What’s The Truth About Affiliate Marketing – Facts & Fiction

What's The Truth About Affiliate Marketing - Facts vs. Fiction - Featured Image

What’s The Truth About Affiliate Marketing? In this article, I hope to explain the facts about affiliate marketing and the fiction behind it; so you can decide if it is something you might be interested in learning more about or stir clear of based on my personal experiences.

With the world in turmoil and people locked inside their homes and unable to work because of the pandemic, you might be exploring other ways to earn an income to feed your family and pay your bills. Hopefully, the crisis is just about over so people can get back to work and support their families.

The Corona Virus Pandemic

But you might want to have a backup plan in case another crisis like this happens again. This pandemic going on around the world is what prompted me to write this article about affiliate marketing. I want to explain what the facts are about affiliate marketing and what’s fiction.

What’s The Truth About Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing begins with building a niche website you own as your business. Once you have your website built, you help people by writing articles such as product reviews and how-to articles to answer the questions; they are researching. I will explain more in detail about niche websites later.

When you start getting traffic to your website, you can begin to sign up for affiliate programs that offer the products or services you are writing about in your articles. If the company excepts you, they will give you an affiliate i.d. link coded to you.

Once you have your affiliate i.d. number, you go back through your articles and link to the products or services you are recommending; to visitors. When someone clicks on one of your links and purchases something through the company, you earn a commission for sending the company a customer.

Truth About Affiliate Marketing

Most companies have a minimum payout setup. The minimum payout can range from $10 to $100 before sending you a check or direct deposit. Some companies allow you to set the minimum payout. Also, the percentage of commissions earned varies with different companies.

It sounds easy enough, right! Well, in truth, there is a lot more to it than that. You are building a business from the ground up, and with any new business venture, there are some growing pains. It takes time to grow any successful business, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

I started my journey in learning affiliate marketing in 2016 while working a 2nd shift job. After 27 years of doing the same old job, I knew there had to be a better and easier way of making a living. I knew other people were earning a good income online, but I just didn’t know-how.

I’m not the smartest person when it comes to computers because I didn’t grow up with them. But I also knew if others could make a living online, I could learn as well. So I started researching ways to make money online when I would get home from work at night.

I spent hundreds of dollars and tried several different ways to earn money online to no avail. I lost more money than I ever made but, I kept trying. Then one night, I stumbled across a website talking about affiliate marketing with a 7-day free trial and step-by-step training on how to build a website and earn an income online.

I thought, what do I have to lose. I can try it out for 7-days free, and if I don’t like what I see, I can forget about it and keep searching. By the 2nd night, I knew I had found the right place to learn how to earn an income online. So, I ended up joining this company, and for me, it was the best money I ever spent.

I never in a million years ever saw myself as being a blogger and writing articles. Grammar and punctuation were never my strong suit in school. Math and science were my favorite subjects. You never know where life is going to take you but, here I am!

What's The Truth About Affiliate Marketing?

Fast forward to today’s date (2021). I am still currently a member of this company after five years. But I was able to retire from my job in 2018 at the age of 54. I now work from home and set my own hours. So the answer is yes, affiliate marketing does work as long as you are willing to learn and put forth the effort to build your business.

A Word Of Advice: If affiliate marketing is something you are thinking about learning, do not quit your regular job until you learn what it takes to become successful and start earning income consistently. I put lots of hours after work and on weekends into following the step-by-step training and educating myself.  

If you are ready to get started, I will see you on the inside! Once you are on the inside, I will greet you; and I, as well as thousands of others, will help you along the way with any questions you might have.

Is Affiliate Marketing A Pyramid Scheme?

The honest answer is no; affiliate marketing is not a pyramid scheme. Affiliate marketing is based solely on your efforts and no one else’s. There is no team building.

Is Affiliate Marketing The Same As Network (MLM) Marketing?

Again the answer is no. You are building your own business and earn money on your efforts alone. With affiliate marketing, you are trying to help people by writing articles providing the answers or solutions to a problem the person is researching.

The way you earn money in network marketing is to recruit other people into your business opportunity; And then you earn a commission off of your efforts as-well-as the other members in your team based on product sales.

I have tried several different network marketing companies over the years to try and earn extra income while working a regular job. Most of the time, I lost more money than I ever made. If you are a good salesperson, you can make an extra income with the right network marketing company.

What Do You Need To Become An Affiliate Marketer?

Most but not all affiliate programs require you to have a niche website to promote their products or services. A few affiliate programs will allow you to promote their products or services through social platforms or email marketing without a website. You will have to read their terms of service to find out.

What Are Some Of The Cost Associated With Doing Affiliate Marketing?

Here is a list of the main components of what you will need to do affiliate marketing and build an income-producing website. 

  • You’re website domain name (URL)
  • Hosting for your website 
  • Keyword research tool 
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices. 

Website Domain Name (URL): Your domain name is a yearly cost and can run on average between $10.00 to $20.00 a year, depending on the domain extension or registrar you choose. Some companies will give you a lower rate in the beginning only to raise it upon renewal.

A Chart Detailing The Cost Of Website Domains

Hosting For Your Website: Website hosting costs can range from $20.00 to over $100.00 a month, depending on the company you choose. A lot of hosting companies will offer you a low introductory starter rate before the upsells begin. Some companies will offer discounted rates by paying yearly.

Keyword Research Tool: You can find some keyword research tools that are free but, most of the good ones will cost you a monthly fee starting around $20.00 a month and up.

Jaaxy Keyword Tool Image

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): You can find a few free courses online that can teach you the basics but, it usually isn’t enough. However, SEO is a vital part if you want to become successful in affiliate marketing. 

It is better to spend the money and find training on SEO and learn it for yourself than pay someone to do it for you. The cost of hiring someone to do SEO for you is ridiculous.

Why do you need a keyword research tool?

For example, let’s say I wanted to write an article about The Best CBD For Anxiety. What a keyword research tool does is help me to see how much competition; I have for that specific keyword phrase. Also, it gives me other keywords which might be a better choice.

As you can see from the image below, that particular keyword has an average of 549 searches a month. If I decided to write the article and achieved first page rankings, I could expect an average of 94 visitors a month in traffic to my website. 

The (QSR) stands for the quoted search results. It tells me 45 other websites compete for first page rankings for that same keyword. That is where learning SEO is critical to beating out your competition. The higher the SEO score to a 100, the better.

Jaaxy Research Tool

If you are a beginner to affiliate marketing and haven’t yet learned about keyword research or SEO, I would recommend starting with an average of at least 100 searches a month and 100 or fewer QSR. 

The less competition you have, the easier it is to get ranked on the first page and get some traffic started to your website if you write good quality content. As you learn more about keyword research and SEO, you can target higher competition keywords with more traffic.

Why Is SEO Important To Your Website?

The goal of affiliate marketing is to write content that is helpful to others and learn how to get ranked on the first page; in the search engines. If you don’t understand proper SEO, this becomes a difficult task, and your posts won’t rank well or earn you an income. 

Sometimes even if you do proper keyword research and SEO, not every post you write will rank on the first page. The good news is if you do everything right, your articles can move up in rank over time as your website becomes more established.

What Is A Niche Website?

When I first started learning about affiliate marketing, I had no clue what a niche website was; so I made lots of mistakes in the beginning. 

I built my first website about a subject so broad and not specific enough, only to realize later there weren’t many opportunities to monetize my site and earn an income. But I learned a lot in the process.

A niche website needs to be narrower in focus. For example, my website is about CBD oils, CBD companies, CBD products, and the health benefits of CBD. So the majority of the articles I write are niche-specific. 

One might read this article and say it doesn’t have anything to do with CBD because it is about affiliate marketing. But the truth of the matter is I earn a living with affiliate marketing by writing articles about CBD.

A Word Of Advice: If you are interested in learning how to do affiliate marketing, take the necessary time to think about what kind of niche website you would want to build first and what types of products are associated with that niche before going any further. 

For example: If you choose a niche about a subject you are passionate about, it will be easier for you to do the proper research and write articles. If woodworking is a hobby you have, you could write articles about the different tools needed and get affiliated with companies that sell tools such as Home Depot, Sears, or Lowes.

What's The Truth About Affiliate Marketing, Example Of A Website Niche

Affiliate Marketing Niche Ideas.

Here is a list of other ideas for affiliate marketing and building a niche website. Some of them are a little broad and could be more focused, like antiques. Antique dressers or beds would be more on point. The sky is the limit!

AntiquesBackyard ProjectsGolf Tips
Home RemediesPhotographyArchery Supplies
Beer MakingHiking GearTravel
Power ToolsSpecial Needs ChildrenFishing Equipment
DIY Home RepairCamping EquipmentBitcoin Investing
Anti AgingBow HuntingExercise and Fitness
SupplementsMotorcycle AccessoriesAnimal Care
Beauty TipsFirearmsLiving with Diabetes
Running ShoesRV AccessoriesMusical Instruments
Survival TipsBaby AccessoriesFashion

How Much Does It Cost To Join An Affiliate Program?

Almost all affiliate programs are free to join, and if one wishes to charge you a fee to signup, stir clear unless it is a small one-time fee or a company you want to promote. You should be able to find plenty of free ones to join. There is no limit to how many affiliate programs you can join.

Pros And Cons With Affiliate Marketing?

As with anything you do in life, there are always pros and cons to your decisions. Life is about choices and consequences.


  • You are building your own business.
  • You can set your own work schedule.
  • Laptop lifestyle, you can work from anywhere.
  • More people are shopping online than ever before.
  • You are the boss.
  • Your success is dependent upon your efforts and no one else’s.
  • Unlimited earning potential.
  • No longer have to commute to and from a job.
  • Creating residual income.


  • You have to be willing to learn.
  • You have to be self-motivated.
  • It is not a get-rich-quick kind of business.
  • Without effort equals no rewards.
  • It’s not for everyone.
  • Not every article you write will generate an income.

Is Affiliate Marketing A Scam Or What?

Hopefully, if you have read this far down in my article, you discovered that affiliate marketing isn’t a scam. But it does require hard work, just like any other job. But it can be fun work as well as rewarding!

Affiliate marketing also requires dedication and learning in building a successful online business. What other kind of business can you start without investing tons of money into your business?

What Is The Best Affiliate Marketing Training For Beginners?

Now I might be a little bias when it comes to the best affiliate marketing training for beginners. Keep in mind; I knew absolutely nothing about building a website or how to earn an income with affiliate marketing when I first started five years ago.

I needed to find a training program that wasn’t too expensive and could teach me step-by-step how to build a website and earn an income for dummies. I started with the 7-day free trial, and by day 2, I became a premium member because I saw the value in what I was learning.

Use the chart below and compare it to other training programs. Everything you will ever need; is included in the premium plan except your domain name purchase which you can search for inside the member’s area.

Free 7-Day Affiliate Marketing Training Program 

As a free starter member, you will have access to the first 10-lessons out of 50 in the certification course. Each lesson has a 20-30 minute video explaining and showing you exactly what to do step-by-step. You will also have access to the first 10-lessons in the affiliate boot-camp course.

What You Will Learn In The First 10 Lessons

  • Getting Started
  • Understanding How to Make Money Online
  • Choosing a Niche
  • Building Your Niche Website
  • Setting Up Your Website
  • Getting Your Site Ready for Search Engines
  • Creating Your Initial Website Content
  • Creating Custom Menus on Your Website
  • Understanding Keywords, The Start Of Your Business
  • Congratulations and Your Next Steps

What Is The Affiliate Boot-Camp Course?

The affiliate boot-camp course is for if you don’t have any niche ideas for building your website. So it’s geared toward learning how to promote the company itself. I haven’t been through the boot-camp training because I already had some niche ideas.

As a free starter member, you will have access to the first 10-lessons out of 70 in the affiliate boot-camp course. Each lesson has a 20-30 minute video explaining and showing you exactly what to do step-by-step.

What You Will Learn In The First 10 Lessons

  • Getting Started
  • Choosing Your Direction
  • Building Your Website
  • A Look Through Your Word-Press Site
  • Activating Your Plugins
  • Getting Your Website Ready for SEO
  • Your Initial Framework Of Content
  • Understanding the Keyword Research Process
  • Creating Thoughtful, Insightful Reviews
  • The Exciting Journey Has Begun

My Final Thoughts About Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone, but it can be a way to earn an extra income at home in case another pandemic ever occurs. Or it could be a way to replace your current job. Only you can decide!

I think the reason some people fail at affiliate marketing is that they give up too quickly. Or they are not willing to put in the time and effort to learn what it takes to become successful.


I hope that within this article, What’s The Truth About Affiliate Marketing? You have discovered the facts and what is fiction about affiliate marketing. I will see you on the inside.

Warmest regards, Dale – Prospering With CBD

Dale Odom

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