How to make $1,000 a month on the side as an Amazon influencer

  • Elena Duque is a guest presenter at the TV network QVC and also works as an Amazon influencer.
  • She earns commission by promoting beauty products to online shoppers via live streams and listings.
  • By encouraging her TikTok followers to buy products from her Amazon listings, she makes $1,000 a month.

This essay is based on an interview with Elena Dukea 41-year-old with a part-time job as an Amazon influencer who lives in South Florida. Insider has confirmed her income with documents. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

My main job is to be a guest presenter for the home shopping TV network QVC, where I am the spokesperson for the athleisure line Sport Savvy. My hours vary, but I work about 60 hours a month. I’m also a content creator and spend about 20 hours a week blogging and reaching out to brands I already use or brands I’d like to try to see if they would like to work together. My main occupation is as an Amazon influencer.

Elena Duque sits on a mirrored vanity

Elena Duke.

Courtesy of Elena Duque.

I’m a Licensed Esthetician and Former Spa Owner based in New York City. In 2017, while owning my spa, I attended a beauty blogger event that inspired me to start an Instagram and website dedicated to beauty tips and skincare with a bit of motherhood. Now I’m mainly focused on beauty with some travel and lifestyle.

Also, in 2018, I had my first TV appearance on Good Day New York, where I was able to talk about and demonstrate anti-aging spa treatments. From there I built my own small business as an on-air beauty expert and influencer and for the past five years I have been featured on television and in major publications.

I make at least $1,000 a month in affiliate commissions by sharing my favorite beauty products on Pinterest, TikTok, and my blog. I also share on Instagram but my engagement and visibility is much lower there than on my other platforms.

I applied to be an Amazon influencer in 2019

When I started really focusing on increasing sales on my Amazon storefront – instead of just leaving the storefront there – I started seeing more traffic to my page and more commissions. I used to only create content for brands and wasn’t really interested in affiliate marketing because I thought nobody would take the time to click on my link, but when I saw a small increase in my traffic and sales I was motivated me to create more videos about products I use from Amazon.

At that time I had around 20,000 Instagram followers and hardly any blog traffic. When I applied, you had to have 1,000 followers, have an active social media presence that you post to regularly, and already publish content that you sell to your audience. Amazon cares about influencers who post daily and share product recommendations, tutorials, and must-haves. They want to know that you’re driving traffic to Amazon, and the proof is in your social media habits and analytics.

I was accepted, but I didn’t do anything with it at the time.

In July 2021 I opened a TikTok account and that’s when the magic happened

I went viral a few times in December and one of my viral videos on how to get fuller lashes in seconds racked up almost a million views and garnered me thousands of followers.

Some influencers do makeup tutorials but never really speak to their audience, and some people do funny skits, which puts them in the comedy niche. I also do a mix of beauty tutorials and reviews with fun and relatable content. My content is known as “edutainment” on TikTok.

I tend to be a beautician and mention this in my videos to add credibility. In fact, I try to end every video with “My name is Elena Duque. I’m an esthetician and a national expert in on-air beauty.”

I post on my TikTok at least three times a day, which is key to building the platform. After a year of consistently posting on TikTok, I now have 120,000 loyal followers.

As my number grew, I was invited into Amazon’s beauty-specific influencer program

In the beginning I started testing the waters by making videos talking about products I loved. I would instruct my viewers to verify the link in my bio either in on-screen text or verbally. I had no idea it would work, but it did. I started getting consistent orders.

But I still haven’t gotten a lot of sales from my blog or Pinterest, so I hired a virtual assistant to help me revamp those pages and link to Amazon as much as possible. TikTok is still the number one place I drive traffic to my Amazon store, but I’m now seeing an increase in traffic from my Pinterest and blog as well.

During a busy week I spend 5 hours at my shop window

I typically spend 2-3 of those hours creating Amazon idea lists, blog and Pinterest posts, and content for TikTok. Amazon Idea Lists are an Amazon influencer’s method of creating links to the products they sell. It can be just one product or hundreds of products, and it has a title like “Elena Duque – Esthetician, Beauty & Lifestyle Finds’ Amazon Page”.

I have a landing page linked to my Amazon storefront in my bio on TikTok. So instead of linking to every product every time, which is really impossible, I just tell my followers to go to the link in the bio. If the product is linked in a specific Amazon ideas list, I’ll tell them that too.

For example, when I quickly talk about dry skin cleanser on TikTok, I tell viewers that I’ve linked my favorites in my Amazon store under “dry skin cleanser.” It’s specific and it works.

Once a week, I take out a piece of paper and jot down ideas for Amazon store content. Once I figure that out I can make my videos or take photos for the content. This helps me stay organized and stack content. This also reduces my working hours.

A year and a half ago I had an assistant and a Pinterest manager. I tried the extra help for about six months and found it wasn’t for me, so I’m working on my own now.

I’ve also started doing AmazonLive and it was quite lucrative

With Amazon Live you can create branded live streams with any product. It’s not for everyone. I happen to work in live TV already so I have no problem with that.

On the day of your show, you basically just go live and go through each product and discuss the details and benefits. You can also check if the Amazon influencer program offers additional discounts or coupons for these products to share with viewers.

I like doing Amazon Live because it’s a fun way to interact with viewers and showcase products. People can chat with you through a chat box and I try to reply to my viewers through the chat feature all the time. Your Amazon Store followers will be notified when you’re live, and Amazon will broadcast your live video to viewers who are already shopping on the site.

Even if your show has very few viewers, the live playback of the video will be displayed live in your storefront. I did two shows on Amazon Prime Day and they did really well. I think it’s an underused tool.

I encourage anyone with a socialMedia platform or blog to apply for the Amazon Influencer Program

I’ve heard from chats and social media posts that it’s been a little harder to get accepted than in the past because so many people are applying. I recommend trying several times until you are accepted.

Once accepted, it offers tons of resources, training videos, and guides on best practices for getting started, linking products, and creating content. If you feel lost like I did at first, that’s completely normal. I suggest taking a day or two to go through all the free resources provided, take notes, look at other influencers’ pages, and then start creating that content.

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