I have been an Amazon Associate almost since day one as a blogger. It's not a program I put a lot of effort into as most of what I link to are books about working from home or the occasional headset or keyboard as they fit into a blog post. Still, I can bring in several hundred dollars a month from Amazon in affiliate commissions. I'll take it.
As it's not a primary earner on my site, I don't pay much attention to announcements and new features over there. I get like 600 emails a day. I only have so much bandwidth to go around. Therefore, I must have missed the new Influencer opportunity. I ran across a discussion on Facebook this past week and decided to check it out.
How is Influencer different than Associate?
With the Amazon Influencer program, you don't need a website or blog. This program was designed with social media influencers in mind. You simply need an engaged followership on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
If you apply with Twitter or YouTube, you will get an immediate response. Instagram and Facebook are personally vetted and may take up to 5 days. I applied with my YouTube channel and was instantly accepted. They don't list any minimum qualifications on their site, but I currently have around 6,800 YouTube subscribers if you are wondering. (You don't need to be approved for each platform. Just one.)
What makes this program really different is that you aren't sharing links to individual products. Instead, Amazon sets you up with a virtual storefront of sorts – your Influencer Page. You can add product recommendations along with a little note about the product. You then share the vanity URL to your Influencer page as a whole. (Ex. Mine is https://www.amazon.com/shop/angienelson.)
Where things get really awesome for those of us familiar with the Amazon Associates program is that you can share your Influencer link within emails. Emails! This is strictly prohibited with the Associates program. As an Influencer you still can't link to individual products within emails, just your page. Still sounds good to me. (You can find the terms in the Operating Agreement, under Influencer Program Policy Section 1(c).
Now, Amazon does not provide you with free product. I assume that would be a question that comes up since that's a common brand-influencer relationship. This is simply giving you another way to share your recommendations and increase your commissions.
That being said, being accepted as an Influencer does open a few other opportunities. Some like Amazon Giveaways, Merch and Video Shorts may be things you are already familiar with. New to me:
- You can share Amazon promo codes. I got an email about a promo code for something listed in on my Influencer page yesterday. Pretty cool.
- If you are a fashion influencer, you can receive additional perks like product gifts, sponsorships and more. Hopefully, this will expand to other industries soon.
I've also heard through the grapevine that Amazon occasionally offers Influencers other incentives for sharing their link. I better start watching my emails better. 😉
How Do I Add Stuff to My Influencer Page?
I’m not a huge fan of the process of adding products to your Page. You will start by visiting Amazon just as you would if you were shopping for something. That’s easy enough. But when you find the product you want to add, you need to click the Add to List box and then select your Influencer Page.
You can then add comments to your recommendations by visiting your Influencer List under the List Section of your Amazon account (still on the shopping side). Under the product, select Add Comment. This is a great opportunity to explain why you love the product and how it would benefit your follower.
When a follower visits your Page, they will then see a little note button which they can hover over to see what you had to say.
Right now, you can't categorize your Influencer page which is a bummer. But, they say it's coming.
Where Can I Share My Amazon Influencer Link?
When approved as an Influencer, Amazon has a little download available of places they recommend sharing your link:
- Your bio link
- Product-related posts (Linktree is an inexpensive tool for sharing links on Instagram)
- Instagram Stories
- Your “About” section
- Facebook Stories
- The “Shop Now” button on your Facebook Page
- Product-related posts
- The “About” section of your channel
- Video descriptions
- Mention your URL within videos and include a banner ad to your Influencer Page
- Bio link
- Within Tweets
Website or Blog:
- Within blog posts
- Recommendations page
- Tease about your shop within videos or photos
- Share your vanity URL on your podcast
I see a lot of journalists out there hating on this program saying it’s destined to fail, which I don’t quite understand. I know a lot of bloggers that make huge bank as Amazon Associates – some pulling in upwards of 6-figures a month around the holidays. This can be an easy extension and expansion of the Amazon monetization avenue for bloggers. And it’s WAY better than the A-Stores that used to be around. And I’m sure podcasters, vloggers and the like appreciate the shortened vanity URL for sharing recommendations. Amazon wasn’t an easy monetization avenue to take advantage of previously. And the ability to link within email? AWESOME!
That’s maybe something only we can appreciate. Need yet another reason to take advantage of Amazon? It’s a merchant everyone knows and most trust. With everything under the sun available over there, many people buy – and buy a lot. My own conversion rate for Amazon clicks this month is over 5%. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
If you are active on social media, why not give it a try? My YouTube channel is currently receiving around 6,000 views per day and yet I'm still not approved for ads over there. And only about 10% of those views visit my blog each day. Any easy ways to monetize the other 90% of traffic I'm going to take advantage of.
Dan Markham shared at Web Summit that a YouTube mention of a Fidget Cube sold over $160,000 worth of product. In another video he mentioned a Yeti mug that went on to sell over $36,000 worth of product. If Dan earned 8% commission on those sales, that's around $15,000 on those little mentions. Granted, Dan has over 5 million followers. But for someone like me, any easy increase in income is one I'll take.
Amazon Influencer can be a great opportunity for you to easily share some of those frequently recommended products or even seasonal gift guides. It's not open to everyone, but it's worth a check!