Is affiliate marketing legitimate? Is affiliate marketing profitable? Is affiliate marketing difficult?
I will endeavour all of your questions and more! Before we get into it though, let's start with the basics.
Affiliate marketing is a legitimate way to make money from home, and is expanding as the online economy reaches new heights every day.
In my mind, it is one of the BEST ways to make money online. There are no financials barriers to entry, either. If you don't know about affiliate marketing then I'm excited for you to learn!
What is affiliate marketing online?
The premise of affiliate marketing is that you can be rewarded with a commission for selling someone else's product via an affiliate link online.
Anyone like you or me can sign up to an affiliate program and sell a product on behalf of someone else, say through a company like Amazon.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you can earn money from selling products without ever having to buy those products, or ship them. You can do it from the comfort of your own home. Here's how it works:
The potential in affiliate marketing is HUGE
As ecommerce has grown exponentially, so has affiliate marketing. In fact, affiliate marketing allows many companies to survive as more and more retailers are having to close their doors. The really smart retailers are those that are expanding their online presence and harnessing the power of their affiliate networks – they rely on others to attract people to their websites and make purchases, and they reward those affiliates well. Businesses are now able to quickly expand to new audiences through affiliate advertisers, offering them the ability to quickly acquire new customers through these partnerships.
They incorporate affiliate marketing into their business strategies and plans. Companies like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Macy’s, Apple, Target, Shopify and AllExpress have invested heavily in their affiliate programs and their online presence.
The companies that are not thriving are those who are not maximising their online potential, including Sears, and Myer in Australia. Toy’s R Us should have embraced affiliate marketing, but they did not, and look what happened to them in 2018. There will be more and more retailers who close their doors because they have not kept up with online retail.
With the continuing exponential growth of online retail, the affiliate marketing industry will continue to grow and thrive.
Affiliate Marketing is NOT multi level marketing!
You will note that affiliate marketing is NOT multilevel marketing (often referred to as MLM). Don’t make the mistake of thinking they are related because they could not be more different.
A multi level marketing system involves you having to recruit new members from your network to form a downline. In MLMs there are basically two ways you can earn money:
- By selling a product, and
- By receiving commissions from the sales of your downline (i.e. people you recruit into your network)
The distributors (salespeople) are expected to sell products directly to consumers by way of relationship referrals and word of mouth marketing. MLMs are the ones where people try to sell their friends and family. Affiliate marketing does not rely on word of mouth and hard sells to the people around you. With affiliate marketing, you create a compelling website that people find through search engines.
There are legitimate affiliate marketing programs everywhere
There are a multitude of affiliate programs out there. A quick google search will tell you that. It is always FREE to sign up to an affiliate program, and you can sign up to as many as you like.
Some of the larger affiliate programs include:
Affiliate programs are everywhere …
There are literally thousands of affiliate programs out there. I have just chosen a few of the larger ones to show you. There are even affiliate programs for the most obscure items. A quick google of something you are interested in, will show you. For example, the google search “Childrens clothes + affiliate program” produces over 2+ million results:
If a product exists, there is someone who needs to sell it
Vendors want you to sell their products for them, and will pay you to do it. It makes business sense for them to pay you a commission to sell their products. It means less advertising costs for them, increased online presence, and quicker product turnaround.
Most affiliate programs are very easy to sign up to. Some will require your website URL, so for those you will want to make sure you have your website up prior to trying to join their affiliate program. When you sign up to an affiliate program, they will let you know how to access the affiliate links that you will put onto your site that will turn into your commissions. You do not need to have any technical knowledge to do this. The affiliate programs will provide easy to follow instructions.
The commission that you will earn will depend on who you sign up with, and the product being sold.
More examples of affiliate programs, by industry
Fashion and shoes
Because who doesn’t like fashion and shoes?! This is a huge niche and there is no shortage of fantastic affiliate programs out there. Here’s a few:
Health and fitness
Health and fitness is another huge niche that is full of potential. Here are a few of the top of affiliate programs within the health and fitness niche:
Cosmetics and Beauty
Cosmetics and beauty is another massive niche that is yours to explore and monetise. Here are some of the larger cosmetics and beauty affiliate programs:
How to get started as an affiliate marketer
There has never been an easier time to make a start in the world of affiliate marketing. However, just like any business, becoming a successful affiliate takes time, discipline and dedication.
There are some things you will need to consider. You will want to do some thinking about the niche you are interested in. For example, are you a keen cyclist? Interested in nutrition? Is your passion for gaming? Sewing? Wines from a particular region? Children’s educational toys? Reading? Personal development? Once you find your niche, you will need to determine how you want to offer something that captures people’s interest. You will need to be authentic in your messaging so that people want to connect with you.
If that’s beginning to sound overwhelming, let me put your mind at ease. The Wealthy Affiliate training will teach you all about this, you don’t need to figure it out on your own.
You should never stop learning about your niche, or about affiliate marketing. This is your business so you’ll need to remain up to date. You will not become rich overnight. You should not quit your job tomorrow. You will need to put in the work!
To sum up, here’s a short video, “How to make money with affiliate marketing for beginners”, here:
Answers to our first questions
- Is affiliate marketing legitimate? Hopefully you've seen that affiliate marketing is absolutely legitimate, and is being built into the business strategies of leading companies who are serious about remaining at the top of their game.
- Is affiliate marketing profitable? Affiliate marketing is profitable for both affiliate marketers and companies offering affiliate programs.
- Is affiliate marketing difficult? Affiliate marketing is quite easy to learn when you have access to the right tools and learning. Wealthy Affiliate makes the learning straight forward and is appropriate for beginners through to experienced marketers. It does take work for your website to become an authority in its niche, but everything worthwhile in life requires effort.
Update: May 2019 - exciting development!
The Wealthy Affiliate Platform continues to innovate and improve, and if I wasn't already impressed, now I'm just blown away. They have outdone themselves with this update! It's a new "Affiliate Programs" function, where researching and managing your affiliate programs has never been easier.
The search element helps users find affiliate programs with efficiency, based on filters and keywords that meet their search criteria. You cansearch programs based on a number of different filters.
- Country Availability (Is this available to you as an affilaite in your country)
- Payout options
- Auto approval of commissions
- Commission %/$
- Network fee
You can search for whatever affiliate programs you like. Then, when you find the ones that you want to join, you can join them right then and there on the platform, with all of the information available to you. Let's take a look:
You can find out more information about the affiliate program by clicking on it, and when you find an affiliate program that you want to join, you can join it right then and there. In this example, I searched for affiliate programs related to clothing and accessories. A number of affiliate programs were returned. I clicked on "Forever New Clothing", a Melbourne based brand I'm very familiar with, and got some more information, together with a link to directly join the program:
There are about 10,000 affiliate programs available so far!
There will be future updates that will connect affiliates and merchants. This first version establishes the core search and management technology. There will be interative advancement to this aspect of the platform as a "home" for affiliate program managers to work directly with their affiliates.
Affiliate programs contintue to grow over time as affiliate marketing becomes a critical part of any successful companies' business strategy. The technology and the ability for affiliate programs and their managers to communicate will continue to improve, and the resources available to you as an affiliate across various programs and niches will evolve through the Wealthy Affiliate platform. All successful affiliate programs understand that affiliates are the bread and butter of their online business and their overall reach, and the focus of the Wealthy Affiliate platform is going to be getting you the best access directly to these merchants in a safe and easy to use environment. This is truly an industry first.
What are you waiting for?
Affiliate marketing has a very bright and lucrative future. With Wealthy Affiliate there are no barriers to getting started, and you have the tools and support to help you build a consistent revenue stream. I consider Wealthy Affiliate to provide the best affiliate marketing course available, with exceptional tools and support available.
Try it out for yourself!
Leave me a comment or question below and I’m happy to help.