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In an effort to leverage the current momentum around social media influencers, Amazon has launched its own Influencer Program designed to attract top tastemakers and trendsetters. If you’re able to show Amazon that you’re a top influencer with the ability to sell products online, the company will give you a dedicated Amazon storefront where you can sell a set of curated products and make a commission off each sale.
How the Amazon Influencer program works
The way the Amazon Influencer program is set up, it’s designed to be a “win-win” for both the influencer and Amazon. For the influencer, it’s a great way to make some extra money simply by promoting products that can be purchased on Amazon. And for Amazon, it’s a way to drive additional sales of products that people might not naturally think to buy on Amazon.
For that reason, Amazon is giving away the biggest commissions to people who push Amazon’s private fashion line. You can also receive attractive commissions of 7-8 percent if you sell furniture or jewelry. However, commissions tend to drop precipitously as you sell lower-value items. If you’re a “mom influencer,” for example, you’ll only get a 3 percent commission if you’re hawking toys for kids online. And if you’re selling low-margin items like books, well, you can pretty much forget about making any kind of real money online.
So how much money can you realistically expect to earn? If you scour the web to see what social media influencers are saying about the program, the common consensus appears to be that, for now, the Amazon Influencer program is really much more of a “side hustle” than anything else. For example, one influencer with 50,000 Instagram followers and 10,000+ YouTube fans said you could only make a maximum of $100 per day. That’s about $3,000 a month if you’re lucky.
The hard work of selling products online
But, again, there’s a lot of work that goes into being an influencer. According to Amazon, you need to mostly focus on writing reviews and setting up curated lists. It all sounds so easy – “recommend products and get rewarded.” Except that there’s a lot of work that goes into that process. In today’s world, people want video reviews and branded entertainment, not traditional written reviews. For example, in the highlight reel for the program, Amazon shows influencers going to great lengths to get the right camera shot, the right lighting, and the right aesthetic.
In other words, you’re basically running your own QVC shopping channel, creating quick infomercials for products that you think you can sell online. Amazon specifically says that it’s looking for influencers who post a lot about “shoppable content,” so the program is really designed for influencers who are in certain e-commerce friendly industries and niches.
For example, if you were a travel blogger, you’d presumably have to shift your focus from reviewing great hotels and great resorts to reviewing luxury travel bags and high-end cameras. If you were a foodie blogger, you’d presumably have to shift your focus from reviewing restaurants and meals to reviewing the latest line of chef-quality cooking knives and expensive cookware.
Which is to say that this program might not be for everyone. It’s easy enough to sign up for the program – Amazon says it just needs to see a link to your Instagram, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter account and it will make a snap decision of whether or not to add you to the program. And, certainly, who could argue with nice, juicy 8 percent commissions on selling items like expensive furniture? If you’re into the QVC lifestyle, maybe this is for you. But just don’t think that you’ll be able to quit your regular day job by only recommending and curating products for Amazon.