As of late, I’ve been thinking a lot about affiliate marketing and passive income. To some, these are foreign terms and to others they are dirty words. But as you’ll see, they don’t have to be either.
First, let me define these two concepts for us so that we have a clear understanding of what I’m talking about.
- Affiliate marketing refers to the promotion of another person’s product so that when a sale is made you receive a percentage of the sale.
- Passive income refers to income you make while not actually working such as from advertising, from affiliate links on your blog or from donations while you’re sleeping.
When I touched on this topic last week, I had a reader ask in the comments:
I’m curious to know, HOW much money are we talking here! It’s one thing to add a little pocket change to your paypal account every month… Advising everyone to invest their time (and therefor, their money) in all these steps, with the expectation of making serious cash in the end, could easily prove to be a waste of time for the majority of folks out there. ~ Greg
Greg may come across as gruff or pointed, but his question is right on target. The internet is plagued with websites and blogs that claim they can make you millions.
In fact, very recently I was browsing through ClickBank looking for affiliate products that I felt comfortable promoting, but I had a very difficult time because so many were nothing more than products offering to make their purchasers millions of dollars. It’s what I like to call premium spam.
The truth is that there’s really no way to make a killing online for the average person, but there are many different ways to build small bits of passive income and as you build these different sources they will add up. For example, I’m making a little over $1,000 each month from passive online income, but that income is spread over nearly 20 different products and sources.
As I’ve worked to develop both my online community and my online income, I’ve learned several things that have helped me along the way.
- First, provide much more valuable content than affiliate promotions. Folks don’t mind if you tastefully recommend a product related to the topic of a post if the majority of the post is straight shooting good information.
- Second, don’t be pushy. Don’t beat your readers over the head again and again with your affiliate products. Mention them casually and make it easy for the reader to walk away. I know this sounds counterintuitive to the salesperson inside of you, but by creating that level of comfort, you create a lifelong fan of your brand.
- Third, be honest. If there’s something that you don’t like about a product or if there is a known drawback, let it be known. There’s nothing that will ruin your credibility faster than having someone purchase something that you recommend only to find out it’s a lemon. However, if you’re honest and they discover the feature that you dislike, they’ll fondly remember that you did mention that in your review of it.
- Fourth, promote high quality, not high paying. The payout is worthless if you’re destroying your followers perception of you with each purchase they make. Although you’ll certainly be looking at the payout, don’t let that be the soul factor in deciding whether or not to promote it.
Passive income is beautiful. The mere idea of not having to work as income rolls into your bank account direct deposited from the pages of your blog is breathtaking. Yet, somehow, here I am. Sure it’s not enough just yet, but I’m getting very, very close and with these principles in mind, I’m getting closer and closer each day.
Care to join me?