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Is Affiliate Marketing Still a Viable Business Model?

Is Affiliate Marketing Still a Viable Business Model?

As you probably know, affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing. Businesses reward individuals who bring visitors or customers to their sites or products. Affiliate marketing has been around for decades, and more and more people are becoming affiliates today. While that means more people can gain monetary rewards by promoting businesses’ products, it also means affiliates are competing for high-earning opportunities. Therefore, few affiliates are able to create a full-time revenue from the activity. In recent years, affiliate marketing has become more of a glorified passive income stream. So, newbies wanting to make a business out of affiliate marketing face many challenges.

Choosing a Profitable Niche

One way of ensuring you can earn more from affiliate marketing is to choose a profitable niche. You may be tempted to promote products from an industry that you love, such as tech or fashion, but this may not be the wisest decision. For instance, on a platform like Buyer’s Guide, you are provided with data-driven information that enables users to pick out the best products for their specific needs. By keeping an eye on such sites, you can get a good idea of what niches are best to choose for your affiliate marketing business.

At the end of the day, if you want to turn affiliate marketing into a viable business model, you need to be more discerning in the niche you select. If you can find a niche that you love and that pays well, all the better, but you shouldn’t base the products you choose to promote solely on your personal interests.

How Much Can You Make from Affiliate Marketing?

The highest-earning affiliates and influencers have become famous on the web. Names like John Chow, Pat Flynn, and Rae Hoffman can make more than $100,000 per month from affiliate sales. That’s one key reason why so many individuals think they can make the same type of income stream. However, most affiliates that are able to generate a salary from promotional activity typically earn between $1,000 and $10,000 per month. As for complete newbies, most gain zero earnings to start off with and it will take time for them to even reach a $1,000 a month income.

The Percentage Rate Massively Affects Your Potential Income

The above general income figures have a lot to do with the commission percentage you earn for promoting specific products. For instance, you’ll not earn as much for promoting a $5 product with a 2% commission rate as you would for promoting a $1,000 product that gives a fixed $200 commission per sale. If you’re promoting $5 products with small commission rates, it will take a lot of time and effort to earn as much as a single sale on the $1,000 product. So, remember, affiliate marketing commission rates aren’t the same across all networks and products.

Choosing the Best Affiliate Network

To get started in creating an affiliate marketing model, compare and study the different affiliate networks available to find the best ones for you. The most popular affiliate networks for 2021 are:

  • ShareASale. With 2,500 affiliate programs to choose from, you should be able to find a product within your niche to promote.
  • Commission Junction. This network works with over 3,000 brands, so there are plenty of opportunities for affiliate marketers.
  • Amazon. The global retail platform has millions of products to promote, and you get a commission for a customer’s whole purchase rather than solely the item you were promoting.

Final Thoughts

As long as you choose the right niche, the right affiliate network, and the right products, there’s no reason why you cannot build your affiliate marketing business over time to give you more than a passive income. However, it will take a lot of hard work and determination if you want to earn as much as the leading affiliates.


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by Harvey Carr // Harvey Carr is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.