If you ask ten people on the truth about affiliate marketing or making money online, you will probably get ten different responses. There are a lot of misconceptions about affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate income. The way it works is you earn a commission based on a percentage of sales from marketing someone else’s product. It sounds simple, but it’s not.
Affiliate marketing was created to benefit the business, not you. It’s a hands-off approach for businesses to generate more sales. The only time you’ll hear from the business is when you’ve generated a sale and need to get paid—and even that’s done automatically.
There are a lot of things that we as a digital marketer need to keep in mind before taking any step in affiliate marketing.
If you have been doing endless research on affiliate marketing, there are a lot of myths presented online. Sometimes, it’s hard to read between the lines to see what is true and what isn’t.
These things are pretty basic and you will learn it automatically as your experience grows in marketing. Let me take you through some of the points or “Dark Secrets” if you will :
Affiliate marketing always favors the business
To the vendor, you’re just another faceless person who signed an agreement to follow certain rules while marketing their product. You’re not on their payroll so they’re not invested in your success. If you don’t know how to market and sell their product, they don’t care. They’re after the top performers who have made a professional career out of marketing other people’s products.
Most affiliate marketers are selling the dream but living the nightmare
So many people that are selling you on “the dream” are actually living a nightmare.
Not only that. But in many cases, they are telling you complete lies.
- Fake stories of success
- Fake stories of lifestyle
- Rented cars
- Fake pictures with lear jets
- Pictures with cash on their table or floor spread out all over their computer
I’ve heard many first hand stories of them using their rent money or their entire savings account.
Often times, I see these people and I wonder how much of it is real?
It’s no wonder that people are so skeptical when it comes to the affiliate marketing.
It takes work
It is a real business opportunity even though you don’t have to spend too much money to get started in this business. However, one important thing you need to realize is that it’s not a get rich quick scheme.
You need to work hard on developing your selling skills, recruitment skills and training skills to be successful in this line of business.
You can’t build a business without putting in serious hours and efforts.
It takes a lot of time and effort to succeed. In fact, ask any start-up business owner about how many hours they devote to their business and you will find that most of them spend almost all the time they have on developing their business, especially in the initial years. That’s the hard truth.
In fact, think of it as a long term play. If you want to succeed in affiliate marketing, think of it as a long-term commitment and not something you would try for a few weeks and then give up.
Only a few succeed
If you are doing research and you’re thinking about getting started with affiliate marketing, you must have come across the statistic that most businesses fail in the first 5 years.
It requires consistent efforts. Not everybody is going to make it. Only those, who take the time to understand it, implement what they learn, focusing on serving their audience and putting in the required efforts are going to succeed in affiliate marketing.
It’s like any other business. Only those who put in the hours are going to reap the rewards.
Unfortunately, newbies approach affiliate marketing from the wrong angles, assuming quick and easy businesses and that 5 and 6-figure incomes will come flooding in over the course of weeks and months.
Do yourself a favor and remove the idea of “getting rich quickly” because in this day in age, it will not work.
You will lose money or time
This one happens to the best of us and nearly all affiliate marketers when first getting started. You are going to lose money with your first ad campaigns, if not all of them! The important thing to realize is that you aren’t losing money… you are investing in feedback and data. This is knowledge to help you make your promotions profitable. This is why it’s so important to track every aspect of your business and always split test and improve with time.
It’s very hard to predict what will work and what won’t work. My affiliate marketing strategy has always been to recommend the products that I can stand behind. However, as many affiliate marketers will tell you, what converts and what does not convert does not always go the way you would have thought.
Experience does count for something when you are planning your affiliate marketing efforts, but trial and error will always play a big part in the affiliate marketing world. You sometimes have to just throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.
Income will go up and down
Affiliate income goes up and down due to a number of factors including website traffic, shifting trends online, and the closure of affiliate programs that were converting well for you.
This is why it is risky to put all of your eggs in one basket. If your income comes from just a couple of sources you are at risk of seeing your income drop significantly if your situation changes.
Affiliate marketing is not as glamorous as people make it out to be. No doubt this industry has changed my life and my income. When I first got started, I didn’t chase the money, I wanted to break far from ‘the man’, and also being able to provide for myself and my family. It gave me the freedom to work my own hours and travel all over the world.
However, this industry is not as glamorous as many people would make you think. It can be difficult to strike the right work-life balance at times because you work at home (well, many of us do).
It can also be difficult to enjoy your downtime. Anyone who works from home will know that you never truly switch off. When you go to bed at night you are usually thinking about the work you need to do the next day. Likewise, if you have planned a day off and your websites go offline, tough luck. Whether you want to or not, you will need to resolve that as soon as possible or your business will be affected.
If you have considered venturing into affiliate marketing you will have come across many marketers who are pushing their online courses as a ticket to your financial freedom. They use pictures of themselves sitting on the beach with their laptops and promise to show you “The Secret” to making money online.
99.9% of these people are selling a dream rather than telling you the truth. The reality is that affiliate marketers spend an abhorrent amount of time checking stats, crunching numbers, doing tests, and sending emails.
It can be a boring job and it can be a frustrating job. Not saying it will. 😉
The nature of affiliate marketing also means that it can be quite a lonely job as there is a lot of work that you cannot outsource to others.
Do not let any of this dissuade you from being an affiliate marketer. Affiliate marketing can be profitable and it can be rewarding.
Just be sure that you go into the affiliate world with your eyes open and an understanding of the hard work you need to put in to become successful.