Affiliate marketing is a guaranteed way to make money online, right? Nope! That’s one of the things they don’t tell you! Nothing about affiliate marketing is guaranteed because it’s a business like any other.

It’s easy to talk about the benefits of affiliate marketing, of which there are many. But it’s much harder to talk about the drawbacks – especially if you’re an affiliate marketer yourself; trying to persuade people how great your life is!

what they don't tell you about affiliate marketing

The Drawbacks Of Affiliate Marketing

The idea of affiliate marketing made me want to do it because it meant I could sell things online without actually having to be there myself to “close” the sale. That appeals to me still. The automation and the global reach are two other main benefits too. But one of the main drawbacks is reaching those people who actually want your product. Unless you have the cash to build your affiliate marketing business quickly, you’re stuck with content marketing as a strategy.

This is a slow process of building content, sharing it and getting eyes in front of it. Unless those people decide to take action on your website, and sign up to your offers, that’s all it is – eyes. Turning those eyes into cash usually means giving them something they want. This is something which is easy to get wrong with affiliate marketing.

Matching Your Content With Products

Your content should be a good match for your target audience. Unless your audience buys into you, it’s going to be tough selling a product which they really don’t need, or want. Ideally you need to be able to gather enough customers through your online marketing efforts to start making a profit. Get this wrong and you’ve spent a lot of time blogging, or creating content which really doesn’t get you anywhere.

Ideally, choose a topic you love and are passionate about. From there, you can happily create content continuously without the ‘need’ to be making money immediately from it. One of the problems with affiliate marketing is the way it is sold, or has been sold in the past: as a get-rich-quick scheme. This, it is definitely not.

If your expectations are too high as a beginner affiliate marketer, you’re likely to become disappointed very quickly because of the results, or the lack of results. I enjoyed the process of learning new things, as an affiliate and have had the patience to persevere to a point where I’ve actually started making money from it. Once that happens, it inspires you to keep going.

Affiliate Marketing Success

The affiliate marketers who have fast success do so because they have the funds to use a large marketing campaign and pay to get their businesses going. If you don’t have a good salary, it’s much harder to get your products in front of people quickly. You have to take a different route. This takes time and effort and you need to keep going for a long time. It’s very easy to quit when you don’t have much to show for your efforts in terms of cash!

See Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work.

That’s not to say it can’t be done with content marketing. It very much does work with the right approach. However, I’m willing to bet that there’s more people struggling with their affiliate businesses than those who are having amazing results! Something like 90% of affiliate businesses fold before the affiliate even gets 1000 subscribers. That’s mostly because they lose faith in what they are doing.

With the right help and support this number would be very different. However, because working on the internet is a universally available possibility, there’s a lot of people who can do it. Barriers to entry for affiliate marketing are incredibly low too. Anyone can ‘have a go’ at affiliate marketing. You only need to join an affiliate program and drop a banner on a website and you can call yourself an ‘affiliate’.

Mistakes Can Be Made

Affiliate marketing is a difficult business. See How Difficult Is It To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing. Not everyone has the aptitude to keep going under the difficulties which continue to present themselves! There’s a lot of failing involved too! Affiliates fail more than they succeed. But it’s through failing that they learn what works and what doesn’t. Someone new might run an advert once and fail, and decide that affiliate marketing doesn’t work at all! This is a mistake. The affiliates who have succeed and made it work have learned from their many failures.