I’m a big fan of passive income. I’m also a big fan of SEO. Put the two together and I have built a network of information sites that drive passive income from affiliate programs. Historically, my main methods of monetization have been Google AdSense and the eBay Partner Network. However, I set the goal in 2010 of diversifying my affiliate programs. Even though I’m the biggest fan of AdSense around (and AdSense dominates my affiliate earnings), it always a great idea to diversify for added stability. To that end, I’m excited to report than I earned $991 on Commission Junction in the month of August, a new milestone for me. My earnings were at 100 percent margin, all from my SEO sites. Moreover, I spend less than 5 hours per month on this stuff (I’m a corporate SEM Director) so I’m super excited with the results.
My CJ Earnings Are Pure Profit
My friend Jeremy from Profit Addiction said it best. Jeremy’s tagline "When revenue is not enough" indicates that it’s all about profit and not revenue. You hear a lot about people making thousands and thousands of dollars with affiliate marketing. However, most of the time they are talking about revenue and not profit. There’s a big difference!
Just think about it: Pay per click is getting really competitive. If you’re a savvy affiliate, your percentage margin may be 25 percent tops (most are much lower). Let’s assume I earned my $991 via PPC at 25 percent margin (instead of my 100 percent SEO margin percent). That means my theoretical PPC revenue is $4,000 or $48,000 per year. Not bad!
However, PPC margins can be volatile. As such, I would always swap PPC dollar margin for the same dollar margin in SEO. In short, I’m a huge fan of SEO earnings. Sustainable SEO margin is just like a great dividend-paying stock, whereas PPC is more like active trading.
Affiliate Marketing Is A Small Percentage of My Income
So you may be thinking why is Ian writing about a $991 monthly profit, it’s not that much money. Here’s the cool part and why I’m such a big proponent of moonlighting: It’s all gravy on top of my salary and involves only a few hours a month. (Also its just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my affiliate income as CJ is a smaller component of my cash flow.)
However, I’m here to make a point… I spend the vast majority (99 percent) of my time on my full time job. A good percentage of my full time salary goes towards bills. My affiliate marketing income, however, is pure savings that goes directly into my bank account or other investment vehicles. With only a few extra hours a month I have learned invaluable SEO skills (helpful in my career) while building a stream of pure profit that goes to my bottom line.
Since my $991 is passive and recurring, it’s representative of about $240,000 value in my eyes (I would have to invest $240,000 at 5 percent dividend yield to get that same annual cash flow via stocks). In short, no matter how small your affiliate business, SEO margin is much more valuable than you may think!
Give Commission Junction A Try
I’ve been building out a lot of SEO sites and have been placing CJ ads on all of them. I have been very pleased with my results and highly recommend giving Commission Juntion a try. Many people I know don’t use CJ as much anymore since the eBay affiliate program is now managed by eBay (and not via CJ like it was in the past). However, I’m here to say that Commission Junction has many great offers that convert quite well in SEO, especially in "review" style sites.