Making money with affiliate marketing can be really tough, and it leads a lot of people (myself included many years ago) to wonder – Is affiliate marketing a scam? Is it some made-up fantasy business that “gurus” have invented to get us to buy their products?
Mediocre product publishers that we’ve reviewed repeatedly here on StoppingScams like Ewen Chia, Adam Horwitz, and Michael Cheney might lead you to think so, but fortunately the answer is no — affiliate marketing is a very viable business model when approached correctly. In this post I’m going to address three circumstances that commonly make people ask this question, and what you can do to avoid reaching that level of burnout yourself.
Building a successful affiliate marketing business is a pretty long, hard road and there’s nothing quick about it. Products like EZ Money Team and Master Writing Jobs would lead you to believe otherwise.
Affiliate marketing certainly isn’t a way to get rich quickly, and any product claiming that it is will take your money and give you a worthless product in return.
To become a decent affiliate marketer that can build profitable websites, you’ll need to develop at least a basic understanding of all of the following subjects: Building a WordPress website, writing high quality content researching niches and keywords, website usability, conversion optimization, email marketing, interpreting analytics, and more. You can absolutely “earn while you learn” and begin making money before you have a thorough understanding of ALL of these topics, but becoming a successful affiliate marketer will ultimately require you to gain experience in all of these at a minimum.
You can’t rush this process. It takes time and will get overwhelming at multiple points in your journey, but in the end it’s worth it. You have to keep focused on your goals of working for yourself, quitting your horrible job, developing some extra income, spending more time with your family, etc… and use those goals as motivation to push through the hard times when you feel like you just don’t have anything left to give.
I see this a lot, and it almost always ends badly (despite me giving explicit advice to avoid it). It can be really exciting when you’re first getting started. You’re fired up and enthusiastic about learning, and SO MANY ideas are coming to your mind that it’s tough to choose which one to follow. In the end, you pick 3-5 ideas and build out multiple sites at a time while learning. DO NOT DO THIS.
You’re going to be overwhelmed enough building one website and trying to learn all of the different skills I’ve mentioned in Problem #1 above. Do yourself a favor and pick the most promising, most exciting idea and don’t let yourself get distracted from it for at least six months. If you don’t follow this advice, you are almost guaranteed to fail in this industry, unfortunately. It’s better to build out one site very well than to build out multiple sites sloppily that all result in failure.
To be clear, you CAN build out more sites once you understand the basics and your first site is up and running. That site will require less work and become more passive in time, which will allow you the time necessary to build out a new site without spreading yourself too thin. Give it time – affiliate marketing requires a lot of patience.
It takes several months to really get off of the ground with affiliate marketing, and they’re some of the toughest weeks that any internet entrepreneur will face in their careers. You work hours and hours each week producing 2-3 pieces of content, answering comments/emails, etc… but still the site is barely getting any traffic or it’s not making much money.
At this point, a lot of people give up. I regularly receive emails from people asking, “I’ve been doing this for a long time now, can you take a look at my site and tell me what I’m doing wrong?” When I check their site, they’ve only been producing content for 3-5 weeks when it can take 3-5 months of consistent content production (8-12+ if you’re in a highly competitive niche) before significant results are achieved. Again, it really tests your patience, but you have to stick with it if you want to become successful.
Try to post at least 2-3 pieces of high quality content per week. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity, but realize if you’re only posting one piece of high quality content per week it can take 2-3 times longer before you’ll see consistent results. The major search engines take time to catch up and acknowledge your website as high quality but, once they do, you can receive a flood of traffic and much of the content you’ve already produced will begin receiving higher rankings as well, resulting in a “waterfall effect” where it will be very clear that you’ve “broken through”.
Keep your head down, keep moving forward, and push through the most overwhelming and frustrating stages. Everyone that’s become successful in affiliate marketing has done exactly that, and so can you if you want to join their ranks.
There are other reasons that people don’t become successful in affiliate marketing, like jumping from one project to the next every couple of months because they have a new idea, getting “shiny object syndrome” where they just keep buying new products and trying new techniques, never really settling on one and giving it a fair shot, and so much more. Any number of these things can cause failure, but know in your heart and mind that affiliate marketing is definitely NOT a scam, and that you can achieve it as long as you keep working hard, learning, and trying new things.
If you’re interested in clear, step-by-step affiliate marketing training that will make you much, much more likely to succeed, check out my 100% free training courses. You can join for free and I guarantee that it will provide an experience unlike any other you’ve had with affiliate marketing training products.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general, and I answer all of the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any affiliate marketing questions or comments. I’m happy to help any way that I can!
I've been in internet marketing for over 10 years, and I've purchased dozens of illegitimate products for the sole purpose of evaluating them and exposing the truth about these products to anyone who's thinking about purchasing it. I never let money influence my rating of a product and your success/safety is my absolute highest priority. Don't want to buy a product? Register for one of my 100% free internet marketing training courses>>