Particularly in the past couple of months, I have been receiving a staggering number of messages - well, about one or two a day 😅 but almost every day - that read "I'm not making money. How can I make it happen? How long will it take? What's the secret?" Mostly from new affiliate marketers and my short answer to most of them is, "you're not patient enough."
If you google the problem, you'll hit many sites that explain why most people fail to make money online. You don't have enough traffic... You're not fully committed... You're over analyzing the results... I agree with the majority of the points. But my version is based on my own past experience (and perhaps the current failing trials too). Affiliate marketing is hard, and it should be hard. It takes a lot of hard work to start making money online.
Reasons You're Not Making Money
Here are the reasons I think that you're not making money just yet, and many of them overlap each other because they're all based on the "trust" issue. I hope you'll see what I mean.
Reason #1: Expecting Quick Short-Term Results
My SEO keyword search tool tells me that every month, over 5,700 people google-search the phrase "make money online fast". So it's no surprise a lot of people are either looking to sort out their personal finance, or simply being impatient.
If you're in financial trouble and need help, like you need to pay the rent by next Tuesday, the credit card bill's overdue, etc. Then you're totally wasting time looking for ways to "make money online". It's never gonna happen, nobody's gonna let you because nobody's a charity, you see.
You probably decided to start affiliate marketing because you can't find any job offers neither locally nor online? But affiliate marketing is a business, and it takes a lot of time, a lot of learning, testing, and failures before any kind of business starts to take off. It's one of the easiest business models to start, but it doesn't mean you can make money easy and quick. And even when you start earning income, it'll be a continuous process. If you don't want to hover around the start line, you need to understand this and have a long-term vision.
Reason #2: Promoting Wrong Products
"Wrong" as in "inferior". Many individual vendors come up with a new product every few months and sell it via affiliate marketplaces such as Warrior Plus, ClickBetter, JVZoo, etc... The products often turn out to be a rehashed version of a previously released one, but instead of naming it "version 2", they rename it as if it's brand new. They do this because they sell more copies this way. In fact, hardly any products sold via these marketplaces are innovative.
I must emphasize that I'm not talking about all the vendors, but talking about many of them who sell similar products in a short cycle over and over again. They don't care because they're not the ones who sell them directly to the public. You as an affiliate are the one who makes recommendations. And while you keep recommending junk, you'll never gain trust from anyone, you see what I mean? You might trick the first-timers into buying one of those inferior products, but there's a good chance that they may never listen to what you say again.
So it's very important to check the seller of the product that you're promoting carefully - check what kind of products they've sold previously. If they seem to be "rinsing and repeating" similar products using similar sales pages, then that's a red flag.
Reason 3: Not Being Able To Explain The Products
I don't know how many times I've been invited to join various MLM schemes and try out new web tools without being explained what it exactly is. All they say would be "You'll receive up to 80% commission!" "Refer it to 2 people and you'll get $100 extra!"
So I do my own research from scratch before making the decision whether to give it a try or not. But why should I? Why can't they entice me with their own words?
What I mean is this. Don't be distracted by shiny objects (e.g. "80% commission! Great return!") And don't wave shiny objects to others, either. You make money when somebody pays for it, right? Don't sell something to others and encourage them to do the same just because it pays a good commission. Don't try to make money by promoting "making money" for the sake of it. You're not getting real people to trust you by promoting a "rob Peter to pay Paul" method.
You see, what you should do in the first place is;
- Understand the core product, and
- Believe that the product is worth the money.
The scheme, program, membership, whatever it's called, should have a product (or service) and you're recommending that very product to others only because it's valuable. Those people should be benefitted by using that core product/service, and you should be able to explain it to them clearly.
Reason 4: Running Campaigns Incognito
I have had literally hundreds of people who left a spam comment with a Bitly affiliate link, naming themselves John Smith, Emma Brown, etc... "I love your site! Have you heard about the latest program that makes $$$? Check this ==> Bitly..."
Well, spam comments, I simply don't approve them. But you see how they waste their time trying "luck" by doing it? Every marketing expert thrives to build their trust by being honest and true to their followers. Trying to promote affiliate products and hiding your identity at the same time is such a short-term strategy.
It doesn't matter how you look or what you say - as long as your personal views are relatable to users, they'll start looking up to you and buying products that you promote.
Reason 5: Targeting Wrong Audiences
- Traffic exchange
- Ad exchange
- Entrepreneurs' community such as IBO Toolbox and LeadsLeap...and
- Facebook "online business" groups.
I wouldn't totally deny them because you'll at least get to see what other entrepreneurs are up to. But they're not your target audience. You'll be wasting time copying & pasting your sales copy because other members are too busy promoting their own. They are equally wasting their time, trying to connect with people who barely care about other businesses.
Cheap traffic services don't work either - if there's someone who claims to send, say less than 30 cents per visitor (i.e. charge you $35 or less to send 100 visitors to your page), the traffic is likely to contain bots and/or unresponsive visitors. Even expensive traffic services can be hit & miss, randomly targeting an audience who's not interested in your niche. Never buy cheap traffic!
I've mentioned about spam comments in the previous section, but spammers are the same. They don't know who they're targeting, and randomly keep pasting the same phrase anywhere they can think of, hoping for someone to click the link and make a purchase. That's a long shot.
Reason 6: Trying To Sell Rather Than Helping Others
In theory, if you have a good product in hand, you don't even have to try to sell it, right? But no one will know if you don't share that information. So you share. That's all you have to do, in theory. The question is how you can stay true to yourself and others.
Here's one example; when you recommend something that you like to your friend (e.g. a great restaurant/movie/book that you discovered last week), you wouldn't make up a story. You tell them your genuine thoughts. Your friend will be convinced or not convinced by the way you tell them.
A different example; when you apply for a job, you send a resume to the employer. If you've been involved with recruitment, or have been a job candidate in the past, you know this. Employers are not interested in what you do or your previous job history because although relevant, they've probably seen hundreds of candidates with a similar portfolio. What you need to emphasize is what kind of value you've provided to your previous employers (to make their businesses a success).
You see what I mean, you need to do with your affiliate marketing business is to explain in your own words how the product helps you and therefore how it can help others in the same position as you. Don't try to sell like a salesperson. Give value and build a trust relationship with others, and the money will come naturally.
Reason #7: Relying On Others (Not Focusing on Learning!)
I often get messages from affiliate marketing beginners who want to learn more about particular marketing methods or hear my opinion of some "make money" products. I'm more than happy to reply and help them as much as I can.
Sadly, I find a few typical patterns in the majority of their emails where I see why they're failing (not making money just yet).
Just Taking, Not Giving
They email back to me over & over again to keep asking different questions one after another. After 3-4 emails, when they've got what they want, they never come back (to thank me or say something, anything.) I have no problem with that. But what I know is that those people don't know how to how to treat others (me, in this case). No wonder they're not making money.
Not Serious Enough
They ask me a question. I respond within 3-12 hours. They email me back a week later to ask another question. It shows that they're not serious. If they had a passion for success, they'd be willing to invest a lot more time and effort. They'd take action much quicker. Agree?
Entirely Relying On Others
They ask me to coach them - thank you very much for trusting me, but I'm just a blogger, I don't offer a coaching service. But the reason they're not making money I think is something else. They haven't done any work or research themselves and try to rely on someone else from Day 1.
It's good to have your own mentor. I had a mentor when I started an email marketing business. But it happened naturally - I was struggling to work out what I was doing wrong myself. So I contacted one of the experts to ask for advice, and he offered me a coaching service. His fee wasn't cheap, but I was determined to make the most of it, i.e. to make money using the skills I've learned from him.
Don't expect others to look after you from beginning to end, you'll have to start controlling your business on your own at some point. If you don't proactively work on it, you'll be pouring your money down the drain (and that'll be thousands of dollars, at least!)
7 Reasons Your New Affiliate Business Is Already Failing
So here's a quick wrap-up. You're not making money yet because;
- You're expecting quick results - you haven't established a trust relationship with your audience.
- You're randomly promoting inferior products - you'll be losing your reputation.
- You're not able to explain the benefit of each product clearly - people won't believe you.
- You're hiding your true identity - no one's buying from a stranger.
- You're targeting wrong audiences - beginner marketers waste a lot of time spamming each other.
- You're trying to sell rather than giving value - no one will appreciate your effort.
- You're not trying to learn proactively - it's your business. You need to learn to take full control of it.
Learn Affiliate Marketing at Low Cost
Plenty of decent online marketing training courses are available at relatively low cost. But we also still find a lot of courses that charge around $1,000 in advance. Expensive courses aren't necessarily better. In my opinion, you shouldn't be paying a lot of money all at once. You won't be benefitted over time, it's not worth it.
You shouldn't be buying a cheap training course package, e.g. a one-time fee of less than $50, either because it's very likely to be a collection of outdated YouTube videos with a couple of general guide textbooks.
If you want to learn how to build a good trust relationship with your audience and start a sustainable business that genuinely helps others, join me from the link below and give it a try for free. It's up to you to decide whether this is for you or not. Good luck!
How I "Finally" Make Over $6,000 Monthly Income
"The most valuable thing I've ever done!"