So you want to know how to build an affiliate marketing side hustle and earn some extra money?
No matter if you want to earn a little bit more cash or if you want to make affiliate marketing your full-time job, you’ll get the blueprints in this article. After years in the affiliate marketing industry, I can tell you what works, and what doesn’t. But if you expect a get-rich-quick solution with affiliate marketing you came to the wrong place.
Yeah, the title I choose for this article is a little “clickbaity” I know…but I promise I’ll show you the fastest strategy for your goal as well… so keep reading.
If you want to make some extra money on the side and eventually scale it so far to make a living out of that, you can do that with some determination and patience. I will show you two of the best strategies that you can use to make money in affiliate marketing.
One of them is fast, but you’ll need to stay active. The other one requires a lot of work upfront and patience but becomes passive after a while.
So let’s get started on your side hustle.
What Affiliate Marketing Is And What It Isn’t
Affiliate Marketing1 is a business model that allows you to sell other people’s products or services and get paid a commission.
The cool part is that you don’t need to take care of the fulfillment, only about the front end sales and get people in with your affiliate link.
So, to clarify that right from the beginning, affiliate marketing is NOT a scheme or any of that.
Affiliate marketing is kind of a commission-based sales job. You sign up for an affiliate program and your part is building your own distribution channel, where you can promote products from it.
A lot of newbies think they can sign up for an affiliate program and barf their links all over the place to make a fortune overnight, but that not how it works. No one will buy from you that way.
You need to give people a reason to buy from you. And I will show you the best way on how you can do that.
How Much Can You Earn?
From nothing to millions everything is possible. I’ve seen people who struggle for years, barely making a few bucks (like me some time ago…) and I’ve seen people who enter affiliate marketing and made $10k in their first month!
And that is totally possible if you have the right strategy.
How much you’ll earn completely depends on you, your determination, work ethics, and your willingness to invest in yourself and your business.
You can start off completely for free and hustle your way up, or you can “cheat” and hire a mentor to accelerate your journey. If that’s an option check out this program.
Either way, you can make more money than most can imagine living a comfortable life of freedom. Even 7 figures are possible when you do it right.
What Doesn’t Work
As mentioned above, spammy strategies won’t work anymore. Some people claim affiliate marketing is dead but it isn’t at all.
The people who claim that, are those who don’t adapt to the new surroundings, because the affiliate marketing landscape changed a lot in the past couple of years.
So spamming your affiliate links in Facebook groups or YouTube comments is not a strategy…it’s just spamming, it won’t make money at all.
You can’t expect to slap together a website, stuff some keywords in that, and rank in Google. That worked 10 years ago but not anymore.
A lot of people also think coupons2 are the way to go. But A) the competition is hardcore and B) you just attract freeloaders that don’t want to spend money.
Also, a lot of affiliate programs started restricting access to them before going through an application process.
So how do you avoid all the affiliate marketing mistakes and what should you do instead?
How to Make Affiliate Marketing Work
Nowadays make sure to treat affiliate marketing like a real business (which it is). There are so many ways to become successful in affiliate marketing, so let’s make a rough categorization to improve your overview.
Those two are probably the most basic ones. You can promote offers by building organic traffic through SEO, YouTube, or Social Media and you can buy ads on Platforms like Facebook, Google, or Udimi.
Let me give you a very important piece of advice. DON’T start with paid ads if you’re new in the game!
Organic traffic and paid advertising are two different worlds.
A lot of people believe in the misconception that you can build an affiliate business with either one of two things, time or money….well or both…and money will be faster. But that’s not true.
You can build an affiliate business with organic traffic in the same amount of time as with paid ads.
But here’s the thing. Paid ads3 are hardcore. When you’re starting out and you don’t know what to do, you can easily burn thousands of dollars without any results at all!
It’s not like you put one dollar in and get two dollars out immediately. If it would be so easy everybody would be rich.
To make it work like that you need a lot of experience, know-how, patience, and a testing budget of a couple of thousand dollars. After optimizing and testing multiple ad sets, images or videos, headlines, copy, colors, and design you’ll eventually break even on the front end and start making a profit later on.
If you can break even on your ad spend, you’ll have a million-dollar business. But first of all, you need to learn the skills for that. So don’t start off with paid advertising. Get some proof of concept first. See that your offer converts and you get sales.
Then you can start testing paid ads. Make sure to test your strategy first with free traffic.
Building traffic that brings in visitors organically4 can take some time. But it’s free!
If you want to build your affiliate business as fast as possible I recommend using your Facebook profile to build organic traffic.
If you want to build something long-term and sustainably that’ll start bringing in passive income over time I recommend doing SEO or/and YouTube.
But SEO and YouTube will definitely take way more time! Except you buy an existing website and scale that… But those with potential usually start t about $10k and you need some experience. So that’s another topic.
I want to show you the framework of both strategies to build a successful side hustle or make it your full-time job someday.
How To Build Your Side Hustle With Organic Traffic
I recommend one of two ways, but you need to decide which one suits you the best. Don’t start both. Even one of them will leave you with enough work and time-investment for months.
When you figure out one of them, you can add the other method to increase your traffic sources.
Social Media is the fastest and easiest way to build a side hustle. Period.
But SEO or YouTube are more long-term sustainable and passive over the long haul. Yet the two methods are suited for different types of personalities.
If you’re an introvert you can still use your social accounts but you have to get out of your comfort zone. If that’s something you absolutely can’t do, get into SEO and blogging.
Let’s get started.
How To Build An Facebook Affiliate Side Hustle
There are a lot of niches, products, and services you can promote. Thus I will keep the description very generic and you need to fill in your own products and niches. If you don’t have a niche yet, just feel free to reach out to me, so I can help you with that.
In order to build a successful business, whether as a side hustle or a full-time job you always need three things.
- A product/offer
- A sales process
Every single business needs to cover these three things.
Most people will have a product or service they want to sell, but they don’t know how to market them. Meaning they don’t know where to get leads, or how to sell their offers.
Since you want to build a side hustle in affiliate marketing, you may even don’t have a product yet?
Let’s cover that as well.
The product or offer you should sell
Affiliate marketing, as well as any other business, is a numbers game. It’s all about traffic, leads, conversion rates, revenue, and profit.
To blow up your profit, we use free traffic so you won’t have to pay for that and we’re going to use high-ticket affiliate programs that pay a decent amount, so you get a fair commission for your effort.
Now, don’t stress out! A lot of beginners now may think selling high ticket products is hard, and they should start with the cheap stuff… But that’s totally not true!
I’ve seen it multiple times how total beginners, got to a $10k monthly income within a couple of months!
What does “high-ticket”5 even actually mean? It means it pays at least a $500 commission!
So if you can make only one sale per month, you’ll have a working side hustle that gets you an extra $500 or even more depending on the product you pick! And the effort to sell a $1000 product with the Facebook method is the same as selling something for $100…yeah really.
On the other hand, you should always pay attention to the quality of the product you sell. You would be surprised how much crappy stuff you can get for $1000+.
In the method, we’re using we gonna build relationships with other people. We build a personal brand and reputation to be an expert in our field. If you sell crap that doesn’t help people with their problems, your reputation will suffer.
High quality means it delivers…it gives people results and helps them to bring them from where they are now to where they want to be. It solves their problems!
Also, you should own and use what you sell yourself. There is nothing worse than promoting something you don’t know about. It’s the fastest way to destroy trust when someone asks you a simple question you could easily answer when you would own the product…but you can’t.
Don’t know such a product? Reach out to me on Facebook and I can give you a selection of some great affiliate programs!
Build an offer around it
When you pick your core product, it’s time to build an offer6 around it. You’ll need to give people a reason to buy from you and not from someone else, who is in the same affiliate program.
That means you will give them additional bonuses and resources that supplement your core product.
Again…don’t stress out. It’s not so hard.
A lot of people these days give out a ton of crappy PDFs or stuff no one will ever need just to inflate their offer. But here’s your opportunity to shine as well.
You don’t need to give out a thousand things no one needs. Instead, give 1-3 things in addition that people want, need and that is high quality and “done-for-you”.
Make sure to stand out and give them support. Give personal help and assistance and stay with your buyers. If someone buys a $1000-2000 product from you, don’t leave them standing in the rain. Accompany them on their journey, give them a free coaching call, or set up their system for them.
Does someone buy email software? Write their welcome sequence. Landing Page Software? Create their opt-in page. Coaching program? Give them an onboarding call…or 2. You get the point…
Fill a gap. Solve the problems that people get when they buy a product. But don’t stress out, your personal help can be totally enough in the beginning.
Alright, we covered the first step of the process. Now we picked a product and created an offer around it. Now it’s time to get some eyeballs on the offer.
That means we need to generate some traffic.
But before we do that, you need to set up your profile the right way. Your potential buyers need to know who you are and what you do just by looking at your profile. So we will leverage the design and your content for that.
Make a nice banner that looks professional and include the links to your lead capture pages or direct affiliate links on your Facebook profile.
Now let’s get some traffic.
We have 4 steps for that…and one optional bonus step.
1) Create Related Content
Publish content on your wall that is related to what you do. Show people, you know what you’re talking about. Show them useful tips and tricks from the niche you’re in.
Show them the results you got with the product you promote and show them some snippets of your personal life, so people can relate to you.
Post valuable content that will help your potential buyer on their journey, so you position yourself as the go-to expert.
2) Be active in groups
Search for groups about your topic. Be active in those groups and contribute on a consistent basis. Be a valuable member, answer people’s questions, and publish your helpful content in those groups as well.
People will notice and check out your profile to see who the person is, which gives all this useful advice. You’ll start to get some traffic on your profile.
It’s not enough to create content, it needs to get attention. Unlike a lot of people who want to teach you, it’s not the quality of your content that will make it go viral on Facebook. It’s your own engagement.
Facebook is a social platform. So you need to be social. When you engage with other people’s content, Facebook will increase the reach of yours as well.
So before publishing your content engage with your timeline, give likes and comments to your friends for at least 20 minutes before and after posting.
4) Add Friends and Delete Them
Facebook is now your side hustle. I don’t know about you, but from experience, a lot of people don’t want to delete their friends and family on Facebook.
My recommendation. Do it!
There are more than enough platforms to connect with friends and family. Treat Facebook as your business and delete all your friends that aren’t potential customers.
Remember those groups you’re contributing to now on a regular basis? Add friends from those. People who react or comment on your content and people you think could be the right fit for your offer.
5) Build a Group
That is totally optional. A group7 can be a great place to share deeper knowledge on a more personal level. It can be a place where you store all of your offers and connect even more with your audience.
A group of targeted people can be another distribution channel for your products. It’s similar to an email list, just on Facebook.
But it’s also some work that goes with that. If you like, you can check out my FB group here.
When you do all those steps above, you should notice a consistent increase in the engagement of your posts and friend requests. Now it’s time to sell!
Your Sales Process
This is the most important part. The best offer and tons of traffic will do nothing if you don’t know how to convert them.
When selling high ticket products it’s important to build a relationship with your leads. If you did everything right you should start to see some traction on your Facebook profile.
Our main sales tool is the messenger. When you set up your affiliate link on your Facebook profile it’s possible that you’ll get a sale from time to time, but the real money is in the messenger.
Because you positioned yourself as an expert in various groups and your own wall you’ll get requests from people who want your help.
Also, you’ll get requests from other people who use the same strategy we use. They will try to get you into a conversation to sell you their products, but that’s the game. Maybe they’re even using the very same affiliate programs as you do.
Try to identify those as quickly as possible because you don’t want to waste your time with them.
We need to talk to people who want to buy, not to sell.
Reach out to everyone who engages with the content on your wall and in the groups, you’re active in.
Also regularly check the members’ section of the groups and start adding friends on a daily basis. You should send out at least 20 friend requests every single day.
If you become good at this, your whole life can change dramatically.
Start a conversation will all the new friends you’ve connected with. Get to know them a little and find out what their questions, roadblocks, or problems are around the niche you’re in.
If there is no problem there is no sale!
You need to find out about a problem they have and position your offer as the solution to that. Your product needs to bridge them between where they are now (a place of pain/problem) to where they want to be (place of desire/solution).
Learn how to sell on messenger and you’ll be making money online like you would have never imagined before.
That’s basically it. Have a great offer, get some traffic on it by engaging on Facebook, and talk to people to convince them to buy your product. A simple but very powerful strategy if done correctly.
Do you think you could make one sale, by connecting with 20 people per day and using a proven strategy and script?
Then check out the 4-day challenge to help you in detail on how to pull that off. I’ll show you the best affiliate programs, how to do the right setup and how to talk to people, so they want to buy your products.
How To Build Your Side Hustle With SEO and Blogging
Seo means Search Engine Optimization8. With this method, we try to rank websites in Google and sell affiliate products to visitors.
Let me clarify that up front. None of these two strategies I’m describing here is better or worse, they are just different. While the FB method can work very quickly it will always require active work and reaching out to prospects.
While the SEO method takes way more time to earn the same amount. It requires a ton of work in the beginning but later on, it becomes more passive because your leads will find your site on Google because they were searching for something.
Which one of these methods requires more skill? It’s 100% SEO. It’s way more technical and requires a lot of learning and trying to get where you wanna be. But as I mentioned before. Once you figured it out, it becomes passive income.
So please don’t expect to become successful in blogging and SEO by just reading this guide. It’s impossible to teach SEO in one single article. People dedicate whole websites and courses to it.
But I will give you some of the best resources to learn from at the end of this article. Let me give you an overview of the strategy first.
This is hands down the single most important step you need to figure out. It will make the difference between $0 per month and $10k per month, with the same amount of work.
Please don’t skip this step like I did and waste your precious time building a project that is doomed to fail.
So what is a niche9 and how do you find one?
A niche is a subcategory of a topic. Especially in the beginning you should target a micro-niche and be very specific on your website.
Let me give you an example: Fitness is a big market. Within this market, there are several categories and niches like dieting, bodybuilding, cardio-training, and so on.
Let’s split up dieting now into more niches. For example Atkins-diet, Keto-diet, Intermittent fasting and so on. And this is where your niche should be.
If you try to create a site about fitness, in general, you will never rank for any keyword, because there is so much competition with high authority. So you need to dig deeper and find a subcategory like “Diet-Pills” and dedicate your whole site to this micro-niche.
When you start to get some traction and your topic is saturated you can add other topics and increase the niche.
You can also start the other way around. Start looking for a good affiliate program and then think about niches where you could sell it.
When you pick a niche you’ll need a web address where you can be found. The domain selection is not as important anymore as a while ago. It should be somehow related but it doesn’t need to contain your topic or keyword like “dietpills-advise.com”, it can be generic.
Furthermore, I would even recommend creating a branded name that is somehow related to your topic. Thus you can sell it later on if it gets successful.
Flipping websites is another way of monetizing SEO. You can sell your site for 25-30x the monthly amount it’s making.
So if your site is making 1k per month you can sell it for 25-30k, and build more sites with this money.
Now you can buy the domain from all kinds of services but I would recommend to get it where you will host your site.
Hosting and WordPress
The webspace10 or server your website will be stored online is called hosting. There are several hosting providers to choose from.
What you want to have:
- a free security certificate
- a simple WordPress installation
- good support for technical issues
WordPress is a content management system that is designed for blogging. Your best way for that purpose.
And please do yourself a favor and don’t try to look for free hosting or those web2.011 websites like Wix, Medium, or the free wordpress.com platform. They’re crap.
You can use them to publish content for free but they will cripple your possibilities to optimize for search engines and monetization. Also, they can ban you immediately if you do something they don’t like…for example placing affiliate links…
Those are for hobby “bloggers” who want to share what they did in their hobbies but not for people who want to make money online…
Let me give you a recommendation for hosting. It’s not that big of a deal which hosting you take. The best cheap hosting that provides all you need is Bluehost.
You can install WordPress with just one click. If you should need help you can always reach out to their support.
The most important part of your blogging journey is publishing. You need to publish content on a regular basis. Thus you need a lot of subjects to write about.
When your basic design is set up you should focus only on creating (or outsourcing) articles.
It’ll take some time until Google recognizes your website and will be able to categorize it. So the more you write the faster that will happen. (But it’s still a minimum of around three months.)
You can find keywords12 and keyword variations by using some free keyword tools like the Google keyword planner, Ubersuggest, keywordtool.io, and the Google autosuggest feature when you start typing into the search bar.
Also, try to find some competitors who write about the same topics and see what they are writing about.
Create a reasonable and clean structure for your internal linking. You will connect all of your articles, so your readers will be able to stay longer on your site and dive deeper into subtopics. That also helps your effort to rank higher in Google.
The best example you can see for that is Wikipedia.
So start out with your big overview article and then with your subtopics.
Let’s stick to our example.
The first thing you’re going to write is a review article about the best diet pills. Then you will write articles about each of the brands. Then you’re going to support the topic with things like diet pill’s side-effects, alternatives, where to buy them, and so on.
And then you’re going to connect them with internal linking so your readers can follow this structure.
Monetizing Your Site
If you start to see some traction on your site it’s time to monetize it with the products or services you want to promote. Apply for an affiliate network that has products that suit your content.
Get your affiliate link in the articles you published and in a banner on the sidebar of your website.
Later on, you can join more affiliate networks and promote more products of a wider range, because your site and topics will grow. But don’t overdo it in the beginning.
Also, you can apply for advertising networks like Google AdSense13 or Ezoic to make more money from banner ads on your site, when you have enough traffic.
When you have established a working site your final step would be to implement email marketing. You would colled leads for a newsletter or from a leadmagnet and use an autoresponder to send out more offers.
Building Backlinks From Other Sites
Backlinks14 are one of the most important ranking factors for Google.
A backlink simply means that another site is linking from their content to your site. In Google’s eyes, it’s like a vote for your site.
Thus you will grow your authority and ability to rank for the higher and more competitive spots in the search results.
There are too many backlink building strategies to describe them in this article, but it’s also not important in the beginning to build those.
If you have high-quality content you’ll attract backlinks naturally anyway, but the more competition you have, the more important this strategy becomes. But you shouldn’t start building backlinks at the very beginning of your new site anyway.
Youtube is the second largest search engine owned by Google. You can apply the very same strategies to a YouTube channel.
So you can grow a YouTube channel or a blog alone or combine both and add a second source of traffic.
No matter which strategy you choose it requires only some extra effort. When you finished your article just record a quick video about it.
If you finished a video, transcribe and optimize it for your blog.
Thus you can build two channels with a little extra work.
Wrapping it up
To make your site look alive you should also create social profiles and publish on them regularly. That will help your branding and it’ll also help with social signals for your site.
You see SEO is quite a bit of work but it’ll be worth it in the end when you start to rank and money rolls in automatically.
How long does it take to rank and see traffic?
No one can answer this question. There are too many factors to consider. It depends on how much you publish, your site speed, your on-page optimization, your off-page optimization, the competition and the niche you choose.
You can see traction anywhere from a couple of months to a year or maybe even two. Assuming you find a great niche with low competition and you publish 100 articles in the first three months, you have good chances to see some money after 6 months.
If you choose the wrong niche and you don’t learn proper SEO you can publish as much as you want and you’ll never rank because the competition is too tough.
Here are some of the best resources to learn affiliate marketing SEO.
What starts as a side hustle can become a full-time gig after a while. Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn a living from the comfort of your home.
Many people start affiliate marketing as a side hustle and then it naturally starts to grow and they exceed the income of their 9-5 jobs.
Others try to find a job as an affiliate marketing manager on a platform like Jooble to learn the ropes first, and see how everything works in the background.
But when you’re able to sell someone a $1000 product on Facebook once, you can also do it twice, or ten times…
If you can build a website that makes $1000 per month, you can replicate the strategy and build 10 of those.
Affiliate Marketing is an awesome side hustle, but it can become much more if you want it to.
It’s all up to you.
Conclusion: How To Build An Affiliate Marketing Side Hustle Fast
There you go. These are two of the best ways of making money as an affiliate.
Now you know two ways to make some extra money, build an effective side hustle and how to become an affiliate marketer.
It’s your choice now to pick your strategy. Both have their pros and cons and ultimately need to fit your personal preferences.
I’ve seen people succeed and making money with both methods, but also both require work and effort to make them work.
Are you more of an extrovert and you like to talk to people? Then pick the Facebook method.
Are you more of an introvert and you prefer writing? Then go with SEO but keep in mind to bring more patience.
Now it’s your time to hustle up some commissions.