One of the most common questions that affiliates have in their minds is none other than how much do affiliate marketers make.
The reason why affiliates ask this question is that they just want to make sure where they stand or what chances they have. I mean if you are sick of your job and want to become an affiliate marketer, you will be interested in getting an estimate of average earnings of an affiliate marketer.
Only affiliates have this information
Unfortunately, nobody can tell you as to how much do affiliate marketers make. This is a piece of information that is not (generally) disclosed by affiliates. There are some affiliates who do disclose their earnings such as the guys above.
These are affiliate earnings shared solely by the affiliate marketers. They just tell you that they have made this much money in a month, a day or a week, and that’s it. They are not bound to show you a proof or a screenshot. You have to trust them (and your own gut).
But what’s important to note here is that these earnings depend on several factors. Just like there is no average earning of businesses (in general) as some of them make billions a year while other small businesses make a few million a year. Similarly, there are no exact average affiliate earnings.
There are some top affiliates who cross $10K a month easily and there are other small affiliate marketers who hardly reach $1000 a month.
The affiliate marketer’s earnings depend on several factors such as:
- Affiliate product being promoted
- Affiliate network
- Marketing budget
The list continues………
Affiliate Categories (Data-Driven)
In order to find out how much affiliate marketers earn and how much you can make from affiliate marketing, it is crucial to segment affiliates into different categories.
I personally feel that affiliates can be divided into four categories based on their earnings. These categories, earnings, and time-spans are based on data collected and analyzed from multiple sources such as Warrior Forum, Finch Sells, CB Engine, Business Insider, Digital Guide, The Guardian, Pro Blogger, Stream SEO, Money Home Blog, product launches, affiliate contests, and individual earning disclosed by affiliates (like John Chow, Shout Me Loud and many others).
- Starters ($0 to $300 a month)
- Medium Earners ($300 to $5,000 a month)
- High Earners ($5,000 to $10,000 a month)
- Super-High Earners (Anything above $10K a month)
These are the new affiliates who either lose money or make little money. Fortunately or unfortunately, the majority of the affiliate marketers fall into this category.
These are the affiliates who make anywhere from $0 to $300 a month. In most the cases, these affiliates actually lose money every month as they have to pay for website hosting etc.
Most of the beginners fall into this category. So if you are just starting out, you will start from here. Initially, you will lose money and gradually, you will start earning money.
For the first three months, you will stay in this category.
2. Medium Earners
After spending three months in the starter category, most of the affiliates move up to medium earners where the average earnings range from $300 to $5,000 a month.
Most of the affiliates in this category make $1,000+ a month. Now it is not necessary that your earnings will move up as soon as you will enter the fourth month but these earnings are based on several variables. I mean if you will stick to affiliate marketing and will follow a proven strategy, you are supposed to earn as high as $5K a month.
Here is the fact.
Only a few, less than 10%, affiliates make up to this category. Remaining 90% leave affiliate marketing and never make it to this level.
Most of the affiliates do not move to the next category (High Earners) rather they keep earning $300 to $5000 a month from affiliate marketing for the lifetime. So there is no as such exact time period after which an affiliate will move to the next category.
The number of affiliates who make it to the next category is very low. After spending anywhere from one year to three years, affiliates jump to next category where their average earnings take a leap.
3. High Earners
Some of the lucky affiliate marketers make it to this category where they earn anywhere from $5K to $10K a month. These are the affiliate marketers who really make a lot of money in the true sense.
Normally, affiliates reach this category after spending a few good years and some of them even have to spend even a decade to reach this category. Those who are consistent and stay hooked to their affiliate business start earning this much in the third or fourth year of their career.
Consider yourself lucky if you are in this category as not everyone can make it up here.
4. Super-High Earners
Only a few affiliate marketers (less than 1%) earn $10K+ a month. It could be $15K a month or $50K a month. The earnings vary from month to month at this stage as affiliates in this category mostly depend on partnerships so in one month, they will make $50K and in the next month, they might earn $25K.
After spending a few good number of years in the affiliate business, only a few affiliates reach this category. These are the top affiliates who are in the business for years.
How much do affiliate marketers make
As it can be seen that there are no fixed average earnings of affiliate marketers. There are several factors involved including consistency, time spent in the industry, experience, marketing budget and seriousness.
In reality, the majority of the affiliate marketers do not make anything more than $100 a month. They are not serious. They lose hope. They are in need of a get rich method kind of stuff. Or any other reason.
The ones who are at the top have done some really hard work because earning anything more than $5K a month is not easy. You have to be patient, consistent, and a hard worker to reach this level.
Where you stand
Based on these average earnings of affiliate marketers, where do you stand?
Are you a starter, a medium, high or a super-high affiliate marketer?
It doesn’t matter where you stand at this moment, if you want to take your affiliate earnings to the next level, a simple rule is to look up. Look ahead.
Look at the affiliates who earn more than you and ask yourself, how you can do the same? Try copying them. Follow them. Get inspiration from them.
There is no end to affiliate earnings. You can earn as much as you want. The only barrier is YOU.
Note: The estimated earnings and life-spans are based (mostly) on the self-reporting earnings and claims by the affiliates on their websites, blogs, forums, and third-party surveys. Also, the affiliate categories are created by the author based on the available data. Of course, you have the right to disagree.