What Is The Downside Of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a $14 billion industry where top affiliates are making $10,000 and more per day and intimidate affiliates earn $300 up to 3,000 per day, etc, however, you may think making money with this business model is easy. It’s not true, there are downsides of it, so let’s take a look at what are the downsides of affiliate marketing? and what you need to do about them.

Everyone can succeed with affiliate marketing with the right training, tools, and education but the downside of it is that the learning curve takes time and it’s difficult to find the right niche, product, and targeted traffic to an offer that converts into a sale which letter results in people “giving up”. 

For me, I believe ‘delay gratification’ is the biggest downside of affiliate marketing. 

However, the best thing you need to do is to stick with it for the long-haul till you start seeing the result you want because building an online business or making money with affiliate marketing is not as easy as it promises to be. There is work involved.

If you are new or just about to get into this field, I believe the best way to approach it is to commit to learning everything you can. ( eg. how it works, what is it about, ups and down…etc) before taking any further steps.

Now, there are tons of disadvantages to affiliate marketing that you need to know about or be aware of if you want to bypass failure and set yourself up for success.

Below are some of them…

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The Disadvantages Of Affiliate Marketing

1. Fake Training Or Courses

A lot of affiliates, when they first get online they get exposed to other affiliates, “the so-called-gurus” showing their incomes and then tell people you can make money quickly with affiliate marketing without doing anything.

For some of them, they said you can create a website and leave it for a while and come back later and you will start making money. 

And with all those lies,  the beginning affiliates think they should also follow the same step or do exactly what those gurus say and they will also make money fast.

WRONG. That sort of art is extremely wrong and online there’s nothing like quick or fast money. It takes sweat, effort, commitment, and hard work to make any substantial income online.

In fact, those self-proclaimed “gurus”,  most of them are not even making any money at all, they usually use fake results, showing mansions and cars to only deceive people to buy their courses and products.

And in the very end, they went on to create fake courses that add little to no value or solve people’s problems and pains and sell it to people.

One funny thing is that some of those courses or training they created and charge expensively for can be found on YouTube and Google for free.

However, there are legit gurus out there that are honest and put people’s needs first instead of just trying to make money from them, but you still need to do your research about them on Google when you want to enroll in any of their courses or programs.

2. Shiny Objects Syndrome

There are hundreds of thousands of affiliate products out there to promote and you can get yourself caught up or confused with which one to promote or stick with and in the end, you find yourself promoting different products all at once and not putting your full attention, effort and focus into any of them.

And then later on get yourself overwhelmed and not making money with any of them. This happened to me when I first started and it really delays my success.

Let me know in the comment if you also do that?

Now, the best thing you can do for yourself is to pick one good product you believe in or have used yourself and stick with it for a long period of time until you are making enough revenue from that one product before moving to another one.

3. High Competition

Since all affiliate programs are free to join, tens of thousands of people are joining the same program and promote the same product that you are also promoting, and in the end, the competition can be a lot higher and uncontrollable. 

The only thing you need to do is to find a way to stand out from the crowd by being persistent and investing in good courses and then learn all the tips about how to market and correctly present a product in front of an ideal customer.

If your passion is to be a successful affiliate marketer that earns a 6-figure income per month, then investing in a course to grow your skillset shouldn’t be a problem or a scary thing to you at all.

4. High Cost Of Advertisement

Driving quality targeted traffic to an offer is one of the major things that play an important role in making money online, but on the other hand,  getting that traffic to an offer is also one of the difficult and most challenging things many of us face.

Online, there are two forms of traffic…the first one is free traffic…the second one is paid traffic.

With free traffic, it can take longer than it expected, which many people don’t have the patient to tolerate.

With Paid Traffic, the earlier you start the immediate result you will get, but one thing bout this form of traffic is that there is an investment involved to get your product promoted.

And the risk of it is that you may not be able to make enough money to cover your advertisement cost. And what does that mean? You lose money…

Now, if you don’t have an advertisement budget, don’t try paid marketing especially if you are new but if you have the fund, fine, but not advisable.

In the meantime, you can start with free marketing and you can still make a healthy income doing it… There are examples of people doing free marketing and are very successful. The thing is, you just need to learn how to do it right and you are off to go.

5. No Control Over The Affiliate Programs

Ideally, you are not the one who created the product or the service, so you don’t own the affiliate program and that means when you join the program, you just have to follow their rule and regulations.

You may see a program today and say this is by far one of the best programs that you ever join but later it becomes the worst program you ever join if you don’t follow their terms and conditions. And they can get your account blocked or removed.

The best thing to do to avoid any trouble is to follow their terms and conditions and if you need any adjustment or change, you can contact them and ask them for adjustment and then wait for them to implement the change before taking any further action.

6. It Takes Long To Get Paid A Commission

After spending sleepless nights and effort promoting a product, when it comes to a payout of your commission, it often takes a month or two in some cases for the commission to be paid in your account.

I’ll suggest when joining any program, you should take a close look at their payment policy to see how long it takes to payout commission because with some programs they want you to reach a specific amount before they allow you to withdraw your money.

So make it a point to check that, unless you will get frustrated waiting for your money.

7. You Can Easily Lose Your Commission

You can start your own affiliate marketing business with little or no investment and make decent income just simply promoting other people’s products, but in some cases, you may not get paid or lose all your commission completely.

This normally happens if the program you an affiliate for has a money-back guarantee policy. 

That is after a customer purchases A product from you and then later requests for a refund by bringing the product back to the company.

And if it happens like that, the merchant will withdraw the money back and give it to the customer.

For some of the programs out there, they may steal your commission and run away with it.

8. No Guarantee Of Income

We all know that affiliate marketing is one of the fastest-growing industries with billions of revenue generated from this industry every year.

And also one of the best ways to make a real passive income especially if you harness the power of pay-per-sale (PPS) affiliate marketing.

However, it’s not a guarantee that when you get into this business, you are going to make money. 

In Fact, making money with affiliate marketing is very hard, you can’t just say you are going to earn this amount of income and get it done easily. 

You are going to face a lot of challenges, failures and have to put in massive work, effort, the right mindset, and consistency before seeing any expected result.

Now, to be honest with you, it’s difficult to make money by promoting affiliate products especially when you are a newbie who has not built any TRUST with an audience or has no authority and credibility in your niche. 

So the best thing is to be patient, work hard, and think long term and learn as you go.

9. There Is Little Or No Support From either The Merchant Or The Companies 

Most often, product owners or companies, don’t provide any support, guide, or training on how to promote their product, how to succeed with the program or to answer any question you may have.

The bad thing about this is that all they focus on is for YOU and I to promote their product so they can make money and pay little commission to us.

Though some of the programs out there do offer some sort of support, it’s not immediate. You will have to wait for days or even a week before getting a response to your answer or request which is very bad.

The funny thing is that, even if they do respond to you, they will not give you any reasonable answer that will help fix what you are having trouble with or answer your exact question.

What do you have to do?

When you are about to join any product make sure you check if their customer support team is active in response in terms of troubleshooting before making your mind to join them.

And if they respond to you in a minute or even in an hour, that’s a good program to join.

Now, by definition: Affiliate marketing is a method or process of marketing or promoting a product created by an individual or a company. To succeed at it, you need to treat the product as you own by learning all that you can about it to be able to answer any question your customers might ask you. 

10. You May Not Be Able To Build A Customer Base

It’s very difficult to build a customer that Knows, Likes, and Trusts you when it comes to affiliate marketing. 

Though, building a customer base is one of the effective ways to make more money from a customer by doing repeated sales with them over and over again.

But the problem here is, once you bring a customer or referral to an affiliate program, that customer may not purchase any product from you ever again. 


The product owner will rather establish trust and build relationships with the customer and sell more different products to them over and over again and what you get to enjoy is the first commission you made from the customer.

In the end, upon all your effort and hustle, the product owner gets to make more money than you, since you are helping him to sell his product and on top of that generate leads.

What do you have to…?

Now, as a marketer, the only way to avoid all that and make the customer your loyal customers and increase your income is to first capture the customer’s email address before sending them to the actual product.

So in that case, you have them on your email list and you can market more products to them through email marketing.

Failure to build an email list, you are setting yourself up for failure, and also, you are leaving huge money on the table. Unless the product you promote is a recurring program whereby you get pay month after month.

“It often said the money is in the list” and that’s absolutely true. So the best thing I’ll suggest for you is to get serious about building your email list.

11. Wrong Approach

Since affiliate marketing is promised to be one of the best and easy ways to make money online, a lot of people approach it the wrong way by spammy their affiliate link across all social media, YouTube, and blog comments.

For some, they often join either Facebook or LinkedIn groups related to their niche or forums and start placing their link under other people’s comments and content and hope someone will click on their link and buy what they are selling. That sort of marketing is incorrect.

The best way to go about this and make money is through content marketing. Find people’s pain points, then provide a solution and then recommend a product that can further help solve that pain.

I think if you approach affiliate marketing this way, you can see a very good result.

Above are some bad things about affiliate marketing. But with every business out there, there are good and bad sides of it, so let’s also look at the upside of affiliate marketing.

Advantages Of Affiliate Marketing

Little Or No Investment

Almost all affiliate programs out there are free to join, anybody around the world with an internet connection can join an affiliate program and promote their product or services without paying any amount.

The only cost of starting affiliate marketing is, if you decide to build a website, then you need to pay for domain and hosting but if you don’t want to, there are free platforms you can start off with, such as YouTube and other social media platforms, etc.

You Don’t Need To Be An Expert

You don’t need to be an expert or a university graduate with a certificate or have any technical knowledge in order to be an affiliate marketer.

You can simply learn the basics step for free on YouTube or further enroll in a course to master the process and you can become successful at it and make a very good income from it.

No Physical Store Is Needed

With physical products such as books, computers, cameras, and pan kitchen equipment, etc, you need to set up a physical store when you want to sell them things. 

But in the case of affiliate marketing, you don’t need any of that, you can work from the comfort of your own home with a laptop or computer with an internet connection and earn a significant income.

No shipping and Packaging Of Product

One of the good things about this is that you don’t have to worry about packaging the product and a shipping cost. 

Your only responsibility or what you need to focus on is to just market or promote your link and earn a commission from the company or product owner if a sale is made.

No Customer Service (Support)

If a customer has any problem after purchasing a product from you or wants information about the product. You as an affiliate, you are not responsible for any of that.

The customer will have to contact the product owner or the company that manufactures the product. Meaning you are free from all sorts of that and that’s the beauty of it all.

Maximum Revenue

The amazing thing about affiliate marketing is that you can make an extra income or even a full-time income from it. 

You can even earn a very good income just by promoting high ticket items with less traffic.

For example, instead of joining a survey site and getting paid a few cents, you can generate a substantial income by selling a product to real people.

Passive Income

Who doesn’t want passive income, we all do, and if we don’t want passive income leave a comment below and tell me why?

Affiliate marketing is not about selling a product and earning a commission alone, but you can earn money with it while you are asleep or on vacation.

But first thing first, that will only happen if you have put in the initial work and also make use of tools such as email autoresponder, etc.

Remember: Any work you are putting in today into promoting your product, just know that it is an investment that will pay off one day if done correctly.

For example, if you promote a recurring affiliate program, and people sign up using your link. For every month you will receive a commission not just for once BUT month after month and that is called residual income.

You might have heard this quote before… “If you really understand residual income, you’ll walk through a brick wall to get it”.

Time And Location Freedom

You can work any time, anywhere with no boss on your shoulder shouting at you and meaning you have the freedom to do more of what you love and also spend more quality time with your family.

You can choose to sleep and wake up anytime and work on your business.

You can also take time off because you are your own boss. You are free from all the stress with 9 to 5 jobs and all the toxic co-workers in the office.

You Choose What Product To Promote

You can decide what company to work with or to promote. You also have the free will to do research about the company before joining them and if you find out that it is a scam or they don’t pay well you can bypass them.

For example, you find a company or a product you like but later find out that they scam people or their commission is low, you can decide not to join.

You Decide How Much You Want To Make

There are tons of products out there to promote. Every company with different levels of commission for selling their product.

Some pay a fixed amount of money for selling their product no matter how much customers you send spend on a product.

For some, they pay you depending on the amount the customer spends.

Let’s say, your goal is to make $500 a day and you find a program that pays only 50 bucks for selling their product, guess what, you will need to sell more of that product to reach your desired goal.

Now, you can decide not to join that program because it doesn’t meet your criteria or your set goal.

But if you find a program that pays $200 to $300 per sale, imagines how many sales it will take you to reach the amount you want to make.

Job Opportunity

Finding a good job nowadays is very difficult because the job you are going to apply for, there are many other people applying for the same job and in the end, they may or may not call you.

But thanks to affiliate marketing. More and more companies want their product and service to be sold fast and the best way they can possibly do that is through affiliate marketing.

And this is where you and I have the opportunity to make money from them by promoting their product online. 

And on top of that, we can choose multiple products to promote and earn more income and don’t have to worry about jobs or losing our job.

[READ NEXT]…Is Affiliate Marketing Worth The Effort | Find out

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Can Affiliate Marketing Make You Rich? Yes, it can make you rich. If you understand how it works, follow exact steps, and put in the effort, and stay consistent, there is no limit to how much you can make.

How Can I Succeed In Affiliate Marketing? The best way to succeed in affiliate marketing is to build a personal brand and then find a NEED and provide the need with a solution, also promote high item products you believe or have used yourself. Don’t spam your link, provide value.


The fact that it takes time to make money with an affiliate is one of the downsides that many people face, however, with consistency and effort the time can speed up.

In my opinion, I believe anyone can become successful with affiliate marketing, all you need to do is to stick with it, though the business model is a bit difficult, it can pay off if you are persistent.

After some time everything will become a lot easier for you. But the question is do you have what it takes to stick with it for the long term?

If you have reached the end of this post Bravo…let me know what you think in the comment below and how I can help you…If I’ve missed something out let me know as well.

Let me what’s your take away from this post…?

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Hope To Hear Your Success Story Soon

BRIGHT KERSH (Retired Influencer)

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