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How to Monetize your Hobby Via Affiliate Marketing

January 31, 2022

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In this article

Not sure how you can monetize your favourite everyday hobbies? Here’s everything you need to know to get started.

Caoimhe Ryan

Caoimhe Ryan

Digital Marketing Coordinator

Hobbies are great and can be an enjoyable reprieve from the stress of the workday but they can be very costly, too. Skiing, hiking, health and fitness, going out to restaurants and travelling are some of North America’s most loved hobbies, yet they are likely to put a dent in your bank account. 

In saying this, there are ways to make these hobbies pay for themselves. Virtually any hobby can be monetized via affiliate marketing if it piques your audience’s interest, promises value, or compels them to act. If you want to offset the cost of your hobbies, you can generate income through affiliate marketing. Here’s how:  

What is Affiliate Marketing and Why is it Effective at Creating Revenue? 

To break it down, affiliate marketing (aka performance marketing) involves placing affiliate links within your content and earning commission from these links when your audience completes a desired action. 

Affiliate marketing is effective at generating revenue because you’re paid on a cost per acquisition (CPA) basis with no earnings cap.  

How to Get Started  

Blogging and utilizing social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and YouTube are understood to be great platforms for your content to reach and grow a dedicated audience. 

There are numerous types of content you can create as a publisher, including: 

  • Blogs 
  • Videos  
  • Photography and bite size infographics  
  • How-to guides 
  • Tutorials 
  • Podcasts  
  • Emails (such as SubStack – an online platform based in the United States that provides publishing, payment, analytics, and design infrastructure to support subscription newsletters. It enables authors to send digital newsletters to subscribers directly.) 

Although there are multiple types of content you can create, it is important to choose something you love that’s within your means in terms of time and budget.  

How to Build an Audience  

Building and maintaining a relevant audience is one of the most difficult aspects of being a content creator. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks to help build your audience through content creation:  

1. Understanding your target audience and where they engage with content most e.g. Instagram, YouTube? 

2. Guest posting on other relevant blogs where authors post similar content and have the audience that you’re targeting is a great way to quickly connect with an established audience—with the goal of eventually bringing some of those readers back to your own site. 

3. If you have a YouTube account or a blog, leveraging social media platforms in line with this is great for building relationships with your audience  

4. Utilizing an effective email marketing strategy also allows you to reach your audience directly at a time that is convenient for them 

5. Inclusion of call to actions at the end of your content to drive your audience to carry out further actions, e.g. read a different blog, lead them to your social media account 

6. Leveraging tools such as Google Trends for SEO. 

Building an Audience Using SEO

SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. In the most basic terms, good SEO improves your online visibility. This means that the more people who visit your website, the more online traffic you will receive, and the more likely you will be noticed by a larger number of people. 

SEO, therefore, is the process of optimizing your website to become search engine friendly. Using SEO best practices –  e.g. relevant keywords within blog titles and formatting content for an engaging and easy read – will help new readers be driven to your website. SEO is a long-term investment into performance of content. 

How Do You Connect with Brands?

In order to get your name out there, as a publisher, tagging brands in relevant social media posts, videos and mentioning them in stories is a great way to grab their attention. If they like what they see, they may reach out to you. 

Sometimes, it may be a bit more difficult to grab their attention as they are larger brands and may be too busy to respond. It’s worth your time to craft unique pitches and find the right contact person at the brand of interest. 

If you’re not ready to reach out to brands about being an affiliate or a sponsor just yet, consider joining an affiliate network. Affiliate networks provide value to you as a content creator, can help you gain access to large brands and help inform and build out your content strategy.  

Below are some of the few benefits of joining an affiliate network as well as conducting your own direct outreach to brands, to help you choose which path you think is the best fit for your platform. Don’t forget, you can always investigate doing both options for optimal growth.  

 

Benefits of joining an Affiliate Network  Benefits of Direct Outreach 
  • Creates direct access to big named brands, increasing brand awareness 
  • Guaranteed commission payouts monthly 
  • Access to your results and performance data to inform and build out your strategy 
  • Knowledge and assistance from account managers  
  • Continuous revenue stream if content continues to drive traffic 

 

  • Increases brand awareness 
  • Ability to speak directly to brands 
  • Boosts brand authority  
  • Relationship building 

 

Examples of Hobbies that Can Be Monetized  

Here’s a list of hobbies and the monetizable content you can create, along with types of brands that you could partner with: 

 

Hobby Monetizable Content Ideas Brands & Products to Partner with 
Outdoors 
  • Review of newest gear 
  • Ratings and reviews of trails & resorts in your area (if you’re targeting local audiences) 
  • Sports equipment brands 
  • Walnut – life insurance – fully digital life insurance for everyone, consider promoting to high-adrenalin sports lovers 
Restaurants 
  • Experience of new restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner 
  • Food reviews 
  • Local restaurants or food trucks 
  • Neo – cashback rewards on local restaurants in Canada  
Travel 
  • Travel hacks  
  • Travel blogger, posting tips and discounts  
  • Local hotels 
  • Restaurants  
  • Scotiabank – Credit card for collects travel points with extra rewards 
Health and Fitness 
  • Reviews of protein powders and supplements  
  • Reviews of workout gear 
  • Reviews of subscription-based services 
  • “Hacks” for gym equipment like balance balls, elastics, etc.  
  • Sports equipment brands 
  • Sports food and clothing  
  • MarblePay – life insurance — an all-in-one digital wallet that helps users keep educated on their finances and improve their credit score 

 

Remember: Affiliate Marketing is a Long Game 

Just like any hobby you have; time and persistence are necessary to turn it into a reliable passive income stream. 

If you’re not ready to talk to a brand in person about being an affiliate or sponsor, considering joining an affiliate network like Fintel Connect to access 70+ brands. You can apply directly free of charge, get competitive CPAs and account managers to help guide you through the process. Check out more information about accessing affiliate opportunities to monetize your hobby. 

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