Is Affiliate Marketing Hard? (2022)

Affiliates are wacko.

Hi, I'm Takeo. In this issueWill affiliates still be able to make money in 2021?We'll talk about money-making topics that we don't usually do.

If you are a beginner or an inexperienced affiliate who is longing to earn tens or millions of yen every month and live a free and easy life, I recommend you read this book.

This is because I myself am from a full-time affiliate marketer. Since content marketing is still a part of my business, I'm proud to say that I can talk about the essential aspects of it.

Life of a full-time affiliate

full-time affiliate

I've always been a full-time affiliate. When I was a sophomore in high school, I started an adult affiliate blog, and in my first year of college, I dabbled in the high street genres of affiliate marketing, including curated media for women, hair growth, water servers, and green juice.

I've dabbled in trendy, miscellaneous blogging, information products, adult-oriented, and even slightly questionable genres.

Since graduating from college, I have been a full-time affiliate marketer. However, as of 2021, I am not doing affiliate marketing as my main business.

I do affiliate for things that look interesting, and I do introduce them on this blog, but basically, it's a way to make some extra money. I don't think I'll ever make affiliate marketing my full-time job again.

Why I retired from being a full-time affiliate.

Conclusion, because it became too hard for me to do it.

When I was an affiliate back then, in 2013 and '14, there was hope. Back then, if you started a trending blog and wrote 100 articles, you could make 50,000 yen a month even if you were not good at it.

As the years went by, I began to feel that the bar was getting higher and higher, and eventually I decided to retire.

I don't have the hurdle or energy to write an article.

The bar for writing articles has also been raised. There used to be a time when you could make money by writing 1000 words x 100 articles. Nowadays, there are even people who say that 3000 words x 300 articles is the starting line.

When I lost the will to write articles, I also tried to make money as an affiliate by scraping and semi-automating hundreds of thousands of overseas hotel information, but I was scolded by Google and the rental server, so I quit. It's disgusting.

The more you work for a black company, the less you get for your money.

There was a time when I woke up at 5 a.m. and worked on the computer until 10 p.m. I was writing articles all day long. There were times when I was working above the death line.

When my autonomic nervous system went haywire and my mind began to distort, I decided, "Okay, I'll stop being an affiliate.

I had a fantasy about affiliate marketing. On the Internet, there was a trend of "live freely as an affiliate" or "make money with ease".

The reality was that I was working like a slave in a black company. The reality was that the affiliate marketers around me were disappearing year by year.

When a 40-year-old full-time affiliate with a monthly income of 500,000 yen started working part-time at a gas station because he couldn't afford to eat, it became clear to me that this was the kind of industry I wanted to be in.

I gradually lost hope, this is how I honestly felt.

The environment is changing too rapidly for us to cope.

I'm sure there are pros and cons, but this is the true feeling of someone who was a full-time affiliate in the past.

It's the environment, isn't it? It's not that you can't make money. As I explained above, when I started affiliate marketing, there were not many companies, YouTube was not as strong as it is now, and Google's search engine system was very different.

To put it crudely, it was still a time when it was easy for individuals to win.

However, a few years have passed and now, no matter what keywords you look up, the corporations are taking over. Curation media, for example.

The health update made me feel hopeless.

December 2018. Goggle search results for medicine and health have changed dramatically.

As a result of this update, affiliate sites in the medical, health, beauty, and YMYL (money, health, safety, and law) genres have seen a dramatic drop in traffic.

Now, articles by affiliates have been wiped out, and in their place, pages from medical and pharmaceutical companies are appearing.

In other words, some affiliates who were competing in these genres saw their compensation drop to the point where they couldn't eat.

One full-time affiliate dropped from 500,000 yen to 30,000 yen, became unable to make a living, started working part-time at a gas station, and lost contact with me.

It didn't affect me at all because I was backing away from these genres at the time, but I honestly felt despair when I saw these people around me.

Why do people say that affiliate marketing can make money?

Why they say, "Affiliate marketing can make you money.

And while I say that, there are many people who say that affiliates can still make money in 2021.

I know there are people on YouTube who are saying that affiliates are not wacko even in 2021. This can be categorized in several ways.

  1. I'm really making money.
  2. They're replaced in cycles.
  3. I'm making money with information products and consultations.

It's one of these. The first one. Affiliates can still make money where they can in 2021. It's scary to live on this one, but it doesn't mean you can't make a penny. After all, people who are making money are making money.

However, there are some people who fit the second category. People who used to make money have disappeared, and new people have started to make money. This is the case.

People who are making money as affiliates are being replaced. There are a lot of affiliates who have been making money as a full-time job, but then they stop making money and disappear after a few years, and then there are new affiliates who come in.

Someone makes a lot of money and then stops making money in the process. Then they leave. At the same time, new people come in. They make money. They leave. This is the cycle. It's market-based.

To the casual observer, it looks like there are a lot of people who live freely in this industry, but in reality, many of them are disappearing from the industry.

Then there are those who start investing or starting new businesses with the money they earn. It is not only desperation, but many people shift to other industries.

And the third one. There are people who sell information products and consultations. There are also people who sell information products and consultations, who say, "You can make money as an affiliate," to attract inexperienced people and sell them information products.

They are not making money from affiliate marketing. They are making money by sending out information. They sell cram schools and consultations.

If you've ever seen a YouTube video that says, "You can still make money as an affiliate in 2021," look to see if they're selling information products or proprietary materials. That's the answer.

By the way, that's why I don't want to speak out against those who sell information products. I guess that's part of their business.

I'm not in a position to deny it because I sell my own paid training and consulting services.

However, please also know that this is the reality.

The number of people who say, "I make money as a full-time affiliate" is very small. People who can make money in this industry are dying. And then there are new affiliates. This cycle is uninterrupted.

I know what it's like to want to live free as an affiliate.

I also became a full-time affiliate because I was moved by the words "live as you like with affiliate marketing" and "live freely".

That's why I can understand why people want to make a living from one thing, whether it's affiliate marketing or blogging.

The only thing I was blind to was that when I thought about whether I could continue this way of earning money until I die, I realized that it would be very hard.

The environment in the affiliate world is changing, the bar is being raised, and the people beside me are gradually disappearing.

Considering these factors, I decided to retire from affiliate marketing.

When you start to despair, maybe it's time to retire.

All I'm saying is that I'm tighter.

If you are currently making a living as an affiliate, you can continue to do so. On the other hand, if you're feeling desperate, you can consider other businesses.

When I realized that I was the only affiliate who was active at the time, I thought, "This is tough.

You know when to retire, don't you?

[Conclusion] Is affiliate marketing a wasteland?

Conclusion, "To each his own."

Whether or not it's a wacko depends on when you compare it to the era of affiliate marketing. Is it the beginning, the cell phone era, or before the rise of social networking sites?

It's been almost 10 years since I first encountered affiliate marketing. It's amazing how different the environment is compared to back then.

But for someone who started affiliate marketing a year or two ago, you would think that affiliate marketing is a great way to make money.

At least, I will never go back to being a full-time affiliate again. My current job (web marketing related) also depends on the environment. This is my honest opinion.

Of course, I don't mean to polemicize that you can't make a penny as an affiliate. However, please be wary of people who shout "you can have a free life as an affiliate".

Not only in this industry, there are a lot of people who only produce the "pretty parts". On the other hand, there are people who disappear without being noticed.

Please remember that. This is the message I wanted to convey. Thank you very much for your time.

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Takeo Fujii
I'm a geek who collects digital marketing resources from around the world. I also write an irregular marketing blog for sole proprietors and entrepreneurs. I'm busy gathering and verifying information, so making money is something I do in my spare time.