How To Make Passive Income By Affiliate Selling Baseball and Softball Tools and Gear | Real Examples

February 27, 2024

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Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn your love for baseball or softball into a consistent revenue stream that collects on auto-pilot for you once it’s all set up? 

If you use affiliate marketing to promote and sell the latest baseball and softball tools and gear, you can. 

Affiliate selling can seem overwhelming if you don’t know where to start, though. 

In this guide to baseball and softball affiliate marketing, we’ll explore the topic in-depth, with three main sections: 

  • What is Affiliate Marketing?
  • How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
  • Steps to Becoming an Affiliate Marketer 

Plus, as an added bonus, we’ve included 7 concrete examples of our fellow baseball or softball colleagues effectively promoting affiliate products to help inspire your journey. 

What is Affiliate Marketing for Baseball and Softball Products?

Affiliate marketing is a multi-sided sales model for products that’s based on revenue sharing. 

If you have a baseball or softball product that you want to sell, you can ask promoters to market that product for you and, in return, offer them a small portion of the profit from that product’s sale. 

On the flip side, if you don’t have a product but want to earn passive income, then you could be one of those promoters of other companies’ baseball or softball products and accept a small commission on each sale you manifest. 

Ideally, if you’re participating in an affiliate program as a promoter, you’d want to find products you actually like or that you already use and then promote them on either a website or your social media. 

Here’s a more in-depth breakdown with the rough mechanics of how affiliate marketing works:

  1. Usually, as an officially recognized promoter, you would be provided with (or able to generate) a unique affiliate link for each product that you promote. 
  2. You can then place this link wherever you’d like to promote it. Common places for such a link are in your bio on social media, in your YouTube video descriptions, in your emails or subscriber newsletters, on a blog post, in your cold outreach DM’s on social, and you can always just text it to your in-person lesson clientele. 
  3. Ultimately the more people who click that link and purchase the product that you’re promoting, the more money the company makes – and the more commission dollars you’ll earn in return. 
📚 Definition: According to marketing personality Neil Patel, the definition of affiliate marketing is “the process of spreading product creation and product marketing across different parties, where each party receives a share of the revenue according to their contribution.”

For example, if you created a product and promoted it yourself, that wouldn’t be affiliate marketing, just regular marketing.

But, returning to Patel’s definition, there is a third, very important party in the affiliate marketing equation – aside from the product creators and product promoters. 

That party is consumers.

You wouldn’t make sales without people, the consumers, buying the products. 

Finally, so-called “affiliate networks” are sometimes involved, acting as the fourth party of sorts in the process. 

In the following section, we’ll dive into each of these four roles in more detail to further explain how affiliate marketing works.

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How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

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A successful affiliate program typically involves all four parties mentioned above, each with a different task in the process. 

Let’s look at each one more closely.

1. The Merchant

The merchant is also known as the creator, the brand, or the company. This entity is the one making or designing the product or service. 

Merchants can include large entities, like MLB, or smaller ones like a solopreneur hitting instructor selling their online hitting courses. 

As we said before, you don’t need to create a product to become involved in affiliate marketing. 

If you don’t have a product, you’ll be an affiliate doing marketing on behalf of the merchant, AKA, the entity whose products you’re promoting.

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2. The Affiliate

The affiliate, sometimes known as the publisher, is the person who promotes the products. 

Affiliates tend to be individuals, like baseball instructors with a blog or an amassed social media audience. However, they can also be entire companies that run affiliate marketing for several merchants at once. 

Regardless, the affiliates are the marketers. 

Using their blog, an Instagram account, a YouTube channel, or some other online medium, they try to convince customers to buy the product or products they’re officially promoting. 

Affiliates will often attract potential customers by creating freely consumable content, like blog posts, YouTube videos, or social media posts. 

If you’re an affiliate, the medium you use to attract customers should have high visitor traffic already (a lot engaged eyeballs on your content) if you want to earn a decent and consistent commission.

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3. The Consumer

The consumer is, arguably, the most important role in the affiliate marketing process. Without people to purchase the products, it would all grind to a halt. 

Typically, consumers do not pay a higher price for products that they buy through an affiliate link. 

Instead, the affiliate’s commission should already be factored into the product’s price. 

Sometimes, consumers aren’t aware when they’re purchasing something through an affiliate link. 

However, to be part of many affiliate programs and stay within the standards of social media platforms, affiliate marketers must put a disclosure statement on their content, stating that they may earn a commission if you buy a product they’ve linked to.

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4. The Network

The network isn’t a completely necessary role to fuel the affiliate marketing process, but it is a common one. 

In some cases, an affiliate can work directly with a merchant, negotiating a deal for a commission if they agree to promote the merchant’s products. It’s then left up to these two parties to determine how much the affiliate earns and when the affiliate will be paid. 

For some, however, going through an affiliate network is an easier way to do affiliate marketing. 

Such networks set the percentage of commission and payout terms for an affiliate. 

Many merchants rely on such networks to promote their products – especially if they have more than one.

Affiliates can sign up for a network, and once they’re accepted, promote any of the items available in that network’s database. 

The Amazon Affiliates program is the most famous and popular example. 

It’s one of the largest affiliate networks out there and if you sign up, you can promote anything that’s sold on Amazon. 

And, you’ll see in our examples at the end that many baseball and softball products are sold – and affiliate marketed to – on Amazon. 

But, there are some baseball and softball-specific affiliate networks that we’ll share later in this article that are also worth checking out.

Now that you have a high-level understanding of roughly how the process works, let’s look at the five steps to becoming an affiliate seller.

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The 5 Steps to Becoming a Baseball or Softball Affiliate Marketer

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Step 1. Earn Some True Fans

The path to successfully earning passive income as an affiliate seller can be broken down into five steps.

The first step is to grow an engaged audience somewhere, anywhere.  

This audience can be on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, or Twitter), an affiliate website’s blog, an industry podcast, or on YouTube. 

🧢 Pro Tip: Without a sizable, engaged audience – or website visitors for blog creators – affiliate marketing might not be worth doing yet.  

An honest bare minimum to reach before moving on to steps 2-5 below is having 1,000 true fans. 

True fans are very different from vanity metrics like follower count. 

🚨 Important Note:

We’re talking about having 1,000 people that are part of your social, email list, or podcast’s audience, who are actively engaged (sharing and commenting) with nearly everything you put out. 

And, most importantly for affiliate sales success, true fans actually respond to any calls to action that a given creator broadcasts by participating with either their time or their wallet.

True fans will see you as a valuable resource and trust that any product that you create or recommend will be worth looking into and potentially buying. 

To be extra clear, a coach with 1,500 followers on Instagram might have 1,000 true fans already, and another coach on the platform with 50,000 followers might not. 

It all depends on how the 50,000 followers were acquired, the types of content the creator has put out, and how deeply and consistently they’ve interacted with those followers. 

If this hypothetical creator cannot inspire 1,000 people to subscribe to an email list or purchase any products that they might recommend, then, in terms of reaching any type of revenue or business goals, they might as well have 0 followers. 

Follower count becomes pretty irrelevant when the goal is true fans – and this should be the goal for those who want to be successful at affiliate marketing.  

Okay, with step 1 covered, let’s dive into some recommendations for success.

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Step 2. Connect with a Product or Brand

If you're an affiliate hoping to sell baseball or softball tools, then part of the work of this second step is already done. 

You’ve already chosen your niche to be America’s pastimes, now you need to figure out which products you’d like to promote, or which merchants you’d like to work with. 

The best way to find products to sell as an affiliate is to think about the baseball and softball tools you already like or use regularly.

As a baseball or softball affiliate marketer, you’ll be promoting products with your content. It would be difficult to write an entire blog post or make an entire video about a hitting or pitching tool you’ve never used before or don’t believe in deep-down. 

But we know your next question is something along the lines of: “Sounds great, but how exactly do I link up with brands?”

There are four basic ways:

  • Become a person of influence
  • Pitch brands directly
  • Join an influencer marketing platform
  • Join an affiliate network

Before diving into each way, it’s important to mention that none of these strategies are mutually exclusive – meaning, you can technically do any and all of them that you like.  

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1. Become a Person of Influence

A person of influence, broadly, is someone who can persuade others within a specific niche or industry. 

In our space, this influential sway is usually due to either their stellar career as a baseball or softball player (or coach), or it’s a direct result of the content a creator has posted and audience they’ve gained via social media, a podcast, a YouTube channel, or a written blog.

If you become a person of influence, brands will usually come to you with affiliate opportunities. It’s that simple. 

From an affiliate marketing perspective, this is the most passive of the routes to passive income.

But, barring those with massive followings due to their playing history in the game, anyone who has ever tried to grow influence online from scratch knows that doing so is far from a passive endeavor – it can be hard work, and it often takes serious time. 

And in order to be approached by brands and product creators with affiliate opportunities, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate two things:

  • A sizable fanbase
  • High levels of engagement from that base.  

We have tons of dedicated resources that’ll equip you with the strategies, tactics,and tools to check both of these necessary boxes and find yourself on the receiving end of affiliate requests from brands:

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2. Pitch Brands Directly

This next tactic for earning affiliate partnerships with brands can work for all baseball or softball creators.

But the size of your engaged audience does still matter here.

The brands you pitch will want to see that you have enough followers to convert into leads. 

If you’re just starting out and you’re still growing your audience, then we would, again, recommend waiting a bit before contacting brands directly. 

All that said, if you do have even a moderately sized and engaged audience, here’s exactly how to go about reaching out to brands.

Again, start with considering if there are any baseball or softball gear or gadgets you’ve used and particularly liked? Or, is there a trainer you’ve worked personally with or a course that you’ve taken? 

Try contacting these product owners or brands with your pitch first. 

Basically, your pitch will ask if they’d be interested in having you promote their products or services to either your social media audience, email subscriber list, or podcast listeners. 

For cold outreaching with smaller brands, these same pitch crafting tips that we're going to offer below can easily be applied to sending social media direct messages (DMs) instead. 

But for all brands large and small, sending an email is the safest bet, with the highest probability of being read and seriously considered. 

Here are a few actionable tips for making the perfect pitch:

  • Your email subject line should be clear, concise, personalized, and state the benefit to the brand.
  • The only hyperlink you include in your email should be to the place or profile that you currently wield the biggest influence (your blog, podcast, Instagram profile, etc.).
  • Include stats. For a website, this could mean some of your most relevant Google Analytics data, along with your total email subscribers and open rate numbers. For a podcast, it could be total listeners and downloads. For Instagram, for example, this would include things like engagement rate, monthly views, follower growth, and conversion rates. Ultimately, brands want to see these numbers to confirm that you’re worth their time investment.
  • In your message, show that you understand why this brand is relevant to your own audience. Give an idea of how many people you can reach, and estimate how your content will resonate with this brand’s audience.
  • Give any examples of past partnerships, including names of brands, how you worked with them, and successful outcomes.
  • Include a few details on how you’d like the partnership to go? This is a good place to say why you like this particular brand and want to work with them.
  • Your signoff should include steps the business can take to contact you and move the potential partnership forward. 
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3. Sign up for an influencer marketing platform

The third way to find partner brands is by joining a marketplace that connects brands and influencers. 

You basically just sign up and share all of your social profiles and stats, along with examples of your content, and then brands and products can find and reach out to you based on what they see. 

Again, to get the most out of being featured on an influencer marketing platform you usually need a pre-established engaged audience. 

However, If you price things on the lower end and showcase that you have the skills to create killer video content, but just haven’t taken off yet – meaning that you’re an up-and-coming creator – then you still may get serious interest from brands. 

Sometimes brands and product marketers will use influencer marketplace platforms just to find less expensive creators who can replicate the look and feel of great native content – which means looking like the best organic posts on a given social media site – for their paid ad creative. 

For you, this common brand play is an opportunity to start filling in your person of influence resume with strong brand examples, which can help you grow and capture future partnerships until making life-altering affiliate sales become a more viable option.   

Some good platforms to get started here are:

4. Join an Affiliate Network or Program

There are both affiliate networks and brand ambassador programs that you can just sign up to join.

Some of these provide affiliate sales links to anyone who applies, regardless of audience size.

But, the reality is that your ability to earn affiliate commission revenue is still directly a function of how many true fans you can earn.

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Amazon Affiliate Program

The only sort of exception is if you are planning on launching what’s called an “affiliate website.” 

If this is the case, you will write and optimize tons of blog content that drives website visitors to your articles – and a portion of these articles will contain affiliate links for products that your visitors can buy. 

Single people with a laptop to entire media companies can use essentially this same tactic, just at different scales, to great effect. 

If you’re interested in creating your own affiliate site for baseball or softball, a quick Google or YouTube search on the topic of affiliate websites will instantly feel overwhelming. 

Learning the dos and don'ts of setting up and growing such sites is truly a long but rewarding journey. 

And there’s a lot of wrong and misleading information out there on this topic. 

So to help you find the a few positive signals within all the noise, here are three of the best and most trusted resources in the space of affiliate websites:

All of them do sell affiliate website informational courses and products, but just by watching each of their YouTube channels that we linked to above, you can glean all of the information you’ll need to get started for free. 

🚨 Important Note: SeamsUp is not an affiliate for any of these recommended programs above. We just wanted to give you some worthwhile resources to save you time and money on your journey.  

Other than Amazon and the other big networks, there are also baseball and softball brands with affiliate programs of their own worth looking into and considering signing up for:

Once you have an agreement set up with an individual merchant or have registered with an affiliate network, you can finally start promoting products. 

But there are a few more steps to consider if you want to become a successful affiliate marketer. 

See why SeamsUp's the #1 app for baseball & softball businesses

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Step 3. Build an Email List

To be a successful affiliate seller, you need potential customers to see your content with clickable affiliate links. 

And, for reasons we'll touch on shortly, you almost always want to have siphoned that audience off from their first touch-point with you – whether it was on social media, your blog, your podcast, or YouTube – onto a reliable and re-targetable email list. 

The algorithms of places like Google and Facebook can and do change, often leaving affiliate marketers out to dry. 

And Amazon keeps shrinking its affiliate commission percentages more and more causing affiliate marketers to search alternative networks and individual brand programs. 

The only way to de-risk this less than ideal situation as an affiliate marketer is to fully own access to an earned audience that these mega-software companies can't touch. 

And this is the power of an email list. 

Suppose your organic website search or Instagram growth and engagement were to ever tank due to algorithm updates out of your control. 

In that case, you'd still have a list of subscribers that you can get to follow you to greener pastures – like onto a new search engine or social media platform. 

And if you have a strong and engaged email list, they will trust you and want to support you enough to order baseball and softball products off of Amazon’s frictionless app and on lesser-known e-commerce websites with small brand programs.   

Moreover, speaking to a potential customer through email can feel – and even be crafted to be – much more personal and one-to-one, even if you're sending out a newsletter blast to the whole list. 

🔑 Key Insight: People just think about and interact with email differently than social media. So build that list.

Deeper strategies and tactics around growing that list and keeping them warm to your offerings while maintaining their feelings of getting value from being on your list is a topic for an entirely different blog post. 

But the point here is always to strive to collect email addresses no matter what content channel you are currently using to communicate on. 

It will pay dividends in the future, whether we're talking affiliate revenue or launching a product of your own.

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Step 4. Make Review Videos

Athletes, parents, and coaches are much more likely to purchase the tools you’re affiliate promoting if they see them in action. 

That’s why filming yourself or others demonstrating how the tool works is a great way to make an affiliate sale. 

You can also do a comparison of your promoted product with one of its competitors, as this type of content consistently draws viewers’ attention across all industries. 

Don’t forget to put affiliate links to your products in your video description, or in the case of an Instagram post, as the link in your bio.

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Step 5. Consider Paid Advertising

After you’ve earned enough income from your previous affiliate selling efforts, you could consider Pay Per Click (PPC) with Google or Facebook ads. 

But you should only invest in paid advertising if you’re able to earn back the money you spend and then some – known in marketing as a return on ad spend (ROAS). 

And, we intentionally included one of the many technical terms you’ll discover when just starting to dip your toe into paid media buying to help highlight that there’s a steep learning curve for effectively buying eyeballs.

Successful PPC will require investing in tons of research and learning on your part if you choose to go the do-it-yourself route. 

Alternatively, it’ll at least require the financial ability to pay a freelance expert or advertising agency to help you. 

🧢 Pro Tip: Paid advertising is not usually an ideal choice if you’re just starting out in affiliate marketing – unless you already have a lot of money to spend on both expert help and the ads themselves.

Now that you have an idea of affiliate selling works, let’s look at seven real-world affiliate marketing examples for baseball and softball tools.

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7 Affiliate Marketing Examples for Baseball and Softball Hitting and Pitching Tools

1. Powernet Baseball and Softball Practice Net - Antonelli Baseball

The Powernet Baseball and Softball Practice Net is a popular item, with endorsements from several influencers and affiliate marketing sites. 

Antonelli Baseball is helmed by a former pro and fantastic person of influence who promotes the Powernet Practice Net. 

The description for one of his YouTube videos includes affiliate links for several baseball tools, the Powernet included. 

When you click on the link, it directs you to Amazon, where you can purchase it and Antonelli Baseball will receive a commission from the Amazon program on each sale.

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2. MacGregor Infield Training Glove - Dugout Debate

The website Dugout Debate features baseball equipment reviews, like the one shown below.

These review articles are peppered with clickable links to purchase the products that they’re recommending on Amazon, including the MacGregor Infield Training Glove. 

There’s a brief description of the glove along with its benefits. Dugout Debate also explicitly states their affiliate participation at the beginning of the post. 

They mention that they legitimately endorse all of the products featured on their list, but that they still might earn an affiliate commission if you buy one of the products from their links. 

This post from Dugout Debate is a great example of earning affiliate income from promoting products you’re already using or interested in.

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3. Tyrus Baseball In Stock Bat Program - YouGoProBaseball

This @yougoprobaseball Instagram post promotes wooden bats made by Tyrus Baseball Products.

YouGoProBaseball made a review video of The Tyrus Baseball In Stock Bat Program and put a link to the Tyrus website in the description. 

It’s worth noting that the @yougoprobaseball account has 35.7k followers on Instagram, 13 times as many as the @tyrusbaseball account. YouGoProBaseball can therefore reach a wider audience, helping Tyrus promote its products.

To further showcase how such affiliate partnerships can work, we’ve included a screenshot from the YouGoProBaseball YouTube channel that tapping their link in bio on Instagram led to in this case. In the video description on YouTube, you’ll again find a link to Tyrus Baseball. 

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4. Tanner Tee Batting Trainer - Dan Blewett

Baseball coach, author, and speaker Dan Blewett posted a video review of the Tanner Tee on his YouTube channel, putting his Amazon affiliate link near the very beginning of the video description. 

Written or video reviews, like Dan’s, are the ideal vehicles for affiliate sellers to get their audience excited about a given baseball or softball tool or software.  

Also, as seen in our list of brand affiliate programs above, Tanner Tees is also part of its own (non-Amazon) affiliate network, where promoters can earn a 10 percent commission on the products purchased with their unique link. 

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5. Handii Products - Dr3 Pitching

Danielle Rubin’s Pitching Instruction, known as @dr3_pitching on Instagram, promotes finger, wrist, and upper limb training aids made by Handii. 

Rubin has a personalized discount code for followers to use if they purchase Handii products.

She posts videos of herself and her pitching students using the Handii, not only reviewing the product but also showing how to use it and how it helps her real clients. 

This affiliate partnership is a perfect example of an influencer promoting a product that they genuinely believe in and that they would use anyway. 

You should also follow Rubin’s example by trying to negotiate a discount code directly with your merchant, which you can send exclusively to your followers or subscribers. 

The revenue potential of working directly with brands, as opposed to going through an affiliate network like Amazon, is significantly higher.  

Amazon basically gives between 1% and 5% commissions on the types of things baseball or softball people would promote. Whereas brands will often give somewhere between 10% and 50% of the shared revenue as sales commission when someone uses your unique link. 

The difference to your pocket overtime is massive.

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6. Pocket Radar Smart Coach - Pro Baseball Insider

Pro Baseball Insider does an affiliate review video by comparing two competing products, the Pocket Radar Smart Coach and the Stalker Pro 2. 

Ultimately, he’s promoting the Pocket Radar since that’s the one he uses. It’s also why there's an affiliate link to the Pocket Radar to purchase on Amazon, but not for the Stalker Pro 2.

This example is to reiterate that product comparison reviews are another powerful content option for all affiliate sellers.

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7. Nokona X2 Buckaroo X2-V1250 Fastpitch Catcher’s Glove - All About Fastpitch

The website, All About Fastpitch, has a list of the 5 best catcher’s mitts and gloves for 2020, with Nokona as number one. 

Like the Dugout Debate blog post we mentioned earlier, this All About Fastpitch post includes descriptions and standout features of each glove, with an affiliate link to purchase on Amazon. 

They’ve also added other useful information, like what to look for when buying a glove, sizing, material, and quick facts for selecting fielders’ and first baseman's gloves. 

As you can see from these seven examples, you can do successful affiliate marketing wherever you have an audience or visitors–websites, social media, or podcasts all can work. 

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Wrapping Up on How to Make Passive Income By Affiliate Selling Baseball and Softball Tools and Gear

Getting started with affiliate marketing is a process, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. 

If you want to earn passive income as a baseball or softball affiliate seller, you can get started right away. Just follow the steps outlined above – there’s no time like now.

Wanna grow your baseball or softball coaching brand?

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About the Authors

Courtney Withrow

Professional Writer

Originally from the U.S., Courtney is a Brussels-based freelance writer with a Master’s degree in International Relations. She grew up playing softball and still loves the game.

Mike Rogers

Co-Founder & CEO

Mike Rogers has spent a lifetime entrenched in baseball and softball as a player, a private instructor, a training facility owner, and the son of two college-level coaches.

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