Is Affiliate Marketing Difficult Or Hard To Make Money In? (Explained)

is affiliate marketing diefficult or hard

So, you may be wondering, “is affiliate marketing difficult or hard to make money in”? Well, I’ve run a little research to help you out with that.

Well, the answer to that is yes, affiliate marketing is very difficult to make money in nowadays due to a lot more saturation within the affiliate marketing industry. A lot of marketers try to present affiliate marketing as an easy and quick way of making money online just to convince people to purchase their products or services.

However, with the right approach, effort, and consistency, you can profit from affiliate marketing.

Is Affiliate Marketing Difficult Or Hard To Make Money In?

Affiliate marketing can be hard if you’re doing it on your own without any proper guidance. However, the good news here is that there are certain ways you can approach affiliate marketing in order to make this business model easy and successful.

That said, one of the best ways to succeed in affiliate marketing today is to first focus on building TRUST and RELATIONSHIPS with your audience rather than trying to sell to them all the time.

Why? Because people do business with people they Know, Like, and Trust.

And if you’re not able to build that TRUST factor with your audience, you’re going to really struggle to make money with affiliate business for a very long.

Why? Because the competition level in the affiliate marketing industry is VERY HIGH.

And the only legitimate way to stand out from the competition is when you position yourself as a TRUSTED SOURCE.

And you do that by providing a real-value to people that actually helps solves problems or pains they’re having challenges with.

So, the KEY is to first build TRUST with the audience you’re going to sell your product to before you start promoting your offer to them.

is affiliate marketing difficult or hard to make money in

Why Affiliate Marketing Is Difficult For Most Beginners?

In my opinion, I believe the main reason why most beginning affiliate FAIL or find it difficult to succeed with affiliate marketing is that they don’t focus on providing enough VALUE for their audience or customer.

And most importantly they don’t put in the work long enough.

The vast majority of people give up along the WAY when they’re not making any money from their affiliate business and they presume is as difficult.

Remember, making money online, especially with affiliate marketing is not a spring. It’s a marathon.

What do I mean by that?

Well, I mean it going to take you a fair amount of time, effort, and consistency before you’ll start to see any kind of result from your affiliate business.

How Not To Make Affiliate Marketing Difficult Or Hard

Looking to make your affiliate marketing easy and successful?

Affiliate marketing is super easy to enter, that’s why anyone who wanted to make money online quickly thinks of this business modely simply because you don’t have to:

  1. Create your own product.
  2. Deal with customer services.
  3. Shipping of products.
  4. Refunds, etc.

However, a lot of people don’t take the time to learn what it really takes to succeed with this model.

So, I want to give you some heads ups what to do to find success with this business model.

If you’re just getting into this business model or have been doing this for quite some time.

The following tips below can really help make affiliate marketing easy and successful:

  • Focus On One Thing
  • Don’t Rely On One Traffic Source
  • Provide Helpful Value (Content) To Build A Brand
  • Become A Niche Influencer
  • Build Subscriber Base

1. Focus On One Thing

If you want to dominate in affiliate marketing, you need to pick one thing or a niche and stick to it for a period of time until you’re successful with it before moving to another one.

But most often, I see many affiliate marketers do the opposite, they make the mistake of focusing on too many NICHES or program all at once in their first few months or year.

Which actually takes them nowhere.

Well, here is the painful aspect of that… The RESULT of focusing on too many things all at once is that:

  • FIRST – you’ll overwhelm yourself in the first place.
  • SECOND, you’ll not actually focus on any of them deeply which will eventually LEAD to failure.

For example…

Most people when they see or hear other entrepreneurs making this and that amount of money with this NICHE or product, they also try to follow that route. 

And when they are in that niche for a couple of months and they’re not having any success, they move to another different niche in that order…

And in the end, they end up not taking any massive action on none of them.

I know it can be very challenging to focus on one thing when you’re not getting the desired result you want.

However, if you ask for my advice… I will tell you to simply FOCUS on only ONE thing and be consistent, put in a massive effort, and above all be patient.

And over time, if you don’t give up and you put in the necessary, you’ll surely start to see the result.

Let me tell you a quick story…

When I first got started online, I focus on too many things all at once for a very long time and it did delay my success but the moment I decided to focus on one thing.

It didn’t take long before I start to see hockey-growth in my business.

So, again I’d advise you to just stick to one thing.

But once you’ve achieved some level of success with that niche or whatever, you can freely move to a different niche. But for now, focus on one thing.

2. Don’t Rely On One Traffic Source

traffic in affiliate marketing scaled

Most top affiliates and some well-known brands out there built their business around Google organic traffic and they wake up one day and realize that their traffic…

And income is drastically going down simply because Google has just made a new change to its algorithm.

This keeps happening every year and when it happens like that most people or companies who rely on Google organic traffic get hits.

And their traffic and income start to go down.

As I have been in this online space for quite some time…

This kind of thing is going to continue to happen. 


Here is the thing.

If you’re focusing on or building your business around Google organic traffic, chances are that you’re missing out a lot and you’re always going to get hit anytime an update is made.


The smartest thing I want you to do and get the most out of your business is to DIVERSIFY your traffic source so you don’t get affected anytime these Google updates are made.

Here are some traffic sources I want to leverage:

  • YouTube.
  • Blog (Google).
  • Social media marketing.
  • Forum marketing.
  • Pinterest, etc.

All these are very good traffic sources.

IMPORTANT: Though having multiple traffic sources is great but not when you’re brand new or just starting out.


Well, the thing is, you might not focus on each of them effectively.

But here is what I want you to do…

Focus on one traffic source first, and as you’ve gained enough attraction or success with that platform then you can move on to another one in that order.

3. Provide Helpful Value (Content) To Build A Brand

create content to become a successful with affiliate marketing and make a lot of money

As I stated earlier – making money online, especially with affiliate marketing is not an overnight thing or a get-rich-quick scheme.

So, the strategic approach you need to take to build a long-lasting income for yourself is to build a brand around you, not your business or product.

But first…

What’s a brand? A brand simply means, standing out as an authority figure, an expert, or presenting yourself as a go-to person for help or advice in a specific niche or industry.

So how do I build this brand? Great question!

There are many ways to build a personal brand. However, the best way to build this in any niche or industry is to provide valuable content or information for free that helps solve specific problems or challenges other individuals are facing.

The purpose of providing this helpful information for FREE of charge is to build TRUST and relationships with your audience.

And as you do that for quite some time, they’ll begin to Know, Like, and Trust you and your recommendations which will eventually lead to sales over time.


Make sure every product or service you recommend is SUPER GREAT and of GOOD quality and will help solve your audience’s biggest problem and pain point.


Don’t just focus on making a big commission and recommend crappy or fake products to your audience.

If you do so and your audience finds out after purchasing the product, that’ll make a statement about you and your business.

The trust and relationship you spend years building with them can be destroyed…

And if that happens they won’t buy anything from you again in the future.


Only recommend products that YOU yourself have used before and it has helped you. 

If you know what you’re recommending is of good quality, you’ll feel confident and comfortable when recommending it to your audience.

Because you know it going to them.

Sometimes, even if you’re not an affiliate of a product that you think it will help your audience, still recommend it to them…

…. But before you do so, make sure you do thorough research about the product. 

Why all of this…?

The reason we’re doing all of this is that…

We want to build strong Trust and Relationships with the audience for the long haul which will pay off even bigger.

In my opinion, I think taking this path will help you grow your business and income way faster than just trying to spam people with your affiliate link.

4. Become A Niche Influencer

Influencer marketing is one of the most lucrative marketing strategies utilized by most successful marketers nowadays.

The reason behind this is that when it comes to making a BUYING decision, influence plays a HUGE role.

So… I think becoming an influencer in your niche can be of great help.

What I come to discover is that…

When an influencer recommends a product, his or her audiences often Trust and have confidence in that recommendation and make a quick purchase decision.

So, whatever product or service you’re promoting in any niche, I think becoming an influencer is the easiest and faster way to sell that product without any aggressive marketing.

Another reason or importance of being an influencer is that it helps:

  • Increase your brand awareness.
  • Improve search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Expand your reach and trust, etc.

5. Build Subscriber Base


If you dream of making serious money online with affiliate marketing or probably a full-time income then you need to get serious about building the following:

  • Email List
  • YouTube Subscribers
  • Blog and Social Media Followers, etc

All of the above is so important because it can allow you to reach tons and tons of potential customers.

However, the most important one is to build an email list, because with an EMAIL LIST, you own the audience and you can market to them at anytime without any third-party restriction.

However, a lot of people don’t take building an email seriously.


Simply because they think email marketing is dead or it’s old-school marketing.


Is email marketing dead? Well, to put it simply – no email marketing is not dead, it is still the number one or most lucrative way of making money online and growing an online business.

I believe you’ve heard this saying before “The Money Is In The List”. Well, that’s absolutely true.

As a true affiliate marketer, if you’re not building an email list in your business.

Guess what?

You’re leaving huge money on the table.

Most of the top affiliate marketers in the world understand the power of email marketing and that’s why most of them are taking it seriously.

But unfortunately, most of them don’t tell you and I to do this.

Now, building an email list is not an option, it’s A MUST if you’re really going to make money online.


The reason is that online people are very much skeptical when it comes to buying stuff online.

And the only way to get them to buy your offer without any hesitation is when you have them on your email list. 

That way, you can follow-up with them through an AUTORESPONDER to first build TRUST and RELATIONSHIPS with them before marketing your product to them.

NB: If you don’t build trust with people, they are not going to buy from you. And email is the best way to do that effectively.

Here Is Some Benefit Of Building An Email List:

  • Building an email list can allow you to generate more revenues in your business.
  • You can promote different products or your own product to your LIST in the future as long as you have them on your email list.

Here Is How To Create And Build A Targeted Email List Or Subscribers:

  • Create an account with an email service provider. (there’re many of them but I suggest GetResponse).
  • As you get your account set up, create a landing page to capture visitors’ email addresses.
  • Offer freebies to make people give you their email addresses without hesitation.
  • Set up an email sequence and link it to the product you promote.
  • Follow-up with your list on a daily basis to build trust and relationships with them.
  • Write good, enticing headlines and good content that teach and educate people.

PS. If you’re ready to build your email list, I recommend GetResponse. You can read my review of GetResponse here.

What Is Affiliate Marketing And How Can You Get Started

what is affiliate marketing and how to make money with affiliate marketing

Upon doing running a little research online, here is a great definition I found on what affiliate marketing is.

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. Source.

My definition:

Affiliate marketing, in a nutshell, is a process, tactic, or marketing method where you (the affiliate) promote a company or a business’s product on your blog, YouTube channel, or social media. and when someone (your audience or customers) buys the product through your recommendation, you get paid which is termed as commission.

However, the concept of affiliate marketing, in theory, seems easy but in practice, it is not.

It does require a lot of time, hard work up front, and a following of a proven method before you can make money from it.


Because there are wrong and right ways to do affiliate marketing.

PS. I have another post where I share with you in detail what affiliate marketing is and how it actually works You can check it out here.

Quick Guide On How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing

  1. Pick Your Niche This could be any area you’re passionate about, knowledgeable in, or want to learn about.
  2. Select Affiliate Products and sign up – Choose an affiliate product you want to promote. Make sure the affiliate program is related to your niche.
  3. Choose A Promotional Platform – Choose where you want to promote that product to your ideal audience. This can be either a blog, YouTube channel, or any social medial platform out there.
  4. Produce Valuable Content – Start to create helpful, relevant, and high-quality content on your chosen platform. Make sure your content is related to your niche and the product you’re an affiliate for.
  5. Drive Traffic To Your Website – This could be organic, paid, or social traffic.
  6. Build An Email List – Capture the email addresses of your visitors to your site and follow up with them with an email sequence.
  7. Sell To Your List – Make sure you build trust with your list to convert your list to buy from you.

PS. I wrote another article where I go more into detail on how to make money with affiliate marketing step-by-step. Check it out!

Pro Of Affiliate Marketing

In my opinion, I think affiliate marketing is one of the best, most lucrative, and easiest online business models out there. Unlike most businesses where you need money to start and grow it…

  • With affiliate marketing, you can start as a complete beginner with no money and still make good money from it.
  • Affiliate marketing can be done without any investment in paid traffic, you can use organic free traffic to grow your business. This means, your profits are a lot higher.
  • There is no specific amount of income designed for you to earn in affiliate marketing. The possibilities are endless.

Con Of Affiliate Marketing

Just like any kind of business, there are downsides and difficulties, and so do affiliate marketing as well.

  • It Takes Time – It takes a lot of time, sacrifice, and testing in order to make any significant income from affiliate marketing.
  • Lost Of Commission – It can happen that you’re not compensated for your referral (I mean for selling the product). There are some really bad affiliate programs or networks out there that refuse to pay their affiliate for selling their product.
  • High Competition – There is a high level of competition in affiliate marketing. There are tons and tons of affiliates going for the same traffic source and promoting the same product. This can make it very difficult for you to stand out as a success.


Why Is It Difficult To Succeed In Affiliate Marketing As A Beginner?

The reason why most beginners find it difficult or hard to succeed in affiliate marketing is that they approach affiliate marketing as a quick way of making money online and the majority of them are not willing or don’t put in the work long enough. they give up too soon when they hit roadblocks.

Is Affiliate Marketing Easy?

No, affiliate marketing is not easy. Though in theory, the process seems easy, but in practical, it’s by no means easy as many marketers claim it to be, it takes a lot of hard work, time, and willingness to learn in order to see any success with affiliate marketing.

Is Affiliate Marketing Safe?

Yes, affiliate marketing is safe. Don’t have any doubt that whether affiliate marketing is safe or not. However, not all affiliate programs out there are safe and legit. So before you go for any program, you’ll want to first do thorough research and have proper knowledge about the program before you join it or start pushing it to your audience with them otherwise it will be a waste of time, effort, and money.


My final thought on, Is affiliate marketing difficult or hard to make money in?

When you’re new to affiliate marketing, it may seem difficult or hard at first but when you commit to learning and implementing and following the right direction or path of promoting your affiliate product…

And above all, if you provide enough VALUE to the marketplace and follow a simple strategy and tactics affiliate marketing will become so much easier for you over time.

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