Is Affiliate Marketing Worth The Effort? Here's What To Expect

Is Affiliate Marketing Worth The Effort? Here’s What To Expect

“Is Affiliate Marketing Worth The Effort?” You ask.

Let me take a quick guess on why are you asking this question:

Chances are, you’ve seen many ads from Gurus who claimed themselves as “Super Affiliates”, making tens of thousands every month, and selling the dream or their fancy lifestyles just to talk you into their courses.

All those Lambos, bikinis, or all sorts of “shiny objects” make you wonder if affiliate marketing is easy money…

Or, you’ve ventured into the game for quite a while now, but not seeing any promising results. You’re frustrated. The uncertainties make you feel lost and doubt whether you’re in the right direction or not.

Am I right? 

If that’s the case, this post is for you. I spent more than 15 hours writing this post to avoid you going into this business model with wrong expectations that could stress you out.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it.`

Table of Contents

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

For the sake of those people who don’t know what affiliate marketing is, let me briefly explain how this business model works.
As there’s a saying goes: “Images speak louder than words”. Please take a look at the graphic below:
How affiliate marketing works

Here’s how I define Affiliate Marketing in a few sentences:

Affiliate Marketing is a process of earning commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products.

You find a product or service you like, promote it to others, and earn commission up to 80% every time you make a sale.

The sales are tracked via your affiliate links from one website to another.

Now, there’re different marketing channels you can utilize to advertise the product. 

The graphic above is only showing one of them, which is leveraging blogging to ensure the readers are well-served with helpful content and receptive to purchasing promoted products.

What To Expect?

It’s crucial to set your expectations right in the very beginning before you ventured into the world of affiliate marketing.
This can prevent you from giving up too early because you aren’t succeeding as quickly as you thought you would. That’s what people usually called “the big gap between the expectation and reality”.

1) Affiliate Marketing Is Not A Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

You probably heard of this many times. It takes months or even years to build up a profitable affiliate marketing business successfully.

But there’re still many people who think they could make money FAST. In most cases, this is not their fault. 

Why? This is because of the way how those affiliate marketing gurus market their courses nowadays. 

They love to target their audiences’ insecurities (the more painful it is, the better) and sell them a dream/big goal that could be achieved without hard work. 

That’s why most people have a misconception about affiliate marketing, reckon it’s a get-rich-quick scheme.

Sounds familiar huh?

So, whenever you see this kind of ad that promises so much money for so little effort, take my advice: Run away from them ASAP.

Here’s a great video from James Jani, who exposed the dark truths behind those internet gurus who makes millions selling online courses…

2) Be Prepared To Work For Free

As I said, a successful affiliate marketing business takes time to build.

Let’s take blogging as an example (one of the way to do affiliate marketing):

Most bloggers, including me, use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to drive traffic by getting our blog posts higher rankings on the search engines.

Nevertheless, SEO would probably take 6~12 months to start getting decent results. 

Sometimes, it would take longer, depending on how much time and effort the one is willing to put into.

That said, you’re going to create quality content every day (i.e. writing 1000+ words article daily) without seeing any results in the first 6~12 months.

However, if you’ve got the right mindset and willing to take consistent actions, Google will trust your website, give you the rankings and send you the traffic you deserve eventually.

So the first question that you should ask yourself is this…

“Am I Willing To Work For Free & Push Through Tough Times When I Don’t Get Any Result In The First 6~12 Months?”

…if you desperately want affiliate marketing to be your full-time career and quit that BS job.

3) Small Investments WILL Be Needed

If you’re serious in affiliate marketing, some investments will be required to run your business smoothly.

Don’t be terrified by the word “investment”. Unlike brick-and-mortar business, running an affiliate marketing business won’t cost you a hefty sum upfront funding.

For instance, website hosting and domain name usually cost you $100~$300 PER YEAR. So, it’s a pretty affordable investment for your business.

If adding up other optional expenses like website page builder, keyword research tool, and the WordPress plugins fees, the annual maintenance fees might only cost you as much as $1000 PER YEAR.

Please note, these opinions are based on my own experience and may not apply to all persons or situations. My expense in my business is only around $650/year.

Tips & Tricks To Success FASTER

1) Don’t Be Scared By The Numbers

One of the reasons why most people aren’t willing to start affiliate marketing is because they’re scared by the facts and stats online.

Let me explain…

What is the first thing that comes to mind if you get to know that people search the term “affiliate marketing” nearly 49,500 times every month in the US alone?

You might think that this industry seems competitive, am I right?

Well, I personally don’t worry too much about lots of competition in affiliate marketing because I am a strong believer in the 80/20 rule.

Take the 49,500 search volumes as an example:

Among those 49,500 people who search the term “affiliate marketing”, how many people do you think that they will get started?

Let’s say 20%, which means 9900 people will start affiliate marketing.

And then, how many people do you think that they’re patient enough to put in the work consistently even if they don’t get any result in the first 6~12 months?

Again, assuming 20% of people willing to do the hard work, the number now should only be 1980 people left.

Can you get the theory behind?

What I want to tell you right now is don’t be scared by the numbers you see on the internet because most people LACK PATIENCE & CONSISTENCY, that’s just human nature.

Focus on yourself, leave those numbers behind, and push yourself to be the 20% who are persistent enough to achieve success.

Naive enough to start, stubborn enough to finish

2) Experiences Matter

In general, your first 2~3 affiliate marketing businesses MAY fail.

I know it’s uncomfortable, and I am not trying to frighten you. I just want to be completely honest with you.

Think about the first time you learn how to ride a bike or how to swim, do you master these skills straight away? Of course, the answer is NOPE.

It’s the same concept in affiliate marketing…

  • You need time to learn how to build a website.
  • You need time to learn how to write a comprehensive blog post.
  • You need time to learn how to drive traffic with SEO.
  • You need time to learn how to monetize your web visitors the right way.
  • And the list goes on.

So why would you expect to strike the first bucket of gold in your first try with affiliate marketing?

I am not saying it’s impossible. But the people who can quickly build up a successful affiliate marketing are oftentimes the people who have YEARS of experiences.

They’ve gone through all the trials and errors and finally figured out how to do it the right way. Wouldn’t you agree?

That’s why experiences matter. 

Don’t be afraid of failing. Each time of failure is a new experience that gets you better, bear that in mind.

3) Dream Big, Start Small

Let me repeat this one more time. Affiliate Marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

It’s OK to have a big dream. There’s nothing wrong with it. But you should always have a realistic expectation in the beginning so you won’t get discouraged quickly.

It took me 4 months to earn my first commission, so don’t expect to make tons of money that soon. Just keep grinding and be the 20% of people who persist till the end.

4) Focus On Building A Brand/Authority

I learned this from the social media expert – Gary Vaynerchuk.

He said most people buy stuff with a fancy logo is not just because of the quality, but also the BRAND.

For example, you can get any pair of shoes from China with the same outlooks as Nike at a much lower price, but most people will still go for Nike because of the Swoosh logo.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, you need to know your niche very clearly and choose the suitable affiliate items that match your niche and the content of your blog.

The purpose of this is to build a brand around your affiliate marketing business that your audiences can trust. 

How Long Does It Take For You To Make Money?

How long can you get results and make tons of money are really depends on the effort and time you’re willing to put into your business.

Technically, it’s going to take you 6~12 months minimum, with at least 100 blog posts on your site before you start thinking about making money.

However, I can guarantee you will reap the rewards you plant. This is so true for this online business model. 

The more effort you can put into it, the more results and income you will enjoy down the road.

Anything worth having in life takes both time and effort. If you are willing to invest in your business, your business will return to you in ways you cannot imagine. 

That’s the power of the compounding effect.

The power of The Compounding Effect

Meanwhile, I found a video from Mike, who has answered this question very well in his video. It’s worthwhile to watch.

So, Is Affiliate Marketing Worth The Effort?

Now to the one most crucial verdict: “Is Affiliate Marketing Is Worth The Effort?”

My answer to that you is YES if you get your mindset right and understanding it will be a long-term game.

What you should expect in your first 6~12 months is spending COUNTLESS hours on creating quality content. 

And with the right trial and error, you could be well on your way to receiving those commission checks from happy vendors earned by referring satisfied customers.

Worst comes to worst, if affiliate marketing doesn’t work for you, I am sure the skill that you learned will be precious to your future.

Here’s a list showing you the things you’ll learn from affiliate marketing:

  • How affiliate marketing works.
  • How to choose an evergreen niche that you are passionate about.
  • How to buy a domain, purchase hosting, and set up a website with WordPress.
  • The fundamentals of building out a website (pages, posts, images, comments, etc.)
  • What Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is and how to do it.
  • What keyword research is and how to do it the right way.
  • Understand SERP’s (search engine results page) and competition.
  • How to write captivating headlines.
  • How to craft engaging articles that provide value and convert people into customers.
  • Traffic sources and what each type is looking for.
  • How to add visual content to your site.
  • How to find and choose the right affiliate programs.
  • How to add affiliate links to your site.
  • How to create and submit sitemaps to Google and Bing.
  • How to set up Webmaster Tools and Analytics accounts.
  • How to use Google Analytics.
  • How to promote your website and content through social media and online forums.
  • What PPC campaign is.
  • How to start a PPC campaign to promote a product.

(Adopted from

Where To Go From Now?

Kudos to you! You’ve just read 2500+ words and still counting. If you make it this far, I commend your commitment.

Meanwhile, I can also feel how serious you’re when it comes to making money with affiliate marketing.

Indeed, affiliate marketing is my first recommendation to all beginners for making money online because of the low risk and affordable startup cost involved.


Affiliate marketing is not going to disappear. Because e-commerce is growing at a pace that no one can predict.

With the growth of e-commerce, Affiliate Marketing is going to expand as well.

If you want to hone this high-income skill with the right training, check out my top recommended Affiliate Marketing training here.

Rest assured, this training is:

  • 100% Risk-Free ➡ Free to get started
  • No hypes ➡ They’ll set you the right expectation toward affiliate marketing in the beginning.
  • Active community ➡ There are a lot of successful affiliate marketers in different markets ready to help you out.

You probably still hold a healthy dose of skepticism towards my top recommended training. 

No worries, as I said, they’re FREE to get started. 

You can leave anytime if you found the training didn’t suit you, with no commitment required.

So wait no more, click the “Learn More” button to discover my top recommended learning platform that can help you turn your passion into profits with Affiliate Marketing!

No BS Affiliate Marketing Training That Guides Me To Earn My First $1000 Online

Free To Get Started. No Commitment, No Risk, and No Credit Card Required

Zac Phua

Zac Phua

Phua is an internet business enthusiast who loves to talk about online business ideas, affiliate marketing tools, tips, and other sources of income available on the internet. He launched and use it as a resource center where he can share his thoughts and experiences to benefit any newbie who wants to learn more about internet marketing.

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10 thoughts on “Is Affiliate Marketing Worth The Effort? Here’s What To Expect”

  1. This is a very comprehensive article. You are right when you say that one should dream big but start small. It is very frustrating when you watch videos of all those people who succeeded and now let affiliate marketing appear as something easy. It is not, and I really appreciate the fact that you highlight this aspect of our job. Articles like yours are fundamental to really understand what to expect when it comes to affiliate marketing.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing with us an interesting and research article. The main subject of this article Is Affiliate Marketing Worth The Effort?. It is truly commendable that you have demonstrated this topic so well in your article. I have learned a lot by reading your article and gained a lot of cognition about it. Of the points mentioned in your article, I like Small Investments WILL Be Needed. To be successful in the world of affiliate marketing, you must join the Wealthy Affiliate Platform that I have succeeded in doing today.
    Finally, I enjoyed reading your article and I’d like to share your article in my Facebook group if you give me permission.

  3. What a well-written and valuable article this is! I really hope I could’ve found something like this when I was just starting in the affiliate marketing business. I’m almost a year into my business and as you said, it takes time, and a lot of it to actually start seeing any income. In my 6-7 month mark I made my first $100 and I was so over the head with that and it actually confirmed me that it is possible to be successful online; that’s only if you have the time, patience and put some effort. 

  4. Hello there, I must say this, Not everyone is cut out for affiliate marketing that’s why a lot of persons fail to succeed in affiliate marketing as they were never cut out for it… Affiliate marking has to do with a lot of patience as there might not be sales sometimes and also you have to have a certain level of knowledge to be an affiliate marketer and wealthy affiliate offers all that. For me, I think affiliate marketing is worth it.

  5. Definitely and just most certainly because I have been doing affiliate marketing for a very long time and I think that it is a very good thing that one can sell their own products to people just like the different online stores that we have out there. It is wonderful am I am happy to inform your readers that affiliate marketing is really worth it.

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