With so many scams online, it’s easy to write off affiliate marketing as just another scam - after all, it is pretty heavily promoted online.
But, can you actually make money with affiliate marketing?
In reality, yes, you really can.
However, it’s probably best if you understand what’s involved, and why it doesn’t work for everyone.
Affiliate Marketing – The Very Basics
Some days I really hate the term affiliate marketing.
The term really does describe how I (and countless others) make money online – but the term is misused too.
The thing is, when people read an article on affiliate marketing, they think they already know what it is going to be about and that’s a real issue.
Because of that, people often don’t give affiliate marketing a chance, or they just assume that it doesn’t work.
At its most basic, affiliate marketing involves promoting the products from a company and earning commissions from your sales.
Normally, your commissions are a percentage of how much the product was priced at.
Most of the time, affiliate marketers build websites, and they use SEO techniques to drive traffic to those sites.
A proportion of the people who visit the site are likely to purchase, so the amount of profit you make increases over time.
As you can probably see, the basic concept is very doable and there certainly is profit in the field.
In fact, the amount of money people spend online is continuing to increase, so affiliate marketing is likely to get more effective, not less.
So, what’s the catch?
There is a reason that people are sometimes hesitant about affiliate marketing.
Realistically, affiliate marketing can be an amazing income source when you put the time and effort into your site and what you are doing, but it takes just that – time and effort.
People come into affiliate marketing thinking that it is going to be relatively quick and easy.
Those people end up producing bland sites that offer no real value to the reader and aggressively push for sales.
Those people end up looking for shortcuts everywhere, and they don’t put in the time you need to really make affiliate marketing succeed.
If you don’t take the time to learn what you are doing first, then you can end up spending a lot of time with affiliate marketing getting nowhere.
And this is what people do, then they come back and say affiliate marketing doesn’t work.
Look at it this way.
Affiliate marketing relies (at least in part) on getting traffic.
Sometimes this traffic might come through social media, but most of the time it will come through search engine results.
So, you have to be able to rank your site on Google.
This is very achievable, and in other posts, I teach you how to actually do that.
Just like everything else with affiliate marketing, you will find that some techniques work, and work well, while others do not.
Learning the difference is critical if you want to be successful with affiliate marketing.
Can YOU Actually Make Money with Affiliate Marketing?
That brings me to my second main point.
Affiliate marketing works well, but it doesn’t work well for everyone.
With affiliate marketing, you end up working towards a goal for quite some time before you see any real outcome.
For example, it can take six months or more to make any profit with affiliate marketing.
Even then, that first profit is normally low.
Many people give up before they ever get to the point where they make profit – which is a pity.
If you want to make money with affiliate marketing, you have to have the persistence to work at something and trust that it will work.
I’m not asking you to take what I’m saying blindly.
There are a lot of successful affiliate marketing sites out there and many people rely on affiliate marketing for their income.
If you want evidence, have a look at some of the larger sites that promote things through affiliate marketing.
A good indication is that they are promoting specific products or services, and when you click on the link, it looks a little different than normal.
So for example, one successful niche site is A Penny Shaved.
The site has product reviews like these:
Clicking on one of the links (the top one in this case), will take you to the product on Amazon.
However, if you notice, the link to the page is a little unusual.
If you scroll all the way to the end, you see this:
That is the affiliate tag for A Penny Shaved. If anyone is selling an affiliate product, there will be some type of affiliate tag in their link.
With this information, you can look at other sites and see which ones make money through affiliate marketing.
The thing is, affiliate marketing is huge and there are so many different opportunities for creating a website and making money.
The trick really is to be dedicated and to be prepared to take the time you need to succeed.
A final word of advice.
If you are a person who gives up easily, affiliate marketing might not be the right approach for you. It can be stressful to work on something and not see immediate results, but honestly, this is the best way to make a long-term income online.
But, if you're interested in affiliate marketing at all, you can learn more about the approach at Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate is a powerful training site that focuses on teaching people how to make money through websites. And don't worry, it's entirely free to check out and even has a free membership.
So, it's worth taking a look even if you aren't sure whether affiliate marketing is right for you.