How to get started with affiliate marketing for passive income

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make passive income online. Essentially this is the process of selling other company’s products for a commission on the sale. For example, you might sell a $50 product and get 6% or $3.00. With a good amount of traffic though your affiliate link, this could multiply into a decent amount of income.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online. Today we’ll discuss Linkshare and how you can get started.

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I started exploring affiliate marketing in 2005 after blogging about the Olympics since 2001. I had a steading flow of traffic to my sites and wanted to monetize them somehow. I tried Adsense but that didn’t seem too promising.

I did some research and discovered a few leading affiliate programs: Linkshare, ShareaSale and Commission Junction. These sites basically serve as the middleman between you and the merchant.

Basic Steps to Get Started with an Affiliate Marketing Site

  1. Before you get started with affiliate marketing, you need a website. The fastest way to do this is get hosting at Bluehost and do an auto install of WordPress. There are tons of great free themes or for a more sophisticated set of customization options check out the Catalyst WordPress Theme.
  2. Once you’ve registered your website, visit the affiliate program sites (Linkshare, etc) and sign up for an account. There you’ll find dozens of categories and 1,000 of merchants with millions of products you can promote on your website. It’s easy to search and find the right products that match your niche.
  3. Once you find a a few good merchants, apply to become an affiliate for their program. Some programs will approve your application immediately, while it may take a day or two for others to let you in or reject you based on a number of potential reasons.
  4. Upon approval, you’ll have access to a plethora of links for each merchant. You’ll see text links, banner links, individual product links and some customizable links. Most affiliate programs also have a feed that you can subscribe to or download so that you no longer have to manually login to see what’s new. It’s really pretty amazing how quickly you can start grabbing HTML code for these links and build out your new website.
  5. Put the links on your site and once someone purchases something a record of the transaction will appear in your affiliate program account. Depending on the program you’ve chosen, you can expect to get a check for your commissions within 30-60 after your total reaches a set minimum. Payouts usually come in the form of check, direct deposit or PayPal.

Have you tried affiliate marketing? What’s worked for you?

Please leave a comment below or on Twitter @steinarknutsen.