Is Affiliate Marketing Easy or Hard? (The 2 Sides of Affiliate Marketing)

January 19, 2024

Is affiliate marketing easy or hard? Overall, affiliate marketing is hard when it comes to beating the competition, generating traffic, and creating promotional content. But, certain aspects of affiliate marketing are easy, like social media promotions and low startup costs. The easy side of affiliate marketing makes it a tempting business model for new online entrepreneurs.

Beginners can maximize profitable affiliate marketing niches like Health & Wellness and Wealth & Entrepreneurship. According to a 2013 publication by the Pew Research Center, 59% of U.S. adults used the Internet to search for health-related topics. This means more people are looking for health products like food supplements and diet plans. Revenue-generating affiliate products and services are also profitable. This includes trading platforms and real estate investment programs that show people how to make money online. You can partner with brands like Shopify, Bluehost, and AWeber.

However, learning affiliate marketing requires time and effort. If you rush into the process, you might experience a problematic affiliate marketing journey. Thus, some individuals join the best affiliate marketing courses to gain solid skills. While setting up an affiliate marketing business is easy, scaling it can be demanding. You won’t know how much affiliate revenue you can make unless you’re halfway into the process.

Local lead generation is easier to establish and more scalable than affiliate marketing. Since you’re dealing with local services, the market is less saturated and ready to buy. You can make 6 to 7 figures in passive income monthly by forwarding high-value leads to local business owners. All you need is to create microsites of local services, organically rank them on Google, and generate high-quality leads.

The 2 Sides of Affiliate Marketing

1 - The Easy Parts of Affiliate Marketing

Low startup costs, high availability of affiliate partnerships, social media promotions, and comprehensive affiliate resources make up the easy parts of affiliate marketing. These factors motivate new online marketers to dive into affiliate marketing.

  • Low Affiliate Marketing Startup Costs. Many affiliate marketing programs are free. You don’t need to have an initial investment or funding to start promoting affiliate products or services.
  • High Availability of Affiliate Marketing Programs. Traditional businesses and e-commerce brands are now launching affiliate partnerships to grow their online presence and maximize their earning potential. CJ Affiliate and ShareASale are some examples of affiliate networks with diverse affiliate program offerings.
  • Social Media Marketing of Affiliate Products. Promoting products and services online is becoming easier through social media platforms. You can utilize Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to build an audience base or gain a huge following.
  • Massive Affiliate Marketing Resource Base. You can make use of online resources like YouTube and Google for researching affiliate marketing facts and strategies. There are also in-depth courses online that teach you how to choose the best affiliate marketing niches and products to succeed in this industry.

2 - The Hard Parts of Affiliate Marketing

Market saturation, niche and product analysis, website traffic optimization, and high-quality content creation make affiliate marketing hard for beginners and experts. These components cause affiliate marketers to fail or stop midway through their affiliate marketing journey.

  • High Affiliate Market Saturation. The growing demand for affiliate marketing makes it a saturated business model. You have more competitors to look out for.
  • Affiliate Niche and Product Selection. You need to do significant research on different niches and products to find the best ones to advertise. For example, the online dating niche has grown in the past few years. Research shows that 42% of U.S. adults have engaged in online dating. These facts showcase how lucrative some niches are compared to low-performing ones.
  • Affiliate Marketing Traffic Generation. Every affiliate marketer must carefully plan their online campaigns and techniques to capture high-value traffic. Because of the numerous strategies available online, choosing the right one proves difficult.
  • Creative Affiliate Content Creation. Developing engaging and creative content is hard without sufficient data and market analysis. You need to select specific keywords and phrases that entice your audience to buy.

What is the Hardest Part of Affiliate Marketing?

Competing with other affiliate marketers is the hardest part of affiliate marketing. Most niches, like software and technology, are too saturated. Even though you’re selling high-ticket products and services, some people will be loyal to established affiliate marketers. Thus, building your affiliate marketing worth is essential to capture more potential customers. You also need to solidify your social media presence to get your audience to trust you.

Is Affiliate Marketing Easy or Hard?

Affiliate marketing is hard because of the tight competition and in-depth market and niche analysis that requires a highly optimized website and creative content. However, maximizing the easy parts of affiliate marketing—low initial cost, diverse affiliate programs and resource base, and social media marketing—gives you a head start and a competitive advantage in this industry.

Is Affiliate Marketing Hard for Beginners?

Affiliate marketing isn’t hard for beginners, given you know the concrete steps in starting with an affiliate program, creating your affiliate website, and posting high-quality content. You should also know the strategies for utilizing social media to advertise your affiliate product. By doing this, you can drive relevant traffic that generates significant affiliate income monthly.

How Do I Start Affiliate Marketing for Beginners?

Starting affiliate marketing as a beginner only requires 6 key steps:

  1. Choosing a niche. You should pick a niche that is profitable and has high-ticket products. Consider your potential customer and how saleable the goods are.
  2. Joining an affiliate program or engaging in an affiliate partnership. Pick trustworthy and established brands or businesses that have high-income potential. It is crucial to market only legitimate and compliant products and services.
  3. Creating engaging affiliate content. You must write relevant, high-quality content to capture your target market. This helps you gain a high volume of affiliate sales. You can do this through digital marketing, like social media marketing or email marketing.
  4. Monitoring and optimizing your affiliate campaigns. Being a successful affiliate means exerting maximum marketing effort. Track your campaigns for any inconsistencies and optimize as necessary.
  5. Acquiring your affiliate commission. This step entails collecting your hard-earned affiliate income.
  6. Growing your affiliate revenue. You can join affiliate marketing courses like Chad Bartlett’s Affiliate Marketing Boss to expand your knowledge and skill set.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an online business model that utilizes digital marketing to promote other people's or businesses’ products and services. You get a percentage of the sale for every referral you successfully deliver to your affiliate partner. The more orders you can generate, the higher your affiliate commission will be. You can sign up for various affiliate programs on different platforms, such as Amazon Associates, Shopify, ClickBank, and Rakuten Marketing.

How Fast Can I Learn Affiliate Marketing?

You can learn affiliate marketing as fast as a couple of weeks if you commit full-time. While some people can learn affiliate marketing in months, some marketers take years to perfect their affiliate marketing strategies. Trial and errors are also part of the learning process.

How To Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money?

To start affiliate marketing with no money, you can:

  • Capitalize on free YouTube or online courses about the affiliate marketing business model.
  • Originate content using free AI writing tools like ChatGPT or Jasper.
  • Use free website creation software like WordPress or Wix to create blog posts. You can also utilize free social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Send your affiliate link to your family and friends. They can help spread the word about your affiliate marketing business.
  • Join free affiliate marketing programs. Most beginners start with being an Amazon affiliate since it's free and there’s no minimum referral quota. Make sure to check out the best Amazon affiliate marketing course if you don't know where to start as an Amazon Associate. 

What Affiliate Marketing Strategies Do Beginners Usually Use?

The affiliate marketing strategies that beginners usually use are:

  • Low-Paying, High-Volume Strategy - This strategy focuses on in-demand products or services that offer a small affiliate commission percentage (between 5% to 20%). Some examples include health supplements, daily necessities, and home improvement tools and items.
  • High-Paying, Low-Volume Strategy - This strategy maximizes products or services with a high affiliate sale percentage (between 20% to 50%). These are luxury items like perfume, jewelry, and watches that most people rarely buy.

The affiliate marketing strategies that beginners usually use depend on the niche, the products or services, and the affiliate market they choose. However, the most common yet effective are the low-paying, high-volume method and the high-paying, low-volume method. These affiliate marketing methods focus on either selling low-ticket or high-ticket products, depending on the market demand.

Is It Hard To Make Money as an Affiliate?

It is not hard to make money as an affiliate. However, driving conversions is not easy. It takes considerable experience and marketing effort to achieve 5 to 7 figures in affiliate income monthly. The best ways to jump-start your affiliate marketing journey as a beginner are:

  • Building an engaging niche site.

  • Choosing a high-paying, high-demand affiliate product.

  • Selecting a strategic affiliate partnership.

  • Creating a blog post that grabs your audience’s interest.

  • Using a popular social media platform to gain followers.

  • Posting relevant affiliate content consistently.

  • Advertising your affiliate link transparently.

  • Developing a good affiliate offer.

  • Utilizing an established affiliate network.

How Much Money Do I Need To Invest To Start Affiliate Marketing?

You don’t need to invest money to start affiliate marketing. Many platforms offer free affiliate marketing programs. You just need to register and start promoting products and services. You can also use paid ads like Google Ads and Facebook Ads to boost your online reach.

How Long Does It Take To Start Making Money With Affiliate Marketing?

It takes 1 day to start making money with affiliate marketing. The time it takes to earn depends on the affiliate marketing program, the niche, and the products and services you choose. A successful affiliate marketer puts in significant time and effort. It takes about 12-18 months before you can generate real revenue, and 3-5 years to see sizable profit margins.

Can I Be Successful in Affiliate Marketing?

You can be successful in affiliate marketing if you have the right resources, skills, and mindset. For example, in Amazon affiliate marketing, solid SEO skills are crucial to generating traffic to your affiliate website. This is a form of organic marketing. You can also boost your site traffic by using paid ads like Facebook Ads and Google Ads.

Using an affiliate network is also an excellent way to achieve affiliate marketing success. You can take advantage of these business connections to grow your affiliate revenue by engaging with related affiliate marketing programs. There is also a growing trend with affiliate marketing beginners in where they prefer to buy a done-for-you affiliate marketing business, such as the Easiest System Ever.

Can You Fail in Affiliate Marketing?

Yes, you can fail in affiliate marketing. In fact, 90-95% of people fail in affiliate marketing because they either focus on one niche or are not specific with the niche they chose. Some beginners are also not transparent enough when promoting affiliate links. This leads their potential customer to question their reputability. Affiliate marketing is all about building trust with your audience and providing value through affiliate offers like discounts, vouchers, or freebies.

Is Affiliate Marketing Profitable?

Affiliate marketing is profitable. You can earn 7 figures or more, depending on how well you market your affiliate products and services. Is affiliate marketing hard? Yes, but the profits you make are well worth your time and effort. However, it is important to note that 57.55% of affiliate marketers make $10K and below yearly, according to Influencer Marketing Hub. Only 5-7% can reach an income of $50K-$150K per year.

Affiliate Marketing Related Articles

  • Is Affiliate Marketing Dead? - No, but the average conversion rate of affiliate marketing is only 1%. This article tackles how you can be a successful affiliate marketer and the 3 things affiliate marketing gurus don't want you to know.
  • Is Affiliate Marketing Legal in Australia? - Yes, affiliate marketing is legal in Australia as long as you comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s Endorsement Guides and the 4 legal rules of affiliate marketing businesses in Australia. This article also goes into the legal requirements and obligations of affiliate marketers.
  • 10 Reasons Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work - Low-performing niches, multiple audience categories, and overflowing affiliate products are some reasons why affiliate marketing does not work. This article dives into the 10 reasons which make succeeding in this business model difficult. Plus, it offers tips on how to make affiliate marketing work for you.
  • 15 Major Reasons Why Affiliate Marketing is So Hard - Consistent high-quality content generation, market saturation, and rising affiliate scams are some reasons why affiliate marketing is so hard. This article also features why affiliate marketing is difficult for beginners and practical ways to overcome these challenges.
  • Why Affiliate Marketers Fail? 16 Unforgiving Mistakes To Avoid - Affiliate marketers fail due to mistakes like creating low-value content, not maximizing paid ads and SEO, and being too “salesy” with their marketing campaigns. This article also talks about what makes an affiliate successful and the tools needed to streamline your affiliate marketing journey.

Why Local Lead Generation is Still Better Than Affiliate Marketing

Local lead generation is still better than affiliate marketing because your customers are ready to buy. It takes the hassle of finding high-value customers. And since it’s on a local level, you have less competition.

Being a successful affiliate marketer is possible, but it consumes valuable time. You also need to consider various laws and regulations. Does affiliate marketing work? Yes, it does. However, attaining a 6-figure affiliate income demands significant effort and resources.

If you want a scalable monthly passive income, the local lead generation business model might be for you. You just need a solid attraction marketing strategy to generate calls from local leads. By forwarding these calls to business owners, you can make up to $30K-$60K monthly.

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