HomeBlogsAffiliate Marketing IndustryCan affiliate Marketing be a fulltime job? [Earnings?]

Can affiliate Marketing be a fulltime job? [Earnings?]

Affiliate Marketing as a fulLtime job? Well, it seems to be a bit unusual, but definitely possible! Though affiliate marketing has been seen as a side hustle for recent years, many people take the pathway to a full-time career and make decent money from it.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the strategies and steps to transform your affiliate marketing journey into a sustainable profession.


How does affiliate marketing work?

Firstly, if you are new to affiliate marketing, make sure you are not caught up in common misconceptions about affiliate marketing.

After having a basic understanding of affiliate marketing, I think we can agree that affiliate marketing is not “that” beautiful. So, what you can truly expect from a full-time job? 

If you are here, you may have heard about affiliate marketing. Simply explained, an affiliate is the brand’s extended hand – that will help promote products and in turn, get a commission.

Here’s the workflow:  

  • You join an affiliate program and they give you an affiliate link.
  • You tell people about awesome products or services and refer them to links to products.  using this special link.
  • When someone clicks your link and buys something, you get a special thank-you reward – your commission!
  • This reward can be a piece of the sale price or a fixed amount.

You earn a little bonus for bringing the customer brand together. Pretty cool huh? 

However, as it is an emerging industry and offers high flexibility, most people choosing affiliate marketing see it as a side hustle.

But, we’re not just talking side gig here.  We’re talking about the potential to turn what you love into a full-time adventure – or how professional it could be. 

Can affiliate marketing be a fulltime career?

Yes, affiliate marketing can indeed be pursued as a full-time career for those who are willing to dedicate time, effort, and strategy to it. Here’s why:


Affiliate marketing has a scalable business model. There is room for growth in the affiliate marketing industry. By 2023, it is estimated to reach $14.3 billion, and further rise to $15.7 billion in 2024

As an affiliate marketer gains experience and expertise, they can expand their reach, and promote a wider range of products or services.

Plus, an experienced affiliate can diversify their source of income, due to an extended list of commissionable products, brand sponsorship, and ads.

Low Overhead Costs

Traditional businesses require a significant upfront investment in inventory, infrastructure, or overhead costs.

Affiliate marketing is not the same. It typically has low barriers to entry.

Affiliates can start with minimal investment in tools, hosting, and marketing expenses, making it accessible to individuals with varying financial resources.

Passive Income Potential

With effective marketing strategies, affiliate marketers can generate passive income streams.

Over half of affiliate marketer claims that a great part of their income is made passively.

Once affiliate links are generating traffic, affiliates can continue to earn commissions without needing constant active involvement.

Continuous Learning and Growth

Affiliate marketing is a dynamic and ever-evolving field. Successful affiliate marketers continuously adapt to changes in consumer behavior, technology, and industry trends. This ongoing learning process keeps the career engaging and offers opportunities for personal and professional growth.

How do affiliate marketers get paid?

So, that is about affiliate marketing in companies. How about freelancers? 

In terms of earnings, the average annual salary for a top-earning affiliate in 2024 is $150,000. Over 80% of top-earning affiliate marketers earn six-figure salaries. The highest-earning affiliate marketer in 2024 made over $1 million. More than 50% of top-earning affiliate marketers have been in the industry for over five years.

The high passive income makes affiliate marketing seem to be a fun job. But, it is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of media and small affiliates out there who never take part in an affiliate income survey. And you are likely to be one of them. 

We are here to bring you realistic expectations about an independent affiliate – who is not hired but works as his boss. 

In short, we can categorize affiliates into some categories based on income:  

  • The quick give-up: Their income may vary from zero to thousands of dollars. They are the majority. Their similarity is that most of them are marketing beginners and don’t stay in the industry for a long time.
  • Part-time marketers: They are those who take affiliate marketing as a side job and seriously spend time with it. They typically earn less than $12,000 a year. Please note that many of them do not identify themself as an affiliate marketer. 
  • The serious one: The income range of these people varies significantly. The majority of full-time affiliates make less than $100K per year—likely around $45K–$60K. 
  • The top earner: As I mentioned before, they make around $150,000 on average. At this point, affiliate marketing is their full-time career. 

So, there are chances for you to peak and earn 6 figures with serious about diving into affiliate marketing. But, like any other industry, the pioneer position is reserved for the few. Do not set your hope to high when start. 

So, that is about independent affiliates. How about affiliate marketing positions in companies?

Salaries of affiliate marketing jobs in a company?

The salary for affiliate marketing jobs can vary widely depending on factors such as job role, experience, location, industry, and company size. Here’s a general overview of the potential salary range for various affiliate marketing roles:

  1. Affiliate Manager/Coordinator: The salary for affiliate managers/coordinators typically ranges from $40,000 to $80,000 per year, with higher salaries possible for experienced professionals or those working at larger companies.
  2. Affiliate Network Specialist: Salaries for affiliate network specialists typically range from $40,000 to $100,000 or more per year, depending on their level of expertise, the size of the network, and the complexity of their responsibilities.

Here are some insights into the earning potential of a company’s affiliate marketing position, which can be an affiliate marketer. 

The average salary of an in-house affiliate marketing position, according to Glassdoor, is $86,000 per year. It ranges from $64K to $116K, including “additional pay” options like cash bonus, commission, tips, or profit sharing.

Advantages of Affiliate Marketing as a Career

Let’s talk about the good stuff and the not-so-good stuff when it comes to making affiliate marketing your full-time gig. We’re keeping it real here!

The Upsides

  • Unlimited Earnings: Here’s the exciting part – no salary caps. The harder you hustle, the more you can earn. It’s like your income has no speed limits.
  • Work from home: Forget about that 9-to-5 cubicle life. With affiliate marketing, you can work from the beach, the mountains, or even your cozy couch. The whole business is now operated online. 
  • No Boss, No Drama: It’s just you and your goals. No annoying boss breathing down your neck or dealing with office politics. You’re the boss!

The Downsides of Affiliate Marketing as a Career

  • No Guaranteed Paycheck: Here’s the reality check. Unlike regular jobs, your paycheck isn’t guaranteed. Some months might be high-fives, and others might be a bit low.
  • Learning Curve: Brace yourself for a bit of a learning curve. It’s not rocket science, but you’ll need to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and it takes time. Trial and error, they call it.
  • All on You: Remember that freedom we talked about? Well, it comes with a responsibility tag. Everything – from success to failures – it’s all on you.
  • Ever-Changing Game: The digital world is like a chameleon – always changing colors. Keeping up with trends and updates can feel like chasing a tech-savvy rabbit.

Affiliate Marketing is still a prominent pathway for side income in 2024 if you wonder.

So, there you have it – the pros make it sound like a dream, but the cons keep it real. Now that you know both sides of the coin, you’re better prepared for the affiliate marketing adventure. Let’s keep going! 

How long to get success in affiliate marketing?

Your first money may take 03 months to come. 

Many people wonder how long to make the first money, or more, to be successful in this industry.

But affiliate marketing is not the one-night-rich solution. You need to work hard for a long time. You may wait for months or more to get good results.

If your first income comes slower than expected, here are some possible reasons:

  1. Learning Curve: You may feel extremely knowledgeable at some points and feel that you know nothing the next day. Affiliate marketing needs learning, and it’s OK to have problems at first.
  2. Trust Building Process: People may not like you at first (yeah who cares about a content creator who has just appeared for 2 weeks?). They may not buy or click on your links right away.
  3. Relying on one product only: Promoting only one product is not the optimal choice. A diverse product portfolio will increase your chance to earn.
  4. Connections: With customers other affiliates and people in the industry, you need to make good connections, which takes time and effort.

How many affiliates give up?

It’s challenging to find exact statistics on the dropout rate for affiliate marketing. This is because the field is vast and diverse, with many individuals and businesses participating at various levels of commitment and success. 

The majority don’t stay in the industry after their first failed trial.   

While some people may find success quickly, others may struggle and eventually give up. 

Factors such as the level of understanding of the market, the amount of time invested, and the strategies used can significantly impact an individual’s success in affiliate marketing.

The last note: Don’t rush!

You need to make sure that you can make money from it, before sacrificing your 9 to 5 job.  

Freelancing a full-time job is not easy, and it can be challenging if you have no prior experience. You need to make sure you have a steady income, a reliable client base, and a backup plan in case things go wrong. You don’t want to end up broke, stressed, and unhappy.

You can also see if freelancing is really for you, or if you prefer a more stable and structured work environment. Plus, you can avoid burnout and enjoy the benefits of both worlds.

So, we recommend starting it as a part-time job. 

Role models for affiliate marketers 

In this part, we suggest 03 types of affiliates. You can take them as a reference to learn from for your future career path. 

The Influencer  

Influencers in affiliate marketing are individuals who have built a significant online following and use their influence to promote products or services. They get money for every sale made through the special links they share.  

How much an influencer can earn from an affiliate? 

Well, it highly depends on their popularity. Take Jason Stone for example. He is known as a Millionaire Mentor on Instagram (with 1.7M followers) and made a whopping $7 million by talking about and selling stuff through his Instagram posts.

So, yes, affiliate marketing can make you become a billionaire, but it’s harder than its appearance.

And, when it comes to YouTube and TikTok, the conversion rate can be equal to or higher than Instagram due to their highly engagement nature. On Twitter, 47% of the users have bought something because an influencer tweeted about it. That’s a big deal for Twitter influencers!

Please note that the money from affiliate marketing is a by-product of their popularity, they are not famous just for doing affiliate marketing.

Content Creator 

As its name suggests, content creators’ affiliates are more focused on their content, rather than a personal brand.  

These affiliates create and share content on various platforms such as blogs, social media, videos, and more. They promote products or services related to their content and earn a commission for each sale or lead they generate through their unique affiliate links.

Here’s what they do:

  • Create Content: They create engaging content that resonates with their audience. This could be blog posts, social media posts, videos, podcasts, and more. The content revolves around the niche rather than the products. 
  • Promote Products/Services: They promote products or services that are relevant to their content and audience. This could be done through product reviews, comparisons, tutorials, and more.
  • Showing a face or personality is optional, while content is the priority. For example, many bloggers simply gain followers just with their interesting posts. 

Typically, they have high creativity or a deep understanding of a certain topic that they can share about it, and then make money from it. 

Technique-oriented affiliates

They are the ones who do not create anything but simply affiliate depending on their deep knowledge of marketing, especially anything technical-related. In most cases, these affiliates have rich experience in digital marketing.  

For example, they might be media buyers: they buy advertising spaces and promote their affiliate products there. One who is extremely knowledgeable about ads can run a campaign tens of times more effectively than new people. Others use email campaigns to promote their affiliate products.

In general, they are not inclined to make money audience. 

Some approaches may require less effort. For example, this guy on TikTok continuously collects memes, posts them on TikTok, and makes affiliates with those memes.  

Top Dog affiliate marketer to follow

There are some of the most influential marketers whose income can reach up to 7 figures that you can follow.  Here are some top affiliate marketers you might be interested in:

  • Matt Giovanisci: He is a marketing jack-of-all-trades with extensive knowledge of many aspects of the industry. In 2016, Giovanisci founded Money Lab, a much-commended website on digital marketing.
  • Pat Flynn: He is an author, a keynote speaker, a professional blogger, and an entrepreneur. He’s the creator of the business website Smart Passive Income, or SIP, which aims to help new and experienced bloggers develop their audiences and monetize their work utilizing innovative techniques.
  • Attila: He is the owner of multiple successful businesses including BannersLanders, Transey, AdsBabe, and iAmAttila – all focused on helping people succeed in the world of affiliate marketing.

These successful marketers found success by becoming experts in their specific field, bringing lots of people to their affiliate links, and turning those clicks into actual sales. They also share digital marketing methods that can help you boost your affiliate marketing with extra promotional efforts. Learning from their stories can give you useful tips on how to succeed in affiliate marketing.

Wrapping it up

Affiliate marketing can be a rewarding way to earn money online. You don’t need to create your products or services, you can work from home, and you can choose the niche that suits your interests and skills.

However, it’s not a one-night millionaire solution. Be realistic! Affiliate marketing is not easy. Just like any high-income job, you need to invest time, effort, and money to build your audience, promote your offers, and generate conversions.

I have been working in marketing for four years, passionate about creative writing and copy writing. Love to be alone at watersides, sip coffee, play games or read anything that is thought provoking.


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