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No, Affiliate Marketing Is Not a Scam

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No Affiliate Marketing Is Not a Scam

When Tim Berners-Lee invented the hypertext webpage, he envisioned a world of shared information. It didn't take long for businesses to realize that the web was a new shopping platform too. In fact, years before the web, in 1989, the first ever internet affiliate program was born when William J Tobin enlisted people to refer customers to PC Flowers, Inc. The company is considered the web's first ever commercial success story, and it paved the way for today's multi-billion dollar affiliate marketing industry.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

Affiliate marketing is occasionally categorized with online 'get rich quick' schemes, which has led some marketers to assume that it's a scam, or a waste of time. In fact, the top 3.3% of the world's affiliate marketers are making more than $500,000 per year, proving that it's a sound business model. Affiliate marketing is essentially a form of commission-based retail, just like traditional door-to-door sales. You refer a consumer who makes a purchase, and you get a cut of the profit. The more you refer, the more you earn.

We've broken down affiliate marketing into four key steps, but there are some clear take-aways to note. Affiliate marketers tend to make more money when they have an affinity for the products they market, since this helps them to understand what customers are looking for. As part of your marketing plan, you'll need to design a website, create content, and advertise products; if you're excited about a product launch, your target audience will be too. Additionally, affiliate marketing is not a one-time task to make money. You'll do best if you constantly invest time and effort into making your website appealing.

A Business You Can Grow

Whether you want to use affiliate marketing to boost your earnings, or you want to carve out a new career, it's not too late to join some programs and start work as an affiliate. With dedication, creativity, and persistence, you could supplement your salary. If you know how to create great content, you could engage a loyal and highly engaged audience.

No, Affiliate Marketing Is Not a Scam

No, Affiliate Marketing Is Not a Scam

Affiliate marketing can be an effective method for brands to reach their customer and for affiliates to make some money. But to many people, it is seen as a waste of times at best, or a scam at worst. The truth is much more positive. Affiliate marketing is a good choice for almost anyone, and for the right person, it can be a goldmine.

Can I Really Make Money with This?

  • Yes! While many affiliate marketers (39.2%) make little ($0-$5K annually)
    • 5.9% earn $50K-$100K per year
    • And 3.3% make $500K+ each year
  • How much money they make depends on their affiliate partner(s) and the price of the items involved
    • Most campaigns pay commissions of 18%-50%
      • Larger companies might pay as low as 4%
        • However, 4% of a $500 TV is better than 50% of a $10 book
  • If a marketer were able to make just one $100 commission per day, they would earn $36,500 per year.
  • In 2012, affiliate marketing represented 6% of the UK's online economy, generating $14.14 billion in sales

Is It Worth the Effort?

  • One of the great advantages of affiliate marketing is that it has no real start-up costs
  • It isn't hard to learn
    • Those who are willing can pick it up quickly
  • It does take work
    • Websites without much traffic probably won't see many sales
      • Though a low-traffic website may have a high conversion rate
      • The key is to be able to sell to your audience

Isn't it just a fad?

  • Affiliate marketing has been around almost as long as the Internet
    • The first affiliate marketing program was created by William J Tobin, founder of PC Flowers Inc in 1989
    • Amazon launched its Associates program in 1996
  • Several veteran affiliate marketers have been working in the industry for years, including:
    • Some of the biggest affiliate marketing stars have been working for 5 up to 20 years.

Won't I Be Stuck Working at Home?

  • Most affiliate marketers do work at home, but not all
    • 59.5% work from home
    • 17.7% commute to an office
    • 22.8% do both, depending on the day
  • Some affiliate marketers supplement their 9-5 income instead of trying to replace it

Isn't Affiliate Marketing Just a Scam?

  • A lot of people think that affiliate marketing is a scam because they think it is something it isn't. Affiliate marketing is not:
    • A pyramid scheme
    • Multi-Level Marketing
  • Affiliate marketing is really just commission sales like many traditional jobs:
    • Real estate agent
    • Car salesperson
    • Artist manager
  • Some of the biggest names in online sales have affiliate programs:
    • Amazon
    • eBay
    • Walmart

How Do I Get Started?

  • Overview
    • Getting started with affiliate marketing is fairly simple - at least in theory:
      • Create a website and build traffic
      • Join one or more affiliate programs
      • Integrate those program into your website
  • Details
    • Step 1 - Choose an affiliate model
      • Pay per sale
        • Straightforward affiliate links from your site to purchase the product
        • Model used by Amazon to work with affiliate marketers
      • Product review
        • Provide information and opinions about products and have affiliate links to purchase
      • Coupons
        • Help your audience by providing money-saving coupons on your site to click through for purchase
      • Traditional banner ads
        • What looks like a simple ad image is an affiliate link
      • Aggregate product feed
        • Bring together several shopping options in one place for readers to click through for purchase using your affiliate links
        • Used by Shopzilla and BabyGizmo sites
    • Step 2 - Choose your target audience
      • Who is reading your site and what products are they likely to want?
        • Home goods
        • Tools
        • Sports
        • Jewellry
        • Kitchen gadgets
        • Technology
    • Step 3 - Choose a handful of products to market
      • Products you enjoy
      • Products with high profit potential
    • Step 4 - Sign up with an affiliate program
      • Be aware of terms and restrictions
      • Programs should allow you to use the affiliate model that works for you
      • 5 biggest affiliate programs
        • Rakuten Linkshare
        • CJ by Conversant
        • Amazon
        • Avangate
        • eBay
    • Step 5 - Persistence
      • It may take time for your affiliate marketing to do well
      • Be proactive
        • Constantly improve your website
        • Promote your offerings
      • Make sure to have top quality content on your site to build your audience
        • Write content worth reading:
          • Thorough within your niche
          • With expertise
          • Honest opinions of products
          • Focused content
          • Showing value of products to readers
        • Post regularly
        • Market your site
        • Keep your affiliate marketing related to your site so everything fits together:
          • Content
          • Audience
          • Affiliates
        • Be transparent about your affiliate model
          • Honesty about earning revenue through the affiliate links
          • Loyal readers are likely to want to help you grow your site

Affiliate marketing is a great opportunity for a lot of people. You can use it as an easy addition to what you are already doing online, or create a whole website designed around it. It is an easy way to start and then grow a business.

Sources: issuu.com, theworkathomewoman.com, homebusiness.about.com, marketingland.com, davyrussell.com, threeladdersmarketing.com, affilorama.com, affplaybook.com, malandarras.com, sitebildz.com, blog.skimlinks.com, shoemoney.com, zacjohnson.com, entrepreneurs-journey.com, surefirewealth.com, webopedia.com, brainyquote.com, smallbusiness.chron.com, mthink.com, monetizepros.com, culttt.com


Claire Broadley

About Claire Broadley

Claire has been creating websites for over 20 years and has been using WordPress for over ten. She is an expert in web hosting, design, HTML, and more. She lives with her husband and son in the United Kingdom.


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