Affiliate marketing has emerged as one of the best ways for people to earn a decent income. Many individuals have considered affiliate marketing a full-time opportunity, while others are happy to keep it as a part-time affair. Either way, affiliate marketing is the newest trend in the market, loved by both companies and marketers alike. The increasing affiliate marketing demand will make it a $12 billion industry by the end of 2022. The industry is poised to grow towards $17 billion by 2025. Anyone can do affiliate marketing- a business person, service members, and even students. With such a big influx in the affiliate marketing industry, a question surely comes to mind – is affiliate marketing worth it? We will answer this question in this article. Keep reading to clarify whether you should enter this business or not. But before that, let us understand briefly what affiliate marketing is.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a special arrangement between two parties in which a party gets paid for promoting the other party’s products. Mostly, the two parties involved include a marketer and an online retailer. Different retailers provide different rates of commission to affiliate marketers depending on the number of products sold, category of product, pricing etc. Affiliate marketing can be done full-time, part-time or even as a freelance opportunity.
What are the platforms for Affiliate Marketing?
Marketers can use any online platform to promote brands and products within their network. These platforms include Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Telegram, Quora, Reddit, Discord etc. There are opportunities for affiliate marketing on social media platforms available on the internet.
One thing that unites every affiliate marketer is their need to create content. Content is the only way that marketers can truly reach out and connect with the public. Every social media platform requires content for you to have an engaged audience who regularly like, comment and share what you are posting. Creating great content will ensure you have a decent number of people to promote your affiliates’ products. Also, more companies approach you as your follower count starts ticking.
Pros of Affiliate Marketing
- Highly Flexible: Affiliate marketing makes the concept of a 9-5 job look redundant. The industry is rooted in flexibility. People can earn anytime, anywhere, doing anything through affiliate marketing. The concept of affiliate marketing requires third-party intervention, in this case, customers, to place a purchase through your link. That is the only way for you to make money. So, once you have shared the deal, you can earn money on your terms.
- Unlimited Earning Opportunity: Affiliate marketing does not bind you to any salaried job or an unpaid side hustle. You earn a commission for every sale you make for an online retailer. It all depends on your marketing acumen. If you can ensure that many people keep buying products through your link, you can consider affiliate marketing as a full-time opportunity and earn unlimited commissions every day, week and month.
- Return on Investment: You do not need to invest anything in affiliate marketing. Anyone can start creating content through their smartphones and laptops without investing extra money into the business. However, the upside is huge. There is no cap on the amount of commission you can earn just by posting regularly and making unique content. Most people would not require any investment, but if you want to create content in content writing, music, dance, etc., you may have to spend some time and money to gain expertise in your field.
Cons of Affiliate Marketing
- High Competition: Due to the pros mentioned above, people from all backgrounds are attracted to affiliate marketing, which is why the topography of this industry is changing drastically every day. Lakhs of affiliate marketers are available in the market today, and all are creating the same kind of content. So, it may not be a piece of cake for you to quickly earn a name on social media.
- Learning Curve: If you are looking to do affiliate marketing as a full-time business, you need to know all the ins and outs of the industry. This may take some time as different internet platforms require different expertise. Content creation is only some people’s cup of tea. So, things may work out differently than you’d hoped.
- Huge Bargain: Companies now have many choices due to the availability of a larger number of affiliates in the market. This has reduced the bargaining power of many newer marketers in the business, and they may have to settle for lower rates of commission.
What makes Affiliate Marketing worth your time?
Affiliate marketing requires time and effort from your side to create a viable income stream. However, it may only be suited for some. Affiliate marketing may be the right choice for you if:
You have experience in your field.
There are thousands, if not lakhs, of content creators in India who are more or less creating the same content. However, to build an audience as fast as possible, you must be unique and creative. Experience in any field in which you create content will add to its value. You can create posts in any niche – finance, comedy, acting, dancing, cooking etc. It would be best if you had a speciality, a unique selling proposition for your content.
You already have an existing audience.
Affiliate marketing works on promoting products to your network. The audience plays the most important role. However, it is very hard for beginners to get their following to a decent number where they can become successful affiliate marketers. All of this can be attributed to the rising competition and changing algorithms of social media platforms.
You know the product thoroughly.
You can work without being an industry expert if you know the utility and quality of the product you are promoting. This one is important because you are promoting brands to many people. It is important that these products be of the best quality and priced right; otherwise, it will erode your hard-earned reputation.
Things to keep in mind while starting Affiliate Marketing
Even though affiliate marketing may only be worth some people’s time, following the best practices is very important for those who are getting into this industry. Check out our best tips below:
- Budget: Every full-time affiliate marketer is required to provide content, which costs some money. It might be your hosting, domain, camera, microphone, lighting, or other equipment. In either case, you need to plan a budget for when starting.
- Platform: Everyone possesses a unique set of abilities. It’s crucial to understand what you are good at and pick the best platform for you to become a content creator. Long videos are made for YouTube, while short videos do better on Instagram and Tiktok. Anyone can post written content on your website and forums.
- Content: Content is king. This statement holds in the case of affiliate marketing. Your content, whether in videos, images, articles, blogs, etc., must stand out from the competition in some way. It would help if you made your customers’ time and money worthwhile. Please thoroughly read up on your subjects and write clear, interesting information.
- Optimize: Different platforms have different analytical metrics. Some of the most common insights include your reach, engagement, click rate, link redirection percentage, and most & least-liked content. Paying keen attention to these insights will help you create better content for the audience and will surely increase your following and your revenues.
Is affiliate marketing worth your time? The short answer is yes. It is very rewarding if you are willing to give it ample time and effort. The higher competition may make it harder for newbies and amateurs to enter this industry and get comfortable, but following our best practices may make it worth your time.