Does affiliate marketing make money – let’s find out

Affiliate Marketing

I think most of us have heard of it and perhaps have wondered, does affiliate marketing make money? Is it a scam or a get-rich-quick scheme? I think it all depends on the program. In any case, there is no doubt many online business ventures will empty your pocketbook and give you nothing in return. But some are great and we are going to explore one in particular that is neither scam nor scheme.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Let’s say you have a website all about the advantages of using certain health supplements. A customer comes to your site to read information about these supplements and there they find a link that says something like “Buy this product.” They subsequently click on that link and it takes them to the website where the product is actually sold. For example, the product is frog wart powder (I’m just making this one up) and the link takes the customer to where frog wart powder is for sale and voila! They buy the product. Because of your referral and the resulting sale, you get a commission! As you can see, the concept is incredibly simple.

What’s so great about affiliate marketing is that you don’t create a product, carry no inventory and are not involved in shipping. In fact, you never need to see or touch the product. As a matter of fact, there are a ton of companies out there that will pay you commission just for helping them sell their products. How cool is that! So, the answer to does affiliate marketing make money is, yes.

Keep in mind that approximately 3.5 billion people are online (yes, that’s billion with a b). That number continues to grow and as it does, so does the amount of pick-and-click online shopping. According to Digital Commerce 360 It is predicted the growth between 2015 and 2020 will go from $335 billion to $523 billion – 56%! Thus the opportunity here is limitless!

Wealthy Affiliate Beginnings


Wealthy Affiliate started in 2005 as the brainchild of Kyle Loudon and Carson Lim. While they didn’t know a lot about online marketing they decided to give it a try and learn on their own. Back in those “old days” of the internet there wasn’t the kind of affiliate marketing training you will find now but they forged ahead, became successful and built their own training platform for others wishing to build an online business. This is now their 13th year. That’s a nice long track record for any kind of business!

How does Wealthy Affiliate work?

  1. You choose an interest or “niche” as we call it in the biz. For example, you may be involved in something that you are passionate about like a hobby or a particular skill – this could be your niche. Suffice to say that just about anything could be your niche and has potential for generating an income.
  2. Create a website. My God!!!! Could anything sound scarier than that – especially if you are a non-techie! But fear not, you need no technical skill whatsoever and the website is built for you in the matter of a minute.
  3. As a result of this, you get visitors to your website. So how do you do this? You fill your site with all kinds of interesting “content” particular to your niche. So, if your niche is trampolines, you will have all kinds of information on that subject. Thus, when a shopper is looking for trampolines, your website will pop up on the first page of Google (this is the goal you are going for).
  4. As described previously, people will click on the link for that product and when they buy it (Say, from Amazon) you make money!

The Training

It’s like an online university in terms of the in-depth training. And if I, a “technology challenged’ senior can learn it, so can you!

You get started right out of the gate with what are called “Certification Courses” which are comprised of several levels:

Level 1 includes finding your niche, building your site, getting your site ready for search engines, creating content and understanding keywords. The message they keep emphasizing is a good one and the key to making money; have good content and have searchable keywords with low competition.

Level 2 includes branding, setting up an email account, making use of visuals and using WordPress effectively.

Level 3 is about monetizing traffic by un understanding affiliate programs and networks, adding affiliate links to your site, leveraging reviews and getting paid!
Level 4 is about mastering social media.

Level 5 is about improving indexing and a lot more about content.

Each level is full of training videos and straight-forward explanations of each process. Along with each level you are provided with a checklist of related tasks to check off as you complete them so you can see your progress!

AND – access to founders Kyle and Carson who are more than happy to lend a hand!
Also Included are:

  • Live Weekly Training Classes.
  • Question and Answer Periods.
  • Organized Classrooms on specific topics.
  • Video Training.
  • Tutorials.
  • Help from the many seasoned affiliate marketers who are members of the Wealthy Affiliate community.

Bootcamp Training

Here you will learn how to promote Wealthy Affiliate itself with step-by-step guides, tutorials and videos. Speaking of this, Wealthy Affiliate pays you a healthy commission when someone signs up!

Site Builder

Wealthy Affiliate’s site builder does it for you! I’m not a technical person so I would not be able to do in a year what the Wealthy Affiliate site builder does in a minute. No kidding,  all this technical stuff is going on behind the scenes with just the click of your mouse!

Keyword Tools


The keyword tool used is called Jaaxy. What does Jaaxy do? It is a built-in feature within Wealthy Affiliate that allows you to find and analyze relevant search terms. Search terms are the words that people type in to get to your site and so you need relevant ones within your site content. For each term you are considering, Jaaxy will show you the overall monthly traffic of it, the QSR (the competition for that term) and the estimated amount of traffic you will get if you are ranked in the first page of Google. So, imagine the hours and hours of research this can save you. Wow!


Wonderful support by the owners Kyle and Carson and among the thousand’s of seasoned members who will help you with an issue or solve a problem, almost as quickly as you can type in the question. Yes, people at Wealthy Affiliate are there to make money but they are also more than happy to lend their expertise! Beside all the cool features found in Wealthy Affiliate, I think it specifically was the support and helpful community that got me to say Yes!

How much money can you make?

Only you can answer this. Just like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. This is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme and like any other business, you build it from the ground up. The potential for a lot of money is there because, as stated before, there are a lot of people buying things online and that universe continues to expand. The amount of commission you make when selling a product or service depends on which affiliate programs you are associated with. As you continue to get more into this you will get a good sense of the best paying programs.

How much does it cost to join Wealthy Affiliate?

Membership rattes

Joining as a starter member is free but I think you’ll soon want to take the step toward premium membership. That is $49 per month (although sometimes there is a $19 for the first month special). If you really want to save a bunch, you can sign up for the year at $359. As a result, it comes out to less than $30 per month.

Why a membership fee? Because you get so much! Also, it’s obvious that Kyle and Carson put a lot of thought into this . If you tried to do on your own what Wealthy Affiliate does for you, I bet you would end up spending more money and have a whole lot more frustration!

Has Wealthy Affiliate had bad reviews or complaints?

Sure. But then again, Mother Teresa has probably had bad reviews and complaints. No matter how good a product or service is, there is always someone who is going to have a you-know-what up their you-know-what. However, with Wealthy Affiliate, the good reviews far outweigh the bad and that is another reason I joined after doing a lot of research.

Wealthy Affiliate vs. the competition

No question there are a lot of affiliate training programs out there and I looked at many of them. I studied many reviews from some of the top internet marketers in the world and time-after-time, Wealthy Affiliate made the top of their list. In terms of tools, training, community and cost , I found Wealthy Affiliate to be top dog.

What’s the catch

There is a catch only if you are looking for a way to get-rich-quick. You won’t. Just like any other business, you have to build step-by-step from the ground up. It takes work, dedication and focus

Personal Recommendation

Join. Yep, that’s what I’m saying. Feel free to look around at other programs and read the reviews but I think you’ll come back to this one. The answer to does affiliate marketing make money is a resounding “Yes.”


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