In this post, you will learn all about the amazing side hustle known as affiliate marketing!
When I was in college, I was taught that if I knew how to sell, I’d always have a job. Since then I’ve discovered that if I knew how to sell online, I’d never need one.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is simply being an online salesperson for whatever product it is you want to sell and making a commission for your efforts.
Take Amazon, for example. It is one of the biggest e-commerce stores on the web. Amazon has an affiliate program meaning that, once you are accepted, you can sell anything on their site and earn a 10% commission.
Say you buy a new backpack from Amazon that you really love for $80. You love it so much that you do a product review and share the backpack to your Instagram and Facebook pages. In your product review or on your Instagram story, you paste your affiliate link to the backpack. An affiliate link is a link to a product with a unique tracking code that ties the source back to you. When the link is clicked and the product is purchased, you get credit.
The conversion rate measures how well your linked material is working. In other words, for every 100 people that view your review how many of them actually take action? The standard conversion rate is around 2% — 2 out of every 100.
Back to the example from earlier… if 2 people buy your backpack at $80 apiece, that would be $160 in sales. Now remember, Amazon's commission rate is only 10%. In total profits, you are looking at $16.00. This doesn't seem like a lot of money, but imagine if this model was scaled. What if you could get 1,000 views? What if you had an extra $160 in your pocket at the day? This is where the magic starts to happen.
Running Ads on Affiliate Offers
If you really want to scale your affiliate profits, you need to run ads. In the above example, all traffic coming in from the social media posts was organic. Organic traffic is free and takes time to gain momentum.
Paid traffic, on the other hand, is quickly scalable. If you have a good idea and the right math, your offer can make you thousands of dollars. Right now, I have the math figured so that for every dollar I spend in ads, I am at least making it back and then some. I strive to spend as much as I can as long as the math equation continues to balance out.
Again with the backpack, you have $8 to spend to get 100 clicks without losing any money. If you can get 100 clicks for under $8, you’ll be making a little profit! Say you can get the clicks for $7, making your profit $1.
Now, this doesn’t seem like very much money. You might even be questioning why I do this. But just think about how much you could make if you spent $80 or even $800. Once you prove your idea works, you will have a money-making machine in your hands.
When creating a side hustle, a lot of people think about profit right away. They fail to think about the long-term success of the business. Even if your profit equals however much you spent to obtain the customer and the sale is a total wash, you still gained something extremely valuable — a customer! You have somebody that trusts you and took your recommendation!
Capturing the Lead
So Adrian, what do you mean I “have a customer”? Well, before I push the user through to the sale or offer, I always ask for their email. This is called capturing the lead. This way, the next time you want to promote a similar offer, you have their trust and contact information to possibly make another sale.
Say your next offer has to do with luggage. On Amazon, the luggage cost $300. In the same fashion, your commission rate is 10% meaning you’ll make $30 for every sale. Here’s where the amazing part comes in… because the customer already trusts you, they are more inclined to buy through you again. All you have to do is shoot them a quick email explaining the offer. Oh, and did I mention that this is completely free to do? You already paid for the lead back at the first offer. This time, 100% of the commission gets put in the bank.
The affiliate marketing business model is all about curating emails and nurturing your customers with consistent, quality recommendations. I am constantly building email lists and offers across hundreds of different niches. If you can think long-term, the possibilities are endless!
3 Rules of Affiliate Marketing
First, when taking on anything new, you must consider the risk factor. If 1 is low and 10 is really high, I would put affiliate marketing at a 1. You don’t have to deal with anything customer service-related and will never have to hold inventory.
In terms of time, there is the free path and the paid path. The free strategy takes much longer so I’m going to put it at a 6. The paid method is quicker so I’ll put it at a 3.
The same goes for cost. The free way is well, free so it will earn a 1. The paid way requires a little more so it will be a 6.
Check out my blog post My Top 10 Books. I wrote a short intro and then included a link to each of them. Because they are all available on Amazon, I used Amazon’s affiliate program to create trackable links. This way, no matter which book the customer buys, I make a commission.
ClickFunnels is a platform used to manage affiliate websites and such. I am actually an affiliate for ClickFunnels! When I teach people how to set up their affiliate marketing campaigns, I always recommend ClickFunnels, both because I love the site and will make some money if they buy! ClickFunnels is software that requires a monthly membership. This means I will make a commission at least once a month.
If you're just starting out, you probably aren’t ready to start promoting business software. There are hundreds of different companies out there that also offer recurring income. LadyBoss is a site that sells supplements and greens made for women. Most supplements come in a 30 day supply. As long as the customer likes the product, they will continue to buy and I will continue to make my commission.
There are lots of quality programs out there. I like to start with companies that I’ve heard of or have actually used. Then, start basing your searches off interest. Once you have some data under your belt, you can start applying for programs that offer opportunity as opposed to interest.
Affiliate marketing is a fascinating side hustle. To learn more, check out my free lessons on my YouTube channel. I can’t wait to hear your success story!
Peace and God Bless.
I make new content every single week, so be sure to subscribe to my Youtube and follow my Instagram @brambilabong and TikTok at @AdrianBrambila. I also have tons of resources and courses on my website that you won’t want to miss. Head over to www.adrianbrambila.com to learn more about what I do and how I live a financially free life.