Affiliate marketing has emerged as one of the most popular and accessible ways for individuals to earn money online. The business concept revolves around promoting products or services of other companies and earning a commission for every sale or lead generated through your referral. Now, if you’re on social media like Instagram or TikTok, you probably think you’ve hit the jackpot! NO, NO, NO. You are not going to make money in a week, NO, you are not going to make money in a month (unless you already have a very solid social media following that is fully engaged.
This is not a get rich quick or lazy, passive way to make money. So yes, it is an enticing prospect and many aspiring affiliates wonder how long it takes to make money with this marketing model. In this article, we’ll delve into the factors that influence the timeline of earning profits through affiliate marketing and provide practical insights to set realistic expectations.
Building a Solid Foundation With Your Blog, How do you start with Affiliate Marketing?
Before diving into affiliate marketing, it’s essential to lay a strong foundation. This includes understanding the a bit about the industry, researching profitable niches, and selecting suitable affiliate programs. The latter can be difficult as the affiliate program you really want may decline you as a beginner. If you’re a Canadian Affiliate, you’ll still be able to join US Affiliate Programs but you will have to work to drive US traffic to your blog or social channels and some programs may decline you.
You’ll have to research and like anything build your reputation and traffic to be approved for the premium programs. This initial phase can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on on your individual knowledge, dedication, and research skills. Remember that a well-informed start will pay dividends in the long run.
I highly recommend you go with PartnerStack when starting out. I found them the easiest to join. CJ Affiliates does have some options like Viator and Trip Advisor but I have found most companies on their platform are very difficult to be approved for. You’ll also find big companies who are working with Impact however again, you’ll find you are declined more often than accepted. Share-A-Sale is also one that will come up often. This one is interesting as of the time of writing this blog, we have been unable to get any response from them and we have had our application in for over a month.
You can always go to companies in your chosen niche, scroll to their footer and see if they have an affiliate program, some companies do run their own!
Creating a Website and Content, Starting as a Affiliate
A website serves as the online storefront for an affiliate marketer. It is our #1 preferred method and for a very important reason. You control your website. You cannot control Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or Amazon. I know of many who have had their account shutdown. Business gone, following gone, work wasted. Building a website and producing high-quality, valuable content that attracts and engages visitors is crucial. Content creation may include blog posts, product reviews, tutorials, videos, and more. You can use an AI program to assist you however keep in mind that you must edit content to ensure that it is accurate AND it is not plagiarized. The time required for this step can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on your proficiency and the scale of the project.
We are using JNews on this website and while we have areas we would like to see improved, technically, this is a solid WordPress theme and I believe will be relatively easy for someone with less ‘technical’ experience to get going.
We do offer to setup and get your affiliate website online with two packages, initialization on the hosting, setup of the demo theme, $399.00 or a customized site including setup of your core pages and categories and up to 10 blog posts (you must provide the copy, we will optimize it for SEO) at $999.00. If you’re interested in us getting you started, please email us here: Everything Digital Web Design Inc.
Gaining Traction. Organic Traffic & SEO
Once the website is up and running, it’s time to focus on gaining traction and attracting organic traffic. This will take time and you may find it challenging to learn all the nuances Be patient, learning an advanced skill is never easy but it is always worth it. Check out our article on how to optimize your website and what SEO tools to use to make it a bit easier. Be prepared, this is where you will spend your time! Once you have a couple articles, optimizing becomes your focus point. Plan to invest time in your blog, and focus on user intent. A good example is this post. I wrote this post and now, three days later, I am really refining it to ensure I cover everything you want and need to know.
Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are critical. There are a ton of software programs on the market to assist you with content, content optimization and content ranking. The one we are currently using (and will review!) is Scalenut.com. I’m not going to lie, I am still familiarizing myself with their tool but I did find their pricing far more ‘new affiliate’ friendly. Surferseo.com is often the choice of YouTubers however I don’t believe you need to spend over $100.00 a month for the tool, so at least for the time being, we are going with Scalenut and you can expect a review shortly.
Read our article on mastering keyword research: Keyword Research: Comprehensive Guide to the Best Platforms.
Building An Audience and Gaining Trust As Marketers
Affiliate marketing success relies heavily on building an audience and gaining their trust. This process involves consistent delivery of valuable content, establishing oneself as an authority in the niche, and engaging with the audience through various channels. On average, this stage may take anywhere from six months to a year or more.
We truly believe there are few affiliates who are making any substantial money before the 12 month mark and most likely 2-3 year mark. That does not mean, don’t do it! It simply means be realistic and work hard, your efforts will pay off. This takes time people, and the biggest take away I hope you have from this article is this is a long game plan. Making money with Affiliate Marketing is about setting yourself up for long term financial success, it is NOT a get rich quick, it takes time, effort and a real desire to learn and pivot where needed.
Can I Make Money Online? Monetizing the Audience, PPC
Once the audience is established, it’s time to incorporate affiliate links strategically within the content. It’s crucial to strike a balance between promotion and maintaining trust with the audience. Avoid bombarding visitors with too many affiliate links, as this could deter them from engaging with the content. It’s normal for monetization efforts to take time to generate significant revenue.
Another benefit of having a website, you can design the site so that you are maximizing links without offending your readers with interruptions and links in every paragraph. We all know those websites where you can barely read the article because of links, popups and flashing sales. While those have ranked and I am sure earned money in the past, for me – I prefer a more user friendly reading experience.
Understanding Affiliate Conversion Rates
Affiliate conversion rates refer to the percentage of visitors who click on affiliate links and complete the desired action (e.g., making a purchase). Conversion rates can vary significantly depending on the niche, the quality of the content, and the audience’s receptiveness to affiliate offers. Typically conversion is 1-3%, Some affiliates might experience higher conversion rates early on, while others may need to experiment and optimize their strategies for improved conversions.
Scaling and Diversification
Once you start generating income, it’s time to scale and diversify. This might involve expanding the content portfolio, adding channels, creating a YouTube channel, or partnering with additional affiliate programs. Scaling and diversification can lead to accelerated growth, but it requires continuous effort and adaptation.
In conclusion, affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme; it demands dedication, patience, and hard work, yes, HARD WORK. You will spend hours creating content and more hours optimizing with SEO and backlinks. The timeline for making money with affiliate marketing varies widely depending on factors such as niche selection, content quality, audience engagement, and your marketing experience. While some affiliates may start seeing results within a few months, it’s more realistic to expect meaningful profits after a year or more of consistent effort.
Aspiring affiliates should focus on providing value to their audience, building trust, and refining their strategies over time. Success in affiliate marketing is attainable, but it’s essential to set realistic expectations and view it as a long-term venture rather than a quick cash-grab.
If you are serious about your affiliate marketing, consider a reputable course that will assist you in keeping you focused on the tasks and provide support for your growth like Leveraging .AI, Boost Workflow, Cut Expenses, Maximize ROI.
The Final Take Away:
How Long Does It Take To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?
So, how long does it really take? Realistically, setting up your business can take at least a month, and more realistically 3 or 4 if you are also learning how to do everything from the ‘ground up’. Traffic will take 3-6 months to begin to flow and from there, optimization of your content (focused on user intent) should assist you in starting to see affiliate revenue. Earnings will slowly increase and on average it will be 1-2 years before you really start to see the financial benefits.