How Much Do Affiliate Marketers Make?

If you want to become an affiliate marketer, the first thing that you want to know is: How much do affiliate marketers make? It is a legit question especially if you are planning to switch full-time to affiliate marketing.

The commission per sale varies greatly from product to product. And affiliate networks have different commission percentages. For example, Amazon Associates has a love percentage as compared to ClickBank. This creates a lot of confusion among new affiliates in terms of estimating the average commission they’ll make per month.

How Much Do Affiliate Marketers Make

So, how much do affiliate marketers make?

There isn’t an exact figure, unfortunately. New affiliates don’t make much money initially while on the other hand, experienced and established affiliates make a lot of money. This is the same with any business.

Back in 2013, Finch Sells asked affiliate marketers how much they make per year and he then categorized affiliates based on their earnings. And later, the categories were revised here:

affiliate earnings survey

The categories include:

  1. Beginners
  2. Intermediate affiliates
  3. High-level Affiliates
  4. Top Affiliates.

1. Beginners

New affiliates mostly don’t earn a lot of money from affiliate marketing. They earn less than $300 a month. Most of the new affiliates don’t earn at all for a few weeks.

Most of the affiliates fall under this category. If you are new and have just started, you’ll start with no or very low earnings, and this is absolutely OK.


Because all the affiliates start from this phase.

So, when you start affiliate marketing, expect no earnings for at least a month. And this is the most crucial time where you’ll be spending resources (time and money) on your affiliate marketing business with zero output.

A lot of beginner affiliates lose hope, get demotivated, and don’t give 100% to their affiliate business. This keeps them to this stage forever.

This is the reason why a majority of affiliate marketers (18%) reported in the Finch Sells survey that they’re earning $20K or less.

Your best move at this stage should be to grow traffic and increase your earnings. Here are a few tips for new affiliates that will help you break the threshold:

  • Read this post and follow instructions to start making money (if you aren’t already)
  • Generate traffic. If free traffic sources aren’t working, try a paid traffic source e.g. Facebook ads
  • Create your affiliate website/blog. This is the best starting point
  • Start building an email list
  • Keep experimenting.

2. Intermediate Affiliates

These are established affiliates who make between $300 to $5K per month. It isn’t easy to move to this category and cross the beginner barrier. It requires a lot of hard work and commitment to start earning a decent amount of money from affiliate marketing.

Depending on your affiliate marketing strategy, you can move to the intermediate category within a few months or it can take years.

Most of the affiliates start making well over $1K a month in less than a year. Here is an example of an Amazon affiliate website that is making $3K per month well within a year:

amazon affiliate reporting dashboard

There are other affiliates who achieve this milestone within a few months. However, not all affiliate marketers make it up to this category. The majority of the affiliates lose hope and quit at the beginner stage.

If you are earning a decent income per month from affiliate marketing, all you have to do is scale up and grow your business.

3. High-Level Affiliates

These are experienced affiliates who make between $5K and $30K+ a month. These are highly experienced affiliate marketers who have a solid plan and strategy.

Most of the leading affiliate blogs you see out there fall under this category. These are high-traffic blogs and websites that use affiliate marketing as a monetization strategy. Most of these high-earning affiliates make $1K+ per day consistently.

These are experienced affiliate marketers who have been in the market for years. And since they have the money in circulation, it gets easier for them to scale their business and earn more.

4. Top Affiliates

These are the affiliates that make some serious money from affiliate marketing. They earn more than $50K+ per month and there is no upper limit. Only less than 1% of affiliates reach this category.

All the big names that you hear all the time are top earners and make millions from affiliate marketing. Neil Patel, for instance, is an example. He reported his affiliate earnings from a single blog post to his subscribers. He was making $1500 per day from a single blog post on his blog:

neil patel affiliate earnings

Imagine how much he will be making from all the posts on this blog.

Other names include Pat Flynn, Darren Rowse, John Chow, and many others. One of the most famous affiliate blog case studies is none other than The Wirecutter that was acquired by The New York Times for $30 million.

This shows the earning potential for the top affiliate marketers and blogs.

However, it isn’t easy to earn a few thousand dollars per day from affiliate marketing. You’ll need capital, a dedicated team, and a lot of resources. But yes, you’ll have to start individually.

You can’t become rich with affiliate marketing overnight. You need to be consistent to become a top affiliate in your niche.

Final Words

How much do affiliate marketers make depends on several factors including capital, experience, skills, marketing budget, affiliate product, and more. There is no single factor that can determine or estimate the earnings of any affiliate marketing upfront.

The best way to know how much you can make as an affiliate marketer is to give it a try.

You need to step in and see for yourself.

If you want to earn decent money from affiliate marketing, you must have a strategy, capital, and the right attitude. If you want to become rich overnight with affiliate marketing, it won’t happen. This isn’t how any of the top affiliates have reached there.

They all started as new affiliates and made the right decisions at the right time that grew their affiliate marketing business.

This is what exactly you have to do.

Featured Image: Pexels

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