Building your Passive Revenue through Affiliates

Whether you realize it or not, you’re probably already recommending your favourite products and services to family, friends, and your social (media) circles online… you may as well sign up to make a commission when you refer a sale or new customer! When done authentically and on behalf of products and services you truly like, earning commissions on sales through an affiliate program can be a wonderful passive income stream.

In a nutshell, affiliate marketing rewards you for referring online sales, either by paying a flat or percentage-based commission. Anyone with an online presence can make a little extra revenue from affiliate programs, including you!

For all of our affiliate partnerships, here are three rules we work by:

Be Strategic.

Treat your affiliate links with the same level of professionalism that you would the other aspects of your business; be organized with your usernames, passwords, and commission levels, and take time to apply to the programs that will benefit you in the long run. Make the most of your partnerships by actually using the affiliate codes you’re given when providing recommendations (whether it’s through editorial, blog content, social media, or an email between friends). Not sure if a company has an affiliate program? Just ask! If you can’t find any information about their affiliate program on their website, their customer service team should be happy to assist you.

If you think that your business could increase its sales by starting an affiliate program of its own, do it! You have nothing to lose by incentivizing others to spread the word about your business. There are a number of WordPress Plugins and affiliate networks that you can use to start your own program. What better way to involve those who already love your product than by referring extra sales.

Be Generous.

Some affiliate programs include a vast range of products, so it makes sense to be a part of them (for example, the Amazon Associates Program). You’ll make a few cents on each sale you refer and, while the brand benefits too, Amazon will still keep a large chunk of the profits. If you’re recommending a small business or brand you care about, look into whether they have an independent affiliate program where they can take a bigger cut of the profits.

Be Transparent.

Buying through an affiliate link will not affect the price for the customer, BUT it’s still considerate to be transparent with your audience. Let them know that you do use affiliate links, but that you are grateful for their support. We created The Borden Big List as a resource for what to read, wear, drink, clean with, eat, cook, and do – and we fully disclose on the homepage that while it does contain affiliate links, we only include products that we believe in.

When done right, everyone wins from an affiliate program . Remember to stay honest, fair, and true to your values – in the end, you’ll have an online community that trusts you.


Kindly note: We don’t like to refer to ourselves as experts”, but we do take great pride in sharing our business advice, distilled down from our extensive research and (often) mind-blowingly frustrating experiences we’ve endured and learned from. We try our best to create a clear and humble approach to good business tactics that you and your teams can understand and turn into effective and productive revenue streams. We are actual, real people and look forward to supporting you in any way we can, whether it’s on the topic of this post, or other business development and marketing communications you may be involved in, or considering. We are proud of the services we provide; if you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask us – we also take pride in being super responsive!