I've been doing affiliate marketing – successfully – for well over a decade. While I earn affiliate income from this website, I've made the bulk of my affiliate revenue from selling real users products and services – in multiple niches - that have nothing to do with the making money online niche. I've been nominated as Affiliate of the Year three times in the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Awards – taking home the award in 2016. I've spent the last decade+ teaching people how to find success with affiliate marketing - based on my own experiences - as well as advocating for the industry as a whole. I'm often blunt and can sometimes be controversial, but I'm also 100% bullshit free.
The problem with affiliate marketing, like many other home business options, are the so-called gurus and get-rich-quick programs that suggest affiliate marketing can be done fast and with little effort. Odds are you've read claims of affiliate marketing programs that say you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing almost nothing ("Three clicks to rich!"). Or, they suggest you can set up your affiliate site, and then forget it, except to check your bank deposits.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.