Is Affiliate Marketing Really Passive Income?

For many, passive income is the Holy grail of making money on the internet and affiliate marketing, in particular, is ideal for this.

But is affiliate marketing really passive income?

It is exactly this question that I will pursue in the following, describing my experiences and giving practical tips for passive income sources of income.

Affiliate marketing tips

The topic of passive income has been on my mind for a long time. In the very beginning, I was still working as a web designer for customers and processing orders. You only get paid when you complete the job and the customer is easy to pay for.

But you also have to go after customers and to be honest, customers can be annoying. Some cause stress at first and later they take forever. I didn’t want that anymore and so I gradually built my own websites and, above all, generated passive income. Passive income simply means that you develop a system where you once work stuck in something and then with it always making money.

An eBook falls into this definition. You put in work once and then you sell the eBook over and over again without having any more work.

This is how I have been earning really good money with my niche site development e-book for many years. Every 2 years I update it and expand it a bit, but the rest of the time I don’t have to do anything and still, good income comes in every month.

Of course, this also works well with affiliate marketing. You invest work in building a newsletter, a blog, a website or another channel that generates a reach and then you can generate permanent income from it.

How much work goes into passive income?

But what many people misunderstand about passive income is that you have to put in the work first. Passive income doesn’t mean not working. It just means you don’t have to go back to work for every earning. If I set up an affiliate website, then of course it takes work at first. I have to plan the website, create the technical requirements, create the content, and search engine optimization

* operate, provide traffic and so on.

But once I have built a website like this and have many visitors, I can generate relatively passive income with it. Niche websites in particular are a good example of this, as I often do nothing with them for months and still make good money.

Investing work (or alternatively money if you want to) is part of building a passive income. But then you can earn a lot more than all those who process customer orders and the like.

Affiliate marketing tips

Which affiliate programs work best?

There is a wide variety of affiliate programs out there and some are better suited to passive income than others.

For example, I have had very good experiences with lifetime commissions. This means that you don’t just get a commission once, but permanently. Such lifetime commissions are mainly offered by online services that cost money every month, such as hosting, link rental * newsletter and so on..

And you only have to recruit the customer once and you get permanent money. That’s what I call passive income.

Sometimes there are also subscriptions that you can advertise there, which again corresponds to the lifetime commission.

Unsurprisingly, my favourite affiliate programs include those that are very well suited for passive income.

Is Affiliate Marketing Really Passive Income?

So I can answer this question with a clear yes, but it also depends a lot on what you mean by “passive income”.

If you don’t want to work at all and still want to earn good money, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Then you should hope for a lottery win or an inheritance.

But if you are willing to invest work to build up a very good passive income, then affiliate marketing is just right for you.

Newsletter trick for passive income Newsletters are uninteresting for many young affiliates, but that’s a mistake. Nothing is more passive than getting together to build up a large newsletter distribution list and to reach these people again and again.

In this way, you don’t have to generate a sale in the first step, but can always reach these people with exciting affiliate offers and earn money.

If you really want to achieve this passively, it is also worth setting up an autoresponder, i.e. a series of emails that have been created once and is automatically sent to new newsletter subscribers. 

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