Is Affiliate Marketing a Good Side Hustle?

Is affiliate marketing worth it as a side hustle in 2023? Keep reading our full analysis to find out.

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Affiliate marketing has been a popular way to make money online for many years. The idea behind it’s simple: you promote the products of others and receive a commission for each sale that comes through your unique referral link.

As the gig economy continues to grow and more and more people look for ways to supplement their income, it’s no surprise that affiliate marketing has become a popular option for side hustles. But is it really a good choice? In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the ins and outs of affiliate marketing and explore whether it’s a viable option for those looking for a side hustle.

Is Affiliate Marketing Losing Its Relevance?

Many marketers, content creators, and side hustlers agree that affiliate marketing is still a great side hustle if you’re looking for a low-cost, high-revenue, and passive income. However, before embarking on this online adventure, it’s crucial to ask oneself and analyze the industry to understand if affiliate marketing is as relevant as it was years ago.

On the one hand, I genuinely believe affiliate marketing is still relevant in today’s digital landscape. In fact, with the rise of e-commerce and the increasing influence of social media, this type of marketing has become even more accessible and prevalent.

The convenience of online shopping and the ability to reach a global audience through digital channels make affiliate marketing a great opportunity for individuals looking for a side hustle and businesses alike.

Additionally, affiliate marketing is a performance-based model. This means that marketers only get paid for their results, making it an attractive option for those looking to earn money through a side hustle.

However, many other indie founders and creators state that affiliate marketing is not such an easy side hustle as it used to be. Yes, it’s still possible to make money from it, but the best affiliate marketers will need to create content that converts well and have a relatively big audience.

For example, Chris M. Walker is an entrepreneur and affiliate marketing specialist who states that, when starting with this side hustle, it’s important to focus on a mix of various channels. Such as blogs, email lists, affiliate sites, and YouTube channels.

Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing

As we mentioned earlier, affiliate marketing is one of the most popular side hustles and a great way for entrepreneurs to make money online. But what exactly are affiliate marketing’s pros and cons? Let’s see what are the benefits and challenges of affiliate marketing so you can decide if it’s right for your business! 👇


  • Cost-effective: You don’t need to spend lots of money on advertising or market research when you’re starting out. In fact, many affiliate marketers never invest in paid advertising! All you need is an audience that already trusts you and a product or service that solves their problems.
  • Passive income: Once you’ve set up the basic infrastructure and got your first few sales rolling in, affiliate marketing can be incredibly passive. You don’t need to create new content or update existing posts – keep adding relevant links to old posts as they get indexed by Google again. Your existing content will continue generating revenue long after its initial publication date.
  • AI tools: Many affiliate programs now have their own AI tools that can help you optimize your content and make sure it generates more clicks and sales.
  • Work from home: Affiliate marketing allows you to work remotely from anywhere in the world! You can set your own schedule, control your own finances, and enjoy life without the stress of commuting or working in an office environment.
reflio's affiliate dashboard
Reflio it’s an open-source tool that allows founders and marketers to create an affiliate program for their SaaS in a few minutes.


  • Building an audience takes time: weeks or even months if you’re just starting out with no previous experience building an audience online. A big part of this time investment is starting to produce content right away and social media outreach.
  • You’ll need a (relatively) big audience for revenue: affiliate marketing’s not for people who want to make a quick buck from a side hustle. The number of visitors that your website gets determines how much money you will earn from affiliate marketing.

Is It Worth It to Do Affiliate Marketing as a Side Hustle?

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money online. It’s an easy way to earn extra income, and you can do it from anywhere in the world. There are also some tips that can help your road to success in affiliate marketing become easier.

For example, try focusing on creating evergreen content. Evergreen content is like investing: you put out a piece of content today it pays you for years to come or even forever. According to Legiit‘s CEO, the best channels for this type of content are YouTube and blogs, as they have the longest lifespan.

However, there are some downsides to affiliate marketing that you should be aware of before signing up. The biggest one is that it takes time to build up a decent-sized list of affiliates. This can take months –or even years– depending on how much effort you put into it.

Therefore, affiliate marketing is a great side hustle to have in mind but you’ll need to have in mind that it takes time and that competition in this particular industry is fierce.

Like any other business, success in affiliate marketing takes time and effort. You’ll need to learn how to promote products effectively and drive traffic to your website or social media accounts. It might sometimes be difficult to find a niche that interests you and has enough potential to earn money from it.

There are also many people out there who want to make money with affiliate marketing. So competition is high. If you want your website, blog, or social media profile to rank highly in Google search results for certain keywords, then you will have to learn SEO. Otherwise, it could take months or even years before your site ranks high enough for anyone to notice it!

How Much Can You Realistically Make

It actually depends on how much time you invest in building an effective affiliate marketing strategy, growing your audience, and later –maybe– hiring people.

According to Walker, “if you want to make big money from affiliate marketing, you’ll necessarily need to build a big audience.” He adds that “the main focus” of this kind of side hustle “shouldn’t be making a quick buck.”

“DMing people isn’t the most effective long-term strategy. If you focus on building a big audience, one email message can sell $1000’s. So use your time to build your audience,” he completes.

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Victoria Mortimer

I'm a journalist with a Social Communication degree, community manager, and content creator with over five years of experience. Now, I'm working as an independent writer passionate about community building, entrepreneurship, and social media.