Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It? Why Is It So Hard?
Most people who try to make money online will very quickly ask themselves; "Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?"... and who can blame them!
Affiliate marketing is incredibly difficult, when you first begin, because you have a mountain of scams, strategies, methods and trial & error to stumble through before you can even make a single sale.
In this article, I will try and convince you that it is worth the wait. The rewards are wonderful and if you are patient enough to hang in there, you will come out the other side a happier, compensated and fulfilled affiliate marketeer!
Affiliate marketing is SO worth the effort. It is incredibly difficult to get off the ground but the end result is freedom, no boss and ability to take on bigger projects!
Why is Affiliate Marketing Worth The Effort?
Well, the easiest answer is this: You get a chance to create something of your own, something which gives you pleasure and an income at the same time.
You can take a topic you are incredibly passionate about and turn it into a business to be proud of and the best thing, you do not need a lot of money to start or any previous experience.
Regardless of the method or route you take, you will succeed if you stick at it and approach it with an eagerness to learn.
So, when people ask me if affiliate marketing is worth the effort I tell them, "Hell Yeah! Absolutely!"
Set Your Own Hours
You work the hours that you want, not the hours set to you by a boss or corporation. This does obviously mean you need a certain amount of self control but ultimately you can work when you want and for how long.
You can tailor your day around your family and friends, which is probably the best aspects of working online.
Work From your home or anywhere!
All you need is a laptop and an Internet connection. You can work from home or a hotel room. You can even work from a remote location on a deserted island, as long as there is Internet access.
I know the stereotype 'Internet sensation' sends you a video from the beach; "Oh, look at me! I work 1 hour a day!" Which is of course absolute nonsense, but the principle behind it is legitimate.
You are not tied to one location and you have the ultimate freedom to move around and still being able to develop and grow your business.
Ironically, I think most online entrepreneurs prefer to stay at home because you still have a lot of work to do and it is more organised if you have a nice big desk with room to think and plan things out!
Scope for growth
Your business is online, meaning there is no limit to how big you can grow, should you want to that is!
Once you become profitable, you are able to plan ahead and scale your business model to grow even further. You can seek out freelancers and virtual assistants to help you with your daily chores and remain in complete control.
On the other hand, should you not want to earn more money than your basic needs then this is achievable as well. Maintaining a websites profitability is relatively easy once you have a reliable source of income or traffic.
Self Respect and Money
Your pride and self respect is phenomenal once you make it online. Once you truly become self employed and your only income is what you make from your online venture.
There is no better feeling than knowing that something that you made, with your own tears and sweat, is satisfying your customers and making you money.
The job satisfaction from creating a genuinely honest and reliable business from which your clients can seek trustworthy advice is like a drug in many ways. You want to do more for them, you want them to come back for more of your services and as a result, more money!
Money will not make you happy, but it sure does not hurt! When you earn it for yourself, without a middle man or a boss, it does taste that much sweeter.
Why Does It Take So Long To Succeed?
Creating an online business, regardless of which method or strategy you use, takes a long time. Most new starts will not see any positive results for at least 6 months. Why?
- If you are doing PPC ad campaigns then it takes time and money to fine tune your keyword research and demographics. You need to split test your audience and see who is responding do which ad-set. This does not happen in 1 week.
- If you are blogging then you need to build a foundation of trustworthy and informative blog posts and build a social following. You have to rank in Google and build a relationship/brand with your readers.
- Drop-shipping, Building courses, Multi-Level-marketing, online forums, home business ideas, forex trading, consulting, web design, freelance writers, animation.... ETC. ETC.ETC.
Regardless of what you choose to do, it is possible. No market is too saturated and there is always space for one more person to make a living. Granted some are more competitive than others but that is another post for another day.
Will it take longer to make money online than to get a degree from a University? No, you will make money much quicker.
All you have to accept is this....
Trying to make it online as an Affiliate Marketeer is worth the effort - regardless of which shape or form you choose to enter the market in. Every website, every idea online is driven by affiliate products and promotions but it does take at least 6 months before you will see positive results.
When I say 'positive results' I mean seeing a conclusive sign that your chosen path is the right one. This can come in the form of your first sale, a satisfied returning client or a great review from a respected peer. Whatever it may be, you have to be patient to know that you are working on something that will be special for you.
This makes it all the more worthwhile because the pride and joy you feel when something you are passionate about pays off, is second to none!
Who Can You Trust Online?
Knowing who to trust online is very hard. Everyone seems to be 'after your money' and you will get burned a few times, at least!
Spotting a scam artist is hard but I have written a post to help you spot a low quality products.
When it comes to trusting someone online, don't! Not even me, at least not until you have done your due diligence.
If you find a website or a product you want to sell, use or promote, do some research. Look at the whole picture and get a feel for who they are, what they represent and see if they appear honest. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you agree to promote someone's product or represent someone else's interest in the affiliate marketing world.
- do their blog posts and comment suggest they are honest and above board?
- do they share your own views and opinions about customer satisfaction and morals?
- do they appear to be honest and above board or do they try and deceive with up-sells and sneaky sales tactics?
- if you were at a friends party, would be proud to promote their product or name to the people you love?
These are the kind of questions you need to ask yourself when you associate anything or anyone to your blog or affiliate products.
Creating an online presence takes time and you want everyone who comes to your website or product page to trust you, at all times! At no point should they be able to dig into your catalog of past content and find a questionable service or product you promoted 'just for the money'.
Which Methods Are Best To Use?
I am a blogger after all so I would be remiss if I suggested anything else! The links below will show you many other ways of making money but for me, the only way is blogging. Why?
Well, the truth is blogging is the only way to truly build what you want, as opposed to what the market trends tell you to.
Blogging is the only route you can take where you write about your passion, hobbies and things that you have an interest in. Most other strategies, to make money online, requires you to 'sell stuff' just to make a profit and it usually involves investing a bit of money.
With blogging the only real investment is your time and love. The actual process of getting a website ranked in Google is not as tricky as most people think. I can help you build and rank your website.
There are multiple other methods such as PPC ads or social media advertising. Perhaps you want to build a drop-shipping business or create your own digital product, such as a self help course or fitness course. You can honestly do anything you can think of and they all tie in with affiliate marketing.
Every single company online, more or less, has an affiliate scheme.
I have a lot of blog posts about blogging and making money online you can check out.
I always try my best to be as honest and straight up as possible and here are a few sources you can use to further your own online dream.
Why Most People Don't Make It?
Unfortunately, 95% of those who try and make it as an affiliate marketer fails. Why? There are a number of various factors but the mains ones are down to human error of judgement and misunderstanding what it actually takes to 'make it' online.
For people like me, it is frustrating to see newbies give up early because some of them are so close to making their first sale but they are too inexperienced to see the long term picture.
Here are a few of the reasons I see, on a day-to-day basis, why people fail to make a living online.
Most people totally misunderstand the Internet Marketing business. They have been fed hyped up media stories in papers and on social media about self made millionaires and overnight success stories which gives the impression that creating an online business only takes a matter of weeks when in reality it takes months, even years to crack it.
The majority of people I encounter quit after just 4 weeks, labeling the whole IM (Internet Marketing) landscape a fraud and everyone in it a con-artist. The truth of the matter is they just do not understand that building a business takes time, regardless of the method you choose, to generate an income.
You could be blogging, PPC campaigns, drop-shipping or creating a Facebook fan page - it call takes time and patience.
I write a lot about the mentality of making money online and it never ceases to surprise me how sulky and spoiled individuals can be and they assume that they will see results almost instantly. But, I digress - that's my moan for today!
Too Greedy & Naive
The next error newbie affiliate marketeers often stumble over is greed. Very similar to the impatience paragraph but true nonetheless.
We have all seen the sales pages for strategies and systems to make "$1,000 per day within 30 days!" and all that nonsense. I have been lured in by them, I can't deny it. However, once I realized my error in judgement, it did not deter me from progressing - but, sadly, most people simply give up.
A person would get sucked in, lose a small amount of money and withdraw, and in the process, label the whole Internet Marketing industry a disgusting sham and view anyone in it with suspicion. A rather sad view of us bloggers and entrepreneurs in my book because most of us are not that bad.
Although, I can see where they are coming from because there are also a large amount of scam artists out there who are experts at making you believe in their false dreams.
Not Sticking With One Method
No.3 on the list is one I have been guilty of, more than once! I am ashamed to admit it but I would often jump from one idea to the next when I first started out and never really giving any of them time to grow.
Once you find a product or service which you want to pursue you have to see it through before giving up. Whether it is writing eBooks to sell on Amazon or creating your own blog, you have to give it time to mature and develop.
At the time of writing this article I have over 110 blog posts and have poured thousands of hours into this blog, because that is what it takes. Some methods show results quicker than others.
For example: Doing drop shipping with Facebook ads as a traffic source will give you sales within a week but the profits still wont come for months after that. There are mistakes to work through and wrinkles to iron out. Every single idea or method to make money online requires emotional commitment and solid hard work.
This is where most people fall short because once they realize how much sweat they have to put into something they retract, when they shouldn't! Either they misunderstand, thinking the strategy is not working, or they are simply not prepared to do the work.
The work you put in is what makes it so rewarding because once you make it, you earned it!
Then we come to the poor souls who simply hit an unlucky streak.
Inevitably, in order to find a way of making money online, you have to sift through a number of products before you find one that is genuine and holds true to the sales page.
There is no right or wrong here, it just comes down be being lucky sometimes. If you are unlucky enough to continuously buy into fake or low quality ideas then ultimately you will fail.
You may enter every project with an open mind and an unbiased heart, even after you fail, but you walk away with nothing after many attempts.
This could be a combination of all the factors above; greed, naivety and impatience but in most cases it is literally down to a string of bad luck and unfortunate events. These could be personal life issues or cash flow issues or perhaps a practical problem, such as a full time job in real life or having marital problems.
The reason behind it is not really important. The fact is sometimes people do not make it through no fault of their own. Simple.
Summing Up Affiliate Marketing
The affiliate marketing world is cutthroat and competitive but, ultimately, incredibly satisfying. You will have to work at it but once you crack that barrier, and make your sale, you won't look back.
I honestly can't think of a more worthwhile and rewarding way of making money, with you own business, online.
I would genuinely encourage anyone to give it a try. Take baby steps and be patient - the rest will follow thereafter.