Affiliate marketing is slowly gaining popularity among people who are looking for ways to make a living online as well as those who are looking to boost their salary or monthly income.
It is now being seen as a great money-making opportunity for anyone out there. But in actual sense, is affiliate marketing really profitable?
Can you make anything substantial with it, if any?
Well, I will be addressing this issue at length here and help you understand, through my years of experience with it, if you can make a living out of it or not.
Let’s get started, shall we?
A Bit of Perspective on Affiliate Marketing First
If you are trying to figure out whether affiliate marketing is profitable, then there is a high chance you already know how affiliate marketing works.
But for the sake of those who don’t quite understand the workings of it, it is worth making it clear for them on how this business model works.
Generally, an affiliate marketer gets to promote products and services from different merchants and producers to consumers and gets a commission from every sale they initiate through their affiliate links.
A merchant or a producer or a seller creates the services or products they want to offer. From there, they use affiliate marketing as a way to promote their products.
This is where the affiliate marketer, also known as the publisher or affiliate, comes in.
The affiliate uses different platforms, mostly websites, social media sites, YouTube channels, and podcasts among others to get people who are interested in the products as well as the services and promote them to the interested people.
The affiliate has to make use of different strategies to get the right kind of audience that will convert to buyers so that they can increase the sales of the products and services and make more money.
The consumer, on the other hand, is pretty much the interested person or the audience that would benefit from the products and services.
They often start out as readers or visitors of the platforms ran by affiliate marketers and then end up becoming buyers.
Consumers get to benefit a great deal from affiliate marketing since it is through this that they are able to know about the existence of a product that will satisfy their needs.
They also get to know more about the product and how effective it is since they learn from most of the experiences of the affiliate marketers who often try out these products and give honest reviews.
Sometimes, the consumers are also able to know the best places to buy the products at affordable prices that will help them save on the costs.
Now that we have learned that consumers do benefit from affiliate marketing, let’s get to see if and how affiliate marketers and merchants profit from affiliate marketing too.
Is Affiliate Marketing Profitable to Companies and Firms
As an owner of a product or creator of services, you might wonder which benefits you will get out of leveraging affiliate marketing as part of your marketing strategy.
It is a reasonable concern since you want returns on your investments and if affiliate marketing cannot give you that, it is not worth your time and money.
Now affiliate marketing has proven to be very fruitful to business owners in a huge way for increasing the sales of their products and services.
Firstly, the statistics of affiliate marketing are quite encouraging to any business owners out there.
A recent survey that was published by Inc revealed that 95% of advertisers found that using affiliate programs as part of their marketing plan proved to be rewarding.
Another research report by the Business Insider Intelligence showed that affiliate marketing accounts for 15% of the revenue from the digital media industry.
The success of affiliate marketing in the business world is what has contributed to its growth over the years and has earned trust from many companies.
That is why more companies keep investing more in affiliate marketing as Statista has confirmed.
If you check out the trend of affiliate marketing spending, you will realize that every year, the amount of affiliate marketing spend has gone up.
Naturally, companies only spend on the strategies that are profitable to help increase their profits and if they are spending more every year in affiliate marketing, it means that they are seeing its returns and they are quite happy with them.
Secondly, if you take time to think about the value it adds to the market and the business model it uses, you will see why it would be a good idea to work with it.
Millions of consumers turn to affiliates for more information on various niches. They see them as knowledge houses where they can go and learn what good products there are in a certain niche and which is the best of them all.
Many of these affiliates are consumers too, so they know what their fellow consumers want.
And if you are a company that has great quality products that solve the problems of the consumers and you offer affiliates programs, you will see a good increase in the sales of your products.
The other advantage of affiliate marketing for businesses is that you only get to pay affiliates after you have made sales.
Think about it.
When you advertise your products on TV or other media channels, you pay and your products are put in front of millions of people. But you are not sure if you will make the number of sales you desire.
That means you can either make sales or fail to make even a dime from the advertising.
This, to me, is casting the net too wide in unsure waters.
However, with affiliate marketing, you get to release the commissions to the affiliates out of the money they have already made for you.
So you are paying them after you have benefited first.
That is a really good and fair marketing strategy for companies if you ask me.
So, with all the many proofs, it is clear that affiliate marketing is quite advantageous to companies, producers, and merchants.
Is Affiliate Marketing Profitable to Affiliate Marketers?
When we look at the affiliate marketer’s side, profitability is mostly about the commissions you are earning and the income you are getting on a regular basis.
I understand this very well since I am an affiliate myself.
And since I like seeing visual proof, I have decided to dedicate the next section to showing you how profitable affiliate marketing can actually be when you do it right.
I will be showing income proofs for successful affiliates, the actual figures they are making per month, and will also be giving you a brief idea of each of the successful websites they run.
For now, I would like to take a look at how the business model for affiliate marketing increases the ability to make more profits for affiliates.
Starting and running costs
Firstly, looking at the starting costs, you can start affiliate marketing with a cost ranging from $0 to $100 based on the platform and the resources you choose to work with.
I have actually covered the topic on the cost of starting affiliate marketing for almost all platforms in great depth and I would encourage you to read it so that you can get a clearer picture of this aspect.
You can read the post here -> How much does affiliate marketing cost?
However, I will give you a brief idea and show you how it favors the affiliates.
If you are on a budget, you can literally begin doing affiliate marketing without spending a dime but as you grow, you invest in resources that help improve the value and trustworthiness of your business.
The good thing about the expenses is that you have a low starting cost and running cost since most of the resources you will need to maintain the operation of the affiliate business are affordable as I have explained in the in-depth guide I provided I link to.
The best part is, as an affiliate, you don’t get to physically handle the products. You won’t be shipping them, maintaining them to make sure they are in good condition or anything else that might cost you more in regard to the products you are promoting.
Your work is only that of a marketer.
You talk and advertise products and then you direct the potential buyers to the merchant. From there, the merchant handles the rest.
That is a great deal of weight off your shoulders and you also get to save a lot of money you’d have spent if you handled the products yourself.
Since your will be making people aware of the products and then leading them to the seller, you work is easier than the merchants and you also get to leave that work to be done by those who know it best, which increases your credibility as well as the merchants’.
The freedom of choice and diversity
As an affiliate, you can promote as many products as you want. You are not limited to any number of products.
This means you can earn from hundreds of affiliate programs from different merchants all at once.
This is more money in the bank for you if you know how to go about managing the promotion of all the products you are working with.
Moreover, you can get into any niche you want and promote the products you want there.
This gives you the chance to venture into a niche you know well about, which in turn allows you to enjoy yourself and have a higher probability of succeeding.
In the long run, it increases your abilities to make more money without feeling like you are working.
Freedom to work when you want
And speaking about feeling like it’s not work, you get to work when you want.
Unlike regular day jobs that have set limits for working, affiliate marketing gives you the opportunity to work when you feel is your best time.
If you are a morning person, you can spend your mornings building out your business and enjoy the evenings with family, and friends. If you are a night owl, you can still enjoy your peak hours of productivity.
This goes a long way into helping you do a good job, which will increase your profitability from affiliate marketing.
Ability to make passive income
The icing on the cake is that with good effort of actively building your affiliate business, you can be able to build income in a couple of years that will be paying you every month without having to put in much effort.
People are always going online to look for services and products, and if you create good quality content that will answer their questions and solve their problems, and then target the right audience with optimization services, you can be making pretty amazing recurring commissions like the affiliates I will be showing you in the next section.
More people turning to online purchases
Lastly, what makes affiliate marketing even more wonderful in the long term is that hundreds of thousands of people every year are beginning to make online purchases their preferred method of purchase due to its convenience.
Statistics have shown that with the rapid growth of online purchasing, it is expected that by 2040, at least 95% of purchases will be through e-commerce.
This means that affiliates are needed now more than before to help the people make the right purchase decisions and get to buy the right products.
More people going online means more visitors to your affiliate business which then means more profits for you.
Now let’s dive into the real-life examples of affiliates who are making a killing in terms of profit from affiliate marketing.
Examples of Affiliates That Are Making Huge Profits
Many affiliates have been shying away from the idea of posting their income reports due to many reasons. I have seen many super affiliates announce that they won’t be posting their reports due to security and other reasons.
However, we are lucky enough to have a few left to inspire anyone who wishes to succeed in affiliate marketing.
Here are some affiliates who have been making some seriously good money over the years and whose income grow almost every month as they keep developing their businesses.
First, we have Entrepreneurs on Fire website by John Lee Dumas. He runs the affiliate website that is based on helping pursue and succeed in entrepreneurship.
The website has been running since 2012 and it has had great success. The owner has been able to make more than $150,000 per month in 2020.
The website’s most recent income report was for June 2020 where there was a monthly income of over $170,000. The highest monthly income so far was for April 2020 where it hit over $260,000 for that month alone.
Second, we have Kara and Nate why run a travel blog. They aim to help travel enthusiasts learn how they can have as much fun as possible by traveling the world while saving much on the costs.
Their income reports go back as 2016 and the most recent report is for the 3rd quarter of 2019. They made more than $120,000 through that period.
Third, there is Busy Budgeter website that is owned by Rosemarie. The website is aimed at helping people save money and do good budgeting that improve the quality of their lives.
January 2017 income report for the website shows it made more than $86,000 for only that month.
Fourth, we have the Melyssa Griffin website owned by Melyssa Griffin. The website is based on teaching bloggers and online entrepreneurs how to turn their passions into profitable ventures.
Her April 2016 income report shows that she made more than $56,000.
Lastly, we have Just a Girl and Her Blog that is owned by Abby, who says her passion is creating a beautiful, thriving home, life, and business, and helping other people do the same.
The blog was started in January 2013 and her May 2016 income report shows that she made a net profit of a little over $32,000 for the month of May.
These are just some of the examples of affiliates who are making it big in the affiliate world. There are even more out there.
And while they have many income-earning methods, a huge chunk of the income comes from affiliate marketing.
As I had earlier mentioned, many bloggers and website owners have stopped publishing their income reports, and as you can see most of the ones I have featured are from a few years ago.
This means that their incomes might have risen since then and they could be earning more than that at the moment.
I believe with this, it is evident that affiliate marketing is actually a very profitable venture.
Tips to Remember and Work With to Make Profits Too
So how do you get to create a similarly successful and long-lasting affiliate business as well? Here are valuable tips that have helped the super affiliates get from the ground up to run some of the well-known and trusted affiliate businesses on the web:
1. Focus on quality content – Regardless of the path you choose in terms of content, the quality of the content you published in your business should always remain the top priority. If you are running an affiliate website, make sure that your posts and pages are the most educative and informative.
Aim to help the visitors get the kind of long-lasting solutions they need to solve their problems. Aim to answer all their questions and address all their concerns and worries with your content. Be truthful and helpful every time and you will be trusted by many readers and visitors. The same thing applies to content like videos, photos, and podcasts. Always aim to provide the kind of value that no one else is willing to.
2. Help, don’t sell – There is always this temptation of wanting to paint a certain product in a good light so that you can get people to buy it since it is paying really high commissions. Many affiliates have fallen into this temptation and have lost their dignity and sense of integrity in the process.
Any business out there that has flourished is based on honesty, not deception that is based on greed, and if you have a wish of ever owning a well-performing business, you will want to train yourself to be honest as early as now. If you are reviewing a product you know is not really fit for your visitors, tell them openly even if hurts your abilities to make money with the product. The trust you gain from doing that will help you make even more money in the near future.
3. Show rather than tell – If you are in a niche and platform that allows you to demonstrate something you are you saying or talking about, make use of it. If it is a product you are reviewing, have a photo of it. If it is a video, do your best to have the product there with you as you talk about it. Humans are visual by nature and the sight of the product gives more perspective on what you are addressing. I think that explains the whole proverb that says a picture is worth a thousand words.
4. Focus on good optimization strategies – Optimization of the platform you are using to promote affiliate products is always a necessity. And when you are doing it, you should always ensure that you do it right. If you have the skills, do it as best as it should be done. If you don’t have good optimization skills for a website, your YouTube channel, or podcast or any other platforms, hire a highly skilled expert.
Ensure that you do your due diligence first and know the key aspects of optimization and an idea of how it should be done. Then hire someone who offers these kinds of services in the exact way you have learned is correct. This will help your affiliate business grow and have long term success and it will also save you the disappointment of getting penalized by search engines or getting your account banned by social media platforms and channels.
It might cost you a lot of money to do it right but it is always worth it in the end.
5. Diversify your income sources – It is wise not to keep all your eggs in one basket. Have a number of affiliate programs you are working with and which you are actively promoting. It will really increase your earnings. As you have seen in the examples I have given in the previous section, almost all the websites have a couple of ways to generate income. And on top of that, they have about 5 affiliate programs they are making money with.
This is what we call, planting in the morning as well as in the evening since you don’t know which one will do better than the other.
Also, you don’t know what will happen in the future, so you always want to have options.
For instance, if you consider the ever-changing terms and commission structure of Amazon’s affiliate program, you will see the need of having another affiliate network since many people who were making all their income from it have had huge disappointments after the recent changes.
6. Diversify your traffic sources – It is also important to have a variety of sources of traffic no matter the platforms you are using. Yes, you should start with one and build it out but eventually, you should consider other sources for your own security. This will help your business to not only grow but also remain stable.
7. Choose a good niche – Another thing that lots of people struggle with and which goes on to affect their affiliate businesses is choosing a niche that is not good for them. They could be working with a niche that is very limited in terms of information, therefore, lacking content to publish, or choosing a niche they don’t like and are not willing to learn more about or one that gives them problems with creating a reliable brand.
Choosing a good niche is key and you simply want to take time to know which niches you are passionate about and which one exactly you feel comfortable with that is profitable in the long term. For the most part, the two essential features of a good niche are passion and profitability.
These are the main tips to keep in mind for success.
Please note that there are many affiliates who are not making money as they would want because of not applying one or some of these tips.
So make sure you remember and use all of them.
Even though affiliate marketing is profitable, not every affiliate out there is actually making money with it.
You need to do it right, work hard every day, be patient, and persistent.
In essence, affiliate marketing is a really profitable business. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, have been able to make more than $100,000 from it and their income keeps growing every month as they build their affiliate businesses.
You too can do it and get to make a full-time income from it.
You just need to get started right away and begin your affiliate journey.
It is definitely not a walk in the park. It is going to be challenging for you but I am more than sure you can do it.
You are capable to do what is required and build a reliable income stream that will pay you for years to come.
Also, if you need a hand with anything, I am always here.
Drop your comment below and I will be more than glad to help you out.
Here’s to your upcoming success with affiliate marketing and to more profits. 🙂