Why Does Affiliate Marketing Have A Negative Reputation?

I always wanted to be independent of the regular 9-5… so backing 2015 I started to look for new ways how to make money on the internet.

Long story short, in 2016 I stumbled upon affiliate marketing and learned that this is the best way how to make money online.

But then, the period of “informed pessimism” occurred to me…and I started questioning myself is this the right path?

And, why does affiliate marketing have a negative reputation?

I did not stop, despite the fact that I failed… several times.
(I will show you more in a bit).

Let me walk you through some negative aspects of Affiliate Marketing.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing

I am sure you have read what is affiliate marketing on different channels.

Let me share with you my definition of affiliate marketing from an affiliate marketer’s point of view:

Affiliate Marketing is a business model where you connect potential customers and vendors of a specific service or product.

That’s it.

What Is Bad About Affiliate Marketing?

It takes quite a bit of time to get traction.

Why Do Most People Fail Affiliate Marketing?

Generally speaking, the number 1 reason why people fail in affiliate marketing is due to a lack of patience… They simply give up before they reach the first sale.

Why is that?

There are a few main segments when building the affiliate marketing business and each one of them is basically a milestone.

Each milestone might be a roadblock, such as:

  • Choosing a Niche – Many beginners choose the wrong niche and they burn out within a few months
  • Lack of Content – with 40 blog posts (every 1,000 words) one can’t expect any traction (and thus revenue)
    People spend more time checking Google analytics than writing actually content
  • The misconception of Passive Income – with some successful sales one can think, that it’ll be like that forever.

And of course many other small failures during the process.
For example:

  • Lower commission due to new policies
  • Affiliate program stops paying commission
  • Google Core Update and sudden drop in organic traffic

Is There Any Risk in Affiliate Marketing?

There is always a risk, especially in the beginning. However compared to other business models, the potential danger is low.

As you already know it takes some time to make some money with affiliate marketing.

But how long does it take?
How can one pay the bills while building the website?

There is no straight answer and one must sometimes take some risks.

No Organic Traffic?

How about paying for the traffic?
This is probably one of the biggest risks, especially when the affiliate marketer spends thousands of dollars per month on paid traffic without any results.

That’s why it is not recommended. And even if you want to try, spend maybe $20 or $50 per month. Check how the campaigns do.

Do people make sales from this channel?

Affiliate Program doesn’t pay

In case you apply for one affiliate program only and suddenly they stop paying the commission, you are screwed.

That’s why to apply for at least 3 affiliate programs. Even if you sell very specific items.

Have at least 3 products, so your reader can choose from them.
If one affiliate program suddenly decides not to pay, you still have some source of income.

Again, compared to e-commerce, there is no risk of dealing with customers or suppliers. And that is a huge advantage.

Is Affiliate Marketing a Con?

No, affiliate marketing is a perfectly legitimate business model.

In some cases, modern Ponzi schemes, or Pyramid Schemes use the term “affiliate”, when it comes to recruiting.

They claim that you can become an affiliate and find new members of that system.
That’s why many people think that affiliate marketing is a pyramid scheme.

It is not.

Legitimate affiliate marketing does not have any structure.

Above it is the definition of affiliate marketing.

Multi-Level marketing or Pyramid schemes are different.

As per FTC:
Businesses that involve selling products to family and friends and recruiting other people to do the same are called multi-level marketing (MLM), network marketing, or direct marketing businesses. Some MLMs are illegal pyramid schemes

The truth is that if you are a member of a certain affiliate marketing program (a course, like Super Affiliate System Pro) and you sell the course to a new member, you get a commission.

But you don’t get paid when this new student finds another person.

These days, there are many cryptocurrency MLM companies, that also use the term “affiliate”. And it might not be wrong, but it has nothing to do with affiliate marketing.

What are the three advantages and three disadvantages of affiliate marketing?

Let’s check briefly the 3 main drawbacks and benefits of affiliate marketing.

3 Advantages of Affiliate Marketing

  • You don’t sell your product
  • Choose whatever niche you want – ideally your favorite
  • Great source of passive income in the long run

3 Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing

  • It takes long – more than a year
  • Commission can drop
  • Affilaite program stops

Can One Succeed in Affiliate Marketing?

Yes, but here is the thing.

People tend to quit when things don’t go right.

And it might mean that it goes well, then not, then again, and then again the traffic plunge:

Why Does Affiliate Marketing Have a Negative Reputation

This is the point where people quit…

The phase of desperation and anxiety.. and if this is the single source of income, one is forced to find a job to pay the bills.

But quite often that is part of the process.

If things don’t go well, find a job or part-time job – ideally a job that is related to your work.

Something regarding the:

  • SEO
  • Content Writing
  • PPC campaigns

The best platform to find such a job as a freelancer is Upwork.

But make sure to keep working on your website (Youtube channel) as well.

Even if you write 20 minutes per day, it is better than nothing.

What Is the Secret of Affiliate Marketing?

The majority of people don’t succeed in Affiliate Marketing, because they tend to quit too early.

And partially I don’t blame them.

First, they are told that:

When you buy this training you will have a source of passive income next month, for the rest of your life

They buy it and a few weeks later they learn that it is not what it looked like.

People have too many expectations, too early.

For some, it takes years until a consistent income is established.

But It Does Not Have To Take That Long

In theory, it is possible to have some regular income within 8 to 10 months.
But this is more common for people that already have some experience…

In other words, for newbies, and people suffering from shiny object syndrome, it may take years.
And that is a quite common thing along most beginners.
So if you fall into this category, don’t worry.

It is not that difficult to overcome the syndrome.

So the secret is: Keep going.
And take a break if necessary.

Read what works.

And here is briefly what really works (assuming you have already chosen your niche):

By applying the following method, there is a high chance of getting a considerable amount of traffic within 5 to 8 months.

1) Chrome Incognito Mode

I use Chrome but you also have the same option if your favorite browser is Mozilla Firefox – it is called New Private Window.

In case you are outside of the USA, make sure to go to Settings (in the right lower corner):

Go To – Search Settings -> Search Results.
Scroll down to the Region Settings and select the United States.

(The reason is that most of the searches come from the United States).

2) Google Autocomplete

Why Does Affiliate Marketing Have a Negative Reputation

This is actually quite fun.

You put your core keyword into Google Search and you can start by asking questions.

For example, your niche is Herbs, and you want to create content around different herbs.

Let’s say your core keyword is “Basil”

Why Does Affiliate Marketing Have a Negative Reputation

Tip #1

After the “why basil” use the alphabet technique.
Meaning, start typing:

why basil a…
why basil b…
why basil c…
why basil z…

And you get plenty of new ideas.

Tip #2

Instead of “Why” here are additional phrases you can use:

  • How
  • Are
  • Where
  • Is
  • Don’t
  • Aren’t
  • Why Do
  • Where Do
  • What
  • When
  • Which
  • Do
  • Have
  • Can
  • Would
  • Could
  • Will

With a combination of the alphabet soup technique, you get to of new ideas for your content.

and please bear in mind that we still “talk” about one type of Herb.

3) SERP (Search Engine Result Page)

Check the results and here is a little trick:

In the search result, if you spot user-generated content, you can go ahead and write the articles.

User-Generated Content is:

Why Does Affiliate Marketing Have a Negative Reputation
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter…)
  • Forum sites (Reddit, Quora…)

4) People Also Ask

Why Does Affiliate Marketing Have a Negative Reputation

Google shows you what people ask.

Leverage the info and use these questions inside your article as H3 or H2.
– Of course only if it makes sense.
– And you don’t want to use the same questions twice (sometimes the same question is asked in 2 different ways)

Now, how many herbs are there?

And how many questions there are related to each herb?

Here are a few tips:

  • Apply this technique to any niche
  • Make sure to come up with the content on a regular basis (3 – 4 times per week)
  • Keep doing it For 5 to 7 months (until you have 100 blog posts)
  • You can slow down a bit to 2 – 3 posts per week

But by this time you should have an OK amount of traffic.

Real Example

Take as an example a fresh new website with no more than 200 posts…

Why Does Affiliate Marketing Have a Negative Reputation

It started to pick up after about 6 months.


The same technique as above was applied.

Taking numbers – you have a 75% chance to get 1,000 visitors per day within 10 to 14 months.
Maybe even earlier.

A Few Final Thoughts

Are you willing to “sacrifice” a year and product content?

Well, if you never read a single email, you might have a hard time.

If you did but never wrote a blog – it’ll be easier.

But if you already failed in affiliate marketing and you decide to give it a 2nd chance, using this method you can be on track within 8 to 10 months.

Are you willing to give it a shot?

Let me know what stage you are in.
(Please of answers use the comment section below)

1) Newbie?

– Never wrote a single letter/email

2) Intermediate?

– You know how to write a few emails here and there.
Maybe even in your regular job you write emails on a daily basis.

If so, that means you know how to explain things and how to communicate.

That is already a big advantage.

3) Better than Intermediate?

You probably had a website before…
Are you thinking about giving it a 2nd try?

Do It.

The case study I show above is based on information from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022.

That technique works regardless of Google core update.


Now you know why affiliate marketing has such a bad reputation.

It may take a while. and believe me, only a small percentage of people g through the ups and down

Those who do, succeed.

Those that don’t, give up and then claim that affiliate marketing is a bad business model. Some may call it even con.

The way have learned how to d other affiliate marketing is, to be honest, and helpful

You can do that too.

Let me know what challenges you have been through while building up your website

  • Was it Google Core Update?
  • Did you burn a lot of money doing PPC campaigns?

I will be able to provide you with feedback within 24 hours

Thank you For Reading

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