Top 14 Reasons Why Your Affiliate Business Might Be Failing

Why your affiliate business might be failing? Affiliate marketing looks like the perfect dream business on the outside. You don’t have any products of your own, you don’t have to deal with any customers. Simply send website traffic to other people’s products and cash in! Sounds simple, right? If you have spent any time at all on affiliate marketing you know from experience that this isn’t the full story. Unless you became an overnight success (doubtful), you probably encountered some of these problems if you’re not still struggling.

So here are my top 14 reasons why your affiliate business might be failing.

Top 14 Reasons Why Your Affiliate Business Might Be Failing

why your affiliate business might be failing

#1 – You Only Just Started It!

So why your affiliate business might be failing.. Sounds obvious but the overly high expectations of beginner affiliates can easily kill your business straight away. Don’t expect to suddendly quit your job and move into your mansion in the country. Affiliate marketing is a business like any other, and most businesses don’t make a million overnight, or even any money overnight for that matter.

I struggled in the beginning and my high expectations of what affiliate marketing was left me disappointed and confused. I was told how easy it was and so when I found out it wasn’t frustration and procrastination set in. Don’t expect things to work out overnight, don’t expect it to be easy! Have patience and persistence.

#2 – You’re Using The Wrong Model

why your affiliate business might be failing

At first you can get caught up in a number of different strategies which don’t really work that well. You bust a gut to make your first online sale. When you finally manage it, guess what. You earned $40 and it only took you months of hard work! You might have even spent some money on the course you did and on your advertising campaign. So really you’re down $20! And a month of hard work.

No one would accept that kind of treatment from a job, but we all get super excited when we make some money online! It’s for good reason of course and I jest. It means an online business can work and we are one step closer to giving the finger to our boss and our old life of corporate mediocrity – if you’re lucky. For the less fortunate it means getting out of debt and the ability to live a ‘normal’ life. Just being able to pay for stuff without the struggle and dump a job you hate. Or worse still unemployment.

All of that won’t happen though if you’re caught up in the wrong business model. If you’re busting a gut to send traffic to affiliate offers, for example, and not even building your own list of subscribers. Ideally you should build a list and choose products which reward you for up-sells and subscription puchases. That means you can benefit again and again for each sale you make in the form of regular commissions. Using the wrong business model and choosing the wrong affilaite products might be why your affiliate business might be failing.

#3 – Shiny Object Syndrome

why your affiliate business might be failing

You just get going in one direction when you spot another ‘system’ which promises you $330 in just 20 minutes work. That’s far better than what you’ve been doing, so you bail out and start again. You know for a fact it’s taken you months to earn $0.34! So you must be on the wrong path right! Shiny object syndrome can keep you in a perpetual state of confusion and bewilderment. This could be the main reason why your affiliate business might be failing.

You jump from one ‘system’ to another and so never gain traction in any.  Remember it takes time in any strategy to build up traffic and then sales. Make sure you know what you’re doing first by getting the right education upfront. This can save you a load of time, money and wasted energy.

#4 – Not getting the right education upfront

Getting the right education in affilaite marketing can mean the difference between success and failure. Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint. Don’t believe the ‘shiny’ videos which tell you how easy it it. It’s a business and takes time like any business. Learning properly how to set up your ‘stall’ will save you time and money in the long run. If you do it right you will earn more quickly and consistently over the long term.

#5 – Not Creating The Right Content For Your Target Audience

Once you have a blog it’s easy to get all excited and carried away in high spirits! You blog about anything and everything just to get going. While this is better than doing nothing, much of it will be worthless for one simple reason: you’re not thinking about the target market.

Depending on what your products are, your target market can range from opportunity seekers to investors to pet lovers. You need to focus in on your perfect target audience. What do they look like, where do they live? How old are they and what do they read? Answering more questions about your target audience will help you write purposefully for them specifically. Writing your content to a certain demographic (which fits with your products) is a far better way of going about things. Knowing your audience can also let you focus paid advertising methods more accurately too. Get my ebook The Ultimate Guide To Online Marketing.

why your affiliate business might be failing

#6 Focusing on Selling Before ‘Helping’

Many people are attracted to affiliate marketing because it means they don’t have to hard sell! You simply create content and then share it. Sales then come flying in! What puts most people off buying anything is the hard sell. However, one of the main problems is that when writing copy, new affilaite concentrate on selling. Buy this now! (insert affiliate link). They miss an opportunity to help people and build relationships. As detached as the internet makes people about each other, there is still a person at the other end of the internet connection. We, as affiliate marketers forget to help before we sell!

People have problems. The best affilaite marketers solve people’s problems with their products. So don’t ‘sell’ first help instead. When people build trust in you they are much more likely to purchase later. My first physical purchase was a book by a guy called Robert Evans. He had already helped me immensly through his videos and articles. I considered the value he had given me more than the value of the book I bought from him. So it was a no brainer to purchase it. Lead with value and the sales will come.  

#7 – Disillusionment, Stagnation, Procrastination and Indecision

why your affiliate business might be failing

Having set off with blogging as a means to earn from the internet, I wrote blog after blog after blog. Months into my ‘online business’ I looked at my results and saw there weren’t any (sales that its)! What was I doing wrong? Was I missing something? Then disillusionment kicks in.

I feel I will never ‘get there’. “I’m wasting my time”.  And so I enter into a downward spiral of disillusionment and inactivity. During this time my blogs get found by Google and start gaining traction. But by the time it has happened I have had a week or even month off feeling sorry for myself! By the time I pick it up again I could have written several more articles and have gained a lot more traffic.

Keeping your self bouyant is a vital part of building an online business. There will be times you feel like there’s no point. It’s worth remembering why you decided to learn affiliate marketing in first place, when this happens. Take a break and get yourself into a more positive state. Read about the topic and continue to study it. Treat your lack of results as feedback towards your end goal rather than a failure. Don’t let disillusionment, procrastination and stagnation take hold and ruin your plans!

#8 – Following A Flawed ‘System’

why your affiliate business might be failing

When I first started out online I found a business ‘system’ which relied entirely on ranking a site on Google. Back then it was undoubtably much easier than it it now, but not for me! I built various websites which were built around their main keywords. This was a strategy which did work at one point – when the search reuslts were much less competitive. I spent months on these websites. None of them ranked or sold a single product. 

It was a flawed strategy. It may have worked had I stuck at it long enough and created some valuable content. But I was building sites about things I knew nothing about! There’s lots of ways to get traffic to a website, just don’t build your entire business plan on just one method!

#9 – Not Following Your Passion

You can’t fit a round peg into a square hole! Well, perhaps if the peg is much smaller.. anyway, I digress. You get the point. Trying to do something which is out of your personal comfort zone is healthy and probably wise too. If we all just stayed in our comfort zones we wouldn’t get very much done. All the same it’s just as important to follow our passions and interests.

You can’t sustain a path which doesn’t suit you for very long. When i was building websites around the topics of pasta making, shed plans and piano teaching, I didn’t know what I was talking about! I was rehashing content from other websites, who perhaps knew and cared about what they were doing! Undoubtably it showed in my writing. The same is true of your internet business. Follow your passion and write about what interest you. The you can sustain it for the duration.

One of my websites was about harvesting mushrooms, simply because the keyword came up as one which got over 2000 monthly (14 800 now – damn!) views and wasn’t very competitive. Sure enough I was ranking number 1 for “when to harvest garlic” before long. But I couldn’t sustain my interest in the site. Other sites which were passionate about the topic overtook me eventually.

So, number 9 of reasons why your affiliate business might be failing is: you’re not following your passion!

#10 – Being A Busy Fool

So you’ve followed a business strategy and given it a few months but you’ve not had any reuslts yet! Do you really deserve to have a successful internet business? What have you been doing every day!? It’s easy to become a ‘busy fool’ online – doing those activities which are fun and exciting but avoiding those which challenge and annoy you! Sound familiar? If you’re not challenging yourself you’re not building your business properly and although you need to follow your passion, you also need to work hard at the things you’re not good at too. 

Focus on money producing activities. Get educated first but you still need to apply that knowledge. Learning is still not the same as doing. If you think wathcing instructional videos is moving your business forward you’re wrong! Education is worth nothing by itself! It’s the application of that knowledge which can change your life with an internet business.

Why your affiliate might be failing #11 – Working Hard At The Wrong Activities

Depending on your strategy you can expect to earn profit from your business over a range of different time periods. Some affiliates use paid advertising and can profit very quickly by testing and measuring advertising campaigns. See The Ultimate Guide To Online Marketing. 

If you don’t have the budget for paid advertising, your progress might be a lot slower. You can’t expect to get the same results with all the different routes. Content marketing, for example, tends to take much longer. Because of this you can start getting ‘stuck’ with your online activities expecting more than is possible.

Let’s say you start blogging to attract visitors to your blog. Here’s a method I have used which I share in my ebook Niche Blogging For Profit. This takes time and a lot of hard work. But you can easily get it wrong too and end up spending months blogging without gaining much traction. Google might not like your content and it might never get ranked. You might not actively share your content and expect Google to rank it. This can lead to a lot of disappointment. You must share your content and get it out there. It takes a lot of work and more than many affiliates expect.

But if you’re only working on one tactic for traffic, for example, you’re leaving yourself at the mercy of Google and the search engines. This leaves your business very vulnerable. If you’ve been working hard for a long time and you still don’t see any traction, it might be worth rethinking your strategic – or at least ‘tweeking’ it.

If you’ve already created a lot of content, go back and improve it. Analyse it, and see how it ranks. You might be nearer than you think! Ideally you want to have a range of activities to work at to bring in traffic. Use some paid advertising if you can and if appropriate fo ryour business model. Even if it’s only retargeting. Retargeting lets you ‘follow’ people who have already seen your blog. See The Ultimate Guide for more on retargeting.

#12 – You’re Splintered In Too Many Directions

why your affiliate business might be failing

Too many minds can extend to nearly any endevour. It’s true for affilaite marketers too. There’s so many things to consider with an online business it’s difficult not to get caught up with them all. With a list of thousands of things do do and many ways to do them, it’s easy to become distracted with unimportant tasks, change direction and jump from one idea to the next.

This can get in the way of taking purposeful action. As in the case of shiny object syndrome and being a ‘busy fool’. You need to stay focused with affiliate marketing and see yourself as the overviewer of your business. Otherwise you can get caught up tinkering with your website to make it look pretty, finding distractions on social media, and getting nothing done and making no profit. Remember your reason to start an internet business in the first place, whatever it was.

For most the reasons to have an internet business is to earn money from your laptop. It’s not so you can waste time and make nice images on your computer.

Set definite financial goals for the week, month and year. Make sure each of your activities is leading you closer to your end goals. The best book I have found on integrating your conflicting ideals and focusing your mind on a single intention is Stuart Lichtmans How To Get Lots Of Money For Anything Fast. If you’re serious about building a profitable internet business it’s well worth the investment.

#13 – It’s A Competitive Industry

Yes affilaite marketing is super competitive. But there’s still scope for anyone to build an online business. It really depends how you do it. If you want to build a profitable website, there’s a tonne of other websites which you need to outshine to get anyone to look at you. You need to stand out and offer value before you can sell anything. It takes time to start getting found on Google and build your reputation.

The ability to make money from a laptop is a desirable skill. It’s worth working hard at. Remember what’s at stake. You can leave your job and work remotely from anywhere. I’d say that was something worth working for.

#14 Giving Up Too Easily

Paid advertising, for example, offers a different route for affilaites and this can work fast if you go about it in the right way. You need to test and measure your advertising. Don’t expect to run an advert and make a profit straight away. You need to keep testing and measuring.

Most people run an advert, it doesn’t work and they give up straight away. The same can be said for those attempting to build an online presence through a website. Both are a mistake. Paid advertising can work well. You just need to stick at it. By testing and measuring your advertising campaigns and cross testing them against each other, you can find a profitable advert which sells. Once you are in this position you can simply increase your budget and scale up. Wih the right business model this can be very effective. If you’re using paid advertising it’s worth choosing a model which benefits from:

Learn more and get the training and education to profit from an internet based business. Can you think of any other reasons why your affiliate business might be failing? Please comment below with any ideas.

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