The first step in understanding taxes for affiliate marketers is to understand how affiliate marketers are paid, and how that differs from the way most Americans are paid. As an affiliate marketer, you are paid as what is known as a “1099 Contractor” for tax purposes. This differs than say, a cashier at a grocery store, who is most likely treated as a “W-2 Employee”. The key difference here is that contractors do not have any taxes withheld from their income by their employer (in this case, the affiliate network who writes your check), whereas the W-2 employee at a grocery store has the employee portion of payroll taxes withheld (Medicare and Social Security taxes, which amount to 7.65%), and another portion withheld for estimated federal and state income taxes, respectively. Although it may seem favorable that 1099 Contractors don’t have these taxes withheld from their checks, they still inevitably do owe taxes on their earnings. They are required to pay both the employer and employee portions of the Medicare and Social Security taxes in the form of a 15.3% “Self Employment Tax” and are required, in some cases, to make estimated tax payments to the IRS for their federal and state income taxes. Paying the self employment tax and estimated taxes to the IRS is the most common misconception or oversight amongst affiliate marketers, and often leads to year end surprises. To add an additional wrinkle, there is a common misunderstanding with respect to how taxes work for affiliate marketers operating as a sole proprietorship, LLC, or C-Corporation– which we will discuss next.
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Ann Smarty is co-founder of Viral Content Buzz and before that was editor in chief at Search Engine Journal, an industry leading SEO blog. She is a branding manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas and founder of MyBlogGuest, the Internet’s first guest blogging community. She has guest blogged for Mashable, SEOMoz, Internet Marketing Ninjas, MakeUseOf, Social Media Examiner and MarketingProfs.
What do you want to earn? Is this just a little bit of side income on your hobby blog or are you trying to replace your full time income? If you’re trying to go big then you’re going to want to focus on more high-quality products with big commissions. Maybe you will be building your site or blog around the specific product you want to promote, like a product review or comparison site.
Alex Genadinik has taught over 100,000 students online, is a 3 time best selling Amazon author and host of a popular business channel on YouTube. Through this course, he wants to teach you strategies for generating residual passive income by setting up your home business. He will also teach you how to find profitable niches and products on Amazon, Clickbank and other platforms.
Recent corporate changes and folding 2Checkout into a larger company that is involved in payment processing and e-commerce means that the affiliate program can sometimes feel somewhat neglected. But the ability to generate custom coupon codes and the comprehensive knowledge base make 2Checkout a good option for experienced affiliates with an established user base. But if you’re just entering the affiliate field for the first time, 2Checkout might not be where you want to start.
Earning income via Target affiliates, however, requires a bit of work. Cookies expire in just seven days, and commissions can be as low as just one percent, so you’ll need to be operating a high-traffic website in order to make serious cash with this program. But with Target’s much-beloved brand reputation and vast catalog, relevant product links can be a big earner for established influencers.
If you actually use the product and get results with it, then sharing a case study or your personal experience can be one of the most effective ways of selling those products to your audience. As you build a more responsive list of email subscribers and buyers and your reputation, merchants may offer you “free” samples of e-books or other products.
This doesn’t mean you only sell one product. This means you build out a brand by selling varying yet adjacent products. Over time, your consumer network might consider you a go-to for which type of vacuum they should buy. Additionally, some industries pay more than others. Especially if the product is a harder sell, affiliates may get a higher cut than they would for a product in higher demand.
Different online income streams to begin your online business could be ebooks and online courses, niche websites, membership programs, software development, consultation programs and packaging existing content to sell as a bundle. Ducker says “It all comes down to knowing who you’re helping, what their problems are, and most importantly – creating a solution to a problem that they will happily part with a little hard earned cash for.”
Site Build It - Site Build It is my second choice for learning how to create an online business. The training is very good and you get one website with hosting included. There is no free option, which is one of the reasons that it is not my first choice. I started here back in 2007 and the education that I received was very valuable and helped me to achieve a great level of success.
If you would like to take a more subtle approach, include a product or service from your company that relates into your blog post. For example, let’s say that you are a wine connoisseur and that is what your blog is based around. In any post that is enticing your readers to open up a good bottle of Merlot or what have you, it would be wise to embed an ad for a quality, easy-to-use wine opener, wine glasses or stoppers that keep the wine fresh.
The next platform, which has created a great community of affiliate marketers and is a fantastic resource for a versatile and step-by-step affiliate marketing training program is Wealthy Affiliates. Over the years it has become one of the most reputable and highest-rated resources to teach you the ropes of digital marketing and online business for someone who has no or very little experience in the online and blog world.