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The 17 Best Affiliate Marketing Programs For Beginners – Jeffbullas's Blog

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The 17 Best Affiliate Marketing Programs For Beginners - Jeffbullas's Blog

Affiliate marketing is quickly becoming a very popular way for beginner and budding entrepreneurs to make money online.

If you don’t know much about affiliate marketing, that’s OK. The affiliate marketing programs in this article are the easiest ones to use and feature products that are among the easiest to get clicks for.

So first, let’s ensure you know exactly what affiliate marketing is and how it works. Then we will dive into the 17 best affiliate marketing programs for beginners.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.

It is a process where you promote someone else’s product or service and earn a commission when someone decides to purchase by clicking on your link. The affiliate partner then rewards a payout for a specific result to the retailer or advertiser, typically a sale. But some affiliate marketing programs can reward you for providing them with leads, a free trial, user clicks to a website, or getting downloads of an app.

Most affiliate programs are usually free to join, and there are usually no high startup costs. If you have an effective affiliate marketing strategy, you can go from this being a side hustle to a profitable online business idea and earn a healthy monthly income.

What is an affiliate marketing program?

Affiliate marketing programs are a way for merchants to promote their products and services. Affiliates (or associates) are websites that agree to promote the merchant’s products and services in exchange for a commission on sales.

The commission can be based on several factors, such as the number of people the affiliate sends to the merchant’s site or people who buy something or perform some other action.

How do affiliate marketing programs work?

Affiliate marketing programs connect businesses with potential customers through online platforms such as social media, blogs, and email newsletters. When someone clicks on an affiliate link, they are taken to the business’s website. The affiliate gets a commission from the sale if they purchase a product or service within a specific timeframe.

Affiliate marketing programs offer you the chance to promote brands that sell online business tools such as VPNs and other software, pharmaceutical items, digital products such as e-books, and anything else you can buy online.

What is the commission rate?

The commission rate is the percentage of the sale that the affiliate receives. It can range from a few per cent to 50% or more. The average commission rate is around 20%. Some programs also offer recurring affiliate commissions and they pay you a commission for every month a customer uses their product.

What is the cookie duration?

The cookie duration is the amount of time an affiliate has to generate a sale for the merchant before the affiliate’s cookie expires. The average cookie duration is 30 days, but some affiliate programs have shorter or longer periods.

What are the 17 best affiliate marketing programs?

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make some money. Even if you are a beginner, you can make some money by signing up to be an affiliate with an affiliate marketing program.

We have selected the most popular ones for beginners based on the size of the program, how popular it is, how easy it is to get clicks, and the size of the payouts.

ClickBank affiliate program

ClickBank is one of the oldest and most popular affiliate programs. ClickBank is a marketplace for digital products, such as e-books, software, and membership sites. Most of the products are in the digital information marketing and health supplement niches.

Pros

  • You don’t need to have your own website to promote programs
  • The average commission is high compared to many other affiliate marketing programs
  • There are many programs with recurring commissions
  • The pre-selling is already done for you by the merchant’s landing page
  • Digital products can be quickly promoted through email marketing and social media
  • Creating an affiliate link is easy

Cons

  • The Marketplace is functional but hasn’t been updated in nearly two decades
  • Some programs have resulted in high refund rates

Payment details

  • The commission rate varies
  • The cookie duration is 60 days

Rakuten advertising affiliate program

Rakuten Advertising

Rakuten Advertising is one of the largest affiliate networks, with over 12,000 affiliate programs. Rakuten has a wide variety of products and services, ranging from books and music to fashion and electronics.

Pros

  • The affiliate network is extensive and has many well-known brands
  • Affiliates can earn cash back as well as commissions
  • There are many tools available to help affiliates succeed
  • Handles over $100M a year in sales yearly

Cons

  • The user interface could be more user-friendly
  • It can take a long time to get approved for some programs

Payment details

  • The commission rate varies
  • The cookie duration varies

Impact affiliate program

The Impact affiliate program is a performance-based marketing platform that connects businesses with affiliates who promote their products and services. Impact offers various affiliate marketing tools to help affiliates succeed, including an affiliate network, tracking software, and creative resources.

Pros

  • Instant approval of brands
  • Wide choice of affiliate programs
  • Intuitive interface
  • Home to big-name brands
  • Choice of categories
  • Multiple ways to cash out earnings

Cons

  • Slightly fewer features than some other affiliate programs
  • It has a wealth of features, which is a good thing, but they can be too much for some beginners

Payment details

  • The commission rate varies
  • The cookie duration varies

Awin affiliate program

Awin is a global affiliate network with over 13,000 active affiliates. Awin has a wide range of products, including fashion, beauty, and home goods. It offers a vast selection of affiliate marketing programs, and with its accelerated payment system, you don’t have to wait long for payments.

Pros

  • The network is extensive and has many well-known brands
  • Affiliates can earn cash back, as well as commissions
  • There are many tools available to help affiliates succeed
  • Many big-name brands to work with

Cons

  • This program is top-rated, which means you will have a lot of competition
  • Operates mainly in the EU and UK, although it is a global company

Payment details

  • The commission rate varies
  • The cookie duration varies

Etsy affiliate program

Etsy

Etsy is an online marketplace where people can buy and sell handmade and vintage items, among other things. Etsy has a wide variety of products, including art, home decor, jewelry, and clothing. It offers a vast selection of affiliate marketing programs.

Pros

  • Commission rates are high compared to other affiliate programs
  • Etsy offers a wide range of products that can be promoted
  • The site is well-known and popular, which could result in increased traffic and sales
  • Etsy is a trusted brand with a loyal following, which could result in higher conversion rates

Cons

  • Sometimes, they change the algorithm rules of the platform
  • Popular vendors sometimes leave the platform

Payment details

  • The commission rate is 4% per sale
  • The cookie duration is 30 days

eBay partner network affiliate program

The eBay Partner Network is an affiliate marketing program run by eBay. It offers various products, including electronics, fashion, and home goods. With over 12,000 active affiliates, the eBay Partner Network is one of the largest affiliate networks.

Pros

  • Wide variety of products to promote
  • Low barrier to entry, so it’s great for beginners
  • High commission rates
  • Global brand name
  • PayPal payments

Cons

  • Short cookie rate
  • Many knock-offs on their site

Payment details

  • The commission rate is up to 4% per sale
  • The cookie duration is only 24 hours

Fiverr affiliate program

Fiverr is an online marketplace for services. Fiverr has a wide range of services, including graphic design, web development, and video editing. It offers a vast selection of affiliate marketing programs.

Pros

  • You can make a lot of money through their high commissions
  • The interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate
  • They are a market leader, so there is no real competition
  • New services become available to sell all the time, so you’ll always have something to promote

Cons

  • You don’t get paid for sales to existing customers
  • Some of the popular programs leave the site

Payment details

  • The commission rate is up to $150 per sale
  • The cookie duration is for 30 days

FanFuel

Fanfuel

FanFuel is an affiliate marketing program for sports fans. It offers various products to make commissions on, including tickets, apparel, and memorabilia. FanFuel has a massive selection of affiliate marketing programs.

Pros

  • Commission on repeat customers for life
  • Real-time data
  • Retargeting campaigns and funnel optimization
  • Good referral bonuses

Cons

  • Not all countries can participate
  • It doesn’t associate itself with the offshore gambling websites

Payment details

  • The commission rate is 40% per sale
  • The cookie duration is 90 days

ShareASale affiliate program

If you’re looking for a well-rounded and reliable affiliate marketing program, ShareASale is a great option. With over 5,000 different affiliate programs to choose from, you’re sure to find something to match your interests and skills.

The interface may be outdated compared to some flashy programs, but it’s simple and easy to use. And most importantly, the programs offered through ShareASale are high quality and profitable.

Pros

  • ShareASale has a comprehensive database of products and services to promote, much larger than many other affiliate marketing programs.
  • It also includes more minor, unknown, but worthwhile affiliate programs that can be a great source of income.
  • The “Search for Merchants” function is far superior to Commission Junction, for example, in terms of usability and finding relevant programs.
  • Their “PowerRank” metric shows you where an affiliate program sits in the top 1000 on ShareASale, which is a valuable tool for determining whether or not a program is worth signing up for.
  • Payments are processed quickly and efficiently when you don’t have to wait months to get paid using ShareASale.

Cons

  • The interface is quite old
  • Its approval process for affiliate programs is unpredictable

Payment details

  • The commission rate varies
  • The cookie duration varies

FlexOffers affiliate program

If you’re looking for an affiliate marketing program with a massive pool of quality advertisers, FlexOffers is an excellent option.

They have 12,000 merchants to choose from but only consider 500 of these to be “premium” merchants. This gives affiliates access to some of the biggest brands in the world.

FlexOffers is one of the most reputable affiliate marketing programs, which helps build consumer trust.

Pros

  • Great way to monetize your website or blog traffic
  • Efficient and easy-to-use filtering system for finding relevant advertisers
  • Generous commission rates
  • The flexible Rev$hare program allows you to earn additional revenue from your sub-affiliates

Cons

  • Limited customer support options
  • They have a complex interface to focus on

Payment details

  • The commission rate varies
  • The cookie duration varies

Market Health affiliate program

Market Health

The Market Health Affiliate Program is a great way to monetize your health and wellness website or blog.

They offer a wide range of products, including fitness equipment, supplements, men’s health, teeth whitening, and skincare products.

Plus, the Market Health affiliate program is one of the most reputable programs around, which helps build trust with consumers.

Pros

  • The Market Health affiliate marketing program constantly adds new products to its lineup, so you’ll always have something fresh and new to pitch to your audience.
  • The team at Market Health has over two decades of experience in the affiliate marketing industry, so they know what they’re doing and are interested in helping you make as much money as possible.
  • You get a wide range of products to pitch
  • They have excellent commission rates
  • Are an established company with a proven track record

Cons

  • Cookie duration could be longer
  • They sometimes change the commission rates

Payment details

  • The commission rate is up to 60% or $75 per sale
  • The cookie duration is 30 days

CJ Affiliate network

CJ Affiliate is one of the oldest and most reputable affiliate marketing programs. They have a wide range of advertisers, including major brands like Nike, Target, and Best Buy.

Plus, CJ Affiliate is an excellent resource for finding high-quality affiliate programs to promote.

Pros

  • The intuitive user interface and dashboard make it ideal for affiliate marketing beginners.
  • Many big brand names are under one roof, leading to more commissions and opportunities.
  • Direct display advertising opportunities, which offer a flat fee or commission.
  • You can find profitable affiliate programs without guessing, as CJ Affiliate provides helpful support and tutorials.

Cons

  • There’s a revolving door with the big brands
  • It will take a bit longer to learn than some other programs

Payment details

  • The commission rate varies
  • The cookie duration varies

NordVPN affiliate program

NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN services on the market, and its affiliate program is a great way to monetize your website or blog traffic.

They offer a wide range of plans so that you can tailor your pitch to your audience. Plus, NordVPN is an established company with a proven track record.

Pros

  • The affiliate marketing program offers a 40% commission for all new accounts that sign-up through your affiliate link, but you can also earn 30% on renewals
  • One of the best VPN services on the market
  • Big influencers typically only promote products that convert well, i.e. they make money from the promotion.

Cons

  • Deep linking is not available
  • Only available in English

Payment details

  • The commission rate is 30% – 40%
  • The cookie duration is 30 days

Bluehost affiliate program

Blueshot

The Bluehost affiliate marketing program is a great way to earn commission by promoting one of the many web hosting companies operating under the banner of EIG.

Since 2003, this company has established itself as a solid choice for affiliates and small businesses looking for affordable hosting and a lucrative affiliate offer.

Bluehost is one of the best affiliate programs in this roundup by earning potential, paying at least $65 per referral. You’ll see Bluehost mentioned and recommended on many marketing blogs.

Pros

  • Associates earn $65 for each referral that signs up for a hosting plan, making it an excellent offer for bloggers and small businesses
  • A reliable web hosting provider that is ideal for beginner bloggers
  • Established and trusted name in web hosting
  • Their affiliate program converts lots of traffic into sales

Cons

  • There is a high threshold to getting paid
  • You need to make two sales and have $100 to withdraw funds

Payment details

  • The commission rate is $65 per sale
  • The cookie duration is 120 days

AppSumo affiliate program

If you’re familiar with online marketing, you’ve probably heard of AppSumo. It’s a site that offers deals on the latest tech products and ongoing discounted plans or packages for more established brands in the tech space.

This means you can get a lifetime license for a software product and pay a one-time fee instead of a monthly subscription fee.

This can save you thousands of dollars annually in membership and licensing costs for software that directly benefits your online or offline business.

AppSumo’s product offerings are varied. They have programs for products like marketing and analytics tools, stock photo sites, productivity tools, and much more. This makes it an excellent option for affiliates because there’s something for everyone.

Pros

  • Pay-per-sale on each initial transaction
  • You get a unique URL to track all of your sales and referrals
  • A custom dashboard with real-time stats
  • Unlimited commissions and a 30-day cookie

Cons

  • Lower cookie duration than other programs
  • Higher payout threshold ($100) than other programs

Payment details

  • The commission rate pays up to 100%
  • The cookie duration is 30 days

Semrush affiliate program

Semrush has an affiliate marketing program that rewards you with $10 for every referral that signs up for a free trial and $200 for any referral that chooses a paid account. This is a great way to make some extra money, and the program is simple to participate in.

They have a suite of tools to help you do everything from backlink and keyword research to optimizing your content pages.

Pros

  • They enjoy rewarding their affiliates with cash
  • The most successful affiliates claim to earn 6-figures monthly
  • One of the best SEO tools on the market, so it is a highly respected brand
  • One of the highest-paying affiliate programs

Cons

  • Limited payout options (PayPal and wire transfer)
  • At $99.95 for the lowest-priced option, it may be high for some people

Payment details

  • The commission rate is $10 per trial and $200 per sale
  • The cookie duration is 120 days

Shopify affiliate program

Shopify

The Shopify affiliate marketing program is an excellent way for people to earn income by promoting the Shopify platform. Participants in the program are given a unique referral URL, which they can use to promote Shopify.

The participant earns a commission through this referral link when someone signs up for Shopify.

Pros

  • Solid reputation as a global brand
  • A high commission rate of 200%, including up to 100% on the first two payments of a new customer
  • Recurring commissions available and bonus options
  • A simplified way to start an e-commerce store

Cons

  • Relatively short cookie duration compared to other programs
  • A bounty commission isn’t as good as a recurring commission based on a visitor’s high monthly subscription fee for a premium package

Payment details

  • The commission rate is 100% for the first two payments
  • The cookie duration is for 30 days

Wrapping it up

The best affiliate marketing programs for beginners are ClickBank, Rakuten Advertising, Impact, Awin, Etsy, eBay Partner Network, and Fiverr. These programs offer high commission rates, lifetime licenses, and access to a suite of tools that can help you optimize your content pages.

Semrush also has a terrific affiliate marketing program that pays you $200 per sale and offers a 120-day cookie duration.

Shopify’s affiliate program is also a great option, with a 100% commission rate for the first two payments and a 30-day cookie duration.

NordVPN and Bluehost are also excellent choices, as they offer high commissions and unlimited monthly income potential.

In conclusion, these are the 17 best affiliate marketing programs for beginners. Each program has its pros and cons, so be sure to choose the one that is right for you.

With so many great options available, there is no reason not to start making money today.

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Beware of These Risky Sales Tactics That Are Doomed to Fail or Backfire

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Beware of These Risky Sales Tactics That Are Doomed to Fail or Backfire

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

True story: Recently, my daughter was at a major brand car dealership with her boyfriend, intending to purchase a pre-owned car. Note I made up the numbers for the sake of my daughter’s financial privacy, but the takeaways are still the same.

The dealership asked for, let’s say, $26,000 “all in” for the car, but my daughter had already decided that $20,000 was the most she would pay. There was a lot of ground to cover to actually make a deal happen. After some discussion, the salesperson did his best, dropping the price to $25,000. But that still left a big gap, so he told her, “Let me go check with my manager and see if he has any ideas.”

After five minutes, the salesperson and his manager entered the room together. The manager explained that at $25,000, this was a great price; it was already well below their MSRP, and the deal was “very thin” as it was for him. He then used the famous line, “Okay, here’s what I’m going to do to get you into this car today.” The manager pulled out a piece of paper with revised numbers that showed his price now at $23,995. He explained to my daughter that this was the absolute best possible price. He was “all in;” this was his “best offer,” and he told her to take it or leave it. For the grand finale — keeping in mind that this is a 100% true story — the manager took out a big red ink stamp and smacked it down on the paper. The stamp read “FINAL” in bold red ink. $23,995. FINAL.

My daughter responded, “Thanks, but I’m sorry; it looks like it’s not going to work out.” Without hesitation, he immediately blurted out, “How about $22,500?”

When my daughter told me the story, I had a wonderful laugh. After the big show, the manager held his price for a full six seconds. And the idea of the red final stamp just made the story even better. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there’s actually quite a lot to unpack here regarding sales tactics, psychology and effectiveness.

Related: 3 Unconventional Sales Tactics That Will Close More Deals

I’m not in the car business, and I’ve never sold cars, but I can see some familiar sales tactics (and mistakes) playing out here:

Playing the waiting game

All this went down after my daughter had spent hours on the lot. It was getting late in the day on a Saturday, and the manager knew she was hoping to get it done. At some level, the manager was wearing her down and playing out the clock, playing the “waiting game.” It didn’t work in this case, but often, this notion of using time as a weapon can be very effective. Utilizing time as a strategic element in the negotiation process can be effective, but it must be used carefully and respectfully. Pushing too hard on time constraints can backfire.

Closing the deal by changing the sales lineup

When the salesperson reached his personal negotiation line or felt he would lose her, he brought in his manager. In addition to adding some time to the clock, this step created a new opportunity for a new dynamic. The dealership never really wants a potential buyer to walk out the door, so if one person doesn’t get the job done, it’s always worth trying someone else. Involving a manager or company administrator in the negotiation process can create new dynamics and opportunities for closing a deal.

Proposing your best and final offer

Although I laughed hysterically when I heard about the red stamp, I soon realized it was actually a smart move. Once upon a time, I’m guessing some sales and marketing people sat in a room, and someone said, “I have an idea — let’s make a red stamp that says final and use that during negotiations.” Everyone probably laughed, and they would have said, “No, I’m serious!” And then everyone thought about it and agreed, as funny of an idea as it was, it actually made sense. It’s one thing to tell someone something verbally, but when it’s “official” and in red ink on paper, it’s human nature to believe it and take it as indisputable. Using psychological sales tactics to create a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) effect, such as a “Final Offer” stamp, can be effective in conveying seriousness and finality, but you have to honor your word, or you will likely lose credibility.

All the tactics I outlined above were smart, but here’s where I think the dealership dropped the ball:

Trying a shutdown move too soon

The manager came in cold, and rather than take some time (again, time is on their side) to talk about the value, create some alignment, and build some rapport, he went straight for the kill. That tactic may work, but I felt it was too aggressive. He would have been better off discussing the pain points and goals concerning the product, coming up with some extra incentives, etc. Understanding the customer’s needs, discussing the product’s value and building rapport and trust can be crucial in successful sales.

Related: How to Master Your Sales Success — Why Every Answer and Rejection Matters

Putting an out-of-reach offer on the table

The manager decided to go for the close in a fairly aggressive way. In some cases, that tactic makes sense. But he played it all wrong with the numbers. He knew they were a full $5,000 or 20% off, and he decided to put it all on the line at $23,995. Obviously, given how fast he dropped another thousand, he had plenty more room. If he was going for the hard close and “FINAL” offer, he should have made it more compelling. By putting on the big show and then immediately dropping his price, he completely lost credibility and lowered the odds of closing. In this case, he lost my daughter’s trust and the sale. In negotiation, it’s important to understand the other party’s budget and limits before making an offer. Being aware of their constraints will increase the likelihood of closing a deal.

Saying your offer is “final” when it’s not

If you offer something of value at a good price and tell them it’s “final” (which I personally don’t recommend as a sales tactic), then stand by it and mean it. Your word has to mean something. Once he realized his “final” price was not going to work, rather than lower it, he could have thrown in some additional valuable incentive, perhaps some amount of free service or some kind of special financing. If a “final offer” is presented, standing by it as your final word is essential. If adjustments are needed, they should include additional incentives or value to maintain trust and credibility.

Sales is an art, no doubt about that. A great salesperson builds a relationship, asks questions and listens, understands the client’s pain points, is honest and transparent, and operates with integrity. Of course, strategies, techniques, incentives, and a lot of human emotion and psychology are at play, but all of them can happen successfully without losing your credibility.

So, the overall moral of my story? Choose wisely before using the big red stamp!

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Why Morgan Stanley Analysts Doubled Apple iPhone Predictions

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Why Morgan Stanley Analysts Doubled Apple iPhone Predictions

Apple entered the AI game last month with Apple Intelligence, a suite of new features designed to bring AI straight to iPhone, iPad, and Mac screens. Apple’s AI has a catch though: it only works on the newest iPhones and it could be the reason why millions of iPhone users with older models seriously think about upgrading, say Morgan Stanley analysts.

Morgan Stanley analysts named Apple a top-pick stock on Monday, after which Apple shares jumped to an all-time high, per Bloomberg. Apple Intelligence is a “clear catalyst” for iPhone upgrades and will enable Apple to sell nearly half a billion iPhones in the next two years, analyst Eric Woodring stated.

Apple Intelligence is expected to come out this fall for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max — older iPhones will not have access to Apple’s AI. The update offers AI-generated emojis, a smarter Siri, and direct access to ChatGPT, though some anticipated Siri AI upgrades may arrive next year.

Related: Apple Is Expanding What The iPhone Can Do. Here’s What’s Changing Right Away.

“We believe that there is record level of pent-up demand entering the iPhone 16 cycle later this year,” Woodring noted, adding that Apple Intelligence delivers “unique-to-the-Apple-ecosystem” value.

Morgan Stanley previously forecasted that Apple would sell around 230 million iPhones in the same time frame, making the new prediction more than double the previous one.

Apple is also uniquely positioned to be the AI “base camp” for its customers, “just as it has done for digital content (iPod) and social media (iPhone),” wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Ananda Baruah.

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to customers before they enter Apple’s 5th Avenue store. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Other analysts at different firms have made similar predictions. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told Reuters in June that more than 15% of existing iPhone users could buy the new iPhone Apple is expected to release this fall.

Related: Apple Labels These 3 Iconic Products ‘Vintage,’ and Soon-to-Be ‘Obsolete’

Ives estimated that 270 million iPhone users have not bought a new model in the past four years.

More than half of Apple’s overall revenue in the second quarter of 2024 came from iPhones; Apple has the majority of the market share for smartphones in the U.S.

At the time of writing, Apple was the largest company in the world with a $3.584 trillion market cap. Microsoft, Nvidia, Google, and Amazon followed.

Related: Warren Buffett Had to Work From His iPhone After Telephone Lines Went Down at Berkshire Hathaway: ‘I’m Glad We Didn’t Sell All of Our Apple’

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How to Start a Business This Weekend: AppSumo CEO Noah Kagan

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How to Start a Business This Weekend: AppSumo CEO Noah Kagan

Noah Kagan shared how he started AppSumo, a “Groupon for software,” in one weekend in a new podcast episode. The startup cost was $60; AppSumo earned $80 million last year and Kagan is still its CEO.

In 2010, Kagan was 28 years old and had already experienced what it was like to be the 30th employee at Facebook and the fourth employee at personal finance app Mint.

“I think I just felt insecure at some of these places,” Kagan told fellow entrepreneur Jeff Berman in a June episode of the “Masters of Scale” podcast.

Kagan was fired after nine months at Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg and later fired from Mint, too. He realized that dedicating his time to his day job carried a risk — another person could decide to let him go at any time.

Related: The Author of ‘Million Dollar Weekend’ Says This Is the Only Difference Between You and the Many ‘Very, Very Dumb People’ Making a Lot of Money

“I think I wanted to prove that I’m smart or prove that I’m successful or prove that Facebook when they fired me, and then when Mint fired me, [that] I can do it,” Kagan said.

The idea for AppSumo, a marketplace of software deals for small business owners or solopreneurs, was born when Kagan thought there was a way to promote software tools and also get paid for it. He saw that the site MacHeist gave Apple users discounts on software bundles and wanted to try making the same type of discounts available to a broader audience.

“My interest was letting the geniuses create software, and my skill and my excitement is promotion,” Kagain said.

The business came together in about 60 hours. First, Kagan found software he wanted to sell: the image-sharing service Imgur. He cold-emailed Imgur’s founder on Reddit and got approval to sell a discounted version in exchange for a cut of sales.

Related: Here’s Why Reddit Turned Down an Acquisition Offer From Google in Its Early Days, According to Cofounder Alexis Ohanian

The next piece was meeting with Reddit’s founding engineer to ask for free advertising. He got that too.

The final part was paying a developer to create a website with a PayPal button and purchasing the AppSumo.com domain name.

What was the total cost to launch the business? $60 and one weekend of his time.

AppSumo made $300,000 in the first year, and $3 million in the second, Kagan said in the podcast. It brought in $80 million in revenue last year.

Kagan now has a net worth of $36 million.

Kagan said that the crucial part of business was being invested in the problem and getting excited about it.

Related: This Flexible Side Hustle Is Helping Millions Earn Extra Cash — and Might Be ‘More Attractive’ Than an Office Job

“I think that’s the thing in business people are kind of missing out,” Kagan said. “They’re chasing AI now or chasing being an influencer. I think find areas [where] you’re like, I don’t know if I’m going to ever get tired of this.”

Starting a side hustle or finding an extra source of income has an upside — according to Kagan, you have more control over your future.

“If you can just give up 30 minutes a week, if you can just give up one Netflix show a week, if you can give up one thing a week, and you keep doing it weekly, eventually you can have that business,” he said.

Related: This Is the Winning Formula for Starting a Successful Podcast, According to a New Analysis

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