Earnings In The First Year of Affiliate Marketing (Real-life Example)

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The income you can realistically earn in your first year of affiliate marketing depends hugely on 3 factors;

  • The niche (popularity, competition)
  • Affiliate programs in the niche (average commission, recurring commissions)
  • The amount of work you put in

Traffic = Money

In order to generate sales and earn a commission, you need traffic. In order to generate traffic, you need a website and you need (a lot of) content.

Beginner Bloggers Often Feel Like They Were Writing For a Ghost Town
A website in the first 6 months – Welcome to Ghost Town

Especially at the beginning, creating content feels an incredibly difficult task. But let’s see a real life example, that is absolutely manageable even if you have a day job right now, or have kids etc. I have a day job and a toddler, so I know it is doable.

Let’s say you take action: you create a website, you do the training. You target low hanging fruit keywords with your content, and you can write pieces of at least 1500 words. Including the time to research your topic, the time needed to write your post, formatting etc. it is not impossible to create one post a week. You may also have time to ‘advertise’ your posts on social media.

This means roughly 50 articles in your first year of blogging.

The first posts will start bringing in some significant traffic around the 6-month mark. You already have more than 20 articles on your website by then, so the new posts will pick up a bit faster.

There are always posts that Google does not love, so let’s keep on the conservative side of things.

A Conservative Calculation on Possible Earnings

Depending on the niche, you can expect around 7-800 clicks a week around the 25th-30th week, but the growth will be exponential. Even if you stopped posting new content after 35-40 posts, the traffic would keep rising and by the end of the 12th month you could see 6-7000 clicks a week easily.

For the sake of this example, let’s say you only start monetising your website after 6 months . You get around 700 visitors a week at this point. (Actually, you are right on track to have 7000 unique visitors a week after 12 month.)

With a 6% click through rate on your affiliate links and a 5% conversion rate (which is VERY conservative) you would have every chance to have 1-2 sales a week already. Depending on the niche and the commissions, this may not be much. Yet.

The Amazon Affiliate program for example pays around 6% in commission, so if the average basket value is $40 then, on average, you earn $2.40 per sale.

On the other hand, by the end of the year, the calculation would look like this:

7000 clicks a week x 6% click through rate x 5% conversion rate x $40 x 6% commission = $51 a week

With a higher ticket item, let’s say a $100 average basket value, the weekly earning would be $128, the whole year (with monetisation in place after 6 months) would stack up to $1680.

Amazon Associates Program Fee Rates
Amazon Associates is one of the most popular affiliate programs

A More Realistic Calculation

Now the previous calculation has been very conservative, and though Amazon Affiliates is great for certain niches, you can produce better conversion rates on other platforms. In addition, the actual click through rate for a review site is more like 10-11% (as people are already interested in buying that product), and the conversion rate is higher as well. And you’ll be surprised that people do buy high ticket items on the internet.

You also get affiliate commission for anything that the visitors who have clicked your affiliate link buy from that shop for the following 30-60 days.

7000 clicks a week x 11% click through rate x 10% conversion rate x $100 x 6% commission = $472 a week.

Although it may not replace your full-time day job yet, but not bad, right?

Now the 6% commission rate is more typical for physical products that you can buy on Amazon, Ebay etc.

Earn (Much) More with Info Products & Training Courses

For info products, training courses it is more typical to get around 30-40% commission.

7000 clicks a week x 11% click through rate x 10% conversion rate (5 sales a week) x $40 x 30% commission = $945 a week at the 12-month mark.

Do you want me to continue? Oh, there is more…

We have only covered the one-off commissions so far, but there are products that pay you a recurring commission. These products can be training courses, subscription services, membership sites etc. They often pay a one-off fee for the lead and then a monthly recurring commission too, but for the sake of this calculation let’s discount the one-off fee.

Recurring means that if you generate a sale, that will earn you income in the next months too. So if you generate two sales in the 1st month and generate two sales in the 2nd, you will receive 4 commissions in the 2nd month. If Month 3 is the same, you will receive 6 commissions.

So still on the conservative conversion rates, the calculation would look like this for a $40/month membership site:

6 Month:

3466 clicks a month x 6% click through rate x 5% conversion rate (2.5 sales a week) x $40 x 40% commission = $160 a month

With a more typical 10% conversion rate, at the end of the 12th month you probably have already quit your day job. 12 Month:

25000 clicks a month, 4 sales a week x 6% click through rate x 10% conversion rate x $40 x 40% commission = $8271 a month, that’s’ over a $2000 a week.

Affiliate Marketing Is Not a Get Rich Quick Scheme

Despite the whopping numbers don’t forget that it all depends on 3 things;

  • The niche (popularity, competition)
  • Affiliate programs in the niche (average commission, recurring commissions)
  • The amount of work you put in

I’d like to highlight number 3, the importance to act, and to act in the right way.

If you want results, you must take ACTION right now, otherwise you never going to earn any money with affiliate marketing.

  1. Find a structured, step-by-step training
  2. Create a website, learn how to create content that converts
  3. Keep working consistently

A Real-life Example of Earnings in the 1st Year

Just to prove my point how conservative this calculation is in terms of clicks and visitors, have a look at this graph. I guesstimated 7-800 visitors for our imaginary website at the 6-month mark. This graph below shows the number of visitors on a niche site that I have started less than 6 months ago.

Search Console Real-life Data
Google Search Console organic traffic data – most people would have quit after 2-3 months

You can see that in the first couple of months, nothing happened really. This is where most people just give up. They have written 10-15 posts, and there are literally no visitors coming to their site.

Then Google started to love my site, my posts, so as the real people who were coming to my site.

It is not even 6-months old, it has 29 posts, and there are more than 1400 visitors a week already. This is organic traffic only: I did not pay for any advertising, and I have literally no social media presence with this niche site.

What did I do? Nothing special.

  • I have made a decision: I decided that I want to change my life and acted on it
  • I have completed a great training course, but the learning did not stop there
  • I started creating content consistently, around 1 post a week average
  • I did not quit after 2 months

Lessons To Learn

A lesson to learn? If you find something that works, don’t second guess. Copy it, do as you are told by people who know more about affiliate marketing than you do. The results will come.

Note, that in this example we only posted one short article a week. If you serious about this, there is nothing stopping you from posting 2-3 blogposts a week!

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