How to start affiliate marketing
Continuing our series about ways to earn an international income, today we’ll tackle the topic of affiliate marketing.
If you’re interested in learning more about a location independent income, you can check out this article right here, or read about freelancing here.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a method of earning money by getting paid when you successfully promote someone else’s product or service.
Say someone else writes a book, and sets up an affiliate program for it. If you then promote this book, and get other people to buy it, you get a commission.
This is either percentage based or a fixed amount.
Nowadays, there are affiliate programs for just about everything you can think of:
- Car dealers
- Dating sites
- Subscriptions to magazines
And so on.
Affiliate marketing takes very little creativity, because someone else has already done the creative part: actually creating something.
All you have to do is find customers who are interested in buying the product or service, and getting them to sign up/buy it, using a special affiliate link.
This link shows that you are the origin of a customer’s purchase, and thus the affiliate program can correctly reward you.
You can make quite a lot of money via affiliate marketing, and it’s pretty easy to get started, but it will take some time and effort to really do it well.
Why affiliate marketing is ideal for a location independent income
Affiliate marketing allows you to do your own thing, and work wherever and whenever you want.
You do not have to live in a certain country to make money through affiliate marketing, you can do this whether you live in New York, the mountains of Peru or the beaches of Thailand.
All you need are a laptop and an internet connection, and you are good to go.
Promoting other people’s products or services can be done through specific affiliate marketing websites (my preferred method), social media, advertisements, e-mail-marketing, and so on.
Moreover, as opposed to freelancing, affiliate marketing has a few other huge advantages:
- You can diversify in all kinds of different and non-related niches. For example, you can promote dating sites, cars, and insurance. If one of those sectors tanks, you still have the others to back you up, because they aren’t related and shouldn’t be hugely affected when one of them does poorly
- You do not take assignments from someone. Generally speaking, affiliate marketing is a pretty “asocial” way of earning money, in that you do not have to deal with other people on a regular basis. If you sign up for some affiliate marketing websites, sometimes you can talk to an affiliate manager, but that’s about it
- Affiliate marketing allows you to set up a source of passive income. This means that after you put in the initial work by, say, setting up an affiliate website, you do not have to keep working on it to keep earning money. You’ll receive money when you’re sleeping, on vacation, whatever. Of course I would recommend you to regularly keep your sources of affiliate income up to date, to avoid losing your ranking in search engines
How to start affiliate marketing with no money?
The easiest way to start affiliate marketing with no money is promoting things via programs like Amazon Associates through your social media.
This is completely free, and anyone can do this.
If you have a large following who aren’t just friends and family, but actually people who “admire” you and want to imitate your lifestyle, you can easily start by mentioning where you got this bag, that microphone, and so on.
Put an affiliate link in the description, and if one of your minions buys it … you get paid.
Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Facebook are great ways of promoting affiliate programs.
However, if you dislike social media and think, like me, that they’re a cancer upon humanity, there is a better, but usually non-free, way: create your own affiliate marketing websites.
This is highly recommended, because social media platforms are unreliable.
They could ban you and your content tomorrow for no good reason whatsoever, and then you’d be without income.
Do not think this wouldn’t happen to you, because as the West keeps collapsing, censorship will become stricter.
By having your own affiliate websites, spread across multiple hosting providers, across different non-related niches, you can set yourself up to be very robust, flexible and resilient, no matter what happens in any one sector.
Of course, this will cost some money – but not as much as you’d think.
Personal experiences with affiliate marketing
I created my first affiliate website from scratch and it cost me about $10 for the domain name, and $20 for the hosting for a year.
Within a few months the website was generating natural traffic, and I made enough money per day to pay for the yearly costs.
Keep in mind that this was with zero experience, and zero marketing. Purely organic traffic to a shitty, amateur WordPress website.
If you know what you are doing and are able to invest some capital, you can start making money way faster.
Once the website hit the threshold of earning its yearly cost per month, I started with another site. And then another, and so on.
Affiliate marketing is one of my primary sources of income, because it allows me to:
- Work by myself, without having to deal with customers or any other bullshit
- I can do it from anywhere in the world, making it an ideal way of earning money while I’m setting up flags in countries such as the Philippines and Paraguay
- It’s a very scalable business – once you have “proof of concept”, and know that a specific website can create money, you can easily duplicate it into another language or another niche
I’m currently working on a detailed book about creating an extensive network of Affiliate websites, which will document the whole process in more detail.
In short, affiliate marketing is awesome, and if you want to escape the West but have no real skills that you can freelance with, this is a great way to earn additional income – or earn more passive income than you ever thought possible.