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Amazon Affiliate vs Influencer: Profitability, Challenges Compared (PLUS Brand Insights)

December 1, 2023

Amazon affiliate vs influencer: which is best for you? Amazon affiliates receive special links that they promote on public websites. Influencers on Amazon create a customized storefront and create content specific for Amazon. Each gets paid a commission of sales that come from the engagement they promote. 

Both Amazon associate programs require a significant amount of content creation for a small payout- often just dollars a day (especially with the Amazon influencer marketing program). With something like local lead generation, you won’t have to continuously create. In fact, you’ll be able to create a website, rank it to the top of Google, and bring in more monthly income. 

What is Amazon Associates? Does it Pay for Clicks?

The Amazon Associates program is the Amazon affiliate marketing program. What is the Amazon Affiliate program? Well, it does NOT pay for clicks. Instead, a customer needs to click your link and follow through on the purchase of certain products and programs. Commission rates run from 1% to 20%, depending on the product category. Amazon associates need to qualify for the program with some kind of website (or app). Is Amazon affiliate marketing profitable? Considering the hundreds of thousands of Amazon affiliates, many people seem to think so. 

Is Amazon Influencer the Same as an Amazon Affiliate?

No, an Amazon influencer differs from an Amazon affiliate, though they are both under the umbrella of “Amazon Associates”. So, you can follow both business models at the same time. 

What is the Amazon Influencer Program? Instead of promoting product links, Amazon influencers have their own storefront that’s full of their favorite products. The storefront is very customizable. Then, they promote their storefront. For Amazon to approve your application to be an Amazon influencer, you’ll need to prove that you have a larger social media following and higher engagement metrics. 

Travis Stephenson trains you how to make money as an Amazon Influencer. Check out my Simple Profit System review to learn everything Travis teaches. 

Differences Between Amazon Influencers and Amazon Affiliates?

Amazon Affiliates

Amazon Influencers

How Do Amazon Affiliates Build Awareness & Drive Sales?

Amazon affiliates build awareness by creating content within a blog, YouTube channel, or any public web domain that promotes an Amazon affiliate link, known as a “special link”. Anyone coming to your content needs to click your link and make a purchase in order for you to get a commission. Some strategies for driving sales in Amazons affiliate program include:

  • Build a base website through WordPress or Squarespace. Write 10-20 product review type articles and rank them organically using SEO. It will take a few months for your articles to gain any traction.
  • Use social media posts, like TikTok, to promote your website. NOTE: You CANNOT directly promote an affiliate link on social media, but you can promote your website.
  • Choose products that apply to your audience by first choosing a niche to focus on.
  • You can also promote other programs, like Amazon Prime or Amazon Baby Registry. For these, you get a flat rate commission, from $2- $25. These are Amazon Bounty Events.

How Much Do Amazon Affiliates Pay?

You can expect to make around $5K/month 1 year after starting your Amazon affiliate hustle, if you are consistent with your content creation. Becoming profitable takes time and consideration of the right products to promote. Here’s the latest breakdown of the standard Amazon commissions per category:

With the Amazon affiliate program, Amazon places a cookie in the customer’s browser. This cookie stays in the browser, and generates a commission if they buy ANY product on Amazon, not just the one you promoted. If the person clicks “Add to Cart”, the cookie stays in their browser for 90 days.

Is it Free to Be an Amazon Affiliate?

Yes. It is free to be an Amazon affiliate. But, you may have to spend some money on advertising to push traffic to your content. This could be any advertising, as long as it promotes your website/other content and not your direct affiliate link.

What are the Requirements to Be an Amazon Affiliate?

Requirements to be an Amazon affiliate are much more lax than they are to join the Amazon Influencer program. As long as you have a public website, you can sign up and get to work. However, to be fully accepted into the program, follow these rules:

  • You MUST make at least 3 sales within the first 180 days or your account will not be accepted. (Again, it’s so important to make your blog first, not just to prove to Amazon that you are serious but also to have traction going to those links from the very beginning.
  • Sales cannot come from personal, friends, or family accounts.
  • You cannot cloak- or hide- your Amazon link. It must be presented in its original format.
  • You do not need a new Amazon account or an LLC to be an affiliate. Rather, you can use your original account sign in, and sell as an individual.
  • You MUST tell people via clear disclosure at the top of your content that you are an affiliate. Amazon has very specific rules (that often change) about this. For instance, you can’t make your disclosure too personal, unique, or motivating. This is a Federal Trade Commission Requirement, not an Amazon requirement. So, you can get into legal trouble if you do not follow these guidelines.
  • Do not run ads for your affiliate link. If you do paid advertising, promote your website instead.
  • Don’t include your special link in your email marketing. Again, only use your website link.
  • Don’t purchase products from your own links or ask friends and family to do so. Amazon will not count these as commissions, even if you do it just to make your first 3 sales. If you need help, you can join a support group on Facebook where other affiliate marketers help each other with product purchasing.
  • Do NOT post links in PDFs, eBooks, or private forums. Only post in public web spaces. If you want to drive traffic from a forum or social media comments, you must promote your website first.
  • Do not put the price of the product in your content UNLESS you are prepared to update it every 24 hours. (tools like Lasso can help).

PRO TIP: If you ever get kicked out of Amazon Associates and eventually get back in, you will have NEW links. You must replace all of your old links to bring in commissions.

Do You Need a Lot of Followers to Be an Amazon Affiliate?

You need at least 500 followers to be an Amazon affiliate. Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or your own blog to establish organic followers.

How Many Sales Do You Need to Stay an Amazon Affiliate?

You need at least 3 sales within the first 180 days to stay an Amazon affiliate. If you do not make these sales, you can reapply. But, there’s only a slight chance Amazon will let you back in.

Can Amazon Affiliates Have a Storefront?

Amazon affiliates can have a storefront as long as they are also an Amazon influencer. Becoming an Amazon Influencer is the only way to have a storefront, but you can be both an affiliate and influencer at the same time as long as you meet the requirements.

Amazon Influencers

How Do Amazon Influencers Build Awareness & Drive Sales?

Influencers create an Amazon storefront full of products they want to promote, that they can organize into idea lists. Amazon generates a unique Amazon storefront URL that influencers can promote on their social media account.

Amazon provides tools for influencers to use, like shoppable photos, shoppable videos, and livestreams.  

Shoppable photos and videos are more than product photos and videos. Amazon presents the content next to the products being featured in the images. For example:

shoppable photo

Amazon Live is a big piece of the influencer marketing strategy. Amazon Live influencers also do livestreams to promote products. During these lives, followers can ask the influencer about the products they’re promoting. Livestreams have a bonus- similar to an affiliate link, the influencer gets paid if a live stream viewer goes on to buy anything within the Amazon platform.


Does an Amazon Influencer Get Paid, and How Often?

Yes, an Amazon influencer gets paid, though they do not see any money for 2 months after a customer purchases a product. If sales are consistent, payout is once a month.

How Much Commission Do Amazon Influencers Earn Per Sale?

Amazon influencers make up to a 10% commission, depending on the product sold. For most influencers, this is about $1000 per month. Of course, there are exceptions where some influencers make around $10K off of a single offer (though this type of occurrence is often not something that stays around in the long term)

Is it Free to Be an Amazon Influencer?

Yes, it is free to be an Amazon influencer. Though again, you may spend some money to promote your content to get more followers. However, with such a low monthly payout, this may not be in your best interest.

How Do You Qualify for the Amazon Influencer Program?

To qualify for the Amazon influencer program, you need a verifiable social media presence. This is something that Amazon will look into. You should apply with the social media platform that you have the most followers and best engagement with, either on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube.

Post at least 3 videos to get unlocked:

It takes anywhere from 2 days to 2 months for this process to end. And, there are rumors that you actually need 10 videos- another example of Amazon's Terms of Service changing with little notice. 

Of course, the Amazon influencer program has its own rules that can change in a moment. For example, you cannot mention any products not sold on Amazon in your videos. You must edit out phrases like “Follow for more” or “like and subscribe”, so there is some difficulty when reusing content from YouTube. And, if you are promoting a product gifted to you by a brand, you must explicitly state that in your video.

How Many Followers Do You Need to be an Amazon Influencer?

There isn’t a specific number of followers that Amazon requires. However, 2,000 seems to be the sweet spot. Engaged followers are more valuable than ghost followers, though- so Amazon may not accept someone with more followers if their engagement is low.

How to be an Amazon Influencer on Instagram

In 2020, Instagram was the most popular social media platform for influencers by over 40% over YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook. Besides seeking comprehensive courses and guides on how to become an Amazon Influencer on Instagram, there are other ways Instagram influencers can bolster their Amazon Influencer strategy. For example:

  • You can make a deal with a third party seller on Amazon, and charge them a specific amount ($10-$10K depending on the amount of followers) for any posts or videos you make with their product.
  • Create an idea list for your followers. If your niche is in luxury travel items, create a list of the best products for a trip to Tulum, Thailand, Morocco, etc. Create travel content on Instagram that will promote these items.

Is the Amazon Influencer Program Available Outside of the U.S.?

Yes, the Amazon influencer program is in the UK, Canada, and India.

Is It Really Worth It To Be an Amazon Influencer?

Being an Amazon Influencer is worth it if you are a social media influencer looking for a small bonus each month. It is not worth it if you’re trying to make a full-time income online by only doing Amazon influencing. Expect to make just a few dollars a month as you start, and if you can grow your following, you might bring up your earnings to $1K.

I am a BRAND and Want an Affiliate or Influencer to Promote My Product on Amazon

Why Do Brands Want to Build Their Presence on Amazon?

Amazon is the biggest eCommerce marketplace. Simply by putting your products on Amazon FBA, you will tap into its 310 million customers. But, Amazon is also more and more saturated. So, using influencers to promote your brand, instead on just Amazon ads, can set your marketing strategy apart from the crowd.

How Beneficial is the Amazon Influencer Program for Sellers?

The Amazon influencer program is beneficial for sellers, because it can inform more customers about your product both on Amazon and on the influencer’s social media accounts. However, since this program is in its infancy, don’t expect tremendous leaps and bounds in Amazon product sales as soon as you employ an influencer. Still, while Amazon doesn’t allow sellers to have direct contact with customers within your Amazon store, your influencer can connect with them through their Amazon influencer storefront livestreams. So, you might be able to build a relationship with your customer base that way.

How Do You Find Amazon Influencers?

First, go to the #founditonamazon page. Here, the Amazon seller can browse products currently being promoted by influencers, and see which influencer fits your niche. You can also find influencers on Fiverr, or search hashtags on social media for influencers already in your niche. Check out our review on Christina Galbato's Influencer Bootcamp.


Amazon Influencer Related Articles

  • How To Become an Amazon Influencer Step-by-Step Guide - Creating an Amazon account, reading the program regulations, applying to the program, and customizing your Amazon Storefront are the basic steps in becoming an Amazon Influencer. This article also features 9 practical ways of earning through Amazon’s diverse online tools.
  • How Many Followers Do You Need for Amazon Influencer Program? - Amazon has no specific follower count requirement to qualify for their influencer program. However, having high social media engagement and original content increases an applicant’s chances of getting approved.
  • How To Get Approved for Amazon Influencer Program - This article details six simple steps like selecting a highly specific niche, generating engaging content, and building a significant social media follower count to get approved for the Amazon Influencer Program. Plus, it highlights the program’s requirements, approval time, and profitability.

Conclusion: Should I Be an Amazon Affiliate or Amazon Influencer?

Sign up to be an Amazon affiliate marketer, and when your social media following is strong enough, apply to be an Amazon influencer. Create content tailored to your target audience full of product recommendations- following all of Amazon's rules of course. If you can get both income streams going, soon you will make more than a few dollars a day.

Learning the rules to Amazon affiliates and influencers takes time. It takes even more time to continuously create usable content and make sure it applies on the Amazon platform. This is a lot of work for very little reward. These programs are great for an additional small income stream, but it isn’t where I would expect to make a living. With local lead generation, you will learn a specific, single skill set that you can apply over and over to multiple digital assets. And, unlike the Amazon associates program, each one of these assets has the potential to bring you a livable wage each month.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

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