Because affiliate marketing has so many ways it can be done, how long it takes to make money with each one varies.
However, in this post, I’m actually going to give you a pretty accurate range for the many methods out there and that’s because I’ve used every single method on this list and the time it took for me to make affiliate sales varied from within hours, to months.
Now reading that, you will probably be aiming to focus on the methods which get the quickest results (and I don’t blame you), but I advise that you read this entire post, because despite some of the methods getting you faster sales, they also come with their own risks and often times, it’s better to invest in the methods which take longer to make money with, than those which are faster.
So if you’re coming to this post, are anxious to make money with affiliate marketing and are wondering how long does it take to do it, then you’ll be getting the most accurate answers here. Let’s start with a summary:
How long it takes to make money with the following affiliate marketing methods:
- Blogging: 3-12 months.
- Pinterest: 1 day to 2 months.
- YouTube Ads: 1 to 7 days.
- Bing Ads: 1 to 7 days.
- Pinterest Ads: 1 to 7 days.
- YouTube: 1 to 30 days.
- Email list: 1-14 days.
These are the closest ranges of time I can give you given my experience in affiliate marketing and they include using methods like:
- Promoting Clickbank products.
- Promoting high ticket products, including things like Clickfunnels.
- Promoting on 1 page websites and so forth.
Because these 7 options are the most common ways to make money in affiliate marketing, I’ll get into the details of each, why it takes the length of time it takes to make money with them and which one or ones you should stick to (because the shortest ones on that list may not be the best ones for you).
1) Affiliate marketing through blogging: Takes 1 to 12 months to see results.
Blogging with affiliate marketing is one of the best options on this list and it’s the one I want to start with. Despite taking up to a year to get results, it is more stable than anything else on this list.
With this method you basically create a blog and center it’s subject on a niche you love.
Then over the year period find keywords for the blog that get search traffic and populate that blog with as many blog posts (content) as possible on those keywords.
The more content the blog becomes populated with, the more it will rank organically on search engines and attract that niche traffic to the blog (free traffic).
Then when that point occurs (which happens about 6 months into that process), you can really start to make some decent money with affiliate marketing by promoting your offers on that blog, as the traffic is coming in and this process snowballs, and around the 12 month mark, you can make a pretty decent passive income with affiliate marketing through blogging.
Why blogging takes a year to make good money with affiliate marketing:
Because there are so many blogs and bloggers out there aiming to hit the first page of search engines and get all that traffic, places like Google have to be very picky and selective of how gets that honorable position.
Over a 6 month period, every single blog has to go through a “maturity period” or what is known as the Google sandbox where the blog will not really get high rankings unless it’s worthy of it. If the blog can pass that point and the blogger/owner of it can keep producing great content regardless of rankings, then it will grow past that 6 month mark and really see some good results.
Do I recommend using blogging to make money with affiliate marketing?
Absolutely. Despite taking the longest time on this list to make money with, this is the most stable and beginner friendly method. The only major con it carries is the time it takes to make money with affiliate marketing, but it’s a process that grows every month and is basically an investment.
2) Affiliate marketing through Pinterest: Takes 1 day to 2 months to see results.
You basically create beautiful images (known as pins) and put them on Pinterest. Depending on the size of your account, those pins will rank on the Pinterest search engine and get you clicks and visitors.
Once people click on the image you made, you can promote your affiliate offer there. See my Pinterest affiliate marketing guide for details.
Why Pinterest takes 1 day to 2 months to make money with at affiliate marketing:
Creating a beautiful image may take some people practice, but if you get good at it, then it will be picked up and ranked quite quickly by Pinterest. Depending on the niche and the keywords you associate with that image, will also determine how quickly it appears to other people.
If it appears quickly, that image has good odds of getting clicks pretty quickly and those clicks and equate to faster affiliate sales.
Do I recommend using Pinterest to make money with affiliate marketing?
If you are in a very visual niche, then yes. Visual niches can be something like nature photos, or if you’re promoting clothing and things that require imagery to get your point across. There is a learning curve to Pinterest and for most people, the time it’ll take to make money with this method can be a few months.
3) Affiliate marketing through YouTube Ads: 1 to 7 days.
You create a YouTube video, then set up an ad for that video on YouTube Ads so it gets traffic. This is the fastest way to make in affiliate marketing (and least risky).
Why YouTube Ads takes 1 to 7 days to make money with at affiliate marketing:
YouTube ads is a form of pay per click and setting up ads is pretty easy. If you have a new account on YouTube ads, you may have to wait a few days for that ad to get approved, but if you have an established account, you’ll see them approved within a day and getting clicks/traffic within that time period too.
Faster clicks means your video gets more views faster, which means you can get people to click on your affiliate link in the description of the YouTube video, and that all means you can make money with affiliate marketing faster with this method.
Do I recommend using YouTube Ads to make money with affiliate marketing?
If you’re new, then no, absolutely not. The main problem with YouTube Ads is that while it absolutely works, it takes a lot of skill, experience and refinement to get results.
You can easily set up an ad and get traffic yes, but if your video sucks, or your targeting is off, then you will find yourself spending way too much money on the ad and not making enough sales to profit from it. Get into this business only after you master things like making regular YouTube videos and seeing sales from them (this method is coming up).
4) Affiliate marketing through Bing Ads: 1 to 7 days.
You basically make ads to show up on the Bing search engine. Those ads can link anywhere, and in your case, they’ll link to a landing page which promotes an affiliate product.
Why Bing Ads takes 1 to 7 days to make money with at affiliate marketing:
This is literally the same thing as YouTube Ads and so the process in terms of how long it takes to get sales in affiliate marketing is the same (1-7 days). Setting up the ad is quick (takes some practice at first) and then seeing that ad get clicks and traffic can take up to 7 days.
And just like with YouTube ads, if your Bing Ads account is established and you correctly set it up to target a niche and the proper keywords, you can start getting clicks within a day to it and possibly even making affiliate sales within that time.
Do I recommend using Bing Ads to make money with affiliate marketing?
My advice for this method is the same as for YouTube Ads which is: Don’t do it unless you’re experienced.
Learn blogging and make money with that first. Despite that method taking longer to get results with, it’s worth the experience investment (as well as the money potential).
One thing I commonly do is use my blog and the most popular blog posts I have, and then use those posts to make Bing Ads for so I can get more traffic there and make more sales from it. See my full Bing Ads affiliate marketing tutorial here for details.
5) Affiliate marketing through Pinterest Ads: 1 to 7 days.
You create image pins on Pinterest and then just make ads on the Pinterest ad network so they get more views and clicks. This increases your traffic and improves the chances of making faster affiliate sales.
Why Pinterest Ads also takes 1-7 days to make money with at affiliate marketing:
It’s for pretty much the same reasons as YouTube and Bing Ads. Your ads on Pinterest Ads will only appear on the Pinterest search and having used it personally, the time it took to start seeing clicks from it was under 24 hours for me.
And again, the faster you get clicks to your ad, the faster you can make affiliate sales from it. One example of this is to create an image pin linking to some affiliate promotion you’re promoting, then create an ad to get faster clicks to that pin. The more you get, the more sales you can make, but of course this is all dependent on the quality of the ad, image and targeting you create the ad with.
Do I recommend using Pinterest Ads to make money with affiliate marketing?
You probably already know what I’m going to say, but the answer is no, unless you already have affiliate marketing experience, particularly with Pinterest in this case. Leave this method until a later time when you’re more experienced.
6) Affiliate marketing through YouTube: 1 to 30 days.
You create YouTube videos and promote your affiliate promotions by talking about how great they are and leaving a link to them in the YouTube video description.
And you also integrate smart keyword research tactics on with your YouTube video to get the video more exposure.
The more views this video gets, the more sales it can make. With basic YouTube affiliate marketing, you can get free traffic and pretty quickly.
Why YouTube affiliate marketing takes 1 to 30 days to make money with:
YouTube is one of the safest methods I know of to get fast, free traffic and promote your affiliate offers through. Depending on the type of video you make, it’s topic, it’s title, the keywords you insert into the keyword tags so it ranks for it, determines how many views it gets.
Provided you do all of this correctly, you can start seeing free traffic coming to your video/s within 24 hours and the more videos you make following the right method, the more you can make in affiliate sales.
See my YouTube affiliate marketing guide here if you want to get started with this.
Do I recommend using YouTube to make money with affiliate marketing?
Yes! I recommend it as much as I do blogging and that’s because of all the quick traffic and potential affiliate sales you can make. You will have to know how to make good videos and it doesn’t require fancy equipment, but rather, being confident in speaking and believing in your offer. If you read my affiliate marketing guide to YouTube above, I lay out all the steps necessary to do this correctly.
7) Affiliate marketing with email marketing: 1 to 14 days.
You funnel traffic to a squeeze page, collect an email and then market to the person who signed up to you an affiliate promotion. That is the basis of email marketing.
Why email marketing takes 1 to 14 days to make money with:
For starters, you first have to get traffic to an opt in page and this can be done with several methods, some of which are already listed above. For example:
- Getting traffic from your blog to your squeeze page (1-12 months).
- Getting traffic from a pay per click ad to your squeeze page (1-7 days).
- Getting traffic from Pinterest to your squeeze page (1-2 months).
- Getting traffic from YouTube to your squeeze page (1-30 days).
After you get the traffic to one of those methods above, then collect the email, it can take another week or more to get the sale because the purpose of the email is to gain trust from your visitors and keep them coming back.
You will send out emails every few days to do that, and eventually will pitch your affiliate offer in one of them. That process can be 2 weeks or longer.
Do I recommend using email marketing to make affiliate sales with?
Since it’s also advanced like pay per click, then my answer is the same: Do affiliate marketing with email marketing only when you’re experienced (and you have money).
One very important thing to note about these 7 methods and the time it takes to make money with them:
All of these methods are based on an important context which is: You do it right. There are so many ways to screw up each method I listed above, that it may take forever to get results.
It’s important to know that there is a universal flow to getting affiliate marketing right, which is targeting a good niche and properly marketing to it using the above methods, of which YouTube and blogging are the best.
If you can get that part right, the other methods will also work for you and through refining and experiencing it yourself, you can cut down on the time it takes to make money with them as an affiliate.
If you’re going to get into this, make sure to not focus on the time it takes to get results, because that type of mentality is what gets people into trouble and making one of the most disastrous affiliate marketing mistakes there is.
People who focus on how quickly they can get results, typically do not focus on the quality and effort it takes to actually make a successful affiliate marketing business, and that makes them fail.
If you’re new and want to make sure you really do this business right, see my recommendation for a program like Wealthy Affiliate or seek my affiliate coaching so you can do this correctly.