Making money as an affiliate is the dream of many people. I mean, generating money while you go about your day-to-day activities does sound amazing.
And stats go strongly in favor of affiliate marketing. The data collected bythe web hosting experts from the Hosting Tribunal shows that the affiliate industry is worth about $12 billion globally. And it keeps on growing. Right now, the global affiliate marketing industry has a compound annual growth rate of 27%.

This is probably why you always see “gurus” claim that you can work for a couple of hours each week and make hundreds of thousands of dollars. It sounds too good to be true.

For the most part, it is. But it doesn’t mean you can’t make money as an affiliate marketer.

You can, but it’s not as simple as posting a link online and collecting your check. Here are a couple of things about affiliate marketing you should know.

Let’s start with the positives. Being an affiliate marketer costs virtually no money. Most affiliate programs charge nothing. Becoming an affiliate with Amazon, arguably the largest affiliate network, is as simple as creating an account and getting the right affiliate link for a product.

Another benefit is that the retailer takes care of the distribution. Your job is only to get the customers to buy the product and to collect your commission. That means you can safely take up affiliate marketing. Even if you fail, you don’t risk losing anything.

In case you already have an online presence, this is a great way to earn some extra money. You can become an affiliate and do whatever you were doing anyway. Simply market products that align with the topic of your existing blog, website, or YouTube channel.

However, the necessity of an online presence can also be a drawback. You can’t start dropping links randomly and expect money to roll in. Technically, you could, but you wouldn’t make much.

Ideally, you should create a website or some other medium through which to gather audience. Unfortunately, generating the necessary amount of traffic is not that easy. Your earnings might not start coming in for a while.

You should build a reputation through honest posts, videos, podcasts, etc. Internet users won’t trust just anyone. So, if you mash a hundred affiliate links into a blog post, you will drive everyone away. But if you create high-quality content, you might earn a good reputation and, with it, your commission will start growing.

While on the topic of reputation, let’s make it clear that affiliate links can be risky. You don’t have direct control of the product you promote—the retailer does. If the product quality is poor, or the retailers do not conduct themselves professionally, your visitors may blame you. So, you can’t just post a link to a product. You must consider if the retailer is reliable, both for your own sake and that of your customers.

To sum it up, yes, it is definitely possible to earn money through affiliate marketing. However, it will probably take as much effort as establishing any other online business from the ground up.

If you are interested in learning more about the affiliate marketing world, be sure to check out the infographic below for all the key facts

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