With so many passive income generation ideas floating around, it can become difficult to decide which way to go, especially for beginners. As a rule of thumb, follow your passion and get involved in things that really matter to you. It’s good to explore opportunities that have the potential to generate a steady passive income stream but focusing on the ones you are already familiar with and passionate about would help you a lot in the long run. A Comprehensive list of passive income generation ideas can greatly help you identify ideas that might work well for you and makes it easier to compare and rank different options.
However, this post primarily focuses on people who have already convinced themselves about generating a steady passive income stream through affiliate links. This also happens to be the option that has worked really well for so many people. If you already own a blog that generates a decent amount of traffic, there is no excuse not to monetize it and earn a steady passive income through affiliate links.
What is an Affiliate Program?
Affiliate aka associate program or pay-per-action is an agreement between you and the merchant that qualifies you for earning a commission on every sale (most programs pay you after an actual sale). Your blog links to the merchant and requires the visitor to perform a certain favorable action, including buying something, filling out a form or providing some other information. Amazon affiliate program is a prime example or such programs, which assigns unique Associate IDs based on which commission is calculated and paid.
How to Earn a Passive Income with Affiliate Links?
Affiliate links work great for blogs and sites that already have some regular traffic. Even if you don’t own a blog yet, it’s not hard to start a new one. However, you do need to pump some quality content and focus on generating traffic from Google and the social media. Earning through affiliate programs is probably one of the easiest ways to generate passive income as you don’t have to deal with physical products yourself or spend countless hours writing an ebook.
How DO Affiliate Programs Work?
Here is basically how it works: People come to your blog or site looking for some information. Along with the relevant content they can also see affiliate links to relevant products, which can be anything ranging from physical products to online tools and resources. Affiliate fees/commissions vary greatly from niche to niche, which means it makes more sense to affiliate with niches that have better affiliate program setup such as online courses and hosting providers.
You’d come across many affiliate sites/programs during your search and choosing the right one depends on different factors such as your niche. LinkShare and CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction) are among the largest pay-for-performance networks that work great for both publishers and advertisers. Some other popular programs include ClickBank, Amazon.com, AvantLink, eBay and ShareASale.
Choosing the Right Niche
The most important element in the affiliate business is perhaps the blog/website itself, which should be focused on a specific niche instead of ‘trying to be jack of all trades’. A website should only be affiliated with the products or services from the same niche. The web traffic comes to your site trusting your opinion and if you are affiliated with something irrelevant, they might turn away instead of being convinced and clicking through. You might also have trouble getting traffic if you cover general topics such as a general technology or a marketing blog,
A niche should have at least 50 products otherwise you may find yourself looking for other more profitable niches. Ebooks, online courses and other digital goodies are some of the best and most profitable products to affiliate with, which might come as a surprise for those who think affiliating with Amazon is the best option. Your blog/site should not be the only place to host affiliate links as links should also be promoted with stuff such as free ebooks, email marketing and autoresponders.
If done properly, affiliate marketing has the potential of turning into a lifetime passive income stream and is much more than one-time commission. Finding the right niche, products and merchants is the key for success. One should definitely promote products they think would help the site visitors and make their life a bit easier. Earning money by helping others find quality products is something like a marketer’s dream comes true. A lifetime (or long term) affiliate program offers better growth and more money but requires constant hard work and thinking from customer’s perspective.