Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work

Why would someone look for the reasons why affiliate marketing does not work? One is a common psychological trait known as confirmation bias. If you can verify why affiliate marketing does not work, it lets you off the hook. You don’t have to struggle with it any more and you can go back to your 9 to 5 with a clear conscience. “Well, it says so in that article so it must be true”.

Indeed it is true for many people who start down the road of affiliate marketing. But it’s only true because they quit – and they’re banging that drum in the fear that others might actually make it work and prove them wrong- and many do!

Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work

I’ve long since given up trying to talk to friends and family about the various merits of affiliate marketing. You know the drill: “more time more freedom, blah, blah, blah”. In fact, attempting to discuss it with one particular individual produced such an explosive reaction that I decided never to bother again. I thought, well, I’m just going to prove it instead!

It’s not a good idea trying to bring around your friends and relatives to the concept, unless they’re particularly open minded and of a similar mind already. Even then, you’re more likely to lose your own motivation when they start questioning it – particularly if you value their opinion, and have yet to find your ‘feet’. Don’t do it! Succeed first – otherwise they’ll kill your motivation and stop you in your tracks before you reach ‘freight train’ abilities – see long term consistency trumps short term intensity.

Your friends are looking out for you in many cases. They don’t want you to get ripped off by some shark! But there’s also a subtle competitiveness streak in everyone. People have a vested interest in the status quo. They like things as they are. If you start doing ‘better’ then them, they have to question their own actions and intentions, and this changes the dynamic between you. (You’re the successful one rather than the black sheep or drop out!) Checkout my article on why your friends and family don’t want you to succeed.

Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work

why affiliate marketing does not work

Here’s another reason why affiliate marketing does not work. You are the average of your 5 closest friends. Sadly in most cases this means our closest ‘confidants’ are ‘average’ people. This also means they are mostly sheep! I’m not knocking your mates, just saying that they won’t help you succeed.

We are all social amimals and unless you consciously surround yourself with successful people, you’ll surround yourself with the nearest and most convenient people! At a default level, everyone does this. So how does this relate to why affiliate marketing does not work? Because affiliate marketing is something different. It doesn’t follow the status quo. It’s a relatively new thing too and most people look at new things with a lot of scepticism, particularly if it threatens their own career decisions.

An Open Market

why affilaite marketing does not work

Here’s another reason why affiliate marketing does not work for the large proportion of people who try it. It’s an open market. Almost anyone can ‘have a go’ at affiliate marketing. Simply sign up to an affiliate program and ‘hey presto’ you’re an affiliate marketer! This can take less than 10 minutes too which means almost anyone has the potential to call themselves an ‘affilaite marketer’.

– “Hey I put this banner on my website but I’ve made ***ck all sales” – Joe Bloggs from Exeter

– “I tried affiliate marketing for a month and didn’t make anything” – Samantha Smith from Scotland

(Both these are fictional!)

Anyone can say they have tried affiliate marketing. But it’s the people who never give up at it who make it work. An open market to affiliate marketing means most people will fail. After all, most businesses fail  too. Why should affiliate marketing be any different?

Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work – A Bad Model

why affiliate marketing does not work

A bad business model can be held accountable for many failures within affiliate marketing. That doesn’t excuse the giving up however. If you’re dedicated to succeeding with an online business, nothing can stop you. If you’re looking for excuses to quit, nothing can stop you!

When I started looking to affiliate marketing, several years ago, I found an online course which claimed it could teach me. The model was based on selling affiliate products from clickbank through the organic searches on Google. When the creators of this company built the course, it may very well have worked for them. However, it certainly didn’t work for me! I created many websites in various different niches and attempted to rank them on Google. Had they ranked I might have made some sales. I did have the odd sale now and then, but nothing was consistent.

As a quick aside you could argue that the course creators were successful, because they sold me the course! Even though my success was none existent, the fact that they sold me a course meant they had made money! However, the fact that they aren’t around any more also means the content is no longer valid.

Ranking Content On Google

why affiliate marketing does not work

Getting your website, blog and/or content to the ‘top’ of Google is an affiliate marketing strategy which is fraught with difficulties. For a start Google will rank who it wants to rank. Google is not going to rank some newbie affiliate marketer who covers every page of their website with a bunch of affiliate links. Google want quality. As a newcomer to the affiliate marketing scene, quality should be a priority. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s going to be hard creating any useful content unless you use a topic you’re familiar with.

Even then, it can take months and even years to rank your website well and get free traffic from Google. Free traffic doesn’t automatically mean you’ll make sales either, more on that later. Most new affiliates simply aren’t prepared to work long enough and hard enough to even see any results at all, let alone make a dent in their current income goals. I tried and failed for years trying to rank websites on Google. I wasn’t an expert or really offering any value with my content. As a result, I didn’t get ranked or I quickly got penalized by Google and ‘sandboxed‘ so my content didn’t show at all.

Why Affiliate Marketing Doesn’t Work – Google Algorithms

why affiliate marketing does not work

Google changes it’s algorithms frequently and it’s employees include rocket scientists – really! You need to ‘play ball’ with Google because otherwise they’ll soon know! If your content isn’t good and you’re trying some devious tactics to try and rank and get to the top, Google will most definitely sift you out.

They also value older websites with many backlinks and this is impossible to replicate. Back link building ‘on mass’ leaves a footprint and shows you are trying to manipulate the system. Organic back linking happens when someone shares something without having to, simply because it’s good content. This happens over time and as such Google will reward you for it, or penalize your for it appropriately.

Because of all this, it’s much better not to rely on this type of traffic generation. Use it but don’t rely on it. Google can pull the plug anytime it wants and that can leave your business in a very precarious position. Many affiliates have fallen into this trap by ranking their sites and building businesses from sales, only to go from hero to zero when Google drops their website completely from the rankings.

The same applies for YouTube. Imagine having a nice regular and almost passive income which you get used to, only to have it stop. Imagine having built your life on this income too. It would be devastating!

Why Affiliate Marketing Doesn’t Work – Expectations

why affiliate marketing does not work

This is probably one of the biggest reasons why people drop out of affiliate marketing. They are sold a tale of private jets and limousines, only to find they are sitting in their pants and just as broke as they were 10 months earlier! Your expectations of affiliate marketing can be the fuel to get you motivated. However, when they don’t transpire into results, they can leave you feeling like you have been duped. Instead of applying yourself to learning more and getting better, many affiliates will be tempted to get out at this point, and look for an article titled “why affilaite marketing does not work”!

Staying motivated and keeping going at this point is what determines who will succeed. If you don’t quit how can you fail? Remember affiliate marketing is a business and should be treated as such. Don’t expect to get results before working consistently for at least 6 months. Even then you need to get the right education in order to know which activities to focus your time on, the best business model to use and to consistently focus on creating the right mindset to keep moving forwards.

“I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison.

why affiliate marketing does not work

Affiliate Marketing And How It Works

Affiliate marketing is a different business model. It’s not like a normal ‘job’ type job. With a 9 to 5 job you get paid for turning up again and again. Affiliate marketing is performance based. Whether you make it work or not doesn’t really affect anyone but you.  With affiliate marketing there is only you to hold you accountable – or maybe your partner/family. This can be a pretty dangerous situation to be in. You can kid yourself that you’re making progress when in truth you’re just wasting time on the internet because it makes you feel good!

Affiliate marketing doesn’t work like a job. If you’re used to working for a pay package at the end of the month this can be a serious problem. You might even work really hard at your online business, and still struggle to generate results. You might throw lots of money at the problem, and still find it doesn’t work. The problem is often that people work hard at the wrong activities. 

Being A ‘Busy Fool’

why affiliate marketing does not work

In a normal job you can slack off and get away with not being very productive. With an affiliate marketing business, you can’t do this. Not for long anyway. Eventually you need some results to prove to yourself that you’re on the right track. Without results you’re just being a busy fool.

Not Being Held Accountable

Affiliate marketing does not work because the owner of the business is not being held accountable to anyone but themselves. They can literally do anything with their working week and no one will even know. This leaves a lot of open possibilities. Unless your mindset is right, you focus on money producing activities and you have the right attitude and training, you’re very likely to fail. Joining an online comunity is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable, get the right training, and follow through on what you start.

Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work

smart work vs hard work

Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect”.

There’s another reason why affiliate marketing does not work. It’s because those who ‘dip their toe in’ to affiliate marketing are simply not prepared. They lack the mindset needed to focus on the necessary activities for long enough to produce results.

Whether you believe it or not, in some way, the results of a business are always a relection of the owner.

We are conditioned. If you’re used to working in a normal job, you’ll continue to perpetuate that reality, trading time for money. You get used to your income and even start living beyond it. Then you really need your job, and become even more dependant on it. It’s hard to change, and more so the longer you have been building your habits for.

Building a business is difficult – otherwise everyone would be doing it. The possibilities available for those who continue and develop their mindset, activities and understanding of affiliate marketing are worth the huge sacrifices:

More time, freedom from a job, passive income and a more flexible and free lifestyle are just a few things an internet business can bring. What is often neglected from this ‘sales pitch’ is the person you need to become and the time you need to put in. This makes affiliate marketing a unique business which attracts like minded people. Finding passion and love in what you do is definitiely one of the most important reasons why you should persevere with an online business, beside the obvious attractive benefits.

Learn more about what’s involved with an online business with this FREE video series.

why affiliate marketing does not work