Affiliate marketing is frequently promoted as a low-effort approach to earning additional income. It is also true that it is quick and simple to sign up for most affiliate programs. However, earning commissions involves much more than only receiving your referral link and log-in information.

Affiliate marketing typically involves minor risk with no upfront fees. However, the time spent promoting the products and growing an audience is obviously worth something and has a cost in lost opportunities. In this sense, it is untrue to imply that there is no risk when beginning as an affiliate.

Although the future of affiliate marketing is bright, it is still only worth doing when it is profitable enough, just like any other economic activity. There is an opportunity cost to every action. Therefore, the first thing you should determine is whether your affiliate activities provide a larger return than taking part in a different activity. It is all about making sure you are making the best use of your limited resources.

If you want to know more about affiliate marketing, then check out this amazing affiliate marketing for beginners’ guide.

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How to Know When Affiliate Marketing is Worth Your Time and Effort

Affiliate income chart
Affiliate income chart

1. When You Have First-hand Knowledge of the Products

Image of a person watching a product on laptop
Product image

Although it is not necessary, it will help you if you have first-hand knowledge of the product you are promoting as an affiliate. It is beneficial because:

  • You know exactly how good the product is since you have bought it
  • When you have the product, you can give your own opinion and list its advantages and disadvantages without having to look up other people’s opinions of it
  • You look more ethical and reliable
  • You can do product review videos as they help more viewers make an informed decision
  • When you buy a product, you often gain access to a private Facebook group with hundreds of other customers. This offers you access to the opinions of other real customers and, in turn, increases your understanding of the product.

2. When you Have an Engaged Audience

Website Analytics Preview
Website Analytics Preview

This one is very self-evident. It will be simpler to earn money with your affiliate links the more traffic you receive or the larger your audience.

It would be simpler for you to start a successful affiliate marketing business if you have the luxury of traffic on tap . If you do not, you will have to apply various strategies to promote your affiliate deals, which typically costs time and money.

Affiliate marketing can be quite profitable and is often worth doing when you have good traffic numbers or an engaged audience on social media channels.

3. When you Choose Products that are in Demand with your Audience

View of a girl window shopping
View of a girl window shopping

Doing affiliate marketing is only worth it if you can find appropriate products that are in demand with your audience. While it is recommended to choose a vertical that you are passionate about, it is also important to pay attention to what your audience is demanding.

Most content-based affiliate marketers make money by ranking for relevant, purchase-intent keywords. However, it is not the only option to generate affiliate sales. You can promote an affiliate product at every touchpoint once you have an audience. For instance, webinars, social media posts, client conversations, and training sessions are all effective affiliate marketing methods. There is not a single channel that is superior to the others. Targeting and product-audience fit are the key factors.

4. When you are a Partner who Adds Value

Partner hand shaking
Partner handshaking

A partner who adds value goes beyond simply just connecting the prospect with the merchant’s product. However, there is nothing wrong with being a traffic-focused affiliate that depends on ranking for the appropriate keywords. The advantage of being a value-adding partner is that people start to trust your expert opinion, and you become the go-to person on a variety of topics in that niche.

And it is undoubtedly possible to accomplish both. With the correct keywords, you can create content that draws customers. and get knowledge about how to use the products and the topics that are relevant to them. In this way, in addition to serving as a connector, you also develop a reputation as a trusted advisor who shares relevant, up-to-date information.

5. High Earnings Per Click (EPC)

Indian 100 Rs Notes
Indian 100 Rs Notes

Earnings per click (EPC) is a vital statistic that can assist you in deciding whether it is worth it for your affiliate marketing business to promote a particular product.

With the help of this metric, you can see how much money you can expect to make on average for each affiliate link click. This information is vital for affiliate marketers that use paid traffic tactics like Facebook ads.

EPC is calculated by dividing the commission on a product by the number of clicks on the affiliate link. The higher the EPC, the more you should think about promoting the product.

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When is Affiliate Marketing Not Suitable for you?

It should be obvious by now that affiliate marketing is not for everyone after describing how to make it worth your time and effort. You must be prepared to dedicate enough time to it to meet all the prerequisites.

So, let us look at some situations where you would be better off without pursuing affiliate marketing

1. When you Want Success Overnight

If you think that posting a social media post or creating a Google Ad will automatically earn you a commission, you should reconsider. To succeed, affiliate marketers must put in the effort, understand the importance of brand awareness, and have a solid marketing plan.

There are many successful marketers in the affiliate marketing industry, and all of them would admit that it takes time to build a profitable business. You will not become successful overnight; hence it is wise to think about choosing a different business model if that is what you are after.

2. When you Promote Products with Poor Reviews

Simply recommending an affiliate product because it pays a high commission can be very attempting. Promoting products with negative ratings will damage your reputation. You run the risk of alienating your audience while making a few quick sales. Therefore, before you begin recommending an affiliate product, it is usually beneficial to have first-hand knowledge of it. Regardless of how tempting the commissions are, do not try to persuade others to purchase anything if you would not pay for it yourself.

3. When you are Unwilling to Put in the Effort

For your affiliate marketing efforts to be successful, you require more than just general product reviews. The only way to make affiliate marketing success over the long term is to put more effort into consistent output and to delve into the details.

Keep in mind that a high commission rate or the product price is not your ultimate objective or guarantee of success. The demand for that product within your audience, network, or client base is more important. Additionally, the fact that you have valuable information to share about the product.

4. Merchant is not Using Recognized Affiliate Software

Unfortunately, there are many scam artists out there, and they are damaging the reputation of the affiliate marketing industry. If the individual you are considering promoting does not make use of a recognized affiliate software platform, you should look for several reasons for doing so.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing?

Now let us look at the advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing in more detail because understanding them will help you further to choose whether starting affiliate marketing is worth it or not.


1. Billion-dollar Business: As many of you are aware, the affiliate marketing sector is worth billions of dollars and has been booming for the past few years. It primarily increases your chances of growth and success and is one of the key advantages of becoming an affiliate marketer. 

2. No expertise is required: To become an affiliate, you do not necessarily need to be an expert in marketing. The important thing about affiliate marketing is that you can pick up tips as you go along by experimenting with different organic and paid campaigns. There are numerous ways to manage and run affiliate marketing programs as well. Leverage any prior marketing expertise you may have and try to determine what works best and generates the most revenue. 

3. Minimal Investment: If you have ever wanted to start your own business, especially one that sells physical goods, you know how expensive it is to do so. Sometimes it costs a lot of money. You will have a low-cost solution to start your own business using affiliate marketing. As an affiliate marketer, all you need to consider is how much time you are spending on content creation and promotion.

4. Passive Income: Affiliate marketing is a passive income option, as, through your content creation and promotion, you can earn money from it. Moreover, the transaction can take place even if you are not actively involved, which means your website would keep you earning money even if you are on holiday or sleeping soundly at night.

5. Flexibility: With affiliate marketing, you have a good amount of flexibility to follow your interests while still generating income for your business. You simply sell the product without needing to design, create, produce, store, ship, or service it. This implies that there are no defined times when you should work on developing or advertising the product. Just choose products that appeal to you and those you believe your audience and network will like, then create the content necessary to promote them.

6. Convenience: To promote the affiliate link, you can run a variety of campaigns on various websites. By focusing just on the links that perform well, you can leave the others. You can run numerous affiliate programs across various product categories as you are not limited to just one affiliate product.

If one product is hard to sell, go on to the next one, which is a little bit simpler to promote and offers greater earnings. In other words, if one program does not work, switch to the next one. It enables you to increase the probability of growth and profitability while reducing the risk component.

7. No Customer Support

You do not have to worry about customer support for the products and services you sell as an affiliate marketer. Many affiliate marketers who want the freedom to start their own businesses without worrying about how to deal with actual customers find this to be a huge relief. The main point we want to make is that you should only recommend high-quality products and services to your audience that you would genuinely use. They will stop trusting you if you promote inferior products to your audience to make easy money. Therefore, choose the affiliate products and services that you promote carefully.

8. Sole Proprietorship

You often work as a freelancer and establish your business activity as an affiliate partner. And as the sole proprietor, you do not share the earnings with anyone.

9. Performance-based earnings

Affiliate marketing offers you the great benefit of earning well based on your performance if you are good at managing marketing campaigns and promoting products.


1. No Control over the affiliate program: An affiliate marketing program is not your business; you are simply a participant in it. In other words, you are dependent on a Retail Company and must abide by their rules. At first, it seems charming, but as time passes, it loses its charm. You must wait for the client to adjust the new rate and put the changes into effect. There is not much you can do besides communicate.

2. No control over the competition: The advantages of an affiliate program are high profitability, low cost, and ease of starting an affiliate business. Additionally, it implies that you have no influence over the competition and that anyone can introduce an innovative marketing strategy and capture market share. Professionally experienced affiliate marketers would provide you with tough competition in the market, and this would influence the growth of your company.

3. No Customer Base: Once customers use your affiliate link to visit the client’s website, it becomes a referral program. They would go straight to the store the next time without your link. It is impossible to create a database of repeat or loyal customers. It is your responsibility to bring in new customers and build a strategy to retain them.

However, some SaaS affiliate marketing programs provide you with recurring licenses, meaning that if the consumer stays with the business, you will continue to receive the commission. These programs are limited.

4. Uncertainty of income: Pay-per-performance has the potential to be both a huge opportunity and a huge risk. Nobody offers the guarantee that becoming an affiliate marketer will be simple or that you will start making money right now. Although it is a challenge you should take on, and you must put all your effort into making the most of the chance, it is difficult to predict how much money you will earn from it.

5. Freelancing is not suitable for everyone: It is a difficult lifestyle to lead to working alone for an indefinite amount of time while not being able to interact with others or move around. Not everyone can handle it. If this relates to you, you should rent a co-working space so that you may work with other freelancers.

6. Quantity Approach

Since some marketers engage in spam marketing, affiliate marketing falls under that category as well.  It is important to note that if you use any of the shadow techniques, it will limit your opportunities for growth and harm your reputation. The affiliate program would also end the collaboration with you.


By now, you should be able to understand whether affiliate marketing is worth your time and effort. You know the advantages of being an affiliate or the disadvantages if you need to stay clear of it. In the end, it is your decision. With affiliate marketing, you can definitely earn good money, but you need to be sure that it is something you really want to do and that the products or services you are promoting are beneficial and suitable to your audience. If you can answer these questions, you do have a chance of success in affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is not easy or extremely complicated, but you do need to take your time and set up your campaigns correctly.


Is affiliate marketing safe?

Yes. Affiliate marketing is absolutely safe. By joining trusted affiliate networks like EarnKaro, you can easily become an affiliate for more than 150+ brands. Signing up on EarnKaro is free, and no documentation is required.

Is there any risk in affiliate marketing?

Yes. There are a few risks involved in affiliate marketing, including uncertainty of income, change in commission structure anytime, and constant shifting and testing of affiliate programs.

Does affiliate marketing really work?

Yes. If done right, you can earn a significant amount of money with affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is worth it when it is profitable enough, just like any other economic activity. There is an opportunity cost to every action. Therefore, the first thing you should determine is whether your affiliate activities provide a larger return than taking part in a different activity. It is all about making sure you are making the best use of your limited resources.

What are the requirements for affiliate marketing?

To become an affiliate marketer, you need to keep a few things in mind it’s preferred if you have firsthand knowledge about the products you are promoting, you have an engaged audience, and the products you are promoting are in demand by your audience.

Can affiliate marketing make you rich?

Affiliate Marketing has become an alternative source of income for many Indians. On average, Indian Affiliate Marketers earn around 0.3 lakhs to 9 lakhs per annum. It all depends on how much time and effort you are putting into your affiliate marketing business.

Mansi Rana
Professional Experience. Mansi joined EarnKaro in 2022 as a Content Analyst. With over three years of experience, she is a seasoned content writer specializing in niches such as affiliate marketing. Educational Background. A Journalism and Mass Communication graduate from Amity University, Mansi channels her passion towards empowering aspiring micro-influencers through the power of affiliate marketing. More About Her. She indulges in her passion for beauty and fashion in her spare time, immersing herself in extensive research and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations.


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