As a marketer, I’m often lured in by stories of success. The big titles like “How I made $24,000 last month from one video” are especially attractive.
But what about the smaller, realistic, tangible, achievable numbers that don’t quite get the same attention?
I’m sharing success stories with duplicatable numbers so everyone has a formula for success.
The Elusive Passive Income
It’s most often touted as the best way to make money. Passive income is the type of earnings that you achieve without doing anything at that moment to earn it.
Typically, passive income is very active on the front end and less active on the back end. The often misuse of the term passive income has readers assuming it’s a “workless” venture.
Ever seen an overnight success?
Most often, passive income requires massive action and then some activity to maintain the money train.
In comes, Affiliate Marketing.
I make money when I sleep when I’m in line at Disneyland with my family, and when I’m on the spin bike burning those calories.
When you create an approved relationship with a brand, promote the product with a link, and earn a commission or bonus of any kind, you are doing affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is most often done through social media influence, podcasting, youtube, and blogging.
It takes time, energy, and focus. It requires a great deal of patience, and the willingness to stick it out until it pays off. It’s a long game.
I got into affiliate marketing by accident. As a tech trainer, I began sharing my favorite tech tools. One of the brands offered me an “affiliate partnership”. Since I was already bragging about the tool authentically, this made a lot of sense.
1 year later, I was earning $2,000 per month from that single affiliate relationship. Within 5 years, it was over $6,000 per month.
Today, I earn 6-figures in affiliate marketing commissions alone. I don’t have to build software, create products, or service clients to earn affiliate commissions.
This leads me to the duplicatable formula.
Selling While Sleeping
The exact product that I earned commissions on in this example was WordPress Hosting.
I had made a video on Youtube about building a website. It was a specific industry. Which industry, doesn’t matter as you could duplicate this in any industry that uses websites.
In the video, I walked them through setting up a WordPress website step by step. In the video show notes, or description, I included affiliate links for them to get their WordPress website and hosting.
Last night, two people watched the video and signed up for WordPress using my link. That earned me $400 in affiliate commission.
While it’s only a one-time commission vs recurring, which I prefer, it’s equal to about 3-years of a recurring commission for someone on that plan.
There are many WordPress Hosting companies that pay an affiliate commission, including but not limited to:
- WP Engine
Niche + Valuable Content + Viewing Audience = Earnings
It’s imperative that you find a niche audience that you can make tutorial videos for that will trust you. This audience will typically subscribe to your Youtube Channel and watch many of your videos.
Find software that this audience uses regularly, and you are comfortable teaching.
Beware of highly competitive software tutorials that are made for the general public.
One example of this might be zoom training. Most people are getting comfortable with zoom. Many people are using zoom and many have begun teaching how to use it.
The more competitive the topic, and the broader the topic and audience is, the harder it will be for you to rank for that topic on Youtube or Google.
But if you were to teach zoom for doctors, or zoom for teachers, or zoom for church services, for example, you may have a lower barrier of entry.
Tools of the Trade
When you are first starting out with your Youtube channel, you don’t need much. You can do everything from your computer and open-source software. You don’t need to stream live, have fancy lights or audio.
In many cases, you can simply use your phone or iPad.
Over time, you may want to invest in special software, cameras, and lighting, but leave that until you have the money to invest.
When you do invest, you might want:
- Livestreaming Software
- A Microphone (like the Yeti or a quality podcast style mic. You may want a lapel mic).
- Video Lighting (you can start pretty cheap here, surprisingly).
- A Greenscreen when you are comfortable with video and ready to ‘play’.
- A Streamdeck
- Youtube Optimization Software
How to Find Affiliate Programs
If you already have a brand or product that you would like to promote, visit the brand's website. Use the header or footer menu to look for the word affiliate, referral, or partner.
You can also go to Google and perform a search containing the product name plus the word affiliate program.
In addition, there are affiliate networks such as Share A Sale, Sovrn, aWin, Flex Offers, and CJ.com that offer hundreds to thousands of popular brand programs.
Things to Watch Out For
- At first, you won’t get very many views on your videos. It’s time on task and then suddenly, the volume is there.
- Follow the brand’s affiliate rule policies. For example, most brands won’t allow you to run pay per click on their branded keywords.
- Keep a great list of your affiliate links. I use a Google Sheet and have it open all-day
- Always use an affiliate disclosure in the video description that clearly states that you benefit from the purchase.
- Always be honest. Don’t pitch a product or brand that you don’t stand behind. People will notice.
- Not all niches pay the same, yet software is generally a high paying affiliate product.
- There is no “standard” in affiliate marketing earnings. What works in one country, may not in another. Focus on the strategy and the process and you’ll begin to have numbers that are trackable and scalable.
It’s very possible to earn passive income while you sleep. You must first be willing to take massive action.
You can earn one time or recurring commissions with affiliate programs. Once a brand has accepted you into their affiliate program, they will give you special links to share with your audience.
You’ll earn a commission when they make a purchase using your link within the designated time-frame and as long as other terms are met.
Youtube is a great way to build your brand and influencing buying decisions using your affiliate links.
This kind of marketing takes time, and offers a big pay-off with great patience.