The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Affiliate Marketing Side Hustle
With the rise of e-commerce, social media, and influencer marketing, affiliate marketing has gained popularity, not only for individuals but also for businesses.
As part of a marketing strategy, it offers better brand awareness, improves online presence, expands your reach, and creates trust among potential customers. As a side hustle, it offers the flexibility to work from anywhere, the opportunity to earn passive income, and the ability to promote products you love and believe in.
With so many ways to promote products and services and its low barrier to entry, an affiliate marketing side hustle is an attractive choice.
Would you like to learn more about it? In this guide, you'll find all the information you need to become a successful affiliate marketer.
What Is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work?
Affiliate marketing is a unique marketing strategy that many reputable businesses rely on.
It consists of someone, usually called the affiliate, who is essentially the middleman between companies and consumers, promoting products or services through social media, email marketing, or their own website or blog.
For every sale that's driven by their affiliate links, the affiliate earns a commission from the company. Commission amounts vary depending on the company and the product. Depending on the program, affiliates may earn a flat fee per sale or a percentage of the sale.
Can you really make money with affiliate marketing?
Yes, you can really start making money with it. However, while some affiliates earn a few hundred dollars per month, others earn six or even seven figures annually.
Everything depends on how much work and time you put into it, as well as how well you promote the affiliate program's products.
How much do affiliate marketers make?
There is no specific amount that affiliate marketers are expected to make, as it can vary greatly. It pays differently depending on the products or services you're promoting, the commission rate offered by the affiliate program, and your audience's size and engagement level.
How fast can you make money with affiliate marketing?
There are many factors that come into play when it comes to how fast you can make money from affiliate marketing. Some affiliates start earning commissions within a few weeks or months of starting their business, but other affiliate marketers take longer.
What's undisputed is that you must consistently put in time and effort to see results.
Is Affiliate Marketing a Good Side Hustle?
Yes, it can be a great side hustle for anyone looking to earn money through passive income. Why? Well, it allows you to earn extra money even when you're not actively working for it.
Once you have set up your affiliate links and created content to promote them, you can continue to earn commissions on sales generated from those links over time.
Benefits and potential of affiliate marketing
As an individual looking to make some extra money, affiliate marketing can be a great opportunity to explore.
Take a look at some of the biggest advantages of this unique marketing strategy:
It requires very little effort: Unlike other online side hustles that require you to invest a lot of money upfront, it can be done with minimal investment.
Maintaining inventory is not required: Most programs allow you to get started easily, so you can quickly add an affiliate link to your blog, personal site, or social media accounts.
You don't need to keep creating content: In this low-risk side hustle you can still get commissions from stuff you posted months or years ago. Once your link is live, people can click on it, and you can start making money online.
Is affiliate marketing good for students?
Yes! As a student, you can use it to earn extra income while studying. You can do it from anywhere with an internet connection. It also allows you to work on your own schedule to balance school and work.
With the popularity of social media platforms, students can easily take part in online communities. As a result, they can reach a wide audience and promote relevant products. This makes it a great way to earn money through commissions from affiliate sales.
Furthermore, it can give you valuable learning experience, including marketing techniques, website development, content creation, and other skills that can be applied to your career.
How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Side Hustle With No Money
To start an affiliate marketing side hustle with no money, you'll need to dedicate time and effort. Begin by researching which niche suits you best and the one that you're interested in, such as wellness, fitness, home decor, or travel.
By focusing on a specific type of product and creating content around it, you can establish credibility with your audience and demonstrate your expertise, creating trust.
Selecting a niche also allows you to implement search engine optimization (SEO) on social media or personal websites if you plan to create one in the future.
Commission Junction and ShareASale don't require minimum traffic or follower counts, but you'll need to have a website or mobile app to participate. Mediavine requires at least 50,000 monthly sessions on your website and must meet their quality standards for content, user experience, and design.
Some programs like Amazon Associates let you join with a solid base of followers on your YouTube channel, while Rakuten Marketing's programs don't require a website. You can promote products for brands using social media or email marketing strategies.
Do you need a website for affiliate marketing?
If you don't have a site, don't worry. There are many other channels available. Still, your blog or website can significantly increase your chances of being successful and seeing revenue.
How to become an affiliate marketer without a website
If you're thinking about becoming an affiliate marketer, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest can be powerful tools for promoting affiliate products.
Be sure to read the platform's rules and restrictions on advertising and affiliate marketing before choosing it. No two platforms are the same, so certain activities may be allowed on one and prohibited on another.
Also, you can use platforms like Medium or Reddit to gain exposure online and with that, you can easily join an affiliate program that doesn’t require you to have a site. The choice of which one to choose depends on the target audience and your preferences.
How to choose the right program and networks
The first thing you need to do is research and choose an affiliate program that matches your interests and skills. Also, make sure to meet the requirements. Some brands and their programs require that you meet a certain number of followers.
If you meet the criteria, sign up and create a plan to target your niche. You can explore profiles of people who are doing the same or similar things as you do.
And lastly, get creative! The less your content feels like a sponsored partnership, the more likely people will use your links to purchase the product or service you're promoting.
The importance of niche selection
Choosing the right niche is key before joining an affiliate marketing program. Choosing a niche lets you create content and promote products relevant to your audience. By doing this, you can build authority and credibility in your niche and attract more readers and customers.
Tips for finding a profitable niche
To find a profitable niche, you need research, creativity, and an understanding of your audience. Get the best results from your strategy by following these tips:
Identify your interests. This can help you share engaging and authentic content. As a result, you'll easily build a loyal reader base.
Look at what other affiliates in your niche are doing, and identify gaps or opportunities you can fill. This can help you find an angle or approach that sets you apart.
Identify relevant keywords and search terms related to your niche so you can stand out online.
Choose an affiliate program that offers commission rates in line with your goals.
Promote high-quality and attention-grabbing products for your target audience. This can help you build trust and increase your chances of earning commissions.
How to Do Affiliate Marketing on Different Platforms
There's no need to feel overwhelmed when choosing the right platform. Here's everything you need to know about becoming an affiliate marketer online on some of the biggest sites available.
How to do affiliate marketing with Amazon
If you want to make money through Amazon affiliate marketing, here are some things you should know.
First of all, you'll need to apply to the program and fill out their form accurately. At its sole discretion, Amazon may reject applications. Upon acceptance, you'll need to follow a set of rules and restrictions related to the types of sites that are eligible, advertising content, and Amazon trademarks.
Then, you'll have to adhere to all applicable laws and regulations related to data privacy and advertising. If you follow the rules and do everything correctly, they'll provide you with unique links to use, and you'll be ready to go.
How to do affiliate marketing on Pinterest
To join Pinterest as an affiliate marketer, you'll need to create or turn your regular account into a business account.
Then, you can get creative and start creating pins and boards about the products you'll be promoting. There's no limit to how many affiliate pins you can add to Pinterest, but you should make sure they're relevant to your audience.
To start earning income through Pinterest, you can join the following affiliate networks:
We recommend you read Pinterest's Community Guidelines, where you'll find stuff like site security, spam, paid partnerships, and more. Marketers must disclose affiliate links or paid partnerships. Therefore, you must tag your pins as "sponsored" or "affiliated" accordingly.
Also, using link shorteners or redirection tools to disguise affiliate links is against the platform's community guidelines. Make sure you use the full version of affiliate links.
By knowing the platform's guidelines, you can make sure your experience is seamless and safe.
How to affiliate market on TikTok
TikTok content creators can easily become affiliate marketers by recommending products in their videos or live streams. All you have to do is find products that align with your followers' interests, request product samples from sellers, and try them out before you promote them.
Make sure to get creative with how you introduce a product to your followers. The idea is to make your content as engaging and informative as possible without making it look like a paid advertisement.
Also, always remember to be transparent and keep your followers' interests and needs in mind.
How to do YouTube affiliate marketing
You can use YouTube as part of your affiliate marketing strategy. In order to succeed, you must share valuable content. You can include trending videos such as unboxings, product reviews, and tutorials in this category.
Some platforms to explore include:
It's important to balance sponsored content with non-sponsored content on YouTube so your followers don't feel like they're watching paid ads.
How to do affiliate marketing on Facebook
Facebook is also another powerful platform to include in your affiliate marketing efforts. Having a Facebook page with a significant online presence is vital to your success.
With a solid follower base, you can use your Facebook page to drive traffic to your website.
Post special offers and promotions, and even host giveaways about the products you're promoting. Posting to Facebook groups can help you reach more people. You should focus on sharing quality content, not just promoting it.
Some of the platforms you can sign in include:
Exploring Additional Side Hustle Income Streams
With a side hustle, you can grow your monthly and yearly income. If, after reading more about the opportunities and benefits of affiliate marketing, you feel like this model is not for you, there are many different options that you can consider, depending on your skills and interests, including:
Social media management: If you've got skills in social media management, offer your services to businesses and individuals. You can include everything you feel comfortable with, such as creating and curating content, posting, interacting with followers, and analyzing metrics to optimize performance.
Online paid surveys: With online paid surveys, you can earn some extra cash in your spare time. Many research companies and brands offer cash, gift cards, or other rewards for completing surveys on various topics. You can do them in just a few minutes. We recommend ForthRight because of their reliability and convenience.
SEO: In an age where businesses increasingly rely on online presence, SEO has emerged as an essential skill. You may be able to assist brands in optimizing their website content and improving their search engine rankings, helping them to reach a larger audience.
Are you ready to boost your income and achieve your financial goals? Make the most of additional side hustle income streams and start your journey to financial freedom today!
1. Is affiliate marketing legit?
Yes, affiliate marketing is a legitimate business model in which you can earn commissions by promoting products or services.
2. Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?
No, affiliate marketing is not a pyramid scheme. Affiliate marketing is a legitimate business model that rewards affiliates for bringing customers to brands. Affiliates earn commissions on every sale they bring in.
3. Do you have to be 18 to do affiliate marketing?
There is no universal age requirement for affiliate marketing. However, most affiliate programs may require affiliates to be at least 18 or 21 years old.
4. Do you have to pay tax on affiliate marketing?
Yes, affiliate marketing income is considered taxable income and must be reported on your tax return.