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If you’re looking to generate additional income or launch an online business, creating an Amazon affiliate site is a great option. Joining is free, and you’ll earn a commission for every sale.

However, building an Amazon affiliate website is also a lot of work. Finding the right products to promote, crafting compelling content and optimizing your site for search engines are just a few of the things you’ll need to tackle.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of becoming an Amazon affiliate, how much money you can earn and the necessary steps to creating a thriving affiliate business.

What is Amazon Associates?

Amazon Associates homepage.

Amazon Associates is an affiliate program that lets site owners, like bloggers, influencers and content creators, earn a commission every time a customer purchases Amazon’s products via their affiliate links.

Affiliates get access to SiteStripe, which allows them to create product links directly from an Amazon page.

With over 900,000 affiliate marketers putting their trust in it, the largest affiliate network in the world is undeniably impressive. What’s even better is that joining this network won’t cost you a dime.

Pros and cons of becoming an Amazon affiliate

Pros and cons of joining the Amazon Associates program.

When building an Amazon affiliate website, you should consider both the pros and cons.

Pros of becoming an Amazon affiliate

There are several reasons why signing up for the Amazon affiliate marketing program is beneficial:

  • Free to join: Joining the Amazon Associates program requires no initial investment. This makes it an attractive business model for entrepreneurs looking to make money online or earn additional income from their brand.
  • Reputable brand: When it comes to purchasing online, people tend to gravitate towards brands they trust. Nearly 80% of millennials said a trusted brand name was the reason they decided to buy a product. Given Amazon’s dominance in the eCommerce marketplace, prospective buyers are more likely to make a purchase via an Amazon affiliate link than from a brand they’re unfamiliar with.
  • Massive selection of goods: Once you become an Amazon affiliate, you’ll have access to a monumental selection of goods. This means you can find high-quality products for almost any niche or market you’re interested in promoting.
  • Additional opportunity for sales: In addition to earning a commission for the affiliate products you promote, you’ll also earn money for any other purchases a user makes within 24 hours of clicking your affiliate link. Isn’t that a sweet deal?

Cons of becoming an Amazon affiliate

When looking to build an Amazon affiliate website, you’ll come across some downsides. These include:

  • Low commission rates: Although it’s possible to earn passive income or monetize passion projects by becoming an Amazon affiliate, the commission rate is lower than those offered by other affiliate networks. Most items fall into the 3–4% range. In contrast, Zazzle, another eCommerce marketplace, provides a minimum referral rate of 15%.
  • 24-hour cookies: When someone clicks on your affiliate link, a cookie will be stored for 24 hours. This cookie contains information about the user’s actions and can be used to track any referrals made by you. However, you’ll only receive credit for a sale if the user adds the item to their cart and makes a purchase within 24 hours.
  • High competition: With a low barrier to entry, virtually anybody can become an Amazon affiliate and start earning commissions by promoting Amazon products on their website or social media channels. Building brand recognition will help you stand out from the competition and establish credibility and trust with your audience, increasing the likelihood of them clicking on your affiliate links and making a purchase.
  • Lack of PayPal: Unfortunately, Amazon affiliates cannot receive payment through PayPal despite its popularity as a widely used payment platform. This might be a hassle, particularly for affiliate marketers outside the U.S. However, you can opt to receive payment directly into your bank account, through gift cards or by check.
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How much can Amazon affiliates make?

Amazon’s commission rates vary between product categories, so affiliate earnings depend on the category you promote.

Amazon Games has the highest commission rate, which is currently set at 20%. Luxury Beauty follows with a commission rate of 10%. Other categories, like Televisions, Digital Video Games and Furniture, have lower affiliate payouts.

Amazon Associates commission rates.

Familiarize yourself with these rates so that you can accurately determine how much you’ll realistically earn.

According to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, approximately 58% of respondents made less than $10,000 annually from affiliate-generated revenue. In contrast, only around 8% earned over $100,000.

The amount of money you make through Amazon affiliate marketing also depends on factors like the size of your audience, the effort you put into marketing and how much time and attention you dedicate to it.

When you first begin your affiliate journey, it’s essential to keep in mind that your payouts may be modest. However, your earnings will grow over time as you gain more experience and knowledge.

What is an Amazon affiliate website?

Amazon affiliate websites are a way for site owners to monetize their traffic by adding unique product links directly to their content. Clicking on these links will direct customers to Amazon, and any resulting purchases will earn the site owners a commission, usually a percentage of the sale.

Running an Amazon affiliate website means you can endorse products you love and get paid for your efforts. The bigger your following, the higher your earning potential.
A great example of an Amazon affiliate website is Home Grounds, which teaches users how to brew world-class coffee at home.

Home Grounds homepage.

How to build an Amazon affiliate website

Now that you know what an Amazon affiliate website is, let’s walk you through the process of building one:

1. Choose a niche

The first step in becoming a successful Amazon affiliate marketer is picking a niche.

What’s a niche? It’s a segment of a larger industry. For example, selling hiking shoes is a niche, and its industry is footwear.

But why is it important to choose a niche?

Well, if you opted to promote or recommend an assortment of different products without any throughline or consistent theme, it could create confusion among customers about what the focus of your website was.

But when you hone in on one area or create a niche site, you can establish yourself as a thought leader, build a loyal fan base and dominate a section of the market.

Choose a niche you’re passionate about or one that’ll be easy to write about without making it feel like a chore. Additionally, you should consider the niche’s potential profitability, competitors and market trends.

2. Pick a web hosting provider

Your choice of web hosting provider can make or break your Amazon affiliate website. When choosing a host, it’s crucial to consider factors like pricing, uptime, security and performance.

Here’s just one example why: Bidnamic found that for every second a website loads faster, the conversion rate increases by 17%. So, if your affiliate site is slow, you’re less likely to drive referrals toward Amazon, which, in turn, means lower profits.

Also, make sure the host you choose offers 24/7 support and can be easily contacted. This is especially important as things break sometimes, and every hour your website is down results in lost sales opportunities.

Bluehost is here 24/7 to help with your questions, concerns and challenges.

You may also want the hosting provider to take the burden of managing your affiliate site off your plate. This is called managed hosting.

When the hosting provider manages your site for you, you’ll have more time to focus on creating content that engages your audience and drives conversions — instead of getting bogged down with server management tasks.

Bluehost offers a variety of hosting plans, including managed hosting. On top of that, we automatically install WordPress for you so you can get started building your affiliate site right away.

3. Choose a domain name

Choosing a good domain is as important as selecting the right web host when building an Amazon affiliate website.

Pick a domain name that clearly communicates your website’s purpose. Also, avoid using hyphens and aim for something short and catchy.

Take our earlier example of an affiliate website. The words “Home Grounds” are a great choice for a site focused on teaching people how to brew delicious coffee at home.

Consider using a .com extension, as it’s the most preferred extension by most online users. Not to mention, a .com extension is memorable and adds credibility to the site. Other popular options include .net, .io and .co.

The annual cost for a domain name is usually around $12. Lucky for you, many web hosts provide a free domain for the first year once you sign up.

Bluehost provides a domain name generator to help you find the perfect domain name and check availability. It also includes domain privacy protection, which keeps your personal information hidden from the public.

Bluehost’s domain name generator.

Overall, carefully choosing the domain (and its extension) helps ensure your affiliate site is recognizable and memorable to your audience.

4. Decide on a theme

The next step on your journey to becoming an Amazon affiliate is to choose a website theme, which determines the overall look and feel of your site.

The best themes should be responsive, meaning they adapt to any screen size. They should also be fast-loading, SEO-friendly and customizable.

An example of a WordPress theme.

If you decide to go with WordPress, you’ll have countless options at your fingertips — thousands of themes are available, both free and paid. And if that isn’t enough, there’s a vast array of plugins that can enhance your website’s capabilities.

You can even use WordPress plugins like AzonPress to effortlessly embed Amazon affiliate links onto your site.

5. Craft compelling content

The success of your Amazon affiliate site hinges on the quality of your content. Therefore, it’s important to create content that’s compelling and relevant to your audience’s interests or preferences.

There are different types of content you can feature on your affiliate site. These range from informational content like blog posts and how-to guides to high-intent content like product reviews, listicles and best-of articles.

There are different types of content you can feature on your affiliate site. These range from informational content like blog posts and how-to guides to high-intent content like product reviews, listicles and best-of articles.

High-intent content, in particular, provides an excellent opportunity to earn money since it often attracts users looking to make a purchase.

Regardless of what you decide to do, your content should be well-thought-out and well-researched.

It bears noting that you should avoid mentioning prices in your content, as they usually fluctuate over time. It’s also best to include multiple affiliate links per page to increase the chance of earning a commission. That being said, avoid overdoing it, as too many links could make your website come off as spammy.

6. Drive traffic to your site

At this point, you’ve created your affiliate website and written good content, but without traffic, how will you drive referrals to Amazon and earn affiliate commissions?

One of the best ways to drive organic traffic to your site is through search engine optimization (SEO).

By optimizing your site for search engines like Google, you increase your online visibility and attract more potential customers to your affiliate business.

It all starts with keyword research — if you double down on the keywords people are typing into Google, it’ll be easier to create content that resonates with your audience and ranks higher in the search results. In addition, answering commonly searched-for questions with in-depth articles shows search engines that you’re an authority on the topic.

Tools like Ubersuggest and Google Trends are great for helping you to identify keywords. Plus, you can gain valuable insights from Amazon itself. For instance, a tool like Keyword Scout enables you to determine the search volume of a specific keyword in your niche.

Lastly, you should try your best to build backlinks, which is a fancy term for having other sites link to yours. According to a survey by uSERP, nearly 68% of survey participants believe that backlinks positively impact search rankings.

Creating high-quality content that compels others to link to it is one way to encourage backlinks. Alternatively, you could explore guest posting opportunities and pitch fresh articles that haven’t been published elsewhere.

7. Promote your affiliate website

Besides optimizing your site for SEO, it’s also essential to promote it via social media and email. One way to build an email list is to add an exit-intent popup to your affiliate site.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with different types of social media, either. For example, with a social channel like Instagram, you can create reels to advertise products and earn referral fees.

What is the Amazon Affiliate program?

The Amazon Affiliate Program, also known as Amazon Associates, is an affiliate marketing program offered by Amazon. It allows individuals and website owners to earn commissions by promoting and linking to Amazon products. Participants in the program, known as affiliates, can generate unique affiliate links for products on the Amazon platform. When users click on these links and make purchases, the affiliate earns a percentage of the sale as a commission.

The Amazon Affiliate Program is a popular choice for bloggers, content creators, and website owners who want to monetize their online presence. Affiliates can promote a wide range of Amazon products, from electronics to books, and earn commissions on qualifying purchases made through their affiliate links. The program provides a way for individuals to monetize their content while leveraging the extensive product offerings and trust associated with the Amazon brand.

How does the Amazon Affiliate program work?

Step 1: Sign-up

Interested individuals can sign up for the Amazon Associates program. The sign-up process involves providing some basic information about your website or online presence.

Step 2: Product promotion

After approval, affiliates can choose from a vast array of Amazon products to promote on their websites, blogs, or social media platforms. They receive unique affiliate links for the products they choose.

Step 3: Earning commissions

When visitors click on the affiliate links and make a purchase on Amazon, the affiliate earns a commission on the sale. The commission rates vary depending on the product category.

Step 4: Tracking and reporting

Amazon provides tools and reports that allow affiliates to track their clicks, conversions, and earnings. This helps affiliates analyze the performance of their promotional efforts.

Step 5: Payment

Affiliates receive payments from Amazon for the earned commissions. The payment structure and threshold may vary based on the affiliate’s location and the chosen payment method.

Affiliates need to comply with Amazon’s policies and guidelines regarding the use of affiliate links and the promotion of products.

Amazon affiliate eligibility guidelines

To become a successful Amazon affiliate, you’ll need to provide value to Amazon customers. This means meeting certain criteria that Amazon has laid out. It’s important to note that Amazon only reviews applications after you’ve made at least three sales within the first 180 days.

The three options for joining the program and promoting your product recommendations are website, mobile app and social media. Here’s what they look for in each:

  • Website: Content must be recent, i.e., published within the last 60 days.
  • Mobile app: Your mobile app must comply with Amazon’s Mobile Application Policy requirements. This means the app must be available in Google Play, Amazon app stores or the Apple App Store. It must also be free to download and not emulate Amazon’s shopping app.
  • Social media: Amazon’s affiliate program allows you to promote their products through various social media channels, including Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. In most cases, you should have at least 500 organic followers.

In addition, all of the above platforms should include original content, have a large number of posts (10 is a good number to shoot for) and be publicly available.

Lastly, to avoid being banned from the affiliate program, it is vital to comply with a number of requirements, including ensuring that your website doesn’t feature adult content, promote aggression or target children under the age of 13.

Why SEO is the secret to a successful Amazon Affiliate site 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plays a crucial role in the success of an Amazon affiliate site for several reasons:

  1. Increased visibility in search engines

SEO helps optimize your site’s content so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). When your site appears on the first page of search results, it gets more visibility, leading to increased organic traffic.

  1. Targeted traffic

Effective SEO strategies help you target specific keywords related to the products you’re promoting as an Amazon affiliate. This means that the people finding your site through search engines are more likely to be interested in the products you’re promoting, increasing the chances of conversions.

  1. Long-term traffic

Unlike paid advertising, which stops when you cease funding it, the benefits of SEO can be longer-lasting. Once your site ranks well for certain keywords, it can continue to attract organic traffic over time, providing a more sustainable source of visitors to your affiliate site.

  1. Adaptability to algorithm changes

Search engine algorithms evolve, and staying on top of SEO best practices helps your site adapt to these changes. By maintaining a strong SEO foundation, your site is more likely to withstand algorithm updates and continue to perform well in search results.

Final thoughts: How to build an Amazon affiliate website: Step-by-step guide

Joining the Amazon affiliate marketing program is an excellent way to start and grow an online business.

However, it’s not just about creating content in which you include affiliate links but about providing value to people interested in the products and services you’re promoting.

When paired with the right web hosting provider, your affiliate business can become a profitable and sustainable source of income.

At Bluehost, our WordPress hosting plans include a range of tools and features that make it easy for you to create an affiliate website.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help accelerate the growth of your affiliate site.

How to build an Amazon affiliate website: FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about Amazon affiliate marketing:

How can I monitor my success and revenue as an Amazon affiliate?

It is crucial to monitor the effectiveness of your affiliate website, just like any other business. After all, how else will you understand what’s working and what’s not? For this reason, Amazon offers reports on revenue, earnings, traffic, conversion rates and link types. You’ll get access to your performance dashboard after you’ve created your Amazon Associate account.

Do I need a website to become an Amazon affiliate?

No. Amazon also allows you to post affiliate links on social channels like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. That being said, your page should be established and include a decent number of followers. Otherwise, your application might get rejected.

What type of content is best for affiliate marketing?

The most popular types of content Amazon affiliates use include:

•Single product reviews.
•Product tutorials.
•Blog content.
•Product comparisons.

Reviews, in particular, are commonly used on affiliate websites because they help establish credibility with readers.

What are the benefits of becoming an Amazon affiliate?

By becoming an Amazon affiliate, you can take advantage of the company’s reputation to boost your sales and gain access to a wide range of products to market and promote. Also, Amazon’s approval process isn’t too strict, so you can easily become an affiliate and earn commissions on your referrals.

How do I become an Amazon affiliate?

Follow these steps to join the Amazon affiliate program:

1. Head to the Amazon Associates homepage and click Sign up.
2. Enter your account information.
3. Add your website address, mobile app or YouTube channel.
4. Build your affiliate profile.
5. Explain how you’ll drive traffic to your site.
6. Add your payment information.
7. Create your affiliate links.

How do Amazon affiliates get paid?

As an Amazon affiliate, you can opt to receive payment through direct deposit, which allows the funds to be transferred directly into your bank account. Amazon also offers the option to receive payment through gift cards or by check.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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