Is Affiliate Marketing Worth The Time and Effort? (2021)
Find out if Affiliate Marketing is Worth The Time and Effort? Below!
Table Of Contents
- Is affiliate marketing a worthwhile business?
- The problem with fruitless effort
- The main requirements
- Do you want to revisit school?
- What if it goes wrong?
- Affiliate marketing teaches skills for any area
- Affiliate marketing focuses on finding customers, which any business needs
- Affiliate marketing expectations aren’t the same as other careers
- What does it really mean to waste time?
- Failing isn’t a problem
- How long will it really take before you start making money?
It happens really often: you create a website, join an affiliate marketing, and start creating content and marketing your products on different social media platforms. Maybe even some people actually click on your ads and you have traffic on your website.
Despite all that, you’re not selling.
Is affiliate marketing a worthwhile business?
A lot of people find ideas online and tries them; it doesn’t really need to be a business or money-oriented venture. However, not everyone manages to replicate other people’s success.
Let’s take the DIY concept and the entire trend it’s created. Anyone can find ideas for crafts and items they can do themselves on the internet. Some might even feel enthusiastic out of making something for themselves and show them to other people.
Can you spot the similarities with affiliate marketing and its current trend? Bear with me for a bit here.
Imagine you have a birthday coming over from a loved one. You might find a neat DIY gift you can make them on YouTube. It can be a hat, a sweater, a coaster, a frame, whatever.
If you go to YouTube, you’ll find videos of people doing these types of things in minutes. You’ll see experts making entire arrangements or practical gadgets in about 5 minutes, and the process – always with a nice editing – looks simple enough.
Now, try to replicate one of these videos yourself. We can bet it doesn’t take you the same time as the video shows. Even if you spend a few minutes making your item, it’ll definitely not look the same as what the one in the video. It might be too big, small, or simply not as pretty as you expected.
Then, you take a second attempt, a third one, and before you know it, you’ve been at it for hours. Nothing is as easy as the experts make it seem.
You might even give up after a few tries. You’ll think you wasted hours of your day you could’ve invested into doing something easier that actually yielded the results you expected.
However, it’s up to you to see it as a waste of time or as the process of learning how to make something by yourself.
In case you haven’t realized how this applies to affiliate marketing, let’s dive into the real deal.
The problem with fruitless effort
We already painted the picture in our very first article: you spend precious time setting up a business that’s not making money as you expected. It makes you question whether or not you wasted your time – just like our previous example. This is true not just for affiliate marketing, but for any project you venture in.
Trying something new and not getting the results you expected is a frustrating experience for many.
Online entrepreneurship is the most modern example of these kinds of projects, and affiliate marketing is a great example of this. It demands effort and time, and anyone investing their energy wants results from it. Some might be more patient, but anyone wants to benefit from it eventually.
Affiliate marketing is a relatively new concept for many. If you’ve never heard about it, it could come off as mysterious: is it the same as network marketing or those dreaded referral schemes that feel like a pyramid?
Short answer: it’s not. However, it’s still an online business, but a lot of people associate that fact to it not being realistic.
If you’re here, you’re probably not one of those people, or at least not quite. You’re already interested in it, and let me tell you: it’s definitely worth the effort.
To realize that, you need a few questions answered.
The main requirements
There are some questions than can determine whether or not something is worth putting the effort in. Actually, it’s the answers to these questions – particularly whether or not that answer is “yes”.
There’s another thing to keep in mind. Even if you don’t feel identified by the following conditions, it doesn’t mean affiliate marketing isn’t worth pursuing. It could not be the kind of business for you, but not everything works for anyone.
Some people feel frustrated with their current job. They want more freedom or flexibility than it allows right now. These people are motivated to work towards building a project that lets them live life in their own terms. They’re fully motivated to do what it takes: learn, invest, and build the discipline necessary to succeed.
Now, let’s go back to our questions, and I’ll go for just one in our case right now: did you feel identified by that depiction? If you feel you meet the same characteristics as that type of people, then affiliate marketing is probably for you.
You don’t have to fit that profile completely. You can check the criteria you meet and figure out what’s your tendency towards becoming an entrepreneur or not.
If you feel interested by what we’ve talked about until now, and you meet a majority of the features we just discussed, then you definitely want to continue reading.
Do you want to revisit school?
Some people spend years before deciding on a career, and others outright graduate just to realize they’re not satisfied with what they end up doing. Revisiting school isn’t a bad idea as others may make you think.
Lots of people bounce off several careers before finding something they really like. There’s nothing to regret about that, and chances are you’ll hold great memories from those days and still put some of the skills you learned into good use today.
A lot of people start researching how to make money on the internet before even finishing their current education, especially if finances tighten. Others go through years’ worth of education before graduating and finding out their career’s demand isn’t anything like other people pictured it.
You get the point; formal education doesn’t guarantee success for anyone, but it’s far from being wasted time. Just because it doesn’t work for some doesn’t mean it’s the same for everyone, and affiliate marketing follows that same mindset.
Therefore, it’s not a matter of whether affiliate marketing is worth pursuing. Anyone making hundreds of thousands from it will tell you it does; anyone who gave up after losing their money will tell you it doesn’t.
What you need to assess is whether or not it’s the right call for you.
What if it goes wrong?
Real entrepreneurs – particularly successful ones – know that results aren’t the only important aspect of the journey, and this includes affiliate marketing.
Most newcomers think only about making money with affiliate marketing, and they
completely push aside everything they’ve learned while working towards that goal.
I’m not saying money doesn’t matter. You need money if you want to live in any part of the world, but money is only one of the measures of business success.
People flock to affiliate marketing looking for a complement to their main income source or a replacement entirely. In that path, people learn skills that most of their peers might not even know exist.
How many people do you know who can build a fully functional website or advertise a product on the internet? All of these are skills you need to – and will – learn in your quest to become an affiliate marketing. Almost everyone knows how to use the internet, but not how to make money from it.
Do you see what I mean? You gain more than money with affiliate marketing, you learn skills.
Head over to Google and look up “affiliate marketing”. You’ll quickly see guides on how to become a marketer yourself, how profitable it is, people showing off their success, etc. It’s this way because that’s what people look for.
People care only about the money they can make from affiliate marketing. Almost no one thinks about what it’ll do for them in terms of education.
Affiliate marketing teaches skills for any area
You should be able to see why affiliate marketing is worth your time, but let’s double down on that topic. A huge part (maybe even the majority) of the value in this business model is what you learn from it.
Let’s go into what you can expect to learn while becoming an affiliate marketer. How to make money online is the most obvious answer, but there’s a lot more.
You need to learn how to research a market and product before you dive in: profitability, competition, trends, etc. Then, you need to pay for hosting and a domain before building a website. Websites don’t rank themselves, so you need to learn how to run proper SEO, finding good keywords, and how search engines work in general.
You already have a working website, but that’s not the end.
Writing valuable articles that convince others to buy – with attention-grabbing headlines – is another fundamental skill. Then, you want to learn how to add visuals and using them effectively with your content.
Your next step is to find good affiliate offers before adding your links in a way that feels natural in your articles. You then need to drive traffic to it, and you’ll learn how to promote this business with social media and paid ads.
Finally, you need to assess how your business is performing. That means learning how to read analytics tools and statistics. If you want to keep your business sustainable in the long-term, then add trend spotting and constant market research to that. Depending on how you want to run your business, you can add outsourcing tasks to the final list.
All of these skills go a long way in helping you build a sustainable business – even if it’s not related to affiliate marketing. Keep in mind most of those skills have their own categories: using different social media accounts and creating different types of content, for example.
It should be quite obvious by now: the effort put into affiliate marketing is also effort put into learning highly valuable skills. You can be sure not all traditional entrepreneurs know how to do all of that.
Of course, being an affiliate marketing doesn’t transfer those skills automatically. You need dedication, but the resources you need are readily available.
Affiliate marketing focuses on finding customers, which any business needs
Now, it’s time to ask ourselves an interesting question: are those skills only useful for affiliate marketing? Can they help other business models?
It’s pretty obvious they’re great for affiliate marketing – it’s our main topic, after all. However, you might also notice all of those skills are useful in general. Any entrepreneur would love to know all of that, and they’re valuable even if you don’t start a business – you can always sell that expertise.
Therefore, you likely don’t think they’re a waste of time.
The truth is anyone who takes affiliate marketing – and learning – seriously, will eventually acquire skills required by virtually any business. They focus around finding and attracting customers, and no venture can make money without customers.
Besides, they’re targeted to the internet. Think about it, everyone can find anything with their smartphones, including where to eat around the area, where they should buy the products they need, etc.
Online marketing is the most efficient marketing channel right now, and that’s exactly what you learn as an affiliate marketing. It goes far beyond blogging and telling others to click their links. Affiliate marketers are among the most influential marketers on the internet right now.
They need to innovate if they want to be successful. As such, they usually set trends instead of simply following what’s already the norm.
Affiliate marketing expectations aren’t the same as other careers
When you think about getting rich quickly – say, in a couple of months – what do you think about? I could bet you anything you don’t think about becoming an engineer, a lawyer, a doctor, a business consultant, etc.
Pretty much everyone is aware that any profession takes time and preparation before being profitable. You might need to go to college, take courses, or just try new things by yourself. Everything takes knowledge and skills.
That’s why it’s so strange for me that people expect affiliate marketing to make them money with little effort in a few months at most. I can only guess because the internet has bred so many “get rich quick” schemes that’s given a bad reputation to online entrepreneurship.
No one makes money by doing nothing. If it were possible, then everyone would be rich – and the economy would probably crumble.
That’s not something bad – far from it. You’re still learning skills other people can’t even fathom today.
What does it really mean to waste time?
Wasting time – and wasting anything, really – means to invest it for nothing in return.
Let’s paint a brief example. Imagine heading to your kitchen, grabbing a bunch of ingredients, and turning your oven. Then, you wait 5 minutes, turn off the oven, place all the ingredients in their original place, and going back to bed.
What did you get from it? You didn’t cook anything; it didn’t result in anything. What did you learn from it? I’m sure you already knew how to grab stuff and turn your oven on and off, so you didn’t learn anything.
There, you wasted a bit over 5 minutes.
You should already see how it’s different from affiliate marketing and why it’s not a waste of time. Sure, you might not make money, but if you took things seriously, you can’t say you didn’t learn anything new.
You invest your time for valuable skills in return.
Failing isn’t a problem
It might sound stupid, but failing once or several times is a lot better than never failing at anything. However, people see it as the end of the world, and it makes them freeze completely and not take action.
We can go back to our hypothetical kitchen to explain is. Someone who’s failed at a recipe several times has far higher chances to get it right the next time than someone who’s never even tried it.
The problem is when you focus on the results instead of the experience. If you’re only focused on the money – and everything else doesn’t matter – then you’ll see failure as a waste of your time.
Affiliate marketing is like any other business; you’ll face failure eventually. It can be anything from building a website that attracts no traffic to a single article. It’s still not a waste.
Real failure is when you don’t benefit in any way.
If you fall down because you missed a step at someone’s house, you’ll always remember that step every time you go there. Each mistake makes us better at avoiding it; it’s only people who keep making the exact same mistakes who are wasting their time.
How long will it really take before you start making money?
Don’t worry, we’re not leaving you with nothing to replace any expectations that might have died.
We always care about the money, and that’s find as long as it’s not the only thing in our minds. In the end, we can’t really live without it, and you’ll ask yourself this same question regardless of any career you choose.
While it might be disappointing, the answer to that question is similar to the rest of the article: it depends on you.
Money will come as quickly as the amount of effort and time you spend on it. That also means finding a good product from a good niche and focusing as much as you can on building your business.
Your determination and attitude towards learning, failing, and improving is what speeds up – or slows down – the time it takes for money to come in.
Affiliate marketing might or might not be worth your time. Nevertheless, the reality is that it’s been worth a lot of other people’s time.
In the end, it’s just the same as any other business. It takes time, effort, and motivation. If you’re not willing to invest your energy on it (i.e. if you’re looking for a quick buck) then it’s definitely not what you’re looking for.
If you’re willing to dedicate yourself to your business, it might very well be a great choice.
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