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9 Powerful Benefits of Affiliate Marketing [for Publishers]

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Affiliate marketing is usually presented as one of the best methods of building a sizeable income online…

This couldn’t be more accurate!

That’s mostly because affiliate marketing comes with a vast array of advantages that aren’t applicable to other online business models like dropshipping, MLM, SaaS, Amazon FBA, etc…

Having said that, this article is dedicated to outlining 9 of the most powerful and compelling benefits granted by affiliate marketing to all the publishers associated with it.

Let’s take a closer look…

Table of Contents

1. Huge Income Potential

One of the most prominent advantages of affiliate marketing is the huge income potential it offers publishers…

According to affiliate marketing statistics, the average yearly earnings of well-established affiliate publishers can fluctuate anywhere between $75,000 and $2,000,000.

To give you an example, based on Pat Flynn’s last income report, his affiliate earnings surpassed $100,000 for the month of December 2017 alone.

Moreover, in the video right below, Pat explains exactly how he generated more than $300,000 in affiliate commissions by promoting just one single product.

Pat Flynn’s enormous affiliate success isn’t just an isolated case… You can check out the earnings and income reports of dozens of other affiliate marketers right here.

Best Affiliate Marketing Courses


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2. Almost Zero Startup & Operational Costs

As you probably already know, affiliate marketing is the process of earning commissions for promoting already existing products

This means that affiliate marketing enables you to skip over all the phases of developing, testing, optimizing, and launching a product of your own which would require the investment of a lot of time (at least 1-2 years) and tons of money (at least $30,000).

Furthermore, since all of the products you’ll be promoting as an affiliate publisher will be delivered to your customers directly from the affiliate merchants you’ve partnered with, without ever passing through your hands, you’ll never have to bother with product handling, maintenance, and support procedures, such as:

  • managing inventory
  • maintaining stock
  • packaging & shipping orders
  • customer support
  • handling complaints
  • returns & refunds
  • etc

Taking care of all the aforementioned procedures is the responsibility of each product’s respective merchant.

Consequently, affiliate marketers get to save even more time, money, and energy they’d otherwise have to invest in establishing a physical store, setting up an office, and hiring employees.

So, How Much Does It Cost to Start Affiliate Marketing?

Well, the budget needed to get started with affiliate marketing could be as low as $100. Heck, if you play your cards right, you might even manage to start your affiliate business for free.

To give you a frame of reference, according to Oberlo, starting a dropshipping business costs at least $500.

Moreover, based on Amazon, launching an FBA business could set you back anywhere between $500 and $3,000.

Lastly, many sources claim that the initial expenses of getting a small startup venture off the ground could range between $5,000 and $20,000.

With all that being said, compared to other online business models, affiliate marketing is undeniably the most cost-effective one!

According to this Awin report, affiliate marketing’s global value in 2017 was estimated at €12 billion ($14.5 billion).

That same year, Statista reported that US-based merchants spent a total of $5.4 billion on affiliate marketing and that the industry’s worth in the US will have tripled compared to 10 years earlier, reaching $8.2 billion by 2022 (see graph below).

Statista Affiliate Marketing Spending in the US 2010 - 2022

Moreover, a study conducted by Forrester Consulting in 2016 revealed that the affiliate marketing industry seems to be steadily growing at an average rate of 10% per year

If we assume that it’ll keep expanding at the same rate, affiliate marketing’s worth will have surpassed $30 billion by 2025.

Furthermore, based on data drawn from Google Trends (see chart below), over the past 5 years (February 2015 – December 2020), the global popularity of the search term “affiliate marketing” has skyrocketed from around 25 to 100.

Google Trends Graph For The Search Term Affiliate Marketing

That’s a whopping 300% rise over a five-year period!

In fact, right now, people’s interest in affiliate marketing seems to be at its highest point since Google Trends was launched back in 2004.

Lastly, according to a report published by AM Navigator back in 2018, the largest affiliate network, ShareASale, was running a total of 5594 affiliate programs.

At the time I’m putting together this article (September 2021), ShareASale hosts a total of 9536 affiliate programs.

That’s a 70% increase in less than 3 years!

As it seems, affiliate marketing is bound to keep growing for the years to come.

4. Location Independence

As we’ve already discussed, since your sole job as an affiliate publisher would be merely referring customers to other online merchants you’ve been affiliated with, the need for establishing a physical store or an office for your affiliate venture is completely eliminated.

As such, if you possess a device with an internet connection you can basically run your affiliate business from anywhere you want without being pinned down to a specific location.

Some like working from home… Some prefer coffee shops… And others choose to start leading a digital nomad lifestyle, earning their living while traveling the world…

Personally, I love riding my bike to nature and doing some of my affiliate work there.

As a matter of fact, most of this article was put together on my smartphone while sitting on a beach!

5. Time Freedom

Another huge advantage of running a profitable affiliate marketing business is time freedom…

Time freedom is the ability to have complete control over your daily schedule.

This means waking up when you want, working anytime and for how long you want, taking time off whenever you feel like it, spending as much time as you want with your loved ones, being able to live more spontaneously, and much more.

For instance, my standard working schedule as an affiliate marketer is 10:00 to 19:00… However, sometimes I might do some work from 10:00 to 14:00, stop for a few hours to rest, do some chores, and work out, and then resume working from 20:00 till midnight.

Every now and then, I might also split my schedule into multiple small shifts spanning throughout the day (e.g. 10:00-12:00, 13:00-15:00, 16:00-18:00, 19:00-21:00).

Lastly, a couple of months ago, I even decided to go on an impromptu 3-day trip right in the middle of the week just because I felt like it!

That’s pretty much how malleable the life of full-time affiliate marketers is.

Nevertheless, it’s worth pointing out that if you abuse your time freedom by doing whatever you want whenever you want it without ensuring that you remain highly focused and committed to your affiliate endeavors, chances are that you won’t be able to maintain it for long.

6. Potential for Passive Income

Unlike most other online business models, affiliate marketing has a very high potential of becoming a source of passive income…

As a matter of fact, Bankrate lists affiliate marketing as the 3rd best passive income opportunity.

Passive income is money generated as a result of work you’ve done in the past that requires very little to no effort at all to maintain.

An example of passive income is the royalties paid to an actor for participating in a TV series that might have ended years ago…

For instance, each cast member of the TV series “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” which has ended since 2004, still earns $20 million in yearly royalties to this very day for taking part in the show.

Affiliate marketing works in a somewhat similar manner.

To give you an example, this roundup of The Best Affiliate Marketing Courses I published about one and a half years ago is still bringing in consistent affiliate sales month after month without me having to put any extra time or effort into it.

In fact, the vast majority of my current affiliate earnings are generated completely passively as a result of blog posts, guest posts, reviews, videos, and social media posts I’ve published months ago.

This means that if I were to stop working on my affiliate business right now, my affiliate income would keep flowing in unaffected for many months or maybe even years down the road.

7. Very Simple to Utilize

Another benefit of affiliate marketing is that it’s very simple and straightforward to be successfully leveraged towards building a sizeable income online by virtually anyone regardless of age, background, previous experience, available capital, tech-savviness, professional network, etc…

As a matter of fact, most contemporary 6-figure affiliate publishers probably had no greater skill and expertise than you currently possess back when they embarked on their affiliate journey.

Nonetheless, please keep in mind that affiliate marketing is in no way a surefire approach to having thousands of dollars magically land on your lap every single month with little to no effort on your part…

Truth is that despite the simplicity of the entire process, creating a profitable affiliate business still involves a steep learning curve, tons of hard and consistent work, and a lot of trial and error.

The good news is that you could short-circuit your journey to affiliate success, by signing up for a dedicated affiliate marketing course.

8. Extremely Flexible & Versatile

Affiliate marketing is extremely flexible and versatile by nature…

First, it enables publishers to market their chosen affiliate offers via dozens of different channels, including, but not limited to:

  • Website/Blog
  • Social Media
  • Forums
  • YouTube
  • Word of Mouth
  • Email
  • PPC (Pay Per Click)
  • Podcast
  • & more

Secondly, since affiliate marketers are independent contractors, they have the freedom to simultaneously promote as many affiliate offers and partner with as many affiliate merchants as they’d like.

This also means that if one or more of the affiliate offers and/or merchants you endorse underperform, you could simply ditch them and start promoting other ones that deliver better results with no hassle whatsoever.

Such flexibility isn’t applicable to most other online business models…

To give you an example, if you run a dropshipping store and your supplier sucks, the process of finding and shifting to a new one is rather complicated and effortful.

Likewise, if you’ve spent time and money developing a product that has ended up performing poorly and you’d like to keep your business afloat, you’d have no choice but to invest even more resources in either improving upon your current product or launching a brand new one from scratch.

9. Ability to Monetize a Subject You Love

Last but not least, one of the most noteworthy advantages of affiliate marketing is that it can be leveraged towards building a profitable online business around any topic you might be passionate about…

That’s because since affiliate marketing is being utilized by over 81% of merchants affiliate publishers have the ability to generate commissions by promoting practically any product or service you could possibly imagine, from electronics, clothes, and online courses to yoga, furniture, and computer software.

Launching an affiliate business that’s geared towards a subject you love is actually highly recommended!

As previously mentioned, becoming a successful affiliate publisher involves a steep learning curve and immense amounts of work over a significant period of time so if you pursue a topic that doesn’t excite you, you’re more likely than not to give up before you even make your first affiliate sale (or soon after).

On the contrary, running an affiliate business that revolves around a subject you love won’t feel so much like working but rather more like having fun!

This will naturally keep you fired up to do more consistent and higher quality work, stick with your affiliate endeavors even when the going gets tough, and progress better and faster towards reaching your financial goals.

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.


Those were 9 of the most compelling affiliate marketing benefits!

However, the list doesn’t stop there…

Leveraging affiliate marketing grants many additional advantages, including, but not limited to:

  • Non-Intrusive Promotions
  • Fostering Valuable Skills
  • High ROI (Return on Investments)
  • Targeting Global Audiences
  • Very Low Risk
  • Performance-Based
  • Being Your Own Boss
  • & much more

Having said all that, if you’re not quite sure about whether venturing into affiliate marketing would be in your best interest, I strongly suggest that you get right on it without wasting another minute!

Frankly, starting an affiliate marketing blog is if not the best, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made…


If you have any questions or require further assistance, I encourage you to leave a comment right below or contact me right here and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.

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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