Advantages And Disadvantages Of Affiliate Marketing

OMG! Advantages And Disadvantages Of Affiliate Marketing

You’ve been hearing all the noise about affiliate marketing. Suddenly you’re curious what the pros and cons are. Well welcome to the world of affiliate marketing. It’s no secret that affiliate marketing is supposed to be a rewarding and unique opportunity.

In this guide we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing, which should give you valuable insights to help you make a more informed decision before pursuing affiliate marketing.

Let’s Dive in!

What Does It Mean To Be An Affiliate Marketer?

I assume that if you’re on this page, then you know what affiliate marketing is. If not you might want to go over to my introduction of affiliate marketing where it goes into more details about affiliate marketing.

In short, affiliate marketing, is considered a performance based business model. If you decide to pursue affilaite marketing, you will not be considered an employee. Instead you are considered self employed.

You’re paid by the terms and conditions set by the affiliate program or affiliate network that you end up working with. Therefore, you are responsible in managing all of your finances, medical insurance, taxes, and any other business activities that you take part in.

Above all, it doesn’t matter if you make very little income or a substantial amount of income, you’ll definitely want to be aware of the IRS Small Business Workshop. It’s an entire work shop for small businesses. You can watch the entire thing or skip to the parts that you find most valuable.

However, I do recommend you at least watch Lesson 4- Business use of your home because, as an affiliate marketer or as a self employed worker, you have the ability to work from anywhere which includes the comfort of your home.


Advantages: The Pros Of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing helps you learn skills that you may have never had before. This business model can be done as a side hustle, secondary income, part-time or a full-time income. Below you find some of the advantages of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing Has Low Start Up Costs

Unlike a brick and mortar business, it cost nearly nothing to get started with affiliate marketing. In fact, there are some cases where you can start affiliate marketing with no money. Therefore, you don’t need to have deep pockets in order for you to become an affiliate marketer.

Most people think you need to have a website but, that’s also not the case. In some cases you don’t even need an affiliate website, either. Further more, if you search really well on the internet there are plenty of ways to get some of your affiliate marketing tools for little to no cost.

What’s even more impressive is that you don’t need to invest in creating a product, you don’t need shipping label printer, you don’t to rearrange your house to store inventory, nor do you have to handle returns, complaints, or purchases because, the company that you partner with does all that for you.

The point here is that, affiliate marketing gives you a huge advantage even if you are on a tight budget and have no job.

All you really need to get started are a few things. A computer and the internet. Even if you don’t have internet, the Amercian government helps people out who qualify.

I’d suggest that you check out the affordable connectivity program if you need assistance with the internet. It’s available to low income all the way up to veterans.

The point is that, in most cases to join an affiliate program or affiliate network it’s free. Furthermore, starting a social media account or YouTube channel is free. As a result, becoming an affiliate marketer is low costs and very achievable for almost anyone.

No Background Checks, No Experience Or No Interviews Required

Another huge advantage of affiliate marketing is it typically doesn’t require background checks, extensive prior experience, or formal interviews and here’s why.

No Background Checks

There’s typically no background checks because, affiliate marketing is primarily based on performance and results. As an affiliate marketer, you are promoting products or services on the behalf of other merchants or companies. And since you aren’t employed by the merchant or company, there is no need for background checks. Instead your focus is more directed to your ability to generate sales or leads.

No Prior Marketing Experience Needed

Affiliate marketing is accessible to many people with various backgrounds, from stay at home parents to lawyers. Each individual has their own level of experience. While having prior marketing experience can be beneficial, its certainly not a requirement.

You’ll learn marketing skills as long as you are willing to continue learning. In fact, affiliate marketing allows to you learn and develop these skills as you go and many successful affiliate marketers started with little to no prior experience.

No Formal Business Interviews

Unlike traditional employment, affiliate marketing typical doesn’t involve a formal interview process. Instead, you apply to become an affiliate through an affiliate program or network. If the affiliate manager approves your application, then you would be working directly with that merchant. The application process typically entails providing basic information about yourself and marketing methods.

However, its important to know that there are some higher-level affiliate programs that do have a additional requirements or vetting process. Always read the affiliate terms and condition when Appling to an affiliate program or network.

Overall, because, of the flexibility and limited requirements it does make affiliate marketing appealing to many individuals. There’s no need to stress out over passing a background check. Sweat to death behind an interview. Or go into years worth of debt just to acquire a certain degree. 

Affiliate marketing doesn’t require any of the above.

Instead it can open plenty of opportunities for everyone. In fact it gives many people a chance to earn an income from home.

So, if you’ve ever struggled getting a job, or retaining a job.

Affiliate marketing is something that you could consider.

If fact, there are free affiliate marketing courses that can help guide you. In the video below “Chyna” explains what her thoughts are about affiliate marketing.

You Don’t Have To Create A Product, No Shipping, No Customer Service

I know from selling on eBay for two years, of how much of a hassle it is to hold inventory and keep track of it, ship it, refund it, and handle direct customer service.

No Product Creation

Well, with affiliate marketing, you don’t have to worry about creating a digital or physical product. Instead of creating your own products, you can promote other people’s products while still earning money. It’s your role as an affiliate marketer to recommend other merchants products or services. These products were created by other companies or individuals and not you.

Therefore, you don’t have to worry about investing time, effort, or your resources into developing your own product from scratch. By the way, this doesn’t mean that you can’t ever create your own product because, you certainly can if you’d like.

 It also means that if you never ever want to create your own product you do not have too. Instead you can focus on marketing and promoting products that all ready exists.

No Shipping Or Inventory Managment

When a customer makes a purchase through your affiliate link, the actual money and product transaction is not handled by you. Instead its all handled by the merchant or company. They are the ones that will handle the actual transaction and product fulfillment.

They are also the ones responsible for processing the orders, packaging the order, and shipping the products directly to your customer. As a result this relieves your of the logistical challenges and costs associated with storing, shipping and managing the physical products.

No Direct Customer Service

As an affiliate you provide valuable information and recommendations to potential customers. However, you are not the one responsible for handling customer complaints, inquiries, or support requests. This is one reason why its highly recommended to promote products or services that you believe in and trust.

Above all, customer service tasks such as responding to refunds, addressing technical issues, or processing returns are typically handled by the merchant. This allows you to focus on marketing and driving traffic to your affiliate offers.

You Learn New Skills

Engaging in affiliate marketing, can help you learn and develop new skills. The skill development that you could potential develop depends on how your marketing channel, the product, and your audience. The most common skills that you may develop are as follows:

  • Digital Marketing Skills
  • Content Creation and Copywriting Skills
  • Research and Analysis Skills
  • Relationship and Network Building Skills
  • Website and Image Designs
  • SEO Skills
  • Entrepreneurial and Business Management Skills
  • Adaptability and Learning Agility

The bottom lines, is that affiliate marketing doesn’t require your to create products but, it does require your to develop your skills with the willingness to learn, practice, and apply your knowledge within the flied. By the way, employers often value individuals you have many of these skills.

Flexibility: You Own Your Time, Your The Boss, And You Decide Where You Work

Whether you want to pursue affiliate marketing as a side hustle or a career. Having flexibility is often a cited advantage.

Time Freedom

As an affiliate marketer you have flexibility to set your own schedule and work at your own pace Instead of waking up every morning trying not to hit the snooze button, you can call all the shots for everything. With affiliate marketing you are not bound to traditional office hours or a fixed work shift. This allows you to manage your time according to your family, life, or preferences. You actually get to choose how much time you want to dedicate to your activities, which gives you better control over your work-life balance.

Boss Freedom

Becoming your own boss also comes with a lot of responsibilities but, on a positive note. There’s no certain time that you must report to a boss. You make all the decisions on how your going to run your affiliate business. You also choose what you’re going to promote, as well as the marketing strategies that you will employ.

Overall, you are the one giving your business direction. This level of independence does appeal to many individuals who prefer a higher degree of control and responsibilities in their own work or time.

Location Freedom

As long as you have an internet connection, you can basically work from anywhere. The best part is affiliate marketers aren’t tied to one specific location. This means that you can work in a coffee shop, at the beach, while on vacation, or even while your kids are in the background making a ton of noise.

As long as you have a computer and internet, you can manage your affiliate marketing activities from any location.

You’ll be setting all the rules because you’ll be the one making your own work schedule.

If you want to take the day off, go ahead!

If you want to take a week or even a month off, you have that right too.

With affiliate marketing you’re considered self-employed so, you can choose what you want to work on, when you want to work on it, and how you would like to work on it because, you’re the boss.

Affiliate Marketing Can Be Passive

First of all, I have one question, do you know there’s a difference between active income and passive income?  Briefly, active income is when you’re actively trading your time, skills, and expertise for money. You show up, put the work in and get paid when the job is done. Rinse and repeat!

In fact, most people make an active income. So, there’s nothing wrong with that but, having passive income even if it’s a secondary income can beneficial.

On the other hand, passive income is when you have everything setup, then you earn money without little to very little effort. The simplest way, I can explain this is that, the work you do today, is what will help you earn income later on down the road.

Over the past decade or so I’ve been living off of passive income. At the time I didn’t understand that it was passive until I started learning affiliate marketing. And that’s what really had me hooked.

Let’s say that you start a blog, write tons of articles and months or even years later, those same articles start to generate you an income over and over again. 

For example, I’ve written an article almost 3 years ago. That article will still generate an income every now and then.

In other words, with active income you have to be present to earn an income.

While passive income you don’t. Regardless, if you worked that day or month, with passive income you’ll still get paid.

Financial Security

Moreover, passive income has several benefits. It can provide better financial security. Your able to diversify your income sources, making you less reliant to one single paycheck. Of course your time becomes more flexible. Therefore you have the ability to spend more time with your family.

Furthermore, one notable advantage that I noticed is that it can be a more stable and consistent flow of income especially during times of economic downturns. In addition to that, passive income is scalable.

Meaning you reduce your dependence on traditional employment, and have the ability to take the skills that you learn to increase your earnings without proportional increases in your time and effort.

Above all, it’s important to note that building passive income does require initial effort, investment, and ongoing maintenance. Therefore, it may not be a quick or easy process.

No Daycare Needed

While affiliate marketing itself doesn’t eliminate the need for daycare, its the method of earning passive income that helps you reach the goal of becoming a stay at home mom or dad.

For many mothers and fathers this is one of the biggest advantages. Affiliate marketing doesn’t require you to send your babies off to daycare. You can enjoy them, while you work because, you work on your own terms.

Of course this all depends on the needs of your child and their age. But, affiliate marketing can offer you the flexibility to work from home and set your own hours. For that reason, it is an advantage when it comes to managing your childcare responsibilities.

What do you think the biggest benefits of affiliate marketing is?

By the way, did you know some affiliate marketing programs, allow you to make money in their community.


Disadvantages: The Dangers Of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be profitable, flexible, and a rewarding opportunity. However, it’s not everyone is fond of it. Therefore, you should be aware of the dangers or disadvantages that can come with becoming an affiliate marketer.

Misleading or Unethical Practices: Affiliate Marketing Isn’t A Push Button System

This is number one on my dangers list, I used to write a ton of articles helping people avoid scams. It really amazed me how many top earning Gurus would scam people into buying their products.

So, it is true that some affiliate marketers do engage in unethical practices, such as promoting fraudulent products. Therefore, it’s recommended that when promoting products to always promote things that are credible because, you do not want to ruin your reputation.

You’ve probably come across Gurus who claim to be living the dotcom lifestyle, they’re working from their laptop on a beach, and driving fancy cars. 

They’ll make it seem like money is flowing right out of their computer and… right into their bank accounts.

That’s not entirely true!

Here me can make a decent income with affiliate marketing. In fact, you can make a lot of money if you get really great at affiliate marketing but, it’s definitely not a push button system. 

Whether you run a blog, start a YouTube channel, or promote on social media.

It all requires a lot of hard work, refining,  and a ton of learning. 

Starting an affiliate blog is like a huge puzzle. Especially in the beginning. There’s so many pieces you must learn to put together. Such as keywords, learning exactly how SEO works and what Google means by E-E-A-T.

For instance, finding low hanging keywords that’ll drive traffic to your blog, your going to need to learn how to use a SEO tool.

Learning Agility With A Proactive Mindset

When it comes to affiliate marketing and a website, you must have a proactive mindset, identifying and addressing any issues that arise. The algorithms and ranking factors used by search engines undergo regular updates and refinements, which means this is a skill that you will have stay up to date with.

Embracing new challenges and adapting to new skills is a must. Furthermore, you need to learn how to create engaging content, which takes hours to create in the first place.

Those same articles that you just created today won’t be seen for months because you’ll be told that they’re Google sandboxed which hasn’t been 100% confirmed. Oh and if you start promoting on social media without a following, you’re going to need to get the people pay attention and to trust you.

The bottom line is that affiliate marketer does require consistent effort, planning, and ongoing optimization. The point here is to make sure you are aware that there are exaggerated claims about overnight money, it actually doesn’t work that way.

Self-Employment Can Be A Challenge For Some Affiliate Marketers

Self-employment does offer benefits such as flexibility and being able to control your own time. However, it does come with its own set of difficulties.

Increased Workload And Responsibility

If you’ve never worked for yourself before, you’ll learn pretty quickly that Entrepreneurs work really hard. It takes a lot of adjusting and a ton of time, especially, when you’re first getting started.

Being self-employed as an affiliate marketer, often means that you will take on multiple roles and responsibilities, such as marketing, creating, maintaining, designing, and inquiry follow-ups, learning and retaining, and the list can go on depending on what strategies you implement into your affiliate marketing journey.

On the other hand, when you’re working for an employer, you show up, do the job and go home. In addition to this, all of your administrative work is planned and organized for you and not by you.

Your schedule automatically comes with work breaks.

You receive a paycheck on a set schedule or on a regular basis.

And if any training or development is needed, you are given coaching by your employer to help you improve in your career. 

However, with affiliate marketing it works totally differently.

You Need To Become Disciplined, Organized To Complete Administrative Work

Unless, you hire someone else to take on other roles for you, you’ll have to learn how to create your own schedule and stick with it. Plus, the majority of the time, there’s no real human interaction.

Affiliate marketing definitely requires a ton of self-discipline, self-motivation, and you must learn effective time management skills.

You’re the only human being running the entire show, unless you learn to outsource.  

Furthermore, you’ll not only become the scheduler, you’re responsible for keeping track of your earnings, loss, and taxes. Therefore, you’re the director of payroll. 

And, in some cases when you learn to outsource, you’ll also have to learn how to hire and fire other people, which now means your Human Resources as well. 

Simply put, it’s a lot to learn on top of blogging, or whatever promotion channel you choose.

Self-Employment Insurance

As an affiliate marketer that operates without having a traditional job, it’s important for you to understand that you may have to obtain insurance coverage, such as health, dental, or eye insurance on your own, if you choose to do so.

You Have No Control Over The Affiliate Program Or Affiliate Products

As an affiliate you will be promoting other peoples products and since you don’t own the product, you won’t have control over it.

For example, if the creator changes the price of one of their products, you must go back and update every article, video, or social media post that mentioned the old pricing which can be a huge pain.

This can become frustrating, especially, if you mentioned the price of an affiliate product all over the place.

I’ve never experienced what I’m about to mention next but, I can only imagine if you have a YouTube channel or social media and the previous pricing was mentioned.

You’ll have to go back and update that information to reflect the proper information. In some cases, you may have to remove the entire video or post. With a blog, its a little easier because, all you have to do is head over to the blog post that mentions the incorrect information, and update it.

Small Affiliate Programs Aren’t Always As Reliable As Larger

Another example of not having control over anything is, the product creator or small business can forget to pay you commissions.

True story. I was promoting a product that converted pretty well. However, I’ve had to remind this very successful creator of a small business to pay me for every single affiliate commission check that was owed to me, which also caused me to have to wait until affiliate payments were sent out on the next round.

It sucked! It’s almost like having to remind your employer to pay you for the last two weeks that you worked.

Needless, to say that small affiliate program was shut down by the creator. As a result, I also lost a portion of my income due to the affiliate program shutting down. The creator didn’t give any warnings and when I asked about the program, there was no response.

I’m sure everyone involved took a slight hit to some extent but, it’s frustrating to be put in a situation like that without any heads up.

This is why its highly recommended to join the right affiliate programs or networks. The larger affiliate networks typically don’t experience things like this.

The point is, not every affiliate that has been placed in this type of situation was able to retrieve their money.

So, not being able to control the product pricing, its availability, and stability or the programs reliability can be a huge disadvantages of not owning your own product.

All this that I have mentioned is very rare but, it’s good to know what to expect ahead of time. By knowing this information, you’ll be better prepared on how to select the right affiliate programs.

Last example of not having control is, I’ve seen many affiliate programs go away, get shut down by the government, or just simply go down hill.

In fact, a company called Success By Health was recently temporarily shut down by the FTC. I’ve also seen affiliate programs give about a month notice announcing it publicly that their entire store is closing. Book Depository is a great example of that.

In many cases, people have lost money. I being one of them.

So, a good rule of them is to never become dependent on one affiliate program. And always promote products that have a great reputation with longevity.

Intense Competition

Another disadvantage that you will never have control over whether you own the product or not is the competition. Most businesses face some form of competition, especially when similar products or services with the same customer base is involved.

While competition can exists, that means there is money to be made in that industry. So, what you would have to do is stand out as much as you can from the crowd which can be a challenge when you’re first learning what to even do. At the end of the day compeition is not something you can control but, you can control how you proceed.

Affiliate Compliance Risk

This is not mentioned very often but, there are some things that affiliate marketers need to abide by and that’s the laws and regulations. When advertising, disclosure requirements are required.

Furthermore, complying with affiliate programs is another issue. You must follow the affiliate programs terms and conditions, or you could be dismissed from the program.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does Affiliate Marketing Require You To Build A Team?

No, that’s the beauty of affiliate marketing it doesn’t require any form of recruitment like network marketing does. One of the appealing aspects of affiliate marketing is that you can operate as an individual marketer without the need for a team. However, as your affiliate marketing grows you may choose to expand your operations and collaborate with others.

Do You Get Paid Right Away With Affiliate Marketing?

With affiliate marketing, the payment process varies and it depends on the company, affiliate program, or affiliate network that you are working with. Generally, affiliate marketers do not get paid immediately for their referrals or sales. Some affiliate programs or networks pay every week, while others pay every 60 days. When joining an affiliate program, read over the terms and conditions, and your payment dates should be listed within the affiliate agreement.

Can You Lose Money With Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing has the potiential to be profitable. However, it is still possible to incur losses as well. Some of the situations that can cause your to experience financial lost or setbacks is when you pay for traffic by promoting affiliate products through advertising. Purchasing traffic through pay per click is a skill to learn and it can cause you a financial setback, especially if you don’t approach it strategically and use a click tracking software.

You can also pay for affiliate marketing tools that you don’t necessary need to pay for right away. Or the affiliate program that you were promoting yesterday, is gone the next day which can cause you to experience a financial setback.

It’s important to evaluate the potiential risks and consider your budget and resources that’s available to you. Building a solid foundation, and continue to learn can help you increase your chances of success while reducing the likelihood of losing money in affiliate marketing.

Is It Worth Becoming An Affiliate Marketer?

Ultimately, deciding if becoming an affiliate marketer is worth it, depends on your goals, interests, and the dedication that you decide to put towards what is required. It does take time, learning, and effort. It can be rewarding and a profitable venture for those who are willing to invest time into learning, staying committed, and adapting to changes. Please approach affiliate marketing with realistic expectation and be prepared for the potiential challenges ahead. There are always uncertainties with any entrepreneurial pursuits.

Final Thought Of The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Affiliate Marketing

In conclusion, affiliate marketing presents a compelling opportunity for individuals seeking to generate an income online. With a potential passive income, low start up costs, and the flexibility that comes with it can be a very attractive venture.

However, its important to acknowledge the competitive nature of the industry and the need for continues learning and sometimes continuous adaptation. With that being said, today, many people are facing challenging situations. Some are losing their jobs, while others are swimming in debt.

Affiliate marketing does have some advantages and disadvantages but, I believe that the advantages can outweigh the cons. 

You can set your own schedule, learn at your own pace, and it can help you pay down the overwhelming debt. You can set your own income limits as well.

The bottom line is, affiliate marketing can be a way to earn extra income.

I would recommend anyone to learn it, even if you have a career that you love because, it will help increase your bottom line. So, whether you’re looking to supplement your current income or embark on a full-time affiliate marketing business, consider exploring the possibilities of affiliate marketing.

What is holding you back from starting affiliate marketing? Let me know in the comments.


  • amith raj

    Hey, nice article about” Affiliate marketing”. I will definitely follow these for my company to give the best possible services to my customers. Keep on adding this type of valuable content again and again. Hope to read more from you. Thank you!

    • A

      Hi Amith, thank you for stopping by. I’m glad to hear that you found this affiliate marketing article helpful. Therefore, I will definitely take your advice and continue adding more content with value. I really appreciate hearing from you. wishing you all the best and continued success….

  • Sima Frick

    Dear Ma’am

    I needed to thank you for this good read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post…

    Best Regards

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