Amazon Affiliate Marketing: what it is and how it works

“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die” (Warren Buffett)

Would you like to earn money from home with the Amazon affiliate program but don’t know where to start? Now, more than ever, the pervasiveness of the digital realm, compounded by the new consumption habits accelerated by the pandemic, represents an interesting opportunity to supplement your income or begin a micro-influencer activity by leveraging e-commerce incentives.

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know to start an Affiliate marketing with Amazon business, answering the following questions:

  • what is affiliate marketing?
  • how does the Amazon affiliate program work?
  • why choose the Amazon affiliate program?
  • how to earn with Amazon affiliations?

In particular, the last question will be an opportunity to identify which digital channels to use to deploy an Amazon Affiliate Marketing strategy that allows you to earn from home, either supplementing your income or making it your primary monthly source of income.

Do you already have a business and would you like to leverage the potential of affiliate marketing to boost your business?


What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is a performance-based business agreement in which a company pays a commission to one or more affiliates for each lead or customer brought in by the marketing efforts of the publisher (affiliate).

The payment of the fee occurs only after a specific and traceable action that unequivocally leads to the affiliate.

In other words, the advertiser pays for results, based on objectives set by the advertiser itself. Unlike traditional advertising channels, it remunerates the actual sale, rather than the space granted, as in classic display advertising campaigns based on metrics such as CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

A sales system based on affiliate marketing relies on four entities:

  • advertiser: the advertiser, responsible for promoting their online business through publishers.
  • publisher: the affiliate, responsible for promoting the products and/or services of the brand after signing up for the affiliate program, a necessary condition for tracking conversions and recognizing commissions.
  • affiliate network: a third party that contains offers from which the affiliate can choose and also handles payments.
  • customer: the linchpin of the system, from whose traceability of actions (contact form completion, purchase) the entire affiliate marketing process derives its reason for being.


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How does the Amazon affiliate program work?

Amazon, whose popularity can be attributed to the vast range of products available, is one of the world’s largest affiliate networks, where affiliates can earn from home by promoting any item sold on the platform. Specifically, Amazon’s affiliate marketing is based on:

  • amazon product recommendations, which result in an advertising fee.
  • promotion of Amazon services: triggers a bounty, a fixed amount in exchange for signing up for an Amazon program, such as Prime.

The Amazon affiliate marketing system is quite simple and intuitive: the operating principle revolves around promoting a product from Amazon’s product catalog on your blog and/or website after joining the Amazon Affiliate Program. Once you’re signed up, you’ll have access to a dashboard showing the generated commissions and their details.

So the question arises: how does Amazon attribute the recommendation to me? By creating a referral link for each product you decide to sell.

In this way, each purchase completed through a referral link will result in a commission credit to your account that will not affect the sale price at all; the latter remains unchanged, as the commission is not borne by the customer but is part of Amazon’s earnings.

The Amazon affiliate marketing system is based on a program of fixed commissions for specific product categories, the so-called advertising commissions, which have a commission rate that varies from 3% to 10%, depending on the product category.

It is not, however, guaranteed that market segments characterized by higher commission percentages will automatically generate higher income. On the contrary, you could have more earning potential by focusing on a sector with a lower commission rate, as you will find a less crowded niche with less competition.

A prerogative of the Amazon affiliate program is also having a structure of volume-based commissions: the more products are purchased through your affiliate links, the higher the percentage credited to you on the amount sold in the next sales round, allowing you to climb a series of commission levels.

Why choose the Amazon affiliate program?

The Amazon Affiliate Program is one of the first and largest affiliate marketing platforms in the world. Let’s look at some of the characteristics that make it the best system for passive income within an affiliate-focused web marketing strategy:

  • product variety and market niches
  • easy-to-use available tools
  • commissions based on sales volumes and no earnings limit
  • commissions extended to the entire cart
  • Amazon brand awareness

It is estimated that the Amazon product catalog, including the Marketplace, reaches 350 million products. Impressive numbers speak volumes about the breadth of choice and the multitude of market niches covered by the affiliate program. The ability to choose a niche position among countless market segments can undoubtedly help you reduce the high level of competition, which is inevitable on an affiliate platform of Amazon’s caliber.

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Easy-to-use available tools

As easy as it is to shop, it is just as easy to work as an affiliate marketer thanks to the user-friendly tools provided by the most popular e-commerce platform.

Once you have signed up for the program, to start affiliate marketing with Amazon, it is sufficient to select the products you want to recommend and create the corresponding affiliate links, accessible from the header menu Create Product Links:

You can create text links and banners, to the product or any Amazon page, with extreme ease and completely free of charge, and you also have the option to use Amazon’s assistance or seek support in the dedicated internal forum for affiliate marketers if you encounter any issues.

Commissions based on sales volumes and no earnings limit

As mentioned earlier, the Amazon affiliate program is based on a win-win strategy in which the more items are sold through your affiliate links, the higher the percentage commission return. Amazon, therefore, rewards sales volumes and places no maximum limit on earnings.

Commissions extended to purchases made in the current session

You will receive a commission not only for the single product purchased through your affiliate link but for every item purchased by the user during the current session. It may also happen that the user does not purchase the specific product from the referral link but a related product; you will still be entitled to the advertising commission on what the customer recommended by you through the affiliate marketing program sells.

In essence, Amazon affiliate marketing guarantees you a commission on everything purchased by the user who accesses the platform from your affiliate link, not just on the single product you suggested. Furthermore, if the user places products in the cart without completing the purchase, any future transaction will be recognized within 90 days thanks to an Amazon cookie.

Amazon brand awareness

The Amazon brand is synonymous with guarantee and efficiency and enjoys very high trust worldwide. Even for those who are reluctant to shop online, Amazon represents the e-commerce platform that inspires the most confidence, as a forerunner of the guaranteed return e-commerce policy. Moreover, the Amazon brand enjoys a brand loyalty that few other companies can boast, whose loyalty determines a greater propensity to buy from those who are already a customer: Amazon Prime alone has a staggering 150 million subscribers.

How to earn with Amazon affiliations?

After considering the PROs of the platform, let’s now look at how to effectively monetize through the world’s best-known affiliate program.

Passive income is the key to a new lifestyle that will give you more time for yourself, your family, and your passions. It’s an opportunity that can be concretely realized through affiliate marketing.

amazon affiliate marketing programs

Let’s dive into the details and explore the best practices and channels to integrate to implement a successful multichannel strategy for Amazon affiliate marketing:

  • website and blog
  • newsletter
  • Social media
  • instant messaging
  • messenger bots

Website and blog

Managing a website is a necessary condition to become an Amazon affiliate, and running a blog within your domain is the core of an affiliate marketing strategy. It allows you to publish content relevant to your target niche and, therefore, earn commissions from affiliate links included there. In addition to referral links in the article text, you can use Amazon banners within your website’s widgets to promote Amazon products.

To succeed with Amazon affiliate marketing, it’s essential to identify your buyer persona, which is your target audience. Develop an SEO strategy that brings qualified traffic based on keywords related to your business.

Video reviews

Video reviews, the preferred format of YouTubers, are an effective way to discuss and compare different products. They also allow your target audience to see how you interact with these products and witness their usage. When used effectively, video reviews can fulfill various informational needs of your audience, resolving doubts about product effectiveness, and usage, and indirectly influencing their purchase inclination.

video reviews amazon

In this regard, YouTube is the primary platform for an Amazon affiliate marketing strategy centred around video content. You can easily embed video reviews in your blog, providing multiple channels to access the affiliate link placed in your video description. It’s also crucial to apply SEO techniques on YouTube to rank your videos for relevant keywords, as it is the most widely used video search engine worldwide.


Once you’ve made yourself known and appreciated by your target audience through your website or video reviews, consider a call to action that generates qualified leads to build a contact database to send a newsletter. This is an opportunity to invite your audience to view your videos or read your articles. Positive feedback in terms of email open rates and website/channel traffic generated via email marketing (DEM) can lead to persuasive copies that encourage readers to click directly on the affiliate links within the email content.

Email marketing plays a crucial role in the affiliate funnel of the assumed customer journey, serving as a primary lever for an Amazon affiliate marketing strategy that aims for direct results.

Social media

You can consider social media as the amplification platform to distribute your content. High-quality content, if shared effectively, will allow you to drive qualified traffic to your website’s blog. In the context of Amazon affiliate marketing, you can choose a more aggressive strategy by creating posts with referral links to directly promote products. The more followers and engagement you can generate on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, the more likely a social call to action will lead to success.

Conversely, if you still need to establish yourself, it’s advisable to take a more subtle approach, using social networks as a means to attract potential customers to your blog and eventually develop affiliations.

In any case, promoting the visibility of your blog through social media, including Twitter, is a good SEO practice that will benefit your search engine rankings, especially in the first few months. During this period, your domain will organically rank, greatly benefiting your Amazon affiliate activities.

Instant messaging

Instant messaging, also known as instant messaging, is a support channel that can be useful in an Amazon affiliate marketing strategy. WhatsApp and Telegram allow you to create both public and private ou can recommend-tracked links. Tracked links are among the most used messaging tools for selling products through the Amazon Affiliate Program. They provide a way to communicate with your audience and direct them to Amazon product links.

Generation of dedicated channels for special offers, promotions, and discounts on specific products. As with social networks, the larger your contact network, the more opportunities you’ll have to create a community and convert.

Bot messenger

Still, within the realm of instant messaging, you can simplify your life through marketing automation, which involves automating the process through Messenger Bots. These are chatbots that send messages to people subscribed to the bot, based on triggers that trigger message sending, much like those used in email marketing programs like MailChimp. Chatfuel and Manychat are the most commonly used platforms for creating bots on Facebook Messenger.

To make the most of this technology in the context of affiliate marketing, you should engage in a conversation related to the products you are promoting, from private chats to fan pages on social networks. Use a bot to send messages that attract your audience to your blog or your published video reviews.

As with newsletters and manual instant messaging, it’s highly recommended to avoid spamming, as it may result in the loss of prospects due to bot deactivation.

How much can you earn with Amazon affiliates?

Once you’ve identified a potential strategy, you might be wondering how much you can earn with an Amazon affiliate program. As previously mentioned, earnings depend on the product category and the volumes sold, with commissions ranging approximately from a minimum of 3% to a maximum of 10%.

However, the real profit isn’t so much from promoting individual products through the referral link but from the cross-selling and up-selling opportunities that allow you to earn on additional items sold to the customer intercepted by your affiliate activity within the current session.

financial freedom with affiliations

But let’s get back to the question, how much can you earn with Amazon affiliates? Although it’s difficult to provide a general estimate since the answer depends on the industry you’re in, you can earn anywhere from 100 to 2000 euros per month: beyond a thousand, we’re talking about bloggers or industry influencers, such as Amazon influencers, who professionally leverage Amazon affiliate marketing.

Do you have a special hobby, enjoy storytelling, and want to turn your passions into your business?


How to create Amazon affiliate links

Affiliate links are the cornerstone of all Amazon affiliate marketing activity and, in general, any performance-based marketing program. They enable tracking without which the entire business model would fail. Referral links are essential to identify the source of sales, and associating customers with the affiliate who initiated the recommendation, be it a blogger or a YouTuber. To create Amazon affiliate links, you need to select the products you want to promote after enrolling in the program. This can be done through the following tools accessible from the Product Linking header menu:

  • product Link
  • banners
  • link to any page on Amazon
  • sitestripe

Let’s dive into more details.

Product link

Product links are referral links for products that contain your affiliate ID, allowing you to track sales of the item back to you. After finding the desired product by using Amazon’s search engine, you can generate the affiliate link by clicking the “Get link” button and then publish it on your blog.


Advertisement banners are one of the most effective tools for affiliate marketing, especially when placed in the header or footer of your website. Creating a banner on your website is incredibly simple. Just copy the banner code and place it on your page wherever you prefer.

Link to any page on Amazon

Not only can you create affiliate links for specific products, but Amazon affiliate marketing allows you to generate links to any Amazon page and earn commissions for any product purchased within the session. This way, you can link to any category or search page you prefer.


Sitestripe is a kind of toolbar that appears at the top left of your Amazon after logging into the Amazon affiliate program, you can save time creating affiliate links without having to go to a dedicated page. With Sitestripe, you can quickly and intuitively generate text, image, or text + image links, as well as share directly on Facebook and Twitter by clicking on the respective buttons.

sitestripe amazon uk

Amazon affiliate without a website: is it possible?

Starting an Amazon affiliate marketing business without a website is impossible. The second phase of the affiliate program registration process requires the insertion of “at least one website or mobile app.” While this isn’t co-marketing but rather affiliate marketing, your content will represent their products. Amazon needs to maintain its high brand reputation, which is why a content verification process for your properties is necessary.

Amazon affiliate marketing: a risk-free opportunity!

In a time where job security is becoming a thing of the past, doing affiliate marketing with Amazon represents an opportunity to earn from home and supplement your income. Whether you’ve lost your job, want to change it, or simply intend to increase your earnings, starting a career as an affiliate marketing manager could allow you to take your first steps in the digital world where professional opportunities and market demand are on a constant upward trend.

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