Passive Income as a Student: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has been an upcoming trend within digital marketing over the last few years. It is a very accessible way of making some money for everyone who wants. It does take (lots of) time and effort and you have to be patient, but eventually on the long term if you have found your public, you can actually make (some or even a lot of) money from it. But what is it exactly, how to start, what to do and how to actually make money from it? In this article, I will tell you all about it.

What is affiliate marketing?

You promote a product, for example on your website, Instagram or YouTube, and if someone buys the product using your link, you get a small commission (which I do in for example this article on productivity books). This commission depends on the product. Mostly, the commission will be around 1-6%, and for more expensive/luxury products it will often be around 10%.

How to start with affiliate marketing?

Make a website, Instagram account or YouTube channel

First of all, you need a platform on which you can put your affiliate links. This is usually done on websites and blogs; people write an article about a product or certain products and then affiliate links are placed in this article. However, you could also use affiliate links on Instagram (stories and bio) and on YouTube (in the description of a video). You often see affiliate links on the Instagram and YouTube channels of influencers with a large network, who want to earn some extras while promoting their (as they say) favourite products. However, when you are not an influencer, the most easy and accessible way of (starting) affiliate marketing is creating your own website. Choose a topic you are interested in and you can write lots about. Find products related to that topic on which you can create affiliate links.

Sign in at affiliate marketing platforms/programs

Next step, sign in at an affiliate program! Nowadays, lots of platforms offer you an affiliate program, so you have enough choice. These are some of the best affiliate marketing platforms and programs for beginners and also people who are already affiliate marketeers.

Amazon Affiliate Associates

There are various platforms who provide an affiliate program, from which Amazon Affiliate Associates is the most popular. In all honesty, the commissions of Amazon products are not that large (1-6%), but it still a very accessible and easy way of starting with affiliate marketing.

This affiliate program is mainly interesting for travel related websites, as promotes flights and hotels. When you have a travel related website and/or articles, this is very interesting. Hotels and flights can be quite expensive, you when someone books a hotel and/or flight through your affiliate link, this could make you quite some money.

E-Bay partner network

The e-bay partner network is comparable to the amazon affiliate associates. E-bay is of course a gigantic platform with many stuff, so there are a lot of options on products. Again, the commissions will not be that high, but it is still an accessible platform for everyone to start with affiliate marketing.

ClickBank affiliates

Clickbank is also large affiliate program, with a large product database, which is very easy to navigate on.

ShareASale Network

ShareASale was one of the first affiliate marketing programs and still used by lots of people. The platform offers flexible payment methods and lots of products from which you can make an affiliate link.

Make affiliate links

This is an easy step. Go to your affiliate program, click on the tool to create links and there you go! Copy the links and put them on your website, Instagram, YouTube or someplace else. It is important to know and remember that when you put an affiliate link somewhere, you have to put somewhere on the page the information that the link is an affiliate link, so that you could earn a small commission when the customers orders the product, but that this does not mean extra costs for that customer.

How much money will I make from affiliate marketing?

How much money you will make will eventually depend mainly on the following things;

1. How much time you spend on it

Do not expect you will get rich from affiliate marketing immediately. This will take quite some time and effort while earning nothing, and after some time with enough perseverance, you will hopefully start to earn money. However, as it is a from of passive income, eventually you could earn money from it without doing anything at all, or only updating your website once in a while.

2. How much visitors your website has

This makes quite some sense; if your website has 50.000 visitors a month, compared to 1.000 visitors a month, it is likely that you will earn money with the 50.000 visitors. The more visitors, the more people will click on an affiliate link and the more people that will actually buy the product you get a commission on.

3. How engaged your visitors are

The engagement of the visitor is crucial; is the visitor just randomly reading an article, is the visitor orienting on buying the product or is the visitor already sure on buying the product. All this matters if your affiliate link will be actually used or not to buy a product. For example, if you are writing a review of a book; a customer who is already sure on buying the book is more likely to use your affiliate link on buying the book than someone who is just reading the review randomly.

4. How relevant your website and articles are

The main topic and subtopics of your website are also important for the earnings of your affiliate links. If your website focuses on a niche topic, a very popular topic and/or your website has very good SEO (search engine optimisation), it is more likely that more people will use your affiliate link.

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