Affiliate Marketing: What Are The Pros And Cons?
When I was first looking to make money online, affiliate marketing was the first thing to really appeal to me.
Largely because, there was such a low-cost barrier to entry. I could learn from home and it didn’t involve any direct sales or recruitment.
I also didn’t need to part with hundreds of dollars to learn the basics, (although there were plenty of programs I ran into that seemed to claim otherwise).
Related Post: What Is Affiliate Marketing About?
All you really need to start, is a blog or website.
While you could potentially make money from affiliate marketing without a website, it’s not something I’d recommend.
You first need a niche – an area of interest that your blog will focus on.
It’s wise to choose from a selection of niches that are already tried and tested. But you could decide to start off fairly narrow niche wise, which will give you more of a chance of gaining traction sooner.
Advice on niches: choosing a niche, passion or profit.
But there are bloggers who started without narrowly defined niches and still make decent money blogging, it may just have taken a bit longer.
To make money from affiliate marketing, you first need an audience. You need people interested what you’re writing about – but there are ways you could make money from a majority of interests.
There are some things you should learn that will help you get started, generate organic traffic to your blog naturally and attract readers… so, those things would include:
- How to set up wordpress. (helpful post: Setting up a free site).
- Keyword research. (helpful post: Keywords in SEO explained).
- How to write content effectively. (helpful post: SEO content writing explained).
- How to build an email list.
It’s not rocket science though, you can start to make money as you’re figuring all this stuff out. You do not need to be an expert to get started.
You don’t need to be an expert in your niche area to make money online either. As long as you’re one step ahead of your target audience, you have valuable knowledge to impart to them.
So, unlike a lot of things, it is really straight forward to get started and you don’t need a huge skill set.
The skills you don’t know, you can learn without too much stress!
So, what are the Pros and Cons of affiliate marketing… ?
- You can start learning immediately and get started.
- It’s low risk… if you do give up, you’re not going to go bankrupt, (as a beginner online, you should not be spending a fortune on training) the biggest loss will be your time.
- Simple to learn the basics and low-cost.
- You don’t need to sell… you just recommend products or services, or even merely mention them, (with an affiliate link) within your post.
- You don’t have to deal with customer service.
- You don’t deal with customer complaints.
- You don’t need to deal with returns and shipping.
- You don’t need to deal with stocking the product.
- You don’t need to deal with the actual sale of the product – just pick up the commission.
- You can do affiliate marketing from anywhere in the world, (as long as there is an internet connection).
- You can have a global reach and sell to people all around the world.
- You can choose any topic/interest that you’re passionate about.
- Affiliate marketing can lead to “passive income,”… although, definitely not without a lot of hard work initially.
For example, you can hire writers for your sites once you’re making some money and you could outsource a lot of the other aspects, which can really limit the work involved.
It’s also always nice to go to sleep and wake up and realise you’ve been making money over night.
- If you choose to sell physical products, it’s quite easy then to transition from selling affiliate products to then bring out your own products – you will already have an audience by then, so you’ll be in a much better position to do this.
- There is plenty of information out there about Affiliate marketing and training available – which can be a con too, but I’ll go over that in a minute.
- Because there is so much info out there, a lot of it can be conflicting and you can end up with information overload and unsure which advice you should be following.
- Because it can be so simple to start, there is a lot of competition that you’ll face. However, a majority of people who start, don’t stick at it for long. Competition is certainly not a reason to not do it.
- With Affiliate marketing, there is always the possibility that the products you’re promoting disappear/stop/fold and you may not get any notification of this either, (this is why it’s not good idea to keep all your eggs in one basket).
- You send affiliates to a merchant and you may never get that customer back – although some merchants do give you recurring commissions and those are decent affiliate programs to be a part of.
- There can be a delay in payment – you may get a sale and not get the money for that for a few months.
Although, once you start making money regularly, this doesn’t become an issue.
Tip: When I started I didn’t take out any money from my affiliate accounts, treat it like savings until you’re making more of a steady income.
- Working at home, you’re basically on your own and you can feel pretty isolated at time. You may want to take your laptop elsewhere for a change of scenery.
- Unrealistic expectations – many people do rush in with the idea that they’re going to be making a full time income within a few months and they set themselves up for failure.
If you’re desperate for money, without a doubt get a stable income set up first and do this on the side.
In my opinion, Affiliate marketing really is one of the best possible ways to start making money online.
Affiliate marketing is a gateway to making other making money online too, because the skills that you will learn in the process can benefit you transition into other areas later on.
People do give up way to easily. Sometimes their first website doesn’t seem to work for them, they give up.
I remember listening an interview about a year ago with someone who had been successful and they said their first eight websites failed… their ninth was a major success.
What if they’d given up at website number 8? So much of the time, the difference between success and failure… is perseverance.
At the same time, you need to learn when to give up on something, or change what you’re doing when it’s not working – learn from mistakes and improve each time.
I didn’t know anything about affiliate marketing when I was looking how to make money online and I had no experience building websites, I didn’t even know what SEO meant.
So, for me – I decided I needed some guidance and I joined this community, which is where I started to learn how I could make money online from scratch… and also meet a tonne of people in the same boat. 🙂
Is anything holding you back from starting? Let me know in the comments!
All the best…