Affiliate marketing is known to be a lucrative way to make passive income online. And while the way it works sounds amazing and convenient, hundreds of thousands of people who have given it a try have ended up throwing in the towel without having made a dime from it.
This makes affiliate marketing appear hard to work with.
Some people have even gone ahead to believe that it doesn’t work at all.
While all this is happening, millions of other people continue to make a living out of it with others making up to $100,000 per month or more.
This brings a lot of confusion for many people as they wonder how other marketers are making that much money while others are quitting.
Is affiliate marketing really doable or is it so hard that only a select few can make to earn from it?
I intend to answer this question in detail here.
So, let’s dive right in.
Is Affiliate Marketing Hard?
To answer that question in the fewest words possible, I would say, it depends.
There are 2 things that determine whether affiliate marketing is going to be hard or easy for you.
The first thing is the way you look at this business opportunity and the second one is the way you look at life in general.
Personally, I would say affiliate marketing for me is not easy but it is also not hard.
It is fairly challenging.
See, there have been many people out there selling affiliate marketing courses and programs with salesy words such as “learn to make money while you are sleeping in just 7 days” or “Create a passive income and earn more than $200,000 a month from affiliate marketing in only 10 days”.
To some extent, what they say is true.
You can make passive income from affiliate marketing and you can from it while you are sleeping.
However, it doesn’t take 7 days or 10 days or even 3 months to do that.
It takes longer than that and it requires more than what they tell you.
So, first, if you have the right perspective of affiliate marketing and understand what it is all about and what it takes to succeed with it, you are on your way to determining its actual difficulty.
Secondly, if you are the kind of people, like myself, who believe that nothing good in life comes easy, then you should see how affiliate marketing is a great opportunity for you to make good money.
Many people believe that there is an income-earning opportunity out there that people use to generate income without putting a lot of effort into it.
They believe that they only need to find it and do it for a couple of days and then money will start to roll in.
That is not the case in the real world.
And the people who sell these fake opportunities take advantage of this mindset that many people have of wanting something good as fast as possible using less effort and little money.
The people who mislead others into thinking that they can make money without putting in the hard work know that people would go for an opportunity that favors them in all ways from the investment of money, effort and time and get to make money fast.
There has never been an opportunity that was worthwhile, that was easy to do or one that had such a perfect scenario.
Affiliate marketing, just as may other opportunities in life, demands something from you for you to make it work.
That perspective is what has gotten me to where I am today with affiliate marketing. And if you have the same perspective too, you will come to realize that affiliate marketing is very doable.
It is not any harder than other business ventures out there.
If you are committed and willing to learn, apply what you learn, get more experiences and learn from your mistakes as well as failures, you can make affiliate marketing your full-time income stream and get to live the laptop lifestyle.
I encourage you to read my beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing to learn what it is all about and how some successful affiliate marketers created success with it.
The Needing Aspects of Affiliate Marketing
If you want to have a fairly smooth experience with affiliate marketing. There are some key aspects of it that you need to focus on and be good at within your niche.
These are the driving factors of success in any affiliate business that is doing well and which I have also come to see work well for me as I get good at them.
Regardless of the platform, you are using to promote affiliate products, these factors still count a great deal.
These key factors include:
1. Your Brand
As with any long term business that is trusted, helpful, and useful, you need your affiliate business to be a brand by itself. You might ask, how can you be a brand and still be promoting affiliate products?
Well, before you even think about monetizing your affiliate business, you should first aim at creating a brand, for the most part.
Whether you are doing podcasts, running a YouTube channel, running an affiliate website, or doing it on social media, put your focus on making the business a brand.
This means creating your content in a unique way that stands out.
As you build the bulk of your business, your content should aim at helping people find the answers to the needing questions in the niche you are in.
Look for major concerns in the niche and address them better than anyone else out there.
And as you start out, don’t add affiliate links first.
Create trust with your readers and visitors.
Let your content be so good that any visitor that comes to have a look at it, leaves telling themselves that the content completely satisfied them and they will surely come back for more.
That is how you build your social media account and gain lots of followers or subscribers on your channel or even your mailing list naturally.
If you dedicate your cause to that and maintain those high standards, it should be easier for you to build your audience fast.
However, if you publish your first content on the business and drop your affiliate link there, you show your audience that you are more money-oriented, which is going to hurt your business in the long run.
Help people with all the genuineness you can afford and you will win their trust. And when you have their trust, you can promote products to them and they will buy since they trust your judgment and integrity.
Think about all the big companies and ask yourself how they have gotten where they are.
It is because they give good value to their audience and customers without being greedy.
They make money after fully satisfying their customers and they have grown as a brand from that.
This is what you should also focus on.
2. Good Optimization Plan
More than just the content, your affiliate business should be well optimized for your audience and for the search engines based on the platform you are using.
If you are going to work with a website, you need to optimize the website for search engines, if you will use your social media accounts, you should also seek to optimize the experience of your followers.
If it is a YouTube channel, aim to be at the top of the search results when someone’s searches for something in your niche.
There are 2 ways to go about this.
First, you can learn how to do it yourself.
This involves you looking for a good optimization course for the platform you are using, learn, and be good at it and then apply what you have learned on your business.
It takes time, money, and effort but it is well worth it since you will save more money if you hired.
Second, if you have a lot on your plate and maybe don’t have the time or the willingness to learn, you can hire an expert optimizer on freelance websites to do it for you.
The good thing about it is that the optimization starts right away, unlike when you decide to do it yourself when you have zero knowledge.
The experts usually have vast experiences with the job and you can be sure to get good results in a good deal of time if you choose the right person for the job.
You need to have a good optimization plan in place if you truly want to stand out in your niche.
Some of the aspects that need to be optimized in your business are:
– For websites – the content, design of the website and authority of the website
– For social media accounts – the content, readability and the brand aspect
– For podcasts – the content, helpfulness and understanding the right way to interact with your audience deeply for optimal results
– For YouTube channels – the content (editing and optimizing), good rankings in search results, interacting with your audience well for the best results
3. Consistent Growth
Just as the wise men say, it is either you are growing or you are dying.
The growth graph of any business should always head upwards. No matter how small the growth is, any business should always be growing, developing, and getting better.
To maintain the authority of your affiliate business, to keep your audience interested, you always want to be improving the way you are doing things.
If you are publishing good quality content, think of other better ways to improve upon the quality and apply them to your business.
If you have been interacting with your audience in a way you feel can be better, make it even better.
Get the necessary resources and be at your best.
Always seek to evolve and to be better than you were before. This is how you grow as a business and also get to increase your earnings.
Having a beginner mentality, even when you are leading in your niche, is what gives you the edge over your competitors.
Without taking time to look for areas you can improve on, and instead, thinking that you have already succeeded and you don’t need to do more, you are setting yourself up for disaster and failure.
Take the example of a company like Apple.
They always roll out new iPhones, MacBooks, and iPads every year which are better in performance, design, and overall look and usage than the ones for the previous year.
And that is what has made them grow to a trillion-dollar company.
That is how much this factor matters.
Are These Factors Hard to Work on?
Now that we have seen the factors to keep in mind for success with affiliate marketing, let’s now take a look at the difficulty of making them work in your particular business.
Is it practically impossible to work on all of them in the best way possible?
My answer to this question is a big fat NO!
It is not impossible at all.
It is entirely possible to do it. However, it is not for the faint-hearted.
It takes a lot of effort and problem-solving skills to get there.
See, everyone starts at the beginner level, where you have a dream or intention to start an affiliate business.
And since we are all different, there are those who will have more resources than others.
Some will have more money than others and some will have more access to better resources while others, like me, will have nothing.
This doesn’t mean you are at a loss because you start out with nothing.
No, it just means you have a much lower beginning than the rest but you will be the one to determine the future.
I know people who started out before me who had money to do it and had better resources to succeed but I overtook them since they did not have the kind of determination that I had.
And there is also a chance that you are reading this and you could be having more determination which can make you overtake me as well.
But it takes time and patience to do that.
Basically, affiliate marketing is not hard.
It is just that some people are not willing to be determined or patient or put in the effort to succeed.
The demanding part of affiliate marketing is to balance the 3 factors that I mentioned in the previous section as they require a lot of work, planning, taking action, failing and learning from mistakes, and most importantly, never ever giving up.
Also, you need to remember that you have competitors who are aiming for the same things you are and they are working hard.
This should boost your level of determination.
But when you lose focus, fail to work, or have doubts, you are giving them an easy time beating you as their competition.
That is why you have to be fully committed to your business and always do your best to become the best in your niche and go far beyond that.
You work to beat and dominate your competitors.
You must have a thick skin and an unbeatable mindset.
This is pretty much how I have managed to get to where I am and also how you too will.
Essentially, affiliate marketing is very doable to a person who is willing to generate income from it. However, it is not a walk in the park.
It requires consistent effort of building your personal brand online within your niche, months or maybe years of patience to make your brand well-known and trusted, lots of quality content that solves people’s problems and addresses their concerns, and great optimization for your affiliate business.
Balancing these key factors is what proves to be hard for most people, but it is very possible as many people have done it over the years.
So, if you are serious about affiliate marketing, I would like to tell you that you can do it.
Take action and work on aspects I have mentioned and you will be well on your way to making affiliate commissions regularly.