Matt ZavadilWritten by Matt Zavadil
Updated February 26, 2024

Is affiliate marketing worth it?


Making money online is a goal you’re probably striving for while struggling to make it work as your solid 9-to-5 alternative.

And you’re considering affiliate income as a big step in your journey.

And for good reason.

It can be an excellent way to make extra cash or even turn into a full-time career.

But is affiliate marketing worth it?

That’s a question without a simple answer.

In this article, I’ll discuss the pros and cons to think about if you want to start affiliate marketing.

It will help you make an informed decision about whether or not becoming your own boss as an affiliate is right for you.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each customer brought by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.

In other words, you promote someone else’s product or service and earn a commission when someone buys it as a result of your recommendation.

Types of Affiliate Marketing

There are different types of affiliate marketing. The most common are pay-per-sale, where you earn a commission for every sale you make.

Here are the three main types of successful affiliate marketing:

  1. Pay Per Sale (PPS): You earn a commission for every sale you make
  2. Pay Per Lead (PPL): You earn a commission for every lead you generate
  3. Pay Per Click (PPC): You earn a commission each time someone clicks on your affiliate link

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliates promote someone else’s product or service to their audience.

For example, let’s say you’re a blogger and want to share with your readers how you love camping.

One effective affiliate marketing strategy is to create a post titled, “The Best Camping Gear for Your Next Trip.”

In the post, you mention a few different camping gear items and include affiliate links to those products.

When someone clicks on one of your affiliate links and makes a purchase, you earn a commission from that sale.

How Do Affiliates Make Money?

Generally speaking, affiliate marketers make money in two ways: by making sales and by generating leads.

When an affiliate makes a sale, they earn a commission from that sale.

When an affiliate generates a lead, they earn a commission when the lead is converted into a sale.

For example, let’s say you’re an affiliate for a subscription-based software product that is priced at $100/month with a 50% commission rate (you earn $50 per month per customer).

Imagine your link is clicked by three different people and two of them sign up for the service.

That is a two-month recurring commission of $100.

If those customers stick around for the next year, you’ll earn a total recurring commission of $1200 per customer.

This is why it’s important to promote products with high retention rates and monthly membership fees.

It can be more profitable in the long run.

How is an Affiliate Marketer Different from an Influencer?

I see confusion in some people around influencer marketing vs affiliate marketing.

An affiliate is different from an influencer because they make money by directly promoting products or services to their audience.

Influencers, on the other hand, are more concerned with creating content that builds trust and authority with their followers.

Affiliate marketing success is about making sales for a merchant’s product or service while influencing is about growing an audience.

Of course, the two categories co-mingle:

You’ll create blog and social media content as an affiliate.

As you do, you’ll build an audience & send those people over to your affiliate offers.

And you’ll become an influencer earning a solid income as an affiliate marketer.

Related Reading:

CPA Marketing

Affiliate Partner

Why Start an Affiliate Marketing Business?

The Pros & Cons Faced by Affiliate Marketers

Every business model or idea comes with advantages and disadvantages. Let’s discuss a few main pros and cons faced by affiliate marketers.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

Here are some of the benefits that affiliate marketers enjoy:

  • Low start-up cost (no inventory, warehousing, or fulfillment is required)
  • Greater control and flexibility over your income
  • Easy way to scale your business because you don’t need to create a product.
  • Work from anywhere and at any time with a laptop, phone, or tablet
  • Ability to choose the products you want to promote (it is not always easy finding the right affiliate network)

Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing

The affiliate marketing system is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It is like any other business, and it is not without its disadvantages.

Here are some of the drawbacks to consider before getting started with the affiliate business:

  • No control over sales pages or landing pages (some merchants have poorly designed websites that may turn off potential customers)
  • You can’t track affiliate sales conversions easily if you’re using a third-party platform like ClickBank or Commission Junction
  • It may require a certain level of technical ability to be successful (you’ll need to know how to create links, track conversions, and set up tracking codes)

Affiliate Marketing Best Practices

You can become successful as an affiliate marketer if you keep a few best practices in mind.

Use a Blog to Generate Traffic

One of the best ways to get free traffic is by creating content for your audience.

This is called content marketing, and it’s done by writing blog posts, recording videos or podcasts, and creating social media posts. Once you create this content, you can use affiliate links in those posts (or in your email signature) to promote products or services that you believe in.

Educate Your Audience & Promote With Webinars

Another great way to market affiliate products is by hosting webinars. This is where you invite people to attend a live online presentation, and during the presentation, you educate them about the product or service and then promote it. You can also do this by recording the webinar and then making it available to your audience on demand.

Build an Email List

One of the most effective ways to market affiliate products is by building an email list. This is where you collect the email addresses of people who are interested in what you have to say, and then send them an email with your affiliate links.

The bottom line is that you want to make sure people know who is sending the emails so they feel like they can trust your recommendations before buying anything from you.

Review Products in Your Niche

Product reviews are a great way to promote affiliate products because it gives users a chance to learn about a product before making their purchase decision.

You can create a review page for each product and then link to that page from your blog posts or social media accounts where appropriate.

The key is not to be pushy, but rather to educate the reader so they feel confident in their choice of product.

Write “Best” Blog Posts

Another way to promote affiliate marketing offers is by creating blog posts that list the best available options in your niche.

For example, you could write a post titled “The Best Gifts for Dog Lovers” and then include links to Amazon or other online retailers where people can purchase those items.

This is an effective strategy because it helps people find what they’re looking for while providing you with an opportunity to promote products related to their search terms.

Use Pay-Per-Click Ads

Pay-per-click is also known as PPC, and it is a great way to promote affiliate products or services. You can set up an account with Google AdWords and then use that service to place ads for your offers on search engine result pages (SERPs).

The downside of this strategy is that might lose money if you don’t know how to convert ad clickers into product sales. However, it can work perfectly if you target the right keywords, create effective ads, and manage your affiliate marketing spend.

How to Find Affiliate Program Partners

If you’re a beginner affiliate marketer, you might think it’s hard to find a good affiliate marketing program.

One way to find affiliate success is by doing a Google search for “affiliate programs” or “merchant partner programs.” This will give you a list of websites that offer affiliate marketing programs.

Another way is to join an affiliate network.

An affiliate network is like a hub where you can find affiliate programs and merchants to partner with, as well as other marketers who are interested in promoting those same products or services.

Examples of affiliate networks include:

You can also find affiliate marketing industry programs on the websites of the companies you want to promote.

For example, if you’re interested in promoting Fitbit products then just go to Google and type in “program for Fitbit affiliates”. Navigate to their affiliate website and sign up for their program!

FAQs About the Affiliate Marketing Industry

Is it worth being an affiliate marketer?

Only you can answer that for yourself. Before you decide to become an affiliate marketer, it’s important to educate yourself about the pros and cons of the industry so you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you.

Is affiliate marketing actually profitable?

Yes, an affiliate marketing business can be a profitable industry if you do it correctly.

Are affiliate programs legit?

Yes, affiliate programs are legit. However, it is important to do your research before signing up for any program to make sure you’re working with a reputable company.

Is affiliate marketing real or fake?

It’s real. However, there are a lot of scammers in the industry who are looking to take advantage of unsuspecting marketers. So, it’s important to do your research before choosing an affiliate program to join.

What is the best way to promote affiliate products?

There is no one “best” way to promote affiliate products. However, some effective methods include creating review pages, writing “best of” blog posts, and using Google AdWords to target potential buyers.

Is there any risk in affiliate marketing?

There is always some degree of risk in any business. However, there is also a lot of potential profit once you become a successful affiliate marketer. So if you want to make money while working from home then joining affiliate platforms may be right for you.

Why do affiliate marketers fail?

Affiliate marketers fail because they don’t do their research. They choose programs without knowing the details, or they promote products that aren’t relevant to their audience. The best way to avoid this is by doing plenty of research before choosing an affiliate program or product to promote on your site (or blog).

How fast can you make money in affiliate marketing?

It’s possible to make money relatively quickly, but it depends on a variety of factors including how much effort you put into it and the type of products or services you choose to promote. Generally, the more work you put in, the more money you can make.

Final Thoughts: Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?

Affiliate marketing income is a great way to make money online.

It’s not right for everyone, although every $2,000+ day I’ve earned involved affiliate marketing.

Before you decide to promote an affiliate product, it’s important to educate yourself about the pros and cons of the industry so you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you.

If you decide that running affiliate marketing campaigns is the right choice for you, then there is no shortage of ways to get started.

Just don’t fall for one of the biggest affiliate marketing myths: That’s it’s “easy” money. It’s not. You’ll need to work hard.

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