For almost 30 years, affiliate marketing has helped retailers grow their businesses globally. Even though it didn’t really start with the invention of the Internet, affiliate marketing quickly became a practice that primarily interests online businessmen.
Suddenly, entrepreneurs were no longer limited by their geographical locations. It was a whole new concept that blew the gates wide open and allowed everyone who had something to sell to expand their reach.
You could sell to anyone in any part of the country, as long as they had a steady Internet connection. This revolutionized the way people did business and made room for new marketing techniques (like affiliate marketing) to take center stage.
Regardless of the fact that it’s been almost 30 years since people started to do affiliate marketing – this practice is still big. Recent study claims that approximately 15 percent of all digital media’s revenue comes through this practice. Another study revealed that 81 percent of all brands today use affiliate marketing to some extent.
The only thing that changed over the years is its reputation. Even though affiliate marketing has been a widely recognized business model for decades now – its overall acceptance with newer generations started to change.
Most marketers now have divided opinions when it comes to the subject of affiliate marketing. They either praise this particular way of promoting brands and products online or stand against it because of its “questionable nature’’.
Even though this particular blend of innovative marketing and advertising has helped a lot of people generate absurd amounts of revenue over the last couple of decades – affiliate marketing still hasn’t been able to shake its bad rep.
Thanks to a couple of bad apples, certain myths have stuck to the very idea of affiliate marketing like flies on glue and made it repellent to some circles.
In the following segments of this article, we at Traffic Mansion, will do our best to tackle some the more popular and ludacris “old wives’ tales” concerning affiliate marketing and its “questionable” reputation:
1. Affiliate Marketing Is Easy
One of the biggest misleads when it comes to this particular form of marketing is the so-called “affiliate marketing is easy as pie” buzz.
If you search the Web and look for advice on how to start your career as a affiliate marketer – you’ll come across a lot of articles that claim that this sort of profession is insanely easy.
Of course, these claims are not true.
This type of buzz creates more harm than good.
A big industry study revealed that 78 percent CMOs feel that affiliate marketing is the least mastered area of digital marketing today.
A lot of people get encouraged by the praise and jump head-first in this field, only to discover that becoming a super successful affiliate marketer is not as simple as the Internet lead them to be.
Naturally, their dissatisfaction immediately becomes public and the industry’s rep suffers another punch.
Affiliate marketing might be easy to manage for individuals who already have some experience and skills in this domain, but for others (especially newbies) – it is indeed a difficult task to master that often ends up in disappointment.
Getting people sold on the idea of “making easy money online” by developing different sites and affiliations with xy products has never been a problem. Everyone who has time to spare is more than interested in setting up a business that, as the articles say: “practically keeps itself at float”.
However, in reality, affiliate marketing is far from easy. It’s a practice that demands some serious hustle. The bitter truth is – only hard workers have success in this domain. Recent survey has disclosed that less than 10 percent of people who try their luck here become somewhat successful. This is a clear indicator of how devoted you need to be in order to make that so-called “easy money” via your affiliate marketing efforts.
2. Traffic Equals Profit
A lot of people who try and fail in this industry are usually under the impression that their primary objective should be to generate as much traffic as possible. The logic goes something like this – the more people come to your site and pages, the better the chances you’ll have of making some sweet revenue.
This is only partially true.
Even though affiliate marketing is recognized as one of the most effective customer acquisition channels, it’s still not magical.
A significant part of affiliate marketing actually revolves around the idea of converting traffic directed to your site and pages into actual customers.
Generating traffic is just the first the part of the process.
If you want to succeed as an affiliate marketer, you cannot just sit around and hope that your visitors will do everything on their own.
It’s far more reliable to depend upon the ratio of the converted customers from the traffic directed to analyze the success of a company, than to depend upon the number of visitors to your website.
The idea here is not just to pump up views, but to make the product appealing to the shopper as well. Traffic means nothing if you’re not converting it into sales.
3. Only Shady Salesmen are Successful Affiliate Marketers
Contrary to popular opinion, not all successful affiliate marketers are fast-talking, money-grabbing con-artists.
For example, Jason Stone, a.k.a. Millionaire Mentor, made $7mil in retail sales in a year from affiliate marketing alone. He only participated in campaigns that seemed legit to him and in sync with his values and audience’s interests. Jason believes that affiliate marketing doesn’t need to be a shaddy practice, if the promoter himself believes in the product.
Even though there are a lot of bad seeds that continuously butcher the industry’s rep – affiliate marketing can still become a clean and respectable business. There are huge whitehat verticals that have the potential of providing you with a lot of revenue on daily basis.
The only thing you have to do is choose the vertical you want to be a part of. If you pick a shady niche, then that’s your call. You’re willingly entering a market known for its shady deals and practices. But if you decided to stay clean – there’s certainly a genuine opportunity out there to make some sweet revenue by doing things “by the book”.
Regardless of what you hear and currently think – you don’t need to get your hands dirty in order to become a successful affiliate marketer. If you truly invest yourself in the work, you can do it right. The reality is – there are literally tons and tons of legit opportunities online for upcoming affiliate marketers in industries like gaming, ecommerce, lead generation, dating, etc.
4. You Need Loads of Cash to Make It in This Business
Even though there’s a certain buzz going around that affiliate marketing is a game in which only the fat cats with even fatter wallets win, the truth is quite opposite.
You don’t really need to have a ton of cash to run a respectable business in this industry.
In order to get started as a affiliate marketer, you need:
- A website;
- A link tracking software;
- Products to promote.
The rest tends to vary from case to case.
You can create the traffic for free, if you’re determined enough. The trick here is to pick a niche where you could easily generate a noticeable following, and start working on building it up from there.
You can build your traffic through blogging, email marketing, social networking, or by becoming an active member of relevant industry groups and forums.
These things don’t necessarily have to cost you anything but your own time.
Most affiliates spend their cash on paid ads, but that doesn’t have to be you. The only expenses you really need to worry about are your website’s domain servicing and maintenance costs. If you’re slick enough, you can run a successful affiliate business for up to $500.
5. Only Certain Type of Products Work for Affiliate Marketing
The basic idea behind affiliate marketing is to make sense of the referrals. For example, if you are a noticeable member in an industry like SEO – it makes no sense for you to promote face creams or other beauty products. But, if you’re a beauty blogger – then you probably have the right type of audience for those kind of products.
Every product can be promoted via affiliate marketing, if you have the right audience for it.
Regardless of how good of an affiliate you may be – you cannot promote everything.
Maybe you can, but not to the same network of people.
The overall success of any partnership between the merchant and the affiliate depends completely on the quality of the affiliate, a.k.a. his network and ability to present a particular brand and product to people.
If the product works, if there’s proof of the concept – then it can be promoted through affiliate marketing.
As you have probably noticed while reading this article – affiliate marketing is still a fairly complicated subject for most users, so that’s probably why these sort of ludacris myths still exist online. Affiliate marketing can be a lot of things, but certainly not what these urban legends present it to be.
From believing that you become an instant success to selling everything to everyone – we tried our best to debunk some of the most popular affiliate marketing myths and show that they are nothing more than uneducated ramblings of misguided business people who have tried and failed in this industry. Don’t let these types of comments stop you from pursuing your passions.
Affiliate marketing is a game of skill and dedication. We hope that this article helped you understand that hard work is always eventually rewarded in this industry.