mobile use:
- The line spacing of your texts should be large enough so that text links can also be clicked on touchscreens, even if another link is directly above or next to it.
- Your product boxes or banners should not overlay or “squeeze” other elements, be overlaid by other elements, or be “squeezed in”
- Call-to-action buttons should be clickable and readable on every device.
7. Alternatives to the Amazon affiliate program
The Amazon partner program is attractive, but it doesn’t offer the most attractive commissions in every product area. It is always worth checking if there aren’t other affiliate programs where the commissions (and other terms) are better.
The first point of contact for looking for alternative partner programs are affiliate networks such as affili.net, ADCELL, or AWIN. There you will find large databases with thousands of affiliate programs that you can filter by categories, commissions, and other characteristics.
Look at For example, the partner programs of online retailers such as Otto, Zalando, Notebooksbilliger, Cyberport, Bonprix, Tchibo, Conrad, Alternate or Redcoon, which sometimes offer twice as high commissions in individual areas.
Even eBay Partner Network represents a good alternative to the Amazon affiliate program since eBay is one of the few market places on the Internet that offers such a wide range of products as Amazon. The commission model is a little different there, however. The commission amount is not based on the sales price but on the fees that eBay receives for an item purchased. Depending on the article category, you get 50-70% of the sales fee.
8. Note the Amazon conditions of participation!
Take part in the Amazon partner program. You should observe the agreement for participation in the Amazon partner program, particularly the guidelines for the partner program contained therein.
I repeatedly read that affiliates are permanently excluded from the partner program due to non-compliance with the conditions of participation and that outstanding sales are no longer compensated.
Common reasons affiliates are banned from PartnerNet include:
- Masking or shortening affiliate links, e.g., with URL shortening services such as bit.ly (see point 6 lit. v of the prerequisites for participation )
- Integrate the Amazon website or parts of it into frames on your website (see point 6 lit. n of the participation requirements)
- Use Amazon partner links in emails or PDF documents (see point 4 of the participation requirements)
- Use the Amazon logo or another Amazon brand contrary to the brand guidelines (e.g., in your domain or subdomain, see point 8 of the brand guidelines)
- Inaccurate, overly broad, false or otherwise misleading information about a product, the Amazon Web site or the Amazon policy, actions or prices (see General requirements for all partner links in the participation requirements). In the course of this, I would always obtain price information (which changes very quickly) via the API and include a date of the last update, and/or provide disclaimers, especially in product comparisons.
9.1 Is it possible to create affiliate links to wish lists?
Yes, this is possible via the SiteStripe from the Amazon partner network.
However, be sure to set your wish list from private to public, otherwise visitors will not be able to see your products on the wish list.
9.2 Is there a limit of 100 images when using Amazon images?
9.3 Which WordPress plugins do you recommend for the integration of Amazon products?
I can warmly recommend the following plugins:
- ASA 2 Pro
- ASA 1 (free)
- WooZone (for creating a WooCommerce affiliate shop)
9.4 Can I just use pictures from Amazon?
The pictures may e.g. can only be used if they contain a link to the respective product.
9.5 Should I nofollow all affiliate links to Amazon?
9.6 Can I cloak or shorten links to Amazon?
9.7 Is it allowed to create your own advertising banners and to add affiliate links to Amazon?
9.8 Can I use the Amazon PA API even if I have no sales?
However, if you have no sales to show in these 30 days (and generally in the last 30 days), you will be blocked from accessing the PA API.
9.9 Can I use “Amazon” in a domain or subdomain?
9.10 Do I have to sign an AV contract with Amazon to use the Amazon PA API?
9.11 Can I apply to the Amazon Affiliate Program with a construction site?
9.12 Can I link to a single customer review?
9.13 Why aren't sales from my affiliate links being counted?
There are many reasons why sales on Amazon are not counted:
- You have blocked or shortened the affiliate link.
- Your affiliate link contains the noreferrer attribute.
- The visitor’s browser does not support cookies or has blocked the Amazon cookie.
- Your affiliate link is not working properly (check it with the link checker).
- The visitor did not order the product within 24 hours (so the cookie has expired).