How I Made a Cool $1225.35 With Only 3 Hours of "Work"

Read time: about 8 minutes (1746 words)

Believe it or not, the title isn't misleading. I literally made that much, in so little time.

How's your math skills? How much did I make per hour? I'll help you out, that's $408.45 per hour. I'm not bragging, but I'm pretty impressed with myself at that amount.

And do you know the best part?

You can achieve similar (or even better) results than me.

Here's the report of the income. Due to the way Amazon's reports work, I can't show you the full $1225.35, but I can show you this;

amazon associates income

Although I only spent 3 hours making this money, the money was paid to me over the course of 3 months.

income proof

Why? I'll get into that in a minute.

In this post, I'll show you exactly what I did to earn that money, step-by-step.

Let's get into it.

So, how did it happen?

Before I tell you how to do it, I need to tell you why I did it.

I was sitting with a friend in his apartment one night. We were having a few beers and moaning about our jobs - The usual.

I started thinking about more ways I could make money completely on autopilot. I was already making money with affiliate programs, but having to do some manual work.

(Manual work sucks, right?)

Affiliate programs are incredibly easy to use. You simply promote a company's products, and you get a commission for every sale made.

After a bit of thinking, I had a simple idea in my head;

  • Find photos from the internet related to a particular topic.
  • Post those images to social networking accounts with my affiliate link(s) attached.

That was literally how basic my idea was.

So this is what you need to follow my approach;

  1. A place to grab the images from.
  2. A social media account (or multiple) to post the images to.
  3. An affiliate program with a product (or multiple) that's related to the topic of the images.

I needed a source for the images I was going to post. There's a few that come to mind; Flickr, 500px, Instagram, etc.

Flickr and 500px have more of a professional feel to them, as they're both aimed at photographers that are using professional equipment, rather than using smartphones to take photos.

I went with 500px as the photos are generally more professional than Flickr.

Depending on what kind of photos you want to share, you might want to use a different site.

Tumblr is mostly used by teenagers who are very visual and love to share. This makes it an ideal platform for sharing images.

Tumblr is pretty special.

Why?

When people share one of your posts, it doesn't make a post that points to yours.

No, it does something far better;

Instead, Tumblr makes an exact copy of your post, which then gets posted to their own profile.

This is good for one main reason. When (If?) your account should ever be deactivated/deleted, all your posts will be deleted, but the reposts of your posts by other people won't. Can you see how valuable that is for you?

With Amazon Associates, your commission rate is based on how many items you've sold since the start of the month.

amazon associates rates

Because of this, it's a good idea to promote small things people tend to buy together with other items. If you're trying to only promote rather expensive items, you're going to stay on a low percentage, unless you can sell a lot of them.

Some of the things people would buy in numbers are;

  • Art supplies.
  • Small kitchen appliances and utensils.
  • Cosmetics.

You get the idea.

Amazon isn't the best affiliate network (far, far from it), but I was already a member, so decided to use it.

You can use any affiliate program you want.

Setting up an Amazon Associates account

I already had an Amazon associates account. If you don't have one, it's worth getting one. Go to Amazon and create one.

Despite their commission rates being lower than other programs, Amazon Associates is really easy to setup and use.

Amazon is a good affiliate network to join for various reasons.

  • Everyone knows and loves Amazon.
  • They sell EVERYTHING. Well, nearly.
  • It's an extremely trustworthy brand.
  • They've been in this game since 1994.
  • Returning items to them is a breeze.
  • Amazingly good prices.
  • They offer Super Saver Shipping (FREE delivery).
  • and more...

Using IFTTT to automate everything.

Ok, enough. Let's start having some fun! It's time to get practical.

Although my idea was to build a script to automatically do all the work for me, I found out that IFTTT can do all the heavy-listing for me.

If you're not aware of IFTTT (if this, then that), it's a service which allows you to connect lots of different services and products together. You can then set up 'recipes' to automate things.

Basically, if {this} happens, then do {that}.

You can do things like;

  • When you receive a new email about a new Twitter follower in your Gmail inbox, tweet the new follower a welcome message.
  • When someone tags you in a photo on Facebook, save the image to your Dropbox/Google Drive.
  • Turn off Wifi on your phone when you leave home (to save battery).

You can get pretty fancy with it;

  • Start brewing coffee when your FitBit registers that you've woken up.
  • Turn on your Philips Hue lights at sunset.

It's free to use. Make an account now. You'll thank me later!

Using IFTTT, I made a recipe to grab photos from 500px and post them to my Tumblr account with an affiliate link in the post.

Here's how to do just that;

After logging into your account, you'll want to click the big blue 'Create a Recipe' button on the right.

ifttt

Then click 'This'.

this

You'll now need to connect a 'trigger channel'. They're listed alphabetically, so 500px is first.

Click the 500px icon.

trigger channel

Click 'Connect' to connect it to 500px.

connect to 500px

You'll now need to choose the trigger you want to use.

There's a list of various options, but the 'New photo from anyone tagged' is the one we're after. Click that.

trigger channel

You'll now be asked for the tag.

You have to watch out here. For example, if you enter 'baby' to get pictures of babies, you might not get the photos you were hoping for.

You'll get images of baby animals, as well as photos of human babies. 'Child' might be a better choice. Don't worry about it too much. You can always come back and change it to another tag if you need to.

ifttt tag

You'll now need to connect an 'action' channel.

trigger action

Type 'tumblr' in the search box and click the icon to connect the Tumblr channel.

ifttt channel search

There'll be a list of options you can configure.

You'll want to leave Photo URL as it is. This will tell IFTTT to use the original image location.

Photo caption is the option we're mostly interested in.

Here you can set the text that will be posted with your photo to Tumblr.

photo caption

What's interesting here, is that you can insert HTML.

You can change the caption to be anything you want. Tumblr really doesn't like it's users grabbing images from somewhere and not crediting the original source.

Because of this, it's best to leave the caption as it is, but just extend it to add your affiliate link.

So you could change the caption to something like;

{Title} by {Username}<br><br><a href="http://amazon.com?tag=synbyte">Click here to buy computer parts on Amazon</a>

The only thing that's left to do now is to have a quick look over the recipe you're creating. How's it looking? All good? Click 'Create Recipe', and you're done!

create ifttt recipe

Making new friends

So at this point, there's a tonne of images going out on to your Tumblr account, completely on autopilot.

This alone is pretty nice. What's better, is that they all have your affiliate stuck underneath them.

There's a problem though; With no followers, nobody's gonna see them. Let's fix that.

After there's 20 or so posts on your Tumblr blog, start following people that would be interested in the photos you're posting.

You can easily find these people by using the search feature on Tumblr.

tumblr search

Simply search for the terms related to the images you're posting and click the 'Follow' buttons for all the users that show.

You may be wondering now if you can follow users automatically. You can. There's many services that will allow you to automatically follow a tonne of users, but you should stay away from them.

Following users automatically can (and ultimately, will) lead to your account being deleted.

There's a way around that though.

You're gonna have to get your hands dirty, and follow users manually.

Try following 20/30 per day. The majority of them will follow you back.

Once you have a small following, you won't have to manually follow any users.

Your users will share the posts and your follower count will grow, all on it's own.

At this point, everything is setup to make money.

Do this multiple times and you can have a group of accounts posting images with your affiliate links, without you doing having to do any work.

Conclusion

Using this method, you can easily create some quick cash. However, it may take months for your Tumblr blog to get a decent amount of followers before the cash rolls in.

Be patient.

I used only 3 hours to do all of the above when I was visiting a friend. The next day, I had completely fogotten all about it.

I'm not joking. I went home from my friends' place, and never thought about it again.

Around 5 months later, I got an email from Amazon saying I had been paid! I wondered what for, and then it hit me; "Ah, the IFTTT, Amazon, Tumblr thing!".

If I made this much money with 3 hours of work that I forgot about, then think about this;

How much money can you make if you put in a few hours of effort a day using this method?

I've yet to try doing this method again, but I have no reason to think that it wouldn't still work.

Now it's over to you.

Do you have any tips you'd like to share to make my method better? Have you taken my method and tweaked it? I'd love to hear about your results! Let me know in the comments now