What An Affiliate Marketing Business And A $1,000,000 Retirement Package Have In Common

I’ve been in the affiliate marketing business for over a decade but I never really made the connection between my business income and the income from any retirement program I may have. Like most people retirement is in the back of my mind but first I have to take care of today’s obligations like a mortgage, tuition, health insurance and gas for my favorite toy my Shelby Cobra replica.

But I had the opportunity to meet and work with a successful financial coach by the name of Todd Tressider and he really opened my eyes.

Advice from a guy who retired at 35

Todd successfully managed a hedge fund for several years and developed quite a reputation for making his rich clients even richer. But when he hit 35 he just got tired of “making a few percentage points” for his already rich clients and decided to sell the business and retire. Did I mention he was 35?

Retirement didn’t last all that long

Some people are suited for early retirement and some people aren’t. As a general rule, entrepreneurs simply have to have their hand in the game and Todd fit into that description. He knew he could use his wealth building skills to help ordinary people succeed so he opened a personal financial coaching business.

Todd decided his business needed a digital presence and that’s when he came to Arlene and me for help in building a great website. It was during this project when Todd said something that just blew me away. He said “You know…

$100 dollars a month is like having a $30,000 retirement investment”

And that opened my eyes to the real wealth that is created by affiliate marketing. If you have an affiliate marketing site that is generating $100 a month it’s the same as if you were earning the interest on a $30,000 retirement investment except you didn’t have to pony up the thirty grand.

The numbers work. Todd’s clients averaged a 4% return on their investments. $30,000 x 4% = $1200 interest divided by 12 months is $100 per month. But where the real similarity is between a retirement package and your business is both will continue to deliver that income without you doing a thing.

The beauty of passive income

Todd explains it this way. The money that retirees receive is indirect passive income. They’re taking the interest off an initial investment. Affiliate marketers receive direct passive income through automated selling. In other words, once you have your site set up on the right foot the site will continue to sell products or services even if you don’t touch it again.

Affiliate marketing can be a sustainable source of passive income for the rest of your life.

Think about that for a moment. Most people trade time for money. When they stop trading time they stop making money. An affiliate marketer invests an initial amount of time and then can stop yet the sales continue to roll in. That means the money you are making today will be money that you can potentially make as long as you live. And when you croak, it can roll over to your spouse or kids or whatever. The site doesn’t need you to sell.

Have you thought about your retirement?

Most of us are so in denial about retirement. We plan for other things like education for our kids but we don’t really do serious planning for our own futures. Of course planning for retirement and determining what kind of income you’re going to need is going to vary from person to person but you really need a roadmap to answer the question “just how much do I need to retire?“. Todd has a book named oddly enough “How Much Do I Need To Retire” which is an excellent guide for your retirement planning.

Let’s assume for the moment that you do have some type of retirement plan and you are eligible for government retirement benefits like Social Security in the US. However, the income that those two sources comes up about $3,000 per month short of the way you want to live.

If you take your affiliate marketing to the $3,000 per month level odds are it will stay there, or maybe increase, as long as you live. That’s the equivalent of earning interest on roughly $1.3 million.

If you’re new, the jump from $100 per month to $3,000 may seem like an impossible leap but it is actually far easier than going from $0 to $100.

Getting over the $100 hump

When your site does generate its first $100 month you can take heart that your hard work is now paying off. As your site matures, as you become savvier in marketing and as your list grows you will find that overall growth will be far easier to accomplish.

Just like any other business the more you know the more you grow. The better you understand the marketing dynamics of the internet the easier it will become to be successful. Just don’t make the number one mistake….quitting too earlier.

Winners never quit and Quitters never win

OK somebody in your childhood probably was the first one to share this line with you. But there is a lot of truth in this simple rule. When I asked Todd what he thought was the number one cause of people failing online he didn’t waste a second in replying “lack of persistence”.

So many people give up just before their efforts pay off and that’s a real shame. But if you persist, if you learn from mistakes, then that first sale will arrive and it’s just a matter of rinse and repeat. That million dollar retirement is a lot closer than you think.


James Martell discovered the lucrative world of affiliate marketing in 1999. He is a self-taught Internet entrepreneur and a leading expert in affiliate marketing, outsourcing and SEO. James is the host of the “Affiliate Buzz”, the first and longest running affiliate marketing podcast. James is the host of the “Affiliate Marketers SUPER BootCamp”, a top-notch affiliate marketing training series well known for turning affiliate newbies into success stories. James resides in White Rock BC, a seaside suburb of Vancouver on the West Coast of Canada with Arlene and their four children. You’ll receive actionable tips, strategies and money making advice directly from James Martell when you subscribe to his weekly Affiliate Buzz podcast by email, RSS feed or iTunes. You can also follow James on Twitter.