Beginners Guide to Making Passive Income with Affiliate Programs
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Hey there! I am so excited to have an incredible guest post today by Spencer Mecham who is a full-time affiliate marketer and course creator. He is the top affiliate of multiple companies and loves what he does. With the passive income, he earns he spends his time traveling with his family and playing pickleball.
Most people don’t start affiliate programs looking to create a passive income. Instead, they start out just looking for a side hustle.
Something that will bring in a couple extra hundred or thousand bucks a month.
And honestly, most don’t even get to that point.
But a few that persevere start to figure out the affiliate programs game. They start to realize the beauty of the business model, and if they stick with it long enough they usually manage to create a passive income with their affiliate programs business.
This is a guide on how they turn that side hustle into a passive income machine.
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The Right Traffic
Most new affiliate marketers fail from the very beginning because they don’t use the right sources of traffic.
If you don’t know what I mean by traffic, I’m talking about the actual people that visit your website and affiliate links.
You are probably familiar with most traffic sources, though many affiliate marketers that are just starting don’t even realize that the platforms they have been on for years can actually be turned into sources of traffic for their affiliate marketing business.
Traffic can be broken into two different spheres. Traffic from search engines, and traffic from social media.
Traffic from social media comes from sites like Facebook, Instagram, and the new kid on the block, Tik-Tok.
Traffic from search engines comes from sites like Pinterest, Google, and YouTube.
Where most affiliate marketers go wrong when they are searching for passive income is they tend to choose the social media traffic sources.
These sources do have a lot of potential to make money, but when you examine their algorithms, they tend to take the content you create and stop showing it within a few days.
You can contrast that with sites like Google, where you can create a piece of content on a blog that will continue to get reads and visitors for two, three, or even five years.
I could go make a piece of content on Tik-Tok right now and it would probably go viral. The result would be a couple hundred dollars in my pocket.
The problem with this is that content would disappear and I would have to start working again tomorrow to make more money.
However, I could make a YouTube video today, post it tomorrow, and there is a good chance that in two years that YouTube video will continue to get views.
If you want to make a passive income with affiliate programs, it all starts with the right traffic.
You need traffic that will continue to come to your affiliate links regardless of whether or not you are working and putting content on your chosen platform.
Affiliate Programs Conversion System
I can still remember my first major success with affiliate marketing. I had released a YouTube video on how to buy a specific cryptocurrency.
Unbeknownst to me, my video was actually really informative and YouTube promoted it to hundreds of thousands of people.
However, I had no way of making money off of this large audience that was viewing my video. I made a few commissions off of people that watched, but that is it. Once the video stopped getting shown by YouTube, I struggled to keep the business alive.
I soon realized that you need a way to capture and convert visitors to your content in the long run. This means that instead of someone visiting your content and then disappearing, you need to find a way to capture their information so you can market to them forever.
I’m going to break down the affiliate programs system for you right now.
Printable Blog Content Planner
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A lead magnet is the first place you should send all of your visitors to see your content. It doesn’t matter if they are seeing a blog post, a YouTube video, or a Tik-Tok video.
The purpose of a lead magnet is to capture someone’s email address so that they become part of your audience in the long run. You are now able to Market affiliate products to that person for years to come regardless of how well your YouTube channel or blog is doing.
All you need to do is create a simple page with a few words and a form to put in an email address. Offer your lead magnet as something that you will give them for free if they will put in their email address.
Now, instead of sending all of those visitors straight to affiliate links, you send them to this page. You start to build an email list. Now you are starting to build an actual affiliate marketing business.
As soon as you capture an email address from someone that has viewed your content it is time to try and start selling.
The Way to do this in a passive way is using what is called a bridge page. A bridge page is simply a page that you send them to after they put in their email address. It is the first opportunity to introduce them to your favorite affiliate product.
Most of my bridge pages are very simple. They have a video that takes up the top half of the page, and a button that contains an affiliate link on the bottom half of the page. Here is an example.
You decide to start learning about cryptocurrency. You head over to YouTube and search a few topics. One of the videos you watch tells you that they have free training that will teach you everything you need to know.
You click the link in the description and it takes you to a page where you put in your email address for the free training.
After you put in your email address, it takes you to another page where there is a video. The video is the same person who made the YouTube video.
He tells you about how he learned to trade crypto and actually make money. It was a course. And lucky you, there is a link down below and you can get the same course where he learned from.
Now the real beauty of the system is that even if you don’t click that affiliate link and go to buy the product, he now has your email address and he knows that you are interested in cryptocurrency.
He can now start sending you emails about the first product he promoted as well as many other cryptocurrency products. He will make affiliate commissions off of any product that you sign up for that he refers you to.
See the beauty?
The final piece of the puzzle is the email sequence.
Once I realized how important capturing email addresses was in my affiliate marketing business I started to send people to opt-in pages on all of my videos.
I started to see a lot of success, and build a list of thousands of people. But, since my pursuit was passive income, it still didn’t feel right.
I had to send emails every day to keep nurturing the list and I had a lot of issues with people confused because they had just joined the list and didn’t understand what today’s email was about.
That’s when I started to learn about email sequences.
You can build email sequences ahead of time that will automatically be triggered when someone puts in their email address.
This means that when someone watches my YouTube video, puts in their email address, and decides to not buy the product on the bridge page, it automatically triggers a sequence of emails to continue and sell them that product.
After sending emails for a few weeks, it will move on and start to try and send emails for other products.
Now all of this can be done on complete automation if you are using the right email software to run it for you. It will look something like this inside of the software.
A Content Plan
Once you have chosen your traffic source and built your affiliate programs system all you need to do is start pushing content onto your passive traffic Source.
For me, the best places have been YouTube and my blog. I can pump out dozens of posts in a month as well as dozens of YouTube videos in a month.
The way I do this is simple, it is called batching.
First I do a ton of keyword research. I will type in my subject into the search bar of YouTube and I will see all the different subjects that YouTube gives me to talk about.
By the way, this works in Google too.
Once I have a list of about 15 videos that I want to make, I sit down and film them all in a single day. The next few days are of course spent editing.
Once these videos go live, they start to slowly get picked up by YouTube. Some of them will completely disappear, but others will take off and stay in YouTube search rankings for years.
Each time a viewer comes to YouTube and watches as my video, they are told to click my link to my opt-in page. Once they click that link they are introduced into my affiliate marketing system and I am able to sell them products for years to come.
I am able to do this passively, because I chose a passive source of traffic, and I chose a passive system for converting that traffic.
These two combined are the only way for an affiliate marketer to create a passive income.
Build a Tribe
I want to briefly touch on a very important piece of this puzzle. That is the idea of building a tribe.
My very first YouTube channel was extremely boring. I made tutorial videos with very little editing and a very dry Voice.
That channel did very well and has yielded me tens of thousands of dollars as well as tens of thousands of subscribers. Affiliate commissions come in every single day from that channel still, even though I do very little work on it.
My second YouTube channel was very energetic, I was way into the video, lots of editing, and very hyper.
This channel is doing really well also.
The point I am making is that any type of content can do well online, but you need to identify your audience and appeal to that audience.
Typically the best way to identify an appeal to an audience is to be yourself. I can almost guarantee you that there are thousands of people out there that can relate to everyone reading this article.
We often try to mimic or do the same thing other affiliate marketers do. This is not the way to succeed, because we need to see ourselves. You will find that there are people out there like you who connect best with your method of providing information.
Your affiliate programs effort will yield better income, and better passive income, as you learn to be yourself, create the right kind of content that appeals to the right kind of people, and send people through your affiliate marketing system.
There are multiple ways of doing affiliate programs. Some people spend money on ads, some people do it on Instagram, but the method shown above is the only way to create an affiliate marketing business that yields passive income in the long run.
Every step of this system is built specifically to allow the affiliate marketer to pull out and spend less time selling and more time enjoying freedom.
Passive income comes when a system is followed for a long period of time. That system includes making content on a daily basis for a long period of time. You will likely need to make content for a year or more before the system is fully functional.
To me that is still worth it because you have to work 40 hours a week for 40 years at a regular job before you’re able to get to that same point.