7 Reasons Not To Do Affiliate Marketing

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Can you really make money with affiliate marketing?

Have you heard all of those success stories about affiliate marketing and now you want to try it too?

But is affiliate marketing the right thing for you?

You must first try

In this post, i will answer all of these questions and much more. Right now you may be thinking “is this just another post where someone will try to convince me to join an online course?. Well, i will tell you right from the start no, that’s not my intention. But the purpose of this post is also not to discourage anyone from trying to make an income online by using affiliate marketing.

The point of this article is to make it clear to everybody that affiliate marketing is just a business model. We can’t all do the same things with the same rate of success. You must develop the right attitude and the right mentality before trying affiliate marketing. You must have realistic expectations and be aware that hard work is required.

I will mention the reasons why affiliate marketing is not suited for everyone and why so many people fail at it. Everybody can try it but the truth is the majority of people will fail. There are a lot of false information and too many success stories on the Internet from affiliate marketers. Unfortunately, the result of that is people entering the world of online business with the wrong mindset. And that can only lead to failure.

So, now it’s time for me to answer the questions. Let’s start from the first one. Of course, you can make money with affiliate marketing. “Is affiliate marketing a scam?. No, it’s not. It’s just one the many ways you can use to monetize your website/blog and it’s one of the most popular ways to make money online. If people couldn’t make money with affiliate marketing it wouldn’t be so popular.

affiliate marketing popularity

By Google Trends

There are plenty of success stories and many of them are real. Yes, affiliate marketers who earn six figures per month do exist. And bloggers who make $50,000 or more per month also exist. But that doesn’t mean you should go into affiliate marketing expecting you will make that amount of money. Those marketers belong in the top 2% and have years of experience. You should focus your efforts on how to make $100 when you first start your career as an affiliate marketer instead of thinking about passive income and thousands of $ per month.

Now, that i said that another question naturally arises. “Isn’t there too much competition already? What chance do i have? Competition exists in every market and you just have to face it. The fact that there is competition doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. The competition can’t stop you from creating high-quality and helpful content. There are plenty of opportunities out there and if you know how to specify your niche and appeal to a well-targeted audience then you can certainly make money. The key is to increase your targeted traffic and not just the amount of visitors who come to your website.

But this post is not about the most common mistakes affiliate marketers make. This post is about the reasons why people with certain false expectations and the wrong kind mentality should not attempt affiliate marketing. People fail because of their mindset and behavior and not because affiliate marketing doesn’t work. This kind of characteristics are mentioned below. But remember you can always change your way of thinking. It’s just a choice. In order to succeed, you must have the mindset of an entrepreneur.

Why Not To Do Affiliate Marketing

1) I Want Money Now

This is one of the most common misconceptions about affiliate marketing. Many people believe that making money online is not just easy but also really fast. The first thing many beginners will ask is “how much money will i make by the end of the first month? or “I really need to make money by the end of this month. How much can i earn if i promote that product?. Unfortunately, these kinds of questions are asked all the time.

The answer is nothing or almost nothing. Affiliate marketing takes time and requires patience. People with that kind of mentality fail to understand what success really looks like. You have to look into the future at least a year from now.

Many low-quality affiliate marketing training programs have contributed to the creation of that myth and that is really a shame (if you want to learn how to spot the real ones click here). But that’s not how affiliate marketing really works. The truth is that you have to accept that you will lose some money in the beginning but if you have a plan and a strategy things will improve over time. If you need to make money online right now you should look for something else.

2) Unrealistic Expectations

People usually start out with very high expectations but soon realize things are not like what they thought they would be or what they were promised they would be. They expect to make a ton of money by just sharing their affiliate links on social media. But they soon realize that their affiliate business just won’t take off and nobody is buying.

The problem again is the so called “gurus” and “experts” that promise quick success. They try to sell their online courses using titles like “Look how i made $30,000 online in a month working only one hour per day. People believe them and later they discover that the training is really bad and vital pieces of information are missing. They just try to sell you their product and the easier they make it sound the more money they make. Affiliate marketing is not easy and a quick way to make money. If your expectations are not realistic you will fail. Actually, you never had a chance, to begin with. I know that may sound harsh but it’s the truth.

Affiliate Marketing and procrastination

3) No Passion

Very simply if you are not passionate and excited about it, you will not succeed. That applies pretty much to anything in life and affiliate marketing is no exception. Not only you must be excited for your niche but also for online business and marketing in general. Otherwise, you will not stand out from the crowd.

Persistence is the key and if there is no passion you will give up pretty fast. That’s what really separates the people who succeed in this business and those who don’t. People with no passion end up promoting everything and they never choose the right kind of affiliate products. They never properly research their products or their market and they fail to connect with their audience.

If you start affiliate marketing thinking “maybe i‘ll make it” you will fail. Everyone can make it work, it’s all a matter of perception. I know that sounds like a cliche but it’s true. It’s not so much about if you have the right skills or not but it’s more about the right attitude. You must want this to happen.

4) People Who Give Up Easily

A great number of people, unfortunately, will quit after the first two months because they didn’t earn anything substantial. They will lose some money in the first month and they conclude this is just not worth it. They tend to be very impatient with their online business. You don’t deserve it. You earn it.

It takes time for your audience to trust you. It takes time for your website to rank on the first page of the SERPs. A lot of hard work is required first in order for your affiliate income to grow.

5) If You Just Want To Sell But Not To Help

The most important part of affiliate marketing is not selling but helping your audience. By offering solutions you are building trust. People will buy from you only if they trust you. The more you try to sell the fewer sales you will make. If all you see at people is the chance to make $ then you are not going to achieve much. Anyone can offer their affiliate links and tell their visitors “click here” or “Buy Now”. But if that’s the only thing you want to do you are just sabotaging your own business.

The best way to increase your sales is to stop selling. Your main objective is to become a source of information for your target audience and offer answers to their questions. People are searching the Internet for an answer to a particular problem they are having.

6) Shiny Object Syndrome

Maybe you have heard that term before or maybe not but you should know that it affects even experienced marketers sometimes and not only beginners. What it basically means is when people go from one method or from one training course to another hoping they will succeed this time. They spot something new online that looks promising and they get excited. They will try it for a short period of time but pretty soon they get discouraged and move on to the next one. Don’t be that person. Ignore the distractions that promise you easy results. Distractions lead to procrastination. Stay focused on your path.

They try over and over again but they never stop to think if they are the problem. They will always blame something else like a training program for their failure. They never seem to understand that because they keep moving from one method to another they never gain any experience in anything. It’s not a game of chance. Your failures are your only real teacher. The only way to succeed is to create your own affiliate marketing strategy.

7) People Who Refuse To Do Things The Right Way

This has also to do with people who are lacking in patience and the ability to figure out a strategy and then stick with it. They will always think they can trick the system and get the results they seek faster. They will use black-hat SEO techniques and other shortcuts in an effort to avoid doing the work that is needed. Needless to say, this kind of things never work.

Even if they sign-up with an online course they refuse to follow the training. Creating a plan and following the necessary steps are things they don’t consider important. The main reason for that kind of behavior is laziness and an attempt to avoid the time investment that is absolutely necessary. Affiliate marketing requires careful planning and the will to learn. People with that kind of mentality will give up after 6 months blaming everyone else for their failure.


So, now you know what kind of mindset you shouldn’t have if you want to do affiliate marketing. If you are looking to “get-rich-quick” you have to stop now. It’s not going to happen. There is no need to try it if you don’t have the patience it takes to succeed. No success is not waiting for you, you have to build it from scratch. It’s not easy and that’s exactly the reason why it’s worth it.

But if you do want to build your own affiliate website and learn how to create a successful business online i know a great place where you can do just that. 

Join Wealthy Affiliate for free

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10 Responses

  1. Emeolu says:

    This is an informative article. You are absolutely right that people set an unrealistic expectation when joining affiliate marketing. This is not a get rich scheme. You don’t start making money overnight. It takes time to generate revenue. If you are joining with the expectation of making money over night, you have to rethink.

  2. Minhaj says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, I want to address the first point.
    Its true people go into affiliate marketing thinking it’s going to be quick money,but there is a reason why many people believe this.
    Its because many internet marketers release junk products with headlines like ‘make $278.99 in the 2 days even if you are a newbie’ its things like this that make people give up. If the industry was more transparent maybe so many people wouldn’t fail, but when they are sold a bunch of lies and then find out its not as easy as advertised that’s when the majority just give in.

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Minhaj,

      It is true that many low quality products are telling people how easy it is to make online. They use expressions like “I just joined X program 2 weeks ago and i already made $2000”, “Work an hour a day and earn $7000 per month. Look how i did it”. The training programs that use that kind of phrases are just scams. But they also know that there is a number of people who want to believe that making money online is easy and fast. And above all that hard work is not required.

      That’s why this type of “online courses” will never disappear. They know that there are people ready to believe that. And they will manipulate and exploit them as much as they can. 

  3. Mithra says:

    Wow, absolutely true! I’ve had people ask me to help them make $1000+ per month, but are unwilling to invest the time and energy required into building a successful business. They just go from one program to another and quit after a week. What they fail to understand is, at the end of the day, you need to create quality content that help your readers.
    Great post Nikos!

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Mithra, 

      Unfortunately that happens a lot. In order to make any money with affiliate marketing you must fist build trust. And in order to do that you must offer valuable content to your audience and solutions to their problems. 

      Thank you for your comment. 

  4. Ilias says:

    Hi there,

    Well a few months ago, I thought that you can make a lot of money in a short period of time on online marketing.

    However, I discovered after some failures that it is not true.

    It needs hard work and it takes some time to earn a full income.

  5. Wendi says:

    This is a great post with so much truth in it. I recently started affiliate marketing, and while I haven’t made a single dollar yet, I know one day I will. I’m not giving up and your article has inspired me to keep working on it!

  6. Bryan Carey says:

    I like how you throw a dose of realism at bloggers. I use affiliate marketing, but unlike many of my colleagues, I didn’t go into it thinking I was going to make a fortune right from the start. The money earned from my beer site, Great Beer Now, has increased steadily but it was very low at first- maybe a few dollars per month. Keeping one’s expectations in line with reality is an important first step.

  7. Erica Carrico says:

    This is a great article thank you for sharing! As someone who has a blog as part of my business, I’ve been tossing around the idea of affiliate marketing and have companies reaching out to me to be an affiliate – but think I’ll just stick to coaching as that’s where my passion/talents/gifts lie. Thanks again!!

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Erica,

      That’s totally up to you but if there are products/services that could help your audience then in my opinion you should definitely think about promoting them. You could use affiliate marketing not just for making extra money for yourself but also for providing more options/solutions to your readers. Assuming of course, that your audience will appreciate that.

      Thank you for your comment.

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