How to Make Passive Income With Affiliate Marketing

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How to make passive income with affiliate marketing? If you are anything like me, you have wondered whether it was possible to do such as thing.


You may have even been duped by a few (or many) of the “Earn $300 a day with affiliate marketing quickly and easily” scams.


But if you do a little digging on the internet, you will learn that there are indeed people that earn a good living from affiliate marketing.


Beyond the scams and the hype, there are ways to ensure passive income from affiliate marketing.


After many years of trying and failing at affiliate marketing, I have found some level of success. I never gave up the idea that I could find a way to earn income based on my effort and merits.


There is nothing sweeter than receiving payment emails through PayPal, or logging into your affiliate dashboard to find commissions were made while you slept.


Here are some things that will help you reach your goals



beautiful beach


It may seem like a silly question but what are your expectations when you say “passive”. If you expect to earn income without doing anything, then you will be in for a big disappointment.


This is the exact sentiment that so called “GURUS” play on when they try to promote programs promising thousands of dollars quickly and with little to no effort. These are called SCAMS.


Here is what passive income means in terms of affiliate marketing. Let’s consider a regular 9 to 5. You show up at work and perform your duties for 8 hours. You are paid an hourly rate per hour. As soon as you leave work, you stop getting paid. You are trading time for money.


In internet marketing your earnings are considered passive because you do the work once and reap the benefits for months or years to come. Let me illustrate. Many years ago I wrote an article and posted it to an article site (I don’t do article marketing anymore).


Over the next 2 years it was read over 10,000 times, sending hundreds of readers to my site. My conversion rate was not that good, but that little article made me hundreds of dollars every month, consistently over 2 years.


This is what passive income is. It does not mean that you don’t work. It just means that you have the ability to earn commissions even when you are not in front of your PC working. This is freedom!


Having said that, earning passive income with affiliate marketing is not easy. It requires work, and lots of it! To put another way, the more active work you do on your affiliate marketing business, the more passive income you will make.




Before you can earn anything with affiliate marketing you will need to put in a lot of upfront work. The online model is very front loaded. You have to lay a foundation that will enable you to earn. For many of us that have 9 to 5 jobs, this means long hours either before going to work or after going to work. It means making sacrifices in leisure time.


hard work


I am not trying to scare you away. Rather, I want to make sure that you have the right expectations. If you do, you will find that affiliate marketing is an excellent vehicle for earning money. It will test you, but it will be worth it!


You will question yourself and want to give up. Don’t! Stick with it and give yourself the chance to succeed and reap the financial benefits.


So how will you earn this passive income? You will need to invest time (and very little money) on the following tasks:


  • Pick a Niche: This is the market that you will target. There are different schools of thought regarding niche selection. Some say pick a niche that you are passionate about while others say pick a niche that has the possibility to make you money.


My view is not so black or white.  Remember that to be a successful affiliate marketer, you need to provide the exact solution to your reader’s problems. That boils down affiliate marketing to its simplest form.


To do this, you need to understand your audience. If your niche is something you are passionate about, then you have already spent the time immersed in the niche and will inherently know what pain points they have.


If you select something that is completely foreign to you, you will need to make sure that you understand your audience and that you can identify their problems. This can be done by going on forums, reading existing blogs or magazines in the niche and getting on existing email lists.


Either way, don’t get too bogged down on this step of picking a niche. Spend some time thinking about it. Do some research if you need to. Don’t let analysis paralysis overtake you.


  • Build a website: You will need a presence on the internet if you want to be successful. There are many steps to building a website. You will need to find a domain and purchase it. You will need to establish a site (I use wordpress blogs like the one you are reading now). Your blog will need engaging and helpful content to attract readers.


Remember that a site is virtual real estate. It is an asset. In fact, one of the tried and true online money-making strategies is to build out sites with great content and sell them for a huge profit.


The going rate is anywhere between 20X or 30X the monthly income that the site produces. If you build a site that produces a steady $100/ month (not hard to do), it is essentially worth $2000 to $3000.


The point here is to treat your website like you would physical real estate. It can be worth a lot of money!


For those of you that are not too computer savvy there is no need to worry.  This is not a show stopper.  There are tools out there that will help you set up a blog in less than 1 minute.  All you need to do is enter a few bits of info (domain name, etc) and the tool does all the work.  Here is a video of the tool I used to create this very site:


Site builder in less than 1 minute


  • Find a Solution to Your Niche’s Problem: Now you have identified a group of people that you want to help. You also have the virtual property where you can deliver them a solution to their problem. All you need is to identify the best solution to their problem and offer it to them. This is where you identify one or more affiliate programs.


Read this article if you need further direction on picking a niche and finding what issues the niche is dealing with (scroll to the section titled “Pick a Niche”- don’t worry, it’s a quick read!)


Now let me pause and state the obvious.


Never lose track of the fact that your job is to help your readers FIRST. Make sure that you always provide them with helpful and interesting content that will help them in one way or another.


SELLING is not the purpose of your site. You can give your opinions and thoughts on a particular product but I feel the selling should be done by the merchant of the product you are promoting.


If you succeeded in placing the right service/product in front of your reader, they will reward you by clicking through to the merchant page. It is there that the selling is done.


Of course, you should make sure that the sales page of the product you are promoting is effective and ETHICAL


  • Create Engaging content: Always provide your readers with original, helpful content. This is what will keep your audience engaged. If your content is boring or lacks insight, you will fail to keep your customer’s interest. Your stats will show you that they are leaving your site very quickly after they get there.


This could be caused by two obvious things:


1-Your content is not very engaging. It is not providing your readers with original and interesting content. They do not feel compelled to keep on reading and clicking through to other content on your site. Deep dive your content and try to make corrections. Test those corrections to see if they improve your bounce rate.


2-Your content is good but it is attracting the wrong set of customers. This is usually the case when your Keyword selection is off. Make sure your content relates specifically to the Keyword/keywords you selected. If your keyword is for stopping dogs from barking, do not spend the whole article talking about dog obedience in general. Focus on material that will help the reader understand why their dog barks excessively and provide them for a solution for that specific issue.


  • Search engine optimization: Search engine Optimization or SEO is the process (and skill) you use to ensure your content shows up in the search engines. Imagine creating the best content in the world. What good would it be if no one can find it on the internet?


Your ultimate goal is to ensure that your content shows up in front of your customer when they do a search on google (or Bing, or Yahoo). Without Search Engine Optimization (SEO), chances are your site will never be found.


This entails a certain amount of knowledge to do correctly. It encompasses Keyword choice, how to write descriptions and how to optimize posts to give them the best chance to show up organically on the search engines.


For new aspiring affiliate marketers, this is extremely important. Most don’t have a budget to drive traffic to their sites. They need to generate traffic organically or naturally to their websites. SEO is how it is done.


Do not be put off. There is a lot of help out there that can show you how to SEO your posts and articles.


Unfortunately there are many scams that will promise you some secret method that an obscure programmer in a basement discovered. They will promise unrealistic results in order to separate you from your hard-earned cash. The importance is to be able to tell the difference between legitimate advice and scams.


Hint: If you are promised anything other than hard work, it’s a scam. Don’t worry I will recommend a great resource for everything I have covered in this post in a little bit.




The above mentioned steps/skills are by no means comprehensive. In fact they are the bare essentials in order to make passive income with affiliate marketing.


I do not want to minimize the effort and skill that are needed to be successful. However I do not want you to be discouraged either. All the skills/steps listed above can be learned. I would even say that they can be learned easily!


The issue is not learning the skills. Once you understand what each task entails, you are good to go. You will improve your knowledge over time of course. But you will have the very basics to succeed.


There are a few issues that I have seen with most people trying to earn a living through affiliate marketing:


They give up too soon: This may be because there are so many scams out there that promise overnight riches that people keep on looking for immediate results. If you are not willing to invest 3 to 6 months of work without seeing a dime, this is not for you. It takes hard work and time to build up enough content to get momentum. If you stick with it, you will make money. In fact, if you stick with it long enough, you will make money and eventually your earning will increase month over month.


Dont Give Up



They lose focus: There are so many programs out there that it will make your head spin. When I started affiliate marketing, I signed up for every email list out there. My intent was good. I wanted to get as much info as possible. The problem is that I went from shiny object to shiny object ( course to course).


I never gave any program a complete chance to succeed. I lacked the discipline to stick to one thing. It did not help that 95% of programs were get-rich-quick schemes that did not work




I have gone from program to program, and promise to promise for years. My SCAM meter is extremely high because of this. If you have been trying to get into affiliate marketing, I am sure you feel the same.


What if I told you that there is a community out there that will help you navigate every step I mentioned in this article? What if I told you that you can test drive that community for free? Further, what if I told you that you can stay a free member as long as you need? Would that help?


I belong to said community. I have found them to be the most honest and legitimate outfit out there. They provide amazing resources including step by step affiliate training with videos and tasks to keep you on the right track. They have been doing this successfully for 15 years.


They offer hosting, an amazing website building tool and step by step tutorials on how to set up your site for maximum search engine love. They even allow you to set up 2 free ones


They offer so many benefits that they are hard to list here. Why don’t you check them out and see for yourself? It is free to join. Free means free! No need to add a credit card.


Join the community and take advantage of the free training and the two free websites you can build to apply said training.


I think you will be pleased. After you test drive it (for as long as you want), you will be able to make the decision on whether or not to sign up for their premium service. It will be up to you!




I hope you enjoyed this post. Please leave comments below and I will try to answer them as soon as possible.


Thank you,



4 thoughts on “How to Make Passive Income With Affiliate Marketing”

  1. Hi Mike,
    Great content, I like that you’ve pointed out that it will take time before your website gains traction. The scams give the impression that it will happen straight away.
    I think people get discouraged because when you have a 9-5 job you start earning as soon as you start working, with affiliate marketing it’s a mind shift to work hard for a better, future passive income.

    • Hi Jenny,

      That is absolutely correct. Affiliate Marketing takes a while to get off the ground. You have to put in a lot of work for a few months before seing any income. The good news is that once the income starts coming in, the growth can be substantial. It is worth the hard work and the wait! There is no system that works overnight! Not offline and not online!

  2. I could not agree with you more that affiliate marketing takes a lot of upfront work. I am past the one year mark with my site and no steady income yet, but I am still working on it. If someone says you can make $300/day right now, then I have got a bridge to sell you. Lol! If you want to get to $300/day, you have to hustle.

    I do have a question though. Where should people go to learn affiliate marketing? It sounds too good to be true. Passive income from your home while only wearing your underwear? Come on! That sounds like a load of baloney.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

    • Hi Alex! Thanks for your comments and questions. Affiliate marketing takes time and work. At the one year mark, you have already put in the hard work. I am sure your income will steady out and increase over time. You are definitely on the right track.
      As far as resources on where to go for affiliate marketing help, I highly suggest Wealthy Affiliate. It is an excellent resources with tools and how to videos as well as unlimited support. There is a review on this site and I highly recommend for my readers to check it out!

      Thanks and good luck Alex

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