Nowadays, everyone seems to check online for earning opportunities; affiliate marketing is what you find everywhere at the top. You might want to start it but because of one question- how hard is affiliate marketing? – you’re here.
This article will help you to clear your doubts about how difficult it is and if you should do it or not. After reading this article you’ll be able to decide if affiliate marketing is for you.
Note: If you are completely new to affiliate marketing, you should get our free affiliate marketing pdf to learn the most important basic concepts.
Table of Contents
Can you make money from affiliate marketing?
Have a look at the affiliate marketing statistics. It is a very huge industry growing rapidly.
There are a lot of opportunities in affiliate marketing if done with proper knowledge and skills. Check out the affiliate marketing books to brush up on your skills.
Some affiliate marketers make millions each year. However, only 9% of affiliates can make more than $50K annually.
Moreover, affiliate marketing is a $14 billion industry. Data show that it’s increasing rapidly every year.
I like to tell you that it has great possibilities. A lot of money can be earned through it. However, it will never be easy. It takes a lot of work and time to make something valuable. Only 10% of affiliate marketers succeed.
If you are willing to put in the efforts needed, there is no doubt that affiliate marketing can make you money.
What exactly you’ll have to do?
Affiliate marketing can help you earn passive income, however, it requires you to have at least a channel that you can use to do it, such as:
- A blog/website
- A YouTube channel
- Social media account
Well, everyone can have a blog, a YouTube channel, or social media account. But, that’s not enough. These are the platform you’ll use to promote affiliate products.
The goal is to earn a commission by making a sale. So, to make a sale you need visitors to your blog, viewers to your videos on YouTube or social media followers.
Blogging is the most popular way of doing affiliate marketing.
There are a lot of ways to get the visitors to your affiliate site such as:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Email Marketing
- Social Media
But, the problem is all these require one or all of the following.
- Hard Work
If you don’t want to spend on advertising, it’ll take a lot of hard work, and continuous learning to get visitors organically to your blog or increase social media followers.
So, the most difficult part of affiliate marketing is getting someone to buy using your affiliate links. Signing up for affiliate programs doesn’t cost you anything.
Below are the 5 difficulties you might encounter in the journey.
Must-Read: How to Scale with Affiliate Marketing? 5 Best Ways to grow your business
5 Difficulties you’re Likely to Face
#1 Website Designing
For a non-techy guy like me, website designing can be a headache. If you don’t have a budget to outsource or simply want to do it yourself, it might be trouble for you.
You can, of course, find tutorials on the internet, but still, it’s harder to figure out everything provided that you are completely new to this field.
Thanks to WordPress.org. We can set up a website with zero coding. However, if you like to fully customize the website to best suit your business goal, there is a lot of work to be done.
So, be ready to learn website designing before starting affiliate marketing.
Along with some technical skills we need some creative skills such as logo designing, tagline formation, webpage layout designing, and so on.
Nobody wants to stay on a website with a very complicated site structure or awful design. You need to keep your users in mind while designing your website for affiliate marketing.
#2 Content Creation
Somehow you manage to set up a website, now the next big challenge to a new affiliate marketer is creating content for the website.
A lot of things need to be considered while creating content. It is necessary to understand your target audience before writing an article.
Keyword research is the crux for quality content. The following questions need to be well answered.
- What are the users’ pain points?
- What do they search on Search Engines?
- What’s the age, income, gender, profession, language, and so on of the users?
- What’s the intent of the searcher?
Engaging content is always created for the audience and to solve their problem.
Moreover, your negotiation skills need to be better to convince users to buy something. If you aren’t good at writing, you should first brush up on your skills before succeeding in affiliate marketing.
#3 Ranking on Google
It is probably the hardest part. You have the most useful website and quality content, but if you can’t rank on Google, it is nearly impossible to generate passive income doing affiliate marketing provided that you aren’t spending on ads.
Even if you are spending huge money on ads, they aren’t reliable. If the landing page isn’t well optimized, you might lose money. Ads only work as long as you are pouring money into them.
In the contrast, organic traffic from Google is highly targeted and consistent in most cases. But it’s really hard to get traction for Google when you are just starting. You’ll have to work very hard to make any new piece of content rank on Google.
If you are not ready to work for at least a year without expecting any return, you should probably stay away from it; affiliate marketing won’t be easy for you.
#4 Growing an Audience
I have seen many websites get lots of traffic from Google. But there is a problem here. What happens is: a visitor wants to find something- he searches on Google- visits a website- gets what he wants- leaves the website and never comes back.
This is the story of most websites. Especially for a new website that just starts to get traction from Google.
You can’t always rely on Google for traffic. You have to make the visitors know your brand and make them return again and again. This usually happens when you know how to grow your audience. You’ll have to build strategies to convert a visitor into a recurring loyal customer. This article is not supposed to be about the strategies that are why I’m not discussing them here, however, you should be prepared for the challenge.
#5 Getting Sales
Webmasters are so obsessed with ranking and traffic that they forget what they want. There is no point in getting tons of traffic if nobody is buying from you.
All your time and effort will be wasted if you can’t convert visitors into paying customers. A lot of skills come into play when doing affiliate marketing such as writing skills, marketing skills, negotiating skills, etc.
You should have a plan for this otherwise all your efforts will be worthless. It might be easier for some to generate sales while harder for others. Think about how you will manage to generate sales and revenue from your affiliate marketing business.
So, how hard is affiliate marketing?
If you are still asking how hard is affiliate marketing, I only have one answer. It’s neither as easy as we think nor as hard as we think. It is just a matter of patience, consistent hard work, and learning. Patience is uber important as it takes a lot of time to make money from affiliate marketing.
Unless you are spending on ads, you’ll have to walk through the following steps before start earning anything significant.
- Designing a website and creating content
- Spending time on SEO: keyword research, content research, technical stuff, networking, etc.
- Bring traffic to a website by ranking it on Google.
- Optimize landing pages to increase conversion rate and lower bounce rate.
- Convince users to buy using affiliate links on your website
You’ll need a solid strategy to accomplish all the above things, otherwise, it will be overwhelming and cause you to quit.
No matter which affiliate marketer you pick, there are the first two years in everyone’s journey that are the hardest.
Should you start affiliate marketing? It is not for the lazy ones. However, if you are ready to work for at least a year without expecting anything, welcome.
What do you think is hardest in affiliate marketing?