Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It? Yes.

If you know how to make money with affiliate marketing, your efforts will always be worthwhile. It’s a business strategy that can help you leverage your expertise in your industry, attract a larger audience, and generate a steady stream of revenue.

But before you get into the affiliate marketing business, you should understand what it is and how it works. This model differs from the typical business style where you promote your own products and services.

Believe it or not, you’ll probably never earn a dime directly from a sale made through affiliate marketing. If that sounds confusing, keep reading. We’ll explain how this model enables you to earn commissions based on consumer actions.

How Does an Affiliate Marketing Business Work?

While entrepreneurs have been compensated for referring customers to other businesses for centuries, this reciprocal model has become more difficult with the advent of e-commerce. For example, if a consumer purchased a bird feeder from, how would the owner of that online store know what prompted the purchase? It’s not like you can get into a brick-and-mortar business, but have a quick chat at the counter.

Serial inventor William J. Tobin provided a solution in 1994. It has created technology that can track a customer’s journey so you can know if they’ve reached your website by clicking on a link created by another entrepreneur. In other words, if someone affiliated with your business created a promotion that drove a customer to your website to click, you could give them a commission for their actions. Encouraging referrals in this way creates arrangements in which both parties are motivated to help each other.

Maybe you are familiar with Amazon Associates. With hundreds of thousands of participants from around the world, the program has made it easier than ever to sign up and promote the platform’s products. Not surprisingly, Amazon Associates is often credited with helping the business grow from a suburban garage to a global giant.

The same user-friendly structure that helped Amazon Associates reach unprecedented heights is now the industry standard. Signing up is simple and you can promote links in many places. And the required actions are varied: In some cases, you’re only paid when the customer makes a purchase. But other times, it’s when they schedule a sales call, download a new app, or start a free trial.

As long as the clicks are coming from your unique link, the cookies follow the customer to the final action. Depending on the program, you can earn up to 50% of the purchase amount. More commonly, you can expect 5-7% of a sale.

Given the accessibility of affiliate marketing, it is not surprising that it has become a global phenomenon. Consider these eye-opening statistics:

  • 80% of brands now have affiliate marketing programs
  • The global industry is valued at approximately $12 billion
  • Affiliate marketing is credited up to 16% of all online purchases
  • 80% of affiliate marketers expect their revenue to continue to grow

As you can see, there are opportunities to make a substantial amount of money as an affiliate marketer. But if you ask “is affiliate marketing worth it?” If you’re wondering. The answer is yes – if you know how to make money with affiliate marketing.

The same principle applies whether you’re talking about freelancing as a copywriter, launching a line of beauty products, or working as a consultant. Deciding to do just one of these will do you nothing. But if you understand how to do it and dedicate yourself to this pursuit, your earning potential will skyrocket.

Understanding Affiliate Marketing Business

There are a few different ways to approach making money with affiliate marketing. First, you can use your industry experience to recommend a product to your followers or an engaged audience. The other is to share a link to products you don’t have links to, thus making it a more general advertisement.

Let’s take a closer look at these 2 strategies so you can see which one works best for you.

Use Your Expertise

The first approach is to increase your influence. If you have personally used a product, you can share its benefits with your target audience. For example, a well-known e-commerce store owner might write a blog article about the cool new templates Shopify has to offer. Every time a reader clicks the link within the article and creates an account with Shopify, the blogger receives compensation.

This affiliate marketing method connects you to the product for better and for worse. Your reputation may empower you to make more money, but you may lose followers if the product turns out to be garbage. That’s why it’s important to review the products you’re promoting.

This dynamic becomes even more poignant when you introduce products that are relevant to your expertise but that you don’t actually use. When you choose wisely, your recommendation will carry weight and your followers will generally be happy with their purchase.

But if you are careless (or greedy), the risks increase. Not only do you lose your equity with your followers, but you may lose your compensation as an affiliate marketer if they return their purchases. Many programs require that you only get paid when there is no response within a certain period of time.

Read more: The Beginner’s Best Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Use the General Method

But what if you don’t have a follower? But what if you don’t even want to tie a product to yourself? No problem. You can run regular ads promoting a link.

The advantage here is that you don’t risk your own brand if a recommendation turns out to be wrong. Customers can return purchased items, which will affect your compensation, but this will not have a long-term impact on your business.

The downside is that you can’t speak as an expert. Because you can’t use your influence in the industry, you may have a hard time convincing people to click a link and take action.

If you already have a position of authority in your industry, the hardest part of affiliate marketing is done. As you know, it can take years to develop the experience and reputation needed to attract followers.

Would you like to take advantage of this expertise? Affiliate marketing is a natural way to influence the actions of others.

Of course, the generic method is an option for those who already have followers as well as those who don’t. If you don’t want to add your personal brand to the products you promote, simply take an anonymous approach to your promotions. You will always have the opportunity to make a personal presentation for products that you think you will invest more in in the future.

Targeting is Essential for Affiliate Marketing to Work

Regardless of your own role in your affiliate marketing strategy, your marketing must always be targeted in order to work. This isn’t a brand awareness campaign you can feel good about “seeding with leads”. If someone doesn’t click on the link and take the requested action, you won’t be paid. It’s that simple.

This means you need to promote the link your target audience will look at. For an affiliate marketing campaign for a software product, you might be able to highlight the link in an industry newsletter. For a campaign featuring a new kind of electric drill, you might be even more successful by promoting it in DIY videos on YouTube.

Here are some potential places to focus your efforts:

  • blog articles
  • Social media posts
  • video content
  • Email campaigns
  • Newsletters
  • webinars
  • PPC (pay-per-click) ads
  • training sessions

When it comes to affiliate marketing, there is no one size fits all. To be successful, you need to be deliberate and precise. One of the worst things you can do is spend time and effort promoting a link to the wrong audience.

Work Hard and Be Patient

Even after determining the ideal way to share your link, the truth is that affiliate marketing is a growing game. You may see some customer activity right away, but real money takes time to accumulate.

Therefore, it is important to embark on this journey with high energy and realistic expectations. The harder you work, the better your results will be. The smarter you work, the more sustainable your results will be. But creating a thriving affiliate market business will always take time.

Additionally, the quality of your affiliate marketing partners also plays an important role. When the product is desirable and customer service is good, you will see much better success.

If you think you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, it may be helpful to talk to someone who has already achieved success in the industry. This mentor could be a friend, family member, or former colleague. The important thing is that you find a reliable guide that can help you improve your efforts and identify future opportunities.

You can also find valuable guidance from our library of free business courses. These insightful resources are offered by proven entrepreneurs who navigate the marketing of their businesses and find ways to accelerate success.

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