Is Being an Affiliate Marketer Worth it?

Veranika Minina 17 May 2024 Beginners Guide
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Table of contents:

  1. How does Affiliate Marketing Work?
  2. How do Affiliates Make Money?
  3. Affiliate Marketing: Is it Worth it in 2024?
  4. When is Affiliate Marketing not Worth it?
  5. Myths and Misconceptions About Affiliate Marketing
  6. Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?
  7. How to Start Affiliate Marketing?
  8. Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a lucrative sphere for making profit. People strive to join and make it as a main or additional source of income. But the success of affiliate marketer can’t come in one time, it depends on various factors that need to be examined before you enter the field. So, many people ask a reasonable question: is affiliate marketing worth it?

In this article, we’ll discuss all the pros and cons of affiliate marketing, making a conclusion if it is worth it in 2024.

How does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing in which affiliates earn commissions by promoting and driving traffic to advertisers products or services known as offers. In this terms, affiliates cooperate with advertisers with the help of affiliate networks and programs.

Affiliate marketing brings together three parties: an affiliate, an advertiser, and an affiliate network. Advertisers look for partners to promote their products or services. Affiliates take these offers and show them to an audience using affiliate links and earn commissions for successful referrals. Affiliate networks connect affiliates with advertisers collecting the offers from advertisers for affiliates being an intermediary.

In brief, affiliate marketing works as follows:

  • Step 1: Affiliate chooses a niche;
  • Step 2: Affiliate chooses an affiliate network or program and joins;
  • Step 3: Affiliate chooses offers and promotes them;
  • Step 4: Affiliate tracks conversions;
  • Step 5: Affiliate receives commission.

But if you look deeper into the process, not all affiliate networks accept newbies. You can learn more in the article “How to Join an Affiliate Network Successfully” or find the best 10 CPA networks for beginners

Affiliates also need to take care of creatives, landings and prelanding pages, choose the right traffic source, choose ways to promote the offer and much more. So, don’t believe people who think affiliate marketing is passive income. If you want to successfully develop in this field, you will need to pay maximum attention, especially at the initial stages.

How do Affiliates Make Money?

The income of affiliates varies. There are affiliate marketers who make a few hundred dollars a month and there are those who make thousands. It just depends on you and your experience.

Affiliate marketing networks suggest various payment models. They need to determine how affiliates get compensated, and are also known as commission types or conversion types.

Here are five common payment models in affiliate marketing:

  • CPS (Cost per Sale): This model calculates each sale generated;
  • CPA (Cost per Action): It is a pricing model in which marketers are compensated by advertisers for specific user actions, such as making a purchase, registering, filling a specific form, etc.;
  • CPI (Cost per Install): The payment made for each app install on a user’s device: mobile phone, tablet or computer;
  • CPL (Cost per Lead): It  is a commission type, where advertisers pay for each qualified lead generated through affiliates campaigns;
  • CPC (Cost per Click): Affiliates get money for each click on the ad.

The earnings potential in affiliate marketing depends on the level of affiliate experience. According to the research, the amounts could be as follows:

  • Beginner — $0 to $1000/pm;
  • Intermediate — $1000 to $10,000/pm;
  • Advanced — 10k to $100k/pm;
  • Super affiliate — $100k+/pm.

A few years ago, the STM Forum, a platform dedicated to affiliate marketing, conducted a survey among its members regarding their annual earnings. Here are the results:

Affiliate Marketing: Is it Worth it in 2024?

Affiliate marketing remains a valuable strategy in 2024. So, the answer to the question “Is affiliate marketing worth it” is short: Yes! And here are several reasons why you should start affiliate marketing right now.

First of all, affiliate marketing has become a popular business model. And according to the statistics, now the increasing popularity of the search term on Google Trends further confirms the significant growth observed in recent years.

Is being an affiliate worth it? Yes, it is. It provides affiliates with the opportunity to start affiliate marketing with minimal startup costs. You don’t have to go to extreme measures like taking out a second mortgage or engaging in illegal activities. Instead, all you need is a laptop, internet access, and determination.

Affiliate marketing provides flexibility and independence, freeing you from the monotonous 9-to-5 routine and heavy commute. You become your own boss and decide when and how you work. And this is a definite plus for people who want to change from working in an office to working remotely.

In affiliate marketing, your income is determined by your performance rather than the hours you work. Your ability to drive results through clicks, leads, and sales directly translates into earnings. It’s a merit-based system where hard work pays off.

When is Affiliate Marketing not Worth it?

Affiliate marketing is not the right thing to do if your main goal is to make quick money. Affiliates, for whom profit is more important than people, often promote any product without a well-thought-out strategy. In addition, they create low-quality promotional materials or do not try to improve already ready-made creatives, hoping that traffic will flow anyway, not thanks to efforts and hard work.

Although there are CPA networks that pay daily, it takes weeks for beginners to get good commissions. And at first it is highly likely that you will only invest without getting a profit.

Automation and artificial intelligence are useful in an affiliate’s work such as helping to develop text for creatives. In any case, you’ll have to check and edit AI-generated content. It’s also a bad idea to outsource most of your work, especially when you’re a novice affiliate. It’s expensive, which means you’ll have to invest even more money and prolong the wait for profits.

Affiliates often use SpyTools to get inspired by competitors’ ideas and develop their own working ad creatives. But copying them completely is a bad idea. On the contrary, calculated risk taking, fresh ideas and originality are the keys that will allow affiliates to achieve their goals.

All these factors are usually used by scammers as myths about fast earning. Let’s move on to another part of the article and discover what is a myth and how affiliate marketing actually works.

Myths and Misconceptions About Affiliate Marketing

Often beginner affiliates start affiliate marketing because they believe the rumors and myths about fast earnings, thousands of dollars a day, etc. However, you will have to work hard to reach that level.

Myth 1. Affiliate marketing is a get-rich-quick scheme

In reality, affiliate marketing is not a guaranteed way to quick wealth while you are a beginner. Building a successful affiliate marketing business requires a significant investment of time, effort and skill. But once you figure out how affiliate marketing works, which verticals suit you, which GEOs to choose, it gets easier.

Myth 2. A large audience is necessary

While having a resource and large audience can be beneficial, a niche-specific and engaged audience can be more valuable than a broad one. Furthermore, in affiliate marketing, the emphasis is often on quality rather than quantity.

However, you can start affiliate marketing without your own website. Read the article and discover all the pecularities.

Myth 3. You need a website to start

Although having a website or blog can be advantageous, it is not the sole approach to affiliate marketing. Social media platforms like Pinterest or TikTok, email marketing, push notifications, pops, and other channels can also be effective means to distribute affiliate links.

Myth 4. Affiliate marketing is passive income

As we’ve already mentioned, it requires time and effort before affiliate marketing as a passive income becomes a reality. It is crucial to create and optimize a substantial amount of content to generate enough traffic and clicks.

Myth 5. Anyone can get into affiliate marketing without an effort

Not everyone can achieve success in affiliate marketing. It demands perseverance and a set of skills in digital marketing, content creation, and effective communication.

Myth 6. Affiliate marketing is oversaturated

While certain verticals may be highly competitive, there are always opportunities in less crowded markets or by offering unique approaches within popular niches.

It’s unlikely that you will have access to all the settings of someone else’s campaigns, so you can’t copy another affiliate’s path completely anyway. But still it’s possible to look through something in SpyTools, for example, creatives.

Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?

Although affiliate marketing has controversial reviews from people who don’t know all the characteristics, it is a completely legit method of getting income. Today, affiliate marketers can achieve varying levels of success, ranging from reasonable to extraordinary. So, you can consider being a part of this opportunity.

However, it’s important to note that there are certain niches that are perceived as less “wholesome.” It is strongly recommended to select products and collaborate with advertisers and affiliate networks that are trustworthy and operate ethically.

While affiliate marketing is a legitimate business, it is essential to approach it with due diligence. As with any industry, there may be instances of fraudulent practices. It’s crucial for individuals to research and choose reputable affiliate programs and networks to partner with. Adhering to ethical guidelines and promoting trustworthy offers is essential for maintaining credibility and building long-term success in affiliate marketing.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing?

We’ve already mentioned that affiliates need several steps to start affiliate marketing. Let’s have a look at them.

Step 1. Determine the Vertical

When selecting your niche, choose something that you are passionate about and have expertise in. This will allow you to appear genuine and establish yourself as a reliable source of information for potential customers. It also enables you to assess the products and brands you wish to promote.

The vertical you choose will determine the amount of time and effort required to build it up and start seeing the results. Niches such as iGaming, Nutra/Health, Dating, Finance, etc., dominate in the market. The key is to identify untapped areas with less competition and establish your presence before others catch on.

Affiliate marketing operates as a performance-based online business. Also it is crucial to have a deep understanding of your audience and why they choose to follow you. By knowing their interests and preferences, you can leverage this knowledge to recommend the best products and increase your affiliate income. And only tests help to identify ad materials with the highest CR.

Step 2. Choose an Affiliate CPA Network

Choosing an affiliate network requires careful consideration to ensure it aligns with your specific needs and goals. Conduct thorough research to identify reputable affiliate networks that operate within your niche. Look for platforms that have a good reputation, a wide range of affiliate offers, and a track record of timely payments.

Understand the commission structure of the affiliate network. Determine if it offers a cost per action (CPA), cost per lead (CPL), or other payment models that suit your goals. Additionally, check the payment terms, such as the minimum payout threshold and payment frequency, to ensure they align with your financial requirements.

Understand the commission type of the affiliate network. Determine if it offers a CPA, CPS, CPL, or other payment models that suit your goals. Additionally, check the payment terms, such as the minimum payout threshold and payment frequency, to ensure you can get your money weekly, biweekly, or monthly.

Look for affiliate networks that offer good customer support, including responsive communication channels and assistance when needed. Additionally, consider the availability of educational resources, training materials, and community forums that can help you enhance your affiliate marketing skills.

Step 3. Select Offers

Assess the quality of the offers available on the platform. Look for offers from reputable advertisers that provide high-quality products or services. Consider factors such as the offer’s conversion rates, customer reviews, and overall reputation.

But first, don’t forget about the target audience. Ask affiliate network’s support managers about White Lists. Offers usually include the characteristics of the desired audience, for example, mobile or desktop traffic. Therefore, read the description of the offers carefully so that the effort spent on promotion is justified.

Step 4. Develop Promotional Materials

You need to create promotional materials that effectively communicate the value of the offers you are promoting, engage your audience, and drive conversions:

  • Create a clear and concise message that highlights the key benefits of the offer. Focus on how the offer solves a problem or fulfills a need for users. Add persuasive language and compelling storytelling techniques to capture their attention and create an emotional connection;

  • Include a strong and clear call-to-action in your promotional materials. A well-crafted CTA encourages users to take the desired action, such as clicking on a link, making a purchase, or subscribing to a newsletter. Make the CTA prominent and use action-oriented language to motivate the audience to act;

  • Select the appropriate format for your promotional materials based on the nature of the offer and the list of allowed sources that are included in the offer’s description. Common traffic sources include banners, text ads, email newsletters, social media posts, videos, blog posts, product reviews, etc. Consider using a mix of formats to cater to different audience segments and platforms;

  • Visuals play a vital role in capturing attention and conveying information quickly. Use high-quality images, videos, or graphics that align with the offer. Ensure that visuals added into the offer by an advertiser or affiliate network are visually appealing and relevant.

Continuously test and optimize your promotional materials to improve their performance. Experiment with different headlines, visuals, CTAs, and formats to identify what resonates best with your audience. Track key metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and earnings to measure the effectiveness of your materials and make data-driven improvements.

Conclusion

Is affiliate marketing profitable? This article shows that this sphere is worth trying for several reasons. For example, affiliate marketing is a highly rewarding and profitable endeavor for those willing to put in the effort and approach it strategically. While it may not be a quick path to success, when done right, affiliate marketing offers numerous benefits that make it worth considering.

Whether affiliate marketing is worth it depends on your commitment, passion, and willingness to adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape. With the right mindset and a well-executed strategy, affiliate marketing can offer a fulfilling and profitable journey for those who embark on it.

Veranika Minina
Veranika Minina is a fan of affiliate marketing. Veranika's articles are carefully crafted to simplify complex concepts, making them accessible to beginners while also offering fresh perspectives about CPA-networks for experienced marketers. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned marketer, Veranika's writings are sure to inspire, educate, and motivate, guiding you towards a profitable affiliate marketing journey.
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