Affiliate Marketing

Busting the Affiliate Marketing Myths

Moran Brayer
Moran Brayer

Will I get rich while I sleep? Is affiliate marketing a dying industry? Is it really so easy to become an affiliate marketer? So many myths, so little time to bust them all!

Starting now, let’s uncover the truth, and nothing but the truth, about affiliate marketing.

How easy is affiliate marketing?

Myth: Anyone can be an affiliate marketer.

Reality: Anyone can be an affiliate marketer, but not everyone will succeed.

Being an affiliate marketer requires skill, experience, and work. It is not a quick or easy road to success, but when done properly, it can generate impressive income.

Here are some of the qualities you will need to be a successful affiliate marketer:

  • An interest or expertise in a certain niche
  • Internet and consumer research skills
  • Website building/graphics/ SEO/ PPC/ analytic skills
  • Ability to write appealing content or outsource to someone who can
  • Organized & methodical
  • Patience and strategic skills
  • Networking skills

As you can see, becoming an affiliate marketer is not a free ride. To succeed, you’ll need a significant skill set in some or most of the above.

Can affiliate marketing be a career?

Myth: There is a definitive answer to this question.

Reality: Affiliate marketing can be a full-time career, yet for many, it won’t be.

Some affiliate marketers succeed in building a career in the field, while others hold down regular jobs while supplementing their income with affiliate marketing on the side. There are many stories of people who started affiliate marketing as a side gig but were so successful that they transitioned to a full-blown career.

Whether or not affiliate marketing can be a career is totally up to you. It will ultimately depend on how much time and energy you decide to invest, and whether you have the skills and drive to succeed.

Can affiliate marketing make me rich?

Myth: Affiliate marketing will make you rich while you sleep.

Reality: Umm, you can get ‘rich’ from affiliate marketing, but it won’t happen by sleeping!

People love to assume that affiliate marketing is some sort of money tap. Build a website, turn on the tap and the money will flow while you play computer games.

While this is a nice fantasy, nothing could be further from the truth. If there’s one thing affiliate marketing requires, it’s persistence. Driving traffic to your websites and getting users to click and convert will be your obsession, and it requires constant attention, optimization, and work.

Once you have achieved a successful website, the money may start to roll in. But it could be months or even years of work before that happens.

I need to invest $$$ to get started

Myth: Starting an affiliate business is expensive.

Reality: You don’t need much money; what you need is time.

One of the things that’s so great about affiliate marketing is that it is a truly level playing field. You don’t need to invest much money to start an affiliate business. All you need is a computer, internet connection, and motivation.

While you won’t need to outlay money, what you will need to get started is time. Affiliate marketing is a skilled practice, and learning the ropes can be a slow, hard slog. So be prepared to spend a lot of time, rather than a lot of money, at the start of your affiliate career.

Affiliate marketing & PPC

Myth: Affiliate marketing is all about SEO.

Reality: Paid channels expand reach and boost results.

Affiliate marketing is all about driving traffic to websites and getting users to click and convert. SEO is a major tool to do this, and organic traffic has the advantage of being free (except for the time you spend generating organic traffic…and time is money!). However, SEO is not enough to keep affiliates going in such a competitive online environment where organic reach is hard to come by. The most successful affiliate marketers are PPC pros, with the aim of reaching the largest audience and gaining the most conversions at the lowest possible cost.

Check out these paid channels that are popular among affiliate marketers.

Can I be an affiliate without a website?

Myth: You must have a website or blog to be an affiliate marketer.

Reality: You can be an affiliate without a website – but you must have a presence online.

While most affiliate marketers have a website, or several websites, or run a blog or two, it is actually possible to do affiliate marketing without a website. Affiliate marketing is all about getting internet users to click on affiliate links. There are other ways to do this besides hosting your own website and planting it with links. Alternatives to having a website include YouTube videos, posting in online forums, and SMS.

Is affiliate marketing right for me?

Only you can really know if affiliate marketing is a good choice for your skillset and temperament. Here are a few things to consider when making a decision:

  • You don’t need to invest much to get started.
  • You must be part analytical/part creative, with the willingness to keep learning new online tools and strategies.
  • You have to be patient. Building a successful affiliate marketing business takes time and effort (we’re talking months or years).
  • You have to invest the time in optimizing and tweaking your online activities and constantly analyzing the results.
  • You will do better if you believe in and are passionate about the products/offers you are promoting.
  • You must have the ability to create a trustworthy, personable online presence. This is what will bring you traffic.
  • You are not in need of a secure income right away (or you have alternative sources of income).
  • You are adept at cultivating positive relationships with merchants, partners, and peers.

Got what it takes? Let’s get started!

Moran Brayer

Moran Brayer

Moran is a former SEO Manager at Outbrain.