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Top 11 Myths in Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing myths and misconceptions are not only common in society but also among marketers who already work in this industry.

If you are here, there is a high chance that you already know about affiliate marketing. If you don’t, check out what affiliate marketing is and how it will benefit you.  

In this article, our team at BixGrow will shed light on some myths and confusion around Affiliate Marketing. We’ll dive into some myths related to affiliate marketing. After reading this, you will have comprehensive insights into how affiliate marketing can work effectively and why it is a sustainable method of bringing cash. 

affiliate-marketing-myths

1. Affiliate Marketing is illegal

Affiliate marketing is totally safe and legal. It’s a popular business model used by reputable companies and individuals worldwide.

It is just like asking if the guitar is a scam or not. Well, people talk about it, and some of them make money from it. 

Many well-known brands, including Amazon, run affiliate programs as a part of the business’s long-term strategy. 

Though it is legal, there are scams under the affiliate marketing guises that wanna-be affiliates need to be aware of. There are red flags of these scams that you need to pay attention to, such as suspicious requests from brands, such as a joining fee, or requirements related to recruitment. 

However, in general, affiliate marketing is safe when you have a basic understanding of markets and are partnered with reputable programs.

2. Affiliate Marketing is Pyramid Schemes

Affiliate Marketing is not a Pyramid scheme, they are very different. Affiliate marketing is a legitimate way of allowing you to earn commissions by promoting products or services without paying any initial fee. 

Meanwhile, Pyramid schemes are illegal and unethical. Such scam organizations involve recruiting people to pay a fee to join, with the promise of huge profits. However, recruiting others into this program is the main (if not the only) source of income for current members. Pyramid schemes often collapse when they cannot recruit more, leading to financial losses for most members.

Different from affiliate marketing,  products and services in pyramid schemes are only facades- overpriced and even worthless – to cover their rotten inside.    

pyramid-Schemes-illustration

3. It is too late to start – Affiliate Marketing is not profitable in 2023 

No, it’s not too late to start affiliate marketing. In fact, the affiliate marketing industry is growing. Several statistics are indicating its sustained relevance and profitability in 2023. As of this year, this industry is projected to experience a 10% year-over-year growth rate, and the spending is estimated to reach around $13 billion in the U.S. only. 

The industry is dynamic and lucrative. Talking about the affiliates only, there was an increase in the number of brand-influencer partnerships, as well as an increase in the number of nano-influencers (500 – 10,000 followers) and micro-influencers (10,000 to 25,000 followers) in 2023. 

Basically, you can start with just 500 followers on social media. This number is achievable and really profitable especially when your content is on a micro-niche. 

Considering the continuous growth and adaptation of affiliate marketing, there is still a big room for individuals and businesses to enter the space, even in 2023. 

4. High Ticket Affiliate Marketing is a scam

High-ticket Affiliate Marketing is totally legit. It is a variant of Affiliate Marketing. This business model offers affiliates the opportunity to earn substantial commissions by promoting and selling high-value products or services.  

High-ticket affiliate marketing involves promoting valuable and expensive items that are worth over $1000 and sometimes can go as high as five figures. You often generate fewer sales, but a significant commission amount. There are some high-ticket affiliates out there who can earn ~$80,000 yearly. 

Warning: if you are asking this question because some desperate guys are calling and texting you every day, inviting you to participate, you are probably being targeted by a group of scammers in the name of High Ticket Affiliate Marketing. 

This type of scam is really common in recent years. The trick is that new members need to pay first to take a training course. Though commission can come from both recruiting and sales, it turned out that such products are unsellable. Therefore, that desperate member rushed to recruit more people, hoping to save his financial loss. 

At this point, it transforms into an illegal pyramid scheme.

Anyway, High Ticket Affiliate Marketing is Affiliate Marketing with higher-value products. There is no reason for it to be a scam.  Unlike many internet scams that promote over-priced products with winged compliments, high-ticket products or services bring true value, as we can name a few: insurance, software, jewelry, heavy metals…  

high-ticket-affiliate marketing

5. It can make you rich overnight

Affiliate marketing is often portrayed with success stories and thousands bucks passive income monthly, but the truth is more nuanced. 

Well, we can say that quick wealth is not the normal pattern in affiliate marketing. While some of them really did achieve success really quickly, most affiliates experience slow, gradual growth. 

In your first months, affiliate marketing is more about learning. You need to get used to SEO, content marketing, paid advertising, etc.  You may need half of a  day sharpening the axe just to cut down the tree in 1 hour. 

So, affiliate marketing really offers potential wealth and financial freedom, but it requires effort, learning, and patience. Just not a shortcut to instant riches. 

6. Affiliate Marketing is Multi-level Marketing

Multi-level Marketing (MLM) is completely different from Affiliate Marketing. However, this question probably comes from the fact that you see MLM often associated with marketing.

Why?

To have an explanation, you have to understand what MLM is.

MLM (or network marketing) is a strategy where distributors earn commission from their sales products or their recruits. At some points, MLM is similar to Affiliate Marketing’ as affiliate income is based mainly on their performance.

However, in a traditional MLM, as affiliates need physical products to market, they have to pay an initial fee (as insurance for the company) before joining the program. There are companies that abuse this, using newcomers’ initial fees to pay existing members. In this manner, MLM is transforming to become illegal.

The explosion of the internet eliminated the weaknesses of MLM. The digital age allows affiliates to promote products online instead of in person, thereby eliminating the need for physical versions and in-person fees. E-commerce businesses today use MLM in combination with affiliate marketing, which provides the quality of MLM to scale up exponentially while eliminating risks for affiliates.

That’s why you often see Affiliate Marketing associated with MLM. Sometimes this model is called Multi-tier affiliate marketing. Of course, it is legal you don’t have to pay to join it.

Affiliate-marketing-Multi-level Marketing

7. You cannot be an affiliate for multiple companies 

Not true, there are no specific rules that limit you to working with 01 brand only. 

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting products or services from multiple companies. This practice is not only possible but also advantageous for affiliates. 

Firstly, partnering up with multiple companies will diverse income streams with vast choices of products and services from advertisers. Hence, you are not only working effectively in your niche but can also step into a new industry.

Different products also resonate with different audience groups. For example, if you have a blog covering both fishing and gardening, you can promote fishing gear and gardening tools separately.

To affiliate with multiple companies, you often need to affiliate marketplace, which offers a  long array of product types and companies to collaborate with. Just choose a suitable one and start your career. 

8. It can not be a full-time career

Affiliate marketing is not only a good side hustle to make extra money, it is also a viable option for those who want to do it full-time. 

Glassdoor’s report mentions that Full-time Affiliate Marketers can only earn between ~$64,000 and ~$116,000 in the United States. There are some reports that show that the number may be lower (usually around $50,000). 

Influence Marketing Hub points out that 2/3 of affiliate marketers earn less than $10,000 a year. But please note that many of the affiliates surveyed do not consider affiliate marketing as a full-time career and are not professional, also considering they come from different countries with different monetary values.

It’s worth noting that the success of a full-time affiliate marketing career depends on how serious you are with it. Challenges and periods of lower income are unavoidable. However, the potential for long-term success and passive income is confirmed by many affiliate marketers.  

9. The Higher the Commission Rate, the More You Will Earn

Higher commissions and greater earnings do not necessarily have a correlation.

Commission rates determine how much you earn per sale generated through your affiliate links. Higher commission rates mean you receive a larger percentage of the sale price.

It depends on factors such as Product Price, Order values, Conversion rate, etc.

An Example of High Commission, Low Volume: Luxury watches with a 20% commission rate and you generate 01 sale a month at $1000. You end up getting $200 per sale, translating to $2,400 annually.

10. Affiliate Marketing is Demanding Technically 

Well, it is partly true. Affiliate marketing requires basic technical skills – though having advanced technical knowledge is a big plus. I can name some elements such as Market Research, SEO, CRO, Email Marketing, etc. A deep knowledge in any of them can bring you a huge number of potential customers. 

For example, according to Neil Patel, half of the website on the internet takes more than 3s to load. Who wants to come back to a website like this?  

The technical side is unavoidable in affiliate marketing. In short, affiliate marketing is a broad field and you don’t need to be an expert in all aspects, but having a basic understanding will help a lot. 

11. It’s All About Sales

In affiliate marketing, affiliates are rewarded with a desired result to the advertiser. Typically, the term ‘specific result’ refers to sales, but it can be about other objectives such as generating leads, increasing brand awareness, and driving website traffic.

Therefore, the promotional efforts of affiliates can range vastly: 

  • Leads: Affiliates help brands find potential customers, generate signs up for newsletters, fill out surveys, participate in free trials,…
  • Brand awareness: Affiliates enhance the visibility and recognition of a brand by creating content, sharing reviews, or posting on social media.
  • Traffic: Affiliates earn rewards for driving more visitors to the brand’s website through methods such as SEO, PPC, or email marketing.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a good way to earn money online, whether from your website, blog, podcast, YouTube channel, or social media account. However, it is not a magic or a shortcut for wealth. Making value from Affiliate Marketing really requires a serious approach. 

Hopefully, this article has clarified your questions about affiliate marketing. Wish you all the best in your affiliate marketing career! 

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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