Amazon Associate Vs. Amazon Affiliate: Ultimate Comparison

Written by Devin Sizemore

October 11, 2019

Just about everyone would like a bit more income every month. An up and coming way to do so is by becoming an Amazon associate or affiliate. Believe it or not, you can make thousands of dollars each month from the comfort of your own home. 

Sounds too good to be true? There are plenty of people that consider being an Amazon affiliate their full time job, and honestly? It doesn’t sound like a bad gig to us. So, what is it going to require for you to start bringing in extra money?

Well, we’ve decided to break down everything that goes into being an Amazon Associate vs. an Amazon Affiliate so you can try it out for yourself! Whether you’re wondering how much it costs or how much work you have to put in, we’ll talk about it below. Let’s get started by discussing what exactly an Amazon Associate is. 


What Is An Amazon Associate?


The Amazon Associates Program has been around for over 20 years! Back when it was first created, there weren’t a ton of ways to make money online. People started out by selling books online using an affiliate link. You’d have to sell a ton of books to make any sort of profit.  Thankfully, Amazon has gotten increasingly popular and sells much more than just books now. With more products available for sale, the ability to make money as an Amazon Associate is easier than ever before.  The Associate and Affiliate program are essentially the same thing, but we’ll talk more about that in a bit. With the Associates Program you’ll be making anywhere from 4% to 8.5% of a sale. In order to make a decent amount of money doing this, you’ll have to either have a lot of sales or refer high end products.  It takes a lot of time, effort, and research to be a successful Amazon Associate. You have to know what’s trending at all times and you need to have some form of audience that trusts you enough to buy the product through you.  One of the main differences between an Associate and an Affiliate is that when someone uses your associate link to buy a specific product, even if they don’t buy that product on that visit, but decide to purchase something else, you’ll still receive a commission.  The Good:

      • It’s free for anyone to join
      • Amazon doesn’t have any traffic thresholds that need to be met
      • Amazon is one of the most heavily trafficked websites
      • There are tons of tools to make being an Associate as easy as possible
      • They offer a direct deposit to Associates

The Bad:

        • The referral rate is pretty low (4%-8.5%)
        • You can’t send your associate link in an email
        • Cookies only last 24 hours for Amazon Associates
        • The person buying the product has to do so in the same country you’re living in

What Is An Amazon Affiliate?

Amazon has a specific program called The Amazon Affiliate Program. It’s an affiliate marketing program that is open to the public. Most people that use it own websites or are popular bloggers that have a large audience.  Affiliates in a way are the middle person between customers and Amazon. The affiliate will advertise a specific product on their website or social media platform by using special links. When someone from their audience uses that link to buy the product, the affiliate makes what Amazon calls “referral fees”.  Referral fees range depending on what products you’re listing. Things like musical instruments and beauty supplies have a 6% referral fee, while things like DVDs only have a 2% referral fee. There are also different fees for special events and products that may be advertised.  When you have an Affiliate account, you have to make at least one sale within the first 180 days or your account will be automatically closed. You can reapply, but you may be required to make some changes before getting approved.  The Good:

        • Anyone can sign up for an Amazon Affiliate page
        • You can be an affiliate for products that you actually love and stand by
        • You can customize your own link
        • It won’t cost you anything
        • If the product is on Amazon, you can be an affiliate for it
        • Having a large audience is an easy way to get a lot of sales
        • Services like Amazon Prime can be part of the Affiliate Program
        • It’s fairly easy to sign up and set up an account

The Bad:

        • You only get a small percentage of the sale
        • People have to use your specific link for you to get any sales at all
        • You have to make a sale within 180 days or your account will be closed

How Are They Alike?

Amazon Associate vs. Amazon Affiliate may have you wondering how these two programs are alike or how they’re different. Luckily, they’re very similar programs that anyone can benefit from. Both of these programs use affiliate links that are customizable to each Associate or Affiliate. These links can then be given to followers of a blog, website, or a popular social media account.  Another similarity is that you get a percentage of each sale that your link is used for. The percentages range quite a bit, so make sure you’re aware of how much you’re getting for each product category you’re affiliated with.  One of the main differences is that Amazon Associates will get a percentage if someone buys anything using their link, not just the specific product associated with the link. This is a major plus for some people, as it can bring in a lot more money. 

Can You Use Both Together?

You may be wondering if you can be a part of both the Associates program as well as the Affiliates program. Luckily, you can! Now, the key word we need to be aware of is “use”. Can you use them both together? No, but you can use both of them. There really wouldn’t be a point in using them both together, which is probably why you can’t.  If you’re wanting to make as much money as possible, why not sign up for both programs? The more products you’re affiliated with, the more likely you are to bring in more income! It’s that simple. They’re both free so you have nothing to lose!

Is One Better Than The Other?

If you’re curious if the Amazon Associate Program is better than the Amazon Affiliate program or vice versa, it’s fairly subjective. One program may be loved by one person, while someone else prefers the other. Some people may go with the program that’s been around longer, while others like something that’s new and revamped.  If we had to choose one, we’d opt for the Amazon Associates Program. This is solely because your referral link can make you more money by allowing you to make an income on whatever the person buys if they use your link. It’s an easier way to make more money without someone needing to buy a specific product that they may not need or want. Give both programs a try and see what you like for yourself. As you read above, you don’t necessarily have to choose one over the other if you don’t want to! Take a look at the pros and cons of each program that we listed above to give you a better idea and help you decide which one is better suited for you! 

5 Tips For Amazon Associates

We’ve included five tips for soon-to-be Amazon Associates to help you become successful! By no means do you have to use any of the tips listed below, but they are there to help you. Use one or a combination of all of them. It’s up to you! (We’ve also included tips for Amazon Affiliates below if that’s what you fancy, so stick around!) 

1. Take Advantage Of Keywords

When people buy a product online, they have to search for it. If you’re buying face wash, you might just type in “face wash”, but there are plenty of other keywords that you can keep your eyes peeled for to increase sales. You can add simple words to make key phrases longer as well.  You might want to look out for “face wash for dry skin” in the winter to help you find products that make more sales. Knowing what keywords people are typing in will help you generate more sales that just using a basic one- or two-word phrase. 

2. Use Links In Content

Some people think they can just throw an Amazon banner at the top of their website and hope that they’ll generate a lot of sales. Something that is incredibly underused is putting links in your content. If you’re writing a blog post about your favorite beauty products, why not share a link for one of the products via your own referral link? If you don’t use this method, you’re basically saying, “Oh, that’s okay. I’ll just hope they click on the blatant advertisement on my page.”  Links in your content is such an easy way to increase sales on products you’re actually writing about! It’s a must! 

3. Heat Maps Are Important 

A heat map is something that will track where people are clicking on your website. This can help determine if people are clicking on your affiliate links. Some people will click on things that won’t lead them anywhere, which can lead to frustration.  A heat map will also keep track of the amount of clicks you have from specific pages. This tells you whether or not people are actually using the links you’re providing. If you see that a page of your website isn’t getting clicks for whatever reason, look it over and see if the page needs to be updated or if links need to be moved around. 

4. Have A Best Sellers List 

Best Sellers ListWe’re going to be using skincare as an example for the rest of this article. Let’s say you want to increase the amount of sales that you’re making from the Amazon links on your blog posts. Some people will tell you to use a comparison chart within your articles, and that is a great idea, but you should also have a best seller’s list.  This list will focus on a specific category, like skincare, and you’ll share the top products for that specific category. Just because you like one product from a brand, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone clicking on your link. This is why having a best seller’s list is important; it gives a wider range of products that more people can relate to. 

5. Pay Attention To Competition

It’s important to pay attention to your competition. As an Associate, you may be referring people to a specific face wash. There are tons of other face wash products available for purchase, but chances are you don’t have a referral link for all of your competitors products.  This is where having a best seller’s list can come in handy. You can curate a list of your favorite products that you’re Associated with so you still make money, but there is a wide enough variety that the list can be applied to almost anyone.  You also want to pay attention when competing products are on sale or have promotions. This can drastically affect your sales, so it’s crucial to stay updated at all times.

5 Tips For Amazon Affiliates

Below you’ll find five helpful tips if you’re interested in becoming an Amazon Affiliate. Just like the Amazon Associates tips and tricks, you’re free to take some notes and try however many of these tips as you’d like! To make the most money and have the highest chance of success, consider using all the tips at least once! 

1. Personalization

Personalizing what you’re recommending is a great tip to use when you’re creating your referral lists. You can do this by putting things in an organized list that makes it easy for your audience to find specific products. You can break things down into categories like “skincare” or “kitchen tools”.  You can use fun titles that are personalized to your brand that your audience may associate with you. This can help pull people in and whenever they need that product, they’ll likely think of you and then use your link!

2. Follow Up

Following up with people who plan to use your link or already have is not only a great way to be involved with your referrals, but it also is an awesome way to connect with your audience. You can do this via email or direct message. Ask them how they liked the product and if they had an easy time using your link.  You can even pick their brain by asking them if they’d change anything to better their experience. There are few things that people love more than they love being heard. Allowing someone to share their opinion with you is a great business strategy all around! 

3. Be Honest

It’s true that you may sell more products if you pick everything and anything that comes your way, but it’s important to be honest as an affiliate. You’ve read a bit about how it’s crucial to stand by the products you’re telling your audience about. You don’t have to say that you’ve tried this amazing face wash that works wonders if you’ve never actually tried the product.  People enjoy honesty and are more likely to buy a product that they know someone they look up to actually uses and enjoys. It also can come across way less sales-pitchy if you truly love the product. You may also want to consider what the product itself is promoting.  Your audience may not like it if you’re promoting a meal replacement shake if you have a blog promoting body positivity. This is why it’s important to not only keep your brand honest, but cohesive as well. 

4. Stay Updated

Let’s use face wash as an example again. If you have a face wash that you’re referring to your audience and the same company that makes the face wash comes out with a moisturizer that pairs well, considering giving it a try to see if you want to suggest it to your audience.  Products are always becoming new and improved, so it’s important to stay on top of the game. This way you’re more likely to make more income and have people love the products as much as you do! Last minute tip: keep your website updated as well by putting in new links and bringing some life to old blogs! 

5. Share The LoveShare The Love

If you find yourself successful as an Amazon affiliate, tell your friends and family about it! Let them in on how easy and fun it can be to become an affiliate. It doesn’t cost you anything and you’ll be helping your loved ones make some extra cash! Sounds like a win-win to us! 

Frequently Asked Questions

We at Long Tail Pro understand that all of this information can be hard to digest. You may be left with questions, which is exactly why we wanted to share with you a few of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to being an Amazon Associate vs. Amazon Affiliate. Let’s take a look and hopefully answer any questions you may have. 

How much can you make as an Amazon affiliate? 

The answer to this can vary so much that it’s hard to give an upfront answer. A person can make anywhere between $0 to $30,000 a month as an Amazon Affiliate. The longer you’re doing it and the more experience you have, the more likely you are to bring in a higher paycheck.  You get a certain percentage based upon what category the product you’re referring people to falls under. Some categories have a 4% commission, while others have percentages closer to 10.

Do you get paid by how many clicks your link gets?

Amazon Affiliates and Associates do not get paid by how many clicks they receive. You are strictly paid via the amount of sales you make from your link. You can have 10,000 clicks in a month, but if no one bought what you’re referring, you won’t be seeing a paycheck from Amazon that month. 

Can I buy things through my own Amazon affiliate link?

While you can use other people’s affiliate links, unfortunately, you cannot purchase products through your own link. If you think you’re tricky by using a different Amazon account to make a purchase through your link, it won’t work. You can use this as an opportunity to support other Affiliates and Associates. 

Can I put Amazon affiliate links on Facebook?

You can absolutely put your Affiliate or Associate links on your own personal Facebook posts. What you can’t do is buy a Facebook Ad to promote your specific link. If you do so, you’ll get kicked out of the program for good.  

Does it cost anything to become an Amazon Associate?

No, becoming an Amazon Associate or Affiliate is free to the public. 

Final Words

Now you’re a little more educated on Amazon Associates vs. Amazon Affiliates. These are both great options to make a little extra money every month, especially if you have a large audience. One of the biggest perks is that you can refer products that you actually stand by. Often times you’ll see celebrities and bloggers advertising a product just because the paycheck is nice, but they rarely actually use the product.  Using a referral link will show your audience that you’ve actually tried these products and trust them to work well for them. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while to start making a noticeable income from either of these methods. Keep trying and sharing your love for the products you’re referring people to. Good luck on your Amazon adventure!

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  1. Harold Adams

    I really like all of your content and as usual this also very amazing information for me, by the way, thanks for sharing this.

    • Long Tail Pro Team

      You’re welcome. Glad to know that you find the post helpful.

  2. Anthony

    What’s the difference between an Affiliate and an Associate as far as set up? As far as I can tell, the sign up links lead to the same place. Video linked also describes a method of signing up for Associates while saying its for Affiliates. Does this mean Associates and Affiliates program is the same thing?

  3. Ritesh nayak

    I am able to clear my complete doubt.
    Thank you!


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