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3 BIG Reasons Why Affiliate Marketing Is HARD!

affiliate marketing is hard

Most people who start an affiliate marketing business fail.

Strange to say that out loud (or in writing) on a website that focuses on affiliate marketing or digital marketing, am I right?

But I don’t say this to try and run you off, or to scare you into buying something on this website or elsewhere.

It is just something you need to know, from the very beginning, if you are considering joining the “make money online” niche (Affiliate Marketing is hard!)

I’ll say it again.

Most people who start an affiliate marketing business fail.

I know, I know, I already said that. But I am saying it again because you need to hear it.

The reason I want to get this statement, this concept, into your head is because you must understand this statement before you get started, before you sign up for your first affiliate program, before you spend money on Clickfunnels or Aweber or solo ads traffic.

If you have surfed around the web or Youtube much, you’ll have come across thousands of pieces of content telling you that YOU TOO CAN MAKE $100/DAY ON THE INTERNET.

make money online niche

It is true, you CAN make $100/day on the internet. But the people who are telling you this aren’t telling you the whole truth of the matter, of how to go about it, what it is like to try, and what you truly need to do in order to succeed.

I understand this because I was there once, on the outside of the affiliate marketing world looking in, ready to plunge in to make my $100/day.

I started with a bunch of other people who were like-minded. People who are smarter than me, braver than me, more talented than me. But as I sit here today typing this blog post, I can say that less than 10% of those individuals who I started with are still pursuing their lofty dreams of making money online.

Where did they go? Why did they go?

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that things got tough, that they didn’t achieve their goals, that they got discouraged, that they let life get in the way, that they stopped and realized affiliate marketing is hard.

They became part of that statistic, “most affiliate marketing businesses.”

How can we expect to succeed then, when the better and brighter of us fail? What can we do to avoid becoming that statistic?

Mental Preparation

The first thing you can do is prepare your mind.

never quit affiliate marketing When you start a business, any kind of business, you must be prepared to fail, to lose money, to struggle to achieve your goals, to make mistakes, and to need help.

If you have not prepared your mind for these eventualities in the first few months or even years of your business, you will quit.

If you are not ready to look at a failure as a learning opportunity, you will quit.

If you are not ready to see money lost in bad traffic as an investment in your learning process and business education, you will quit.

If you are unprepared to see your losses as gains, you will quit.

When your mind is right, you can see how all of those outcomes, which others take as a sign that you are in the wrong place, the wrong business, the wrong niche, are actually steps in the right direction, toward your success.

Are You An Expert?

The next thing you can do is prepare yourself to suck at marketing.

When you first get started building an online business, most likely you will have no idea what you are doing. We don’t learn about sales in primary school. We don’t learn about writing emails, follow-up automations, retargeting with pixels, or any of the other technical aspects of marketing with the internet.

As a result, there is a pretty steep learning curve.


For those of us who are used to succeeding in our various jobs/professions, it can be a bitter pill to swallow to be back on the bottom again.

It is uncomfortable to know so little, and this discomfort, this need to be adept, an expert, before getting serious about marketing, can prevent you from ever hitting that “publish” button.

After mindset, I think that the desire to be “ready” before getting started is the most likely killer of online business dreams.

The truth is that none of us in digital marketing or making money online promoting products “know” enough to be called an expert, even the ones who go about online selling courses to teach you how to be an affiliate marketer.

The honest truth is that all of us started off feeling dumb as a stump. The ones who succeeded were the ones who could accept that feeling, that fact, and move forward despite it.

If you listen to “motivation” podcasts or speeches, you’ll hear all kinds of statements that you are meant to take into your heart, and use to help you keep moving forward toward your dreams.

I heard one of those today, which came on while I was editing a blog post for another website that I own.

les brown motivational speaker I was typing away when Les Brown’s voice came over the speakers unexpectedly, talking to me from video that had auto-played behind another browser window when my music finished. Busy and too lazy to flip back to the video to find more music, I listened.

Mr. Brown said to me (and to the hundreds of people in his audience), that we

“Don’t have to be great at what we do in order to get started, but that in order to be great at what we do, we must get started.”

It sounds trite, flowery, something that should be written on a little wooden sign sold at a farmer’s market or printed on a coffee mug.

But it doesn’t make it less true.

To succeed in the world of digital marketing (or any business for that matter), you must take steps forward on a regular basis. You must begin, and then take action on a daily basis regardless of whether you are having successes or making money.

If you never get started, then there is zero chance of succeeding.


Just Start (NOW!)

The third thing you must do in order to succeed in your online business is to get started.

And not just get started, but get started and then keep going.

Businesses fail when people stop, when people quit, when people no longer take action to achieve their goals.

To avoid becoming a statistic like “most affiliate marketers,” you must take consistent and persistent action until your goals are achieved.

You cannot stop when things don’t go your way, and you cannot stop when your successes do not equal the ones produced by your colleagues, friends, or competitors.

It is not greater intelligence, education, or training that carries affiliate marketers. It is sheer will and determination to succeed. Plain and simple.

Let’s circle back around, and wrap this up, shall we?

get started with affiliate marketing

Why Affiliate Marketing is Hard!

Back to what I said in the beginning, that most affiliate marketing businesses fail. The reasons they fail are many, but most can relate to the three things we’ve talked about here:

  1. Failing to put your mind right,
  2. Letting your inexperience stop you; and
  3. Failing to take action.

If you can overcome these three obstacles in your online business, I can’t guarantee that you’ll be a success today, tomorrow, next month, or even next year.

But I can guarantee that if you put your mind right, you get started, and you keep taking action, at some point in your journey, you will know enough, you will be enough, and you will achieve your goals.

How long it takes depends on you.

About the Author

emilia gardner profile photo Emilia Gardner left the professional world after the birth of her third child and joined the “make money online” niche in 2018 to be home with her family. She currently focuses on building/buying/selling content websites monetized with Google Adsense and affiliate programs. Find out more about her through Emilia’s Youtube Channel

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