The Risks Involved In Affiliate Blogging

Last Update: February 09, 2021

Risk is scary.

It makes you hesitate.

It makes you go back to the safety of what you know.

Within risk however, there is reward, especially in the business world. There is risk involved in affiliate blogging, and accepting risk is a massive step forward towards success, no matter how far along you are in your journey.

Time VS Money Risk

One of the best things about starting a blog is that your "money risk" is very small. I know there's a lot of boostrappers in Wealthy Affiliate, so the $49/month fee may seem like a big risk. In reality, $49 is infinitesimally small compared to just about any other type of business you could start.

Even on a yearly basis, $495 ALL IN to run a business for a year with a 6-figure potential is crazy town. The amount of money you have to risk to be successful in this industry is very small. That's a fact, Jack.

On the other hand, you do need to spend a lot of time if you aren't going to spend money.

  • time learning WordPress
  • time learning affiliate marketing
  • time writing articles
  • time learning SEO
  • time designing your website
  • time researching keywords
  • time analytizing Google Analytics
  • time watching webinars
  • time asking questions
  • time reading articles
  • time assessing mistakes
  • time planning your next steps

Then, at the end of the day, you might end up making nothing. You could end up earning $0 from your website, and for many people, that ends up being true. All of that time invested might be for nothing!

This is the time risk involved. You MIGHT spend a bunch of time building a business and you MIGHT not get anything in return. The risk of the loss of time is what make a lot of people hesitate and never start, or dip their toes in and never give it their full effort.

Without risk, there's no reward. Although the idea of risking money is pretty familiar, the idea of risking time is less well known. I think ultimately, when you sign up to Wealthy Affiliate, you're risking your time, and only those who are willing to take that risk will ever see a reward.

My question to you is - what else do you have to do that's more important?

Next time you hesitate whether or not you want to log into Wealthy Affiliate, or start typing an article but you hesitate and think, "This sucks, is it even worth my time", ask yourself, "What am I going to do instead?"

For myself, I often find that what I want to do is drink a beer or watch some Netflix. Then I'm presented with the option of BUILD A BUSINESS or DRINK A BEER AND WATCH TV.

I think it's pretty obvious which choice a successful entrepreneur would do.

Risk As A Beginner

Your biggest risk as a beginner is time. In reality, $49 for a month of Wealthy Affiliate membership is very small. You really don't need to buy anything else outside of your core WA membership in order to learn how to build a six-figure website.

The main thing you are risking is the time involved to learn the things you need to learn how to make it happen.

In my opinion, just 2 hours a day Monday to Friday, then a couple supplement hours on the weekend isn't a whole lot of time to invest. I know people are busy with families, work, and other responsibilities. As a new father, I'm struggling to find the time to do the day to day tasks I normally do on my blog, so I get it.

However, there's always a path to make things happen. If the kids are crazy at night and you're distracted, get up 2 hours early and work from 4AM to 6AM on your blog. Or wait until everyone goes to bed and stay up until midnight. 10PM to 12PM working isn't that bad even if you get up at 6.

Six hours of sleep is not the doctor recommended amount, but that's why coffee exists.

Risk As A Full Time Blogger

As a full time blogger, you have much more opportunity to risk money as your business is growing. Buying articles, plugins, hiring VA's etc are all online resources you can leverage to help you scale your business. Not all of them work out.

I look at risking my business money much like risking my own time. $100 risked today could end up being $100/day in the future. That's why I try not to be too attached to money that my business earns.

Of course, I need to pay myself, and I do, but I always spend a good chunk of money reinvesting in my business.

One example of "money wasted" in 2020 was I tried to hire a keyword researcher. It's pretty easy to outsource articles for me these days, and I have a bunch of great writers who write things which rank and get traffic. However, it's really hard to get those writers to think of ideas to write about, so I do spend a good amount of time resarching topics and organizing projects.

I decided to take stab at trying to get someone to do the research and organize projects for me.

In the end, I cycled through 3 different hires and nobody really "got it". They didn't get the idea of keyword intent, so although I ended up with big lists of keywords, they were basically the same stuff I could find if I just hit "export" and didn't comb trough the results to find the best keywords.

Though this project didn't work out, the next one might. Or I might try this one again later and change something to make my request more clear.

Regardless, I know that although some projects fail, some do succeed, and I can't find the successful ones without trying. That's the risk. The trying part.

Final Thoughts

To overcome risk, you need to identify and accept it. Figure out if you're risking time or money, and what the potential benefits of that risk may be. What's the tradeoff, and are you willing to lose either time or money now in order to gain more time or money in the future?

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BG1024 Premium
This was a fantastic read. I think the biggest takeaway is taking a risk which everyone on this platform has done... but its a positive risk. Then, we all have the ability to learn every skill mentioned... content writing, seo, keyword research, linking, ranking etc..

We cannot overlook the importance of learning these skills ourselves and becoming somewhat experts at the craft. After gaining the skills it will be easier to outsource as our business grows.

It will be then we can guide our hires to write, research and do tasks the way we would do them ourselves.

Thanks for the post and I love One More Cup Of Coffee!
CassiOfTroy Premium Plus
Brian, so very well summarised.

Nathaniell is dead on point and you have said it precisely:
"... the biggest takeaway is taking a risk which everyone on this platform has done... but it's a positive risk"


I like that.
Gregory74 Premium
Thanks for this article. 5 minutes ago i was wondering if i had waisted my money and if i was waisting my time.
BrightSales Premium
I'm glad you're telling it like it is friend. I have wasted up to 40 grand on various programs before joining W.A. Part of the problem was that they were too complicated to follow or require more money to invest in to see some results. I said some results, because most of them were not based on a guarantee that you'll make it. All businesses require risks that are either small, in between, or very costly.
In the affiliate business case, the money that can be wasted or be risked, varies such as W.A. membership, which I think is one of the best investments to consider joining. Other's are either bogus programs that require upgrades. Most of them don't really tell you how to get there. They may show you the "what", but not the how, which I think they keep to themselves.
I really think that affiliate marketing has it's own flaws. The only think that's great about affiliate marketing, is that you don't have to have your own products.
The best concept approach about affiliate marketing is to learn how to bring the traffic in. Not so much about the products, but about the contents. Once we build that up, then you probably can develop your own products and keep 100% of the earnings. I rather spend more time studying on how to master on building traffic, than keep writing just any blogs that take up space and time. That's just my take. All the best!
halesjales Premium
Hi Nathaniel!

Right before I found your blog and joined WA, I quit my job, moved across the country and then decided to work remote for the first time ever.

I grew up being told that I needed a college degree and to use that degree or I would never find success. I ended up getting a college degree but not using it in my field. My passion burned out. I've always had a passion for the arts and for writing so when I found your blog my partner told me to go for it.

We had, after all, moved for a fresh start.

So I jumped right into training. When I made it to Level 2 with the option to continue on a premium membership I was hesitant but she still encouraged me to keep writing.

Every morning I wake up, have coffee, do yoga and log on to continue writing.

I've worked on being more active in the community, writing a blog every once in a while, answering questions when I can and exchanging comments with other members. I receive great feedback from everyone and have had a few moments of constructive, but positive, feedback as well.

But I still find myself hesitating. I think it's only natural.

I even have had people message me or comment on my posts saying that I've come a long way in a short amount of time and that if I just keep with it I'll start to see more organic traffic and an income.

But I still hesitate some days. It's the inner saboteur telling us we can't do it, there's better blogs out there, we'll never make an income; the negativity is endless.

But like you said, we've got to take the risk or we'll never know.

Thanks for the awesome post and a realistic standpoint on what we go through every day and why we're here. And congrats on your family addition!

Have a great day!

ErickHarr Premium
Hey Haley, reading your comment reminded me of what I was going through up to a few months ago. It's that little voice which ceaselessly nags at us, sowing doubt into our spirit and dampening our fire. The voice comes from our subconscious, which has been conditioned by various means to sabotage us.

We don't notice it, but our inner critic holds us back fiercely. If we want to change our lives we have to change our subconscious.

Not to shamelessly self-promote, but I'm in the business of helping people rid themselves of their self-imposed limitations. If you want, check my website out (in my bio), particularly the posts about hypnosis and the subconscious mind. I believe they might help you see what you're subconscious is doing to you and what you can do to change it. Because you can change it.

Hope this helps,
halesjales Premium
Hi Erick!

Not a shameless plug at all, I will gladly check out your site. As many times as I hear that other people have gone through what I'm going through, it's always still nice to hear it haha!

Our inner critic does hold us back fiercely. What a great way to phrase it too.

I'm looking forward to checking out your stuff!

All the best,
ErickHarr Premium
Thanks! If after you read the articles you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Hope it helps,
DCaribbeanQ Premium
Nathaniel, much food for thought. Thank you.

It definitely puts things into perspective. J have found it difficult to outsource work because I like things just so. Unfortunately there is only so much one person can do.

I consider an investment into my business to be an investment into my future. I believe the risk is worth it. I should say my future financial security is worth the risk.

Candy Benn