If It’s So Easy, Why Do So Many Fail

Although affiliate marketing is simple, many people that try affiliate marketing end up losing more money than they earn.

They end up getting stuck in what I call the “vicious cycle” that sees you spending a lot of money trying to figure out the “secret” to making money online, but never actually making any money at all. They become frustrated, overwhelmed and discouraged... and many eventually give up.

There are several reasons why people fail at affiliate marketing. I've identified 3 common hurdles that hinder success as well as ways to overcome them.

Obstacle #1 - Shiny Object Syndrome

  • Shiny Object Syndrome is the habit of chasing after the latest business opportunities, buying product after product, hopping back and forth between different things. It's a very common habit among persons wanting to earn money online. But it's a sure way to not make any real progress and not earn any money.
  • Here's how to overcome Shiny Object Syndrome...
  1. You have to make a conscientious commitment to STOP purchasing all those internet marketing courses and “make money online” products.
  2. Take a look at what you've already bought... It is very likely that they may be very informative and useful, but it’s just that you didn’t really implement the strategies and techniques in them. In other words, you didn’t give yourself an honest chance to succeed.
  3. Make a list of the products you’ve bought thus far and how much you’ve spent on each one... when you add up how much you’ve spent, the total may shock you.
  4. Search through your inbox and look for the people that have been constantly sending you promotional offers but never really providing you with useful information and value… And then unsubscribe from those mailing lists.

Obstacle #2 - Information Overload

  • Because of your interest in “how to make money online”, you probably subscribe to a bunch of email lists, read a few blogs, visit several forums, listen to podcasts, etc., etc. Each one of these mediums will give you ideas and tell you “what you’re supposed to be doing”… it’s a lot of information, and therefore understandable that you are going to get confused and overwhelmed.
  • Here are some suggestions for dealing with information overload:
  1. Be very selective on what you pay attention to and what you focus on. Focus on one thing at a time, while purposely putting other things on hold for a while.
  2. Implement “just in time learning”. Meaning, don’t go out there and learn a whole lot of stuff unless it DIRECTLY applies to what you are working on RIGHT NOW. As an example, let's say that you're working on building an affiliate website - You can filter all the information that you come across (emails, blog posts, articles, or whatever) by asking yourself whether it helps you move towards your current goal of building an affiliate website. If the answer is "no", then ignore it.
  3. Unsubscribe from the Mailing List of Those “Internet Marketing Gurus” - If you find that the emails you're receiving don’t provide you with useful information, or you find that they are only pushing and promoting products, or worst yet you don't even read the emails, then unsubscribe!

Obstacle #3 - Time Constraints

  • You probably have a traditional 9-5 job... and the time outside of those working hours is filled with all sorts of activities... and things get even more busy it you have children! So the time you get to spend on affiliate marketing is limited. That's understandable.
  • This boils down to productivity. Here are some recommendations:
  1. Be Organized - it helps a lot since it keeps you from spending unnecessary time searching for stuff. Organize your information… organize your time… organize your work space.
  2. Ensure that the few hours you get to work on your business, is spent highly effectively - Work on “high leverage” activities… those activities that will get you the most progress in the least amount of time.
  3. Set time-constraints for your tasks - when you have to get a task done, give yourself a specific amount of time to complete it... and during that time, ignore all distractions. This requires self discipline, but it's very effective.

Obstacle #4 - Cashflow

  • As with any other business, you are going to have to invest some money into affiliate marketing - you'll need to invest in learning and in the essential tools required to build your websites, grow your email list and perhaps even get traffic. What frequently happens, is that people spend more money than is need on all sort of training and tools (Shiny Object Syndrome), but they don't see affiliate commissions coming in consistently.

This is a cashflow issue... you have more money leaving than you have coming in. It's an unsustainable situation and eventually, you realize that it doesn't make sense, and give up.

  • There are two solutions to this...
  1. You only need one good affiliate marketing course - invest in just one course. But the secret is to actually take ACTION, and follow through with the course. People often buy courses and never implement anything, but then go ahead and buy another course! (Shiny Object Syndrome at it again).
  2. Invest in cost-effective tools - there are many many tools out there to do just about anything you need, several are expensive, others inexpensive but a nightmare to work with. You've got to find the right balance. That's why I'm so happy I discovered Thrive Themes.

Now let’s move on to your plan of action for Affiliate Marketing.

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