Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work and is Not For You!

affiliate marketing does not work

Last Updated on June 26, 2023

This article offers insights and personal experiences to highlight why affiliate marketing does not work and may not be the best fit for everyone. It aims to engage you, readers, and provide valuable information about the challenges and downsides of affiliation marketing. This article was co-written with Kimberly Wilson.

I. Introduction

Imagine this: You come across an enticing online ad promising quick riches through affiliation marketing. The thought of passive income, financial freedom, and working from a tropical paradise sounds incredibly appealing, doesn’t it? But before you dive headfirst into this seemingly lucrative endeavor, let’s take a step back and explore whether affiliate marketing is truly the right path for you. In this article, we’ll delve into the realities of affiliation marketing and shed light on why it may not be the golden ticket you’re hoping for.

II. What is Affiliation Marketing?

Affiliation marketing, in simple terms, involves promoting other people’s products or services and earning a commission for every sale or referral you generate. At first glance, it seems like an enticing concept – you don’t have to create your own product or deal with customer support, and there’s potential to earn money while you sleep. However, let’s peel back the layers of hype surrounding affiliation marketing and uncover the challenges and downsides that come with it.

III. The Dark Side of Affiliation Marketing

Affiliation marketing has its success stories, but it’s crucial to understand the potential pitfalls before you jump in. Let’s explore why affiliate marketing does not work, or just for a few, and may not be the best fit for everyone.

1. Over-saturation of the market

Affiliation marketing has experienced a surge in popularity, with countless individuals and businesses joining the race to promote products and earn commissions. As a result, the market has become oversaturated, making it increasingly challenging to stand out from the crowd. Your voice can easily get lost in the noise, and gaining traction can be an uphill battle.


Imagine setting up a blog to promote affiliate products in the highly competitive fitness niche. There are already countless fitness blogs and influencers with established audiences vying for the same affiliate commissions. Standing out in such a crowded space requires unique strategies, compelling content, and an understanding of your target audience’s specific needs.

2. High competition and limited earning potential

While it’s true that affiliate marketing can be a source of income, the reality is that only a small percentage of affiliates earn substantial amounts. The competition is fierce, and the earning potential may not be as limitless as it seems. It takes time, effort, and skill to generate significant income through affiliation marketing.

Personal Experience:

When I embarked on my affiliation marketing journey, I soon realized that competition was fierce. I had to develop unique strategies, optimize my marketing techniques, and constantly adapt to stay ahead. It wasn’t a simple path to quick riches; it required consistent effort and a willingness to learn and grow.

3. Difficulties in building a loyal audience

Affiliation marketing heavily relies on trust – trust from your audience that the products or services you promote are genuinely valuable and trustworthy. Building this trust takes time, consistency, and delivering on your promises.


I recall starting my affiliation marketing venture with a genuine passion for a specific niche. However, it took months of dedicated effort, producing high-quality content, and engaging with my audience to build a loyal following. It wasn’t an overnight success but a journey of building trust brick by brick.

4. Dependency on external factors

Affiliation marketing is not a guaranteed source of steady income. Your earnings can fluctuate based on various factors, such as changes in the affiliate program’s terms and conditions, shifts in consumer behavior, or fluctuations in the market. Your success is often tied to external factors beyond your control.


Imagine being an affiliate for a popular e-commerce platform, only to find out they’ve significantly reduced their commission rates overnight. Your income potential takes a hit, and you’re left scrambling to find alternative affiliate programs or reassess your strategy. This dependency on external factors can be a significant source of frustration and uncertainty.

4. But who is really making money with Affiliation Marketing?

The “Shovel Sellersare making money selling you videos/courses/ebooks/marketing strategies without actually using any of them. For now, the big business is to sell you a “Shovel”, just choose the color, the shape, and the brand! There are cheap, but remember the handle of the shovel is an upsell! Sad but true but if you can’t beat them, join them but all this has a limit with over-saturation as explained above.
Did we join the dark side at Anything Evidence? somehow yes because we have no choice but we try to do it in total fairness and transparency.

IV. Is Affiliate Marketing Really for You?

Now that we’ve explored the challenges and downsides of affiliation marketing, it’s time for some self-reflection. Affiliation marketing does not work and may not be the right fit for everyone, and that’s okay. Here are some alternative options to consider for monetizing your side hustle or digital marketing efforts:

1. Creating and selling your own products or services

Instead of promoting someone else’s products, why not create and sell your own? This allows you to have complete control over your offerings, branding, and profit margins. While it involves more work and responsibility, it also provides a platform for showcasing your unique expertise and building a brand that resonates with your audience.

2. Offering consulting or coaching services

If you have specialized knowledge or skills in a particular area, consider offering consulting or coaching services. This allows you to directly help others and provide personalized guidance. With consulting or coaching, you can leverage your expertise and establish yourself as an authority in your field.

3. Exploring other forms of digital marketing

Affiliation marketing is just one piece of the digital marketing puzzle. Consider exploring other avenues, such as sponsored content or partnerships with brands that align with your values and audience. This allows for more diverse income streams and collaborations that go beyond affiliate commissions.

V. Final Thoughts

Affiliation marketing may promise a pathway to financial freedom and flexibility, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Before embarking on this journey, consider the challenges discussed in this article and evaluate whether affiliation marketing aligns with your goals, resources, and expectations.

Remember, success in affiliate marketing requires more than wishful thinking. It demands persistence, authenticity, and a deep understanding of your target audience. If you’re ready to take on the challenges and embrace the continuous learning process, affiliate marketing might just be the right fit for you. But if you’re seeking a quick fix or an effortless way to make money, it’s time to reevaluate your options.

So, before you set sail on the affiliation marketing ship, assess your skills, passion, and commitment. Only then can you make an informed decision about whether affiliation marketing is the right path for your side hustle or digital marketing endeavors?

Thank you for reading this article! Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on our Facebook page. Together, let’s navigate the world of affiliate marketing with realistic expectations and a drive for success!
Should you persist in your journey, read our article: How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide!

About Digital Marketing Topic

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  • Edward Porter

    Edward Porter is a freelance writer with a passion for all things related to side hustles and digital marketing. With years of experience in the industry, Edward has honed his skills and developed a keen eye for effective marketing strategies. His articles provide valuable insights and practical tips for anyone looking to start a side hustle or improve their digital marketing efforts. When he’s not writing, Edward can be found experimenting with new marketing techniques or exploring the great outdoors.

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  • Kimberly Wilson

    Kimberly Wilson is an expert in making money online. With years of experience in digital marketing, she has helped numerous businesses and individuals grow their online presence and increase their income through various online channels. Kimberly’s passion for entrepreneurship and her expertise in online marketing strategies make her a valuable asset to anyone looking to start or expand their online business. When she’s not busy creating innovative marketing campaigns or analyzing online data, Kimberly enjoys traveling, reading, and exploring new technology trends. Kimberly Wilson is also a pet enthusiast! Her passion for pet parenting and expertise in pet care can help guide anyone looking to provide the best life possible for their furry family members.

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