The vast majority of people who visit my site are those who are interested in becoming an affiliate marketer. I’ve been earning a full-time income from affiliate marketing since 2011, so while I’m not the most experienced affiliate marketer on the planet, I do have my fair share of experience. If you want to start affiliate marketing, my advice to you is to start NOW.
For many of you, affiliate marketing is something you’ve wanted to try for a while. Maybe you’ve done a lot of research, purchased some training programs, watch some videos, but just never got serious enough to pull the trigger. For others, affiliate marketing is something you’ve struggled with over the years for one reason or another.
No matter what your experience is with affiliate marketing, if you want to start, my advice is to start NOW. As in, today, or at the very latest this week. Why the sense of urgency? Please allow me to explain a bit further.
Affiliate Marketing Is Becoming MORE DIFFIFCULT
Let me make one thing very clear… Affiliate marketing has never been “easy” for me. Even when I first started, affiliate marketing was never the easy way to make money like so many others online had said. I never found some special “system” or “method” or anything like that. I grew this business through hard work, writing literally thousands of articles at this point in my career, and learning many skills from scratch. I’ve had ups, I’ve had downs, and I’ve even had my doubts. But one thing is for sure…
It has never been more difficult to start affiliate marketing than it is right now.
The real question is, WHY is it more difficult to start affiliate marketing now than ever before? Because affiliate marketers are being held to a higher standard than ever before. Back as early as 2011 when I first started, any low quality website could rank well in search engines through various SEO tactics. Just 5 years ago, an article with 500 words was considered to be a lot of content, whereas now, I don’t even like posting anything less than 1,000 words. The public is much less trusting of websites these days as well. People don’t like being advertised to and they can spot it better now than ever before.
In short, the reason it is harder to start affiliate marketing now than ever before is simply due to the increased standards. Even if you already know everything about building websites, marketing, and creating valuable content for the web, it will still take months and months to build a high quality resource that begins to gain a following or make any money.
The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for a new affiliate marketer to break into the industry, simply due to the “quality curve”. In other words, the longer you wait, the better resource you’ll have to start building from scratch, and the harder it will be to catch up to everyone else. Each day you wait, this industry is pulling a little further out of reach.
The Number Of Affiliate Marketers Is Actually Dropping
An interesting thing has occurred in the affiliate marketing industry over the past few years. The number of affiliate marketers trying to make a living online has actually DECLINED. With that said, the amount of money being made in the affiliate marketing industry has increased and is projected to continue doing so. In other words, it isn’t NEW affiliate marketers that are driving the industry as it was 10 years ago. These days, it is established affiliate marketers who continue to gobble up more and more of the market share. This happens in most new industries. First, the industry starts off with a whole lot of small businesses, but over time, those small businesses go under, get bought out, partner up with other businesses, and soon all you’re left with are a handful of very large corporations. The affiliate marketing industry is on the leading edge of this process right now. Get in while you can!
The Good News
Affiliate marketing has always been a bit of a shady industry. A lot of affiliate marketers are responsible for spamming the internet and email inboxes. Other affiliate marketers have used deceptive practices and even burned the very companies who were paying them (eBay was scammed out of millions from just one affiliate marketer). Fortunately, this era of affiliate marketing is coming to a close.
Shady affiliate marketers can no longer use black hat SEO tactics to rank low quality websites. It’s much more difficult to spam email inboxes and companies now are able to better monitor their affiliates for fraud. Affiliate marketing is quickly turning away from a “wild west” type of industry into a real, legitimate industry that acts in a professional manner.
Better yet? You can still get in on this. But you need to start right now.
How Long Does It Take To Succeed At Affiliate Marketing?
This is sort of like asking how long you should cut a piece of string. I will give you a direct answer in a minute, but without knowing the industry you’re attempting to break into, the hours per week you plan to work on it, etc., it’s very difficult to say. So, I will instead make up a hypothetical.
For someone setting up a blog in a great niche that is extremely profitable and works 10 hours per week, I would estimate that it would take about 1 year before any meaningful income starts to come in. Probably about 2 years before a full-time income is being made. These are minimums. For someone with a blog in a very competitive industry or one that isn’t very profitable, give it 2 years to make some money and 3 years before there is any chance of a full-time income from it.
How does this compare back to when I first started in 2011? My first website was earning me a decent income after about 6 months. At 11 months, I quit my full time job. While this might still be possible, I am someone who knows what they are doing and I start new sites all the time. I’m telling you from personal experience and more than a dozen websites that my newer sites are all taking longer to earn revenue, even though I am more knowledgeable than ever before. How long will it take for a site to do well in 5 years from now? It’s hard to say.
With this said, the sites I do have that earn me an income do extremely well and they just get better and better every year I have them. Once the money starts coming in, it just gets better and better. The wait is definitely worth it.
Some Final Thoughts
I know that this all seems a bit discouraging to many of you. That is not my intent, but there is already enough B.S. about getting rich quick through affiliate marketing. I like to keep things honest and give a true portrayal of affiliate marketing. Yeah, it’s tough and yeah, it takes a lot of time to really succeed, but if you enjoy writing, creating content, and bringing value to thousands of people, affiliate marketing can start off as a hobby for you. In time, if you truly enjoy what you’re doing, it will earn you a great living.