16 Top Reasons Why Affiliates Fail? (And How To Fix Them)

Why you fail with affiliate marketing

Are you wondering why affiliate marketers fail? You’re at the right place.

The majority of people who attempt affiliate marketing fail or struggle to make sales not just because they are promoting the wrong kind of product or doing something wrong.

But because they lack the necessary marketing skills, plan, and strategies to drive relevant, qualified, and targeted traffic to their affiliate offer which will end up resulting in product sales.

16 Reasons Why Affiliate Marketers Fail

There are so many reasons why people fail in affiliate marketing:

1. Affiliates Fail Due To Lack Of Patience

2. Not Focusing On Providing Valuable Information 

3. Shiny Object Syndrome ( Focusing on too many things all at once)

4. Not Treating Affiliate Marketing Like A Real Business

5. It Takes Hard Work (Hustle)

6. Quick Expectation

7. Failing Due To Lack Of Proper Training And Guidance

8. Joining The Wrong Affiliate Programs

9. Choosing Bad Hosting

10. Not Targeting The Right Keywords

11. Underestimating The Power Of Relationships

12. Not Investing Into Your Business (Tools)

13. Lack Of Discipline And Laziness

14. Lack Of  Passion

15. Lack Of Time Management

16. Technical Issues

Many people fail with affiliate marketing simply because they are not willing to learn or not willing to implement what they learn.

Also, most people get into affiliate marketing without really knowing what it takes to succeed in this industry, so they focus on the wrong thing that leads them to absolute failure.

And for some, they don’t want to or don’t have the money to invest in the right course to learn how to do affiliate marketing the right way.

Speaking of affiliate marketing is a broad topic and very competitive.

If you’re not willing to invest in yourself to learn the right way to go about it. 

Chances are that you’re likely to make tons of mistakes along your journey which might eventually delay your exposure and your success. 

And the more time it takes, your chances of giving up, which I believe the vast majority of people do.

They give up because they’re not seeing any results.

Below I share with you some of the things that lead people to fail with affiliate marketing:

Why do affiliates fail? by Bright Kersh

1. Affiliates Fail Due To Lack Of Patience

A lot of people approach affiliate marketing as a solution to their financial problems or as a quick way of making money online.

And if they don’t make any money from it in a couple of days, months, or even a year, they get discouraged, frustrated, and give up.

Well, that’s a wrong mindset. 

If everyone who gets started in affiliate marketing makes money from it in just a couple of days or months upon their first entering into this industry, that will be good news for a lot of people.

Like everyone will be doing affiliate marketing.

However, that’s not the case here.

Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick overnight or press-a-button and-make-money kind of stuff. It’s a real, legitimate business and takes a fair amount of time, and effort to grow.

So how long will it take me to make money with affiliate marketing?

Well, to put it simply – If you have followers on social media who are actively engaging with your content or you have an email list that knows, likes, and trusts you, you could make a commission in just an hour of posting your affiliate link.

However, if you don’t have any of that, it will probably take you about 6 to 12 months or more to be able to make your first sales”. 

I Want You To Take note Of This: It takes a fair amount of time to generate any significant income online.


All the top, successful affiliates you see on YouTube, blogs, social media, etc, who are making multiple 6 to 8 figures per month.

They didn’t become successful overnight, they worked for years to get to where they are today. 

So, I want you to also decide you’re going to put in the work and have a long-term mindset.


Making money online, especially with affiliate marketing is not an easy thing but that does not mean it’s impossible.

It’s absolutely possible, you just need to be patient and be willing to put in the work, and effort, and stay consistent. 

And above all give it a chance at least a year or more to see what happens.

2. Not Focusing On Providing Valuable Information 

create content to become a successful with affiliate marketing and make a lot of money

If you’re not helping your audience by providing helpful, relevant, and high-quality content that helps solve a particular problem or pain they’re facing.

This is also another reason why you’re struggling with your affiliate business.

The vast majority of people who get started in affiliate marketing sign up for any affiliate programs they come across with.

And then go to platforms like Facebook groups, YouTube channels and blog comments, Forums, etc, and then say something like this: 

Do you want to make money online? Then click the link below and join now, and they leave their affiliate link at the end of that without proving any sort of value.

Very funny right?

Well, I’m guilty of this – I also did that when I first got started.

I was posting my affiliate link on every Facebook I came across, I did that several times until Facebook got my account blocked but I’ll create another account and still repeat the same process.

However, despite all that, I didn’t make any sales from my affiliate offer.

Now, allow me to offer you some well-earned advise, you know what? That sort of marketing strategy is going to get you nowhere, but failure.

You can’t be promoting your affiliate offer that way and expect to make money online. It doesn’t work that way.

Every successful business is built on plan and strategy, NOT LUCK or some kind of spamming way.

If you’ve been doing that after reading this post, well, STOP IT.

Because you’re just wasting your precious time and effort.

And I guarantee you, you won’t make any sales with that kind of tactic.


Online, the name of the game is content.

Content is said to be king and without it, you are doomed to fail.

So, whatever niche or business you find yourself in, your main goal or focus should first be on providing valuable content that teaches, educates, and helps other people.

And then get them into your email list.

And as they’re on your list, you can then promote your product to them later.

All the top affiliates in the world I know, that’s the strategy they UTILIZE.

However, if building an email list is not on your plan right now then at the end of your content, you can then recommend your offer to them to check it out.

However, make sure you provide value first.

But it’s also very important you build an email list because most people who see your offer for the first time are not going to buy.

But if you get them on your list, you can then remarket that same product to them over and over again until they decide to buy.

3. Shiny Object Syndrome ( Focusing on too many things all at once)

Most people don’t know what they want to succeed in, so, they try to do everything all at once.

A lot of affiliate marketers (especially beginners) don’t have the patience to stick to one method of making money online for a period of time until success before moving to another thing.

They try to focus on too many things and not actually get ahead with any of them.

In my opinion, I think this is one of the main reasons why people fail online.

And the funny part is that.

In the end, if they don’t make any money, they say this method doesn’t work or it’s a scam.

Then they move to another method, to another, and then to another. ..

They continue with that process and get overwhelmed, and confused, and end up not actually having success with any of the methods.

Well, again.

I’m guilty of this… I also did this when I first got started and it really delayed my success.


I want you to take note of this – FOCUS is the KEY to Success.

I’ll encourage you to only STICK with one thing till you master it and you’re making enough, decent income from it before moving to something different.

Failure to do that I bet you… First, you’ll not be able to take any MASSIVE ACTION on any of them which is very essential for your success. 

SECOND, you’ll overwhelm yourself.

And finally, I guarantee you, you’ll end up not making money with none of them.

So, again stick with one program till success.

4. Not Treating Affiliate Marketing Like A Real Business

A lot of people treat their affiliate business as a hobby. They work on it the time they feel like it.

Well, to be honest with you, just like any kind of business out there requires time, effort, and dedication in order to succeed. 

So, does affiliate marketing as well. 

In order to succeed with affiliate marketing, you need to put in work, time, effort, and dedication on a daily basis just like how you wake up and go to your 9 to 5 job.

Failure to put in the necessary WORK and EFFORT into your business to move it forward. 

You’re not going to get your desired result and if you’re not getting your desired result, guess what? you’re likely to get discouraged easily and quit.


Remember, anything worth succeeding in requires work, time, effort, and consistency.

So, you’ll want to wake up every day and put some work into your business to move it forward. 

But, what if I’m working a full-time job?

Well, if you are working a full-time job, then wake up early and put in at least an hour or two before leaving for work.

However,  if you can’t wake up early, then sacrifice some time after work and put in at least an hour before going to bed.


The path to achieving success in your business is to take massive action. There’s no shortcut and there’s no off day until you achieve what you want. Click To Tweet

5. It Takes Hard Work (Hustle)

When it comes to making money online and probably with affiliate marketing you need to HUSTLE and WORK HARD.

However, what I discovered is that.

A lot of people want to SUCCEED but are not willing to do the things that will lead them to that success.

We live in a microwave world now, where people want instant results without having to do anything.

Well, let me be sincere with you, without effort, commitment, and massive work.

Affiliate marketing is probably not for you, find something else online to do.

TAKE NOTICE! When you first start your affiliate marketing business, in your first year or two or even third year. 

You’re really going to struggle and this is where most people “jump off the ship before reaching the harbor” ( they quit before even succeeding).


I have a question for you?

Do you really want to make money online and probably have the freedom to do more of what you love?

If you answer YES, then you need to be willing to HUSTLE and put in the work every single day.

So, how do I go about that?

This is simple – you do that simply by focusing on creating useful, high-quality content on a daily basis that other individuals are looking to consume. 

Why content?

Well, online content is the only way to attract prospects to your affiliate offer who may be interested in and more likely to purchase from you.

Without content, you ain’t going anywhere.

6. Quick Expectation

A lot of people think the moment they get into affiliate marketing, they’re going to be rich the following week.

And as along the way they came to find out that affiliate marketing is not a quick method of making money online.

But rather, a long-term business that requires some sort of skillset, hard work, effort, and dedication.

Guess what?

They lose interest and quit.


Affiliate marketing, on the other hand, is a business model (as I stated earlier), and as a  business, it needs time, consistent effort, and dedication to grow.

So, I want you to be patient, relax, and just focus on creating helpful content!

I don’t mean spamming people with your affiliate link. I mean focus on creating content that help solve people’s problem.

If you can do that, over time, the money will honestly follow.

7. Affiliates Fail Due To Lack Of Proper Training And Guidance

wrong advice scaled

Affiliate marketing is a broad topic with tons of fake training courses that mislead people.

And tons of fake “so-called gurus” claiming you can make money with their method with little or no effort.

For some, they promise they can show you hacks and strategies on how you can set up your affiliate website and sleep, and in the next day, you’ll start to generate money.

And amazingly, many people buy into those lies and they never take the right path to approach affiliate marketing that will lead them to success.


To avoid failure and set yourself up for success, you should find someone who is already successful with what you’re doing and learn directly from them. 

However, if you want to enroll in a training course, I suggest you take time to do proper research to find out if the course is from a legitimate source or not before taking any further steps.

I have another post where I share with you the 10 best affiliate marketing training courses to join. Check it out.

8. Joining The Wrong Affiliate Programs

Difinition of: what are affiliate program

As an affiliate marketer, your SUCCESS and your FAILURE depend on the kind of program you partner with.

If you recommend FAKE or poor products or services to your audience just for the sake of making a commission.

Well, for the first time, they’re going to purchase it.

But after purchasing it and they come to realize that what you recommend to them isn’t as good or quality as you promise.

Or I should say if it doesn’t add any value to their lives.

Guess what?

That can damage your reputation, relationship, and the TRUST you spend years building with them.

And if that happens.

The next time you recommend anything to them, they’re not going to buy it and that can literally go against you and your company.


Don’t just sign up for any affiliate program you come across on the internet without you first taking the time to do thorough research about them to find out if it’s a good fit for your audience or not.

Always put your audience’s NEEDS first because they are the ones who are going to purchase the product not YOU.

So, how do I find out if the affiliate program is legit or not? Great question!

As I said, take time to do research about the program but that only is not enough.

I recommend you buy the product yourself and use it and if it helps you, then you can go on and expand it to your audience.

9. Choosing Bad Hosting

I’m sure you’re probably thinking how can a web host cause one to fail with affiliate marketing? Well, I allow me to explain that.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, traffic is extremely IMPORTANT and a website plays a huge role in terms of driving traffic to your affiliate offers. 

Now, when you host your site or blog with a hosting company that doesn’t have the necessary features to make your site load faster & quicker for a visitor.

Guess what?

It discourages the visitors and they bounce back from your site or blog.

And if that happens they won’t be able to read your content.

And if they’re not able to read your content, they won’t be able to see or click on your affiliate link. 

And if they can’t click on your affiliate link, that means, you won’t make any sales with the affiliate product you’re promoting.

If a visitor leaves your site simply because your site doesn’t load faster for him or her, I believe this can go against you strongly. 


Because all the effort and hard work you put into building your business (thus, content creation) for years will all be useless.


As I said, hosting plays a huge and important role in terms of making your website load faster for your visitors.

So, it’s very important you choose the right hosting company to host your site or blog with. 

There are a handful of good hosting companies out there such as, ( Bluehost, Hostgator, Godaddy, Siteground, etc).

However, if you ask for my recommendation, I’ll recommend you choose Bluehost.


Bluehost is one of the best hosting companies in the hosting industry. Every big brand you can think of all has their website hosted on Bluehost simply because:  

  • It secures your site
  • Makes your site load faster for your visitors
  • Offers a free SSL certificate, and a free domain for one whole year
  • It cheap and affordable
  • Has an amazing customer support team

You can get started with Bluehost Here and get your site up and running in under 30 minutes.

(I’m an affiliate to Bluehost, meaning if you go through my link, I will receive a small commission which is no additional cost to you. This helps me to focus on delivering more helpful content for you and others) Thanks For Support!

Here is the Link to Bluehost again.

blue host program scaled

10. Not Targeting The Right Keywords

Keywords also play an important role in terms of driving targeted, qualified traffic to your site and offers.

Day in, and day out, people are constantly searching the web for information to consume.

Failure to target the right keyword that people are likely to type into search engines.

You’ll probably be losing out on a huge amount of quality and qualified traffic to your site and offers which you might convert into loyal customers and SALES over time.


Make sure you target the right keyword that’s related to the niche you’re in and the kind of offer you promote.

And not only that but make sure the CONTENT you produce is also relevant to the keyword you’re targeting.

PRO TIP: Format your content with graphs, quality images, and videos. 


Doing this provides a better user experience and allows you to build the Know, Like, and TRUST with your readers faster. 

build trust


Building TRUST with your audience is what will make them click on your affiliate links and purchase what you are recommending.

11. Underestimating The Power Of Relationships

affiliate marketing 9

A lot of people feel so proud to the extent that they think they know it all, and they don’t need anybody’s advise or help.

Well, let me tell you, that’s a wrong ego.

You don’t know everything about the NICHE you’re in and if you’re trying to do everything all by yourself. 

In my opinion, I think you won’t sustain your effort for the long term.

Why am I saying this?

Because along your journey, you’re going to run into a lot of things that you may not even understand. 

And it’s going to take someone who’s more knowledgeable than you to explain it to you in the simplest form for you to understand.

By refusing to accept help or advise from others, you’re only doing harm to yourself.

You’re going to make tons of mistakes that can literally hold back your success.


Connect with other people in your field, and build strong relationships with them. Share your knowledge with them, and ask them for help and advise.

If you do that, I strongly believe, you’re going to go far in your business.

12. Not Investing Into Your Business (Tools)

In order to make your affiliate business successful or make a decent income out of it. There are some things or tools you are going to need such as:

  • Quality training courses 
  • Autoresponder software
  • Video-making tools (camera, light, microphone, etc). 

You need these tools if you want to grow your business to a point where you’ll be making a substantial income from it.

However, if you are not willing to invest in this asset (which a lot of people don’t want to) I bet you, you’ll be far behind.


Though you can still succeed absolutely without investing in a ton of tools, however, without them, it’s going to get tougher and longer than you may think. 

Which many people don’t have the patience enough to tolerate.

So, to avoid all those these things – simply make it a priority to invest in your business.

I know at first it might look like you’re wasting your money. I perfectly understand that because I’ve been there before, but in the end, you’ll realize that it’s all worth it.

13. Lack Of Discipline And Laziness

Becoming successful with anything takes DISCIPLINE.

It takes discipline to keep working at something for a very long time even though you’re not seeing the result you want until it becomes successful. 

However, a lot of people are not willing to do that.

They don’t want to stick with anything long enough especially when they’re not getting any result. 

They want instant results, and with the least resistance, they get frustrated and give up. 

For some, they’re not willing to put in the necessary work that will get them the desired result, rather, they search for shortcuts.

Well, that’s not how things are done online. With that mentality, you won’t go far.


In the world of Steven Pressfield, he said “Do The Work! Overcome Resistance and Get Out Of Your Own Way” .

I think you understand what that means? Stop being lazy and focus on the THINGS that will actually help grow your business.

14. Lack Of  Passion

In the world of Steve Jobs, he wrote “Without passion, any rational human being will give up”.

I know that the vast majority of people who get into affiliate marketing only do so simply because they see people either on YouTube or blogs showing their income reports. (How much they’re making online).

And they got caught up by that and said, wow! I’ve got to also do that.

Now, they have it in mind that if they also start, they’re going to make a lot of money. 

But wait!

Let me ask you this question, what if you don’t make any money? Will you still stick with it till you succeed or you’ll quit? 

The interesting part is if they don’t make the amount they’re expecting they get discouraged and give up.


I believe the only way to succeed at anything is to do what you love, interested in, or passionate about, rather than just focusing on making money. 

That way, you’ll be able to stick with it for the long haul when the going gets tough or rough.

So, find your passion and stick with it.

Don’t do it because of the money you’ll make from it.

Don’t let money be your number one priority – focus on helping your audience first and you’ll see how far you will go.

15. Lack Of Time Management

I know you’ll not agree with me on this but here is it. If you treat affiliate marketing as a hobby, you will get a hobby result.

And if you treat it like a business, you will get a business result.

If you are not putting enough time into growing your business, you are not going to make it.


Wasting your time on unnecessary things like watching YouTube videos, and spending tons of time on social media doing nothing. All of that will delay your success.

I want you to focus on activities that will help move your business forward such as content creation. 

Put more time into building your business, probably 3-4 hours a day or more could be okay.

16. Technical Issues

A lot of affiliate marketers have less knowledge about technology.

So, when they encounter minor problems with their site such as technical issues, design, site structure, you name it.

They get frustrated and want to give up on their business if they can’t get it fixed. The funny thing is that the majority of them quit on their site due to some of that.


If you’re facing any technical problems with your site. Reach out for help or hire someone who is an expert in that area to help you out. 

Also, there are tons of free videos on YouTube that can help you fix those issues.

Above are my thoughts on why some people fail with affiliate marketing…

That being said, failure is not an option, you can avoid it by focusing on one thing, learning all that is needed to be learned, and putting in more EFFORT and CONSISTENCY

What Percentage Of Affiliate Fail?

The failure rate in affiliate marketing is very high because most people give up along the way before finding any sort of success with affiliate marketing.

Out of the 100% of affiliate marketers out there, 97% of them fail to succeed with affiliate marketing because they’re not willing to do what it takes to succeed with affiliate marketing.

For some, they lack knowledge about the topic they are in and don’t know what action to take that will lead them to success.

And for some of them, they approach affiliate marketing with a get-rich-quick mindset and if they don’t make money from it in a couple of months or even a year they get discouraged and quit.

It’s very important you understand that affiliate marketing is a ‘Delayed Gratification.

I mean it’ll take you a very long time before you’ll start seeing any kind of success with it.

What Is Affiliate Marketing Success Rate?

Well, first and foremost – success in affiliate marketing doesn’t happen automatically. It is created by YOU. 

Out of the $16 billion generated in the affiliate marketing industry, that only comes from 3% of affiliates who are willing to learn, plan, take action, stay consistent, and above all patience. 

The reason why I said above all patience is that success in affiliate marketing is all about traffic and most people quit before they even start to get traffic either on their blog or YouTube.

5 Tips To Be Successful At Affiliate Marketing

If you are planning to make a living off affiliate marketing, you want to make sure it’s successful, below I share with you some tips to succeed online.

1. Do Research – It takes more than just posting an affiliate link on your website and then waiting for some miracle to happen.

You need to take your time and do proper research to ensure you understand the niche you are in, what opportunities exist, and if there are any risks.

You also need to make sure you know all the current trends and how your affiliate product fits into that.

2. Start With A Simple Step – Learn to walk before you run. Take your time to discover how things work and then make your biggest decision. 

Start with applying for an affiliate program you believe in, are interested in, and that’s related to your niche.

3. Understand The basics of SEO And The Associated Tools – You need to understand the concept of SEO.

Learn how it works, and what role keywords play in content, and then find the right tools to help you know what’s working and what’s not working.

There are tons of tools out there that can help you figure that out.

4. Show Your Passion In What You Do – If you are not passionate about the niche you are in and the product you promote, then it’s not the right fit for you. 

Take your time to figure out what motivates you and what you’re passionate about and do only that.

That way, you will feel motivated and confident when promoting that product to others.

This will also help you be able to write a genuine, valuable, high-quality, and honest review about the product to increase your sales. 

5. Know Who Your Audiences Are – Before promoting any product to your audience, you need to first ask yourself this question.

  • What does the profile of my potential customer look like for the product? 
  • What does the profile of the visitors to my site look like? 
  • Is this product going to help my potential achieve their goals or pain?

If your product fits the above profile, great. But if it doesn’t, then you need to find a different product that will perfectly fit your audience profile.

There you go. Put those 5 tips above into practice and you’ll enjoy increasing success.

If you want the best and right way to learn or do affiliate marketing… Check my Resource Page for my #1 recommended program.

This program offers a one-on-one coach who works directly with you, also it offers a high ticket product meaning, no more small commission.


A lot of people who attempt affiliate marketing fail simply because they give up or quit too soon.

They think getting into affiliate marketing is going to make them rich in a short period of time.

And when they see others who have been in this industry for years, who are making a significant income from their affiliate business…They get discouraged, and angry and ask WHY?. 

Well, here is the thing, becoming successful or making money online, especially with affiliate marketing is a gradual long-term process, not an overnight process”. 

And this process is different for everyone depending on your level of knowledge, skills, actions, and so on.

That being said, most of the successful affiliates in the world FAILED MULTIPLE times before ever seeing success.

Remember, we learn, grow, and become a better person from our past mistakes. 

Here are some failure stories that will inspire you.

Jaakko Iisalo is the creator of Angry Bird, he fails multiple times before finding the right drawing that workout:

angry bird why affiliate fail

Ben Silbermann, the co-founder, and CEO of Pinterest failed over 50 times before getting the right design for Pinterest, He also got rejected multiple times:

pinterest scaled

There are many failure stories like this out there: Many of the top affiliates in the world have all gone through struggles before becoming successful.

So now, there you have it, if you feel like you’ve failed with affiliate marketing, well, it’s up to you to let that stop or limit you.


Good entrepreneurs are made by failing and keep trying.. Click To Tweet

But that does not mean, you have to be doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Related Questions!

Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work?

There are so many reasons why affiliate marketing does not work for the majority of people. However, it does not work for an affiliate that quits too soon and doesn’t sustain their effort for the long haul.

Many affiliate marketers don’t get the proper training or education on how to approach affiliate marketing the right way.

They just join any affiliate program and start producing irrelevant content and then rely on Google to send organic (free) traffic to their site and if they’re not getting the traffic they want, they give up.

Can You Really Make Money With Affiliate Marketing? 

Yes, you can. You can make extra income or even a full-time income with affiliate marketing if you put in the work, effort, and time, produce relevant and high-quality content that’s related to your niche, and then build an audience that knows, likes, and trusts you. 

You can’t just build a website, throw up affiliate links, and expect to make money, you need to do some marketing.

Is Affiliate Marketing So Hard? 

In theory, affiliate marketing seems to be simple and easy, however, in practice, it’s not. There’s more that goes into it than what you see in theory. It requires hard work, knowledge, effort, consistency, and proper planning in order to make it successful (stern).

Be careful with any programs that promise you can make money with affiliate marketing quickly and easily without putting in any effort and time. That’s a big lair, don’t fall for that.

What are the problems with affiliate marketing?

There are so many problems that people face when running affiliate marketing as a business. However, I think content creation is one of the most challenging problems a majority of people face, especially beginners (stern).

Also, another problem is that you don’t control the price and the quality of the product you promote and also what commission rate you should be paid for promoting the product.

For instance:

  • If the price of the product goes down, you’ll earn less commission.
  • If it happens that the quality of the product goes down or changes, that means the trust and reputation you build with your audience will also go down.
  • If it happens that the product creator decides to close down the program, that means all your effort you put into creating reviews about that product will be useless.

Also, Read!