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19 Beginner-Oriented Frequently Asked Questions About Affiliate Marketing

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Let me guess…

You’re on the brink of venturing into affiliate marketing. Or maybe, you just launched your very first affiliate business.

Whatever the case, you seem to be having some burning unanswered questions about affiliate marketing.

If that’s the case, you’re in the perfect place!

This article is dedicated to providing in-depth answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about affiliate marketing so that you gain a better understanding of what this money-making model is, how it works, and how you can utilize it towards building an income online!

Without further ado, let’s dive deeper.

19 Affiliate Marketing FAQs

Table of Contents

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1. What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an online monetization model that involves promoting already existing products or services on one or more digital marketing channels in exchange for receiving a portion of the profit, or else a commission, for each sale generated via your own unique affiliate links.

Read More…

2. How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Step 1:

You sign up for a the affiliate program of an online merchant.

Step 2:

The merchant gives you a unique affiliate link that’ll redirect anyone who clicks it to their online store.

Step 3:

You start sharing your affiliate link throughout your digital marketing assets (blog, YouTube channel, social media page, etc).

Step 4:

When someone (let’s call him “John”) clicks on your affiliate link he’ll be sent to the merchant’s online store.

Step 5:

The merchant recognizes that John landed on their online store after clicking on your affiliate link.

Step 6:

If John makes a purchase on the merchant’s online store, the merchant will pay you a commission.

How Affiliate Marketing Works Infographic

For a more in-depth look into affiliate marketing’s mechanics, make sure to check out How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

3. Can You Really Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

Yes, making money with affiliate marketing is definitely possible!

Truth is that millions of people, including me, generate hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars of affiliate commissions per month as we speak.

At the time I’m putting together this article (July 2021), my affiliate endeavors bring in anywhere between $1000 and $2500 per month!

Right below, you can take a look at a screenshot of my PayPal account displaying the $2000 in affiliate commissions I generated last month (June 2021).

Dear Boss I Quit PayPal Earnings Blurred

Based on statistics, the worldwide spend within the affiliate marketing industry is expected to surpass $30 billion by 2025.

Read More…

4. How Much Money Can You Make With Affiliate Marketing?

On average the yearly earnings of novice affiliate marketers can range from $20,000 at the low end to $75,000 at the high end. Most well-established affiliate marketers generate incomes that can fluctuate anywhere between $100,000 and $1,000,000 per year.

According to a roundup of affiliate marketing stats I published a while ago, 13% of all affiliate marketers earn over $75,000 per year.

Let’s take a closer look at the commissions generated by a few seasoned affiliate marketers.

  • Pat Flynn: $100,000/month
  • Tom Dupuis: $150,000/year
  • Doug Cunnington: $70,000/year
  • Alex Nerney: $35,000/month
  • John Miguel: $50,000/month

Read More…

5. How Long Does It Take to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

Most affiliate marketing businesses generate their first money 3 to 6 months following their initial launch.

After that, money trickles in sporadically until the business hits its 1-year mark. It usually takes 12-18 months for an affiliate business to start yielding $1000 per month and 18-24 months to reach a full-time income.

The aforementioned timelines aren’t definitive but rather based upon projections that reflect the growth of an average affiliate business.

Your own timeline could be shorter or longer than expected depending on so many different factors that it would be nearly impossible to accurately pinpoint it…

Read More…

6. Is It Hard to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

Making money with affiliate marketing can be hard, especially if you’ve never pursued similar ventures in the past.

Just like with any worthwhile achievement, succeeding as an affiliate marketer involves a steep learning curve and tons of trial and error.

However, having the right guidance and tools could shorten and smoothen the entire process.

Ultimately, the difficulty of every person’s journey to building an income online with affiliate marketing could vary greatly depending on a vast range of factors, such as:

  • Niche
  • Competition
  • Demand
  • Budget
  • Consistency
  • Quality of Work
  • etc

Read More…

7. How Much Does It Cost to Start Affiliate Marketing?

The basic costs of getting started with affiliate marketing could range anywhere between $0 and $350 mostly depending on the type of traffic and the online assets you utilize to get the affiliate offers you promote in front of your target audience.

On top of that, you might end up having additional optional expenses usually associated with purchasing resources that could help you smoothen out, speed up, and boost the progress of your affiliate business, such as:

  • Training
  • Tools
  • & Outsourcing

Read More…

8. How Long Does It Take to Be a Successful Affiliate Marketer?

Most affiliate marketers start generating their first profits 3 to 6 months after launch. Over the course of the next 6 months, affiliate commissions trickle in sporadically.

By months 12 to 18, most affiliate businesses yield around $1000 per month. Reaching a full-time affiliate income sooner than 18-24 months in business is rather rare.

Your own timeline to reaching affiliate success could be a lot longer or maybe even shorter than projected depending on numerous factors, such as:

  • Your definition of success
  • The resources you possess
  • Your target niche
  • Type of web traffic you utilize
  • & more

Read More…

9. Is Affiliate Marketing Really Profitable?

Yes, affiliate marketing can be very profitable assuming that you invest the required amounts of time, effort, and money.

According to statistics, affiliate marketing is the 3rd largest source of online sales after organic and paid search, contributing to 15% of all digital media revenue.

Furthermore, as previously mentioned, 13% of all affiliate marketers earn more than $75,000/year.

A poll held on the STM Forum revealed that out of the 117 affiliates polled, 71 were making over $81,000 in yearly affiliate commissions.

STM Forum Poll of 117 Affiliate Marketers

Those numbers are solid proof that affiliate marketing is one of the most profitable MMO (Make Money Online) models that currently exist.

Read More…

10. What Are Some of the Benefits of Affiliate Marketing?

Some of the most prominent benefits of the affiliate marketing business model include, but are not limited to:

  • No Investment in Product Creation
  • Zero Product Handling & Customer Support
  • No Physical Setup
  • Minimal Start-Up & Operational Costs
  • Passive Income Potential
  • Requires No Technical Background
  • Flexibility
  • Location Independence
  • Time Freedom
  • A Profession You Love
  • & more

Read More…

11. Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?

In my opinion, the benefits along with the income potential associated with being a successful affiliate marketer are definitely worth all the troubles involved in reaching them.

Read More…

12. Do I Need to Buy an Affiliate Course to Succeed?

No, you’re definitely not obligated to purchase an affiliate course to succeed as an affiliate marketer…

There are literally countless resources online (e.g. videos, blogs, podcasts, forums, etc) that could help you launch, manage, and scale your own successful affiliate business from scratch.

However, it’s worth noting that having access to high-quality, structured guidance could shorten your learning curve, minimize trial and error, save you immense amounts of frustration and disappointment, speed up your progress, and significantly increase the chances of taking your affiliate business to success!

Having said that, here’s a roundup of The Best Affiliate Marketing Courses I’ve personally come across that have a proven track record of delivering amazing results!

13. Is Affiliate Marketing Saturated?

No, affiliate marketing isn’t saturated by itself but it can be perceived as such depending on the niche you’re pursuing…

For example, it’s only natural that the higher the profit potential of a niche, the more aspiring affiliate marketers will be attempting to break into it, thus increasing its saturation.

Some of the most saturated affiliate niches are:

  • Health, Fitness, & Weight Loss
  • Personal Finance & Making Money
  • Dating & Relationships
  • Beauty & Fashion
  • Technology & Gadgets

While launching an affiliate business in a saturated niche is totally impossible, taking to success will probably require the investment of much more time, effort, and money.

Read More…

14. Is Affiliate Marketing a Scam or Legit?

No, affiliate marketing isn’t a scam…

On the contrary, it’s a perfectly legit business model used by thousands of companies towards extending their reach and millions of ordinary folks towards building an income online with minimal monetary investment.

Some of the most notable companies that are currently running affiliate programs are:

  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Walmart
  • Samsung
  • eBay
  • Etsy
  • & more

Moreover, affiliate marketing is being leveraged by more than 84% of all US-based publishers (bloggers, YouTubers, influencers, etc) towards monetizing their content.

Having said all that, if affiliate marketing was a scam, no company, advertiser, or publisher would ever invest their precious time, energy, and money in utilizing it.

Read More…

15. Is Affiliate Marketing MLM?

No, affiliate marketing doesn’t exhibit any of the defining characteristics of Multi-Level Marketing…

First, it doesn’t involve any recruitment whatsoever. Secondly, affiliate success depends on actual retail sales not building a downline.

Also, unlike MLM, 99.9% of all affiliate programs out there are completely free to join and involve zero ongoing expenses.

Lastly, affiliate marketers don’t get paid based on the sales of other affiliate marketers but rather only on the retail sales they personally generate.

Having said all that, affiliate marketing is NOT MLM.

Whoever thinks otherwise has no clue about either what affiliate marketing or what MLM really is.

The two models have literally nothing in common.

Read More…

16. Is Affiliate Marketing a Pyramid Scheme?

No, affiliate marketing is not a pyramid scheme in any imaginable way.

Whoever claims otherwise has no clue about either what affiliate marketing or what pyramid schemes really are.

Yes, some aspects of the two might seem similar but they have literally nothing in common.

Read More…

17. How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

The process of leveraging affiliate marketing towards building an income online is comprised of 4 simple steps.

  1. Pick a Niche
  2. Build Online Assets
  3. Gather Web Traffic
  4. Promote Affiliate Offers

Read More…

18. Can You Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money?

The startup costs of affiliate marketing are inherently significantly lower than the costs associated with other business models, especially those that involve product creation, maintaining inventory, packaging & shipping, customer service, etc.

As such, affiliate marketing can be easily categorized as one of the most affordable online business models out there.

And if you play your cards right, you might be able to launch and scale an affiliate marketing business without spending a single dime.

However, every upside has a downside…

Ultimately, the less money you invest in your affiliate endeavors, the more time and effort you’ll be required to put in to reach your financial goals.

Read More…

19. How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?

Most online merchants pay their affiliate marketers on Net 7, Net 15, Net 30, Net 45, or Net 60 terms using one of the 5 following payment gateways:

  1. PayPal
  2. Payoneer
  3. Bank Wire Transfer
  4. Stripe
  5. Cheque

Affiliate marketing FAQs

(Click each question to expand)

Affiliate marketing is an online business model that involves promoting products or services created and distributed by third-party online merchants in exchange for getting paid a commission for each sale you refer.

In layman’s terms, affiliate marketing is the process of being compensated for helping businesses sell to more customers.

Read more…

Here’s a bird’s eye view of how affiliate marketing works.

  1. You join a merchant’s affiliate program
  2. The merchant gives you a unique affiliate link that points to their e-shop
  3. You promote your unique affiliate link online (blog, forums, social media, paid ads, etc.)
  4. Every time someone clicks on your unique affiliate link and makes a purchase on the merchant’s e-shop, the merchant pays you a commission

The Affiliate Marketing Process Overview

Read more…

There are thousands of successful affiliate marketers all around the world. Some of the most well-known ones are:

  • Pat Flynn
  • Matt Diggity
  • Matthew Woodward
  • Doug Cunnington
  • & more

You can check out a roundup of my 17 favorite examples of affiliate success and their backstories right here.

  1. Billion-dollar industry
  2. Very low startup & operational expenses
  3. Huge income potential
  4. Flexible & versatile
  5. Passive income
  6. Simple to implement
  7. No technical background
  8. No customer support
  9. No physical setup

Read more…

Affiliate marketers can be divided into five main income groups:

  1. Total beginners: $0 – $20,000 per year
  2. Low-level affiliates: $20,000 – $50,000 per year
  3. Intermediate affiliates: $50,000 – $100,000 per year
  4. High-level affiliates: $100,000 – $500,000 per year
  5. Super affiliates: $500,000+ per year

According to PayScale, the average annual income for affiliate marketers in the US is over $54,000 per year. Statistics reveal that 13% of affiliates earn more than $75,000 per year.

Some of the factors that influence how much you earn as an affiliate marketer include:

  • seniority
  • target niche
  • available resources
  • previous experience
  • marketing efforts
  • & overall mindset

Read more…

Here’s a rough income growth timeline of a typical affiliate marketing business:

  • months (0-3): no earnings
  • months (3-6): first affiliate sale
  • months (6-12): $100-$500 monthly
  • months (12-18): $1000 monthly
  • months (18-24): $3000+ monthly

This timeline isn’t a guarantee of future performance but rather a mere approximation of the income growth of an average affiliate business. Your own timeline could be shorter or longer than projected.

Over the years, I’ve seen aspiring affiliates striking a gold vein just a few months into the industry. On the other hand, I personally know people who’ve been struggling to grow their affiliate revenue to $1000 per month for several years.

Read more…

Affiliate marketing is one of the most affordable money-making models out there.

Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to get started as an affiliate marketer along with their associated costs:

  • web hosting & domain name: $2.95/month (Bluehost)
  • keyword research tool: $49/month (Jaaxy)
  • expert guidance: $49/month (Wealthy Affiliate)
  • email autoresponder: Free for up to 1000 subs (MailerLite)

Please note that on top of expert guidance, Wealthy Affiliate also provides free access to hosting and a keyword research tool so you don’t have to purchase them separately.

Yes, you can do affiliate marketing without a website by promoting your affiliate links on other marketing channels, such as:

  • Social Media
  • Paid Ads
  • YouTube
  • Podcast
  • etc.

Read more…

The process of getting started with affiliate marketing can be broken down into the following four simple steps:

  1. Pick a niche
  2. Launch a blog
  3. Build an audience
  4. Promote affiliate products

Read more…

No, you don’t.

Affiliate marketing is very simple to get started with by virtually anyone regardless of age, education, background, available capital, tech-savviness, professional network, etc.

In fact, most 6-figure affiliate marketers were no more experienced than you currently are when they first ventured into the affiliate marketing industry.

Nonetheless, being knowledgeable in fields like marketing, sales, content production, business management, etc., could help you reach your financial goals somewhat faster.


Hopefully, this roundup of affiliate marketing FAQs did deliver some sufficient answers to any given inquiries you might have had.

If you happen to have any additional questions that weren’t covered, please let me know in the comments right below or contact me right here and I’ll do my best to provide you in-depth answers that would help you gain a much better grasp of the affiliate marketing industry as a whole.


I’ll be more than happy to help you out!

All the best,

Harry, Founder & Editor at

Written by:

Harry is the founder and creative director of Dear Boss I Quit. His mission is to inspire and help as many people as possible escape the 9-5 grind forever by building a passive income online just like he accomplished a few years back.

You can read more about Harry’s story right here.

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