Why So Many People Fail In Affiliate Marketing – And How You Can Succeed


More and More people are lured into affiliate marketing and you might be one of them. Indeed, affiliate marketing is one of the most effective means of generating a full-time income through the Internet. It’s a fair trade between the merchandiser and his affiliates as both benefit from each sale materialized. Like in other kinds of business, the size of the profits in affiliate marketing depends on the affiliate’s advertising, promotional and sales strategies. Everyday, as the affiliate marketing industry expands, competition heightens as well so an affiliate marketer must be creative enough to employ unique and effective ways to convince potential buyers to purchase or avail of the products and services offered.  

Compared to traditional advertising practices, affiliate programmes are more effective, risk-free and cost-effective. But why do many people still fail in affiliate marketing? There are a lot of reasons and a lot of areas in the process to look into. Let’s try and break them down:

  1. The most critical aspect in the affiliate programme is advertising. Many affiliate marketers fail in this aspect because they don’t invest the time and effort required, which is the most important thing in affiliate marketing and in all other kinds of business as well. Although it pays to be lucky, you cannot merely rely on it. Affiliate marketing isn’t as simple as directing customers to the business site. If you want to earn big you have to invest time and great amount of hard work in promoting the products. As mentioned earlier the competition is fierce and customers nowadays are very wise too. After all, who doesn’t want to get the best purchase—that is, to pay less and get more in terms of quantity and quality? 
  2. Lack of preparation is also a reason why one fails in affiliate marketing, whether the person is a merchandiser or an affiliate. Part of the preparation is researching. On the part of the merchant, they have to be highly selective in choosing the right affiliate websites for their affiliate programme. In order to be sure the best choices have been made they must have exhausted the search for highly interested affiliates whose sites are a good fit for their products and services. The affiliate site’s visitors must match the targeted customers. On the other hand, as the affiliate marketer you must likewise research on the good-paying merchandisers before you sign up for an affiliate program. You must ensure that the merchants’ products and services match your interests so you can give your full attention and dedication to the programme. You can get valuable information by joining affiliate forums, comparing different affiliate programmes and reading articles on affiliate marketing where you can get tips from experienced affiliate marketers on how to choose the best merchants and products with high conversion rate. 
  3. The website is a very important tool in the whole affiliate programme. As an affiliate marketer you should plan how your site is going to be, from domain name to the design, the lay-out, the content, and ads. Some users are particular about what they see at first glance and thus when they find your site ugly, they won’t read through the content even if your site has many things to say and offer. On the other hand, there are those who want information more than anything else. Affiliate marketers with “rich-content” web sites are usually the ones who prosper in this business because the content improves traffic to the site. Websites with high quality content—with relevant keywords, and more importantly, right information about the product and not empty hyped-up advertisements—allow you to earn big in affiliate marketing even when you’re asleep. If you won’t be able to sustain the interest of your site visitor, you won’t be able to lead him to the merchants’ site. No click-through means no sale and thus, no income on your part. 
  4. Selecting a quality relevant domain name is also crucial to the success of the affiliate programme. Lots of affiliate sites don’t appear in the search engine results because they are deemed by affiliate managers as personal sites. Major search engines and directories would think of your site as transient ones and thus, they won’t list it in the directory. Before you decide on the domain name, know first what you are going to promote. Many fail because their sites are not appropriately named so, even when they feature the exact products the customer is looking for, the customer might think the site is not relevant and thus, won’t enter the site. 
  5. Above all, an affiliate marketer must be willing to learn more. Certainly, there are still a lot of things to learn and so an affiliate marketer must continue to educate himself so he can improve his marketing strategies. Many fail because they don’t grow in the business and they are merely concerned about earning big quickly. If you want long-term and highly satisfactory results, take time to learn the ins and outs of the business. Continue to improve your knowledge especially with the basics in affiliate marketing ranging from advertising to programming, web page development, and search engine optimization techniques. Likewise, study the needs and wants of your site users and how different merchandisers compete with each other.


Keep on trying; don’t get disappointed if your first attempts did not pay off. Thousands are attracted by the possibility of generating skyrocketing incomes through affiliate marketing and so they sign up in any affiliate program without carefully understanding every aspect of the business. When they don’t get instant results, they quit and sign up for another program and repeat the process of just copying links and referring them to others. When you sign up for an affiliate program, don’t expect to get rich in an instant. Work on your advertising strategies and be patient. You’ll never know how much you can get if you don’t persevere.

Different Types of Online Businesses

Your Mentor

If you are new to online marketing then I can’t stress highly enough  the importance of chosing the right mentor. Making the right choice can be the difference between your business succeeding and you making some serious cash or failing leaving you seriously out of pocket. Your mentor will have been where you are now so, providing you make the right choice and listen to their advice, you should avoid many of the mistakes and be quickly in profit.

 Types Of Online Businesses

Online bussinesses tend to fall into five categories. These are:

1. Affiliate Marketing
2. Information Products
3. Business Opportunities / Direct Sales
4. MLM/Network Marketing
5. Misc. / Other

Lets go into them in a little more detail and look at the pro’s and con’s of each.


This is a very legitimate way to create income from anywhere in the world. Basically the way it works is there is a merchant who provides a product or service that is willing to share some of its revenue with affiliates when they refer sales. With physical products the margin is very small (usually around 3% of the sale value), but with digital delivery products the commissions can be as high as 75% and even 80%.


•You’re your own boss

•You can promote as many products/services as you wish

•You are not attached to any specific company.

•Steep learning curve

•Must seek mentorship/coaching elsewhere

•Commissions usually under $100

•Stiff competition

•Successful affiliate marketers have gone through a really steep learning curve. You need to be innovative at all times, it is a “each man for himself” environment. Without proper education and preparation, you’re not likely to succeed. Only about 3% of affiliates world wide ever make any money at all and an even lower percentage make a full-time income as affiliates.
My Recommendation: Unless you’re willing to commit yourself (and your wallet) to learning the ropes through trial and error, I would not jump into affiliate marketing until I have gained more experience on the web.

2. Information Products

Information products are the #1 thing sold on the internet today! Information is what most people come to the internet for. Whether it’s how to make money or how to grow the perfect tomato plant, it’s all information. The biggest money makers online sell information because of the incredible profit margins that they contain.

Info products can be eBooks, audio courses, videos or any other info delivered electronically.


•Cost very little or even nothing to create

•Profit margins are huge as there is no delivery or inventory costs

•You keep 100% of the sale amount

•You can buy Master Resale Rights or Private Label Rights and have products to sell immediately, so you have very little set up time


•The biggest downside is the perceived value with a digital product

•Because these products are typically downloaded to a person’s hard drive, there is no tangible product in many peoples minds

•If you are marketing Master Resale Rights products, you may have others marketing the same thing and thus have more competition

•Some products are not of the highest quality and can have a poor public image

My Recommendation: Information products hold a huge place in the making of money online and you should seriously consider adding a few of them to your product portfolio. They offer the greatest profit margin and are the quickest way to bring in money immediately.


Similar to MLM, direct sales pays its affiliates a commission on products being sold by yourself and your team through residual compensation plans. The main difference is that direct sales mainly involve high ticket items, usually ranging from $500 all the way to $20,000.

The biggest benefit of high ticket direct sales is that commissions are a lot more attractive and substantial, and you don’t lose the feel of mentorship and team work.


•High commissions averaging $1,000 per sale

•Most direct sales companies provide replicated websites

•Mentorship & coaching is usually included or even part of the product itself

•High-demand products usually in the personal development and education fields

•Low or no risk on companies offering a money-back guarantee

•Less effort required to earn a substantial commission


•Some companies literally sell garbage products for an astronomical price

•If you join the wrong program, you can easily be left with rubbish products and no return on investment

•Some “cash-only” type programs don’t comply with FTC laws
My Recommendation: Personally I feel this is the best way to earn an income on the internet. I have found that it takes the same amount of time and effort to make a $20 commission as it does to make a $1,000 commission. It all comes down to what audience you’re targeting. Many people are scared about the economy right now and this leaves a wide open market for this type of program, so I have chosen to take advantage of it.


This is another legitimate way to create income on the web. Much like affiliate marketing, merchants distribute their products solely through “distributors” or “associates” using a network or multi-level compensation structure. The most common products range from health to household cleaners. Associates normally earn “points” by consuming the products themselves and by referring products to other consumers. They can also earn by referring other distributors who use the products and refer them to other people.


•Most MLM’s offer mentorship

•Most MLM’s offer pre-made sales websites

•You can learn as fast/slow as you wish

•Your sponsor has a vested interest in your success

•Commissions for the average distributor in any MLM is usually under $200/month

•Training materials are usually an extra investment on top of your monthly product consumption

•Most MLM’s will only allow you to promote them by word of mouth, making it almost impossible for the average person to succeed

•Some MLM’s have a volume quota that if not met means you might lose your commissions earned through that particular pay period

•Unnecessarily tough way to make money online

•MLM’s have been around since the 1950′s and most of them have extremely outdated compensation plans.

•Products are usually overpriced and if you sell items at retail price, commissions are usually under $20. The “real” money is in building a network, but you need large amounts of distributors moving products for you to make any significant income.

My Recommendation: MLM is a great opportunity for you if all you want is learn the basics of running a referral-based business. You should not expect to make any significant income, but you can expect to make a lot of friends and learn the basics of selling. This is a wise addition to your portfolio after you are established and already have a following.

 Examples include: /Data Entry / Email Readers / Cash Gifting / HYIP’s / Auto-Surfing
I will not even go there. These type of opportunities have been proven time and time again to be either scams or simply opportunities to earn a buck or two while spending a lot of time on the computer. Not worth your time or money.

The real money is made by the individuals or businesses that sell you the tools or the lists where you can find paying surveys or data entry jobs.

My Recommendation: Do not believe the ads, do not believe the likely false testimonials… it just doesn’t work the way they say it does. You have been warned :)

In summary my recommendation if you want to earn “serious” money online then you should be looking to have a mixed portfolio of :

  • Business Opportunities
  • Affiliate Products
  • Digital Products