When it comes to affiliate marketing, the task of reading through the detailed policies and regulations can be a tedious and unexciting process. However, neglecting this crucial step can lead to serious consequences such as losing the opportunity to earn commissions or being removed from the affiliate program altogether. Let’s discuss Amazon affiliate links on Medium.com.
Recently, someone asked me about using Amazon links in their Medium articles. Amazon Associates is a popular program among bloggers and content creators to earn money through referrals to Amazon products and services. It’s a free program and is often the first choice for bloggers looking to monetize their websites due to Amazon’s vast range of offerings.
As one of the largest affiliate networks on the internet, it’s not uncommon to come across Amazon affiliate links in Medium articles. However, I couldn’t find a clear answer about whether it was allowed or not after scouring through Amazon’s extensive agreement page and conducting online research. So, I decided to delve deeper into the subject and share my opinion to provide clarity for those who may be wondering about the same thing.
Medium.com’s Rules on Affiliate Links
Amazon affiliate links on Medium.com, is it permitted?
Medium.com has a strict policy that prohibits affiliate marketing and advertorial articles on its platform. Additionally, they have stringent rules that forbid banners and advertisements.
Nonetheless, Medium allows affiliate links within your content as long as your articles adhere to their content guidelines and are properly disclosed according to the FTC regulations. In fact, their help article gives an example of linking out to Amazon.
From Medium’s perspective, including Amazon links in your articles isn’t an issue, as long as you don’t incorporate banners or advertising images in your content.
However, it’s also important to consider Amazon’s standpoint.
Amazon’s Rules on Affiliate Links
In 2018, I joined the Amazon Associates program for my blogs and it has been generating a decent income of around $2k per year. Despite this, I have never used my Amazon links on Medium as the policy only mentions “your site,” and it wasn’t clear if links could be placed on other pages.
To clarify, I reached out to Amazon and inquired about the matter, but the response I received wasn’t entirely helpful as the person answering my query appeared unfamiliar with Medium. Therefore I did not get a clear answer on whether Amazon affiliate links on Medium.com is allowed or not.
However, they did mention that links are allowed on specific social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch, but only if the account is public, well-established with a significant number of followers, and connected to your application.
Further Explanation from Amazon
Based on my communication with Amazon, it seems that they view Medium as a social media platform that is not on their approved list. Additionally, they require all links to be on public pages, which presents a problem as my posts on Medium are only visible to paying members due to the Medium Partner Program’s metering.
While technically, they are public to non-members who have viewed less than three articles on Medium in the past month, it is unclear whether Medium pages are considered “public.” Posting free articles on Medium is a solution, but I am unwilling to forgo revenue from the internal network.
Moreover, Medium is not explicitly noted as an approved site to share affiliate links, and although some people may have used them on Medium, I could not get confirmation from Amazon that it is allowed. While I am unaware of anyone getting banned from the Amazon Associates program for using links on Medium, I will refrain from using them until I receive explicit permission.
Is Medium.com worth placing Amazon’s, Affiliate Link?
To be honest, I don’t consider using Amazon affiliate links on Medium.com to be a major issue, whether it’s allowed or not. This is because the commission rates in the Amazon Associates program are not very high. Unless you are promoting luxury beauty products or Amazon games, most sales will only give you a 1-5% cut, with the majority of products falling in the 3-4% range. (In contrast, most other affiliate programs offer commissions in the range of 10-40%.)
Therefore, to make money with Amazon Associates, you need to have a consistent flow of traffic and make a high volume of sales regularly. However, on Medium, your articles do not have the same long-term value as a search engine-optimized blog post.
Despite Medium’s high domain authority, I do not try to get my articles indexed or ranked on Google because:
- To optimize my posts for ranking, I would typically have to make them longer than what the average Medium reader prefers.
- Medium has made it clear that they will not index articles attempting to exploit their domain authority for the purpose of ranking on Google and making affiliate sales.
In other words, the best approach to successfully incorporating affiliate links into your Medium articles is to write articles that appeal to Medium’s readership rather than to search engines. Amazon links are not ideal for this strategy.
Conclusion on Amazon affiliate links on Medium.com
If my assumption is correct and it is confirmed that Amazon links are NOT permitted on Medium. Please inform me of a source to back up the claim, and I will revise this article accordingly.
However, even if Amazon links are allowed, I maintain that Medium is not an ideal platform for affiliate marketing with Amazon.
Thankfully, there are numerous other affiliate programs that can be more profitable on Medium, while still adhering to the platform’s principles.
For instance, I have earned more than $2800 in affiliate sales by choosing my affiliate programs carefully and using a strategic approach to promote them on Medium.