Affiliate Marketing: 5 Reasons People Fail

Affiliate Marketing 5 Reasons People Fail

Affiliate marketing is a business model in which digital marketers endorse products and get a commission on the sale. It is a great low-risk, high-reward opportunity but unfortunately, some people fall short and fail due to reasons such as: 

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Choosing the wrong niche
  • Not building a customer avatar
  • Poor quality content 
  • Quitting too soon

Table of Contents

Throughout my personal journey, I have come across people who have failed in this affiliate marketing business for one reason or the other, I have had some close ones myself. In this article, I will go into the 5 main reasons people fail with affiliate marketing. 

The goal is to give you some insight into what the main reasons for failure are according to my observations so you can maneuver around them to achieve life-changing success in this business. 

Affiliate Marketing: Why Should You Get Involved?

Affiliate marketing refers to a business model in which digital marketers endorse products and get a commission on the sale.

It is a low-risk, high-reward opportunity that has no ceiling. You can build it part-time from anywhere with nothing more than your laptop and an internet connection. There are also no required hours for this type of business, it is possible to work on the weekends or during your downtimes.

With enough time and effort, you can open up a whole new world of comfort and freedom all while earning enough to provide for yourself and your family. 

The best thing about affiliate marketing is the low investment needed to get started. You can start an affiliate marketing business for less than $100, and you will learn some new skills along the way.

Also, working from home, or anywhere outside of a traditional workplace is great. The freedom to do what you want when it works for your schedule instead of being tied down at a desk all day can’t be beaten. Plus as an affiliate marketer, there are some seriously impressive income potentials out there. 

Are you getting close to retirement age and wondering if your nest egg will support the lifestyle of an active retiree? Or maybe you are just getting started in the working world disgusted with the thought of working a 40-hour workweek for 40 years. 

I know the feeling, and one of the best ways I know of to avoid this rat race is through affiliate marketing. Building assets like an affiliate marketing business can offer that extra cash flow needed. 

Affiliate marketing can be the key to having that millionaire lifestyle without having decades of frugality. It is important to note that it is NOT A GET RICH QUICK SCHEME, it will take years and multiple streams of income (websites, YouTube channels, etc.) to reach that stage.

Main Reasons People Fail with Affiliate Marketing

1. Lack of realistic expectations


I believe one of the primary causes of why people fail at affiliate marketing is that most don’t have any real expectations, to begin with. The so-called “gurus” overhype the results and understate the time and effort it will take to become successful. 

So as a result there are a lot of ‘affiliate marketers’ who have all the wrong ideas of what it takes to be successful in this business. These ‘gurus’ will give you just enough information to keep you on the hook before feeding you upsells to no end. 

Here’s a free affiliate marketing course we would recommend. You can also check out our review of Authority Hacker’s affiliate marketing courses

You need to know that affiliate marketing is no walk in the park. There is a whole list of things you will need to take care of on a consistent basis some of which includes: 

  • Good SEO
  • Traffic (Organic and Ad generated )
  • Qualifying for affiliate  programs
  • Content creation and quality 
  • Creating an email list 

 There are many more aspects of affiliate marketing you will need to get. As I said earlier and will no doubt say again, AFFILIATE MARKETING IS NOT A GET RICH QUICK SCHEME.

2. Choosing The Wrong Niche

Find Your Niche

Niche selection is one of the most important aspects of creating an affiliate marketing business. The main objective of it is to find a topic with relatively low competition and a high search volume. These are straightforward considerations you have to make during the process, but niche selection can be a bit more nuanced.

When you are choosing a niche it is important that you take some personal considerations into account. 

For example, how fast do you want to grow your website? Do you want (or can you handle) a niche that will have a slow startup phase but has unlimited potential? Or maybe you want something with a quick start but has a ceiling on its earning potential? 

If you have a more long-term vision for your business you can focus on niches that have higher paying affiliate marketing programs. These are normally highly competitive so it’ll take some time for you to break through.

If you want to take the quicker route then aim for the Amazon-based niches, with these you can focus on Amazon affiliates and running ads on your site.  

Remember, this IS NOT A GET RICH QUICK THING, it will take time.

How far do you want to take your business? Are you just interested in affiliate marketing, or do you want to branch out over time selling your products? 

In a case like this, you should choose a niche that is easy to transition from one business model to the next. 

How long do you want to work in this niche? Consider if you want to use the niche as a stepping stone to other opportunities, or are you in it for the long haul? 

You can be a website flipper, working on a site for a couple of years and building it up from the ground strictly for the purpose of selling it for a 6 or 7 figure buyout. We’ve seen it happen. 

Also, it’s not uncommon to hear of people becoming successful from working within the same niche for decades. Once your site is fully respected in the community and trusted by search engines this can be a pretty sustainable income stream. 

By asking yourself these questions and answering them honestly you will have a clearer picture of the path you are on and not falter.

3. Not Building a Customer Avatar

Customer Avatar

So you have decided on a niche, created your website or YouTube channel, and now it’s time to create content. But who is your targeted audience? 

That is something you need to decide before going any further.

In order to create a successful affiliate marketing business, you have to understand that the main goal is to help real people find real answers to their real problems. Understanding the needs and desires of your audience is key to crafting content that will captivate them.

Crafting a customer avatar is one of the simplest ways to connect with your customers, and it is easily done. You don’t have to know every single detail about them. You just need a clear perspective of who you are writing to.

You can gather information by researching the top keywords and phrases used within the niche along with topics discussed on social media posts and forums. Just check on what the niche’s community is like, and find out the types of people that occupy it. 

If you are personally interested in the niche then write a list of things you would like to know or would like to share.

You can also make some educated guesses. If you choose to go with the cycling niche then you can guess that your customers are into fitness and like being outdoors. You can also guess that they will have bike-related problems from time to time like a punctured tire or worn breaks. 

Without having a clear understanding of who your audience is, there might be a disconnect resulting in your content not being well received.

4. Poorly created content

Poor Content

There’s more to affiliate marketing than creating articles/videos, I’ve seen where many people get confused and think affiliate marketing and content creation is a numbers game. They flood their website and channel with content that doesn’t really serve a purpose, they don’t solve a problem or answer a question that potential visitors might have. 

And what happens as a result? Google ignores them. 

Google’s goal is to help searchers find the best answers, solutions, and recommendations on the first try. If users quickly leave your site after visiting it and go right back into search to find another result, Google will assume your content quality is poor. 

Google also has more sophisticated ways to rank your content. An example is the AI they launched to determine the quality and relevancy of content. It analyzes your word choice, site structure, and unique images usage.

Pro Tip: Only use non-spammy images that will add value to your content.  

The only way around this is good research and good writing. I understand that as a newbie in this scene you might not have the best content out there. But just remember, you have to start somewhere, your 80th article will be drastically better than your 1st. So don’t sweat it, just always ensure that all your articles are geared towards a specific purpose and will meet or answer a particular need or question.

5. Quitting too soon

Don't Quit

Building an affiliate marketing business won’t be an easy run. During the first 3-6 months of building your affiliate marketing website, you will probably see no results whatsoever. This happens because Google does not trust new websites at all, which can lead to poor search engine rankings and no traffic. 

It is in this dead period that many people will quit, thinking affiliate marketing is too hard or a broken business model. But it’s not. 

Before you are able to organically drive traffic to your website, you must prove your worth to Google. 

It’s so simple to do, all you need is to create high-quality content on a consistent basis. After you have put in a thousand hours into it and created 50+ top-notch articles or videos the positive results will start pouring in, one drop at a time. 

In Conclusion

That’s all the information I have to share for now. Affiliate Marketing is an ever-changing business but with this information, you should be able to stay on the winning side of things. It’s not an easy fight to become successful but it’s not an impossible one. With proper planning, a lot of high-quality content, and some good management, it’s only a matter of time. 

Best of luck on your journey. We welcome any comments you might have on the article, and if you are interested in more information on affiliate marketing or on anything related to operating an online business then check out more of our content. 

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