Why Affiliate Marketing Is Still an Easy Way of Making Money Online | 2024 Updated

Why Affiliate Marketing Is Still an Easy Way of Making Money Online in 2020

Finding ways to earn an income online has been all the buzz in recent years. While many trends have come and gone, some have proven to be legitimate sources of income. One source that has stood the test of time is affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is believed to have originated as early as the 1980s by a man named William J. Tobin. Put simply, it can be described as a type of sales tactic where a business pays an affiliate for customers gained through the affiliate’s own marketing strategy. Today, it is still an easy way for many to earn money online. Some top affiliates are even making thousands every month.

How Do You Earn With Affiliate Marketing?

As mentioned, affiliate marketing is the process by which an individual receives commission for marketing a merchant’s products or services. For example, a pair of shoes that is sold by a merchant for $200 is promoted by an affiliate which will receive $10 for every pair they sell through their own marketing methods. The affiliate may promote that product or service on a website, blog or social media platform and can earn commission by either producing traffic, leads or sales for the business. This is typically tracked through unique links that show where the traffic is derived from. These links can be set up by the affiliate themselves or by making use of IT outsourcing.

Let’s look at an infographic of how exactly affiliates earn money:

how affiliate marketing works


Affiliate programs have different types of commission structures. Affiliates may get paid in the following ways:

Earning per click

Affiliates who earn per click follow a ‘pay per click’ program. This method allows the affiliate to earn a commission when they redirect visitors from their marketing platform to the business’ website. For example, an affiliate may be advertising a business’ product through a clickable ad on their website. Every time a visitor clicks on the ad, the affiliate will earn rewards. 

Earning per lead

Affiliates who earn per lead are following a ‘pay per lead’ program. With this program, the affiliate must convince visitors to click-through to the seller’s website to create a lead for the business. For example, the affiliate may convince visitors to enter their details to sign up for a promotional newsletter.

Earning per sale 

Affiliates who earn per sale follow a ‘pay per sale’ incentive program. This is the most common form of earning rewards through affiliate marketing. This method involves the affiliate to persuade visitors to buy a product. For example, the affiliate will create a lot of interest around a certain product to convince visitors to buy it. Only once a sale has been made, will the affiliate be rewarded. 

Explore Magento 2 Affiliate Extension

While these methods may seem uncomplicated, it’s not always as straightforward as the examples provided. Some affiliate programs may only payout commissions once an affiliate has reached a specific threshold. Other programs may set targets for affiliates and will only pay rewards once those targets are reached. However, there are plenty of profitable affiliate programs, it is simply up to the affiliate to find the right one. 

How to Develop a Successful Affiliate Marketing Strategy

Many people try affiliate marketing for a few months and then give up as they were promised an easy income without much work. However, earning through affiliate marketing doesn’t always work right from the start. You have to put in some effort, especially at the start of your affiliate journey. The best way to start is to develop an effective strategy. Your strategy should include the following steps: 

Do research

The best way to start with affiliate marketing is to do proper research. The more you know about the process, the easier it will be to get started and make informed decisions along the way. There are plenty of free courses and guides available online that can help you to broaden your knowledge.

Target a niche

If you are serious about earning any money through affiliate marketing, you have to choose a niche market. To find one, you need to look at a group of people that has a clearly defined need with little to no solution available. Once you have established a niche market, you can find affiliate opportunities that link with that market.

Find a Favorable Commission Rate

Many affiliate programs’ commission rates are very low. This means you have to work harder to earn. However, there are affiliate opportunities that pay incredibly favorable commission rates. The secret is to find one. A simple Google search can produce plenty of affiliate directories and forums that offer an in-depth look at different programs. Spending some time on these platforms and networking with others will help you to consider which program will work best for your available efforts and time.

Create an effective website

As soon as you’ve established a niche market and a well-paying affiliate marketing program, you will have a better idea of how to design an effective website that will draw leads. Remember that you want to keep visitors on the website and also have them click through to your affiliate advertisements. If you are not able to design a website yourself, there are plenty of IT outsourcing services available to assist. 

Build an audience

Many websites never get the traffic they were built for. The reason for this is that website owners and managers do not spend enough time building and attracting the right audience. If you want to build an audience quickly, you have to consider good SEO practices and use other platforms, such as social media to advertise your website and to attract the right people. The most important aspect to consider is value: You need to offer value to your audience. This will create interest and, in turn, a higher click-through rate. 

Comply with standards

Most countries have some form of a commission with a set of rules for how you can and cannot make money online and also how you should disclose it. Find out what the standards are in your country, as well as any rules that apply globally. This will ensure that your affiliate marketing efforts are legitimate. 

Customize the experience

As you follow your affiliate marketing journey, you may realize that some things work and some don’t. This type of marketing may include a lot of testing to ensure you have the correct combination of visitors, products or services and marketing elements. 

Many successful affiliate marketing programs offer some form of assistance to help affiliates get set up. However, it may be necessary to use IT outsourcing services to get your website or marketing platform set up. Many outsourcing IT companies can design your website and assist with implementing the affiliate program. It’s also essential to follow a strategy to ensure you maximise your chances of earning effectively.

The Demand for Starting in Affiliate Marketing 

As mentioned, increasingly more people are looking for ways to earn an income online. The reason for this includes job shortages, a need for more flexible work schedules and work-from-home opportunities. Since affiliate marketing looks attractive because of its ‘passive income’ promise, the demand for affiliate marketing has increased dramatically. Data confirms this: According to Google Trends, there is a worldwide rise in people’s interest in affiliate marketing. People are searching for this, along with other related terms such as ‘learn affiliate marketing’ and ‘how to become an affiliate’.

As a result of this rising interest, more businesses and brands are also starting their own affiliate programs. They now realize the potential an affiliate program can have for their own revenue. With more programs available, aspirant affiliates have more opportunities to find one that suits their specific needs and ultimately, earn a bigger income. According to Statista, it is expected that spending on affiliate marketing in the United States alone will rise to around $8.2 billion by 2022. Let’s look at a few other statistics for 2020:

affiliate marketing is growing


This shows that it is a booming market that shows no signs of slowing down and consequently, more people will enter the field as affiliates in the future.  

How Much Can You Earn?

One of the first questions that always arise when people want to start with affiliate marketing, is how much money can you earn. Newbies are always excited by the idea of earning a large passive income, however, it is important to have a realistic idea of what to expect.

So, how much can you really make through affiliate marketing in 2020? The affiliate marketing industry is still growing and there is definitely potential to earn money. According to Money Connexion, entrepreneur and top affiliate marketer John Chow grew his affiliate income to an estimated $40,000 per month, while well-known businessman Jeremy Schoemaker earns around $1,000,000 per year.

This may be very exciting, but it didn’t happen overnight for these two super-affiliates. Success in affiliate marketing is about endurance. You cannot give up after one month of little to no income. With some effort and persistence, you will start seeing a steady income over time. Let’s take a look at the earning potential of affiliate marketing: 

Absolute beginners

This group mostly consists of affiliates who have just started. They may still be trying out different marketing methods or finding ways to attract the right audience. Affiliates in this group may be earning a very low amount or nothing at all. Most people give up during this phase.  

Low-level to intermediate affiliates

This group of affiliates have found their feet and are seeing a steady flow of traffic to their website or marketing platform. Low-level affiliates may still be testing out certain strategies or are working on gaining more traffic, while intermediate affiliates are closer to their high earning potential goals. They can earn anything from $300 to $3,000 a day.

High-level affiliates

These affiliates have found the perfect balance between traffic, interest and a profitable affiliate program. They can earn anything above $3,000 per day. While some affiliates wait months or even years to reach this level, some affiliates are known to have entered this phase in just a couple of days by finding a perfect balance between traffic, interest and a well-paying program.

From this data, it can be said that there is unquestionably an opportunity to earn money through affiliate marketing, now and in the future. 

Start Earning an Income Online

Since the start of the internet, people have always looked for ways to earn online. However, not all methods are always reliable or worthwhile. Through the years, affiliate marketing has proved to be one of the best sources of income. Affiliate marketing can be a very reliable way to make money online without taking on too much risk. Compared to other forms of online revenue, affiliate marketing also offers plenty of benefits, including ease: You simply have to handle the marketing side of the selling process. 

Entering the field as a newbie affiliate marketer may seem like a daunting task, but it shouldn’t be. There are several affiliate marketing and IT sources online that can be used to guide you on your journey. The main aspects to keep in mind to ensure a successful attempt include an effective affiliate marketing strategy and some endurance. With careful consideration and a bit of time, your marketing efforts can certainly reap rewards in 2023.

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