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Just How Involved Should You be as an Affiliate Marketer to Make the Best Passive Income?

By The 1-Hour Workweek 4 years ago1 Comment

shutterstock_157125392Just like with any other task, the more involved you become with a project, the better the results often turn out.  If you love what you do, you’ll never spend a day in your life working—or so the saying goes.  But what about a task that is meant to create distance and passivity?  We’re talking, of course, about generating a passive income—you’re not supposed to get involved, right?

The concept goes that the more passive the income actually is, the closer to a smart passive income stream it becomes.  As we all know, smart passive income is the best passive income, but does that mean being less active makes your profits increase?  Or does it follow that rule where the more involved you are, the better the results—then wouldn’t that make passive income streams bad?

Sorting Out the Involvement Details to Find the Best Passive Income Formula

Well, if you followed all of that, you probably took some philosophy courses in college, but suffice it to say, the real question is does involvement hurt or help your passive income streams?  And if it does—or doesn’t—what’s the proper level of involvement you should have to optimize your profit while maximizing your free time?

To take a closer look at this dilemma, we’ll use a very common passive income generator: affiliate marketing.  If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, it’s simply when you become a partner or associate with sites like Amazon or companies like Home Depot, receive a personalized link, and then earn a commission from every sale that is made through that link.  Essentially, your job is to direct traffic to the final point of sale through your link—how you do this is up to you, but most affiliate marketers have a number of websites, landing pages, social media accounts and emailing lists to help them achieve their goals.

When looking at affiliate income and how it relates to the amount of involvement affecting your total profit, it’s important to remember that affiliate marketing can either be extremely involved or completely uninvolved or anywhere in between—this is why we chose it to look at today.  As a measuring stick, we’ll look at how closely an affiliate marketer’s involvement with the product he or she is marketing affects their overall income.

Finding the Best Passive Income Streams—Completely Detached from the Product

We’ll start off with what should be the most passive marketer of the bunch: the affiliate marketer who is completely detached from the product.  This person doesn’t care anything about what he or she is selling—they just care about the bottom line.  The tendency towards PPC ads are high here and marketing campaigns are focused on generating the best passive income streams by the numbers.

This marketer uses Facebook ads, AdSense and Media.Net to bombard people with links with the thought that the more people that see the link and the better selling the product is, the more profit they will earn.

  • What’s good about being detached is that you don’t have to be an expert or have an opinion
  • You can be brutally honest or completely lie about the product—whatever turns bigger conversions
  • There is no time for building trust or relationships with clients—it’s about moving traffic to the affiliate pages and turning conversions
  • Blogs and other time intensive projects are out, PPC ads are in—more time for you to spend your money, right?
  • Profit is everything and once you work this passive income stream into the ground, you’ll figure out how to make the next one take off again from scratch—there’s no long term plan or networking with customers

Finding the Best Passive Income Streams—Casual Affiliate Marketers

The second group of affiliate marketers is what we refer to as “casual” marketers.  These people are a little more involved with their products, but just minimally.  They care just enough to do a high-def video, a podcast or they keep a blog, but it’s mostly because without those things, turning a profit requires PPC ads.

These marketers generally want to avoid spending money to make money and would rather put in minimal time and effort.  The links to their affiliate products are typically best sellers with maybe something they used and liked or they heard might be a hot seller tossed in here and there.  Still, the online presence is maintained and the occasional PPC ads will be used.

It’s really about the situation more than the product—if there’s a strong chance to make money, they will jump at it, even if they don’t like the product.  If there’s a chance that the time will be more than they want to put in, they still might consider it if there are mitigating circumstances.

  • This is the half-way point—you kind of care and you kind of don’t.
  • The more money there is to be made, the less you care about the product and customers.
  • The more intangible profit there is, you might care more
  • There is an attempt at becoming an authority in the niche, but no real push to succeed.
  • Rather, the affiliate links are all related to the niche, but no product stands out
  • These marketers will often place ads on their websites and blogs that they don’t really use or don’t know anything about—as long as it’s somewhat related to their niche

Finding the Best Passive Income Streams—Completely Involved with the Product

Finally, we have the other end of the spectrum—the affiliate marketer who seems like he would have the worst passive income streams of the three, but often comes out with the best.  This is the person who has either used the products they are marketing or done enough research to really believe in them.  They are personally recommending the products and services to their audience and that really means something.

It means something because this affiliate marketer has a relationship with their customer base.  They are involved with the people who are buying from them and those people return that attention with loyalty.  If this marketer says something is good, everyone buys.  They are an authority in the field.

  • There are no banner ads and extremely minimal uses of PPC ads
  • The stories are often real and always more personal, thus upping the ante
  • This is a person who has the authority niche cornered—when they say buy, everyone buys
  • The personal recommendation is worth more to the customers than the actual product
  • The level of responsibility is much, much higher—if this person recommends one bad product, it could bring the whole house of cards down around them
  • The power they have to direct traffic, maintain leads and drive conversions and sales makes them the most lucrative affiliate marketers no matter what the product—as long as it gets their actual approval
  • Reputation and trust is used in lieu of money to generate passive income through affiliate marketing


Which Style of Affiliate Marketing is Best?

Of course, the real interesting factor here is that depending on your own personality, you might do better in any one of the above categories.  Your best passive income stream might come from a PPC ad tomorrow or it might come in a few months from now when you start to really build yourself up as an authority.  In short, it depends on the type of person you are—you can probably see which direction we lean towards above.


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