Is money stopping you from traveling around the world?
I know exactly how you feel. Before I took my first trip overseas, I used to work downtown in an office cubicle stuck in the rat race. My job was pretty easy and paid well, but I didn’t have control of my biggest asset: my time.
Jobs are great if you love what you do, but how can you travel if you have to show up at the same job everyday with only 2 weeks of vacation?
If you love your job, then awesome! However, after chatting with many of my readers, some of you have told me that your job sucks and you are looking for other passive income strategies and investments.
Let me introduce you to a passive income strategy that I’ve been using for over 10 years: affiliate marketing
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Definition: A way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies (“affiliates”) who market the company’s products for a commission . (Source: Entrepreneur.com)
Affiliate marketing is a partnership between two parties (advertiser & merchant) where you earn a commission for every sale and/or lead you generate.
If you look closely, then you will notice that affiliate marketing is taking place all around us. Some examples of affiliate marketing are:
- Products for sale on QVC
- Links to stock market brokers on major financial sites (TheStreet.com)
- Product mentions on websites with links pointing back to Amazon.com
- Links to 3rd party sites under Youtube videos in the description box
- Club promoters who pass out flyers/cards to refer patrons to the nightclub
It’s one of the oldest businesses in history and will always work because merchants need customers and leads to purchase their products.
Why is Affiliate Marketing Great for International Travelers?
The nature of affiliate marketing is perfect for expats and international travelers. You gain access to a high income opportunity without having to be physically in one place.
For example, you can make 100k+ working on Wall Street but you have long days and little free time.
On the other hand, you can make 100k+ as an affiliate marketer while living in Thailand and relaxing on the beach. You earn the same amount of money but have so much more freedom and location independency.
Now that you have a general idea of how affiliate marketing works, I want to share with you my 10 reasons why affiliate marketing is great for expats and travelers.
1. Become Location Independent
Affiliate marketing is a business that you can run from anywhere in the world. For online business, you only need a laptop and internet connection. If you run an offline business, then you need to hire employees to market your business and refer potential clients to the merchant.
I run mostly online businesses, but there is huge potential with brick and mortar businesses as well. The internet gives you an enormous income potential because you can market and sell to people all across the world.
On the other hand, running an offline affiliate marketing business can generate a ton of money quickly because there is much fewer competition in your local town/city.
All of these businesses can be operated by hired employees or outsourced to freelancers across the globe. This gives you the freedom to live anywhere in the world!
2. Make Money While You Sleep
When you travel a lot, you realize just how important sleep is. Sitting on long international flights will have you dreaming of a nice comfy bed once you reach your destination.
Sleep is simply downtime for most people, but for affiliate marketers sleep becomes not only much needed rest but an income earning opportunity!
One of the best feelings in the world is waking up in the morning and seeing that you made some sales! The key to affiliate marketing is that you earn money 24/7/365 while most people only earn when they are actively working.
Most people earn from just 8 hours of work while affiliate marketing earn from 24 hours of work. You do the math!
This makes affiliate marketing a golden opportunity to squeeze more value out of your time.
3. No Product Development Costs or Worries
I love creating products and still recommend people develop their own unique product for their business. However, you take on a huge burden as a product developer that doesn’t work well for international travelers.
First off, you have to spend a lot of money to develop a unique, cool product. If you have little money, then you only option is a hefty loan or borrowing money from friends and/or family. If your business fails, then you have a lot of angry people asking for their money back.
Once you start selling your product, you must deal with problems like refunds, chargebacks, personal attacks and negative publicity. Companies create entire departments to deal with these annoying problems.
If you want to travel longer and better, then you will be working a lot more instead of relaxing and enjoying your trip.
Affiliate marketing allows you to earn money while letting the merchant deal with these headaches.
4. No Inventory to Carry
Affiliate marketing earns a ton of money without having to stock a single product in inventory!
Companies like Amazon and Walmart have HUGE storage facilities all over the world to store their products. Some small business owners store their products in the home, but you cannot travel much if you have to stay at home and ship products all day.
If you travel with your product inventory, then you invite other problems like theft and damage during flight.
Affiliate marketing is wonderful because I can travel to Panama and carry zero products along with me.
5. No Shipping Costs
I used to sell sports memorabilia on eBay and made good money doing so. The only thing I hated was going to the post office and waiting in line to send the packages. It took up so much of my time that I stopped selling on eBay because I hated the whole shipping process.
I love affiliate marketing because I have zero products to ship. I let the merchant deal with all the shipping costs and associated problems. If I sold to a dishonest buyer on eBay, Paypal would freeze my account even though I shipped to the product to the buyer.
There are no dishonest buyers to deal with or frozen account hassles in affiliate marketing.
6. Choose from Thousands of Different Products
Affiliate marketing is a real business that gives you access to thousands of different products. I might promote up to 10 products on a single website at a time.
You get to choose from a ton of different options and can replace an affiliate link within a couple of minutes. I select affiliate products based on my personal experiences, the quality, and positive customer reviews.
You will find a few high earning products that work well with your business. Once you find these, you should focus on reaching more people and sharing your personal experiences with them to increase your commissions and income.
7. Low Setup Costs
Starting a brick and mortar business can be very expensive. You’ll need a lot of startup capital plus working capital to keep your business up and running.
How much does a website cost? $12 domain/year + $5 monthly hosting = $15.
I recommend Siteground as the best web hosting company for beginners. You can start your online affiliate marketing business for just $15.
If you love making videos, then you can get started on Youtube for free!
If you want to promote offline businesses, then you’ll need around $20 to purchase flyers and business cards.
The low cost setup of affiliate marketing is super attractive and gives anyone a chance to make money.
8. Make Your Money Work for You
I struggled to make money for years until I read a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It talks about how the rich become richer while the poor and middle class always struggle.
The author, Robert Kiyosaki, mentions a key habit of the rich: they make their money work for them.
How does this apply to affiliate marketing? Simple. You produce content for your audience and recommend products within the content. This means that you are creating value while making money at the same time. Thus, your money works for you.
In a standard job, you are working for the money. Your boss offers a salary then you show up to earn it. It gives you little leverage versus an affiliate marketer that makes $1,000 a day while dancing salsa in Colombia.
Affiliate marketing teaches you to create value upfront then make money through personal recommendations instead of chasing a salary.
9. Sell Your Business for a huge Profit
Once you’re successful, you will get emails and phone calls from people who want to buy your business/website. This is a great sign! Depending on your goals, you may decline the offer or consider selling your income stream.
It’s perfectly fine to sell your affiliate marketing business and many business owners sell their asset for $1,000,000+. Check out Empire Flippers, a website broker, who negotiates seven figure sales frequently.
Cashing out for $1 million or more is absolutely possible with affiliate marketing. Most affiliate marketing businesses sell at a 12x monthly income multiplier.
Ex. $85,000 monthly earnings x 12 = $1,020,000 potential sale price
Of course, you can negotiate much higher like Bankaholic did.
Many affiliate marketing businesses make 5 figure per month so selling for $1 million is a reachable goal.
You cannot sell your job to anyone. Affiliate marketing gives you big income opportunity along with a potential for a huge sale in the future.
10. Change People’s Lives
My old job was okay, but I’m not sure I was changing people’s lives in a positive way.
Affiliate marketing helps me make a positive impact on the world because I receive phone calls and emails from people who visited my websites and benefited from my articles.
Every week, I receive emails that sound like this:
I almost cancelled my trip to X until I read your article and found it interesting. I am looking forward to my next trip and want to thank you for sharing your experiences.
I just got back from my trip to X and you were spot on about everything. I will return soon. Thinking about moving there permanently.
It’s a truly a blessing to impact people’s lives in a positive way and help them fulfill their dreams. None of this would be possible without affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing isn’t just about making money. It’s about educating your audience and letting them know about the products/services that will change their lives.
I worked many jobs but nobody ever thanked me personally or reached out to me. As an affiliate marketer, I can help the entire globe while living anywhere I please.
Affiliate Marketing: Getting Started guide
If you are ready to start an affiliate marketing business, then here’s exactly what you need to know.
Choose a Passionate Market
Market selection is one of the most important aspects of affiliate marketing. I chose the travel market because I met brothas all the time who love to travel.
Upon doing research, I noticed a lack of travel sites catering to black men. That’s when I bought the domain and began writing on ExpatKings.
My target market is passionate about travel and needs tips & resources to make their journey even better.
Popular affiliate marketing niches are:
- Make Money Online
- Weight Loss
- Attract Women
- Build Muscle
Once you find a good topic, then I recommend checking out these affiliate marketing niches resources to find a hot market.
Create a Simple Website
The most profitable affiliate marketers own a websites because you can easily place your affiliate links there and make commissions.
All you have to do is purchase a cheap web hosting account on Siteground then install a fresh copy of WordPress to build your site.
Of course, you can pick a fancy theme but you should start with a free theme at first to keep expenses low. Content is 10x more important than design so focus your efforts on creating articles, videos, podcasts or whatever type of content your market wants.
Create a Brand
Next, you’ll need to create a brand for your business. Your brand will apply to your:
- Business Cards/Flyers
- Facebook Page
- Youtube Account
I chose ExpatKings because it’s short, easy to remember, and explains the purpose of this site. The majority of this site’s traffic comes from the USA and there are currently over 6 million American citizens living outside of America.
That number is growing everyday as more people move overseas and realize the benefits of leaving the Matrix USA.
Identify Your Market’s Needs
Listen to your target audience and find products that solve their problems. When I travel to a foreign country, I encounter the same problems over and over again:
- Finding hotels and apartments
- Purchasing an unlocked smartphone
- Learning the local language
I’ve written about these topics a lot because I understand everyone has the same problems when traveling overseas.
Create a list of common problems then create articles/videos/podcasts/content that solves those problems.
If you cannot think of any ideas, then just listen to what people complain about. Those are your ideas for content creation.
Join a Good Affiliate Marketing Network
I’ve worked with dozens of affiliate networks over the years and most of them pay on time and have good offers to promote.
There are some shady networks out there so beware. Some crappy networks will shave your commissions, remove great offers due to insider problems, and ban you altogether for no reason.
Here are the best affiliate networks to join:
If you are looking for a specific niche like dating, then do a Google search to find affiliate products to promote.
Ex. Search in Google for “Asian Dating” + Affilaite programs
Play around with these searches until you find a few good products.
Find Affiliate Products that Solve the Problem
After I understand the main problems, then I look for high quality products to solve them. For example, I recommend ThaiFriendly as a great way to meet Thai women because you can make connections before you land in Bangkok.
If you only have a few weeks on Thailand, then you need to be super efficient with your time. This is an example of a good product to promote because I have a premium account and use it whenever I go to Thailand.
Create Links/Tags to the Product within Your Content
Most merchants allow publishers to create links/tracking codes to place within your content.
If you have a blog/website, then links within your content work best for conversion.
If you have a Youtube channel, then include a link in the description box to get clicks.
If you have an offline business, make sure the customer says “X Sent me” to get credit for the referral.
Monitor Your Results
Some affiliate programs will convert better than others. I like to look at several key metrics:
- CTR (Click Through Rate) – The % of times a visitor clicks the link
- CR (Conversion Rate) – The % of times a click leads to a sale/lead.
- EPC (Earnings Per Click) – The amount of money you make per click
You want all of these numbers to be high so monitor them closely.
Did I forget Something? Let me Know in the Comments
That’s it! Those are my 10 reasons why Affiliate marketing works great for international travelers. I realize this article is longer than I expected, but I wanted to give you enough to be successful and profitable right away.
Do you have any reasons to add to the list. Please add them in the comments!