Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite things to talk about! It was a game-changer in my business. And no matter what type of business you have, you should be doing it, too! I’m telling you exactly how to have success as an Amazon affiliate.
How to Have Success as an Amazon Affiliate
Want to listen to the podcast version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
I LOVE Affiliates
Affiliate marketing is the MOST passive form of income there is – so you know I love that. The Amazon affiliate program in particular is a GREAT place to start, because basically every physical product that exists is on Amazon.
First thing’s first – there are two different Amazon affiliate programs
There are two different Amazon affiliate programs. The first is the Amazon affiliates program. The other is Amazon’s influencer store. A lot of times people will apply for an Amazon influencer store page without an existing audience and get denied. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to you!
You want to make sure that you are applying to be an Amazon Affiliate first.
Their standard program is called Amazon Associates, and to sign up you can click here.
Anybody can sign up to be an Amazon affiliate!
If you are someone who has a larger following somewhere, then the Influencer Store page might be good for you. I don’t know what the audience parameters are, but I was approved when my YouTube channel had 30,000 subscribers.
If you have a few thousand followers on any platform, then you can apply to be an Amazon Influencer. I have both, so let’s talk about them!
Amazon Associates is the basic affiliate account. Amazon influencers also have an Amazon associates account, so don’t think that they’re two different things.
As an Amazon Associate, you can link to ANY product on Amazon and get a commission if someone clicks on your link and purchases a product.
When you’re an Amazon Associate, there will be a little bar that runs across the top of your screen that allows you to grab an affiliate link for any product.
Amazon Influencer Store
The Amazon Influencer Store is literally just a pretty way to display links. It’s not any better as far as commissions, but it allows some creativity in how you share the links.
If you go to heyjessica.com/amazon, then you’ll see my Amazon Influencer Store. I have it broken up into various sections, like filming equipment, digital planning materials, and others. That way, I can send people to a curated page of my favorite products if they ask about something I use.
But you don’t need the Influencer Store to display your links in a nice way! I was doing the same display setup on my own website before I was approved as an Amazon Influencer. I would create different sections in a “store” page on my site, grab the photo of the product from Amazon, and link it to the picture.
Let’s talk money!
The commissions for sharing links and having an Influencer Store are the SAME. And Amazon commissions are really, really low. So it will take a lot of shares until you can build up income there.
The typical commission rate is between 1%-10%.
Luxury beauty has the highest commission rate, with 10%. Digital music, physical music, handmade, and digital videos are the next highest, with 5% commission. Physical books, kitchen, and automotive have a 4.5% commission rate.
The most common items fit into the 2%-4% range. Any of the Amazon devices like Echo or Alexa, luxury fashion, etc. are at 4%. Toys, furniture, lawn and garden, headphones, and that group is at 3%. PC’s, DVDs, and Blu-Rays are at 2.5%. Televisions are at 2%, and everything else is pretty much at 1%. There’s a whole section labeled “Other categories” that comes in at 4%, too.
As you can see, there’s not a good way to even know what commission you’re going to get from an affiliate link. But here’s the thing – the higher the price of the thing you’re sending people to buy, the more commission you’re going to make.
As an example…
The camera that I just bought cost $3,500 – just for the body of the camera. And I recently posted a dedicated video about the camera. I don’t see cameras listed as an individual category in the commission chart, so it must fit into the 4% commission on “other categories.”
Let’s say I sent someone to buy that camera body through my affiliate link. I made $140 at the 4% rate! If I send 100 people to that link and they purchase, then I just made $14,000 from recommending a camera!
Commissions are low, but if you send people to higher priced items, it can add up quickly.
Rules surrounding your Amazon Associate account
When you apply to be an Amazon Associate, they ask that you sell three products through your link in the first 180 days.
That is a pretty liberal amount of time – you have six months to sell three products! When I first started, you only had 60 days to sell a certain dollar amount.
Selling three products in 180 days through your link is REALLY easy to do! You can send your link to your mom or dad and ask them to purchase the things they’re going to buy through your link. (Technically you aren’t supposed to do that… but it’s not a bad idea to start).
There are a few of “weird” rules to keep your account.
You have to disclose that you included an affiliate link and that you may make a commission if someone clicks it.
At the bottom of every YouTube description, I include a note that the box includes affiliate links that I may make a commission from, and that’s all I have to worry about. You can do the same things on your blog posts, or do it verbally.
The law is that you must disclose the affiliate relationship in the same format you’re delivering the content. So, if you tell people to click your link in an Instagram story, then you HAVE to include that it’s an affiliate link in your Instagram story, too.
You are not allowed to include Amazon links inside of marketing emails.
You cannot send an email to your email list and link off to a product on Amazon. And if you do that, they can remove your access as an Amazon affiliate. I’ve seen that happen to people, so they definitely pay attention to it.
What you CAN do is link off to your own website, or to an Influencer Store page if you have one. You just can’t link to one-off products in a marketing email.
Amazon is the easiest place to start as an affiliate.
EVERYTHING is on Amazon, so it’s easy to use, and it’s easy to get approved as an affiliate.
Once you set up your account, then you can share your affiliate links everywhere (except for marketing emails of course). Just remember to tell people that there’s an affiliate link in the post!
If you have a podcast like I do, then someone, somewhere is ALWAYS wondering what equipment you’re using. If you tell them that they can check out the mic that you’re using on Amazon with your link, they probably will! You could also verbally tell people to check out a list of your 10 favorite books on Amazon with an affiliate link. Easy, peasy!
The same goes for YouTube videos. If you have a YouTube channel about digital planning, you can link to all of your supplies.
A blog is another great way to share affiliate links! You can hyperlink the word or phrase to the product on Amazon.
How to Have Success as an Amazon Affiliate on Instagram
If you don’t have the swipe up…
I HIGHLY encourage you to create a page on your website where you list products with affiliate links. You can throw that link in your bio or LinkTree so your followers can access it, and you won’t have to change it out often.
The other option is to have different sections on your LinkTree linked to products that people always ask you about.
Make a highlight bubble for your favorite products!
You should make a highlight bubble showing your favorite products whether you have a swipe up or not.
I have an Amazon highlight bubble on my Instagram account. That way, if somebody is wondering about a product, I hopefully have it linked on that bubble.
With a swipe up, you would do a story and then swipe up straight to the Amazon page. Otherwise, you refer people to your bio.
General Tips to have Success as an Amazon Affiliate
People are CONSTANTLY looking for new things and wondering what other people are using.
You sharing something you think is awesome with an affiliate link is NOT you overstepping any boundaries. It’s just sharing something that you love and think someone else would love, too.
If you were looking for a solution to something and you found it, it’s likely that someone else in your audience has also looked for that solution.
For example, I’ve been sharing links for smart plugs all the time over on Instagram. I use them in my home office, in my kids room, and I know I’m integrating them into my studio. I LOVE smart plugs, and I’m all about making your life easier – so why wouldn’t I share them?
I know that I go to people’s YouTube channels all the time and wonder what camera they’re using, even if the video isn’t about a camera! If the link is in the description, I’ll probably click it. You can integrate affiliate links that aren’t directly related to your content as well. I promise, someone is looking for the things you link.
Share things ORGANICALLY!
Don’t share products that you don’t personally use and enjoy. And, share things that make sense! Be authentic with your audience and recommend items that they would enjoy using.
Refer to items at a variety of prices
Yes, you will get more commission on a higher priced item. But, you should still recommend more affordable items as well! A lot of people purchasing a lower priced item adds up quickly. Share those sticky notes that you love, and people might buy them!
But, if I only share low-priced things, it will take me awhile to make money. But if I share more expensive things that I love (organically, of course), along with the low priced items, then I can get a payout much quicker!
ANY business, no matter what your business type or business plan, should have an Amazon Affiliate account. It’s worth the extra $5 a month that you earned, even if that’s all you make! And if you can make $5 as an affiliate, then you can make $5,000 as an affiliate. Go out and have success as an Amazon affiliate!