What’s Passive Income?
You’ll read many definitions of Passive Income.
So, for what it’s worth, here’s my definition:
It’s something you set up once, which pays you some income. And that income’s on-going, with little maintenance.
Now that could be a rental property.
Or maybe some shares you buy in a company which pays out regular dividends.
Or perhaps some sort of online business.
Did you say Online Business David?
Let me expand a little. And tell you what’s worked for me.
One way is through affiliate marketing.
Let’s assume I’ve invented a brilliant new app.
I’ve spent the past two years developing this app.
It tells the time, brews the tea, and even forecasts the weather accurately.
But I can’t sell it.
However, you know some people who would absolutely love my new app.
So I offer you a percentage of any sales you make. Let’s say it’s 50%.
You manage to sell ten of them, at £1,000 each.
And hey presto… you’ve just made £5000 in commission.
Yippee! The tax man is very happy with you!
Let’s Get Real
OK. So let’s get real.
In reality, we know that only the gurus selling their courses make those sort of claims.
So forget the dreams of retiring to an exotic island next week!
Sorry to burst your bubble.
But there is some good news…
You can actually earn some income from affiliate commission.
And here – from my experience – is the best way to do it.
- Start small.
- Find out what works for you.
- Do more of it.
Sorry if you were expecting a complex multi-million-pound secret.
But that’s it.
The Best Affiliate Methods
So what works?
Hey – what works for me might not work for you!
But here are a few things I suggest you try.
Amazon Associates Programme
Amazon has a popular affiliate programme.
And it isn’t difficult to join.
How does the Amazon Associates Programme work?
You promote a product that you’ve found on Amazon.
And Amazon pays you around 5% commission.
Now I know that’s a long way from the 50% in our guru example.
But it’s a start.
And when you see your first commission – even if it’s only a few pence – it’s massively encouraging.
It tells you that this thing works.
And encourages you to continue.
So how do I start, David?
If you’re in the UK, head over to Amazon UK. That’s here…
Then go straight to the foot of the page and click on “Associates Programme”.
But if you’re in the US, click on this instead…
Then head to the foot of the page and click on “Become an Affiliate”.
Amazon’s instructions are easy to follow.
And pretty soon, you’ll be able to create some links and start selling Amazon products.
Just a bit further down this page is a clickable icon for a book (in fact, it’s such a good book, I read it twice).
I created this icon very easily using Amazon’s affiliate portal, copied the HTML code, and placed it right here on the website.
Try it out. If you decide to buy the book, I’ll get 5%. But it won’t cost you anything extra. Happy days!
But suppose you just want a simple link instead.
That’s easy too. Here’s the same book as short-link: http://amzn.to/2ayMvBP
Try it out… but don’t forget to come back here!
OK. I’m glad you’re back…
Cos I want to remind you that Amazon isn’t limited to books.
They have many high-ticket items – which could generate higher commissions for you.
What’s stopping you reviewing the latest TV you just bought, and providing an Amazon affiliate link to it.
Just an idea… you can thank me later!
To finish this bit, here’s one word of warning…
Don’t think about using your own affiliate links to buy products for yourself. Amazon doesn’t like that.
If you want to keep your account open, don’t upset them.
eBay Partner Network
With the eBay Partner Network, you earn commission each time someone buys a product from eBay using your link.
In fact, there’s a whole load of tools – including an RSS feed generator.
A word of caution though…
I found it much more difficult to join this programme.
They want to be absolutely certain it’s going to be in their best interest.
So you’ll need to have your website up and running, and be able to prove how you intend to generate referrals.
So I’d suggest you get started with Amazon, and get used to that before you think about eBay.
Other Affiliate Programmes
There are a few other popular affiliate schemes around.
Here are two that I use…
ClickBank is a platform for vendors who sell downloadable digital information products.
You know… ebooks, and those sort of things.
And, hey! The commission is usually quite high.
Now we’re really talking in the 50% range.
You can promote and sell someone else’s product, and earn a commission.
Or you can sell your own digital products. But that’s a topic for another day.
I’ve promoted one particular quality product on ClickBank for a few years, and have received a nice income from it.
You’ll need to create an account to become an affiliate. Here’s the page to do that.
That’s actually my affiliate link, but I wouldn’t get anything if you sign up as an affiliate – it only works for referring vendors.
Commission From Major Retailers
What about when you see a product on a major retailer’s website – such as GiffGaff – which you’d like to promote.
Well, here’s how to do it…
Simply create an account at Awin.
Then choose which retailers’ schemes you want to join.
They’ll give you a bit of code which you put on your website to create nice clickable adverts such as this…
Awin used to be called Affiliate Window.
Many of the large brands use it to manage their affiliate programmes.
And commissions vary from retailer to retailer.
I must say though, it hasn’t provided me with much income.
And I’d largely forgotten about it until I was doing some research for this page.
That’s when I came across a company I’d been promoting.
A Quarter of is a website selling olde worlde style sweets – taking people back to the days when you could buy “a quarter” of sweets rather than the nearest metric equivalent.
Over the years, people had landed on my web page. Some of those people had then clicked the icon, which took them over to the A Quarter of website.
If they bought, I got a commission.
And that commission had been building up slowly.
Not a lot. But every little helps.
It was a pleasant surprise to see I’d earned a grand total of £10.95… for doing nothing.
Passive Income indeed!
Here’s a similar clickable icon I used for A Quarter of:
In July 2018, I wrote a blog post which took a nostalgic look back at my school days, going into a sweet-shop to buy a quarter of sweets.
And, of course, I included an affiliate link to A Quarter Of.
So if you want to promote a major retailer, you might want to check out Awin.
There are other similar affiliate organisations around, but at the time I found this one to be the best for promoting British-based companies.
Now… let’s look at some other ways to generate passive income.
But first, did you know that…
There’s No Such Thing as “Passive Income”
“After all you’ve said up to now, David, how can you say ‘there’s no such thing as passive income’?”
Well… as I said right at the top of the page, it usually takes a bit of maintenance.
But if you put in the hard work right at the start, it can be as good as passive. And it’ll serve you well.
Here’s another method…
Have you ever seen an advertisement like this…?
It’s likely to be a Google AdSense advertisement.
How does Google AdSense work?
You get paid every time someone clicks on an advertisement.
“Cool… sign me up!” I hear you say.
But before you do, let me tell you what happens.
First of all, you’ll need to sign up for a Google AdSense account.
Then choose the type of banner you’d like to display, and simply place the generated code onto your blog or website – and even onto your YouTube videos.
Google will deliver the adverts, based on the content of your page.
So if your content is all about weddings, the adverts will be related to weddings.
They may even display an advert based on the reader’s recent searches.
Whenever someone clicks on an advert on your page, Google charges the advertiser, and you get a small percentage of that fee.
But before you start plastering Google AdSense all over the place, remember that too many ads will look spammy, so your potential readers could end up avoiding your website or blog.
Does Google AdSense pay well?
I’ve found Google AdSense to be a plodder rather than a big earner.
But with an Ad here, and an Ad there.
Here an Ad… There an Ad… (I feel a song coming on)…
…it slowly mounts up until Google sends you a cheque from time to time.
Here’s what my statement looks like. It’s 16 months since I received a payment from Google. That’s probably because I don’t over-do the ads, as I don’t want to appear spammy.
A word of warning though…
Never click on your own ads. And never ask your friends to click on them either.
Google’s pretty smart, and they’ll quickly figure out what’s happening.
It’s not worth the ban.
But done properly and ethically, it can be a nice source of passive income.
Here’s where you can learn more and create your account.
Let’s Get Going!
Well, I hope this has given you few ideas that’ll help you generate some passive income streams.
The important thing now, is to do something with the information.
But if you make a start and get really stuck with this passive income stuff, give me a shout and I’ll see if I can help.
I’m always looking for questions that people need answers to. So I might even write a blog-post to answer your question.
More Passive Income Learning
If you want to learn lots more about passive income, I’d recommend Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income website. Pat’s the expert in the field, and gives away a massive amount of information. His podcasts are well worth listening to as well.
I’d love to know how you get on with your passive income journey. If you get the chance, do hop over to the contact page and let me know.
Take it slowly.
Here’s to your first bit of passive income!