A big YES! But there’s more to it that you need to keep in mind.
Making passive income has never been easier on a large scale in the history of humanity.
Affiliate marketing has to be one of the best methods to make some cash while doing little work.
But, like all good things, it’s not that simple. You first have to establish your niche and build trust with your audience.
The most challenging task for you to make an income as an affiliate marketer in 2023 is to have a dedicated audience that trusts your brand and your opinions. Once you achieve that critical milestone, making money from affiliate programs is just a matter of exposure and choosing the right products and services to market.
So, let’s explore all you need to know about affiliate marketing and why it is worth it if you’re willing to put in some work and sound decisions.
Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?
- What is affiliate marketing?
- Is affiliate marketing profitable?
- How easy is it to start affiliate marketing?
- What are some of the best marketing programs for beginners?
- Considerations for marketers
- Pros and cons of affiliate marketing
- Isn’t this just a pyramid scheme?
- Affiliate marketing vs referral marketing
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What is affiliate marketing?
To put it shortly and to the point, affiliate marketing is a commission-based system for attracting visitors to a selected product.
Basically, this means that you take commissions from marketing a product to your audience after they take an interest in it and buy it. This usually happens by referring your audience to a link that takes them to the product or service.
Immediately after reading this, you can think of all the YouTube videos and social media influencers who advertise for products alongside their content.
Blog posts, online courses, and other content can also include affiliate links to products.
One of the best ways to be successful is by only marketing for products and services that you actually use or the ones you believe in.
Remember that building trust is the key. That’s why you have to trust in the products that you want to market because that’s how your audience will relate to them and potentially be interested and sign up.
Is affiliate marketing profitable?
The market capital for affiliate marketing is approximately $12 Billion, which is an impressive number for anyone with a sense of entrepreneurial spirit.
If you trust the statistics, almost all of them support the profitability of this type of money making business, for those who play by the rules.
Here are some statistics that will really encourage you to consider affiliate marketing as a source of passive income:
- The global affiliate market is estimated to be worth $12 billion.
- Retail accounts for 43% of the affiliate industry revenue.
- The market capital in the health and wellness industry is projected to reach $6 trillion by 2025.
- 48% of affiliate marketers worldwide earned approximately $20,000 per year in the past two years (2020 – 2021).
- People searching for ‘affiliate marketing’ online rose over 200% between 2015 and 2020.
- More than 85% of all consumers use Google to search for info on their purchase products.
- More than 16% of all online orders are attributed to affiliate sales.
- Some YouTube channels with big audiences can make up to $2,500 per month .
- About 76% of content creators prefer this type of marketing to monetize their content.
- For more than 18% of marketers, choosing an exemplary product/service is crucial.
- Approximately 37% of shoppers since 2020 made their first online purchase thanks to affiliate marketing.
You can refer to Affiliate Summit for more information and stats.
How easy is it to start affiliate marketing?
Starting an affiliate marketing as a venture is one of those pursuits that may come across as easy to some while others might find it difficult.
All in all, once you know the rules and play by them, it’s actually quite simple — and by simple, I’m not implying it’s easy. Simple is often not easy; that’s why many people struggle with simple things.
However, if you have that spirit that wants to face all challenges as if they’re easy, you can even start promoting affiliate products without having a website.
Social media is one of the best channels that anyone can use to their advantage in driving sales. If you play it wisely enough and know how to generate traffic through social media posts, you can earn good money from affiliate programs.
Creating a YouTube channel, using E-mail marketing, solo ads… are all viable options that shouldn’t be ignored.
However, always do further research on the things you need to know before starting to enrol in programs.
Best Affiliate marketing programs for beginners
As a beginner, some programs are more inclusive than others, and you can use them to generate your first taste of that sweet passive income.
These programs don’t require a specific niche to enrol with them. Here are four good examples:
Amazon is a giant that needs no introduction. There are millions of products and services on Amazon that anyone can market for. As long as you have a niche, you can join the Amazon affiliate program and market for products in your niche and make some good income.
To give you some stats about Amazon: their commission rates range between 1% to 10%, and they have nearly 1 million active affiliates who are doing decently.
Fiverr is a freelancing site where you can find gigs by talents for literally everything online.
With the gig economy being worth over $350 billion, it can be quite luring to join the program and start to earn big money.
The affiliate programs for Fiverr Business and Fiverr Learn are two great starting points for anyone who wants to join affiliate marketing.
Bluehost is one of the most successful programs as they offer extremely cheap hosting services for websites. Who doesn’t want a cheap place to host their website?
Bluehost paid out millions in commissions over the last year; it’s one of the highest paying companies for affiliates involved in the web hosting niche.
Ezoic is a premium ad network and a Google partner that pays you 3% commissions of every publisher’s total revenue on all traffic they send through its services.
Millions of people who have websites looking for ways to make money can use Ezoic to increase passive income.
Check out our review on the Ezoic platform!
Considerations for marketers
Before you delve into this type of marketing, some considerations have to be taken into account if you want to benefit from programs you enrol in.
Cookie length is something essential when it comes to online marketing. Ideally, you want to enroll with an affiliate program with long cookie length.
Most of the good affiliate programs offer 30-day cookie length. When you have much time to generate traffic and sales, you have a better chance to make a good income from the affiliate program.
Terms and conditions
Reading the terms and conditions of an affiliate program might be a tedious task that you just want to skip and get to the actual work, but that’s not a good attitude.
Even if the company is as big as Amazon or Fiverr, one must be careful with the terms and conditions. I highly recommend that you become more of an active user when reading the terms and conditions.
Payout conditions (per-time vs. monthly)
Since making money is the whole point of joining an affiliate marketing program, you really have to be aware of the payout conditions of any given program.
Depending on the frequency of the income you want to generate from an affiliate program, looking for per-time, monthly, or anything else is something to really consider when looking for a suitable program.
What are the benefits of affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing comes with many perks. It’s one of the simplest ways to generate income if you’re into working from your home and becoming financially independent. Just to give an idea about some of the benefits, you:
- can start with no education; a little bit of knowledge from online sources is enough.
- don’t need training or a university degree to start your business.
- have a good chance to make some serious amounts of money when you know how the game plays.
What are the downsides of affiliate marketing?
While we can say all great things about affiliate marketing, that’s only one side of the coin. There are some downsides that come with this type of business that might render it not for everyone. Here are some of the cons:
- You have little to no control over the marketing programs; the owners possess all the power.
- You don’t have control over your competition; you just have to compete and be persistent like everyone else.
- You can’t establish a customer base because people would just go directly to the owner whenever they want the service or product
- You have little to no guarantee of revenue; you just need to put in the work and hope it will pay you out fairly.
- Freelance jobs and marketing are not for everyone; it takes a certain kind of person to play that game.
- Selling through affiliate links relies on a quantity approach, which might lure you into becoming a bit scammy (think of all the sponsored YouTube videos you watch daily).
- While not common (in fact, it’s rare), It’s actually possible to hijack affiliate links; you have to beware of such scams.
Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?
The short answer is NO!
It’s unfair to categorize affiliate marketing as a pyramid scheme because there’s more to the picture than that.
Pyramid schemes are illegal because they take the same marketing strategy to the extreme. A pyramid scheme usually only benefits the people on top while the others are tricked into paying for them.
On the other hand, affiliate marketing is considered an MLM (multi-level marketing), which is legal. Affiliates play a similar role as a TV ad; they don’t have to buy a product or a service in bulk; they refer customers to a product or service that customers have to buy directly from its source for a commission.
Affiliate marketing doesn’t require you to pay anything upfront. You generate income from incentivizing customers to buy the product directly from its source.
What is the difference between affiliate marketing and referral marketing?
To put it shortly, the key difference between affiliate marketing and referral marketing is that the former focuses on third-party brand advocates (influencers, blogs, content creators, artists, coaches, etc…) to send customers to buy a product or service for a flat fee.
And, referral marketing focuses on rewarding current customers to invite friends to buy a product or service.
Takeaway: Is affiliate marketing still relevant?
The most honest answer is YES! But that’s not the whole of the story.
Affiliate marketing is totally worth it both this year, and in many years to come.
It’s also one of the most inclusive career opportunities for those who are serious enough about it. All you need is to create valuable content that people trust where you can include your custom links and generate traffic and sales.
You don’t necessarily have to invest in a website or other channels that require upfront payments because social media and other options are also available.
If you always wanted to create a YouTube channel where you discuss topics that you enjoy, this is your chance. You can think about affiliate programs related to your niche once you establish an audience.
Again, just keep in mind that people are more likely to trust in a product or service that you highly acclaim because of its benefits.
For example, if you’re a musician on YouTube, marketing for that guitar that you love and play all the time or that music software that you use will prove better than marketing for some random product that you don’t care about. The same goes for other niches, i.e., gaming, automotive industry, beauty, lifestyle, etc…
Good luck with finding your perfect affiliate marketing opportunities for you!!
This was just one of many other ideas about starting a side hustle, and or making money online without experience. If you want to discover more opportunities, check out our list of additional ways to earn money.