In 1994, Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos and began as an online bookstore. Very quickly, Amazon diversified under Bezos’ leadership and became the largest online retailer in the world, offering anything you can think of like clothing, electronics, video game consoles and more.
Amazon also began dominating many other sectors as well, including cloud computing, digital streaming and artificial intelligence. Amazon has continuously found ways to disrupt the market, enhance the customer experience, and has completely transformed the way we shop online.
Amazon provides a lucrative opportunity for small businesses to grow and sell their products by offering digital real estate for sellers to create their own Amazon storefront and allow their customers to purchase products and services using their reliable and trusted platform.
But what if you don’t have a small business or products of your own to sell? This is where Amazon Influencer comes in. In this article, I am going to cover exactly how to become an Amazon Influencer so you can start getting paid.
Influencer marketing is something that has been around even since Myspace. Businesses know the power that ordinary people with a social media following can have over their audience and will often reach out to these influencers to use their reach and get their businesses to their target audience.
The Amazon Influencer Program was rolled out in 2017 by Amazon and allows social media influencers to have a presence and an impact on the shopping experience of Amazon’s customers. The Amazon Influencer program works by allowing creators of content to earn a commission on any sales that are a result of their efforts.
Before Amazon Influencer came to be, we had Amazon Associates. Which still exists and is very widely used today.
The main difference between Amazon Associates and Amazon Influencer is that in order to earn commissions from sales as an Amazon Associate, you will need to drive traffic using your own sources to a product page through your affiliate link and then the visitor must make a purchase. Amazon Associates is very similar to any other ordinary affiliate program, which a lot of companies offer.
As an influencer, you get the ability to create an Amazon storefront right on Amazon’s website. This means your audience can make purchases, resulting in earned commissions for the Influencer, as well as the ability to create video content that will display directly on the product listing pages. When shoppers view your video on the listing page and then make the purchase, you will earn a commission on that sale.
The biggest benefit to this is that instead of sending buyers from a social media platform, you are marketing to buyers that are already shopping on the website.
See Related Article: How To Make Money With Amazon Affiliate Marketing in 2023
As mentioned above, the Amazon Influencer Program gives you the opportunity to earn commissions on product sales that happen as a result of a shopper watching your video. When you can place these videos right on the product listing pages, this means the shopper already has their wallet in their hand and is ready to purchase.
Because of this, the type of content required to generate the sale is very different, and quite frankly easier to make, than the type of content you would need to create to be successful with any other affiliate program you would promote from your social media accounts.
Another reason the Amazon Influencer Program is so lucrative is because once you create a video and get it ranking on the product listing page, the rest of the process is hands off. Commissions will come in passively as your video is seen and the products are purchased from the people that were going to find their way to the listing anyways without your influence.
You are simply just helping shoppers make a buying decision and when it works, you are compensated for that.
These are the results from my first 7 days of posting videos as an Amazon Influencer:
While $35 isn’t anything to write home about, It is important to note that these earnings were the result of 10 videos I created to review products that I had lying around my house already. Some of them weren’t even purchased from Amazon, but because they are sold there, I am eligible for commissions when I create content about them.
Getting into the Amazon Influencer Program is like an exclusive club, not just anyone can get in. While the Amazon Associates Program is open to just about anyone, Amazon requires you to have a social media presence to get accepted to the Amazon Influencer Program.
This is not a requirement I necessarily disagree with. Without it, you’d have anyone and everyone on Amazon making subpar quality content in an attempt to reach into Amazon’s pocket to fill their own. So as part of Amazon’s commitment to enhance the customer buying experience, they are only letting you in if you are eligible.
But don’t sweat it. I’m going to cover everything you need to know and do step by step so you can not only get approved, but also create winning content for winning products and actually get a return for the effort you put into building your amazon storefront.
The first thing you will need to even be taken into consideration for the Amazon Influencer Program is to have an established social media presence in at least 1 of these 4 places:
You will have to provide Amazon with your profile information during the application process, then someone will review your profile and look at your followers and the overall engagement of your audience. They do not disclose the number of followers or any specific engagement metrics for approval, but they aren’t too terribly strict.
If you currently do not have a presence on social media, I would recommend starting with Instagram. Instagram has a lot of features that can make growing an audience of engaged followers less complicated, and Amazon Influencer is currently allowing creators that include an Instagram account in the application to join more freely.
My first time applying to the Amazon Influencer Program, I used my Tiktok account with 450k followers, and my application was declined after review. When I reapplied using my Instagram account with 4K followers, I was immediately accepted. The same can be said for my wife’s Instagram account, which resulted in an immediate acceptance to the program, and her account only had 2,500 followers at the time of applying.
If you are struggling to grow an audience on social media, I would recommend reading my review article about Legendary Marketer, a company that specializes in teaching you organic social media marketing strategies.
Applying for the program is a very straightforward process. You can apply to the program here.
Navigate to the home page linked above and click the “sign up” button.
Next, it will ask you to create a new account or sign up using an existing customer account. (NOTE: It is important that the email used to create the Amazon Influencer account is the same one that is associated with the social media account you will be using to apply)
In the next step to applying you will be selecting which social media accounts you will be linking to the application and it will require you to sign in to those social media platforms.
At this point you can submit your application and after review, you will receive either an acceptance or a denial.
It’s not over yet. Once your application is approved and you can log in to the Amazon Influencers dashboard, you will want to get approved for on-site commissions and product placement.
In order to have your videos appear directly on the product listings for the products that are in them, you will need to be approved for on-site commissions.
The process for this is very simple, just create your first 3 videos and upload them to the platform. But it is very important that you follow Amazon’s guidelines very closely because these 3 videos will determine if you can earn commissions directly from the listings or just from Amazon’s “Inspire” feed.
After these 3 videos are uploaded, they will go into a review. This can take anywhere from 2-5 business days. Following the review, Amazon will decide if your videos passed the review and then all of your uploads will become eligible for product placement and on-site commissions.
(NOTE: Do not upload more than 3 videos before this review has taken place. They require 3 videos to be uploaded but if you upload more, you will be scrutinized on all of them. This means more opportunities for you to violate a guideline and be declined)
Now you have an Amazon Influencer page, you are approved for on-site commissions, now what?
What strategy should you follow in order to actually earn commissions from the content that you are posting on the platform?
You can just aimlessly create videos about products and post them to the platform and that will net you some commissions. But that can only take you so far. You need to know how to create content that will convert into sales, and you also need to know what products are going to be winners.
Otherwise, it will just be a lot of time spent for pennies in return.
In the next sections, I’m going to tell you exactly what I did to scale my Amazon Influencer payouts to my first few sales, then $10 days, and then $100 days. (Which is $3,000 per month!)
But it doesn’t end there, because this strategy is scalable as well. I’m not claiming this will make you millions of dollars, but it is definitely one of the more lucrative side hustles out there.
Videos that show you panning across a product with a little bit of text on screen describing it will get you some sales, but it isn’t going to get you too far. In order to create videos that will convert on a high level, you need to be addressing the things that the shoppers want you to address.
A great way to figure out what the shoppers are looking for is to turn to the questions.
Every product listing on Amazon has a section for reviews and questions.
When you click on these questions you can see what things that shoppers are wanting to know prior to making the purchase.
If your video answers these questions then you will be providing the answers that a large percentage of shoppers are looking for, which can drive the sale. This is also a sure way to make sure that you stay ranked on the listing because Amazon will see that not only is your video valuable to shoppers, but it is driving a lot of sales and congruent with other keywords relevant to that listing.
Time tested product reviews are a great go to option for products you have used, enjoyed and benefited from. Shoppers want to know personal experience from others who have already purchased the product. Just remember to create honest reviews about the product, as dishonesty won’t come across as authentic content.
Unboxing videos work well to show shoppers what they should expect to receive with the order and to give an authentic initial impression of the product from someone who is unbiased towards it. These videos make for engaging content and will get shoppers to watch more of your video, helping to keep you ranking high on the listing.
If your product requires any assembly, this can be a great way to help Amazon shoppers get a realistic expectation of what will be required of them after making a purchase. This can also help ease anyone who may be hesitant to place an order if they feel like they won’t be capable of putting it all together.
Showing how to use the product for its intended purpose will help Amazon shoppers determine if this will fit the need they will be buying it for. This will also allow them to take comfort in knowing that the product wasn’t misrepresented in any way on the product listing.
Now that you know how to properly create marketing material, let’s talk about getting your first sales.
The best way to get started, and earn your first few commissions as an Amazon Influencer is to simply walk around your house and find every product you can that is sold on Amazon and create a video on it.
You can take this a step further and also go to your friends and relatives and create videos on their products as well. One of the beautiful things about the Amazon Influencers program is that you do not need to have purchased the product on Amazon to create a video on it and earn money.
Look at everything you can think of:
- Kitchen items
- Garage items
- Car items
- The shower curtain
- The door mat
- Your door knobs
All of it!
There are so many things on Amazon that it’ll be a while before you run out of products to make videos about. You just have to walk around and find them.
Before you know it, that first sale will come rolling in and will likely have much more behind it as well.
You can very quickly get this side hustle up to $10, $20, even $50 per day in earned commissions just from the products that you already have on hand.
Eventually, you’re going to run out of products in your house. It’s inevitable. For those of you who may have small apartments or live in a dorm, you may be REALLY limited on your opportunities. So now let’s talk about how you can keep scaling your income when that does happen.
There are a few ways of doing this and they all involve getting your hands on the right products and finding the best opportunities.
Not all products will be winners. Closely analyzing the product listings will show you where there are opportunities you can take advantage of. But before we get into that, just a quick disclaimer.
Do not buy products on Amazon to make videos and then return them right after.
This is a sure-fire way to get your Amazon Influencer account shut down, as well as your shopping account.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s break down what makes a product a winner.
Amazon will allow up to 6 videos to show on any given product listing. So when you are looking for products that can potentially earn you money, if the listing for that product already has 6 videos on it then there is a good chance that your video will never even show up.
Resulting in no views on the video and no money earned.
However, the opposite is also true.
If you look at a listing and there are NO videos currently on the listing, that is also a red flag. All Amazon sellers have the option to turn off videos on their product listing.
So when looking for opportunities to promote products, you want to see that there is at least 1 video on the listing to indicate that videos are turned on, but 5 or less to indicate there is room for your video to show up.
Obviously the more sales a product has, the more money you can make because more people will be looking at the listing.
A lot of times the number of sales is determined using some sort of software or by looking at how many reviews a product has. The problem is though, if a product has 5,000 reviews but has been listed for 8 years on Amazon, that isn’t really a lot of sales. But if it has been listed for 2 months and it has 5,000 reviews, that’s a great indication of a hot product.
Here’s a couple of ways to determine how much a product is selling without any software or tools:
If you can identify 10 or more reviews that have been posted in the last week, that is a good sign. Navigate to the product reviews and ratings and sort by “most recent”.
Typically, only 5-10% of buyers will come back and leave a review or rating. So if there are at least 10 of them in the past week, it is safe to assume the product was purchased 50-100 times.
In this case, we can see there were 8 reviews over the last 2 days.
In cases of VERY high volume, Amazon will actually tell you right on the listing a ballpark figure for how many times the product was purchased.
In this example, you can see that this product was purchased 20,000 times in the past week
Now that you know how to become an Amazon Influencer, how to create content that sells and how to find winning products that you can leverage to earn money, how do you actually get these products and remain profitable?
There are a few ways of doing this, but first we need to understand the math. Here is a screenshot of the Amazon Influencer Program commission sheet:
Using this information, let’s say that you found an opportunity on a listing for a $100 pair of headphones, which at the time of writing this article will pay you a 3% commission on all sales generated after watching your video. That means you will be paid $3 per sale.
You could very well just buy the headphones and make the video to get ranked on the listing. But before doing this, we need to acknowledge that we are now attaching a cost of advertising to our efforts. We don’t already have the headphones so we would need to spend money to acquire them and make money.
According to the math, we now need to generate 34 sales of this headphone before we get into profit.
Product Cost ($100) x Commission (3%) = $3
34 Sales x $3 Commission = $102
Earned Commission ($102) – Product Cost ($100) = $2 in Profit
As you can see, we are introducing risk to the strategy. All businesses require some level of risk so this is okay, but we want to minimize that risk as much as possible. So let’s explore a few ways to do that.
If we are looking at a product that appears to be a winner based on analysis and it is selling at a very high volume, it is safe to say that we will make our money back and be able to generate a lot of profit afterward. This is okay and I’ve done this with a lot of products. Only 1 time out of many has it not worked out and this was because my video was outperformed on the listing and stopped getting views.
A lot of products that are on Amazon can be found in places like Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, In thrift stores and consignment shops, Wal-Mart, etc.
When you find a winner, do some research and see if you can come up with the same product at a cheaper price.
This is an easy one. If there is a product that you were going to buy anyways, consider it a win-win. Look at the best sellers for that product and grab one that will match what you’re looking for and has a listing with room for you to get your video ranked. You were going to buy it anyway, just make sure it can pay for itself.
This doesn’t always work. In one instance I purchased a shoe rack that looked like a winner (and it was) with the intention of just selling it on Facebook Marketplace after I assembled it. Well, I still have the shoe rack and I’m getting tired of looking at it.
But this can be a very viable method when you can see that there are others selling that same product pre-owned. This will allow you to recoup most of your initial investment, making your break even much lower.
This likely isn’t going to make you a millionaire. However, there are so many products available on Amazon that it cannot get saturated either. Also taking into consideration that you will create a video 1 time and it will continue to make you money at a high conversion rate, it is extremely scalable.
Let’s take a look at 1 possibility for how much income can be earned.
Suppose you are creating 1 video per day for an entire month, equaling 30 videos.
Conservatively, only 50% of those videos rank on a product listing and can earn you commissions.
You are converting at a low conversion rate of 4% and every product sells 1,000 units per month.
We will also say that 10% of those buyers looked at your video and all 15 products sell for $100.
100 Buyers x 15 videos = 1500 video views
Commission is $3
1500 views x 4% conversion = 60 sales
60 sales x $3 = $180 in Revenue
This is a very conservative example. But now the following month you step up your game and create double the videos, doubling your result plus you are still collecting from last month’s videos. I think you see where this can go.
Overall, the Amazon Influencer Program as a side hustle comes in at a 10/10 for me. This is something I wish I discovered sooner and will continue to do ongoing.
Because of how simple and low effort the Amazon Influencer Program really is, when paired with the earning potential, this is definitely one you need to try out whether you’re looking to just supplement with some extra income, or break out into the freelance space and need a jump start to get you going.