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Why Affiliate Marketing Is Great for Consumers and Creators (and When It Isn’t)

By Nate McCallister / a couple of weeks ago
Affiliate Marketing

You've heard stories about affiliate marketing, good and bad.

You've supported affiliate marketers, unwittingly or not.

You've been pushed products, great ones and shitty ones.

You've experienced that employee at the clothing store who's clearly more interested in getting you to head to the cash register with a bunch of expensive clothes than they were with getting you into the right clothes regardless of the price. 

You've gone to the restaurant where the waiter's "favorite things on the menu," happened to be the most expensive. 

You have an opinion on commission based marketing but I'm going to do my best to make your opinion more rounded. I'm going to explain the pros and cons of the business​​​​ as it relates to both consumers and affiliates. 

After hearing the pros and cons, you can decide if you agree with me that affiliate marketing is truly one of the greatest business opportunities of the 21st century when done right by ethical people looking to make money while making the internet a better, more helpful place. 

After reading this, I hope I've enticed you to dive into the practice and become a positive force in an industry that desperately needs them and (rewards the best handsomely).

6 Reasons Why Affiliate Marketing Benefits Everyone Involved

Affiliate marketing, when done properly, is a net positive for the consumer and the promoter.

Here is why...

1. Affiliate marketing rewards givers and people with integrity while fililng the internet with free answers and entertainment. 

There is no transaction of money without a transaction of value.

One of the reasons there is so much free content on the internet, is because creators know that eventually, they will be compensated.

 Don't believe me? Google "how to," and then add just about anything to the end. You'll find a solution or at least someone's attempt at one. 

Pros of Affiliate Marketing

2. Affiliate marketers can get paid to do what they love.

"The riches are in the niches." I'm guessing you have heard this at some point. This means that people are encouraged and rewarded for sharing solutions online that solve every possible question that could ever be asked.

If enough people are looking for an answer, affiliate marketers will do the leg work and provide it. 

We have the tools to find out what people are asking and which ones aren't being answered. When we find these holes in the internet, we fill them because we know there is money at the end of the tunnel. Money we actually earned by giving thousands of people value. 

3. Affiliate marketing takes money from massive corporations and creates performance based income to anyone who is willing to work for it. 

Without affiliates, companies without any brand recognition or existing audiences are forced to pay large companies like Google and Facebook to get their products or services in front of possible buyers.

 Also, there is no "free exchange of value," when you're simply shown a link to a sales page.

4. Affiliate marketing helps take the stress out of buying. 

We all buy products. Since we buy so much, we hardly have the time to make perfect buying decisions. 

The best affiliate marketers are trusted and they understand that the moment they promote something that leaves buyers disappointed, they damage their future earning potential. 

Successful affiliate marketers find the best products and services and get them in front of their followers. 

5. Affiliate marketing allows bootstrapped businesses to reach a large number of buyers without upfront capital. 

When merchants leverage affiliates, they pay only when a sale is made.

This means that small startups that might need to take out loans or simply collapse are given a fighting chance. 

6. Affiliate marketing costs nothing to get started. 

We constantly hear how there are, "no jobs," or how the bank won't give an aspiring company enough money to get off the ground. 

Affiliate marketing lets hard working, self driven people make substantial income from the comfort of their homes without going into debt. 

The One Reason Affiliate Marketing Can Be Terrible

As with most great business models, there is potential for exploitation. There will always be selfish individuals who twist the process and hurt others without batting an eye. 

Keep in mind, these individuals don't usually last long in the business.

As I said above, affiliate marketing awards integrity, consistency and people who provide value without always trying to rip your hard earned money from your pocket. 

1. Affiliate marketing can result in exaggeration, inauthenticity and flat out lying. 

The temptation for quick affiliate payouts can cause bad marketers to exaggerate the quality of the products they promote or flat out lie about them. 

These sorts of marketers pretend they love the products they promote.

They lie about the "life changing," results of the products. 

This is the same thing that happens when you get that waiter who has expensive taste or the person at the clothing store that thinks you look good in everything or the relator that thinks every house you visit is, "perfect for you."

I believe that everyone in this business can make one big revenue event around dishonesty but it is usually their last. Affiliates who stick around the industry know that each product they promote is attached to their brand image. Damaging trust means less sales going forward. 

There you go. 

You can now make a better decision on how you view affiliate marketing. 

If that decision is that you believe affiliate marketing is a net positive on the world, I want to invite you to join the 100 day affiliate boot camp hosted by Clickfunnels

I'm biased of the affiliate program because they pay for my 2017 Mercedes C300 (I promote it like crazy). 

Now, the program is based on helping affiliates sell the Clickfunnels product. I don't want you to see it that way. If you choose to promote Clickfunnels, awesome, I do. 

Affiliate Marketing Training

But if you don't, this is quite possibly still the greatest, most comprehensive training on affiliate marketing you will find anywhere (free or paid). 

Please, if you feel I was unfair, share more negatives about affiliate marketing in the comments if you'd like. 

About the author

Nate McCallister

Nate is the founder and main contributor of EntreResource.com. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur who spends his time building businesses and raising his two kids Sawyer and Brooks with his beautiful wife Emily. His main interests include copywriting, economics and piano.

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