Is Affiliate Marketing Easy?

How many have dreamed of leaving their 9 to 5 jobs and just starting to earn money from their laptop? Imagine sitting in a nice café, sipping a cup of steaming espresso, and working at your leisure; or even better, on a deckchair by the hotel pool on some Caribbean island. Who hasn’t heard those words, “making money while you sleep”?

That is affiliate marketing. You promote other people’s products by inserting affiliate links on your website. When your readers click on those links and buy something, you earn a commission. Sounds easy, right?

According to Pat Flynn, “Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting another company’s product (or service). You find a product, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.”

You can be very successful in this, even turning this into a full income.

Who Does What?

By now, you already have an idea how it works, but let’s go into detail. According to Wikipedia, there are four parties here:

  • the merchant
  • the network
  • the publisher
  • the customer

The merchant is the retailer, also known as the vendor, the one who sells the product. That could be any company that offers products and services. For example, Avon, or Art of Tea.

The network is basically the online place where the affiliate finds products and receives his payments. Clickbank and ShareASale are examples of networks.

The publisher is the affiliate, the one who blogs on his/her website and promotes affiliate links of the merchant.

The customer finds the article, and if interested, clicks on the link and makes a purchase.


Is Affiliate Marketing Easy?


No, it’s not, but don’t let that stop you. It may not be easy and it may take a while before you start earning money, but once your income begins to grow, it will keep on growing. So, affiliate marketing sounds promising, but it is not a quick money scheme and it takes a lot of hard work, time, and patience.

If you are willing to put in hard work and time and if you have patience, please keep on reading. Affiliate marketing brings many rewards, and not just monetary.


How Do You Get Traffic to Your Website?

Here comes the work. How do people come to your website? Usually, you type in a search in Google and then a list of links appears, all of them websites. There are tons of pages that feature websites. When you scroll down on Google, you will see that there are ten pages, and after those ten, many more will come, thousands of them. How many of those pages will you check? The first one, right? Perhaps the second one too. After that, that’s about it for me, unless I am determined in my search. 😉


As a website owner, your goal is to be on that first page on Google. So, how do you achieve that?

Let’s start with the beginning. First of all, how do you become an affiliate marketer?

  1. Set up SEO on your website
  2. Start reviewing products in your niche. Write useful content
    1. Write reviews about products that you know. You have either used them or you have done plenty of research about them.
    2. When you write reviews, make sure that they are helpful to the reader. List both pros and cons, and always be honest. You cannot build trust if honesty is not part of your website.
  3. Take part in affiliate training courses and webinars. The Wealthy Affiliate platform offers a plethora of affiliate courses, including twenty free training videos.==> Click here to see a free webinar: Case Study, Scaling Your Business for the Long Term <==
  4. Promote your website on social media and aim to get website comments. Those comments ensure that Google notices your site and it will increase traffic. Let’s break down how to boost traffic.
    1. Be social (yep, like I mentioned, share on social media)
    2. Write catchy headlines, get the reader’s attention
    3. Pay attention to your SEO
    4. Sign up for Google Analytics and Google Search Console to keep track of your website’s performance
    5. Target long-tail keywords


Let’s Talk About Time and Money

How much time it takes to make an income with affiliate marketing is entirely up to you. It depends on the work you put into it. I would be lying if I gave you an exact time frame. How many websites are screaming “Start earning money in 5 minutes!”, “Get immediate cash today!” How many of them are scams? All of them. If you, like me, do your research online, you have probably come across several scammers. Quick money? Sorry, no, that’s just a pipe dream.

Building a business takes time. It is the same for businesses that are not online, for example, restaurants, hotels, stores. They do not rise up from the ground in one day. It took years of investments to get those businesses built. The same counts for online work. You are starting your own business! How exciting is that?

timeIf you want it to succeed, then you have to be prepared to dedicate time, work, and patience. You could start earning money within three months, or within six months. It is different for everybody. That is why I am not going to tell you a specific time frame because I would be lying and that’s the last thing I want to do.

It could take months, a year, or even more, but if you stick with it, the money will come. Then when that first commission comes in, you know that affiliate marketing works and that you can really create a full time income with this.

This is why I said that it is not easy. It is not easy to stick with a plan, to wait for months, or more than a year, to reach a goal. In affiliate marketing, numerous people have given up, because it took more than 6 months, more than 7 months, basically more than the time they were willing to dedicate to it. If you’re up for starting your online business, you have to be aware that you’re going to be in this for a while. Just, do not give up.

See, the hard part lies not within affiliate marketing; it lies within yourself if you have your eye on the treasure chest instead of your path. As with all pirate stories, it takes time to find those treasure chests, doesn’t it? In the meantime, you should enjoy the journey.


Is It Rewarding?

Yes! It is. Besides the monetary rewards, there are plenty of other rewards too.

  • You gain knowledge
  • You meet other affiliate marketers who support you
  • You may even meet future business partners
  • You gain a following on social media and on your website
  • You see your online presence grow on Google Search Console – pretty exciting, that one
  • You develop new skills
  • You improve your writing skills


If you would like to start, the platform I recommend is Wealthy Affiliate. It is an online platform for people who want to build their own businesses. The website hosting is superb, and so is online support. The online community is second to none, ranging from affiliate newbies to actual millionaires who help others succeed. You can ask questions, and search for useful webinars and training in the classrooms. There is a plethora of information available and you can build your own websites on WordPress within the Wealthy Affiliate platform.

When you sign up, the founders, Carson and Kyle, are available for any questions – your own personal coaches – and you’ll also get me as your coach. I am always available for any questions you may have.

Is Wealthy Affiliate free? Yes! Absolutely, and no upsells at all! That’s a relief, isn’t it? 😉 You can remain a free member for 6 months, and you could also upgrade to a Premium membership at only $49 US per month.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I will be happy to help.

22 thoughts on “Is Affiliate Marketing Easy?

  1. Hi Christine, thank you for such a wonderful post on affiliate marketing. I believe you have summed up the content very nicely here and I like the fact that you highlighted that it is not an easy undertaking – but a fulfilling one. I am a firm believer that hard work pays off best in the end because the harder you work for that earning, the more you will treasure it. I also like that you did not want to comment on the time it takes before you land your first commission because that is so true. It depends so much on what you have chosen as your website’s niche. Some niches are just more popular than others… do you think so? And competition too… for example, I love electronics and gadgets but I think those niches are so popular that if I started a website on that now, it will be that much harder for me, is that true?

    1. Hi Steve,

      I read in some articles that in high competition niches you can still get a good revenue. Since they are highly competetive they get more searches. If your website gives the reader what they are looking for, then you can be there on top with the other websites. Low competetition websites get fewer searches, so if you have a low competition niche you have indeed less competition but also fewer searches … I would choose a niche I’m passionate about. If electronics is your niche, then go for it. Do your research, and use strong keywords for your articles.

  2. I have just started down the affiliate market route and I really like the break down of who does what in your post. In the short time I have been doing it I can see it is hard work but I completely believe it is worth while. Usually by now I would have moved on to something new but this is keeping me more than interested. This is a great post that explains so much without confusing. Great work.

  3. Setting the record straight. That’s what you have done here and I commend you for that. It seems that every other (sometimes more) website we see nowadays, is telling you how easy it is to become a successful online entrepreneur. Just sign on the dotted line, pay your money and before you know it, the cash will be rolling in. All the while you’re sat back and watching the ‘Done for you system’ work it’s magic.

    Not sure about magic, more like ‘hocus pocus’. You article tells it like it really is. If you  want to have your own successful online business, then you have to be prepared to work hard for it. As you have said, you wouldn’t expect to be an overnight raving success out in the ‘offline’ world, so why should it be any different online.

    I think if more people told it how it is, from the outset, then everyone would have more realistic expectations, and in turn, would be able to better judge whether it’s something they would want to pursue.

    1. I completely agree. Many websites sell the done for you systems, and hocus pocus abacadabra, “here comes the money” … For anything you want to achieve, you have to work for it. The rewards will come.

  4. Hi Christine! We read so much hyped promotions promising affiliate marketing will generate a big stream of income in no time. I feel refreshed reading an honest and useful post like yours. It’s so nice to have a realistic approach from the very start. I’ll focus in working and not in day dreaming about streams of income. Thank you very much!

  5. Thank you Christine for this comprehensive and highly informative publication on Affiliate Marketing. A couple of years back when I decided to earning some passive cash online, I thought it was going to be easy but after reading several post like this my confidence was built. Indeed Affiliate market has added so much value to my reading and writing skills as well as improved knowledge. However, signing up with the right Network like Wealthy Affiliate matters.

    1. Hi!

      Signing up with the right network definitely matters. Wealthy Affiliate is a top choice and has deserved its good name. Affiliate marketing is indeed a learning curve where you gain much knowledge and you constantly improve your reading and writing skills, I agree.

      Thank you for your comment!

  6. First and foremost I would like to say I have not been at this very long and I am by no means an expert.

    In my opinion your site of “Affiliate Marketing” is very well designed for anyone. You have step by step instructions on how it works and letting the reader/person interested know up front it is not easy. You let them know that it takes a lot of hard work and a long time to start earning income without providing a time frame.

    There is one thing that I noticed and could just be me in the way I read it and by no means am I an expert. Check out the paragraph just above “Is It Rewording?” close to the bottom. As I said I could be wrong but I think “it” should be added after “doesn’t?.

  7. This is a very good post Christine. I know that you have very well summed up everything that I need to know about affiliate marketing here. Actually I’m a newbie in this aspect and I wanted to know how everything works. I’m happy that this is a challenge because it is not going to be easy at the first couple of months for me. I think this is where my deligence has to come into play. Thank you for this good words.

  8. First of all thank you so much for sharing such an excellent article with us. Your article is really informative and I gained a lot of knowledge by reading your article which is very helpful to me .I’ve been working in the online world for a long time. Personally I am an affiliate marketer through a wealthy affiliate website. And I think affiliate marketing is very easy and I’m a successful affiliate marketer .The wealthy affiliate website has provided me with many tutorial videos to learn affiliate marketing. It has also taken my website to a good level and provided many tools and I have been able to bring a lot of traffic to my website. As well as being able to take the Google rankings very well .It’s easy and safe to make money at Affiliate Marketing Place .

    Currently I have been able to make a lot of money and I think your article is very useful for beginners. So I will pass your article on to my friends and will definitely share with you their new experience.Can I share your article on my social media?

    1. Hi Shanta,

      Thank you for sharing your experience here! Wonderful that everything is going so well. Yes, you can share my article via the social media buttons on my page. Many thanks!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing us an amazing article. The main content of this article is to know whether affiliate marketing is easy.Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn online. But if you are not proficient in this affiliate marketing, you will never succeed.In one word, affiliate marketing is not easy for you unless you are skilled.And wealthy Affiliate Marketing is a great platform for those who are proficient in affiliate marketing.

    Finally, I would say that you have summed up the essence of affiliate marketing very well.

  10. First of all, thank you so much for sharing such a great article with us. I was looking for an article like this.
    I have been thinking for a long time that I will work on in affiliate marketing. But I was very worried about whether the work would be difficult. After reading this article, the idea has completely changed me and I have come to know and learn a lot.  For those who are worried about affiliate marketing such as me, I would tell them that it would be of great benefit to you to read it.

    I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. Thank you.

  11. Affiliate marketers are paid for referring new clients and customers to other businesses, products, or services, often through tracked links posted in blog posts, web pages, emails, or social media posts, if you work with websites like Amazon, you receive a percentage of whatever purchase a follower makes through your referral links, even though they don’t buy the product you are specifying.

    1. Hi Juliet,

      Exactly! Amazon is another great platform for the affiliate marketer. Thank you for your comment!

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