Passive Income Affiliate Marketing

Millions of people make passive income through affiliate marketing. In fact, chances are that you have heard plenty about this passive income source, would like to learn more, and maybe even give it a try.

How can I make passive income from affiliate marketing? You can make passive income affiliate marketing by choosing a product or service you love, joining an affiliate program that compensates for referring paid customers to that product or service, and then promoting it to an audience. Affiliates are paid commissions on sales made through their links, which can generate $10 to $300 up, or even 5% to over 50% per paid referral.

How much you actually make as an affiliate marketer depends on the program you choose and their payout structure. If you are a beginner and are not sure where to start, read on. We will cover exactly how you can make passive income through affiliate marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Like this video? Learn more about Income School’s Project 24 here! Their course teaches how to generate a full time passive income in 24 months with blogging, YouTubing and affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a process through which you receive a commission by successfully marketing another person’s products or services. Generally, you get paid a commission for the conversions, meaning the sales or leads you generate for those products or services. Affiliate marketing can be done online, or offline, in person, or virtually.

Can Affiliate Marketing Generate Passive Income?

Yes, affiliate marketing can generate passive income, and it can be an excellent passive income stream for beginners. If you dream about making money while you sleep, then affiliate marketing is something you should give serious consideration.

Note: Creating passive income through affiliate marketing does take hard work. Do not expect to make millions overnight. Those selling the idea you can make hundreds of dollars a day after signing up to an affiliate program are not showing you the long hours of work they put into creating their passive income streams. However, this dream is achievable, and here is what it takes to get started.

How to Create a Passive Affiliate Marketing Income Stream

Affiliate marketing comes down to four main steps: Choosing a product a product or service you use and love, promoting these products to a target audience, generating leads or sales, and then getting paid. These are fairly simple steps that even beginners can follow quite easily.

1. Choose a Product or Service You Use & Love

Choose products you already use, as you know more about them and can offer better advice based on your personal experience. Just think about the products you use every day. What do you like about them and why do you use them?

Once you have a couple products or service in mind, make sure they meet an actual market need. One way you can be sure of this is by searching for the product in Google Trends  Google Trends is a free service that allows you to see how interested people are in a certain search term on the web. You are looking for popular products or search terms with an upward trend.

Source: Google Trends

If you see deep and regular piques and valleys, be careful, as this means the product is highly seasonal. Check out some awesome trending product ideas on Ecwid eCommerce’s blog.

2. Sign Up to an Affiliate Marketing Service

Make sure the product or service you choose to recommend is supported by a company offering an affiliate program. Most affiliate programs offer a 20% commission, but each program varies and depending on the value of the service or product, affiliate commissions can be anywhere between 4% and 50%. They can also be based on a flat dollar amount, for example $10 or even $300 per referral depending on the program you choose. Here is a list of well-known affiliate programs you can sign up to:

  • Amazon Associates
  • Rakuten Linkshare
  • Commission Junction (CJ)
  • ShareASale
  • Clickbank
  • eBay Partner Network
  • JVZoo
  • PeerFly
  • GlobalWide Media
  • Tradedoubler

Note that each has very different commissions, and terms and conditions, so make sure to read what you are agreeing to before signing up!

3. Market a Product or Service to a Targeted Audience

The next main step involved in affiliate marketing is building your audience. You can do this in person, or online.

In Person Events & Meetups

Although affiliate marketing is mostly recognised as an online endeavour, it can be done in person. You can organise meetups, parties and other events to share information about the products you are affiliated with.

If you would like to avoid online affiliate programs by solely offering products in person. This form of marketing is mostly done in person and will be more adapted to your preferences. The rest of this article will focus on how you can create passive income from affiliate programs online.

Create a Website

Most people associate affiliate marketing with websites, and rightly so. This is the most passive way to make your affiliate strategy work for you.

Here is how affiliate marketing works online. You write articles on your website (or create videos on YouTube, more on that later in this article). The goal of your content is always to provide value and answers people’s questions. Some of the solutions to the questions you answer will have to do with products or services that you refer. You paste your affiliate link to your article so people will click on it organically (meaning, only if they would actually like to learn more).

Once you have determined what products or services you are interested in, you can easily create a website to promote your affiliate links. Like most people, we recommend WordPress which is the most popular and robust website builder available. Check out our resource page for all the tools you need to build a WordPress site.

Create a Niche Site

Income School recommends writing 30 posts on your brand new website. Focus on creating helpful content first before promoting products. Your first 10 articles should be about 1,500 words long answering specific questions. 10 articles should be staple posts, being more shareable content like “10 Tip” posts. And the last 10 posts will be pillar posts, or 3,500 word posts that cover broader topics.

Transform your active income into passive income in 24 months using Project 24!
53.66% of Project 24 members are making $500 to +$7,500/month! Learn more here

After reading that, you may be wondering what to write about. What topics, or keywords should you target? A great way to get started is by studying your competition. What is your competition talking about? What problems are the addressing? What issues are being raised in the comments of the articles or videos you are looking at? What are the most popular videos in your niche on YouTube? You can answer those questions in your articles and refer your affiliate products as solutions (in a non-spammy way). Make sure not to focus only on the products you are referring, but on the questions you are answering for your readers. Try to be as helpful as possible before suggesting any products or services.

According to Income School, writing 30 articles following their clear blogging formula and monetizing them with Ads and affiliate links, along with a promotional strategy through YouTube, can easily help you achieve 1,000$ / month of passive income once your traffic reaches about 30k monthly page views.

Income School

If you would like to learn more about how to build a successful blog, we highly recommend Income School. Jim and Rick are two online marketers who specialise in how to build passive income online, specifically through blogging. They are very authentic and real about the time it takes, but also about the actual methodology you need to follow for success. Their course, Project 24, is an excellent source for their 60 step guide for beginners.

Create a YouTube Channel

As does Income School  we highly recommend creating both a website and a YouTube Channel to promote your affiliate links and new website. Using both of these methods together can help you create a community and drive traffic to your new site.

You can base your first videos off of the articles you wrote on your website. Make sure to be helpful and remain focused. Many affiliate marketers lose focus and it never ends well. Provide your audience value first without putting the focus on the products you are endorsing as an affiliate marketer. If you bombard your audience all kinds of unrelated products, they risk overlooking them and you will lose credibility.

YouTube is an excellent way to link to your website so your audience can learn more. Start with a short series of 10 videos related to the articles you wrote. Learn more in our YouTube guide!

2. Promote The Product or Service

Once you post your articles to your site, your visitors will have the opportunity to learn from you and click on your affiliate links to access the products and services you are promoting. They will do so by clicking on the affiliate links you post on your site, which will lead them to a product page or landing page.

3. Receive a Commission From Paid Affiliate Signups

Once you post your articles to your site, your visitors will have the opportunity to learn from you and click on your affiliate links to access the products and services you are promoting. They will do so by clicking on the affiliate links you post on your site, which will lead them to a product page or landing page.

A Few More Things You Should Know

  • As an affiliate marketer, it’s important to track your performance. Most affiliate programs offer tracking so you can know which lead sources are bringing you the most traffic. For example, if YouTube is generating 50% of your leads and conversions, then you should double down on your YouTube channel. Tools like Google Analytics can also help reveal where improvements are needed so that you can grow your affiliate marketing site even more. Other things to keep in mind include the following.
  • You may also need to inform your traffic that you are using affiliate links. Consult a lawyer to learn more.

How Passive is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is without a doubt one of the most passive ways to earn an income online. There are affiliate marketers who set up their sites long ago and still make money from their initial efforts today.


Affiliate marketing is very scalable. Your traffic and conversations are dependant on the quantity and quality of the articles you create, and on your marketing and SEO skills. If you can perfect each of these, you can earn significant, scalable (eventually passive) income.

Startup Costs

Surprisingly, starting a niche, or affiliate website demands very low startup costs compared to most business models. This is one of the reasons why it is so attractive. Domain names are very cheap, and hosting prices are as low as they have ever been. All in all, affiliate marketing is a very affordable way to create a passive income stream.


Affiliate marketing is not as difficult as you could imagine if you follow the right formula. Sure, there is a learning curve when building your first website and writing your first articles (though Income School can help you overcome this). However, making income through affiliate marketing is relatively easy. That is why this online money-making method is so attractive to beginners.


Building a website that generates decent monthly income takes a lot of initial time and effort. Please re-read that last phrase. Contrary to what some people may be selling you, it does take a lot of time and effort. You will need to write long-form articles that answer real-world questions that you researched to provide actual value to your audience. This will take a couple months, and sometimes years.

To speed up the process and ensure you are following the right steps, we recommend you check out Income School’s Project 24 course that will guide you and save a ton of time. Once your site generates enough traffic, you can enjoy the benefits of your hard work for many years to come with much less effort.


Affiliate marketing is not risky, however, more than a few of those who have tried it have miserably failed due to expecting to see overnight results.

Affiliate marketing becomes risky if you do not follow the rules, terms and conditions specified in the affiliate programs you sign up for. You can ultimately get kicked out of affiliate programs and sometimes be banned from them for not complying. Things that can get you in trouble are, and are not limited to, not respecting affiliate program terms and conditions and sending spam emails with your affiliate link in them. You may also need to follow regulations like informing traffic that you are directing them to affiliate links. Consult a lawyer to learn more.

You will need a great website, considerable traffic, and a careful selection of products and services to promote. Otherwise, making an income from affiliate marketing may not work out as effectively as you expected. But, if you do it right (once again, check out Income School’s Course), chances of failure are considerably reduced.


Fortunately, affiliate marketing is not seasonal. But again, everything depends on the products or services you are promoting.
If the products or services you are promoting have excellent sales all year-long, then you can expect regular commissions throughout the year. However, if you promote seasonal products, you can expect that your sales will experience some seasonal fluctuations.

ROI (Return On Investment)

Affiliate marketing generally offers very good return on investment. Most affiliate marketing programs offer a 20% commission on sales. However, your actual revenue will depend on the value and number of sales or leads you generate.

Related Questions

Is affiliate marketing passive income? Affiliate marketing can generate passive income. Although it takes a lot of time and effort to build an audience who trusts you in order to promote affiliate products and services to them, once you are established convert clicks to sales, you can make money while you sleep with passive means of carrying out affiliate marketing.

Can you make millions with affiliate marketing? Affiliates are paid commissions on sales made through their links, which can generate $10 to $300 up, or even 5% to over 50% per paid referral. Those who are capable of generating very high sale conversions, and a high click through rates from large amounts of traffic to a top paying affiliate program could make millions.

How much do Amazon affiliate links pay? The Amazon affiliate program affiliate links pay out 1% to 10% on products depending on their category, and $3 to $15 flat on subscriptions for qualifying purchases. For example, product categories such as Luxury Beauty and Amazon Coins pay out 10%, whereas Successful registration for an Amazon Business account pays out $15 per qualifying referral.

How Much Can Affiliate Marketers Make? Most affiliate marketers make between $0 per month and $1,000 per month. Affiliates are paid commissions on sales made through their links, which can generate $10 to $300 up, or even 5% to over 50% per paid referral. How much you actually make depends on what you are promoting, who you are promoting it to, and the affiliate program payout structure.

How can I start affiliate marketing with no money? In most cases you can start affiliate marketing with no money. So no financial investment is required to join most affiliate programs. You can just sign up and once you are accepted, you can start promoting the program to your audience to generate passive income.

How do affiliates get paid? Affiliates get paid on a per-referral basis, or on an accumulated-referral basis monthly (30 day) or yearly (365 days). Affiliate are usually compensated via direct transfer or PayPal. How often you get paid, and exactly how you get paid depends on the affiliate program you choose to join as each program has different policies.

Can you really make money with affiliate marketing? You can make money and passive income with affiliate marketing by choosing a product or service you love, signing up to an affiliate marketing service, promoting the product to an audience, and then receiving a commission on sales made through your links.

How do I become an affiliate without a website? You can become an affiliate without a website through MLM (multi-level marketing). MLM is another form of affiliate marketing where you earn a commission on sales. Famous MLM marketing companies include Avon and Herbalife. Learn more in this article.