You are currently viewing How to Earn Passive Income as an Affiliate Marketer

How to Earn Passive Income as an Affiliate Marketer

Imagine being able to go on vacation without any financial worries. You know that, despite the fact you aren’t near a computer, you will still be earning an income while you travel.

Affiliate marketing is the perfect way to earn passive income so that you have time for the things that matter most to you.

Passive income is income that you earn on autopilot. You don’t have to be active or present in order for you to earn money. Affiliate marketing works well as passive income because you are paid by commission, per lead, or even per each click or view.

You simply do the work once and let the ads do the rest of the work.

There are four major marketing avenues every content marketer should use in order to get the most out of affiliate marketing. Those avenues are a website or blog, Pinterest, email, and social media.

Each offers their own unique benefits, but all of them can effectively earn a substantial amount of passive income for a marketer.

Marketing Via A Website or Blog

A website is a great place to promote products and begin to build a relationship with a potential paying customer. You can write blog posts, niche-related articles, or news articles in order to gain an audience and earn their trust.

Be sure to write articles or posts that are full of useful information to build your fan base. Your fan base is much more likely to purchase a product from someone they know and trust.

Websites or blogs are also an easy place to promote affiliate links. You can include affiliate links in your header, homepage, blog posts, or a sidebar on your website or blog.

You simply need to copy and paste your affiliate link from the affiliate program you wish to promote.

Another benefit of having a website is that you can write content that is relative to the product or service you are promoting.

This draws attention to the product and allows you to explain why the reader needs that item. The products and services you offer via affiliate marketing should solve a problem, or pain point, for your audience.

For instance, if your website is about dog training, you may wish to promote an ethical training collar as an affiliate link.

Try to avoid making the article too “salesy.”

To do this, provide a lot of useful content and make the post about the problem, not the product itself. All you would have to do is write an article or post about the pain point and bring up the product’s features and explain how the product will solve their problem.

Bullet lists, infographics, and charts are a great way to highlight your major points in the article. This gives your audience information at-a-glance but focuses the content on how it solves your audience’s pain point.


Pinterest is a search engine with a social media twist. If you are unfamiliar with it, it is a visual platform that allows users to pin images of articles or products to boards. Each board has followers who can also pin those images to their boards.

If a person likes the product, he or she simply needs to click on the image and it will take the customer to a sales page or product page where the customer can make a purchase.

Pinterest is a growing platform that has skyrocketed over the past several years. Content marketers who market on Pinterest generate more income than those who don’t.

Pinterest users are predominately female and statistically, they earn more money than average, spend more of it, and are ready to make a purchase immediately.

Using programs like BoardBooster and Tailwind can also help promote your pins more efficiently and effectively. These programs pin content for you and are easy and convenient to use. Each has their own advantage.

BoardBooster allows you to pin from secret boards, so you can use the app on your smartphone or tablet.

You choose when, where, and how many pins are pinned from those boards to your public boards. This makes it easy to pin when you don’t have time.

BoardBooster also offers a feature called “looping,” which will loop old pins on a board so that they are more visible. This is great for use with group boards or your larger boards.

Tailwind can choose the optimum times to pin a specific pin to Pinterest.

This allows it to be seen by more ideal customers. Another huge feature of Tailwind is Tribes. Tribes allow you to pin your pins to a group (tribe). The tribe can then share your pin to their own boards.

Tribes are quid pro quo. You pin one of your pins to the tribe and you have to pin “X” number of their pins to your boards. This helps your pin gain exposure fast.

Only recently has Pinterest allowed affiliate pins. They had blocked them in the past due to issues with spam. Now that those issues have been resolved, you are free to pin your affiliate pins again.

Just make sure to tag the pin with the hashtag #ad to disclose to the reader that the pin is an ad. This is per the FTC, so you must follow it to avoid penalties.

Email Marketing

If you don’t already have one, start an email list now. An email list is important for any online marketer because the people on the list are already fans of your brand.

You build a relationship with them by providing exclusive content, promotions, and sharing information via email.

This relationship, if nurtured, helps develop a subscriber’s trust in your brand.

That means that he or she is more likely to purchase from you. In fact, companies earn 40 percent more income from email than Facebook and Twitter combined.

Email lists are the marketing tool with the greatest ROI (returns on investment) for a marketer. Large brands already know this. That’s why they focus heavily on email marketing.

This is the reason that every time you make a purchase or sign up for an account, you are asked to subscribe to their email list to receive promotions and exclusive offers. Email marketing is well-worth the time and effort a marketer puts into it.

To use an affiliate marketing in an email, you need to write an email to your subscribers explaining how “X” product can solve “X” problem for them.

Like an article or blog, use your customer’s pain points to explain how he or she will benefit from the product or service you are promoting.

Use the affiliate link throughout your email to make it easier for them to click on it. Also, make sure to focus the email on your audience and their pain point, not on the product itself.

A product needs to be able to solve a problem for your reader in order for he or she to purchase it.

Social Media

Social media is an easy to use and free. The industry is growing and changing every year. Facebook and Twitter are still some of the most reputable and popular social media platforms available, so make use of that.

Make sure to have a Facebook page and create engaging content for your readers.

Link to articles or blog posts you know will interest them, tell them about new products or services, and use your affiliate links to earn an income.

When you market on social media, be sure to include an #ad hashtag and include an image in the post. An easy way to manage your social media and ad links is to use a scheduler, such as HootSuite.

Schedulers allow you to use one image and one post but schedule it on all of your social media accounts at once.

Instagram recently agreed to allow scheduling on their platform.

HootSuite and Tailwind can both schedule to the growing platform for you. If you are marketing to Instagram, be sure to use more tags and keywords and use a very eye-catching, square image for your post.

Square, styled images perform better on the platform and, as a result, will generate more impressions and sales. Be sure to include the link to the product in your bio and write, “Link in bio” in your post to receive credit from your affiliate link.

Another option is to provide an affiliate coupon code for your audience to use as a promo code when they check out.

Instagram’s greatest downfall is that it doesn’t (yet) allow for links to be used within the post. This makes it more difficult to promote your affiliate ads, but shouldn’t discourage you from using the platform to market your business and affiliate links.

Influencers can earn a significant income on Instagram alone, so it does have significant value for a marketer. Marketers need to find out which methods work best for their business.

It may take trial and error, but it is definitely a platform you should try to use in your marketing strategy, especially now that you can schedule your posts.

It is possible for a marketer to make a passive, full-time income, using the above marketing methods in their affiliate and content marketing strategies.

The key is to provide them with valuable information and earn their trust. Content is king, and always will be.

Automation tools can help you by allowing you to schedule future campaigns and can significantly increase your earning potential on almost any social media platform. Don’t be afraid to experiment with each platform to find out what works best for you.

Feel free to post your comment below. An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!


Updated: Originally published February 28th 2018

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Sheree

    Very informative article! I like it. I recently lost my job. I hardly even get any sleep because I’m job hunting online. I started a blog and hoping it will pay off soon. It doesn’t have much content yet though. I regularly use Pinterest and found it very helpful. So I think it would help me to generate a passive income. Do you have an article on how to monetize Pinterest? If not, make one and let me know when you do. Thanks Steven.

    1. Steven Mann

      Sadly, my knowledge of social media is a bit limited because I haven’t been a big user over the years. I will look into social media over time though because it’s important for search engine rankings. Keep working on the Blog!!!

      Thanks for the idea Sheree!

  2. Jordan

    Wow, thanks for all the info!

    I have a blog that I’m using, but your social media advice intrigues me because i have so little experience thus far.

    Is HootSuite a plugin? Is there a cost?

    I also wondered how you start to gain attention on your social media profile without paying for advertising… do you eventually start getting attention once you’ve gotten enough likes on something? Thanks.

    1. Steven Mann

      HootSuite is an entire social media platform that allows for scheduled publishing and other services. I am not aware if they have a plugin though. It is a paid platform and I believe the basic option is around $20 a month.

      Getting attention on social media involves mostly interacting on the platform for a time by commenting, liking and posting responsibly. Paid ads on some social media sites, such as facebook, is something to consider as they can be very effective and highly targeted. That can be later though, for now, just interact on the platform and followers will come if your content is good.

      Thanks for the great questions Jordan and let me know if I can help further.

  3. Melissa

    Hello. You have a great post here. I like all of the useful tools that you have described to have when establishing a site with trust. I currently have a web site and I use some of the social media like pinterest, facebook, and twitter. I agree with you that they are very helpful tools. I am thinking of getting into the email marketing so thank you for giving me some insight on this as well.

    1. Steven Mann

      I’m glad you got some useful information from the post Melissa.

      Thanks for the comment and wish you much success!

  4. Katie

    Very informative article and affiliate marketing is a good way to go. to either build a business or as you say create additional income. More and more retailers are seeing the value in having affiliate marketers with in their marketing strategy. Having the right training is important and it is something that is worth investing in, gone are the days when you could put anything up and away you go. Social media can play an important role about getting your message out their, but it is not just about the selling it is providing good information and answers to solutions.

    1. Steven

      You definitely get it Katie.

      Thanks for the input!

  5. Dave

    Hi there,

    Insightful post right there, I think I need this one, since my day job is simply making me sick, it is stressing me so much to a point where I have gone to see a doctor severally. If this method you suggest does work then I would definitely try it out to see if I can work from home as I recover and permanently if it gives me a constant salary.

    1. Steven

      Sorry to hear this. You aren’t alone, the world is a truly crazy place these days and many are stressed to the breaking point.

      The methods in the article do work but not overnight. With some effort and patience almost anyone can succeed. Hang in there!

      Wishing you a speedy recovery Dave!

  6. Michael

    Good review on passive income and how affiliate marketing can help get people there. The emphasis on creating quality content is very important because there are a lot of scams out there and it isn’t right to sell someone something that doesn’t work. The part that stood out to me was the part about Pinterest. I do have a Pinterest account, but it is something I hardly use. I will have to give those two programs a try and see if I can make something happen on Pinterest. I don’t really like the platform and the way you have to navigate through it. But I will give it another shot since you brought it up. Thanks for the review!

    1. Steven

      Glad the article helped you out Michael.

      Thanks for the comment!

  7. Kangaruby

    Which social media platforms would you say gain the most traffic? In a busy world, and the beginning of an online business I would like to focus my efforts on the most “bang-for-my-buck” so to speak. All great information, I always wondered how so many bloggers managed to be present on all social media platforms all at once — scheduling must be how! Will definitely be looking into that.

    1. Steven

      If you want to focus on one platform I would pick Pinterest. It is ideal for content marketing and is the fastest growing social media site currently.

      Glad the article helped and thanks for the comment Kangaruby!

  8. jack

    Thank you, Steven, for your very useful post, as your content and takes on capturing the most out of your blog. My site is fairly new, as I am just now starting to see my post’s seeing great ranking’s with Google, I am trying to engage more with Social Media, however, I was never much into it plus I work a very heavy full-time job, so unfortunate, I have not done what I would like with it. When I start seeing the traffic that I want, I would like to start my E-mail Campaign, who would you recommend Steven, thank you for the great read, and I will see you soon, Jack

    1. Steven

      If you mean for managing email lists, there are a lot of email marketing sites available. I don’t do a lot of email marketing myself but I am aware of Aweber and MailChimp. Find one that meets your needs and budget.

      Thanks for the input Jack!

Leave a Reply