Since the late 1990s,affiliate marketinghas been a buzzword on the internet. This potential money-maker is often the source when you hear about those incredible, if not common “I made a fortune $$$ blogging!” stories.

Yes, it’s nothing new, but affiliate marketing is still going strong. And you can make a serious living by focusing on a smart affiliate marketing strategy.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

If you’re unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, the concept is pretty simple:

  • Promote products/services on your blog.
  • Add speciallinksto those products/services in your content.
  • When your readers click those links (or purchase products after clicking those links), you get a cut of the profits from the merchant.

In other words, affiliate marketing is a lot like commissioned sales. The difference is you’re driving traffic and leads to the merchant/advertiser’s website through your blog posts.

If this sounds too good to be true, pay attention: This is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and it WILL take effort to make money using this strategy.

Affiliate Marketing Pros & Cons

These are the major pros and cons of affiliate marketing:

Pros

  • It’s a great way to make passive income.While you’re off working at your full-time job, your affiliate links and blog posts will be working in the background. With the right combination of SEO and engaging, honest writing, you could be looking at a passive income cash cow.
  • You don’t need marketing experience.You don’t need any marketing experience to become an affiliate, though a bit of SEO knowledge and writing chops never hurt.
  • You can do it in your free time.With only a bit of time + money investment up front (setting up a website, getting set up with affiliate programs, and creating content with your affiliate links) you can start making money.

Cons

  • You have zero control over the offers, products, or services.You don’t have to mess with products (creating, distributing, selling) but at the same time, you don’t have any control over what you’re promoting, either.
  • It can be competitive.Affiliate marketing is relatively simple, so there will be plenty of other affiliates out there competing for clicks and leads – some of them with years of experience behind them.
  • There are scams.Affiliate marketers need to be wary of scams and fraudulent affiliate programs.
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