Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work

A lot of people wonder if affiliate marketing works in the current year or why affiliate marketing doesn’t work for them yet. It is not that affiliate marketing is a broken business model. It just simply need some-things done in the right way for it to work.

I had all the questions you have right now when I first started as well. If you are doing everything right, trust me, the results will come. Affiliate marketing isn’t going to generate quick income. To be in this business, you have to be patient. So check if you are doing all the things I mention below. So here’s why affiliate marketing does not work for you.

You Might be Using Outdated SEO Tactics

This industry like many technology-related industries, changes and evolves as the years go by. You always have to stay on top of things. If you do a Google search or a YouTube search for “how to do affiliate marketing”, you will see a ton of information. Some of them are legit and honest, some are outdated and some are just plain advertisements for products that provide no value whatsoever.

As a beginner, you don’t know who’s the providing you with something of value and who is selling you outdated crap that simply doesn’t work anymore.

Buying backlinks, PBN’s (Private blog network), article spinning, buying low-quality articles, these simply don’t work anymore. Even things like building natural quality backlinks have lessened the positive impact it delivered 5 years ago. As a beginner, this industry can be a minefield. You always have to avoid scams that many people promote as gold.

Niche Down as Much as Possible

The key to affiliate marketing is to narrowing down your niche as much as possible. I’m not saying a little bit broader niche will not work. All I’m saying is your success will come quicker the more you narrow down, especially if you’re trying to make your first dollar online.

One person I know made a site based on Football Snack Helmets, a mostly single product site. He added all the different team’s football snack helmets and started making money within a few months. Now, this is a micro niche and you don’t have to do the same. I tend not to create micro niches as it is a bit harder to expand and talk about other things relating to the niche. But if you are a beginner that hasn’t made the first dollar online yet, rather than trying to build a huge authority site from the ground up, try getting into a smaller niche first.

Focus on 1 Site at a Time

I remember at the beginning thinking I should create 3 sites so I can 3 different sources of income. In theory, this is true. But, soon I learned that spending my day doing little each day on each site is far less effective than spending my whole time and effort building 1 really good website. I soon found out that even with 1 site, I could have as many sources of income as I want.

For example: As an affiliate, you can be part of more than 1 affiliate program. So if you are promoting multiple products with different merchants then you have already diversified your income from your single site. You can also make money from making a YouTube channel related to your niche and you can create a course to make money as well.

As you can see 1 site is all you need to make good money. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be part of multiple businesses. You absolutely can and you will eventually, But for now, focus on developing 1 site the best you can.

You Must Help People First

Let’s talk about the first thing your affiliate website must deliver. That is value. Is this article a good example? Look at the title of this post….

Am I answering your question? Am I helping you?

If I am, then, my pleasure 🙂 OK back to the topic…

I want to help with every post I create, every video I make, every email I send. You should too with your affiliate website. If you are not actively helping people then you are not doing affiliate marketing right.

This field sometimes gets a bad reputation because there are some people just in it to make money, no matter what. Please don’t be one of them. Help your readers by solving their problems and the money will come.

Only Promote Quality Products

This is related to the point I made above. This is a major factor that is going to decide if you are going to have a healthy, long-term business or one that will die down.

Only promote products because you genuinely believe they are the best products you can promote that solve the problem that your customer has. Period.

Don’t let it be your goal to be part of as much affiliate programs you can or promoting a particular product because it pays the biggest commission. It is unethical, and you probably won’t be in the business for long. Yeah, you might make money now, but you won’t be a couple of years later.

You want your business to last not just a few years but 10, 20, 30 years. You want a good reputation and a brand that people trust. You can only get that if quality comes first in your business.

Prioritize Creating Content

If I can give maybe guess why you are not successful yet, it is probably because you are thin on content. Google and search engines loves quality, plentiful content.

I remember committing this mistake when I started. I spent 2 weeks making my website pretty. I spent hours learning how to create a logo, I then changed my logo multiple times, I spent a lot of time finding what colors I want for the website, what theme I should have, what font I should have…. It was never ending….

Don’t do this.

I say that…. but I still do it a little bit, but not to the extent I did before. I do it now because, like I want a nice clean desk before I work on my desk, I want a visually appealing site, that makes me want to create content. Even though I do it still, I don’t spend more than 2 hours beautifying my site.

After those 2 hours, I just write post after post, I don’t even put my affiliate links until I write 20 to 30 posts.

Content is king for a reason. Have a goal that you want to make 2 blog posts or 3 blog posts per week. And make sure you hit your goal weekly.

Don’t Give up 4 or 5 Months Later

Argh, the cardinal sin.

Success is just around the corner quote

Do you see the picture above? Don’t be that person.

A lot of people work hard on their sites and end up giving up or selling it for a few dollars. If you have come this far don’t even think about giving up. I have seen in this business, some people having low growth for the first 5 months, and by the time month 6, 7 or 8 comes up, it shoots up.

This is what I call, hockey stick growth. Your website needs a curation period and Google to realize that you are a worthy content creator that deserve the top spots in their search results.

Find Yourself a Genuine Place to Learn Affiliate Marketing

We all need to learn something first before we can do it ourselves. Learning from the right place is even more important for you to succeed. Recently I wanted to learn how to change my car headlight bulb, So I found a source that can teach me how to do that. I also wanted to learn how to play the acoustic guitar, so I found myself an online course that can teach me everything so I don’t have to pay a lot of money for private classes.

My point is, if you want to know how do affiliate marketing the right way, you should be part of a community that you learn from and ask questions from.

If there is a place I will recommend you to join to learn affiliate marketing, it is Wealthy Affiliate. It is the same place that I joined 10 years ago to learn affiliate marketing, and I’m still a member there myself. You can read my full review here.


The bottom line here is that affiliate marketing works and has worked for many many years. It is something that is only going to grow as the internet grows. You probably have seen many physical stores are closing down, partly because more and more people shop online. The growth that this industry has gone through is phenomenal. By 2020 the expected growth of affiliate marketing in 2020 in the US alone is expected to be $6.8 billion.

Let that sink in, that’s just in the United States. It was $4.7 billion in 2016. Can you see the potential?

There are a lot of people that don’t make it as an affiliate marketer, but I know you can make it if you do everything right and have the patience and persistence to see it through. Be part of a community that you can ask questions from and learn what you apply. One day you can get your piece of this 5 billion dollar industry.

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