Affiliate Marketing vs a Job – How Do They Compare?

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I have read in affiliate marketing forums over the years this same question: “Should I quit my job to do affiliate marketing full-time?”.

It’s exciting to think of quitting your job to jump 100% into affiliate marketing. However, it is not a wise idea to do so, especially when you are just starting out.

I’ll point out what to expect when it comes to affiliate marketing vs a job. Keep reading to find out the pitfalls to be aware of as well as the rewards.

Which is Better? Affiliate Marketing vs a Job

affiliate marketing vs retail job

I think the obvious choice for many people would be affiliate marketing. Who would prefer to work 40+ hours a week for someone else versus working for yourself having these benefits:

  • Location freedom (work anywhere with a WiFi connection)
  • Time freedom
  • Unlimited earning potential
  • Set your own schedule
  • No clocking in or out
  • No permission to take vacations
  • Take the longest lunch breaks ever

These are the perks when you pursue affiliate marketing and work hard to develop a long-term online business.

However, while all of the benefits of affiliate marketing are awesome, the big problem is that it doesn’t pay the bills right away.

Why Keeping a Job is the Worst Way to Earn Income

Trading your time for money is one of the worst ways to earn income. I held a job since I was 15 years old.

It was all I knew how to do growing up and into adulthood. Like most people, you are taught the importance of getting and keeping a good job.

So that is what I did for most of my adult life. When I discovered affiliate marketing, it changed how I viewed earning an income.

Then after reading The 4-Hour Work Week my entire perspective changed about having a job.

I was doing what most people did: worked 40+ hours per week, had consumer debt, lived paycheck-to-paycheck, and was miserable.

Out of the blue, the entire team (including myself) at my previous job was laid off. Just like that our incomes were gone.

It was after that job layoff that I decided I would not leave my financial destiny in the hands of someone else.

Jobs are not secure. Your income can vanish by a decision made by someone that outranks you in the company.

Even if you manage to keep a job for many years, you are still at the mercy of your employer.

You have to ask permission for time off. You’re limited to the number of sick days you can take and you can be let go at any time.

There are better ways to make money which is why affiliate marketing is such a popular industry to get into.

Why You Shouldn’t Quit Your Job to Do Affiliate Marketing Full-Time

working in a cubicle

It would be a huge risk to quit your job to become a full-time affiliate marketer. This is because affiliate marketing is slow to get going.

Even if you were to pay for web traffic with PPC (pay-per-click) ads, you likely wouldn’t turn a profit for a long time.

There is a lot to learn and much experience that you need to gain before you’re able to be a full-time affiliate.

How to Use Your Current Job to Your Advantage

One great thing about this industry is that you can create an online business part-time while you are holding down a full-time job.

In the meantime, it is wise to hold on to the job that you have. You can fit in your online business around your schedule.

It takes a lot of self-discipline but it is all worth it in the end if you put forth a consistent effort.

The worst thing you can do is give up. You have to go into this business with an understanding that success will not happen immediately.

When I got started, the training I followed said to give myself at least a year.

It is with that mindset that I was able to push through, especially during the times that I became the most frustrated.

What to Expect as an Affiliate Marketer

affiliate marketer

Information Overload

You can expect information overload. When I first discovered this industry, I was so excited that I immersed myself in the topic.

I read everything I could get my hands on. There weren’t any books available back then but there were a lot of blogs.

Today there are even more blogs on the subject. I read so many different perspectives and ways to go about getting started.

It led to me starting projects and abandoning them each time I found a new tactic or new product that claimed to be the key to making money online.

Frustation and Impatience

Any successful affiliate marketer today has had their fair share of frustration. Learning the ins-and-outs of this business requires a lot of trial and error.

When I got started, I had to practice being patient. I work on my business every single day. Whether it’s creating content or doing some upkeep, I put in consistent effort.

I know that everything that I do brings me a step closer to reaching my goals. It is not an easy road so expect to feel both frustrated and impatient at times.

Gain Skills and Knowledge

You will gain some incredible skills that you can use over and over again to build your online portfolio.

These are skills you can take with you if you ever want to pursue other ventures such as consulting or expanding your business.

You will pick up skills such as:

  • Niche marketer researching
  • Keyword researching
  • SEO
  • Maintaining WordPress websites
  • Content creation
  • Marketing products online

Consistent Online Income

With the right training, tools, and support, you can create a consistent online income with your business.

Of course, this is all based on your own individual effort. The affiliate training community I am a part of proves this fact.

There are some very successful members that are earning a full-time income from their business after following the training and putting into action what they’ve learned.

There are also many members that haven’t accomplished very much after one year because they didn’t take action on what they learned.

Your biggest obstacle and only limitation will be yourself.

How I Was Able to Quit a Retail Job and Do Affiliate Marketing Full-Time

time freedom

As I mentioned above, it took a job layoff for me to take affiliate marketing seriously. When I did, I decided to find a training course so that I could learn how to create a business.

In the past, I treated affiliate marketing like a hobby and didn’t make much money with it. Through my research for a legitimate training course, I found one that had everything I needed.

During this time, I also had to find another job to make ends meet. I purposely pursued a retail job so that I could have the flexibility to study my courses and work on my business.

I promised to give myself a year to develop my business. I was so determined, that I promised that I wouldn’t give up regardless of how long it took.

I studied my training and worked on my website before work, after work, and on my days off. A year and a half after starting my retail job, I was able to quit.

In Conclusion

Investing in myself by increasing my affiliate marketing knowledge was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

I wasted so much time in the past trying to figure it all out on my own. When it comes to affiliate marketing vs a job, affiliate marketing will always win (in my opinion).

The only exception is if you truly enjoy your job (which some people do), then affiliate marketing could be a means of extra income for you.

Otherwise, you simply cannot have the lifestyle you desire by trading your time for money as you do with a job.

What are you thoughts on this subject? Share them in the comments below.

About Eartha

Hey there! My name is Eartha. I'm an internet marketer. I enjoy helping others discover the benefits of starting their own online businesses. Click here to follow the exact same training I used to go from a physically demanding retail job to working for myself full-time.

2 comments

  1. I’m a college student and I’m looking forward into doing affiliate marketing. I’m studying computer science and I want to try to start doing affiliate marketing. I think it’s a great way to earn money. Do you think that I should focus on affiliate marketing after college or should I find a job? I really appreciate your response.

    1. Hi John,

      The great thing about affiliate marketing is that you can fit it into your schedule. Therefore, your priorities should always be first (school, work, etc.) As far as what to do after college, I would say do what is best for you in terms of getting a job.

      Earning income with affiliate marketing takes time. It is great to start it part-time if you can, even while in school if you can handle it. That way, by the time you graduate, you may likely have a great online business that is earning consistent income.

      Thank you for posting your comment and questions. I hope my answers help. 🙂

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