Affiliate marketing is a business model that allows you to earn a commission by promoting someone else’s products or services. Like any other business model, it has its benefits as well as pitfalls that anyone who wishes to get into it should be aware of beforehand.
Here is an interesting fact; almost 90% of internet publishers acknowledge that affiliate marketing is a reliable source of income and that contributes to more than 30% of their annual income. While this all depends on the amount of time and effort that every affiliate marketer dedicates to their business, it just goes to show how popular affiliate marketing is.
However, as the title suggests, the focus of this article will be on the not-so-great aspects of affiliate marketing. There are several pitfalls that you might face in this business. Luckily, with the right set of tools and skills by your side, none of them should be too difficult to overcome.
This article will highlight some of the downsides of affiliate marketing with the aim of arming you with all the information you need to help you reach your business goals.
Here are some of the pitfalls you can expect with affiliate marketing
DISCONTINUATION OF A PRODUCT
Sometimes, the product you promote can be discontinued or out of stock. This can affect your profit margins, especially if it was your main affiliate product.
A great workaround for this is to promote several different products at the same time. By not putting all your eggs in one basket, you protect yourself just in case one product fails. Alternatively, picking a product with a strong foundation and a proven history and background will also make you quite confident that nothing too crazy will happen to it in the foreseeable future.
CHANGE IN COMMISSION RATES
Many affiliates choose products to endorse depending on the size of commission earned (I don’t recommend this). As an affiliate, you have no say when it comes to the product’s price and the commission. Any change to these two things is therefore completely out of your hands.
This can hurt you as an affiliate marketer especially when drops in commission rates happen. For example, Amazon commission rates changed suddenly in 2017, affecting many affiliate marketers who were depending on the profits.
Always pick tried and tested products that you firmly believe in, so that no matter the price or commission rates, you will always make sales. This way, your income flow will last longer.
FAILURE TO BUILD A LIST
New affiliate marketers often make the mistake of building their entire business on their sites. Websites can crash sometimes, especially when too much traffic goes there at the same time. If your website crashes and your entire business was on it, that also means that your profits will plummet.
This is why you need to incorporate strategies like having multiple websites and email marketing. This will ensure that no matter what happens, the blow will not hurt too much. You will also be able to build a more personal relationship with your potential customers.
Affiliate marketers should always be true to their word. Some affiliates will do literally anything for a quick buck without caring about their audience. Things like exaggerating the products’ benefits, marketing non- existence features, and hyping a terrible product are just some of the things that will inevitably get discovered and affect the products market negatively. Even more importantly, they will lose the trust of their audience- This is a business killer!
INSUFFICIENT RESOURCES TO DEDICATE AFFILIATE CAMPAIGNS
Affiliate marketing is cheap when you are just starting out. However, as your business grows and you want to supercharge your profits, you will need to spend some money to make even more money. Sometimes, this may not be possible, and your business may end up stagnating.
However, you can get affiliate support from most affiliate programs that should help you manage your product campaigns and ease the load a little.
There are affiliate marketers that make a lot of money from affiliate marketing. However, this does not always happen to everyone. The amount of time you dedicate to your business, how much you learn along the way, the effort you put into it, and the skills and expertise you have when starting out all play a role in determining how much money you make.
This is not a get rich quick scheme. The amount of effort and time you put into it will determine how much money you eventually make.
TOO MANY AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
There are a thousand of products with affiliate programs. However, this does not mean that you have to sign up for all of them. Start small and work your way up. For example, you can sign up to a maximum of 4 programs first, then set them up in your funnel. As you gain experience in affiliate marketing, you can add more products. Having a lot of products at the same time can overwhelm you and even push you to give it all up.
BAD AFFILIATE PARTNERSHIP
Not every affiliate partner is good. Some partners may fail to pay for work done, end the business or even decide to change their leadership and policies abruptly. Always do your research first before signing up to any program.
Affiliate marketing has a very low barrier to entry. It needs little initial capital and skill to get things set up and going. While this is a great thing, it also means that because almost anyone can do it, there is very steep competition in this business.
This is why it is incredibly important to find the right niche before starting. I would stay away form Health and Make Money niches if just starting out!
LACK OF SUPPORT
Affiliate marketing is a lonely career. Most people who do it are entirely self-reliant, which means they have to figure things out on their own. There are very few companies that deal with affiliate marketers in terms of solving technical problems, giving advice or even funding product campaigns. This can get extremely frustrating especially if you are not somewhat technically savvy. Many people get frustrated and quit because of this. The truth is that I have very little technical knowledge but with YouTube and google, I can solve 95% of my issues. It also helps to have a community of like minded individuals right there to help you – more on this later!
LACK OF PATIENCE
Your affiliate marketing business will take a while to get established. This is why you will need a lot of patience. This is not a business to run to if you need quick cash or if you have just lost a job.
A lot of people lack this patience and end up quitting the business altogether. Building your affiliate networks, gaining your readers’ trust, getting ranked well, and linking up with the right partners are all things that take a lot of time. Provided that you keep putting in the work every day, it will all eventually fall into place.
Sometimes, affiliate links can get hijacked. Hijackers will take over your link and claim the commissions that were rightfully yours. Although with recent security upgrades in the industry this rarely happens anymore, it can really hurt your business if it does.
POOR QUALITY WEBSITE
If you design a poor-quality website you will get low profit in sales. When a website has too many ads and slow page speed, visitors will get discouraged from visiting the website again and this will keep them off from the products.
CHANGE OF AFFILIATE PLATFORMS
If a company decides to change its affiliate platform, it will mean that you will also have to change your affiliate links. This can be a massive overhaul of things on your end especially if you had a lot of links promoting your products on your sites. For example, if you have 500 affiliate links promoting 50 products and the company decides to switch affiliate platforms, all the links you created will be useless and you will be required to start over from scratch.
HOW TO AVOID MOST OF THESE PITFALLS AS AN AFFILIATE MARKETER
Here are a few pro-tips to help you avoid these pitfalls:
- Have multiple products and affiliate programs. Do not put all your eggs in one basket.
- Always use trustworthy affiliate programs. Do your due diligence before signing up and make sure you are choosing to work with a legit company.
- Supervise your affiliates on a daily basis to ensure that the products remain credible.
- Do not build a reputation as being the all-hype-no-truths kind of affiliate. Be honest in your promotions.
- There is always room for learning new things. Do your research and find ways to increase your traffic and conversions. Leverage the power of SEO, email marketing and social media.
- Plan your time well depending on lifestyle. If you have a job, try not to let it keep you from your side hustle and vice versa.
- Pick your products carefully. The product with the highest commissions may not always be the best products.
- Make sure you have a high-quality website. First impressions last.
- Get into a niche that you understand well.
Affiliate marketing takes a lot of time and dedication to get right. If you lack patience or your time is limited, this might not be the business for you.
Sometimes, it may be necessary to get a little extra help if you want to take your business to the next level. One of the best platforms to do this with is Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate is an affiliate marketing platform that helps affiliate marketers supercharge their businesses. It offers training, mentorship programs, live video classes, lessons and advice to new and established affiliates globally.
The company was founded in 2005 and has been operating successfully since then. Today, it is available in more than 193 countries with more than 1,400,000 members. More than 23,000 affiliate marketers are helped on a daily basis.
The best part is that this program is available completely free of charge, so you can try it out for yourself at absolutely no cost to you. If you like what it has to offer, you can then upgrade to the paid plan and access even more features on the platform. Your business will never be the same!
Just like any other business, affiliate marketing has its drawbacks. It is important to have a good understanding of them and to weigh them out to see whether this business will be worth your while before committing your time and resources.
I strongly believe that despite its pitfalls, which are all actually pretty easily avoidable, affiliate marketing is hands down the best online business anyone can engage in. There is a reason why this is a billion-dollar industry. With a very low barrier to entry and an unmatched level of independence, flexibility, and convenience, what’s not to love about it?
As long as you put in the time and the work, you will find success in this business. Patience is key. And remember, if you want to find even more success, or if you are just looking for a little extra guidance, Wealthy Affiliate is the platform to turn to. If you click the link below, I will be waiting for you on the platform to lend a helping hand!
To your success,
MORE POSTS YOU MAY LIKE