Maybe you’re about to start down a path of becoming an affiliate marketer. Or you’ve been doing it for a bit, and you are not successful. Now you may be wondering why you fail or if you are starting out, how you can not fail. Failure does happen, but if you have the millionaire mindset, there is no failure. Just more learning and opportunities to succeed. We recommend reading our post on Millionaire Mindset. Since we’ve been in all types of businesses, ultimately there isn’t any difference between why any businesses fail. But for our focus, we’re going to take our list and be specific for affiliate marketing. Under each section, we’re going to give our recommendation on how to overcome that potential failure.

1 – Stopping Too Fast

The #1 reason way Affiliate Marketers fail, they give up. The first six months of writing 2-3 blog posts a week can be frustrating. It seems that nobody visits your site and if you get a couple of clicks. NOTHING HAPPENS. People give up, we don’t have a percentage, but we’re guessing it’s high. If you are committed to your goals, there is a blind trust at the beginning. We recommend that you spend the money and join programs like Wealthy Affiliate. It doesn’t take away the amount of time you need to devote to building your business, but the community gives you the support you need, increasing your chances of success.



Our recommendation: Give yourself a 1-year commitment, no matter want.

2 – Relying Too Much on Expert Information

Expert AdviceNow we truly believe experts help provide you with great information. And you should rely on experts to help inform, educate, and show you different paths toward becoming a millionaire. We’re experts. BUT… You need to educate yourself and become an expert. That’s right, use the information that we and others provide to help inform you so that YOU CAN DECIDE. We notice accept experts because they are good. Maybe you read a compelling sales letter promising you’ll get rich without any effort, just pay some amount of money. What that does is give you a bad experience of experts. You start to mistrust sites that show you great information but are dishonest.

Our recommendation: The best way to think about all the experts, they are one piece of information in your education. Even the ones that seem dishonest have value and information. You need to become an expert.


3 – Groupthink

GroupthinkWhat is groupthink? It is when thinking or making decisions as a group discourages creativity or individual responsibility. Now you’re asking the next question, why does this affect the success of affiliate marketers. Because, like #2, it stops you from thinking for yourself. Or maybe you’re with a group of friends that all tell you the reasons why it fails because they are uneducated or have negative opinions. You consider those thoughts as a group and remove any individual thought. Just keep in mind, that when you’re with all your friends, and they aren’t aware of what you know, they can influence your behavior. One more example is if you are in a room full of Affiliate Marketers, and they all tell you that “You must do that” and it removes your thought process, it’s could affect your success.

Our recommendation: Even if you agree with the group, just be sure that you accept the thoughts and actions for yourself because of your decision, not theirs.


4 – Exaggerated Notion of Self-Importance

We don’t want to discount your experience or your importance. When people start out, the first thought is how important they are and that everyone in the world should immediately start reading their blog. And, maybe there is some fraction of truth to it. But just because you feel it, doesn’t mean Google or Bing’s algorithms notice your feelings. And, since you are starting out or even if you’ve been doing it for a while, become someone of significant importance online means you’ve put the time in, written quality content and contributed to your customers’ needs. We find some people get so frustrated that people are not flocking to their content, or if that person is doing email marketing why everyone is not clicking on the links they send. Social media is similar because the person writes a post, adds some tags, and nobody follows. Frustration sets in because of their ego and they make that an excuse to quit.

Our recommendation: If you’re that type of person, this isn’t the business for you. But if you are very confident, then trust that doing the work can have positive outcomes, and just use that confidence to help people.


5 – Wishful Thinking

You should absolutely be positive. Maybe you’re wishing that one or two posts and tweets are going to work. Maybe you even get some results. But then you just want instead of doing the work. People fail because they only have a positive wish without the activities. We’re strong, firm believers in positive thinking. We also know that the outcomes can only result by activities not by wishful thinking along. When wishful thinking fails people, is when using it to create unrealistic expectations.

Our recommendation: Be positive, and even set big goals, but don’t only rely on wishful thinking to get positive outcomes. Do the work with wishful thinking.


6 – Dragging Decisions Out

Decide Now

We believe that you should absolutely do your research, study, learn, and keep yourself informed. But activities and momentum in the world of affiliate marketing win over spending three months on deciding what keyword to use next. We find that when people can’t choose they get stuck and don’t write content. Affiliate marketing, like about any business, is a numbers game. You must generate content. You must go often fail to succeed. Let ‘s give you a quick example. Say you’re starting to write blog post/content on keywords. Since you have problems deciding what keywords to use, you only generate one post per week where you are capable of writing three blog posts per week. In one year, the difference is 156 posts versus 52 posts. Your indecisiveness did not generate 104 blog posts. A blog with 156 posts is getting traffic and probably generating revenue (all things considered). The other is perhaps generating traffic too, but it could be a significant difference.

Our recommendation: Decide and move on. And we recommend about once per month to reflect on your decisions and adjust. But set a specific time aside to reflect and modify.


7 – Only Hearing What You Want to Hear

Successful entrepreneurs have a focus and undying grit about their desired outcomes. But they also take feedback and adjust. If you are not taking input and adapting, your business will struggle especially when starting out. For example, we’ve modified Becoming a Millionaire’s website specifically on feedback from customers. We don’t agree or even take action always, but many times, we just say – yep that is good feedback and let’s make a change. Failure happens when you think you’re right all the time. Instead of listening to feedback as opportunities to become more effective and more efficient at making a million dollars. Or better yet, you ignore information. Use feedback and information to help drive decisions. Read: Tracking Your Online Business Usually when people fail because they only hear what they want to hear is because they take feedback very personal. For instance, if someone writes a comment on your blog: “I don’t understand this site or this is crap.” Failure occurs because you take it as a personal attack, instead of words. You need to keep the focus on the outcome; some people are just stupid. But if everyone says the same thing, maybe you should take feedback that your message needs refining.

Our recommendations: Stay focused on your outcomes, and accept that at times feedback feels personal, but ultimately if you have your focus correct, it’s just feedback and it may be the most important feedback you’ve ever had before. Just accept, sometimes it hurts, but you need to move on.


8 – Not Listening to Intuition and Gut Reactions

Here’s a tricky failure, not paying attention to your gut or intuition. We know, we speak a lot about using the information to help guide and make decisions. But in business, if it’s not feeling right, it may not be right. For example, say you’re writing a blog about alternative uses of paper (yes, we know silly example). You’ve been writing for about 3-months, and it’s silent. Your gut is telling you, maybe my message isn’t working. At that point, you’re not giving up, but you take a break, and you do about a week’s worth of research. Then you find, crap my message has been all wrong. At times, even if you have useful information, if you’re just not feeling right about the situation then question it. Another example and a significant example that many people fail, online or in regular business is partnerships. Say you’ve met a potential partner. You meet with the person, you start exchanging information about how to make money together. You write out some business terms and you get a weird feeling about the whole partnership. It doesn’t feel right or doesn’t feel like it aligns with your desired goals and outcomes even if it seems to be lucrative. If your gut tells you its wrong, please trust it. We’ve lived through horrible partnership as well as amazing partnerships. Ultimately, we all agree, if we would have believed our gut, most partnerships we would have stopped.

Our recommendations: If your gut or intuition tells you something is wrong, question and get information to educate yourself.


9 – Using Unconscious Routines, Heuristics, to Solve Complex Problems

We know what you’re saying if you have a successful routine and process for solving problems, why is that bad? It’s not, it’s great. But many people have routines that create failure over success. Especially in affiliate marketing. Here are a few examples.

  • You aren’t sharing your posts on social media regularly. You may have a pattern that you’ll get to it over the weekend instead of right away. It may not think it’s a problem, but it’s a pattern that isn’t about success, but more about making excuses.
  • You have a pattern that you aren’t correcting mistakes on posts immediately and feel you’ll remember to get around to it later.
  • You choose only to write one post a week, maybe.

Routines that are counterproductive slow your business down. Or set yourself up for failure. We find that most people adopt patterns they used before success.

Our recommendations: Develop a pattern modeled on someone else’s success. Then do that for a while until it’s habit and you can adjust from there.


10 – Giving Disproportionate Credit to Unreputable Sources

Lies versus Truth

What does this mean? Well, maybe you read in someone’s blog about the 90% of failures for affiliate marketing sites. It happens a lot. Then you just take that as fact, quote it on your website and move on to your next post. We know you’re moving at the speed of light to develop your website, but one critical rule in affiliate marketing is honesty and truthfulness. It’s a level of business integrity.  How this creates failure is when you develop a program around a single source of truth WITHOUT you diving into the details, you risk your business.

Our recommendations: Do some of your research and be careful where you get your facts.


11 – Preferring to Stay With The Status Quo

The internet changes, your customers mature, search engines change algorithms, and websites get new designs. If you think that you developed a business today that will last for another five years without changing, you should expect a big hit at some point during the evolution of the site. Here are a couple of examples.

  • You developed a beautiful website and you don’t keep it modern looking. In 5 years, it looks like an old site and people stop staying. They get a feeling that it’s old and outdated.
  • You developed for search engines, but the algorithms change, and you don’t. For example, years ago you could load up keywords on a page, it was how it worked. But today, if you have an overloaded page full of keywords, Google and Bing will penalize you big time.

Our recommendations: Stay up to date on the changes in your websites, how SEO trends, and products you’re marketing. As much as we always say content, content, content – know you need to also invest in keeping your business relevant.


12 – Framing the Problem Wrong or Too Broadly or Too Narrowly

Not having the right problem is a massive failure for all types of companies. Also, similar to stay with the status quo, your focused problem may evolve or change over time. Affiliate marketer fails because they may be marketing a product that doesn’t align with the customer’s problem. For example, if you have a debt problem and I’m trying to sell you a car, it’s probably isn’t going to work. Alternatively, if I am marketing to you a modem for your internet connection, but you already have cable internet, again the wrong problem. One is just not aligning, and the other is only the wrong time (maybe 20 years ago). Keeping it too broad is a recipe for disaster as well as too narrowly. Keep tabs on your customers, the issues they are having and the more aligned you can get, the more sales you can generate. Our recommendations: Periodically, ask your customers directly. If you’re building an email list, maybe reach out to a handful, ask for a phone call, and just interview them directly. It’s amazing how many people do not just ask the existing customer. They make assumptions instead when they don’t have to make a guess. 13 – Rushing to Judgment

This isn’t working so I’m going to quit. The affiliate program I’m promoting sucks, it’s not converting so I’m going to quit – it’s only been two days.

As you develop more of your affiliate marketing skills, you may tend to rush to a quick judgment on a program, the success of an advertising method, or something else. Failure happens because you take very little information or a situation then jump to a conclusion without understanding the circumstances. Here’s a common challenge on failure to make money. During your research for affiliate programs, maybe you find a brand new program, but you rush to judge the program isn’t going to work without understanding if the person developing the program is doing a good job. You could have done some more research and found out if that program was legitimate or not.

Our recommendations: Take your time to do a little investigation.


14 – Not Gathering Enough Facts

One of the biggest failures affiliate marketer run into is not correctly doing keyword research. We use Jaaxy, but you can also use Google keyword planner. Both are good enough. Here’s an example of a failure. You find a program you want to promote and think you can get away with the keywords, “<Program> Review”. But if you did some research, you may find that it’s super high competition with minimal search results. You rushed to judgment but didn’t even get enough facts. Now you spent time developing a blog post or a website based upon faulting information. One of our favorite keyword research tools is Jaaxy. Try it below, great free addition.


Our recommendations: Spend time gathering facts, especially if you’re building a site or keywords around a promotion

15 – Inability to Focus on The Real Problem

If you are not focused on the right problem for the customer, you are only going to confuse them into leaving. Maybe you start selling, and you are not focusing on their difficulties altogether. Again, it confused the reader. Here’s an example, if during this post, we started going on and on about programs with vacations instead of failures of affiliate marketers, you’d get confused or believe this post is not relevant at all. At that point, goodbye. Or another example, if you focus on getting customers who need their eyeglasses replaced, and you create a site that is selling contacts, but you discuss the problem as replacing glasses. It isn’t the right problem. The reader is explicitly searching for replacement glasses, not contacts.

Our recommendations: Write it out. If you know the program you’re addressing, validate it through research. We like using mind maps to document the problems the customer may be having with the affiliate product we are promoting.


16 – Politics


We are not talking about government politics. Nope. We are talking about politics within the affiliate marketing community or your business. You will get engaged with other people in the same process of affiliate marketing. You may even get people copying your site and information – urrgg. Take action, but don’t get into the long drawn out drama. Or, by no means lash out on social media. Take the high road even if it takes longer. Politics kill any business owner when they get entirely emotionally drawn into the fight. Another part that affiliate marketers run into is politics within their own business. Say you get one or two partners to work on a site with you. One of the partners decides they want more of the company once it starts making money. It gets political and ugly. Failure is bound to result.

Our recommendations: Do not let people take advantage of your hard work, but be consistent and persistent. But do not play the politics, stay factual. As far as the partnership goes, we recommend spending time early in the relationship to agree on what happens when a change occurs in the business with relationships, how do you want to dissolve the company or deal with conflict. Yes, at the beginning it’s a honeymoon period, but ultimately it sometimes doesn’t work out. Be clear, and if it does go bad, use that agreement as the process to resolve the conflict. Ultimately, be honest as the business progresses and stay in communication.


17 – Organizational Factors

Businesses and affiliate marketers fail because they are not managing their business. If you are an affiliate marketer, manage your business by staying organized. Failure happens as you start down a path thinking you have it all covered or you’ll deal with it later. Imagine if you made a lot of money, spent it all, and didn’t think about taxes. Your mismanagement and disorganization failed a potentially successful business. Another factor is you start bringing on outsource help, but you aren’t leading the company. People get confused, and your output suffers. Ultimately your customers leave because you are not valuing them from your lack of organization alignment. Our recommendations: Stay organized at all times. Spend time managing your business not just promoting it. Second, as your company grows and you decide to bring on help lead them. If you need training at this stage, spend money to learn how to managed and organize your company. Get mentorship or join a mastermind group. 18 –  Psychological factors Last, but not least. It’s you. You are not ready for success. You are wired for failure, and you can’t get over the work or success you may encounter. Becoming a millionaire online is not the challenge, it’s work – oh yes. It’s a lot of work quite frankly. But it is a formula anyone can follow. We find most people fail because they give up. People give up because they are not ready to accept success. We’re here to tell you directly. YOU DESERVE TO BECOME A MILLIONAIRE – WE BELIEVE IN YOU. If you aren’t sure, you can take a prosperity quiz.

Take the Prosperity Quiz. Find Out If You're Ready.

It’s a quick quiz to help you determine if you’re ready to open the door to prosperity.
Our recommendations: Trust yourself today. And take one day at a time. The best way for people to get over themselves is to get some help and/or believe one day at a time. We coach people by saying, you can choose tomorrow to not believe in your success, but just for today pretend you’re successful.


We know you may be saying, well there are a lot of ways to fail. It does seem that way from reading 18 different ways to fail as an affiliate marketer. But being aware of failure is the first step to not failing.  Ignoring attributes of failure or trying to be perfect every day won’t work either. The reason we feel its’ necessary to let people know is awareness only. Just the fact you read the article indicates that you are prepared to succeed. Being in the business as an affiliate marketing is so much fun. Recognizing that mistakes happen, that’s just progress. Focus on momentum over mistakes, and the chances of success increase significantly.

Comment below, we’d love to hear your thoughts and ways to overcome failure.

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