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Amazon Associates and the Amazon Affiliate program has been one of my favourite ways to earn affiliate income for some years now. Affiliate Marketing, and especially the income from Amazon affiliates, helped to change my life.
When it comes to Affiliate Marketing, Amazon just has the magic touch. I have continued to make a great income from Amazon affiliates over the years, despite changes to the Amazon affiliate programs and the affiliate commission schemes.
What I want to share with you today is how, despite Amazon changes and reduced commission rates, YOU can have the same success as an Amazon Associate too.
If you want an idea as to what success looks like then read the last update on my 18-month-old authority Site, where I show you the exact process that I followed in order to make $2140 in month 18 from Amazon Australia alone.
Are you ready? Want to figure out How to Make Money from Amazon Associates in 2020? Let’s do this!
You will learn...
- What is the Amazon Associates Affiliates Program?
- Five Awesome Reasons to become an Amazon Associate in 2020
- What are the Amazon Affiliate Commission Rates?
- How to get started as an Amazon Associate in 2020
- What’s changed with the Amazon Associates Affiliate Program in 2018, 2019 and 2020?
- The Amazon Approvals Process for Affiliates 2020
- What are the Amazon Associate Program Affiliate Territories?
- Becoming Accredited as an Amazon Affiliate
- Who can be an Amazon Associates Affiliate?
- How Changes to the Amazon Associate Affiliate Program affect you
- The Amazon API Major Change in 2019
- The Amazon PA-API – what’s changed for affiliates in 2020?
- Getting Access to the Amazon PA-API
- Retaining Access to the Amazon PA-API
- 9 KEY Things to know about the Amazon Associates Affiliate Program
- How to create Amazon Affiliate Links in 2020
- Use the Product Links Tool on Associates Central to create Amazon Referral Links
- Using SiteStripe to create your Amazon Affiliate Links
- Using a plugin to create your Amazon Affiliate Links
- How to Geo Redirect your Amazon Links to maximise your Amazon Revenues
- Using Amazon OneLink to maximise Amazon Affiliate revenues
- Using a plugin like EasyAzon with the Amazon API to maximise Amazon Revenues
- How CAN you make Money from Amazon Affiliates in 2020?
- Success with Amazon Affiliates begins with Setting Goals.
- Understand your Audience and what drives them
- Be Brutally Realistic about your Business
- Write Content for Readers with Buying Intent
- The Top 10 Ways to use the Amazon Associates Affiliate Program to make Money in 2020
- Final Words on how to make Money from Amazon Associates in 2020
What is the Amazon Associates Affiliates Program?
The Amazon affiliate program is called Amazon Associates. The program allows you to earn up to 10% on purchases by sending your readers to Amazon. When they purchase both directly recommended and other products, you will earn a commission.
The rate of commission for the Amazon Affiliates Program differs depending on the product category, your level of sales and whether it was a directly linked product or, if once on Amazon, your reader decided to buy other things.
Five Awesome Reasons to Become an Amazon Associate in 2020
- Everyone knows Amazon – they’re a trusted brand
- You can buy virtually anything on Amazon, there are more than 3 billion products listed!
- Most Amazon purchasers buy multiple products – you earn on all of them
- It is EASY to get started
- Conversions on Amazon tend to be higher than other affiliate programs
What are the Amazon Affiliate Commission Rates?
The Amazon Affiliate Commission Rates differ by product category. You can identify which category a product is in by going to the specific page on Amazon and looking at the categories. There is also a difference in commission rates paid by Amazon in different territories.
If you are just starting and building an Amazon affiliate website and you are looking at how to make money as an Amazon Affiliate then I recommend that you look closely at the commission rates and select your products accordingly.
Here are the 2020 Amazon Referral Rates of Commission
How to get started as an Amazon Associate in 2020
I have written at length in the past about joining the Amazon associate program, so here I’ll give you the basics of what to do to become an Amazon affiliate and for much more detail about the process, I suggest you read this post with my Amazon Associates review.
To become an Amazon Associate in 2020 you must sign up with each Amazon program.
Sign up for the various Amazon programs here. Here are the four main territories.
You will immediately be given access to Amazon Associates Central by completing a short registration form. You will then be able to create links to virtually any page on Amazon and start promoting them.
Congratulations if you’ve done this, but keep reading, especially in 2020 there is a LOT more that you need to do in order to create great income from the Amazon associates program.
What’s changed with the Amazon Associates Affiliate Program in 2018, 2019 and 2020?
There have been many changes in the last 18 months to the Amazon Associate program. These include reduced commissions, changes to associate approvals and reduced access to ways in which you can create affiliate links.
I still think that the Amazon Affiliate program is one of the best ways to make money from blogging.
What these changes mean, though, is that you need to pay more attention to how to make money from Amazon Affiliates.
There are still websites out there promoting the idea that you should just put as many Amazon links on your site as possible. They also promote the idea that you should sign up to EVERY single Amazon territory and hope that someone in those countries clicks the link and buys.
I fundamentally do NOT agree with this.
It’s called Affiliate Marketing for a reason.
If you’re just affiliate linking, then you’re missing out on hundreds or thousands of dollars of affiliate income.
If you’re new to Affiliate Marketing, then you might want to start with my ultimate guide to Affiliate Marketing.
Especially in 2020, you need to be much more strategic about how you’re going to make money from Amazon.
This doesn’t mean that it’s going to take any more time. It means you’re going to be strategic about your Amazon Affiliate Marketing and use your time effectively on the actions that REALLY matter.
Using time effectively is one of the teachings in my Build Blog Freedom Fast Track – where, in a specific 10-week program, you focus ONLY on what’s necessary and the actions that are proven to WORK – find out more about Build Blog Freedom Fast Track NOW!.
The Amazon Approvals Process for Affiliates 2020
In 2018, Amazon began changing the approvals process for affiliate partners. It has changed further since then. Becoming an Amazon Affiliate Partner is now multi-faceted.
Firstly, each Amazon territory has a separate Amazon Affiliates program. There is no centralized affiliate partnership agreement. So if you want to earn revenue from Amazon US you need to be an affiliate partner with Amazon Affiliates US.
The same applies to each other territory. Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon Australia and so on.
You do NOT need to sign up for each territory, just those where you can send traffic to Amazon. So if you don’t have any readers from Germany, don’t waste your time signing up!
What are the Amazon Associate Program Affiliate Territories?
As I’ve mentioned there is no global Amazon Associates affiliate program. You must sign up for each individual territory. The Amazon Associates programs are as follows:
France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, India, China.
Becoming Accredited as an Amazon Affiliate
Follow the outline above on how to get started as an Amazon Associate. You must join each individual program and abide by each of their rules, which are similar, but which may not be the same.
For example, one of the rules for the Amazon Australia program is that is it NOT open to non-Australian residents at this time.
Who can be an Amazon Associates Affiliate?
Anyone (apart from non-Australian residents in Australia of course) can create an Amazon affiliate account and begin adding affiliate links to their website, this is still the same. There are similar rules in place for Amazon India.
How Changes to the Amazon Associate Affiliate Program affect you
At the end of 2018 and in early 2019, Amazon have changed their approvals process. Working out how to become an Amazon Affiliate is a little more complex than in the past, but still ultimately achievable.
After you have received your initial approval and access to Associates Central, it is now necessary to receive 3 sales from your affiliate links within 180 days (6 months) FOR EACH territory in order to become approved.
That’s 3 sales in the USA, 3 sales in Canada, 3 sales in the UK, 3 sales in Germany…. And so on.
At this point, Amazon will review your website and ensure that you meet their program requirements. If you do not meet these requirements then your account will be shut.
If you meet the requirements you will be officially approved.
The Amazon API Major Change in 2019
For some time now, Amazon have enabled Associates to “pull” and display product information from Amazon sites by the use of an API. This has allowed bloggers to use an Amazon affiliate plugin, like EasyAzon, to find and display product information in real time.
EasyAzon certainly made it incredibly easy for me to be a successful Amazon affiliate and make thousands of dollars in affiliate income. Read my overview of how I use EasyAzon to make MORE money as an Amazon Affiliate.
This is one of the areas of major change in 2018/19 and could fundamentally affect your Amazon affiliate income. First, the change is with the Amazon Affiliate API itself.
The Amazon PA-API – what’s changed for affiliates in 2020?
In previous years, the Amazon API used to be a single access solution – if you had access to the API as an approved Amazon USA affiliate, then you got access to ALL THE OTHER TERRITORIES. That has now changed completely.
Getting Access to the Amazon PA-API
After generating your 3 approved sales (per territory) via your affiliate links to Amazon, you will be given access to the Amazon Product Advertising API (Amazon API), which will allow you to use a plugin like EasyAzon to create affiliate links.
Note that API access is granted BY TERRITORY, so if you do not get 3 sales in the UK you will not get access to the API for the UK.
Depending on how many affiliate sales you send to Amazon each month will depend on how many API requests Amazon will provide you. The more sales you make, the more API requests you can make.
Retaining access to the Amazon PA-API
Ongoing use of and access to the API requires at least one sale per 30 days in each territory through your affiliate links. If you do not sell at least one product a month Amazon will revoke your access to the API for the territory that you didn’t make the sale in.
You are still an Amazon Associate, that does not change, and you can still make money as an Amazon Affiliate, BUT you must create links a different way if you are using a plugin that uses the API unless you meet this monthly goal.
9 KEY Things to know about the Amazon Associates Affiliate Program
- When Amazon reviews your site prior to approval they’re also looking to see if you’re meeting any regulations for the region in which you operate. So they’re looking for relevant disclosures, GDPR compliance and such like.
- You must be approved for each of Amazon’s individual territories that you want to promote in.
- The Amazon Cookie lasts for 24 hours from when a reader clicks on your Amazon Affiliate Link. This means that you will get a commission or Amazon referral fees for any qualifying product that they buy in that 24 hour period.
- You do not make any fees or commission for personal orders or orders that are for your family
- You must identify yourself as an Amazon Associate and make it very clear that you earn money from qualifying purchases. Amazon actually provides the content that you are required to display on your website. You must display this Amazon disclosure aka the Amazon Associates Disclaimer on your website – you can find it here
- You can’t download images from Amazon – it’s against their terms of service – you can use a plugin or SiteStripe to display them.
- You can’t promote Amazon products by email, or in an “offline format” – so make sure that you’re emailing links to your blog that contains the affiliate link.
- You cannot promote Amazon affiliate links in a pop-up.
- You cannot show pricing – UNLESS it’s pulled directly from Amazon via the PA-API – because prices change and Amazon don’t want you sharing misleading information.
How to create Amazon Affiliate Links in 2020
Amazon themselves state that the quickest and easiest way to create an affiliate link to any page on Amazon is to use their solution called SiteStripe. Until you meet the accreditation criteria, this is your only option along with using the plugin, Amalinks Pro.
Once you are accredited, there is a choice of plugins. It is, IMHO, much quicker and easier to use an Amazon plugin than sitestripe and gives you more options to make more.
However, there are 3 ways to make an Amazon Affiliate link.
Use the Product Links Tool on Associates Central to create Amazon Referral Links
The most basic Amazon Affiliate link generator is called the Product Links tool. The Product Links tool lets you link to a specific product on Amazon.
It lets you build text links, text and image links and image only links to products that are hosted on Amazon. The links will automatically include your Amazon Associates Affiliate ID.
You can find this when you are logged in to your associates account. It is in the menu.
Using SiteStripe to create your Amazon Affiliate Links
If you use SiteStripe, it will appear at the top of every Amazon page when you are logged into Amazon. Just go to the page that you want to link to in Amazon and click the “Get Link” option.
You can create these links using site stripe from each Amazon associates account you have.
SiteStripe will create a link to ONE Amazon Affiliate Territory.
AMAZON ASSOCIATES TIP
Don’t be tempted to create shortened links in either the product links tool or SiteStripe. If for ANY reasons you need to change your Amazon Affiliate ID’s in the future, it is impossible to do this quickly for all links on your site if you have used the shortened link. Always use the full link.
Using a plugin to create your Amazon Affiliate Links
From day one, you can use the plugin, Amalinks Pro, to create your Amazon links.
Once you have gained access to the Amazon PA-API you can use a plugin, such as EasyAzon, which allows you to easily add text, images and adverts to your site.
The challenge with Amazon affiliates comes when you have readers from multiple geographies. That’s when you need to “geo-redirect” the links in order to send your readers to the RIGHT Amazon site for them.
How to Geo Redirect your Amazon Links to maximise your Amazon Revenues
If you have created a link on Amazon US and a reader from Germany clicks on it, they will (unless you deal with it as I discuss below) be taken to Amazon US. One of two things will then happen.
Your German reader doesn’t have an Amazon US account, so gets irritated and opens a new window to Amazon.de and your affiliate link doesn’t apply.
Or, more likely, their web browser will redirect them to Amazon Germany – WITHOUT your Amazon Affiliate details included. The result is that if they purchase something, Amazon will earn money and you don’t.
There are 2 simple ways in which you can earn revenues from that German reader example. The concept is called geo-redirection.
The first way to geo-redirect is by using Amazon OneLink.
Using Amazon OneLink to maximise Amazon Affiliate revenues
Amazon OneLink is a free script provided by Amazon to link your affiliate accounts together. It is a one-time setup. It also automatically redirects your reader to their correct Amazon country site AND includes your affiliate ID details.
Amazon OneLink is free and you can read more about it here.
You can use OneLink on text links, adverts and images that you have created from Amazon SiteStripe.
If you are going to use OneLink to monetise for multiple Amazon territories – YOU MUST start with your link being from Amazon Affiliates USA for this to work.
The first of two major downsides, from my perspective, is that OneLink does NOT support Amazon Australia.
The second way to redirect your readers to the RIGHT Amazon for them is to use a plugin. This DOES support Amazon Australia (yay!).
OneLink also does not allow you to specify where the link should go on other Amazons if the product is not available in that territory. A plugin, like EasyAzon, will do this.
The second major downside of OneLink is that it only redirects the text links. Not the image links you can create with SiteStripe and not the text + image links.
You can use OneLink in conjunction with Amalinks Pro plugin which will make it so you can redirect these other link types.
Using a plugin like EasyAzon with the Amazon API to Maximise Amazon Revenues
Using the Amazon Affiliates API to utilize a plugin, such as EasyAzon, allows you to automatically redirect readers to their own Amazon. You can also easily add text, images and adverts to your site.
However, don’t forget, you will ONLY get access to the API once you have received your initial 3 sales in each territory. You must also maintain a sales rate of ONE sale per territory that you want to have the API for each month.
If you lose access to the API, your plugin (and the links it created) will stop working.
That brings us to the most important part of this tutorial.
How you can make, good, consistent income from Amazon Affiliates in 2020.
How CAN you make Money from Amazon Affiliates in 2020?
I have already discussed that it’s necessary to be much more strategic in order to make a great income as an Amazon Affiliate in 2020. You WILL make money from Amazon Affiliates in 2020 if you understand and focus on your target audience and how you can help them.
Now I’m going to explain the steps you can take to do just this.
1. Success with Amazon Affiliates begins with Setting Goals.
Just signing up and sticking an Amazon affiliate link on every post on your blog will not give you success. Sure you may get a few sales here and there, but is that the success that you really, really want?
I have always been very clear that my goal was to earn enough money to support my family and earn it in a way that allowed us to work less and have flexibility in our lives.
Not setting clear, SMART goals is one of the biggest mistakes bloggers make.
2. Understand your Audience and What Drives Them
Do you know who your audience are? Do you know WHERE they come from? Do you know why they’re reading your blog? What it is that they take away from it? Ask yourself these important questions:
Where are your Audience Located?
The 2019 changes to the Amazon Affiliate program mean that it’s REALLY important to understand where your audience is located geographically. The fact that you MUST deliver three sales per territory and then an ongoing sale in each territory in order to retain access to the API is REALLY important.
While it’s a lovely idea to think that you can target the entire world with your content, you will rarely have success doing it this way.
A target means just that.
It means a focus.
Focus on where your readers are and focus your site even further by focusing on your readers with BUYING INTENT.
If you do not have traffic and never have had traffic from the UK (for instance), then you need to be brutally honest with yourself. Is that going to change? If it’s not then why are you going to the effort of adding all those Amazon Affiliate Links for the UK if no one from the UK ever reads your blog?
You can understand more about where your audience are located by running a report from Google Analytics to see their geography – here’s what it should look like.
You can have an amazing site and awesome revenues from a single Amazon affiliate territory (see how my authority site is generating revenues from Amazon Australia)
Does your Audience have Buying Intent for Amazon Products?
Focusing on why your reader is reading your particular blog post is REALLY important. You should consider their drivers, and what they have buying intent for in EACH post that you make. Don’t automatically assume that Amazon affiliate links are the answer to every question!
Think of it this way.
It’s a lovely idea to think that your blog about a bus journey in Nepal is a GREAT place to host a lot of Amazon Affiliate links.
Your reader could buy eye shades, expensive noise cancelling headphone, a pillow and a fabulous fleecy blanket.
But the likely factor is that they’re probably ALREADY in Nepal and unlikely to be anywhere near an Amazon locker for a while.
Amazon affiliate links might be better situated in a product review or a buying guide. Your reader is more likely thinking, when they’re reading your post about bus rides, about where they might stay for the night at the end of their bus journey. Or where to get a cold beer in Kathmandu.
Whereas if they come to your site to read a product review about particular headphones then there is a great chance they are already considering buying these headphones and links to Amazon in your review are likely to get clicks and sales.
If you already have affiliate links in your posts, you can check out which ones are being clicked on by running reports in Google Analytics.
3. Be Brutally Realistic about your Business
Analysing the data about your blogging business is REALLY important.
If you haven’t generated more than three Amazon affiliate sales in six months in a territory then you need to be brutally honest with yourself and ask if that’s actually going to change in another six months.
Analysing how you spend your time in your blogging business is as important as looking at where your income comes from. You really need to spend your time wisely.
If you’re simply reopening new Amazon affiliate accounts every 6 months and having to make all the updates related to that then consider what else you could spend your time on and actually make money.
In my 10-week Fast Track Program – I teach you EVERYTHING that you need to focus on to create a successful blog. And I teach you what NOT to do.
4. Write Content for Readers with Buying Intent
Affiliate links convert at a much higher rate when your readers have buying intent. This means they come to your blog post already wanting to buy something.
If they are reading content that is written with that in mind then you are halfway there. So create specific content for your readers to focus on this.
Great ideas for content with buying content can include:
- Product Reviews
- Product Comparisons
- Overviews of products that you use
- How to use a particular product/service that you reference on your website
The Top 10 Ways to use the Amazon Associates Affiliate Program to make Money in 2020
- Target readers with buying intent by writing in-depth product reviews.
- Help readers make a decision by writing product comparisons – I cover how to do this here.
- Make product images clickable links in your content – to meet the Amazon terms of service you’ll need to do this with either a plugin like EasyAzon or Amazon’s SiteStripe.
- Use your readers’ trust by including information on products that you use and trust.
- Include products that you use and trust on your resources page.
- Keep your readers up to date with your latest recommendations by building and using an email list (note that it’s against the Amazon Associate Affiliate rules to email links, so direct your readers back to your blog where you discuss this) – follow my process for growing your email marketing list here!
- Amazon goes CRAZY during holidays and sales times – so plan your content ahead of time and don’t forget to promote it – Get my Ultimate Marketing Plan Guide HERE!
- Save time and make money by using a plugin like EasyAzon.
- Sign up for and promote your content in territories where you have a strong readership.
- Track your successful posts, campaigns and reviews and use the data to create similar content!
Final Words on how to make Money from Amazon Associates in 2020
I hope this post has helped and inspired you to want to focus on making money from Amazon Associates.
I can seriously say that being an Amazon affiliate has changed my life.
The affiliate program may have changed over the years, and I have no doubt it will continue to do so – but the fundamentals of affiliate marketing have not changed.
Set your goals, plan your activities and focus on your audience and I truly hope that you, too, will have the success that changes your life!
Let me know how Amazon is working for you. What’s working? What’s not working? What do you need help with?
You can also read my full guide to getting started with affiliate marketing here or click here for a FREE Cheat Sheet for getting started with Amazon!
Find more posts on making money from blogging here.