What Is More Profitable: Working Alone or In a Team of Buddies?

13 December 2022
Reading: 7 min

The affiliate marketing industry is developing by leaps and bounds, and the market is growing along with the number of participants. It is easy to get lost in such a variety of skills and complex tasks, which is why many affiliates prefer to team up. However, many still choose the path of the lone ranger in media buying. Is it the fate of ultra-professionals, or do the benefits of working solo really win out? It’s time to explore!

No man is an island?

Not exactly. Most of us have opened the door to the affiliate world on our own. For those who have been in the industry for a long time, it seemed that “me, myself, and I” has always been enough to successfully drive traffic. And it was true, at the beginning of the industry every source was generating fabulous ROI, search engines had not yet been trained to rule out blunt SEO, and accounts were safe from bans.

What Is More Profitable: Working Alone or In a Team of Buddies?

As the traffic arbitrage segment evolved, the rules of the game changed. Now, an account without an anti-detect browser has a negligible chance of survival, expensive proxies and tedious promotion methods have become a necessity, and 80% of profitable offers are banned. But the biggest challenge of our days is internet users or your target audience. They’ve become extremely demanding towards advertising. It would seem better not to venture into this field, but nevertheless, there are desperate affiliates who, with all the variety of difficulties and pitfalls, manage to stay afloat, even working alone. How do they do it? The answer is simple — a calibrated selection of traffic niches, specifically:

  • Varying degrees of spam traffic (usually dating or adult)
  • White-hat e-comm and nutra
  • Education (essay-vertical)
  • Advertising for local offline shops and cafés

There is no restriction on advertising legal goods and services, and spamming becomes very easy. So, what are the other advantages of working alone in affiliate marketing?

  • You are always right. You don’t have to waste time and nerve cells arguing your case in front of your colleagues. No one questions your decision, and no one will judge your choices. Except for the reflection in the mirror 🙂
  • Flexibility. You don’t depend on anybody, and you can adjust your work format and schedule as you like. You don’t have to cancel plans for the sake of a work call or adjust to your colleagues’ time zones.
  • Self-development. When you are responsible for ALL tasks in a project, you have no choice but to become a Jack-of-all-trades. It will be difficult, but in time you will become an all-around expert in the affiliate field. 
  • Profitability. The size of your profit is based only on your own performance. There is no need to share with team members, and you avoid the risk of getting fewer payouts because of someone’s mistakes. 

Sounds like a perfect scenario, but is solo affiliate work really that perfect? Of course, there are some cons of working alone on affiliate projects. For instance:

  • Self-organization issues. When you work alone, you don’t have a boss who will control your actions or steer you in the right direction. Also, when there are no teammates, the competitive spirit is lost, and it can sometimes be difficult to concentrate and work hard. 
  • A lot of responsibility. When you do all the tasks solo, you are responsible for all the mistakes. Sometimes it can be challenging to keep all aspects of the process in your head and under control. 
  • High level of stress. This point follows the previous one logically. A lot of media buyers burn out working alone because such work requires enormous concentration, constant creativity, and competition with large teams. 

Yes, it’s hard not to go crazy with such a wild pace of work, the lonely affiliates are the real heroes! Not everyone can make it in the market without the help of a team, but how hard is it to work in tandem with your colleagues?

Smells like team spirit

What Is More Profitable: Working Alone or In a Team of Buddies?

A team of specialists in different fields sounds like a win-win strategy for success in the affiliate marketing industry. Arbitrage teams come in different sizes depending on the goals of the company, but there should be a minimum of three roles:

  • Media buyer — configures and launches advertising campaigns
  • Farmer — creates accounts and prepares them for work
  • Creator — works with photo editors, creating display ads, images, and videos in different formats

A larger team would require adding the following people to the company’s staff:

  • Team lead — sets the prospects and direction of the team, is responsible for strategic planning, communicates with advertisers, etc. 
  • Copywriter, translator — work with the texts of the advertisements and the webpages
  • Programmer, layout designer — make the layout of the website and works with scripts
  • PR manager — provides search for new employees, organizes marketing events, communicates on advertising, looks for ways to develop the team, collaborations

But before entering an affiliate team, you should be aware of the potential difficulties of working as a part of the group:

  • Dependency. If you work in a team, you have to function as one mechanism, in unison. That way, if one makes a mistake, everyone suffers. If you have led a team to a successful offer while others have been lazy, the profit is still shared equally. You also depend on the others’ time schedules and preferable work format.
  • Lots of opinions. The field of affiliate marketing is quite emotional and stressful, so if there is a conflict of interest within the team, be prepared for potential arguments and quarrels.
  • It’s hard to get in. Put yourself in the shoes of a powerful professional media buying team. Would you invite a newcomer? Very few large teams are willing to take on the responsibility of training unqualified staff, so you will need to cram the basics in on your own. But, there is a belief that it’s easier to bring up a newbie to fit your standards, than to change the ways of a foreigner, so keep on trying.

As per the sandwich rule, we’ll end the review on a good note. So we move on to the benefits of working in an arbitration team. Among them:

  • Profit growth. A well-established team can scale up to cosmic budgets (up to tens of thousands of dollars each month)
  • Corporate culture. Affiliates really know how to relax, this is the cost of nervous work. In the case of arbitrage teams, it is customary to arrange different team-building events so that the atmosphere in the team becomes warmer and warmer.
  • The financial aspect. It is easier to start in a team because the investment threshold is much lower than in a single game: either all employees contribute, or there is a sponsor willing to give a couple of thousand dollars for a start-up to get a payback with interest.
  • Area of responsibility. Within the team, you are only responsible for your part of the process and for the tasks, in which you are most qualified. Of course, you take part in general discussions, but you are mainly involved in your own area. Concentration and avoidance of spreading out into different micro-tasks are great for professional development.

What Is More Profitable: Working Alone or In a Team of Buddies?

Final thoughts

Although we present this material as a comparison between working solo and working in an affiliate team, it is advisable to try both for your career. The best strategy in this case is:

  1. Learn the theory and basic knowledge about affiliate and the marketing industry in general.
  2. Find a media buying team that is looking for new members and is willing to train you (or create your own).
  3. Learn from senior colleagues, pump your skills into different areas of affiliate marketing, and try different positions in the team.
  4. Try the solo route to compare the two formats of work.

Regardless of where your affiliate path takes you, we wish you good luck and a lot of interesting experiences: alone or in an affiliate team.

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