How Does Affiliate Marketing at Work? A Basic Overview

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my affiliate disclosure for more information. has one of the easiest converting affiliate programs around. That is because almost everyone shops on I have earned money from the Amazon Associates program using niche websites.

When a visitor clicks on one of your Amazon affiliate links, you will receive a commission for whatever they buy, even if it isn’t the same product you linked to.

There are some other factors to take into consideration such as Amazon’s cookie duration, commission structure, and terms of use.

However, it is one of the easiest affiliate programs to use and I will share my basic overview below.

The First Step: Joining Amazon’s Associates Affiliate Program


First thing’s first. You should have your own niche website before signing up to the affiliate program. Having a niche website makes it easy to recommend any number of products on Amazon’s website.

If you already have a niche website or once you have one set up, all you have to do is apply for the Amazon Associates program by clicking here.  It is an easy process and once you are approved you can begin linking to any of Amazon’s products.

Here is a very basic diagram of how the Amazon Associates Program works:

affiliate marketing flow chart

Some Important Things to Know About Amazon’s Affiliate Program


Read and understand the Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement. This is important so that you will not violate any of the program’s policies.

Here are some important things that you should be aware of that are outlined in the operating agreement:

Advertising Session

What Amazon refers to as the “advertising session” is basically how long your affiliate link will last after a visitor clicks on it. Some marketers also refer to this as Amazon’s cookie length.

Some affiliate programs have cookie lengths of 30 days or longer. Amazon’s advertising session lasts for 24 hours after a user clicks on your link. Your session also ends once the user buys a non-digital product or if the user clicks on someone else’s affiliate link.

Identifying Yourself as an Associate

In order to participate in Amazon’s Associate program, you must identify yourself as an associate on all of your websites in which you place any of Amazon’s affiliate links.

Here is the statement that Amazon has on the Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement:

“[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [insert the applicable site name (].”

You can see this same statement at the bottom of my website.

Payment Schedule and Methods of Payment

Any fees that are due to you are paid out on a monthly basis. You can select to be paid in three ways: Direct Deposit, Amazon Gift Card, or by Check.

Direct deposit payments will be deposited into your bank account so long as the amount due to you is at least $10.

You can also choose to be paid via Amazon gift card. Again, the amount due to you has to be at least $10 before a gift card is issued.

Lastly, you can select to be paid by check. Your amount due must total at least $100 before a check is mailed to you. A $15 processing fee will also be deducted from the advertising fees payable to you.

Get a Jumpstart on Affiliate Marketing

If you are a new affiliate marketer or even an intermediate, it doesn’t hurt to invest in your education when it comes to building niche websites.

Niche websites are a great way to promote any of Amazon’s products. However, there are methods to creating niche websites so that you can increase your sales as much as possible.

Some of these methods can include:

  • Selecting a good niche
  • Your site structure
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Content writing
  • Writing for conversions
  • Website promotion
  • List building
  • and more

A lot of these methods I’ve learned on my own through years of trial and error. Today, anyone who wants to get into affiliate marketing doesn’t have to waste a lot of time figuring things out on their own.

I recommend grabbing a free copy of my guide for earning a consistent income online by clicking here.

Although Amazon Associates commissions aren’t the highest as compared to a lot of other affiliate programs, it is still worth joining.

I noticed that conversions are high when promoting products on Amazon. It is a trusted shopping site and one that many people use on a regular basis.


Hey there! My name is Eartha. I'm an internet marketer. I enjoy helping others discover the benefits of starting their own online businesses.

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