Is Affiliate Marketing Profitable? [Answered For 2020]

Is Affiliate Marketing Profitable Wide

So… is affiliate marketing profitable?  I’ve done some digging around and have some interesting things to share.

But first, here’s the quick two sentence answer before we dive deep into the good stuff.

Affiliate marketing is profitable, as it is an industry that is growing exponentially every year.  Businesses are using affiliate marketing to leverage large brands and reduce the upfront cost of starting a business which makes it easier to become profitable.

Now, let’s dive deeper into:

  • Is affiliate marketing profitable? – 7 reasons why it is
  • How to build a profitable affiliate marketing business
  • 3 Best types of affiliate marketing programs to promote to have a profitable business

Ready?  Let’s get started. 😃

Is Affiliate Marketing Profitable? – 7 Reasons Why It Is

Affiliate marketing is a powerful business model.  Here are the reasons why affiliate marketing is profitable today.

1. Affiliate Marketing Spending Is Growing By Nearly $1 Billion Per Year

Spending by companies for affiliate marketing is increasing every year by nearly $1 billion according to Statista.

Is affiliate marketing profitable spending

As the spending increases, the affiliate marketing industry is growing and consequently providing more opportunities for newcomers.

2. Affiliate Programs Are Free To Join

There’s a lot of affiliate programs to be apart of.

The good news is that you can join any affiliate program for free simply by filling out an application and being accepted.  All you have to do then is go and share your affiliate link to promote the product.

This creates a low barrier to entry to starting affiliate marketing and also means that you can become profitable a lot quicker for the investment that you put in compared to other business models.

3. Flexibility – Work From Home Or Just About Anywhere With Internet Connection

The flexibility of working from home is a huge plus for affiliate marketing and is likely a reason why you’re pursuing it as an online business yourself.

The benefits of this are obvious and you can travel and work from just about anywhere.  This once again reduces the startup cost and makes it easier to start a profitable affiliate marketing business.

4. Leverage Big Brand Names

Affiliate marketing specifically is an incredible way to break into a niche or just get started with any online business in general.

Chances are you don’t really have an audience when starting out and you certainly haven’t built up your company name to be a worldwide brand. 

The cool part is that you can promote products on Amazon and other huge global retailers and online e-commerce stores that people are already familiar with. 

By leverage big brands, you can greatly increase the conversion rate and profitability of an ad campaign giving you more commissions.

5. Super Scalable Business Model

When you create an online business, there are really two options for driving traffic from either organic or paid methods.

Unlike consulting or any active job, affiliate marketing doesn’t directly trade time for money.

This means you just need to create more content or put more money into profitable ads to scale up and generate more sales for your business.  Additionally, you can start to earn money quicker.

6. Product Creation & Support Is Unnecessary – Just Drive Traffic!

My favorite part about affiliate marketing is that you can get started promoting a product right away if you want to.

It’s not like creating software or any other product because the product is already made for you.

All that’s left for you to do is simply drive traffic to the affiliate offers by recommending products to your audience to start generating sales.

7. Very Minimal Startup Cost

When you compare affiliate marketing to starting an offline business such as a restaurant, you start to see just how minimal of a startup cost there is.

With affiliate marketing, you can build a YouTube channel, start a Facebook group, or start a blog for next to nothing.  This makes it much easier to start earning money fast with affiliate marketing.

How To Build A Profitable Affiliate Marketing Business & Make Money

With all the great things that come with affiliate marketing, there are still a few things that aren’t so great that need to be mentioned.

Here’s the list of downsides to affiliate marketing that I came up with.

Step #1 Choose A Starting Platform

The biggest mistake you can make when choosing a platform to share content on is doing it because it converts well or you see other people having success with it.

Certainly, these are good things but you do NOT want to start creating content on a platform that goes against your strengths.

In other words, don’t start by creating YouTube videos if you can’t stand to be on camera.  Don’t start a blog if you’re terrible at writing and have zero interest in it.  And don’t start a podcast if you don’t already enjoy listening to other podcasts.

Remember, you can always expand later to other platforms but don’t skip steps or try to do two things at once.

I recommend starting with ONE of the following three platforms:

  • A Blog
  • A YouTube Channel
  • A Podcast

These three platforms all have the same idea in common and that is driving traffic and visitors to your content through the power of search engines.

By using search engines as the vehicle to drive traffic, you’ll be getting super-targeted traffic to your offers whenever someone types in a search query that’s related to your content.

This means higher conversion rates and more sales down the line once you’ve got things up and running with a substantial amount of content.

Step #2 Create EPIC Content That’s Helpful & Solves A Problem

Now that you have the foundation laid, it’s time to create content.

The goal of your content is that it should be helpful and also solve a problem.

When you focus on these two things, you’ll start to build an audience.

But you won’t be building any old audience… Instead, you’ll be building an audience that trusts you and wants to hear specifically what you have to say on certain topics and areas within your niche.

There are other things that are helpful to growing an audience, such as keyword research.  However, there’s no substitute for trial and error.

It’s simply going to take a long time to build up an audience no matter the niche you choose. 

It will likely be years before you have a good size audience of over 100,000 but if you stick with it then the return will be great.

Step #3 Test & Optimize Landing Pages

This is where things get interesting!

Once you’re starting to get a decent amount of traffic to the platform you’re promoting on, it’s only a matter of time before you start to see some sales roll in from affiliate offers and you get your first affiliate sale

I can tell you that it took me personally 5 weeks for my first blog post to rank in Google and get my first affiliate commission for $100.

You’ll want to start to optimize your content for conversions.

Whether you’re optimizing it to get more people as email subscribers or affiliate sales, it’s something that will pay direct dividends.

Essentially, increasing conversions to sales will boost your profits with the same amount of traffic.

Step #4 Scale Your Affiliate Marketing Business

Guess what?

You’ve now got a proven system that doesn’t just work for someone else…

It’s actually working for you!

The best part is that by focusing on creating content for search engines it will have a lifespan of years and won’t need to be updated that often.

It will in many ways be generating you passive income with minimal effort to maintain.

Now, all you have to do is create more content, start outsourcing tasks, and expand to additional platforms!

3 Best Types Of Affiliate Marketing Programs To Promote To Have A Profitable Business

The final thing I wanted to discuss was different affiliate programs you can join to better ensure you have a profitable affiliate marketing business long-term.

1. Evergreen Affiliate Marketing Programs

Evergreen affiliate programs are where you can promote products that will be needed year-round for years.

Sure, you could promote products that are trending.  However, this is a big risk and means your content will be out of date once the product itself is. 

You should instead focus your time on products that will likely still be around for the next 10 years.

2. High Ticket Affiliate Marketing Programs

It’s not absolutely necessary to promote high ticket products if you’ve got a large amount of traffic.  Promoting both low-ticket and high ticket products works.

However, when you focus on high ticket products that give you over $1,000 for a single commission it greatly reduces the amount of traffic you need to reach the level of income that you need.

The big thing you need to nail down for it to work is your process of warming up leads and gaining trust.

3. Recurring Affiliate Marketing Programs

Monthly and yearly recurring affiliate programs are a huge goldmine.

If I were you, I’d focus my efforts on promoting primarily recurring affiliate programs.

This ensures that you’ve got a much more stable income over time to work with for your business that keeps coming in even if you don’t send more traffic to the affiliate product for awhile.

Final Thoughts: Is Affiliate Marketing Profitable?

Affiliate marketing is definitely a profitable business model if you focus on doing it right.

The steps laid out in this post should help you get to the point where you’re gaining traction and earning money with affiliate marketing.

Eventually, once you’re making substantial income with affiliate marketing I’d recommend pursuing building your own digital product to sell to help diversify your income streams.

This allows you to own the cart and be in more control of the profitability of your business.  You’ll have to put in more work upfront before you see any sales, but it is definitely worth it to diversify and spread out your income streams.

If you’re interested in more posts on affiliate marketing, then you can keep reading by checking out some of the suggested posts below.  

Affiliate Disclaimer

I hope you enjoyed this post. This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my links at no additional cost to you.

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