One of the things you need to do to earn recurring income is to sell products that pay you on a recurring basis. Simple enough right?
Well, what about those products that only pay you once. Perhaps try this:
Negotiate with the owner for a recurring model for you. Really. Some affiliate managers will negotiate payout terms with their top affiliates so if you're making sales and you commit to certain number of sales, you'll be able to get higher payouts than advertised and sometimes you can request recurring payouts instead of one-time. These are individual contracts made on a case by case basis.
Sometimes they invite you to contact them if you can make more than just a few sales. Believe me, I have several programs where I get paid way above the normal payout, because I have a commitment of bringing in a good number of sales.
A very small example. This is one of the networks that pays my commissions. Today I got three sales related to earlier blogposts I made and or simply related to something I talked about or tweeted about earlier this month. Take a look at the screenshot:
Add more value to the offer you're giving and add a recurring billing item in the bundle, or value proposition. I spoke of that exact thing on the newsletter article I wrote for inmotion Hosting last week.
I offer a free wordpress installation service at Real Free website. Well, turns out, I also offer premium theme customizations, sometimes some of the plugins or other services I recommend have a recurring billing model. I bundle things together and I offer several products and try to find one or two that pay me every time the customer pays their bill.
Right now, I can tell you that Aweber's affiliate program is like that, as is Leadpages, as is Optinmonster and several others. If the product is good, and you have a genuine interest for your audience to use it, then find the product that will pay you a recurring fee instead of one time payment.
Yes, sometimes the payment is only a 10% payment, or maybe 20%. But if you think that a customer may stay with the business for 6 to 12 or even 24 months, or even several years, that small percentage can turn into a lot of cash coming in on auto-pilot. Literally.
That's how you make recurring affiliate income. The amounts don't have to be huge (although they can be). But consistent commissions, increasing each time you solve a customer's problem... don't mind if I do.