Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Disadvantages You Should Know Beforehand

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Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Disadvantages To Know BeforehandJumping into affiliate marketing could be a very exciting time and because of this excitement you may miss some of the disadvantages in affiliate marketing that you should know about beforehand.

There are certainly tons of advantages that I’ll touch on later on but let’s focus on the disadvantages first because once you know this, then you can travel smarter on your path to make sure you don’t get side swiped by them.

I’ve been able to generate a 4 digit online income with affiliate marketing in a year and a half from this website, Work Anywhere Now, and it has continued to generate that income since then so I can offer insights about this online business.

I will now go through the disadvantages of affiliate marketing in the following sections:

  1. It’s A Slow Game To Start Earning
  2. More Work Than Most People Want
  3. Don’t Know Where To Start
  4. Have No Idea What Strategies To Use
  5. Don’t Know What Niche To Pick
  6. Can’t Control Affiliate Programs
  7. Income Is Not Stable
  8. Competition Could Be Intense
  9. You Must Be Self Disciplined
  10. It’s Not As Fun Being A Solopreneur



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#1) It’s A Slow Game To Start Earning

Seems like everyone and anyone who flock to the internet to make money want to do in a fast fashion but like any other business you want to start, you won’t be earning anytime soon.

When done right, you will want to use a blog website to start your affiliate business with but new sites aren’t even looked at by search engines until 3 – 4 month mark.

That’s when you’ll start slowly get some organic traffic from search engines coming to you, then you will have to keep working and publishing more and more content as the search engines learn your site.

It’s not really until 6 months to a year when you will start generating a 3 digit income, if you’re doing it right that is.

If you’re not, you may still not be earning anything and that’s when most people quit.

They don’t realize how much time needs to go into this business and it does take awhile for your blog to get established and you’re at the mercy of the search engines giving you that great free organic traffic.

Here’s a picture of my 2 year results from Sep/16 – Aug/18:

Income vs New Posts Graph


You can see that I didn’t even earn my 3 digits til my 12th month actually but some niches that are less competitive can earn faster than my own experience.

You can also see that when my site really catches that amazing SEO traffic from all the work I’ve put in (red line), my income (blue line) just sores to a record of $4.9K in my last month of my 2 year results!



#2) More Work Than Most People Want

Yes, there’s going to be more work than people think in affiliate marketing.

The concept sounds easy, grab an affiliate link, get someone to click it and buy something but if you want to build this business to generate yourself a full time income, it’s not going to be that simple.

Most people getting into affiliate marketing tend to do so while still having a full time job or have busy lives.

They turn to the internet thinking they can make money easy because people are reporting tons of money being made on the internet but they don’t see all the work that goes into making that much money.

There’s no doubt you can do affiliate marketing part time if you have a full time job, but work still needs to be done before you can earn anything and most are tired after coming home from a full time job.

The ones that can get over this hump, meaning work at their job and also work part time on evenings and weekends CAN break free from their day job one day.

Even if that takes 3 years, wouldn’t that be worth it to be able to quit your day job?

It’s really a blink of an eye when you think about it but, to get that freedom from a day job, there’s lots of work to do and those who can do it will enjoy the benefits of affiliate marketing.


#3) Don’t Know Where To Start

The internet is vast and wide so it would be very daunting to a new beginner to know where to start this affiliate marketing business.

You would need to go all over the place to search and there’s no one central spot to find out what to do or how to do it all.

Beginners can get easily confused and distracted if they run into not so great products of make money online opportunities and pulls them into a scam instead.

There are also too much information one can find on affiliate marketing and it could get overwhelming.



#4) Have No Idea What Strategies To Use

There are several ways you can use affiliate marketing and not knowing which strategy is best can really make you have a wrong start.

You would want to pick a strategy that will earn you more in the long term and one that can keep making you money far into the future.

Picking some “quick” method will never earn you the amount of money you want.  I’ve seen it.  There are really no “quick” methods and that is why I used quotations.

Picking a long term strategy will be best for your online business because then you can build a big online presence and become authoritative in your niche which will build trust, a major element needed in any affiliate business to succeed.

Choosing the wrong strategy to start with can lead you down the wrong path.



#5) Don’t Know What Niche To Pick

There are literally so many niches you can go to that it could be overwhelming on how to pick the right niche.

You won’t really know the “right” niche for you until you have done a successful one basically and that could be a lot of time wasted if you didn’t pick the right one the first time.

You also need to know how to do keyword research and know how to research the industry you want to go into.

There are plenty of niches to make money in but if you focus on the money too much, then you can get distracted on what’s more important which is helping people in your niche.

You can have the best affiliate products to promote which can make you tons of money but if you don’t know how to help those people in your niche, then it’s pretty much useless and you won’t make much money this way.



#6) Can’t Control Affiliate Programs

There are tons of affiliate programs you can join for free and start using but none of them can you control and sometimes getting into the wrong affiliate partnership can be a dire situation for some.

I have heard stories about companies not paying or taking their affiliate program away without warning.

You really can’t control what they do, for example, Amazon’s affiliate program used to pay by volume and the more sales you give them, the higher the commission rate you’ll earn, but one day, Amazon decided to change their whole plan and most bloggers saw a dip in their income because of it.

This lesson just means you shouldn’t depend on one source of income and you should make sure you are earning from different streams of income.



#7) Income Is Not Stable

Nothing is guaranteed in life, not even jobs really, so in running a business, you’re definitely not going to have any financial stability.

As previously said, an affiliate program can change on you one day and bam, your income is lowered without much you can do about that income stream.

Or it could be another factor like Google and its updates that always affect websites when their algorithm gets updated.

You could also lose money in traffic sources you want to try or other tools you want to buy for your business that doesn’t always work out.

Earning from various sources will help with this and even the type of income, like I use not only affiliate marketing but also display ads on my site.

The more diversified you are, the better it is for your online business.



#8) Competition Is Intense

There are literally thousands of blogs being started everyday and some topics are very intense in competition.

What does it mean if you’ve picked a competitive niche?  It means it will take that much longer to see results, it also means much more work before you see results.

You’ll need to blog daily with lengthy posts if you pick a tough niche to go into, and while making money in these niches are awesome actually, they require super hard work.

You can see that in my 2 year results chart above, the read line shows you how many posts I was publishing each month to get the results of earning 4 figures months later.

That’s how a competitive niche works, you need to be a blogging machine or outsource that work to someone else but to get into competitive niche, you’ll need to expect a lot of intense work.



#9) You Must Be Self Disciplined

It is actually really hard to work at home if you can believe that.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to work at home, but you really need to be a person who is disciplined enough to not waste time when you’re at home.

The bed is not far away, the coach is so inviting and the TV is there to be turned on with a push of a button.

All these things can tempt you into wasting time instead of working, so you need to be very self disciplined to put in a 4 – 8 hour days or more if you work on your own.

Consistently, at that.

If you don’t, you will not see the results you want and then you’ll think affiliate marketing just doesn’t work when it’s really because you haven’t put in enough work for it to work for you.



#10) It’s Not As Fun Being A Solopreneur

As much as working without a boss can be fun, it could also be a very lonely place to be.

It’s really just you and your laptop or desktop computer everyday, with no one to bounce any ideas off of anyone or ask any questions to.

Not having support is very hard, and I have done that as well, I have tried affiliate marketing on my own before and really just failed like most people starting out.

You really need to know where to go if you run into problems too and you will run into problems for sure in your journey.

Even when you have wins or milestones to celebrate, no one around you will really know how you feel unless you’re another blogger or affiliate marketer.

That’s why joining a community supported affiliate marketing training platform like Wealthy Affiliate will really help you in your journey as everyone there is just like YOU, doing this online business.

I have never seen support the way the community inside Wealthy Affiliate gives, and it has given to me plenty.  Yes, that’s where I learned everything and how I built my website with.

They are the best affiliate marketing training there is out there and you’ll be able to learn it all in one place!



It’s Not All Bad, Advantages Of Affiliate Marketing

Of course, there are more advantages than disadvantages in affiliate marketing, or else, me and tons of people wouldn’t be doing it.

If you’re able to overcome the disadvantages that I’ve mentioned above, then you can really build yourself a striving business.

Some of the affiliate marketing advantages are:

  • You’re your own boss.
  • You schedule your own work days and when you want to work.
  • You can earn money passively while you eat, play, work, and sleep.
  • You can work from anywhere that has a Wifi connection.
  • You get to choose who you want to work with.
  • You get to choose the products and services that are already available online.
  • Very low cost to start and maintain.
  • High profitability, biggest investment is time.

There are proven paths to make affiliate marketing work for you and, if you can make it work, then you can enjoy the freedoms of having your own online business that I know I thoroughly enjoy. 😉



The KEY To My Affiliate Marketing Success

The key to my affiliate marketing success is joining Wealthy Affiliate which is one of the best decisions I’ve made career-wise.  I joined shortly after I created this website and the timing could not be better.

Wealthy Affiliate has not only taught me how to build my affiliate marketing online business but has also helped me have a network of people to get in touch with if I needed help.

Education and support goes a LONG way in such a business you’ll be undertaking, you won’t be so lonely anymore as well as being able to ask all your questions about anything to do with your online business.

They even have a free Starter membership that you can sign up for to check out the platform before you decide if you want to go Premium or not:

Wealthy Affiliate_create-your-free-account-here


You will avoid so many of the disadvantages of affiliate marketing I mentioned above if you join Wealthy Affiliate because their training is focused on a long term strategy and helps you build your business properly from the start.

The community has people just like you who are getting started but there are also members like me who have used their training and are making money.

Then, there are those who make 6 to 7 figures a year, all in the same community that you can reach out to so you literally have experts at your fingertips.

Wealthy Affiliate’s training course is comprehensive, step-by-step, and comes with tasks at the end of each lesson so you can build your website along side your learning and take action.

The Best Training On Affiliate Marketing Is The Online Entrepreneur Certification course


If you sign up with my links and buttons on this page, then you’ll be eligible to have me as YOUR Personal Coach!

That’s right, this is my gift to my readers!

Yes it’s free and you’ll find out how to get it after you create your free account as I will be sending you all the information on your profile so look out for someone called “littlemama” as that is my username on the platform.

If you want to own your very own money making asset, then start building your future today!



If you have any questions or thoughts regarding the disadvantages of affiliate marketing or anything else, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I always reply to my readers! 🙂


Let’s make money online!

Grace @ Work Anywhere Now




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