Is Affiliate Marketing A Passive Income Business (Explained)

is affiliate marketing a passive income business

“is affiliate marketing a passive income business”? If your dream is to become rich with affiliate marketing, one of the best ways is to find ways that will generate you passive income.

Affiliate marketing has the potential to generate a passive income, but it is not always passive. It requires a lot of work, time, effort, and a little bit of money upfront especially when you’re just starting out. 

And also the kind of product you’re promoting and your promotional method plays a huge role.

However, once you have put in the work and have built a customer that knows, likes, and trusts you and you have properly set up your sales funnel in place. It is possible to generate passive income through your affiliate marketing.

Is Affiliate Marketing A Passive Income Business Model?

“can affiliate marketing make you passive income”?

To put it simply- yes, Affiliate marketing can produce a passive income but not until you have put in the necessary work (get enough helpful content out there).

In affiliate marketing, content is the key component to your success – it’s what will make you money.

Your income will grow dramatically once you have enough helpful content there. 

You’ll be able to attract potential customers to your offer naturally and make money while you sleep or even on vacation.

So, if you’re looking to earn “passive income from affiliate marketing”

The best possible and most lucrative way is to simply focus on producing valuable content first.

The more helpful, relevant, and high-quality content you have on your website, the more people you will reach.

And the more clicks you’re likely to get on your affiliate links which will eventually result in sales and income.

So in simple terms, content is what will make you money.

That said…

One thing about affiliate marketing is that you can put content out there once and it’ll continue to generate you money or profits year after year. 

As long as it’s evergreen and people are in need or searching for what you promote. 

Affiliate Marketing: What Is It All About

what is affiliate marketing and how to make significant money from affiliate marketing

Here is a great definition I found online of what affiliate marketing is:

Affiliate marketing is a marketing arrangement in which affiliates receive a commission for each visit, signup, or sale they generate for a merchant. This arrangement allows businesses to outsource part of the sales process. It is a form of performance-based marketing where the commission acts as an incentive for the affiliate; this commission is usually a percentage of the price of the product being sold, but can also be a flat rate per referral. Source.

My definition:

Affiliate marketing is where you promote or recommend affiliate products or services created by other people or companies in exchange for a commission when someone or your audience purchases the product through your affiliate link.

What Is Passive Income

Passive income is the income you earn, generate, or receive by not working for it or just putting in little or less amount of time and effort.

However, the major thing about passive income is that you have to first put in a ton of time and hard work, in the beginning, to set it up.

But once it’s set up, you don’t have to work again. 

The work that you have already done before or in the past will start to generate you money passively without you doing anything ever again.

Unlike active income, you’ll have to work around the clock for money in order to earn or generate money.

How Long To Turn Affiliate Marketing Into A Passive Income Business Model

Wondering how long it will take you to turn your affiliate marketing effort into a passive income business?

Well, first and foremost, making money online with affiliate marketing is not easy or a get-rich-quick kind of thing. 

There is a ton of time, effort, learning, and even sometimes money that involves setting up your affiliate business successfully.

And it can take you a solid 4+ years in the hunt to turn your affiliate marketing into a passive income stream.

How long to make money with affiliate marketing

5 Steps To Passive Income Online With Affiliate Marketing

I often see a lot of affiliate marketers showing how they’re generating passive income online but none of them actually explains the exact steps.

Below, I share with you what it takes to generate a passive or recurring income online with affiliate marketing.

  • #1. Pick A Niche That interests You
  • #2. Create Content
  • #3. Generate Lead & Build An Email List
  • #4. Connect And Build Relationship With Others
  • #5. Have An Offer To Sell

#1. Pick A Niche That interests You

Your journey of earning passive income online and probably with affiliate marketing begins by first picking a niche

I mean an area or industry you’re interested in or are passionate about.

And as you’ve decided on your niche, you want to stick with that niche long enough until you start getting traction before moving to something different.

Don’t spread yourself too wide, I mean don’t focus on too many niches all at once, it will delay your success.

Also, you don’t want to pick something just because you see other marketers making millions from it.

Go after something that’s dear to your heart, that way you’ll be able to stick to it even if the going gets tough.

#2. Create Content

Creating valuable content that helps other individuals is the main key to making money online. 

It’s the magnet that’s going to attract your ideal customers, buyers, leads, and sales. 

It’s what is going to help you to make money in your online business.

If you’re struggling to make money in your business, you need to ask yourself this question, am I creating enough valuable content for people to consume?

If not, then you need to stop whatever you’re doing right now in your business and focus on producing more helpful, relevant, and high-quality content.

NB: You want to create content that will help solve your ideal customer’s problem and the challenges they’re facing.

how to create content for affiliate marketing

#3. Generate Lead & Build An Email List

It’s often said that the money is in the list. If you call yourself an online entrepreneur, generating leads for your business should be one of the important things you should also be focusing on every single day apart from content creation.

If you’re not focusing on generating leads for your business. 

Do you know what you’re doing to yourself? You’re leaving huge money on the table.

So how are you going to generate these leads? Great question, that leads us to the second point.

  • Content! 

One of the best and proven ways to generate high-quality leads is by creating helpful content that helps solve problems and challenges that other individuals are facing. 

If your content provides useful information, people won’t hesitate to leave their email addresses so they can learn more from you in the future.

IMPORTANT: But you need to be very clear and strategic with this. In any piece of your content, you need to have a call to action. 

This call-to-action is often called a lead magnet and this lead magnet can be in the form of a free video course or training or free downloadable PDF, etc, and then you have to give it away for free in exchange for your visitor’s email address. 

NOTE: Make sure the lead magnet or freebie is something that’s of good quality and value.

#4. Connect And Build Relationship With Others

Whatever industry or niche you find yourself in, there are always going to be people who have more knowledge and skills than you. 

Is a fact!

So, the smartest thing you should do is to find and connect with those people in your space, I mean people who already have the result you want.

Or are already successful with what you’re doing.

And then learn from them as much as you can and also share your ideas or knowledge with them.

It’s a win-win situation here!

That said…

Taking this approach will help you to know what is working for them and how you can position yourself better to succeed faster.

IMPORTANT: Building an online business, especially with affiliate marketing is not an easy thing and if you’re trying to do everything all by yourself, you’re going to overwhelm yourself or you might fail along the way.

I’d recommend, you connect and learn from other people. They might help or provide you with some sort of value that can literally help you in your journey.

So how are you going to find, connect and build this relationship with these people? 

There’re tons of ways to do this successfully:

Social Media and Forums – You can simply join Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, or forums related to your niches and you’ll find some of the top industry leaders who will be willing to share their knowledge with you. 

Also, you want to participate in discussions on these platforms by answering people’s questions, etc. 

And as you do that for quite some time, people will start to Know, Like, and TRUST you and start to build a personal relationship with you and you can take it from there.

You can also send people friend requests on Facebook if you think they resonate with you. 

You can also comment on YouTube videos of other successful YouTubers in your niche and reach out to them and ask them if they can collaborate with you.

#5. Have An Offer To Sell

This is an important part of the whole process. If you’re going to make money online you need to at least have something to sell, an offer you believe in or have used yourself.

You need to also make sure every single day, you’re sending eyeballs (traffic) to that offer.

Or if you already have an audience, make sure everyday you’re placing your offer in front of them.

If people are not seeing your offer, you’re going to really struggle to make money online for a very long time. 

So, what do I have to do?

Well, that’s why as an affiliate, it’s very important that you build an email list of targeted audiences whom you can follow up with through email marketing.

Why email marketing?

Well, the reason why building an email list is so important to your success as an affiliate is that…

You own your list and you can do anything with it. You can do a repeated sale with the same customers over and over again as long as the product is going to help them.

Also, it allows you to remarket the same product or service to the same customer who hasn’t bought that product for the first time.

That said…

To build your email list, there’re a couple of tools you’re going to need to run this successfully such as:

  • LeadPage
  • Aweber
  • Convertkit
  • Getresponse, etc

But I recommend Getresponse.

Why Getresponse….

Getresponse is the best email marketing software out there on the internet. It is an all-in-one marketing tool meaning it has both a landing page to capture your visitor’s email address and build your list and also an effective autoresponder to sell your product.

You can get started with Getresponse here.


The above-mentioned are the steps you can take if you want to build a passive income business online with affiliate marketing.

If you can follow those steps exactly, you’re on the right track. 

  • PS: I have another post where I share with you some of the best affiliate programs you can promote if you want to earn passive or recurring income from affiliate marketing. Here are my best recurring affiliate programs, click here to check them out.

6 Best Ways To Earn $10k Per Month In Passive Income

Wondering what are some of the best passive income ideas? Well, below I share with you a few of them.

But first and foremost, I want you to understand that earning money online is not as easy as a lot of people make it look. 

It requires hard work, consistency, skill set, knowledge, and above all patients which most people can’t tolerate.

Below are some of the best sources of earning passive income online if you put in the work long enough:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Create A YouTube Channel
  • Dropshipping
  • Buy And Invest In Bitcoin
  • Sell eBook Online
  • Sell Stock Photo Online

1. Affiliate Marketing

what is affiliate marketing and how to make significant money from affiliate marketing
Passive income with affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a 16 billion industry and one of the best ways of making money online for most people.

It’s also one of the most significant income streams for most online entrepreneurs because you don’t need to create your own product.

You don’t have to worry about customer service, refund, shipping of the product, etc.

Everything will be taken care of for you by the product creator.

Your job is to just market the product and if someone purchases the product or service through your link, you get paid money which is termed as commission.

Here is a quick definition of affiliate marketing:

Affiliate marketing is a process of promoting other people’s products or services to an audience. If your audience clicks on your affiliate links and buys the product, you receive a commission.

Affiliate marketing can work best if you have your own personal blog or website and you focus on delivering helpful content that helps other people. 

When you help people with your content, you can start to earn passive income with affiliate marketing over time.

How to join an affiliate marketing program?

To join affiliate programs or networks you can simply Google ( your niche + affiliate programs) and you’ll discover some really cool ones. 

Or you can join some of the popular affiliate networks out there such as Clickbank and Amazon, etc.

And simply look for products or services related to your niche and you can start promoting the product through your blog.PS: I have another post where I share with you how to make money through affiliate marketing promoting someone else’s product. Check it out.

2. Create A YouTube Channel

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How to generate passive income with YouTube

YouTube is one of the most popular video platforms in the world and it’s also the second-largest search engine in the world apart from Google.

YouTube gets millions of video views per month.

That said…

YouTube can absolutely change your life financially if you harness its power properly.

To make money off of YouTube requires work in the beginning and you need to be consistent and patient. 

But once your channel grows, you can start to earn a healthy income passively without having to put in tons of work.

Here Are Steps To Start Making Money From YouTube:

Step #1. Create Your Youtube Channel

The first thing when you want to make money on Youtube is to create your YouTube channel.

If you have a Gmail account, you automatically have a YouTube channel, you just need to add a few functionalities to it, and off you go.

Step #2. Choose A Niche

The second thing is to choose a niche or topic you’re going to be creating your video around.

This could be about anything as long as people are searching for it but make sure it’s something that’s educative, entertaining and teaches people something valuable.

Your channel will grow fast if your videos are educational or entertaining.

Step #3. Do Keyword Research

You have to create videos around things that people are looking for and want to watch, not what you want to watch.

And this is, you need to do keyword research to see what people are often searching for on YouTube so you can create your video content around it.

For example, if you’re in the health niche, you can type in a primary keyword like how to lose weight and YouTube will auto-suggest.

passive income strategies for beginners

And then click on the keyword you want to create your video around.

Then, watch the top 5 videos to see what they are all talking about and why people like those videos, and then create something similar around that.

Step #4. Be Consistent

Finally, you need to continue creating more and more videos on a daily basis or basically 3 times a week to get more subscribers. 

As your channel reaches 1000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours within the past 12 months, you can start monetizing your video with ads.

Or you can even monetize your video with affiliate products which I’d highly recommend.

3. Dropshipping

How To Start Affiliate 3
passive income ideas

Dropshipping is one of the best online businesses and also the fastest way of making money online with little or no investment. My opinion!

Almost 20% – 30% of online retailers leverage the power of dropshipping, it’s a business model that’s proven to work.

The amazing thing about dropshipping is that you can absolutely sell any product in any niche or market.

How does dropshipping work?  

With drop shipping, you set up an online store and work with a wholesaler but you don’t keep the product including the sales process and once an order is made, you simply pass it to the merchant or vendor and he or she handles the billing, shipping, packaging, returns, etc. 

The merchant then pays you a percentage when the product is shipped to the customer.

The amazing thing about dropshipping someone else’s product is that you don’t have to go through the headache of creating your own product and dealing with customer service. 

Dropshipping kind of works like affiliate marketing but takes a different path.

NB. Not all companies offer drop shipping but some of the well-known brands such as AliExpress and Alibaba offer this service.

4. Buy And Invest In Bitcoin

How To Start Affiliate 1

Bitcoin is the number one cryptocurrency in the world and it has become popular as the years go by.

And it’s drawing the attention of many people across the globe. 

There are people from all walks of life who are making millions of dollars through Bitcoin.

People have become financially free simply by buying and investing in bitcoin irrespective of the effect of price fluctuations.

Also, the amazing thing about Bitcoin is that you can convert it into physical cash or for shopping online. 

So it’s a great asset to anyone who wants to earn money online passively.

Are you ready to make a bank with Bitcoin? You need to follow the strategies I lay out below.

Here are different ways to grow or make money with Bitcoin:

Invest In Bitcoin

Investing in Bitcoin is one of the popular ways by which most people make money online with Bitcoin.

The strategy top investors use to increase their income in bitcoin is that they buy bitcoin and wait until the price increases and they invest it.

That said…

You don’t need to have millions of bitcoin in your account in order to invest in Bitcoin.

You can buy bitcoin with little capital and invest it and as time goes on it will grow and you can reinvest it to earn a bigger profit.

If you’re just starting out, I’ll recommend you start with a small amount and then reinvest your profits.

Here is some tops site to invest in Bitcoin:


Trading is another method of making money with bitcoin, however, it’s very risky compared to investing.

If you’re a newbie, trading should not be something you should get into unless you have some level of experience with it.

People who are successful traders spend years of learning before mastering their trading skillset. 

So, don’t just jump into trading just because you see others making tons of money in this field. 

You want to educate yourself and master the process before getting into this market.

There’re so many educational platforms available online that teach about how to trade Bitcoin the right.

Make sure you take the time to educate yourself beforehand.

Here is some top site to trade Bitcoin:

Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin mining can be defined as a way in which an online transaction is verified and added to a public ledger, which is popularly known as a blockchain.  

That said…

Mining bitcoin won’t make you a significant income but it might be a great way to start earning a few dollars online which might eventually grow into a bigger income in the long-haul.

With bitcoin mining, there is no risk involved as compared to trading and investing

So. If you’re the type who’s kind of afraid or doesn’t want to risk your money, then mining might be your best bet.

Again there’re tons of people out there who mine Bitcoin daily and are making a few dollars so mining Bitcoin is not bad at all.

Here are some top sites to mine your Bitcoin:

5. Sell eBook Online

How To Start Affiliate

If you have knowledge in any field you can turn it into an ebook and sell it on Amazon Kindle Publishing. This process is called self-publishing.

However,  one thing about this is that you need to put a ton of work into the writing in order to produce something valuable that people will find useful.

After that’s done,  you need to take time to edit, create a beautiful cover for your eBook and then work on SEO before uploading it on Amazon Kindle Publishing.

Now, after you get your eBook out there, you need to be patient, and also, you have to focus on marketing before you can turn it into a passive income. 

Self-publishing is extremely popular nowadays and if you’re just getting into this field or already in, you need to take it seriously.

6. Sell Stock Photo Online

How To Start Affiliate 2

A lot of people, especially bloggers, don’t have the time to take beautiful pictures for their blog posts or other stuff.

So, most of them head over to stock photo sites to get photos for their blog posts.

Now, if you’re a photographer and you’re passionate about taking beautiful pictures, you can upload those pictures you take to a stock photo site.

And anytime someone comes to those sites and purchases your photo, you make money.

Here are a few stock photos sites to sell your photos:

There are people who are making a decent income simply by uploading a stock photo.

So, it’s profitable but you need to again approach this with a long-term mindset.

Above are the 6 sources to make passive income online but remember it requires a lot of work and patience.


That’s folks on is affiliate marketing a passive income business? Creating a passive stream of income with affiliate marketing is not an overnight journey, it requires massive work, consistency, and long-term dedication.

Anyone who tells you, you can generate passive income online without doing anything, they are lying to you and probably want you to buy their courses, services, or products.

Making money online takes work and if you are not willing to put in that work but want a quick and easy way, then making a passive income online, especially with affiliate marketing is not for you. 

But once you get the process right, you can absolutely start to earn passive income through affiliate marketing.

IMPORTANT: Select one or two income streams and focus on them till you start making enough income from them before moving to another one.

is affiliate marketing a passive income business

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