How Much Do People Make from Affiliate Marketing in 2024?

The very short answer is that affiliate marketers can earn anywhere from a few bucks to $100.000+ a month.

As this answer in it itself is not very helpful, we’ll be looking in this article at the results of an income poll of close to 900 affiliate marketers, how affiliate marketers actually earn money and how you can maximize your affiliate earnings.

New to affiliate marketing? Check out my affiliate marketing guide for beginners which tells you everything you need to get started.

How much does an affiliate marketer earn per month on average?

Looking at the poll numbers from Matt Diggity’s Affiliate Lab Facebook group, we see monthly affiliate earnings range from a few dollars to $100.000+.

Average affiliate marketing income

To make this a little easier to digest:

Monthly affiliate incomePercentage of affiliate marketers

A few take aways from this poll:

  • 41% of affiliate markets earn less than $1000 monthly and more than half of this figure earns no income at all
  • Exactly 50% of affiliate marketers earn between $1k and $50k a month
  • You could 9% of affiliate marketers mega-earners who haul in $50k+ every month

Now, the problem of this data is the extremely wide variety of people it comes from. Some people are part-time affiliate marketers, others are full-time. Some people might have started less than a month ago (hence the $0 income), while others have been at it for years.

Despite these shortcomings, the poll gives a good idea of the earning potential of affiliate marketing.

How do affiliate marketers earn money?

Affiliate marketing involves promoting a company’s products or services and receiving a commission in return. An affiliate marketer joins one or more affiliate programs, promotes products through a website, newsletter, or social media, and earns a commission whenever a sale occurs. This sale gets tracked through a unique affiliate link.

An infographic showing how affiliate marketing works

Affiliate marketing is an ideal way to make money without having to create your own products or services. Additionally, you won’t need to handle product inventory or customer support.

Affiliate marketers don’t only earn money by promoting physical products from e-commerce shops, but can also earn by promoting digital products such as:

  • SaaS (for instance, VPN’s)
  • Software products (like WordPress themes)
  • Online courses

Factors influencing affiliate marketing earnings

As we’ve seen above, not all affiliate marketers rake in huge sums of money. In fact, earnings can range from a few dollars a month to six-figure incomes – with way more people being closer to the lower range of that spectrum. So what determines this vast difference in earnings? The most obvious factor is experience and skill level. But let’s drill a bit deeper and explore some factors you can optimize for from day one.

Niche selection

The niche you choose has a significant impact on your earning potential. Some niches are saturated with affiliate marketers, making it challenging to rank and earn money. On the other hand, certain niches are relatively untapped, providing ample opportunities. However, the latter type might be untapped because the earning potential is limited.

Traffic source and volume

Earnings in affiliate marketing are closely linked to the volume and quality of traffic you can direct towards your affiliate links. More traffic often translates to higher earnings, but it’s the quality of traffic – how engaged and interested your audience is – that determines your conversion rates.

For instance, if you manage to rank for content with the word “best” in it, odds are that your visitor is entering your site with their wallet in their hand ready to spent. While if you draw in loads of traffic from informational queries with no buyer intent, the odds that people will buy something through your affiliate links are slim.

Conversion rate optimization

Traffic alone isn’t enough. You need to convert that traffic into actual sales. This is where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes in. By optimizing your website layout, improving your content, and strategically placing your affiliate links, you can increase the chances of your visitors making a purchase through your affiliate links.

TIP: if you don’t feel like spending months on designing the perfect affiliate site, get one of my affiliate site starter templates.

As an example, here is a page design that converts really well, thanks to product boxes which pop out and CTA buttons the colors of which strongly contrast with the rest of the site:

Example of an affiliate website design which converts really well.

Commission structure

Different affiliate programs offer various commission structures. Some might offer a high percentage commission on every sale, while others offer a lower commission rate but have a higher-priced product. Pay close attention to the commission structure and consider how it aligns with your traffic and conversion rates.

Recurring vs. one-time commissions

Some affiliate programs offer recurring commissions, meaning you’ll earn money for every month a customer remains subscribed to a service. Others offer one-time commissions for every sale. Recurring commissions can provide a steady income, while one-time commissions might offer a larger payout upfront.

Program terms and conditions

Always read the fine print of any affiliate program you join. Some programs may have strict rules and requirements that can affect your earnings. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions and follow them to ensure you receive your commissions.

Tips for maximizing your earnings

Had I known about the following two tips when I started my own affiliate marketing journey, I would have earned a lot more money a lot faster.

Avoid shiny object syndrome

Although it is tempting to launch a bunch of blogs in parallel, as a beginner it’s much better to stick with one main project. If it’s your first rodeo, it’s already hard enough to make one affiliate website work – let alone 5.

You’ll be most likely doing this parttime so time is a super precious resource. Don’t waste it by bouncing between a variety of websites.

Ask your affiliate partners for more money

By far the quickest way to grow your earnings is by simply asking your affiliate partners for better rates.

This tend to only work for smaller, in-house affiliate programs. But the impact can be massive. Say that you’re promoting a brand and you’re sending them 50 customers a month at $50 – the standard commission listed at their website.

Now, contact them and negotiate a rate of $75 instead. If successful, you’ve just increased your monthly earnings with them from $2500 to $3750. Just by making a phone call or sending an email.

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