You may be wondering whether you’re unqualified or not allowed to make money with affiliate marketing under 18 years. I’ve come across such questions, and I would like to share what I’ve gathered in my experience online.
Yes, you can do affiliate marketing as an 18-year-old or less. 18-year-olds are legally qualified to use the internet without parental consent. The twist, however, is for 13-year-olds and below. Legally, kids of this age must get parental consent and guidance. This is due to laws in the US preventing companies from collecting and processing information on children at such ages.
We all know there are kids only a few years old on Facebook and other websites. So, what’s the deal here? It’s simple. Companies are required by law to maintain certain guidelines to inform parents of their activities concerning children’s data.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, you can become an affiliate at any age. A few affiliate programs do not allow children under 18, but there are also a lot that allows children to partake in their programs. So, instead of crying over the few who do not allow children, you can focus on the many others that will willingly accept you.
There are so many legalities when it comes to signing up for affiliate programs, and having parental guidance is always the best. The good news is, if your parents are in, then you are in good hands.
Is It Legal To Do Affiliate Marketing Under The Age Of 18?
Yes, it is legal to do affiliate marketing under 18 years. But not all under 13 are legally allowed to independently partake in an affiliate marketing program and most other online activities. In addition, there are legal restrictions for people at the age of 13 to have parental consent and control.
However, there are not a lot of restrictions that will prevent you from doing it entirely. The best-case scenario is that you go about it with parental guidance and control, which is standard and responsible. You still get to make money as a teenager and access your earnings with your parents’ information.
When it comes to getting into affiliate programs, it is quite easy. A few programs don’t accept teenagers below a certain age, and you can pretty much find an affiliate program that takes on teenagers like you.
While you may be tempted to go about things without your parents, it is the smart move here. This is because there are various legalities involved in setting up your affiliate account and signing for services that will help you make a lot of money.
As a teenager, you may not have a bank account, not own a tax number, and so forth. However, there may be options such as check payment depending on your location, and you don’t always have to provide a tax number.
There are various ways to become an affiliate marketer, and yes, you can do it even if you are younger than 18.
Teens Below 18 Making Money With Affiliate Marketing
1. Ashley Qualls, who founded WhateverLife.com
Ashley started her affiliate marketing career at only 14 years of age. Having been born on 4th June 1990, she started the blog whateverlife.com when she was only 14 years old, giving out free layouts for myspace and coding tutorials for young people like her.
The website became so successful that she made $70,000 a few months after she started the venture. By age 17, Ashley had made a million dollars from her blog.
Learn more about Ashley Qualls
2. Juliette Brindak, who founded Miss O & Friends at 16
When most 16-year-olds spend a lot of time on the internet, the result is Miss O and Friends. While other girls were creating profiles on the cooler networks, Juliette Brindak came up with a brilliant idea to create her social network.
Oh, how wonderful and thoughtful! It was for girls just her age. How perfect? The platform caught on to the culture. After only three years of existence, the platform was bought by Procter and Gamble for $15 million, making Juliette an instant millionaire from a platform with 3 million visitors.
Learn more about Juliette Brindak
Why Teens Could Be Successful as Affiliate Marketers
While the internet marketing space is a jungle on its own with a wide variety of people, teens have a particular chance of succeeding in affiliate marketing and a host of internet business opportunities. Here’s why.
Technology is At Their Grasp
Young ones grow up with technology and have a fascination for devices. The age is ripe, and most kids know more about their tech devices than their parents. It is almost time for teens to rise into the digital economy.
With such ready skills to acquire digital skills, teens can quickly learn the trade and build the skills needed to become super-affiliates almost effortlessly compared to older folk.
The Follow The Trends
There are so many opportunities on the internet. While some are fads and bound to vanish within months, others are trends that come to stay. Either way, being able to spot such opportunities is almost always the best time to get before many people jump on the opportunity, and it becomes less rewarding.
Kids and teens can see such trends and, with a little bit of business training, can see the opportunities there. Similarly, certain affiliate products pay more for their market entry as part of their marketing.
This means that getting on board early could mean making significant income in a short time.
They Know The Right Lingo To Use
Affiliate marketing is about letting the user know that you are just like them, you feel and understand their pain, and then you suggest a product or service that helps you with that problem. Tell them it could also help them. And that’s it.
Using language that helps them believe and trust you, you can build a community of people who come to you for help relating to your niche.
Time Is On Their Side
As already illustrated with the example of how affiliate marketing works, the longer you are in the game, the longer your content gets exposed to your audience, which means more credibility and more commissions paid to your account.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a form of referral marketing that rewards customers who refer friends, family, and the general public to buy a product or service by commissions. Affiliate marketing is not exactly like other referral marketing strategies like network marketing which involves the marketer becoming an independent distributor of a product or service.
Affiliate marketing is a simple way anyone can make money by promoting their favorite products to the masses who would love to use the product or service. The key difference with affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to handle any products, and you’re not officially a product or service distributor.
Instead, you are affiliated with the company. Any referral you make resulting in a specific action from any user on the internet gets you a specific amount of money for the lead generated.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Affiliate marketing is a performance marketing strategy. The question looming in your mind may be, “How exactly is this done?”–good question there. Affiliate marketing work in a simple way. You are given a unique link with special tracking features when you sign up as an affiliate marketer of a company, product, or service.
Also, the website or landing page the link leads to usually has a piece of tracking that stores data of users who visit using your link. This is the famous cookie most websites ask you to accept first thing when you visit. This cookie allows them to track your activity on the website.
This way, they can tell how many people you referred to the landing page from your link. In addition, from the cookie, they can tell the actions your referrals have generated for the company. This can be direct to revenue; hence you are paid a percentage commission or a fixed commission for the referrals.
The interesting thing about affiliate marketing is its ability to pay you for years for efforts you put in only once. For example, if you have a blog where you talk about money, you write a review of a credit card company. Since you personally use the credit card and know how it works, you can explain it in detail to people who want to sign up for it.
You can sign up for the company’s affiliate program and insert your link in the article with a 5% discount for saying the first 100 people. This is good for your readers, yourself, and the credit card company.
If your reader base is large enough and your article has a good Google ranking, you get a decent number of consistent reads every month. This means you can get a few conversions that pay you for years as far as the article is upon your blog.
Channels Used in Affiliate Marketing
1. Paid Ads
Paid ads are one of the most effective ways of promoting affiliate products that pay well. Why products that pay well? Because you don’t want to be using your commission to pay for ads leaving your bank balance at 0.
If a product pays $200 as commission and you pay $50 for each conversion, then you are making headway as a business. Of course, this is an oversimplification. But in the end, it boils down to revenue, profit and loss.
This strategy may not work well for you if you are a beginner since ads, targeting, conversion tracking, conversion optimization, and a whole lot more skills are involved in successfully using paid ads to build traffic for your affiliate marketing business.
2. Email Marketing
Email marketing involves growing an email list, nurturing the members of the list, and occasionally selling them one of your affiliate products. The email marketing strategy works with an active audience such as social media, youtube, or a blog where you can draw users in with a lead magnet or something useful to them.
In the worst case, you can ask them to join your newsletter where they can receive some specific value at some regular intervals. This helps them know what they get and how often you will mail them.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the best ways to build a real community and an endless traffic source for your affiliate links. But, like every other thing, moderation is your friend on social media.
Focusing on providing value, building a community, and not spamming people will make Facebook, Twitter, or the platform you choose to use. If social media marketing is not your thing, then this article will be the best read for you.
Unlike social media posts that vanish into the ether due to the churning of the algorithms, well-written and SEO-optimized content will bring you consistent traffic for a long time if you maintain the rankings in the search engine results pages.
By creating content around various areas of the products you promote, you can have a web of content referring qualified traffic to your affiliate links making you money even while you sleep; that is the ultimate goal. However, you can as well make money without having to blog.
5. YouTube Channel
A YouTube channel gives you an audience that you can market your affiliate products and services. The good thing about a channel like YouTube is that you can start getting paid once you get a thousand subscribers and four thousand public watch hours with their YouTube partner program.
Why Consider Affiliate Marketing?
1. Not Difficult To Get Started
Affiliate marketing typically requires the ability to get attention without sacrificing the brand you are building. Whether you choose to go with social media, a blog, or an email list, it all boils down to getting eyeballs that matter and finding the best way to recommend your products without killing the golden goose that lays the eggs.
You could go into blogging if you are good with writing. You can also go to YouTube if you are a good video maker and presenter. Affiliate marketing often scares people because of “marketing”. It’s not scary as it seems; several people who are introverts are even making millions of dollars annually.
Affiliate marketing is about connecting with people and giving them value at its core. It has the potential to make you a millionaire that is why people even do it as a career.
2. Not Limited By Age
Affiliate marketing is technically not limited by age, and anyone can get on board. It is free to get on board. You don’t need any special skills to get started. All that you need is the willingness to start with the proper training and resources.
3. Almost $0 Setup Costs
Setting up your affiliate marketing business can cost you at least $0. Signing up for affiliate programs is free, and so is signing up to wordpress.com to create a website, and signing up with youtube and other social media.
A place like wealthy affiliate is one of the best places to start. You’re given the right training and resources without having to commit any financial information. You can test out things to decide whether it is for you or not.
4. You Get Paid To Do What You Already Do
Many options are available to you as an affiliate marketer. If you are already an enthusiast about products that you promote, it will be much more effortless.
The advantage is that you can amplify your efforts with the internet to make passive income.
How To Get Started As A Teen In Affiliate Marketing
1. Select a Niche
When going into affiliate marketing as a newbie, it is often the best strategy to select a micro-niche where there is little competition yet exciting affiliate programs.
Some of the best or most lucrative niches are money and personal finance, sex and relationships as well as travel, lifestyle, and fitness. Picking the right niche is critical to your success in the space.
Beginners usually struggle with this. I did too but this platform did the heavy lifting for me to make the right choice.
2. Build an Audience/Channel
The next critical part of the process is to build an audience that you build a community around based on trust and provision of value.
The best way to do this is to choose one channel and stick with it. As already shared, there are lots of platforms you can take advantage of to build your audience.
3. Register for Affiliate Programs
When picking your niche, you may skip to this step to be sure of programs within the niche. However, you don’t want to start building a channel in a niche only to find that there are no affiliate programs for it.
While that is quite scarce, and you can find good programs for almost any niche, it is good to cross-check.
4. Drive Traffic to Your Channel
This is the most important part. While driving traffic through your links is the target, it is ideal to drive quality traffic. This is why spamming will not only get you blocked and hated but won’t get you any further in your business.
You want to provide value. So, instead of your audience getting angry at your links, they should be pretty excited to use them.
5. Make Money
Combining the best-targeted niche, a thriving community, and good affiliate programs, you can be sure of a good inflow of income. People who use provable strategies have achieved different levels of success.
Other Ways To Legally Make Money As A Teen Online?
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money, no matter your age. There are other ways to make money online, regardless of your age. Here are a few of them.
1. Online Surveys
If you love helping public institutions and brands with your opinions, taking surveys might be one of the easiest ways to make money. By signing up to platforms like survey junkie and Swagbucks, you can start sharing your opinions and receive rewards such as gift cards, coupons, and even cash through PayPal or check.
However, unlike affiliate marketing, taking surveys is time-consuming and pays less in comparison. You can sure make decent money with surveys though. Also, if you are under 16 years, you may not be eligible for many of the best paying surveys on the platforms.
To know more about how old you need to be on certain platforms, I recommend reading this article.
2. Streaming Games / Starting a YouTube Channel
If you are a gamer, who loves to appear on the camera, consider these. Starting a YouTube channel could go with your streaming career. But if you want to become a hardcore streamer, you might want to get on Twitch, where most of the legendary streamers hang out. Also, the platform has a better community for streamers.
If you love to be on camera but have no interest in gaming, you could make a channel to share videos that people want to watch and make cash from multiple sources such as affiliate marketing, AdSense, and brand deals.
3. Freelance Writing
Writing is one of the skills taught at school. If you are good enough to command a few bucks for your skills, you will have a wonderful community at Upwork and Fiverr and a whole universe of writing platforms that will pay you for your written content.
4. Make Arts and Craft Items For Sale
Being handy is one of the best ways to make it on platforms like Etsy and eBay. You can dedicate a few hours of your day to making items that people love and selling them for some cash online.
5. Start a Blog
Whether you want to go into affiliate marketing or not, having a blog is always a serious money machine. There are various sources of potential income for blogs such as AdSense, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, selling your own products (virtual or physical), and services.
There are a plethora of opportunities ranging from surveys to transcription jobs to remote jobs and others with just your idle computer on the internet even for kids under 18 years.
However, affiliate marketing surpasses all of them in my experience. You’re legally qualified as 18 years old to start affiliate marketing, but you’ll need your parent’s consent in most cases if you’re under 18 years.
In addition, you’ll have to develop or learn certain skills if you want to be an expert at what you do. You can start with this platform with your parent’s consent if you’re under 18 years to develop such skills, making you stand out among your peers.
I hope the article has provided you with relevant information for your decision. Kindly share your experience with us to help others as well if you’re doing or started affiliate marketing under 18 years. Until then, Shalom.
6 thoughts on “Can You Do Affiliate Marketing Under 18?”
I am 26 years old and I found out about affiliate marketing when I was 23. I wish I would have started when I was in my teens. I would be a lot farther than I am now, I wanted to start a YouTube channel but what too afraid at the time. I feel like I have done enough research to be able to do this with confidence.
I think it is great that teenagers are able to make money online and not have to go into the workforce. I can’t tell you that I didn’t really enjoy the jobs I had before I found affiliate marketing. I was a server/bartender and I can tell you I liked the jobs but I wasn’t making enough money for my time.
You’re welcome, Reggie. Liking only the job you do doesn’t pay the bills. There has to be a balance to make life enjoyable. It is one of the reasons that I also ventured into affiliate marketing.
This was such a fascinating article about kids and affiliate marketing. Thank you for sharing some of the most successful kids affiliate marketers, who became millions quite young.
Yes, you are correct. The younger generation is drawn to technology and is very comfortable with it. No wonder they could be so successful.
Hi Dana, glad to have your view on this.
Affiliate marketing presents a world of opportunity to make money for anyone in today’s online world.
For teens above 18 or under needing parental guidance and consent is more advantageous because of the time your length of time you have to build business in your life. They have time to learn and use the knowledge in the business direction. There is plenty of time to fall and lift themselves up to run again with more knowledge.
Your step-by -step explanation what you need, how to have the business running can guide any youngster to make a move along the line.
There are too many options for choosing a niche, finding affiliate programs with helpful products that people would like to use, too many choices blogs, vlogs, YouTube, AdSense to make money from.
I appreciate you have really taken time to explain things so it will truly help.
The surveys in SurveyMonkey and Swag were mind numbing for me and I felt I was wasting my time. However, some people were reporting they enjoy it.
My child started working at the age of 15 or so at Forever 21 store making $7.50 per/ hr and earned ! $850.00 or so. I remember buying a stock in her name which got her some profits and dividend is being reinvested again. She also learned how to process the payments and do the accounts. Learning to work with others well was a boon. I told her I can give her her savings with me when wants to invest in any business.
Teens can have their own income many ways and help themselves to and pay towards their online business when they start.
It’s a high systematic, meticulous and informative review which as potential to change the life of teens.
Thanks for your comments and I’m glad the article is helpful.