So what is a realistic affiliate marketing income? How much does an affiliate marketer make? This is an incredibly difficult question to answer. Keep in mind that anyone can be an affiliate. Join an affiliate program and you’re technically an affiliate. That’s why there’s so many naysayers in the affiliate industry. The door is wide open to ‘have a go’.

For those people who learn their trade and stick at it no matter what, there’s great rewards. Top affiliates can earn millions, especially if they have created an affiliate program of their own and have other affiliate marketers effectively working for them, promoting their products. But what is a realistic affiliate marketing income, for someone new to the industry?

Realistic Affiliate Marketing Income $5000 to Zero

realistic affiliate marketing income

For someone getting started in affiliate marketing, you can’t place a figure on their likely income for a number of reasons. Sorry to disappoint, and I’ll take a stab at some figures in a bit, but realistically, everyone is different. Everyone who starts affiliate marketing can come at the business from an entirely different angle.

When I started out several years ago, I jumped on the ‘free traffic’ bandwagon and attempted to ‘rank’ several websites with very little success. My income was far below my expenditure for a number of years. On the other hand, some people get started and straight away begin to make a profit. However, the tentative nature of affiliate marketing can mean anyone can get zapped in a number of ways.

10 years ago, many were learning first hand what it’s like to go from $5000 a week to zero! Google penalised many affiliates who had top rankings and were thinking they had ‘made it’ on easy street! Their website disappeared from Google search and never returned.

Realistic Affilaite Marketing Income – Zero to $5000

realistic affiliate marketing income

On the other hand, many affiliates have had the opposite realisation. They’ve struggled and learned and eventually have turned a zero income business into a $5000 a month or a week one. This is just as possible if you’ve done the hard work up front. It’s hardly possible for someone walking into affiliate marketing and throwing up a website though. For someone who is testing and measuring paid advertising strategies, this is very realistic.

Paid advertising is definitely the fastest way to start earning from affiliate marketing. But you still need to make sales. Be wary of the videos which only show income. It’s easy to buy traffic and make sales, but far more difficult to also make a profit! Look, here are my sales! I’ve made $10,000 in the last month! This might be true but they may also have spent $20,000 to earn this much! Their videos prove nothing!

Top affiliates who are earning $40,000 + a month are often spending a lot too. If you spend $35,000 to make $40,000, you’ve still made $5000! Over time and with a lot of discipline and patience, affiliates can lower their expenditure and raise their profit by simply testing and measuring their adverts.

“But who has $35,000 to spend on a marketing budget”?, I hear you ask! Of course you don’t start out with such a large spend. You initially start out much smaller. Affiliates who spend this amount every month have learned what works in their marketing before taking the steps to increase their budget gradually.

How Much Do Affiliate Marketers Make?

So let’s cut to the chase! What’s a realistic affiliate marketing income? There’s a few things which will determine whether you should pursue affiliate marketing:

  • Your current financial position – will determine whether you start and what strategy you use
  • Your tenacity – will determine whether you stick at it long enough to start seeing some results.
  • Paid strategies will mean spending money regularly, without any come back at first. This should be sustained for the foreseeable future. By testing and measuring your adverts, you’ll see which adverts work and which don’t.
  • Free marketing strategies will take much longer to see any results. Be prepared to put in a lot of work with no initial return.
  • Your income will also depend on the strategy and the business model you use. More on this later.

realistic affilaite marketing income

Realistic Affilaite Marketing Income

Ok for the sake of the pedants I’ll put some figures down. But it’s really only to placate you more than anything. The reason I say this is because it’s going to come down to:

  • What marketing strategy you implement – paid/free
  • Your business model
  • Work ethic
  • Your Understanding of the business model and your ability

With a good sales funnel, marketing strategy and email list, you could expect to earn from $0-$500 within your first few months. This is with paid advertising, and by following a mentor who will show you the correct strategies. I’m not saying this is profit, it might just be income at first. But with a good multi-tier sales funnel and multiple products, this could easily grow and here’s why:

With a sales funnel which contains:

you stand to earn more from your email list that you would with a typical affiliate digital product from which you would only earn a single commission. By choosing a business model which gives you more per sale and more income for each customer, your income can grow over time because of the back end sales within the business system.

Realistic Affiliate Marketing Income

realistic affiliate marketing income

Over time and as you continue to make sales, your income will grow. If you continue to make sales and even if you break even initially, you can continue to make an income on the back end. This is why it pays to choose a multi-tier sales system which has a product range. (See ready made sales funnel).

Subscription products pay you again and again for your initial referrals. As long as your members continue to keep their membership, you’ll continue to get paid as an affiliate long after you have referred them. Over the next year or so your income can rise exponentially as you continue to make sales on the front end. Particularly with multi-tier products too, you’ll be able to earn commissions from sales of your team. Within the next few years you’ll be able to scale up your business because you’ve made the effort to learn the strategies which are working.

This may have cost you a pretty penny in advertising budget. However, long term affiliates know the value of learning how to use pay per click advertising. Once you find a ‘vein of gold’, that is, a marketing strategy which consistently pays out more than you put in in advertising costs, you’re ready to scale it up and move on the the next one. Over time an income of $500-$5000 per month is then achievable.

Top affiliates have learned these marketing strategies and continue to learn and develop them. They find a strategy and study it until they have mastered it. Then, once they have found one which continues to pay out, they leave it running and move on the the next one.