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How Much Do Affiliate Marketers Make? The Truth Revealed

How much do affiliate marketers make

As a successful affiliate marketer with years of experience, I’ve seen firsthand the potential for significant income in this industry. However, the truth about affiliate marketing income varies depending on factors like niche, strategy, and effort.

In this article, we’ll dive into the factors that affect earnings, share real-world examples of successful affiliate marketers, and provide practical tips to help you maximize your earning potential.

Whether you’re considering affiliate marketing as a side hustle or a full-time career, this insight will help you make informed decisions and set realistic expectations. So, let’s get started!

Quick Summary

  • Affiliate marketing income varies significantly based on factors such as expertise level, niche, and audience size. While beginners might earn less than $100 per month, experienced marketers can make over $100,000 per month.
  • Affiliate marketers generate income through various streams, including affiliate commissions, ads, and brand partnerships.
  • To maximize affiliate income, marketers should provide real value to their readers, use multiple affiliate partners, optimize content for search engines, and utilize multiple affiliate channels.

How Much Do Affiliate Marketers Make On Average?

Affiliate marketers can make anywhere from $0 to over $100,000 per month.

This number depends on a lot of factors, such as the expertise level, niche, target audience size, monetization methods, and more.

Let’s take a look at each of these factors in more detail.

1. Expertise Level

Affiliate marketing is a pretty competitive industry with a lot of moving parts.

drive more affiliate sales

There’s a lot to learn, from finding the right affiliate products and services to promoting them effectively.

So it’s not surprising that those who are just starting out often don’t make much money.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for a new affiliate marketer to earn less than $100 per month during their first year.

But don’t worry, it gets better!

As you gain more experience and knowledge, your earnings will start to increase.

Here is an overview of different affiliate income categories based on expertise:

  • Beginner (0-2 years): $0 to $1,000 per month
  • Intermediate (2-5 years): $1,000 to $10,000 per month
  • Expert (over 5 years): $10,000 to over $100,000 per month

2. Niche

The niche you are in plays a vital role in how much you make. Some niches are just more lucrative than others.

Find Your Niche

It’s important to mention that the more lucrative the niche is, the more competition there will be.

It’s also crucial to find a balance between a niche that is profitable and you having the financial resources and knowledge to compete in it.

The goal is to get the most out of your marketing efforts. Not just getting into the highest earning affiliate niches.

Speaking of the highest earning, here are some of the most successful affiliate niches:

  • Weight loss
  • Pets
  • Hosting/VPN
  • Muscle/Bodybuilding
  • CBD
  • Personal Finance
  • Survival
  • Male Enhancement
  • Adult
  • Casino/Gambling
For more information about the highest-paying affiliate niches, check out this study.

3. Audience Size (Traffic)

Obviously, the more traffic you have, the more money you can make. However, not all traffic is created equal.

You Are Getting Lots Of Traffic

Traffic location, search intent, and other factors play a role in how much you make per visitor.

💡 Here's a quick quiz:
Let’s say you have a camping blog, which keyword would you prefer to rank for: “best camping tents” or “how to set up a tent?”

If you guessed “best camping tents,” then you’re right!

The keyword “best camping tents” has a commercial intent, which means people who are searching for that term are more likely to buy a product (around $10 in income.)

Best Camping Tents

On the other hand, the keyword “how to set up a tent” has an informational intent, which means people who are searching for that term are just looking for information and are not necessarily interested in buying a product, so the only real way to make money directly from that keyword is through ads (around $0.02 per visitor.)

I’m not saying that you can’t make a lot of money from ads but in general, the more commercial intent a keyword has, the more money you can expect to earn.

Note: While information keywords don’t make you a lot of money directly, they are crucial to your website’s overall rankings. Informational articles can help you create topical relevance, which makes Google see you as an authority and rewards you with higher rankings, resulting in more traffic, sales, and money.

The location of your traffic also matters.

Visitors from countries like the US, UK, Canada, and Australia have a higher purchasing power and are more likely to buy affiliate products and services online.

Not only do you earn affiliate income, but publishers are willing to pay more to get their ads in front of people who are likely to buy something.

Income Doesn’t Mean Profit

It’s important to mention that income doesn’t necessarily mean profit[1].

Profit Vs Income

I could spend $99,999 on ads and make $100,000 in income, then brag about my “six-figure affiliate passive income” and how I’m crushing it.

But in reality, I’m only making $1 in net profit.

To be successful in the affiliate world, you need to focus on net profit, not just income.

This is why it’s important to track your income and expenses so you can see how much profit you’re actually making.

Track Income And Expenses

Only then can you adjust your campaigns accordingly and scale your business to new heights.

Some common affiliate expenses are:

  • Content
  • Link Building
  • Web Hosting
  • Tools
  • Partnerships
  • Ads
  • Taxes

How Do Affiliate Marketers Make Money?

One thing to absolutely love about affiliate marketing is that it allows you to have multiple streams of earning passively.

This helps you diversify your earnings and provides you with more financial security.

Niche Markets

In this section, you will discover the different types of affiliate revenue and how they work.

1. Affiliate Commissions

The first affiliate marketing passive revenue stream that marketers have is through recurring commissions.

When you promote a product or service as an affiliate, you earn a commission whenever someone makes a purchase using your unique link.

The amount of commission varies depending on the affiliate network, but it can range from a few percent to 50% or more!

For example, let’s say you’re promoting pet food and the company you’re promoting offers a 40% commission on all affiliate sales.

Example Of Affiliate Commissions

If you refer someone to their site and they spend $100 on pet food, you would earn a $40 commission. Not bad, right?

The best part is that this income is completely passive income! You don’t have to do anything except promote the product or service. The company takes care of everything else, including shipping, customer service, and more.

2. Ads

Another way that most affiliate marketers make money is through online advertising.

Why Consider An AdSense Alternative Illustration

You can sign up for ad networks like Ezoic or Mediavine, and they will place ads on your affiliate site and pay you for each ad view.

The amount you earn per 1,000 views varies depending on the network, the niche, and the type of ad placed on your blog.

But generally, you can expect to earn around $10 per thousand views. So if you have an affiliate website with 100,000 page views per month, you could earn around $1,000 per month from ads!

And just like with affiliate commissions , you don’t have to worry about anything other than getting more visitors to your page.

3. Brand Partnership

Sometimes a brand might approach you and ask you to promote their product on your blog or social media channels.

Brand Partnership

And if you agree, they will pay you a fee for each post or tweet that you make.

The amount you earn will depend on the size of your audience and the type of partnership you worked out with the brand.

It’s not uncommon to earn a few thousand dollars per post!

How To Maximize Your Income As An Affiliate Marketer

1. Provide Real Value To Your Readers

This is the most important thing you can do to increase your income.

Product Recommendation

As an affiliate, your goal is to help people solve their problems by recommending affiliate products and services that you believe in.

The better job you do at helping people, the more likely they are to purchase the affiliate products you recommend, and the more money you’ll make.

2. Use Multiple Affiliate Programs

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s important to use multiple affiliate networks so you can diversify your income streams.

This way, if one affiliate program stops working for you, you’ll still have other programs to rely on.

3. Optimize Your Content For Search Engines

If you want to make more affiliate commissions, you need to get more website traffic.

Optimize All Of Your Site’s Pages

One of the best ways to get more traffic is to optimize your content for search engines.

This way, when people are searching for information related to your niche, they’re more likely to find your content and click on your affiliate link.

To learn more about how to create content that search engines will love, check out this SEO checklist.

4. Use Multiple Affiliate Channels

In addition to optimizing your content for search engines, you should also be using other channels to drive traffic to your affiliate links.

Online Marketing Channels

You can leverage email marketing, create social media posts, start a YouTube channel and share your YouTube videos everywhere, and use other online marketing channels to get the word out about your content.

The more traffic you can drive to your affiliate links, the more money you’ll make.

5. Always Try To Boost Your Conversion Rate

One thing that is often overlooked by affiliate marketers, especially inexperienced ones, is the conversion rate.

Conversion rate is the percentage of people who take the desired action after seeing your content.


This action can be anything from clicking on an affiliate link to signing up for an email list.

Optimizing your content for conversions means maximizing the revenue from every visitor as much as possible.

There are several ways to boost conversion rate[2], such as:

  • Offering discounts and coupons
  • Creating a sense of urgency. For example, using phrases like “limited time offer” or “act now”
  • Making it easy for people to take action. For example, using a “buy now” button or a “sign up now” button
  • Making sure your affiliate links are visible and easy to find
Test different strategies and see what works best for your target audience.

Even a small increase in conversion rate can have a big impact on your income.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Make Good Money With Affiliate Marketing?

You can make good money with affiliate marketing. If you are good enough, you can make over $100,000 per month.

How Much Can I Make From Affiliate Marketing A Month?

You can expect to make around $5,000 from affiliate marketing a month on average.

Who Is The Richest Affiliate Marketer?

No one knows for sure who is the richest affiliate marketer.

Pat Flynn

But according to Google and some forums, people believe that Pat Flynn is the richest affiliate marketer in the world.

Do Affiliate Marketers Pay Taxes?

Affiliate marketers are required to pay self-employment tax just like any other business owner.

How Long Does It Take To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

It takes around a year to start making good money with affiliate marketing.

Is Affiliate Marketing Profitable In 2024?

Affiliate marketing is very profitable in 2023. With the right affiliate marketing strategy in place, an affiliate marketer can make a lot of money.

Why Is Affiliate Marketing So Hard?

Affiliate marketing is so hard because the top results make most, if not all, of the money.

Everyone is trying to beat each other to the top of the search engines and drive as much traffic as possible to their affiliate links.

This creates a lot of competition, which makes it difficult to stand out from the crowd and make a good income.

Start Improving Your Skills:

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online. It’s a stream of earning meaningful income passively, providing more financial freedom.

Now that you know how much affiliate marketers make, we hope you’ll be more eager to try your luck with affiliate marketing.

But it’s not as easy as some “affiliate gurus” claim it to be. Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and patience to make a significant amount of money from affiliate marketing.

And without proper guidance, this can take you months and even years without seeing any significant results.

That’s why we created this step-by-step course to guide you through the process of building a successful affiliate marketing business from scratch.

If you’re willing to put in the work, then we believe that this course will be a valuable asset to you and your business.

Click here to learn more about our affiliate marketing success course.


Article by

Matt Diggity

Matt is the founder of Diggity Marketing, LeadSpring, The Search Initiative, The Affiliate Lab, and the Chiang Mai SEO Conference. He actually does SEO too.

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"One of the most effective SEOs I've ever met"- Cyrus Sheppard

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