Amazon is a huge player in the online marketplace – currently offering somewhere around 400 million different products. With so many different items, Amazon has products in almost every area that you can imagine, making it an incredibly popular choice for shoppers.
There are multiple ways leverage Amazon to earn money online, including using selling through an online storefront, or promoting affiliate products on your social media channels like YouTube or Instagram. With this post, we’re looking at how you can get paid to write reviews for Amazon, including how to build your own website to host your product reviews.
One of the #1 methods buyers use to decide what to buy online is by the number and rating of reviews. This means companies are excited to work with you, and pay you to promote their stuff. So how do you get started?
Two Ways To Get Paid To Write Reviews On Amazon
It's no secret that legit product reviews drive sales. When I buy stuff on Amazon.com, I always check the customer reviews before adding it to my cart.
It's no surprise then, that some companies selling stuff on Amazon would be willing to pay to get some good reviews to boost their sales. I've been working online for 10 years now, and there are basically two ways to earn money writing reviews: A legit method, and a sketchy method.
#1 (Legit Method): Creating Product Reviews On Your Own Site
I make money writing product reviews on my own website, which includes many products from Amazon. I promote Amazon products, plus a variety of other companies not affiliated with Amazon.
With this style of review writing, I’m not getting compensated per review, but rather per purchase. In other words, I write the review for free, and get paid for each sale generated through my links.
There is much more income potential doing it this way. Instead of getting paid one time for a review, I can get paid over and over again for each sale generated. Because I know how to increase the traffic to my websites over time, I get thousands of clicks and sales every month. The ability to scale is one of the coolest things about earning money online.
Even if you make $10 in sales per review page, writing 100 reviews like that can make you $1000. Those pages you write stay online forever, creating a passive income stream for years to come.
The best part is that you don't even have to buy inventory or ship out products. You are not a seller. You are just a reviewer! All you need to manage is your website content and links. You just need to be able to write your opinion, kind of like a blog post. There are two ways that I'm able to do this:
- Purchase the product and write from firsthand experience
- Do research online and curate/consolidate information
You can learn how to do what I do, and start your first website, reviewing Amazon products, or any other products you like. In fact, there are lots of companies just like Amazon that will pay you a commission to write reviews and generate sales.
Actually, with Amazon, commissions aren't very big (4%-10%). That's why I often promote other companies too. Some pay up to 75%, or flat fees over $1,000 per sale, depending on what you're reviewing.
How To Build Traffic (And Income)
To ramp up traffic and sales, I'll also write supplemental content to help and inform the reader.
For example, if my website is about manly hygiene, I'll start with a review of Pacific Shaving Company's caffeinated shaving cream (great stuff). This is a popular product, so getting ranked for that review might be tough. To grow traffic and income to my review page, I'll write articles about the same topic, such as:
- 4 reasons men get razor burn
- how to prevent a bumpy face after shaving
- top 10 shaving creams for men
Pacific Co's product is my favorite shave cream, so I'll link those articles to my product review, and people can decide to purchase.
There are countless website topics to choose from too, such as beer, camping, skincare, or even cannabis – and that's just scratching the surface.
This method of reviewing products and writing informational articles on my own website is very effective for growing online income over time, and many people, including myself, do this full time. You can start your own review website on any topic you want, and put links from thousands of companies to earn money online. It's how I earn my living, and have done for 8 years now! Making a website is a lot easier now than it was in the 90's, so even newbies can make money writing Amazon reviews.
#2 (Sketchy Method): Writing Reviews On Amazon.com
Amazon has an extensive review system that allows customers to leave feedback about products that they purchased. The reviews provide a visual indicator of the quality of a product and can significantly influence sales.
Amazon also uses the information to determine the order that products are displayed and which ones are featured. Products with lots of reviews, or a high ratio of positive reviews get featured higher on the search results page. It's no wonder that companies are desperate to collect Amazon reviews.
In some cases, these companies simply ask for an honest review, so you’re free to say that you love a product or that you hate it. However, there's no reward for that, or at least not a monetary one (other than potential future discounts, or entry into a raffle contest)
It's not easy to get positive reviews! Many people are too lazy, or only feel motivated when they are unhappy with a product and want to get revenge on company. Some reviewers make the mistake of writing a negative review of the product when it was the seller or shipping company that cause their negative experience.
So for any of these above reasons, there are absolutely companies out there that will pay for a positive review of their product on Amazon. At one point, companies could solicit reviews and even offer free products, providing this was explicitly stated in the review. This is no longer the case and opportunities for paid reviews have significantly decreased as a result.
The demand still exists though and, as a result, you can still make money this way. Just bear in mind, you will be violating Amazon’s Terms and Conditions in the process. That means your Amazon account or Prime membership could be revoked! If you are still interested despite the risks, there are two general approaches that you can take.
(1) Make Money Working For Review Sites (Middle-Men)
There are many websites out there that facilitate the paid-review process. They do this by helping companies and reviewers connect. They get review requests from Amazon sellers and then pass them on to folks like you. The companies who want reviews pay a fee, and the writers get a portion of that (the middle-man gets the rest).
The style is effective for companies that want good reviews fast. You'll see a lot of low-quality fake reviews from storefronts selling cheap Chinese knockoffs. High quality "fake" reviews are often not very fake at all. They have all the qualities of a real review, but include a monetary incentive to be positive. This is particularly common in the field of eBooks because the products are digital and easily shared. One site I’ve seen even pays people enough money to to purchase of the book!
In this case (getting paid to review ebooks), reviewers are told to purchase at a specific time and then have a set period to write and publish their review. The surge in traffic from the reviewers purchasing can often propel a book into a best seller list on Amazon. Plus, once the reviews come in, the book ends up with a great star rating (are you surprised?).
If you want to get started in this field, you have to find companies that are actively hiring. This can be tricky because most companies won’t explicitly state what they do since it's against the terms of service.
Can't find the sites that pay just by Googling? One tactic is to pay attention to people who write reviews on Amazon and try to figure out which ones might be getting paid. For example, people who are paid to review books on Amazon often review a weird combination of books, including many low-quality ones. If you contact them, some may be willing to give you the information about who they work for.
There are also some lists online about sites that connect reviewers and companies. The site MoneyPantry has a good article that you can get started with and their list was updated earlier this year.
I'd just like to clarify this point: Amazon.com will not pay you to write reviews, even if you are an "influencer".
(2) Make Money Working For Yourself
Freelance gig websites means it's easy to discover review-writing work on your own, but you often won’t earn much per review. It's an in-demand position because it seems easy and fun. This type of work attracts people from around the world, including people that will work for way cheaper than you. In fact, some gigs will just give you product in return for your review, meaning you make no income at all.
One approach to getting hooked up with free stuff, and at least having a shot at getting paid to review, is to start by being an active reviewer on your own dime. Many top reviewers regularly get requests to review products and they may receive free items for doing so.
As you might have guessed, even doing that is now against Amazon’s policies, but it doesn’t stop both sides of the transaction (reviewers and sellers) from trying.
You'll need to put in the ground work to be recognized as an influential reviewer. This means getting into the top 10,000 reviewers and writing stuff that's very useful. You'll probably need to actually buy the stuff you review as well, so you can get photos and include unique insight. Becoming an influencer is gonna cost you money, time, or both. Getting to this point is achievable, but it will take significant time and effort.
You can also try to advertise your services on gig websites, offering reviews for Amazon and/or for other ecommerce stores. If you do this, you can set your own fee, which potentially means more income.
There are plenty of problems with this though. For one, Amazon sued Fiverr.com over their fake-review gigs, so it's no longer possible to use them. Secondly, if you use your real name and address, you could potentially open up yourself to legal issues in the future.
On top of that, you'll still need that "influencer" status on Amazon to be able to charge anything significant to clients, and you'll still be competing against hundreds or thousands of other people trying to do the same.
Is The Process Worth It?
Writing reviews on Amazon.com does work for making money online. For example, I know a freelancer who writes book reviews for Amazon on the side. She earns about $2 to $3 per review, and might get 20 of those per month. If you factor in the reading time for each book, the pay is pretty abysmal, so it's just a hobby, and not really a business.
In her case, she mostly reviews to get a little extra cash and a range of free eBooks, and she's happy doing that. In many instances, she’ll also write the review based on skimming the book, rather than reading it cover to cover. Nevertheless, even if she worked for dozens of different companies, her income would never be particularly high. It's still trading dollars for hours, just like any other type of work.
For people getting approached by companies directly, the income potential is variable. Often, companies won’t want to pay you at all. Instead, you’ll be getting a free product to try. Free stuff is fun, but it's not the same as making money.
If you’re advertising your services independently, the income potential is higher but it still isn’t great. After all, companies need a significant number of reviews to see any benefit from them, so, they don’t want to be paying a large amount per review. Why should someone pay you $10 for a review when they need several hundred and have multiple products to promote? Is it worth it to them?
Obviously, I would highly recommend doing things the legit way from the beginning. While you may be able to sneak under the radar for a bit, long term, doing anything which is against a website's TOS will hurt your long term income.
Plus, building your own review site has much higher income potential long term, so why waste your time writing fake reviews?