There are a lot of common myths about affiliate marketing that circulate around the web, most of which are not true and are written by people who have never truly tried to build an affiliate business.
In this post I’m gong to address 3 of the most common misconceptions about what, exactly, affiliate marketing is.
Myth 1: Affiliate Marketing Is Passive Income
The passive income myth is probably the most popular belief out there about affiliate marketing, and perhaps one of the reasons that affiliate marketers have a bad rap.
The truth is that affiliate marketing is NOT passive income. Unfortunately many beginners that fail at building a successful affiliate site fail because they believe it’s a “one and done” approach that doesn’t take much effort.
While anyone could theoretically put up a site with a few pages of content and leave that site up to earn revenue, the reality is that this is rarely the case. While affiliate sites do usually pay dividends over time, the work involved to earn substantial revenue is significant.
Professional internet marketers are constantly testing their sites, adding new content, promoting their material, and trying to optimize their returns. It’s a lot of work.
Myth 2: Affiliate Marketing is a Multi-Level Marketing Scheme
The second myth is that affiliate marketing is a multi-level marketing scheme. I am often confused about how, exactly, this belief originated, because the fact is that only a small minority of affiliate programs offer a ‘downstream’ or ‘tiered’ payment structure where you get a commission for future affiliate brought on.
The majority of affiliate programs are more analogous to a company sales rep that works on a commission basis. While an ‘in-person’ sales rep might be out hitting the pavement every day to make new sales, affiliates are ‘hitting the keypad’ to network and find ways to increase their site traffic.
Read more on why affiliate marketing is NOT a get rich quick scheme.
Myth 3: Affiliate Marketers Are All Scam Artists
This is probably the most painful of the 3 common myths about affiliate marketing, because it is so blatantly false.
While there are a few ‘black-hat’ masters that are looking to game search algorithms and find a few quick bucks, the overwhelming majority of affiliate marketers have chosen the path because of the personal flexibility it provides.
Just like any marketer, they do have an end goal of selling a product and earning commissions, but the huge difference is that affiliates have a tremendous number of programs to choose from, and thus can choose to promote programs from a less biased perspective.
I hope this article helps dispel some of the myths out there about affiliate marketing. What other common misconceptions have you heard about affiliates? Leave a comment and I’m happy to address any other issues further, or read further on the question: is affiliate marketing a myth?.