Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links.
When I want to learn how to do something or gain more knowledge on a certain subject, I go straight to the internet. When googling, “How to make a passive income,” you’ll be flooded with so many articles from writers telling you one method after another.
I have read so many articles about people that make a passive income using affiliate links. I’ve used them here on this site before but can’t say I’ve made much money to brag about. But I know if I work more strategically at it, it can happen. That is my goal for this year. If you want to take the journey with me, here is what I’ve learned so far.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing works by using links that your readers click on. The company that the link belongs to may pay you because that viewer clicked on the link and purchased one of their products.
Let’s use Amazon for example. Once you’re set up as an affiliate with Amazon you can link to certain products or pages. So if I’m writing an article about dog food, and Stella and Chewy’s is my favorite, I can link the Stella and Chewy’s Amazon page in my article. If a reader clicks on the link and orders Stella and Chewy’s on Amazon or any other product, then I will receive a certain percentage of the total of their order.
Also, affiliate links don’t have to just be within a text. There can be a link within an image that you display on the sidebar or header of your website.
Affiliate Cookie Duration
No, we’re not talking chocolate chip or macadamian nut. Cookies are files that are stored in your computer which keep track of when you visited a certain page. The affiliate cookie duration is the amount of time that the customer has to purchase a product from the linked site, in order for you to get your percentage for sending them there.
Amazon has a 24-hour affiliate cookie duration, which is a very short period of time. The amount of time is determined by the affiliate company. Others are a bit more generous. I’ve seen ones that last as long as a year. The average seems to be about 30 days.
How much money will you make per transaction?
The amount of money that the affiliate company will dish over to you varies. It’s usually a certain percentage and can also vary from one product category to another within in the same company.
I’ve seen companies pay out as much as 35%. Websites that offer services rather than products may give you a certain dollar amount rather than a percentage.
Why are affiliate links good to use?
Links are great because readers know exactly what you’re talking about. You don’t want to recommend a product to someone and they go out and buy the wrong one. Directly linking to the product you recommend will get people to the right purchase, every time.
Also, you can sit back and collect money. All you need to do it write the article and insert the affiliate links. From then on, every time someone clicks on it and makes a purchase, you’ll get your cut. You could be vacationing at the beach five summers since you wrote the article and if someone makes a purchase, you can receive money while your snorkeling. How’s that for a passive income?
Letting Readers Know They’re There
Have you ever noticed that at the top of some web pages it’ll say something along these lines: “this site uses affiliate links”? Now that you know what they are, you should know that when using them, it’s good practice to tell your readers you are using affiliate links. You want to be honest with them and not be misleading.
Top Affiliate Marketing Companies and Getting Started
When starting affiliate marketing the first company I sought out was Amazon. I currently also use Share A Sale as a marketing medium that consists of numerous companies you can choose to affiliate with. The more affiliations you have, the higher your chances are of bringing in a better passive income.
Of course, you’ll need your own website. Mine is powered through WordPress. I’m very happy with their services and the site is easy to manage. I didn’t know much about building a website before but the WordPress support team has helped me along the way.
Go Out (Or Stay In) And Make Money
Now you know how to get started with affiliate marketing. Since I myself am still learning about this personally, but I’m excited to work harder at securing a passive income. I’ll come back from time to time to give you updates. In the meantime, if anyone has anything they’d like to add please feel free to do so in the comments.