9 Reasons Why You Aren’t Making Money With Affiliate Marketing

All of my blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting Go Ask Your Daddy!

Affiliate marketing is promoting the products and services of a business, and receiving commission for sales that convert through your unique links. There are literally thousands of merchants across all types of product types participating in affiliate programs.

Why is affiliate marketing beneficial for bloggers? It’s relatively easy to get started and a great way to supplement income. Merchants benefit by promoting their products through affiliate text links and banner ads shown on their affiliate participants’ blog or website.

Any blogger who looks to make serious income from a blog starts with affiliate marketing, because it’s the easiest and best way to drive up the income. If you do it correctly, there is potential for substantial income.

If you’ve been doing it for a while with no success, it’s time to take a step back and figure out what’s going wrong. Why are you failing? Why are you not seeing the clicks convert into sales?

Here is a list of 9 reasons why you aren’t earning affiliate income today, and what to do about it.

1. You don’t know how to do it

You can’t just wake up one day and decide you are going to get rich by participating in affiliate marketing. It just doesn’t work that way. There’s a method to the madness, and it’s up to you to make sense of it all. Luckily, there are tons of tutorials available to help you get started. I wrote my own tutorial about starting up with affiliate marketing. Have you read it yet? If not, it’s a great place to get started.

Many bloggers take the wrong approach and place affiliate links all over the place. My general rule of thumb for affiliate links is to not exceed one affiliate link per 1,000 words. Search engines don’t like tons of links, and may actually push your post down in the rankings. We don’t want that! Affiliate links should help us, not hurt us. So, one link per 1,000 words is your general guideline.

I also don’t recommend putting affiliate links in the first 500 words, unless absolutely necessary. Search engines crawling your site may flag it and move it down in the results.

2. You are promoting too many products

One reason why many bloggers fail to earn income through affiliate marketing is because they are promoting too many products at once. While you are free to sign up for as many programs as you like, it’s wise to only focus on those that relate the best to your blogging niche.

3. Products don’t relate to your niche.

If you are writing about travel or technology, why would you promote products for education or fashion? Your readers will not only get confused, but will catch on that you are just trying to earn a quick buck.  The products you promote through affiliate marketing should be directly related to your blog topics.

4. You’re a new blogger

It takes time to establish yourself in your niche and build creative content that drives traffic. Until you are getting more eyes on your site, the clicks on your affiliate links will suffer. Be patient with your traffic building. Unlike the impression some bloggers give out that say this can happen overnight, it takes patience, persistence and strategy to get to a great volume level.

This doesn’t mean you can’t earn income with lower traffic levels, but it takes more work to get the few clicks you are getting to convert over into actual income. If you are aiming for a high amount of conversions from your affiliate links, high traffic volume is crucial.

5. You aren’t consistent

To get good at anything, it takes consistency. Blogging is no different. Make sure you are putting out anywhere between 2-3 blog posts per week and then market them as heavily as possible.  Be consistent in promoting affiliate links properly, and always make sure you are disclosing the usage of links on your site.

6. You expect instant results

Like I said earlier, some bloggers swear they earned $50,000 after their first month of blogging. If this is the case, they are definitely the minority. Don’t expect quick success. Affiliate marketing can work, but it takes more than a month to drive numbers and volume.

Don’t get disappointed if you see $0.00 in your ShareASale account month after month. Keep running the slow and steady race, and eventually you will start to see results.

7. You’re only using AdSense

I had no luck with Google Adsense. I guess part of that was that my traffic volume wasn’t high enough for it to make enough income to be worth the trouble. The problem was, I was trying to rely only upon Adsense and wasn’t supplementing those ads with affiliate links.

Don’t isolate yourself to only Google Adsense. Don’t believe the reports you see where bloggers are earning thousands with Adsense. They have more than one blog (probably closer to 40 or 50!) to help generate a descent income.

Search engines like Google frown upon bloggers who are creating a blog for the sole purpose of Google Adsense, so you won’t be helping yourself by doing this.

8. You aren’t connecting with your audience

Writing a blog post is one thing, but writing a post that provides VALUE to your readers is another. There are hundreds of thousands of bloggers producing mediocre content every day. Why be one of them?  Find ways to bring value to your readers and connect with them on a personal level. Establishing trust is a critical beginning step to earning income from affiliate marketing. It’s just like any business – you MUST network and connect with others to be successful.

9. You’re buying into the hype

Ever see those posts, “How I earned $50,000 last month from affiliate marketing?” Don’t buy into the hype! Those bloggers aren’t just setting their links and watching the money roll in. There is a lot of hard work involved in bringing a blog to a level where affiliate income is substantial, and it takes much longer than a month. Am I saying it’s impossible? No? But I am saying it’s not realistic and don’t expect it to happen in a short month.

What now?

Now is a great time to sit back, analyze your current process, and find ways to drive more traffic to your affiliate links. Get creative! Who knows what will work if you never try? Best of luck, and please let me know if you have any questions.

Are you ready to start a blog? Check out my full guide here! Once you are up and running, sign up for Tailwind and get your posts automated on Pinterest and Instagram!

Here are some of my other blog posts on affiliate marketing:

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