wrong way of doing affiliate marketing

How Not To Do Affiliate Marketing: 7 Ways To Fail


So you have decided to become an affiliate marketer? great. You have a hot product to sell? awesome. You can’t wait to get going? amazing, BUT WAIT….. Read this article before you take any step towards affiliate marketing. Today I am going to tell you how not to do affiliate marketing. If you follow these ways then I guarantee you that you will fail.

Let’s discuss the 7 reasons behind the failure of the affiliate marketing business.

1. Incorrect Expectations From Affiliate Marketing

People think that affiliate marketing is easy. Just sell random products and earn the commission. They keep trying to sell products after products and still can’t figure out the strategy.

They follow many gurus who claim to teach how to earn thousands of dollars with affiliate marketing in just 48 hours. Or they see ads claiming to earn a regular income of hundreds of dollars from day 1.wrong expectations from affiliate marketing

If you come across any such guru or ad then STOP. Don’t even click on that. They are trying to scam you.

There is a long term plan for doing affiliate marketing in the right way. It involves time, patience, dedication, consistency, and persistence.

The successful affiliate marketers that you are seeing today did not start earning from day 1. Considering the competition these days, chances are there that you will not earn even one dollar in your initial few months. But once you start earning money from affiliate marketing, it will almost be self-rolling cash. That’s the time you will start earning money while you sleep.

BUT, if you are expecting to earn thousands of dollars from day 1 or within the first month, then sorry to disappoint you. YOU WILL NOT EARN THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FROM DAY 1 WITH AFFILIATE MARKETING, BUT YOU WILL SURELY EARN IT.

2. Start Selling Any Product Randomly

Some people are impatient. They sign up on affiliate networks like ClickBank, select a random product and start promoting. They hope that someone will turn up and buy their product. They don’t do any research about the feasibility of the product or its potential clients. They just see the metrics like a number of products sold, CPC and think that if others are successfully selling this product, even they can sell it.

They manage to sell an occasional product here and there too but most of the time nothing gets sold at all. They wonder why they are not able to sell.

Remember that if someone else is selling the products successfully doesn’t mean that you too can sell it. They are doing many other things that you are not doing. They are doing this for many years and they know what they are doing.

Remember that affiliate marketing is not that easy. If it was easy then everybody would have done it.

3. No Strategy For Running Ads

This is the next stage of people selling random products. Once they realize that nothing is getting sold, some internet guru tells them that running ads fetches the unlimited traffic.ย  They start running Facebook, google, insta and other ads to promote their products.

No strategyVoila, they start selling products. They start earning money but when they do the calculation they realize that they spent more money on running the ads than they got back by selling the products. Even worst, they still don’t manage to sell any products.

Running ads is simple but running profitable ads is an art. A lot of analysis is required to be done before starting the ads and while running the ads. Each platform has an extensive course on how to run and analyze ads. There are some strategies that you need to learn before you even start your first ad. You should know how to analyze the ad metrics.

There are guidelines available on how to run ads. They differ from product to product, platform to platform, countries to countries and people to people. Remember that they are just the guidelines, not the final formula. You need to come up with your own profitable formula.

4. No List Building

The money is in the list. You might have heard that line before. People don’t realize the importance of list building. They figure out how to send people to their affiliate link but fail to capture their email ids. Then they wonder why aren’t they getting any sales.

Rarely people will buy in the first instance. Studies suggest that people need to see the products for at least 5-6 times (aka touchpoints) before they buy the products. Now you know the reason behind having a lot of people visiting your product but not many buying it.

If you collect their email ids and start building your email list then you can contact them with multiple emails again and again. Chances of them buying your products increases.

It is important to collect the email ids of the visitors before you show them your product.

5. No Email Marketing Strategy

Some people collect the emails buttheyย  don’t know what to do with those email ids. Either they don’t send any emails or they send too many emails promoting products.

Both cases are dangerous for your email lists. If you don’t send any emails then it is as good as not having any email ids and if you send too many emails promoting then people will unsubscribe or simply ignore your emails. Remember, you won’t make any sales if your emails don’t get opened.

It is important to have an email marketing strategy. You should not promote products in each and every email. You should give some free information that is useful for your subscribers. You can build a story with useful information related to your product that you are planning to promote. In the concluding email, you can promote the product highlighting the benefits that you described in earlier emails and then have subsequent follow up emails for purchasing the product.

Another important point is that you should not send too many emails. 2-3 emails per week is ideal. If you are sending 10 emails per month then you should not sell products in more than 3 emails out of 10.

6. Not Knowing Possible Avenues To Promote Products

People only know 2-3 avenues to promote their products. There are more than 25+ activities that you need to take to become successful in affiliate marketing. You may not follow all of them but you should know them. Then formulate your strategy based on the activities that work best for your products.

If you continue to follow only 2-3 avenues (FB and google ads mainly) then it will be very difficult to succeed. The entire world is trying those. While I am not saying that you should not try them but you should also explore the other avenues to promote the products.

In fact, you can refer to these 2 articles along with those 25+ activities mentioned above to know other possible ways to promote the products

5 free ways to promote your products

4 paid ways to promote your products

7. Not Investing In Tools & Technology

It is important to stay updated. The Internet is changing almost on a daily basis. If you are still using outdated techniques to promote your products then sorry to say that you are in for a big disappointment.

Many folks don’t pay attention to the latest trends. Even their website is substandard and slow. Remember that your website is your shop to sell the product. People judge you from your website. If it doesn’t look professional, they will not trust you. If it loads slow, they will leave.

It is important to keep yourself updated. These are the 6 must-have tools for every affiliate marketer. There are many more. Depending on what you are tracking or trying to achieve, you need to find the latest tools and keep yourself updated.

6. Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is not simply selling the product and bagging the commission skim. It appears simple but there is a lot associated with it. There is a definite flow on how to do things with affiliate marketing. There are more than a few million affiliate marketers in the entire world but only a few thousand are earning well out of it.

It is important to learn the intricacies of how to do things properly in affiliate marketing. If you clicked on any of the links above, you will understand that each point mentioned in those articles is a huge topic in itself. It is important to learn it step by step.

And who other than wealthy affiliate can do it better? Wealthy affiliate is training the affiliates for the last 15+ years, There are 2 million affiliates trusting wealthy affiliate to start, learn and grow their affiliate marketing business. The best part is that you get everything from step by step training to lightning fast websites (10 of them) included in your membership.

You can try it for free for 7 days and no credit card is required ๐Ÿ™‚ Would you give it a try to learn everything about affiliate marketing and do it the right way?


11 thoughts on “How Not To Do Affiliate Marketing: 7 Ways To Fail”

  1. Great article and website! I like this article and you wrote about a very important subject! There are many articles and resources out there that tell you how to do affiliate marketing but there are not many that tell you how to not do affiliate marketing! I like your suggestions and I found this article very interesting! Thank you for being honest! Thank you for writing this great article! Keep up the great work on your website!

    • Thank you Timothy,
      I myself have suffered in the hands of such gurus who promise the moon and stars but don’t even deliver a light bulb. I thought that it is important to highlight the realities of online money to people. Trying my best to warn people with my articles ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Great article! I learned a lot, but I’m curious about how you came to the conclusion that 2-3 emails a week is ideal? To me, this seems to be a bit too much in my humble opinion.

    • Hi Michel,
      Thank you for stopping by. That’s a great question. Let me try my best to explain it. I do digital marketing for many clients. My observation is based on the analysis of my 17 clients for whom my team handles the email marketing. I do analysis of their email sequences. There are people who send 1-2 mail every day using their autoresponders. Most of the times such emails are for hard selling. Such emails are rarely opened and unsubscribe rates are high. On the contrary, if just 1-2 emails per week are sent then there are chances of becoming out of sight out of mind. One email every 3 days has a high open-rate (of course there are other factors too). You can add value to clients in your niche in the first 2-3 emails explaining the problems and possible solutions to those problems. Then in the next email, you can propose a product that can solve those problems. People who are reading these email sequences are likely to purchase a product.
      Again, as mentioned in the post, this is just a guideline. If you think that 2-3 emails are too much and you can manage with just one email per week (or 15 days) then it is still good. The important thing is to stay consistent.

  3. Hi, Prav,

    Great points here about affiliate marketing and I totally agree that when you have your first sight on it it seems so simple to do but when you dig deep into it, there are so many aspects involved that we need to learn and master in order to be successful.

    I have a question about the figures you have brought about how many people on the globe are involved in affiliate marketing and how many of them are actually making money from it. Are these official statistics?

    I appreciate your feedback.

    Best Wishes,

    • Hi Natalie,
      Thank you for stopping by. Though there is no concrete statistics for that, I have come up with that figures based on my research. For e.g. Wealthy affiliates have over 2 million members. Clickbank has another few million. If you are part of wealthy affiliate then you will realize that not all of them are active. Only 300,000+ are active out of 2 million. That means the rest of them have given up on affiliate marketing. Maybe they thought it is very simple and realized that it is not that easy ๐Ÿ™‚
      However, if you are interested in affiliate marketing stats, here is a good link https://hostingtribunal.com/blog/affiliate-marketing-stats/#gref

  4. These were great points on why people fail with affiliate marketing. I loved that you brought up email marketing and building a list. It is incredible to me how many affiliate marketers do not bother with building a list. No question you are right that the fortune is in the follow up. It takes someone seeing an ad or product at least 7 times before they buy! Awesome stuff man. Cheers Robb!

  5. Hey Prav,

    I love this list of what-not-to-do. Such can so easily be forgotten in the quagmire of all the things that need to get done. This is a wake up call for me to get my email setup as I really do care for my visitors and want to be able to reach them with information
    that could be of value to them.


    • Thank you for stopping by. The email setup should be done as soon as possible. You may not start sending emails immediately but you should start collecting them ASAP.


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