As a consumer, your opinion matters a lot to Amazon sellers. In fact, not so long ago, you can actually get paid to review their products online, but that has changed. Even though some opportunities still exist, doing such gigs isn’t beneficial anymore nowadays. Let me explain why.
Why Are Reviews Important
I am pretty sure you read other customers opinions on Amazon and chances are, the better the reviews, the more likely you’ll make a purchase. Feedback that comes from ‘verified purchase’ are even better because it’s a legitimate indication that the customer didn’t buy the product at a deep discount.
A best selling product typically has four and higher star-ratings on the listing which looks something like this.
It’s estimated that 20% of Amazon sales are influenced by reviews because they carry a trustworthy factor which can increase sales conversion, boosts rankings in the Amazon shopping searches and subsequently lead to more sales.
Hence, for new sellers, in particular, every single comment makes a huge difference, but the first bunch of reviews are also the most difficult to obtain. That’s why it’s important to actively seek for these reviews in the early stage.
How Are Reviews Typically Generated
Before anyone can contribute their reviews as customers, they must be a Prime member and spent at least $50 on Amazon using a valid credit or debit card in the past 12 months. Following that, there are a few mechanism available for sellers to generate reviews, each with its own merits to consider.
1 – Emails from Amazon
Have you noticed the follow-up email every time you buy something from Amazon? That’s the message that the seller has customized using the Amazon internal system. It usually arrives one to two weeks after a purchase, asking you to leave some feedback on the product page.
This is the most commonly used methods as the tool is readily accessible from the seller’s account.
The downside – Some customers don’t check their emails regularly or just couldn’t be bothered about leaving written reviews.
2 – Emails from Sellers
For sellers who promote through their own business website yet use Amazon as their online stores, they can collect emails and request reviews directly from the customers. Such communication is usually more personal and aims to build a loyal audience towards the brand for the long term.
The downside – Sellers need to learn how to build a strong online presence and run a successful email marketing campaign in order to get targeted customers. This will take time and skills.
3 – The Vine Program
Created and managed by Amazon, this premium program aims to get reviews from a selected group of customers whom are handpicked based on their reviewer rankings. Sellers can use this channel to get as many substantial comments even before launching their products in the marketplace.
Also known as Vine Voices, these reviews can attract more potential buyers because they are usually honest, detailed, and unbiased.
The downside – It’s an expensive program and usually cost the sellers between $2,500 to $7,000 per product submission. While free products are allowed, they are usually restricted in numbers. For reviewers, it’s strictly an invitation-only access which means, you can’t pay to participate nor can you be paid to offer reviews.
What About Paid Reviews
As you can see from the conventional methods above, they are either time consuming or requires a huge marketing budget. Since most new sellers can’t afford that, some have resorted to using paid reviews instead.
This method typically involves offering free samples, deep discounts and even incentive in exchange for product reviews through third party sites. As you can imagine, with so many goodies up for grab, reviews can pour in rather quickly which is what most businesses would want.
However, this approach causes a new problem whereby comments are skewed and potentially biased to the point that it offers no value to other customers. It doesn’t take long for Amazon to detect this manipulative trend and by October 2016, their new policies ban product reviews that are acquired through this means.
The new rules specifically state that sellers cannot offer incentives or coupons to buyers, ask for positive/5-star/fake reviews or request to change a negative review. Anyone who is caught doing this will get their seller account blacklisted and terminated for good.
Since the implementation, many third party sites have shut down and those that still exist have changed their practice in providing reviews. Although they may look legitimate for now, we don’t know for sure when Amazon would change their guidelines so if you want to use these sites, proceed with caution.
In the past, regular people used to offer review services, but now, they are also nowhere to be found anymore, either on Fiverr or Craigslist. However, a few groups still exist on Facebook, advocating review-exchange and here’s one seller’s post who is clearly violating the guidelines. Read the message carefully.
If you are a conscience person, would you participate in this type of review? I sure hope not because if you get caught, your buyer account will surely be terminated by Amazon. All in all, paid reviews are no longer the standard of practice – it’s fake, illegal and doesn’t offer any benefits to the consumer market.
The Amazon Associate Program
One method, however, is different from paid reviews. Affiliate marketing – as it is called – has stood the test of time and continues to be a popular way for people to make money from product reviews. Many retailers have their own program, so does Amazon.
Through the Amazon Associate Program, you are allowed to promote any products through a niche site and earn from sales commissions. It’s totally legitimate and actually contributes at least 40% in sales revenue to the marketplace.
For reviewers, instead of posting comments on product pages, you will be writing comprehensive product reviews on niche sites that target a specific group of people. This is completely relevant to the current consumer trend as more people are taking to the internet to research about all types of products before buying online.
They want to know if it’s good, bad or even how to use a certain thing. So if your review is helpful and convincing, people are likely to click through your affiliate links and make their purchase on Amazon. The earnings will depend on the type of product categories that you are promoting and here’s a table to show you the commission break down.
Many people don’t just get paid, but actually make a living writing Amazon product review because there are so many choices to choose from. You can write about drones, juicing machine and even audiobooks – as long as people are buying things online, the opportunity is endless.
What you need to get started is actually very simple.
1 – First, sign up for a Prime member account if you haven’t already done so. This will allow you to test more products in a cost and time efficient manner.
2 – Find a niche that you are interested in or passionate about. It can be anything related to your work or some skills that you are really good at.
3 – Create a WordPress blog using the plugin below and set it up to be search engine friendly.
4 – Find a useful product on Amazon that matches your niche selection and come up with different ideas on how this product can benefit your targeted audience. You may consider more products at a later time.
5 – Research for long-tail keywords and use them for writing product reviews and other helpful articles. Focus on building online traffic first.
6 – Apply for the program, get the product affiliate links on your review page and start earning from sales commissions.
The advantage of having a blog (versus just posting on the Amazon product page) is that good articles tend to stay on the search engines for a very long time and as long as they are up-to-date, generating recurring income from a product review is not impossible. That is how most niche bloggers make a living from affiliate marketing.
Ready to Write a Review?
Some people are cool about posting reviews on Amazon and not getting any credit for it, but if you are one of those who have lots of ideas to share about a certain product, then writing proper reviews through a blog is surely more rewarding. It gives the consumers more opportunity to learn about the product in different ways.
What’s more important to realize here is that honest review matters to the consumer market and such opinions cannot be bribed or manipulated by anyone. If you find yourself doing that, then you are doing it for the wrong reason.
Well, I hope this informative article has provided some good guidance on how you can get paid to write reviews about Amazon products. If you are interested to learn more about the potential of affiliate marketing, head over to my recommended training platform to get started for free. Look forward to see you there!