When you think of making money online through YouTube, you probably think of becoming a ‘YouTuber’. That tends to carry the connotation that you’re going to become an active content creator, film lots of video and probably build a large audience/following for your brand.
This is a great lifestyle that allows you to make money doing something you love, while also enjoying a modicum of genuine fame. It’s a lot of work and requires a lot of skill but it’s also almost definitely worth it.
But that’s not the only way to make money from YouTube. Actually, YouTube can be set up as a very nice passive income model that will generate revenue even while you’re resting. You can practically automate this money-making system and find it’s still surprisingly profitable. Read on to learn how…
Maximum Revenue, Minimum Investment
YouTubers can make money in a number of different ways. They make money from advertising their own products and affiliate products for example but they also generate revenue from PPC ads. These are adverts that pay out for each click – so every time someone clicks on an ad or watches it all the way through, they get a tiny amount of cash.
But while that amount is tiny, if you can rack up thousands of views a day, then it starts to add up. If you have a YouTube video that ranks in the top spot for a very popular search term, then potentially you can stand to make hundreds of dollars a day.
And if that content is evergreen, then there’s no reason why that video can’t keep making money for a long time to come!
Better yet, when you consider that you can probably make and edit a great video in a few hours… there’s nothing to stop you from repeating the formula over and over again until you’re eventually making hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
Yes, it really is that simple – but there’s a couple of tips that will help you ensure you use precisely the correct strategy!
Quality and Brevity
When making your videos, think ‘quality not quantity’. That is not to say that you shouldn’t make a lot of videos, rather that they shouldn’t be overly long. Google actually encourages YouTube creators to keep their videos to around 3 minutes, as this will increase the number of complete views and thereby drive up revenue.
What’s more though, is that making your videos shorter means that you can make more videos in a shorter time frame and then have more content to upload that will get multiple views. That way, you can take a few days out of your regular gig, film some short videos and then upload them all in order to generate big revenue.
It sounds easy and it really is – as long as you are making those videos high quality (which needs the right equipment and good editing) and as long as the videos are in a popular niche!
Almost every digital entrepreneur is familiar with the concept of affiliate marketing, even if it is not their main business model. It’s one of the most popular ways to make money online, even as a side income and it’s a very simple concept. This is effectively a business model where you act as a sales person in order to earn commission and by selling digital products, you can often stand to make up to 70% of the profit!
But how does it really work? Is it water-tight? Do you always get the money you’re owed? And how are the creators benefiting from giving away such a big slice of the pie? Let’s take a closer look at affiliate marketing and precisely how it works…
How it Works
Affiliate marketing essentially works via cookies. Marketers (that’s you) are given a unique referrer URL that they can use to send potential customers to a seller’s website. When they click that URL, they are briefly redirected to another site, where a cookie will be stored on their computer via their browser. This cookie will then inform the seller that you were the one who sent them and that in turn will ensure that you make a profit and money will be credited to an account you have with that site.
Why are creators willing to give away such a large share of their profit? The answer is simply that they want to attract more marketers. Consider that they don’t lose anything by giving away profit share. They are still making just as much money from their own direct sales and so anything sold by you or another affiliate is all going to be money on top. The more marketers they get promoting their work, the more money they can make!
Can Affiliate Links Go Wrong?
Right away, this means there are some ways that you might refer a seller and not get paid. For example, if you have a visitor whose cookies are turned off, perhaps because they’re browsing in private mode, then there will be no way to track their movements on the web.
Likewise, depending on the nature of the affiliate program, you may lose your commission after a certain amount of time. If a visitor lands on your page, clicks the link, goes away and then comes back then you will only earn money from that referral depending on how long the cookie is set to last (this varies from cookie to cookie).
Likewise, you might lose the commission if the user clicks on the URL of another referrer after you, or if they had clicked on that link before they clicked on yours. Again, this depends on the nature of said cookie, which will be set by the brand owner. They can decide to use a ‘first in’ policy, or have the cookie overwritten by each successive referrer.
These are things to look into before accepting the product as something you want to promote. And finally, you might want to consider ‘link cloaking’ to avoid people from bypassing your link entirely!
Making money while you sleep or travel the world might sound like a dream to a lot of people but this is one of those dreams that can become a reality thanks to the transformative power of the web.
To earn a passive income, all you need to do is set up a system that allows you to sell products without having to put in any work to create and deliver said products. That could mean that you’re selling a digital product such as an ebook for example, or it might mean that you’re selling a product on behalf of another company – acting as an affiliate. It could even mean making money from advertising.
And there are a surprisingly large number of ways you can do this. Read on to discover some of the best methods you can use to make passive income and how they each work…
Sell an Ebook From a Sales Page
Creating an ebook is a simple matter of choosing a subject and then writing about it in a Word document. You can then save that document as a PDF file and start selling it from your website. If you don’t have the necessary writing ability, knowledge or patience to write an ebook though, then you can simply outsource this process by hiring a writer from a site like UpWork or Elance.
Add an automated sales and delivery system, creating an advertising campaign or evergreen website and you’re good to go!
Sell a Kindle Ebook
You can simplify the process of selling ebooks too by selling through Kindle. Kindle is of course the name of Amazon’s e-reader device and this also comes with its own store where users can find and download books. This makes it a highly effective ‘distribution platform’, meaning that it’s a very easy way for you to find customers, sell to them and deliver your product. You don’t need to worry at all about marketing, about handling payment or about delivering the product – Amazon does all that for you!
Best of all, it’s free to sign up!
Sell an App
Or why not make money from an app? This works just the same as selling a Kindle book, in that you have access to a ready-made distribution platform with a large, captive audience. And if you sell your app on Android, then you’ll only need to pay $30 to sign up and your app will be automatically approved in a matter of hours.
Don’t know how to make an app? Then just use an app builder tool or outsource the process!
Run a Website
If you can get enough visitors to a website, then you can use this as a means to turn a profit from advertising. Use AdSense and each time a visitor clicks an ad, you’ll get a tiny payment (usually of a few cents to a dollar). The hard part is getting enough visitors to your site without spending every waking moment running it – but if you hire writers, or if you create an ‘evergreen’ resource, then this can work well.
A lot of internet marketers have the singular aim of gaining passive income. Passive income is the ultimate aim in many cases because it means that you’re making money online without having to trade your time for money. Making money online is already highly liberating as it means you can work when and where you want. But if you’re working for a client, then ultimately you still need to do a certain amount of work every day to get paid, which means you still aren’t 100% free.
If your income is passive however, then you’ll be able to make money from your business even when you’re sleeping! If a friend turns up at your house and asks if you want to take a 5 day trip… you can! No need to tell clients and no need to lose out on money you could have been earning.
But that begs the question… what do you do when you start making enough passive income to quit your day job?
One option is to keep working while you earn passive income. If you’re making a full-time salary from selling an ebook, then you can carry on making a full-time salary from your job as well… and now you’re making two salaries. That can allow you to live a relaxed and indulgent lifestyle, free from financial stress and worry. Or alternatively, it might just mean that you can take an early retirement!
Pursue Your Passions
Better though, would be to quit your day job or your other online business and instead invest yourself into something you were truly passionate about.
That might mean that you start your own business that isn’t likely to turn a huge profit right away. Or it might mean that you take a relaxed day-job that won’t earn a fortune. Always wanted to spend more time outside? Become a park ranger! Wish you had time to write a best-selling novel? Go for it!
Many small businesses will create side projects like this in order to ‘bootstrap’. And with this money behind you, you can now go on to become a YouTube sensation, a famous blogger, or a recording artist!
Make More Passive Income
Another option is to move on from that passive income model and to set up another one. Passive income is endlessly scalable thanks to its minimum-input nature. The more models like this you set up, the more money you can earn and the more ‘resilient’ your business will be (meaning you’re not likely to end up destitute because one of the businesses failed!).
Become a Digital Nomad
Finally, you could always pack your bags and travel the world! You’re earning money online so you can carry on turning a profit anywhere you have your laptop. And because the income is passive, you’ll have plenty of time to explore those far-off lands! This is an amazing way to have a life filled with adventure and incredible experiences – and it’s something many people only ever dream of…
Passive income is what a lot of people think of as ‘living the dream’. If you’re earning a passive income, that means that you’re making money from a website, a digital product or an affiliate product that you previously set-up. Now you can sit back and relax while the money comes pouring in! Potentially you can scale this business to become very wealthy but either way, you get to benefit from no longer trading your time for money!
But is it really like that? Are you really heading for a life-time of making money while you relax on beautiful yachts?
This is Not a Get a Rich Quick Scheme!
Maybe. But the first thing to acknowledge is that this is in no way a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. This is not a method you can use to make money without putting in the equivalent amount of work and time up-front. You are still working for your income, the only difference is that you’ve done this work ‘up-front’ as it were.
The other thing to recognize is that this takes a lot of time and a lot of trial and error. In the vast majority of cases, you should not expect to be making hundreds of dollars a day for a long time to come.
Instead, it will take time, work and a lot of patience to eventually get to that point. If you start your passive income business model thinking that you’ll be able to quit your day job right away, then you should expect to be very disappointed.
Instead, the best way to think about passive income, is as a good way to add a little bit of extra revenue to your existing set up. Try to think of ebook sales or clicks on adverts as ‘extra’ income and as a way to improve your overall salary.
This way, you won’t be disappointed even if you’re only making $20 in ebook sales a week. That’s still $80 a month and $960 a year – enough to go on a good holiday!
But more importantly, once you start making this money and you enjoy making that much, you’ll find that it starts to increase. If you don’t get quickly frustrated and give up on your passive businesses, then they will grow over time and start to make more and more money.
That’s how you successfully grow your passive income and it’s what will eventually allow you to give up your day job.
The other great thing about passive income models is that they are endlessly scalable. Because you aren’t trading man-hours for money, that means there’s no limit to how many times you can repeat the same business model over and over again.
Making a profit from selling an ebook on Kindle? Then why not make another? And another? And another? This way, you can multiply your sales over and over again.
And eventually, you’re almost sure to land on that ‘big hit’ that will be your real cash cow. It takes time, it takes patience and it takes luck. But it’s worth it!
If your goal is to generate passive income, then you might well be hoping to accomplish that by selling a product. This could be a product you’ve made, or it might be a product that you are promoting as an affiliate marketer. Either way, you’ll likely have set up a sales page, creating an ad campaign to send visitors there and then hopefully begun to rake in the profits!
The problem is that it can be tough going trying to convince people who visit your page to buy. Your success in this endeavour comes down almost entirely to your conversions – the percentage of visitors that end up buying from you.
And to this end, many marketers will jump straight in with the ‘hard sell’. That means that they’ll heavily push all the positives of their product and try to get the visitor to click ‘buy’ as soon as they get there.
This doesn’t tend to work. Although you probably want to make your sales process as simple and automated as possible, it’s absolutely essential that you don’t try and go straight in for the kill. Far more effective is to try to capture leads first instead. Here’s why…
Why Cold Sales Don’t Work
Just because you’re making money passively, that does not mean that you should be impatient about how you are collecting your sales.
If you try and convert your visitors as soon as they land on your page, then this is the equivalent of walking up to someone you like in a bar and asking them for their number, without saying hello or even introducing themselves first. Or it’s a little like walking up to someone in the street and offering to sell them a watch for $500. Would you be receptive to that sales technique?
Of course not! And the reason is that you know nothing about the person selling, you know nothing about the product and you have no reason to trust that what they’re offering is as good as they say it is.
If someone lands on your page and you try to sell to them right away, then they’ll think your site is essentially spam and they’ll be frustrated at the lack of value. Chances are they’ll leave.
How to Convert
So instead, talk to them about how they can get free information by signing up to your mailing list, or provide them with an article and then offer to share more through your Facebook.
Now you have the opportunity to build that relationship and to build trust and eventually, you’ll find that this puts you in a position where they are more likely to want to buy from you!
You might be wondering how this model is still ‘passive’. In fact though, it still can be: there’s no reason you can’t use automated emails for example through an autoresponder. Or you can write a ton of blog posts and then schedule them to post over time.
You can still make your model passive – just don’t go straight in for the kill!
Sales experience and talent is something that pretty much every business looks for in its staff. Being able to sell is an incredibly valuable skill and something that will allow you to pretty much make money wherever you are and whatever your product is.
This is true in person but it’s also true online. In fact, most of the highest paid jobs online involve little more than sales. ‘Affiliate marketing’ literally means you are promoting and selling the products of other creators. This is just like being a door-to-door salesman, except you now have a door to the entire world.
If you know how to use the web and you know how to sell… then there is an absolute fortune to be made!
But is this a skill that you can learn? Is sales technique something you just have to be born with innately? Let’s take a closer look and find out…
While there are many different nuances and factors involved in selling, perhaps the most important thing to consider of all is the powerful role of ‘presuasion’. Presuasion essentially describes the fact that you don’t tend to sell at the point of the sale. The moment you close the sale is very important of course but this isn’t the point at which the buyer will make that decision and it’s not the point at which you have the most important influence.
That point is long before they come to your website. Pre-suasion means that you’re priming someone to buy your product even before you show it to them. That can mean building trust and authority but it can also mean showing them a video of something inspiring. It can also mean getting them at a point when they’re tired and thus more impulsive. Think about your pre-game and just how important this aspect is…
What’s also important is to recognize the inherent value that your product has to the buyer. When you sell something, you are always selling more than the sum of the parts. Most things we buy, we view as a means to an end – whether that end is to make our home more attractive and appealing, or whether it is to look sexier, healthier and more confident. And why do we want to look sexier? So that we can have more success with the opposite sex.
That’s why adverts for Lynx deodorant are never about the actual smell but rather about attracting women. That’s why men buy Lynx. Likewise, you need to think about what the value proposition is for your fitness ebook. It just might be the very same thing…
Once you’re pre-suaded and explained your value proposition, all that is left to do is strike while the iron is hot and get your audience to part with their cash. People rarely buy based on logical decisions and almost always buy based on emotion. Get them to act fast before that emotion fades!
A blog is fairly easy to set up. The most important thing is usually the functionality. Will visitors find it easy to access the content that they need? Will they find the content useful? How easy is it to use the different icons available on the site? These are some basic questions that one must ask before setting up a blog. It therefore calls for a user-friendly interface that can appeal to the different types of people that access your blog on a regular basis. Over the last five years, blogs have become very popular. Not only have they given several aspiring content creators a platform to grow their talent, they are also a part of social media that makes communication and reaching of a target audience easier. What are some of the principles to observe when using your blog to run affiliate marketing campaigns?
What sort of vibe will visitors receive when they first visit your blog? This is important because it sets the entire tone for subsequent engagements. Good first impressions will encourage visitors to read the blog content and even click on the affiliate links. You therefore also have to focus on the design so that it's attractive and user-friendly. Too many cluttered advertisements send the wrong signals to visitors. The first thing that will come to mind is that you are only after making money. Let the headlines and lists portray the blog as a place where visitors can actually find useful information.
It's like building a relationship. It takes time and a little convincing. Create content that is useful to the customer before guiding them to an affiliate link. The information provided will be enough to build trust and convince them to take a look at what the blog is promoting. You should also make sure that the content created is tied to the product being promoted.
There is nothing more difficult to rebuild than trust once it's lost. When customers click on the affiliate links and then end up buying the products, they are in actual sense buying your advice. You convinced them that the product was great and that's why they made the decision to purchase. If their expectations are not met, you will be viewed as a liar who is only out to enrich himself or herself. Promote only genuine products on your blog, more so those that you have already used. You can try and describe them well and at the same time share your experience.
Do not fill your blog with adverts that will not bring you any meaningful income. Focus on brands and products that will give you reasonable commission. After all, the reason why you are carrying out affiliate marketing on your blog is so that you can make some cash.
Such a sheet of useful links to products or websites that are related to your area of specialization. Visitors can find these links helpful and discover products that they were originally not looking for. It's a win-win situation.
There are basically three different ways in which one can earn income through affiliate marketing. They revolve around the association of a publisher with the product and the merchant.
This where you promote a product with a lot of authority because you've used it and have enjoyed its benefits. When you post content on your blog, you speak to visitors on the account of personal experience. This type of affiliate marketing is very effective because most of the times, consumers find it more convincing. People will be willing to try out something just because you as an influencer has used it and found it good. It is even more effective when your blog or social media site has many followers. However this kind of marketing comes with a lot of responsibility.
You should only promote a product that you are sure will provide some benefits to the consumers. It is very wrong to hype a brand only for customers to be disappointed. They will hold you responsible and that is how your blog and whatever else you decide to promote will go down the drain. Honesty is a very important factor in affiliate marketing if you want to get repeat business and more customers.
Any serious publisher must identify a niche and focus on it. Within that niche, there will be products related to the ones that you are promoting. You can have links to such products on your blog, social media sites, videos or podcasts. Visitors may come to your site because of the products that you are promoting but they can also find additional products through these links.
You don't have to have used the product in order to provide a link for it. That is smart marketing because if a customer decides to click on the link and buy the product, you'll still earn your commission without much responsibility. You don't hype the product so if it turns out to be substandard, you will not bear much responsibility. This type of affiliate marketing is good but it will not give you much income since the related products are not your primary focus. Some visitors to your blog will not even notice the additional links. It will still not cost you anything to earn a little extra money by having those links displayed on your site.
This is ideal for people who do not want to interact with end consumers at any level. In pay per click affiliate marketing, you have no authority in the product niche that you are promoting. All you do is ambush internet users with affiliate links via Facebook ads, Twitter ads and Google Adwords among others in the hope that they'll click on them and eventually buy the products.
This method of affiliate marketing is more of a gamble because customers find it a lot more easy to buy products introduced to them by familiar affiliates. Pay per click may sound easy but it really is not. Some people find success with it and that is okay because at the end of the day you'll have earned your income.
You really need to understand the workings of affiliate marketing in order to successfully manage such a system. If you don't get it, you'll hardly realize meaningful results. Managing an affiliate program properly is the key to realizing its full potential. This marketing segment constantly evolves and you'll regularly need to make adjustments but here are some best practices that can help you run a successful campaign.
1. Ensure that you update affiliates on a regular basis. This can be done through the timely sending of newsletter with relevant information that will help them in the course of their marketing efforts. Providing tips on how to sell products through different communication channels like emails is also another way of having a successful program.
2. The best affiliate program managers find a way to create a balance between the needs of the merchant and the affiliate needs. This balance ensures that both ends of the program are working efficiently to push for sales and generate more revenue.
3. Always track results. This is very important because sometimes strategies don't work and the best way to find a working formula is by going back to the drawing board. Good managers analyze performances and find corrective measures in order to realize better results. Do not be afraid to change course if you are headed in the wrong direction.
4. Encourage honesty. Affiliate marketing really does thrive on honesty. Consumers need to trust you and they can only do that when you are being truthful. The affiliate programs that you are managing should only sell genuine products that customers will find useful. Building relationships is everything in this type of marketing.
5. Managing affiliates requires quick solving of problems. An affiliate program manager should be willing to tackle problems with honesty and desire to find solutions. Without the affiliates, the program cannot really work and you therefore need to make them feel wanted and respected so that they can deliver.
6. Be accessible. Affiliates should be able to communicate with you when they have issues. Do not be a manager who cannot be accessed. That is one of the reasons why most affiliates opt out of programs.
7. Initial agreements must be upheld. The merchant should pay commissions to affiliates on timely manner as agreed. As an affiliate program manager, you kind of act as the enforcer of the law. You paly a neutral role and therefore should not feel obliged to side with either party. Everyone should get a fair treatment.
8. Update text links, datafeeds, coupons, banners and promotions on a regular basis. Keep them fresh and relevant to the concerned parties.
9. You should push for growth accordingly. The affiliate has the responsibility of generating many clicks while the merchant should play a role of creating more conversions. If one party does not perform the whole system slacks.
10. Push for the rewarding of affiliates who perform exceptionally. Your success as an affiliate program manager depends on the number of conversions made and that starts with the affiliates. Rewarding those who exceed expectations ultimately translates to better results because they'll motivated to do even better.