Earning with Amazon Affiliate Marketing: Is It Still Profitable?

  • Things to consider before choosing a platform
  • What is Amazon affiliate marketing?
  • How Earning with Amazon affiliate program work?
  • Why is the Amazon associates program so popular?
  • Selecting the perfect niche for Amazon affiliate website
  • Best practices to drive traffic into an Amazon affiliate website
  • How much can you earn with an Amazon affiliate website?
  • Is Amazon Affiliate Marketing Still Profitable?
Amazon Affiliate Marketing

For years, Amazon has been the undisputed king of the $12 billion affiliate marketing industry. The Amazon Associates affiliate marketing earning made thousands of marketers rich. Although that overlordship was struck when they decided to cut back commission rates in 2017, they have decided to slash the commission rates for some categories again.

Since Amazon claims themselves as the most significant affiliate program in the world, and most of their sales come through the affiliate program, many affiliate marketers are left wondering if Amazon affiliate marketing earning is still attractive enough after this decision.

Sit tight if you have the same question(s). This article is exclusively crafted to answer all of them!

Here’s a quick overview of what we will discuss throughout the article: 

Earning with Amazon Affiliate Marketing: An in-depth Study

The commission rate may be one of the attractive factors for affiliate marketers. But it certainly isn’t the only one. You can generate thousands of affiliate revenues in a few months, or all of your efforts may result in nothing at all! It can go both ways.

Your earnings on Amazon affiliate marketing can depend on a lot of factors. I will discuss those factors, how earning works in Amazon affiliate marketing, and what you can do for better results. So by the end of the article, you’ll know what to expect in Amazon affiliate marketing.

1. Things to Consider Before Choosing a Platform

Most affiliate marketing efforts are solely purposed to generate a smart flow of passive income. If you want to find out if an affiliate platform is profitable, you need to know what makes up for a good affiliate platform. 

Commission Rate

The higher the commission rate, the higher the revenue. It’s as simple as that. Good affiliate marketers always consider the commission rate as one of the prime factors. If you want to make the most out of every sale you make, it would be foolish not to consider the commission rates.

Products Available

Unless there’s a wide range of choices, all your marketing efforts might fail under high competition. Let alone the competition; you won’t even find your desired niche if there’s not enough product. So it’s essential to choose an affiliate platform that offers a wide selection of products. 

Reputation and Security

Building your reputation is one thing, but if your audience doesn’t trust the platform you’re sending them to, they will hesitate to buy from there. Besides, everyone would want to buy in a secure environment. If your affiliate platform doesn’t qualify as a reputable and secured one, your marketing efforts are likely to go in vain.

Payment Methods

Payment methods are possibly one of the most expected features of any affiliate platform. Both your buyer and you need ways to pay or to get paid. If an affiliate program fails to offer a few conventional payment methods, you risk losing sales, and your audience will lose the opportunity to buy products that you’ve promoted.

Cookie Duration

Cookie duration is a calculation process in which an affiliate program calculates if you are qualified to get the commission or not. For example, if you have promoted a product of an affiliate platform that stores a user’s cookie for three days, you will get the commission if your audience buys the product within three days.

The feature comes handy, especially if your audience doesn’t make the purchase imminently but make a plan to buy the product in the recent future. Most online shoppers like to hang a bit before making a purchase, and that’s why good affiliate marketers always consider cookie duration as a vital element of an affiliate program.

2. What is Amazon Affiliate Marketing?

We all know that marketing is promoting a product, and Amazon affiliate marketing is no different. Amazon affiliate marketing is a way of earning commissions by promoting products that are available on Amazon.

If you have a website, YouTube channel, or blog, you can sign up to amazon associates right now and start promoting from Amazon’s wide range of products to earn commissions. 

Since the beginning of the program in 1996, Amazon associates have paid out more than $1,00,000 to at least 1,68,000 of its associates(AKA Affiliates), according to Statista. So it does make some sense to start as an amazon affiliate, right?

About Slashing the Commission Rates

Although Amazon associates marginally lost its popularity due to the setback in 2017 (decreasing affiliate commission rates for multiple categories), it still holds the topmost position for the most popular affiliate program with over 1 million active affiliates!

Despite the recent changes to commission rates, the number of Amazon affiliates kept increasing. If you want to know the reason, you should move to the next section to understand how earning with the Amazon affiliate program works.

3. How Earning With the Amazon Affiliate Program Work?

Earning with the Amazon affiliate program works the way most affiliate programs do. As I have said earlier, If you have a blog or YouTube channel with reasonable traffic, becoming an Amazon associate is a pretty straightforward process.

Once you’ve done that, you can find your desired product from Amazon and get your unique affiliate links. It is a pay per sale affiliate program that will pay you commission on each sale coming from your affiliate links.

But what you may not know is that the sold product doesn’t necessarily have to be the product you have promoted. As long as the shoppers enter into Amazon from one of your affiliate links, you will get paid for whatever they buy within 24 hours.

Wait, I know what you are thinking, 24 hours is a pretty short time, and it’s unnatural that your audience would buy a product within 24 hours in 2020. However, Amazon took care of that part too!


If you were able to catch your audience’s attention, it’s very likely that they will add the product to their shopping cart. In case they did that, Amazon will extend the cookie duration period from 24 hours to 90 days. Which means you will still get the commission if they make the purchase within those 90 days.

The reason why Amazon is so generous to affiliates is that 53% of all Amazon sales comes from affiliate marketing. Why would they worry over paying small commissions as long as they are making much more from sales?

That’s not all; there are a few reasons why the Amazon associates program is so popular. Let’s find them out!

By now, you may have understood that Amazon associate is the World’s Biggest Affiliate Program. There are a number of reasons and statistics which will justify that statement perfectly:

Annual Net Revenue

Amazon’s annual net revenue has hit the $280 billion mark by the end of 2019. It would be surprising if they don’t hit the $300 billion mark by the end of this year!

Number of Products Sold Every Minute

On average, Amazon sells 4000 units per minute. The number is even more than the entire monthly sale of some top brands.

If I try to be approximate, 53% of that revenue came from third-party sellers, who are Affiliates!

Low Entry Barrier

Most beginners started their journey with Amazon, and much of that credit goes to Amazon’s low entry barrier for affiliates. You don’t have to have exceptional achievements in order to become an Amazon associate. All you need to have is a website or a YouTube channel with a decent number of audiences.

Unlimited Categories & Product Choices

If you’re looking to promote products, more than 350 million products are listed on Amazon from different retailers, local stores, Brands, and manufacturers for you.

Not just 350 million products, there are a lot of categories and countless sub-categories in Amazon. So no matter which category your expertise falls under, you will find it on Amazon!

Easier to Convince People

Since it is well established, it’s easier to convince people to buy from Amazon. Be it a guy next door or be it someone who doesn’t even know you, if they reach the Amazon store, they won’t hesitate to buy. 

That’s because of the trust Amazon has built over the years; they don’t compromise anything regarding user experience, including the product, its shipment time, or the buyer’s personal information. All they need is people who are willing to make a decision. Obviously, that’s your part as an affiliate marketer to convert visits into your Amazon affiliate marketing earnings!

Best Conversion Optimization

Besides the fact that it’s easy to convince people to buy from Amazon, Amazon’s Store itself is highly optimized for sales! Every product page of Amazon contains some mind-blowing features that help customers make buying decisions.

If you want to know how, go to an Amazon product page. You’ll find all the necessary details of a product, such as specifications and images. People can also make use of the answers, ratings, and comparisons. 

Personally, I’d only check the price and specifications of a product. But two features of Amazon always attract my attention. One is the combo deals, and the other one is, what others are purchasing!

For instance, if I want to buy a mobile phone, Amazon might suggest a combo deal, including the phone, earphones, and a storage card for a more affordable price! That would be more than a great deal for me as I’d love to have an earphone and a storage card for my phone! And again, I might be attracted to one of the products others are purchasing. 

Since Amazon will reward an affiliate no matter what the prospect is purchasing, that shouldn’t be your concern! It’s a good deal for you as long as you’re earning as an Amazon affiliate marketer!

Consistent Source of Passive Income

As I said earlier, people trust Amazon and the service they provide. Once you’ve built a group of audience, people will start entering Amazon from your affiliate links.

Once they have a visitor, Amazon will take up from here and  play their part intelligently to persuade people into buying. So you will start earning commissions on a very consistent basis.

Amazon Affiliate Sites Sell Quicker

So what if you’re not satisfied with the progress your website is making? Surely you’ll try to sell it instead of letting all your efforts go in vain, right?

Here comes the speciality, Amazon affiliate websites are much more likely to be sold at a high price than other affiliate websites. Average Amazon affiliate websites that merely make $500 profit/month can be sold for up to $25000! Who’d say no to a consistent source of passive income after all?

In addition to this, there are even more advantages to Amazon affiliate marketing. And if you’re not happy with the amount your Amazon affiliate marketing website is earning, you can still make the most out of it. That’s why Amazon Associates is the biggest affiliate program in the world, with nearly 200 million associates!

5. Selecting the Perfect Niche for Amazon Affiliate Website

One of the fundamental issues of affiliate marketing is the extreme competition. But if you can select a good niche, that won’t be an issue at all!

Less Competition, More Success

Even if you are an affiliate, you are doing business. If you are not investing much money, at least you will be spending your time in that business. Time is money, and there’s no point in investing without a return over your investment.

Keep this one simple rule in mind; the lower the competition is, the more you’re likely to succeed. So if you expect to earn money by affiliate marketing, you must choose a niche with low competition.

So try to do the research before you step into the market.

Is the Niche Profitable?

You might be able to choose a niche that isn’t that competitive. But it won’t make up for a good choice unless it is a profitable one. By profitable, I don’t necessarily mean a particular category which offers higher commission rates. A niche can still be profitable with lower commission rates. 

For example, you may have decided to promote Musical instruments to your audiences. Your commission rate would be 4% lower compared to the current highest paying category(Digital Video Games, Luxury Beauty, Amazon Coins). But what if your niche products are priced at 2X more than products at the highest commission paying category? Yes, you’ll get 2% more commission!

That’s only one numerical example of a profitable niche. Selecting a profitable niche requires a more in-depth analysis, and you need to consider a lot more about any niche before you pick one.

Understand the Needs of Your Audience

Most people ignore this part, but one of the crucial elements of selecting a niche depends on understanding the needs of the targeted group of people. If you are promoting something, you need to put yourself in their shoes. 

For example, suppose you want to promote kitchen appliances. But most of your website visitors are businessmen. In that case, your selected niche won’t get you much affiliate commissions. 

So if you want to start a niche website, make sure that you understand the needs of your audiences, know their problems, and give them the right solutions. It will not only help your viewers, but will also build trust.

6. Best Practices to Drive Traffic into an Amazon Affiliate Website

I’ll get straight to the point. There’s no point in running a business without buyers on it. Unless you have a good amount of traffic who are willing to buy products, your marketing efforts won’t make sense. That’s why you need traffic and a lot of them!

Here’s what you can do to drive traffic into your website:

Produce High-quality Contents

As an affiliate marketer, you should be familiar with selling content. If you aren’t, selling content refers to producing high-quality contents that provide value for the audience.

Think about it, how often do you open a random website and actually read a post? Most general audiences only try to find the solution from a content. If that takes too long, they quickly make a switch. You should keep this in mind when creating content for your audience; selling a solution is much better than selling a product

If you’ve looked at earlier statistics, you know that 200 million affiliates are promoting Amazon products. Only 40000 among them made at least $500000. People trust these affiliates and choose the solution(product) they offer through their contents. Not because they sell products, but because they provide them with solutions!

While most affiliate websites use a product-specific, hard to understand, spun contents only to spoil the user experience, these people make thousands by offering high-quality contents. If you want to be a successful Amazon affiliate, you must produce high-quality contents.

Invest in SEO

Regardless of what they need, be it a product or a solution to their problem,  most people will try to find it from a search engine. If your affiliate website holds a high search ranking, they might seek that product or solution from your website.

One of the ways to appear in search engines is advertising in Search Engine Marketing. However, it requires higher spendings. Besides, it may not provide you with a stable audience, which is key to stable earning. Moreover, it’s not profitable to promote a product only to earn small commissions.

SEO is an efficient way of growing a stable audience. If you want to maximize the potential of your website, you should invest in SEO. You can find plenty of blogs and websites about how to do SEO, and if you still need help, it would be wise to hire a freelancer

Social Media Marketing

Although it’s not possible to advertise Amazon products through social media advertising, it’s possible to promote them organically. Most people don’t visit a website regularly. If you want to cover that gap, social media marketing can be an effective strategy.

That’s why you should have a dedicated Facebook page or a YouTube channel for your website’s followers. Everyone’s on social media, and it’s a great medium to keep in touch with your audience.

Build Email Subscribers List

Again, it’s unlikely that people will visit your websites regularly. While it’s already hard to drive the right type of audience, it’s almost impossible to control their actions. That’s why it’s crucial to utilize every marketing opportunity.

Building an email subscriber list is one of those opportunities which will help in keeping your audiences engaged. That’s why you should always try to convert your audience into your subscribers. Once they have done that, you can keep them updated with your new posts.

Conversation Rate Optimization(CRO)

Conversation rate optimization, aka CRO, is optimizing what you have to persuade people into making an action of your desire.

You may get some traffic from your overall efforts, but unless they are making actual actions, you will experience a slow decline in your website’s traffic. CRO has a significant impact on SEO and your Amazon affiliate marketing earnings.

The basics to CRO is experimenting with your tactics, web pages, and take positives from your better-converting assets. Besides, there are many guides, tools, and plugins that help you optimize your webpages for better conversation rates.

Meet AzonPress. It is an Amazon affiliate marketing plugin that can improve your earnings by 200%. It can power your Amazon affiliate website with highly converting product tables, compression tables, geo-targeting, bestseller lists, and many more exciting features.

7. How Much Can You Earn from an Amazon Affiliate Website?

The Amazon associate program is known for making the affiliate marketing model famous. After all, everyone craves the idea of a smart passive income!

Because Amazon earns much more against the small commissions they give you, they won’t mind even if you make millions through their affiliate program. That’s why there isn’t any limit to how much you can earn. It will depend upon your knowledge, analysis, and efforts.

Let’s explore some numerical explanation to figure out the potential.

Suppose, you have an affiliate website with 5K monthly traffic. Assuming that only 20% of those audiences visit your affiliate links and only 5% of those visitors actually convert into sales, you will have approximately 50 buyers. Now, if the products they buy are priced at an average of $100, and the commission rate is 6%, you will earn $300 per month to be precise.

That’s only an example based on hypothetical data. Note that you can’t predict how much you will earn until making a sale. The possibilities are there, but it depends on a lot of other factors. Check out this excellent analysis: How much you can earn with Amazon affiliate marketing.

If you want those factors to favor you, you need to do a lot of calculations and, most importantly, get the right kinds of traffic that convert into sales! Only then Amazon affiliate marketing can do wonders for you!

Final verdict: is Amazon Affiliate Marketing Still Profitable in 2020?

Well, Amazon did add to the incompleteness of their affiliate program by cutting back the commission rate from a few categories. They only added to their worst drawback with this decision. 

Since 2017, most Amazon affiliates complained about this issue. Now that it has gotten even worse, their complaint is justified. Besides, Amazon’s short term cookie policy is another notable drawback to their affiliate program(although they have partially solved the issue with the add to cart cookie policy).

But think about it, the number of Amazon affiliate marketers still kept increasing despite flaws in such crucial affiliate marketing factors. Why?

That’s because of the exemplary reputation they have gained over the years. Their unlimited products, excellent in-built website features, and extremely low entry barriers, all make them an exclusive option for any affiliate marketer. 

Everyone would want to buy a product from a platform they know, and there’s hardly a chance that someone wouldn’t know Amazon. As a result, Amazon affiliate marketing will remain affiliate marketer’s best bet for earning if they have done it in the right way.

Bonus: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the commission rate for Amazon Associates?

Compared to other affiliate platforms, the commission rate of amazon isn’t that attractive. The highest commission rate of Amazon affiliate is 10%.  That, too, in Digital Video Games, Luxury Beauty, or Amazon Coins. Here are the commission rates for all of Amazon’s product categories:

Amazon affiliate commission rates new

What is the cookie duration period of the Amazon associate program?

The Amazon associate program’s cookie duration period is limited to 24 hours only. You’ll be paid only if someone purchases a product within that period.

However, in case your audience adds an item to their shopping cart instead of purchasing it, the cookie duration period will be increased to 24 hours! 

Can you become an affiliate for Amazon without being a site owner?

Yes, it’s possible to become an associate even if you don’t own a website. In that case, you need to have a YouTube channel or an app where you can promote Amazon products.

Does Amazon pay per click?

No, the Amazon associate program is a pay per sale affiliate program. There’s no payment for the clicks your audience makes.

What are the best affiliate products to promote on Amazon?

There are plenty of products and categories available on the Amazon affiliate program. While some categories offer a higher commission rate, it’s not possible to mention a specific product or category as the best affiliate product.

Much of your success will depend upon your knowledge, analysis, and efforts. If you were able to do that, any product could do the work for you.

How do I get paid from Amazon?

There are three ways to get paid as an Amazon associate.

  • Bank transfer
  • Cheque
  • Amazon gift card

Do you have to earn a minimum payout amount?

Yes, you need to earn at least $100 in order to get paid from Amazon. The minimum withdrawal amount is $10.

Does Amazon have a payment cycle for affiliate payouts?

Yes, commissions are paid 2 months after a sale. That means even if someone purchases an item, you will have to wait for 60 days to get the commission.

Do I need to make a sale to remain an active Amazon affiliate?

Yes, there’s no point in being an affiliate who doesn’t contribute to the business. You need to make at least 3 sales in the first 180 days of becoming an Amazon affiliate.

Is it possible to have more than one Amazon associates account?

No, you can’t have more than one Amazon associates account for a specific country. However, if your website receives audiences from multiple countries, you can make different Amazon associate accounts for separate countries.

Nazir Himel

Nazir Himel leads the marketing team at FluentCRM. He specializes in content marketing, email marketing, and SEO. If he isn’t busy writing, you’ll probably find him exploring the city.

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