This post may contain affiliate links for more info visit my disclosure page.
Thanks for stopping by here and checking out whether the affiliate marketing business model works or not!
When you stop to think about the various ways you can make money, the internet has a ton of ways you can earn – from freelancing, selling your own products or someone else’s, offering support services to trading forex and crypto, the list is endless.
And the most interesting part is that you can start with $0 and make it all the way to millions. It all depends on a lot of factors of course.
I won’t get into that right now but it’s an environment of possibilities.
Affiliate marketing has become extremely popular with the rise of the Internet. Most people who are introduced to the idea of making money online start out with affiliate marketing because of how attractive it is.
The question however that keeps coming up is whether this model of business really works.
So in this article, we are going to answer the question: Does the affiliate marketing business model work? Or is it just another one of those organized scams.
So without wasting any time, let’s get into it 🙂
What is Affiliate Marketing?
In the simplest of definitions, affiliate marketing is basically earning commissions from sales you make from products and services that do not belong to you.
Does that sound cheesy? At first glance, yes! But it only gets better.
No, you do not have to be a product or service owner/creator. That is none of your business when it comes to affiliate marketing.
There is a TON of companies that do create products and services… and they will happily “partner” with you.
These multi million companies produce goods and offer services and are desperately looking for someone like you and I (affiliates) to help them heighten their sales.
This doesn’t mean that they are unable to make sales on their own. As the old saying goes, “two heads are better than one” these companies understand that the more people involved in the sales process, the more money is likely to be made.
The bottom line is that every product or service owner desires more customers and if you can deliver them, you will be compensated and that is the basis of affiliate marketing.
Take the example of Oprah Winfrey. She’s an expert when it comes to content marketing or what we can call “hot shot affiliate”.
Most of the things she advocates for and talks about on her shows including books and magazines, foods etc… are all products of others that she recommends to her audience from time to time.
When a purchase is made on any of her recommendations, she earns a commission (well, in her world, it’s a big fat check before their products get on her show, but she’ll be creating sales for these brands so it’s the same concept, just that Oprah gets paid first, we don’t. Lol).
Now think of many other content marketers just like Oprah. They make a lot of money doing this thing we call affiliate marketing.
Now you might be wondering if you can step in shoes such as these. I got a straight answer for you sweetheart – yes you can! It’s not rocket science.
Affiliate marketing, unlike other online business model was meant for the everyday “John & Jane Doe” because it requires absolutely no experience and little to no budget to start.
Let’s take it a little further…
How Does The Affiliate Marketing Business Model Work?
Affiliate Marketers are assigned a simple task of driving traffic to an affiliate program or affiliate network they are affiliated to. Some affiliate networks offer commissions based on a pay per lead (PPL) arrangement or direct sales basis.
What is a Lead? – A lead is generally a signup involving a visitors’ contact information and perhaps some demographic information.
So, in a pay per lead arrangement, the advertiser only pays the affiliate for leads generated at their destination site. But no payment is made for visitors who don’t sign up.
So the more leads/visitors you send to the website and sign up, the more commissions you generate. This is called Pay Per Lead (PPL).
However some advertisers require a visitor to make a purchase first in order for you to be eligible to earn a commission. This is called direct sales.
There are a ton of websites that provide these kinds of offers and you are free to select any offer of your choice, whether it’s PPL or Offers converting on purchase.
The difference between PPL and direct sales is that with PPL, commissions earned are lower. This is because it’s easier to get a visitors’ contact information like names and an email address as compared to making them buy something so either way, it’s a win-win situation 🙂
So if affiliate marketing seems this easy, then why is it a hard nut to crack for the 97% who fail at it? Awesome question!
Fact – affiliate marketing does still work in 2019!
In actual fact, I’m coming off my biggest sale last year, right towards the end of November in which I made almost $8k in that very month.
As I write this, I make a 4 figure income every month and consistently, leveraging the power of affiliate marketing.
I couldn’t be any more proof that it works. So yeah, it does work… and I’m not saying this to brag or something. I’m simply showing you that it’s possible and there’s hope for any beginner out there.
However, affiliate marketing is not for everyone. I can definitely see how people could start believing that it doesn’t work.
So, why do some people believe it doesn’t work?
It is not a secret anymore that most people who start with affiliate marketing fail miserably.
This is no joke, it’s reported that an estimated 97% of people fail at making any money online – which is shocking right?!
I can also imagine that a large portion of that 97% is made up of affiliate marketers, because of how attractive it is.
However, since affiliate marketing involves easy-like activities like not needing to create your own products, dealing with refunds, customer/product support, delivery and software issues, it’s the quickest route online to having a business in reality.
But the major downside with it is the misconceptions most people have.
First of all, they do not consider it as a real business and, secondly, they think it’s a gateway mechanism every time you’re broke and need a quick buck.
These two reasons are the main reasons why it doesn’t work for certain people so they get frustrated eventually and give up because it actually takes a lot longer to see results than people think.
Treating the affiliate marketing business model as a real offline business (like the one you can start in your own vicinity) is profound to making it work.
It might seem easy but it involves a lot of learning especially if you’re going to do it with a website.
Do you need a Website in order to make money from affiliate marketing?
Yes and no!
You don’t need a website to become an affiliate marketer. You can send traffic directly to your offers. This is called Direct Linking.
However, it’s usually not that easy. These days when you direct link people to offers, you are considered a spammer. It can be hard to gain trust.
You need something to excite your prospects. It’s like in the “real world”, you can walk into a clothing shop, but you won’t just pick one and buy it.
You want a sales person to take care of you, introduce you to different clothing lines, latest designs, styles and basically make you want to buy if not all the clothes.
This is the reason you need to practice affiliate marketing with a website. A website gives you control of your business, credibility, integrity and trust.
It’s the perfect way to engage, excite your audience and is a great foundation for long term business prosperity.
For example, recently I was searching on google for how to treat back pain and I landed on a great article by Nikolai Bogduk called “Management of chronic low back pain”.
This article was written way back in 2004 and it’s still receiving a ton of traffic. Above all, the article has numerous ads running on it and I bet affiliate links are in there too.
That’s 15 years ago and this one article is still making money for Nikolai. He could be teaching his grandchild how to ride a bike as we speak lol. Talk of passive income!
Knowledge is power and 97% of online entrepreneurs succeed heavily in failure because of ignorance. In order to build a skyscraper, you need an extremely deep foundation.
In fact, I just returned from a FREE Las Vegas trip for the Super Affiliate conference where I got to learn even more about this online business, met the awesome owners, amazing Super Affiliates and had a great time!
Does the affiliate marketing business model work? Heck YES! It SURE DOES from where I’m sitting. Lol
Anyway, I got kinda side tracked there for a moment but the excitement with this business is very real.
You could be wondering, how you can actually start working, building out your website, creating content and making money, like me, am I right?
No worries! I have goodies waiting for you.
You could also be thinking that this doesn’t sound like something you’d want to go through and you could be confused about how it works. There are some basics you need to understand, so read on 🙂
How You Could Get Started With Affiliate Marketing
Take a moment and think of something you love. It could be an idea, a passion, an interest or even a hobby. Now, that idea you have in your head right now is the first step of many as you move forward.
As an affiliate with a burning “idea”, you are going to build a website and create content around that “idea”.
Let’s say your “idea” is football – a hobby. Writing articles about this subject shouldn’t be such a hassle.
With the right training, you will learn how to create high quality articles that search engines like Google will fall in love with and this applies to all ideas you might have.
This is also a reason why you’ll need to learn SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is paramount to any website owner.
When you master the art of SEO, your articles rank well on Google or Bing i.e. your articles will be #1, 2, or#3 on the first page of search results which leads to high volumes of traffic flowing to your website.
This will then be the beginning of consistent revenue for you!
So as you build out your website, you are going to be targeting organic traffic, also known as free traffic. As a beginner, you’ll be focusing on this method.
In fact, it’s the method I still use up to this day. I just can’t help it! “Free is freedom.”
Thus far, I have been using 100% purely FREE traffic from organic search traffic which is the highest, most targeted traffic you can get.
My website generates over 45k visitors every month for FREE and I manage to achieve this using SEO alone. So it’s nothing mystical but a proven method that works.
Like I always say, “If a stay at home mom can do it, you can too!”
However, this method requires a lot of patience, but technically speaking, the traffic itself is FREE, and you don’t pay for visits.
They come on their own, as a result of the way you’ve built it which you can learn at Wealthy Affiliate.
How you could get started with affiliate marketing as a beginner is getting the right training so you can learn how to start on the right foot or else you will waste a lot of time (like I’ve done before).
Like I mentioned above, I trained at Wealthy Affiliate and have made success out of their training because they have given me:
- The step-by-step instructions on what to do and how to do things
- Tasks at the end of each lesson so I can take action on my site and build it as I learn
- Tools that I needed to facilitate my online business
- Help and support so all my questions are always answered
This is how I started with affiliate marketing in 2016 when I decided to find something that will help me do it right this time, since I have done it on my own years previously and failed like the other 97% who’s tried to make money online.
GET COACHED BY A SUPER AFFILIATE:
There, you can also learn how to acquire visits to your website through “Paid Traffic” which is a method that focuses on promoting your website by paying for advertisements.
Paid traffic is capable of generating a lot of traffic within a few hours as compared to organic traffic which usually comes in small numbers in the beginning.
However, it is risky and possibly the best way to burn away a lot of money if you have no idea what you are doing.
The only limit with paid traffic is the amount of $$$ you can invest – first for testing and optimizing and then profiting and scaling.
The profit potential associated with paid traffic is handsome and there are affiliates making insane commissions per day running paid traffic campaigns.
However, this is something you are gonna want to do in the future as you gain more and more knowledge and experience on the subject.
What most successful affiliate marketers do is first build yourself a free traffic generator (your website).
Once you have your website, starts to make consistent income, then you can start using that money to scale and learn paid traffic.
If you do it the other way and start with paid traffic, then you’ll always be paying for traffic and that’s not good, you will eventually want a mix.
Having a strong stream of free traffic coming to your online business makes it more stable and predictable, then you have more freedom to explore paid traffic and all that it comes with it.
Here are some of the most common paid traffic sources;
- Display ads — these are found on the side of the page. Your ad blocker normally erases these ads.
- Sponsored content — a type of content marketing that looks like an article on a website. Usually promotes a brand.
- Paid search like Google Adwords or Yahoo/Bing Ads.
- Influencer marketing — these are usually social media influencers from platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc… who promote your product or service for their fans. You pay them a small fee for this.
- Social media ads — these are sponsored contents that appear in your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds or before the YouTube video you clicked on. Others also appear within in-stream videos especially on Facebook.
Why Affiliate Marketing is the Best Way to Start an Online Marketing Business
So by now, you should be well aware that as an affiliate marketer, you will be promoting products or services that will fit your topic or niche.
Your goal will be to either make a direct sale or to get leads to your offers, depending on the affiliate programs you sign up with.
And yes! Affiliate marketing is the best way to start an online marketing business and here are the reasons why:
- Tons of Opportunities — “It’s too competitive!” Some people assume that affiliate marketing is too competitive to be profitable because you have to stand taller than everyone else in the marketplace.
The market could be competitive but tell me one which isn’t.
Competition is a sign of high user demand and consumption, indicating that there’s a lot of money to be made in the industry.
- Repetitive Sales — Creating a relationship with your website visitors is a must for any business to thrive. This can easily lead to repetitive sales.
If someone purchased something from your website after you recommended a great deal, he/she is most likely to purchase from you again because of the established trust. This always leads to customer loyalty.
A great example is offering customers a discount code on a special occasions like Valentine’s day, Christmas, Halloween etc or you could offer a free one-on-one coaching service like I do. 🙂
- Unlimited niches — With affiliate marketing, you have the luxury of selecting a niche from thousands at your disposal.
Your first niche is never your last and it doesn’t matter whether it’s profitable or competitive.
Many people believe that you should always choose the niche which is the most profitable because they think it’s ideal to make the most money.
Of course certain niches profit some people more than others but it doesn’t mean that that same niche will do wonders for you too.
Remember, a niche is simply a group of people with a particular interest of topic that you want to serve in your online business.
So when you select a niche, pick one that you’ll be comfortable with and know that you’ll be able cater to your chosen niche.
GET COACHED BY A SUPER AFFILIATE:
- Affiliate marketing still rocking in 2019 — There is a very popular affiliate marketing myth that this business model won’t last much longer.
You will find numerous YouTube videos entitled “affiliate marketing is dead” and more titles like that.
The main reason they give for this is because Google algorithms are changing and putting less value on sites that offer more links than quality content.
However, this is only an issue for the lazy people who don’t want to put the work in and instead are looking for fast cash, so they flood their articles with affiliate links and ignore quality relevance. Affiliate marketing is definitely dead for such folks.
If you’re out to help people and focus solemnly on delivering quality to your audience, Google sees that as well as your consumers.
- Long term success — Affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick scheme. Of course, there is money to be made, but earning a full-time income could take some time.
I’ve been doing this for almost 2.5 years so I can’t boast of an overnight success as it took me 1.5 years to hit 4 digits a month, but I rejoice in my achievements, hard work, and money that I’m able to earn while not doing anything internet related.
If you think long term, you’ll have a way better chance at succeeding at this than most people who go into this thinking it’s fast money or have no patience to build a free traffic generating website.
Fact – Your hard work begins today and consistency is key!
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! The article is coming to an end 🙂 By now, you should have understood the basic principles of affiliate marketing and how it all works.
You have to believe in your abilities and yourself in this business, therefore, it isn’t good to compare yourself with others, especially in the beginning.
Remember it’s an environment of possibilities, just look onto others as inspiration for your own business.
I could go in way more detail and there are more things to understand … but that would result into a book and not an article!
For more information on this topic and more, check out my free guide on how to make money online step by step using the power of affiliate marketing.
You Can Join the Growing Snowball!
In order for you to master the art of affiliate marketing with a website, I can’t think of a better training than one at Wealthy Affiliate – a platform that is the fastest growing site around and specially built for affiliate marketers of all levels.
Wealthy Affiliate is the platform that introduced me to affiliate marketing. That was way back in 2016. Best move of my life.
And as a result of this, I’ve been able to make more money from affiliate marketing than I ever thought was humanly possible!
The training has helped me build a website that attracts free organic traffic on auto pilot and made me over $40k in 2018.
Everything I’ve shared with you today, I learned from Wealthy Affiliate and it’s amazing community.
There you’ll find Super Affiliates with a handful of years of experience in the business. These kind awesome people are just a message away and will be ready to help you succeed.
Last time I checked, most “gurus” charge over $10k for one on one coaching.
At Wealthy Affiliate, you get this offer free of charge. Create your FREE account here today, and I’ll personally be there to help you as your Personal Coach!
You’ll find out how to get this awesome free service when I send you a message on your profile so look out for someone named “littlemama”. 🙂
The platform offers a free starter membership account and after you sign up, you get 2 free websites to kick-start your affiliate marketing journey.
The free starter membership account you get is yours for life. You don’t have to spend a dime.
It also comes with premium features that you test drive and enjoy for free for 7 days.
After that, you retain your free account for as long as you like or you upgrade to Premium!
The training starts off with 10 FREE lessons which teach you how to build out your first website. You learn all the foundational tactics and get your website setup ready to earn.
You also have the opportunity of promoting Wealthy Affiliate – You can earn money this way too from your free starter account.
This will eventually help you to upgrade to the premium account which I highly recommend.
GET COACHED BY A SUPER AFFILIATE:
You will not find a service like Wealthy Affiliate Premium anywhere in the world, and definitely nothing even remotely close to the price.
There are three ways to pay for the Premium membership which is much needed if you want to learn everything:
- Monthly @ $49/month
- 6-months @ $234/6-month (works out to $39/month)
- Yearly @ $359/year (works out to $29.92/month)
With the premium account, you have access to everything…
all the training, live weekly webinars, support, websites (up to 20), hosting, all the community support, and all the online business tools that anyone would need to grow and scale a business to the moon.
To me, it’s close to craziness as it can be!
Is Affiliate Marketing the Right Choice for You?
The purpose for this article was to answer the question “does the affiliate marketing business model work? Is it worth it? And the answer is a definite yes and yes!
If you’re going to do affiliate marketing with a website like I do recommend, you are going work hard and possess a lot of patience, perseverance, and consistency. “You will reap what you sow.”
Some people just don’t have the stomach for this and aren’t patient enough to see it through.
Affiliate marketing is not a get rich overnight kind of business model. Whoever’s selling that idea is lying to you.
There are so many self-proclaimed “gurus” out there throwing their yellow snowballs (weak products) your way. Just don’t buy into the hype!
GET COACHED BY A SUPER AFFILIATE:
If you have questions about wealthy affiliate or how the affiliate marketing business model works, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. I always reply my readers! 🙂
Thanks for reading!