Willing to work but stuck at home is the fate that many immigrant spouses face every day. Some of them are having a hard time to land a job in the same profession, even if they’ve beem working in the same field for years back home. Depending on the job, American companies won’t hire you unless you’re retaking classes and get an American degree or license for it.
But there are also ways to earn some money from the convenience of your home. You’ve probably noticed these “Get Rich from Home” ads in the newspaper or online, that promise you to earn an insane amount of money by putting in very little work from home. I’m sure you can earn some money with whatever is mentioned in the ad, but you’re probably not getting rich with it and they usually require a small investment upfront, which kills the deal for most of us.
A little while ago I stumbled over a neat way to earn some money on the side without investing a lot of money, if any at all. It’s called Affiliate Marketing and a lot of businesses and private people are already doing it behind the scenes to have an additional source of income. Some people have been so successful with it, that they were able to quit their job and go full time with it. Others just supplement their income with a few bucks a day earning commissions as a form of passive income. Let me tell you more…
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Have you ever searched for product reviews or just some information online and landed on some of these “The Best 20 xyz” sites, that showcase a bunch of products with links to buy them? The owner of this website is earning commissions by placing affiliate links and driving traffic to online stores and services. Links can lead to all kinds of sites like web hosting services, travel sites, cell phone providers and a whole lot more. And I’m not talking about web banners. That is a different stream of income. Affiliate links can be placed by either an image or a simple text link like this one here to Amazon.
Or take a look at this image on the left. If you click on it, you’ll get on Macmall.com through my affiliate link and if you buy anything on there, I will get a small commission on the purchase. The reason why Macmall.com would pay me is because I brought in the customer. So you’re not actually selling product, you’re just referring customers to the seller.
Yes, I am using Affiliate links on Live Work Travel USA, too. Not on all links, but on some of them. And I’ve learned that it totally works and helps me to get back some money that I spend on web hosting and my Domain name, let alone the countless hours that I put into this blog researching and writing articles. So, if you find this Blog helpful and would like to say thanks, I do appreciate if you go through my links before making a purchase.
What companies offer Affiliate Programs?
Amazon, ebay or Expedia are probably some of the better known companies, who offer Affiliate Programs (Did you pick up on the text links?). But there are thousands of other websites worldwide that offer the same thing. Commissions are either paid as a percentage of the purchase price or a predetermined commission per sale. It varies for each merchant.
How does it work?
Let’s take a look at Amazon as an example, because everybody knows Amazon and what they’re selling. Imagine you wrote a review about a blender and placed an affiliate link to the Amazon product page of this blender. Whenever somebody clicks through this link, a cookie is being placed in the person’s internet browser, that tracks all purchases made on Amazon within a 24 hour time period. The tracking results go to Amazon, not to the Affiliate, so don’t worry, everything is totally anonymous. And here’s the best part: You, as the Amazon affiliate who brought in the customer, will get a commission on not only the blender, but all other products that have been purchased by this customer within 24 hours. This person might not even buy the blender, but an expensive watch or a book and you’ll get commission on that too. And we all know how good of a job Amazon is doing in upselling customers by recommending relevant products before you complete your purchase.
Are there any restrictions?
Some merchants like Amazon stopped paying their Affiliates residing in Connecticut, Arkansas, Illinois, Colorado, Rhode Island and North Carolina, because these states are trying to force online merchants to charge sales tax on purchases made by their residents. Have you ever wondered why you don’t have to pay sales tax on Amazon purchases in most states? Online stores just have to charge sales tax, if their customers reside in the same state the store operates in. If you’re trying to earn money with Affiliate Marketing in the states mentioned above, you’re out of luck for the moment. At the time of writing this article, a Marketplace Fairness Act is being discussed, that will allow states to collect taxes from internet merchants. This might bring back affiliate programs to the states mentioned above.
FTC regulations also require every Affiliate to disclose that you are a part of an Affiliate program and that you earn money with these links.
Wait! Will the customer have to pay more by going through my affiliate link?
No, absolutely not! Whoever makes a purchase through your link will pay the same amount that they would have paid, if they went to the merchant’s website directly. Your commission is a cut of the total purchase price, so it’s been taken away from the merchant’s profit.
How can I become an Affiliate?
Pull up an online merchant’s website and look for their Affiliate Program in either the header or footer. They usually don’t draw too much attention to it. For some others you would have to google “Affiliate + merchant’s name” to get to their hidden page about the program. If they have one, and not all merchants do, you would have to apply to be an Affiliate, which may or may not be approved.
If you get approved, you will have access to a page where you can generate affiliate links with a tracking code. This code tells the merchant who referred the customer, so that they can pay you a commission on the purchase.
Where can I earn money with Affiliate Links?
The opportunities are endless and you have the opportunity to participate not only in the U.S., but in a lot of other countries as well. Affiliate Marketing is wide spread and has been out there since the late 90′s. You don’t necessarily have to have a website in order to place affiliate links. Forums, Social Networks, Chat Rooms, Email – there’s no limit where you couldn’t share an Affiliate Link to earn a commission. Some internet forums might not like it, because they’re earning money through affiliate links, too, and don’t like to share the extra money.
If you do run a blog or website already, you should look into Affiliate Marketing to monetize your hard work and dedication. Loyal readers sometimes even welcome the opportunity to repay you for all your good information, that you are providing for free.
I’ll go into more detail about Affiate Marketing in a future post, because it’s a very fascinating stream of income, that not a lot of people are aware of. If you have any questions or topics that I should write about, please let me know in the commenting section below.
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