Is affiliate marketing legit?
Lots of myths fly around the internet regarding affiliate marketing. It makes it difficult to know what’s true.
Can you make a living with affiliate marketing? Do you have to resort to slimy methods to get people to buy?
Between the misinformation circulating and the bad apples that use spammy techniques, affiliate marketing often gets a bad name.
But it’s a very legitimate way to earn money.
If you’re skeptical, keep reading to uncover the truth about common affiliate marketing myths.
1. It’s Too Complicated
Many people talk themselves out of affiliate marketing because they think it’s not legit or too complicated.
When you first start out in affiliate marketing, it can seem overwhelming.
If you’ve never created a website, you might not know where to start.
You’ve probably heard about the FTC affiliate disclosure requirements, but you might not understand what that involves.
Perhaps you’ve heard about how email marketing is important, but you have to follow the sometimes confusing CAN-SPAM Act requirements. You’re not sure what you can and can’t include in the emails or what information is required.
Other people feel like they need a business background or a degree in the niche they want to target.
Yes, affiliate marketing has many regulations that you need to follow. If you don’t, you could face fines.
But it’s also possible for anyone to learn those regulations. With so many resources available online, teaching yourself the key regulations is easier than ever.
Establishing yourself as an expert in your niche doesn’t require a degree.
Proving your own success in the field can be powerful in building trust and convincing readers to believe what you say.
You might not have a degree in nutrition or exercise science. But if you lost 80 pounds by following a healthy diet and completing a marathon training plan, you’ve shown that you know what you’re talking about.
Creating quality content that’s accurate and relevant also helps establish your credibility.
If you feel overwhelmed by starting with affiliate marketing, review some basic resources on the topic.
Write down questions you have or things that confuse you. Then, do your research to find the answers to those questions.
You’ll learn as you go, as is the case with so many new projects. Don’t be afraid to start with affiliate marketing just because you don’t know everything right now.
2. It’s Easy
Wait, wasn’t the first myth that affiliate marketing is too complicated?
They’re contradictory myths, but they both lead people astray when it comes to affiliate marketing.
If you think it’s easy to slap a few affiliate links on a website and make a living, you’ll likely fail at affiliate marketing.
It takes work and quality content to succeed with this form of passive income.
Passive income doesn’t mean you don’t have to do work. You still have to create new content and continue bringing in new prospects.
It means once you create an asset, you can continue earning money from it, even while you’re doing other things.
You can’t completely automate affiliate marketing, and it’s not easy. But it’s also not impossible if you can commit to putting in the work.
3. It’s Overcrowded
Lots of people are already making money on affiliate marketing, so there’s no room for you, right?
It’s a common myth that stops people from trying affiliate marketing.
Competition is a sign that people want products that are already being promoted by other content creators.
The great thing about being an affiliate is being able to create your own content that promotes the products.
Your personal branding is what sets you apart from other affiliates and helps you make sales. You have a unique way of presenting things and a unique connection with your readers and followers
Sure, there might be some overlap in readership. The people who visit your site might also follow other bloggers in your niche.
But you’ll also have a lot of your own followers. And they’ll remain loyal to you when you put your personality into your content.
Promoting more than one affiliate product can help you diversify your earnings and have more success. Find multiple options that fit your target audience to increase your earning potential.
4. It Repels People
The spammy tactics that some affiliate marketers still use can turn people off. But that doesn’t mean all people hate all affiliate marketing.
When done well, affiliate marketing is authentic and natural. It doesn’t make people feel gross or make people click off the page as quickly as possible.
The other thought is that people would rather just go directly to the company website to make a purchase. They don’t want the trouble of going to one website, reading reviews, and then clicking a link to make the purchase.
But consumers want to hear about other people’s experiences before they make a purchase.
They can get the details of a product from the retailer. What they can’t get is a real-life opinion or an honest review.
When you’re an affiliate, you can share your opinions in an honest way. You can show people how a product actually works and give them pointers for maximizing the product.
This can be especially true for larger purchases.
If someone’s considering an online course about making money online, they want to hear from someone who has taken the class.
They know the creator of the course will tell them how great it is. But they want to know what it’s really like.
Create authentic content with real opinions to better promote your affiliate links.
5. It Requires Lots of Traffic
If no one comes to your website, you won’t make money from affiliate links.
But you don’t need millions of views to make good money with affiliate marketing.
You’re better off with a smaller fan base that’s truly engaged and loyal to you. You want people who are interested in your niche and can benefit from the things you’re promoting.
The people who believe in your personal brand and feel a connection to you will be more likely to follow your recommendations.
Casual views from random people with no connection to you are less likely to buy. It’s possible to have lots of views and very few sales if your visitors aren’t engaged.
Many people get plenty of traffic, but they aren’t good at converting that traffic into sales.
Focus on getting more quality traffic, not just lots of traffic for the sake of high numbers.
The products you choose to promote also affect how much you can make.
The commission percentage varies significantly with each program. Choosing products with higher percentages nets you more money per sale, even if you don’t have a large number of sales.
The price point is also important. Higher-priced items increase your profits faster.
6. It Requires a Social Media Following
Another myth is that you need a huge social media following to do well with affiliate marketing. It’s the same concept as having lots of traffic to your website.
A large social media following can help you direct traffic to your site. It’s a good way to promote your content that has affiliate links in it.
You might be able to post some affiliate links directly on social media platforms. Always read the terms of the affiliate program because some restrict how and where you can post your affiliate links.
But having a huge following doesn’t guarantee affiliate marketing success. If your social media followers aren’t engaged and don’t have a level of trust with you, the sales probably won’t be huge.
You can also promote in other ways if you don’t already have a lot of social media followers.
Start with affiliate marketing now. Then, work on growing your social media presence along with your affiliate content.
7. It Only Works in Certain Niches
Do you think high-ticket affiliate programs are only available in certain niches?
While some niches naturally lend themselves well to higher-priced items, you can make money in any niche with affiliate marketing.
Some niches are definitely more profitable than others. Fitness and health, self-improvement, and building wealth are all fields that come to mind.
People are willing to spend big money in those fields to get the solutions they want quickly.
But all niches have products you can promote.
With the growing trend of online classes, you can find courses to promote in almost any area. Ebooks are also easy to find on nearly any topic.
Physical products can also cover almost any topic. Being an Amazon affiliate lets you promote any product on the site with a small commission from each purchase.
Don’t choose your niche only on the earning potential. You want to choose a niche with good potential, but it should be something you like and have knowledge about.
You’ll need to create a lot of accurate, engaging content on the topic. Make sure it’s something you can stick with long-term.
8. It’s Going to End Soon
There’s the impression that affiliate marketing is not legit because it is a dying monetization method.
It’s true that the ways to promote affiliate marketing have changed over the years. The various laws regarding disclosures have required changes to the approach.
But it’s still a very profitable way to monetize your website. It’s not too late to get involved.
You do have to be willing to adapt your strategies as affiliate marketing strategies change. If you don’t adapt, you might find your old strategies stop being effective.
9. It Hurts SEO
Several factors go into search engine optimization, which affects how you rank in search results. That includes things such as keyword use, site organization, mobile-friendliness, and quality of content.
Ranking higher in the results can boost your earning potential with affiliate marketing. Searchers are more likely to click through to your website if you’re ranked higher.
So you don’t want to do anything to hurt your position in the search results.
Some people believe that affiliate links hurt your website’s SEO.
Affiliate links don’t hurt your SEO if you use them properly. If your site is full of quality content with a reasonable number of affiliate links, your SEO will be fine.
If your site has very little real content and is full of affiliate links and ads, you might have something to worry about when it comes to SEO.
Google might assume your website isn’t trustworthy because of the lack of useful content.
Making your affiliate links “no follow” links can also help avoid any SEO repercussions.
10. It’s a Get Rich Quick Scheme
Affiliate marketing sometimes has the reputation of not being legit because it is a get rich quick scheme. That can scare off people who think it’s too good to be true.
The way some people push affiliate marketing online adds to the problem of feeling legit. Promises of quick money with no work or other stereotypical sleazy tactics create a bad reputation.
The flip side of this myth is believing it’s possible to get rich quickly. Thinking that you’ll start bringing in a six-figure income immediately sets you up for failure with affiliate marketing.
The truth is you won’t get rich quickly with affiliate marketing. It’s possible to work up to a six-figure income, but that takes time and intentional effort.
Many people give up if they don’t see income right away. Going into it with realistic expectations about the timeline helps you stick with your efforts until you start seeing income.
11. It’s All About Selling
Worried that you’re not a natural salesperson?
The myth that affiliate marketing is all about sales might scare you away if that’s your opinion.
The good news is that overly salesy methods usually don’t work well. You don’t need to be a slimy used car salesperson to make money with affiliate marketing.
In fact, those tactics will likely turn people away from your site.
Affiliate marketing is more about relationships. If you’re not providing your audience with what they want, you won’t get far with affiliate marketing.
Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?
Many people ask the question is affiliate marketing legit before they take the plunge into trying it. Rest assured that affiliate marketing is a legitimate way to earn money online if you do your research and make smart choices.
Download my free affiliate marketing ebook to jumpstart your affiliate marketing journey.