We are going to tell you how bookkeepers or anyone for that matter can make extra cash by promoting other businesses through their website – and it’s not through advertising.

So there’s the first hint – it’s really not advertising, but you are providing links to products or services offered by other businesses.  

It’s certainly not easy, but it’s one of the comparatively easier ways to make money online.

There’s few expenses and little in the way of the start-up cost, but be prepared to invest plenty of time in what is a very competitive field.

Curiosity stirred yet?

Okay, well here it is…Affiliate marketing is the process of you promoting a product through designated links embedded in content on your website and earning a commission for traffic or sales from these links.

When affiliate marketing is successful it goes a bit like this:

  1. You recommend a service or product, or at least provide a link to it on your website or to your email list.
  2. The person clicking on your link then purchases the product or service after clicking on your link.
  3. You get paid a commission of anything up to 80% of the product or service the person coming from your website who then makes a purchases.

Magazine Article or Sales Pitch in Disguise?

Almost all major products have affiliate marketers out there promoting their products.  Actually, to be more precise millions of online products have affiliate marketers.  Just google “nike affiliate program” or “adidas affiliate program” to see the kind of affiliate promoters out there. 

Amazon is another business that uses affiliate marketing.  One of its most successful affiliates is a site called Gear Patrol.  Gear Patrol defines itself as a daily men’s magazine with articles about travel, food, technology and adventure.

But is it really a magazine or just a clever form of marketing? 

Well, Gear Patrol receives millions of daily visits through readers who just want to read their articles and who then often click on links of products relevant to the article which go through to amazon and if they make a purchase Gear Patrol gets a commission. 

No matter how you define it, Gear Patrol shows the importance of making great content if you want to sell products.

Another example is Consumer Search.  Rather than make the topic general, Consumer Search is a product review site featuring articles just about products with links to that products within the article.

You can also see a heap of affiliate sites for sale at flippa.

Affiliate Marketing works because 85% of shoppers check google before making an online purchase

Affiliate marketing is not advertising.  An advert would run as a stand alone banner.  Affiliate marketing is embedded in your content.  But the very reason you would be creating that content is to draw people to the product or service you linked to.

So for instance you want to sell asics runners, so you might create a post called “what are the best shoes for outdoor netball?” or “what are the best shoes to avoid knee injuries?” or even “how do I avoid knee injuries when playing netball?”. The content would be helpful, thoughtful, informative and genuinely assist the person in answering their question, but it would ultimately lead people to click on the link and purchase those shoes.  It would not simply appear as a banner advertisement on the page.

I am guessing you can see now how sophisticated affiliate marketing is, and how you really need to write a good quality article, not a snappy sales pitch or advertisement. 

Please Don’t Call it Passive Income!!!!!

You’ll hear all sorts of claims about how easy it is to make money with affiliate marketing.

To some extent affiliate marketing is relatively easier and certainly poses a lot less risks than other forms of online businesses.

Benefits of starting affiliate marketing:

  • You can get up to 80% commission on these products.
  • No manufacturing or shipping costs.
  • Low startup costs
  • Few expenses.
  • No dealing with unhappy customers.
  • No organising refunds or handling complaints.

However, there are many competitors in the affiliate marketing business and many more who join each day.  So you need to ensure you write great content that people will read and that is directly relevant to the product or service you are marketing.

Your content needs to be actually helping solve a problem, make someone happy, explain something better than it has explained before, provide a new angle on an old topic or new information.

You should focus on trending products and topics, genuinely attempt to answer questions (particularly those people ask search engines), use an appropriate tone of voice and be honest – or you could find yourself in legal trouble.

Be Warned – Most People Who Try Affiliate Marketing Will Fail

One thing for certain is that affiliate marketing really is not passive income.

For starters, it takes time and a lot of tweaking of both content and strategy to get it right.  Those in the know will tell you to do affiliate marketing and generate a full time income you need to make it a three to five year project.  Affiliate marketing is not easy, it takes a lot of hard work and often involves creating content that may not, initially, result in revenue. 

You need to continually publish new content and update content.  You need to be constantly refining and updating your skills.  You also need to keep track of consumer habits and what your competitors are doing. In other words, you don’t do just one bit of work and then watch the money come rolling in for years after.

Getting Started with an online business

If you’re a bookkeeper there are many courses and software programs you could market through your website to increase revenue to your business. What is good about an online bookkeeping business is that you’ll also make “Active Income” by charging an hourly rate or even fixed price fee for your bookkeeping services and/or tutoring, just like Agnest from Maitland/Newcastle area in New South Wales.

So find your platform, your niche and affiliate programs to join.  Then create great content, get people on your site, getting them clicking your links and start converting!

If you have accounting experience and would like to help other people learn about the most popular accounting software programs (Xero and MYOB) you can enrol into the Bookkeeping Pro Package and earn a percentage of any sales generated at the website.

If you are looking for an overview of Xero with the Xero Beginners Essential Training Course or sharpen your skills with an Advanced Xero Certificate course.

The Career Academy website is an affiliate for ComputerTrainingOnline.com.au

If you want to see an example of affiliate marketing explore the Career Academy website for the Certificate in Xero Online Training Course.

Workface The Career Academy Training Courses in Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks, Bookkeeping LOGO

This is an example where an eCommerce shop has been setup on a WordPress website and the enrol button links to the Computer Training Online website where students can enrol into the Industry Endorsed Xero courses.