Is affiliate marketing legit? The Truth!


When starting with affiliate marketing I was not sure if affiliate marketing was legit.

Affiliate marketing is legit because you can make real money when someone buys a product using your affiliate link. Companies like Amazon, Walmart, Homdepote, Target have affiliate programs that you can join and they will give you a commission for any sales that you make.

I was not sure if I could make money online when I started. It seems too good to be true and it kinda is but not. I know that sounds confusing but let me explain. This information will break down if affiliate marketing is really legit or is it fake. 

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Further down we will discuss the following topics (click the links to skip down):

Can you really make money from affiliate marketing?

There are many people who are making money with affiliate marketing and we know this to be true because big name brand companies have affiliate programs. Companies like Walmart, Amazon, HomeDepot, Target all have affiliate network programs.

These big business would not have affiliate networks if there was nobody making money with them or if it was a scam. 

These companies are worth billions of dollars and their reputation is worth too much to risk it on a scam.

There is a catch though, you can make money but it is going to take a lot of skill and work on your part. You are not going to get approved for one of these affiliate networks and blast the internet with your affiliate link and make money sitting at home.

 It is going to take a lot of training on your part to get the proper skills to be able to create an income with affiliate marketing. If making money online was easy there would be more millionaires making money with it. 

Affiliate marketing is not truly a passive income source at first. It is going to take time before you will be able to sit back and make money while you sleep.

To answer the question again “is affiliate marketing legit” the answer is yes but if you get started and do not make money, it is not because it is a scam. It is because it is hard and you do not know how to make money as an affiliate marketer.

This can be a difficult pill to swallow but yes affiliate marketing is hard and you will need a couple of years of practicing and learning before you will be able to make any money online.

Chart How much do affiliate marketer make a year

You can see in this chart that the biggest group of affiliate marketers do not make over $20k a year. 

This is very little money and I bet most affiliates stop well before the one year mark. This is because most people will come home from work one day and search for “how to make money online” because they hate their job. 

real estate money

They discover this thing called Affiliate marketing and how people are making millions of dollars with it. They may come across a mentor that offers a course for $2,000 and the course promises to make them rich.

In a moment of despair, they buy the course and they go through the course and expect that they should be a millionaire within a month or so. 

The first problem with doing this is that the course was given by some person who does not make any money with affiliate marketing and the course does not teach any secret sauce.

The second problem is that you paid for the course expecting to get a magic “get rich” pill to be given to you.

Making affiliate marketing legit for you means that you have to earn money from it. The only way to do this is by giving up TV and leisure time and putting in work.

You have to develop certain marketing skills before you will be able to make money.

Here are some basic skills that every affiliate marketer needs to have:

affiliate marketing skills info-graphic

Is affiliate marketing worth it?

Affiliate marketing can give you the financial freedom that everyone wants but is too lazy to work for. If you are willing to put in the time and effort in building an affiliate marketing business it will be worth it. 

Affiliate marketing is worth the time and effort if you can discover the strategy of making money with it. 

If you find the pattern for your niche then you will be able to make money when you want.

With affiliate marketing, there are many legit ways of making money. 

Here are the 3 most common profitable ways of making money with affiliate marketing. Notice I said common profitable ways and not the most common ways. Most people blast their affiliate links in forums, that is just a bad idea. Doing this will not bring in commissions. 

  1. You can create a blog and drive traffic to it.
  2. You can create a YouTube channel and drive traffic to it
  3. You can pay for ads and drive traffic to a landing page

If you look closely at the three most common profitable ways of making money with affiliate marketing is with traffic.

If you get the traffic you make money. You need the attention of a group of people. This can sound like it is easy but it is not.

You will have to learn what type of audience is on each type of traffic source.  Then decide what is the best strategy for you to implement for your legit affiliate marketing business.

Knowing what type of traffic source to use with what type of offer is only half the battle.

If you are paying for ads, you will have to test angles and ad creatives and ad copy. Figuring out the right angle and right audience demographic can be difficult.

Once you figure out a pattern then you know what works for that specific offer. You then can scale up the campaign to pour gasoline on your cash flow.

If you are creating a blog you will have to discover what is the best strategy to use when creating a piece of content. You need to create it in a way that it will rank on Google because then it will be a waste of time.

I am simplifying these processes but you get the point. 

Affiliate marketing is worth it if you can work hard enough at it to figure out these strategies.

These strategies will take time and if you have the will power to not watch Netflix for a year then you may be able to make affiliate marketing legit by making money with it.

Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?

Affiliate marketing is not a pyramid scheme because you do not have downlinks or have to buy any products. There are no rankings and you do not have to report to anyone. Meetings are not a requirement with affiliate marketing, unlike common MLM schemes. 

A pyramid scheme begins when a single business transaction between two individuals. The offer is then made that person B can make money selling this product as well. For all sales made by person B, there will be a commission earned on the sale. For each additional person that person B can get to sell the product or service, person B gets a percentage of all revenues they make as well. This creates a pyramid where there are different levels of supposed income potential. Source 

MLM stands for multi-level marketing and has developed a bad rap because many people have lost money with these pyramid schemes. If you are not sure if you are getting involved with a pyramid scheme watch the following video.

I know that it seems funny but this makes it easy to identify if you are getting involved in a pyramid scheme. 

With affiliate marketing, there are no bosses and you do not make money from anyone one else selling. 

It is all on you to perform. If you make money then you keep your commission check and if you do not then you make nothing. You do not have to buy products and you do not have to host “parties”.

Affiliate marketing is definitely not a pyramid scheme. 

Click here for my comparison between the income of affiliate marketing and MLM. 

Who is the best affiliate marketer?

The best affiliate marketer depends on what type of affiliate marketing you are referring too. There are many different types of affiliate marketing strategies and they all have different strategies. One affiliate may make millions from paid ads and another from free blog content. 

The best all-around affiliate marketer is James Van Elswyk because he is considered an expert in a few different traffic sources. He specializes in native traffic, Facebook, Instagram. He also owns a media buying company named Purple Leads where his team buys millions of dollars worth of traffic each month.

But as I mentioned before there are other affiliate marketers that are better at different types of affiliate marketing strategies. 

  • List of the best affiliate marketers:
  • Google ads: Maor the Wolf
  • Push ads/Pops: Colin Dijs
  • Native: James Van Elswyk
  • Blog niche websites: Jim & Ricky from Income School
  • Lead Gen: Jordan Pearce 
  • Unique free traffic sources: John Crestani 

Click here to learn more about the best affiliate marketers that helped me become an affiliate marketer. 


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Is affiliate marketing legit?
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Is affiliate marketing legit?
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Many people feel that they can make millions of dollars with affiliate marketing and this information will tell you the truth about it.
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LGM Marketing Group
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Jose Claudio

I have a passion for writing and for marketing. From an early age I also displayed an entrepreneurial spirit. I began by selling garbage pail kid cards and many years later I was able to open a business in the customer service industry. The business needed to grow and I began my consumption of all things related to marketing. I now only dedicate my time and efforts to my marketing business because I find it more satisfying.

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