Why do people fail in Affiliate Marketing?

At a glance, everything about Affiliate Marketing seems easy and doable. You need little to no investment, you’re in for a quick buck without doing much, and you can just stretch your legs and relax. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

All of the aforementioned points are true, but not entirely true. Anyone would like to be in a business where you’re free of the production mess, the shipping hassles, the customer helplines, and so on. But we must understand what Affiliate Marketing is.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is a way to earn an income by selling another person’s products or services. You promote someone’s product on your platform in exchange for a small commission.

By using your website or socials to refer a product, you become an affiliate. The affiliate earns a fixed commission on every sale which is pre decided by most affiliate platforms.

But why do most people fail in becoming an affiliate? Let’s try to understand the answer to it, step by step.

1. It’s not a lottery ticket

New affiliates regard the program as a Get Rich Quick scheme, where they expect the money to ebb and flow in their sleep. Blogs and articles tell new aspirants that the products sell on their own and all they have to do is post a link.

Therein lies the issue. No product was ever sold by anyone without a proper marketing strategy. Building a strategy takes time, building a customer base takes even longer.

It is not realistic or practical, or even sane, to expect yielding results overnight. It does well to lower one’s expectations because this process, though rewarding eventually, it quite a long and tedious journey.

2. Know your audience

The biggest mistake new affiliate marketers make is ignoring their audience. As a promoter, your job is to choose and sell the products for your audience.

The product has to be something that the people need and want, and align with your own brand image. Both of these factors have to go hand-in-hand for a successful affiliate campaign.

You must understand your niche, your audience, the market, and the marketing strategies. It is important to remember that you are the one selling, not buying. The customer must come first.

3. Advertising is your job

When your entire job is to advertise a product, you are expected to learn and know what advertising is. You must know how to introduce and reintroduce a product to the audience.

It is not enough to write a superficial blog post; it was never enough. In order to convince people to spend their hard earned money on something you recommend is a responsibility.

A consumer seeks reliable information on a product, looks for reviews from trusted sources, and searches for the best deal. As an affiliate, your job is to check all the boxes. They buy from you because they find your referral valid and your brand trustworthy. It is important to respect that trust.

3. The competition is high

Every field out there is hard for a newcomer and Affiliate Marketing is no different. You signed up for a program, wrote an awesome blog, and posted the content on all socials.

The sad reality is that this is not enough in a world where multiple corporations and brands have a big investment and man-power at their disposal. It is hard to compete against a multi-million dollar marketing firm driving thousands of visitors to their websites every day.

It is hard to go head to head against such giants. The best way to succeed is to find a micro-niche and make your name in it first. Once you made a name for yourself, you won’t have to worry about brands stealing your customers.

5. Stay true to your brand

Another common mistake seen with the new affiliates is the lack of understanding they have about their niche. It is not only a bad idea to promote a product out of your niche, it does more damage to your brand image in the long run.

As a follower of a food blog, you may not appreciate constant advertisements about web hosting packages. It is out of place for your brand and it leaves a bad taste in your audience’s mouths.

You must respect the needs and interests of your audience. Sell them what they want, not just what you want to sell.


Failing is a part of any business. It is important to locate the mistakes you made and fix them for future. Most affiliate marketers fail because they give up too soon, or fail to understand the job.
You can, and absolutely will succeed as an affiliate if you keep up with your audience, stay true to your brand, keep learning from your competition, and most importantly, don’t give up.