The Internet is this new thing, right?
Well, not so new for most of us. Of course, it depends on when you were born. The median age in the world is about 30 (born in 1990);
Digital marketing started to kick off in 1990 to the 2000s, so for most of us, the term internet marketing or digital marketing is a new thing. (let alone those of us born before 1990).
People started to have success on the internet in the middle 2000s. The first major accomplishment happened in August 2004. John Reese was the first person to make $1 million in sales in less than 24 hours (by the end of that week, he made $1 million in profits).
How did he accomplish that?
First of all, he was already an experienced marketer in 2003/2004.
Before that date, he was working for almost a year on the digital course, he did partner up with other marketers and he also held a seminar (offline) for hundreds of people. He provided value and eventually launched the campaign.
Since then many people accomplished similar results and a few of them made even more in such a short period of time. They have used different methods and today there are many ways how to make money online.
I am not an internet marketing guru to show you what methods work best. We are all different and you have to find your own way how to make money online.
The Internet offers boundless opportunities and affiliate marketing is one of them.
But, Can You Really Make Money From Affiliate Marketing?
The simple answer is yes you can.
Let’s break it down from different perspectives.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
I am sure you already know what it is.
Let’s just briefly mention the definition and let’s take a look at the example.
So, Affiliate marketing is a business model where you as an affiliate marketer get paid for selling other companies products.
You choose your niche, you start building your website and you partner up with one (or more) Affiliate programs, for example, Amazon and you generate revenue.
That is affiliate marketing in nutshell.
On Amazon, whatever product you choose, you can grab the affiliate link and post it on your website.
It is important to know that you can’t just randomly post the affiliate links throughout your website and expect to see a lot of sales. The secret here is relevance.
First of all, you need to create content that is relevant to your niche. Based on that you want to choose the products within that niche.
People want to know whether product X, is good for them, and what Pros and Cons it has and based on that they decide what item they’re going to buy.
I wanted to emphasize the relevance. Because a lot of people just grab the affiliate link and post on Social media or websites and expect to see results. It does not work like that anymore.
What is essential is traffic to the website, because without traffic you have no visitors and thus no sales.
There are basically 3 ways how to get traffic to your website:
- Organic – Free traffic using SEO (there is nothing to be scared of; for example here are 9 simple steps on how to rank well in search engines)
- Paid – You can pay for ads (Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads…)
- Social media – Share your link on Social media (within Facebook groups, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest)
Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It In 2023?
Before you start with affiliate marketing it is important to realize that affiliate marketing, as well as any other form of business, works if one puts an effort into it.
If you search for any term on Google, you find websites with a lot of content.
Somebody had to create that content, right?
Most of these sites started as a 1 persona-business. Many of them still operate that way.
Have you seen how much content is there?
This is the effort I have in mind.
But the beauty of such a business is that you can actually choose the direction you want to go. You can be working on something you are passionate about or you have an interest in.
Still, I must point out that most people don’t like this business model.
There are many reasons why it is so.
Some of them don’t have time, others think they are not good enough while different kinds of people are OK where they are. They don’t want to change anything.
And that includes also people who already started with affiliate marketing, but for the above reason, they just quit.
For those who are willing to continue, there are some crucial aspects to take into consideration.
It is important to choose a category that is narrow enough. Let’s say if you like coffee, concentrate on building up your content around one subcategory.
Like coffee machines espresso, and Non-Electric Coffee Makers.
This way you will be able to target a much narrower audience and will get results faster.
What works really well is to create content that attracts visitors that are ready to buy. Meaning your content contains specific information about each product.
Let’s go back to Amazon.
Choose 5 to 15 best products ( sort them according to the ratings) and write as much as possible about them. Mention the pros but also the cons.
Tip: You don’t have to buy all the products by yourself to come up with a good review. (When you go to a store, and you ask about the items, the guy in the store certainly did not try all the products by himself. )
the same principle applies online as well. Check the reviews. Form your opinion, and come up with content. Include specifications ( dimension, capacity, and so on).
Here is an example of such a website.
It contains the product description and also the buyer’s guide:
and here is a description of a specific product with an affiliate link
Plus Pros and Cons:
The effort is well worth it.
A business or website like we see above (the one with coffee machines) was registered in the middle of 2016.
Here is the website www.fourthestatecoffee.com
In 2019 it had about 50,000 monthly visits and it has only 100 posts, or so.
As far as I was able to find out this website is associated with Amazon only (meaning all the products listed on fourthestatecoffee.com are linked to Amazon).
Amazon pays different commissions, based on the type of product.
Here is the breakdown:
As we see for Home and Kitchen stuff Amazon pays 8%.
We can estimate how much this website makes per month.
Out of those 50,000 visitors let’s say only 8% will make it to Amazon.
That equals 4,000 visitors.
Out of these 4,000 visitors, let’s say only 10% make the purchase. That equals 400 buyers.
The average product costs $200 – $300.
Now, 400 buyers get $200 to $300 products -> which is about $80,000 to $120,000 in sales per month.
Remember, these numbers are just sales. It is not your net income.
The reason why I mention this, is there are many courses, or coaches showing you numbers and how much they make. In most cases, they show you the sales numbers, not what actually goes into their pocket.
So, with Amazon Home and Kitchen category they have an 8% commission.
That is about $6,400 to $9,600 a month.
And, I don’t take into consideration the 24-hour Amazon cookie. Meaning the website owner gets a commission from whatever that buyer purchases within 24 hours from the first purchase.
That is because Amazon’s affiliate cookies last for 24 hours.
(Different Affiliate programs offer different cookies, some offer lifetime cookies).
Meaning that income can be easily $10,000 a month.
Having such an income, you don’t have to do all the work by yourself.
And I am pretty sure the owner of that website started to outsource some work a year ago (maybe earlier).
You can find a person – freelancers, who writes the product description for you.
I remember when I was working on my other website, I paid $300 for 15 product reviews (each had about 300 words).
My point is if you are willing to work consistently for 8-14 months you get to the point when you have a full-time income. A few months from there you can start to outsource and your business will grow.
Another example would be the website sleep judge
The website has something over 5 years and it gets 1 million visitors per month.
As a side note;
The number of people on the internet still grows and it continues to grow in 2020.
With that being said, the money made by affiliate marketing will grow as well and you can be part of it if you are willing to put effort into this business model.
So it is up to you to decide whether it is worth the effort.
That is why you have to ask yourself a question where do I want to be in a year or two?
The Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a business model in the long run. It takes time but once your website reaches a certain amount of content and age, the traffic skyrocket.
It takes time
It is like growing bamboo.
In the first phase, nothing really happens. Once it reaches a certain level it grows like crazy.
The same with your website.
You keep pumping the content, but you see no results.
In about 6 or 10 months you start to see more and more visitors coming to your site. In a year you have pretty decent traffic and in most cases, you also have a regular income.
Why such a wide range? It depends on the niche you work on.
That is why a lot of people who start with Affiliate Marketing still have their original job. Or they work part-time to pay the bills. They have affiliate marketing as a side hustle.
Not all people have the patience to work “for free” for more than 6 months. They just quit, because they don’t see any results.
That brings me to the other drawbacks.
You are the boss and the employee at the same time
When you are in a situation where you have to plan your work and then execute those plans you certainly will bump into a variety of problems or distractions. For many people (including me) is not easy to set a goal (let’s say even a micro-goal, say today I will write 1,000 words) and reach it.
But it is possible to learn how to do that. It requires just practice and willingness to accomplish the task.
This is critical especially when you are about to create the content – the writing.
You sit down, but your brain and your thoughts jump all over the place.
You want to check the news, you need to make tea, you want to wash your hands, clean dishes, or watch YouTube (or other channels), you want to go for a ride… Countless things you can do.
At the end of the day, you see that you have written 45 words, only.
Well, if you have no previous experience with writing or you are not self-disciplined, you may be quite familiar with the scenario above.
Being your own boss is not always a pleasant position to be in. Especially at the beginning of your journey, there will be situations when you are your worst boss and your worst employee – and that combination never works.
To be effective, you need to work on small tasks first. Set your goal – let’s say those 1,000 words.
You can do only 600.
Good – Don’t be hard on yourself.
You have accomplished much more than before.
And obviously, you are much more effective than those who already quit or did not have the guts to start in the first place.
Keep working and soon you can write 2,000 words per day with much less effort than your first 200 words a few months ago.
That is progress.
I have touched on how to overcome the first phase of building your own business.
In the beginning, it is normal that your biggest challenge will be the fight within you. (one part of yourself wants to accomplish something, the part is fighting against it.)
Practice it and soon these daemons become weaker and you become stronger – more effective.
“Man needs difficulties. They are necessary for health“
You might be interested in the article about the pros and cons of being your own boss.
The company may change the terms
It also can happen that the affiliate program you are associated with (or a company) suddenly changes some rules or terms. You may be hit by them, meaning that the commission goes down, or they decide to work with certain affiliates, and so on.
Now big companies like Amazon, Walmart, or ClickBank usually don’t change the rules that often. At least not in a way that would become less beneficial for their partners.
But despite that, it is important to keep that in a mind.
That is why it is suggested to partner up with more than 1 affiliate program.
(The website mentioned in the previous section, has been associated with amazon for more than 2 years, some of them more than 5 years and they are still doing pretty well. Many of them grow – like the Sleep Judge)
The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing
One of the first benefits of working online is that there is no working schedule and you don’t have to be located at one place only. These two aspects are the reasons why I started with affiliate marketing.
Once I have learned how to be efficient and (almost) mastered self-discipline, I love the freedom of working for myself. Nobody is telling me what to do and how to do it.
I am responsible for my own acts. When I fail – I learn.
There are of course other benefits of affiliate marketing:
Choose your own field (and thus the company you want to work with)
You are not limited to Amazon or ClickBank only. There are tons of companies offering the affiliate program.
One way to find them is to go to google and type:
company name + affiliate program
niche + affiliate program.
Just choose whatever program you like and sign up for it.
This term is widely used, but a lot of people get it wrong. That is because the conception of passive income is so attractive. But one must understand that to have passive income, the previous effort is required.
As we have mentioned above.
But once the wheel starts rolling, you can really earn money while you do whatever you want to do. You make money while you sleep.
The internet does not sleep and people from all over the world come to your site and some of them make the purchase. You can also leverage your free time by concentrating on expanding your business, whereas someone else is working on your content.
The best way to succeed with affiliate marketing is to do a bit of research first and then invest in your education.
It would be beneficial to learn about affiliate marketing through a community where people with similar opinions share their experiences and they learn from each other.
It is important, especially for beginners so they can speed up the process without ineffective trials and errors. And in my own experience, I was helped many times when I felt down or I did not feel like working anymore.
Affiliate marketing can be very alone. You will have tough moments, but it gets easier with like-minded individuals who have gone through the ups and downs already.
The Best Affiliate Marketing Training
In the beginning, I said that we are all different and there is not one training that works for everybody.
It would be the same as if I were to ask what car is the best.
I don’t know which one you prefer.
I know what I like the most and I have tried 4 out of 5 brands above.
And people can start to argue about which one is the best and why…
The same is with the affiliate marketing training.
There are many of them, although the truth is that most of the courses out there are low quality or very misleading. They promise you to start earning in a few hours or days without previous experience.
I spent more than a year, trying to find a legit platform.
Then I joined the Internet JetSet (the previous version of Super Affiliate System by John Crestani). At that time this system had a more complicated price structure. It was a front-end price and then a couple of upsells.
I personally don’t like such “teasing”.
85% of ClickBank products have the same structure. The rest is “high-ticket” programs, where the price tag is $997 or more.
Many of the course with $1,000 (and more) price tag does not offer more value than let’s say $10 course. Sure it looks fancier and they offer so-called bonuses, but in the end, the reason for having a 4-digit membership fee, is just to look more legit.
Besides, they teach how to promote their service and they offer a 50% commission.
No wonder people fall for it believing in quick earnings.
But there are no shortcuts when it comes to affiliate marketing or any kind of business online, nor secrets.
None of the get-rich-quick schemes work.
My Personal Recommendation
Let me share with you what has worked out for me.
I found a service that I currently recommend; it is called Wealthy Affiliate.
It has all the tools and resources one needs to start and run a successful online business in the long run.
I have not been able to find better training and I explain why I think the Wealthy Affiliate is the best.
Currently, there are more than 250,000 active members with different levels of experience. Some of them are members for more than 10 years, others for only a few years.
Besides community support, there is 24/7 technical support.
About 30 people work behind the curtains making sure that all work smoothly. In case you have technical difficulties, they are ready to help and the response time is literally within minutes.
All the issues I had were solved in less than 20 minutes.
If you are tired of the scams and misleading systems, check the Wealthy Affiliate review where I mention both pros and cons. Form your own opinion by testing this platform for free. You only need an email to set up the Starter Package (access to training for 7 days).
In my opinion, Affiliate Marketing is the best way how to start earning online.
Once you put the effort in, it is like a machine that produces income without you actively working. You spend 2 hours a day just keeping an eye on it and you can invest your time in other projects – if you want to.
You can also use that income and outsource the work. You basically trade part of your passive income for a time.
I agree that affiliate marketing is not for everyone.
But ask yourself a question.
Where do you want to be in 3 years from now or maybe in 5 years?
Are you happy where you are?
I guess that you looking for something else and therefore you reading this article.
Regarding affiliate marketing, you can disagree with me, you can doubt that. Also, you can have your own opinion about Wealthy Affiliate.
But please take your time and form your opinion about Wealthy Affiliate.
I did my best to write an unbiased review.
If you have questions, please ask them in the comment section below. Also if you have a different idea about affiliate marketing let me know what are your thoughts.
This can be an open discussion.
Thank you for reading
12 thoughts on “Can You Really Make Money From Affiliate Marketing?”
The question of “Can you really make money with affiliate marketing?” comes up often in the circles that I socialize in and most people really want to know (If you do not go on too long with your explanation). This article caught my attention and I wanted to see what you take was on the issue.
You have laid out a very compelling case for the market segment, I like that you showed a variety of examples and expanded on each to show why they work and how well they work. I agree that any business takes time and effort over an extended period of time to have success, but it is very clear to me based on what you have here that it is worth getting into. Thanks!
You are welcome.
I am glad you like the article.
Thank you for your comment and wishing you all the best
Mike, thank you so much for showing me that you really can make money with affiliate marketing. I have read so many articles and reviews and none of them were as thorough a yours. You laid it all out in layman’s terms and I enjoyed reading every single word. It’s amazing how simple the process really is. If you can commit and put in a solid effort on your content you are capable of seeing great results. I appreciate you taking the time to break this formula down.
Glad you find the article helpful.
Yes, Affiliate Marketing is really one of the easiest ways how to become financially independent.
But at the same time, it is important to realize (exactly as you are saying) that one must commit to it and put the effort into it.
Thanks a lot for the comment
Correct! To me, I find Affiliate marketing one of the most lucrative and stress free job to do online. If you work hard, the revenue generated from affiliate marketing monthly is enough to pay your bills/ serve as side cash.
Affiliate marketing as also helped businesses and individuals around the globe in recent years. I’m an Affiliate marketer and I enjoy what I do.
Affiliate marketing is also a scalable business. Meaning, once a person has enough revenue he/she can outsource some of the work – or the entire project.
Thank you for stopping by and leaving the comment
I strongly agree,one can make steady streams of income from affiliate marketing.i have been in this line of business but all you kneed is a very firm start and alot of patients too as most times it takes times to make a sale.thanks fro sharing this awesome article with us.
Thank you for your comment.
I absolutely agree with you – one needs to be patient and consistent. That is why not many people succeed. But the potential is truly huge.
Is something being sold online today? Will something be sold online probably tomorrow? Do you believe that most of the people will look for advice or knowing a litter bit more about what they’re willing to buy before expending their money to take a wise decision?
Well, if you understand all the above should be responded with a big “Yes” I totally agree with you! And also (implicitly) know that Affiliate marketing has come for staying as long as the internet itself could exist (proven only to increase since its inception in the mid-’90s).
Thanks a lot for separating the facts from opinions with this very well done and researched post!
Glad you find the article helpful.
There is no doubt that one can make a nice living with affiliate marketing. Heck, there is a huge potential and with outsourced work, the sky is the limit.
I see people who started out just a few years ago (2 or 3) and today they generate 6 figures per year.
It is about the proper knowledge (as I recommended above) support and persistence.
Many thanks to you for sharing such an excellent article with us and I agree with you that it is definitely possible to make money from affiliate marketing. I have been affiliate marketing for a long time and I am a successful affiliate marketer .I think affiliate marketing is the best way to make money .I first chose a lucrative niche for affiliate marketing, and one of the things I liked first was the niche. My favorite niche is software and I do affiliate marketing with paid software and I have succeeded. And I think one of the most profitable affiliate marketing niches at the moment is software. There are many tutorials for learning affiliate marketing that I found helpful .
Lastly, I hope you enjoy reading this article and will choose Affiliate Marketing Place to make their money. May I share your article on my social media?
I am happy for you that you have success with affiliate marketing.
Thank you for your insights regarding the software.
I am in another niche but is good to know what is trendy.
Feel free to share the article.
Wishing you a lot of success