Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing

posted in: Affiliate Marketing | 8


Exploring the Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing


Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
Online sales made Affiliates an estimated income of over $ 10 Billion in 2013.
Do you want a share of it?

Affiliate Marketing is one of many ways to make money with your website. It is a popular and effective method earning “Affiliates” an estimated commission of over US$ 10 Billion in 2013.

I covered “Affiliate Marketing Basics” in detail with the article Affiliate Marketing, filed under IM 101 here on Today we will focus on The Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing.


Pros of Affiliate Marketing:


  • Easy to get started: Find merchants that have an affiliate program and offer products or services you want to promote. Upon applying, the merchant will provide you with tracking links to paste on your website. You earn commissions from all the sales you make through your website from here on.
  • You don’t need any special marketing skills: Of course, you need the skills of running your website and generate a lot of traffic to your site.
  • No Investment: To become an affiliate does not cost you anything. All you have to invest is your effort and web master skills.
  • Many sources of income:  You are free to apply to as many affiliate programs as you wish and venture out into different market areas.
  • You are your own boss: It is completely up to you, when and how much you want to work. But keep in mind that “nothing comes from nothing“. The more effort and hard work you put into your business, the more money you will make.


Cons Of Affiliate Marketing


  • No control over programs: You have no control over product, quality or pricing of the program. Competitors may offer better prices or services and you can do nothing to make changes.
  • High competition: If it’s easy for you to sign up for a program, so it is for thousands of others. This PRO of affiliate marketing is also a big CON. Besides, you are competing against  skilled SEOs which know every trick in generating traffic.
  • Compensation only on sale: You get paid only when a sale someone made came through your website. If the customer visits the merchant’s site and decides to do some more comparison elsewhere, your tracking link cookie is good for a limited time only (for example: at Amazon it’s good for 24 hours). That means you will lose the sale if the customer logs on directly to the merchant’s site after the grace period expires.
  • The Affiliate Network: CJ, LinkShare, ShareASale, Clickbank and others act as middlemen which link the merchant with the affiliates. They provide services like reports and tracking, but you as affiliate pay them from the revenue generated through your sales. Thus, you have limited, if any, direct contact with the merchant.
  • Limited or no repeat business: This is the biggest CON of affiliate marketing. In most cases you are looking at a one-time-only business from your referrals. When a customer makes a purchase through your link from Amazon he  is asked to create an account there to finalize the transaction.What could stop the customer to log on directly to Amazon the next time he decides to buy something? Not a thing. Although YOU referred the customer initially, you will not get compensated for future sales.


What you can do to overcome the Cons:


(1) Think big, but think big within your NICHE


Avoid the mistake many affiliates are making by trying to compete with the big shots in the market. Research your niche and the related products. Determine the top selling products and concentrate your promotional efforts on the potential customer base for these products.


(2) Look for Affiliate Programs with residual income potential


There are many affiliate programs where you can receive commission whenever a customer you referred buys a product in the future, or continues the service offered.

I suggest you take a look at three of these programs. They are very reputable and I highly recommend you give them consideration to monetize your website.


Wealthy Affiliate – Kyle & Carson created my #1 ranked program

Chris Farrell Membership – A great program for beginners #2 rank

Affilorama – Mark Ling built a first class affiliate program and ranks #3

However, stay away from MLM or Pyramid Schemes. They promise you  “to get rich quick even while you sleep”, but have no tangible products to sell or any substance to build a lasting and successful business.


(3) Direct Partnership with Merchants:


Overcoe the Pros of Affiliate Marketing
A Private Partnership with the Merchant provides you with higher and residual income

This is a way to bypass the middle men (Affiliate Network) and form a direct partnership with the merchant. Understandably, you will not be able to do that with the big Online Marketers like Amazon, BestBuy, TigersDirect etc.

You can find merchants in your local market area that do have a website and offer online shopping, but do NOT have an affiliate program. Contact these merchants and find out if they would be willing to pay you a commission for sending customers to their website.

Make a plan how to approach the merchants and demonstrate the advantages of a direct partnership. You can offer a trial run and negotiate the terms and conditions at a later time.

Once you have generated a good amount of traffic and business for the merchant, you may even be able to make suggestions for the betterment of the product or service.


Where do you go from here?


I showed you the Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing and also some ways to overcome the Cons. It’s up to you now to take action. No matter if you are new to the business or already a more experienced online entrepreneur, you can use all the help you can get.

Follow the links I gave you or visit me inside Wealthy Affiliate. To be successful is in your own hands and only your efforts, dedication and hard work can make you a successful Affiliate Marketer.



John Worthy ProfileMy name is John. If you have any questions or need my help, don’t hesitate and get in touch with me. Either leave a comment below or e-mail me at:



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8 Responses

  1. Fred Chong

    Hi John, Great post with the key pointers especially for Affiliate marketers and wannabe, go for the First choice and it’s well worth your limited time and effort investment. This is a steal considering the fact that you can start with $0 cost, no credit card is required!

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