When we talk about revenue sources for your business, it is common for most VAs to have just one income stream - client work. That is, they do the work and the client pays them to do it. It's the 'one to one' model and most businesses are opened based on this income stream - this is called active revenue income.

But there are other means to bring revenue into your business as well, and they don't take that much work to set up or monitor, and you could be missing out!

Passive income is another way that VAs and other small business owners can bring money into their business. It's called passive because it requires less of your time than active income.

There are a few different types of passive income, but today we are going to talk about one - affiliate revenue.

Affiliate revenue is not complicated - basically it's a referral fee that you receive for recommending someone's product or service.

When you affiliate with someone, you receive a unique URL (your affiliate link) from them and that's how you direct people to their product or service. Typically this is set up in an affiliate program, so it's all automated.

When someone clicks on your affiliate link, they get connected to you and then for any subsequent sales that are generated from that person, you will be paid a commission.

Here is a very common example of affiliate marketing:

Jim has a new $500 program he is promoting called "more clients". He is going to pay $100 commission for any referrals to his program. He is doing a free preview teleclass call prior to launching his program at "more clients teleclass", so he can get the word out to people about it.

So you are his affiliate, and so Jim sets you up with your affiliate link that is linked to the teleclass. You use that link to promote the teleclass in your various avenues: you send out an email to your list, or you put the event in your newsletter, or you tweet and post it on Facebook. When someone clicks your affiliate link, they will get redirected to the teleclass registration page, where they will sign up. Then in Jim's system that person will be connected to you, as you referred them to his class. The class is free, so there is no commission earned from the class, but then on the class he will be promoting his new program. The people that you referred to the class will still be linked to you in his system, so if any of them purchase the program, you will earn your $100 commission.

Another affiliate marketing model is more direct, where you can also get an affiliate link that leads them directly to his program, and you can earn your commission that way. Often that way you have access to graphics to put on your website or blog or Facebook, in an effort to attract more clicks. When someone clicks your link, they get connected to you, so the more attractive the links are, the better the chances are that you will get them to check out the programs.

So, for instance, if you affiliate with a person who sells a homestudy program, they will probably have a piece of cover art that you can use to help promote the program. You would place this image on your website or blog or social networks, and you would link the image to your affiliate link, so that when someone clicks the image, they get redirected through your affiliate link, to the homestudy page. If they purchase, you earn commissions. This is a common way to promote things that are not time-specific, but can be promoted year round.

The most important piece of the affiliate program - and ensuring that you earn your proper commissions - is that you use the correct affiliate link. All of the other pieces are automated through an affiliate program, so it's important to use the right link for the right promotion.

There is generally a different affiliate link for each piece that you are promoting. So above, you would have different links for the teleclass, the program, and the homestudy program. All you have to do is link the right affiliate link to the right piece and the rest is automated by the affiliate program. You just have to sit back and wait for the payout!

Once you understand how the basic affiliate process works, it's easy to consider setting yourself up as an affiliate for your colleagues and even your clients, so that you can earn passive income by helping them promote their products and services.

Author's Bio: 

Tracey D'Aviero is a successful Virtual Assistant as well as a VA coach and mentor. She helps new and aspiring Virtual Assistants build solid foundations for their businesses by teaching them how to put procedures and plans in place for success and growth. Pick up a copy of Tracey's free ebook "3 Way To Get The Clients You Want!" at http://www.yourvamentor.com