Discover 15 Good, bad & ugly things of Affiliate marketing in 2021.

Hi, I am Praneeth.

In this blog, you will learn everything related to the good bad, and ugly of affiliate marketing.

Without further ado let’s get started.

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What is affiliate marketing?

affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a digital marketing strategy where you refer people to buy a product using a link called affiliate link and,

You earn a commission in the sale that you make if people buy that specific product you recommended by clicking through your link in a time period.

Without getting into further details about affiliate marketing, here you can learn more about affiliate marketing in detail.

Now, let’s learn about the 15 good, bad, and ugly things you need to know about affiliate marketing.

Good, bad, and ugly things about affiliate marketing.

Here is a quick table of the good bad and ugly of affiliate marketing.

Good of affiliate marketing.Bad of affiliate marketing.Ugly of affiliate marketing.
A billion-dollar industry with a huge money-making opportunity where the sky is the limit.Competition is huge.You don’t control the affiliate program.
Make money while sleeping is a reality with zero or minimal investment.Uncertainty of income is always there.There is a scope of frauds.
Offers flexibility and scalability.You don’t own the customer base.Nonetheless, you are still a freelancer or an employee of a company.
No headache with customer services.There is a bit of a learning curve involved.
Many products and networks to choose from.It is a trust game.
No need for skill and experience.
Bright future.

Let’s learn the things in detail.

The good of affiliate marketing.

Let’s learn the good things about affiliate marketing.

  1. A billion-dollar industry with a huge money-making opportunity where the sky is the limit.

affiliate marketing

You should not be surprised to know that affiliate marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry.

There is so much potential to make money from this form of digital marketing.

As of now, affiliate marketing is worth more than 12 billion dollars And it is going to grow and grow and grow further and further.

Many companies have started adopting affiliate marketing for the business To improve their sales and drive traffic to their Business.

The most amazing thing about affiliate marketing is that the sky is only the limit of earning.

Some people are earning thousands of dollars a day Through affiliate marketing And,

There are people on the other side Who are struggling to make a couple of hundred dollars a month.

It is just about how you approach And your strategies and your mindset and your knowledge of the game that makes the difference.

2. Make money sleeping can be a reality with zero or minimal investment.

affiliate marketing

All these online Gurus of self Help who talk about passion and passive income and who sell the idea of making money while sleeping, Through affiliate marketing, it can be a reality.

Honestly speaking you don’t need any investment at all to get started with affiliate marketing.

There are many affiliate programs that you can join for free including the world’s Largest affiliate program Amazon associates, share a Sale, Commission Junction, etc.

You can easily sign up to the affiliate program for free get your affiliate link and start promoting the link and the product through different channels including your blogs, social media, and email list to your audience.

If you want further support for assistance and better resources For the marketing purpose of the product,

There are fewer affiliate networks that offer a premium Subscription plan For the affiliate network for higher resources and assistance.

Although the number of affiliate networks that offer a premium subscription plan is very less Still affiliate marketing is a great business idea for those who are looking to start a business in the least investment possible.

I want to explain how affiliate marketing Can be a passive income source For you a little bit here,

Let’s consider some amazing affiliate programs like,

  • Bluehost web hosting service.
  • Semrush keyword tool.
  • Webinar jam software.

Bluehost is the largest affiliate program In the web hosting industry, 

By making the single Sale for Bluehost hosting you can earn up to 150 USD as you continue going in the program.

Semrush keyword tool Offers recurring Commission system In its affiliate program where,

The tool is on a monthly subscription plan and if you make a sale of a tool and if the User continuously using the product for a couple of Months You will continue getting the Commission As long as the user continues using the product.

This is called recurring Commission.

There is much software that you can Sell and have a recurring Commission.

If you consider starting an affiliate marketing business using blogging then even if you publish a single blog on a particular product Promoting the product using your affiliate link,

You can continue driving the traffic to your blog for the next couple of years from search engines For free and continue making sales from highly targeted traffic from search engines.

For more information,

Starting affiliate marketing through blogging is an amazing Business idea And you can live the dream of earning money through Affiliate marketing while sleeping which is a passive income source for your life.

3. Offers flexibility and scalability.

The beauty of affiliate marketing that attracts a lot of people is that It offers flexibility a lot.

Many people think of affiliate marketing has just about making sales of products for companies but it is more than just sales,

You can also earn money by letting people Become a lead for a company by filing a Form or you can earn money by just driving traffic and clicks on links to companies’ websites like advertisements irrespective of Whether the product is sold or not.

Just like blogging you can do affiliate marketing from any part of the world, You are not confined to a particular location to be able to sell products Through affiliate And,

In most networks, you are allowed to share the product links on social media channels and Other mediums besides blogs.

All you need to have is a computer and a proper internet connection for Affiliate marketing.

Another good thing about affiliate marketing is that It is easily scalable,

You can easily scale your affiliate marketing online business without adding much resources or people or much investment to your business and grow your business exponentially fast.

This leads to the next good thing about affiliate marketing or program.

4. No headache with customer services.

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The basic principle of affiliate marketing is about promoting other companies products and earning a commission from each sale that you make,

Here you don’t have to deal with any customer service or customer issues.

Your only job is to promote companies products And drive them sales,

The company will take care of all the customer issues and Problems,

You don’t have to worry about any of it,

Some of the Customer problems include,

  • Shipping of products.
  • Products packaging.
  • Customer reviews.
  • Customer service.
  • Customer refunds.
  • Product delivery.

You don’t have the headache of the problems of customers The only headache you have is to promote the products and drive sales to your company’s And that is how you earn money.

5. Many products and networks to choose from.

affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a very huge and vast market. 

Here are some interesting facts about affiliate marketing from blogging,

  • 81% of brands rely on affiliate programs to improve their business.
  •  There are hundreds of affiliate programs that you can join for free.

The world’s largest affiliate program Amazon Associates,

In Amazon Associates, you can sell a wide variety of products that are present on the Amazon Store,

And Depending on the product category and price of the product You will get a percentage of the sale.

There are many other affiliate programs that you can join like ShareASale, click Bank And commission Junction that offer similar Options like Amazon Associates program where you can join the network,

Choose the product from a wide variety of topics and categories And start promoting the product on your website or social media group and email list And earn money based on the product category and price.

Literally, from mobile phones to computers and from household appliances to daily life hardware tools, there is an affiliate program that you can join and promote products and earn money.

6. No need for much skill and experience.

affiliate marketing

Another good thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t need any expertise or much experience On the subject.

You don’t need much marketing knowledge or skills to have to make money affiliate marketing,

You don’t need to invest heavily in advertising your blog To be able to earn money through affiliate marketing,

Many affiliate networks and programs will offer free Affiliate banners of the product which you can insert on your website or your social media channels and start promoting it for free.

In the journey of affiliate marketing, you can start the process from not know and continue learning new things implement them And continue doing it.

7. Bright future.

affiliate marketing

The future of Affiliate marketing is very very bright.

I don’t want you to believe in my words rather I want you to have a look at some selected facts from Blogging and G2.

  • 81% of brands rely on affiliate programs to improve their business.
  •  Affiliate programs contribute 30% of revenue for the companies.
  • 80% of brands use affiliate marketing to generate leads.
  •  81% of the marketers and 84% of the publishers are already using affiliate marketing
  • 81% of brands rely on affiliate programs to improve their business.
  • About 95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase.
  • 72% of customers won’t take any buying actions until they’ve read reviews. 
  • 73% of customers place more value on the written review, rather than the star rating.

Influencer marketing is another growing Trend That is also going to be very much Important And plays a huge role in affiliate marketing in the future.

That is the reason the best platform for affiliate marketing are blogs, and videos, you can easily establish authority in blogs and become an influencer using YouTube and monetize your audience through affiliate marketing.

I have written a detailed guide on why influencer marketing is the future of digital marketing, click here to learn more.

Read why blogs are better than social media.

With that said let’s see what are the bad things about affiliate marketing.

The bad of affiliate marketing.

Here is a list of 5 bad things about affiliate marketing.

  1. Competition is huge.

competition

One of the bad things about affiliate marketing is that it has a big competition.

In every product and network.

 There are going to be at least a dozen people promoting the same product In their blogs and social media that you are promoting.

Hence the only way you can Get going with the competition is to find something unique about the way you present information And help people out So that you can drive more sales from your website or Social media Than the competition.

According to blogging

  • Around 84% of content publishers monetize their web traffic by leveraging affiliate marketing.

Hence you know that affiliate marketing is a competitive space And there are affiliate marketers in every industry today, 

The only way you can Stand out from the competition is by being unique, authentic in your approach And doing what your competition is not doing, And ultimately adding more value to your audience.

2. Uncertainty is always there.

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Although there are a few affiliate programs where If you sell a product or a service Which is usually based on a monthly subscription plan To a particular user There is an option called recurring commission,

Where you will be getting an affiliate Commission of some percentage based on the price of the product as long as the user Continuously uses the product renewing the subscription plan or the service like,

  • Semrush affiliate program.
  • Ahrefs keyword tool affiliate program
  • Convertkit affiliate program.
  • Getresponse affiliate program.
  • Ninja outreach affiliate program

But most of the affiliate programs only offer a single payment commission as they are mostly products that you got to sell.

Hence, It is always a quantity-based approach, the more sales you make every month the more commission you will be earning From the program the better you are If you make more sales in few affiliate programs like Bluehost web hosting service, 

Your commission price would be increased, but, Ultimately it is a quantity-based approach where you have to constantly get more new users to buy the product to get the commission every month,

There are fewer affiliate programs where if you don’t make a couple of sales in a period, Your affiliate program account would be deleted or banned like Amazon Associates.

There are affiliate marketers who are earning thousands of dollars this month And failing to earn A couple of hundred dollars in the next month.

If you are doing affiliate marketing with your website or blog and driving traffic from search engines,

You should remember that the search engine rankings of your blogs are temporary and can fluctuate based on the competition of the niche, or there is always uncertainty,

If you are using social media marketing for affiliate marketing purposes to drive traffic as it can be costly and increase your budget expenses if you don’t make enough ROI.

Hence the uncertainty is always there, 

You can’t guarantee income unless and until you are selling tools and services that give you recurring commission or have a large affiliate commission’s on each sale like Bluehost hosting.

3. You don’t own the customer base.

Another problem we have with affiliate marketing is that,

You don’t own the customer base,

To drive Commission you have to make newer sales Every month.

Unless and until you have joined an Affiliate program where you will be getting a recurring Commission of service with a monthly subscription plan like discussed earlier, 

You will have to make new sales every month For that product,

If you drive many sales from a single location of a user or same user details then you will not be able to get Commission because,

The sales are not new In the affiliate program or the user has bought the product in the past from the same affiliate program.

And once a user buys a product from your affiliate link, he will not buy the product from you again Using your affiliate link as he will 

Buy the product or service from the company itself and your affiliate link will be of no value for the user as the one sale is already made And you get the commission.

4. There is a bit of a learning curve involved.

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Although you don’t need any special skills to get started in affiliate marketing if you want to get ahead in the business,

You need to Cater some time to learn things.

There are things like,

  • Joining the right affiliate program.
  • Selecting the right affiliate product to sell.
  • Learning more about your target audience and their problems.
  • Testing the products before you start selling.
  • Working on different templates Using trial and error method.
  • Marketing the article through search engines and social media.
  • Analyzing the Analytics of the affiliate program.

There is always a bit of a learning curve involved in affiliate marketing Before you make something Worthfull in the business.

5. It is a trust game.

affiliate marketing

It’s very hard for people on the internet and convert them into leads and sales of a product of a company.

It’s not just about writing good quality content that will drives Sales for the business.

It is also about building credibility with the users and the audience And letting them trust you which matters more than How good the content is that determines whether you will be making the sales or not of your affiliate program.

It’s a very hard and time-consuming process To build the credibility and trust of the audience on you like there are a lot of things that go into it like,

Creating quality content, making videos, and adding value through YouTube to your target audience, getting them to connect with you through social media, and staying connected with emails, there is a lot of work that goes into it.

And the audience will buy the product not because the product is good or bad but mostly because you tell them or recommend it and because of the faith the audience has in you.

In that case,

Selling a single wrong product or recommending the single wrong service,

Which does not solve the problem of users or add value in the life of users can hurt the credibility a lot That you have built over the years with the audience.

It is very easy to get greedy as you are in the journey of affiliate marketing Looking at The percentage of commission that you will be getting from sales but,

It is equally or more important to look at whether the product is genuine, good, value-adding to the life of your audience because it is all the trust game and a single wrong decision and,

Choice can screw the effort that you made for a couple of years establishing authority and credibility with the audience.

Now that you know what are the bad things about affiliate marketing.

Here are some ugly things that you need to know before starting affiliate marketing.

Ugly things about affiliate marketing.

Let’s learn some ugly things about affiliate marketing That you need to know before starting affiliate marketing yourself.

  1. You don’t control the affiliate program.

affiliate marketing

The biggest and ugliest thing about affiliate marketing is the fact that you are not in control of the program.

The fact is that you are selling the products of other companies And getting a Commission for making the sales.

You are not selling your products.

The best example for this Scenario is,

AMAZON ASSOCIATES.

On April 21, 2020, Amazon associates which is The largest affiliate program in the world has Suddenly decreased the commission rates of most of the products,

By more than half of the percentage And affecting Millions of people who are dependent on Amazon Associates For their livelihood and income.

The sad thing Is that Amazon did this commission cut during the phase where the entire world and many countries were suffering from economic issues like unemployment due to coronavirus.

Due to coronavirus, many people have started buying products online itself and Amazon Did not have any reason to continue paying high prices for the affiliate marketers for sales as people themselves,

Started using Amazon more than Anything due to lockdown and outgoing restrictions and social and physical distancing practices that came into play.

It was simply terrible and horrific.

Amazon did not think of the lives that will be affected by the millions of people who are dependent on its affiliate program for livelihood and income.

This incident is living proof that Whatever the commission you are getting from Affiliate programs is Is not guaranteed And You as the publisher of the affiliate marketer do not have any control over the commissions you will be getting.

2. There is a scope of the fraud.

affiliate marketing

There is a scope of Fraud in affiliate marketing.

There are frauds of many types including these,

  • Cookie stuffing.
  • Link hijacking.
  • False advertising.
  • Link tracking.

Mainly cookies stuffing which is stuffing users browsers with lots of different affiliate cookies without the user’s knowledge instead of referring audience with Affiliate links and earn a commission.

eBay’s two biggest affiliates ‒ Shawn Hogan and Brian Dunning ‒ swindled $35 million in commissions for a long time using the method.

Another thing is Link hijacking and link tracking and false advertising.

Some people use this method to fraud the affiliate marketing Programs And earn more money.

3. Nonetheless, you are still a freelancer or an employee of a company.

affiliate marketing

Nonetheless, you are still getting paid by someone.

Whether it is a 24/7 job or working for other companies to drive them more sales, at the end of the day you are paid by the head of the company only.

So the tagline, you are your boss or be your boss doesn’t fit completely.

You are your boss is the best fit at the moment when you are paying yourself not by a company.

You can be your boss when you start selling your products and build a brand around your business.

At that moment you are not getting payment from other companies or anyone above you.

You are working by and for yourself.

When you are still dependent on a company or someone to help you make money, 

What happens to your finances and your financial situation when if the company either,

  • Stops paying you, 
  • Ban’s your affiliate account.
  • Decreases commission of your sales.
  • If you are being frauded by link hijacking or cookie stuffing or not getting your links tracked properly.
  • If the company stops the affiliate program or goes bankrupt.

Your financial condition will be disrupted.

Remember, Amazon associate’s decision of cutting commission rates affected millions of people’s lives in a single day.

Hence, the idea of Be your boss is not a good fit Completely with affiliate Marketing.

Ending remarks.

There you go, I have answered everything related to the Good bad, and ugly of affiliate marketing in detail.

Do comment down what do you think about Affiliate marketing in detail in the comments section below.

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Till then keep learning and keep growing.