One of the most frequently asked questions that beginners to affiliate marketing tend to ask is: “How Much Can You Earn With Affiliate Marketing?”.
Since you are here, I can only guess that you are wondering the exact same thing…
To answer your question as accurately as possible, with affiliate marketing, you can earn between zero and an infinite amount of dollars per month.
Well, you heard that right…
There are affiliate marketers who earn 0$… There are others who earn $100.000. And there are those who earn even more.
So, what’s that difference between those who earn 0$ and those who earn $100.000?
Well, the truth is that the amount of money that someone could earn with affiliate marketing depends on tons of factors some of the most prominent ones being:
- Time and effort you devote
- The age of your business
- Products you recommend
- Quality of your content
- Marketing Methods
- and much more
Before we dive into those factors though, which we will, later on, let’s first take a look at how much money other people make with affiliate marketing, shall we?
How Much Do Other Affiliate Marketers Earn?
Since you came here to find out how much money an affiliate marketer can earn, I’d like to give you a more direct answer than “it depends” (despite that it indeed depends)…
According to Investopedia, an independent survey commissioned by Rakuten Affiliate Network found that affiliate marketing is set to reach $6.8 billion of revenue by 2020. More specifically, according to another VigLink survey, 9% of affiliate marketers generated more than $50.000 in revenue during 2016.
In addition to those surveys, I did my own research and found several affiliate marketers who share with the world stories or reports about how much money they earn with their affiliate marketing business.
Famous affiliate marketer Pat Flynn has been sharing his income reports since 2008. You can literally see his business mature from $8000 per month to $100.000 per month. Within those reports, he also shares with us valuable tips and insights, mistakes he made, how he overcame them, etc. You can find Pat Flynn’s income reports right here.
I also listed one of his videos where he talks about how he has earned $300k+ over the years by recommending just one product, right below…
Tom from onlinemediamasters.com claims that he went from $20k to $150k per year in just 2 years. He has created a guide on how he did so as well. Within his guide, he has also shared an image of his 2018 Paypal earnings which prove his claims.
Doug Cunnington’s income report reveals how he made $70k during 2017 from just one niche site (which he has been working on since 2013).
You can find the report right here as well as watch a video talking about it right below.
Until that point, I have only included income reports of affiliate marketers who are have been running successful businesses for years.
But what about those poor intermediate affiliate marketers? How are they doing?
Well, I have actually compiled a list of 16 success stories right here.
You can also check out the video below featuring Gerren, a guy who earns $100 per day with a 6-month old website following the Project 24 affiliate marketing training course.
As for me?
I would love to share my income reports but they would contain a lot of zeros without any other number in front of them…
I have earned just $100 dollars in my 2 years as an affiliate marketer. However, I have been working on and off on my business and I have actually already ditched 2 websites due to losing interest in the topic or niche that I had chosen.
Hopefully, this one works out well or I see myself running off to the mountains 😛
Before I move on to the factors that I mentioned earlier, I would like to let you know that earning good money with affiliate marketing is no easy task. Sure, there might be a lot of people who do so but what you can’t actually see is the years of consistent effort that it took them to get there. Don’t get carried away with their results thinking that affiliate marketing is a way to make a lot of money fast and easy because it’s not.
If it were, everybody would be doing it.
On the other hand, don’t get discouraged neither. You could absolutely earn 100.000+ yourself but you’ll most probably need to work your ass off for a number of years before you reach that point.
Anyway, now, let’s move on.
Factors Which Determine How Much You Could Earn With Affiliate Marketing
1 • Time and Effort You Devote
It goes without saying that the more time and effort you devote into affiliate marketing, the more money you’re set to earn with it.
You might have been tricked to believe otherwise. Most of the time, people present affiliate marketing as a way to make thousands of dollars fast and without effort in order to convince you to pay for a course or a program which will show you “the exact blueprint/roadmap/secret/etc” on how to do so.
But affiliate marketing does not work that way at all…
Affiliate marketing is a real business model. If it weren’t, some of the biggest companies in the world such as Amazon, eBay, Samsung, Adidas, Google, etc wouldn’t have employed it as a legit marketing model.
Your affiliate marketing website is a real business… If you don’t treat it as such, devoting as much time and effort as possible towards scaling it, it might pay you off very little if anything at all.
More time + More effort = More money
Less time + Less effort = Less or no money
You get no more and no less than what you give.
2 • The Age of Your Business
If you take two identical affiliate marketing businesses, the first one existing for 6 months and the second one for 10 years, the latter will naturally be driving in greater revenue than the former.
Older businesses tend to be more experienced in serving their audience, have more authority, and a larger amount of loyal customers than younger ones. All these directly influence a business’s earnings and take a lot of time to cultivate.
The longer you’ve been cultivating them, the more money you’ll be earning.
The majority of affiliate marketers who are earning a decent income have been running their business for more than 5 years.
This is actually confirmed by the VigLink study that I mentioned earlier which revealed a link between timeframe and revenues. Among the affiliate marketers with the largest revenues, 60% had been utilizing their affiliate-marketing strategies for five years or more.
3 • Niche
There exist highly profitable niches, there exist normally profitable niches, and there exist niches which have no demand whatsoever…
Which one would you choose?
Most of you would go for the highly profitable one right?
That’s a solid choice but every up comes with its own down…
You see 100% of all the highly profitable niches are extremely competitive and while the earning potential might be high, you might never get even close to tasting it due to your website getting trumped by all the other more well-established, authoritative websites.
On the other hand, being in a niche with no demand might guarantee that there will be no competition for you but at the same time, it also guarantees that your business is going to be more like a ghost town.
Niches which have a decent amount of demand, not so much competition, and high-quality products to promote, are usually the most profitable ones especially for beginners to affiliate marketing.
Moreover, being interested in or maybe even passionate about your niche, could make an enormous difference to your earning potential.
Some successful affiliate marketers state that they love writing about their topic some much that even if they won the lottery they would still keep writing about it.
Think of a subject that makes you feel this way and start narrowing down from there.
4 • Products you Recommend
Since as an affiliate marketer, the money you earn is through recommending products to your readers, recommending the right ones could make the difference between earning good money and earning crap.
For me, in order to recommend a product to my readers, I first pass it through certain filters such as:
- Is it something that my readers would find valuable?
- Is it high quality?
- Are other people buying it?
- Are those who have bought it happy with it?
- Does it have positive reviews online?
If the answer to most of those questions is no, then I won’t even bother with the product because not only I’ll be wasting mine as well as my readers’ time, but recommending low-quality or irrelevant products could hurt my reputation, credibility, and the trust of my readers.
Other product-related factors which determine how much money you could earn as an affiliate marketer, are
- Price of the products you recommend
- Commissions that you earn
- Number of sales per month
For example, recommending a $1000 product on a 10% commission equals more profit per sale than recommending a $100 product on a 10% commission.
On the other hand, if you get 20 sales per month on the $100 product you’ll be earning twice as much than getting 1 sale per month on the $1000 product.
The percentage of your commissions plays an important role as well.
For example, recommending a $100 product on a 10% commission equals twice as much profit than recommending a product of the exact same price on a 5% commission.
And so on, and so forth.
Never decide on the products you are going to recommend solely based on their price and their commission rate.
If the product isn’t something that could actually be of value to your readers or it’s very poor quality, then you should consider recommending other products even if those products are cheaper and have lower commission rates.
This way you won’t risk losing your reputation and credibility. Always think about the long-term effects a decision could have on your business not just about the short-term gains. Delayed gratification is key to any success in business.
5 • Quality of Your Content
The most important job of an affiliate marketer is basically creating content, whether this content is in the form of a blog, vlog, podcast, etc.
If your content sucks, forget earning money, plain and simple.
Most of the time, people will take your recommendations only if they trust you and there’s no better way to gain someone’s trust than providing them valuable content completely for free.
So, if you want people to take you and your business seriously, you have to keep delivering high-quality content on a regular basis.
What kind of content is considered high-quality you ask?
The answer is simple…
High-quality content= Helpful content.
Helpful content is what your readers are after and what Google is also after (Google is actually after what real people are after)… Helpful content is the content people actually read, use, and share, and this is also the content that leads to maximum engagement and conversions.
If you want to sell, you have to help first!
6 • Consistency
Consistency is basically the key to any accomplishment.
If you want to become fit, you have to work out consistently. Working out for 10 hours one day every 30 days is much less efficient than working out just 30 minutes a day for the next 30 days…
Same goes with your affiliate marketing business.
The more consistent you are, the faster and better the results you’ll get.
7 • Marketing Methods
Some of the most common marketing methods that affiliates use are:
- Social Media
- Content marketing
- Guest posting
- Paid advertising
- Email marketing
- Building backlinks
The more of those marketing methods you employ, the more people will stumble upon your content… The more people stumble upon your content, the more people will actually consume your content.
The more people consume your content, the more of the products you recommend they are going to be purchasing (assuming of course that your content isn’t crappy).
The more people purchase the products you recommend, the more money you are going to be earning…
Most of the time, affiliate marketing is a number’s game.
Tip: Don’t attempt to be everything at once… Choose a way to market your business and keep employing it until you master it. Then move on to the next one. But first and foremost, create a foundation of valuable content in order to have something to actually market.
Take it slow… As we said earlier, affiliate marketing requires time and effort. Being in a rush can only hurt your business and impede results.
8 • Mindset
As counter-intuitive as this may sound, the more desperate you are about earning money, the less money you’ll probably pocket…
Beginners to affiliate marketing, including me back in the day, are way too attached on making sales and earning money that they tend to oversell the products they promote, fill their website with affiliate links and ads, use fancy salesy phrases, and have a way too pushy attitude in general.
The problem with such approaches is that people can spot desperate salesmen a mile away and once they do, guess what their next move is… They start running in the opposite direction.
So, unless you are a professional salesman, you should first focus on creating something of substantial value before attempting to sell anything.
Forget about selling and give priority to helping.
If you provide your readers with the information and solutions that they need, the money aspect will follow naturally.
Nobody is going to buy what you recommend if you are trying to convince them to buy it. But many will buy what you recommend if they trust that you after helping them.
The amount of money that people make with affiliate marketing vary.
Some of the factors which determine how much money an affiliate marketer could make are:
- Time and effort devoted
- Age of business
- Products you recommend
- Quality of content
- Marketing methods
Those are just a fraction of the factors, no factor is a definite rule and no factor stands alone.
You could be truly consistent, but if you are consistently publishing low-quality content, then you are getting nowhere. Likewise, you might devote tons of time and energy towards scaling your business, but if you are in the wrong niche, then you are getting nowhere.
Try to slowly work your way through every single factor. Try not to get too overwhelmed. You don’t have to be everything at once. Find out what aspect of your business needs immediate improvement and start improving there.
If you haven’t even started your affiliate marketing business yet, get started right here for free.
The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll start earning money. The potential is definitely there.
Have you started your affiliate marketing business? How much money are you earning with it? Is there any aspect of your business that needs improvement?
Let us know in the comment below.
If you have any questions or need any further help or guidance from me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a PM on my Wealthy Affiliate Profile.
I’ll be thrilled to help you out.
CEO & Founder at Dear Boss I Quit
Xaric started his journey to making money online back in 2016. After a lot of trial & error, he managed to build a full-time income online and he is now working from home. He founded dearboss-iquit.com in order to help as many people as possible achieve the exact same thing and he now serves more than 30.000 people per month!
You can read more about Xaric’s story here.