17 Surprising Facts about Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a dynamic and ever changing online business that many people now choose to venture in.

Its main attraction is the fact that you are not required to produce your own product, but instead, you promote the product of another person or company. And then with each sale that you are able to complete, you earn a commission.

If you’re interested in this type of online business, for sure, you are going to devote enough time researching about before you get started.

But you’ll be surprised that even after you’ve read and studied about it, you’ll get to discover more and more fascinating things about it.

It’s hardly possible to cover everything but we’ve enumerated some of the most surprising facts about affiliate marketing that you’ll soon discover yourself.

Surprising Fact # 1 – 95 percent of affiliates fail

While it’s true that affiliate marketing is one of the most popular online businesses today, and a top choice among aspiring online entrepreneurs, you have to know that it has a very high failure rate.

Among all the new affiliates who get into this business, up to 95 percent fail. It means that only 5 percent are able to survive, thrive and grow as affiliates, successfully converting this business model into a viable source of passive income.

There are many possible reasons for this.

Many affiliates focus too much on the commission rates they will earn, failing to verify if the affiliate product they’ve chosen to promote is of high quality or not.

Some affiliates, meanwhile, don’t know anything about the products they are promoting. When customers ask questions about the product, they either make uneducated guesses or do not respond at all.

These are just few of the many possible reasons that most newbie affiliates do not make it.

Surprising Fact # 2 – One-time sales won’t make your business thrive

Many new affiliates do not realize this but one-time sales are not what you need to make your business grow and last for a long time.

Yes, one-time sales will put money in your pockets, feed your family and give you enough earnings to cover your expenses.

But if you want your affiliate marketing business to last a long time, repeat purchases are what you should go after.

Spend enough time getting fresh leads and converting them into first time customers.

But give more importance to taking care of your existing customers.

Always remember that it is so much easier to convince an existing customer to buy your product than to get a new customer to convert.

Surprising Fact # 3 – Online buyers don’t buy from strangers

In order to succeed in affiliate marketing, you need to figure out and understand how the mind of a typical online consumer works.

There have been many studies done about this, and one of the most common findings is this: online consumers no longer buy from strangers.

Most of them now prefer to purchase from people or companies that they know and trust.

This is one of the facts about affiliate marketing that surprises many people especially newbies.

They make the mistake of thinking that just because you have a product to offer, one that is effective and of high quality, people will automatically flock to your site to buy what you are selling.

Unfortunately, it does not work this way.

You must first take the time to build trust among your customers, establish your expertise in the niche, and build relationships with your target audience.

Surprising Fact # 4 – You can start affiliate marketing without cash

Surprise, surprise! Yes, you heard it right.

It’s possible to get started with affiliate marketing without any cash, or at least with very little cash in your pockets.

This is actually one of the few business models that you can set up without the need for a big capital.

And this is primarily due to the fact that it lets you skip the expensive and tedious process of product creation and development.

To start your affiliate marketing business with little to no cash, you’d want to sign up with a free CMS like WordPress.org. Then, you need to choose the cheapest but high quality web hosting service that comes with free domain. After this, you will have to rely first on free traffic sources, free marketing platforms, and free trials for tools and other resources.

By the time that you’re already starting to earn money from your affiliate marketing business, then you’ll have the money to spend on paid and premium versions of the tools that you need to grow it even further.

Surprising Fact # 5 – Some successful affiliates become broke after a month or two

There have been many stories of how successful affiliates who have made it big in their niche to become broke and hopeless only after a month or two.

How can this happen?

Is affiliate marketing that volatile to get you soaring high up there in one minute and plunging you to the ground face first in the next minute?

Well, not really.

Although it’s true that affiliate marketing is ever-changing, most of the blame is not on the industry itself but on the affiliate.

A few of the common reasons that successful affiliates end up broke only after a while include relentless spending, lack of financial planning, unnecessary purchases, and failure to diversify the sources of income.

The good news is, there are ways to prevent any of these from happening. Make sure that once you get to the peak of success, you don’t forget about the fact that all these disappear within a blink of an eye if you are not careful.

Surprising Fact # 6 – You can become an affiliate without a website

Most experts recommend setting up a blog or a website before starting with affiliate marketing.

And this is actually standard procedure.

After all, it’s where you’ll be publishing valuable content that is relevant to your products and niche, and where you’ll be inserting affiliate links in order to promote your products.

But you have to know that it is also possible to become an affiliate without a blog or a website.

There are many online platforms that can serve as alternatives.

These include email, online forums, and social media sites.

However, you have to double check with the affiliate program’s rules and regulations before you make any move. Amazon Affiliates for example do not allow the posting of its affiliate links on email messages.

But as you can see, it is possible to become an affiliate even if you don’t have a website or blog. Just take note that it will be a little more challenging.

Surprising Fact # 7 – Email can give you more traffic than search engine

Search engine is indeed one of the best and most effective sources of organic traffic for your affiliate website.

This is why, it’s important to have a comprehensive SEO campaign for your affiliate marketing business.

Now what you do not know is the trailing very close behind SEO is email as a source of traffic.

And that there are many situations and cases in which email beats search engine when it comes to driving traffic to an affiliate site.

Surprising right?

It would be fun to throw this fact in front of all those people who say that email marketing is dead.

Fact is, if you do email marketing the right way, and if you are able to build your email list substantially, you’ll find that it’s so much easier to convert your email subscribers into customers than website visitors coming from the search engines into customers.

And this is because your email subscribers are already interested specifically in your products and business. There is also a good chance that you have already established connection and relationship with these people.

Surprising Fact # 8 – Persistence wins over passion

This is another surprising fact that you might find a little hard to believe.

In affiliate marketing, it has been found that persistence trumps passion.

It’s persistence that catapults an affiliate to success.

Passion without persistence doesn’t mean a thing. It will only get you to start the business, but it will not help you get that far.

But if you’re persistent enough, you’ll be able to face head on and overcome all the challenges that you’ll find along the way. Trust us, there are going to be a lot.

And this is why, only the most persistent affiliates are able to make it big in this industry.

Surprising Fact # 9 – More than half of affiliates work from home

Only a few people would find this surprising but yes, most affiliates now do their business at home.

More and more people now prefer to work from their homes primarily due to the comfort and convenience that this route provides them.

When you work from home, you get to save yourself from the hassle of commuting to work, getting in the middle of office politics, and being nagged constantly by your boss.

But you have to know that it takes quite a lot of discipline to run your affiliate business from home.

Surprising Fact # 10 – There are now 600 million affiliate products

Yes, there are now 600 million affiliate products in many different niches and programs.

What does this mean for you as a new affiliate?

It means that affiliate marketing has a bright future waiting for you.

Even though the industry is already quite saturated, you’ll be glad to know that there is still room for you.

What you can do when choosing a popular niche wherein many affiliates are already competing with each other is to narrow down to a more specific specialization. This way, you can stand out from your competitors and get noticed more by your target customers.

Surprising Fact # 11 – Most affiliates do not have mobile responsive sites

It’s hard to understand why many affiliates overlook the importance of having a mobile responsive affiliate website.

Many of them are perfectly aware that most online consumers now shop using their mobile devices.

It has been found in studies that up to 30 percent of sales now come from mobile devices like smart phone and tablets.

And yet, many affiliates do not give as much importance on mobile responsiveness as they should.

They might not be realizing this but having a website that does not display properly on mobile device can mean a great loss of potential customers and profits.

Surprising Fact # 12 – Sacrifices made for the purpose of trust building are bound to pay off

As mentioned earlier, trust is the building block of affiliate marketing success, and that without it, an affiliate marketing business is bound to fail.

To earn the trust of your target customers, you’ll have to make a lot of sacrifices.

One is that you will have to put their needs first before yours.

Instead of focusing on making a sale and putting money in your pockets, you will have to focus first on helping your customers out and giving what they need.

But you’ll have to keep in mind that all these sacrifices that you make just to earn the trust of your customers will definitely pay off in the long run.

Surprising Fact # 13 – Affiliate marketing is now worth more than $12 billion

Affiliate marketing is growing bigger and bigger by the minute.

It’s now worth more than $12 billion. And it has surpassed other forms of online businesses in terms of profits and growth.

It’s also one of the most scalable online business models that you can get into.

This makes it important that you’re able to get into this business right now, before the doors finally close.

Once the market becomes too saturated, you will not make any more money from this business. But of course, this will not come anytime soon. It’s just essential that you do not procrastinate on getting started.

Surprising Fact # 14 – Many of the best and most profitable affiliate programs are on web hosting

If you are going to do your research on the most profitable affiliate programs today, you will find that some of the highest paying programs are those that promote web hosting services.

Web hosting is one of the first things that people need to set up their website.

And you can just imagine how many people are trying to set up blogs and websites every day. Some are doing it for the purpose of establishing an online business while others are doing it as part of their company’s requirements.

There never seems to be a shortage of people who are looking for web hosting services.

And this is why, it’s one of the best programs that you can choose to get into.

Surprising Fact # 15 – You can generate unlimited content even if you’re not a writer

Did you know that even if you are not a gifted writer, you can actually generate unlimited content for your site?

There are ways to go about this.

Your top option would be of course to hire a freelance writer to do the writing for you.

Or you can also do the writing yourself and just get an editor to improve the content.

You can also make use of various online tools for generating topic ideas.

Just a few of those that you could use are:

Surprising Fact # 16 – Average conversion rate is only 1 percent

Even though affiliates can’t stop raving about how this type of online business lets them earn big money, you have to know that the average conversion rate is quite low at 1 percent.

This means that it takes a great amount of work and effort to get your affiliate marketing business to take off.

The fact that you don’t have to produce your own products makes it simpler and more convenient than other types of businesses.

But it also requires so much from your part when it comes to driving traffic to the affiliate website, building your following and establishing relationships with your target customers.

Now if you’re able to do all these the right way, there is a bigger chance that you’ll experience a much higher conversion rate.

Surprising Fact # 17 – Affiliate marketing is for all ages

You’ll be surprised to find out that affiliates come in all ages and from all walks of life. There are those as young as 16 to 18 year old affiliates who promote products for teens and young adults. And then there are those as old as 75 who market products that are designed for the elderly.

You don’t have to worry about not being at the right age to become an affiliate. You can become one no matter what your age is as long as you know how to use a laptop (or mobile device) and the internet.

Like any other online business, affiliate marketing takes a lot of time and effort. But once things get rolling, and you experience all the benefits that it can give you, you’ll see for yourself that everything you worked hard for will be truly worth it.