Top 10 Reasons Affiliate Marketers Fail And What to Do About It

10 Reasons Affiliate Marketers Fail

When it comes to making money online one of my favorite strategies is affiliate marketing.

It’s simple, easy to get started and requires only a few skills to make a full-time income.

Yet sometimes finding success in the affiliate marketing game can be difficult for folks. After all, virtually every “expert” out there has slightly differing advice to offer you on how to be a success and avoid failure within the industry.

However, figuring out what advice to implement and what doesn’t apply to you can be as confusing as determining what kind of diet/exercise will actually help you lose those last five pounds you’ve been hanging onto since college.

Should you eat meat, fats, dairy or not? Maybe keto. Or maybe paleo. Weights or cardio….argh…Well, forget that, let’s get back to the topic at hand.

Although I can’t help you with your college weight gain, I’m are more than happy to help you traverse the sometimes contradicting advice you read all over the web about affiliate marketing. Before delving into the deep end, though, let’s take a quick look at what types of affiliate marketing are out there.

Types of Affiliate Marketing

There are lots of affiliate marketers finding success in the industry, making money through various avenues. The most common of those being professionals who build content websites and then primarily focus on SEO, social media outlets and the like.

I love this model and have built, sold and acquired many sites like this.  In fact, if you have content sites that are generating profit and you’d like to sell them reach out.  I may be interested in buying them.

Then there are others who buy paid traffic and advertise on Facebook, Instagram, and other such platforms.

The third most common type of affiliate marketers is those who focus primarily on building a quality email list and frequently utilize this information for money making purposes.  Email marketing is wonderful.  Now, remember when you do email marketing the size of your list is NOT the most important thing.  What matters is the relationship you have with your list of subscribers.

You likely fall somewhere within these categories, or perhaps within more than one. If you are wondering, though, why you aren’t seeing the results you think you should consider the following 10 possibilities.

If you are making any of these mistakes, you might be creating problems and blocking your own profit potential.

3 common types of affiliate marketing

Top 10 Most Common Mistakes Affiliate Marketers Should Avoid

Some of the following errors will apply to all types of affiliate marketing and others just the few who specialize in that niche. Therefore, take what you can from them and apply them to your specific situation in order to begin making more money as quickly as possible.

1. Not Understanding That Failure Can Happen

Wait a minute, didn’t we just talk about making money. Isn’t success the point? Yes, it is. However, in virtually every affiliate marketing situation, making money takes time. According to Brand Builders, “If anyone tries to tell you that affiliate marketing is a way for you to get rich overnight, run for the hills. They’re feeding you a line.”

If anyone tries to tell you that affiliate marketing is a way for you to get rich overnight, run for the hills. They’re feeding you a line. – Brand Builders

Affiliate marketing takes time. It takes energy, and most importantly, it requires lots of patience.  You can see results quickly sometimes yet I believe in focusing on the long-term.  For example, if all you did was focus on building one authority content site for 1-2 years you’d be amazed at the results you’d get.

making money in affiliate marketing takes time

Affiliate marketing is not a way “get rich quick.” It is just like any other reputable business. It takes dedication, time, patience, endurance and a lot of trial and error.

2. Affiliate Marketers Can Give Up Too Quickly

This mistake goes right along with the first one. If you don’t give yourself time to make a profit and quit too soon, you will never see the end result of all your hard work.

This is a huge problem I see over and over with folks wanting to make money online.  They buy a course on a strategy and say this time I’m really going to give it a go. And at the first sign of struggle they are ready to jump ship and try something else that they are told is easier.

Look all businesses have pros and cons.  All businesses will have times of struggle.  You must expect it and know that it will pass so you can simply stay focused and keep moving forward.

3. They Sell Instead of Help

Yes, making money online involves selling and you shouldn’t be afraid of selling. Look at the end of the day you have to promote products and sell them to make money.

Keep in mind though that you want to create a long-term business, which takes a different frame of mine. This requires building relationships and showing people you care about them and want to help them.

This should be your first priority, not sales. Otherwise, you will have a bunch of one-time customers, but no one with any loyalty to you who will come back again and again.

This is how my former business partner built our Amazon FBA information business the Infinity Code as well as how I build my PB Code business.

Build a relationship with your customers

Building relationships and showing people you care about them and want to help them should be your first priority, not sales. Every affiliate marketing campaign should strive to create a desire for their customers to return.

4. They Promote Too Many Things, Using Too Many Avenues

Again Brand Builders shares the importance of focusing on one thing at a time and promoting and perfecting that approach. When you focus on too many things at once, too many types of campaigns, etc, you end up not excelling in any of them or being able to properly test them.

They stated the following, “Promoting less means that you’re able to promote more often, dig deeper into problems and solve them for visitors.”

Promoting less means that you’re able to promote more often, dig deeper into problems and solve them for visitors. – Brand Builders

Personally, this is why I prefer to go deep in a niche vs going very wide. It gives you a greater command of the market, better authority, and a closer alignment with the needs of your office.

For example, if you promoted products in the beauty space you may choose something like hair loss and focus on hair loss affiliate programs that cover things from prescriptions, supplements, shampoo and conditioner, LLLT devices, and on and on.

5.  Affiliate Marketers Fail When They Do Not Test Enough

Affiliate marketing pitfalls include failing to look at the data.

Affiliate marketers often fail to look at the data. Test your campaign’s effectiveness regularly to find out what is working and what isn’t.

You should be testing your campaign’s and website’s effectiveness on a regular basis. This will help you determine what avenues are working, which aren’t and perhaps help you decide to head in a different direction altogether.

If you don’t take time to look at the data, though, you are not seeing the truth that is right in front of your face. This is a big mistake affiliate marketers make (R).

It is also one the huge reasons we always develop KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) for every single one of our businesses that apply to all the campaigns.

By tracking and optimizing these KPI’s you are able to continually improve incrementally, which leads to magnificent results.

6.  They Do Not Pay Enough Attention to Copywriting

Quality copywriting is vitally important to a well-functioning website, no matter its purpose.

It is especially crucial, though, when it comes to advertising and marketing campaign. Without high quality copywriting, there is no way to rouse people to action and persuade them to adopt a certain belief about a service or product. To shortchange this important element will often lead to failure.

Many people are not willing to invest in hiring the right copywriters.

I suggest you be a smart marketer and hire the absolute best copywriters you can.

If you want to master this skill yourself here are a few books I’d highly recommend you buy.

Top Copywriting Books

7.  Affiliate Marketers Sometimes Fail to Plan

Always have a good business plan.

Benjamin Franklin said that “failing to plan is planning to fail.” A good business plan is vital to the success of any affiliate marketing business.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Though no affiliate marketer gets into the game for the purpose of failing, by not writing out or at least contemplating a structured business plan, that’s exactly what they are doing.

They are planning to fail.

A good business plan is vital to the success of any business. Not having a plan is as ridiculous as a contractor trying to build a new home without a blueprint.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. – Benjamin Franklin

The same is true for creating a system that created predictable results.  Once you have something that works you to scale you must systemize it and simply rinse and repeat over and over again.

It’s the easiest thing to do do and the easiest thing not to do because it seems so simple.

8. They Aren’t Collecting Emails Up Front

Although you might think email marketing has gone the way of the dodo, you would be wrong. In actuality, it is still one of the most valuable assets you have as an affiliate marketer.

In my opinion, it is actually the most valuable and people who say email marketing is dead are probably trying to sell you something :-).

Don’t wait, though, to gather those all-important email addresses. It’s important to collect them on day one, from the beginning. This will allow you to keep a point of contact with your customers no matter what. According to AffilliMarketer, not collecting emails from the get-go is the number one mistake affiliate marketers make.

9.  They Aren’t Focusing on a Niche They Love

Many affiliate marketers make the mistake of focusing on the most profitable niche at the beginning.

This can be a good idea and if you do focusing one of the big 4 is smart:

  1. Health and Fitness
  2. Financial
  3. Relationships and Dating
  4. Business

If this happens to be what they love, great, if not, they can end up fizzling out pretty quick. You should have a passion for any niche you choose to venture into. Otherwise, failure will likely occur because you won’t have the motivation to stick with it long enough.

So you have 2 options.

Option #1: go deep in a niche you love. I’ve seen people make 7-figures in everything from quilting to targeting full-time RVers.

Option #2: go after one of the big 4 and build a system so your business runs while you provide the high-level oversight, plan, and structure.

Focus on a business niche you love.

Every Affiliate Marketer should have a passion for any niche they choose to venture into. Otherwise, failure will likely occur.

10. Their Products Aren’t High Quality

When affiliates promote low-quality products, this becomes a reflection on them.

Consequently, once customers buy such a product and it inevitably breaks, they no longer have the trust in them they once did. As a result, they likely won’t visit their site for additional product recommendations (R).

This is why especially with email marketing you must 100% focus on quality vs quantity.

How to Fix Your Affiliate Marketing for Long-Term Success

To remedy the issues laid out above, simply do the opposite.

Seems simple, right?

And it also seems like common sense. Yet like a colleague always says commone sense is anything but common in this day and age.

Focus on one avenue at a time until you master the affiliate game and always promote via niches you love.

Create a plan before doing anything and understand you might and likely will lose money at the beginning of any campaign.

Unfortunately, affiliate marketing is not a way “get rich quick.” It is just like any other reputable business. It takes dedication, time, patience, endurance and a lot of trial and error. If you hang in there though and avoid the 10 common pitfalls listed above, it can become a wonderful avenue of income and a source of great enjoyment and fulfillment.

Feel free to download the infographic below as a friendly reminder to your affiliate marketing success.

10 mistakes to avoid as an affiliate marketer infographic.

Resources and References

Failing to plan:

Not getting emails:

Picking a niche you love:

Why quality matters in affiliate marketing:

7 Big Mistake Affiliate Marketers Make:

About the author: Hey, I’m Ryan. I believe in building real long-term businesses online and I’m the proud creator of Perfect Business Code (PB Code). I got my start online back in the early 2000’s and I’ve seen our community grow and evolve over nearly decades. I’m excited to share my philosophies, principles, strategy and even some tactics on creating a thriving and long lasting online business.

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