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Is affiliate marketing legit? Everything you need to know.

By Dustin Howes
July 4, 2022
Is affiliate marketing legit? Dustin Howes investigates

So, you're thinking of starting an affiliate marketing program? You've heard that it's a great way of making money online, but you're not sure that is affiliate marketing legit or not? Don't worry, you're not alone!

Since affiliate marketing is a relatively new strategy in marketing, people who are not familiar with it often have many questions about it. If you are curious whether affiliate marketing is legit or not, you are in the right place.

In this article, we'll take a look at what is affiliate marketing and how it works, as well as the pros and cons of running an affiliate program. I'll also provide some tips for getting started with your affiliate marketing campaign and share some examples of successful programs.

*FTC Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. The recommendations below are based on my first-hand experiences and I earn a small commission at no cost to you. You can read my full affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

What is affiliate marketing?

So, what is affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. The industry has four core players: the merchant, the network, the publisher, and the customer.

The merchant hires the publishers from the network to promote their products and services. In return, the publisher earns a commission for each sale they generate. The network is purposed to create affiliate programs and manage the relationships between merchants and publishers online, as well as track sales and payments. Finally, the customer is the one who purchases the products or services from the merchant through the publisher's affiliate link.

The merchant.

The merchants are the ones who own the products or services being sold. The merchants sometimes create their own affiliate programs and hire the publishers.

In this case, the merchants provide a unique affiliate link to the publishers. Once the customers convert through the unique affiliate link, the merchants pay a commission to the publishers. Amazon affiliates and eBay Partner Network are examples of merchants with their own affiliate programs.

The network.

The networks are third-party affiliate marketing service providers. The networks provide the merchants with an affiliate program and manage the relationships between them.

The networks also provide publishers with a way to search for merchant affiliate programs, as well as track sales and payments. ShareASale, Rakuten,, and CJ Affiliate are examples of such networks.

The publishers.

The publishers are the ones who promote the merchant's products or services on their website. The publishers are also known as affiliate marketers.

They act as a new marketing channel for the merchants. The affiliate marketers' main responsibility is promoting products on their social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, or their blog with the affiliate link. In return for their efforts, they earn a commission from the merchant.

The customers.

The customers are the ones who purchase products or services from the merchant through an affiliate link. The customers are not involved in the affiliate marketing ecosystem, but they are important to the publishers and merchants since they are the main resource for the profit for the merchants and the publisher.

is affiliate legit

So, is affiliate marketing legit?

Now that we know the basics of affiliate marketing, let's take a look at whether is affiliate marketing legit or not.

There are a few things to consider when thinking about whether is affiliate marketing legit. First, affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing model. This means that businesses only pay affiliates for results, not for simply promoting their products or services. This makes affiliate marketing a low-risk way for businesses to try out new marketing channels.

Additionally, since businesses only pay for results, this also means that affiliate marketing is a very effective way to reach customers. Another thing to consider is that businesses have a lot of control over their affiliate programs. They can set the commission rates, choose who to partner with, and end relationships if they are not happy with the results.

There are pros and cons to running an affiliate marketing program. Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons.

Affiliate marketing pros.

There are many advantages of affiliate marketing, including:

  • It's a great way to make money online.
  • You can build relationships with other businesses in your industry.
  • You can practice your marketing skills.
  • It's a great way to get started in online marketing.
  • There are so many niches available. You can pick any niche you are interested in.
  • You can work anytime and anywhere.
  • You can be your own boss.

Affiliate marketing cons.

There are also some disadvantages of affiliate marketing, such as:

  • It can be a bit of a hassle to manage.
  • It might require you to practice.
  • It's hard to expect the results right away.
  • You need to have patience.
  • You might have to invest in some tools and skills.

How to get started with affiliate marketing?

Now that we know what is affiliate marketing and is whether affiliate marketing legit, it's time to learn how to get started with affiliate marketing.

As mentioned earlier, you can either join a company that has an in-house program and join, or you can join a third-party program.

There are a few things you need to do before you get started, such as:

1. Research and choose a niche.

2. Find the right program for you.

3. Research the products and services.

4. Consider how you are going to promote.

5. Practice your marketing skills.

Once you have joined a program, the next step is to start promoting the merchant's products or services on your website, social media platforms, or blog.

Check out my blog post here to learn more about affiliate marketing.

is affiliate marketing legit 4 steps

Research and choose a niche.

There are so many niche options available, so it is important that you research and choose a niche that is the right fit for you. Consider your interests, skills, and knowledge when choosing a niche. You might have to take different strategies depending on the niche you choose.

Find the right program for you.

After you have chosen your niche, it is time to look for the right program for you. There are so many programs that have different commission rates and different products or services. An affiliate marketer should seriously consider which program is the right for you and what type of affiliate marketers they are looking for.

Here is my recommendations for you to find the right and high-paying programs.

Research the products and services.

Before promoting the merchant's products or services, it is important that you research them for affiliate marketers. You should understand what the product is and how it works. It is also important to know the target market for the product or service. This will help you determine how to best promote the product or service.

Consider how you are going to promote.

So you have chosen the affiliate program and the product that you want to promote. How are you going to promote it? This question helps you to strategize your marketing approach. Consider which platform you are going to use to promote the product and what type of content you are going to create. There are so many ways you can promote, such as on your website, blog, social media platforms, or through email marketing. Don't forget to include your affiliate link.

Practice your marketing skills.

As mentioned above, when you start affiliate marketing for the first time, it's hard to get the results you want right away. You need to have patience and practice your marketing skills.

Try different approaches and see which one is the most effective for you. Also, consider taking some online courses to improve your marketing skills. It takes time to get used to it, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be on your way to becoming a successful affiliate marketer.

Examples of successful affiliate marketing.

let's take a look at some examples of successful affiliate marketing campaigns.

These are just a few examples of successful affiliate programs. Each program is different and has its own requirements, commission rates, and products or services. Be sure to do your research before joining an affiliate program.

WP Engine.

WP Engine is a WordPress hosting company that offers a variety of services, such as managed WordPress hosting, enterprise WordPress hosting, and a partner program. WP Engine affiliate program is a great way for bloggers and website owners to earn commission by referring new customers to their services.

WP Engine is one of the highest paying affiliate programs that you can earn $200 per hosting sales. WP Engine affiliate program is free to join, and it gives you to earn about $7500 per customer.

Check out this page to learn more about the WP Engine affiliate program.


Truthfinder is an online public records search service that gives people access to criminal records, arrest records, court documents, and more. Truthfinder affiliate program is a great way for bloggers and website owners who write about topics such as law, crime, or investigative journalism to earn commission by referring new customers to their services.

The Truthfinder affiliate program is free to join, and it gives you the opportunity to earn up to $100 per sale. You can learn more about the Truthfinder affiliate program here.

Amazon Associates.

Amazon is one of the largest online retailers in the world. They sell everything from books to clothes to electronics. The Amazon Associates program is one of the biggest affiliate marketer communities and a great way to earn commission by promoting products that are already popular and selling well.

The commission is depending on the product category, but the Amazon Associates program offers a commission rate of up to 15%. This is a great way to make money online. There are thousands of products that you can promote.

Get started today and see the results for yourself.

Tips for creating high-quality campaigns.

Creating high-quality campaigns is essential if you want to be successful in affiliate marketing. High-quality campaigns perform better and generate more sales than low-quality campaigns.

Creating high-quality campaigns isn't easy. The fact is, it takes a lot of time, effort, and patience.

Your responsibilities as an affiliate marketer are to promote the products and sell them, so your campaign should be convincing and trustworthy. You also need to create attractive and compelling product images and descriptions. If you can do these things, you'll be well on your way to creating high-quality campaigns that will perform well.

Here are a few tips on how to create high-quality campaigns:

  • Use high-quality pictures/videos.
  • Photoshop/video editing skills.
  • Active on social media.
  • Use strong CTA.

Use high-quality pictures/videos.

Contents that have high-quality pictures and videos are more likely to perform well. Quality pictures and videos are really important to digital marketing and affiliate marketers. People are more likely to engage with and share visually appealing content.

If you're not a professional photographer or videographer, that's okay. There are plenty of free resources that you can use to create high-quality visuals. Make sure to use pictures/videos that are related to the product you are affiliating.

Photoshop/video editing skills.

If you have Photoshop or video editing skills, put them to use. You can create some really amazing visuals that will grab people's attention. If you don't have these skills, there are plenty of tutorials online that can help you learn. Photoshop and video editing skills are essential to affiliate marketers.

Adobe photoshop and Adobe premiere pro are tools widely used by marketers in digital marketing. They are tons of course online that can teach you how to use them. Check out this page.

Active on social media.

Being active on social media is a great way to promote your affiliate products. You can post pictures/videos of the product, write a review, or even do a giveaway. Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers and create awareness for your products.

Don't forget to use hashtag. Hashtag is a great feature to reach out to more audiences for free. With the right strategy using hashtag, you can easily grow your social media following, engagement, and get attention.

Use strong CTA.

Sales is all about persuation. You need to be convincing and use strong call-to-actions, (CTAs) If you want people to buy the product you're promoting. A CTA is a statement or question that encourages someone to do something.

“Buy now.”, “Get 50% off your purchase.”, “Click here to learn more.”, and “Sign up now and get a free trial.” are great example of strong CTAs. Make sure that your CTA is convincing and persuasive, so the users make the action.

Wrap it up, Dustin.

Now we know that affiliate marketing legit and with the right strategies, you can make money online. When you start affiliate marketing for the first time, remember that it takes time to get the results that you are expecting and all affiliate marketers started from the bottom.

So don't give up, keep working at it, and see the results for yourself. There are so many affiliate marketers out there making a great living off of this. If they can do it, so can you. Just keep practicing your skills and be patient, then you will see the success that you are looking for.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them down below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

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