If you’ve ever wondered how much money you can make from affiliate marketing, you’re not alone. Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular methods of making money from the internet. But it’s impossible to quantify how well someone will do when they set about learning it. That’s because everyone has different attitudes towards working and everyone will have a slightly different tactic or strategy.
Even within the same strategy, people will have dramatically different results. At the bottom end of the affiliate marketing curve are people who attempt it and never make anything. On the top side are those who make thousands of dollars every month. These are an exception to the general rule though. Due partly to the low barriers to entry for affiliate marketing, nearly everyone can ‘have a go’. It’s a cheap method of starting your own business. You don’t have rent to pay, or any staff and you can get started for next to nothing. All you really need is a laptop and internet connection.
Because nearly anyone can do it, and most of them know nothing about it when they start, it tends to mean new affiliates spend time on all the wrong activities, get distracted, or veer off course. There’s a number of things which can happen for beginner affiliate marketers to send them off course. See 23 affiliate mistakes newbie affiliates should avoid.
How Much Money Can I Earn From Affiliate Marketing?
Many affiliates will give up long before they get to the point of even making their first online sale. Even before they get to build a list of 1000 subscribers, most affiliates will give up. If they’ve found a great strategy and system to use, they can still give up because they don’t have confidence or belief in what they are doing. So they talk themselves out of it. The affiliates who remain for the long term are the ones who eventually succeed and can ultimately replace their existing income from their online business. But this doesn’t happen quickly. Granted it can do and for some who take the necessary actions it can happen within only a few months. But one month’s earnings doesn’t necessarily reflect the next month either. Ideally, run your business alongside a regular job until your income is stable and growing before you leave.
One woman within the business community I belong to, Cordelia, managed to switch careers to working online with 6 months but only because she focused on the activities to move her business forward in the fastest possible time. See how long does it take to make money with affiliate marketing.
What Business System To Use?
The amount of money you can make from affiliate marketing will vary for a number of reasons. When I started learning affiliate marketing I tried all sorts of systems and strategies. (See my article Digital Profit Course Review). Some of them taught traffic generation through Google organic listings, other taught paid marketing. Some strategies used Google Adsense – (adverts on your site which generate revenue). This is different to affiliate marketing though and requires a lot of traffic to make money with.
It’s easy to get caught up with the many and varied strategies to do affiliate marketing. You could potentially spend 10 years jumping from one system to another and still make nothing. I spent years jumping from one strategy to another. Ultimately it led me to a business strategy which has multiple earning methods within a single product range:
- High ticket products let you build your business faster in a couple of ways – Firstly it lets you more easily use paid marketing strategies which can be turned on almost immediately and then scaled up very quickly once you find a profitable ‘vein of gold’.
- Up-sells – You’ve heard the phrase “do you want fries with that?”? It’s an upset used at McDonalds. There’s a reason they do this – it works as a business model because an existing customer is more likely to purchase something else from your digital shop, than someone who doesn’t know of you. Having up-sells in your digital store means you can benefit from automated upsets and an built in sales team closing sales on your behalf. Most affiliate programs don’t offer this and only pay you once for the initial referral. The owner then ‘takes’ the customer from you, never to pay you again.
- Subscription Products – When I started out as a ‘newbie’ affiliate I didn’t know about subscription products and how they can affect your income. Subscriptions pay you over and over again every month for previous sales. Over time, you income grows because of your previous referrals.
- Multi-tier sales – These are commissions based on sales made by your team. If you access this commission method, you can benefit from sales made by your referrals within a membership program. As your team grows and they continue to make sales, you earn commissions based on their efforts.
What Strategies Of Traffic Generation Should You Use?
Without traffic, or visitors, you’ll never make any money as an affiliate. Traffic is pretty much key to your success. It’s not just traffic either that you want. It’s targeted traffic. See why is target market important. Without hungry buying traffic, who want exactly the kinds of products you’re promoting, you’re going to struggle. You can spend a long time on traffic generation and still not see any results as an affiliate.
I tried all sorts of traffic generation methods over several years. Things changed for me when I was able to implement paid strategies. Paid strategies are the fastest way to build an online business, with the right products. Even with the best business model and the fastest traffic generation strategies, you can still get it wrong too! You need to carefully test and measure your advertising strategies until you find a winning strategy. When you do you can increase your budget and scale up. This is one of the benefits of having automation and digital products within your sales funnel.
Automation and digital products means you have a business model which can work globally. Once you learn to market it correctly, you can scale up quite quickly and increase sales almost overnight! But, and it’s a big BUTT, (joke), you must do your homework and learn what works first. Otherwise you can waste a lot of money!
Traffic generation strategies include:
- Paid marketing – Adwords pay per click, Facebook and YOuTube marketing platforms. Bing, LinkedIn etc.
- Video marketing – create video content which speaks to your audience
- Content marketing (articles) – blogging or article marketing is another cheap method of building traffic.
- Creating webinars and podcasts
- Email marketing – send traffic to a landing page and build a list of subscribers.
Depending on your circumstances you may opt for either content generation or paid marketing. Content generation is how I started out online. It takes a long time to generate any traction using content generation. You need to keep at it for long enough to start seeing results. It’s easy to become disheartened if you focus only on this strategy because it can take time. Once you do get results though, you’ll know you have a ‘free’ strategy that works and you’ll be saving a lot of potential advertising budget.
Paid advertising is a faster option and better for people who are working long hours. If you have time, but no money, focus on content generation. If you have money but no time, focus on paid marketing – as a general rule of thumb.
How Much Do Affiliate Marketers Make?
I know I know! You want to know how much affiliate marketers actually make! When I started out as an affiliate I made my first sale by writing some content and reviewing a product. I made $40 on a $100 product. I was over the moon. Until the next month when I made nothing. And the next and the next. It wasn’t until years later did I find a much better business model (the one described above). Only then did things really change for me.
I started out making nothing but after a few months I had made a hight ticket sale. This was around $1000. However, I had spent around $400 on advertising. So, I’d made $600. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t in a stable job or career at the time. So I just took the money! What I didn’t realise is that the people in the know were reinvesting their budget back into advertising to scale up their businesses.
Understanding Business Models and Scaling Up
I didn’t know what I was doing. So I just took the money and ran! I stopped advertising and just rested on my laurels! Surprise surprise, I didn’t make many more sales for a while. I had to keep learning and developing my understanding of the business over the next few months and years.
Since making a number of subscription sales I’m now making a regular recurring income from the internet. It’s still only a small amount, (around $300 at the moment) but it’s every month. Over the next year or so, as I continue to make sales, I know this will grow.
I’m currently following a number of affiliates who are much further down the road than I am. I do believe that finding a group of affiliate marketing mentors is the best thing to do in this business. Without a mentor, it’s so difficult to know what you’re doing, where you’re going or which strategy and system to use.
One of my mentors has already sold over $500,000 worth of product within a couple of years from affiliate marketing. Keep in mind he’s also spend half that on advertising. So his profit is really only $250,000. When I saw how much he was spending a month on advertising (over $5000), it was beyond my comprehension! But then I realised that he was only reinvesting profits and scaling up. He didn’t start at this point. Like me, he will have started from a much lower budget which he could afford. Over time, and as you see sales coming in, and you prove your advertising strategy, you can slowly increase your monthly spend.
Keep in mind also that he’s only a couple of years into this business too. There’s many who are far ahead of him in terms of what they earn. This is because they have paid to purchase a high ticket commission sales funnel. See high commission affiliate programs. Then, they can earn 40% commissions on products valued at $30,000+
Multi-millionaire Affiliate Marketers
Top affiliates are multi-millionaires because they have learned the strategies over a number of years to automate sales and leverage the internet with scalable marketing strategies.
But just because Stuart and Jay put years of their lives into building their online business, doesn’t mean that anyone can repeat their success overnight.
Like footballers who earn tens of thousands every week, there are many leagues of footballers who don’t earn the ‘big bucks’ like the professionals. The same can be said of affiliate marketers. If you work hard over ten years or so in affiliate marketing, you should be able to use automation and the ability to sell digital products to earn a living. Still, it’s never guaranteed!
Another analogy of affiliate marketing is a gym membership. Anyone can access a gym. But some people will only go once in a blue moon! If you want to benefits of a gym, you need to work hard and keep working over the long term. You also need to change your diet and build your fitness slowly. Over 100 people who join the gym at the same time, all of them will have slightly different results.