Affiliate Marketing: 9 Affiliate Marketing Myths That Need To Die
I interact with affiliate marketers all the time, which means I hear all sort of opinions about the state of affiliate marketing and how to become a success.
I also hear a TON of affiliate marketing myths that just aren’t true.
It’s a problem because people who have potential to make a lot of money in affiliate marketing are put off before they launch their first campaign.
There’s so much content out there, and so many people giving advice. But the problem is that most people aren’t in a position to be giving advice.
If you’re a newbie, then it can be tough to separate the good advice from the bad advice.
I’ve also seen some people post misleading information on purpose in forums to sabotage potential competition.
So let’s kill these myths right now. Think of this as affiliate marketing fight club, except the first rule is that we have to talk about it.
MYTH #1: It’s Too Late To Make It Work
This is wrong on so many different levels.
First, new paid traffic sources are opening all the time. Social media is evolving at a crazy fast pace.
Facebook is constantly changing their algorithm, giving greater reach to certain traffic sources like Facebook Live (who’s taking advantage of this???).
Plus, new apps are exploding onto the scene constantly, which means more and more opportunities for mobile ads & interstitials.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the traffic source doesn’t suck, you suck. Yes, traffic sources matter, but if you work your ass off and test and tweak everything, you can succeed.
Second, affiliate marketers abandon the industry all the time. Suddenly, the traffic source they were hogging opens up for you. If they were spending $1,000 per day on a traffic source, you can hop right into their spot with same or greater spend.
Guys, no affiliate is gonna run pop campaigns in Vietnam their whole career.
Often affiliates who do well in mobile will want a new challenge so they’ll level up to native advertising.
Then they might move to Facebook or Adwords after a couple of years.
It’s estimated that the affiliate marketing industry is going to grow by $6.8 billion over the next five years. That’s insane.
The point? It’s never too late to get started and make it work.
Seriously…I thought it was too late for me to start in 2008. Look at how wrong I was.
MYTH #2: You Need To Have A Lot Of Money To Get Started
Some beginning affiliate marketers think that you need to have a ton of cash to get started. That being an affiliate marketer is like that scene in Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise screams, “Show me the money!”
It’s not true.
You know how much I started with?
$500 per month.
That’s it. I wasn’t rolling in cash. I wasn’t making YouTube videos where I invited people to check out my Lambo. My budget was small but it was enough.
Plus, there are things you can do to get started. Sell some of your stuff. Save the money you would normally spend drinking on Friday night. Make your own meals. It’s not hard if you’re willing to make some small sacrifices.
It’s simple: you don’t need that much to get started.
Having a small budget is good because it forces you to focus on the essentials.
If you need more info about what kind of budget you need, get started here.
“All you need is a laptop or a PC and an Internet connection and you can pretty much do almost anything and create almost any type of company.”
You only need two things: Link tracking software and money for traffic. Everything else is just a bonus.
Myth #3: You Need A Mentor / Coach To Get Started
Mentors and coaches are great, right? Who wouldn’t want to get affiliate marketing training by someone with a ton of experience?
But you don’t NEED one to get started.
There are a TON of great resources out there that can get you on the right track. You can learn the basics yourself just from this blog and my YouTube channel.
STM Forum is a valuable resource where successful affiliate marketers give advice to those who ask.
And look. If you really want a mentor, just reach out to someone. Go to local meetups and make friends. Ask questions. Show people that you’re hungry to learn. Offer value to them.
The info you need and want is out there if you know where to look.
And remember it takes work to build a relationship. I roll my eyes when newbies ask me “how to get started” or “what tracking tool should they use.”
It shows me they’re not that serious if they’re going to ask me things I’ve answered a hundred times.
You DON’T need a mentor to show you how to sign up for a traffic source + affiliate network and run a mobile campaign.
But if you’ve gotten some experience and still want a shortcut to the next level, consider working with me and AFFcelerator
MYTH #4: You Need Technical Skills
To be an affiliate marketer, you need all sorts of technical skills, right? You need to be a badass designer & coder??
I’m not a super technical guy. But I’ve learned the basics as I’ve gone. You’ll need to learn a little bit of HTML and CSS, but it’s not difficult. You’ll also need to understand tracking using Voluum, but once you’ve done it a couple times you’ll understand it.
And if you don’t want to do it, you can inexpensively outsource it to someone that loves it. It’s pretty simple to find someone who can help you rock this part.
I know enough to add in scripts and to recognize if someone’s trying to steal my traffic. But anything else I can hire someone else to figure out.
Myth #5: You Have To Live In A Certain Country
Some marketers think you have to live in a particular country to be successful. There are thousands of successful marketers who will tell you otherwise. I know marketers in India, Indonesia, and Africa who are all making affiliate marketing work.
The truth is (and this applies no matter what country you’re in), you have to play to your strengths.
For example, if you live in a country with a weaker currency, focus all your efforts on Tier 3 countries where traffic is much cheaper.
If you live in India or Africa, don’t try and run campaigns in Australia, North America or United Kingdom. It’s gonna blow your budget.
You should be running campaigns in a country with cheaper click prices (plus if you speak the language that’s a huge bonus).
To slightly tweak the phrase I used above, it’s not the country that sucks, you suck. Most of the excuses you have are in your head.
MYTH #6: You Have To Be Shady
Do you have to be a shady slimebag to make money in the affiliate industry?
Sure, some affiliates are shady, but they usually run in shady verticals.
YOU get to pick the vertical you want to run in.
If you pick the shady stuff, that’s on you bro.
Nobody’s forcing you to do anything.
The reality is, there are a TON of opportunities for profitable affiliate marketing in completely legit verticals like app installs, gaming, e-commerce, lead gen etc.
MYTH #7: It’s Too Competitive
Some people assume that affiliate marketing is just too competitive to make money. That there’s no way to make a profit because you have to beat out so many other people.
Actually, the opposite is true.
Competition is a sign that there is tons of money to be made in the industry.
This is true of any business opportunity. Why are so many companies competing in the streaming music and streaming television industry? Because there are mountains of cash to be made for the people who do it right.
Yes, some of the bigger traffic sources are competitive, but if you’re a smart marketer (which you can become), you can really tap into some of the smaller sources.
Once you find a traffic source that works, you can always scale your campaigns.
Competition is great, because it forces out those who shouldn’t be there in the first place. Assuming you should be an affiliate marketer, you will succeed over the long run as the the weak are eliminated.
MYTH #8: Profitable Campaigns Are Lucky Campaigns
Is affiliate marketing all about luck? About stumbling on the right traffic source or accidentally bidding on the right keywords? Are the good marketers just more lucky?
Some affiliates will strike a lucky campaign on their first swing, but it’s uncommon.
There are just too many variables that you won’t know until you actually get some live traffic running to your offers.
But what does make a profitable campaign is constant split testing, tweaking, and optimizing? This has ZERO to do with luck and everything to do with analyzing the data points, optimizing, and then analyzing again.
If you know what you’re doing, there are always more ways to squeeze more profit from a campaign.
Relying on luck is the absolute WORST strategy when it comes to affiliate marketing.
To paraphrase a famous quote from Thomas Jefferson, the harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.
Remember that song from Fort Minor about success being ten percent luck, twenty percent skill, fifteen percent concentrated power of will?
Yeah, that doesn’t happen when it comes to affiliate marketing. It’s more like 99% effort, 1% (occasional) luck.
MYTH #9: You Need To Have Inside Connections
Connections are definitely not necessary to get started.
The affiliate marketing industry is young. There are still loads of opportunities available to those who are smart and will to hustle their ass off.
All you need to do to get started is go through my 10-step blueprint to launch an affiliate marketing campaign.
Being in a mastermind with other passionate affiliate marketers can give you a boost, but it’s more important to actually launch campaigns.
Networking is important, but realize it takes time to build one.
Working with a solid affiliate network will help you out a ton.
Can We Kill These Affiliate Marketing Myths? Please?
It’s things like this that stop people entering the industry. The bigger it grows, the more legit it becomes. This brings more offers, and more money for all of us.
Success in affiliate marketing isn’t that complicated. If you have the right knowledge and are actually willing to do the work, you can crush it.
Alright. This fight club is over.
If you think someone else should hear these myths being busted, share the article with them!