Income Stream: Affiliate Programs
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After some thought, I realized that I wasn't addressing the other side of the equation – increasing and building our income. I do freelance work online and offline that allows me to work on a more flexible schedule.
Today I'll share one income stream that I have here on Couple Money – affiliate programs.
While this post's scope may be of interest fellow bloggers and some readers, the main point I want to make is to encourage find ways to increase your income doing things that you're already doing and enjoying.
Why I Use Affiliate Programs
Earning extra income is a wonderful benefit and if I'm already writing about financial services and products, I thought it would seem logical to make a little bit of money. That's not the only reason I include affiliate links.
It's also a way for me to keep Couple Money running. It's been my goal to keep the content on Couple Money free and not to charge a fee for being a subscriber.
Being frugal even on how I run the site keeps the costs low, which helps me to be pickier when it comes to affiliate programs.
Strategies That Help Me with Affiliate Programs
If you're looking for an affiliate guru, then you'll probably want to check out some other site. I try to keep it simple and so far it's worked well for me.
It boils down to two main things – believe in the product and match it with your audience. Everything is secondary
Believe in the Product and/or Service
I don't think you can be successful in the long term without having this tenet in your head – you should love it. I think people can spot something that's just up there for the money versus a product or service that you genuinely believe is a good deal.
With a personal finance site, I get a ton of pitches and I know there are a ton of options. However the majority are garbage or aren't real helpful for most Couple Money readers. Many of the programs I've signed up for are services that I use or have used.
Match It With Your Audience
I admit it's a bit of testing when figuring out what works and what doesn't. For Couple Money, I try to focus on financial and entrepreneurship programs. I want to help you save and earn money.
On that note, if you have a suggestion or some feedback on financial services and products you love, let me know.
I work hard on choosing who to work with and I want to maintain the trust of my readers. I occasionally will do review that contain affiliate links which I think can be a mutually beneficial arrangement.
The reviews are based on the product or service itself. I include affiliate links for readers who find the review helpful and want to purchase it.
I'm choosy when it comes to credit cards – I try to find deals that seem to be a good fit. That's why you don't see many credit card reviews on the site.
So far, I think how I handle things on Couple Money works well and hopefully it'll continue to be mutually beneficial.
Affiliate Programs I Use
Here are some of my current affiliate partnerships that I participate in, both here on Couple Money and a few other sites.
Market Samurai: Long story short, I come up with the topic for my posts and then I look at use Market Samurai to see what keywords could work. For me it's about balancing what I'm interested and what could be popular with potential readers.
MailChimp: This is my email list management provider and they have been wonderful. It's free for the first 1,000 subscribers on your list, so for many people who are just starting to blog, this is the most affordable option. It is extremely easy to use and I've found the customer service to be top notch.
Perkstreet: There is a segment of Couple Money readers who don't want to use credit cards – they live on cash, not credit. They do however want to get some kind of reward for the purchases. When I heard about Perkstreet's 2% cash back debit card, I felt like this had to be included on the site.
Thesis Theme: I use Thesis along with a skin for Couple Money because it's a great framework for me to run my blog. I've used Thesis for a couple years and with skins I'm given a lot of options to customize if I need to along with less need for adding plug-ins. Out of the box, Thesis has been really helpful with SEO.
TurboTax: I've used this software for our own taxes for the last few years. It's easy to use, reliable, and the support for it is incredible. When signing up I thought it would add some great value to the site and I hope its helped readers with their taxes.
Unconventional Guides: Quite frankly I love many of Chris' projects and found them to be extremely useful. I've purchased his Empire Building Kit and shared my thoughts on it. It's helped me organize my freelance work and become more productive. Whether you want to work for yourself part time or full time, I think Unconventional Guides offers a lot of practical products.
If you're interested, please try them out and see if they work for you.
Thoughts on Building Income Streams
I just shared one of my income streams, I'd love to get your thoughts and ideas.
I'm curious – what are some of your income streams? How did you get started? How long did it take for
How do you use the money (savings, debt reduction, reinvest the money, etc)?
Share Your Income Streams!
Please go ahead and join in on the fun, there are 3 ways you can be a part of it:
- Leave your tips in the comment section. I love reviewing thoughtful comments from readers.
- Submit your stories for future posts. If you're not into writing, but have some great income generating ideas, please email me at elle [AT] couple money [DOT] com.
- Write a blog post about your experience. Please include a link in your bio for your site and if you have a relevant post on your site that delves further into the topic, please link to it.
Thank you to those who have participated already. I look forward to sharing stories, tips, and advice from others here.
Photo Credit: stopnlook
Building up additional income streams is a great idea. I have my primary work which pays the everyday expenses but also have real estate. There isn’t a lot of net income associated with that yet. My goal is to have it paid off in time for retirement to serve as income then so I don’t have to touch any retirement savings until required by law. I also have some stocks in the retirement account that pay dividends. Plus I try to generate income through options. Finally, I have written on the internet a little. I still get minimal income from AdSense, Amazon, and HubPages. I am hoping to see this income increase over time.
OD: Thanks for sharing your income streams. I think diversifying your income is a big part of reaching financial independence. some months are slow, but others can be great. By not relying on just one source of income, it reduces my stress a bit – I just ride it out and keep my finances in order.
I’m slowly learning about these affiliate programs. I really appreciate you sharing (what could be classified as) your secrets.
Affiliate programs are flourishing. Back a few years ago there were a few trendier programs, such as AdSense, ClickBank, Chitika, CJ, LinkShare, ShareASale and a handful others… now we can’t choose between an almost endless number of such reward programs…
The biggest difficulties, though… are the Panda and the Penguin algorithms must be passed through… Google punishes ad-heavy and affiliate-model following pages.