Unlocking Financial Freedom

Understanding Affiliate Marketing as an Alternate Stream of Income

Becca Smith

8/2/20237 min read

live a life make jealous signage
live a life make jealous signage

Have you thought about finding alternate income streams? Not sure where to start? Affiliate marketing may be a good fit for you. In an ever-evolving digital landscape, opportunities for earning money online are expanding exponentially. One such avenue that has gained immense popularity and acclaim in recent years is affiliate marketing. This blog post aims to shed light on what affiliate marketing is and explain how it presents itself as a lucrative and viable option for those seeking alternative streams of income.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy in which individuals, known as affiliates or publishers, promote products or services of other companies and earn a commission for each sale or action generated through their efforts. It essentially acts as a symbiotic partnership between merchants and affiliates, where both parties benefit from the mutual promotion and distribution of products or services.

man in black and white striped long sleeve shirt
man in black and white striped long sleeve shirt

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

  1. Affiliate Signs Up: An individual interested in becoming an affiliate typically signs up for an affiliate program offered by a merchant or an affiliate network. About 80% of companies currently offer affiliate programs. Most companies post links to apply to their programs at the bottom of their pages.

  2. Selecting Products or Services: Once approved as an affiliate, the marketer gains access to a range of products or services they can choose to promote. The selection can be based on relevance to their niche, audience interest, and commission rates.

  3. Promotion and Marketing: The affiliate then promotes the chosen products or services through various online channels, such as blogs, websites, social media, email marketing, or YouTube channels, among others. Companies often have premade digital items you can use so you don’t have to create your own.

  4. Trackable Links: Affiliates receive unique trackable links or affiliate IDs that allow merchants to identify and credit them for the sales or actions made through their promotional efforts.

  5. Earning Commissions: When a visitor clicks on an affiliate link and makes a purchase or performs a specific action (like signing up for a newsletter or filling out a form), the affiliate earns a commission as a percentage of the sale or a fixed amount. If someone clicks your link and makes a purchase, you get a commission at no extra cost to the consumer. The company makes a sale, you get a commission, customer pays the same price and gets a product they want: WIN, WIN, WIN.

Why is Affiliate Marketing a Good Fit for Alternate Streams of Income?

  1. Low Entry Barrier: Starting an affiliate marketing venture requires minimal investment. There is no need to create or stock products, deal with customer support, or handle shipping logistics. All you need is a platform to promote products effectively.

  2. Flexibility and Convenience: Affiliate marketing allows individuals to work from anywhere and at any time. It provides flexibility, making it ideal for those who want to supplement their existing income or work around personal commitments.

  3. Diverse Income Streams: Affiliates can promote multiple products or services across various niches, diversifying their income sources. This can prove beneficial during market fluctuations or changes in consumer preferences.

  4. Passive Income Potential: Once affiliate content is published and ranks well in search engines, it can generate passive income for months or even years, requiring minimal maintenance.

  5. Scalability: Affiliate marketing offers opportunities for growth and scalability. As an affiliate's audience and promotional efforts expand, so does their earning potential.

  6. No Expertise Required: While knowledge in marketing and the niche can be helpful, affiliate marketing doesn't demand extensive expertise or technical skills, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals.

a man sitting in a hanging chair using a laptop computer
a man sitting in a hanging chair using a laptop computer

Does it cost anything?

To be an affiliate is free (most of the time). You apply and for most companies that is it, you’re an affiliate. For some they have an approval process and base it on social media following and reach. You post content and get clicks to generate sales (organic marketing), or you can go the route of paid advertising and the process is more automated, i.e. less work for you.

But what do I sell?

That’s the best part, ANYTHING YOU WANT! From courses to travel packages to gear to beauty products to subscriptions to groceries. Digital courses and knowledge base sales are hugely popular. Everyone knows a lot about something and can offer that information to others, you just have to figure out your niche. Here’s some examples:

  • You are into photography. You make video tutorials that you post on YouTube and other social channels on how to take the best shots with a particular camera. You can post affiliate links on all the gear you use and generate commissions any time someone buys something after clinking your link. You can even use this content to create your own digital courses to sell in the future.

  • You live for travel. You start a travel blog where you document your adventures and give tips to other travelers. You post affiliate links on airlines, hotels, resort packages, RV rental companies, tours, etc. These are all higher ticket items also, which means higher commissions.

  • You love to cook. You post videos on recipe tutorials or how to best use certain kitchen gear. You can post links for all the products you use. You can also use this content to create your own digital courses and cookbooks for the future.

  • Home renovation and design are your passion. You make a blog about projects and post tutorials. You can include links to all tools, products, and décor you used. If you become successful at doing this and create a good stream of income you can teach others how to do it as well and offer a course.

Not everything needs to lead to teaching a course but you get the idea, there are a ton of options. Most companies already have digital content available for you to use in your own channels so you don’t need to create it yourself. If you want something that doesn’t take a lot of time or effort, that you can do from anywhere at any time of day, this is a good option.

This sounds overwhelming, I have no idea where to start!

I didn’t either until I found Jade and Kev. There are tons of videos and courses out there. If you start researching this topic your social media feeds will be inundated with options and it’s overwhelming. Most of them are courses that cost thousands of dollars and the prospect of paying that much when you’re not sure you are going to like this is frankly not an option. Jade and Kev have a one-hour FREE mastermind where they dive into all the nitty gritty details of what affiliate marketing is and how you go about doing it. They also operate with a non-salesy laid-back approach which I love. If you decide it’s intriguing and you want to try your hand at it but feel overwhelmed (like I did), they have a program called Freedom Affiliate Launch for $97 and let me tell you, it is worth every penny. They will walk you through how to set up a website, blog, email list, automated email campaign, sales funnel, generate leads, social media bios, the works! Jade does a lot of mindset work which really sets them apart from other programs out there. They have more in-depth courses and subscriptions if you decide you want to continue your journey. They even offer their own affiliate program for their courses. If after this course you decide you have no interest in affiliate marketing you can still take all this knowledge and the things you made during this course and apply it elsewhere, like building your own brand, selling your own product, or developing your own company.

Another good free option for a place to start is amazon. It’s free to sign up and they offer videos and tutorials on how to maximize being an affiliate for them. Their only catch is you have to make 3 sales in the first 6 months after signing up or your account gets terminated. They also have very specific verbiage they want displayed on anything that has an affiliate link of theirs in it making it clear to the consumer that it is an advertisement.

There are some other sites that multiple companies use where you can be a member and apply to various companies and track your sales all in one place. Share-A-sale is one of them, CJ is another good option. Clickbank is one of the larger sites out there and offers a wide variety of opportunities as well.

sand castle beside body of watersand castle beside body of water

Affiliate marketing presents a promising route for those seeking alternative streams of income. With its low barrier to entry, flexibility, and diverse earning potential, it offers individuals a chance to unlock financial freedom. However, like any other venture, success in affiliate marketing requires dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to adapt to changing trends and consumer demands. With the right approach and consistent effort, affiliate marketing can pave the way for a rewarding and fulfilling source of income in the digital era.

I hope this gets you excited and thinking about all the options that are out there to make extra money online. Just go for it, the sky is the limit!