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If you are looking to add an additional stream of income to your business, or you want to monetize a blog, you might be left asking the question, “Is affiliate marketing legit?

If you have been growing a business for any length of time online, or you have simply been looking for ways to earn extra income, you know that there are many, many people telling you that’s it’s easy-peasy lemon squeazy to make cash from the web.

Me and Affiliate Marketing

However, when you dig a little deeper, you start to realize that perhaps it’s not quite as easy as you once thought.

So how do you decide what’s right for you?

This is a question I was left asking myself after I started building a business online. The year was 2009 (how does that seem a lifetime ago now?) I knew I wanted to escape corporate life, but I had no idea how to do it. The way I started was to build blogs and to gradually monetize them. Believe me, I had many false starts, went down a blind alley, or 20, but eventually found my way – and my knowledge and confidence grew. If you want to read more about that story you can find it in this book.

You and Affiliate Marketing

Why does this help you? Well. because I found what worked, and what didn’t, and I’m happy to share that here. Now, you shouldn’t take any advice online as the truth – of course you will want to try things for yourselves, and that’s how it should be.

Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?

However, if you are asking is affiliate marketing legit? The best way to decide is to look at what others are doing.

The bottom line is that many huge businesses offer affiliate programs for people to join, from Amazon, through to Etsy. Target, Marks & Spencers (throwing in a couple of different countries there) through to much smaller stores. Why do they do this? Because affiliate marketing works.

Ok, so it works for the business that you are going to promote? What is the advantage for you, as the person who is deciding whether to promote affiliate products online?

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Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

As I wrote in this post, these are just 6 reasons to get started with affiliate marketing:

Zero outlay for you – you can get started with no budget. That’s appealing when you are bootstrapping.

Share what you know – don’t try and promote something you have never used or know nothing about – start with existing knowledge (believe me, it makes it much easier to promote).

No hard sell – let’s be honest, most of us aren’t hardcore salespeople. With affiliate marketing you can just share products or services, and if people are interested they will check them out. If not, no hard feelings. You don’t have to write the sales page – you just have to let people know it’s there.

No customer care – as we all know, customers have questions, they have complaints, they sometimes even want refunds (wow, the audacity of some people ☺). With affiliate marketing you don’t have to deal with any of that. You don’t have to pack, ship or offer any ongoing support. Phew, I’m sure that’s a big weight off your mind!

Gives you more ideas for content – if you are promoting affiliate products through a blog then having products or services to promote can give you ideas for what to write about, a win/win.

It’s easy to get started – you add the links and away you go. You don’t have to make the product, write the book, or provide the service.

Unicorns and Fairy Dust?

Ok, so there must be more to it than that, right? Yes there is. You need to make sure that you have a few things in place – like an affiliate disclosure, making sure you are transparent about what you are promoting, and being aware of the T&Cs of the companies you are an affiliate for, etc. Plus, you have to decide what to promote and apply to the companies and affiliate networks you want to work with. You also aren’t going to just add a few links to your site and be raking cash in overnight.

There is work involved. But, if you didn’t get the memo, I’m afraid that is true of anything online. Passive income isn’t magic. It doesn’t arrive on the back of a unicorn, sparkling with fairy dust and moonbeams. (Nice dream, eh?) Passive income takes work, and it takes consistency. However, if you are willing to put in the work, affiliate marketing gives you the potential to earn passive income far into the future. I’m still making sales from links that were added to my websites over 10 years ago.

Affiliate marketing links can be added to your existing blog content, or you can write new posts. You can share what you love in your newsletter or on social media (always checking the rules for each affiliate program).

How do you feel now about the question, Is Affiliate Marketing Legit? Are you reassured that it is? Is it something you want to try for yourself? I hope so, as I feel it’s one of the most consistent and fun ways to earn passive income online.

Need More Help?

If you want to make sure you get it right, and if you want to give yourself the best chance possible of succeeding, then you might feel you want more guidance. I took the route of learning from someone who really knows her stuff. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the site Making Sense of Cents, who grew her affiliate income to over $50,000 per month. Her course was a game changer for me, and continues to be as I learn more with the support of her private community. If you want to learn more about the course you can do so here.

For me, affiliate marketing proved legit, when so many other things failed to do so. If you are willing to put the work in, not just today, but in the weeks and months going forward, then it’s definitely a way of earning income that you should consider.

If you have any questions, leave them below and I will try to answer them or point you in the right direction.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

I took the route of learning about affiliate marketing from someone who really knows her stuff. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the site Making Sense of Cents, who grew her affiliate income to over $50,000 per month. Her course was a game changer for me, and continues to be as I learn more with the support of her private community. 

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