Is Affiliate Marketing Safe Or Risky? (Explained)

Affiliate marketing seems to be more popular than ever, especially with so many people wanting to get started.

On the other hand, is affiliate marketing a safe practice, and should you have anything to worry about?

I have a ton of knowledge and expertise when it comes to this industry, so let’s talk about it.

So Is Affiliate Marketing Safe?

is affiliate marketing safe

When it comes to the process of making commissions with affiliate marketing, I would have to say that it’s pretty safe.

However, this doesn’t mean that affiliate marketing is all sunshine and rainbows.

I would say that the more popular you get, and the more that you make, the less safe that it can potentially get for you.

This is true when it comes to any type of online business model or just the byproduct of becoming popular.

Others have categorized this as the dark side of success. When random people who don’t even know you come out of the woodwork and start:

  • Hating you.
  • Criticizing you.
  • Tell lies about you.
  • Try to steal your audience/customers.
  • Leaving negative reviews on things they haven’t purchased.

And I’m not going to get into some of the other things that I’ve seen people. That’s about the extent to where affiliate marketing can get a little bit “iffy” in terms of how safe it is.

However, if you get to that point where you’ve been really successful with affiliate marketing, then you’re already in a good spot, to begin with.

So there’s a big difference when it comes to affiliate marketing being safe, and being risky. Let’s talk about the possible risks that come along with affiliate marketing now.

So Is Affiliate Marketing Risky?

Just like every other online business model, affiliate marketing comes with some type of risk. However, there are many ways to mitigate as much risk as possible.

This question is interesting because the answer is always going to depend on who you ask.

Also, based upon who you ask, their answer will change because there are so many ways to make affiliate marketing work.

In other words, you can mostly rely on:

You can also mix and match those traffic sources as well.

So if your plan is to put a bunch of money into your affiliate marketing business when you are first getting started, then yea, there is going to be much more risk that way.

Keep in mind that most affiliates fail because they just don’t take any, or enough, action. That should be music to your ears, as I always like to say that there is a ton of risk in taking no risks at all.

With that being said, here are four strategies that you can keep in mind when it comes to lowering the overall risk of affiliate marketing.

1) Diversify Your Affiliate Offers

Diversification is often a highly debated topic amongst anything that deals with income. However, when it comes to affiliate marketing, anyone would be foolish to disagree here.

The fact of the matter is that the more affiliate offers that you have to bring in money for you, the less you have to worry about income in the future.

I bring up this fact of the matter for a few reasons:

  • Saturation.
  • Competition.
  • Offers don’t stay around forever.
  • Offers don’t always stay as popular.
  • Don’t forget about the fact that offers won’t always convert at a high rate.

There are a wide variety of reasons as to why you don’t just want to stick with one or two affiliate offers to promote.

Imagine if you put all of your efforts into promoting one offer, and then that offer goes down.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s always a good thing to put your effort into what is converting the best or working the best for you.

However, eventually, you are going to want to diversify your affiliate offers.

That’s not the only thing that you can diversify when it comes to affiliate marketing. Let’s look at another strategy when it comes to diversification.

2) Slightly Diversify Your Traffic Sources

Another risk that comes along with affiliate marketing is the ever-changing platforms and the rules and regulations that are also changing with them.

Pretty much any huge platform is going to be seeing changes in the future, and you can count on that. I don’t say this to scare you, rather instead, a reminder that you need to slightly diversify your traffic.

At the same time, don’t be one of those affiliates who likes to dabble in every traffic source possible. Rather instead, stick with a traffic source that you really like (and can become great at) and focus on that.

Once some good results are coming in, then you can start focusing on another complimentary traffic source.

I say complimentary because it shouldn’t be too different from what you are already having success with. Here are a few examples for you:

  • If you like writing content, start creating similar YouTube videos.
  • If you like creating YouTube videos, start writing similar articles to rank.
  • If you’ve done well on TikTok, repurpose your content and also put it on Instagram.

Or if all else fails, start building an email marketing list.

You will need to generate leads for your affiliate marketing business. The good thing about that, though, is that you can do it with whatever traffic source works for you.

This will allow you to keep an audience regardless of what happens to other platforms around you. Plus, it’s also a great way to mitigate the increasing costs of paid advertising platforms.

3) Have Affiliate Marketing Be Your Side Hustle

This isn’t going to be a great tip for those who are doing affiliate marketing full-time, rather for those who are looking to get started with affiliate marketing.

The idea is that you want to get started with affiliate marketing when you already have a job. By doing this, you get to leverage a lot of great benefits:

  • You have a disposable income.
  • There’s less stress on your success.
  • It also overall puts you in a better position to succeed.

Related: The great benefits of affiliate marketing.

I bring this tip up because so many people are hellbent on quitting their job, despite the fact that they have never made a dollar with affiliate marketing yet.

Have you ever heard this phrase before?

Don’t quit your day job.

The same phrase applies to affiliate marketing, especially when you’re just getting into the swing of things.

There can come a time and place to do that, and that time and place would be when you’re making a significant more amount of money with affiliate marketing compared to your job.

When you get to that point, you end up realizing that you are losing a ton of money by simply working for a job, and not on your affiliate marketing business.

That’s when it’s good to make the switch. Then there is always the option of working a job and doing affiliate marketing on the side. I know of one specific person who has a job (that they enjoy) and still makes a ton with affiliate marketing on the side.

Related: Affiliate marketing and full-time job talk.

Is Affiliate Marketing Real Or Fake?

There is nothing fake about affiliate marketing, given the fact that it has changed the lives of so many people in many ways, all across the world.

Actually, I kind of take that statement back. There is a certain amount of “fakeness” when it comes to the wonderful world of affiliate marketing. Here is what I mean:

  • Fake results.
  • Fake people.
  • Fake screenshots.

Why do so many people do this? A lack of ethics is one reason, but you also can’t forget that most people don’t make money when it comes to affiliate marketing, which I talk about in this article.

With that in mind, people who fake screenshots understand that it puts them in a much better place for others to pay them money.

Once again, that comes with the territory of any type of business model, especially since you’re dealing with the internet and just how large of a “place” it is.

The process of affiliate marketing is as real as it gets, you just need to be able to avoid a lot of the jabronis (ja-bro-knees) out there who have bad intentions.

And when you do that? It can be nothing short of life-changing in terms of making money or getting rich. That is if you make sacrifices, are confident, focused, and dedicated to seeing success. Kind of just like anything else in life worth achieving, right?

Affiliate Marketing Safe: Closing Words

If you’re looking to get into affiliate marketing, then it’s going to be completely up to you when it comes to how safe of a process that it can be.

As we discussed, there are always going to be some risks when it comes to online business models.

That goes for affiliate marketing as well.

However, I do feel that affiliate marketing is one of the top business models around. Aside from that, here are some final tips when it comes to being safe, as well as reducing your risk:

  • When starting, focus on lower-cost and no-cost traffic.
  • You don’t have to do business with anyone and everyone.
  • Start with one traffic source that you like and can get great at.
  • You can always invest in resources, tools, etc when you make more money.

Oh and one more thing I want to bring up that rarely gets talked about. Be cautious of doing business with anonymous people.

I don’t know what it is nowadays, but so many people like hiding behind fake names and avatars.

While not all anonymous people have bad intentions (obviously), you are much more likely to be burned by buying from someone like that, or even worse, making them some type of partner.

At the end of the day, common sense and due diligence will work well in your favor. At least, they mostly have for me after all of these years.

So that about concludes the “Is affiliate marketing safe?” article. I hope that you got a lot of insight when it comes to what’s possible with affiliate marketing.

I’ll leave you with two very similar and related articles if you’d like to read more.

Any further questions or concerns? Feel free to leave a comment done below.

James Canzanella

A former personal trainer who went from unemployment to online business success. He's been marketing since 2012 and (still) enjoys lifting weights, listening to rock music, and relentlessly quoting movie lines.

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