What’s the difference between being an Amazon Influencer vs affiliate?
Can you be both?….and most importantly, which pays more?
These were some of the questions I found myself asking prior to becoming an Amazon Influencer. Most everywhere I searched online had information about the Amazon Associates program, but scarce information on the Influencer program.
Now that I can report on my experience, I wanted to share with you the answers to these questions and so much more.
Amazon Influencer vs Affiliate Program
First and foremost, you can be both an Amazon Influencer and Amazon affiliate. That’s because the Influencer program is simply an extension of the online Associates program.
Both programs offer similar features such as reporting and online account management. Though each program is geared towards one type of creator versus another.
Which program is better for you as a creator? Let’s take a look.
What is the Amazon Affiliate Program?
The Amazon affiliate program, or Associates program, is Amazon’s affiliate marketing program. Content creators such as website owners and bloggers join for the opportunity to promote products found on Amazon, and earn commissions on sales.
The way it works is that bloggers use tools such as Elementor and WPX to build an affiliate website. They write SEO-based content to rank on the first page of Google, and insert Amazon affiliate links throughout their content as appropriate.
When a reader finds their blog and clicks on an Amazon affiliate link, a special cookie in browser attributes any sale made on Amazon to the website owner.
The program works similar to the Walmart affiliate program, and can be very lucrative for associates who know how to use SEO tools to rank on Google.
The great part about this strategy is you don’t have to pay for advertising to drive traffic to your Amazon affiliate links. You can rank your blog organically and cut down time in creating content with AI tools that write blog posts for you.
Does Amazon Pay Per Click?
Amazon’s affiliate program does not pay per click. Instead, they offer a commission schedule where you earn between 1% – 20% commissions on qualified purchases.
Additionally, special bounty events have the ability to earn you higher commissions of between $2 – $25 per conversion.
Since some categories pay you more than others, you may want to check Amazon’s commission rates prior to deciding on a niche for your affiliate blog.
I became an affiliate of Amazon a few years back, but have only promoted Amazon products sparingly on my blog. Instead, I opted to focus on promoting higher commissions affiliate programs to turn my blogging side hustle into a full-time income much faster.
This is not to say that an Amazon focused affiliate blog won’t get you to full-time status fast. It's simply a preference I had when I first started blogging.
Some bloggers, such as Dale from Blogging her Way, quickly get to $500 – $1,000 per month in Amazon affiliate income. So it’s totally possible to earn quick money with the program. Amazon affiliates also experience much higher sales conversions due to the enormous trust factor that shopping on Amazon offers to consumers.
Learn How to Build a Profitable Affiliate Website
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Does it cost money to be an affiliate?
It does not cost you anything to become an Amazon affiliate. You can apply today at no charge to you. In most cases, affiliate programs will not charge you for applying and promoting their products + services.
Who Can Apply to be an Amazon Associate?
Any content creator with a blog, app, or social channels can apply to join. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 10 blog posts written, or 500 active followers on your social media accounts to avoid getting rejected.
Difference between Amazon Affiliate and Influencer
Amazon affiliates and Influencers differ in their monetization opportunities, promotional capabilities and necessary requirements to apply.
Additionally, Influencers can create custom Amazon storefronts where they can promote all products in one single place. Whereas, Amazon affiliates have access to special links to promote individual products.
This one distinction allows Influencers to seamlessly promote their entire Amazon catalog URL on social media sites. On the other hand, Amazon affiliates typically can not directly promote affiliate links on their social profiles due to FTC regulations and Associates program compliance requirements.
Recommended Read: Pinners can now post affiliate links on Pinterest Idea Pins
This makes the Amazon Influencer program most beneficial to creators who have a large following on social media vs bloggers who would benefit most from being an Amazon affiliate.
The good news is you don’t have to pick one or the other.
As an Amazon Influencer, you’re encouraged to use tools of the Associates program, such as Site Strip or Product Links, to link to individual product pages.
To be considered for the Influencer program you’ll need to apply, as well as meet Amazon’s criteria for acceptance. These include having a YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or TikTok account with a decent number of followers and engagement.
If applying using an Instagram or Facebook account, you’re required to have a business account.
My Experience as an Amazon Influencer
I applied to the Amazon Influencer program with my YouTube channel.
At the time of application, I was just shy of 9,000 subscribers and had a solid amount of engagement on my videos. Those metrics got me immediately accepted into the program.
I’ve also heard of social media influencers with just 500 followers being accepted into the program. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a high follower count. Amazon wants to see that you have an active following with high engagement!
Once I became an AMZ Influencer, I was able to create my custom store on Amazon, have shoppable content and earn Onsite commissions.
Amazon Influencer Storefront
An Amazon Influencer storefront is where you recommend products on Amazon to your followers. You’ll be able to create shoppable content such as video product reviews, Idea Lists, photos, and livestreams where applicable.
You can send people directly to your store with your Amazon Influencer vanity storefront link, which looks something like this: https://www.amazon.com/shop/pilarnewman.
Video Product Reviews
As an influencer, you can create video product reviews of recommended items, and tag these videos with the product found on Amazon. These videos may be placed on product detail pages for Amazon shoppers to view. (if applicable)
Idea Lists #AmazonFinds
You can also create shoppable product lists centered around a topic or customer profile. Then use hashtags in the list description such as #FoundItOnAmazon or #AmazonFinds to make your list searchable on Google.
Shoppable photos are images displayed on your storefront with a tagged link to Amazon product detail pages. Use these to tell a story on how to use a product, or show the benefits of it to further guide the viewer into making a purchasing decision.
Livestreams are where Influencers curate their must have Amazon products and top deals on Amazon Live broadcasts. Amazon shoppers browsing the product detail page can chime in with questions and comments during the QVC-like broadcast.
Amazon also recently launched Inspire, an in-app TikTok-like shoppable feed. It’s Amazon’s attempt to enter the social commerce space and take on the likes of TikTok, which is also rolling out shoppable videos.
For that reason, Amazon is aggressively recruiting influencers to create these videos for them. This makes becoming an Amazon Influencer vs affiliate a worthwhile venture to get into right now.
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Influencers Earn Onsite Commissions
One of the big perks to being an Influencer vs affiliate is the ability to earn with Amazon Onsite commissions.
Shoppable content that you upload to your storefront may be selected to appear on product detail pages as shoppers browse products. If so, Amazon will reward you Onsite commissions when your shoppable content leads to the purchase of that product.
This means you can earn affiliate commissions from traffic that is already shopping on Amazon! This makes the Amazon Influencer program one of the best side hustles for social media influencers.
OnSite Commission Rates
OnSite commission rates are different from the Associates program commission rates. Even though in some cases the rates may be lower, the increase in traffic from which you can earn, more than makes up for this.
For these commissions, Amazon will create a separate OnSite store-ID to track sales. According to Amazon, “Your Onsite Store ID does not affect or change your rates for traffic you send to Amazon, including your storefront or other pages you link to on Amazon.”
This means you'll continue to earn associates commission rates from off-site traffic you direct to Amazon that convert into sales.
Since starting the Amazon Influencer program 7 weeks ago (from when I wrote this post), I've so far earned a total of $364.02 in OnSite commissions. It's a lot more than I expected, especially since I rarely promote products found on Amazon!
For me, I've found this program to be beneficial as a viable new stream of income in my affiliate marketing business.
Final Verdict: Which Pays More?
If you compare commission rates side-by-side, then you’ll notice certain product categories pay more as an Amazon Influencer vs affiliate and vice versa.
If comparing it in that manner, it would depend on which Amazon product category you're promoting to determine which pays more.
Ultimately, the Amazon Influencer program provides more opportunities to earn Amazon commissions than it does to be solely an Amazon affiliate.
In that case, my personal verdict is that being an Amazon Influencer vs affiliate will earn you more creator commissions overall.
Amazon Influencer vs Affiliate Conclusion
Amazon has come a long way since its days of being an online bookstore with the best prices on the web. Nowadays, Amazon offers so much more including on-demand video streaming, fast delivery Grocery shopping, Amazon music and in-home services.
During this time, consumers have also changed the way they shop. More people are buying products based on recommendations from their favorite influencers right within the social media apps they found them on.
This social commerce trend is paving the way for the new Amazon shopping experience, where Influencers have become a big part of the equation.
So while Amazon affiliates can still earn great money with the Associates program, social media influencers are in high demand and the Amazon Influencer program is one such example of this trend.
In this case, it pays to be an Amazon Influencer!
- Amazon Influencer vs Affiliate Program
- What is the Amazon Affiliate Program?
- Difference between Amazon Affiliate and Influencer
- My Experience as an Amazon Influencer
- Amazon Influencer Storefront
- Influencers Earn Onsite Commissions
- Final Verdict: Which Pays More?
- Amazon Influencer vs Affiliate Conclusion
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