Having been a full-time affiliate marketer for several years now you might find it a little peculiar to hear that I recently found myself pondering over the question “is affiliate marketing worth the effort?”.
But I won’t sugarcoat it – as an affiliate (or any business owner, for that matter) sometimes things can get stressful… And in those situations you find yourself asking yourself “is this really worth it?”.
So what’s the deal? What conclusion did I come to? Is affiliate marketing worth the effort?
Well in short, yes, in my opinion, it IS worth the effort… But don’t be fooled because it’s not all sunshine and roses. There are certainly some downsides (and stressful) sides to affiliate marketing which I’ll be uncovering in this post.
So if you’ve found yourself searching for a brutally honest answer to the question “is affiliate marketing worth it?”, be sure to read this blog post right through to the end for everything you need to know.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Given that you’re looking at the question “is it worth it?” I assume that you likely already have a general idea as to how affiliate marketing actually works but just in case you don’t, let me explain…
Affiliate marketing basically involves you connecting people with the products or services that they’re looking for & getting paid commissions in return for any successful sales you manage to generate.
So, as an example, you could sign up for Amazon’s affiliate program & become an affiliate of Amazon (which is free to do). Then, this would give you the ability to promote any of the products from their site as an affiliate.
You’d basically get a special link to the product pages that’s unique to you & if somebody happened to click through your “special link” (known as an affiliate link) & buy something, you’d get paid a commission.
Pretty simple, right?
Of course, there’s a little more to it than that but that’s the overall concept & that’s how you make money as an affiliate.
And the reason so many people have become attracted to the concept of affiliate marketing is that not only can you earn as much as you desire with it, but you can also work from anywhere you desire, too.
It can time freedom, money freedom, and location freedom.
But as I started out this post by mentioning, it’s not all sunshine & roses. There are definitely some downsides to affiliate marketing & it’s definitely not something that will suit everybody.
I’ll explain more about that in a moment but first, let’s start by looking at the benefits of affiliate marketing.
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What Are The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing?
The reality is that there are an absolute plethora of benefits surrounding affiliate marketing & whilst I’m going to list several of them here, there’s no doubt that I’ll still end up (accidentally) overlooking some.
Unlimited Income Potential
To begin with, there’s the fact that affiliate marketing can provide you with unlimited income potential. You can earn as much (or as little) as you like & some affiliates even earn 5-figures+ per month.
Heck, there are several affiliates that even earn as much as 6-figures per month (yes, 6-figures!).
It’s truly crazy stuff but what’s even crazier is that those kinds of figures aren’t unrealistic to achieve providing you’re prepared to put in the work required to make it happen.
You see, with affiliate marketing (when done properly) you don’t trade your time directly for money. Instead, you can build up a passive source of income which means that you can compound your profits as you’re not restricted by the number of hours you have in a day.
For example, let’s say in a traditional job you are paid $10/hour. Even if you worked every single hour every day without so much as taking a single moment for sleep, you can still only earn $240 per day.
But with affiliate marketing, let’s say you create a website & that website begins earning $100 per day passively. You can then add more similar sites to your collection & scale that income up to any level you desire. There are literally no limits.
And the sense of “passiveness” brings me to the next benefit.
In my eyes, this is one of the biggest benefits of affiliate marketing. I mean don’t get me wrong, towards the outset, affiliate marketing takes a LOT of work…
But once that work begins to pay off & you begin to generate a passive stream of revenue, you can start working less yet still receive the same level of income (or even continue to grow your income).
This means that you can be much more flexible with your time as you can take days off but you will still get paid because again, you are no longer directly trading your time in return for money.
Hence the name of this website – Living More Working Less.
This is a benefit of affiliate marketing but it’s also a benefit of any online business… And it’s a very awesome benefit indeed.
You see, because your business is online, you can work it from anywhere. Unlike with a traditional brick & mortar business, you don’t need to tie yourself down to a particular location.
Instead, you can travel & still work on your business (providing you have an internet connection, that is).
You Don’t Have To Deal With Inventory or Customer Support
One of the best things about being an affiliate is that you don’t have to mess around with the pains of handling inventory or dealing with customer support. All you need to do is pick a product (or service) and promote it.
The company that sells the product/service handles everything else… And you just collect your commission.
Other methods of selling online (such as dropshipping or direct sales) involve handling inventory which means that you either need to make deals with suppliers, or you need to find space to store the inventory yourself.
With affiliate marketing, however, those pains are totally eradicated.
This means that you only need to focus on ONE thing… Promoting.
Whereas with other business models you have to wear many hats, such as the hat of a customer support representative, the hat of a salesman, the hat of a sales processor & so on.
In my opinion, this is potentially one of the most overlooked benefits of affiliate marketing.
You see because as an affiliate you don’t need to handle stock & your only job is to simply “promote”, this means that your business can be extremely flexible.
For example, let’s say you own a website dedicated to promoting electric scooters but then all of a sudden electric scooters go out of demand because of a new invention that launches… As an affiliate, it’s no big deal – you just move on to promoting something else.
But what if you owned a shop & stock dedicated to selling electric scooters? Well, you’d be set to lose a lot of money – and the chance of you being able to “easily” transition to another business would be very slim.
So that flexibility gives you a great advantage as an affiliate & it also means that you can quite easily take advantage of trends in the market too in order to make additional money & boost your overall income.
You Can Do It Part-Time or Full-Time
The reality is that whilst many people would be interested in earning extra money, not all of them would want to necessarily quit their jobs & become a full-time business owner.
But the great thing about affiliate marketing is that, unlike a traditional business, you can quite easily work it around your current employment or studies.
I mean, admittedly it will take longer to scale your affiliate income up if you’re only working it part-time… But I do know several affiliates who work a full-time job yet still generate 5-figures per year “on the side” as an affiliate.
And there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same.
It’s Pretty Darn Easy
The reality is that whilst affiliate marketing may seem “difficult” or “complicated”, it’s actually relatively simple once you get to grips with it.
All you need to do is find products to promote, find a targeted audience to promote them to & then go ahead & promote… If the people from that audience then happen to click through your links & make a purchase, you get paid a commission in return.
Overall, it’s got to be one of the simplest business models out there for sure.
The Downsides of Affiliate Marketing
As you can likely now see from this article so far, there are many great benefits of affiliate marketing (and there are likely also many extra ones that I’ve forgotten to add to the list).
But in my opinion, there are also some downsides too.
So to help you better determine the answer to the question “is affiliate marketing worth it?” I’ll also run through some of the downsides that I’ve discovered throughout my years of being an affiliate.
It Takes Time OR Money To See Success (…or both!)
The reality is that even though affiliate marketing is simple & easy to get started with, it is still a business which means that like a normal business, you’re not going to just be able to set it up then get rich overnight.
Success with affiliate marketing requires you to either invest your time into your business, or your money… And in some instances, it may even require you to invest both.
I mean yes, it’s *possible* that you could start affiliate marketing today & generate your first commission tomorrow but being realistic, if you’re completely new to it then it will likely take a little longer.
In fact, if you go down the route of doing things “100% free” then it may even take between 3-6 months before you begin to see your efforts paying off.
For a lot of people, that simply feels too long & so they’d rather just stick with their current lifestyle instead.
It Can Be Unstable
Like with any business there are ways that you can stabilize your revenue but after having owned businesses both online & offline, I personally feel that affiliate marketing is generally more unstable.
The reason I say that is because as an affiliate you’re relying very heavily on third-parties… After all, that’s where your income is coming from.
And so whilst there are a lot of things you can control, there are also a lot of things that you can’t. This means that if a company you’re promoting decides to make changes, your income may suffer as a result…
I mean don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your income will always go “down”… There are times when those instabilities will actually cause your income to rise.
But overall, being so reliant on third-parties can feel a little “risky” even if you deployed lots of tactics to generally stabilize your overall revenue & that brings me nicely onto the next point.
It Can Be Frustrating
I mean, I guess any business can get frustrating at times… Heck, even a job can be pretty frustrating… But I don’t know, at times, affiliate marketing can just feel “next-level” frustrating.
For example, you may find yourself sending customers to a website via your affiliate link only to then later realize that you’d made a mistake when pasting the link & lost out on a bunch of commissions.
Or you may find yourself getting kicked out of an affiliate program for no apparent reason whatsoever…
There are many potential reasons that could cause frustration but the bottom line for this point is that if you wish to pursue affiliate marketing then you should make sure you’re a person that can fight through frustration…
Because there will definitely be points where you find yourself stressing out and questioning “is affiliate marketing worth it?“… Just like I was when I came up with the idea for this post, LOL!
So with all of these downsides in mind, what’s the overall conclusion?
Is affiliate marketing worth it?
Let’s take a look…
Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there were times when it got stressful but overall the answer is a big YES, affiliate marketing is most definitely worth it & I’m so glad that I made the decision to get started.
I mean, there are just so many things in my life that have happened which wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for affiliate marketing.
And realistically, (without meaning to sound like I am “boasting”) there would be no other job that I could walk into & earn as much from as I have managed to with affiliate marketing.
It has completely changed my life for the better, even if that may sound a bit cliche.
Plus, when it’s not stressful… It’s actually pretty darn fun. I love all of the testing, tweaking & trialing things in my business.
And it’s also led me towards making a bunch of new great friendships too. Here’s a photo of just a handful of all of the new people that I’ve met as a direct result of being an affiliate marketer:
In case you’re wondering, all of the guys/gals in that photo are super affiliates & we hang out each year in Las Vegas. It’s always a blast, but it’s only been possible for me because of affiliate marketing.
Should You Get Started With Affiliate Marketing?
Well, I’m a guy of the “you have nothing to lose” mentality & if you’d like to either simply try to earn more money or build a business around your passions then I’d say yes, go for it!
Affiliate marketing doesn’t only provide a fantastic way to generate (unlimited amounts) of extra revenue, it also provides a pretty fun way to kill some spare time as well.
And to be honest, that’s exactly how my very first affiliate business started out… I was just looking for something to do in my spare time… And hey, now I’ve been officially recognized as a “Super Affiliate” by the world’s largest affiliate training platform.
Pretty crazy stuff!
But that also happens to be helpful for you because after being recognized as a super affiliate I decided it was time to put my own course together to show others how they can also get started too.
And I did exactly that… Its name is Commission Academy.
So if you are interested in actually getting started with affiliate marketing & learning how you can begin building your business & making some money, then be sure to check out my Commission Academy course.
I can confidently say that you won’t regret it. 🙂