The short answer to how much you can make with affiliate marketing is limitless.
But obviously, such a broad answer won’t suffice anyone who has serious intent to enter into this business, so in this post, I’m going to give you real numbers. Let me start with myself.
How much I’ve made with affiliate marketing ($1.2 million):
Over the 16 years I’ve been in this business, that’s how much I’ve made so far and those numbers weren’t exactly spaced out over each year, but they were up and down and at this current stage of my career, I am making a passive income with affiliate marketing.
For a more detailed report of this, you can check out my affiliate marketing income reports page here.
How much affiliate marketers typically make in this business (7 tiers):
I’m giving you the following numbers based on the anecdotal experiences I’ve had talking and coaching many affiliates.
If we take 1,000 people who try their hand at affiliate marketing, then:
- 900 will fail (90% make $0).
- 50 will make $100 or less a year (5% make a few sales).
- 10 will make $1,000 or more a year (1% will cross 4 figures).
- 10 will make $10,000 or more a year (1% will enter 5 figure range).
- 10 will make $50,000 or more a year (1% are stable 5 figure earners).
- 10 will earn $100,000 or more a year (1% are stable six figure earners).
- And the remaining 10 will make $1,000,000 or more (1% are seven figure earners).
What you need to know about earning money as an affiliate before you start:
The most important things to note about these income stats:
1) The higher the income (success), the less affiliates you will find at the top who made it there. This is normal and odds are, 90% will fail, typically of these common mistakes affiliate marketers make.
2) The other 10% will typically be people who see some level of success and if they continue working hard and growing their business, while also experimenting, they will climb the ladder. I’ve never seen any affiliate marketer reach the top 1% of income earners immediately.
3) Typically, they climbed the ladder by experiencing some success, and then growing that overtime. This was also how I went about seeing success.
4) Success and how much you make as an affiliate is determined by way more than just a single factor. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 that I’ll explain shortly.
Here is how much money successful affiliate marketers make:
These are random success stories I got from Wealthy Affiliate, my top recommended program for helping people become successful at affiliate marketing.
The common thing about these people is that they are following not just the training in the program, but also implementing the 5 factors I’ll talk about shortly.
Most of these affiliates are already in the minority of success cases in this business, crossing into the 3 digit earning level, while others have already passed 4 figures and are growing.
This means they are making consistent sales, and that’s one of the most important components of a successful affiliate marketer who is on their way to making a passive income.
When seeking to become a successful marketer, you will generally find either:
- These types of cases.
- Or cases of people who show off making 7 figures.
I honestly recommend following in the footsteps of the first type, aka the people to the right because they are doing this business in a way that is more ethical.
Typically I find affiliate marketers who show off 7 figure numbers to be unethical affiliates that don’t exactly preach a good way of succeeding in this business. They typically create and promote very expensive programs for $1,000’s and use the money made from that to make it seem like they are earning a lot, when it’s really not true.
So these stories I decided to share with you are a good starting point if you’re just a beginner at affiliate marketing. Starting here, you can truly grow into a legitimate affiliate that begins with a few sales and overtime grows to making 6 figures or more.
5 factors that determine how much you can make with affiliate marketing:
- Your affiliate promotion and how much it pays.
- The education you use to make affiliate sales.
- Your actual genuine effort in working hard.
- How well you can get quality traffic to your offers.
- How good of a copywriter you are.
Here is how each one determines your success in making more with affiliate marketing:
1) Your affiliate promotion.
How much you get paid per affiliate sale counts a lot here. For example:
- If you’re promoting an offer that pays $10 a sale and you make 10 sales, you’ll earn $100.
- If you promote a high ticket affiliate offer that pays $100 a sale, and also make 10 sales with it, then you’ll earn $1,000.
Now promoting high ticket affiliate offers isn’t always the way to go. Very often, you will make more in the long run with low or medium ticket sales and I typically do medium ticket promotions, where I’ll get paid about $20+ per sale.
2) Your education in how you learn to do affiliate marketing.
My rule of thumb after seeing 100’s of affiliate training programs is that the easier they make you think it is to do this business, the worse the program is. And also the more they cost, the worse it is too.
Legitimate and profitable affiliate businesses don’t cost a lot to start, nor does it require that you pay a lot to learn it.
Stick to programs that honestly say it like it is: That affiliate marketing takes time and that you need to work hard. One such program that does this and leads people to success by following it is Wealthy Affiliate (if you need a good reference).
3) Your effort counts, a lot.
Even if you have a good affiliate promotion that pays well, and a training program that tells you straight up how to promote it well, but you are lazy and don’t truly put in an honest effort, at best, you’ll probably make a sale or even a few, but you will never reach that passive income level. You’ll always hustle your way in affiliate marketing and that’s not how it’s done.
4) How good you are at copywriting:
Copywriting is basically another word for how well you write affiliate product reviews or how well you set up things like YouTube affiliate reviews to convince people to buy stuff.
The better you are at copywriting, the more affiliate sales you can make. Here are examples of great copywriting strategies I’ve used.
A good number to aim for is a 5% conversion rate, meaning out of 100 visitors who come to your site, 5 will buy that promotion, so you’ll make 5 sales for every 100 visitors.
Let’s put this into specific numbers and see how much you can make as an affiliate doing this:
Let’s assume you are promoting scuba cameras, an awesome high ticket product in an awesome niche.
- Each camera is about $1,000 and you get paid $50 for a sale.
- For every 100 visitors, you make 5 sales, so you earn $250.
- For every 1,000 visitors you earn $2,500 in affiliate sales.
- For every 10,000 visitors, you will earn $25,000 in affiliate sales.
As the traffic numbers increase, so do your affiliate sales and as long as the traffic is quality traffic, then you can keep scaling and making more money.
5) How good you are at generating quality traffic to your affiliate offer.
I used an example of getting 1,000 visitors to your site. But how do you get them? Well each of the following networks has their own methods for generating traffic:
- Google: You have to blog about scuba diving (or whatever niche).
- YouTube: You have to make videos on scuba diving.
- Facebook Ads: You’ll want to make ads for scuba divers.
- Pay per click networks. You’ll also want to make ads for scuba divers (Google, Bing, ect…).
- Pinterest (You’ll want to make images, videos and even do pay per click with Pinterest too).
I won’t say it’s easy to get 1,000 people from any of these networks to visit your affiliate offer, but with practice you can make it easy.
Traffic generation skills are huge, and when I said quality traffic is important, I meant it.
If you sell something involving scuba gear which we’re using in this example, you will only want scuba diving enthusiasts or people interested in that activity to come to your site. Not swimmers, not sports people, none of that. Just targeted audiences only (scuba divers).
If you can mix these 5 factors together:
There will be no limit to how much you’ll be able to make with affiliate marketing:
These 5 skills are really the most important things you need to make money. I see posts about this subject and they just throw out random numbers that frankly aren’t backed up by anything.
People who want to do affiliate marketing shouldn’t think of this business as a salary job. It is nothing of the sort (here is why affiliate marketing is not a job).
What it is, is a business where:
- If you can find major niche audiences ready to buy a specific product.
- And then promote an affiliate offer to them on a well written landing page.
- And drive that traffic to that offer.
- And you keep doing that, across one or more promotions.
- Then you’ll make money, in limitless amounts.
The way to learn these skills correctly is to use legitimate educational platforms that teach affiliate marketing this way and you have Wealthy Affiliate as well as my affiliate coaching through Wealthy Affiliate to do that.