We’ve all seen the ads from online gurus talking about how they make thousands of dollars while they sleep, and while what they say often sounds too good to be true, there is a lot of truth to what they say. With affiliate marketing, you really can continue to make money long after the initial work and effort is complete.
What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does it Work?
Affiliate marketing is simply the process of earning a commission for a sale you make for selling another company’s product. Affiliate marketing is essentially like being a freelance salesman in the real world, only your websites and content act as your communication with potential buyers, you don’t have to be present for a purchase to take place, and you can be “talking” to multiple people at once. Sounds pretty good, right?
So how does it work? At its simplest, you find a product you’d like to promote, you promote and market it to customers, and you earn a percentage of the profit on each sale you make. This percentage varies wildly depending on the company and product you’re promoting.
This product can be everything from a physical product, a digital product, or even a service.
Is Affiliate Marketing Passive Income?
Affiliate marketing is as close as you can get to passive income without already needing a large amount of capital to get started (as you would investing in the stock market). Besides the stock market – which has its own pros and cons – affiliate marketing is one of the best forms of passive income out there.
Affiliate marketing is based on revenue shares, so as long as customers are buying the product through you, you’ll continue to make money. So, yes, this is literally a way to make money while you sleep!
Depending on the methods through which you’re prepared to drive traffic (paid ads or organic traffic), it can take time to build up enough traffic to your site to generate a large income, but there are some serious financial opportunities in the world of affiliate marketing, if you can master it.
After an initial investment in the time and costs of setting up a new website (if necessary), and/or other forms of content to drive traffic to affiliate links, any affiliate marketer can see continuous returns on that initially invested time and money as consumers purchase that product in the coming weeks, months, and even years.
How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
A common question we hear is, “how do affiliate marketers make money when just starting out?” There are a few different answers to this question, depending on whether someone is entirely new to the world of websites and content marketing or advertising, or if they have some experience building an audience and are ready to start affiliate marketing.
Most affiliate marketers who do not already have an established audience start out by making a niche site or YouTube channel that will be geared toward promoting a certain product or type of product. On this site they share some helpful tips that will offer the readers or watchers some value, and promote these products on the site in a subtle, helpful way.
You’ll need to show your audience that the product is the answer to their problems and that it does what it promises to do. When a visitor makes a purchase, you’ll receive a commission. The best thing to do get started is to pick a niche you’re interested in, or have a lot of good products to promote, and start creating content and learning all you can about SEO practices.
Alternatively, you can set up a website that helps your audience and promotes the product and drive ads to it instead of focusing on organic traffic. This is a much more difficult skill to master, especially if you want to keep your profit margins high.
Affiliate marketing can be extremely lucrative, provided you are willing to put in the initial time and effort required. The key to making money as an affiliate marketer is to become extremely good at building trust between you (or your site) and your audience, so they’re prepared to listen when you tell them the product will solve their problem. If the product delivers, too, you’ll often win that person’s trust for years to come.