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I'm Mara — I help creatives create and launch digital courses and profitable products. I love chatting about online marketing, design and goal setting!
Do you make income from affiliate marketing in your business? For the first four years of my business, I didn’t – and I regret it! I wish I’d started sooner. Anyone can get started with affiliate marketing income – no matter what stage you are at in your business!
In this episode, I’m sharing how I finally got over my big hang-ups around affiliate marketing income and five simple strategies that helped me triple my affiliate marketing passive income.
Affiliate marketing is an incentive to recommend products you love. Course creators can pay affiliate commissions to people who recommend their course (and that is a great strategy), but today I’m strictly talking about how you can make income from affiliate marketing.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say you use software like ThriveCart or Flodesk, and you absolutely love them. So, when people ask what you recommend for course building or email marketing, you’re happy to tell them. With affiliate marketing, you have a unique link that people use to purchase those products you’ve recommended. Whenever they buy using your link, you receive compensation. A percentage of the sale is standard, but sometimes you’ll also get discounts on the monthly cost of a service or platform.
Wherever you are in your business, you can get started with affiliate marketing income. You don’t have to have a certain number of social media followers or email subscribers. Just start with the things you already use and love.
Google any company name + “affiliate” to find a link directly to the page where you sign up for an affiliate link. Alternately, many tools and courses have referral and affiliate sections right inside the software. Once you get rolling, you’ll think of even more things you recommend on repeat, most of which can become affiliate links.
I knew affiliate marketing existed for YEARS, but I didn’t do anything with it. I felt major imposter syndrome, like my business wasn’t big enough to promote affiliates. I was also afraid of seeming greedy. Looking back, that is so silly because I talk to people about software recommendations all the time! Also, I love using other people’s affiliate links to give them a commission when I sign up for something new. So, at the end of last year, I finally started signing up for affiliate programs and sharing links.
By the end of 2022, I was making a couple hundred dollars a month, which was really exciting! However, In the last six months, I’ve ramped up my efforts and tripled (or even quadrupled) some of my affiliate income. Seriously, if I can do it in less than a year, you can too! Let’s discuss some actionable strategies you can implement to increase your affiliate marketing income.
For each of my major affiliate marketing income streams, I worked up an SEO-optimized page that shares what I love about a product and includes my affiliate link. I’ll also link to helpful blog posts or videos I have on the topic, along with any other information that helps people understand my experience with the product I’m recommending. Even though I could just send the direct purchase link to people, most people like to hear more about my direct experience. A dedicated page is easier to send out, with the bonus that it will appear in Google search results. You can see an example of one of my affiliate pages on my Riverside landing page.
If you understand what kinds of information people are searching for before they make a buying decision, you can answer their questions and help them figure out if they’ll make the purchase. The two main ways to do this are to survey your audience directly via social media polls or do keyword research on Google and Ubersuggest. I love creating tutorials and explaining techy things to others, so this is one of my favorite ways to do affiliate marketing! You can see an example in my blog on Flodesk Workflows.
When you first start out, keeping track of all your affiliate information can be confusing. Each program has specific links and logins, and you’ll also want to keep track of your contacts and upcoming promotions at each company. I created a center of command in a Google Doc to keep track of all that information, where I list the programs I’m a member of along with all the relevant information and assets (like images or copy swipes). I’ll also record any blog posts, podcast episodes, or videos I have about the product, so if anything changes, I can go back and revise that content.
Hear me out – this is way easier than it sounds! Most companies actually have a team dedicated to helping out affiliates. After all, you are helping them with marketing and getting the word out about their products. Whenever I love a product I become an affiliate for, I’ll send a quick introductory email with personalized information about my experience with the product and what I’d like to share. I also go out of my way to support the company on social media and comment on their posts. Once you’ve established a connection, that company can help you create better content for your audience. You might even be able to negotiate higher commission rates or get inside looks at upcoming promotions and features.
If your affiliate link isn’t working, you can’t get paid whenever someone buys the product from your recommendation! Once a month, I go through my Google Doc, click through all the links, and spend a few minutes reviewing blog posts, landing pages, and other resources I’ve created. I don’t review every single one each month; I just pick two or three to check on at a time.
Listen to the full episode to hear more about my experience earning affiliate marketing income, as well as my top five passive income streams from affiliate marketing.
*This post may contain affiliate links.