Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons — Is It Worth The Time And Energy?

Interested in using affiliate marketing to earn money online?

I’ll share with you the affiliate marketing pros and cons without holding back so you can decide for yourself if you should get into affiliate marketing or try out something else that fits you more.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is a form of marketing where you make an arrangement with companies to promote their products and in exchange for every sale that’s made by your recommendation you’ll receive a commission.

Most people make money with this by getting proper training, building simple websites, and putting "affiliate" links that will guide you to the company selling the product. 

Below I have outlined the entire process of affiliate marketing.

how does affiliate marketing work

As an affiliate marketer you're simply the middleman between the potential buyer and the company that offers the product.

The future of affiliate marketing

When I started out I was told by a lot of people that were into drop shipping that affiliate marketing was dying and that there was too much competition to make any real money. This all turned out to be absolute nonsense.

According to business insider since 2015 Affiliate Marketing programs have grown at least 50% every year and there is already a projection that says the same will happen this year.

Contrary to what a lot of people believe affiliate marketing isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon!

Now that I got that out of the way let’s look at…

Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons

The Pros of Affiliate Marketing

1. No Need To Spend Money On Marketing.

There are a lot of risks involved in starting a business that affiliate marketing doesn’t have. You could be near broke and still be able to set up an affiliate marketing business.

Most successful affiliate marketer’s main source of marketing, for example, isn’t advertising. It’s search engine optimization. It sounds complicated but it's actually very simple.

SEO is the act of writing content in a way that's easy to discover and index by search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

You set up a website and start posting high-quality content on it and craft it in a way that easy to understand for Google. 

The moment you’re ranked high Google will direct visitors to your website (for free) which will result in a lot of profit.

2. No need to come up with a product

An important part of creating a business is coming up with a product. This is easier said than done. There are so many businesses that spent years just developing their products and having to pivot from the direction because of the reaction of their test audience. This process takes a lot of time and money.

With Affiliate marketing, you skip this entire process. You just pick a company with affiliate products (that have been proven to be successful) that you would be interested in promoting, receive the affiliate links, and start making money.

3. No time spent on customer service

There are a lot of ways to make money online but I like Affiliate Marketing the most because of this reason. As an affiliate marketer, you don’t go over the customer service.

The companies that sell affiliate products are responsible for that. You simply refer people to the companies.

This means all the time you would’ve spent on answering questions, hearing complaints, and giving support can be spent on your marketing, making money, and enjoying your free time.

4. Affiliate Marketing Is The Gateway To Passive Income 

It seems unrealistic for most people to have passive income but affiliate marketing can make that dream very real.

The moment you have a website with content that ranked high on search engines you’ll have traffic coming to that website consistently because your website will pop-up in Google search results 24/7.

If you have built an effective sales funnel on your website everybody that lands on your website will be directed to your affiliate offers through the funnel.

Not everyone will buy the affiliate products but if the funnel works well enough you’ll have more than enough money coming in.

5. You have the freedom to make money by making content about your hobbies and interests

One of the reasons I personally was attracted to affiliate marketing is the fact that you can connect it to your hobbies and interests.

The number 1 way to get ranked on search engines is to create quality content so if you pick an affiliate product that is connected to a hobby or something you find interesting you’re basically making money by creating content about what you love.

There are affiliate websites about everything. You got gamers, comic books, fitness, relationships, cooking, and all kind of other websites that earn their income by joining affiliate programs and promoting affiliate products.

6. You aren’t trading hours for money

When you’re promoting affiliate products you’re not trading in hours for money. You're making money based on your results not on the hours you work.

In other words, it doesn’t matter when you work on your business.  

If you’re an early bird you can put some hours in, in the morning if you’re a night owl you can put hours in, in the middle of the night.

It doesn’t matter as long as you do what is necessary.

It also means if you have an effective strategy that you can increase your income without having to invest more hours.

7. You can work from anywhere

Affiliate marketing as I said before doesn’t have to be done on a fixed part of the day and since everything is done online you don’t even have to be at a specific place.

The only thing you need is a working computer and an internet connection. You can travel while you work or sit cozy at home.

Related Article At

Affiliate marketing makes it possible to create a passive income stream.
Check out my newly updated Wealthy Affiliate Review — Is It Still Worth It In 2022?! which is the affiliate marketing training platform that taught me how to create an affiliate business.

The Cons of Affiliate Marketing

There are a lot of advantages to doing affiliate marketing but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Just like everything affiliate marketing not only has pros but also cons so let’s take a look at some of them.

1. You have no say when it comes to the affiliate programs

Unlike when you have your own company you don’t have any say when it comes to the company you’ve partnered up with.

You have no control over things like product changes. You also don’t have any influence over the direction the companies take. 

This means if the company goes bankrupt you’re going to have to find another affiliate company to work with. Luckily, there are millions of affiliate programs to choose from.

2. The time needed to set things up properly

You can’t get around the fact that you need website traffic to earn money with affiliate marketing.

If you’re already a social media influencer with a large audience you can start cashing in right away but chances are you’re probably not a social media influencer.

In that case, you’re going to have to create your own traffic stream which costs time or money.

If you pay for traffic through ads you can get sales really quick but if you're doing it with SEO you're going to have to build authority in Google's "eyes" with content which takes time.

3. You get paid a commission

There are people out there that have become millionaires thanks to affiliate marketing but more than half of the money they make goes to the affiliate companies.

Most of the affiliate programs I’ve encountered give out a commission of between the 10 and 30% of every sale.

I usually look for affiliate products that give a commission of at least 40% but the fact still remains that most of the money goes to the companies.

That isn't the case when you sell your own products.

4. One Time Customers 

If you are solely relying on affiliate marketing you’ll get a lot of one-time customers. They’ll buy the product you promote at the companies website. 

So instead of leaving for example an email address with you, they leave it with the company.

This is a shame because most profit in business is made when companies retain their customers and they buy 2 or 3 more products.

There are ways to get around that if you for example incorporate email marketing but if you only rely on affiliate marketing you’ll miss out on all the possible sales your customer makes after they made the first sale.

My Take on Affiliate Marketing

In my opinion affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to get your feet wet when it comes to earning meaningful amounts of money online. 

You aren’t investing a lot of money.

The only thing you’ll be investing is time and because of the things you’ll learn about marketing, it’ll never feel like a waste. I know people who started with affiliate marketing and after that were very wanted because of their marketing skills.

Affiliate Marketing isn't a get-rich-quick scheme. It'll take time to set it up and get things rolling but the moment your website gets traction it can produce crazy results.

RD40 Success Story

Affiliate marketing has produced millions of success stories from people that went from being masively in debt to making six-figure while traveling the world. 

Maybe you'll be the next success story.

Interested in Affiliate Marketing? These should be your first steps

1. Learn how to affiliate marketing the proper way
There are a lot of blog posts and YouTube videos full of information that you can use but they often lack context. 

I'd recommend taking a look at an affiliate marketing course or join an affiliate marketing training platform where they'll train you and you'll have support every step of the way.

2. Get the resources and tools needed for your business
I'd also start to gather some information about the resources needed for affiliate marketing. There are a lot of free tools you can use but depending on your goals you might want to invest financially in them. 

3. Take Massive Action!
After that, take a lot of action. 90% of people that purchase an online course fail because they never take action. Just starting and staying consistent will put you above 90% trying to get into affiliate marketing. 

4. Have fun!
And my final tip would be to have fun! Pick a subject and affiliate product you're truly interested in. You'll be spending a lot of time on setting up your website so you might aswel enjoy it so it doesn't feel like work.

That's all for today. 

See you at my next post!

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About Rogier

I’m an Affiliate Marketing and SEO veteran, Blogger, and Pinterest Marketer based in The Netherlands. On this website, I share my learnings about online entrepreneurship, and digital resources while enjoying life to the fullest.

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