Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing in 2018

November 16, 2018 14 Comments



We know that affiliate marketing is a growing industry and more and more people decide to start their affiliate marketing business.

There are many reasons for that. Since affiliate marketing is a growing industry there is a room for everyone. There is also a lot of competition.

But it shouldn’t stop anyone from starting a business. Though affiliate marketing gives a positive experience it has some cons too.

I think it would be very interesting and useful to know not only pros of affiliate marketing but cons too.

Because if you know about them it means you are prepared for them. Nothing will stop or demotivate you later.




Pros of affiliate marketing


Growing industry

Affiliate marketing is a growing industry. If you join affiliate marketing world it means you can build a successful affiliate marketing business and get your own share of the pie.

This industry offers you a lot of opportunities in terms of income and becoming an expert in a certain field of knowledge.

You can even have several businesses at the same time.

I know many affiliate marketers that are running several sites and by doing so they have multiple income streams.

I have several sites too but my main site is this one that makes me the most money.

Other small sites earn me some income from time to time.


Most affiliate programs are free to join

One of the main pros of affiliate marketing is that most affiliate programs, small or even big brands like Amazon are totally free to join.

You pay zero $ when you join an affiliate program compared to MLM programs that require monetary investment for the product.

Many of them will even ask you to pay several thousand dollars in order to get the right to promote their products.

In affiliate marketing it’s different. You join for free and if you decide to leave the program you don’t pay to anyone.


Low start up costs

Affiliate marketing has very low start up costs. It’s very different from starting a business in the real world.

In the real world you need to pay for office space, buy equipment, hire employees, pay taxes etc.

It can be from a few hundred up to several thousand dollars per month without any guarantee of the profit.

In case with affiliate marketing you can’t start with as low as $100 per year. This includes paying for a domain name for your website and web-hosting.

It’s also highly recommended to pay for some tools and education but it’s not super necessary. You can find a plenty of info for free.


No previous experience required

Affiliate marketing is not a secret info. Anyone can learn how to start an affiliate business. There are two ways for that.

Free method requires a lot of time to do an in-depth research on the internet and find a reliable info on affiliate marketing.

You can become a victim to many scams if you have no experience. Paid method requires some monetary investment in affiliate marketing course.

This can be between $10 – $300 per year. In any scenario you don’t need any previous experience. The length of such a course can be between 1-3 months.


Second source of income

Affiliate marketing allows you to have a second source of income which is great.

Most people are not happy with their monthly salary and very often are looking for some other ways to supplement their main income.


Financial independence

Affiliate marketing allows you to be financially independent. This aspect of affiliate marketing is the most important one for me.

Having a second source of income is not only great in terms of money aspect but also in terms of being financially independent and living your life on your terms.

If you don’t like your boss you can always leave him without any fear of losing your main income.


You can be your own boss

Affiliate marketing allows you to be your own boss which means you can have a rest or travel whenever you want.

You can do your own schedule, follow it and change it whenever you want.

The best thing is that you can do what you love to do and at the same time make money.


No customer service or out of stock issues

As an affiliate marketer you can promote both digital and physical products.

When you send someone to the merchant’s website he is the one who will be providing customer service not you.

Your task is to send people to the merchant.

All the rest aspects, such as customer service or a product being out of stock will be settled by the merchant himself.


No need to own products

As an affiliate marketer you don’t need to own products to earn money.

You choose a service or a product to promote and start your advertising campaigns.

You earn your commission per sale.


Passive income

To make money from your website requires time and effort from you as an affiliate marketer.

But once you have reached that point you can relax to a certain extent and still make money. Of course, it doesn’t mean you stop working on your website.

You still need to do the work to grow your affiliate business.

But you don’t have to work as hard as it was in the beginning. This is called passive income in affiliate marketing.


Turning your passion and interest into profit

The great thing about affiliate marketing is that you can turn your passion or interest into a profitable affiliate business.

This allows you to do what you love and at the same time make money. Plus you become your own boss and live your life on your terms.

According to statistics, very small percentage of people do what they love. That’s why I and many others love affiliate marketing.

Because it allows us to do what we love to do and at the same time turn it into a profit.


Multiple income streams

“Don’t put all eggs in one basket” is the main principle of affiliate marketing.

It’s always recommended to promote different affiliate programs to diversify your income. If one merchant stops payouts you still have many others.

That’s why having multiple income streams is the best thing about affiliate marketing.


Your home is your office

When you choose a career of affiliate marketer you don’t need to rent an office space.

You can work in the comfort of your own home and enjoy your life.

You can stay with your family and at the same time make money.



Cons of affiliate marketing

Hard work

Though affiliate marketing is a great thing, to make it great and work for you you need to do the work.

Most of the time you need to work really hard to start making money.

From my experience I can say you need to work one full year before you start making money consistently.

Sometimes it can happen quicker. But one year is the minimum time frame.


No guarantee of income

There is no income guarantee in affiliate marketing. You can earn $1000 per month, you can earn $5000 per month. You can even earn $100 per month.

Honestly speaking, over the past 5 years I haven’t seen anyone working hard and making no money. If you work hard you will make money.

How much money is a different question. Generally speaking, there is no guarantee of income.


Some investment for quicker results

As I said above, you can start your affiliate business with as small investment as $100 per year.

But for quicker results it’s highly recommended to invest some money in a quality affiliate marketing training with quality support and tools.

This will cost you $300-$500 per year. This program is the best I can recommend.


Merchant can stop payouts

Sometimes some merchants can stop payouts or their affiliate program. This means you will lose your income.

That’s why as I said above, it’s highly recommended to promote different programs.

If one program closes down you will not lose your income. This his called multiple income streams.


Self-discipline required

Though affiliate marketing has many advantages and pros it doesn’t mean you will be making money while doing nothing.

You need to do your schedule and possibly follow it. Self-discipline is the main driving and motivating force in affiliate marketing.

If you want to make money you have to be self-disciplined.


I tried to cover as many pros and cons of affiliate marketing as possible. I believe there are WAY more pros than cons and my article will motivate to start your own affiliate marketing business.




About the Author:

My name is Adam. I'm the founder of Your Income Advisor. My goal is to help others succeed online, by exposing scams and reviewing top rated products. I can help you start your own business online

Comments (14)

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  1. GVporras says:

    Thank you for sharing this great information about affiliate marketing very helpful.

    You explained very well the pros and cons of affiliate marketing I started to learn about this business and I  totally agree on the cons, but is more the pros that makes me continue to keep pushing and find success on this business. 

    • Rufat says:

      You are positive person and I believe you will achieve your financial goals sooner or later with such approach. My main incentive has always been financial independence and that’s why I achieved my goal online.

  2. Christopher says:

    Hi Rufat:

    As you say, there are many opportunities for people in affiliate marketing. You also say it’s competitive. That’s so true! It seems that whatever niche you can think of, there are already many people in that niche.

    However, as the online world continues to grow, opportunities will continue and that’s a good thing!

    You mention people who run several sites. Wow! I can’t imagine the work involved in that since I’m busy enough just operating one! 

    Affiliate marketing is an excellent avenue to enter the online world because of the low costs involved as you have pointed out.

    So many other things that you mention are reasons to be an affiliate marketer – being your own boss, passive income, no need to manage inventory and more.

    Thank you for your informative post!

    • Rufat says:

      That’s true Christopher. It’s almost impossible to choose a niche that wouldn’t have a competition. But at the same time like you say, online world continues to grow which means there is always place for everyone to grow their business. Regarding running a bunch of sites, it’s so true. Even one site takes so much time that it’s really hard to imagine how run two or more sites at the same time. I know some people who are running several sites. But as I know, their outsource some of the work and that’s why they can manage it. Otherwise it’s almost impossible to run two or more sites without outsourcing some of the work.

  3. charles39 says:

    I have been looking for pros only and seems like cons are as many as pro but the bitter truth is all you have said is truth  for you to to succeed you have to work and it doesn’t require alot to  start and  I have seen that my self and that is I would recommend people to join  you at wealthy affiliate for their Chance to learn  and earn.

    • Rufat says:

      Yes, affiliate business doesn’t require a lot to start but it takes a lot of time, effort and patience. If someone is not prepared for all this then they better not to start at all. This is reality and this is true side of affiliate marketing. It’s like any other thing in life. Without effort, time and some investment you can’t achieve anything.

  4. MONDOS says:

    Wow! At first when I read through this article, I was kind of wondering what kind of affiliate marketing this guy trying to tune me in. Then, somewhere along the lines, I had the feeling that its something family with Wealthy Affiliate. Oh, okay then I wanted to click on the link to find out it is true. And it was WA, your favorite affiliate program and so as I. I am happy that I have found WA one month ago. I am one month old now and I am learning great stuff and progressing well and heading toward achieving my financial goals. I had one question in mind. 

    Why you didn’t want to point out the name of Wealthy Affiliate in your article?


    • Rufat says:

      I’m glad you doing well with your affiliate business. When it comes to WA it’s not so important if I meantion it or not. The most important thing is that your experience so far is positive and you know what you are doing. I hope you will be successful with your business.

  5. Jim says:

    Hi Rufat. You certainly have given us a very comprehensive break up of Affiliate marketing and it’s pro’s and con’s. Most business’s , be they online or off line, take time and effort to turn into a successful enterprise. I presume that affiliate marketing would be no different. When an online business gives you the opportunity to try for free I think it’s worth the risk. So many affiliate marketing business’s that I’ve looked at seem to want you to upgrade for a substantial fee, which can come into thousands of dollars. Your business sounds like it is something I’ve been looking at for some time now. I would like to give it a try for free. Can you list exactly what you get with your free site? Thanks Jim

    • Rufat says:

      This is true. Most affiliate programs promoted online try to charge a substantial free up front and very often it comes to thousands of dollars. I never welcome this type of approach. My recommended program is free to try. You get two websites that are yours forever. Plus you get free support, keyword tool, live chat in the first 7 days. You also get access to free trainings forever. I believe it’s a good start.

  6. Barry says:

    Hello there. Thank you for sharing this information about the pros and cons of Affiliate Marketing. Like you have said, it is very true that Affiliate Marketing has the ability to make one rich and one could earn full time income from it but I’ve found out that it is not easy starting out especially for the first year. The cons will motivate and prepared me to work harder.

    • Rufat says:

      It’s great that cons motivate you to work even harder. It means you are a positive person and have the right undemanding. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize it and have wrong expectations. Only those that are patient achieve success in affiliate marketing and I hope you will be one of those strong personalities.

  7. Michel says:

    I agree there are so many pros when it comes to affiliate marketing. The best part is it costs virtually nothing to start your journey and you don’t need to keep stock. You just get referral fees which if you play your cards right you can end up doing on auto pilot.

    Of the cons, the hard work is fine if you are enjoying what you are doing, but it does require a lot of self discipline working for yourself, and if you don’t have this, then its best to work for a boss in the long run.

    It also is not a quick fix contrary to popular belief, so you need to be patient when using this model to make a full time income.

    • Rufat says:

      You’re right. This is really great that you can start with minimum expense. Enjoying what you do is critical in this business. Because very often you have to work for months before you can see any income if at all. That’s why when picking a niche your passion and interest are two main aspects. Self-discipline is also important othersiwse it’s better to work for a boss.

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