My absolute favorite way to generate online passive income is with affiliate marketing. You may have heard about affiliate marketing and thought, “There’s no way that can be real!”
Well, I assure you, it is. I use it every day to make money online. So do thousands upon thousands of other web developers.
Oh! I said “web developers”. That must mean you can’t do it, right?
Learning to build a website is simple, especially with WordPress (which this site was built with). Learning to apply affiliate marketing techniques to that website is also very simple with the right training (I had no experience when I started).
But that’s not what this post is about.
If you would like to learn more about affiliate marketing, and get a free Starter Membership for the best training in the industry, take a look at this article:
What I want to discuss in this post is what passive income really means, and how you can use affiliate marketing to generate passive income streams.
What Is Passive Income?
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the concept of passive income. The vast majority of that confusion can be blamed directly on the so-called work-from-home gurus. They try to sell you on their passive income system with promises of easy money coming in while you sit on a sandy beach sipping Mai Thais.
The problem with those promises is that they only tell part of the story.
Yes, passive income means that you make money passively. You don’t have to do anything to earn that money.
But it doesn’t just happen. You aren’t going to wake up one day and suddenly have money coming in. You can’t buy some system, click a few buttons, and start earning income.
First, you have to put in the time and build that passive income stream.
No one is going to give you money for nothing. But if you build the right kind of business you will eventually reach a point where you can step away and the money will keep coming in.
That is passive income. And my favorite way to build passive income is with affiliate marketing.
How Affiliate Marketing Generates Passive Income
To understand how affiliate marketing can help you earn passive income, you need to know exactly what affiliate marketing is. A more in-depth look will be covered in a future article.
For now, the bottom line is that affiliate marketing is advertising. You send visitors from your website to a page where they buy something, and you get a commission.
If you look around this website you will find some links that I get paid for when someone clicks them and buys the product. The person buying the product doesn’t pay any more when they use my link. Sometimes they even get a discount if that retailer offers a discount to a referred customer. Then I get a commission because the company made a sale that they may not have gotten without me referring that customer to them.
Does this sound like a lot of work? Does it sound like the exact opposite of passive?
Remember what I said about passive income: There is no secret system or magic button. You need to work and build your passive income streams.
So, if so much work is involved, how can I call it passive income?
That’s an excellent question, and the part that confuses a lot of people.
I mentioned earlier that if you build the right kind of business you will eventually be able to step away and the money will keep coming in. Well, did you look at my “Recommendations” page like I suggested? A lot of the links to products and programs on that page are affiliate links. That means that anyone who clicks that link and buys the product or program will earn a commission for me.
That page was the third page I added to this site. I’ve added a couple more products since then, but the links that were on that page when I first put it up are still earning money. If I never touch that page again it will continue to make money for me.
That’s how affiliate marketing can become passive income. As soon as I add an affiliate link to a post, I’ve done the work I need to do for that income stream.
More posts means more programs and products I talk about.
More products I talk about means more opportunities to create another passive income source.
Do I need to keep adding more? Not really. I could stop, and let my site keep earning at its current levels.
At least for a while
Even Passive Income Requires Maintenance
Although some of my posts will never need to be touched again, and will continue generating passive revenue, my site as a whole will continue to require work. So will yours if you decide to go with affiliate marketing as your business strategy.
How much work will depend entirely on your goals.
If you get your site to the point that it’s earning enough income to keep you happy, your work will be relatively simple, and your workload relatively light. All you would need to do at that point is keep your site relevant in the eyes of the search engines.
What that means is keeping an eye out for any changes with the things you promote, and adding a new post every week or so.
You need to watch for changes with things you promote because if your information becomes outdated, or the product is no longer available, your visitors and the search engines will see that. And they won’t like it. You will eventually lose ranking in the search results because of it, so fewer people will find your site and your earnings will drop.
You will need to add a new post every week or so to maintain your rank in searches as well. When the search engines see that there’s been no activity on a website in a long time they assume the page has been abandoned and the information is outdated. When that happens, they stop showing the site in the results.
So maintaining a certain income level after you reach it is relatively simple.
What if you want to increase your income levels?
Then you just keep doing what you did to build your site in the first place. Write about things that your market is interested in. Find more products, programs, and services to promote. And keep on building.
Even if you decide to keep building, you get all the benefits of passive income because you’ve already got a business that will keep earning you online passive income if you decide to go spend a couple weeks on that white-sand beach with a Mai Thai that the gurus promised you with their system.
And you can do that because you put in the work. You made the effort to build passive revenue streams.
Don’t look for a secret system, because there isn’t one.
Find honest training, and learn how to build your business the right way.
I highly recommend looking into Wealthy Affiliate if you want to learn more. Their training platform is amazing. You can read more about them here:
Taking control of your financial future isn’t difficult. Building your own business doesn’t have to be scary. And you don’t have to do it alone. That’s why I started this site. To help people. And I’ll help you too. If you have any questions, about this article or anything else that you find on my site, feel free to leave them in the comments below. I respond to every single one.
Thanks for reading,