With this month’s Dare to Grow masterclass being all about earning income with affiliate links, I thought I’d share my experience with growing my own affiliate income over the past five years.
Affiliate links are one of my favorite ways to add passive income (like really passive) to boost my bank account. Some months I put more work in by sending emails and co-hosting webinars, and some months I’m lazy as hell and just let the cash roll in from links in my blog posts + courses. I definitely make more money in the months I have a plan for promotion, but the lazy months aren’t too shabby either!
I started adding affiliate links into my blog in 2013, about six months into self employment. I still had a lot of lifestyle content on my blog (as opposed to content about blogging + business) and so my first jump into affiliate links was using Amazon Associates to create a post about aerial equipment. I linked to lots of different items I used for rigging that cost between $10 and $100.
At a 4% commission, I started out making about $20/month for the first year, then $60/month, and then (because I was doing ZERO promotion) it settled around $100/month.
Because my blog content had changed from lifestyle posts to blogging + business, I ended up taking the aerial post down (even though it was still generating income) and switched to sharing posts with business + personal development books in them.
$100/month isn’t a terribly thrilling number after five years, but with those totally passive affiliate links, it completely pays for my internet bill + Netflix every month.
Outside of Amazon, I use affiliate links with a few different commission structures . . .
1 | A percentage of sales: Just like affiliate links from Amazon, I earn a percent of the purchase. Some of these links offer a 4% commission and some go up to 50% which really pays off on higher priced items.
2 | A percentage of recurring payments: Instead of earning a commission on one payment, I earn a commission every time the user makes their monthly payment. For example, if they have a monthly payment of $50 and I earn a 50% commission, then I get $25/month, every month from every user who joins with my link. So that $25 adds up!
3 | Flat rate commission: Instead of a percent, I earn a specific dollar amount from every sale. Some of my affiliate programs pay just 50 cents per referral (someone signing up but not necessarily purchasing) and some pay up to $95 for a purchase.
4 | Site credit: Some companies don’t offer cash but offer an account credit instead. For example, Planoly gives me a $10 credit for every user who creates a paid account through my link. Because their monthly plan is only $9, my account is already paid for through the next year – that only took 12 referrals.
With a combination of different types of affiliate links (most of which are just hanging out in my blog posts + courses) I’m able to pay a lot of bills or have enough site credits to offset the cost of my account.
Internet: PAID FOR
Virtual assistant: PAID FOR
Teachable: PAID FOR
ConvertKit: PAID FOR
So my question for you today is…what bills are you ready to have PAID?? Because like I said, it only takes a handful of purchases through your links to start making money. And that money could easily pay your domain+hosting fees, your cell phone bill, your rent or mortgage, or your monthly payment for Dare to Grow!
In the March masterclass I covered all the details of finding the right affiliate links for your audience (because if you aren’t blogging about blogging, you’ll be looking for different links than the ones I share). How to post links without looking spammy and how to deal with bookkeeping, legal disclosures, and taxes.
The Affiliate Income Masterclass is available in Dare to Grow until Friday, April 6th.
Masterclasses are exclusive for members of Dare to Grow, but lucky for you membership is open year-round! Click the button below to join now!