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How College Students Can Start Earning Money with Affiliate Marketing

It is no news that being in college can take a toll on your pockets. With debts piling up and becoming as high as the Eiffel tower, it is easy for any college student to feel overwhelmed. Of course, debts wouldn’t be as high if college students had enough time to work on other jobs. But sadly, this isn’t always the case. With so much on their plates, college students sometimes even need to outsource their assignments and projects. Yes, college life is demanding.

Most students do several odd jobs to survive in college. From working at the local Walmart for a few hours to babysitting nasty children, most college students sweat to earn some income. On the flip side, working this hard to make ends meet while in college negatively affects student grades. Their social life may also be in jeopardy because not only do they not have the time to study, they also don’t have time to socialize enough. Working at a job while in college may rip you off the fun side of college.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing

But did you know that college students can generate income for themselves even while still in school? And the good thing is that they don’t even have to work their butt off to make cool cash. With the world of passive income becoming larger by the day, there are so many opportunities for students to make money even while they sleep. One of the most popular and lucrative passive income sources is Affiliate Marketing. So, if you want to learn how you can live comfortably in college, I’m ready to show you how! Relax as I walk you through the world of passive income and affiliate marketing.

What is Passive Income?

First off, what is passive income? Passive income is the money you regularly earn from sources that do not require your constant attention and effort. This income is passive, meaning that you can keep earning more and more with just a little effort. But passive income doesn’t mean you wouldn’t put in any effort at all, especially at the beginning. While it may take some time and effort to set the ball rolling, you don’t have to do much when you set it in motion. And it is not a one-off thing – you must learn to earn regularly.

Affiliate Marketing Passive Income

Your only job is to periodically check your account balance and make sure your passive income system is running fine. Without a doubt, passive income avails you with the luxury of time and rest. Without an iota of doubt, passive income is what every college student should be seeking. With this, you no longer have to sweat at a grill in restaurants or work your ass off at a mall. With money rolling into your account daily, you can spend your time studying, socializing, and impacting your society.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

So, what is affiliate marketing? In a few words, affiliate marketing is a type of business model where publishers/affiliates help different brands, vendors, or merchants promote and sell their goods and services. In return, affiliates/publishers get a commission for every good/service they sell.


For example, let’s take this illustration. A company called Fashions World Inc has different revolutionary designs that can change fashion as we know it. Now, this company has a website, social media presence, a blog, etc. It wants to reach many people and build its brand or make it a household name. Would they reach their target audience if they only advertised and published things on their website, blog, and posts? Most likely not. So, they try other different methods to try and reach out to more customers. One of these marketing strategies is affiliate marketing.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Since the company cannot reach its target audience alone, it can set up an affiliate program. The company can decide to do this in-house or through an affiliate marketing agency. The company can, in fact, choose to use a combination of both. Whatever options they choose, the goal is the same: get super high publicity for the product/service as much as possible. Therefore, they no longer have to sell their designs on their own. They now have hundreds or thousands of other people with blogs, YouTube channels, etc., helping them publicize and sell their product/service.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

In return, affiliates get paid an agreed commission to help that company advertise their product/service. The commission and agreement could be one-off or recurring. Evidently, recurring payments are the best option as it opens the door to passive income wealth. And as a college student, this type of recurring commission payment is what you should target. But how can you earn recurrently in affiliate marketing?

Let’s assume that you could convince ten people to sign up for consultancy at a fashion design store. Those people become linked to you for as long as they subscribe to that company. The juicy thing is that you get a percentage of money from their subscription every month. And as long as they continue to renew their subscriptions, you continue to get paid. You can earn large sums of money, especially when you convince many people to sign up. And you’ll continue earning for years and years and years – even after you leave college. Can you see the potentials of affiliate marketing?!

When you’re an affiliate to many different brands, you can earn continuously. To go further, you can also have your in-house affiliate marketing program where others can sign up for your program. You can earn commissions from a wide range of companies and keep smiling to the bank!

Who Can Be an Affiliate?

People are always concerned about whether they are eligible to be affiliates. So, who can be an affiliate? The short answer? Anybody! Anyone can become an affiliate, from college students to big companies. All you need is to reach a large number of people and get the word about products/services across to them. With vibrant marketing channels, you can get this done effectively and efficiently.

How Can College Students Start Earning Money with Affiliate Marketing?

Now that you know what affiliate marketing is, the next step to consider is how you can start earning money with affiliate marketing as a college student. So, first things first. How can college students set up affiliate marketing?

Marketing for College Students

Getting Started

How can one get started with affiliate marketing and start earning quickly? If this is a question you need answers to, I’m glad to let you know some secrets to start earning fast using affiliate marketing. Here are some of the steps to take to get you started with affiliate marketing.

1. Set Up Your Channel for Content Creation


Content remains the basis of affiliate marketing. In order words, the first thing to think about if you want to start affiliate marketing is content. Content is the backbone of affiliate marketing. Content marketing is pivotal to the success of affiliate marketing because of many reasons. The primary reason is that people will not sign up for any service or product you’re marketing if they don’t get any value first. So, with valuable content, people will gladly sign up for what you subtly advertise.

Here are the ways you can go about useful content creation that goes super well with affiliate marketing:

a. Start a Blog

Make Money with WordPress Blogging

Starting a blog and creating blog posts is one of the commonest ways to give value to readers. Create a blog and give it a name, e.g., To create a blog, you need to buy a domain first. After buying the domain, you’ll then have to sign up with a web host. As a college student, you may target low-level web hosts such as Bluehost and iPage. The reason for this choice is that these web hosts are great and affordable! They sell bloggers the domain at a discount! And that’s not all – they give you a hosting package as well!

Start a Blog hostgator

For college students or beginners, I do recommend WordPress for blog creation. This is because it is easy to use and learn. You can get tons of materials on YouTube, showing you how to use WordPress. You can get your website running today!

b. Launch or Start a YouTube Channel

YouTube is very popular, especially among college students. With over 2 billion users, YouTube has a vast market and is a highly visual method of reaching people. You can become a content creator on YouTube and get as many views as possible. Go into a very entertaining yet informative section like technology, language, jokes, etc. In reality, you can choose to do anything as long as it gets you much traffic without violating the YouTube terms and conditions. The more views you have, the more likely companies will want to do business with you.

c. Build Strong Social Media Presence

social media marketing

When you have a strong social media presence with many followers, you can efficiently market affiliate products. Start to build a strong social media presence and get a legion of followers. Armed with this, you can market various services and products to your vast fan base.

2. Monetize your Content Channels

Now that we are clear on the different content creation channels you can use, let’s consider how you can monetize your content. I mean, you want to make some cool cash, yes? Whether you choose to create a blog, start a YouTube channel, strengthen your online fan base, or do all three of them, there is a unifying theme. This unifying theme is the key to build a successful affiliate marketing business. And what is this unifying theme? CREATE POPULAR CONTENT!

The importance of creating popular content cannot be overemphasized. This is because popular content draws more people to your blog/channel. The more people visit your page, the more people you can convince to sign up with any company you’re representing. Now, to easily monetize your content, you have to seek the appropriate affiliate program. For example, if your blog, Instagram page, YouTube channel, etc., focuses on fashion, you should seek out companies in the fashion industry and run affiliate marketing.

affiliate marketing growth

It’s a no brainer because if you run a fashion blog, YouTube channel, or what have you, the visitors to your page or channels will most likely be people interested in fashion. With their current interest in fashion, it will be easy for you to sell them goods or services relating to fashion. All you need to do is include your affiliate links into your content, and you’re good to go. Once you write a future-proof article, say, “the best fashion sense for Christmas,” you can expect people to read this article every year. And the good news? You’ll keep earning money!

3. SEO and Affiliate Marketing

SEO Strategy

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is essential to consider when developing content. And most affiliate marketing heavily relies on SEO. If you are into blogging, for example, you will need to create posts that rank high on Google and other search engines. If it doesn’t rank high, nobody will see your content. This is a significant challenge for many bloggers, and that’s where SEO comes in. With the use of high-ranking keywords, you can easily find yourself on the front page of a search that relates to your blog. All these may seem not so easy, but with one viral article, video, or post, you can hit it big.

Different Remunerations in Affiliate marketing

There are different remuneration types in affiliate marketing. Remuneration methods depend on what products and services you’re marketing. You can usually establish one or more of these types with the companies. But the most common types are:

Payment for Sale

This criterion is pretty straightforward. Make the customers buy their product or service, and they will give you an agreed commission. So, depending on your conversion capacity, you can get very high returns from this remuneration method.

Payment by Lead/Registration

This remuneration method gets you a commission when you get your audience to register for anything related to the company. This could be registering to be on the company’s email contact list. Achieve this and earn your commission!

Pay per Click (CPC)

Pay per click is also popularly known as Cost per Click. Here, the company that has placed advertisements on your website will pay you a sum of money (commission) when you get users to click on the advertisement.

Payment per Thousand Impressions (CPM)

Cost per thousand impressions, aka Cost per Mille (CPM), is an agreement where a company pays you an agreed sum for 1,000 impressions on an advertisement on a single web page. The “M” in CPM stands for the word “Mille,” which means “thousands” in Latin.

affiliate marketing tips

Tips to Help You Increase Your Affiliate Marketing Sales

Only Choose High-Quality Products

If you want to succeed very fast in affiliate marketing, then you have to trust the credibility of the products or services you sell. Will people get value for their money? The type of product/service you sell can make or mar you. You shouldn’t be involved in anything that can negatively affect your credibility – remember that you’re trying to build an enduring business. Bad customer experiences with your affiliate companies may lead to pathetic sales or no sales at all. 

Be Intentional about Selling Your Products

One common mistake most affiliate marketers make is the mistake of assumption. That a user visits your page doesn’t mean they will miraculously take the initiative and key into whatever product/service you have on there. You should spell it out clearly. Mention it – albeit briefly and convincingly.

Ensure that Your Affiliates Have Done their Job

What happens when users click a link from your site that lands them at your affiliate’s site? Is that new site explicit enough and built credibly? Have they done their homework when it comes to copywriting? So, it’s not all about a beautiful ad, but also web pages that work conversion wonders.

Keep Creating Captivating Content

Whether you’re running a blog, YouTube channel, or social media channel, you need always to remember that content is king. You should create high-quality content periodically with at least a weekly frequency. The more content you create, the more popular you become, and the more sales you have!

Honesty Pays

As an affiliate marketer, you should let your readers, subscribers, followers, or visitors know that you’re an affiliate marketer. If they know that, they will trust you more. But if they find out by other means, they may be irritated. And that may be the last time they ever view your content again. Also, remember that excessive ads will always put visitors off. Honesty pays!

Keep Promoting

Remember to keep promoting your affiliate product and service extensively! It’s not a one-off thing – be consistent! Post the links on forums, social media, websites, contest forums, etc. Your effort will pay significantly in the end!

Final Thoughts

So here we are! As can be seen, passive income is not so passive after all – at least at the start. But when you give in the work at the start, you can reap exponential rewards in the future. The strategy is that you keep at it and enjoy the process. Sign up to high-paying vendors, promote their products online, make sales, and get your commission!

About the Author

The author is a well-known academic writer and blogger. He writes theses, articles, research papers, and blogs to educate his audience and clients. His impeccable research work in various fields have already been appreciated and published. With over 20 years of experience in the writing niche, he delights in guiding fellow researchers and content writers.

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