To know if affiliate marketing is really what you would want to do, this post will enable you to evaluate yourself based on 14 characteristics of the business. Some of them are difficulties of affiliate marketing, its failure rate, the competition, the time it takes to succeed in it, the cap on affiliate sales, etc.
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You want to work online, having lost faith in the reclining economy and attracted by the benefits of the internet lifestyle.
Affiliate marketing became your choice because you saw it can be your best route to making money online.
But besides the benefits of being an affiliate marketer, do you know the disadvantages which could derail your progress?
Forewarned is forearmed.
So, let’s dive into the 14 pitfalls that you must know in order to stay ahead of the game.
#1: Affiliate marketing is not easy
Affiliate marketing is said to be the easiest model to succeed online. (For 99% of people, affiliate marketing is how they got started [working online from home]. – Affiliate Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide). This makes people entertain the erroneous idea that it is easy.
If you think affiliate marketing is a get-rich-quick scheme, then you are in for a shock. For it is not.
When I first started working online back in 2013, I had this same idea too. So much so that I named my first blog it-is-easy-to-make-money-at-home.
But should you still be entertaining this idea, and especially if you’re not ready to let go of it, I will implore you not to continue reading this post. It will be a massive waste of your precious time.
#2: Affiliate marketing demands work
Since affiliate marketing is not easy, what it means is that it requires a lot of hard work on your part.
What does this “hard work” consist of?
You must strive to learn the best strategies from the successful affiliate marketers and above all apply them to your own business.
Action speaks louder than words. So do not interminably immerse yourself in reading, following webinars, watching videos and the like without putting what you learn into practice.
Do not look for any rest until success comes knocking at your door.
In fact, you must work so hard in the beginning that at the end you can relax as much as you want and enjoy passive income. This is the money that falls into your account even when you’re sleeping.
As you see, the “work on the beach” lifestyle is for the seasoned affiliate marketer but not the beginner.
#3: Affiliate marketing has a 96% failure rate from the beginning
The fact that 96% of affiliates who start this business fail to make any money validates the point N° 1 above that affiliate marketing is not easy money. In fact, it’s so hard that only 4% of those who start it go past the first 3 months.
#4: Affiliate marketing has a 90% success rate after one year
You would think the affiliate marketers who survive the initial “carnage” all succeed.
Out of the 4% affiliates who go beyond one year, only some 90%+ of them further succeed.
We said in point #2 above that you must learn and apply winning strategies of the successful affiliate marketers.
Of course, learning to master something and successfully apply them take time.
This is when lack of patience make 10% of those who went beyond the 3 months critical period further drop out.
#5: Competition is high in affiliate marketing
The low entry barrier and the high profit margins from selling affiliate marketing products make the model the most popular online marketing system.
As it attracts a large number of affiliates to create new businesses, we end up with many of them promoting the same products and marketing to the same consumers online.
This is what makes competition in the sector very high and prevents new businesses from getting a foothold and growing.
#6: How to mitigate the competition in affiliate marketing
Does the fierce completion in affiliate marketing mean that all is lost then?
Not in the least.
One can mitigate the competition.
To do so and succeed, you must differentiate yourself from the hundreds of thousands of affiliates offering the same product.
You can do this through offering bonus items, training videos, creating better content or even giving cash back.
The affiliate who is more creative and offers valuable incentives attracts the highest traffic to their sites to offset the competition.
#7: Affiliate marketing takes time
We think we told you this already. By if we insist, it is because affiliate marketing not only takes time but also lots of it.
The keyword to success in it is therefore perseverance.
We insist: affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Far from it.
So if you keep on learning, applying and testing, you may eventually climb to the top.
#8: You need targets and goals for a whole year
If it is possible to get to the top, it all depends on setting your targets and goals over a period of one year. It’s important to write them down.
The target is the time limit and the goal is the amount.
You may divide this into short-range goals (say 3 months), medium-range ones (say 6 months) and those over the long-range (say 1 year).
You may achieve your goals earlier than programmed, but it’s also possible that you won’t get there at all.
#9: Revise your strategy if first 2 goals are not met
If you’ve set what you think are the right steps, if you’re following them steadfastly but not making any money in 3 to 6 months, it means that you’re doing it all wrong.
The reason for setting goals was to have a document you could refer to. A glance could tell you whether you’re achieve them or not. If not, you’ll know and re-strategize.
#10: Benchmark for re-strategizing
Going from $0 to $100 could take 6 months. Continuing from $100 to $1000 could last a month.
This is what you may use to measure your plans and adjust them if necessary.
#11: Constantly monitor your affiliate links
This can be time-consuming, especially if you’re promoting many affiliate products. But you have no choice but to constantly maintain your affiliate links.
This is because affiliate programs come and go. Vendors (aka, merchants/sellers) also change affiliate networks or programs.
So if you don’t consistently check your links, you may be promoting products that no longer exist or links that are broken.
The first will annoy your customers and keep them away from your business. The second is frowned upon by Google which will downgrade your rankings.
#12: Check if there is a cap on affiliate sales
Some affiliate programs put a cap on how many sales you can make in a month.
This is mainly the case in lead generation campaigns. But they are not so commonly used these days.
So if there’s a maximum of 10 sales a month each affiliate can earn commission on, and you generate 50, you are paid for only 10 sales.
This is a monumental loss of your time.
#13: The affiliate marketer is dependent on the affiliate network
If there were no merchants, affiliate programs or affiliate networks, we can safely say that affiliate marketing would not exist.
The affiliate’s survival is inextricably linked to the merchant’s.
As a marketer, the affiliate depends on the merchant not only for products but also for marketing tools like banners and links. And the affiliate remains in business as long as the merchant does. Should the merchant stop running the business or their program, the affiliate marketer simply loses that source of income and goes out of business.
That’s why you must not put all your eggs in one basket by relying on a single merchant, affiliate program or network for your affiliate revenue source.
#14: The affiliate marketer’s final conversion rate depends on the merchant’s
As an affiliate, your main task is to generate leads. That’s why the affiliate network gives you affiliate links.
Once someone clicks on those on your site or elsewhere like social media, the link takes them to the merchant’s site.
This is where the final conversion takes place.
Therefore the merchant’s platform must be optimized for you to make sales. Otherwise you will drive hundreds of leads but will only make little cash.
Do you know other ways for you to know if you and affiliate marketing make good bedfellows?
Let’s know below.
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