Is It Too Late to Start With Affiliate Marketing?

Is it too late to start with affiliate marketing?

The short answer: no, it most definitely is not.

Fact is that companies are spending more on affiliate marketing than ever and there are no signs that this growth is slowing down. Although competition among affiliate marketers may have been growing stiffer as well, there are at the same time more helpful tools and resources at your disposal to get started.

The state of the affiliate marketing industry

First things first. Let us take a look at the hard facts surrounding the affiliate marketing industry.

According to Statista, affiliate marketing spend in the US is due to reach $8,2 billion, up from $5,4 billion recorded in 2017. Over a 5-year period this represents a growth of 52%.

Affiliate marketing spending in the US

According to this Forrester report by Rakuten, 81% of advertisers make use of affiliate marketing (out of a survey sample size of 151). This research, mind you, is from 2016. Given the vast increase in affiliate marketing spending, I wouldn’t be surprised if that number is even higher nowadays.

This report furthermore states that “affiliate marketing is a growing solution to customer content demands.”

Basically, it says that consumers have become savvier and more demanding when it comes to their shopping behavior. For advertisers, this means they can’t just rely on branded messaging.

Instead, they’re seeking out a more holistic approach. One in which independent publishers can offer product information and insights in a way that’s not possible for the advertisers themselves.

Across all industries brands are increasingly making use of affiliate marketing. From beauty products, to business tools and to trading platforms.

Bottom line, affiliate marketing spending among advertisers is here to stay and is growing. That by itself is a solid indication that it isn’t too late to start with affiliate marketing.

The competition is much stronger, but so are your tools

More competition, coming from more different angles

One thing that can’t be denied though, is that competition in the affiliate space has been steadily growing. The word is out. While affiliate marketing 10 years was a fringe business model that relative few people knew about, these days affiliate marketing has entered the mainstream.

Ask a random person in their 20s, 30s or 40s if they know what affiliate marketing is, and the odds are that they will.  

What’s more, big publishing companies have over the last years discovered that affiliate marketing is a great way to supplement their income. These companies own big, authoritative sites, who are able to publish pretty shallow puff pieces which are managing to push independent bloggers down the rankings. Even if these independent bloggers are much more knowledgeable about the subject matter.  

This means that increasingly, independent bloggers are fighting for scraps. Luckily the internet is a massive place. And with some creative content angles and topics to cover, heaps of small affiliate marketers still manage to be extremely successful.

It’s easier and cheaper to get started than ever

The other side of the coin here is that these days it’s much easier to get started. Not only because there are some incredible free affiliate marketing resources out there, but also because the tools to do the job have become much better.

WordPress themes have drastically improved over the last years and make it possible to put together a beautiful website with all the functionality you need with no technical skills. For less than 10 bucks a month you can host your own website now.  

Furthermore, there are thriving Facebook groups and sub-reddits with affiliate marketers exchanging knowledge, ideas and helping each other out with any roadblocks they might encounter.

All of this means the barrier to entry has become very low. And if you’re willing to separate yourself from the pack by working harder and smarter, you too can make it in affiliate marketing.  

Before starting though, you’ve got to be honest with yourself

But even though it isn’t too late to start with affiliate marketing, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should try your hand at it.

If you want to get started with affiliate marketing, then keep in mind the following:

  • It’s hard work. People often mention “passive income” and “affiliate marketing” in one sentence. Though technically the money you earn with affiliate marketing is passive (you can generate income while being literally asleep), I feel that passive income is a bit of a misnomer. At the end of the day, affiliate marketing requires consistent, hard work. To make your first affiliate site take off, expect to spend at least 10 dedicated hours per week on it for 6 months at least (or more).
  • Your initial enthusiasm will fade (and you’ll hit the “valley of despair”). If you’re reading this, odds are that you’re oozing with enthusiasm to get started with affiliate marketing. Know that this enthusiasm will fade over time and that you might even find yourself caught in the “valley of despair.” This is a point where it feels that no matter how hard you work your site isn’t progressing at all, working on it feels like a drag, are you’re feeling stressed out of your mind. This isn’t a fun place to be. But if you manage to soldier on and get yourself out of it, that’s when the magic happens.
  • Delayed gratification. Many things you’re doing today in content and SEO will only yield results 6 months down the line or longer. Affiliate marketing is all about delayed gratification. You have to be willing to consistently put your head down, put in the work, and realize that it can take a really long time before seeing any results at all.


It isn’t too late with to get started with affiliate marketing.

If you’re keen to take the plunge, then check out my affiliate marketing guide for beginners.

In this guide I’ll explain in detail:

  • What affiliate marketing is and how it works
  • How to choose an affiliate program
  • How to pick a niche for your website
  • How to write content and build an affiliate site which brings in affiliate commissions

In short, everything you’ll need to get started with your first affiliate website.

If you have any questions or comments, then leave a comment below.   

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