How to use affiliate programs to monetize your platform on day one

Mar 30, 2022

One of the first questions I frequently get from people who are building an online, message-based platform is, "How can I monetize this?" I hear that question often, and I don't think it's a selfish or greedy question. The truth is, if you're able to earn an income from your blog, podcast, or website, you will probably be able to dedicate more time to creating content for it. And if your message is helpful and edifying, I think that's a very good thing.

Many people are convinced that they need to create a bunch of content before they'll be able to earn an online income, but that's not the case. It takes time to create good content, so if you want to earn income sooner, you need to take a different approach. Two of the fastest ways you can earn an income (without having a vast content library) are through offering services (like coaching) or through partnering with affiliate programs.


So what is an affiliate program?


Affiliate programs and opportunities abound on the web. I'm involved with several, and I hope to be involved with several more. Basically, if you're part of an affiliate program, the program host will pay you a commission for sales that are generated through your recommendations. It's no exaggeration to say that you could eventually make thousands of dollars each month by promoting the right affiliates. I'm speaking from experience because affiliate income has become a regular source of income that I have come to look forward to each month.


Let me give you five examples from my own experience.


1. Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is an affiliate program run by Amazon where they pay you to drive traffic to their site. Once you sign up, you can select a product you want to promote, get your affiliate link for the product, paste it on your website, then collect a commission every time someone uses your link to buy it. Amazon will also give you a commission for anything else that user purchases within 24 hours of clicking your link, which can add up quickly.

They also offer additional bonuses for promoting certain products and services like Audible or Amazon Music. I also use their affiliate links when I'm promoting my own books and products because it helps me earn additional income on top of my normal royalties.


2. YouTube

Many YouTube videos that teach a skill or review a product also include an affiliate link to that product in the description. I have had great success with this, particularly when creating videos about lawn care or household products, but you could also use this method to promote courses or other affiliate programs.


3. Podbean

Most of my podcasts are hosted on Podbean. I recommend them so frequently that I finally decided to sign up for their affiliate program. Now if someone signs up for their service while using my link, I'll receive a small commission.


4. Kajabi

The Platform Launchers website, blog, podcast, and Members Club is hosted with Kajabi. Kajabi has one of the most generous affiliate programs I know of. In fact, when I signed up for Kajabi, a friend asked me if I would use his wife's affiliate link. I was happy to. It didn't change the price for me, but it allowed her to earn a monthly commission. I recently asked him how much Kajabi paid her each month from my sign-up and he said, "$60." Just imagine if over time you recommended Kajabi to 100 people. Their commission to you would be $6,000 / month which is $72,000 / year.


5. Platform Launchers

I have also integrated an affiliate opportunity into the framework of Platform Launchers. Because I want to incentivize and thank our Members Club for recommending Platform Launchers to others, I offer an opportunity to be a Platform Launchers affiliate. When people sign up for it, they're given a link they can share with others, and if someone joins through that link, I pay that member a 20% commission each month for the duration of that member's tenure in the group. (Click here to become an affiliate.)




So if you're in the process of building an online platform, start thinking about what products and services you recommend to others. Odds are, those companies will have an affiliate program that you can start utilizing to get paid residual income each and every month. I personally use affiliate opportunities and I offer them as well. They are truly a win/win scenario for everyone involved.

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