If you’ve ever thought about trying to earn a consistent revenue stream online, you may have come across affiliate marketing. Representing billions of dollars in annual sales in the US alone and with promises of “set and forget” websites that allow you to earn passive income, affiliate marketing has become the poster child for getting rich online with little to no effort.
In this post I want to take a look at both the good and bad of affiliate marketing, and where to go if you want to get started.
Why Affiliate Marketing Isn’t What You Think
Let’s start with the bad.
This section isn’t so much about why affiliate marketing doesn’t work, as a caveat not to trust everything you hear. While it is true that affiliate marketing can be a true source of passive income, that doesn’t mean all you have to do is setup a website, flip a switch, and expect to earn millions.
It’s often billed as an easy way to get by without needing to go get a job and actually work for your living. News flash: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You do have to work, but it doesn’t have to be at your normal 9 to 5.
The truth is that like most passive income opportunities, online marketing has its ups and downs, and you need to be committed to making an investment in order to be successful.
That investment can be in the form of time, which in this case means setting up the website yourself, finding programs to promote, writing good content, and promoting that content…all of which can be done on a dime if need be, or in the form of money, in which case you’re basically just paying to outsource all of the tasks I just listed.
Either way, you need to be in it for the long haul. There is no such thing as overnight success, despite what any guru will tell you.
Why Online Marketing Can Be A Good Business
The good news is that with concentrated time and effort, and a good strategy, affiliate marketing is a real (and realistic) way to earn money online.
The benefits are widespread, and not the least of which includes that anyone with an internet connection can get started, and you don’t need to worry about creating your own product, or satisfying customer issues, for that matter.
It’s a great business to be in because it’s a rare opportunity to build assets that provide long term value and revenue. You’re not going to leap to $10k in the next 30 days, but over time you can build a recurring stream of revenue.
Getting Started: Find an Affiliate Course
If you are serious about building a business online, then affiliate marketing is a good way to go. That said, don’t be naive and think that all you have to do is setup a website, write a few blog posts, and start earning income.
The reality is that to be successful, you’re going to need to learn the tricks of the trade from someone who’s been there before. Better yet, from a whole community of people that can help support you and get you through the first few months until you become more skilled and confident.
Personally, I like the program over at Wealth Affiliate, which has consistently good reviews across the web. If you want to learn more you can check out this post comparing the scam reviews vs. success stories by Affiliate-101.
Commit To Success
Whichever path you choose, the most important point to keep in mind is that you need to be ready to commit to the long term success of your business.
If you take the right mindset and accept that you’re going to have good days and bad, but stick with it, over time I guarantee you you’ll be able to develop an online revenue stream, and go live at the beach or wherever else you want, and work on your terms.
Just don’t plan on “retiring” from it just yet. It’s more about developing a revenue stream that works on your terms, not those of a boss!