How to Work From Your Laptop and Build a Successful Business

Without a doubt, learning how to work from your laptop is a life-enhancing experience. After spending 40 plus years in a traditional cubicle/office setting, I find it liberating to be able to have the autonomy and flexibility to choose both my hours and my working environment.

The fact is that we live in this incredible era of interconnection that is positively teeming with opportunities. Billions of people search for information of all kinds on the Internet everyday. Clearly, someone has to write the informative articles we devour. Why not you and I?

To be sure, there are multiple ways to work from home using your laptop. Some of these include freelance writing, selling your own products, or perhaps offering your services as a virtual assistant. I wouldn’t necessarily discourage any of these approaches. But I do think there’s a better way.

As online shopping becomes the norm, this massive trend has fueled the growth of affiliate marketing as an industry. It’s not surprising that multitudes of vendors have embraced this advertising and business model. Merchants can build market share and consumer awareness about products in a cost-effective manner.

For many reasons, affiliate marketing is a brilliant approach to business and represents an exceptional opportunity for entrepreneurial-minded individuals.

So, please grab a cup of coffee and stick with me as I explain why affiliate marketing is the best way to create a sustainable income while working from a laptop,

How to Work From Your Laptop as An Affiliate

If you have a laptop and a reliable Internet connection, you can embark on a business venture that stirs your passions. Frankly, the best part is that you’re no longer tethered to other people’s agendas. We’re talking about a scenario where you’re the boss, and you call the shots.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Surprisingly, even with the prominence of affiliate marketing today, I find that the process is still poorly understood. Therefore, we need to change that which is a big piece of my mission today.

The simplest way to describe the role of an affiliate marketer is to say we help to connect people with the products or services they’re already looking for. Rather than developing products of their own, affiliates function as middlemen to promote the goods and services offered by other vendors in exchange for a fee.

Here’s an image depicting how it all works:

How to Work From Your Laptop as an Affiliate

For those affiliates who can generate traffic and turn high-quality traffic into sales, there are abundant rewards. In fact, if you have what it takes to scale your business, the income potential is unlimited

So, what does it take?

Working from your laptop to develop a successful online business is not conceptually difficult. Nor does it require any real technical skills. But that doesn’t mean it’s a slamdunk either. The biggest determinant of success is your level of drive and motivation. Or, what I like to think of as the three P’s: passion, persistence, and patience.

4 Basic Steps – Let’s Get Started

I want to introduce a blueprint that anyone can follow to launch an online business. Understanding and following these four steps will quickly have you on your way to living a laptop lifestyle where the ability to work and earn an income is location independent and just an Internet connection away.

The Affiliate Marketing Model

Choosing a Direction – The Passion Factor

What is it that makes you want to charge out of bed in the morning and get right to it? Okay, maybe you’re not a morning person 🙂 But once you recharge, there’s a topic or hobby that you find endlessly enthralling and fascinating. If you had your druthers, this is how you would spend your time.

Again, affiliate marketing is fundamentally about connecting people with stuff they’re already searching for. Successful connections are easiest if you have real insights into what it is that people need help finding. So, I recommend that you do some soul searching and hone in on something that you are always excited to converse about.

Focusing on something specific is essential. The idea is to build a following over time of like-minded individuals who share your passion. We refer to these kindred spirits as your target market or niche. You will be regularly researching and communicating with your target market by means of content marketing or blogging.

Take the time at the outset of your journey to develop a prospective customer persona. What are their top questions? What nuggets of information would they find most useful? How can you help them resolve their biggest and most painful issues? Can you provide comprehensive and insightful product reviews that will help your readers make more informed purchase decisions?

The vast majority of online retailers sponsor affiliate programs that are free to join. The practice makes perfect sense because advertisers get wide reach into narrow niches that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to serve otherwise. Consequently, it’s a good practice to investigate potential affiliate programs at this stage.

Creating an Online Presence With a Beautiful Website

Setting up your affiliate niche website is a quick and easy process. That said, there are a few early decisions and critical considerations we should talk about

Picking a Domain Name

Readers have to be able to find you on the Internet, which means you need a unique address or domain name. It’s best to keep things relatively short and simple. The goal is a name that’s brandable and memorable. Some people decide to use their own name while others search for an available domain that reflects the topic of their site.

Either of these naming conventions can work well. But I do strongly recommend that you choose a dot com extension. If your purpose in creating the site is business-oriented rather than personal, I think a dot com extension sends that message most clearly as it’s what people have come to expect.

My domain name costs me $13.99/year, so it’s not an expenditure that will break the budget.

A Self-Hosted vs. Free Website

Free websites created through sites like Wix or Blogger are great if you want a social communication tool. But no matter how tempting that price tag sounds, a free blog is not going to cut it if you’re looking to establish an online business. You absolutely need your own piece of Internet real estate which means going the self-hosted route.

You’ll need to secure a web hosting package. But your site won’t be stored on a subdomain, and you won’t have numerous limitations and restrictions that come with free websites and limit your ability to make money.

Which Website Builder Should You Use?WordPress

You absolutely want to build your website using WordPress, which is far and away the most popular builder and content management system. Most of the free blogging platforms have proprietary website builders that seem great on the surface because they’re very easy to use.

But there are huge disadvantages to the proprietary approach. The biggest obstacle being the lack of portability. You will not have the option to move your blog elsewhere if you discover you need more in the way of hosting services. Conversely, I have the ability to move my WordPress website to any number of reputable hosting providers.

Selecting a Theme

When you install WordPress, one of the first things you must do is select a theme or overall design for your website. This is another area where WordPress really shines because there are thousands of free themes to choose from, and many premium themes also.

Make sure you choose a theme that’s clean, responsive, and SEO-friendly. Most themes are highly customizable, and you can make it your own by customizing many aspects such as color palettes and font styles. I use and love HitMag. Generate Press is another super choice.

Installing Some Basic Plugins

Plugins extend the functionality of WordPress. There are hundreds of free plugins available, but I don’t suggest getting too carried away. Too many plugins can slow your site down, which is the last thing you want. I do strongly recommend an SEO plugin (I use Yoast). Lazy Load is also beneficial for speeding up page loading times.

Check out the video on my Build a Website page to observe a site being created in real time in less than a minute.

Attract Visitors With Your Stellar Content

You’re now ready to start cultivating a readership by crafting informative blog posts that address the burning issues of interest to your target market. Brainstorm relevant topics and expand your list by joining forums like Quora and checking out competing websites.

Answer the Public is another free resource you may want to explore. Find insightful content ideas presented as search clouds based on actual queries that your prospective readers are typing into Google. What an excellent way to get to know your audience better.

When you uncover interesting queries (also known as keywords), you can plug the data into a keyword search tool to find useful stats like the average number of times the keyword is searched in a month and how many competing websites are already targeting that keyword.

Content marketers are always in search of low competition keywords that receive a reasonable volume of searches. We often refer to such keywords as low-hanging fruit because it can be relatively easy to rank for these keywords in Google and other search engines.

How to Get SEO Traffic

A website that gets regular traffic will make money. Hence, the free traffic that the search engines send to your website is highly desirable. Finding juicy keywords is a huge piece of getting SEO (search engine optimization) traffic.

Does keyword search work? Absolutely. I find Jaaxy to be an invaluable tool for researching and analyzing the best keywords. And I always employ a checklist to keep me on track with SEO techniques.

It will take some time to establish yourself and gain credibility with both the search engines and visitors to your site. You must perform your research and develop a body of useful and related content. Keeping your head down and working through this is where the persistence and patience factors come into play.

Earning Revenue – The Reward for Your Efforts and Patience

Picture this: Your website is taking shape after months of diligent work, and you feel enormous pride in your creation. You have a substantial body of informative, quality content, and both the search engines and readers are taking notice.

Your rankings are shooting up, and Google Analytics reports that your traffic is growing. And, then it happens. You wake up, check your accounts, and discover commissions in your PayPal account. The process works! Your website, which is open for business 24/7 was hard at work while you slept.

You now realize that your laptop is a money-making machine, and you can scale this business venture to any level you choose. Let me assure you, the excitement is palpable!

How to Make Money Working From Your Laptop

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re sitting at home, enjoying your favorite coffee shop, or traveling to destinations on your bucket list, it’s rather magical to open your laptop and get to work. The experience is so different from traditional workforce trappings. For this reason. I can’t say enough good things about learning how to work from your laptop.

Roughly three years ago. I discovered an online platform called Wealthy Affiliate, where I found all the resources, training, and support I needed to launch my affiliate marketing website. For me, it’s been an amazing journey with life-changing ramifications.

If nothing else, I truly believe you owe it to yourself to at least experience the thrill of creating your own website with a risk-free Starter membership at WA. See what all the fuss is about. And, please drop me a line on my profile page to share your thoughts.

I look forward to hearing from you and wish you well!

Over to You

Do you have questions about working from your laptop that I’ve failed to answer? If so, please give me another chance and drop your questions in the comment section below. It will be my pleasure to answer!

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62 thoughts on “How to Work From Your Laptop and Build a Successful Business”

  1. What’s amazing about affiliate marketing is that everybody can and should be doing this. Affiliate marketing allows us to build our own websites and content while marketing our passions. Who wouldn’t want to do that? For those that have a creative mind and an entrepreneurial personality, this is a super opportunity for you and you should definitely jump on it. The best part is that we all have our own passions and we can dive into, or even create, our own niche market unique to us. Thanks for the informative read!

    • Hi Todd,

      I have to agree that just about anyone has the ability to pursue affiliate marketing because it really does not require a technical or specialized skill set. As with most new things we encounter in life, some training and direction are very helpful. For me, the discovery of WA was almost magical because suddenly a roadmap was laid right out for me.

      The most difficult aspect of affiliate marketing comes down to the degree of patience required to establish credibility and develop a following. Pursuing something you’re passionate about definitely helps. Success is very much about having the right mindset.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

  2. There is one thing that immediately came to my mind after reading this; Travelling and working at the same time. I picture myself traveling and it being my work. For instance, blogging about my travels and earning income from it. Sounds crazy, but hey…it could happen. I would love to have income like you do once I retire in the years (many many in the future) to come. 

    • Hi Linda,

      Traveling and blogging about your travels doesn’t sound the least bit crazy. There are many successful travel blogs. Start building a site now, and there’s no reason why you can’t continue to generate income in retirement and also retire much earlier than you otherwise anticipated.

      As discussed above, it does take time to grow a successful website and establish trust with readers, but it can be done as a side hustle while you’re still working. The ability to travel, open your laptop wherever you are, and start working is something I’ve experienced and love.

      Don’t give up on your dreams!

  3. Excellent article!

    I happily picked up a new website tool to check out from your article, Answer the Public.  I’m going to check it out, thanks for the valuable information.  I’m always looking for tips for working from my laptop and this was a fantastic article. I’m happy to see a fellow Yoast SEO user too!  I just switched and haven’t decided yet, but I think I’ll stick with it if it’s working for you. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Selenity,

      Yes, I love using Yoast to monitor SEO. I used All-In-One SEO for a while but it just wasn’t interactive enough for me. Yoast reminds me to set my focus keyword and then monitors the usage. It tells me that I need a meta description or that I’ve forgotten to enter Alt text attributes.

      Another thing Yoast does is to analyze the readability of your post and also provide actionable suggestions on how to improve. Things like more subheadings or adding additional transition words can raise your readability score to better levels.

      Answer the Public is also a highly useful tool for brainstorming post ideas. I’ve had a lot of success finding juicy long-tail keywords. You may want to check out my resources page for some additional blogging tools that can make your life easier or more organized.

      Glad I could help and I wish you well!

  4. Hi Linda,

    This is a great website! Working form a laptop is great, as you can do it from home or anywhere in the world. This is why I started an affiliate marketing business. However, I was wondering if you have any tips for working at home? Sometimes I find it difficult to stay focused when I am on my own.

    • Hey Tom,

      I can’t disagree that staying on track as a blogger and adhering to your publishing schedule is sometimes a challenge. In fact, I wrote a post about 7 Blogging Truths where I got into some of the difficulties encountered and what we might try doing about it.

      For example, It turns out that writer’s block really is a thing, and sometimes the words simply won’t flow. At those times, I try to avoid staring at a blank screen. My approach is to change things up. I’ll turn my attention to creating graphics or switch gears a bit and respond to comments rather than trying to force a post. 

      Those are also the days when I might take advantage of my laptop lifestyle and head off to Starbucks or a local restaurant to work. Sometimes it’s comforting to have people around. But I also recommend setting up a home office where distractions are minimized. I’ll get up and get exercise regularly. But when I’m in my office, I try to get in the zone.

      I suggest trying different approaches in search of things that work for you and take note of the ways that work best.

      Good luck with your business!

  5. Some people are working from their laptop, but have no clue what they can do at their fingertips. I have a laptop and I never knew what to do with it until I met an online business site where I could make money, just like this one!

    Affiliate Marketing is the honest way to go when wanting to Make money, but also helping people. Once you reach or have a taste of success, It should be shared to others, to help them achieve what you’ve achieved. 

    I love that you wrote this article. I am in the business of helping people as well.

    Thank you for the read, and all the best.


    • Hi Aabidah,

      You are absolutely correct that affiliate marketing has a central focus of helping the people who are in your niche market. If you look at the needs of your target market and do your best to answer their questions, revenue generation will naturally follow. 

      What I love most about affiliate marketing is that everyone involved benefits. Customers find the information they need to make better purchase decisions, vendors sell more merchandise, and affiliates earn a share of the profits. It’s a brilliant model, and it’s not difficult to understand why the industry is booming and why most online purchases involve an affiliate.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  6. When it comes to working, I prefer a laptop for convenience and ease of use.  I’m still working a traditional job. But, I’ve also started an online business on the side. My laptop has access to the internet so it’s not a problem for me to research something and work on my website from time to time.

    A laptop is a necessary tool both for my day job and my online business. It’s a great help in managing my tasks because of the apps I installed, and I have the freedom to do some of my Wealthy Affiliate tasks during breaks. Thanks for sharing this insightful article.  

    • It’s true that a laptop is a very flexible tool and it’s great to be able to work from anywhere. Starting an online business as a side hustle while still working elsewhere is an excellent strategy. You can build your website gradually over time while you still have income coming in. Many people get started part-time and ultimately grow a full-time income that can replace their job.

      Good luck with your site and thanks for commenting!

  7. This sounds like a really exciting way to earn some money online – I’ve been working as hard as I can recently doing mini tasks online, but of course, the pay is not exactly great at the end of the day. 

    I’m wondering how long this affiliate marketing route takes to learn – how easy is the education and how long before you start to see the money come rolling in?

    • Hi Chris,

      I’ve also tried the microtask route on various GPT sites. It can be a nice way to make a few extra bucks for a nice dinner out or another treat of that nature, But the rate of pay is indeed meager which means you can’t earn enough to have a significant impact on your lifestyle. 

      That’s not true of affiliate marketing at all. You see, you’re not exchanging time for money when you create an affiliate niche blog. Once you write a blog post and publish it, it’s available on the Internet 24/7 to be read by anyone with interest in the subject.

      Passive income opportunities exist because you can generate revenue from the same blog post hundreds or even thousands of times. I have page one ranking posts that I wrote more than a year ago that continue to draw in readers. Making money while you sleep is thrilling!

      If you have access to the right materials and mentorship, affiliate marketing is easy to learn. My top recommended training platform (which is free to try), offers hands-on, task-based lessons complete with videos that anyone can follow.

      As with many things, you can fine tune things and continue to learn as your business grows. But it’s very possible to launch your website and publish your first pages and posts within a week or so. Of course, the sooner you take action and get yourself out there, the better.

      That said, this is not some crazy get-rich-quick scheme. Affiliate marketing is a legitimate business, and like other business ventures, it takes time to attract customers and establish trust. The time period necessary for the money to start rolling in will vary greatly from affiliate to affiliate.

      Truthfully, you’re the unknown factor in this equation, Chris. How much do you want it and how hard are you willing to work? Focus on being helpful and don’t worry about the money at first. Be persistent and keep adding more content until you start the see results.

      Somewhere around 6 months, you may begin to see your first earnings, although, for others, it can be closer to a year. If you stick with it and exercise patience, you’ll eventually see a snowballing impact that results from lots of content and higher rankings in Google. And, you’re right that it’s exciting! 🙂

      Good luck and thanks for adding to the conversation!

  8. I have seen a ton of these ” work from your laptop” posts and have always read the first or lines and noticed that it was going to cost me money, but not with this, I read it all the way through and you have given me a lot to think about

    You seem to know what you are talking about and made affiliate marketing look easier than I thought it was as I have tried working as an affiliate before but failed every time

    it’s the keywords I don’t really understand, how do you choose between 2 similar keywords that have totally different volume and traffic?

    • Hi Matthew,
      Many of us struggle a bit with keywords when we’re new to affiliate marketing. When I evaluate similar keywords, there are several factors I keep in mind. Keywords are queries that prospective readers are typing into the search engines. So, first and foremost, I want to choose one that is highly relevant for my target audience.

      I then want to make sure that I choose a phrase that makes complete human sense. It should be grammatically correct, and I don’t want anything that sounds awkward because I have to use the exact keyword in several places within my post, and I want my writing to sound natural.

      Finally, I use what I call the 50+/50- rule to make my final selection. Ideally, I want a keyword that sees a volume of at least 50 queries per month, and that has less than 50 competing websites. Think of these keywords as low-hanging fruit that can be easy to rank for in Google.

      I do want to clarify something. Working from your laptop as an affiliate marketer is a business venture. You can’t achieve success in any business without spending some money. So, ultimately there will be a cost if you choose to pursue this venture. The barriers to entry are very low, and my costs have been quite minimal but I do pay a fee as a WA premium member. That said, anyone who is brand new to affiliate marketing should not be thinking about investing anything until they’ve had an opportunity to thoroughly explore this option. That opportunity is available through Wealthy Affiliate and I strongly recommend taking advantage of the free membership,

      I hope this helped and I appreciate your comments!

  9. Hello Linda,

    I’m very interested in working from my laptop, in making money online, in affiliate marketing, and I’m coming to know more and more about Wealthy Affiliate, and I’m interested in that too!

    However, I have a big stumbling block, and when I read about your part one, finding the niche, this is where I really get stuck. I have many hobbies and interests, but there is not that one thing I could write endlessly about as you put it. I know I can write well, and I’d be happy to write a bit about this and about that, but there is no way I could just focus on one topic. So what am I going to do? I’m still very keen on being an online entrepreneur, just seeing that there are major roadblocks in the way of success.

    • Hi Phil,

      I think many people who are new to affiliate marketing allow themselves to get completely hung up and stressed out by choosing a niche. But, the reality is that pretty much any pursuit or hobby that you enjoy can make an excellent choice. Start looking at this from the perspective of all the other people who enjoy the same activity that you do and then start compiling a list of all the questions they may have or products they may be seeking.

      With a bit of brainstorming, I think you’ll quickly discover that most topics can be dissected and approached from many different perspectives. Every audience will have a multitude of questions around a topic that you can address. In other words, your posts will all be related, but they won’t all be the same. I recommend finding categories and then populating the categories.

      Just as an example, let’s assume I wanted to focus on beginning golfers or perhaps senior golfers. There are a ton of highly relevant informational posts that I could write. Within the equipment area, we obviously have golf clubs. But I can break that down and talk about shafts, the best drivers, putters, sand wedges, and so on.

      The golf accessories area is vast and would include things like clothing, shoes, hats, sunglasses, and GPS tools.  Then there are all the golf practice and instructional aids that beginning golfers are bound to seek. So many possible sub-topics exist that are directed at a group of people with similar needs.

      I don’t want to gloss over the fact that content creation and the related research requires effort. Whenever the topic of how to work from your laptop comes up, too many people want to take the word “work” out of the phase. Make no mistake; it is work. But it’s also very satisfying and rewarding work.

      Why not at least spend some time as a Wealthy Affiliate starter member? It won’t cost you a dime or obligate you to do anything. But you can create a website, enjoy 10 free lessons, and rub elbows with some very successful online entrepreneurs within the community. I think you’ll find that your niche concerns are unfounded. 

      Success can be yours for the taking, Phil. Good luck and thanks for commenting!

  10. Hi Linda, 

    First of all, I feel I must mention how easy to read and well laid out your website is. The post itself is very interesting and informative, very helpful for anyone starting out in affiliate marketing. Actually, I’ve been building my own affiliate marketing business for a while now, and I have taken some interesting tips from you. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Russ,

      Congratulations on deciding to dive into the affiliate marketing arena. It’s an exciting field, and I’m pleased I could provide some useful tips. If you haven’t checked out the myriad advantages of Wealthy Affiliate yet. I hope you’ll consider taking that path. The platform offers a ton of resources for both aspiring and successful Internet marketers.
      Among other things, you can tap into amazing resources that help you uncover profitable niches, find the perfect domain, create profit-ready websites, research keywords, and create quality keyword-rich content.

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment and for your kind words about my site. I wish you great success with your online business!

  11. Thank you for writing this article on affiliate marketing and for highlighting Wealthy Affiliate. There are so many scams out there, and to be sure, Wealthy Affiliate is not one of them. It takes diligence and hard work, but it will be rewarding in the end! The training is top of the line and the community is awesome! What a great way to turn a passion into income and there really isn’t any reason why someone can’t do it.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks so much for chiming in and sharing your personal experiences with both affiliate marketing and the Wealthy Affiliate platform. It’s always comforting to connect with other people who share your opinions. In my 3+ years with WA. I’ve watched people of all ages, interests, and backgrounds make a go of affiliate marketing with the help and support of the best online training platform on the Internet.

      Yes, it does require diligence. But is there anything of value that doesn’t? And, being able to work from your laptop makes everything even more accessible. I’m packing my laptop as I head out on vacation next week and I love the flexibility this affords me.

      Best of luck with your own online venture and thanks again for adding to the conversation!

  12. This is a beautiful piece of information on how to work from home. The thought is always intriguing, I must say. However, getting to select a direction can be somewhat disturbing and annoying if one has multiple area of interests and cannot seem to focus on just one area. Like you said, it is very important and can be the deciding factor of the success or failure of ones work from Laptop. Altogether, this is an interesting post. Thanks for this

    • Hi Ro,

      Learning to work from your laptop is indeed intriguing. Better yet, it’s something that anyone with sufficient motivation can accomplish. It’s true that choosing an appropriate direction is important. But, I also find that many folks who are just starting out tend to overthink the selection of their niche. 

      If you have multiple areas of interest, this is a good thing. The fact is that pretty much any area that really engages your interest will work. Here’s my suggestion. Grab a pen and notepad and list 3 hobbies or pursuits that you personally find fascinating. Use a fresh sheet of paper for each potential topic.

      Now spend an hour or two on Google to do some research on each of these areas. Find some other websites devoted to aspects of your subject matter and get a feel for the topics they address, the questions they answer, and the products or services they promote.

      Develop a description of your ideal reader or prospective customer and flesh out your reader persona as much as possible. Think about the issues this person may have and what their biggest pain points might be. Start making lists of potential blog post topics. Visit forums like Quora to get more ideas regarding the types of questions that people are asking.

      I think what you’ll find is that one of your interests will emerge as the best choice in terms of compelling content ideas. You’ll identify your niche as your excitement grows. The more you can relate to the needs of your prospective readers, the easier it will be to make strong connections.

      Check out this video on choosing your niche that may also be very beneficial. Good luck and thanks for your comments!

  13. I have been hearing about people who are earning their living through their laptop and I can say that the premise sounds very enticing…

    I had never heard about affiliate marketing before visiting your website but it sounds kind of simple to get started. In your experience, assuming that I start today, how long could it take for me to start earning money?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Harry,

      Droves of people are indeed earning money by working from their laptops as affiliate marketers. As online shopping grows in popularity, the need for affiliates has also grown exponentially. Check out this post, Why Become An Affiliate Marketer, for some eye-opening statistics.

      Getting started is not at all difficult, and most people possess the necessary skills. But, I must caution you that achieving success will require dedication. The fact is that when most people investigate how to work from their laptops, they gloss right over the word “work.” Please don’t be someone who falls into that category.

      It’s difficult for me to tell you how long it will take for you to start earning money from your niche blog. Here’s the thing, Harry. You’re the wild card in this equation. Are you willing to invest in your future by continuing to research and regularly publish quality content without seeing immediate results?

      Most of us blog routinely for 6 months to a year before we start to see financial returns. But with persistence and patience, your business will eventually grow and begin to snowball. Once you establish yourself and begin to rank your posts on Google, the sky is the limit.

      Most brick and mortar businesses take years to become profitable. I’m not sure why people think that an online business should be different. Affiliate marketing can be a very lucrative endeavor, but you can’t expect overnight success.

      I strongly encourage you to check out a starter membership at Wealthy Affiliate. The beauty of such a membership is that you can try out the affiliate marketing experience without having to make any financial commitment before you know for sure that this is something you want to pursue.

      I wish you great success, and I appreciate your comments!

  14. Thanks so much for this informative article. It’s great to think of my laptop as a money making machine… and it’s really not that challenging to go on and on about topics that I’m already passionate about (want to see photos of my cat?? lol…). Whether you’re retired or not, most all of us have interests and expertise on subjects that we can share with others. The tools you mention help to point writers in the direction of success. I hadn’t previously heard of AnswerThePublic but I’m enjoing the tool so far. Thanks again!

    • Hi Aly,

      Yes, affiliate marketing is a perfect fit for me because I can prattle on endlessly about my favorite things. I find I love having an audience I can connect with. Add to that a sincere desire to be a helpful advocate and eventual success in this arena is pretty much a done deal. 

      I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying AnswerThe Public. It’s one of my favorite sources of inspiration. Thanks so much for chiming in!

  15. Hello, 

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I have been doing affiliate marketing for a while now as a part-time job, but I want to go full-time, and I am having a problem I learned many other writers like me have encountered which is finding the right niche, I hope that you can put in a word or two to advise me. Thank you

    • Hello Henderson,

      Starting your affiliate marketing niche website on a part-time basis is an excellent decision. It takes a while to grow a business and attract an audience. Therefore, it’s best to begin the process while you still have income from another source.

      Finding the “right” niche for you is a very personal choice that only you can make. I say this because there are profitable websites that cater to every niche imaginable. My advice would be two-fold. Affiliate marketing is first and foremost about connecting with a target market in a very helpful manner. Your audience has questions that you must answer and informational requirements that you must meet.

      Firstly, I recommend choosing something that fascinates and energizes you. Why? Because persistence and patience are necessary. Too many people quit way too soon. It takes about 6 months, and several dozen blog posts before Google starts to trust you and recognize your blog as a credible source of information. You will need the help of Google to attract visitors to your site as they search for information.

      Additionally, you want to make sure that you define your niche audience narrowly enough. A narrow focus is essential because you can’t be all things to all people and answer everyone’s questions. Your mission is to become an authority in a narrowly defined area of expertise.

      For example, if you are a dog lover, you can’t succeed with a blog focused on all dog-related issues. It’s far too broad. You want to hone in on particular aspects of dog ownership. You might choose a .particular breed and then blog about health-related issues of that breed or perhaps training techniques. Become an expert on Training Your Labrador Puppy, as an example. Remember your audience is global, and millions of people have Labrador puppies. All the Labrador puppy owners out there who are experiencing training issues and have questions are the members of your target audience. Speak directly to them, provide them with solutions, and you will achieve success.

      You don’t say how much training you have taken. You may want to consider a starter membership at Wealthy Affiliate. As a starter member, which obligates you to nothing, you receive 10 free lessons. The free lessons give you an excellent grounding in niche selection among other vital aspects of Internet marketing.

      I sincerely hope this was helpful, and I wish you great success!

  16. This is a well-written post and if I wasn’t already a Wealthy Affiliate member you probably have convinced me to at least check it out.

    I’m thinking that lap-top technology must be much better now than it was 15 years ago. I would get frustrated with my laptops because they were so slow and were constantly sending me to odd places and pop-ups when I was trying to work on something. In many of the earlier models, power was usually an issue as well. They seemed to go dead pretty quick

    I’m hoping I can get to the point where my website makes me enough income that I can get myself the latest and greatest in a laptop to take with me when I travel.

    Your post has given me a lot of inspiration to make my website the best I possibly can so visitors will get something from it and want to return.

    • Hi Ray,

      Laptops have indeed come a long way since those early days to which you refer. My laptop is all I ever use. It’s very powerful with a long battery life and affords me the flexibility of working from anywhere I choose.  

      I’m pleased to hear you’ve taken the plunge and joined Wealthy Affiliate. Be sure to take advantage of all of the great lessons and also the support of the community. Stick with it and you will have a successful business on your hands.

      Please drop me a line on my WA profile page to let me know how things are progressing. I would love to follow your success and offer any help that I can along the way.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Hi Linda

    As you rightly said, affiliate marketing is pretty flexible compared to working set hours in an office. Working from home definitely beats having to face dreaded traffic to drive to an office, put in 8 hours drive back home then do it all over again the next day for how many years. It’s an ongoing cycle for most people. 

    It’s amazing how many online opportunities technological advancement has brought with it. However, some people are still stuck in that traditional work cycle mindset. But I’d encourage anyone to get into affiliate marketing rather than job hunt because there is no limit as to the amount of money you can make with it. In addition to which, anyone can get started with affiliate marketing using their spare time. So it’s a great way for anyone to make money in their spare time if they are looking to eventually kick their 9 to 5 to the curb.

    • Hi Vanessa,

      Well said! I couldn’t agree more with your comments!

      I would add that getting access to the right training, resources, and support can make all the difference in your eventual success in the online world. It sounds like you’ve embraced affiliate marketing wholeheartedly as I have. If you haven’t checked into the benefits of a Wealthy Affiliate membership yet, you’ll be interested in my post called How Does Wealthy Affiliate Really Work.

      I appreciate your comments and wish you great success!

  18. Hello!

    This sounds really fun! I´m not really retiring but I would like to work online. I want to be able to spend more time with my daughter and been thinking about what I should do.

    I´m really into spirituality and wonder if this is something I could use as a niche? And how long do you think it will take to make some money?

    Maybe I don´t know how to write blogs..will I learn this?  Do you think I can do this even if I’m from Sweden?

    I have so many questions!! Will I be able to learn all this!

    It sounds very fun to start and I will for sure try the WA that you wrote about.

    Best wishes


    • Hi Ellen,

      In my personal experience, and I think it’s fair to say I’ve garnered a lot of it over the past 3+ years, affiliate marketing is extremely fun. Hard work mind you, but work can indeed be fun when you’re laboring at something you love.

      Spending more time with your daughter is an excellent “why” for learning how to work from your laptop and build a successful business at home. Please let me try to answer a few of your questions.

      Yes, you can learn this! Affiliate marketing requires some guidance but does not entail much in the way of technical skills. Hence, almost anyone sufficiently motivated can learn to do this. The fact that you are from Sweden seems irrelevant. Your English writing skills are clearly adequate for communicating with an audience, and that’s all that is necessary. If you lack confidence that your writing is clear, you might check out a terrific app called Grammarly (the free version is great). I’ve used it for years and love it.

      I can assure you that Wealthy Affiliate will answer all of your questions. The starter membership is entirely risk-free, which makes it a no-brainer for anyone seriously considering the affiliate marketing route. At WA, you will be exposed to world-class training that will guide you in the selection of a profitable niche.

      To clarify, your niche would be a group of people with a passion for some aspect of spirituality. Spirituality is far too broad to be a viable direction, but there are many sub-categories within this enormous field that you could choose to target.

      The short story is that yes, you can do this! I hope you will decide to pursue your dreams and I wish you success!

  19. I am finding that every time I turn around, there is something new to learn about building your own business online and affiliate marketing.  This can sometimes be very frustrating for me and I feel like I am often not making any progress.  Have you had the same experience?  Also do you have any pointers about how to increase traffic to your site?

    • I get the vast majority of my traffic from Google. So, when it comes to increasing traffic, I find that it’s all about SEO. You want to focus on creating a clean, easy to navigate, fast-loading website. Then populate your site with quality. keyword-rich content. Take a look at my 2019 SEO checklist to see some additional pointers for increasing traffic to your site.

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve experienced frustration over the amount there is to learn in building your business. I can’t say I’ve had that experience. Then again, I started my business at Wealthy Affiliate, which is a highly sophisticated website platform that offers world-class training. 

      I believe that what truly distinguishes WA is the step-by-step nature of the training. It’s all very hands-on and visual with videos that walk you through the process. Then too, there are online classrooms where you can ask all the questions you have 24/7. The platform is global, so someone is always online to help.

      I’m very careful to stick to basics and not get caught up in every new suggestion or option that I read about. I experiment with new ideas, certainly. But I try them out one at a time and add them to my core routine rather than heading off in too many different directions. 

      At the end of the day, content is still king! Hence, that’s where I focus my energies. I hope you’ll consider joining me at WA, where I think you’ll be able to move beyond the frustration you’ve experienced with the support of an amazing community of individuals.

      I wish you all the best, and thanks for commenting!

  20. I’ve worked for 30+ years in a cubicle and I can tell you it’s no fun – but that is what I felt I needed to do to become successful,  Now I live on a small farm, raise highland cattle and chickens on a beautiful remote island in Canada and work from home.  I set my own hours and work on blogs that I am truly passionate about.

    Thank goodness I heard about Wealthy Affiliates from good folk like you!  The community is so passionate and always willing to help.  Negativity is NOT found here – instead a ton of experts helping others to become successful and to encourage them in their dreams.

    You, too, can become one of these people.  It takes work and dedication but what doesn’t in this life?  Why work in a tiny cubicle  – become your OWN boss and be successful!  That is what it’s all about!

    • It’s excellent to hear from someone who is working very remotely (your location sounds ideal 🙂 ) and achieving success. I must concur on all points. I have yet to find success in any arena that didn’t require hard work. I’m fine with that concept and grateful for the business my efforts have helped me grow. And, I too am endlessly grateful to WA for all the support I’ve received.

      It sounds like you are also living the dream. Kudos and thanks for sharing your experiences in this comment!

  21. Hi Linda,

    I absolutely admire you for the effort you have placed into producing this great post. I am very interested in affiliate marketing and especially learning how to become an affiliate marketer. I am finding your article very helpful in allowing me to finally get started.

    Thanks for sharing this post. The trouble is you see so many articles and posts about the subject, and I just end up feeling overwhelmed and confused. But your post is going to allow me to get started, again thanks a lot for sharing and making it very easy for me to finally understand.

    Appreciate it – Cheers

    • Hi James,

      It’s good to know that my post cleared up some of the confusion around affiliate marketing for you. That’s my goal. I hope you’ll take that next recommended step and create your free account through Wealthy Affiliate. When approaching something brand new, I don’t think there’s anything better than getting a little hands-on experience. Creating a free website and completing 10 step-by-step lessons is an ideal introduction to the world of affiliate marketing.

      I wish you great success, and I appreciate your comments!

  22. I really enjoyed reading your post. I was already thinking of making money online. I have a laptop. I’m really surprised that I can earn money online with a laptop. After reading your article, I found out about affiliate marketing. I think I would really love to do affiliate marketing, and I will look into the training you recommend. I’ll share this post with my friends who are also interested.
    Thanks so much for this informative article

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I think you’re wise to further explore affiliate marketing and find out as much as you can about this exciting field. 

      Good luck and thanks for jumping in!

  23. Hi, Linda.
    Thanks for your informative article for retirees on how to develop business from the comfort of home and on the laptop, that’s really great. Being a retired person I can sense the need for something we all need to develop so we get a good time pass as well as respectful income for your daily needs.
    Affiliate Marketing is one of the premier work we retired people can perform as we have time, we have a lot – and I mean it – a lot of experience, we can guide the masses and on the road to help others, we can earn money – the Legit Money.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

    • Hi Guarav,

      There is no question that affiliate marketing is an avenue for earning legitimate money from the comfort of home. You need only log on to a laptop with an Internet connection and you’re at work. For retirees such as myself, it can indeed be an excellent way to share the knowledge and experiences acquired over a lifetime, and to continue to feel productive. One advantage that you’ll have as a retiree is the time to devote to establishing your website. 

      Truthfully, affiliate marketing can be an excellent and lucrative choice for people of all walks and stages of life. But I do think you’ll find that it suits your retiree lifestyle particularly well.

      Good luck and thanks for your comments!

  24. Linda, this post about affiliate marketing is FULL of stellar content.   Thanks!  You have done a great job of explaining what affiliate marketing is.  While I have being doing my research, it seems like most people cut and past a generic description of affiliate marketing.   Your definition makes a lot of sense.  

    I also appreciate your explanation that affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick sort of thing.   

    I need to checkout your link to Answer the Public.  I had never heard of that before.  I also need to look into Quora.  I’ve heard about the website but never used it.  

    Best wishes to you.  

    • Hi Sondra,

      I believe you will enjoy both Answer the Public and Quora. Both of these resources provide excellent insights into the issues that members of your niche are dealing with and the questions you can help to answer. If you remember that people turn to the Internet for help in resolving problems, your niche website will eventually flourish. Focus on helping and success will follow.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  25. Hi Linda

    I just started in affiliate marketing and am quickly realising that it takes work. But I’m grateful for having the know how. I’ve been checking out the Wealthy affiliate link as I need something I can follow along with. It looks good! Will probably start with the basic account to find my way around. Thanks for your article, it was very detailed. I think someone might be able to start internet marketing just from this one page! 

    • Hi Andy,

      I stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliate a little over 3 years ago and found a home. I hope that’s true for you also. The starter membership gave me the opportunity to create a website and begin to understand the process of making money online. The 10 free lessons fueled my excitement and helped me create a sustainable online business.

      Thanks for commenting and I sincerely hope things work out as well for you as they have for me!

  26. Thanks for sharing a great post, Linda. I am still tied to my desktop computer at home. When we travel on vacation or to visit the distant kids, I take my iPad along. So I am not a road warrior living the laptop lifestyle (yet). But I am thinking more and more about getting a reconditioned one. At least I can check my email with my iPad. I love seeing email notices of affiliate commissions paid while on vacation. Do you make laptop recommendations?

    • Hi Glen,

      I can tell you I have an HP Pavilion and it has all the power and capabilities I need. I take it on the road with me fairly regularly and it works well. I’m thrilled with the flexibility it provides to work from my laptop and sustain my business while traveling.

      Good luck and thanks for reading!

  27. Hello Linda,

    This is a fantastic post about how to make money online, I have to admit I have read it from the start to the end without breathing. Very catchy, really! I like the 3 P´s you mentioned, this is so truth and even this business is not offering easy money, but require a lot of passion, consistency and also learning, which is quite an important part of this process. It is also very important to know how to use Jaaxy (or any other keyword researcher) and how to work with the keywords within the Niche you have chosen. Anyway, you have described the process very well and I am happy I have found such a website! 

    Thank you again and wish you all the best!

    Bye Renata

    • Hi Renata,

      Online success does indeed require passion and a fair amount of consistency. You also make a great point about understanding the importance of keywords. Jaaxy is a powerful tool that I use every day to gain insights into the questions that my target audience wrestles with.

      May you have a bright future in the online space!

  28. Hi, I love the idea of being able to take your work with you wherever you go and having the freedom to decide where you do it, and I agree that affiliate marketing is booming right now and it’s a great time to get involved. I wonder about its longevity, though. Do you think that there is potential for it to become oversaturated and less fruitful? Or are you optimistic about the future of affiliate marketing? Great read, thanks.


    • Hi Richard,

      I’m incredibly optimistic about the future of affiliate marketing. Global consumers have embraced technology and the convenience of online shopping. The affiliate marketing industry is exploding as a result of this behavior and I can’t conceive of this changing.

      I hope you’ll decide to dive in and participate in the growth. Best wishes and thanks for sharing!

  29. Affiliate marketing is probably the most cost-effective way for anyone to start a business online.  It doesn’t require inventory, there’s very little operating expense, initial capital is minimal and you’re on point with it’s just about connecting customers with the products they’re already looking for through helpful content. Sometimes it boggles my mind why people would still prefer to own brick and mortar businesses when an online business can be a lot more lucrative but I guess it’s more about personal preferences.

    • Hi Ron,

      An online business is indeed an excellent alternative to more traditional business ventures. I agree there are minimal barriers to entry and I love the inclusive nature of affiliate marketing.

      It sounds like you’ve taken the plunge and I appreciate your taking the time to share your opinion!

  30. Good afternoon Linda,

    On your About Me page I saw your Golf photo. Golf is a great hobby which I also enjoyed for 11 years. I must say that at the moment I am too busy with my 2 websites that Golf has been put on the back burner but you never know what I might do in the future.

    I started late in life with having a computer, end of 2013. I had quite a battle with that little machine as I do not really like them. Then I discovered the very positive part of having a computer, the unlimited flow of information you have on the internet.

    In January 2017 I stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliate and I became a member. Now I am the proud owner of 2 websites and start seeing that all the effort I put into them starts showing. You are right when one retires a new and exciting life can start just make the first step.

    Regards, Taetske

    • Hi Taetske,

      Working online in retirement is indeed an exciting step that more and more people are taking. I’ve definitely embraced the laptop lifestyle and recommend it highly. I fit in several rounds of golf a week and really appreciate the flexibility of working from my laptop on my own schedule.

      Congratulations on your websites. You should be proud!

  31. Hello Linda. I started affiliate marketing for four months now. I was writing my articles as usual not noticing the Amazon affiliate account. But one time I logged in into it and saw that sales had happened. Not so much money (for gaming mice you get like 0.5$ for a 20 dollar mouse) but the fact that a sale happened (5 to be precise) was very cool.

    My traffic has gone like 30-70 visitors per day and from what I see in Google Analytics, things are getting better.

    There is certainly a learning curve and the need to be patient at start, but when something starts happening for real then the real game begins!.

    Also to join a community of like minded and succesful individuals like Wealthy Affiliate will surely help you boost your morale and the results much faster and with less frustration.

    I am very happy to have stumbled upon your article and had a great time reading it. Be successful and have a nice day.

    • Hi George,

      Yes, it is very cool when those affiliate commissions start rolling in. In the early days, it’s not so much the dollars involved but the confirmation that the affiliate marketing process works. The first time I realized that a complete stranger found my website on the Internet and bought something through my link, I was over the moon.

      May your excitement with affiliate marketing continue and grow. All the best!


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