Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work?

You chose Affiliate Marketing as your way of creating a FINANCIAL FREEDOM.

That's great!

But guess, what?

Upon starting out, you might think that is going to be as easy as 1,2,3...

Well, it is not. In fact, 99% of people who tried Affiliate Marketing, will earn less than $55, in a lifetime !!!

After speaking with hundreds of starting affiliates, and researching and studying the failure rates, I have collected 7 MOST COMMON REASONS, beginners were quitting.

If you are also asking Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work, then read my blog post.

The Main Reason Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work?

The main reason Why Affiliate Marketing Doesn't Work is the combination of missing quality training, with actionable steps. Together with the wrong approach. The BIG majority of beginning affiliate marketers have the wrong assumption that it will be easy. It is not your fault though, that you imagine pasting a link on your newly build website, sharing it on your socials and you'll start earning overnight. "Gurus" of affiliate marketing have created this atmosphere to misguide you. Therefore, with the right training you should be able to fix both, the knowledge coming in and your action coming out. Let me break that into 7 reasons, and let me walk you through each of them, one by one.

People Don’t Know How to Write Valuable, Helpful, and SEO-Optimised Content

You see, I've been there too.

I used to think, that my writing was super amazing. 

I thought how super cool and unique my words are and if someone would criticise me, I felt almost like he was offensive.

Really, another Ernest Hemingway in me back then.

Those who won't succeed in affiliate marketing have often common one thing: 

they write for them rather than for the people.

Don't do the same mistake.

See it from an objective perspective. 

Just think for a second or two my friend. 

Who is going to read (hopefully) your posts, buy from you, or recommend your advice further?


They matter the most.

So, if you want to have people visiting your site, then write for them and not for you. 

The best thing is to imagine your best friend as someone who will read your post. 

Try it and you'll see it works. Every time when I do read the content of a successful blogger, it feels like my eyes are glued to the text. Keep reading after you, and try to achieve the same. 

So, that would be helpful and valuable content. 

How do you create SEO-friendly blog posts?

I follow the so-called 21 Minutes SEO ranking and it does its job.

Of course, there are other methods and you should revise your steps regularly as Google likes to spice things up with updates but if you would follow the method from above, your content should be up and ready to receive some clicks.

People Don’t Have The Right Know-How (Training Platform)

From whom you are going to learn AFFILIATE MARKETING can make difference between success and failure. 

Let's set this into the soccer world. 

Imagine you have a chance to train with Manchester United or with Portsmouth City.

Those are both English teams.

Which one you will choose? 

If you want to become a better soccer player, you will undoubtedly choose the former.

While Affiliate marketing is a bit trickier, mostly due to "gurus" who will guarantee you overnight success, if you spend some time learning, you will know which platform is the right one.

Recommended: Affiliate Lab by Matt Diggity, Wealthy Affiliate, Taking Action Online

Platforms that will teach you are those with actionable tips, great community, and fast support. You need to apply what you are going to learn. 

Also, you should feel motivated along the way. 

The best way is to hear other people's stories.

Lastly, you need mentors or a support team who will provide you with the right advice and tools when you feel stuck.

Why Affiliate Marketing Doesn't Work

On the other side, platforms you don't want to go for are those that are costly. A secondary bad sign is platforms, that build their success with extensive use of paid advertisement. 

In general, those platforms will teach you the same way, and therefore, they encourage you to pay for ads.

As a starter, you don't want to do that.

Obviously, you will lose money. 

Moreover, you will lose your faith and there we go. 

You'll start proclaiming the loser's mantra: AFFILIATE MARKETING DOESN'T WORK.

Not Recommended: The Six Figure Mentors, Ministry of Freedom, Oasis Andrew James

People Don’t Know How to Build a Functional Website

Apart from the wrong sources of information, people often fail to be successful because they don't know how to create a website.

Plenty of beginners, firmly believe that they can succeed without a website.

Let me put that straight.


The second huge mistake is, people don't know how to create a functional website.

Either they think it's super hard, or they overthink. 

In the present times, you really can create your website in less than 60 seconds.

So, why the heck make things complicated?

For those who don't know this yet, of the easiest ways is:

1) create an account on WordPress and then 2)buy hosting in one of the hosting platforms, like BlueHost.

3) If you want to go for a higher level, you can check site builder software like Thrive Themes for instance and you can start.

By no means, place ads on your newly built website. 

Also, try to stay away from any side banners, widgets, or responsive gadgets.

There will be time, later on, to try these. 

Namely, when you will have an audience.

Remember: first things first.

People Don’t Have The Right Attitude

Well, well, well!

Where this wrong attitude is coming from?

Apart from the "gurus" luring people to buy "their guaranteed money machine program", there is something about human behavior.

We want everything FAST and QUICK.

Want to lose 5 kg? It has to be within a week, otherwise, people don't want.

Want to find an ideal partner? It better happens during this month, because next month, there is another date on the calendar.

Earn a million $$$ online?

Well, it has to be this year.

Waiting is so boring. 

Sounds familiar?

While I don't think that waiting is the solution here, there must be some level of patience built into your system, before you can rip off some success. 

Whenever people decide to start a new project, there is this huge expectation. 

How much they will earn, how they going to fire their boss, how they going to travel the world...

Only to find out that after 6 months of trying and without seeing the profit on their accounts, those people find themselves again in their daily job in the worse case, or chasing another shiny object in the worst case.

So instead of hoping for overnight success, with a push-a-button strategy, selling crappy products, take the opposite direction.

Almost every successful affiliate marketer had to try and fail for a year to make it. 

So, don't believe Jono Armstrong and such that you can do it quickly.

People Are Not Willing to Learn Other Stuff Than To Affiliate Marketing

Let me tell you, that when I started in 2018, I thought the same as the crowd.

Affiliate Marketing is just writing some content, placing links, and then enjoying the drinks on the beach. 

If you think the same, change that mindset really quickly. 

Affiliate Marketing is way more than just affiliate marketing. 

Copywriting, Email Marketing, Social Marketing, SEO, Video Marketing...

When I say some of my students to learn Copywriting, they are like:

"I don't want to learn Copywriting, I am not a salesman. Teach me Affiliate Marketing instead!"

If you like it or not, affiliate marketing is also selling. 

It's indirect, but you also have to make the deal, at the end of the day. 

Otherwise, you have a hobby and not a business.

Being lazy to learn skills that belong to AM, is another huge reason why 99% would sack at it.

People Don’t Know What to Sell

Regarding the previous paragraph, I could name this part HOW to sell rather than WHAT to sell, but...

First things, first. You remember, right?

I don't want to be annoying, but yeah the structure pals.

What to sell? 

Why Affiliate Marketing Doesn't Work

In other words: choosing a niche is also where many people have it wrong. 

You see, they will choose a topic because it is "in", they see big earning potential, or because there is no competition.

Let me tell you why this approach is wrong.

Firstly, what is "in" in 2023, might be easily out in 2025. 

If you don't know what I mean, try to sell DVDs and tell me how you're doing. 

Just joking.

Seriously, you want to have your business to be long-lasting.

Secondly, there is really no big earning potential or low earning potential. 

Nowadays, in the internet era, you can earn on everything.

I know a guy who is selling garden dwarfs and he is a millionaire. 

What about another guy, a colleague of my girlfriend? That geek sells miniature soccer players. 

There are thousands of niches.

Lastly, and you won't be happy to hear that, it doesn't matter what niche you will go after, there is always going to be competition.

Sure, the dwarf-selling guy's competition lake would have fewer fishes, like let's say affiliate marketer promoting fitness, but there will be competition for him anyway.

So, what is the right approach here?

Maybe, this will sound to you like a cliche, but it really works.

Do what you love.

I know, it sounds simple. 

But it is. 

Why you should aim for that? 

Because, when you will reach the times when you want to watch Netflix, grab a beer with your pal Ted, or sleep, instead of writing your blog post, you'll get easier to it, when it'll be something you love.

Also, people feel when you"FAKE" your interest.

On the other side, they sense when you put all your heart into it.

Isn't that all about life in that? 

Sharing the love?

People Don’t Know How to Get Traffic a.k.a Lack of Visitors

Apart from being inconsistent in their writing, the biggest issue why people will not succeed in affiliate marketing is TRAFFIC.

The even better description that fits this is LACK OF TRAFFIC.

Website traffic, or clicks, is the lifeblood of any site. 

More clicks means usually more sales.

But here is a paradox. 

When it comes to traffic sources, more is less.  

Allow me to explain.

As more traffic sources you want to focus on, the higher chance that you fail.

You see, the biggest numbers of affiliates are a one-man business. 

In the beginning, that one person, won't have time to divide the activity equally into 5-6 traffic methods.

If this person would have the time, the result would suck. 

I mean, if you have FULL-TIME availability, which I don't think any of you have, you will have to spend this time on 1-2 traffic sources.

Example out of real life: 6-8 hours it takes to write a well-researched, SEO-optimised blog post of one of my mentors. 

He creates a blog post a day.

So how much time does he have over? 

Exactly, for 1-2 videos a week.

That's what he was doing at the beginning of his career. 

Blogging and videos. 

Nothing more, just 2 traffic sources. Now, he earns 5 figures a month and lives a life on his terms, but he could easily quit, should he try to control the 6 headed snakes, you try sometimes.

The quality matters, not the quantity. 

Pick up 1-2 methods and stick with them. 

When you master it (meaning automate it) and you have regular click flow, then you can brighten your horizons and conquer new lands.

In a Summary

So what to write at the end?

Firstly, I hope you don't feel offended, if I called you lazy, because I did also call myself lazy. We as a human are lazy.

But seriously, if you want to achieve financial freedom Affiliate Marketing can definitely help you. 

But don't start if you are not ready to sacrifice for it. 

Charles Bukowski once said: (About writing):

“If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start.

Why Affiliate Marketing Does not Work

The same applies here. 

There will be some bad days when you feel the website is crap, no one is visiting and no one is buying. But eventually, if you put that hard work in there, you make it happen.

But If you want to get paid for all your expenses, your groceries, your rent, and even your vacation, there are several ways. Apart from winning the lottery, the most convenient method for everyone is passive income.

With AM, you can create passive income and eventually your financial freedom.

The only thing you need to choose the right way and then stick to it.

For the start, you can get inspiration from my 7 reasons why affiliate marketing doesn't work. 

Learn from the mistakes of others and enjoy the possibilities. In case, you want a bump in your affiliate career, you can have a look at the course that helped me to get started. 

To your success,


About the Author

Julius is an Online Marketing enthusiast helping people with creating financial freedom. Thanks to Affiliate Marketing it never has been easier. In his free time is Julius spending his time on the soccer field, in the airplane, with a great book, or with his friends.

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  • Hi Julius,

    It's interesting reading an article on why affiliate marketing doesn't work.

    On the interenet these types of articles are very rare, in my experience that it.

    I agree with some of your points as I have tried affiliate marketing a number of times and I found that it didn't work for me. So I have changed to develop my own products and online business from scratch.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,


    • Hi Tom. Crating own products or courses is definitely, way to reach out bigger audience. You also have a bigger control over your marketing, traffic and income strategy. At the same time, you have bigger risk of losing money, if the product isn’t selling, because of the developing costs. Unless you are not the investor or the product is digital. If you are enjoying the era’s pros and creating digital courses, then you are on the great path. Best of luck. Cheers

  • Hi Julius, This is quite an interesting topic. Actually been going through hell trying to get this off the ground recently. Not sure if it has been the last google update or my site speed but my SEO has completely tanked. Was getting about 10K impressions every month for my main site and now it's just a hand full a day. I really can only say to myself just to keep going because I believe that is the key here.

    I think there are many ways you can make affiliate marketing work but it is just a case of being persistent in trying new things and growing different techniques and knowledge. For me, there is something I'm trying at the moment that I hope can help but I think will take some time to see whether it does or not.

    • Hi ALEX. There has been Google update, and that caused for many people troubles. Mainly in terms of decreased traffic, so you aren’t ht only one in that sense. The positive thing about it though is, that your traffic should get to the point where it used to be. As yo mentioned just dedication and persistence are the way to go here. Good luck with the new technique, hopefully it will bring you positive change. Cheers

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