Recently I've asked a few of my guest post contributors to write a short article titled "Affiliate Marketing Sucks!" I specifically requested them to be "brutally honest and indescribably negative." But oh why you guys, what are you afraid of? All I received was a bunch of very polite how-tos.
"You must be persistent and dedicated; otherwise affiliate marketing is not a job for you."
Sorry but that's bo-rring. I've got a load of bollocking points to say why affiliate marketing sucks.
I think the whole 'let's make lots of money online easy' thing is often started by affiliate newcomers. They got tricked into joining an expensive sales funnel builder / (slash) network marketing pit by someone they know yesterday. And today, they start honking out with notoriously brainless phrases such as "You only need to work less than an hour in the morning!" "This system spits out money every hour!"
So people like me keep publishing boring web posts to say "These people are not telling you the truth. You have to be determined and committed to becoming successful in affi......."
Have I mentioned that exact phrase before? Am I a parrot?
Why Affiliate Marketing Sucks
There are plenty of demotivating factors that make you feel like quitting or stop you from even considering. Here are 9 circumstances I can think of...so far!
#1 It Will Cost You
Affiliate marketing will cost you either time or money. Or both.
If you don't want to invest money but choose to rely on organic traffic, you'll just have to keep blogging, and keep blogging wisely before you can start receiving commissions constantly. 'Wisely' as in SEO technique.
If you don't want to wait, you may have to keep paying to advertise or use traffic services. But also wisely. You need to know a good traffic source, or good copywriting technique. Or both. You don't want to spend too much either. And that's not necessarily a sustainable option. Stop paying, and your affiliate income can stop too.
Having said all that, affiliate marketing is a business, and it takes time and some capital to get any business set up and running. So if this was one of the reasons why you think affiliate marketing sucks, you'd be better off working for someone else.
#2 You End Up Working Long Hours
Many 'Work From Home' 'Make Money Online' affiliates invite you to their scheme and training courses, boasting about financial freedom with few hours of work. The reality is, there's a lot to learn. And often the most important things to learn are not part of the scheme that they're trying to sell. You'll go through a lot of trying and testing and end up working long hours. If you're still not making money from that, then it sucks.
#3 You Are Nothing
"I just found this amazing product, I thoroughly recommend it to anyone!" Keep pretending, you're just an affiliate...
'Affiliate Marketer' is just a glorified job title. As a marketer, you promote someone else's products on their behalf, but you are never solely in charge of it. Millions of others promote the same products by creating a buzz, blogging, podcasting, whatever. In the same way as you do, or better.
If you were a brand, you would have some repeat customers (or fans) to support you. It's not so much the case with you as an affiliate. Unless you become recognized more as an influencer. The buyers' emotional reactions are not your motivational factor.
#4 Monthly Income Fluctuates
You never know what will happen to the income source. Especially if you rely on commissions from just one or two products - several factors can make the level of your monthly income fluctuate quite dramatically. The factors include;
- Your product review page drops out of Google page one.
- Your usual trusted traffic provider goes on vacation, or the quality of the traffic deteriorates for some unknown reason.
- The manufacturer ceases to trade.
- Affiliate agreement's canceled.
- A hyped up new product wasn't as good as expected.
#5 No Such Thing As A Commission 'For Life'
I guess in this context, for life means 'one of the chains dies'. If you refer someone to a membership scheme, you'll receive a monthly commission for life. Until the day that particular referral leaves the membership, the day the company ceases to trade, or the day you die.
But I would generally define the phrase for life as 'decades and decades'. As long as the product exists and your affiliate ID is live, your passive income opportunities will be there for an indefinite period. We know nothing lasts forever. Products change, trends change and people move on. 'For life' means...about 2 years?
That leads to the next point.
#6 Endless Quest For New Products
So we know that nothing is evergreen. A product that you believe is a 'definitive must-have' may not be for other affiliates. You can't keep promoting one product forever. You should perhaps give other alternatives a try from time to time, which will cost you money.
Or you should at least know what else is out there and be able to explain why yours is better than others. Otherwise you're just a one-dimensional squarehead. Life of an affiliate marketer is about an endless quest for new products. Sucks.
#7 Or, Engage With Too Many Affiliate Programs
So you don't want to rely on one affiliate product or program. But if you sign up with too many programs and it can become unmanageable too. Most affiliate programs out there set the minimum payout threshold - the total of your commission has to reach $50-$100 for example, before you can cash out.
An affiliate network, CJ (Commission Junction) will deduct $10 administration charge from your earned commission if you are not making enough for a long period. (You'll never go minus and end up owing them though. If you've only made $8, they'll deduct $8 and zero out your account.)
#8 Affiliates Are Scammers
If you promote a product without knowing it inside out, and that product turns out to be a scam, then you'll be partially responsible. You'll be a scammer. Unfortunately some - many - affiliates don't give a crap about it. They'd do anything for commission pay, and if they were accused of being unethical or banned for whatever the reason, all they do would be to delete their ID, shut down the website and close their social media accounts. All in a fake name anyway.
For that reason, many brands are reluctant to employ affiliates. Many email service (autoresponder) providers simply prohibit affiliate marketing. Because affiliates tend to promote deceptive products by bombarding thousands of unsolicited spam emails daily.
So tell everyone that you're in affiliate marketing, and we can't blame some of them for assuming that you're effectively a scammer.
#9 Annoying Invitations By Other Affiliates
Whatever business you are running, you get opportunities to network with other entrepreneurs in the same industry every now and again. Unfortunately, some of those who get in touch with you are self-absorbed affiliate marketers who don't care about what you do. They just want to get you in their MLM scheme. Many other affiliates suck.
My advice is, don't spend more than 2 minutes with them chit-chatting. You'll only hear them say, "I'm feeling great today because I just made a profit from [cryptocurrency, forex, some 'empower' product that you've never heard of]." They're never listening to you, why should you listen to them?
Is This Business So Depressing?
No seriously, I make my living by working as an affiliate. I enjoy my job, I love it. But that never means it's easy. That boring old phrase - "I work hard, and hard work pays off" - exactly applies to this business too, you know. There may be plenty of reasons why you shouldn't be an affiliate marketer. But they can be outweighed by the reasons why you should be.