Is affiliate marketing worth it?
This is the million-dollar question many aspiring affiliate marketers and online entrepreneurs are asking today.
The affiliate marketing industry has seen drastic growth in popularity in recent years and given how almost everyone is doing it, it’s easy to ask yourself: is affiliate marketing worth it now?
So, if you’re wondering whether it’s worthwhile to start an affiliate marketing business, you have come to the right page.
Why Choose Affiliate Marketing?
Becoming an affiliate marketer is a great way to make passive income online, but only when done correctly.
According to eMarketer, 31% of US publishers consider affiliate marketing as one of their top three revenue sources.
Image via eMarketer
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the global affiliate marketing spend is estimated to be worth $13 billion and is projected to reach $15 billion by 2024.
Image via Influencer Marketing Hub
Besides, according to a study by market research firm Astute Analytica, the global affiliate marketing industry size is projected to be worth $36.9 billion by 2030, registering a staggering growth.
And you know what?
Many successful affiliate marketers and internet entrepreneurs are already making a huge revenue with their affiliate marketing business.
But if you’re still not convinced, this comprehensive guide will answer this question for you.
Specifically, we’ll discuss several reasons why affiliate marketing is worth the effort and how you can make it work.
We’ll further talk about when affiliate marketing isn’t worth it, as well as the factors that can determine whether it can work for you.
Ultimately, we’ll share a few pros and cons of this business model.
Let’s get started.
Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It? 5 Reasons To Convince You
Let’s take a look at the reasons why affiliate marketing is worth the effort.
1. An Affiliate Marketing Business is a Great Source of Passive Revenue
When done correctly, affiliate marketing can help you generate passive income on autopilot.
This is especially true when you join multiple relevant affiliate marketing programs.
The trick with this business model is to ensure you add the unique affiliate link you get when you join an affiliate program naturally on your website or across social media platforms.
If you’re a business owner, you can also create your own affiliate marketing program and get many affiliate marketers to promote your products and services in exchange for a commission. It can help you drive a lot of sales.
Pipedrive is one of the best examples of a B2B affiliate program.
Image via Pipedrive
Pat Flynn and Doug Cunnington, on the other hand, are two of the best examples of affiliate marketers generating a passive income from affiliate marketing.
Here are tips to generate passive income with affiliate marketing:
- Define your affiliate marketing strategy.
- Choose the right affiliate products.
- Create content that provides useful information to grow an audience.
- Optimize your content to grow an engaged audience.
- Share useful videos when promoting affiliate products.
- Optimize the process to boost conversions.
2. It’s a Low-Risk Business Model
Starting affiliate marketing is by far the most low-risk method to generate passive income since you’re promoting affiliate products of other companies.
Of course, there’s still some initial investment required to start generating revenue from it. For instance, you will need to create a website or blog with an engaged audience.
That means you’ll need to register a domain name and purchase a premium theme, among other expenses.
However, the cost will be relatively lower than creating your product from scratch and marketing it. All you need after creating an affiliate website or blog is to dedicate some time to create content consistently and add an affiliate link to your posts to start generating sales and earning a commission.
Besides, the most popular social media channels like YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram offer excellent opportunities for affiliate marketers to promote products for free.
For an affiliate business, it’s a great way to generate sales without having to spend on boosting vanity metrics. You only have to pay affiliates when they generate sales for you, so your customer acquisition costs drop and the commission serves as a motivation for your affiliates to drive more sales for you, thus fueling your growth.
3. You Can Use Different Approaches to Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer
Affiliate marketing is probably the only type of business that offers you different ways to reach your audience and promote your offers using various channels.
For instance, you can create landing pages that direct website traffic to a bridge page.
You can also create engaging content in the form of blog posts and include compelling CTAs that lead users to the product pages.
Another great way to run a successful affiliate marketing business is to offer free training to your audience and then direct users to products related to the training.
It’s even possible to drive your affiliate sales through email marketing.
Home Grounds, a company that teaches home baristas how to brew world-class coffee at home uses both informative blog posts and videos to promote products:
Here is their YouTube channel. See how they’ve used comparison videos to drive affiliate sales:
Image via YouTube
The ease with which you can adapt affiliate marketing to multiple channels makes it a robust method for driving your sales.
4. There Are Many Programs to Join In the Affiliate Marketing Industry
How many affiliate marketing programs are there?
According to Datanyze, there are approximately 112,833 global affiliate networks out there:
Image via Datanyze
Amazon is among the top affiliate network technologies commanding a market share of 47.23% followed by CJ Affiliate, Rakuten, and ShareASale. Each of these affiliate networks has several programs you can sign up for.
And you know what?
There are many ShareASale alternatives that you can check out for finding relevant affiliate programs.
What does this mean?
You have an endless pool of products to promote and make money online.
Besides, you can decide to promote digital products, physical products, services, membership sites, etc.
To be successful with your chosen affiliate network, you need to follow the FTC guidelines and show a full affiliate disclosure when promoting products or services.
And what about business owners?
As a business owner, you have plenty of opportunities to find affiliates for your products.
5. Affiliate Marketing Can Be a Great Monetization Strategy
Whether you’re a YouTuber, blogger, or influencer marketer, there is no better way to monetize your audience than affiliate marketing.
Melissa is a good example of travel bloggers who have monetized their audience via blogging.
In her blog, A Broken Backpack, she shares useful travel guides that she monetizes by promoting various travel gear. She earns a commission for every sale generated.
Image via A Broken Backpack
The best part about affiliate marketing is that it’s a passive revenue strategy, so you don’t have to keep spending money to drive sales from it.
Hopefully, this answers your question: Is affiliate marketing worth it?
Why Affiliate Marketing Might Not Be Worth It?
Even though affiliate marketing can be a profitable business model and monetization method, it might not work for everyone or may not be a smart choice for you.
Here are several reasons it might not be a suitable choice for you:
1. You Want Overnight Success
Of course, everyone wants success.
However, success doesn’t come easy, especially with affiliate marketing. Before you start to generate affiliate earnings, you must put in the time and effort into creating a winning marketing strategy that can help you get a large and engaged audience.
Even once you’ve got a decent sized audience, it’s not necessary that all of them will buy the promoted affiliate products.
So if you’re expecting to make good money fast then affiliate marketing might not be a suitable monetization strategy.
As a business owner too, you’d have to build an affiliate program and promote it well to get affiliates. Only then can you expect sales to start trickling in.
2. The Products You Promote Are Poor-Quality
Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. If you were looking for products or services on the internet, you wouldn’t give attention to poor-quality products no matter how well they are promoted to you.
According to Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer report, 58% of consumers explore competing brands for better product quality:
Image via Salesforce
What does this mean?
Today’s consumers want better quality products for their money’s worth.
Thus, no matter how good the commission is for promoting the products of a company, if the quality isn’t good you’re not only going to struggle to convince people to purchase them, but will also waste your time and resources.
Remember, a good product with lower commissions will drive better revenue.
The same also applies to you if you’re a business owner. Good products will sell well.
3. Your Vendor Doesn’t Adhere to FTC Guidelines
The Federal Trade Commission requires all affiliate partners to disclose any partnership they have with other businesses using disclaimers.
What do these guidelines mean for affiliates?
You need to include a disclosure so that people can know that you earn a commission when people click the links you add to your content and purchase the products you promote.
You can include a simple disclosure like this one by Joybilee Farm.
Image via Joybilee Farm
This requirement also applies to business owners.
Failure to include the necessary disclosures can put your site on FTC radar and affiliate networks and the FTC may choose to ban you.
4. You Lack Passion or Desire for The Product You’re Promoting
The fact is that many people are doing affiliate marketing just for the money.
Of course, everyone wants money.
But here’s the thing—to make big money, you must be passionate about the offers you’re promoting.
The content you create has to be compelling enough for your audience to want to buy the products you’re promoting. If you aren’t passionate about the product yourself, you can’t expect to create content that would be hard-hitting.
5. The Product or Service Has Too Many Negative Reviews
The modern customer is more conscious than ever about what they’re going to buy. And they regularly look for reviews from other customers to see what they’re saying about a particular brand or product.
According to a 2021 Power Reviews survey, 94% of consumers say that ratings and reviews are the top factors impacting their purchase decisions.
Image via Power Reviews
Thus, if the product you’re promoting is poorly reviewed, you might reconsider doing affiliate marketing.
How to Make Affiliate Marketing Profitable
Becoming successful as an affiliate marketer isn’t just adding links throughout your blog posts and expecting to see great results. There is a lot more you need to do before you can start seeing conversions.
We’re here to help you.
Here are practical tips to help you become successful in this business:
1. Promote Products You Know More About Very Well
Or better yet, promote products you have used or interacted with.
These are products you can describe very well without referring to any sources since you already know their good and bad sides.
Promoting products of these kinds can help you to make your views appear more authentic to your website visitors since you’re talking about the experience you have heard by actually using or interacting with the product.
2. Create High-Value Content Consistently
45% of marketers are using content to increase brand awareness, 37% to drive more website traffic, and 36% for lead generation. Needless to say, it’s critical for your affiliate marketing success.
Image via Semrush
But content without quality is like tea without sugar.
Here are useful tips on how to write high-value content that can compel readers to buy using your affiliate links:
- Understand your audience.
- Research trending topics that resonate with them.
- Find keywords that your audience is searching for.
- Write for your audience, not yourself or search engines.
- Make your content readable, skimmable, and engaging.
- Keep search intent and your goal in mind.
- Make your content helpful, trustworthy, and useful.
- Keep your content fresh.
- Optimize it with relevant keywords to improve Google rankings.
3. Familiarize Yourself a Little Bit With the Industry
You don’t need to be an expert to start affiliate marketing. For what it’s worth, you need some prior knowledge in the field as you develop your expertise along the way.
This means that you need to dedicate some time and effort to learning the ins and outs of the industry.
First, find out how the model works, what affiliate marketing strategies you can use, as well as the rules and guidelines of the game.
The good news?
There are plenty of free and paid courses out there. You can also become a member of popular affiliate marketing groups on social media.
How to Run a Successful Affiliate Marketing Business
Yes, affiliate marketing is worth it but not all can experience great success in it.
If you’re a business owner looking to be successful with this type of revenue model, here are useful tips to guide you:
1. Promote Better Quality Products
Generally, quality is every customer’s number one priority when purchasing anything, especially in today’s business world full of counterfeit products.
So if you want to be successful, you must ensure your affiliate program prioritizes the following key elements:
- Better product pricing.
- Good quality products that give customers value for their money.
As you can see in this Demand Gen B2B buyers survey report, product pricing is a key consideration for 82% of consumers while selecting solution providers:
Image via Demand Gen
Thus, better quality products and good pricing go hand-in-hand.
2. Find Passionate Affiliates
Passion is the driver of business success. It’s essential that you partner with only those affiliates who are passionate about the products you’re selling.
Since the affiliates will be responsible for promoting your products, they must be able to describe the products well to help customers make informed decisions. Without passion, they can’t achieve this.
In fact, a good rule of thumb is to pick affiliates who have used your products or have some experience in your industry.
This will help them provide an in-depth explanation of the benefits people can get when they buy your products.
3. Find Affiliates Who Are Relevant to Your Target Customers
Partnering with affiliate marketers who have a strong connection with your audience means having someone who knows your customers' pain points.
These are people who can show your customers how your products can be a suitable solution for their problems.
Here are useful tips to partner with the right affiliates:
- They must have an engaged audience that trusts their opinion.
- Their audience’s needs, wants, and pain points must relate to your products or services.
If you’re just getting started in this sector, we recommend choosing affiliates who are well-aware of your niche.
Q1. How long does it take to be successful with affiliate marketing?
A. Typically, you can expect to start seeing results 6 months to 1 year.
Here are useful tips to help you speed up the results:
- Pick affiliate programs that match your niche and interests.
- Generate informative content that can set you apart from the competition and establish you as an authority in your niche.
- Thoroughly promote your content using various channels such as email marketing, social media, etc.
Q2. Is affiliate marketing still worth it in 2023?
According to the survey mentioned above, there is no denying that affiliate marketing is worth it in 2023 and the years to come. It’s not only a great way to supplement your revenue but can also help you grow your business greatly.
Q3. Is affiliate marketing good for beginners?
Affiliate marketing can be a profitable business for both beginners and experts alike.
The most important thing is to consider the factors affecting it like your content quality, website traffic, product familiarity, and more, and working to ensure you’re getting them all right.
Q4. How much does the average affiliate marketer make?
The average affiliate marketer in the United States makes $12,915 per month or $75 per hour. This translates to $154,983 per year
Q5. What is the success rate of affiliate marketing?
The average success rate of affiliate marketing ranges between 0.5% to 1%. This is just an estimation because not all affiliate marketers disclose their conversion rates. Besides, the success rates vary from one industry to another.
So Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?
The final answer to this question is a big YES.
However, it takes time and a lot of work because you need to determine your target audience, create engaging content that ranks high in Google, optimize the process, and distribute the content effectively across multiple platforms.
If you can put in the work and effort, affiliate marketing can be a great way to generate recurring revenue in 2023 and beyond.
And if you aren’t sure how to develop content for your affiliate marketing business, you can leverage our professional content writing services.
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