Offers Amazon affiliate marketing programs

The ultimate guide to the Amazon affiliate program (my experience from 9 years and 70,000+ sales)

The Amazon affiliate program is probably the largest and most popular affiliate program of all.

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:

  • Almost every internet user should be familiar with Amazon 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 has, you are sure to find suitable products for it (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 commission for the entire shopping cart (and not just the product you recommend)
  • Amazon offers an API that can be used to automatically display prices and other product information
  • Easy registration and integration of links
  • Reliable receipt of payment
  • Comprehensive statistics

If you do it right, you can sometimes even live on the income from the Amazon affiliate program on your own. 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.

From January 1st, 2012 alone (unfortunately I can no longer access my statistics from 2011 in the PartnerNet) to January 1st, 2017, I achieved over 3.2 million euros in sales for Amazon through the affiliate program and received over 140,000 euros in commissions:

2. Disadvantages of the Amazon Affiliate Program

Of course, the Amazon partner program has not 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 in order for you to receive a commission
  • For some product categories there is very little commission (e.g. cell phones, smartphones or televisions)
  • You always get the same commission, no matter how many sales you have already generated in a month, year or in the entire term. With many other affiliate programs, you will also be rewarded with a higher commission for more sales.
  • 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 the 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 dealt exclusively with consumer electronics, cell phones and smartphones, I was clearly one of the losers. From then around € 3,500, my monthly Amazon income fell by half to only € 1,500 - € 2,000, 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 a few 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:

  1. 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-hand side
  2. Log in with your Amazon account (if you don't have an Amazon account yet, select the option “I'm a new customer”)
  3. If you are not yet a customer, you have to enter your personal data now. If you are already a customer, you can skip this step.
  4. Now you have to enter your “website profile”, that is, the name of your main website (your unique partner ID is generated from this) as well as the URLs and content of your websites
  5. You will then receive a confirmation of the registration by email (there you should definitely specify your payment method using the button at the end).
  6. 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 it can happen that your registration is 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.

Side note: My partner ID thehanadd-21 incidentally, comes from my very first blog thehankaddiction.com, which was about the television series Californication.

4. Include affiliate links

I recommend the following ways to include Amazon affiliate links in your blog:

4.1 SiteStripe

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 not only products, but z. B. also product categories, search results, the app store, bestseller lists or Amazon Prime.

There are three options when creating a link: Text, image or Text + image (in the form of a vertical box). picture or Text + image are only available for individual products, but not for product categories, search results, etc.

If you want to show or hide your Amazon links in abbreviated form, you should only use the URL shortener provided by SiteStripe (e.g. http://amzn.to/2pw68Ev) or use short URLs that I describe in more detail in chapter 4.3. Use of external services, such as B. bit.ly, or your own domain to beautify or hide Amazon partner links is against the conditions of participation and can lead to an expulsion from the PartnerNet.

AtText + image you have to expect that your loading time will worsen a bit because the content is loaded via iFrame from Amazon servers. So you should definitely 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 own blog using WordPress plugins. These have hardly any negative effects on the loading time, because the displayed product data is cached and can be customized as required.

In addition to the price, z. B. also show other data from Amazon, such as B. Product features or shipping options. Here is a product box as it is issued by the WordPress plugin AAWP:

However, these require a display of when the product data was last updated or at least a price disclaimer, as the display of incorrect data constitutes a violation of the conditions of participation in the Amazon partner program.

You can find an overview of recommended WordPress plugins for the Amazon affiliate program in my article “The best 4 WordPress plugins for Amazon Affiliates”.

4.3 Short URLs

The affiliate links generated by the SiteStripe are often very long and can make a blog article confusing in the HTML view. B .:

That's why I like to use the short variants for affiliate links in tables or product lists:

Or alternatively:

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.

The ASIN is a unique product number that Amazon assigns to each product in its range. It contains letters and numbers and always starts with a capital B, e.g. B. B0094J2BZ0. You can find them on every product page under Product information> Additional product information or in the url of each product. Please note that different variants of a product also have their own ASIN.

4.4 Amazon search

A great way to add Amazon links to your website is through a 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 affiliate tag, of course.

All you have to do is include the following code:

The placeholder your-partner-id-21 you have to replace it with your partner ID accordingly.

5. Statistics

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 in the small overview box on the right-hand side either at Profit statement or Order summary on the link View Details clicks.

Most important are theTracking ID Brief Report and the Advertising expense 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, you're doing extra Other reports important. They are listed there separately.

If you are using more than one tracking ID, there is also the selection field Tracking ID and the little box Summary important at the top left in the partner network. If the check mark is set there, the data of all tracking IDs appear in the reports. If the checkmark is not set, only the data for the tracking ID selected in the field above appear:

6. My tips for earning money with Amazon

There is always potential for optimization in affiliate marketing! In the following I have put together 7 tips that should help you to make more money with Amazon.

6.1 Find out what your readers need!

There is little to no use in including general advertising banners for the Amazon homepage or for product categories in your blog. Your visitors might click it every now and then, but they are unlikely to buy anything. It is the same with Amazon products that do not match the wishes and needs of your readers.

In my experience, the conversion rate (i.e. the proportion of clicks that turn into sales) is highest in the Amazon partner program and generally in affiliate marketing if one of the following conditions is met:

  1. Your readers have a general or product-specific interest in buying before they even visit your blog. This is why affiliate marketing works so well with SEO because you can use it to optimize your blog articles specifically for keywords that Google visitors are already interested in buying (e.g. buy product xyz, product category xyz test Etc.).
  2. Your readers have a certain problem for the solution of which you recommend a product to your readers (which is actually helpful and with which you are best experienced).

Please note that your readers will quickly notice if you just want to sell them something. If you recommend a product that you don't really stand for, it will show up in your sales stats (and in your overall credibility).

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 viewing this item?”, “Sponsored products for this item” or “Customers who bought this item 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 all of them on a regular basis. That is why 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

If possible, you should link to Amazon in the form of product boxes or product comparisons with a call-to-action button (“More details”, “Buy now from Amazon” etc.) (see point 4.2). This increases the click rate enormously compared to normal text links. This can be achieved, for example, with the WordPress plugins AAWP or ASA 2 Pro.

6.4 Amazon widgets are useless!

I generally advise against using Amazon widgets as advertising media. First, they don't look particularly good and don't necessarily invite you to click. Secondly, they are often no longer technically up to date and use e.g. B. Adobe Flash Player, which is now blocked by many browsers. Thirdly, they sometimes worsen the loading time enormously because they load a lot of additional images and scripts.

6.5 Use your statistics to find products with a high conversion rate

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 in the top menu bar Reports> Advertising Reimbursement. 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 easier to understand shape.