Do Affiliate Marketing Programs Work? (TRUTH Revealed…)

So, you’re thinking of starting up an affiliate side-hustle, but you naturally ask: “Do affiliate marketing programs work?” before taking the plunge.

On one hand, you’ve probably read or heard the horror stories on affiliates making little to no cash.

But on the other hand, there are affiliate businesses taking off like rocket ships – scaling earnings to the moon.

So, what’s the actual truth?

Do affiliate programs pay off or don’t they?

The answer shall be revealed very soon, so read THIS article in its entirety, young space cadet 😛 …

What Is an Affiliate Program Anyways?


An affiliate program allows you the chance to partner with a company (aka merchant/ publisher) and advertise its products or services in return for a cut of any sales.

In other words, you’ll earn a commission every time someone buys a product via your affiliate link.

You’ll discover some companies choose to operate their programs ‘in house’ for numerous benefits.

Whereas others use ‘affiliate networks’ (i.e., CJ, ShareASale, Rakuten) to manage their programs for other reasons.

Fun fact:

According to these affiliate stats, a WHOPPING 81% of global brands now have affiliate programs, and there are currently 11,400+ programs in the USA alone.

Totally insane, right?!

See my 5 best affiliate program finding ways to be blown away by the sheer volume of opportunities.

Thanks to an ever-evolving landscape (not to mention the Covid outbreak) – the number of affiliate opportunities is only heading one direction – UP.

How Does an Affiliate Program Operate?


First of all, it’s important to note:

If there’s a specific company in mind, you’d like to partner with, then check they have an affiliate program.

Using the ClickFunnels affiliate program as an example, some company websites link to their programs in the footers:

clickfunnels affiliates tab

If that’s not the case, do a quick Google search for “company name” + “affiliate program” instead.

Because some organisations keep their programs hidden out of plain sight like Cinderella.

When/if located, it’s a simple job of filling in the affiliate application page with your credentials.

In most cases, a qualifying niche website/blog or social media channel is essential before they consider you a worthy partner.

Upon acceptance, you’re granted access to a dashboard comprising your unique affiliate link(s).

Plus, (in my experience), any decent program usually offers a generous cookie duration, creatives and custom tracking links to make the opportunity worthwhile.

It’s then your responsibility to place links and promo materials on your site/channel (adhering to the T’s & C’s) to potentially put moola in Ya pocket.

Each month, twice monthly or weekly (depending on the program), payouts occur via your preferred payment method.

There’s also a minimum payment threshold to meet in some instances – incentivizing you to apply elbow grease.

The 5 Types of Money-Making Verticals


One of the things I love best about this affiliate marketing “stuff” is there are numerous profit angles to explore.

The most common bog-standard model (I’ve discussed) revolves around Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA).

Where you earn commissions off of sales (high-ticket products and subscription-based services are certainly the bee’s knees 😉 ).

As for the other 4, you’ve got:

  1. Pay-Per-Click – you earn from visitors clicking contextually relevant ads displayed on your blog/site &/or YouTube videos.
  2. Pay-Per-Lead – you’ll be paid a set amount for each new email lead or qualified referral you generate for a company.
  3. Pay-Per-Call – these are somewhat obscure programs that pay handsomely for hot phone call leads you send their direction.
  4. Pay-Per-Install – a popular choice among mobile applications. You’re rewarded based on the number of downloads/installations you generate.

The great thing about owning a niche site is you can mix n’ match said methods to diversify your income.

But now for THE golden question to be answered…

Do Affiliate Programs REALLY Work?


There are two answers to that question – YES and NO.

In order to earn a 5, 6 or even 7-figure life-changing affiliate income, boils down to the choices YOU make.

For starters, it’s crucial to select reputable affiliate programs with actual top-notch problem-solving products.

Products, that also reward you (the affiliate) with worthwhile commissions – there’s nothing worse than short-selling yourself.

Secondly, while it’s possible to crush it peddling just the ONE core product – I suggest promoting multiple affiliate programs (3 max).

Because it opens up such a HUGE window of opportunity to really scale your monetary results to the stars.

Thirdly, learning to build a “system” (i.e, sales funnel, blog, YouTube channel) around your chosen niche/programs is a must.

Because it lays the foundations of a sustainable Biz vs chucking sh*t (raw affiliate links) at the wall in hope of it sticking.

And finally, it’s a case of consistent content creation to generate traffic for big Biz growth, which requires plenty of blood, sweat and tears.

However, if folks are unprepared to learn this stuff and “hustle”, they’ll never cash in with ANY affiliate program.

Wrapping up This Stuff…


At the end of the day, affiliate programs do work – numerous affiliates are already racking up life-changing commissions as we speak.

So, realistically speaking, the level of success comes down to the actual individual.

If you’re fully prepared to go about affiliate marketing the right way, in all its glory – then the world’s your oyster.

But if you’re just gonna join a bunch of affiliate programs and allow them to collect dust – you’ll spend your days stuck in a day JOB.

Sorry to sound so bleak, but that’s the cold hard truth of the matter.

Your buddy, Neil.

Got any questions or thoughts to share? Please post them in the comments below…

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