How to earn passive income from your website?
I am often asked this question. Most people think you can just put up a link or banner and instantly generate monthly income. Although that may work for a few, the rest of us have to do a little more work for it to pay off.
What is affiliate marketing?
If you are new to affiliate marketing I recommend reading this post from Commission Junction. Basically, as an affiliate you offer links on your website promoting someone elses products or services. Most links are in the form of banner ads and are tracked using cookies.
Where to find affiliate programs
This is easier than you think. In a Bing search 67,400,000 results were yielded for “affiliate programs.” Here are a few personal recommendations:
Find the right affiliate offers
Find affiliate offers that are related to the content on your website. Stay within your niche. You know your target market and the demographics of your viewers (or at least should). Promote products or services that look natural on your site. If the offers blend well with your site more viewers will click on the ads – resulting in more income for you.
Spy on your competitors
A great place to look for affiliate programs is to checkout ads and links on your competitors sites. Go to their website and look at what they are selling.
I am signed up as an affiliate, now what?
Most affiliate programs will give you access to a dashboard where you can access track your clicks and gather banners and links to place on your website. Many will offer html code or java script for you to copy and paste into your website. Be sure to setup your payment preferences to ensure you get paid in a timely manner.
Cookies – Tracking
If you send an buyer to a merchant, they set a cookie on the buyer’s web browser. If the buyer comes back to the merchant site, before the cookie expires and buys something you still get the commission.
Cookie lock-in period
This is the period in which your cookie cannot be over-written with a cookie from another affiliate marketer. The problem is buyers may further research a product or service you recommended. In doing so your cookie may get over-written and you would loose the commission. The lock-in period stops this from happening.
How do affiliates get paid?
Always read the terms and conditions of each affiliate program. Payment is usually made after a minimum threshold is reached. For example I have my Commission Junction account setup to pay after I have accumulated $50 in commissions. Payment is made by direct deposit the following month.
It is easier to meet minimum thresholds using affiliate networks like Commission Junction or Amazon versus individual companies. However, if a company has a high dollar commission and it fits your niche I would definitely consider it.
Remember the trick to affiliate commissions is lots of traffic and relevant affiate links.
If you need help finding relevant affiliate programs or help with implementation into your site, let us know. We would love to help.