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Pros and cons of affiliate marketing in 2022

Affiliate marketing – is it good or bad? This is the question that people that want to start making money online are faced with. And few find the right answer. All because of the enormous number of different opinions. Time to once and for all deal with this problem – let’s consider in detail the advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing.

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Advantages of affiliate marketing

Let’s start with the strengths. Affiliate marketing is full of merits – not without reason that in the US alone it accounts for over 15% of all e-commerce. The benefits of affiliate marketing are manifested in many ways – let’s focus on the most notable ones.

Easy to start

Anyone can become a brand partner on the Internet – the threshold for entering affiliate programs is very low. Starting off in affiliate marketing does not require initial investment or even knowledge. You can promote products from anywhere in the world. All you need is a creative approach to attracting new users and turning them into clients.

To join an existing program, in practice, all you need to do is fill out an application form. Obviously, you will need a stable Internet connection and a device to work on (a laptop or PC). The partner is not responsible for either the delivery or production of goods – they only promote the product and bring in new customers.

Focus on marketing

The benefits of affiliate marketing are evident in its focus on promotion. The person isn’t required to create their own agency or build up their reputation to just be allowed to give affiliate marketing a try. No need to worry about shipping and warehousing. The brand made you its partner? Go ahead and pour everything you got into marketing. No unnecessary noise in the form of reports, red tape or overtime. The partner is entirely focused on advertising strategies and product promotion.

Online passive income

Participating in advertisers’ programs provides passive income. This means that with the right promotion method, you can easily do other things, while the money just “drips” into your account. Naturally, there’s no upper cap for your potential income. It all depends on your hard work and desire. Potentially, you can reach a decent level of income in a short time and no longer worry about constant part-time jobs.

Convenience and flexibility

The advantages of affiliate marketing are also evident in its comfortable environment. The affiliate is essentially their own boss and their income depends entirely on the effort they put in. You can work nights, 7 days a week or just on the weekend. You’re in charge of your own schedule. And there’s no need to come to the office, pump out reports or do overtime. You do all your work at home.

As for the flexibility – you can work with any players on the market, any company that needs additional brand promotion. These can be both regular consumer goods companies and casinos and other options. Every business needs an influx of new customers, and the affiliate is the key intermediary between buyers and the manufacturer.

Billion dollar business

Flexibility implies the ability to work with any type of company, from small businesses that have recently appeared on the market to big-shot market players. Even a large manufacturer known all over the world needs constant promotion and to increase their coverage. If a specialist partners up with a company of such a caliber, then they are near guaranteed to turn a profit in the future. This is especially true of betting affiliate programs — an extremely profitable type of cooperation in the CIS region, since gambling has long become a tradition there.

Just as the affiliate can work with existing major brands, nothing is stopping them from partnering up with startups. They are your direct path to a sharp increase in income. If the technology start-up takes off, then the incomes of all those involved will also skyrocket. This is a great way to quickly make a name for yourself by participating in iconic projects. 

Market-ready audience

No need to warm up potential customers — they are usually already set on buying the product. All you need to do is bring them to the latter’s location (via a link to the manufacturer’s website). This greatly simplifies the work of the person involved in engaging the audience. It already wants to purchase the product — you just need to show them the ideal place to do just that.

In practice, the readiness of the audience is also expressed in the fact that you don’t need to create platforms for finding clients yourself. They can use already existing ones — platforms, forums, thematic websites, social media and other traffic sources.

Flexibility

  Flexibility is not limited to you being able to work with any number of companies. You can easily switch from one business to another. Marketing is a versatile tool that can be easily tailored to a specific industry, be it gambling, the service sector or finances.

Learning through income

 There is virtually no such thing as education in affiliate marketing. You learn on the fly. That’s yet another advantage of affiliate marketing — you acquire the necessary skills and knowledge through practice, instead of wasting countless hours on useless lectures. And you make money as you train. More money means a more successful education. This is a unique approach whereby the employee does not pay for the service, but receives money for the fact that they work within the framework of that particular service. 

High income potential

As was already stated, there is no upper limit when it comes to income. It all depends exclusively on the amount of effort the affiliate is willing to put in. The potential here is basically unlimited. It’s easy to imagine how much income a person who successfully attracts customers for a couple of big brands or their subsidiaries is going to get. The companies are willing to pay amounts you won’t get at a regular job. A potentially high level of income is not just nice – it also motivates the affiliate to continue to grow professionally – one thing leads to another.

Disadvantages of affiliate marketing

The pros and cons of affiliate marketing implies covering the topic from all sides. So far, we’ve only covered the former. Time to get acquainted with the nuances. After all, no line of work is without pitfalls. 

Payouts

Payouts (the reward for attracting clients) is the bread and butter the affiliate does all this work for. Their size makes up the bulk of the webmaster’s income. Obviously, the exact size depends directly on the program of the brand (company). Betting and gambling programs usually offer quite high payouts. But if the partnership initially stipulates small payments, no reason to expect that you’ll turn a major profit. In such a case, you shouldn’t limit yourself to a single affiliate program and instead look for additional partnerships. 

 

This drawback also has another aspect to keep in mind. Not only are payouts tied to the selected affiliate program, but there’s also the risk of never seeing them. If the advertiser is a scammer or if they just neglect their responsibilities, the partner may end up not receiving any payment at all. In practice, a company can shut down the affiliate program without warning, meaning that people will be left unremunerated for the traffic they attracted.

 

Another common malpractice among advertisers is using high payouts to attract webmasters, only to suddenly reduce them sharply a bit later with no explanation given. All this means you shouldn’t approach the matter of picking an advertiser lightly. Don’t dive head first into the first lucrative offer you find.

It’ll take a lot of patience and hard work

 

If a person is promised “mountains of gold” just as they are hired, it’s obviously a cheap trick to attract attention. No line of work brings a lot of profit immediately — you first need to lay down the foundation.

 

And affiliate marketing is no different. To secure actually tangible profits, you need to refine yourself, not just sit around waiting for grass to grow. Your job is to learn how to properly convince people to follow your links.

No control over the competition

The pros and cons of online marketing, and affiliate marketing in particular, are perfectly illustrated if you take a look at the competition. The struggle in this industry is fierce. What does this mean for a newcomer? On one hand, you have the opportunity to grow and make a name for yourself without needing to worry about someone punishing you or telling you off. On the other, you may fall victim to people with dishonest intentions. Affiliates are at each other’s throats fighting over clients and advertisers, and the most cunning is the one that usually comes out on top. This kind of uncontrolled competition is above all merciless for beginners.

Uncertainty

 

Just like any freelance activity, here, you don’t get an organization and a boss. You don’t get a monthly paycheck and won’t get sick leave if you fall ill. This flaw is inherent in any sort of self-employment, and affiliate marketing is no exception. The webmaster always needs to think ahead about what they are planning to do next month, the next 6 months to avoid financial problems or a lack of work. 

 

Stiff competition

 

Currently, the Internet is the main platform for promotion, ads and looking for employment. Obviously, the competition in the online sector is beyond fierce. Affiliate marketing is no exception. To break into this industry and stay afloat, you will have to compete with a large number of other affiliates and other people trying to secure the attention of the audience.

 

Choosing the right product

 

It is easy to talk about making money when you work with a brand — a product that’s been on the market for a while, one customers are already familiar with. For example, a casino affiliate program — people usually already know about the product. An entirely different matter — small companies that have just started their journey and are in need of new clients. Accordingly, an incorrectly chosen product for promotion can become an obstacle to receiving a large income. And this can damage not just the affiliate’s income, but their reputation as well. There are a lot of scammers out there and should you partner up with them, you risk getting blacklisted.

 

Working as a 3rd party supplier

 

Affiliate marketing implies that the partner will work from the outside, not together with the advertiser. They aren’t a full-time employee — there are no employment guarantees or competent advisors. The person must rely only on themselves. This applies not only to the selection of suitable advertisers, but also to shaping the cooperation. The partner, as a third-party supplier of customers, must correctly present themselves — they must have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities under the program, sign agreements and perform other actions. 

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Conclusion

Is affiliate marketing good or bad? Obviously, there’s no clear answer. Affiliate marketing has both advantages and downsides. The main problem is that people often see only positive aspects, completely forgetting about the existence of numerous nuances.

The importance of affiliate marketing today is hard to overrate. It makes up the lion’s share of e-commerce and is responsible for attracting an enormous number of customers. The large coverage is a guarantee that the potential income is high. But this also entails risks. If a person has the desire to become a true professional with with a high level of income, they will need to work hard on both customer promotion strategies and themselves.