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How To Become an Amazon Affiliate: The Latest Information From My Own Experience

Is it easy to become an Amazon affiliate nowadays?

I had to apply twice before I finally became a member of the Amazon Accosiates Program. My first application got rejected, but I did not give up! Read about my experience below.

Applying For Amazon Associates Program

Nowadays applying for Amazon Affiliate seems to be easy: Make a website and… apply! The fun starts after.
To fill up the application, I used this video as a reference in order to avoid making mistakes.

The guy in the video suggests to not use any other money making tools on your first Amazon website, even an AdSence. But it does not look like being a concern – you will read about it in the end of the post.

After I applied, I got an invitation email. The email revealed what would happen next:

Thank you for applying to the Amazon.com Associates Program. You have been granted full access to Associates Central–the online resource area for Amazon.com Associates…
Your application will be reviewed shortly after you have referred your first sale to Amazon.com
You’ll receive another email from us officially welcoming you to the Program after we’ver reviewed your website and application…
If your affiliate links have not referred a sale after 180 days, your application and access to Associates Central will be withdrawn.

How To Become an Amazon Affiliate: Welcome Email from Amazon

As you can see, Amazon reviews a new account only after the first sale happens. It made me wonder if I want to invest a lot of resources into my first website before finding out whether I am moving to the right direction. As my experience showed I was not – you will find out more about below in the post.

The second thing is that Amazon gives a new affiliate about 6 months to make a first sale. Otherwise, the account will be closed. It made me think whether applying with a fresh new website which is still in Google Sandbox is a good idea. It may take up to 6 months for a new website to get out of the sandbox, and it may be possible that by that time Amazon will have closed the account due to lack of sales.

So, after submitting an application, the only thing is left to wait until the first sale comes in.

Is Getting Approved Easy?

The answer is yes and no. It can be easy or hard – all depends on how your understanding of what a niche website is.

As you already know, I have built my first website with HumanProofDesigns (read my review of HPD here). I used this website to apply for an Amazon affiliate account for the first time.

A few weeks later I bought a 1-year-old website which has a partial revenue coming from Amazon Affiliates. I added it to my existing account which still had a pending status. I got a first sale very quickly…. only in order to find out that my application was rejected.

The application was rejected due to one or more of the following reasons:

– Lack of unique content which is original to your site and beneficial to your visitors
– Pages that are mainly empty when advertisement content is removed

How To Become an Amazon Affiliate: Rejected

Since I had 2 websites attached to the same account, I was not sure which one was Amazon-unfriendly. This was important to find out because if it was the website I bought it could break the sale.

So, I asked Amazon by replying to the rejection email, and…

…I was surprised to see that they replied back to me in two hours! I was even more surprised to see that they rejected my first website – the one I got from HumanProofDesings.

Apparently, they review only the website that the application was submitted with even if the sale comes from a different URL.

They wrote a long message explaining what’s wrong with the website and how to improve it (in general words, of course). The reason they stated was that the website content was mainly made of ads (I assume by ads they meant Amazon links) and was lacking a real value for the customers and personal experience.

By that time, I had added only 2 new posts to 8 others that were created by HPD, and my posts were pretty much a carbon copy of the original ones.

How the posts were written:

  • each post is a review of 3-4 Amazon products;
  • each product has 4 sections:
    • an introduction;
    • pros;
    • cons;
    • a conclusion;
  • in the end, each post has a final conclusion that explains which product is the best and why.

None of the posts had any “personal experience” that Amazon was craving for.

I told Dom, the owner of Human Proof Design, about the rejection. Dom said that it might be that the person who reviewed the website was stricter than usual. He suggested me to re-apply with the same website.

I did not do that because I did not want to risk being rejected again. I needed to confirm the Amazon earnings of the website I bought, and the seller and EmpireFlippers were waiting for it.

Finally Approved! I Become an Amazon Affiliate

After receiving the explanation from Amazon why my first application got rejected and what was wrong with the website, I decided to ask them another question.

This time, I sent them the URL of the website I bought and asked whether this website had any chances of being approved.

They replied pretty quickly. The answer was positive – the representative was pretty much sure that this website will pass into the system.

So, I applied for the second time, with the website I bought.

The first sale came in about a week, and in a day after I finally got the approval email.

How To Become an Amazon Affiliate: Approved

I was so happy to see this email! I felt like I won a lottery prize 🙂

How To Make a Proper Amazon Affiliate Website

So, what makes the approved website so special that Amazon liked it?

It is structured as a blog. It is actually a blog in which the owner talks about his house and his experience using the products the website is about.

The website has some product reviews. However, the information is not taken from the Amazon reviews but is rather based on a personal experience. The text is written in the first-person style.

The website has about 30 posts and pages and only 4 Amazon affiliate links. I am not sure whether this ratio is important, but it might be.

And, of course, the website was free from the flaws that Al-Amin Kabir described in a very useful post These Mistakes Will Get You Banned As An Amazon Affiliate. If it can get you banned, it will definitely not help you to become approved!

And now, as promised, more info about applying with a website running AdSence.

This website does have AdSense running on it. While applying with it, I honestly specified it. After all, the reviewer will see it anyway, and I did not want to lose money by disabling AdSence for the approval period. As it turned out, it did not affect the application approval.

So, here is the winning recipe of a starter Amazon website. Grab it and make your own website that will be approved by Amazon!

Good luck!
Top photo credit: EssjayNZ / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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