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Is Affiliate Marketing Legit? Everything You Need to Know

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Have you seen videos from influencers claiming that affiliate marketing is a great way to make passive income? Is affiliate marketing legit?

We understand your skepticism.

PR Newswire says that affiliate fraud reached $3.4 billion in 2022. Yet, research also shows the industry will have a $36.9 billion global market by 2030.

There’s potential for you to earn money with an affiliate marketing business, but you have to study the pitfalls.

Today, we discuss everything you should know about affiliate marketing. Our article will cover the legality, safety, and misconceptions about affiliate sales.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

According to Forbes, affiliate marketing is a pay-for-performance advertising model. It’s a new type of digital marketing with little risk and a high return on income.

Affiliate marketing lets advertisers connect with a niche market faster than ever. They can do this by collaborating with someone with a strong online presence.

An affiliate marketer can be an influencer, Youtuber, blogger, or website owner. These marketers promote a company’s products. In exchange, the retailer will pay them a commission for every sale.

Becoming an affiliate marketer allows you to earn money by recommending products to your audience. The good news is you can choose which products you want to promote.

Setting up a network may take some time. Once you accomplish it, you can start earning a passive affiliate income.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?


First, you have to get in touch with direct sales companies and ask them for their affiliate program. A good tip is to choose items that’ll be popular with your niche.

Once you decide on a product, the company will give you a unique link to promote on your social media.

When a customer clicks on your affiliate link, it’ll tell the retailer that you were the one who made the referral. You can get up to 15% commission from a sale.

It’s common to have more than one affiliate product, so sign up for different retailers. Also, each company has its payment terms and conditions. You have to review them and decide which items to promote.

Lastly, learn to identify affiliate marketing fraud. Some scammers can give fake leads or hijack URLs. Remember that you don’t need to pay to become a marketer.

Common Questions to Understand

Here are some questions you may have about affiliate marketing.

Can You Really Make Money From Affiliate Marketing?

Yes, you can make money in the affiliate marketing industry. According to PayScale, the average salary for affiliate marketers in 2023 is $55,198.

Around 57.5% of affiliate marketers make less than $10,000 a year. Meanwhile, the top 3.8% can earn more than $150,000.

What’s great about this is affiliate marketing is a form of passive income. There’s no age requirement to join an affiliate program. Entrepreneur Magazine says even a teenager can make money as an affiliate marketer.

Of course, you have to do your best to become successful in this industry. It takes commitment to build a niche and expand your online presence. Most marketers say it takes six months of preparation to make the first sale.

Is Affiliate Marketing a Risky Business?

Affiliate marketing is a low-risk business. You don’t have to dish money out to join an affiliate program. Yet, the industry received a bad reputation for fraud and misleading domain names.

A common affiliate marketing scam involves generating commissions with fake products and activity. Pop-ups could appear behind browsers, and fraudsters may even use stolen credit card information.

You can avoid these digital marketing schemes by working with credible companies. The tech industry is also coming up with fraud protection. Payment methods are becoming more secure.

These lower the risk of affiliate fraud.

Is Affiliate Marketing Legal?

Yes, affiliate marketing is legal. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission regulates legitimate affiliate programs.

It provides rules that marketers and businesses must follow if they want to join the industry.

For instance, an affiliate marketer needs to disclose his relationship with the retailer. In short, the consumers should know if a product has a sponsor.

This lets buyers make informed decisions, and it lessens fraud cases.

Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?

Is affiliate marketing legit? The quick answer is yes, it is.

You should know that affiliate marketing isn’t a pyramid scheme. Large brands generate 25% of their online sales because of affiliate marketing. Research also found that there are 11,400 affiliate programs in the United States alone.

If you’re not convinced, here are more reasons why affiliate marketing is a legitimate business model.

  • There Are Well-Known Affiliate Agencies: Shopify, Rakuten, Amazon Associates, and eBay are popular affiliate marketing agencies. You can work with well-known brands in your niche.
  • It Has a Large Community: You can learn about affiliate marketing from legit websites. There are even official Facebook groups dedicated to helping marketers succeed in the industry.
  • It’s Regulated by the Government: According to Forbes, new regulatory laws are coming out this 2023. This’ll lessen the number of fraudsters in affiliate marketing.
  • It’s an Effective Marketing Strategy: Zippia says that 81% of brands around the world are now using affiliate marketing. Moreover, 38% of marketers say they make the most out of affiliate marketing.

Is Affiliate Marketing Reliable?

Yes, comparing affiliate marketing vs. dropshipping, the former is more reliable. You don’t have to handle stocks or disgruntled customers as an affiliate.

There’s a chance you’ll encounter an affiliate partner selling fake products. To lessen the risk, you should come up with criteria on who you’ll collaborate with.

If you work for credible companies, affiliate marketing can become a reliable way to earn a decent amount of money. It’s best to have several partners, so you can have a steadier income.

You may want to consider becoming an Amazon Associate. With 20% of the market share, Amazon affiliate marketing has the largest network today.

Is Affiliate Marketing Safe?

Affiliate marketing is safe, but you should also understand the risks. Doing this can protect you from fraudsters.

The internet is full of scammers looking for a quick buck.

Beware of risks like cookie stuffing, fake affiliate link schemes, click fraud, and false advertising. The free trial that merchants offer isn’t always safe.

As a marketer, you should follow the regulations set by the Federal Trade Commission. If you do unethical business, you could get fined or become subject to legal action.

There is some good news. According to Forbes, if done correctly, affiliate marketing is a safe, profitable, and long-term way to earn money.

What Are People Saying About Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the best legit online jobs. These are the good points about affiliate marketing according to top websites.

What LinkedIn Liked About Affiliate Marketing

These are some reasons why you should try affiliate marketing according to LinkedIn.

  • It’s Low Cost: Because it’s a form of digital marketing, you don’t need a huge capital to make money online. Your investments will go towards building your site, and you don’t have to pay a merchant to become an affiliate.
  • There’s No Need for Formal Education: Anyone can become an affiliate marketer. Even without a degree, you can search for free resources and tutorials online.
  • It’s Hassle-Free: All you have to do is post your affiliate link. You don’t keep stocks, handle clients, or ship products out. The merchant will do those activities.
  • You Can Run It From Anywhere: It’s possible to work from home as an affiliate marketer. You also have the freedom to choose your niche and sell products you like.
  • It Has High Earning Potential: With high ticket affiliate marketing, you can earn more commission even if you can’t sell a lot of items.

What Business.com Liked About Affiliate Marketing

Here are a few advantages to online affiliate marketing according to Business.com.

  • You Can Track Your Progress: For businesses, you can track how many people click links and visit your site. You get real-time data and use it to gain more revenue.
  • There’s Zero Cost on Marketing: Affiliate marketing is like having free advertisement. Business owners only need to pay after a marketer makes the sale.
  • It Increases Your Social Proof: Affiliates post their reviews and testimonials of your product on social media. This way of endorsement increases your social proof and gets you more sales.
  • Affiliate Marketing Has High ROI: You can get a return on whatever you pay your affiliates. That’s because affiliate marketing boosts the number of orders you get. It expands your reach to niche groups, and you can earn passive income.

Why Are People Worried About Using Affiliate Marketing?

Due to the number of affiliate marketing scams and fraud cases, many are skeptical of joining an affiliate program. Here’s what people worry about.

What the Federal Trade Commission Worried About

These are some disadvantages to affiliate marketing according to the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Merchants Can Track You: The affiliate marketers and the merchant have access to your information. They can track your clicks.
  • Affiliate Marketers May Exaggerate Claims: Marketers may make exaggerated claims about the product. It’s a ploy to get you to click on the affiliate link.
  • You May Fall for an Affiliate Scam: The FTC recounts an incident where affiliates claimed a trial costs $1.03. Yet, people ended up paying $200 per month for a product they didn’t want.
  • It Spreads Misleading Information: Misleading information is rampant among Facebook ads. These ads are potentially dangerous for the population.

What Medium Worried About

Here are a few reasons why there’s a cause for concern according to Medium.

  • You Have to Work Hard: People claim that affiliate marketing is easy. In most cases, they have technical skills from past experiences. There’s a lot marketers can’t tell you in a short video clip.
  • It’s Competitive: Finding a niche is essential for an affiliate marketer. If you’re not creative with your posts, you might not be able to stand out from your competition.
  • The Market Is Constantly Changing: Sometimes you have to change your strategies to stay ahead. Those who don’t stay up-to-date with the trends could fail in the industry.
  • Affiliate Marketing Is Prone to Fraud: False leads and fake products are rampant. You have to always for suspicious affiliates or merchants.
  • You Have Little Control: If your affiliates or merchants have unethical tactics, it could ruin your brand image. Spamming and false advertising are damaging activities.

Affiliate Marketing Success Stories

Is affiliate marketing worth the effort? What does a successful affiliate marketer look like? Authority Hacker says good marketers have great content on their websites.

For example, Nerdwallet’s blog post is so useful, a potential customer can’t tell if it receives an affiliate commission. It gets over 10.6 million visitors a month.

MoneySavingExpert is another example of a site with a good affiliate network. It writes insightful product reviews on credit card services and other financial products. The site receives a cut from people clicking on links in the reviews.

Lastly, Problogger by Darren Rowse found a niche in spirituality and pop culture. Today, Darren is a well-known affiliate marketer making six figures.

Affiliate Marketing Pitfalls

Affiliate marketing is a lucrative side hustle, but it’s not that easy. Marketers face challenges like deciding where to sell items online.

On top of this, there are affiliate marketing pitfalls you should be aware of.

New fraud tactics are popping up each day. A good tip is to educate yourself before joining an affiliate program.

How can you become more informed? It’s simple. Joining an affiliate marketing course may be the best way to avoid the common mistakes people make. You can look for affordable courses online.

What Should You Avoid in Affiliate Marketing?

The first pitfall is promoting products you don’t believe in.

Avoid posting untested products on social media. If a product isn’t good, it could hurt your credibility.

Next, you should study how to use SEO and other affiliate marketing tools. There are analytics programs that can help you increase your website’s traffic.

While you’re at it, avoid becoming untruthful with your posts. If you fail to disclose your affiliate relationship, it could create distrust among your audience.

Finally, don’t forget to set goals and track your progress. Aim for a higher income than you think is possible. Have self-discipline and avoid procrastination.

Conclusion: Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?

Yes, affiliate marketing is a legitimate way to earn passive income online.

Of course, there’s no easy way to have instant success in the industry. It may take some time to build your affiliate website.

The competition is challenging, so you have to come up with plans and figure out your niche.

There are also many affiliate marketing scams. You need to take steps to protect yourself against this. Taking training courses could be a way to avoid the pitfalls.

Yet, there’s some good news for affiliate marketers. They don’t have to spend a lot on capital. In short, anyone can make money through affiliate marketing.

Conclusion: Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions we often get asked about affiliate marketing.

Is Affiliate Marketing a Get Rich Quick Scheme?

Affiliate marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. You have to educate yourself and put in the effort to make money online!

It’s a competitive market, and you might encounter affiliate fraud. You have to equip yourself against affiliate marketing scams.

Those who persevere can enjoy a stable income from affiliate marketing.

Who Is the Richest Affiliate Marketer?

Several people come up when you search for the most wealthy affiliate marketer. Neil Patel is one of the notable names.

According to Niche Pursuits, Neil Patel has a net worth of $30 million. He achieved this with affiliate marketing, SEO, and online marketing.

Affiliate Marketing Alternatives: Other Options to Try

Are you still unsure if affiliate marketing work is right for you? Here are a few related posts that can help you make money online!

  • Is Social Rebel Legit?: Social Rebel claims it’s a site where you can take surveys and test apps for money.
  • Is Solitaire Cash Legit?: Solitaire Cash is a gaming app that promises to give monetary prizes to those who win.
  • Is Etsy Legit?: Etsy is the go-to website for people in a specific niche. It’s the top online store for handmade products.

Wrapping Up

Is affiliate marketing legit?

Yes, affiliate marketing is a safe and reliable way to earn money. Even teenagers and those without a degree can succeed as affiliate marketers.

Remember there are some risks, and you should be careful so you don’t fall for a scam.

It’s also best to find your niche and nurture your audience. Once you figure it out, joining an affiliate marketing program is worth it.

If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends. Also, you may reach out to us through the comments section below.

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