You want to start making money online but have these nagging questions on your mind. Is affiliate marketing hard? Can you make money with affiliate marketing? Is it worth it?
The simple answer is yes, yes, and yes. I want to share with you why it’s worth it to start, and how to overcome all the negatives you might be hearing.
Online marketing is an incredible and legitimate industry to earn a passive income, whether it’s to boost your current income, provide a means of quitting your current job, or security for the future.
Whatever your reason for starting, you’ll be thankful you did if you stick with it.
To me, affiliate marketing is like an art form. And maybe that’s because I’m also an artist, lol. And with any art form, there are always new things to learn, new techniques to try out, and new mediums to mix up.
If you don’t like what you’ve produced, change it up and try something new.
Just as in art, there are traditional techniques that always work if done properly, and there are always new techniques to create something more beautiful.
So long as you’ve learned and applied the core basics to online marketing, the new and constantly changing strategies can greatly improve your profitability.
This is where I learned all the core basics as well as any new upcoming strategies.
Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?
I understand why you might be asking this question. Especially if you, or someone you know, have been scammed online.
But I want to assure you that it is SO worth it! If you are patient, you will come out the other side just thrilled you hung in there.
So what is affiliate marketing? It isn’t only about making money is it? OK, it usually is, lol. But you’ll soon come to realize it’s more than that.
It’s about creating your own business. You are creating something of your own, something that gives you pleasure, and something that gives you an income. It’s just so darn satisfying!
What can possibly be better in life than picking a topic, skill or hobby that you’re passionate about, and turning it into a profitable business.
So how does affiliate marketing work? In a nutshell, it’s all about selling other people’s stuff.
You find products or services from companies who are relevant to the topic you’re writing about and send your customers to them. They buy the product and you get a commission.
Benefits Of Owning An Online Business
Be Your Own Boss
This is probably one of the biggest reasons out there. No one likes to be told what to do and when to do it by.
But that’s the reality for the majority of working people. You’ve spent years getting a degree in your chosen field, only to be told you can’t do it that way, lol.
I’m sure there are some great bosses out there, but wouldn’t it be even better if you were your own boss?
Set Your Own Hours
This is a big motivation for many people. They’re tired of the 9-5 grind. Or late-night shift work.
They feel like they’re missing out on valuable family time. The kids are growing too fast and they’re missing out on all those “firsts”.
Working for yourself can change all that. You can set your own hours and never miss those precious family occasions again.
You are now able to work around those events, without asking your boss’s permission.
And no more alarm clock!
Have you heard of Tim Ferriss and “The 4-Hour Work Week”? This is what most of us strive for. To be able to run a successful business in just 4 hours per week. He’s proof it can be done.
Work From Anywhere
If you have an internet connection and a laptop, you can literally work from anywhere. This is the ultimate in freedom.
You’re no longer confined to your office or cubicle. You have the ability to change up your work location just because you can.
And now you can vacation whenever you wish, and not worry about missing work. Take it with you.
There aren’t too many places without an internet connection anymore.
Even at the beach. I know some retirees who spend their lives travelling the country in a motor home and work along the way. It’s fantastic!
Be More Efficient
How many wasted hours are spent in the corporate world?
- First, there’s your commute time. Depending on where you live, your commuting time could take up another 1 to 2 hours per day.
That’s sitting in rush hour traffic, getting more stressed with each minute.
- Next is the meetings about meetings. So much time wasted in bureaucracy.
This alone brings out the entrepreneur in all of us. They say three hours of entrepreneurial time equals twelve hours of corporate time.
Just imagine how much you can get done on your own.
Sure, your boss at work may offer you a business expense card, but not with any choice as to where you can use it.
With your own business, you could choose to have team-building exercises in Jamaica and write it off as a business expense.
Without going crazy of course, you have much more freedom to decide where to spend your expenses.
And don’t forget, the cost of running an online business is a fraction of the cost of a brick & mortar business.
All The Income & Equity
As a salaried employee, your income is fixed, while your boss gets rich.
An online business owner earns all the profits as well as equity. I know several online marketers who’ve been approached to sell their website businesses, for thousands and thousands of dollars.
If you enjoy start-ups, this is your opportunity to sell your business for considerable money, and start fresh.
Why Does It Take So Long To Succeed?
It depends on what you consider long. For those of you looking for the next get-rich-quick scheme, then yes, it takes a long time.
But those of you who know that building any kind of long-term business takes time, then no, not so long.
One of the biggest reasons some people have a slow start is the SOS (shiny object) Syndrome. The internet is riddled with get-rich-quick schemes.
These so-called gurus want to share their “secrets” about earning loads of money, fast, and with little effort.
These offers are very well crafted to sound authentic and enticing. Many beginner marketers fall for them.
And I say beginner because once you’ve worked in the industry for any length of time, you can easily recognize the red flags.
I, too, fell for these in the beginning and got scammed a couple of times before realizing…
…if it’s too good to be true, it always is.
Another reason for a slow start is not getting the proper training.
Without it, you’re jumping around from site to site, trying to piece it all together as best you can. At this point, many people just quit from frustration.
Then there are the tentative ones. These are like my art students who like to dip their toes in a new medium, but never take the time to master the techniques.
They tell themselves it’s too hard. They make every excuse in the book for why they never finished their project.
New internet marketers can think the same way. It’s too hard. It’s too saturated. Etc. Etc.
But you know what? It isn’t hard or saturated. Yes, it takes time, patience, and persistence to earn success.
And the internet will never become too saturated. There are millions more people accessing the Internet every year. If anything, now is the best time to start.
Reasons People Don’t Succeed
Have you heard the stories of self-made millionaires and overnight success stories? These often give people the impression that building an online business can be done in days or weeks.
In reality, it can take months, even years to reach your ultimate goals.
Because of these misunderstandings, people will often quit after a month of not seeing any money.
If you could just look down the road a little farther, you would have been rewarded. You must be patient with the process.
This is similar to the shiny object syndrome I talked about. People see all those get-rich-quick schemes and because they’re impatient, they want to make money now.
After being scammed a few times, they get bitter and quit. They’ve never given themselves the opportunity to do it right.
This is a common scenario with affiliate marketing. You see so many avenues that can create income, that you bounce around from one method to another.
The problem is you never get proficient at one before moving onto the next.
Instead, your time and resources are spread too thin, and nothing ends up working in the end.
It’s always best to focus on one website, and one method until you become good at it.
Then move on to a new method. Focusing on one thing at a time will bring you faster success.
Learning online marketing isn’t hard, but it takes consistency. You shouldn’t work at it for a week at a time, then take a month off.
Gaining recognition in Google’s eyes takes consistency. Gaining traffic to your site takes consistency.
Your best option is to do at least an hour or two a day to gain that traction. Once you get into a routine, it becomes even easier.
Shifting your mindset from that of an employee to that of a business owner can be very difficult for some people.
Most of you were raised to think you need a job that delivers a steady paycheck. You’re used to being told what to do, with very few risks involved.
Now, your entire business rests on you. You are the only one accountable for success or failure.
You can be affected by people asking you what you’re doing with your time. This alone can cause people to quit.
You can’t worry about other people’s expectations. Think outside the box!
Start thinking like a business owner. You’ve started something of value that you can be proud of. And…. you’ll make money!
There have been many changes to the industry over the years. Google has made drastic algorithm changes that affected many businesses.
Personally, I think they are for the better because it’s much harder for unethical people to hack the system.
Yet, those who were successful back then had to make many changes to their techniques and strategies.
Those that did, survived, but those who resisted failed.
As an online entrepreneur, you have to stay abreast of any upcoming changes and be willing to adapt.
Pros And Cons Of Affiliate Marketing
Don’t worry, the pros of affiliate marketing outweigh the cons by a landslide, lol.
I’ll only list the more obvious ones for you, and this is just so that you might know what to expect.
- Getting started is very low cost. There might be a small cost for training, or hosting a website. Some methods don’t require a website at all.
And there are many free referral techniques that you can start with. Once you start earning money, you can pay for additional resources and scale your business even larger.
- You don’t have to create a product or service. As an affiliate, you’re promoting someone else’s product or service. And it’s free to sign up with affiliate networks.
- You don’t have to store and ship products. Like MLM (multi-level marketing) businesses, they have you purchasing their stock to distribute.
Not with affiliate marketing. All you do is send your customer to the manufacturer. They sell the product, ship it out, and you get the commission.
- You can create a passive income. That means you will eventually have a business that creates you an income, even while you sleep. This gives you added security for your retirement as well.
- This can create an additional income stream to add to your current income, or you could have the choice of quitting your full-time job and doing this full time.
- And so much more…
- It can take time to create an income (building traffic takes effort but it starts to snowball in time).
- Unscrupulous people might try to take credit for your referral (there are ways to protect yourself from this).
- Bad referrals could ruin your credibility (avoid this by choosing quality businesses to work with).
- You have no control over the product or shipping (if you hear of bad customer service, consider using someone else).
- Competition may be high for some products (but even a smaller business can out-compete a big fish online).
- The customer belongs to the merchant (but you can start your own email list to encourage additional sales)
Steps To Success
Though there are basic steps that online businesses need to take, you must remember that success comes from being persistent and consistent.
It’s not about the method you choose, but the consistent effort you apply. And if done correctly, you’re well on your way to success.
So how do you start affiliate marketing?
- Start by learning about affiliate marketing. Learn the steps required to achieve success.
- Choose your niche. This is the topic you are passionate about.
- Build your business website or blog. These days, the platforms build it for you.
- Choose the products or services you want to promote. Always choose quality businesses.
- Learn how to market your business; SEO, content, social media… There are many free ways to start marketing.
- Find a strong community of like-minded people for support.
So Many Make-Money Methods
If you’re wondering how to make money with affiliate marketing, don’t worry. There are many methods you can choose to make money online.
No one way is best. In fact, once you’ve mastered one method, you should choose another, and another.
This will give you added security for your income. You should never put all your eggs in one basket.
Here are just a few common methods you can use:
- Blogging is a way to share your passion and your skills with your audience.
When you’ve developed an audience that trusts you, they will be willing to purchase the products you recommend on your website.
- Email marketing is also a great way to create income. But learning the proper techniques requires testing and a bit of trial and error.
Once you’ve figured out what works for your list, it can be very profitable.
- You can choose paid advertising which includes everything from Adsense to social media advertising.
- Some choose a drop-shipping business, and others create digital products to promote. These could be in the form of ebooks to videos or both.
As I said earlier, once you’ve learned the basics of online marketing, there are many possible ways to promote and grow your business.
Who Can You Trust?
This is the BIG question, isn’t it? As a beginner, it seems like everyone is after your money. And many seem to get scammed at least once.
The important thing is to do some research, read reviews, and put in your due diligence before choosing the direction you want to take.
When I started teaching art, I taught in many studios and learned many hard lessons. Not all studios are alike.
It really depends on the owners. Some seemed fine at first glance, but when hired, saw some ugly truths. Others didn’t pay near enough. Others could never draw enough students to fill a class.
It’s the same online. I was drawn to a few platforms that had great promotions, only to discover it wasn’t at all what they promised. It was very frustrating, with lost time and money.
Well…I’m here to share with you what I believe to be the best platform there is online.
I still want you to research as you should, but I can say that what this platform promises, they deliver.
I’ve been with them since 2011 and can sincerely recommend their services.
Take a peek at this great video…
Wealthy Affiliate was created by two humble guys in Canada who wanted an all-inclusive platform for beginners and experienced alike.
They offer top-notch, continually updated training, a website builder and hosting platform, and their own keyword research tool (which is a must for any business).
Their live support is unmatched anywhere online. You can get help at any time of day or night, 365 days a year.
I could go on and on about all they offer, but I think you should check them out yourself.
You can start for free! What better way to test drive a platform to see what you think. There are no credit card commitments so starting is risk-free.
And if you decide it’s all that they say it is, the premium membership is no more than setting up a quality website on any other hosting platform.
Plus you get everything else for no additional cost!!
Just as I was writing this post, a member of our community posted his own successful month of August/18.
Eddy made a five-figure month of sales equaling $10,640.56.
I wanted to show you how this platform can help you succeed, and how our members are more than willing to share their strategies to help you.
If you click on the image below, you can read all about it. And when you join, I’ll be there to greet you and help you as long as you want me to. See you soon!
I hope I’ve answered all your questions about online affiliate marketing.
This is an amazing industry that has many misconceptions about it. It’s not hard to learn with the right tools.
And with some patience and persistence, you can be well on your way to earning an online income.
If you have any more questions, please let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.
Do you know anyone else who might be interested in online marketing? Please share!
14 thoughts on “Is Affiliate Marketing Hard? Can I Really Make Money?”
I totally agree with you on this one, Suzanne! Affiliate Marketing is an awesome industry if given enough time and enough hard work. It can truly net you a passive residual income doing what you love to do!
I love writing and I love helping people! I’m really glad I got started in Affiliate Marketing, myself.
I like the illustration you used with art, although I must confess my best efforts on the subject have been poorly drawn stick persons, LOL!
Excellent post! Very well written and very well explained. You give a hope and doability to those who may be considering it while letting them know it is not necessarily going to happen overnight!
Hi Don, and thanks for your kind words.
Stick people eh? LOL I love affiliate marketing too. Helping people start their own businesses to earn passive income is why I’m here. If I can do it, anyone can.
The most important thing to remember is patience, patience, patience! It’s too easy to throw in the towel when you’re not seeing any income, but if you can patiently wait for that day when things start to turn around, you’ll be glad you did.
Nothing comes free in life, and it doesn’t here either. But it sure pays off!
This is really great information on affiliate marketing. I have been an affiliate marketer for a couple years now, and you do have to have patience. It is not a get rich scheme, and frankly they are just not out there. I think with time, persistence, dedication, and work, that affiliate marketing is a wonderful way to earn an income from home. Great information here!
Thanks, Leahrae, for your comments.
You’re very right! It does take all you’ve said. But when the income starts coming, it’s so satisfying. That, and being your own boss, working from anywhere, and of course, something you’ve built yourself.
I find the list of con’s to be quite minor compared with all of the Pros you get by just trying this out.
All one needs is to commit to putting the effort in to make this work. To me, it’s a no-brainer if someone wants to be their own boss and make good money.
Yes, you’re right. All it takes is your time commitment to make it work. And with Wealthy Affiliate, you can start for free. What better way to test it out to see if you enjoy the process.
I am so happy I hung in there. Being my own boss and creating my own income is fantastic. I hope you are too!
I love that you can try Wealthy Affiliate out for free. But what’s even better is that you don’t even need to put in your credit card. When I have to put my credit card in somewhere, I feel like they’re trying to trick me. Do you know what I mean?
Wealthy Affiliate really just cares about getting people the best information possible – without the tricks!
Yes, I do know what you mean. Wealthy Affiliate is the only platform online where you can start without entering your credit card. That’s because they have complete faith that people will come to really appreciate their training and tools, and want to sign up for a membership.
I’ve had some bad experiences with platforms that require your credit card number, but when you want to cancel, it’s a big deal and you end up paying when you didn’t want to.
Each person will approach Affiliate Marketing with a different outlook. It does take consistent daily work of about 4-5 hours to make it work faster. You must learn what works today. When you work for yourself, you must be self motivated to work a dedicated schedule.
Your recommendation will give them the training and motivation to make it work. You must supply a little money and your devoted time to make it work.
You can make a great deal of money as Eddy states, just need to not deviate from your daily task.
You’re so right. Consistency is key. What’s so nice about Wealthy Affiliate is that you can start for free. And the community there supplies all the motivation you need, lol.
Time is the biggest investment in this industry. And once you have your business producing some income, you can scale it and grow your income even larger. It might take some additional investment at that point, but you’re already earning income, so its only right to reinvest in your own business.
I really enjoyed reading your article!
It’s so motivating reading what you had to say and as long as an online marketer can continue to publish new posts I think that they will see great success.
Hi Kahlua, and thanks for your comment.
It good for every new marketer to know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, it takes time and commitment, but it’s so worth it. Persistence is the key. And yes, continual posting is so important.
This is the best honest review I have read for ages!
Thanks so much for sharing, I’m definitely going to re-read this in about a month when I need it.
Thanks, Mike. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
Sometimes, I think we all need to reread this type of article, even myself, lol. Especially when we get frustrated and want to throw in the towel. But the end result is so worth it.