Here's How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing (2024)

Here's How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing (1)

Bill Widmer

8+ years as a digital nomad, Bill is on a mission to travel the world and fund it using SEO and content marketing.

Article Performance

  • Organic traffic


  • Linking websites


Get SEO metrics of any website or URL.

Sign up for Ahrefs→

The number of websites linking to this post.

This post's estimated monthly organic search traffic.


    Affiliate marketing is touted as a great way to make recurring, passive income. With affiliate-focused brands like Wirecutter selling for about $30 million, it’s easy to seewhy.

    But how much money does the average affiliate marketer make, really? Is it actually a good business model?

    Today, I answer these questions and talk about how you can get your hands on some of this affiliate moneytoo.

    New to affiliate marketing?

    Read our beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing.

    How do affiliate marketers makemoney?

    Affiliate marketers make money by getting paid a commission to promote other people’s products or services.

    For example, if you have an affiliate link on your blog that sends people to purchase a product from Amazon, you’ll make a percentage of every sale that happens as a result of clicks on your link. Here’s what the dashboard lookslike:

    Here's How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing (2)

    However, it doesn’t have to only be physical products.

    You can also earn money as an affiliate for online courses or software. You may have seen videos on YouTube that are “sponsored by Skillshare” or “sponsored by Fiverr.” These platforms also have affiliate programs.

    Alternatively, you can also make money as an affiliate marketing manager of a company. I’ll touch on how much employed managers make aswell.

    How much do affiliate marketers make?

    The average salary of an affiliate marketer, according to Glassdoor, is $59,060 per year. It ranges from $58K to $158K, including “additional pay” options like cash bonus, commission, tips, or profit sharing.

    However, this is for a salaried employee. What about a freelancer or business owner doing their own affiliate marketing?

    According to a survey done by the Influencer Marketing Hub, here’s the breakdown:

    Here's How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing (3)

    In other words, more than half of all affiliate marketers make $10K or less per year, while only about 33% make $10K or more peryear.

    That’s… not great. Certainly not enough to live on in most countries. But I believe this is because the majority of respondents don’t do affiliate marketing fulltime.

    Being in the affiliate space myself and connecting with hundreds of other affiliate marketers give me a gut feeling that the majority of full-time affiliate marketers make less than $100K per year—likely around $30K–$50K annually.

    That said, this is from my own personal experience, not a survey or research study, so take that with a grain ofsalt.

    Revenue vs. net profit

    When it comes to answering how much money affiliate marketers make, you have to take into account actual net profit numbers—not just revenue.

    Revenue is how much money a business makes before expenses are taken out. Net profit is how much it makes after expenses are accounted for.

    So profit is your actual take-home amount that your business produced for theyear.

    That’s why I say most affiliate marketers make between $30K–$50K annually. This means profits after expenses.

    How to get started on affiliate marketing

    If those numbers sound good and you’re ready to start affiliate marketing, here’s how you can get started:

    1. Choose aniche
    2. Decide on a content channel
    3. Produce and promote your content

    Step 1. Choose aniche

    Your niche is the thing you talk about. It could be a hobby, a lifestyle, a wacky science theory, or just about anything else. So long as there are products, services, or courses to promote, you can make money fromit.

    To find your niche, ask yourself:

    • What am I goodat?
    • What do I likedoing?
    • What am I curious about?
    • What do other people tell me I’m goodat?

    The overlap of those four questions is often a great choice for a niche. Or at the very least, it will get your head thinking aboutideas.

    For example, my answers may look likethis:

    • I’m good at video games, writing, traveling, and playing music.
    • I like doing all of those things, as well as journaling, hiking, and chillin’ in hammocks.
    • I’m curious about silversmithing, fire dancing, and motorcycles.
    • Other people tell me I’m a great salesman and that I give great massages.

    Based on my answers, I have tons of niche options: traveling, hiking, video games, sales, entrepreneurship, and even hammocks. It’s a fun little exercise to quickly come up withideas.

    If you’re still having trouble or want to learn more, check out our guide to finding an affiliate niche here. It walks you through how to find affiliate niches while searching for things on Google in your everyday life.

    Here's How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing (4)

    As you can see in the above screenshot, Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar will display information about every keyword you search for, such as how many people search for it per month and how difficult it would be to rankfor.

    Step 2. Decide on a content channel

    Once you’ve chosen a niche, you need to pick how you’re going to promote your affiliate links. You can create a niche website, a YouTube channel, social media accounts, or an emaillist.

    My personal favorite method is building a website and using search engine optimization (SEO) to rank the website on Google. This lets you gain recurring, organic traffic (andsales).

    Check out these Amazon affiliate websites to get an idea of what that may looklike.

    For example, one of my websites is monetized by Amazon affiliates, and I write review posts like the one below on camping mattresses:

    Here's How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing (5)

    If this style interests you, a niche website may be the way togo.

    However, just because you build a website doesn’t mean you can’t also be on social media and YouTube. I’ve just found it helpful in my own career to focus on and master one thing at a time before moving on to the nextthing.

    Step 3. Produce and promote your content

    Finally, you need to learn how to create amazing content and promote that content to get eyeballs onit.

    Affiliate marketing is a content-focused business. Without mastering content creation, you won’t succeed. Whether that means writing blog content, creating videos, or taking pictures, you need to learn how to do it better thanmost.

    But creating awesome content alone isn’t enough. You also need to learn how to promote your work, whether that’s to build backlinks to your articles for SEO or just to get views on your videos so the YouTube algorithm shows them to more people.

    How to maximize your affiliate profits

    Now you know the basics of how to become an affiliate marketer. But how do you ensure you make the most possible money on that spectrum I shared earlier?

    Here’s how:

    • Start by finding the best affiliate programs
    • Improve your conversion rates
    • Go for quick SEOwins
    • Negotiate for better rates

    Let’s break thesedown.

    Find the best affiliate programs

    Amazon is great for beginners, but with a 1–3% commission rate, it is far from thebest.

    The easiest and quickest way to increase your affiliate profits is by finding better affiliate programs that give 5%, 10%, and even 50% commissions onsales.

    The most common range you’re likely to find is 5–10%. These are still almost triple what Amazon pays, so don’t let that discourage you.

    Improve your conversion rates

    Beyond simply promoting better affiliate deals, the next quickest way to maximize profits is by focusing on conversion rate optimization.

    Meaning, you should make small improvements to your website that get more of your visitors to click your links and buy your recommendations.

    In general, some things you can do to help conversions include:

    • Using high-quality images.
    • Creating call to action (CTA) boxes for your recommended products.
    • Displaying comparison tables so your readers can quickly see differences.
    • Making the #1 product standout.
    • Building your brand and focusing on E-A-T (expertise, authority, trust).

    Example: Here’s a page that converts really well, thanks to these custom recommended product boxes:

    Here's How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing (6)

    You can have a developer make these for you or use an editor like Elementor or Thrive Architect.

    As for building your brand and establishing E-A-T, Wirecutter does an excellent job of this. It displays where it’s getting its information and, thus, establishing trust. We wrote a full case study on how Wirecutter does that here.

    Go for quick SEOwins

    Most tasks in SEO take time to give you results, whether that’s creating great content or building links. But there are lots of low-hanging fruits in SEO that can show results much faster if you know what you’re doing.

    These include:

    • Improving your internal link structure.
    • Fixing your website speed with caching.
    • Reclaiming lost backlinks.
    • Optimizing your title tags.
    • Refreshing your content.

    And more.

    For example, when I refreshed the content in one of my guides, my rankings shot up from position #3 to position #1 for the keyword “how to start a blog and get paid.” My overall traffic to the page increased by 35% almost immediately.

    Here's How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing (7)

    Check out our guide to quick SEO wins to learn how to do all of these tactics.

    Negotiate for better rates

    Finally, the quickest and easiest way to maximize your affiliate profits is by negotiating a better rate from your current affiliate partners.

    This won’t work for generic programs like Amazon and Walmart, but it absolutely works for smaller brands. More often than not, if you’re already sending your partners a good amount of traffic, it’s a no-brainer for them to increase your commission abit.

    Phrase it in a way that shows them you will use the extra profits to reinvest and promote them even more—it’s a win-win.

    This is best done over the phone, but even a well-worded email can increase your commission by a percentage ortwo.

    Final thoughts

    So now you know that most good affiliate marketers are making under $100K per year. But there are plenty making much more thanthat.

    And you have options—you can either become an affiliate marketing business owner or an affiliate manager for another company.

    Both are lucrative options. One of my favorite affiliate program partners has an affiliate manager making almost six figures per year—plus they gave him ownership in the company for profit sharing.

    Either way, affiliate marketing is an amazing career. Want to learn more? Check out these other guides:

    • How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money in 2022 (5Steps)
    • 21 Writing Tips to Become a Better Writer Fast
    • How to Do Keyword Research for Affiliate Sites

    Here's How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing (2024)


    Here's How Much You Can Really Make From Affiliate Marketing? ›

    Here are some examples of how much affiliate marketers can earn: A beginner affiliate marketer might earn $100-$500 per month. An experienced affiliate marketer might earn $1,000-$10,000 per month. A top affiliate marketer might earn $10,000-$100,000 per month or more.

    How much do people actually make with affiliate marketing? ›

    The reality is that 80% of affiliates earn between $0 and maybe $80,000 per year. And there's nothing wrong with $80k a year – that's a bloody nice income. 15% of other affiliates earn somewhere between $80,001 and maybe $1 million per year.

    Can you realistically make money from affiliate marketing? ›

    Is affiliate marketing legit? Despite a controversial reputation among those not really in the know, affiliate marketing is a totally legit way to earn an income. At the end of the day, the majority of the world's population is internet-connected, and online sales in all categories are constantly increasing.

    How much do I get paid for affiliate marketing? ›

    Commission rates for affiliate sales vary depending on the company and the offer. On the low end, you might earn about 5% of the sale, but with some arrangements, you can earn as much as 50% with high ticket affiliate programs. Some affiliate marketing programs provide a flat rate per sale instead of a percentage.

    How much commission you can earn in affiliate marketing? ›

    A good affiliate commission rate could depend on a number of factors. The niche or industry you're into, the size of your audience, the quality of your content, promotion strategy, etc. The average commission rate typically floats between 5% and 30%.

    Can you make $100 a day with affiliate marketing? ›

    The core of my strategy emphasizes building a genuine online business, focusing on evergreen topics, and tapping into passive income sources for scalability. This is how I made $100 per day with affiliate marketing, and then kept scaling it up.

    How much do beginner affiliate marketers make a month? ›

    Categorizing Affiliate Marketers by Earnings

    Beginner – $0 to $1000/per month. Intermediate $1000 to $10,000/per month. Advanced – 10k to $100k/per month. Super Affiliate – $100k+/per month.

    How much do Amazon affiliates get paid? ›

    It's called the Amazon Associates program, and it is a free-to-use affiliate marketing program where you can promote and market any product selling on Amazon, and get a commission of 1-10% on any sale you generate for Amazon.

    What affiliate marketing pays the most? ›

    Top High-Ticket Affiliate Marketing Programs
    • Moosend. Commission: Up to 40% lifetime recurring. ...
    • Shopify. Commission: 200% bounty commission. ...
    • Semrush. Commission: $200 per referral, $10 per trial sign-up. ...
    • WP Engine. Commission: $200 standard payout or 35% commission. ...
    • Liquid Web. ...
    • Teachable. ...
    • ClickFunnels. ...
    • GetResponse.
    Dec 1, 2023

    What is the fastest way to make money with affiliate marketing? ›

    10 Tips for Being a Successful Affiliate Marketer
    1. Choose a Niche. ...
    2. Get to Know Your Audience. ...
    3. Create Valuable Content. ...
    4. Disclose Affiliate Links. ...
    5. Market on Multiple Channels. ...
    6. Try Paid Advertising. ...
    7. Optimize Your Website or Channels for SEO. ...
    8. Update and Repurpose Old Content.
    Oct 11, 2023

    Is it hard to do affiliate marketing? ›

    Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires time and patience to grow an audience and gain influence. You'll want to test different channels to see which connect best with your audience. Research the most relevant and credible products to promote.

    Can you make $10,000 a month with affiliate marketing? ›

    As with any marketing strategy, it's essential to track your results, analyze data, and make adjustments accordingly to improve your ROI. In conclusion, affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online, and with the right strategy, you can earn $10,000 per month or more.

    How long does it take to make money from affiliate marketing? ›

    How long does it take to make money as an affiliate marketer? Based on my experience and speaking with many affiliate marketers, on average, it takes around six to 12 months to start earning money as an affiliate marketer and around two years to earn enough money to quit your day job.

    What is an average affiliate fee? ›

    In general, the average affiliate marketing commission rate lies between 5 and 30%. Most businesses will start on the lower end and increase this rate as the brand grows. This rate should be attractive to your affiliates and affordable within your payment ability.

    How to start affiliate marketing with no money? ›

    How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money in 2024
    1. Find an affiliate program and a niche.
    2. Decide your traffic channels.
    3. Target the right keywords.
    4. Create killer content that builds trust.
    5. Promote hard and grow your audience.
    6. Engage with your audience.
    7. Scale it up.
    Jan 22, 2024

    What are the 3 main types of affiliates? ›

    There are three types of affiliate marketing: unattached, related, and involved. Each of these affiliate methods has its advantages and disadvantages, so conduct research beforehand.

    How to make up to $10000 per month on Amazon without selling physical products? ›

    Making Up to $10,000 per Month on Amazon Without Selling Physical Products: Strategies for Profit
    1. Leveraging Affiliate Marketing for Amazon Associates. ...
    2. Creating and Selling Digital Products on Amazon. ...
    3. Utilizing Print on Demand Services. ...
    4. Freelancing and Amazon Services. ...
    5. Implementing Amazon FBA for Digital Products.
    Dec 12, 2023

    Who is the highest paid affiliate marketer? ›

    we'll dive into the top ten richest affiliate marketers, and how they carved their paths to digital marketing success:
    1. Pat Flynn. ...
    2. John Chow. ...
    3. Jeremy Schoemaker. ...
    4. Neil Patel. ...
    5. Zac Johnson. ...
    6. Charles Ngo. ...
    7. Missy Ward. ...
    8. Shawn Collins.

    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Carmelo Roob

    Last Updated:

    Views: 6248

    Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

    Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Carmelo Roob

    Birthday: 1995-01-09

    Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

    Phone: +6773780339780

    Job: Sales Executive

    Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

    Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.