There are so many ways to make money online, but when it comes to creating the type of money that can create financial abundance while also having the time freedom to enjoy an incredible lifestyle, affiliate marketing is really where it's at. In my humble opinion. When you hear of people having 1K+ Days, while they sit in a coffee shop in the South of France, or lay in a hammock in South East Asia, they are typically referring to the affiliate marketing lifestyle. That's how I've been able to lead the life I live, and create freedoms I never imagined as a single mom on a single income, living a life I could have only ever dreamed of. And now with the technology, internet, and social platforms...we have the ability to scale an income beyond our wildest dreams without having to sacrifice all of our time with the ones we love, or stay tied to one location.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is a type of word of mouth marketing... I call it high tech word of mouth...where the affiliate is compensated for referring another person or companies product or service. I like to think of an affiliate marketer as the bridge between a product and a consumer. As an affiliate, you simply search for a product you enjoy that aligns with your brand and your business, and how you want to serve your audience, and you receive commissions for promoting these products when purchases are made. The sales of these products is all tracked through unique links associated with your account when you register. Commissions can vary, typically from 20% to 50%...but some pay as low as 6%, which personally I don't think is really worth the time given the amount of volume you would need. I've worked with a few different affiliate programs, and I have a few programs I keep in my tool belt that are high value for my clients, offer amazing support, and they compensate generously. I also have a few products I refer that do not compensate as well, but I love the service and recommend it, and these typically cover my own costs of doing business.
What to look for when you're getting started with Affiliate Marketing
If you are just starting out, you may not really know what to look for in an affiliate product or program. When I was starting, I sort of stumbled on it by accident. I was investing money in educational platforms to grow my business, and I was offered the opportunity to take my expense and turn it into an income, which I thought was brilliant. I just started referring the products as it came up in conversation. There wasn't any sort of training being offered on how to create a lucrative business from these products, but the kick back for referrals was a bonus. As I dove deeper, I realized I could actually invest in this as a business, and that there were programs that had systems in place that could help me not just market their products, but also do it in a highly leveraged way that would allow me to build this in as an offer for my brand without taking time away from my main income stream.
If I was starting all over, I would look to invest in a platform and program that has done the leg work for you. If you have to learn first how to set up your own blog, landing pages, email marketing systems, etc just to get started, you are going to be 1. Overwhelmed 2. Waiting 6+ months to see a return on your investment. With affiliate marketing you want to find a turn-key system to leverage, with support and leadership, and have the system set up and ready to go so you can plug and play. I would also be looking for higher commission programs as well as programs that offer products at different price points for your audience.
What are the benefits of Affiliate Marketing?
1. Passive Income
Many entrepreneurs get started with a business for freedom. But they find themselves working tireless hours to make ends meet. Even if they outsource their load, it can still be quite costly. With affiliate marketing, it is work you do consistently, but you can be paid out dividends passively and repeatedly from the work you do...because the work is done through content creation. And once that content is out there and you are consistent, it works for you even when you aren't working. This passive income will start as quickly as you do, but will build over time from steady to unstoppable.
2. Customer Support
When you have your own products and services, you are not just the creator and marketer, but you also have to handle your own customer support, unless you outsource these aspects of your business. And customer support is extremely time consuming and expensive. With affiliate marketing you have a sales team dedicated to your clients that is offered through the program you represent. And you don't have to hire the sales support team, train them, or pay them.
3. Location Independence
Probably one of my favourite perks when it comes to affiliate marketing, location independence! Give me wifi and a dream and I'm on my way. Whether you enjoy travel as much as I do, and being able to work from a cafe in Paris or London, the beaches of San Diego, or a patio somewhere on the mediterranean...the world is your oyster with affiliate marketing. Or maybe you prefer to be rooted in your community, but you want to be able to work from home or different locations around your city that inspire you. You get to choose your office every day.
More flexibility aside from location independence? Yes! There is more...You set your income goals, you choose your products and ideal clients, and you decide what time of day you work and how often. And since you are a free-lancer essentially, you control whether you stay or go. So you have the turn key benefits of a franchise, with a much lower investment and risk, and a lot more flexibility and time freedom, plus huge earning potential.
5. Low Start Up Costs
Most businesses have high over head, not to mention just the start up costs of creating products, research and development, marketing program design, employees, and many require facilities and the costs associated with housing these many aspects of the business. Affiliate marketing has one main start up, varying from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand tops, but it is a business in a box, and if you do the work, you can quickly make your initial investment back without having to spend a lot in equity.
6. Performance based rewards
Many salary based jobs will have you working over time but still being paid for your 40 hour work week...whether you work 40, 60, or 80 hours. Not to mention the time involved to commute to and from work and the limited vacation time. With affiliate marketing you are choosing the hours you work and the hours you have off, but you are also rewarded for your performance...which is extremely lucrative in a lot less hours if you are someone who is highly motivated...especially if you are motivated by money or freedom of choice. How amazing would it feel to be rewarded for your performance, and not limited to a salary and schedule set by someone else?
So....Who is Affiliate Marketing for?
Anyone with the will to learn and earn can become an affiliate marketer, and acquire the skills required to become successful. Affiliate marketing is also an incredible additional stream of income for entrepreneurs who've already developed a successful brand and business. It's a great way to differentiate the offers they have for their audience and clients that aligns with their brand and the way they already serve their people. If you have influence, a blog, and an email list, affiliate marketing is a no brainer. If you are a coach, network marketer, social influencer, you-tuber, author, or service based professional...affiliate marketing is a no brainer. You are already set up for success, you just need the right program and product for your audience...and better yet, diversify the offers you choose and become extremely familiar with the products you choose.
I have combined affiliate marketing with network marketing, and course creation all within a multi faceted brand that serves my niche audience in a congruent way... but allows them to choose the best fit for their business. The intention in everything I choose to align with, is to help my people find their authentic voice, define their message, uncover their greater purpose, and serve on a higher level...and do this in a smart and leveraged way.... to help them create a business that allows them a lifestyle of abundance, freedom, joy and well-being. And in all the searching I've done to find this and create it, online marketing has been the ticket to achieving this in my own life and leading others to the same outcome.
Did this help you? Do you have a friend who would get some VALUE from this? Please share the love. The more we raise the bar on how we do business on social, the better of an experience it's going to be for everyone. xo Johanna