the truth about affiliate marketing - virtual blue affiliate marketing blackboard

The Truth About Affiliate Marketing

Are you looking for The Truth About Affiliate Marketing? If you’re considering entering the field of affiliate marketing, you’re probably already aware of the abundance of resources at your disposal.

Truth About Affiliate Marketing - female wearing glasses writing affiliate marketing strategy on a transparent whiteboard.

Myths, rumors, and hearsay abound, and the tips, hacks, success stories, flops, case studies, and promises of making money while you sleep are endless. It’s often difficult to tell what’s factual and what’s just hype.

So we took matters into our own hands and wrote the complete, true tale of affiliate marketing. We’ve sifted through the myths and realities of affiliate marketing to provide answers to your burning questions. Read on to learn the truth about affiliate marketing.

Quick Money and Affiliate Marketing

That may sound like a strange heading, but let’s begin with what affiliate marketing is and what it isn’t (the myth).

Affiliate marketing is not the way to go if your goal is to “make a million bucks in a week.” In reality, however, no one can agree on the proper course of action to get a millionaire overnight unless you are born into a rich family and can ask that money from your father or mother

Anyone who promises you quick money with affiliate marketing (and isn’t your millionaire father) is probably lying to you. There are no easy ways to make so much money in such a short amount of time, and affiliate marketing isn’t one of them.

Affiliate marketing may earn you a fair living, and that is a proven truth. However, if you understand how it works – that is, earning a commission from the sale of a product or subscription (typically a percentage), I’m not sure what you’d have to offer to make millions.

Here are some ways to increase revenue from affiliate marketing:

  • Promoting your affiliate links to your audience
  • Trying affiliate programs with a decent commission
  • Matching the affiliated brand to your audience’s needs

But remember that none of these are your ways to becoming a millionaire overnight. That is the key truth about affiliate marketing.

Here is a video that lays out the truth about Affiliate Marketing:

Affiliate Marketing Requires A Plan

Seriously? Anyone who tells you that is lying. No one makes money for doing nothing! You surely need to do something even in affiliate marketing. Here is what you are going to need:


Affiliate marketing is all about promoting someone else’s products or services to others. And, in order for you to profit, customers must purchase through your affiliate links, hence the need for an audience. You surely need to develop a strategy to reach out to your audience.

So whenever someone says that you do not need anything for affiliate marketing, ask them how you are going to reach out or build an audience.

Promotion Channels

You must be able to reach said individuals in order for them to click on your links. This might be your social media accounts, email list, blog, or website. Or even your Twitter bio or email signature.


Nothing works without a strategy, surely not an online business. You do need a strategy to bring your audience to click your links so that they can make a purchase and you can profit.

The second truth about affiliate marketing is that if you do not have any of these, it is not going to work.

Affiliate Marketing Can Be Complicated

It’s really simple to get started with affiliate marketing if you have the above (or at least a plan on how to get them). So someone telling you that it isn’t complicated is very subjective. You may just be beginning with affiliate marketing, or you may have some experience with marketing (though not affiliate marketing).

So whether affiliate marketing is complicated or not really depends on your skillset and expertise. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the most approachable digital marketing platforms, to begin with.

You’re also partnering with a company that most likely has a far more sophisticated marketing strategy and may assist with the marketing materials, such as banner designs or even marketing copy. This drastically reduces the amount of work you have to accomplish on your own.

You don’t have to be a pro digital marketer or have the expertise to do this. However, knowing how this all works is certainly beneficial (both to you and to the brand you support).

Affiliate Marketing Is Not A One-and-Done

It’s a popular misperception (due to a focus on the “passive” in “passive income”) that affiliate marketing essentially runs on its own, and you need to make an effort only once. I mean, you just toss that affiliate link in somewhere (see a couple of parts up), and it runs in the background, right?

No, that’s not it.

You don’t have to actively make the sale every time; thus, the money is passive. But, you know, it’s up to you to reach out to the correct people in order for the sale to go through.

Yes, it can happen nearly without effort if you have online real estate, such as a website with a consistent stream of traffic or send emails to your list on a regular basis. However, if you want long-term benefits, you must ensure that your link is frequently placed in front of genuine eyeballs (that may be an ugly image). By the way, becoming linked with subscription-based products is an excellent option.

Affiliate Marketing Is Not For B2C

The myth is that affiliate marketing isn’t for B2C. Well, that is not true. The truth is that it works for both B2B and B2C.  In reality, practically every B2B SaaS platform offers some form of an affiliate program, making affiliate marketing a well-established B2B marketing channel.

Of course, we’re discussing various consumer journeys and decision-making processes. You need to understand this right if you want to succeed in affiliate marketing.  And most importantly, we’re talking about your target market.

Promoting a B2-B service will almost certainly be an excellent option if you have an audience or network of business owners, but if you are targeting consumers (B2C), a promotion channel might be a good idea.

Affiliate Marketing Isn’t For Influencers Only

You do, in fact, require an audience, but NO, you don’t need Kim Kardashian’s Instagram following to make a respectable living from affiliate marketing.

You don’t have to be a hugely prominent online creator to generate revenue from affiliate marketing.

What you’ll need is a basic understanding of how marketing works in general, as well as a well-thought-out strategy for maximizing the value of your affiliate marketing efforts.

If you have a large and active industrial network, for example, there’s a good probability that some of the people in it might be interested in buying what you’re promoting. (However, double-check that.) And sometimes, just putting your affiliate link in front of them is enough (e.g., in an email footer.)

So, first, assess your prospects, and if you’re just getting started, make sure you have a growth strategy in place.

Affiliate Marketing Is Risky

There might be those who tell you that affiliate marketing isn’t risky at all. Well, that is not true. Although it is a highly stable source of revenue, it is so as long as you have reasonable expectations and a plan to put it to good use (as per all the above sections.)

The danger arises when you are unprepared and view affiliate marketing as a source of revenue that appears out of nowhere. You’re in for a major and nasty surprise if that’s the case.

So, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s speak about how much money the affiliate marketers make.

Making Money With Affiliate Marketing Is Easy

Well, that may be true, but it still depends on your experience and expertise. To succeed in affiliate marketing, you must first select a product that has a market in a niche or industry about which you know something, care a great deal, or are eager to learn. The next step is to advertise it so that people will click through to the merchant’s site to buy the item you’re promoting.

So, there you have it; that’s basically the whole thing. The truth about making money with affiliate marketing and succeeding at this requires a mix of science, art, and a lot of hard work.


There are a lot of misconceptions floating about regarding affiliate marketing, and because of this, many companies and brands, or individuals choose not to engage in affiliate marketing. It is critical that you have a solid understanding of some of these myths and truths about affiliate marketing in order to arrive at the best choices for the continued success of your company or for making some extra money.

The truth about affiliate marketing is simple. You need to understand that affiliate marketing isn’t quick money or a way to become a millionaire overnight, that it is risky, requires a well-planned strategy, requires an audience, and is only easy if you put your heart and soul into it.

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