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November 1, 2020

Is it Okay to ONLY Focus on Affiliate Marketing?

Online marketing can be quite a challenge when you’re first starting out. There’s a lot to learn and a lot of tech stuff to set up. And a lot of online marketing courses say you should create and sell your own info-products since it can be a very profitable way to generate an income online.

But for someone new to the business, selling your own course or product means creating a product from scratch, writing sales copy, creating sales pages and buy buttons, handling customer support and much more.

This can all be too much to handle in the beginning. So, many beginners wonder if they can just stick to affiliate marketing and build a solid online business. The answer is YES, you can... There are many 6-figure marketers who do nothing but affiliate marketing and they’re highly successful.

Benefits of affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is very attractive to marketers who prefer a ‘hands off’ approach. For starters, since you’re only recommending other people’s products, you have a WIDE variety of products you can promote. You’re not limited to only products that you create. The products are ready to sell and all you’ll need to do is apply and get approval to promote these products as an affiliate.

You’ll also not need to deal with customer support or face any steep financial risks from investing money into product creation only to see it flop. As an affiliate, you’ll only need to look at the statistics to know if it’s a winning product and you can promote it for quick profits.

The start up costs as an affiliate marketer are minimal. If you don’t wish to build a website (NOTE: You should definitely build a website) and only want to leverage the traffic from social media sites, you still could generate commissions with a YouTube channel, Facebook group, etc.

Beginners on a very tight budget can actually shoestring their way and build a successful online business by starting off with affiliate marketing.


As rosy as affiliate marketing sounds, there are a few disadvantages to it. Nothing is perfect.

When you’re an affiliate marketer, you have little to no control over the commission rates set by the vendor. A recent example is the Amazon Associates debacle which saw them dropping their affiliates’ commission rates during the COVID pandemic.

As an affiliate marketer, you’ll not be able to build a list of customers because you’re not selling anything. Email marketing to a ‘buyers list’ is without a doubt one of the best ways to generate an income online. While you can build a list as an affiliate marketer, it will be difficult to segment the buyers from the tire kickers.

Other risks you may encounter are people trying to hijack your affiliate links or a sudden loss of income should a company you’re an affiliate for decides to shut down or end its affiliate program.

Possibilities if you branch out

Branching out means that you start creating your own products to sell while you focus on your affiliate marketing efforts. Treat the product creation as a ‘side hustle’.

Over time your product will be ready to sell… and not only will you be able to promote your own product, but you’ll be able to recruit other affiliates to promote your product too.

Now your income will multiply exponentially and you’ll be highly profitable. Of course, you won’t be able to do it all at once.
But if you approach the process slowly and surely, in time to come not only will you be a competent affiliate marketer, but you’ll also be a prolific product creator who can teach what people want to know and generate profits at the same time. 

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Jon Brickley

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