Is Affiliate Marketing Worth it? Or Is It Dead? Truth And Myths exposed!

When I started the business of affiliate marketing a few years ago, I did not know what I was doing and what to expect. I was trying to see if I should be investing time and money in affiliate marketing. Let me share with you in this article what I found.

Affiliate marketing is worth investing time and money because it has a high earning potential and a low barrier of entry. Beginners can recommend products and make decent money in small non-competitive niches. If you are willing to learn traffic generation, online marketing, and content creation, affiliate marketing is for you. 

Is affiliate marketing worth you efforts? Can you still make money with it?

Most big brands and small businesses work with partners or affiliates to expand their reach. They understand the value of traffic and are willing to share revenue with those who can help them acquire new customers. Companies like Apple, eBay, Amazon all have affiliate programs.

Affiliate marketing is neither hard nor easy, but it requires some work and specific skills like all online occupations. Although it is much easier for people who already have an established online presence to succeed as affiliates, anyone can build an affiliate marketing business.

10 reasons why you should try affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing has a low barrier to entry 

Most private affiliate programs and affiliate networks will ask you to have a website. You can have Webhosting for less than $30 a year. You do not initially need to spend on expensive tools or software. Many platforms like Amazon associate, Clickbank, and Digistore24 welcome beginners. 

Affiliate marketing is a scalable business

Even though affiliate marketing is not entirely a passive income stream, you will not trade time for money. Your income relies upon the time spent but also upon how well you implement a method. One strategy is to earn from multiple products and to benefit from recurring commissions. 

Start with a reliable offer in a small and easy niche. When you start to see consistent sales, think about promoting another product. When you have 3-4 offers that are doing well, it is time to double-down on the one that has the highest earning potential. At some point, you may need to invest in tools or software to gain time and to hire a virtual assistant.

Can affiliate marketing make you rich?

For people with a large audience, good marketers, and those who master how to drive traffic, the sky is the limit. For example, Franklin Hatchett from Savage Affiliates and Marcus from Affiliate Marketing Dude are two online entrepreneurs that have made millions with affiliate marketing.

You can get rich with affiliate marketing, but you need to treat it like a real business. You can start by learning the skills to be an online entrepreneur and plan to achieve your goal. Promoting high converting offers, products with recurring commissions, and high-ticket offers are how affiliate marketers become wealthy.  

They didn’t get rich overnight but have built a highly profitable business over the years. Most people will not become rich, but they surely can earn a living with it. The most common examples are people who have a blog or a YouTube channel and use referral links in their content. 

Another good strategy is combining social media traffic and blogging to drive traffic to your affiliate links. For example, Anastasia from Anastasia Blogger managed to make $40k a month blogging with free traffic from Pinterest.

Work from anywhere at flexible time

Affiliate marketing is a remote online job that only requires a laptop and an internet connection. It is also suitable for digital nomads that want to combine traveling and working. People who have a nine-to-five job and looking for a side hustle can dedicate a few hours a week to get started online. 

Any time frame or location does not limit you. Plus, many influencer marketers use a cell phone to promote affiliate products on social media. Building a web-based income stream is about accomplishing small tasks every day.   

A wide choice of offers in multiple niches

With a bit of research, you can find something to promote related to your knowledge or hobbies. Affiliates have been making good money in weird or unexpected niches such as garbage disposal and how to grow succulents. 

There are ways to make money regardless of your previous knowledge. By finding what people are searching for online, you will know what type of offers may help them. If you provide value in your content, you increase the odds of making affiliate sales.

As you become more experienced you may get the opportunity to work with a big brand that running a private affiliate program. It is much easier to promote a well-known and reliable company.

10 reasons why you should try affiliate marketing and 10 reasons why most affiliate marketers fail.

Affiliate marketing has a shallow learning curve

Multiple elements will make you a prosperous affiliate marketer, but you only need three things to get started:

  • Find affiliate programs in your niche
  • Apply and get accepted
  • Produce content and drive traffic to your links

In the beginning, you can always apply for beginner-friendly affiliate programs. Depending on your existing online presence and your choice of traffic source, you will have to learn different skills. 

An Instagram influencer needs to post short infographics or videos almost every day to keep engagement and grow followers. But online entrepreneurs using platforms like a blog or YouTube may schedule weekly posts and benefit from search engine ranking.

You can build an automated affiliate marketing business

Many people fail to understand how to use search engine traffic, free social media traffic, or paid advertising. Learning SEO and creating evergreen content can help you to build a nearly passive income stream. For example, you can make an affiliate website around gardening by targeted low competition topics.

Knowing that an average person buys after being exposed seven times to a specific product, it would be best to build an email list. ActiveCampaign and Getresponse are email automation tools allowing you to set up automated email sequences. You do the work once, and each time someone subscribes to your email list, they will be receiving all the emails you have in your series.

Pay per sale affiliate marketing

When someone purchases through your referral link, you get a commission. Each affiliate network has its way of determining which affiliate receives the commission. They also have a specific policy regarding affiliate payouts to avoid paying on canceled orders, for example.  

You can receive a commission for only the product you recommended and on an entire funnel or website. For example, you earn on any purchase made during 24 hours if you refer someone to Amazon. The Legendary Marketer commission structure lets you benefit from any sales your leads make. 

Some companies pay a one-time commission, and others have recurring commissions. You will also find brands like Fiverr that let you choose your type of commission with 30 days tracking cookie.

Pay per lead and pay per click

With PPL and PPC, an affiliate gets paid when the prospect completes a required action. PPL is when the prospects must share contact information, and PPC is when they must click on a link. Contrary to PPS, an affiliate get his commission even if people don’t buy. 

In short, you basically have three ways to earn as an affiliate:

  • make sales (PPS)
  • provide leads (PPL)
  • drive traffic (PPC)

You will have to decide which one is worth trying depending on your niches. 

Low ticket vs high ticket programs: which one is the most profitable?

I guess you are tempting to say high ticket programs. I wish the answer were that simple, but in reality, it depends on:

  • traffic
  • niches
  • marketing skills
  • cash flow

High ticket products may not worth the effort if you are a beginner in the make money online niche. You will be competing with experienced marketers who offer bonuses and are more trustworthy than a complete newbie. It will probably be easier to promote a high-paying affiliate program like TripAdvisor. 

There are many ways to build a profitable business promoting low-ticket products. It can be a front-end marketing strategy leading to an upsell. A helpful method is to go for high converting low-ticket offering recurring commission. The commission adds up quickly, and in less than a year, you can be receiving 200 commissions of $10 each month, which represents an extra $2,000. 

No need to deal with customers 

Affiliate marketing is highly beneficial because unlike other eCommerce you do not have to deal with customer support and shipping. Your job is to focus on marketing. You are free from doing two time-consuming tasks related to running an online store. 

You can work from the comfort of your home while recommending products you enjoy using without the hassle of product creation.

Affiliate marketing passive income: Truth or myth?

I know you have heard people talking about making actual passive income from affiliate marketing. But let me tell you that most of them do not tell you what it takes to be a successful affiliate marketer. Obviously, marketers who have used paid traffic to earn affiliate commissions did not build a passive income stream. 

Instead, they certainly have an extremely profitable business built upon high-income skills. You are not trading time for money like a nine-to-five job, but you still have to be actively engaged: 

  • ad content creation (videos, infographics, learn copywriting)
  • ad campaigns set up
  • split testing
  • managing cash flow
  • find email marketing tools and set up an email sequence

While all your efforts will pay off, you are not generating a passive income.

However, utilizing search engine traffic is the most effective way to earn passive income from affiliate marketing. But wait, before you can make money while you sleep, you need to create enough content at the beginning. It might take several months to build an affiliate website, but you can benefit many years later. At some point, you will need to work only a few hours a week to keep earning affiliate commissions. 

Affiliate income: myth or reality. Do people make money with affiliate marketing

The truth about earning affiliate commissions

Many people keep thinking that it is possible to earn affiliate commissions by posting their links on any social media platform. Unfortunately, they are wrong. This tactic used to work many years ago, but now it is over, and you should also avoid adding your links in blog comments. 

Another misbelief is that any product is worth promoting. The problem is most affiliate networks adopt the principle of delayed commissions. The affiliate networks generally hold your money for 60-90 days to check any refund. Low-quality products have a high refund rate, and therefore you should stay away from them. 

The truth is earning affiliate commissions become more manageable if you create valuable content, build trust before promoting, and choose only products that can benefit your visitors. Affiliate marketers who do not focus on selling but instead on helping people are the most successful ones. 

For example, you could have a YouTube channel teaching people about photography. In your videos, you also talk about the cameras and equipment you are using to obtain the best results. You are not trying to sell, but you show how to use an item to achieve the desired goal. 

Is affiliate marketing legit

Affiliate marketing is a real business, and most prominent brands use it to boost their sales. It also helps to acquire leads without having to invest in advertising. 

Affiliate marketing is a legit way to make money online, but it has gained a bad reputation due to some unethical marketers. The (Federal Trade Commission) FTC regulates affiliate marketing and requires that any affiliate discloses the use of affiliate links. Plus, affiliate income is taxable regarding the tax legislation in your country.

Is affiliate marketing legit

Many social media platforms, websites, and advertising platforms restrict the use of affiliate links. For example, using an affiliate link in a Facebook ad campaign increases the odds of getting your ad rejected. Therefore, you need to be more thoughtful and trustworthy if you intend to build a profitable business from affiliate marketing. 

Is affiliate marketing dead? [Final thoughts]

William J Tobin is the first that used Affiliate marketing way back in 1989, only six years after the birth of the internet. 

In 2021, I can say that affiliate marketing is not dead, but it has evolved. The old spammy tactics of posting links everywhere are over, and a new generation of online marketers is slowly emerging. While focusing on providing value, affiliate marketers can now count on automation tools to increase their income. 

Is affiliate marketing dead

Because affiliate marketers are effective in driving traffic, eCommerce and companies need them. Most brands prefer to share profits than investing millions in paid traffic.  

You can try it as a side hustle and spend a few hours a week building a new income stream. Most influencers combine affiliate earnings with one of these ways of making money online. Creating multiple streams of income is extremely helpful to avoid losing all your revenue during a crisis. 

It can be a side hustle or how you make a living. I have seen people who earn millions with affiliate marketing. Those were the ones who started a couple of years ago and have master all the skills required to be an expert marketer. They stay away from shady tactics and have built successful businesses using proven methods.

You can start with launch jacking to get results fast.