How Long Does It REALLY Take To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

Simon is a former UK call-centre worker who has gone on to build several highly successful affiliate marketing businesses in various different niches & become officially recognized as a Super Affiliate by the world's largest affiliate marketing training platform. He has since relocated to Thailand & now teaches affiliate marketing to others through Commission Academy.

Quick Answer: Affiliate marketers typically make their first commissions after 3-6 months and start earning $1,000+ a month consistently at the 12 to 18-month mark. How long it’ll take you depends on your niche, schedule and work ethic and whether you’re following the right training.

We know you don’t need much money to start affiliate marketing (less than $50 a month).

And we know you can make a lot of money with affiliate marketing (35% of affiliates earn $35K+ a year)

But the question today is “How long does it take to start making money with affiliate marketing?”

Because it’s probably a good idea to have the right expectations going in…

So without further ado, let’s dive right in and show you how long it took me to make my first sale, generate a steady stream of sales and finally replace my full-time income and find out roughly how long it could take you to start earning with affiliate marketing.

How Long It Took Me To Make Affiliate Commissions:

When I built out my first site, I checked my analytics every single day, several times a day to see my website was still a virtual ghost town and my commissions were still non-existent.

Welcome to the affiliate marketing life!

the dos and donts of affiliate marketing

I published my first posts doubting anyone would even read them, much less that I would go on to make $100,000s in commissions and become a super affiliate. Now I’ve built multiple sites and been doing this for 8 years it’s WAYYY easier, but it is hard for beginners not to get impatient.

If you’re new to affiliate marketing, you probably have burning questions like:

  • How long does it take for Google to start sending traffic to your site?
  • How long does it take to make your first affiliate commission?
  • How much time do you have to put in before you’re making $1,000+ a month?

So let’s see how long it took me, as well as other affiliates on average to start earning commissions so you have a realistic timeframe of what to expect.

It Took Me 2 Weeks To Make My First Commission

I worked a full-time call centre job when I started out, but I was determined so I spent any free time I had in the evenings and weekends putting in the work and building my business.

Then it happened – I made my first ever commission and I was over the moon!

how long doers it take to make your first affiliate commission

At the 6 month mark, I was banking affiliate commissions pretty regularly and at 12 months I was making enough money to the point where I was making more online than what I was getting paid from my job. So I kissed my boss goodbye and booked a one-way ticket to Thailand and I’ve never looked back. My best days so far were when I made $1,200 in a day for 2 days running.

Getting your first commission at the 2-week mark is pretty rare but definitely doable. For some people it happens quicker, for others it takes longer…

It took Eden Fried 3 months to make her first sale, but it only took Alexis Schroeder 2 days.

It’s not an overnight thing as you know, but stick with it and it’s just a matter of time. What starts as a one-off commission turns into a trickle of daily commissions and grows from there.

Use the free Commission Academy crash course as a roadmap to follow and you WILL get where you want to be.

How Long Does It Take To Make $1,000 A Month (Consistently) With Affiliate Marketing?

In my experience, a typical beginner can expect to hit $1,000 plus per month on a regular basis between the 12 and 18-month mark, though it does vary depending on how competitive your niche is, what your schedule looks like, the price point and commission rates of the products you’re promoting and how hard you’re willing to work.

But as a general guide:

  • You can reach $1,000 per month in 1-2 years: Follow the right training and publish new content 2-3 times a week and you should start to see commissions trickling in after a few months and grow to $1,000 a month.
  • You can reach $10,000 per month in 2-5 years: As you continue to develop your skills become an expert and build your site into an authority site, you’ll reach new heights of traffic and sales.
  • You can reach $100,000+ per month in 5-10 years: You may have multiple sites at this point and you need to develop outsourcing systems to have your affiliate business running like a well-oiled machine.

And here are a few real-life earnings examples:

Mrs Chippy worked on her baby blog for 2 years before reaching $1,000 a month, but Jeff Proctor went from $0 to $7,000 per month in 5 months with his site

Dylan Rieger made $4,500 when his website was only 7 months old, though I should note he had a ton of experience under his belt before this:

“I made a little over $4500 in commissions from Amazon and this came from 1269 sales and 39,000 unique clicks from Google. It took a lot of experimenting, reading and failure to reach this point.

The only advice I can give you is this: don’t give up!

That’s brilliant advice right there. Success with affiliate marketing doesn’t take much money, but it does take time.

The waiting game is the biggest barrier to entry and the biggest reason so many quit within a year, just before their breakthrough. So keep your head down and stick with it because it WILL be worth it!

How Long ‘Til YOU Start Banking Commissions?

Affiliate marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme and very few affiliate marketers become successful overnight. It can take between 3 and 6 months to get traffic to your site and 6 to 12 months to see a regular income.

Why does it take so long?

Google Sandbox.

The best way to bank commissions consistently is to build an affiliate site around a specific topic and create helpful how-to posts and product reviews that’ll rank in Google to get you millions of page views and clicks.

This is the simple 4-step method we teach at Commission Academy:

  1. Choose a niche
  2. Create a website
  3. Get ranked on Google
  4. Promote products

The upside with this method (and why we recommend it for beginners) is that there’s no need to shell out for expensive and risky paid ads because you’re getting 100% free and organic traffic.

The downside is that creating content and getting Google to trust your site takes time. It could take Google 6 to 8 months for Google to start giving your website the love (and traffic) it deserves.

how long until you start making money with affiliate marketing

And that’s a long time to be putting out content and I’ve seen too many people fail because they quit before seeing the breakthrough. In this “virtual ghost town” phase it’s easy to doubt yourself and wonder if you’ll ever make any money. It’s a mental game you have to expect and prepare yourself for.

But if you stay committed, keep building your income-generating asset and you’ll have an income stream that can take care of your family and pay the bills for many years to come!

Do These 3 Things To Start Making Money Faster

There’s no getting around the success with affiliate marketing takes time, but here are my 3 best tips to accelerate the process so you start earning sooner.

1. Get The Right Mentors

Following a structured, step-by-step course like Commission Academy will save you a ton of time.

If you really want to start making money with affiliate marketing then learn from people who have already accomplished what you want to do. Dale and I have already made a bunch of schoolboy errors and wasted a ton of time learning things the hard way – so you don’t have to!

2. Put In More Time

How much time can you put into this thing? What does your schedule look like? Are you working full-time and can only put in a couple of hours a day in the evenings or do you have more time to build your online business?

It stands to reason the person putting in 6 hours a day is going to see results quicker and go further than the person putting in a mere 2 hours a week.

3. Use Your Time Better

Imagine you open up your laptop to get some serious work done. Fast forward 30 minutes and you find yourself watching gushy animal rescue videos on YouTube…

None of us is immune to distraction and you’d be surprised at how much time we waste (yes, even little ole me!)

So as well as setting a regular work schedule, organise your work with a to-list and keep the main thing the main thing. With affiliate marketing, the key task that’s going to grow your income is hitting publish on new content.

So do this first before anything else. Your top priority each day should be to create that new blog post as this is what’s really going to move the dial. Only after that, think about site design or reply to blog comments etc.

The Sooner You Start, The Sooner You Make Money

Ever heard the saying “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”?

How long before you make your first commission? How long until you achieve $1,000 in commissions?

It could be a few weeks or months from now but I know it’ll happen the sooner you take your first step.

We’ve earned $100,000s in affiliate commissions over the years and helped our students achieve the same.

Now it’s your turn…

Whatever your reasons for launching an online business, Commission Academy’s Fast-Start Training is going to show you exactly what you need to do to start making a regular income with affiliate marketing.

Remember, whether you start today or not, the time will pass anyway.

You can turn your dream business into a reality.

You are cut out for this.

You got this.

Start now.

Free Training:

Launch a Thriving Online Business 💸

Training Video Preview

Our free step-by-step training will teach you how you can turn any passion or interest into a thriving online business even if you're a beginner with absolutely no previous experience. Sign-up today & learn a skill that could change your life.

2 thoughts on “How Long Does It REALLY Take To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?”

    • Yep, it sure is! Welcome to entrepreneurship – you’re building a business. Most people aren’t willing to do it which is why it really pays off for those who do 😎


Leave a comment