How Much Can You Earn From Affiliate Marketing?

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So, you are set to do affiliate marketing and you are wondering how much can you earn from it. Here’s the gauge…

Traffic & Product Type0 – 1 Year1 – 2 Years3 – 4 YearsMonetary Risk
Blogging & YouTubing (Tangible Products)$0 – $300 per month$300 – $500 per month$3,000 – $4,000 per monthLow
Blogging & YouTubing
(Digital Products)
$0 – $500 per month$500 – $1,500 per month$3,000 – $8,000 per monthLow
Paid Advertising$3,000 or moreNo LimitNo LimitHigh

Now, before you go all excited about paid advertising, you need to know that out of 100 people who ever tried going that route, over 95 of them will lose money.

I’ll explain why in this video:

Subscribe to Channel: Click here

There are many factors that influence your earning potential.

Your Learning AbilityNiche that you choose
How quickly you can implementProducts you are promoting
Your consistency in producing content or adTraffic method that you use
Commission Rate and Profitability of the Affiliate Program
How well your content or ad resonates with your audiences

One critical thing you have to note is that no one has an accurate answer for you, and no one can guarantee that you will earn money.

My Affiliate Income Proof

To show you that I am not just a “researcher”, but someone in the trench tackling a real affiliate business… I want to share with you my income proof from the early days in the business.

If you want to see a walk-through of my affiliate income where I bring you behind the scenes of my account, then watch the video. You’ll that these income proof are not taken anywhere else other than my own.

Traffic Strategy: Blogging

Affiliate product: Digital

Month 0 to 3: No Income

I started a blog in February 2014 with guidance from this course. I was all excited to get started, and I still remember that I was in the midst of changing my job.

It was a challenging period of my life because I had an active life with a girlfriend, who is now my wife, a new full-time job that I hope to excel in, I was into gaming too.

It almost seem impossible to find time to start a blog.

But I knew I had to do it because I don’t want to ever rely on a job to survive.

It was a tough 3 months because the only time I had for my blog was from 4am in the morning till I head off to work. Imagine sacrificing my “precious sleep” for 3 months without knowing if my hard work will pay off.

Month 4: First Dollar Online

Luckily it did!

On May 26, 2014, I got my first ever commission of $8!

Now, I didn’t think $8 after 3 months of hard work was something to brag about. I didn’t even dare showing my girlfriend or friends about it; they would probably say, YOU WAKE UP AT 4AM EVERYDAY FOR THIS? So, I kept it to myself. Entrepreneurship is truly a lonely journey.

But, I knew I was doing something right, and I understand that I am building a business, not working on a job. It takes time for any business to grow, and I shouldn’t be enticed by instant gratification.

So, I continued to learn something new everyday and took action with my blog.

Month 13: Hit the first $1,000 mark

A year has passed and I didn’t hit that $1,000 mark on my blog’s anniversary, but it did generate $827.

But came March 2015, I made $1,426, which is way above what I was expecting.

Never would I have imagined that I can keep up with my morning routine for so long, but it was because I am seeing real potential of this business.

The earnings from the blog is increasing month after month, although not exponentially. But, that kept my spirits high and urged me to keep going.

Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.

Month 22: First $3,000 paycheck

Almost 2 years into my blog and I am thrilled that it has grown to this size.

I have never expected that I could earn a full-time income online. I remember the first time I transferred my affiliate income from PayPal to my Bank account and finally took it out to spend. It feels surreal.

And, from then on, my affiliate income increased month after month to the point where it doubled the income I made from my full-time job.

I finally made a decision to leave my job on August 2017, which is 3 years and 4 months working on my blog.

Affiliate Income potential for Free Traffic Methods

The 2 best free traffic methods for affiliate marketing are Blogging and YouTube because the content created has the possibility of generating an everlasting traffic source that inherently creates a passive income for you.

For example if your content is deemed high-quality by Google or YouTube for a spectrum of search queries, it will be shown to someone who searched for one of those queries.

However, to earn a good source of affiliate income from Blogging or YouTube, these are the factors that influence your income potential:

  1. The niche that you are in;
  2. How well you can lead someone to look at your affiliate offer through the content you’ve created;
  3. The commission rate of the affiliate program you are involved in; and
  4. Whether or not there is a value ladder of products

I’ve talk in detail about the criteria of a good affiliate program here.

But anyway, if you choose to go into either of the two free traffic methods I’ve talked about, you’ll experience something like this:

Blogging and YouTubing Affiliate Income Potential Graph

It will kick off slowly, and you have to put forth a ton of work without expecting anything. But, when you start seeing some small results, that’s really the beginning of something incredible.

You have to keep up the efforts and see it through. You will eventually reach your income goals with your blog or your YouTube channel.

See the table at the start of the article for the gauge of income potential.

Pro Tip: Focus on promoting affiliate products that are in digital form (not tangible products like the ones you see on Amazon). Digital affiliate products has the potential of providing 30% to 90% commission rate.

Affiliate Income potential for Paid Traffic Methods

Now, it is really important that you know the truth about Paid Traffic.

While you can earn money relatively quickly, and you don’t have to put in the amount of effort required for free traffic methods…

There is a monetary risk, big ones, and the failure rate is extremely high!

Out of 100 people who have tried paid advertising, more than 95 of them will lose money.

People don’t only lose money on paying for traffic, they lose more money spending on training programs, because most of the time these programs cost thousands of dollars.

But, it is still necessary to educate yourself to become successful with paid advertising, but you can never find good resources that are free or at low cost.

That’s the reality of going into paid advertising for affiliate marketing. Watch the video above at about 9 minutes where I go into detail on what it takes to be successful with paid advertising.

Now, if you were to go into paid advertising, you’ll experience something like this:

Affiliate Income Potential for Paid Traffic Methods

You will be losing some money at first. It is inevitable.

How it works is that you will be spending a lot of money running traffic to different ads.

At first, it is all about testing, collecting data, optimizing and tweaking, until you find one ad where you pay 1 dollar in advertising, and you make more than $1 in revenue. That’s a profitable ad.

And, when you scale that ad, there is a very high chance that you will earn a lot of money in a short period of time.

But for you to find one profitable ad, it will cost you probably hundreds to a few thousand dollars.

Pro Tip: Get into a paid advertising course that teaches copywriting, sales, and persuasion. And most importantly, a course that comes with personal coaching. Like this program.

Wrapping this up

There is a trade off in affiliate marketing, and you need to choose which is a suitable path for you.

With free traffic methods, although your start up cost is extremely low, you’ll have to put in a ton of effort upfront without expecting any results quickly.

But, with paid traffic methods, though you do not need to put in the amount of effort required for free traffic, there is a monetary risk.

Free traffic – low monetary risk; high risk for time and effort.

Paid traffic – high monetary risk; lower risk on time and effort.

Best Training Programs for Free Traffic Methods

Program NameStart Training
Wealthy AffiliateClick here
Income SchoolClick here

Best Training Programs for Paid Traffic Methods

Program NameStart Training
Legendary MarketerClick Here
Super Affiliate SystemClick Here

Anyway, I hope I’ve provided you with the answers you are are looking for. If you found value from this article, please help to share it…

And, if you have any questions at all, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. I’ll do my best to help you out.

Looking forward to see you succeed with affiliate marketing!

Your friend,


Jack Cao

Hi there! I'm Jack from Singapore, and I started my journey to find passive income when I was 24 years old. Back then, I worked as a Share Registration Officer while pursuing a degree in Economics and Finance. I was earning peanuts and I quickly realised what I was pursuing was not what I wanted to do with my life. So, I set out to find ways to make money online. The road was tough, there were many setbacks, but I'm glad I found success. While pursuing for success, I use this website as well as a YouTube channel to share what I learn along the way and hopefully make some friends here. Let's join hands and make passive income together! More about me and my success story here.

15 thoughts on “How Much Can You Earn From Affiliate Marketing?

  1. Affiliate marketing as a means of income can be really fun if you have done through a good training and you have your mind to it and willing to make money. There is so much money to be made if you have the right steps taken and that includes having the right contents, making use of search engines and having the right niche. It’s these things in place, one is bound to make some good money

  2. Oh! This is really great to see here and thanks so much for the so much information that you have collated to making this a great combination of the very best posts about becoming one’s boss and actually earning it rather than staying cowardly and truly just focusing on how to become the very best. Thanks so much for sharing here

  3. Affiliate marketing is a very lucrative business and I’ve found that one will be able to earn a lot of money if one put in good effort. However, I had no idea I could earn this much being an affiliate marketer until I read this post. It’s been a real mind opener and I have to see how I can use the tips to maximize my earning capacity and grow my affiliate marketing business. 

  4. I am currently on a platform where peooelare earning so much as affiliates . So while some are making very little, some are making so much. It depends on how much time one wants to out into it and the efforts as well. Affiliate marketing is a very interesting business to venture into but it gets better everytime a person tries to do some more and out in more work.

  5. Hey Jack

    I had my eyes opened a bit in this article as I’d never given Paid Advertizing any real thought, so the gague you’ve posted up with the expectations of income timescales for the various affiliate marketing methods was very useful for me to incorporate into my own income planner.

    Out of the various programs your post linked to, I’m very curious about David Sharpe’s Copywriting Playbook.

    The cynic in me says that if something looks too good to be true then it usually is and $10.5k worth of products for just a Buck immediately made me think ‘Whats’ the catch?’.

    I’m seriously tempted at that price but I wanted to touch base with you before I part with my credit card details. I’ve been caught out by a similar looking 30 day money back guarantee before, when I paid the small amount requested out of curiosity but when I didn’t cancel within the time limit, I found myself being relieved of rather a lot of money!

    I find it difficult to get my head around it being for just a refund of $1 if you decide it’s not for you after 30 days. Is that how this one works?

  6. Although I am new to affiliate marketing, I believe that I will be able to make so much money from it and this is considering the many stories that I have been able to hear and you are also confirming them here with this post. This post serves as a very good push for me because I have just started my own journey to affiliate marketing. I can’t wait to make so much with it. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Hi Jack,

    To say that this article has been inspirational is a great understatement, especially after seeing your income growth curve. Thank you for stating it so plainly and not kidding about the price you had to pay by waking up at 4:00am and seeing barely any income for the first 4 months! Thanks too for the nugget that entrepreneurship is lonely journey where people don’t care about the foundation you are laying and will only pay attention when you finally decide to quit your other job(s) to concentrate on your online business.

    Your comparison of free and paid traffic with monetary versus time and effort risks is very compelling. I don’t think one can put it more plainly. Thanks for a very exhaustive piece.

    We are Blessed.

  8. Affiliate marketing today is growing faster than most people have thought that it would grow and I feel really happy for those who are already making it big in it. I have been reading quite a a lot about and i am in my training phase to open my site and become an affiliate marketer soon. I feel there is so much to gain form that line of online business with the right training at least. 

  9. Jack, what would you say to a person that started late in his life with affiliate marketing, to take a chance and go for paid advertising? Again I can see from your post that affiliate marketing is not an easy way of  making money, but with dedication and hard work it is achievable. Your road to success is a testament to that. I think you have just proved to me that through affiliate marketing you can make good income. 

    1. It is never “late” to get started. There are people who come and go, and the environment is ever changing, so do not ever feel the need to compare yourself with others. And yes, you can make a good income from affiliate marketing if you work hard. However, if you go into paid advertising, just be prepared to pay thousands on getting traffic to your ads, and be prepared to constantly change, tweak, and amend your ad until you find on profitable ad. It can be really frustrating, because you keep spending and losing money, and at one point you will ask yourself if it is all worth it. So, be mentality prepared. Paid advertising is meant for people with strong mentality.

  10. I love how you detail your journey and stress that it took a while. You experienced a slow climb and it has given me hope that the results I’m starting to see have me on the same trajectory as you. Thanks so much for the encouragement. I don’t have the money to invest in paid traffic, so I have gone the free route. Do you have any advice as to what you did to increase your traffic? What had the most impact for you? Was it just consistently creating high quality content? I’d appreciate any information you could give!

  11. affiliate marketing is a very lucrative business and although I just stepped into the field, I can say that I’ve made a good profit. I agree to the points made in this post but I feel the key to earning a great amount as described here is by putting in a lol of hardwork and time. I’ll look to capitalize on the YouTube and Blogging.

  12. Thanks Jack for this very detailed post on affiliate marketing. I never liked the idea of paid traffic, thanks for confirming I was right about it. I joined affiliate marketing a while ago but this post is a real eye opener. I need to devote more time to my websites so they can start generating more traffic. This post is very motivating, thanks Jack! 

  13. Thank you for your post. It is useful for anyone who plan to start affiliate marketing business. You give an honest analyses on the topic.

    I agree with you that there are many factors that influence your earning potential. In my opinion, the internal factor is the key. You need to have capacity to learn and implement what you learned. With the internal quality, you also need to use the external force to push your business forward.

    The mentor you choose is also critical for you to succeed. Mentor with success online business experience will certainly place in a huge advantage. You save a lot of trials and errors and need much less time to reach your business goal..

  14. I am really new and most of the topics you were discussing here was great news and informative. Just reading through your website, I enjoyed your review style, the content value, and the great knowledge you are sharing in this article. I would be easily confused with regard to the advertisement jargon but I appreciate the simplicity and the explanation. I will definitely have to follow your website in order to learn more about these different advertisement systems for affiliate marketers and bloggers.

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