How to use affiliate marketing as a stream of passive income?

Creating and delivering a product or a service is a difficult model for beginners. Despite its profitability, it could be a headache for people trying to start. As we discussed in another post, selling products is not the only way to make money, there are several revenue models such as affiliate marketing.

So, today we are going to talk about affiliate marketing and how you can easily monetize your audience.

What affiliate marketing is and how it works?

The best word I can find to define what this revenue model consists of is “promotion“. What you do is promoting to you audience a product or service you have tested. The goal is to make others buy it so you can earn a commission for every sale. But you need to have tried it out since you are giving recommendations.

You don’t necessarily need to promote a physical product since you can even promote memberships. Let’s say you own an Instagram page or a blog about fitness. In that case, you could be using affiliate links to make people buy sports supplements or acquire a monthly subscription for an exercising app. If people buy through the link you provide you’ll earn a monthly revenue.

How much you can earn with referrals?

It depends on a variety of factors. The price of what you are promoting is one factor since it’s not the same to promote kindles or computers. The quantity you can actually sell per follower since you can sell multiple Kindles to a single follower, but you can’t do that with headsets. How many headsets could a single person buy? Lastly, the percentage or the commission you get. It’s not the same to get an 8% of the sale than getting 20%.

Besides all of this, is likely that you won’t become a millionaire with this model. But the truth is that as a complement and as a way to get started, it works really good. The amount of money that you get is proportional to the effort you make. It’s not the same to design, create and distribute a new product than selling an existing one. Keep in mind that you don’t even have to deal with returns or provide customer service.

To better understand it, let’s see how it works step by step at an operational level.

How does it actually work?

The first thing you need to know is which affiliate program you intend to sign up. Whether it’s Amazon Affiliate Program, ClickBank or whichever you choose. Then, you need to know what are you going to promote. The thing is you should test the product or service first. In order to make people buy it, it’s important you give valuable information about them and not only try to make money. Once you’ve decided what you are going to promote you are going to get a link. This is the link you have to promote. You will tell people to click on it in order to buy what they’re looking for. If they finally buy something, you will be rewarded with a commission.

It really is not that difficult to understand, you are pushing people at the end of the sales funnel. This means you are involved in the latest link of a chain. You are being part of the sales of the product. It is a good way to acquire sales skills.

How to find affiliate marketing programs?

There are many platforms which provide these programs. For instance, Amazon has one of the biggest programs or ClickBank which specializes in affiliate marketing. In this second option, you will only find referral links to different products.
Besides these platforms that hold a big number of different products, you can choose from specific products as well. Let’s say a hosting service for websites. If there’s one you’d like to recommend, go to the main page of this service and go to the bottom of the page. There you can find buttons that say something like “become an affiliate”. Some may have a program for their own product and some may not. If you are doing it this way you’ll have to do a small research. You can actually repeat this strategy with any other product or service.

What do you need to get started with affiliate marketing?

Some programs will let you apply for it if you own a website, but the thing is that you may not need one to get started. Keep in mind that you need people to get that link, so you can actually go to forums and share it there. Still, don’t do it unless you can provide real value to people. When you use a forum you can’t just give out the link. Maybe you can help someone decide which pair of slippers are the most comfortable and at the end of your post share your link.

You can even use affiliate links in an Instagram page and promote other products. Or maybe you can send a link to someone you know who is interested in the product.

You can copy other’s strategies or be creative. Either way, you don’t need money to start. You can of course have better results, but money is not an excuse.

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