Is Affiliate Marketing Legit? The Straightforward Truth

Is Affiliate Marketing Legit? The Straightforward Truth

Is Affiliate Marketing Legit? The Straightforward Truth

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Affiliate marketing has exploded in popularity over the last decade. But is it all just hype and dreams of easy money, or can you build a legitimate business as an affiliate marketer?

In this in-depth guide, we’ll peel back the curtain on the affiliate marketing world to find the straightforward truth on whether it’s a legit way to make money online. So, is Affiliate Marketing Legit? Let’s find out.

Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Before determining if affiliate marketing is “legit”, we need to start with a clear understanding of what it entails.

Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing, where you earn a commission for promoting someone else’s products or services. As an affiliate, you join an affiliate program for a brand or retailer you want to work with. Then, you share your special affiliate link, and if someone purchases through that link, you receive a percentage of that sale as your commission.

It’s like being a commissioned sales rep. Still, instead of going door-to-door or making cold calls, you promote the products on your website, social media, YouTube channel, or anywhere your audience may be found online.

Some key facts about affiliate marketing:

You don’t need to create your own products or services

  • Commissions typically range from 5-30% per sale
  • Top programs are free to join and easy to get approved
  • Payments are sent automatically when sales are made

Now that we understand the basics let’s look at some evidence that shows affiliate marketing can be a legitimate business model.

The Proof That Affiliate Marketing is Legit

While affiliate marketing has its share of scams and shady characters (just like any industry), there is plenty of proof that it can be an entirely valid and legal way to earn money online.

Top bloggers and YouTubers earn millions.

Affiliate marketing is a primary monetization model for many top bloggers and YouTubers. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents made over $100,000 monthly as an affiliate marketer in 2017. Sean Cannell of Think Media earns over $40,000 per month through affiliates.

These two well-known digital entrepreneurs have been very open about earning a full-time living from affiliate marketing for years. Their success demonstrates that real money can be made in this field.

 Major companies rely on affiliates

If affiliate marketing was not legit, why would Fortune 500 companies and major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Nike, Best Buy, and Target have dedicated affiliate programs?

These corporate giants actively recruit and partner with affiliates because it is a marketing channel that drives measurable results and new customers. They wouldn’t waste their time if it was some shady underground scheme.

It’s a multi-billion-dollar industry

According to predictions from Forrester Research, affiliate marketing spending will top $8 billion globally by 2022. And that’s just the commissions paid out to affiliates. The total sales driven is much higher.

This level of money changing hands shows that affiliate marketing is very much “legit” in the eyes of large retailers who continue to set aside big budgets to acquire new affiliates.

Affiliates pay taxes

Sure, you can find some dirtbag affiliates who try to avoid taxes on their earnings. But any smart affiliate knows they need to pay their taxes to keep their business legit.

All major affiliate networks issue 1099 tax forms for U.S. affiliates who earn over $600 per year. So, the IRS is certainly aware of this income source and will expect their cut. You pay taxes like any other self-employed professional if you run an above-board affiliate marketing business.

Can You Really Make Money in Affiliate Marketing?

Now that we’ve established affiliate marketing as a legitimate business model, the next logical question is whether replacing your full-time income as an affiliate is viable.

While there are no guarantees, the simple fact is people D.O. make a living in this field every day. Here are just a few examples.

  • Pat Flynn – Built a business from zero to over $100k/month within 2 years.
  • Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – Earns over $100k/month as an affiliate for courses and services.
  • Sue Ailsby – Generated over $1 million in commissions promoting Clickbank products.
  • John Crestani – Claims to have made $1 million in 8 months as an affiliate marketer.

While these income claims always need to be taken with a grain of salt, these individuals have well-documented success in affiliate marketing spanning many years. Their results show it IS possible to replace a full-time income through affiliate marketing alone.

Thousands of less high-profile affiliate marketers earn $2,000-$10,000 monthly from affiliate income. With dedication and persistence, many find that affiliate marketing offers a legitimate path to quitting their day jobs and building a career online.

Is Affiliate Marketing Right For You?

Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Becoming a successful affiliate takes considerable time, effort, and skill. However, it can be a viable online business model if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and are ready to work.

Here are a few signs affiliate marketing may be a good fit:

  • You enjoy marketing and selling products/services
  • You want to be your own boss and set your own schedule
  • You can create content or leverage social media to attract an audience
  • You’re willing to learn through trial and error
  • You have the patience to wait on results from your efforts

As with any business endeavour, there is no guarantee of success. But affiliate marketing has proven to be a legitimate way for real people to earn real money online – in many cases, a full-time living.

So, while scams exist and it takes hard work to thrive, the facts and data show that affiliate marketing is a “legit” online business. For those willing to learn the ropes and persist through a ramp-up period, it can provide a real opportunity to escape the 9-5 and be your boss.

The Bottom Line: Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?

In summary, despite some scepticism, affiliate marketing has proven itself to be a legitimate online business model. Major corporations rely heavily on affiliates to help sell their products, spending billions in commissions yearly. While affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme, thousands of individuals have managed to replace full-time incomes in this field through dedicated effort and skill development.

Affiliate marketing represents a viable path to generating income online for those willing to learn the fundamentals, persist through a ramp-up period, and provide real value to their audience. Though certainly not without risks or downsides, affiliate marketing ultimately passes the crucial test of legitimacy for any business endeavour – real people earn real money daily. With the right expectations and effort, it is possible for just about anyone to find success in affiliate marketing and achieve the freedom of working for themselves.

Konger Avatar
7 months ago

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