Quick Answer: 35% of affiliates earn $35,000+ a year and 3% make more than $150,000 a year. With low start-up costs and high-profit margins, earning as an affiliate might be simpler than you think. The key to making 6 figures with affiliate marketing is having a strong work ethic and the right strategy.
Nobody starts affiliate marketing to barely have enough to scrape by and pay the bills.
You start to:
- Escape the 9 to 5 rat race
- Create a better life for you and your family
- Make life-changing amounts of money
- And achieve real financial freedom
So it’s a good idea to see how much you can realistically earn as an affiliate, especially with so many hyped-up scams out there…
The truth is affiliate marketing done wrong is a huge waste of time and money. Affiliate marketing done right, however, can lead to a very successful and profitable career.
Ready to see how much money you could earn as an affiliate?
Let’s do this! 💪
How Do You Earn As An Affiliate?
Before we go into exactly what the earning potential is, let’s break down how earning commissions works.
And to make sure we don’t overcomplicate things, we’re gonna take the Michael Scott approach…
At its core, making money as an affiliate is super simple:
You become an affiliate for an online store and add affiliate links to your website. Someone visits your site and clicks your link, makes a purchase and you earn commissions.
The image above graphic uses Walmart, Amazon, Target and Samsung as examples, but many other big brands have affiliate programs you can sign up for free like:
Chances are, if someone is selling something online, they’ll have an affiliate program. There are 1,000s of skincare affiliate programs, travel affiliate programs, golf affiliate programs, fishing affiliate programs… the list goes on!
And the great thing about earning as an affiliate is you don’t have to create products yourself as the online store you’re sending people to will deal with all the shipping and customer care.
You’re simply acting as the middleman (or woman!) connecting the right people with the right products and earning a percentage of every sale you generate.
See, I told you it was simple! 🙂
How Much Do Affiliates Earn On Average?
Affiliates make 1% to 75% profit from each sale or up to $100,000 per year on average, which works out at between $1,000 and $5,000 per month. The average monthly expenses are very low as you only need to pay for a website domain and hosting and a keyword tool.
Here are some more affiliate earning stats:
- 35% of affiliate marketers earn $35,000+ a year
- 9% of affiliates earn $50,000+ a year
- 3% of affiliates earn $150,000+ a year
- James Njenga earned $7,876 with Amazon
- Anil Agarwal raked in over $394k in affiliate sales in 12 months
- Adam Enfroy made $1.5 million in a year
- Jason Stone made $7 million in 18 months
As you can see, affiliate marketers can make $1000s a month and super affiliates make 6 figures a year.
Affiliate marketing is estimated to be worth a gigantic $12 billion, quadruple what it was in 2012. And with 81% of brands now running affiliate programs, the earning potential for affiliates is only getting bigger.
And check out this Google Trends graph showing interest in affiliate marketing has risen 200% in 5 years:
There are 7.7 billion people on this little blue planet of ours and 3.5 billion of them are online buying and booking stuff (think clothes, gadgets, groceries, airline tickets, hotels etc.) every single day.
It’s hard to wrap our heads around numbers like these but let’s just say:
That’s A LOT of people making A LOT of commissions and YOU can make A LOT of money as an affiliate!
Take the free Commission Academy training to learn exactly how you can grab your slice of the action by building a thriving online business that’ll generate affiliate commissions daily without you having to worry about inventory, shipping or customer support.
How Much You Earn Depends On What You Sell
This may sound obvious but let me just show you a few examples to show you how quickly affiliate earnings can add up. There are essentially 3 types of commissions you can earn as an affiliate:
- Low ticket commissions
- High ticket commissions
- Recurring commissions (my personal favourite)
Let’s take the guitar niche as an example and do the math…
1. Low Ticket Commissions
You earn low ticket commissions when you promote products with a low price point or a low commission rate.
You’ll likely earn lower commissions per sale so you’ll need to sell in higher volumes.
So let’s say you start an affiliate marketing website about guitars to promote Amazon’s guitar books. Amazon’s commission rates vary depending on the product category but for books, it’s 4.5%. And let’s say you promote this book which costs $18.99:
The commission rate is 4.5%. The price is $18.99. Your earnings per sale would be $0.85.
If your goal is to make $10,000 a month then you’d need to sell 11,236 of these each month.
2. High Ticket Commissions
You earn high ticket commissions when you promote products with a high price tag or high commission rate.
Sticking with my guitar site, I could join Guitar Center’s affiliate program, promote guitars and make 10% a sale. While the commission rate is fairly low, because these are higher ticket items (they have guitars going for $42,000!!), my earnings will be much higher.
Let’s use the Vintage Gibson which costs $5,049 as an example:
The commission rate is 10%. The price is $5,049.99. Your earnings per sale would be $504.99.
If your goal is to make $10,000 a month then you’d only need to sell 20 of these each month.
3. Recurring Commissions
You earn recurring commissions when you promote products or services with a monthly subscription fee.
This could be any kind of course, software or membership site people pay for each month. Think Netflix, Spotify and Audible.
For my guitar site I’d join Infinite Guitar’s affiliate program to earn 50 to 65% commissions (depending on the number of sales) on their online guitar lessons:
The commission rate is 50%. The price is $120 a year. Your earnings per sale would be worth around $480.
Why? Because the thing about recurring commissions is… well, they recur again and again and again! 🤑
People typically stay signed up for 2, 3 or 4 years and you’ll get paid every time they renew – and this is where your affiliate earnings start to compound.
As you can see, it’s the niche you choose, the products you promote, their price point and commission rate, as well as the sales volume, that will ultimately determine how much you can make as an affiliate.
How Much Can You Realistically Earn As An Affiliate?
You’ve seen the affiliate earning stats and case studies. Now let’s break it down to see how much you could make with affiliate marketing…
- $1,000 per month – I believe this level isn’t that hard to reach if you follow the right training, set up your website in the right way, publish posts consistently and have the right work ethic.
- $10,000 per month – Affiliates who reach this level of income are the ones who develop the skills to create systems and begin to outsource day-to-day tasks like content creation and keyword research.
- $100,000 per month and beyond – To get to this point, your affiliate business needs to run like a well-oiled machine. You’ll most likely need managers to supervise your virtual assistants and content managers.
There’s also another way to make money with your affiliate website:
Creating, building and selling affiliate websites is a smart way to boost your online income. You can sell a site on the likes of Flippa and Empire Flippers for 36x your monthly revenue, meaning if your site is generating $2,000 a month, you can sell it for $72,000 you get a big lump sum to invest in your next project.
How much money do you need to start affiliate marketing? The answer is not much. The great thing about earning as an affiliate is the profit margins are high and the running costs are extremely low.
The long and short of it is you can become a full-time affiliate earning daily commissions for as little as $50 a month. This includes:
- Step-by-step training
- Website domains and hosting
- Keyword tools
There’s no other business model out there where you can earn big money with so little money down!
Scaling Into A Full-Time Business And Beyond
In my opinion, becoming an affiliate marketer is the number one way to get started in online business because it gives you a way to generate an income in a way that’s consistent and highly profitable and the start-up costs are not nearly as pricey as other business models like dropshipping or Amazon FBA. Not by a longshot.
If you need to get rich online without much upfront investment, affiliate marketing is the best way to do it.
You start by learning the ropes and doing most of the work yourself and then, over time, you can reinvest the profits back into your business to scale up your earnings.
Yes, it takes skill to outsource, but do it right and you’ll smash that $10,000 profit per month mark.
The BIG Question: How Much Are YOU Going To Earn?
The best advice I can give any aspiring affiliate is to dream big and go for it.
When it comes to affiliate earnings, the sky is just the starting-off point.
The only limit is small thinking.
Sure, you can make it your goal to earn $1,000 a month, but once you reach that… then what?
Then it’s time to think bigger and set new goals.
I’d say aim for at least $5,000 a month.
That’s what you’ll need to cover your living expenses and have enough left over to enjoy life.
Or go one better and aim for $10,000 a month.
Zig Ziglar said it best when he said:
“It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.”
It’s the hustlers who take action who make 6 figures with affiliate marketing.
Like anything in life, you get out what you put in.
The truth is that you can make a lot of money with affiliate marketing.
We should know – it’s how we pay the bills.
If you want us to show you how it’s done then take our free crash course
You’ll learn how to get your first affiliate website live on the web generating commissions.
Free of charge.
And the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll start earning.