A quick research on the internet reveals a sharp divide on affiliate marketing’s validity as a passive income source.
Instead of listening to dissenting voices, it’s best to let the numbers speak for themselves. How much can you make with affiliate marketing?
Super affiliate marketers make over $100k a month, and top-level affiliates make $10k to $100k. Middle-level affiliates earn $1k to $10k while low-level affiliates earn less than $1k. Affiliate marketing earnings aren’t consistent and vary between niches, affiliate programs, and networks.
Affiliate marketing earnings are the subject of many factors; hence they are spread across a broad scale. One thing is clear, though, the sector is highly lucrative and is on an upward trajectory.
Read on to find out how you can join this class of web entrepreneurs making thousands of dollars in their sleep.
How Much Affiliate Marketers Earn
The affiliate marketing industry has grown almost four-fold over the last decade.
Affiliate marketing spend in the United States has grown steadily from $1.6 billion in 2010 to $4.6 billion in 2016, $5.4 billion in 2017, and ultimately $6.4 billion in 2020.
Statista projects that affiliate marketing budget by U.S. based business will hit $8.2 billion in 2022. On a global scale, the affiliate marketing sector is worth $13 billion in 2020.
These figures demonstrate that there’s enough money to go around in the affiliate marketing industry. Since affiliate earnings are tied to the number of successful sales in any given month, the affiliate income isn’t consistent:
- Low-level affiliates earn up to $10k per year.
- Mid-level affiliates earn between $12k to $120K a year.
- Top-level affiliates earn between $120k to $1.2 million per year.
- Super affiliates earn more than $1.2 million per year.
Your earning potential as an affiliate marketer is tied to:
- Affiliate network
- The niche
- Age of website
- Affiliate program
- Subject matter authority
- SEO and Marketing skills
- Affiliate marketing experience
Related Post: How to get traffic as an affiliate marketer – The first step to success
Popular Affiliate Marketing Niches
If you’re looking to get into affiliate marketing to improve your financial position, it makes sense to pick a profitable niche. Niche with raving fans and an evergreen demand are the most lucrative.
Here are some of the most profitable affiliate marketing niches:
- Money Niches – Mortgage, Credit Card, Debt Settlement, Cryptocurrency, Investing, and Credit Repair.
- Hobby Niches – Sports, Photography, Events Tickets, Music, Sports Betting, Golf, and Casino
- Lifestyle Niches – Fashion, Travel, Jewelry, Online Dating, Cruises, Toys, Holidays, Hotels, Education, and Airlines
- Health and Fitness Niches – Yoga, Weight Loss, CrossFit, Fitness, Vegan, Healthy Eating, Vegan, and Nutrition
- Home and Family Niches – Gardening, Home Security, Baby Products, Pets, and Coffee
- Alternative Niches – Essential Oils, Herbal Products, Personal Development, CBD, and Marijuana.
- Tech Niches – WordPress, Saas, Web Hosting, Gaming software, VPN, and Online Courses.
Related Post: How to Choose A Niche For Affiliate Marketing – 6 easy steps
Affiliate Marketing Commissions
Since different companies and networks run affiliate programs, they come with different conditions and commission rates. Even affiliate programs within a specific niche offer different terms and conditions.
Here’s a breakdown of commission rates in select niches:
Software and web hosting providers have some of the most rewarding affiliate marketing programs.
Since most SaaS providers offer monthly subscriptions, they offer recurring commissions of up to 30% for each paying customer.
The software niche is huge and highly rewarding, making it one of the most attractive to affiliate marketers, and consequently, most competitive.
Travel Niche Affiliate Programs
Affiliates in this niche get commissions from airlines, travel agencies, review sites, and booking aggregators. Therefore, the commission rates vary wildly between programs and niches:
- Flight tickets – 1 to 3% the value of the purchase
- Accommodation – 3-12% of the total order value
- Car Rental – 4 to 15% on total purchase
- Tours and Holiday Packages – 3 to 7% of the total purchase
E-Commerce Affiliate Programs
These programs are offered by large e-commerce stores such as eBay, Amazon, Walmart, and more. Amazon Associates is the largest and most popular, and most products carry a 1-3% commission for affiliate marketers.
Typically, E-commerce affiliate programs offer low commissions, and you need a big audience to earn a decent income. However, once your site gains traction, you stand a chance of making thousands of dollars each month in passive income.
These programs have a low entry barrier and are most attractive to newcomers in the affiliate marketing scene. That makes them highly competitive, with only a fraction of the affiliate marketers earning a decent income.
Online Dating Affiliate Programs
Affiliate programs tend to attach a dollar sum for each lead from their affiliate marketers. The programs offer $5-$12 per lead and up to $500 for converting leads.
Some programs offer a loyalty program that raises the commissions after you hit set sign-up targets. The online dating scene is highly competitive and might be unsuitable for beginners without prior affiliate marketing experience.
Lifestyle and Fitness Affiliate Programs
As people grow more health-conscious, the niches that service a healthy lifestyle are becoming highly popular. The niche is snowballing and shows no signs of stopping.
The product range is ever-growing and ranges from gym wear, gym equipment, health supplements, fitness apps, training programs, coaching courses, and more.
Health and fitness affiliate programs offer a 15-40% commission on each successful sale.
Check Out A Bunch Of Affiliate Program Reviews Here
Picking the Best Affiliate Marketing Networks
Home to more than 3,900 affiliate programs spread over 40 categories, ShareASale is the biggest affiliate network in the U.S. It carries products from more than 4,500 merchants – both large and small. The commission rate and cookie duration depend on the individual merchant. The network pays once a month and has a $50 minimum payout.
Like ShareASale, C.J. Affiliate carries products from more than 3,000 merchants. Some big names in the C.J. Affiliate network include Overstock, Lowes, GoPro, Grammarly, and Office Depot. The commission rate and cookie duration vary between merchants. There’s a $50 minimum payout for direct deposit and $100 for checks.
ClickBank is the home to the most rewarding affiliate programs in the affiliate marketing sector. The network mainly focuses on digital products and carries millions of affiliate products. While the commission rates vary between the merchants, they range between 30% to 70%. However, some of the digital products available on the platform are questionable. With proper due diligence, you can unearth some quality products that will delight your audience.
Amazon Associates Program
Amazon is home to a limitless inventory and consequently boasts one of the biggest and most popular affiliate networks. The e-commerce store has millions of products for affiliate marketers to promote on their sites.
The low entry barrier and colossal inventory make the Amazon Associate program a safe bet for most affiliate marketers. It has products that cover any imaginable niche in the world.
The program offers a 30-day cookie and pays a commission on a customer’s entire purchase. The arrangement leads to top affiliates earning tens of thousands of dollars.
Related Post: The Top Free Affiliate Networks For Beginners
How To Increase Your Affiliate Marketing Income
The affiliate marketing industry is on the upswing as businesses realize the value of harnessing the affiliate marketing network’s power.
Unfortunately, only 3% of the affiliate marketing fraternity make more than $150K with most of them (48%) earning $20k a year.
While it’s no cakewalk, you too can join the caliber of affiliate marketers making huge amounts of money each month.
- Pick a profitable niche
- Go for high ticket items
- Build subject authority
- Polish your SEO Game
- Target a particular market
My #1 Recommendation for anyone looking to start their affiliate marketing business
Affiliate marketing is a multibillion-dollar industry and has paid affiliate marketers tens of billions of dollars for more than a decade.
Seasoned affiliate marketers make anywhere between $10k to more than $1.2 million a year from their affiliate marketing sites.
Each affiliate marketer’s earning potential ties closely to the niche, digital marketing skills, products, experience, and subject matter expertise.
- Investopedia: Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
- Blogging Wizard: Affiliate Marketing Platforms and Networks
- Scaleo: How Much Can You Make from Affiliate Marketing (2020 Stats)
- Affise: How Much Can You Earn in Affiliate Marketing in 2021?
- The Balance SMB: Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
- OptinMonster: How to Make Money While You Sleep with Affiliate Marketing
- Supermetrics: Useful affiliate marketing statistics in 2021
- Authority Hacker: Hand Curated List Of 80+ Best Niches For Affiliate Marketing In 2021