It is true that many low quality products are telling people how easy it is to make online. They use expressions like “I just joined X program 2 weeks ago and i already made $2000”, “Work an hour a day and earn $7000 per month. Look how i did it”. The training programs that use that kind of phrases are just scams. But they also know that there is a number of people who want to believe that making money online is easy and fast. And above all that hard work is not required.
I know there are probably some legitimate affiliates out there. For instance, someone who runs a fashion blog may talk about a certain trend, say black pants. If they showed their readers how black pants could be worn, and then at the bottom of the blog they linked to a few retailers who sell a large range of black pants, that would be a legitimate affiliate. This is based on the assumption that their blog gets a lot of natural readership and organic traffic. This would be a situation where prior to reading the blog, the visitor did not necessarily already want black pants.
Also, it really depends on who you ask. In any business, you will see people that are doing really well and people that aren’t. Their results depend on so many variables, including the business that they are engaged in, the number of years they have been in it, the age when they started, how much their initial investment was, were they mentored, etc.
When there are multiple affiliates involved in one transaction, payment gets much more complicated. Sometimes it’s even possible for affiliates to jump in at the last minute and claim commissions for customers brought in by other affiliates. Successful programs use multi-channel attribution to ensure the affiliates that create the most value get paid the most.
The Amazon affiliate program has a 24-hour cookie, which means that once users click on an affiliate link to Amazon, anything they buy in the next 24 hours is commissionable to the affiliate whose link they last clicked. So if you click on Gawker’s affiliate link to Amazon to look at cable ties and end up buying another, unrelated product, Gawker Media still receives a commission for that sale.
The product that I am promoting to my new subscribers must pay at least or more than the cost of 100 clicks. For instance, if I buy 100 clicks for $50, then the offer must pay at least $50 per sale. Most of the CPA products I promote pay at least $75 per sale and there is no chance of losing the sale to refunds. The CPA offer I belong to does not have refunds that get passed on to the affiliate. If somebody refunds, the vendor eats it and not the affiliate.
I just wanted to say you're awesome for engaging in the conversation here, as a reader, I've learned some. I'm part of a group of entrepreneur's (and some wantrepreneurs) and I always enjoy seeing how some of them make their money. A lot of people wanting to start get rich quick companies, but a lot of others grinding out IG accounts, websites, dropshipping deals, either promoting their own product or someone elses. Just today I saw someone launch a new store website and they had $1000 in sales and 1000 visitors the first 30 minutes (granted they had a youtube channel with 100k subscribers already). It's cool stuff. My "real job" pays pretty good, but I've got one website going and looking to create more on the side for what will hopefully be enough to cover all my expenses so I can FI/RE one day.
I haven’t had any experience with any of these except for Amazon Associates which is a good program they have thousands of products that you can leverage to make money. Amazon Associates does have a really low commission rate of around 5%-10%. This shouldn’t deter you from using Amazon Associates since it can make you money and eventually a full time income.
Great advice Sarah – thanks for this article. You’re right-on about the coupon sites. As a merchant I don’t want to deal with any more sites that are not adding value for the reader. I think the best affiliates are the ones who are blogging about an interest or something they care about. They authenticity of it comes through and people trust their recommendations.
Skimlinks is something of a master affiliate network. Their technology allows them to check the links on a participating publisher’s page, cross-reference that with their database of 20,000+ affiliate programs and see if the site being linked to by the publisher has an affiliate program. If it does, Skimlinks automatically affiliates the link for you and credits you with any commissions resulting from the link.
Those same whiners forget to mention things like the population increasing, people trusting buying online more then ever, more people buying online then ever in history, more ways for people to pay online, people being a lot less suspicious of affiliate links now even when they are not cloaked, people making buying decisions in seconds with their mobile phones, people buying with their phones that don't even own computers, companies that pay commissions having far, far better tracking software so you get more commissions, and companies being more honest with crediting commissions because they know it benefits them in so many ways as opposed to skimming some minor profits. I could go on but those are just at the top of my head. There were lots of negative things that were hard to deal with in the past also.
Focus on reviewing products that fall within your niche. Then, leveraging the rapport you have created with your audience and your stance as an expert, tell your readers why they would benefit from purchasing the product you are promoting. It is especially effective to compare this product to others in the same category. Most importantly, make sure you are generating detailed, articulate content to improve conversions.
If you have a passion to learn this Ian, I can definitely help you out. There are a few things I will always be real about. Success does not happen overnight. It takes hard work, but anyone can achieve success within the affiliate marketing world if they are willing to work at it. If you are cool with that idea, then I invite you to check out Wealthy Affiliate, a platform where you can get personal coaching and help directly from me and absolutely everything you need to create and grow a business to any level online.
Across all of these methods, authenticity is crucial for long-term, high earning growth, and top earning affiliates know it. With a solid affiliate program strategy, and proper execution and management, this channel is often one of the best sources of new customers for merchants who participate in affiliate marketing, and is a consistent revenue stream for all affiliates.
So, now you know what kind of mindset you shouldn’t have if you want to do affiliate marketing. If you are looking to “get-rich-quick” you have to stop now. It’s not going to happen. There is no need to try it if you don’t have the patience it takes to succeed. No success is not waiting for you, you have to build it from scratch. It’s not easy and that’s exactly the reason why it’s worth it.
No matter how good your marketing skills are, you’ll make less money on a bad product than you will on a valuable one. Take the time to study the demand for a product before promoting it. Make sure to research the seller with care before teaming up. Your time is worth a lot, and you want to be sure you’re spending it on a product that is profitable and a seller you can believe in.
I like how you throw a dose of realism at bloggers. I use affiliate marketing, but unlike many of my colleagues, I didn’t go into it thinking I was going to make a fortune right from the start. The money earned from my beer site, Great Beer Now, has increased steadily but it was very low at first- maybe a few dollars per month. Keeping one’s expectations in line with reality is an important first step.
Wealthy Affiliate was where we got our foundation, and today many years later, we have a legit online business that has generated over 6 figures a year for the past several years and we’re currently building a products business that’s looking to grow much bigger. But WA is certainly where it all began, so yeah – we can vouch for that. We proudly tell people that we got our basics at Wealthy Affiliate.
Two-tier programs exist in the minority of affiliate programs; most are simply one-tier. Referral programs beyond two-tier resemble multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing but are different: Multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing associations tend to have more complex commission requirements/qualifications than standard affiliate programs.
Hard work, dedication and starting off your business with a solid foundation really takes you a long ways within the affiliate/internet marketing world and you are a true testament of that (along with 1,000’s of others I have worked with over the years). It is not rocket science and absolutely anyone can establish a long term and very successful business within any niche, it comes down to treating it like a business…not a scheme.
It’s worth mentioning that the author of the Venture Beat article eventually published a second article correcting his position and outlining why affiliate marketing is in fact not bad. The thing about negative press, though, that tends to stick even after you correct it, and affiliate marketing often feels the effects of these pieces long after they are written.
I too was victim of an MLM, and looking back I just have to laugh. I was so excited about it, and I tried so hard to convince people that it was legitimate, and even though technically it wasn’t a “scam”, there was no value in it. Sure, I made money, but it wasn’t consistent. It wasn’t sustainable, and in my opinion now, it sure as heck wasn’t ethical.
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
That’s a great tip Sean, thanks! I was thinking about what you said in your post about some companies not putting that they have affiliate links and you having to do some digging and there are couple of companies/authors who made products I love and keep using, but I’m not sure how to go ahead and ask about the affiliate link. I read the post you linked below about asking for guest blogging, which I thought was a must-read, and so, if you think of doing a follow-up on this one, would love to read some of your tips and do’s and don’t about this. Thanks again, Sean, you’re doing some very inspiring work here!
There are other reasons that people don’t become successful in affiliate marketing, like jumping from one project to the next every couple of months because they have a new idea, getting “shiny object syndrome” where they just keep buying new products and trying new techniques, never really settling on one and giving it a fair shot, and so much more. Any number of these things can cause failure, but know in your heart and mind that affiliate marketing is definitely NOT a scam, and that you can achieve it as long as you keep working hard, learning, and trying new things.
you're just used to the easy old days, you're an old timer...nowadays more management is involved..I guess, if you wanna complain about it..SEO has never changed, just a sweep and the way sites are made and distributed these days....don't put allot of thought into it..you shouldn't be filling up your money sites with affiliates links to begin with anyways if you're not sure you're gonna rank..that's what gets you hit..the project isn't worth it until it ranks and sticks..why put so much work into uncertainty.
When promoting affiliate offers, just make sure you are fully aware of all the terms and conditions attached to your affiliate program. Some programs can be strict about how they allow you to promote their products. For example, some may limit you to banner ads and links only, while others will allow you to use paid advertising, but won't allow email marketing.
It changed. Its not dead, it is just different. It evolved. That is why any entrepreneur, especially internet entrepreneur, has to be constantly learning and constantly trying to improve themselves and their skills. 2004? You have to see how much the internet has changed since 2004 and then ask yourself. Are you doing the same things now as you did in 2004? If yes, that is why it is not working
Cost per click was more common in the early days of affiliate marketing but has diminished in use over time due to click fraud issues very similar to the click fraud issues modern search engines are facing today. Contextual advertising programs are not considered in the statistic pertaining to the diminished use of cost per click, as it is uncertain if contextual advertising can be considered affiliate marketing.
If I was a blogger I would have posted a blog about this myself but found your site searching to see if anyone was blogging about it. I did not find anything but thought this was a good place to start discussing it. I am investigating cookie behaviour and contacting merchants and affiliate marketing companies such as Linkshare and CJ. My findings probably do need a blog of their own.
There are a lot of ways to place these commission-earning links on your website, so you don't even have to know how to make banners. One of the most popular ways to add links is to simply include them in your content. Here's an example of a product suggestion within an article, with a link to the relevant product where it's most useful in the content:
But this post is not about the most common mistakes affiliate marketers make. This post is about the reasons why people with certain false expectations and the wrong kind mentality should not attempt affiliate marketing. People fail because of their mindset and behavior and not because affiliate marketing doesn’t work. This kind of characteristics are mentioned below. But remember you can always change your way of thinking. It’s just a choice. In order to succeed, you must have the mindset of an entrepreneur.
My first affiliate sale was somewhat of a family affair and it only took a few days at most. It was in December 2008. One of my sisters wrote a book on foreclosure cleaning. If you remember, foreclosures were big in the news from 2007 to about 2011/2012. The collapse of the financial — and hence, housing — industry flooded the market with foreclosures.
Many people are just lying to you. Making money is not easy at all. Why should it be easy in online world? You are right. It’s different from a so called normal business. You just promote services/products and earn a commission. You don’t need to stock products, ship or return them. This is an easy part of affiliate marketing business. The rest is not easy. It takes effort and time.
I tried out affiliate marketing a year ago and had absolutely no results. But because I am into self-development and I love sharing this information with other people, I kept creating content for absolutely no money. If it would have been any other niche, I would have probably given up on the third month. And then I would be one of those people online shouting that affiliate marketing doesn’t work.. just kidding. 🙂
Maybe you have heard that term before or maybe not but you should know that it affects even experienced marketers sometimes and not only beginners. What it basically means is when people go from one method or from one training course to another hoping they will succeed this time. They spot something new online that looks promising and they get excited. They will try it for a short period of time but pretty soon they get discouraged and move on to the next one. Don’t be that person. Ignore the distractions that promise you easy results. Distractions lead to procrastination. Stay focused on your path.
My name is Jamie Spencer and I have spent the past 5 years building money making blogs. After growing tired of the 9-5, commuting and never seeing my family I decided that I wanted to make some changes and launched my first blog. Since then I have launched lots of successful niche blogs and after selling my survivalist blog I decided to teach other people how to do the same.