How Much Can Affiliate Marketers Potentially Earn?

Brittany Sawyer Brittany Sawyer
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People are increasingly looking for fun and creative ways to achieve important goals and improve—or supplement—their livelihoods. Affiliate marketing is but one of these methods, allowing creators to generate a passive (and not insubstantial) income by simply doing what they love. But how much can you make with affiliate marketing? Is it only a side hustle or can it be a full-time career? The answer depends on many factors, we’re here to break them down for you.

Showing statistics graphs on a purple background and hands with money

How Much Do Affiliate Marketers Make?

This is the one question that inevitably comes up, and, unfortunately, there’s no single answer. The sky’s the limit, really, and many partners end up earning a six-figure income (after a lot of hard work and dedication). It takes the average partner anywhere between several months to two years of work to see tangible results, but even beginner affiliates can expect to earn up to $1,000 per month. 

To give you a better picture, we took data from Authority Hacker to explain the average annual affiliate marketing income.

Affiliate Marketing Income per YearPercentage of Affiliates
$20,000 (or less)19% 
$21,000 – $80,00020% 
$81,000 – $120,00014% 
$121,000 – $200,00013% 
$201,000 – $400,0007% 
$401,000 – $2,000,000+27% 

Tip: Affiliates often start their journey full of enthusiasm only to quickly lose interest after failing to earn early on. The key to success lies in thorough market research and persistently meeting the demands of your audience. 

Affiliate Commissions in Different Niches

Let’s see what an affiliate income can look like in the most popular (i.e., profitable) niches.

Travel

Travelpayouts allows its partners to earn by promoting different travel services such as flights, hotels, tours and activities, car rentals, and more. Brands on Travelpayouts offer reward rates of up to 20%. 

E-Commerce

Amazon offers up to 10% in commissions on sales. That may not seem like much, but as of December 2023, the average income for Amazon affiliates is almost $78,000 a year.

Dating

Cupid Media is one of the world’s biggest online dating programs and offers affiliate commissions as high as 75% depending on the subscription plan.

Software

Leadpages practices recurring payments. This means you get paid every time (monthly or yearly) someone makes a payment—with a 10-50% commission on each payment. For example, a purchase of a yearly subscription worth $577 through your link will bring you a $173.10 commission each year that subscription is active.

Case Study: Travel Affiliate Marketing

The travel niche has proven increasingly popular because of its broad appeal—it attracts digital nomads, study-abroad students, family travelers, and retirees, to name a few.

Additionally, many travel affiliate programs offer high commission rates for what are typically high booking pricetags. Look at affiliate brands on Travelpayouts, Booking.com offers a 4% commission (an average of $5 per sale), while GetYourGuide offers an 8%–10% commission (an average of $8-10 per sale).

Below, we’ve gathered some information from successful travel bloggers and content creators who have shared their average affiliate marketing income and affiliate platforms.

Content CreatorAffiliate IncomeTimeAffiliate Platforms
Two Wandering Soles$53,078.983 monthsAmazon, Booking.com, Agoda, JR Pass, RentalCars.com, Allianz Travel Insurance, World Nomads, CityPASS & VIPKID
Where’s Sharon$29,452.003 monthsHotelsCombined, Booking.com, Agoda, Amazon, Wild Earth & eBay
Helene In Between$7,951.251 monthSiteground & Genius Blogger’s Toolkit
Adventour Begins$3001 monthTravelpayouts (Viator & GetYourGuide)
A screenshot of the Two Wandering Soles website featuring two menus, a logo, a waterfall header image, and a tagline that reads “responsible & adventurous travel for everyone” in white and teal lettering over the header image.
Two Wandering Soles, a travel blog that earned over $53,000 in affiliate income from October 2019 – December 2019.

How to Get Started With Affiliate Marketing

Getting started with affiliate marketing is fairly straightforward once you have all the pieces. You need to (1) pick a niche to work in, (2) find brands that you can recommend to your audience, and (3) build a platform—webpage, blog, or other online project—on which to promote affiliate links. Below, you can learn where to start with affiliate marketing and how to run your first campaign.

Signing Up to Be an Affiliate

Start by finding a niche to work in. We recommend focusing on “evergreen” niches with year-round sales rather than seasonal ones, as well as taking advantage of niches that experienced an uptick during the pandemic.

After choosing a niche, you’ll need to pick an affiliate program. Here are some factors to consider before choosing a brand:

  • Look at the brand’s site. How does its design, quality, usability, etc. hold up?
  • Learn about the brand and its reputation. Read comments, reviews, and feedback.
  • Get a feel for its audience. Check out the product’s page on social networks.

Carefully read the affiliate policy of the company you’re interested in because it will play a part in the success of your affiliate campaign. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Promotion methods
  • Partner tag storage
  • Product price
  • Commissions
  • Payout frequency

Still don’t know where to start? Let’s go over some of the best affiliate marketing platforms out there.

Top 10 Affiliate Platforms

  1. Travelpayouts hosts a range of travel brands that offer flights, hotels, car rentals, insurance, transfers, and more. You can join multiple programs and manage them in a single interface. Learn more in this video.
  2. ShareASale is a mediator between brands and partners, offering a plethora of companies and manufacturers across industries and businesses to cooperate with.
  3. PeerFly provides a wide range of CPA offers, and a personal affiliate manager will help you pick offers with the highest conversion.
  4. Rakuten.com is an e-commerce company with over 90,000 products from 38,500 shop owners.
  5. Payolee Partners is an online payment service for small businesses that boasts a 55% monthly commission share for every customer.
  6. CJ Affiliate by Conversant comes with CPA offers and is very popular among bloggers and small web publishers.
  7. Amazon Associates recommends tons of product categories, including Amazon-branded products and services.
  8. ClickBank will suit marketers who want to promote digital information products with affiliate links. This network contains over six million unique products and reaches 200 million customers worldwide.
  9. CPAmatica has partner programs in sectors such as health and beauty, dating, mobile, and more.
  10. Awin is a popular affiliate network that offers both physical and digital products from over 13,000 brands.

You can also check our take on the best affiliate programs.

Four Practical Ways to Jumpstart Your Affiliate Income

As you can see, affiliate programs are designed to make it easy for you to earn an income. But as any successful partner will tell you: the key lies in top-quality content. Without great content, you’ll have nothing to hook your readers with, and therefore no one to interact with the affiliate tools that make you money. 

We work with 300,000+ travel bloggers and creators from around the world, so we’ve seen what it takes to optimize your blog. Below are foolproof ways of getting a leg up on your affiliate career—we chose the travel niche as a backdrop (too obvious?). 

1. Choose the Right Affiliate Program & Products

Find the products and services that will resonate with your audience. For example, a website that appeals to college students or budget travelers will have better luck promoting products from Hostelworld. In contrast, a blog for honeymooners or luxury travelers may be better off promoting products from Booking.com.

Geography is just as important as demographics. If you have a US-based blog and want to join a travel insurance affiliate program, you’ll be looking at brands like Insubuy. However, if your blog mainly focuses on travel around Europe or Asia, travel insurance affiliate programs with worldwide coverage like VisitorsCoverage or EKTA will be your best bet.

Tip: Retain your audience’s trust by promoting trustworthy and high-quality products. Otherwise, you will lose followers and readers quickly—nobody wants to feel pushed to buy a particular product solely for the blogger’s profit.

2. Use Affiliate Tools Correctly

Most affiliate programs offer several tools to promote affiliate offers across your website, such as links, widgets, and banners. While using multiple tools can help boost engagement with your affiliate products, it’s essential to use each tool correctly.

Tip: Do not overcrowd your content with tools—each tool should serve a specific purpose. Your most popular posts (i.e., those with the most traffic) are the best homes for affiliate tools. Use Google Analytics to track the traffic for every post and choose the most frequently visited publications. This way, you save time by adding links to old posts without needing to create new content.

Travelpayouts offers a free guide, How to Use Affiliate Tools: The Ultimate Guide for Travel Publishers, to help creators learn what affiliate tools are available with each program, common mistakes made when implementing tools, how to choose the best tools, and how to place tools effectively. This guide may be travel-focused, but the recommendations can apply across any industry!

3. Optimize Your Content for SEO

Beyond finding the right affiliate brands for your audience and implementing affiliate tools, you have to drive traffic to your website through social media or search engine optimization (SEO). In short, SEO is the process of ranking your website high in search results. 

If you’re not familiar with SEO or would like to hone your SEO strategy, sign up for our free course Boost Travel Affiliate Revenue Using SEO. Here, you will learn how to use search intent to earn more affiliate commissions, how to find the keywords you can rank for, the best types of articles for travel affiliate marketing, and more!

Screenshot of the Boost Travel Affiliate Revenue Using SEO Course in the Travelpayouts Academy, featuring information about the course, what the participants will learn, and information about the course expert, Sharon Gourlay.
Boost Travel Affiliate Revenue Using SEO Course in the Travelpayouts Academy.

Tip: Don’t have a website? Use your social media platform! Focus on the content and use both photos and videos to make your affiliate links more enticing. Direct your followers and readers to the brand’s offer and don’t forget to highlight the benefits they’ll receive from it.

4. Analyze & Experiment

Finally, successful affiliates making an affiliate marketing income would tell you that analyzing your campaigns, experimenting with new affiliate programs and tools, and tweaking your strategies is the best way to find success with affiliate marketing.

Travelpayouts offers a dashboard for affiliate partners, allowing them to track their impressions, clicks, pending affiliate income, and other statistics. The information on your dashboard can help you determine if your affiliate marketing strategy is working and allows you to make minor modifications based on detailed data that can result in big success!

You’re Almost Ready!

We just threw a lot of information at you, so let’s wrap up with a quick summary. 

Affiliate marketing is becoming an increasingly popular way of making either a supplemental or full-time income. How you approach being an affiliate is completely up to you, but there are a few core elements everyone must consider:  

  • Choosing a profitable niche.
  • Choosing a trustworthy affiliate program with favorable terms (i.e., high commissions).
  • Creating content that resonates with your audience.
  • Implementing affiliate tools correctly.

We’ll leave you with one final piece of advice: choose programs that correspond to your personal experience, preferences, and skills. This will not only make it easy for you to promote products and services but also help you grow as an influencer and trustworthy source of information.


If you’d like to join a travel affiliate network with access to hundreds of top-rated programs, like Booking.com, GetYourGuide, and Rentalcars.com, we’d love for you to join us at Travelpayouts. Join our partnership platform to start earning an affiliate marketer average salary that will allow you to travel the world while generating a passive income!

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