Why Do You Think So Many People Quit Affiliate Marketing?

Q: Why do you think so many people quit affiliate marketing and what pushes them “over the edge”?

There are a number of reasons why people quit:

  • They have an unrealistic expectation that there’s money to be made online for little to no work. When reality strikes, they quit. If somebody wants to make $10,000 in 30 days, they’d be better off playing the lottery or going to the racetrack.
  • They’re too easily distracted by the next shiny object they see. Affiliate Marketing is a very dynamic area where tens of new products, courses and tools are launched every day. Without self-discipline it’s hard not to be seduced by the sales hype.
  • Lack of focus – this follows on from the last point. Marketers need to filter out all the digital distractions which include the new shiny objects as well as all the social media platforms. People need to pick a course, stick with it and follow it exclusively.
  • Being grasshoppers – that is jumping from program to program because they want quick results and never give anything time enough to work.
  • They’re not prepared to spend money on their business – and it is a business, not a hobby. All businesses have expenses. So will an online business. You need to cover web hosting expenses, possibly pay for a site to be built (if you can’t do this yourself), pay for a service to send out emails to keep in touch with your customers/readers/subscribers, pay for ads to put your offer(s) in front of more people, and so on.
  • They don’t want to go outside their comfort zone – if they have a mentor (say someone whose course they’re following) and they’re not prepared to take the recommended actions because they’re uncomfortable (appearing on video is a good example).
  • They pick the wrong niches to go into – most new affiliate marketers pick a niche first and then try to make money from it. That’s the wrong approach. They should find an audience first, one that has people looking to spend money to solve a problem. That’s why the real money is in the Health, Wealth and Relationships niches and not in Underwater Basket Weaving.
  • Giving up too soon – this again plays into the “quick results” mentality. Affiliate marketing is a Marathon, not a Sprint. Sprinters burn out quickly. It takes time to see results in this game.

That’s only some of the reasons. Personal circumstances may change so that a marketer is no longer in a position to devote time to their online business.

This is a question I originally answered over on Quora.

All the best,

Gary Nugent

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  1. I definitely think you hit the nail on the head with the reasons people quit and with number 1 being the reason most people quit. I admit it took me some time before I saw the light! I wanted to make money quick and had no real idea of the work it would and should take! Hopefully I am on the right path now and I no longer look for the get rich quick schemes!

    • Yeah, Brianna, having unrealistic expectations is the #1 killer of affiliate marketing success.

      To be fair, making money online was easier 10-15 years ago but a lot of unscrupulous methods, that have now been clamped down on, were knocking about then.

      And the pace of change online is only increasing making it harder to leverage different platforms for traffic.

      Ethical marketing is much more prevalent now too which means shortcuts aren’t available the way they used to be or they’re closed down very quickly.

      There are lots of ways to be an affiliate marketer. A newbie needs to pick one strategy, get a quality mentor and course and learn that inside out before looking at other strategies.

      It can be tough and time consuming. But, as the saying goes: “No pain, no gain!” 🙂

  2. Lack of preparation is also a reason why one fails in affiliate marketing, whether he is a merchandiser or an affiliate. Part of the preparation is researching.

    The affiliate marketer must research on the good-paying merchandisers before he signs up for an affiliate program. He must ensure that the merchants’ products and services match his interests so he can give his full attention and dedication to the program.

    Affiliate marketers with “rich-content” web sites are usually the ones who prosper in this business because the content improves traffic to the site.

    • That’s a good point, Satz. However, you don’t need to have a rich-content site to be a successful affiliate marketer.

      That’s essentially the “affiliate marketing through blogging” strategy. There are other strategies such as using sales funnels, posting YouTube videos, promoting products on social media, buying paid advertising that can be less work.

      It all depends on what you enjoy doing and what you’re comfortable doing. Not every strategy will work for every marketer.

      Whatever strategy a marketer does employ, they all rely one one thing for success – quality, targeted traffic.

      Blogs and YouTube videos can pull in traffic passively. The other strategies rely on the marketer going out and finding traffic to steer towards their offers.

      But if you’re sending traffic to the wrong type of offer, a poor product or a bad merchant, then it’s pretty much all wasted effort, as you point out.

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