Many people that decide to get into affiliate marketing go into it with unrealistic expectations of how long it will take to begin making serious money. This is largely due to the tone used by people selling affiliate marketing materials. Many of these vendors use misleading lines like “Begin Making Money Today!” or “Make $500 in One Day!” While these types of are not exactly false, they are extremely misleading. You can make a great deal of money through affiliate marketing, but it takes some time to learn what you are doing, to set up your marketing system, and to get it all running.
If you intend to jump into affiliate marketing and have the ability to invest the equivalent of a full day of work into getting it going, you can expect it to take about three months before you are making significant money. After this, you may well make $500 in a day, but certainly not on your first day.
It will likely take about a month just to learn how it all works and to determine your niche. Affiliate marketing is a dynamic industry and there are a lot of different ways and means available to accomplish your goals. This means that there is a lot of preliminary research to do. You have to determine your niche, determine what tools and methods you intend to use, see what your competition is like, and find a good product in your niche. An absolute beginner should expect to take about a month to figure all of this out.
After you have a basic idea of what you intend to do, what market you intend to do it in, and how much you are willing to invest to make it happen, then you can move into the initial set up phase. This involves setting up the physical infrastructure of your marketing system: websites, lists, blogs, and so on. This phase involves coming up with sales copy, creating new and interesting hooks to attract visitors, keyword research, interlinking all the various elements of your system to “funnel” visitors in the desired direction, and other technical work. For an absolute beginner this is all likely to take another month. This time can be trimmed down if you have a very good step-by-step guide to help, but it is still likely to take quite a bit of time.
Finally you will be ready to launch your system, but this too takes quite a bit of time. This phase includes registering with all the search engines and directories, signing on with an affiliate program, setting up free classifieds, writing articles on blogs or forums, and so on. It takes a while to get yourself and your marketing system online and distributed well enough to begin attracting visitors.
After about three months, give or take a couple of weeks, you should be in a position to start making money as an affiliate marketer. People do make a lot of money through affiliate marketing and so can you, but it is important to go in with realistic expectations.