Affiliate Marketing is an interesting thing to do. While the South East Asian economies slows down and the Malaysian economy sputters1, with many Malaysians taking up a second job or doing some insurance and MLM, affiliate marketing can be an interesting avenue to pursue. In the long term, a successful affiliate marketer can earn as much, if not more than a top level MDRT insurance agent or Cosway/Amway agent.
So how can you get into affiliate marketing and what do you need? Read on as we unfold the secrets after the break.
Affiliate Marketing : Introduction
Before we continue on the topic of affiliate marketing, let us qualify the phrase. We are not here to teach you on how to setup your affiliate marketing network. Rather, we are here to teach you on how to earn passive income from affiliate marketing and the tools you need.
If you are living in more affordable parts of Asia, like Malaysia, Indonesia, India, China and Thailand, you would most probably have access to high-speed broadband, 3G/4G network, affordable rental and cheap food. That helps when you are going into affiliate marketing, whether you are doing it full-time or part-time.
Affiliate Marketing : Why should you consider it?
An affiliate marketer can earn quite a fair bit. Top affiliate marketers like Harsh, from ShoutMeLoud.com, earns USD 20k per month2, while John Chow of John Chow dot Com earns about USD 50k per month (estimate).3 USD 50k per month is roughly about RM 200k. Not bad for a month’s salary, or better, side income.
The great thing about affiliate marketing, other than the cost, is the fact that for some affiliate programs, you earn in US Dollars. While that might not be much for someone who resides in US or perhaps Western Europe, it can be lucrative for Malaysians. Especially with our ringgit floundering in the recent months.
If you have been recently retrenched or offered a VSS deal due to the Malaysian economy (or Asian economy if you’re based in places like Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia), then instead of just driving Uber, do consider joining an affiliate program and working your way through.
Affiliate Marketing : Full-time or Part-time?
One question people ask us about affiliate marketing is, can they do it part-time instead of full-time? Why not? Working a full-time job enables you to build you blog one article at a time, but sometimes you might just be too tired to do any writing after a long gruelling day at work.
In comparison, working on the blog full-time would be hard unless you have some form of passive income. But full-time writing means that you could probably write about 3-4 good articles daily that would help you gain traction much easier.
For us, finding a job with better working hours (and perhaps slightly lower pay) would help, as it helps put food on the table, while freeing you to pursue affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing : What do you need?
Other than the computer and internet access, we would say that you need the right software (WordPress and some plugins) and the right attitude. Why attitude? Because if you are in affiliate marketing just to make money and not for the love of the products, you will eventually hard sell to readers and get them disillusioned.
Or you might get frustrated easily with the process. Remember that it takes some time and a lot of effort before your site begins to get some traction.
If you were wondering why WordPress, read our article on why you should use WordPress for your future website.
Having said that, check out our recommended plugins below, for you to start your affiliate marketing journey.
1) Recommended Plugins : ThirstyAffiliates
In terms of software, we would recommend getting ThirstyAffiliates and the various add-ons. ThirstyAffiliates’ base plugin is free. ThirstyAffiliates helps you manage the various links you have and also lets you easily sell your site when you need to move on. Without Thirsty Affiliates, you might need to put in a lot more effort to change the link.
One thing I like about ThirstyAffiliates is the fact that you can easily manage thousands of links with powerful options available via the add-ons sold.
2) Recommended Plugins : OptinMonster
OptinMonster is the best way for you to build leads without the need to hire a developer. Or you can choose to hire us. But frankly speaking, lead generation is crucial and while you can opt for plugins like Ninja Popups or Thrive Leads, we have tested them all and OptinMonster gets our nod as the best tool for you to gain invaluable leads.
3) Recommended Plugins : Yoast SEO
If you are new to WordPress, you won’t go wrong with Yoast SEO, the top SEO plugin out there. Yoast SEO ensures your meta descriptions, keyword ratio to article and others are all well served. It even comes with a built-in content analysis tool, courtesy of LinkDex. The tool itself makes WordPress such a powerful CMS, compared to sites like Medium, Blogspot or Tumblr.
4) Recommended Plugins : TablePress
In order to write compelling articles for your affiliate marketing site, you sometimes need to do some comparison. That’s where plugins like TablePress comes in. TablePress is the leading table plugin for WordPress, making it easy for you to create responsive tables for your website. With the relevant data at hand, it will help you make the sale.
5) Other Recommended Plugins
Other than the plugins recommended above, you can further extend your affiliate site with plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket, Easy Digital Downloads, WooCommerce, Restrict Content Pro, WP Courseware and the likes. It all depends on how you would like to extend your store.
The beauty of WordPress is you are in control. You can include an ecommerce element to sell books, add in a ticketing system to sell classes, or even sell online courses if you prefer.
Affiliate Marketing is hard work, but the payoff can be substantial. If you’re a Malaysian, with looming debts over our economy, affiliate marketing might just be your passport to financial security. Like yourself, we started off with zero traction, but through time and spurts of effort, we are seeing some results nowadays.
If you are keen to learn more about affiliate marketing, comment below and we will help you find the right resources!