Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons in 2022 | What is it and Does it Pay Well?

Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons

Affiliate Marketing is a type of marketing where companies and affiliates sell products or services through an agreement to share a commission with the customer.

It can be used in a number of ways, including selling products through search engines, display advertising, or even email marketing. There are pros and cons to affiliate marketing, but the key is to determine which option is best for your business.

Affiliate marketer partners with the product owner and start promoting products by giving good information that the potential buyer is looking for. At the end of the day, all these three parties should be happy, The owner sells a product, the buyers get the product after an informed decision, and the affiliate marketer gets a commission.

In simple words, affiliate marketing is recommending other people’s products for a commission. There are three parties involved in the whole process;

  1. Product owner
  2. Buyer
  3. Affiliate marketer

Let me give you an example;

If you are looking to buy headphones, but can’t decide which headphones to buy. The next thing is you go on Google or Youtube and search for the best headphones in the market, or if you have one in mind, you type X headphone reviews. You find a video or an article written by an affiliate marketer, and that video gives you all the information you need to make a decision, if you are happy, you click the link to buy, that link is an affiliate link.

This way, you buy the headphones after watching or reading all you need to know, the affiliate marketer makes a commission, and the seller sells a product.

What Is An Affiliate Program?

An affiliate program is a program that is set up by companies to allow regular people like you and me to promote their products for a commission.

There are a lot of affiliate programs in the market, in any niche that a person can join to make money online, to give some examples;

  • Clickbank affiliate program

Is It Possible To Generate Passive Income With Affiliate Marketing?

Yes, it is possible

Passive income is generating income over and over for work that was done once upfront.

When you become an affiliate marketer, that means you build your online asset, then that asset generates income for you in the future. It is a perfect way to generate passive income.

How Do I Become An Affiliate Marketer?

How to be an affiliate marketer

Becoming an affiliate marketer has never been easier. Here are the steps you need to take;

  • Decide the niche you want to be – there is no one who knows everything, and there is no one who is good at everything. Selecting a niche gives you authority in that niche in the view of your audience. A lot of people spend a very long time selecting a niche, but it is safe to stick to one of the following three niches; Health and fitness, love and relationships, and personal finance and making money.
  • Join affiliate programs in your niche – There is no shortage of affiliate programs to join in the market. So, you have to join one or more affiliate programs to promote their products. For example, Amazon, Walmart, and others
  • Choose your method of promotion – Promoting products can be done in several ways you have to choose the method you are comfortable with to start and you can expand to add more methods in the future. Here are some methods of promotion;
  • Blog Posts – You can write blog posts reviewing products you are promoting and giving good information about them. This method requires you to have a website paid or free. If you are taking your online business seriously, you should have a paid website because that gives you more authority, more trust, and more believability.
  • Youtube Videos – This is a free way of promoting products. Simply make videos talking about products you are promoting and give your audience the information they are looking for.
  • Social Media – Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and others are a free and good way to promote products and grow your audience.
  • Email Marketing – You can promote products by sending promotional emails and it is an effective way to make money with affiliate marketing if done right.

There are many other ways to promote products and the methods above are the most commonly used. Let me give you actual real steps that you can follow to start and become an affiliate marketer;

Let’s say you are promoting vacuum cleaners.

Step 1

Find an affiliate marketing program for a company that sells vacuum cleaners like Amazon.com

At the end of the page, you will see something that says become an affiliate. Click and follow the instruction by entering your name, address, and all other information.

When you are done with that and get approved, log in and you can promote any product you want. Amazon provides you with an affiliate link that is unique to you.

Step 2

Choose the product you want to promote which is vacuum cleaners.

Step 3

Promote Products – That will be in many ways like writing blog posts, Youtube videos, social media, and others

Some examples of how people promote vacuum cleaners

  • Blog posts
  • Youtube

The above are affiliate marketers who give good information about vacuum cleaners, if people want to buy one of those cleaners, they provide links that take people to Amazon and buy the product.

This might sound complicated if you don’t know much about it, but it is simpler than you think. You can get help here.

Pros And Cons Of Affiliate Marketing

Like anything in life, there are pros and cons in the affiliate marketing business. Let’s see those pros and cons next.

10 Best Advantages Of Affiliate Marketing

Advantages Of Affiliate Marketing

1. Affiliate Marketing Is A Big Market

With a 1 Billion dollar market share of affiliate marketing, it is a big incentive to get a small share of it for yourself as an affiliate marketer. It is not like a regular salary job, the more you work, the more you make.

The affiliate marketing industry is becoming popular and market share is increasing on a regular basis.

2. It Is A Low Cost Business To Start

Here is the beauty of affiliate marketing, You can start and be up and running in less than an hour if you know what you are doing. In fact, you can build a highly profitable affiliate marketing business in less than 30 minutes.

The whole idea is, to join an affiliate program, then start promoting its products. Another thing is, that it is a low to no-cost business.

  • Joining affiliate programs is free
  • Promoting products can be with a little money, or you can choose to do it with free methods.

Comparing that with an actual physical business, there is a huge difference.

3. No Experience Needed

Affiliate marketing experience

With affiliate marketing, there is no experience needed because there is not just one way to do things.

As an affiliate marketer, all you have to do is, recommend products that solve the problems of people. To do that, you can make videos, if you are not good at a camera, then you can use text with blog posts, if you are not a good writer, you can use images on Pinterest, if you are not good with that, you can recommend a product on social media.

The point is, that you can do whatever you are comfortable with to promote products and you don’t have to follow a certain way.

You can also take courses to help you learn whatever you don’t know.

4. Side Hustle

Side Hustle

Affiliate marketing gives you back as much as the amount of work you put in. So, it becomes a full-time income, or a side hustle to make extra income in addition to your full-time income.

What most people do is, start affiliate marketing as a side hustle for extra income, then slowly, they grow it, and finally, they leave their 9 to 5 jobs and become full-time affiliate marketers.

5. Freedom And Convenience

If you are an affiliate marketer, you become your own boss and you will have the freedom to do what you want and work as much or little as you want.

  • You can work any time and any place you want as long as you have your laptop and an internet connection
  • No dress code, no start and finish time, and no rules to follow that are set by other people
  • You can take vacations whenever you want, and you can take the day off if you want.
  • No commute time because your office is anywhere like your bedroom, coffee shops, or any place you wanted it to be.
  • You can employ others and you can be creative by trying different methods

The list is endless.

6. You Deal With Only One Aspect Of The Business

If you are a business owner of any type, you have to deal with a lot of aspects like customer service, shipping, returns, payments, refund, ……etc.

With affiliate marketing;

  • You don’t have to deal with customer service
  • You don’t have to deal with shipping and return
  • You don’t have to deal with payment and refund
  • You don’t have to hold inventory

Remember, the products you are promoting are not yours, you are just recommending them, if someone is interested in buying, he buys it from the product owner.

All you have to do is recommend products and refer people to the company’s website to purchase. You are providing information only.

7. Free Marketing Material

Marketing Material

Companies want to make money. Affiliate marketers help those companies to make money.

Companies provide you with everything you need to promote their products. Things like landing pages, articles, emails, images, and videos.

These materials are yours to use however you see fit

8. Affiliate Marketing Is A Passive Income

That means you can make money while sleeping and while you are on vacation.

When you promote products as an affiliate marketer, you post text, images, or videos online, and it is called content.

That content is the thing that sells and gets traffic to your offer.

It doesn’t matter if you are asleep or on vacation, that content is online selling for you and you wake up with money in your bank account.

9. No Limit To Your Income

Simply, the more content you put out, the more money you make.

There is no limitation on the amount you make as an affiliate marketer, unlike jobs and positions.

10. Building Relationships

Business relationship

Affiliate business by definition is being affiliated with other businesses and other affiliate marketers in your niche.

Sometimes, you might reach other marketers or they reach out to you to have collaboration which builds relationships.

Disadvantages Of Affiliate Marketing

Disadvantages of affiliate marketing

1. You Have No Control Over Affiliate Programs

Companies can change affiliate program rules, commission percentages, and other things without consulting affiliate marketers.

You as an affiliate marketer have no control over that because to start with, that is not your product, and that is not your company.

Your affiliation can also be terminated at any time for a clear or vague reason. 

I remember some time ago, I was an affiliate marketer for a company, I was promoting a product called Nobel Samurai. After I created a lot of content online, all of the sudden, they terminated all their affiliates.

When something like this happens, We affiliate marketers can do nothing, but, this is part of the game.

2. No Guaranteed Income

Income fluctuation

Affiliate marketing revenue is not like a regular salary where you get a set amount on monthly basis, regardless of how the business is doing.

Some months you get more, and the next month could be lower or higher.

This part is hard, especially for new affiliate marketers. But, established marketers always make money, but it goes up and down.

3. The Nature Of Affiliate Marketing Is Not For Everyone

Nature of affiliate marketing

Some people are more comfortable having a boss, taking direction, and mentorship from a higher authority.

Affiliate marketing is totally different. You are your own boss, you have to be responsible and do the job without direction from anyone else.

4. It Takes Time

It takes time to make money with affiliate marketing, it doesn’t happen overnight.

When you start your online business, you need time to set up everything you need around your business, things like landing pages, autoresponders, website, content, and others.

Without them, you can’t make money and you can’t get traffic to your offer. Setting all this takes time, so, you have to be patient.

5. Bad Reputation

In recent years, affiliate marketing gain a bad reputation because of spammers who spam their affiliate links everywhere on social media. This is not the right way to do it. If there is gain this way, it will be short-term.

The write way to do affiliate marketing is to provide real value to your audience, try to help them genuinely, and put yourself in their shoe.

An affiliate marketer should be ethical and promote only products he believes in, products that are helpful to people, and products that solve problems of people.

Final Thought

Finally, here is the list of pros and cons of affiliate marketing so you can make an informed decision if you are on the fence about whether to start affiliate marketing or not. I was an employee and now, I am an affiliate marketer since 2017. If you gave me the choice, I will never go back to being an employee again.

If you compare the pros and cons of affiliate marketing, the advantages are much greater than the disadvantages.

If affiliate marketing is done right, it can become a good source of passive income.

Nabil Al-Baidhani
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