Affiliate marketing has long supported bloggers, website owners, and creators across formats, but even today, only about 10% of affiliates, drive over 90% of clicks, and conversions.
This shows a wide, and increasing rift between successful affiliates, and amateurs, many of whom struggle to get their first sale, let alone make a living with affiliate marketing.
That raises a valid question, is affiliate marketing hard?
While affiliate marketing has long held a certain appeal to those just getting started in the digital landscape, it is now being referred to as a ‘hard way to make an easy living.’
Even though it still offers beginner marketers the ability to promote products and services from leading companies such as Amazon or Walmart without much upfront investment, they now have to contend with considerable competition across all fronts.
In this guide, we take an objective look at the state of affiliate marketing, what the future holds, the challenges that stand in the way of newcomers, along with certain measures to overcome the same.
Is Affiliate Marketing Hard?
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular and powerful ways to make money online, and countless businesses today use it to bring in an impressive income stream.
In this business model, you can work independently and don’t need to stock or ship products or hire people. You get paid for recommending products, services, and businesses to your audience through affiliated links.
There are so many affiliate marketers and businesses that use this marketing method to generate income without spending a lot of time and effort. It might work like a charm for some, while others can struggle and find it challenging.
However, it is worth noting that the business model is not a get-rich-quick scheme; it takes some hard work in the initial stages and pays off for those who stick with it to see the outcome.
Passing the milestone of creating an organic audience is what decides your affiliate marketing success.
It takes considerable hard work and focus to build an audience that knows, trusts, and likes your content before they can trust your product and service recommendations.
In reality, a vast majority of people give up well before they reach this stage, closing shop before logging a single sale.
4 Reasons Why Affiliate Marketing Can Be Hard
Now we know that affiliate marketing can take some initial effort to get to the phase where you can easily earn impressive commissions from big brands.
If you too want to make it, make sure you understand the challenges new affiliates face and the ways to overcome them.
1. Lack of Adequate Marketing Education
Many marketers ignore the benefits of investing in education. They often gather bits of information from the internet and try succeeding with a trial-and-error approach that often leaves them frustrated with no results.
It is important to understand that spending money on affiliate courses is an investment that would pay off in the long run.
Consider selecting a reliable and effective marketing education course online and use it to learn how to reach and engage your target audiences.
2. Treating It Like A Hobby
People who treat affiliate marketing as a hobby and not a business cannot expect to see a substantial income from it. You require putting in dedication to be successful at it.
Consider it as a start-up, make SMART goals, and plan a strategy to achieve them. Review your growth regularly and make necessary changes to the strategy as needed.
3. Picking Up The Wrong Niche & Programs
To be successful, you should select affiliate programs that your audience finds relevant and interesting. Also, promoting an affiliate program with a poor-quality sales copy may not convert well.
Go through the copies of the programs you want to work on and ensure they are relevant and well-written. If a sales page doesn’t impress you, there is no point in promoting it to your audience.
4. Having Too Many Irons In The Fire
As an affiliate marketer, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to do too much at once. Promoting multiple programs across niches through different traffic sources can make it more complicated and lead to failure. Affiliate marketing is not about doing a lot but doing it well.
The money you make from your business depends on how much of the traffic you send to a seller’s site results in a conversion.
It is better to have a few conversions from promoting an affiliate program through a single source of traffic, than getting no conversions from multiple niches, programs, and traffic sources.
Try to be authoritative in your niche and focus on understanding your audience and mastering a traffic source before trying to get familiar with others.
How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?
Now that we know the challenges one can face in affiliate marketing and how they can be overcome, let us see what it takes to make money from this business model.
One of the first things you must do is decide the niche you want to work in. This will help you pick the products and services you want to promote.
Once you select your niche, you can decide on how you want to deliver the offer to your audience – through your blog or website, YouTube channel, social media, or paid ads on a platform.
If you choose the paid advertising path, ensure you read the affiliate conditions, set your budget, and keep testing regularly. If you don’t know what you are doing, this type of advertising can quickly eat your money.
The next step is to find the content you can create and link to the products/services in a way that appeals to the audience.
Try to think out of the box as the area is quite competitive. Once the offer is ready, you can look at the ways to get traffic based on how you are promoting it.
This can take some time if you are new to the landscape but generally has a lasting effect. Some of the best ways to drive traffic include social promotions, email list creation, guest posting, meme pages, linking on forums, SEO, and more.
So, is affiliate marketing hard?
Undoubtedly, affiliate marketing can seem to be hard when you are starting out in the area as you are trying to figure out how to build an audience and create a consistent stream of income.
Like any other business, it takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment before you can start seeing the fruit of your hard work.
Make sure you acquire knowledge, stay patient, and have a plan in place to get the desired results quickly and become a successful affiliate marketer.