Affiliate marketing isn’t as easy as all the shady gurus make it out to be.
There is no magic push button, 3 step system that will make your bank account balloon overnight. You won’t be buying a Rolls-Royce by this time next week and you probably shouldn’t quit your job just yet.
Affiliate marketing is a business model and just like any other business, there are ups and downs. You will have great days and you will have tough days.
Despite all this, affiliate marketing is still the easiest business to start where the income potential is truly unlimited. You just need to know and follow the process if you want to be successful.
In this post, I’m going to list five common challenges that affiliate marketers face and also how you can overcome them to make your experience with this business a little smoother. Whether you’re just getting started with affiliate marketing or you’ve been doing it a while, there’s a challenge in here that will affect you sooner or later. Will you be ready?
1. Getting the Right Information
The make money online industry is polluted with so many scams and lies that it’s almost like an initiation process for someone who is just getting started online.
Most people want to quit their jobs, make some extra money, get out of debt or just be able to afford a vacation or a new car. The scammers know how to push these hot buttons and will lie and show off fake income statements just so they can sell their overpriced software or outdated training program.
There are a fair amount of legitimate places online that provide great information on earning money on the internet but finding them and trying to figure out whether they can help is tough. This is one of the reasons why I do product reviews on my site. I want to help people avoid the bad apples and point them in the right direction.
The people that are faced with this challenge the most are the ones who are just now learning about affiliate marketing. If you’ve known about affiliate marketing for a while and have yet to achieve satisfactory results from your efforts then you’re probably going through this challenge as well.
Here’s how to get the right information you need to get satisfactory results through affiliate marketing.
To succeed, you need information that can help you build a long term business – information that is clear, step by step, relevant and timely. You do not need some miracle software tool that makes money through a single method.
It’s easy to avoid getting scammed by doing some quick research. Research the product that’s being offered and also try researching the name of the product creator. Search multiple sources for reviews and even asking questions on forums or social media sites can give you the answers that you need.
If you’ve been reading this blog, then you know that I only recommend Wealthy Affiliate because you can get inside the members area for free and decide if the training is right for you. In my view, the training is ideal for anyone who wants to make an income through affiliate marketing because I’ve personally used it to go from employed and struggling to self-employed and comfortably earning a full time income that pays the bills and provides for my family.
2. Making Your First Commissions
Once you’ve gotten started, this is one of the first challenges everyone experiences – making their first money online.
For most people, it’s the difference between believing that it works and brushing off the entire make money online thing as a scam or thinking that they don’t have the ability to do it.
Everyone is different and there are a lot of factors that will determine when and how fast you make your first commissions. Most of the time though, it boils down to how much action you’re taking in order to make those first commissions.
I’ve seen people complain about doing it for months and not making anything and others who get their first dollar during their initial weeks of following proper training. Once in a while someone will complain that they’re not making any money then when you check out their site, they really haven’t done much or they just started a day ago.
The reality is that it takes time and consistent input just like any other business to reap the rewards.
3. Dealing With Outside Pressure
It could be hard getting someone with no interest in making money online to believe that what you’re doing can lead to financial freedom. After all affiliate marketing isn’t the most conventional career choice or business venture.
A spouse, family member or even a close friend may be skeptical about all the time you’re spending on the computer with not much to show for it.
“That’s not going to work.”
“Get a real job.”
“Honey, they’re all scams. You cannot make money online.”
These are some of the most common things you will hear from unsupportive family members or friends. This pressure can often lead to “I told you so” if you decide to throw in the towel.
The most important thing to do in this case is to remember that this is what YOU want and you should do whatever it takes to achieve your goals. Acknowledge the pressure and move forward.
If it’s someone who lives with you like a spouse or close family member, then you may need to come to some agreement. Tell them that this is what you want to do and you would love their support. Never argue because this would only make the naysayer stand even more steadfast to their own point of view.
When I was just starting out, my then girlfriend didn’t think it was possible and even when I received my first check, she thought I would get into trouble trying to clear it at the bank. When the check cleared she became a believer and even tried affiliate marketing herself for a short time.
4. Understanding Niche Marketing
This goes hand in hand with making your first commission (challenge #2). If you don’t get this right then it may be tough making that first dollar online.
Finding a niche and understanding what they really wanted was what held my back in the beginning until I found Wealthy Affiliate. Before I understood this critical piece to succeeding with affiliate marketing, I just promoted whatever looked like it would make money.
The truth is that you can make money with almost any product that is sold online. There will always be someone who is going to spend money on that item. But that most likely represents the solution to a problem in a particular niche market. Understanding what that niche is and the problems faced by those people can give you insight into other problems that you can help solve.
Doing this can open doors to finding buyer keywords that you may have overlooked or never thought about.
For example, many people think that the weight loss niche is too saturated. It’s really not. You just need to find an angle that gets your foot in the door. When you don’t understand niche markets, you’re going to look at keywords like “how to lose weight” and “how to diet” and get drowned in the competition.
When you understand niche markets however, you’ll realize that someone who wants to lose weight is probably going to search for a specific product like “acai berry to lose weight” or “does the Calorie Switch Diet work”.
5. Shiny Object Syndrome
So you just got this new program that shows you how to build niche sites and make money using Amazon. You’re going along well, just got past picking a product that you can promote and then…
Hey, look. New software shows how to make $5,628.41 per day using only YouTube traffic!
You’re excited. And curious. Maybe hopeful that you’re finally going to make some real money.
You pull out your credit card and hit the buy now button. After a few problems downloading and installing the software, dealing with customer support, you finally get it to work but now you’re even more confused and something deep down tells you that you’ve made a mistake. But you don’t want to admit it because you just spent $49 and they promised you that you will make $5,628.41 by this time tomorrow. Or maybe you should give it a few days.
This scenario plays out, in much the same way as described above, all the time. It’s called “shiny object syndrome” and is a common problem for a lot of affiliate marketers especially those that haven’t had much success as yet.
The challenge is that they don’t give a particular program enough time to work and while they might be on the right path, the distraction derails them and they go right back to square one thinking that nothing is working.
If this is you then the solution is simple. Find something that works and work on it until you’ve completed all the steps. In the meantime, clear out your inbox and unsubscribe from all the email lists that have nothing of value to provide.
Commit to completing what you’re working on and you will see results and don’t buy any programs that make unrealistic promises.
How do you find something that works?
Determine what it is that you want to do first. Do you want to make money with Amazon? YouTube? Facebook ads? There are legitimate programs that teach these techniques. Do your research and find one and work it.
Firstly though, you may want to get the foundation right and for that I recommend Wealthy Affiliate. The courses at Wealthy Affiliate provide you with a solid strategy for making money online so much that you don’t really need anything else.
Once you start succeeding with these courses, you can add supplementary strategies like YouTube marketing into your overall strategy.
This list is by no means all the challenges that affiliate marketers face. It’s just 5 common ones and how you can deal with them. If you face a challenge not listed here, let’s talk about it below.