Is it really possible to escape 9 to 5 by building an online business? How difficult is it? A lot of people assume an online business can only be built by someone with experience, technical knowledge and bags of money. But this isn’t true.
More and more people are starting to realise that an online business can give them the time and financial freedom they really want. An online business might be the perfect side “gig” (or full time business) to help you escape 9 to 5. Ultimately you can replace your full time income from selling online. But what if you have nothing to sell online?
That’s not a problem because a clever business model known as affiliate marketing! With affiliate marketing you can earn income from selling other people’s products and services online. When you make a sale, the product owner pays you a commission. Once you learn how to automate this process, you can make sales in your sleep!
Escape 9 To 5 – A Little About Me
Hi my name’s Tim Halloran and I’m the owner of this website. When I refer someone from this site to a product I recommend, I earn a commission based on the sale. You can do this too! It’s called affiliate marketing. Before I found out about affiliate marketing I was struggling in a lot of ways, but mostly financially. I was building a career as a stuntman in the Uk but work was sporadic.
So I would have to take a number of other jobs to fill in the many gaps in between work. I was always broke and in debt. A stunt job would come along and bail me out, but then it was back to the grindstone working low paid “fill-in” jobs, of which I had many. There was never any money for doing much. I was just waiting for work to come in and juggling other work! I was on a treadmill and I didn’t know how to get off!
In my 20’s this seemed like the perfect lifestyle, but by the time I was 38 I was getting tired of it. I had picked up a few injuries by this point too and was fed up of waiting for the phone to ring for a job! I knew something had to change or I’d be stuck in this pattern into my 40’s and 50’s! Time is a factor for a stunt performer too and the older you get the less able you are to perform!
Stuck In Your 9 To 5?
Many people get to a point in their careers and think the same. They no longer have a love for it any more (if they ever did)! They want more time to do the things that are important to them. As you get older, time is more valuable and you want to work less, not more! But by this point you are often trapped by the lifestyle you’ve bought into! An online business can help!
I started looking for a solution online and found affiliate marketing. After failing miserably trying to sell my own ebook (about how to become a stuntman), I realised that affiliate marketing was better. I could earn more from a product referral than from selling my own product!
Escape 9 To 5 – Affiliate Marketing
My affiliate journey started in the early 2000’s but I struggled for some time before it actually paid me anything. Affiliate marketing is a referral based business model in which you refer online sales. When you make a sale, you earn a commission. Amazon, for example, is one of the best known affiliate companies. Anyone can join Amazon’s affiliate program and start promoting their products for a share of revenue.
Amazon’s commission structure is one of the lowest in the industry however. This was something I didn’t know when I got started. So I promoted Amazon’s products and made only tiny commissions! I later discovered subscription affiliate programs which pay out recurring commissions. Recurring commissions are a wonderful thing because you can keep earning from it every month. This is like royalty income and although it can take some work to learn how to make affiliate sales, it’s work which pays in dividends, literally!
I also discovered high ticket affiliate marketing at the same time and this was a game changer for me. With a high ticket product, you can earn substantially more from a sale than from a standard product. This means you can also more easily attain a profit from sales using paid marketing. Paid marketing is a much easier and faster route to affiliate success than content marketing (e.g. blogging/video blogging), which can take months or even years to get traction with.
Escape 9 To 5 – Marketing Strategies
One of the biggest challenges I found with affiliate marketing was the marketing side of things. I wasn’t and still am not a “sales” sort of person. I detest selling even! But that’s why affiliate marketing worked for me because I didn’t need to do face to face selling or dealing with customers at all if I didn’t want to. Affiliate “marketing” can take many forms and your own marketing method will depend on your circumstances and financial situation.
Because of my sporadic work schedule, and often being out of work, I had a lot of time, but not a steady income. So the marketing tactic I chose was mostly blogging, and email marketing; although I did try out a lot of other strategies. it’s a slow strategy blogging, but I wanted to ultimately earn a passive income from the work I had done. I didn’t have a lot of spare money for paid marketing, so blogging fitted the bill for me.
Pay Or Hustle?
A quicker route is by far using paid marketing and if you can do this I would advise it because it’s faster and much more scalable. You can of course do a combination of the two which is what I now do. The main marketing strategies for affiliates are:
- Paid marketing – send traffic directly to products or to a landing page to follow up with email marketing
- Organic marketing – blogging and v’logging (video blogging) are staple organic methods you can use
- SEO – search engine organic marketing is used by website owners and bloggers to optimise their content for the search engines to get free traffic
- Social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc can all be used for both free and paid for marketing to attract customers to your affiliate offers.
- Traditional offline marketing can also be used of course – newspaper ads, flyers, banners, business cards etc.
See also 22 ways to promote affiliate products.
How Long Does It Take, And What’s It Going To Cost?
Building an online business definitely takes some commitment, but it can be done in months or years, depending on your marketing strategy and available budget. If you choose a slow route, such as blogging and the cheaper marketing methods, it’s going to take longer. But if you can afford to use paid marketing and build an email list it will typically be much faster and more scalable once you’re profitable.
Likewise it’s worth investing in yourself in terms of your business education and skills. Since everything you do is built on your knowledge, (or lack of it), that’s something definitely worth investing in. Investing in a high ticket product range is helpful too because you can earn bigger commissions and on a faster timescale than if you are selling low value products.
You can of course learn affiliate marketing for free by using YouTube videos and looking for information for free. However, I wouldn’t recommend this route because it’s the one I took and it cost me a lot of wasted time! Far better to join an online community and get help and support from the beginning, if you are going to take an online business seriously.
Generally speaking the more you invest the faster you can get up and running, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. If you can’t afford business tools and education, just get the basics which should only cost a few dollars/pounds a month:
- A website hosting and domain name – your own online “real estate/property”
- An autoresponder that lets you collect subscribers and communicate your message – see free autoresponder for affiliate marketing.
If you can afford it, pay for access to mentors and coaches, and for business tools and a high ticket product range. This will make things much easier from the start. You can do this from around $90 a month or less.