As a new affiliate marketer, you may have started coming across the term “residual” or “recurring” in reference to affiliate programs. So what does it mean? Quite simply: You sell something once, yet continue to be paid month after month.
Residual affiliate programs can be quite lucrative for an affiliate to promote. Because you’re selling something that requires a monthly fee – such as a membership site, ongoing service, or products that get consumed and must be replaced – you can continue earning affiliate income from sales made months and even years ago.
Now, residual income does not last forever. How long it actually lasts depends on the type of products or services you’re promoting.
If you’re promoting a membership site for instance, you’ll continue to earn income as long as the people you referred to the site remain members. If that site is good, your referrals may continue paying for the site for years to come. On average though, many people cancel membership based sites within 3 months.
If you’re promoting something like website hosting accounts though – particularly if you’re promoting them to businesses – these are quite likely to continue for many years. Assuming the hosting company you’re promoting is good, businesses will sign up and continue paying for an indefinite amount of time. Since they’re a business and website hosting is a requirement to run the business, they’ll probably keep the hosting as long as they are in business, or until they decide to try another… if they ever decide to.
So website hosting services can be extremely lucrative for an affiliate to promote. You simply spend time, money and effort to get the new customer, then you continue to earn from that customer for months, or years, into the future. This adds up very nicely over time. If you signed up just one new customer per month for instance, and each one continues their membership for an entire year, then you’ll be earning from 12 by the end of a year.
Another niche market where residual income can be quite profitable is with health and wellness products. I’m not talking about fitness equipment here… instead I’m talking about products that are consumed. Vitamins for instance, or make up, or wrinkle creams. A customer buys these, and uses them every day. After a period of time they run out of the product and must order more. And this is where it gets profitable for an affiliate. If you sold the product through a residual income affiliate program, you’ll earn money again when the customer runs out of their product and orders more.
In some cases, the customer actually signs up for an auto shipment. This means they don’t have to remember to order more product when theirs is gone. Instead, they automatically receive a new shipment each month, or every three months. And they’re automatically billed to, thus you as the affiliate don’t have to worry about whether they’ve reordered or not. It’s all done automatically, so your earnings repeat automatically.
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