How to Make Money as an Affiliate

Content writer makes bank

Is Passive Income a Reality?

Making money from promoting products (like this) and software online sounds a bit scammy, and it’s not an industry that has a lot of positive sentiment. The truth is that it does work but it takes work. If you could just sign up, drop a link and get money that would be amazing but then everyone would be doing it.

The number one killer for new affiliates and online marketers giving up is the work required to get started making the first $$$. This is because it takes work to get started and it doesn’t happen in a day. Thats the cold hard truth.

If you are looking to make some quick cash then you’re probably looking at this with the wrong lens. You will need at least a month of prep and ground work to build something that people will:

A) Trust enough to buy from

B) Search engines, social media algorithms give your business pages enough love to be seen online

C) For you to set up your sales machine to get paid and track your referrals

These are facts of life when working online. You are dependent on being seen and having people read and click your content. You can see below how web traffic is categorised by where it came from, this is the juice that affiliate networks want to know that you have.

The key things you need to build a home based business are

1 Your business stack

  • A computer
  • Internet connection
  • Lead forms
  • Email automation software
  • A website or web page

2 Your Niche

  • Home decor
  • Gardening
  • Fat Loss
  • VPNs and more
  • A list of competitors
  • The keyword targeting for this niche

3 Your products

  • The things that you will be promoting either digital or physical products
  • You must know the commission rates per sale
  • You can research what paid advertising cost per click rates are for your niche catagory
  • Identify the best places to promote these products like Twitter, Facebook, Websites or by Ads

4 Web Traffic

  • Where you will be getting web traffic from
  • You need eyeballs on your content and web pages to make sales
  • Tailoring content to specific audiences and channels
  • Have a plan for growing the website traffic like SEO, advertising or influencer deals

Thats the 4 core pillars for building a home based business.

I can rattle off another 18 tactics for making it a big deal that could grow into your full time business where you hire helpers and you have a business run from your home that does more than $100k a year. This article is more about the setup and for those getting started, let’s not get way ahead of ourselves. 🙂

You can get started with a laptop, a computer connection and an idea. But to really make money online you need a plan and Ive sent hundreds of beginners over to the Affiliate Bootcamp and watched a handful go on to make it full time as affiliate marketers.

As you start making sales the process should become more about refinement of your product offering and the conversion elements. We don’t get any commissions if the readers just read our content, we have to be making them click through to see the sales page of the products.

We will do this by:

  • We focus on the product offers, pricing and placement to get the readers hooked.
  • We focus on the conversion elements to make a reader become a customer.

Ok, so we know the focus areas and what is required but lets look at some ways that we can start making money online and how to do it. Below are 4 methods of making online money that have been proven successful over many years. Your job today is to select just 1 method and give it your best shot at making an online business from the method.

Method 1 Email Profits

To us as affiliates peoples email addresses are highly valuable. Once we get that email we can pitch products and offers to that email list over and over again. The key is it only costs us our time to create it, and the email software that we use to make the sends.

*You could skimp on software and do it all manually but aint nobody got time for dat!

You start by creating a lead capture form asking for their name and email in order to get something like a PDF, template, Google sheet or something that helps them. Thats the value exchange where we help them with something and they don’t mind giving us the email address because we may help them again.

What I use to do this across my portfolio of niche sites:

  • MailPoet – WordPress email automation newsletter software
  • SendFox – Lightweight quick and easy email automation software
  • GroovePages – Full funnels designer pages, emails, conversion tracking and newsletter functions
  • ClickFunnels – Landing pages, email newsletters and ecommerce products, a real sales software

You should organise your forms and email lists by the name and place that you are collecting the leads from. For example My footer email capture is called “CB_Footer_newsletter_signup” and the email list is called “CB_Newsletter_footer”.

the next thing I need to do is create the email campaigns that I’ll send in a sequence. These can be automated to send when ever you want and to who ever you want on your list.

Other Items that you should know:

  • Create yourself a content calendar to schedule into your emails
  • You will need to know what to promote when and with what content in advance (see above)
  • Create tracking for the emails using Google Analytics or built in software tracking
email sequence

Email campaigns can be very lucrative. You can earn bank just from sending an email blast. If you have 4,000+ subscribers you can start to get paid every time you email out offers. *This depends entirely on your product, the offer, the pitch and your audience on the list.

With these all put together, it spells out a profitable serious income. What is better than all this, you can keep adding to the pool and make it grow without time bound or costly investments. Plus you can keep all this money on the internet and repeat it many times over in one hour a day!

Method 2 Print on Demand (POD)

One of my personal hobbies is buying retro tee shirts, I love the old memories these cool shirts bring me and my daughter like Saturday cartoons tee shirts. Thats me to a tee (no puns) but if you want to sell me on your tee shirts my niche is “retro” “vintage” “cartoons” “male” “XXXL” all the keywords and tags you would add to me if I joined your store.

But If you are staring a clothing business you cant just start making tee shirts today, unless your use a print on demand partner like highly rated Printify, Printiful and others.

printed tee all valley tournment

These partners handle the actual product manufacturing for you all you have to do is

  • Create the design
  • Make the sales and
  • Create the brand.

The POD Way To Succeed!


POD is a way of creating money ON demand. You make money from the initial purchase of the product (vendor), then on up each and every month as you continue to sell the shirts, hats, bags, pants and more. You could actually be making lots of money with print of demand every year. Especially if you watch the current trends and create clothing around them.

The 6 Step Framework to get started:

Step 1 create a store

Step 2 join a POD partner like Printify, Printiful

Step 3 Create the designs that you want (If doesn’t just need to be tee shirts) see Canva Design Studio.

Step 4 List the designs on your store. I use Placeit to create realistic fashion models of my shirts

Step 5 Start generating traffic to your product pages using ads, content or emails

Step 6 Offer the customer a bundle and repeat purchase options

Thats the chunk of it that in 6 steps. You can get real granular and flesh out these steps so that theres even more opportunity per step. I kept it short and sweet here for you as an overview of the way it works.

*Advanced tactic. You can have two stores. 1 store is focused on selling cool designs to the public in a B2C way. The 2nd way is B2B where you sell company clothing, office supplies, sports teams uniforms for profit using the POD partner to fulfil the orders. This is a genius move and well worth you looking at it as an option.

pod tee shirt mock up example

You can once you start making sales, invest in some conversion optimisation to help increase your sales and retention. Paying attention to this could take you from $4,000 a month in sales to $12,000 a month in sales (as an example). Further reading on conversions for ecommerce stores, and how to create sales pages.

Method 3 Reselling Products

I love a good resell opportunity, My wife is the master reselling goods that she has bought low and will resell high. In my early ecommerce and dropshipping days I joined this Salehoo network for an immediate network of available products that I could resell or dropship. This follows the golden principle below;

The golden rule is to buy low and sell high, What we call profit arbitrage.

There are a bunch of websites that allow you to resell their products and software for a higher fee. All it takes is a Google search or a Chat GPT prompt to find the tried and tested networks that allow this.

My other enjoyment is reselling other peoples training, it is a heck of a lot easier than making your own. Ill even go as far as showing you how. Here is my resell or promotion of some existing training course its called the Affiliate Bootcamp where you learn A to Z of what you can do to be a well armed affiliate. Its that simple.

Some of these have subscriptions attached to the sale so you could be making monthly sales thanks to the hard work of others. The dream 🙂 and another step towards making passive income.

Build niche website lifestyle businesses

Option 3.1 Reselling Consumables

Theres a couple extra things to reselling products. I like the skincare niche because the products are 80% consumable and require the buyers to replenish every 3-6 weeks. This for us as affiliates is or ecommerce store owners is customer gold.

Consumables that you can resell using a mix of ecommerce store and Facebook Marketplace tactics

  • Skin care products
  • Health powders, pills, vitamins
  • Drinks
  • Local produce (requires more manual management)
  • Buy other peoples products low and resell at 30% markup on Facebook Marketplace

You can be competitive on prices and create a web store that sells 24/7. A lot of resellers are not tech savvy and depend on physical labour of collecting and delivering goods. In todays market you can get pick up services cheap and delivery services. You now are able to compete with traditional reseller businesses right from the comfort of your home.

*I might be oversharing here but I look around my local supermarket at brands that I see and take note of the manufacturer brand. I then review that brand to see what they sell, where they deliver and how much wholesale prices they sell for. This tells me the supermarkets markup price and then identify if I can successfully resell the product.

Method 4 Affiliate Marketing

The resale income resell rights gives you. The most common is called the license of your own merchandise, in other words you have the rights to sell the products as well as you can resell it in all the ways you can desire.

My first action item here is to do some research, look around the niche you are thinking about focusing on and see whats already out there. A couple of Google searches, some Facebook and Instagram hashtag searches and you should have a handful of products and competitors that you can start inspecting.

I learn a lot from looking at the market. I like to see what competitors are doing, what they sell and how they present products.I suggest that you start making a Google sheet of competitors and some notes about what you like and what you dont like about them.

Finding the best products and offers is key in your affiliate money making journey. I like to review the networks like CJ, JVZoo, Share A Sale, Max Commissions and more. Each has its own pros and cons, so look around and bookmark products that you like. Always take note of the reviews and work out how many sales per product the vendors make, this gives you some idea on what sale are like by time stamping the reviews.

Next up is web traffic and growth opportunities. As an affiliate marketer you need to understand your audience and who is and who could be your customer. This graphic explains the buckets of where you audience is sitting, learn this.

The Facebook traffic method framework

How to make money as an affiliate FAQs

Here are some key frequently asked questions about the methods Ive presented:

Best low cost money making method?

  • Affiliate marketing is one of the most cost-effective online business models to get started with. You don’t need to create your own products, manage inventory, or handle shipping.

Lowest start up costs method?

  • All you need is a computer, internet connection, and a platform to promote products in the Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing.

Methods that require some upfront expenses to start?

  • Reselling requires upfront expenses to acquire the product. Email marketing will require a form of software to really do this properly.

Methods that do not require you to make the product?

  • Print on Demand and Affiliate marketing are the easiest ones to harness other peoples products. You could also do this with Email marketing as well. Your main responsibility is to promote products or services that already exist, saving you time and resources.

What methods has the lowest touch customer support?

  • As an affiliate marketer and email marketing specialist, you’re not responsible for customer support or dealing with product-related issues. This leaves you free to focus on marketing and driving traffic to your affiliate offers.

What methods are focused on performance based payments?

  • Affiliate marketing, Print on Demand, Email Marketing and Reselling are all performance-based models, meaning you earn commissions and profit for every successful sale or action generated through your affiliate links. This incentivizes you to optimize your marketing efforts and improve your skills continually.

What method has the biggest profit potential?

  • Most methods earning potentials are solely based on your effort that you put in and your ability to sell. The positive in this is the more you do it the better you get so as you grow your upside should increase. I suggest looking at some spreadsheet modelling once you have the products, prices and commission payouts that you will work with and model the commissions by daily sales of x and so on. This gives you a target to hit $10,000 commission per month.

Will you be limited in product selection of a niche?

  • There are affiliate programs available for nearly every niche and industry imaginable. This vast selection allows you to find products that align with your interests and passions, making it more enjoyable to promote them.

What types of data and analytics will you have access to?

  • Most affiliate programs provide you with access to detailed analytics, allowing you to track your performance and optimize your strategies. This data-driven approach can help you refine your marketing techniques and increase your earnings.

Remember that success in affiliate marketing takes time, effort, and consistent learning. Stay dedicated, focus on providing value to your audience, and continually adapt your strategies based on the data you gather. With patience and perseverance, you can build a profitable affiliate marketing business.

Good luck out there.