14 Reasons Why You’re Not Making Affiliate Sales
14 Reasons Why You’re Not Making Affiliate Sales
At first glance, affiliate marketing seems like the perfect dream job. You don’t have to keep an inventory of products, don’t have to deal with shipping, and you don’t have to provide customer support for products either. Interesting enough, almost everyone and their mom who hangs out online wants a piece of this action, earning commission-based pay for marketing other seller’s products online. Many who try it end up failing though to be honest. In fact, more than 95% end up failing. (don’t worry though, you’re about to find out why you’re not making affiliate sales here shortly.)
What happens is, people literally expect to get rich overnight. They think it’s a get rich quick scheme to cash in on. But when they find out a week or two later that they still don’t have their first sale, they give up. I’ve been affiliate marketing for a few years now and have seen many other people make the same mistakes over and over. Most of the time, they fail because they have the wrong mindset and a lack of necessary skills to properly market an affiliate product.
This brings me to the main topic of this article. I have gathered 14 different reasons as to why you’re not making affiliate sales. If you read them carefully, you just might be able to pin-point the exact reason as to why you’re not seeing any success.
1. You’re Not Treating It Like A Business
When a new affiliate marketer sends me an email and asks “How do you do it? What am I doing wrong?” the first thing I ask them is, “Are you treating it like a business?”.
Nine times out of ten they respond with “I think so”. Well, this is one of the biggest problems I see with new affiliate marketers. They simply don’t treat it like a business, they treat it like a hobby instead. Hobbies don’t make money, businesses make money.
You need to start treating it like a business if you truly want to succeed. If all you’re doing is posting a product image with a link on social media, you’re not going to get anywhere. Take a look at big companies and look at how they market and sell their products. Take Nike for example, they don’t just post a picture of some new shoes with a white background and leave a link to the product page underneath.
What you need to do is create structure, structure a marketing plan that includes graphic design, YouTube content creation, blogging, well-structured social media posts etc. Then you might start seeing some results.
Another thing I see is new affiliate marketers are telling me they only spend a couple hours on marketing. This is a big mistake. You need to be marketing CONSTANTLY! Trust me, I made this mistake in the beginning as well. As soon as I started building an email list, designing product graphics, and creating great content for these products, that’s when the sales started rolling in. Now I spend 20-30 hours every week on marketing alone. Another 10-20 hours on content creation.
So you see, you really need to treat it like a business if you want to get anywhere. Remember, hobbies don’t make money, businesses make money.
2. You’re Not Leveraging Google
In addition to not treating it like a business, the other thing I notice is that most of you are not leveraging the power of Google! Google is such a powerful asset to have in your back pocket. I mean really, write some kick ass articles, get them ranked on Google, and you’ll get flooded with traffic daily! It’s as simple as that.
Now I know most of you just simply don’t want to do the work it takes to make it happen. Harsh, but true. The sooner you realize that you’re not putting in as much effort as you should, the sooner you’ll be able to fix these mistakes and come out on top.
Back to leveraging Google. Google’s algorithm LOVES good quality content that’s published on a consistent basis. Example, if you start a blog and start writing some great articles on the products you’re promoting, Google will rank your article soon enough.
But there is work involved when blogging about a product though. You need to make sure your content is long enough, and have some great keywords plugged into the article as well.
When I say an article must be long enough, I really mean it must be long enough. There are likely 1,000+ other product articles on the internet about the same product you’re promoting. The goal is you have to make your article 10x better. You can do this by making sure your content is of better quality and is much longer than the other articles. I’ve seen some product articles that are 4,000+ words for example.
Quick Note On Google Ranking
Keep in mind that if you start a blog, it takes time for Google to start ranking your pages. Read this article to find out how long it typically takes. How Long Does It Take To Start Seeing Blog Traffic From Google?
3. You’re Not Giving Any Value
Considering everyone and their mom is trying to be an affiliate marketer, it makes the affiliate marketing scene overcrowded. Since it’s overcrowded, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. The best way to do this is again, good quality content. You should be addressing your audience with the notion that you offer something of value to them.
Truth be told, if you can’t provide value and capture your audience, they’ll never click on your content in the future. Additionally, you might notice your competitors being successful. Don’t try and copy what they’re doing either, you’ll end up creating “duplicate content” which is never good. You need to come up with your own unique twist to show your potential audience that they “need this product”.
Another thing you don’t want to do is copy what they suppliers of the product are saying about the product either. Instead, write content around the idea that you yourself is a user of the product. Do a small Q&A or something, ask questions that the potential buyers might want to hear before making their purchase for example. Give out some extra tips on the product, let them know which one is the best etc.
Note: You’re going to need a website or a blog to be successful with affiliate marketing. Trust me, I would not recommend getting into a business like this without one.
4. You Don’t Know Anything About The Product(s) You’re Promoting
This one makes me laugh quite a bit and it’s a pretty big problem I see among new affiliate marketers as well. You simply cannot sell products that you know nothing about. It doesn’t work like that. That’d be like a local coffee shop trying to sell iPhones in the corner of the store. It just doesn’t happen.
New affiliates have the assumption that the more products they promote, the more money they’ll make. This is far from the truth. Pick a niche and stick to products in that niche. You’ll find that when you talk about products you know a lot about, you’ll end up creating some very high quality content. Usually when you’re promoting a product you know nothing about, the reader can tell that you know nothing about that product. They can literally hear it in your blogging voice.
In a best case scenario there are some things you can do to better your chances with products you know nothing about though. For example, let’s say you’re promoting Smart TV’s but you know nothing about them. Spend an entire day just researching those products and takes notes. Literally all day long. Then create an outline for an article using those notes. Then you can spend the following day writing an article on these products.
However I will say that I do not recommend this. You really should know about the products you’re trying to sell. Otherwise it’s highly likely you won’t make any sales at all and you’ll be wondering why you’re not making affiliate sales.
5. You Aren’t Creating Relationships
Now you may not have to provide customer support for the products you’re marketing, but that’s just half the story. You also don’t have to solve issues with customers either. But you are the affiliate marketer and you are the one promoting the product and telling people they should buy the product. This means you should be capturing your audience, reaching out to them, and keeping in touch with them for the long term.
If you don’t have any interest in reaching out to your audience, you’ll likely have to do more work than most by “hoping” that people passing by your site will buy from you. This could turn out to be a major pain in the ass in the long run. It’d be much easier building an email list of followers and keeping them engaged and happy. This way you’ll have a better chance of having repeat buyers.
You see, when you hold a good relationship with your readers, they won’t just buy something on your site and never come back. They’ll want to return at a later date to see what else you might have to offer as well. This is why it’s important to be sophisticated in your approach to writing the best damn articles you can about a product. If your readers trust your opinion, you can be damn sure they’ll return again. Nothing wrong with having repeat customer eh?
When you’re an affiliate marketer, a strong relationship is built on providing useful content plus the interactions you make with your audience. If possible, try to offer assistance whenever you can and provide useful tips and information when people ask for it. Sometimes you might get an email from a reader asking about a product you’re promoting, give them as much information as you possibly can!
6. You’re Trying To Sell Instead Of HELP
Here’s the thing, people want to be reassured that what they’re buying is the right product for them. They don’t want to be sold on an idea or told that they should buy something. They’d rather be helped and have their questions answered instead. Then they can make their own buying decision on their own time.
The problem is, many affiliate marketers jump straight to a sales pitch rather than trying to help the potential buyer come to a decision.
What’s funny is when people start new businesses all they can think about is “I need to make more sales!”. They’re so attached to making sales that they forget about what it takes to create a lead to that sale. Helping people is the answer to this. If you’re ultimately helping people with their product related questions, they’ll be much more likely to purchase from you.
The sooner you switch to a “helping mode” instead of a “selling mode”, the sooner you’ll start seeing substantial results when it comes to affiliate marketing.
So by now you might be asking yourself: “why is ‘helping’ the key to success?”. Well, because remember what I mentioned earlier, people don’t want to be “sold”, they want to be helped? That’s why. People don’t want to feel pushed or pressured into buying something. Instead, when you show them that you can provide them with the perfect answer to their problem they’re trying to solve with that product.
In addition, helping people also does something pretty special, it creates trust! If you honestly want to help people and they take notice, they will eventually start to trust you for the long-term.
Overall, if you want to stand out from the crowd of other affiliate marketers, you must start helping people instead of “selling” to them.
7. You Have Too Much Competition In Your Niche
I get it, choosing a niche to market products in can be quite daunting. It’s frustrating as hell because what happens if you don’t enjoy that niche after you’re already 50 articles deep? It’s not like you can just quit that niche and choose something else, right?
Most people when they start affiliate marketing, they assume that the bigger the niche, means the bigger the potential profits will be. This is hardly ever the case. Honestly, stay away from the niches with a ton of competition. Think about it this way, there will already be someone in your niche who gets 100,000+ page views per month. How the hell do you expect to compete with something like that?
To put it simple you really can’t. You can try, but you’ll end up wasting way to much time and won’t be making any money anytime soon.
Instead, choose something that’s a lot less competitive. For example, if you want to sell products in the “laptops and computers” niche. Instead of focusing on laptops and computers, go deeper and choose what I like to call a “sub-niche”. A sub-niche is basically a brand off of your main niche. So instead of promoting “laptops and computers”, focus on promoting something like “gaming laptops” or “gaming computers”. It’s less broad and the competition will instantly decrease.
Since we’re talking about competition, let me also touch base on keywords. When choosing keywords to use, use the Google Keyword Planner to plan out which keywords you’re going to use for each article. It’ll greatly help you in the long term.
8. You’re Trying To Promote In Multiple Niches
Skip through this section if you’re positive that you’re only promoting in one niche. This is a trend I see more often than not. Some people can get away with it but most cannot. As soon as you understand how profitable niche businesses are, you’ll want to build many of them to earn the most that you possibly can.
I mean, it is possible to manage multiple niches at once, but when you’re just starting out, stick to one niche and master it. Be the “go-to” person that people want to associate with when it comes to the types of products you’re promoting.
Tip: Don’t Give Up! Oftentimes, I see many people trying to enter the space of affiliate marketing and they’ll just up and quit when they realize how much work it really takes. Most people just get super frustrated with not getting enough traffic so they just give up. Don’t be that person. The rewards for being patient are insanely good once you get to a certain level.
Here’s an idea, start with one niche and grow it to be super profitable. Once you get to that point, your expertise and routine you have developed will be matured enough to step into more markets. Then you’ll be able to start a second niche site and then a third and continue to build on that.
9. You’re Promoting The Wrong Products
In reality, the amount of money you make depends on which types of affiliate products you decide to promote. Be aware that if you’re choosing products with a lower price point, you won’t make much in commission earnings at all. Below is an example.
Let’s say you’re in the personal care niche and you’re currently promoting acne products such as cleanser. An average price for a bottle of acne cleaner is roughly $7 on Amazon. When you receive commissions on selling personal care items, you’re only earning 4.5% for each item sold. This means that you’ll only make roughly $0.32 per sale. Now if all you’re promoting are products in this price range, you’ll have to sell roughly 520 bottles of acne cleanser per day to make $5,000/month in affiliate earnings. (That’s insane!)
Even if it was possible for a newbie to sell 520 bottles of acne cleaner per day, you’d have to generate a shit ton of traffic just to make it happen!
Now I’m not going to tell you that you can’t sell low priced items. What I’m saying is to mix it up. Go with a 70/30 rule for instance. Promote 70% of your affiliate products at higher end prices like $100+ and promote the other 30% of products that are under $100.
Here’s an example with a higher priced item. Let’s say you’re in the lawn & garden niche. You’re promoting a push lawn mower for $270. You’re earning 8% commission on each mower that you sell. You’ll make roughly $22 for ever push mower you sell. You would only need to sell 8 of those lawn mowers per day to make $5,000 per month in affiliate commission!
Choose the right products to promote and you’ll be smooth sailing!
10. You Give Into Affiliate Course Scams
This is a big one. I’m sure you’ve watched YouTube and have watched and seen many videos of YouTubers claiming you can make “XYZ” in 24 hours! Either that or they claim that their magical course can solve all your problems. Let me tell you, 99% of these courses are scams, filled with original content that you can find for free online.
Here’s the thing, these “course programs” and “fake training programs” just want your money. They take advantage of you because they know you really want to make money online. So what do they do? They create a video on YouTube and up-sell the idea of making hundreds per day with affiliate marketing. In turn, this makes you think that it’s super easy to do. Once you get into the course, you realize that the content your reading is the same as what you see online in blog posts etc. Funny thing is, nine out of ten of these courses have the same exact content!
The entire affiliate marketing industry is contaminated with these guys who just want to make a quick buck off of you. And the profits they make on a daily basis? I’m sure you’ve seen images of these guys that show big numbers in a 24 hour period etc. Let me let you in on a little something here. It is extremely easy to change the number of how many sales your dashboard displays. I could change mine right now to show that I’ve made $1,000,000 in the last 24 hours, no joke. These guys are scamming you from the moment you start watching their video.
Don’t give into these courses. The best way to learn is on a trial and error basis. The goal is to learn from those mistakes and grow.
11. You’re Not Testing Different Strategies
When it comes to generating traffic, there are numerous different things you can do to achieve success in generating traffic. The problem I see with most is that they don’t test different strategies. They get “comfortable” with strategies that may not work for them long-term. Figure out a routine for yourself, find different strategies to test on a regular basis. You never know, you could come up with a strategy that ends up doubling your traffic.
A you grow your affiliate business, you’re traffic will expand on its own. Just because it starts to grow on it’s on it’s own doesn’t mean you should stop testing either. Take advantage of these opportunities that will help you boost your business and your traffic. Remember, you want continual growth. Find angles in your business that you never even knew existed.
What’s great about testing different strategies is that you’ll be able to see results within a day or two. It’s not like offline marketing where you may have to wait two or three weeks just to see results.
You see, we live in a world where people read headlines. Test everything, headlines, tone of voice in your word choice, placement of affiliate links. Test it all because you just never know what might end up working better than what you’re currently doing.
Lastly, get into advertising! I can’t stress this enough. Facebook ads are extremely under priced and most people don’t realize it because most people don’t understand ROI. Facebook ads can reach so many potential customers it’s not even funny. Write an article, link a Facebook ad to the article, and watch the sales come in. Trust me, it works great! No it’s not free but sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
12. You Get Distracted Easily
This is something I have had issues with back in the day. It’s extremely easy to get distracted. Let’s start with the phone. Most of us have our phones sitting next to us at all times. Big mistake! When you’re working on your business, put your phone on the charger in another room and leave it there. I know it’s hard and you’re tempted to pick it up every time it makes a noise or lights up. But trust me, all you’re doing is hurting yourself by wasting time on staring at your phone when you should be putting that time in your business.
Think about it this way. Next time your phone lights up while you’re working, ask yourself “What’s more important, my future & business, or my text message”? Most of us will agree that the business is always most important. If not, then affiliate marketing probably isn’t for you. Actually, no online job is probably for you if your phone is more important that working on your business.
I’m not saying you should work hours on end though. You definitely need to take breaks every now and then. Typing on a screen can hurt the eyes and make you feel restless at times. Don’t sit and type for 2-3 hours straight, take breaks every 45 minutes or so. Take a short break and do something away from the screen. But don’t do anything that’ll take your mind completely off your work though, then you’ll just be wasting time.
Prioritize your tasks, get organized, structure a schedule that works for you and stick to it day in and day out. Generating traffic will be your #1 priority so keep that in mind whenever you start to feel distracted by random shit that isn’t going to get you anywhere.
13. You’re Not Persistent Enough
I’ll say this once. You need a grizzly bear’s mindset to succeed in business. Your mind needs to be extremely tough. Realize that you will have may setback early on, but that’s normal. You need to move on in order to get over the hurdles you run into. Don’t waste time on trying to fix shit that you cannot fix in under 5 minutes. Instead, write it down and come back to it at a later date.
I say grizzly bear mindset because well, grizzle bears are tough as shit! If you have a weak mind, it’s guaranteed that you will fail. In fact, I believe that the greater percentage of why businesses fail is because they have the wrong mindset.
Think about it this way, the only reason businesses fail is because humans allow them to fail.
You see, what’s great about affiliate marketing is that literally anyone can make it work. Anyone can do it, it’s a lot easier than most people make it out to be. I know what I’m telling you right now might sound “spammy” but it’s the truth. If you truly care about your future enough, it’s super easy to take action and make it happen! The only thing that’s differentiating you from the successful affiliate marketers is they never gave up. It’s extremely important to literally never give up!
You need strong motivation and strengthen your mindset as much as possible. I’ll be honest, when I work at my computer, I listen to Gary Vee in the background, every single day! If you don’t know who Gary Vee is, just type his name in YouTube and watch some of his videos. You’ll be inspired for life.
Stay persistent in your journey and good things will happen!
14. You Don’t Have Patience
Most people who embark on a new entrepreneurial journey tend to be impatient. Are you good wit patience? Are you okay in your mindset if you don’t make any money within your first month of affiliate marketing? These are questions you should ask yourself before you even begin to try out affiliate marketing.
It’s kind of funny to see just how many people are impatient when in comes to affiliate marketing, it truly is! They expect way too much, way too early.
One of the first things you should do when entering the affiliate marketing space is get rid of the crazy ideas in your head. All the bullshit promises you heard from YouTubers etc. Get all of that crap out of your mind and start fresh. Because I’ll be honest, nine times out of ten affiliate marketing is the EXACT opposite of the way that the gurus on YouTube make it out to be.
Realize that this kind of journey takes times to build a solid foundation and grow into something big. It takes a ton of time to build a following and an audience that actually cares about what you’re trying to talk about.
Trust me on this, when you stop thinking about “how long it’s going to take” you will notice that you’ll start to grow. You’ll literally grow when you least expect it!
Here’s a tip for you: start a blog, you will see results within your first few months. I can promise you that, actually I can almost guarantee that. If you have enough time to blog about the products you want to promote, you’ll do well.
Let’s Wrap Up This Article
Overall, and to be brutally honest, most people fail with affiliate marketing. They either don’t have patience, expect too much, or just don’t have the motivation to continue. They fail for reasons that resonate within their own personal being. It has nothing to do with affiliate marketing being a broken system or anything of that matter.
If you have the ability to refrain from the scams, courses, and YouTube gurus, you’ll be fine in this business. Just stay committed and never give up!
I hope I was able to help some of you who may be struggling with affiliate marketing. I understand it’s a tough business to wrap around, but with the right strategy and mindset, you’ll be on you way to success.
If you have any questions, feel free to use the contact form on my contact page or leave a comment below!