Pros & Cons of Affiliate Marketing

Many marketing strategies can be expensive, especially for a small business. But there are a few ways to market without breaking the bank. Affiliate marketing is one way that this can be done.

There are upsides and downsides to everything you do for a business, and affiliate marketing is no different. But understanding these issues can actually be helpful as you continue to grow.


So what are the pros?

  1. Easy to Start. All you need to do is select your product, sign up to be an affiliate, and put the tracking codes on your website.
  2. No Skills Needed in Marketing. A good affiliate product will provide what you need, like banners, ads, and links.
  3. Immediate Audience. Visitors will see your banner on your page, no need to provide extra promotion.
  4. Income. This strategy works across multiple sites and platforms, the more site you affiliate with the more you can make.

So what are the downsides to affiliate marketing?

  1. Commission fees. For every sale you make, you pay a commission fee, because there is a middle man between you and the merchants you sell with.
  2. Fraud is a Problem. You must do your research, there are many programs that are just trying to make a quick buck and are completely misleading.
  3. Income is not steady or guaranteed. Sale may not occur on a regular basis, so your income will ebb and flow depending on who clicks through your site.
  4. Hackers. Hackers can link instead of your affiliates, so when a customer clicks though, they are routed to a different site and the money goes to them and not you.
  5. This is a competitive area to be in. There are many, many affiliates so it’s hard to stand out among everyone else.

Affiliate marketing is actually a great way to make money online, especially if it’s part of a larger plan that you have. It can produce residual income with little work on your part. Research is important, though, to make sure you understand what you can make and check on it periodically to make sure that all your links are working as they should.