In this article, we wish to settle one persistent question that keeps popping up in our line of work. It’s the question of whether affiliate marketing is legit or not.
We are going to show you that, yes, affiliate marketing is legit. As you’ll see, there are several ways to support this claim.
First, let’s take a look at why these doubts exist in the first place.
Reasons for doubting the legitimacy of affiliate marketing
“But”, the cynic might ask, “why are there so many affiliate marketing scams out there, if affiliate marketing is as legit as you claim?”
To tackle this question, let’s take a close look at what affiliate marketing is at its core. It’s when you promote someone else’s product or service on your own blog or website and earn commissions if they sell anything to your visitors.
The real reason affiliate marketing scams exist is because of the affiliate marketing ‘fear factor’ – people falling for it simply don’t understand how it works, to begin with! People usually think that because they see others online who are making a lot of money from being affiliates, this must be a pyramid scheme, or they have to ‘sell their soul’ to work as an affiliate – but that’s just not the case!
In other words: people mistrust what they don’t understand. They see others making a decent, passive income from affiliate marketing. Perhaps they begrudge those people what they are earning from affiliate marketing. This leads them to the conclusion that it must be a scam, just like pyramid schemes.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, this TED-ed video explains the concept of a pyramid scheme quite clearly:
When it sounds too good to be true, it usually is, isn’t it? Yes, but in the case of affiliate marketing the problem lies more in the fact that most people don’t recognize that it’s hard work building an income as an affiliate marketer.
When affiliate marketing sounds too good to be true, sounds like a scam, it’s simply because it takes way more time and effort than people realise to earn money.
However, there are some precautions we affiliate marketers should take to preserve the name of affiliate marketing.
There are, for example, certain niches that have been considered less “wholesome” over time. For this reason, affiliates need to choose only trustworthy companies when promoting their products. Only promote products or services that you can truly support the quality of.
If you’re still not convinced, here are three legitimate reasons why you should start affiliate marketing right now:
1. Affiliate marketing is free to get started
That’s right! You can literally get started as an affiliate for free! To promote anything, all you need is a website or blog – nothing more. All that’s required to be an affiliate is a website or blog, and the ability to write compelling sales copy. You can get started for absolutely no cost at all – so what are you waiting for? It’s time to stop making excuses – affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to make money from home.
In fact, even a website is not required. Starting with affiliate marketing with no money could be done with just an internet connection and a social media presence. You don’t even have to pay for a domain name or hosting! It’s totally free to get started with affiliate marketing.
How can something that doesn’t cost you anything to get started not be a legit way for you to make money?
All you really need to get started with affiliate marketing, is a working internet connection.
2. Affiliate marketing allows you to choose what products and services you promote
As an affiliate marketer, you are the one in control of what products and services you promote on your website. You don’t have to promote anything that doesn’t work for you – this is your site, after all!
This means that affiliate marketing in itself is always legit. It is the affiliate marketer that might make it scammy, by promoting shady products or services that they know to be faulty. This doesn’t, however, change anything to the fact that affiliate marketing is a totally legit way of building a business.
Are you reading this article and wondering if affiliate marketing is still worth pursuing in 2023? We compiled a very interesting report with recent stats and the affiliate marketing market size has seen an exponential growth over the last couple of years, and it’s expected to keep growing!
3. Affiliate marketing allows you to work your own hours
Just as you’re the one in charge of what you are promoting on your affiliate channels, you’re also controlling the number of hours you put into your business. It’s not like with so many actual scams out there, where there’s no way out once you’re in.
You can put in 50 hours a week for months, and then suddenly decide to pull the plug and stop affiliate marketing altogether. (We wouldn’t recommend it, after so much hard work, but it’s entirely up to you.)
For many people, it’s just a little ‘side project’. You can do it at your own pace, whenever you want! It’s totally up to you how many hours you want to dedicate towards affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing allows you to work anywhere, anytime. If you’re a night-owl, it can be the perfect side project to boost your income.
Two important things you have to be careful about to keep your affiliate marketing business legit
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a privacy law that went into effect in 2018. It controls how websites collect and store data from visitors within the European Union— mirroring laws set forth by UK legislation on citizens’ rights to protection of their own personal info, you should know what this means for your affiliate site!
- The Federal Trade Commission is serious about making sure companies are following the rules. They regularly check for noncompliance and release new initiatives to crack down on unethical business practises, including fines as high as $40 million! If you don’t properly disclose your affiliate relationships then it’s possible that they’ll report back or even fine you.
So, is affiliate marketing a scam? Absolutely not. It’s a great way to make money working from home and it’s totally legitimate. Just be sure you understand the rules and regulations surrounding it, like GDPR and The Federal Trade Commission, so you don’t get in trouble. And if you want to get started with affiliate marketing today, read our blog for help!