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12 Worst Myths About Affiliate Marketing


myths about affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make some extra money on the side. But like everything else in life, it has its pros and cons. In this article, you will find 12 myths about affiliate marketing and facts that are worth knowing before you decide if this is the right career path for you.

Myth 1: It’s Easy To Get Started

Fact: This is one of the most common myths about affiliate marketing. While it is possible to get started in affiliate marketing with little to no experience, it is not easy. Like any other business, affiliate marketing takes time, effort, and dedication to be successful.

Getting started with Affiliate Marketing:

If you are business owner looking to get started with affiliate marketing, follow these steps to get started with affiliate marketing:

1. Choose a niche: In order to embark on the journey of affiliate marketing, the first crucial step is to select a niche that tickles your fancy or on which you hold some form of expertise, as this will be instrumental in keeping you motivated throughout the process.

2. Find a product to promote: Once you have zeroed in on the niche of your choice, the next step is to delve into the labyrinthine maze of finding a product to promote, which can be accomplished through manifold approaches, ranging from joining an affiliate network to conducting an extensive Google search for affiliate programs.

3. Join an affiliate program: After an arduous search, if you have finally stumbled upon a product that piques your interest, the next step would be to join an affiliate program, which will propel you further towards the goal of successful affiliate marketing.

4. Get your affiliate link: Once you have successfully become a part of the affiliate program, you will be bestowed with an affiliate link, which is essentially a gateway that will enable you to promote the product and potentially rake in lucrative commissions.

5. Promote the product: To pave the path to triumphant affiliate marketing, one must undertake a plethora of measures to promote the product, which includes but is not limited to leveraging social media platforms, curating engaging blogs, or even resorting to paid advertising, in order to reel in the maximum number of potential customers.

Myth 2: You Need A Lot Of Traffic To Be Successful

Fact: It is a well-established fact that in the world of affiliate marketing, traffic is the lifeblood that ultimately leads to a fatter wallet. However, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a vast multitude of visitors to attain financial success in this domain. In fact, there exist numerous affiliate marketers who are basking in the glory of a full-time income, with just a paltry few thousand visitors per month.

Now, the question arises, how can one make bank with affiliate marketing, without having a deluge of traffic? The answer lies in the art of focusing on quality over quantity, and crafting a strategic approach towards the products and services that you choose to promote.

Consider this – If you are promoting a product that proffers a mere $100 commission for every sale, you would have to sell a whopping 10 products to fatten your pockets with $1,000. However, if you decide to veer towards a product that doles out a more generous commission of $500 for each sale, you would only need to sell two products to amass the same amount of money. Therefore, it is imperative to be discerning while selecting the products to promote, in order to make every click count and maximize the return on investment.

Myth 3: You Can Make Money Overnight With Affiliate Marketing

Melissa Ling/The Balance

Fact: The reality of affiliate marketing is no different than any other business – it necessitates an investment of time, effort, and unwavering commitment in order to ascend the ladder of success. Despite the possibility of achieving rapid results, a full-time income cannot be achieved overnight.

Patience is paramount, as one needs to cultivate an audience, curate content, and muster a steady flow of traffic. Nevertheless, with diligence and perseverance, a full-time income from affiliate marketing is indeed within the realm of possibility.

But, how does one make it work? Here are some pointers:

Right from the inception, building an email list is an absolute must. It is vital to have a coterie of individuals who are intrigued by your thoughts and opinions and are more likely to make a purchase from you.

Crafting valuable content that assists your audience in overcoming a challenge is a surefire way to win their trust and subsequently persuade them to make a purchase.

Choose affiliate products that you truly believe in and are inclined to recommend. This will not only ease the process of promoting the products, but also instill confidence in your audience.

While affiliate marketing does offer lucrative prospects, it is crucial to dispel the myth of it being a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme. It requires one to comprehend the nuances of affiliate marketing, and invest substantial amounts of time, effort, and dedication in order to succeed.

Myth 4: You Need A Lot Of Money To Start Affiliate Marketing

Fact: It is a fact that commencing affiliate marketing does not require you to be flush with cash. However, it does necessitate an investment of funds for expenses like hosting, a domain name, and email marketing.

Though free alternatives are available, they may not be the best bet. Free hosting services are known to be sluggardly and lacking in features when compared to their paid counterparts.

Therefore, while substantial capital isn’t a prerequisite for initiating affiliate marketing, an injection of finances is crucial to getting started. However, if cost-effectiveness is a concern, one can always kick-off with a free blog or website.

Myth 5: You Need Your Own Website To Be Successful

Fact: Although a website may come in handy, it is not a prerequisite for acing affiliate marketing. In fact, there are several other ways to promote affiliate products without a website. These include social media, email marketing, and paid advertising.

If you do not have a website, there is nothing to worry about. You still can make a great deal of name by following a few simple and easy steps.

1. Join an affiliate program: You can join an affiliate program run by the company whose product or service you want to promote, or you can check out third-party affiliate programs.

2. Find a way to promote the product: Once you’ve joined an affiliate program, you must find effective ways to promote the product. If you have a website, you can use banner ads or text links. If you’re website-less, no worries! You can combine the power of marketing channels and also leverage the abundance wealth of social media, PPC, and emails.

3. Drive traffic: Finally, after everything is done, you need to drive traffic to the affiliate link. You could do this with the help of SEO, SMM, PPC, or even by Content Marketing that converts traffic to users.

Using these steps you can for sure be contended with greater leads and sales. However, having a website can be advantageous as it helps build trust with your audience and gives you greater control over the promotion of the product.

Myth 6: You Need To Be A ‘Super Affiliate’ To Make Money

Fact: Affiliate marketing is an arena of limitless possibilities, where success can be achieved by anyone, irrespective of their expertise or proficiency level. Yes, there are certain elites known as ‘super affiliates’ who have amassed a colossal amount of wealth, but it’s not just them who are reaping the rewards. Rather, numerous affiliate marketers with less than a thousand visitors per month are earning a full-time income, proving that it’s not mandatory to be a ‘super affiliate’ to make a fortune in this industry.

To flourish in affiliate marketing, you don’t necessarily have to possess the qualities of a ‘super affiliate.’ Instead, you can become a successful affiliate marketer by adhering to the following advice – discovering a profitable niche that aligns with your interests, building a blog or website that provides useful information and resources, and crafting valuable content that captivates and entices visitors to your site.

Remember, it’s essential to concentrate on one task at a time and avoid attempting to juggle everything simultaneously. By dedicating time to learn and implement the strategies that you’ve acquired, you can pave the way towards a profitable affiliate marketing career.

Myth 7: Hiring An Affiliate Manager Is A Waste Of Money

Fact: To succeed in affiliate marketing, a world bursting with lucrative opportunities, it is crucial to make prudent investments, and one such investment worth considering is hiring an affiliate manager. Not only can an affiliate manager assist you in locating the crème de la crème of affiliates to collaborate with, but they can also dexterously handle the daunting task of negotiating commissions and meticulously tracking your sales, leaving you with ample time to focus on other crucial aspects of your business.

Undoubtedly, while you have the option to manage your affiliate program yourself, allocating resources towards hiring an affiliate manager can prove to be an astute decision, particularly if you have a serious intention of maximizing your earnings in affiliate marketing. By employing an affiliate manager, you can gain invaluable insights into what strategies are working and what’s not, facilitating well-informed decisions and driving your affiliate marketing campaign towards greater success.

Myth 8: Maintaining A Good Relationship With Your Affiliates Is Not Important

Fact: The art of affiliate marketing necessitates meticulous attention to detail and strategic decision-making, with one of the most critical aspects being the cultivation of a positive and enduring relationship with your affiliates. This is not only pivotal for fostering an environment of goodwill and trust but also serves two fundamental purposes.

Firstly, a happy and contented affiliate is likely to promote your products with greater fervor and efficiency, thereby facilitating an increase in sales and bolstering your profitability. Secondly, a healthy relationship with your affiliates can safeguard your business interests and ensure their continued loyalty even if another merchant offers them a more generous commission.

It is, therefore, imperative to devote sufficient resources and effort towards maintaining a robust relationship with your affiliates. This can be accomplished through transparent communication, elucidating your commission structure and policies, and promptly addressing any issues or concerns that may arise. By fostering a culture of transparency, mutual respect, and understanding, you can establish a formidable and enduring partnership with your affiliates, driving your affiliate marketing campaign towards unparalleled heights of success.

Myth 9: You Need To Spend A Lot Of Money On Advertising To Be Successful

Fact: You don’t need copious amount of money to be successful in the endeavours of affiliate marketing. In fact, you can start making money with affiliate marketing without spending any money on advertising at all.

Of course, if you want to accelerate your success, you can invest in paid advertising. But it is not necessary to spend a lot of money on advertising to be successful.

Myth 10: Viglink And Skimlinks Are The Only Options For Affiliate Marketers

Fact: There are many affiliate networks and programs to choose from. Viglink and Skimlinks are just two of the options available to affiliate marketers.

While Viglink and Skimlinks are both popular choices, there are other affiliate networks and programs that offer higher commissions, more products to promote, and better terms. So if you are not happy with Viglink or Skimlinks, there are other options available, like Shareasale, CJ Affiliate, and Amazon Associates.

Myth 11: Focusing On Quantity Over Quality Is The Key To Success

Fact: In the domain of affiliate marketing, where the competition is cut-throat and the stakes are high, the quality of your affiliates can make or break your business fortunes. The age-old adage, “quality over quantity” holds particularly true in this context, as having a handful of high-quality affiliates can trump having a horde of subpar affiliates any day.

The reasons for this are manifold and manifest. For instance, low-quality affiliates are often guilty of bombarding your readers with spammy promotions, peddling subpar products, and even driving away potential customers in droves. In contrast, high-quality affiliates bring a treasure trove of benefits to the table, including the ability to leverage their extensive subscriber lists to promote your products, crafting compelling and positive reviews, and generating bona fide sales that translate into higher revenue streams.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to prioritize the quality of your affiliates over their quantity, meticulously vetting and selecting only the crème de la crème, to foster a robust and successful affiliate marketing campaign.

Myth 12: Diversification Is Not Important

Fact: Diversification is important in affiliate marketing, just as it is in any other area of business.

Diversifying your income streams can help you weather the ups and downs of the market, and it can also help you reduce your reliance on any one affiliate.

So if you want to be successful in affiliate marketing, make sure to diversify your income streams by promoting products from different merchants and using different affiliate networks. Myths about affiliate marketing can be misleading, therefore to be understood and planned accordingly.


Knowing the truth about these 12 myths about affiliate marketing can help you avoid common mistakes and set yourself up for success.

Have you been involved in affiliate marketing? What other myths would you like to dispel? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below! If you need an affiliate marketer, 12 Channels is always here to help! Check out our services today.

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