There are two ways to earn money, trade hours for dollars or learn how to make a passive income. Of the two, passive income money makers are tougher to accomplish. But once achieved, the rewards can last for long periods of time thereafter.
Trading Time (Hours) for Dollars
Most of us are all to familiar with this method of generating income. It typically entails finding a job where your work a bunch of hours for a negotiated amount of pay per hour. Most complain that it is always too many hours and never enough money.
But there are newer ways to exchange hours for income using the internet. You could post on job boards and forums that you are willing to perform certain online tasks (like graphic design or website creation, etc.) You either specify your rate up front or you allow whoever contacts you to tell you how much they are willing to pay for your service.
There are also websites dedicated to help people looking for these types of jobs as well as people willing to perform them. The following are some of the bigger sites:
There are several others and more seem to be popping up all the time. Each of these sites have differences in how they operate but the general idea is that they match people looking for jobs to be done with workers/freelancers willing to carry out the jobs.
These types of websites can be a great way to earn money without having to be a slave to a corporate job. But they are not without their own pitfalls. Some of the pitfalls people often complain with this type of working arrangement are:
- The rates are too low for the workers
- The work is too much
- The client asking for work is too demand for the low rates offered
- The clients complain that the work was not done the way they wanted
- The rate that the websites take from the freelancer are usually very steep
And so on...
Consider Passive Income Instead
Passive income is a great way to earn money. Imagine that even as you sleep or on your leisure time you can be earning income. It just doesn't get better than that.
Some examples of ways to earn money passively are:
- Buy Stocks that Pay Dividends
- Membership Websites
- Book Publishing on Amazon and Other Distributions
- Magazine Publishing on iTunes, Amazon, Google
- Affiliate Sales that Offer Recurring Income Programs
I am sure I can come up with several others but these are some of the major ways people earn money on a consistent basis, i.e., passively.
You probably figured out that earning money in this capacity is a bit more difficult to accomplish than the trading hours for dollars way. There is truth to that. But it is not impossible. You simply have to choose a method, learn how to implement it and continue until you start earning money.
How to Make a Passive Income
I have been successful with each of the different passive income mechanisms listed above. I have written several books, I am the editor of a magazine on iTunes, I have dividend stocks that pay me either monthly or quarterly, have several membership sites, and make a consistent income from a recurring affiliate program.
Of all the mechanisms, I think the easiest to start is an affiliate program that supports recurring income. All the others are lucrative but require a much bigger learning curve to start earning on a consistent basis.
There is a learning curve associated with the affiliate business too, but it is significantly smaller than the others. This is why I would suggest starting with this method of earning passive income.
What Exactly is an Affiliate Business?
Before I get into what an affiliate business is, let me take you through the traditional method of starting a business. Let's say you wanted to open up a retail store. You would need:
- To buy or rent the store (land and building)
- Buy the necessary fixtures and other supporting equipment and supplies
- Find suppliers of the items you want to sell and negotiate pricing and terms
- Hire workers if needed
- Advertise to bring customers in
- Implement customer service to deal with unhappy customers, returns, etc.
- Run sales to bring in more customers
- Pay Sales Taxes and Other Government Fees
I'm sure I could come up with other items to add to this list but this is good for reference.
With an affiliate business, you don't have to deal with any of those items. You essentially can participate in the sales of products and/or services without all of the overhead. The companies that you affiliate with is responsible for those tasks/items.
As an example, suppose you wanted to sell items that Walmart is selling. You would enter into an arrangement with Walmart and they would give you links or banners encoded with your affiliate link.
Then you would set up a page (or pages) on your website that contained those affiliate links. When visitors to your website clicked on those links and purchased something from Walmart, Walmart credits you with the sale and gives you an previously agreed upon percentage of the sale.
Obviously, this is an oversimplification of the process. If it truly were this easy, everyone would be doing it and making millions of dollars. I will give you links on how to set this all up the correct way below.
As you can see, by not having to deal with the order processing, fulfillment, distribution, customer handling, etc., you can see how the affiliate model is much easier than the traditional brick-and-mortar. Yet, you still get to participate in the selling of products which is really cool!
How Exactly is this Passive Income?
The Walmart example from above is not a passive income structure. You would have to continually drive visitors (both new and previous) to your website. Even if people have bought from you the first time doesn't mean they will do so again.
I used the Walmart example as a way to describe the affiliate marketing process. It would be necessary to find companies that support recurring incomes.
The type of program you choose is going to be largely dependent on the type of market you are targeting. For example, if your hobby is playing piano and you have a website dedicated to teaching others to play, you would want to find affiliate programs that charge customers for monthly memberships. Those do exist on the likes of Clickbank.com, etc.
Niche Selection 101
In order to determine what kind of affiliate products or services to promote, you will need to define what niche you are going to target. You can think of a niche as a more narrowly defined scope within a particular market.
It's usually a good idea to get more narrow in your focus as the highest level within a particular market tends to be too competitive to effectively market to it. For instance, it would be extremely difficult to get any kind of traction from a market such as fishing. But if you were to refine your focus to fishing boats or lures for bass fishing, you would have a much better chance of breaking through that sub market or niche.
It's way beyond the scope of this article to get into the finer details of niche selection. I will include (below) a link to a free resource that shows you exactly how to do this as well as how to set up your affiliate website in a way that you can start earning income from it.
Tying it All Back to Passive Income
You choose your niche and you are all set to go. Now what? If your goal is to earn passive income than you will want to ensure that your niche has affiliate programs that support recurring income programs. That is the key to making this method passive.
If you don't find any programs that support recurring commissions and you still want to pursue the niche you chose, you always have the option of starting your own recurring income program. This is quite a bit more involved but is not impossible. However, the focus of this article is to get you started easily. That's why focusing on niches that already have affiliate programs is important.
The first place to look for recurring income programs is a website called ClickBank.com. This website allows anyone who has a digital information product to sell using their platform. The biggest draw for this website is that any member can sell any other product as an affiliate.
To get started, you'll need to sign up for a free account on ClickBank:
Click Here to Create Your Free ClickBank Account
Once you have that created, sign in and look for the market place link:
Note: you may need to confirm your account by clicking on the link that they send you to the email that you used to sign up.
In the search box, search on the niche that you selected:
Alternatively, you could scroll down and choose categories on the left hand side of the screen:
As an example, let's suppose our niche is in the Green Products category. Select that category:
To find the recurring income products, change the Sort button from Popularity to Avg Rebill Total:
This will present you with all of the vendors whose products support recurring billing. You can also look at some of the other statistics which gives you a rough estimate of how well the product sells.
Getting into an advanced coverage of the inner workings of ClickBank are beyond the scope of this article. The resource that I will direct you to below will give you greater understanding of how to choose an affiliate program!
This article was intended to help you see the power contained within recurring income programs and how they can help you develop a passive income by using them. The next steps to take are to learn about the various components needed to make them work to generate that income. These include:
- Refining and Verifying Niche Selection
- In Depth Coverage of Affiliate Selection
- Website Selection
- Installing WordPress on your Website
- Tweaking WordPress for Maximum Optimization
- Creating Valuable Content to Generate Traffic
- What to Do When You Get Stuck
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