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Affiliate Marketing, a $12-billiion industry, is profitable if you know how to do it right. However, some rumours and myths harm its credibility.

According to studies, thousands of Affiliate Marketers are making millions, with some notching up the figure in a matter of 3-4 months.

In essence, Affiliate Marketing is the process of promoting someone else’s products and making commissions, if you make sales. Affiliate Marketing is a welcoming industry accepting anyone to register as an affiliate!

Studies suggest that the Affiliate Marketing industry is going to grow at a 20% per year CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate). This massive growth and popularity are responsible for numerous rumours and myths about the industry, with some even doubting the business model.

However, these rumours and myths are – what do you call them? – rumours and myths!

To succeed in the Affiliate Marketing industry, you will need to understand the difference between reality and myth. So, in this post, we will share the 16 derogatory myths about Affiliate Marketing – and debunk them!

(1) It Is Too Late To Start Affiliate Marketing

I am too old to start Affiliate Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing started in 1989 and took off! It is so widespread that 95% of online entrepreneurs start with Affiliate Marketing.
  • Since it is advertised all over the internet, covering everything, from papers to software, one might get the feeling that he/she has lost the opportunity to make hay while the sun shines.
  • Let me tell you something: You are so wrong!
  • Affiliate Marketing, or any business, can be started right at this moment.
  • But, how? Well, take action!
  • Start today! Start sharing valuable content. Whatever product you choose, promote it to solve people’s problems. To succeed in Affiliate Marketing, present the product as a solution. My mentor once said, “People don’t buy products, people buy solutions.”
  • So start today and share helpful content to solve people’s problems. Once you share knowledge-rich and valuable content, you build authority and that helps you go a long way in Affiliate Marketing.
  • I admit it will take time – months, probably – so please ensure that you choose a narrowed-down niche and establish your unique positioning.
  • How you can establish your unique positioning? By going deeper into your niche. For example, if your niche is ‘health’, don’t be just a ‘health Affiliate Marketer’, delve deeper and select one specific topic. For instance, you could choose ‘yoga for asthma patients’ as your narrowed-down niche or your micro-niche.

(2) There Is A Lot Of Competition, So Why Bother?

There is a lot of competition
  • As per 99Firms, “It’s hard to calculate the exact number of affiliate marketers out there since not many companies report their data. However, it’s a giant industry, evergrowing with many brands adopting this strategy every year. Solely in the US, there are 11,400 affiliate programs.”
  • Due to the pandemic, many companies shifted their operations to the Internet resulting in the emergence of hundreds of companies every month. These companies launched their products online, many even approving affiliates to promote them.
  • Since new products are always coming into the market, the role of Affiliate Marketers to promote them is crucial.
  • Sites like MunchEye list the upcoming launches on their platform, so as an Affiliate Marketer, you can grab your affiliate link, study and understand the products, and their benefits, and come up with content that is valuable and helps people.

(3) More Traffic = More Sales

More Traffic, More Sales
  • This is such a popular myth! Many believe that if you generate more traffic, you will – magically – make more sales. Well, not really!
  • Although traffic is crucial to getting sales, it is not the only deciding factor. If you want to make sales, focus on quality traffic.
  • Let me clarify with an example. Suppose you promote your content on Facebook and LinkedIn. From both platforms, you get 100 visitors. Of those 100 visitors from Facebook, 1 visitor purchases through your link and of the 100 visitors from LinkedIn, 4 end up purchasing through your link. So, which performed better? Of course, LinkedIn!
  • In addition to generating traffic, the quality of your sales page copy, and ad copy,  play a vital role in convincing visitors to pick up their cards and pay.
  • Then there is the quality of your website that affects sales. According to research, the following factors affect sales:
    1. Page load time: 50% of users quit a website if the page doesn’t load in 3 seconds.
    2. Overloaded site design: The site must be lightweight and focus on content.
    3. Inferior content: Create high-quality content that provides value.
    4. Lack of keywords: Contain relevant keywords that match your audiences’ search intent.
  • Although generating a high amount of traffic is a great feat, it does not guarantee that every visitor is going to buy. According to studies, only about 3% of visitors become paying customers. That means, if you generate 1,000 visitors, only 50 of them will buy.

(4) Technology Is The Most Profitable Niche

Technology Is The Most Profitable Niche
  • How can I forget this one? 96% of my students believed that if you want to get rich from Affiliate Marketing, technology is the best niche!
  • Until a decade ago, I would’ve agreed with them, but now the trends are changing. Technology undoubtedly is a profitable niche, but when something is profitable, more people pursue it, resulting in a lot of competition and saturation. It is like thousand of bees chasing honey. Thousand of Affiliate Marketers choose the technology niche, thinking that it will be easy to earn commissions.
  • However, the reality is completely different and often disappointing. The more you chase popular niches, the more competitive it will become. Consequently, it will be difficult to reach people, let alone earn commissions.
  • Now, there are hundreds of other niches that you can choose from. The steps are simple. Identify what you love passionately, and that can be your niche.
  • Additionally, you should determine your knowledge of a niche, as you need to know about a product before promoting it.
  • So, long story short: You can be more successful by promoting what you love, so don’t fall for shiny objects!

(5) Affiliate Marketing Is Free!

Affiliate Marketing Is Free
Credits: JComp
  • Affiliate Marketing, as I said before, is a serious business model and if you study the top affiliates, you will realize that they use systems and tools.
  • During a live training session, my mentor shared the principle, “Don’t be cheap on your journey towards greatness.”
  • By that, he meant that Affiliate Marketing (or any online business) is not a free business. Since beginners are not aware of how Affiliate Marketing works, they think blindly sharing links is the only way to succeed.
  • However, Affiliate Marketing, or success in Affiliate Marketing, take much more:
    • You need to create content that catches eyeballs and helps people.
    • You need to promote your products to the right audience, so finding targeted customers is important.
    • You need to reach a wide audience, so generating traffic is crucial. If you are new to the market, you will not generate organic traffic right off the bat, hence, you might need to run ads to reach your potential customers.
    • You need to have an e-mail marketing system in place to reach out to your potential customers regularly.
    • You’d need to track your performance, hence, you need to set up analytics/tracking tools.
  • To run an Affiliate Marketing business, you must have the following systems:
    • Personal Website
    • Hosting & Domain
    • E-mail Marketing System
    • Webinar System
    • Ad Accounts
    • Reporting System
    • Tracking System
    • Learning Management System
    • Training System
    • Scheduling System
    • And, so on…
  • Most of the above tools can be used for free, but a few of them must be purchased. I will also add that the cost to purchase them is lesser than any other business.
  • So I hereby debunk the myth, “Affiliate Marketing is a free business.”

(6) You Need Technical Knowledge

You Need Technical Knowledge
  • In 2020, while I was working on an ad campaign, my friend, a beginner then, said, “Woah! Affiliate Marketing is so tough! You need to create content, create ads, and have technical knowledge…”
  • This myth is responsible for people quitting Affiliate Marketing, altogether.
  • The reality is that every system – website, e-mail marketing, webinar, Learning Management System, link tracking, payment gateway, etc. – can be set up in minutes!
  • Yes, you need to understand a few basic stuff, but every complex stuff is taken care of by the product creators. For example, WordPress makes it extremely simple to create a website in minutes. You will find tons of videos showing how you can set your website up in a matter of just a few minutes.
  • The product creators have made the process of setting every crucial system up so easy that even a 10-year old can configure the most powerful tools.

(7) I’ll Choose The Product With The Highest Commission

I’ll Choose The Product With The Highest Commission
  • In 2021, during one of the 1-on-1 coaching sessions, I asked my student, “Which product do you promote?” He said, “Shubhamjeet, I promote XYZ.” “Why do you promote it?”, I asked. He replied, “Because its commission is 90%.”
  • This is such a big myth and the biggest mistake, in my opinion! Although you start Affiliate Marketing to earn money, you should choose the product(s) that you love.
  • Furthermore, you should consider products’ conversion rates, the company’s reputation, support, affiliate resources, and so on.
  • Let me come back to the statement, “the higher the commission, the more the revenue.” Is it true though?
  • Let’s consider the highest paying product, software. Software-related products offer a high commission, but is software a product that people will buy repeatedly? Generally, it’s difficult to convince people to buy software-related products.
  • I am not saying you won’t make money. I am saying that a high paying product requires innovative strategies to sell and that’s difficult.
  • To conclude, high commission products don’t necessarily mean that you’ll earn a significant amount of affiliate revenue. The amount of affiliate revenue you’ll receive will depend on how good you are at promoting something.

(8) Affiliate Marketing Is Passive Income

Affiliate Marketing Is Passive Income
Credits: Diana Grytsku
  • This is one of the most popular myths and, honestly, open to debate.
  • The most successful Affiliate Marketers work constantly to drive traffic, improve their content, improve SEO, communicate with their audience, run marketing campaigns, and so on.
  • With time, a few of the aforementioned activities can be outsourced and/or delegated, but you’d have to monitor the major activities and modify them, whenever needed.
  • So achieving 100% passive income through Affiliate Marketing is tough despite having state of the art tools and systems.

(9) You Can Earn Fast

You Can Earn Fast
  • Unless you win a lottery, gamble, or have rich parents, you will not make money fast.
  • Affiliate Marketing is a serious business model and it takes time, just like any other business. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme where you start promoting today and get a message-after-message from your bank informing you about commissions tomorrow.
  • When I started Affiliate Marketing, I had to wait for 9 months before earning my first commission. However, if you have an audience already if you are a popular model or a social media influencer, you could make money fast.
  • With that being said, I keep telling my students that the only to succeed and make millions through Affiliate Marketing is to be patient.
  • The “gurus” who promise that you can make money from today itself are not being honest with you. There is no way that you can earn millions of dollars in one day through Affiliate Marketing!

(10) Affiliate Marketing Is Easy

Affiliate Marketing Is Easy
  • If it were easy, every Affiliate Marketer would have been a millionaire, isn’t it? But the fact is, only 5% make money! Only 5%!
  • From selecting a niche to earning a stable income, it takes a lot of sleepless nights, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and a lot of hardships.
  • Affiliate Marketing is not grabbing your affiliate links and blindly spamming them in Facebook groups, WhatsApp groups, and personal chats. Affiliate Marketing, as I said before, is a serious business and takes time.
  • It involves market research, keyword research, creating content, promoting content, interacting with your audience, and many other things to establish your authority in the market and get noticed.
  • Affiliate Marketing is a competitive field, just like every other field. If you think it is easy, read this: “95% of the Affiliate Marketers QUIT!”
  • So unless you are ready to grind, work alone, learn new things, put in the effort, and have patience, Affiliate Marketing is not for you! Don’t spread negativity and rumours when you are the sole reason behind your failure.

(11) More Products = More Earning

More Products, More Earning
  • Many Affiliate Marketers fail because they promote every product that they want, without knowledge and expertise. And, you know what, many “gurus” advocate promoting as many products as you possibly can!
  • This is one of the biggest myths, too!
  • Beginners think, or assume, that they can promote hundreds of products and, at least generate 2-3 sales. That might have worked if you were promoting something in person, Affiliate Marketing does not work that way.
  • Now, how can you promote products the right way? As I mentioned earlier, select your niche, narrow down and select a specific micro-niche. When you promote products of a specific niche, you establish authority and become an expert in that area – someday!
  • The problem with promoting several kinds of products is that your audience won’t understand what you stand for and even Google will penalize you.
  • So, again, select one micro-niche and promote products of that niche ONLY!
  • If you have been promoting every profitable product, from today onwards, start to promote products only of your niche, create content to match your audience’s requirements, and solve problems. Once you follow these, you will gain authority and earn a lot of commissions.
  • This is just like the case with a general physician and a neurosurgeon. A general physician makes x amount of money every year, whereas someone more specific like a neurosurgeon makes 10-20x more.

(12) Earning Depends On Luck

Earning Depends On Luck
  • This one leaves me in splits! Some people think that successful Affiliate Marketers are successful because they are lucky! Things don’t just happen in Affiliate Marketing. You have to put in the effort to make them happen.
  • The best Affiliate Marketers, like Pat Flynn, work every day, carefully planning their day, creating content that provides value, interacting with their audience to understand their problems, and providing solutions
  • Super Affiliates learn their niche deeply, understand the pain points of their audience, create content to help people, set up systems, invest in their improvement, come up with innovative ideas, and then they earn commissions, what people call “lucky money.”
  • Success in Affiliate Marketing, or any field, is not achieved overnight. It takes many sleepless nights, depression, loneliness, and a lot of effort. If you do not want to put in the effort and want everything for free, you have no right to label other’s success as ‘luck’.

(13) He Has A Million Followers, He Will Make Sales Easily

He Has A Million Followers, He Will Make Sales Easily
  • This is such a hilarious one! Many people are under the wrong impression that if an “influencer” has a million followers, they can easily sell their products. Having a million followers and selling are two different things.
  • Here’s why! Suppose you have a million followers on social media. Is every one of them a targeted customer of yours? Targeted customers are people with a buying intent.
  • Having a million followers doesn’t mean every one of them is a potential buyer. People may follow you due to the pictures or videos that you post. Recall someone who has a million followers. Do people follow them for their products or their pictures and images? (Let me know in the comments box! 😀 )
  • Now, you might think if popularity on social media matters. The best Affiliate Marketers utilize social media to directly connect with the potential customers and to reach them quickly when they have to offer their products.
  • So how many followers are enough, Shubhamjeet? Well, you do not need a large following, but having a following like Christiano Ronaldo doesn’t hurt either.
  • It is better to have a small following of target customers than to have a large following of random people.

(14) You Do Not Need Skills To Succeed In Affiliate Marketing

You Do Not Need Skills To Succeed In Affiliate Marketing
  • If you have read about Affiliate Marketing you might assume that it does not require a skill. Affiliate Marketing is more than blindly sharing your affiliate links in Facebook groups.
  • If you ask an experienced Affiliate Marketer, they will tell you that Affiliate Marketing requires some technical knowledge as well as marketing knowledge, content creation, copywriting, and so on.
  • If you want to succeed in Affiliate Marketing, you will have to become proficient in all the skills required to succeed, therefore, you will find Super Affiliates having multiple skills.
  • Super Affiliates know how to create and manage a website, create content, craft a crisp ad copy, create an impactful ad, run multiple marketing campaigns, and write compelling sales copy that persuades people to click the buy button.
  • So if you want to master Affiliate Marketing, I would recommend you learn about it as much as possible and work on improving your skills consistently. Thanks to the Internet, you will find many comprehensive guides, training, workshops, and courses to help you learn the skills and set up the systems needed to establish a lucrative Affiliate Marketing business.
  • So rather than believing the myths about Affiliate Marketing, start learning! It will hardly take a couple of months.

(15) Consumers Don’t Trust Affiliate Marketers

Consumers Don’t Trust Affiliate Marketers
  • LOL alert! A few of my students, when they joined my paid community, used to say, “Shubhamjeet, I don’t think people will trust us! We are Affiliate Marketers.”
  • Why did I start with “LOL alert!”? Let me explain. Affiliate Marketers are not just any marketers, they build a bridge between the products and (potential) customers. In simple words, Affiliate Marketers connect the products and people.
  • Affiliate Marketers present the products in many ways. They create blog posts, articles, guides, pros and cons, checklists, demo videos, set up videos, tutorials, and so on. They produce excellent content to help people.
  • Besides, if you want to buy something, you go to the Internet and find information, isn’t it?
  • Affiliate Marketers provide details about products and people make their buying decision by going through such content. So the statement, “Consumers don’t trust Affiliate Marketers” falls in the ‘myths’ category.

(16) Affiliate Marketing Is Dead

Affiliate Marketing Is Dead
  • This myth was circulated across the Internet when a few “gurus” (LOL) were comparing the success of Affiliate Marketers before 2005 to the present Affiliate Marketers.
  • Well, before 2005, Affiliate Marketing was neither widespread nor competitive. Additionally, the search engines were not as strict as they are now. In the past, you could beef your blog up with keywords and were able to rank easy on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
  • I don’t know who started this myth, but I can say one thing with conviction: Affiliate Marketing is DEFINITELY NOT DEAD!
  • Let me share a few stats to put forth my point:
    • “Affiliate Marketing is a $12 billion industry.” – BloggingX
    • Affiliate Marketing is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 10% per year.
    • More than 1,68,000 Affiliate Marketers earned more than $1,00,000 in commissions in the United States of America in 2019 alone from Amazon.
  • The above stats encourage me to ask you a question: If more than $1,00,000 were generated from Amazon Associates, imagine how much would Affiliate Marketers have generated, not only in the USA but the entire world?
  • So the myth, “Affiliate Marketing is dead!” is dead!
  • When people want to buy anything, they first perform a Google/YouTube search, research, and then buy.
  • Why do people research and not buy directly? Because Affiliate Marketers out there are providing value and creating content that helps people make the buying decision.

Conclusion

In this post, I debunked the 16 most common myths about Affiliate Marketing, proving that Affiliate Marketing is legal and pretty much alive.

People spread these rumours and myths when their “tricks” do not work. They blame the business model for their lack of commitment, dedication, and effort.

95% of the Affiliate Marketers fail as they are reluctant to put in the effort, learn the business model, improve skills, and take action.

If you are dedicated, take action, work on developing the required skills, and create content that helps people, nobody can stop you from succeeding. However, if you are a beginner who is merely figuring out whether Affiliate Marketing works or how to learn it, I recommend you sign up for my free training.

If this post provided you with clarity, please share it and stop the spread of myths and rumours.

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