This article is going to explore the question: Is affiliate marketing legit? We’re going to look at both sides of this, and sometimes it’s hard to know what’s right and what’s wrong with any given business idea.

Whether it be a pyramid scheme or an actual legitimate company, or even if it is an illegitimate system or not, there are always questions that need answering before you make your decision.

Many people will say “Yes” because they either don’t know the definition of the word affiliate or because they got burned by some bad affiliates in the past. Let me tell you this first- just because someone isn’t your direct employee doesn’t mean that they have nothing to do with your business.

Many people think that by simply becoming a free member and promoting a business, the only thing they have to do is make sure their referral link gets clicked on.

On the other side, some will say “No” because it’s not as lucrative as collecting your paycheck from an actual employment position. However, in this day and age, even if you’re working at McDonald’s – which still pays minimum wage – you can easily make more money than any affiliate program out there.

Before we answer whether or not affiliate marketing is legit or not, let me first explain what affiliate marketing is.

The definition of Affiliate Marketing according to Google:

Advertising is paid for by a company whose products are sold through other companies.

So you jump on Google or Bing and type in “Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?” Not only are you looking to find out if this online business model is legit, but you’re mostly wondering if it’s some scam? Well, let me tell you, first off, either one of the two choices I gave you at the top about the affiliate marketing industry being legit or not legit; they both can be scams! Either way, it can be 100% legit- there’s no scamming involved here whatsoever.

Now that we’ve cleared that up let me give everyone something else to think about- especially those who say “No” to my question regarding affiliate marketing is legit.

Is affiliate marketing new?

Affiliate marketing is not a new concept- it’s been around for some time now, but just like anything new on the internet, people are still learning how to earn money at this online business model. The majority of those who’ve had success with affiliate marketing have done so by simply following what others have done.

Everyone thinks that something special about them makes their story different from everyone else’s, but they’re wrong! It doesn’t matter if you’re an average Joe or Tony Robbins himself—promoting the same product as he is—you’ll make precisely the same amount of commissions per sale. If someone else downlines you and makes a commission off of your referral link, click on- you also get a commission.

Is affiliate marketing worth your time?

It’s becoming harder and harder for new affiliates to get started, especially with all the other choices out there that offer higher commissions that you’ll find elsewhere, such as Clickbank (Clicksure), JVZoo, Warrior Plus, and Easy Pay Direct.

Since I’ve been in the business of promoting the Clickbank (Clicksure) marketplace, I can tell you first hand that we make anywhere from $1.50 per every 1,000 views on our YouTube videos (if they’re channel ads) to $2-$3 per every 1,000 views on our blog posts. This is compared to popular affiliate programs out there that only pay $1 or less per every 1,000 views.

Can you make money as an affiliate marketer?

Sure, you can make money as an affiliate marketer—a lot! I do not promise anyone that they’ll earn $1 million in their first month, but rather over a year with hard work and dedication. You can start promoting and making money right now as I speak. We all have 24 hours in a day, so why not use yours to your advantage?

We live in an age where we can do almost anything from the comfort of our own homes- even if you don’t have a product or service to sell, you can always promote someone else’s and earn hefty commissions from their efforts.    

What makes a good affiliate marketer?

The best affiliate marketers are those who take their work seriously. Not to say that there’s no time for humor, but the best success lies in those who stick with it and focus on building their list of email subscribers, YouTube channel subscribers, Facebook followers, or Twitter followers until they’ve obtained a large following. This means that they’re providing their audience with valuable content instead of just spamming them with ads for products all day long. Of course, it also helps if you have an online store.

I’ve heard it said that the only way to make money online is by promoting other people’s products, but I don’t believe this. However, I will say that if you were to choose affiliate marketing over eCommerce- based on your product store, for example; then I would select affiliate marketing every single time because not only do you earn a commission when someone buys something from your online store, but also when they click on one of your affiliate links and purchase something else!

On average, 22% – 36% of all sales made within any given 24 hour period are referred back to an affiliate’s link. So if you have 100 clicks on one of your YouTube videos ads or blog posts- about 1 out of every four viewers could buy something through one of your affiliate links. This could result in a sizable sum if you’re referring to an expensive product or service, such as hosting, for example, which is known to sell anywhere from $5 per month on up.

If you want to even more about marketing to become an even greater affiliate marketer, check out these articles!

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How to avoid affiliate marketing scams?

Here are some common affiliate marketing scams you should be aware of

  1. If a company won’t disclose its earning/commission structure to you- it’s a scam.
  2. Avoid companies who use spammy advertising methods such as posting the same ads over and over again on YouTube or Facebook without offering any variety or diversity in content- this is an indicator that they either don’t have pride in their products or services, or worse yet; buy fake views through shady third-party websites, so their ads look more popular than they are!
  3. If you run across any scam blogs out there talking about “the top 10 best ways to make money with Pinterest,”- those articles should be treated as suspect because they’re just trying to get you to buy into their lame e-books or other digital products that are no good. Save your time and energy for things that are worth it!
  4. Avoid common affiliate marketing scam by being careful about which company you decide to promote. The last thing you want is for your audience to start spreading negative opinions about your brand because of something terrible they saw happen within the community! This can be avoided by taking the time necessary to research a company before becoming involved with them as an affiliate marketer.

Affiliate marketing is serious business, but having fun along the way isn’t such a bad thing either! Just remember- if someone offers you what sounds like an incredible deal on commission rates or something else that sounds too good to be true- it probably is. So take your time and do the proper research to avoid affiliate marketing scams, and you’ll be on your way towards earning some valuable money online sooner rather than later!


So, is affiliate marketing legit? Yes! Absolutely! Is it a get-rich-quick scheme? No. If you do your research and take action when the time is right- you will succeed in the affiliate marketing just like everyone else. If you enjoyed this article, remember to share it!


A data-driven professional with more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO, PPC, automation, and so on. Privately tea lover, gamer, tech nerd, and traveler. I love writing about marketing!

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