Affiliate income is an AMAZING way to earn extra money as a business owner. If you want to share things you love with people who may already be asking you about those things, affiliate income is for you.
And here’s the thing: for years now, my business has earned multiple five figures a year from affiliate income alone. I've even had years where it's been over a hundred thousand dollars of revenue coming from affiliate income alone. I’m telling you that for two reasons:
- What I’m doing to make affiliate income WORKS
- If it looks like I'm not spending tons of time and energy working on making affiliate income, it's because I'm not.
I'm not saying affiliate marketing is passive, but it is more passive than other types of income we typically have as business owners.
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If you have been in business for a while, you likely have a few companies that you’ve become an affiliate of. It’s rare for a company not to have an affiliate program or some kind of referral program nowadays! But maybe you don’t find yourself making a lot of money from affiliates because your process looks like this:
- Someone sends you a DM or Email
- You don’t remember that long random link you got when you signed up, so you need to find it by logging into that company's affiliate program portal.
- Finally, you send it to them. Likely only if you were sitting at your computer at the time you were asked!
This might not seem like a huge problem, but these extra minutes matter. If you're really wanting to start making affiliate income more often, you need these three hacks I'm about to share.
What IS affiliate marketing?
Quite simply, affiliate marketing is a “type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts.”
I’m a member of so many affiliate programs. Some are like Showit, where they give you a free month for every person you refer. And some are cash-based, where they direct deposit into your account (often through PayPal) whenever someone purchases through your link. When I say I’ve had years where I’ve made over six figures in affiliate income, I’m ONLY counting cash programs. But the free perks are nice too!
Did you know that I also have my own affiliate income program? Want to get started making affiliate income and love my website templates? I would love to welcome you into my affiliate program here!
Read More: Passive Income Isn’t What You Think … BUT Scalable Income Is What You’re After
Short Links for Your Affiliate Links = Easier to Make Affiliate Income
You probably don’t know ANY of the affiliate links you promote by heart, right? You might save time to have a document where you keep all the links for easy access, but I have a hack that’s an even BETTER time saver. Use a link shortener.
While you could use something like Bit.ly, I prefer to use my own domain and create re-directs with “Pretty Links” (an awesome free WordPress plugin that works with Showit websites!).
Here’s an example of what that looks like: https://elizabethmccravy.com/thrivecart
I also use a program called Reward Style/LTK to create affiliate links on Amazon and other places like that. For an example of how I can kind of “cash in” on rewards twice, check out this affiliate link and watch it redirect twice: https://elizabethmccravy.com/lovevery
You’ll notice I always use the business name, and I keep it as short as possible. This helps my team share the affiliate links too!
BONUS: If your affiliate link changes for any reason, you won’t have broken links!
From time to time, a company may change its affiliate program, and the result might mean that you have a new affiliate link. You don’t need to worry, though. Because of this hack, you ONLY need to update your redirect link, and then everywhere you’ve shared your affiliate link will automatically be redirected to the right place. No more frantically going through each page on your website (and every old blog post!) to update links!
Read More: 5 Reasons Why Your Business Can’t Afford To Not Have A Website … Even If You’re Crushing It On Social Media Or 3rd Party Websites!
Track Your Affiliate Links (I use ClickUp!)
Once you’re like me and you start being an affiliate for a TON of companies, it can become a lot to keep up with (especially when you promote some more than others).
For me, It’s easy to remember companies like FloDesk, Showit, and Dubsado because I talk about them a ton (and make more significant money off of them). But, I also don’t want to forget that I’m also an affiliate for some real estate softwares, motherhood things like Lovevery, other friend’s courses, and more.
As I grow my team and have other people writing blog posts for me and things, I want to make sure I’m making it easy for them too!
You’ll also want to keep track of the commission information and discount codes so you can keep it all straight!
For example, you want to remember that if you promote X product, you get a 10% commission, and they get a 20% discount or a free week or WHATEVER it is. Prior to ClickUp, I had all of this information in a Google Doc, and that worked well too. So, if that's what makes sense for you now, do that!!
I just checked, and right now, we have 34 companies that I’m an affiliate of listed in our ClickUp (and that’s not even all of them). You’ll eventually NEED something to stay organized, whether you like Clickup, a Google Doc, Notion, Basecamp or something else!
Quick Aside: You’ll make more affiliate income when you have a great website.
Not only are you more likely to get approved by affiliate companies that have stricter programs when you have a website, but you'll also be set up to make more affiliate income when you can blog and create landing pages for the companies that you partner with. My full website templates all come equipped with an amazing blog design that is set up to support you whether you're like writing your first three blog posts ever or you're transferring over 200+ blog posts to your new Showit website.
As a blogger and podcaster myself, I put so much strategy into thinking through the blog templates. I make sure I’m creating thoughtfully designed sidebars to maximize space so that readers can know whether or not they want to click into a post to read it, and make sure that each layout has clear search functionality so that people can find what they need within your content. I also always design thoughtful 404 pages for when you have a broken link.
If that sounds like what you need right now, use the code BBPODCAST for 10% off ANY template from my shop.
How I Organize Affiliate Income Links on ClickUp
Love a peek behind the scenes? And by the way, if you use my ClickUp affiliate link, you get
First, I have each affiliate link sorted by these categories:
- General Softwares
- Social Media Management
- Finance and Legal
- Real Estate
- And an area for Amazon links to specific products that way
Then, for each company, I have:
- Company name obviously
- Whether or not there is a discount offered
- What is the discount?
- What is the code (is if there is one)
- The Commission/Incentive
- The Affiliate Link (from the company)
- The Affiliate Short Link (from Hack #1)
- Login Information for where that affiliate’s partner platform is
Anytime I join a new affiliate program, I add it to the list. Then, we have a whole bank for it all which is nice and organized! AND it’s ready for my team to use too!
Add Your Affiliate Links To Your iPhone
In order to make more affiliate income, I want to make sharing your affiliate links EVEN easier. Back in hack #1, we set up all your affiliate links as pretty links. Next, I want you to add your website address as a shortcut on your iPhone (which will also add it as a shortcut on your laptop/computer if you are using all Apple products).
You can do this by choosing ANY combination of letters that you wouldn’t typically use. For me, I use ‘emc’ as my shortcut code and whenever I type that out, it expands to https://elizabethmccravy.com/
From there, I just type the name of the affiliate and hit send. SO much faster.
Read More: 20 Technology Hacks & Tools To Help You Be More Productive In Your Life & Business
How to set up iPhone keyboard shortcuts:
- Go to your settings.
- Select “General”
- Select “Keyboards”
- Then, select “text replacement” (You can also skip the previous steps and just search for “text replacement” in your settings.)
- Click the little “+” button in the top right corner.
- Now, you set the “phrase” and the “shortcut”. The phrase is what you want it to become, and the shortcut is what you’ll type to get it.
- Click save and store that information somewhere!
Doing this on your computer? Click here for Mac computer directions.
Knowing + Accessing your Affiliate Links Easily WILL Help You Make More Affiliate Income
Trust me, if affiliate income is a big part of your business (or if you want it to be) sharing links easily should become a priority for you. Like I said, my business makes multiple five figures a year in affiliate income, and this is a huge hack for me to be able to do that easily. If you want to see some of the companies I work with as an affiliate and shop all kinds of fun stuff, check out https://elizabethmccravy.com/tools, and you'll see some of the companies that I'm an affiliate of (keep in mind: not EVERYTHING on that page is an affiliate link. I still promote companies that I love even when there is no partner program).
I also wanted to add: if you are looking to make affiliate income, why not join OUR affiliate program? At the time of recording, our affiliate program for Booked Out Designer is only open to past students (get the details on Booked Out Designer here!), but our affiliate program for Elizabeth McCravy shop templates is open to everyone, even if you aren’t a past customer (yet!). Plus - we will even give your audience a coupon code.
Are you part of our FREE Facebook community yet? If not, we would love to welcome you in! If you are looking to surround yourself with fellow business owners who totally "get it," this is where you'll want to be! I also share behind-the-scenes access to my business strategies, including deep dives into each podcast episode.
And of course, you can ask me any questions you have, and I'll be there to give you the answers you need. Click here to join now!
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April 25, 2023
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