Affiliate Marketing

Is Affiliate Marketing A Legit Online Business Model?

A common myth about affiliate marketing is it’s a get-rich-quick scheme, and the reality is usually quite different. Building an online business takes time, effort, and energy. It’s more about creating something sustainable and long-lasting that you can use to create a regular income for yourself in the future.

So, if you’re thinking of joining an affiliate network like Wealthy Affiliate and others, you might be asking yourself whether it’s a good idea. Does Wealthy Affiliate really work and other affiliate marketing programs in general?

This article will take an in-depth look at what affiliate marketing is and how it works to help answer all of your questions.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

The term affiliate marketing describes how merchants pay their affiliates for advertisements or blogs they publish on the internet. Any sale that happens due to someone viewing an affiliates’ advertisement or blog post is when an affiliate receives a commission or referral fee of some sort. And those who promote products and services others have created are called affiliates.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is a revenue-sharing relationship between publishers and merchants. Publishers can be website owners or influencers with a significant number of followers willing to display ads on their pages or sites. Merchants are the advertisers who pay publishers to display their ads. These advertisements can be a digital coupon banner, pop-up, or email lead generation ad. 

To get money from affiliate marketing, you’d need to have your website visitors or followers click over a merchant’s site and make a purchase. Most merchants pay affiliates per click or on every sale that results from their ad campaign.

Downside Of Affiliate Marketing

As promising as it may seem, affiliate marketing also has its downsides, so you should know these before jumping into the world of making money through it. The following is a list of the most common problems people have with this type of business model:

  • You Have To Promote Other People’s Products

Promoting other people’s products is the primary concern of most people who are hesitant to try them. With affiliate marketing, you don’t control what’s happening with what you’re promoting. Suppose the customer had a bad experience with one of the products you’re promoting and leaves a negative review. It can also negatively affect your reputation because you’d look like someone recommending a low-quality product.

  • Too Many Advertisements Can Slow Your Website

Since being an affiliate means you have to display the merchant’s advertisements on your site, it also means your visitors will see a lot of these ads. Too many promotions can make your website slow, and it can also irritate visitors browsing through your site.

These ads could disrupt your website’s user experience and make it hard for people to find useful content or information, which may cause people to leave your site and go somewhere else.


What’s Good About Affiliate Marketing?

The good thing about affiliate marketing is you can potentially be your boss and make money even while sleeping. There are success stories from people who started this business online and built something big by creating websites, blogs, and social media accounts that promote other merchants’ products. Affiliate marketing takes time to invest but gives you the chance to make passive income.

How To Make Real Money In Affiliate Marketing?

There are tons of affiliate marketing programs, merchant networks, and offers out there. However, it’s not enough to sign up for affiliate marketing programs. Making money out of affiliate marketing takes more than you think.

To earn money with affiliate marketing, you might want to consider the following:

  • Website Or Blog

It’d be best if you had a website or blog to display ads on. Your site’s income potential depends on many factors like how much traffic you get and whether you’re willing to promote high-paying products. Your earnings will also depend on whether you have a conversion rate of visitors to customers.

  • Traffic

The more visitors you have, the better. This is because your potential to earn depends on how many people you can drive to visit the merchant’s site and buy relevant products.

The easiest way to do this would be through search engine optimization (SEO), especially if Google is driving a lot of traffic to your website or blog. However, it’d be best not to rely solely on search engines to bring in visitors. There are many other ways you can try to get people to your site.

  • Social Media

Yes, social media is a great way to drive traffic to your website. It’s also an effective conversion method due to the sheer amount of information people share on social media platforms.

If you want thousands of followers on your affiliate website, make sure to link your website to social media accounts and put valuable resources for people to check out. Doing so enables you to earn trust and authority in your niche or industry.

  • Customers

Customers are the most important part of your business. If you’ve built up a successful website and attracted tons of visitors, it doesn’t mean much if they don’t buy. You can talk all day about how great products are, but if no one buys them from you, you won’t earn a dime.

It’s possible to make real money with affiliate marketing, but you’ll have to work hard and promote the right products and find the right audience. The key is to find the right products that’ll appeal to your audience’s needs and wants. If you want people to buy products using your affiliate link, make sure you provide information to convince them to visit and purchase from the merchants.

Legit Or Not?

So, is affiliate marketing a legit online business model? It’s a resounding yes. Is it worth trying? The answer depends on your goals and how much time and effort you’re ready to invest. It’s unlikely that you’ll become rich overnight, but it’s possible to make a living with affiliate marketing if you work hard and promote some quality products from reputable merchants.

If done right, this can be an excellent way for people to earn money while working from home or anywhere else. Affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone, though. You need to love marketing and have good SEO skills. But if you can manage to find a niche that interests you and promote quality products from reliable merchants, you can make money with affiliate marketing.

About the Author


Linda Jeasie

Linda Jeasie is a writer and content editor with over a decade of experience covering consumer gadgets and mobile tech. Before going freelance, she got her start as an editor at, a coupon and review website. These days she writes about gaming, life hacks, apps and software, and financial subjects for a variety of publications.