Can You Really Make a Living from Affiliate Marketing?

The internet tends to bring out the entrepreneurial spirit in a lot of people. Its relative ease of use and access, huge potential customer base and low-cost infrastructure make it very appealing to those who either want to expand their existing businesses or start a new one from scratch. Try to imagine any type of business, and you’re virtually guaranteed to find at least one instance of it on the web.

Savvy business owners try to find low-cost ways to earn money passively and without any huge investment. Affiliate marketing has long been known as one of these methods, but does it really work? Below, we’ll review the basics of affiliate marketing – as well as reasonable expectations for it – to answer the question of whether you can really make a living through it.

Affiliate marketing

Who Makes the Big Bucks?

Not all affiliate marketing websites are guaranteed to make money, but some tend to do really well. Among those, coupon and discount sites, shopping networks, comparison websites and even review-based blogs are the most common examples (find out how to create a successful blog here). These sites are among the best performers because they provide genuine value to visitors above and beyond that of simply peddling products.

The key to developing a sustainable affiliate marketing effort revolves around offering the visitor something of value in exchange for their time and energy.

Initial Expectations

If you have just started an affiliate marketing website (or 10), then you have to have faith. Results are almost never immediate, and it could be weeks, months or even years before you are generating any measurable amount of income. Because of the nature of how search engines, social media and search engine optimization all work, it can take time to build up a presence and really begin reaching people with your content.

Speaking of content, it’s important to note that you’ll need a lot of it in most cases. You absolutely must have valuable content – whether that be reviews, detailed product descriptions or something entirely different – in order to be visible in the affiliate marketing game.

Promoting affiliate products

Long-Term Potential

Most affiliate marketing efforts require plenty of time and patience. The first time you earn a commission, it can feel like a magical moment. However, this is just the beginning and not indicative of success by any means.

The majority of affiliate marketing websites in existence that earn income usually produce anywhere from $50 to $200 per month. It all depends which affiliate networks you use. Many affiliate marketing gurus run several or even dozens of affiliate sites, each offering a different product or service. It is very rare that one website alone will be able to provide you with a sustainable living. You must be prepared to lather, rinse and repeat in this regard.

The truth is that most affiliate marketers do not earn a sustainable living from just one gig or in any short period of time. It takes months or even years to really get into the swing of things, and you’ll almost certainly need multiple ventures in order to earn enough to support yourself.

By focusing on quality content and added value, having some patience and recognizing opportunities as they arise, you very well may be able to earn a living via affiliate marketing.