If you are going to succeed with affiliate marketing, you need to know the pitfalls that lie ahead. That’s why, in this episode, I’m sharing the top reasons why people FAIL at affiliate marketing. Take these reasons as warnings, not as discouragement. See where you might be prone to making these mistakes and vow to not make them yourself.
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8 Reasons People Fail At Affiliate Marketing
If you’re going to succeed with affiliate marketing, you need to know the pitfalls that lie ahead.
That’s why in this episode, I’m sharing the top reasons why people fail at affiliate marketing.
So take these reasons as warnings, not as discouragement.
See where you might be prone to making these mistakes, to not make them yourself.
So we’re finishing up 2022 here as I’m recording this.
We got a couple of months left when this airs.
I mean, we’re going to be in the final, like, roughly 1011 percent of the year.
I mean, people see this every year.
It’s like time flies.
It feels like I don’t know if it’s this year just because we kind of came out of the pandemic stuff. 2022 felt so different than 2000 and 22,021 that it feels like, oh my gosh, it just flew by.
So we’re finishing up 2022, and hopefully you’re getting ready to make 2023 your best year ever.
I hope so, at least.
Listen, 2023, next year is your year.
I truly believe that.
I truly believe that, and you should too.
It’s a year for success.
It’s a year for breakthrough.
It’s a year for new heights.
It’s a year for all the good stuff that can come and it’s a year for leveling up.
It’s a year for taking things to the next level and that might mean for you, it might mean your first dollar.
Your first dollar online from your business might mean your 1st $1,000 month.
That might mean your first six figure year, your first seven figure whatever it is.
This is your year.
In order to make this your year and continue to succeed beyond that, we want you to succeed beyond just 2023, you need to understand why you could fail, what tends to cause people to fail at affiliate marketing and how can you avoid these mistakes.
So understand them and yeah, 2023 is going to be your breakthrough year. 2023 is going to be the year you make your first dollar.
It’s going to be the year you make your first thousand, your 1st $10,000 months, whatever it is, it’s going to be your sixfigure, seven figure year.
It’s going to be your soul. 2024, so will 2025, so will 2026, and so on.
So what I want to share today is the reasons why people fail at affiliate marketing.
What are those common reasons?
I’ve studied this for Gosh last ten years, and I found eight reasons, eight reasons why people tend to fail at affiliate marketing.
So number one is unrealistic expectations.
YouTube social media.
There’s a flood of content out there like, quote, unquote, easy ways to set up, quote, unquote, passive income from slave market right?
If it were so simple, why isn’t the whole world doing it, though?
Why isn’t everyone doing it already?
Why are these gurus teaching you how to do it instead of just doing it themselves?
Like well, Matt, that’s weird.
You teach this?
Yeah, and I also do it, but I don’t teach getrich quick, you know? get rich quick.
It’s a saying for a reason.
It’s been synonymous with shady stuff forever.
If you want lasting results, don’t try to do it too fast.
If you want lasting results, you’re not going to go too fast.
You don’t lose weight fast.
You don’t build muscle mass fast.
You don’t get rich fast from affiliate marketing.
Yeah, I remember this guy, a veteran in the affiliate marketing industry, sharing with me.
It took him nearly three years of work to get his first substantial check.
If you went to work, if you went to your business that you work for, if you have a full time job or you’ve had a full time job and it took you three months to get paid, you’d leave, let alone three years.
Imagine going to work three years and not making nearly enough to survive.
That’s basically what he was making.
It took years, and then it took off.
When he got that first substantial check, what he defined as substantial check was enough in a month to pay all of his bills and live, like so I’m guessing probably five, $6,000, not $20,000.
Years of self education, analysis, work, labor, started paying off.
My own story is the same.
Two and a half years, nothing.
Third year, a little bit.
Fourth year, almost 62, 63,000.
Next year, almost 70,030, $4,000 over the next two years. So realistic expectations.
You have to set realistic expectations if you want to succeed, both in the short term and the long term, you will quit.
If you set unrealistic expectations, you’re going to give up, and it’s certainly not going to set you up for long term success.
The second reason why people fail at affiliate marketing is shiny objects Syndrome, or what my friend calls Ados attention deficit.
Now I clinically have ADHD.
That’s not what I’m talking about.
When you have shiny object syndrome, you jump from one trend to another.
You jump from course to course.
I did a webinar yesterday.
I kid you not.
This blew me away.
I’m like, what are you doing?
I’m in this industry.
I teach marketing for a living.
She said at the hour.
Mark said, I have to go.
I need to jump on another webinar.
Why are you attending two webinars in one day?
Take what I taught you in this one and don’t put it to work.
Like, that’s insane to me.
This is why they try one course, and then they try another course.
So they do this other course and then this other course, and they never actually implement the first freaking course.
They bought so they try a course on how to do affiliate marketing through Facebook ads.
That doesn’t work right away.
It kind of goes back to number one, right?
So they sign up for a course about selling products through Amazon that doesn’t work.
They try a course on how to make money selling ebooks that doesn’t work.
It’s just over and over again.
It’s a vicious cycle.
And this basically occurs because someone gets really excited about some new method to make money online.
And when that doesn’t work, they get discouraged and along comes another new method.
And it’s not new.
You know what, TikTok is not new.
Like oh Marketing on TikTok.
That’s the thing, right?
I did an entire episode on it.
But it’s not new.
It’s the same thing.
I try to say it over and over.
Nothing is fast and easy.
And when you move from method to method, you never get to experience enough successes and failures to become an expert.
I remember reading a book years ago called Business Brilliant and it talked about one of the biggest differences between the middle class and wealthy people.
And the difference was that when wealthy people fail, they try the same thing again.
You worked your b*** off two years, even three months, to get to a level of five and you failed.
You finally fell short and then you go, I want to do something new.
So you’re starting at zero again, and you keep starting at zero and wonder why you never get anywhere in life.
The wealthy people go back and start at five, maybe four.
Maybe they take 80% of what they learn.
They start at four, and then maybe they fail at seven, and then they start back at six, and next thing you know, they’re successful.
Yeah, you can make money.
You can make a ton of money starting out in affiliate marketing with pay per click advertising, right?
Facebook ads and Google Ads and LinkedIn that.
But it’s probably going to cost you thousands of dollars and a ton of experimenting before you find success.
So you’re going to have to be willing to lose a little bit of money.
You can make money selling products on Amazon, but it’s not as simple as just setting up a website, waiting for the profits to roll in.
You have to fail before you can fine tune your business model for success.
Just about any training course out there has some truth to it, but ultimately you got to find your own recipe for success, whatever it is you’re attempting.
So you have to be very careful not to just keep bouncing around from thing to thing.
Reason number three is focusing on selling not helping.
Now, this is not just an affiliate marketing thing.
This is widespread.
People put all their energy into selling and then they don’t get any results.
And so they don’t get the results, so they put in more effort into selling, which makes the gap to their sales results even bigger, right?
I had a mentor once, he was in the offline marketing world, and he taught me something very wise I will never forget.
He said, if you want to sell something, if you want to sell something, you can do anything, but by all means, don’t try to sell. Right?
Don’t try to sell.
In other words, people start businesses and all they can think of while building it is, I have to make sales.
They’re chasing sales and they forget to do what actually leads to a sale, which is helping people.
I have a mug that I drink from every morning has this executive quote.
You can have everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.
But as soon as you switch into helping mode and make helping your audience your main mission, whether it be in your content creation, your podcast, your interaction, whatever, then you start to see results.
You start to see results coming in.
Why is helping the key?
Because in helping mode, you don’t push people to buy something.
Your actions are based on digging for problems that your audience has to deliver a solution over and over again, whether it be with your blog posts or videos or podcasts, right?
And helping people leads to something money can’t buy, which is trust.
If you honestly want to help people with what you’re doing, your business, you’re going to be rewarded with trust.
There’s no sale.
I mean, not at first at least, right?
There’s no sale.
There’s no sale if your potential customer doesn’t trust you.
List building is a good example for how things can go wrong with a lack of trust, right?
You get people on your list and I teach this right?
Don’t wait to monetize.
But you have brand new subscribers and you just put them through.
Sale funnel sales funnel sales funnel sales funnel that came nothing but offers and offers and offers and offers and no value.
So instead of sending those trust building emails, right, the how to, the tips, the hacks, whatever it is, right?
They just bye bye, bye bye bye.
Instead of conversions, they’re rewarded with people unsubscribing.
The people are unsubscribing.
Like, it feels like spam to them.
So if you want to stand out from the crowd on a sale marketing, you have to switch into helping mode and aim to know and serve your audience better than anyone else.
You can’t just focus on selling.
You’ve got to focus on helping.
Reason number four that people fail at affiliate marketing is just not planning ahead.
Not planning ahead.
I mean, think about it.
If you were starting any other business like a restaurant, you’re going to put your life savings into starting the restaurant.
If you fail, like, you are screwed.
Are you going to go out there and just purchase some ebook or some course and just blindly follow what’s in there?
Of course not.
You’re going to research it.
You’re going to research a little bit.
You’re going what type of food?
Who’s your biggest competition?
Where are they located?
How do you pick the best location?
Like, what kind of decor, furniture, price points, all these things.
Distributors, like hundreds of questions you need to reason out.
It could take you months before you ever open the restaurant.
I’m not saying to move slow.
That’s not what I’m talking about.
But you need to do a little bit of planning.
This is why banks require business plans.
Before they ever give you a loan, they want to see your plan.
How long is it going to take to start making a profit?
How long will it be before you could even reasonably start showing a profit and maybe paying yourself, right?
How are you going to acquire new customers?
What is your revenue expectations, your expense expectations?
Affiliate marketing is a business.
Affiliate marketing is a business.
It needs just as much planning.
So again, you’re doing a promotion.
You have to plan.
You have to plan.
It’s why we have our go download the template, right?
mattmcwilliams.com/promoplan. Go grab the template.
It walks you through how to actually plan for a promotion.
And so if you think about it, most people, they just don’t go into affiliate marketing with a plan.
And so, again, you develop that plan.
If you don’t develop that plan, and every time you’re essentially starting over from scratch.
I just talked about this, right?
You’re starting at zero with every promotion.
Go grab the promo plan.
You can tweak my template or use it as a guide.
Use 20% of a 50%.
But it’s something, right?
If you don’t have a plan, you’re starting from zero every single time.
So start with this plan.
It will start you at five.
So then you develop it from there, and the next time you’re starting at six, the next time you’re starting at seven, and you get better and better and better every single time you do a promotion, then eventually you’re going to be super successful.
So go grab that template mattmcwilliams.com/promoplan.
The number five reason why people fail at affiliate marketing is just not diversifying.
When you’re starting out with affiliate marketing, don’t diversify.
Pick one program.
Pick one program that has limited number of price points.
Maybe it has one price point.
Maybe it’s one product.
It might be one product.
One product, one price point, one marketing method.
Once you get something that is working, then you got to throw as many resources at it as you can.
You need to diversify.
You need to start doing it on social media.
You need to start doing it on maybe start running paid advertising to it.
Then you add another program in another program and another program, right?
So you got to diversify your income.
You need to diversify your marketing methods, your strategy, your different networks that you’re on.
Like, I remember back 1015 years ago, basically everyone relied on Google for their traffic, for their affiliate revenue.
And then Google changes the algorithm.
Suddenly businesses, entire affiliate businesses, six and seven figure businesses completely gone overnight.
So what I would recommend is, yeah, you have SEO as a strategy.
You have paid advertising as a strategy.
You have content as a strategy.
You have interviews, whether it be podcast or written.
And that’s part of your strategy.
You got Facebook.
You got instagram.
You got other 17 social media networks that are going to pop up in the next few years.
You’ve got your email list.
You’ve got low price points, high price points, recurring revenue, membership sites.
You need to look at all these different ways to diversify your affiliate income.
You have your own products, you’ve got your own coaching services, things like that.
You need diversity.
You cannot be reliant on one source of traffic, one affiliate program.
And I’ve seen this so many times.
I remember years ago, I won’t mention the company, but there were hundreds, maybe thousands.
And I had a friend of mine, huge affiliate for one particular company in the fitness industry, and it was like 95% of his revenue, and it was probably about a quarter of a million dollars, maybe upwards of half a million.
He had two people on his team.
I think it was closer to half a million.
Two people on his team.
They were both making more than the average person, probably $75,000 a year.
And he was taken home by 150 or so.
And they shut down their affiliate program, like almost no warning.
They shut it down.
They made a business decision to shut it down.
He had to lay off both people and was broke within six months.
I think he was actually broke and gave a good savings, but still he wasn’t making any money.
Don’t let that happen to you.
Don’t be pigeonholed by just high ticket items or just low ticket items.
Have a diversity.
Don’t be pigeonholed into the types of marketing that you do.
And even things like within your own email.
Like, yes, have your playbook.
And if you’re doing a quick promo, we’re doing a quick promo as I’m recording this for a program right now, a launch offer.
And we’re basically just following the playbook.
We are not innovating whatsoever.
It’s like we’re doing five emails and we’re just sending the same five emails that we would have sent in the past.
In fact, we’re almost copying and pasting them from last year.
Because we’re not all in on this one.
And sometimes that’s just the way it is.
Like, a couple of times a year, that’s the way it is.
Most of the process we do, we try to tweak something.
We try to do one thing differently.
Maybe we stumble upon something that works so that if things change and the rules change or the laws change in six months, we’re ready.
So make sure you’re diversifying.
Number six, reason that people fail to affiliate marketing is not testing and not tweaking.
And I mean not doing it always, always, always abt, always be testing.
This is a core rule of our company.
It is a core value of our company.
Now, early on, you’re going to try to find one thing that works, and then you’re going to test the second thing against it.
But you need to get in the habit of testing and tweaking and tweaking and testing.
Whatever you try, test it.
Try a completely different thing or a slight variation, same page but with a blue button instead of a red.
Same page but with a different headline.
Same email, but one version is 500 words long, and the other one is 100 words long.
What kind of headlines are working best?
What’s the right voice?
How many links do you have?
What is your call to action look like?
What kind of funnel works best?
Again, test the different price points and stuff.
And that’s part of testing, as you say.
Okay, I tried diversifying that and anything over $1,000.
I sold nothing, but I’m selling all this $500.
Okay, now, there’s a box in which you diversify in, but you’re going to test things out of the box from time to time.
There’s an endless list of things you could test but diversify within a box.
Like, you’ll develop the box over time.
When you first start, your box is infinitely big, basically.
Like, what are the price points?
What are the marketing methods?
It could be basically anything.
And then the box gets smaller and smaller over time.
But the idea is you got to be tweaking and testing constantly.
The 7th reason people fail at affiliate marketing is just not being patient.
This is so hard for me because I am by nature, I have been an inpatient person.
I want to move fast, move fast and break things, right?
But the thing is, you’ve got to be patient.
The most important thing you can do when you step into an affiliate business is just to rewire your brain to get past the hype and say, you know what?
I’m going to be patient with this.
I’m going to grow slow.
I’m going to take my time.
Yes, I’m going to move fast, but I’m going to let this happen over time.
It takes time to build a solid foundation for your long term affiliate success, right?
It takes time to gain the trust of your audience.
They’re not just going to trust you overnight.
It takes time for post to rank.
It takes time to see results.
It takes time to grow your affiliate revenue into a full time income.
It takes time to scale your business to higher and higher levels that get you that point where you can make it into a full time business.
And if you expect it to take time, if you expect it to take time from day one, you expect it to take time, then you’re not tempted to choose that shiny object.
You’re not going to succumb to shiny object syndrome and just try to chase after the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.
If you bring in the patience, you’re going to stick to the solid strategies that are going to make you a winner in the long run.
If you’re patient, you’re going to stick to the principles that we teach on this podcast.
If you’re patient, then eventually you’re going to see success.
But some of you, you start doing affiliate marketing based on what your content is, which is what I recommend, and you see quick results.
And then you stagnate for a while.
The reality is those early results might not have been representative of what it would be like six months from now.
You’re a little bit ahead of the game, and that’s fine.
So you’re still patient.
You’re still patient, right?
Work hard, enjoy the benefits.
You know, if you get a nice little commission check early on, this is a big thing, right?
You got to celebrate.
You got to celebrate.
If you get a little bit of success.
I remember I’ve talked about it so many times.
Here $588, right, for Michael Hyatt, I made eight sales of his course, five days.
The best you ever made, that 588.
I took exactly $501 because my monthly expenses were to the cent worth $500.
They were not variable.
They were exactly $500.
When I say they were $500, they were $500 because we had the hosting and some other fixed costs, and then we use the rest.
We paid my VA up to $500.
That was my budget was $500.
My wife and I went out to eat when to not the greatest restaurant, because it’s kind of hard to get, like, the greatest restaurant for $88.
But we went out to eat, and we celebrated.
I don’t know, we went to, like, whatever, chilies or something, you know, went to, like I think it was like, chilies and went out for ice cream afterwards and didn’t quite spend the $88, of course, but we celebrated.
Just make it $588.
But because I was patient and I knew that $508 was going to lead, what if I just double?
What if I doubled every month?
Or what if I doubled every quarter for a few years?
I mean, we’d be into the tens of thousands of dollars pretty quickly, right?
So be patient.
If you get too far ahead of yourself, you’re just going to start trying really dumb things.
You’re going to start pressing like we talked about earlier, and you’re going to fail.
And then the 8th reason, the final reason here is this lack of persistent.
This is mindset.
No matter how good your skills are at affiliate marketing, if your mindset is weak, you’re going to fail.
In fact, I am positive the biggest reason for failure in affiliate marketing, the biggest reason for failure in any online business, any business period, is just mindset.
So whatever your goal is, persistence, persistence is crucial in achieving it.
You’ve got to have that ironclad mindset that you’re going to succeed.
You’re going to have setbacks, you’re going to have failures like every marketer experiences, but moving on, getting up, getting back up, getting back in it, whenever you get stuck getting unstuck, that’s what counts.
The truth is affiliate marketing, like, everything it’s hard.
We’ll teach you how to make, like, yeah, our courses, book and stuff, they will make it easier.
You still have to put in the work.
That kind of sounds like scammy and whatever.
But it’s true.
Most people don’t succeed, not because they’re not brilliantly smart, not because they don’t have the lack of skills.
They fail because they quit.
And the finishers, the successful ones are the ones who never give up.
The losers fail because they don’t believe in themselves.
They don’t believe in what they do.
So I just want you to go back to the patient saying, turn that like, I wonder if I can make it.
I wonder if I’ll succeed at this, right?
Turn it into it.
Yes, I’m going to make it.
I’m going to make it.
Sooner or later, I’m going to make it.
One day, I’m going to make it.
And then celebrate those small steps, those little accomplishments, those little milestones along the way.
Set those small goals that you can achieve.
Make a contract with yourself, right?
Make a contract with yourself that says whatever obstacle comes your way, I’m going to keep moving.
I’m not going to give up.
This isn’t new.
You know that you tend to underestimate the importance of mindset, right?
You know that mindset decides whether or not you succeed or not.
You know that mindset is more important than all the skills you’re going to learn to drive your business.
You know, that’s true.
And it’s simply a fact that most people will give up.
That’s ultimately what failure is.
That’s what failure is.
They give up.
You don’t fail at affiliate marketing because you had a bad month.
You don’t fail at affiliate marketing because the campaign failed.
You failed because you give up.
And then you ended up out of business.
So why even try, right?
This whole thing is a little bit depressing.
Why even try and affiliate marketing?
The fact is, the vast majority of people fail to do affiliate marketing with success.
And I shared, why should the eight reasons why, right?
People don’t fail because the affiliate business isn’t a viable business.
They don’t fail because it’s too hard.
They don’t fail because they don’t have the skills.
They fail for internal reasons that lie in their own behavior and mindset.
And that’s good.
That’s good because everyone can change your behavior.
Everyone can change your way of thinking.
If you really want to, you can change it right now.
You can change your behavior.
You can change your way of thinking right now.
You know, I get it, like clinical addiction to like, fentanyl and stuff, and maybe you can’t just go, you know what, I’m no longer addicted.
I get that.
But things like this, you can change right now.
Change happens in a matter of a nanosecond.
So if you believe it, if you stay away from the scams, if you stay away from the shiny object syndrome and you’re patient, you can if you learn the skills, if you keep listening and apply the skills, like, that’s the most important thing.
The shiny object syndrome says you finished this episode and then you go listen to another episode.
No, you go apply what you already know.
Unless this is your very first episode ever, you already have a bunch of knowledge you’re not even executing on.
So go execute on something you’ve already learned.
Don’t just hit play on the next episode.
Well, I read 300 books a year.
Good for you.
How many of them are you implementing?
I’ve been through nine courses.
Looking at your bank statement, dude, it still says zero.
Like, you are negative.
You have spent $18,000 on courses and nothing to show for it.
Maybe you should have executed on the first course, but you can be successful.
Apply the skills.
Don’t let setbacks ever stop you.
Take care of your mindset because it is the most crucial factor, like I said, in this whole thing.
So I want you to remember two things.
Number one, it’s okay to fail.
Failing sucks, I know it.
You get really excited about something.
You pour your heart and your soul into it.
And then one day you just get that sinking feeling like it’s just not going to work, right?
It’s okay to feel bad for a little while, get out of your system.
You need to cry.
You need to be angry for five minutes.
Be angry for 510 minutes, half a day.
Then you dust yourself off.
You turn that failure into a learning opportunity.
Why did it fail?
What did I do?
What can I learn?
If you learn one thing, man, you only need to learn ten things.
Or does that mean, though, this one was a complete failure and I made no money in the next one, I made $10,000?
You might even make nothing on the next one and even on the next one.
But you’ll learn one thing each time.
Now you learn three things, and the next one you suddenly make $200.00
You’re not going to find we know it’s so cliche.
You’re not going to find a single successful individual who’s never failed.
So when you fail, consider yourself lucky to have gotten a failure out of the way.
You’re one step closer, baby.
That’s the thing.
So it’s okay to fail.
And secondly, talk about this a bunch.
It’s one of the only industries, affiliate marketing.
We’re expected to work our butts off for six months in the hope that we start making money.
Due to the past efforts.
You don’t get a paycheck on day one like you do.
You go into a job, they pay you on day one, even though you’re completely clueless about what you’re doing, they pay you to train.
That’s not the case with affiliate marketing.
You’re going to work for months and maybe even a year before you see success.
So don’t give up.
Because when you do start to profit, like I mentioned many cases, it’s residual.
That hard work.
All the failures, all the lessons, they pay off month after month after month.
Month after month after month.
So be patient.
So if you need help with the skill side and some more of the mindset side, check out my book I mentioned before.
It’s on pre order right now.
It’s coming out soon.
Turn your passions into profits.
You can check that out at Passions into Profits book.com.
If you’re interested in an affiliate opportunity, you can join my book launch team and become an affiliate to promote the book passionsintoprofitsbook.com/LaunchTeam.
Both those links are in the show notes.
And in the next episode, I got something super cool.
I’m going to talk about how to outperform your list size and affiliate promotions.
I’ve got 15 case studies we did who had tiny lists but finished really high on leaderboards.
So this ties perfectly in with what we just talked about.
You want to know how to outperform your list size and succeed even with a tiny list.
Next episode is going to rock your world.
So make sure you hit subscribe if you don’t want to miss that episode.
If you got questions about what I talked about today, about anything else related to affiliate marketing, you can text me anytime at 260-217-4619.
I’d love to hear from you there.
I’ll see you on the next episode.