How this 24-year-old makes $8,600 per month in passive income—and works ‘just 2 hours a day’

When the pandemic hit, I lost my job as a waitress and personal trainer. I decided to take the loss as a sign to build the online fitness business that I have always dreamed of.

I sold 90-day fitness programs, which included workout plans and personalized meals, along with weekly workouts through Zoom. I earned between $ 1,000 and $ 2,000 a month and supplemented my income with my savings and Covid incentive checks.

But I ended up working 10 hours a day and getting burned. So after a year of trying, I decided to break away from my fitness business and look for another way to make money.

For months, I’ve seen affiliate marketers – people for whom an online retailer pays them a commission for traffic or website sales – in my TikTok feed.

I was skeptical at first, but I had nothing to lose. I took an online course that convinced me that affiliate marketing could be a valuable business model, so I went all out.

In July 2021, I used my TikTok and Instagram accounts to market affiliate products. I started posting several times a day, giving tips on how to start a secondary business, earn passive income, and increase your online presence. All the while, I have promoted tools and programs for wealth creation and business.

By October I had garnered 43,000 followers on TikTok, my largest platform.

Since then, I’ve earned an average of $ 8,600 a month in passive income (also known as commissions from my affiliate posts, including posts that are several months old and those that sell recurring subscriptions).

If you had told me a year ago that I could do what I love: create useful content from my phone and work only two hours a day, I would have laughed.

Now I have the freedom I always wanted. At the age of 24 I was able to move into a beautiful apartment in New York City, I travel frequently, and my life no longer revolves around work.

You don’t need to have a presence on TikTok to build an affiliate marketing business. It can be through a website or some other social networking platform.

Success will not happen overnight; it takes a lot of time and effort at first. Here are my top five tips to get you started:

1. Turn to experts for guidance

Look for people who have done what you are trying to do, and study their strategies. Get in touch and ask if they are willing to guide you in building your type of business. This will save you tons of time, energy and money.

There are also courses, individual mentoring programs, and online communities that can teach you how to start an affiliate marketing business. I used the 15-day Business Creation Challenge to expand my knowledge and skills.

2. Don’t start with multiple niches and products

To focus your efforts, start with a niche and find a winning affiliate product to promote. Once you have mastered the marketing of that product, you can start exploring other products.

I recommend brainstorming about a list of your hobbies and interests, and then researching the best affiliate programs in each category before narrowing down your niche to one.

If you plan to add an affiliate marketing company to an already established account or website, your niche should match the content you already like to your audience. If you have an Instagram account full of pictures with your dog, for example, look for affiliate products in the pet space.

From what I’ve seen, health and wealth creation are two of the highest paying niches because products in these areas are often in high demand.

3. Look for winning, high-value products to promote

You will spend the same amount of time and energy promoting a product that pays $ 2 in commissions as promoting a product that pays $ 2,000 in commission. So the key is to find high-income affiliate programs and make them the bulk of your business.

I use sites like and to find well-paying affiliate deals. When deciding what to promote, I look for products that have:

  • High gravity, or a large number of marketers who are actively promoting the product. If many other people are devoting their time to selling a product, it probably means that it is working for them.
  • Recurring subscriptionsor consistent monthly product charges, so you will make recurring commissions.
  • A low refund rate, which means that most people who buy the affiliate offer are satisfied with it. This helps me make sure that I only promote high quality products.
  • Upsell opportunities, which means that when someone buys the base level offer, they also have options to add upgrades to that product for more money. Additional sales opportunities help you take advantage of both low-budget customers and customers who are willing to spend more.

4. Build trust with your audience

No matter what platform you’re marketing on, make sure your content is authentic. People want to buy high quality products from someone they trust.

My content is always relevant and relevant to my audience. I gained confidence with them by doing things like putting my email in the biography of my social media and responding to direct messages from my followers.

This lets them know that they can always contact any questions they may have about the products I am promoting.

5. Perfect your marketing skills

Affiliate marketing is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It requires you to learn skills such as writing, generating consumer interest, and communicating.

These are the skills that differentiate a bo affiliated merchant of a great one, and there are many online courses to help you master them, such as Dave Sharpe’s Legendary Marketer and specific Skillshare courses.

Shannon Smith is a full time affiliate marketer who teaches others how to make money online. Follow her on TikTok @hustlewithshan.

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