Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons in 2023 [And How To Get Started]

affiliate marketing pros and cons

Today, I’m going to go over all the pros and cons of affiliate marketing to help you figure out if it’s for you.

Many online marketers ask if is affiliate marketing worth it in 2022. Well, while some people might not always believe it is, the truth is that affiliate marketing really does have a lot of benefits for both affiliates and merchants.

According to statistics, affiliate marketing is expected to continue growing as more marketers look for ways to monetize their audiences.

The following article explores both affiliate marketing pros and cons that you should be aware of before getting started.

Let’s jump right into it.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

So, what exactly is affiliate marketing? Well, it’s quite simple. Actually, it’s a system where you promote products online for a commission.

So basically, companies want to sell more products, and a new popular marketing channel to do that is affiliate marketing, where they partner with freelance or independent marketers; that’s what you would be, who will promote their product and get a commission in exchange.

So, when you become a partner and you go through the signup process with a particular company, they simply give you your own unique link.

And then when anyone signs up with your special link, that’s how they track your referrals and then you get a commission.

Now, there are many kinds of affiliate programs. Some are transactional, others actually have recurring revenue or lifetime revenue.

And I went more into depth into those topics in some of the previous blog posts but basically, you just sign up with the company you like, they give you a special link and then you’re free to promote that link anywhere like social channels, you can even use paid advertising if the rules permit it, and so many other things.

Now, diving into the affiliate marketing pros, why might you want to do this? Well, I like to highlight a few reasons.

Affiliate Marketing Pros

There are many advantages to becoming an affiliate marketer in 2022. The most notable pros when it comes to affiliate marketing include:


No Product Development


So, the first affiliate marketing pros is that there is no product development. You could literally start making money from day 1 because you don’t have to develop the product.

You also don’t have to develop any sort of infrastructure that’s required to sell and deliver and service this product.

You simply have a product that you can sell, that you can start referring to from day 1.


No Upfront Cost


This also means that there is a very low barrier to getting started because you also don’t have to invest in making this product or service. It is possible to sign up for affiliate marketing programs that require no upfront costs. This means you can begin earning money as an affiliate marketer with virtually no investment of your own.


No Delivery or Shipping


Also, you don’t have to worry about delivery or shipping if it’s a physical product. And when I say delivery, I mean, even as a digital product, you still have to deliver the product to them, whether that’s by email or give them security keys, or so many other things to authenticate that purchase and to deliver it to the customer, but you don’t have to deal with any of this.


No Customer Support


Also, you don’t have to deal with customer support. So, once you refer the customer, then typically the company who is your partner is going to take care of everything from that end. And in a sense, many times, that’s it.

You’ve washed your hands of it. Now, some affiliate programs do have refund clauses, but the point here is that it’s another function that you do not have to worry about.




With affiliate marketing, you decide how much time and resources you want to put into your business. This means you don’t have to worry about a boss telling you what your focus should be.


Extensive Products Selection


There are affiliate networks where you can choose from a wide variety of products and services. This gives affiliates the power to pick and choose their product and service partners rather than having to work with one company that may not have what is desired or needed.


It Can Lead to Long-Term Residual Income


Affiliate marketing is commonly associated with “passive income” that allows marketers to continue earning money after the initial promotion has taken place. Many affiliates use this business model as a way to generate ongoing revenue.


Affiliate Marketing is Scalable


And lastly, and one of the most important affiliate marketing advantages is it can make you some serious money once you have the right traffic source and audience because it’s infinitely scalable.

What I mean by infinitely scalable is if you’re not developing the product, and then you don’t have to worry about delivering the product or shipping it, and you don’t need to worry about supporting this product, then that means that your earning potential is unlimited because it’s not your problem, how many products you sell.

If you could sell a thousand today, you don’t need to worry about how you’re going to deliver that thousand. That’s your partner, the company’s problem.

If tomorrow, you go on the first page of Reddit somehow, and you get 10,000 sales, great for you. You get all of that commission and the company needs to be able to service that.

So basically, your earnings are not constrained by any supply-side restrictions.

So, I’m making affiliate marketing seem pretty awesome, but are there any negatives associated with it? Well, there are in fact many that you should be aware of.

Affiliate Marketing Cons

Not everything about affiliate marketing is positive, however. These cons may be particularly worrisome for some marketers:


No Product Ownership


So, while not having to create the product is a great positive, there are some negatives associated with that. And particularly when we’re talking about product ownership.

So firstly, recognize that you don’t own the product and you don’t control it so you don’t have the ability to really play with that.

And you can’t position the product differently if you want it to have different features or you want to sell it to a different market, you can’t really do that because you don’t have control over the product.

So that’s one of the limitations you kind of has to work around.


High Competition


Competition in this industry is high in 2022. If an affiliate wants to stand out, they will need to invest extra effort in creating quality content, learning digital marketing skills, and offering top-notch products or services.


No Relationship with Customers


On a related note, remember also that the relationship is between the customer and that company. So, you are just the middle person, so when that person buys this product from this company, then the relationship is between them.

And essentially you were just the middle person that referred them so you’re cut out of the equation. Now, there is a way to mitigate this and that’s by creating an affiliate sales funnel.


No Control Over The Pricing


The next affiliate marketing disadvantage is because you don’t own the product or the company, you don’t have process and pricing control so you can’t offer 2 for 1 Tuesdays on the product if you wanted to because you have to work within the frameworks of the pricing.


No Control Over The Process


Also, you have to work with their process. If they have a certain process for selling that product or certain requirements, you have to plug into that. You can’t get creative around that.

You can only get creative up until the point you refer them but once you refer to them, this part is fixed. They will do their process the way it goes.

You can get creative in how you bring them to that page via your affiliate link, but you don’t get to control this side. So, it’s just one thing to keep in mind.


It Can Take Time Before You Start Earning Money


Some marketers will not begin making income for months or even years after they sign up to be affiliates. This means it is important to have a solid plan in place to manage your finances and keep the business going in the meantime.


Risk of Program Ending


And finally, and the most important part is that because you don’t own the product or the company, they may end the affiliate program.

So imagine that you’ve built yourself to be an expert around an affiliate product, or you’ve even built a recurring revenue stream around this one product.

Well, if the company wanted to, when they deemed that the affiliate program really isn’t successful for them, or it’s not profitable for them, they could just end the program and then your earnings vanish overnight.

Now, using the affiliate bridge funnel, you’re going to be able to mitigate this and virtually eliminate this problem as well. So that is one thing you need to be mindful of.

Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons: Is It Worth It?

And there you have it! These are affiliate marketing pros and cons in 2022. Affiliate marketing is still relatively new – which means the internet business industry has plenty of potential for marketers who want to try something new.

So hopefully you now understand a little bit more about this business model and have a great understanding of what it is, how it works, and perhaps now you have a better idea of whether this is a business model that can work for you.

If you are ready to take the plunge, make sure to check out our free affiliate marketing course for beginners. It is a complete step-by-step guide to get you started and we think it will help our readers immensely.

Please help us grow and share this post

Top Affiliate Training

See Exactly Step By Step How To Start a Successful Affiliate Marketing Business that Pays Recurring Monthly Commissions