Moonlighting: Affiliate Marketing in Your Free Time

The act of working a second job without the general awareness of others knowing.

Affiliate marketing can be a tricky game for newcomers.

It presents a vast set of challenges and requires a keen understanding of many business elements which aren’t taught, openly, to those working a “day” job or those in an unrelated career.

Moonlighting jobs and after-hour activities, as an affiliate, grants those — comfortable in their current position — a way to begin learning and implementing business projects with the aid of a safety net. Though a person’s potential for growth is only limited by holding a full-time position – it’s completely possible to begin earning a healthy side-income by moonlighting as an affiliate.

Here’s what you need to know about moonlighting (and leveraging that for entrepreneurship).

Moonlighting: An Outlet to Learn and Start an Affiliate Marketing Business

The 9-to-5 lifestyle gets a lot of heat in the affiliate marketing circles because it represents a safe, limiting experience when it comes to achieving complete financial freedom.

How wrong can this mindset toward the 9-to-5 be?


It’s important to note that many affiliate marketers have started on humble terms; they did much of their dues while working a full-time position for someone else.

In fact, 9-to-5 positions come with many great benefits:

  • Working with associates develops your ability to manage projects
  • Using the company budget in campaigns so you’re not burning savings gaining an education
  • Access to many tools and resources you may not have in your solo projects

It’s okay to work a full-time position and take an interest in affiliate marketing by undertaking moonlighting jobs related to (or in) the online marketing space.

You may not have as much time to devote to your affiliate efforts compared to those doing it full-time… but you can begin a process of transition if you’re consistent in your work.

In the meantime, you can rely on the financial security a full-time position and, ultimately, create an exit strategy if you’re unsure about the prospect of affiliate marketing.

Finding Your Calling in the Affiliate Marketing Industry

There are plenty of opportunities to get into affiliate marketing if you understand your skills and passion.

DO: Know where you stand on the technical aspects of affiliate marketing and your interests

Having an understanding of your skill set will help align your path. Why? Because it’s easier to talk about a topic and set of tools you know and use versus trying to be something you’re not.

Here are a few ideas and suggestions for finding your calling:

  • Write a list of your favorite topics when reading online content
  • Consider your hobbies and other off-hour activities
  • Remember who you work with and what they know
  • Question whether you’re willing to spend years covering the topic
  • Compile the best resources on your choice in topics
  • Run the numbers on the overall demand for the items you want to promote

Note: Every topic and niche has potential to earn money in affiliate marketing. There’s no reason to stick to the oversaturated ones. If there are products and competitors then there’s opportunity.

Take a week (yes, a full week) to compile your thoughts.

Allow the ideas to sink in before jumping the gun.

Remember: you’ll place a lot free-time into your online business — so make it something you enjoy doing.

Creating an After-Work Routine for Getting Big Things Done

Affiliate marketing is a hodge-podge of skills, techniques, and strategies.

It’s impossible to master them all (especially on a limited timeframe if you’re working full-time).

You’ll want to focus on the big skills:

  • Web development
  • Content creation
  • Link building
  • Networking

A good approach to learning and understanding these items should be a regular study in each of these topics. Like in school, you should have “homework” researching and developing these topics.

Doing Your Homework

Take an hour of your day, after work, to read just one or two articles about these topics and create notes for continual education (especially additional questions you may have). Alternatively, join a major affiliate marketing forum or social networking group to ask questions.

The easiest route for learning affiliate marketing is by doing.

Meaning — trying, failing, and trying again.

A lot of skills you’ll learn along the way as you find interest in them.

It’s easier to learn when you’re truly passionate about the topic versus forcing yourself to learn against your will. Go with the flow by combining real-world efforts with spur-of-the-moment interests. Noticed something neat when doing online research? Shift gears and see if you can replicate it!

Start here: Build a WordPress Blog

Then: The Beginners Guide

Consider your blog a playground for all your affiliate marketing and online business ideas. Don’t worry if you make mistakes because that’s part of the learning process. The concepts stick — easier — when you see them live.

Making a Routine

Now, when it comes to the routine of moonlighting in affiliate marketing, you’ll want to develop a strategy based on a few criteria:

  • How much time do you really have in the afternoon?
  • What is the most important project you could be working on?
  • Who will aid you, the most, in your activities?

The most difficult hurdle you’ll face when moonlighting in affiliate marketing will be the use of your time.

Coming home after a long day’s work to now put in an additional part-time amount can quickly become a major stressor in your life. Likewise, overworking yourself can put relationships on the rocks.

Doubling your work day — even at the prospect of making extra money — can cause a breakdown if you’re at it 24/7.

So, understand your ability to work and stay focused before devoting to a routine.

You may want to follow this type of routine:

  • 1 hour of content creation
  • 1 hour of cross promotion
  • 30 minutes of networking and relationship building
  • 30 minutes of business maintenance

That’s three hours of your afternoon.

We know… that’s asking a lot.

Place the largest amount of your focus on content creation and cross-promotion as they will be your best long-term strategies until you have added time to cultivate better relationships.

Over time, you’ll be able to work with these individuals on larger projects.


Keeping Everything Together and Avoiding Burn Out

Affiliate marketing has the possibility to become an incredible source of additional income for you.

You don’t need to invest a full-time workload while moonlighting jobs to reap the rewards.

The only thing that matters is your consistent ability to get the job done.

Adding an extra part-time “job” on top of your current position isn’t for the faint of heart. There is much to sacrifice in order to compete; it’s vital you understand your limits when adding this new level of stress.

Remember: your livelihood is not reliant on your moonlighting jobs so don’t burn yourself to keep up with impossible demands.

In all, despite the warnings, affiliate marketing is a blast.

You’ll have a load of fun each time you work on your projects. Paired with a topic you love and you’ll discover the next of passion for your work. Likewise, you’ll learn valuable skills to bring back into your current full-time position.

So, give it a shot.

Consider using your afternoons to moonlight and leverage those actions to become an affiliate.