What’s Wrong With Affiliate Marketing?

This Will Be A Controversial Topic

Certain leaders don’t want to bring attention to the things that are blatantly wrong with the affiliate marketing industry…but from my perspective, these issues MUST be addressed, and corrected.

This Will Be Controversial

So I’m just going to lay it out.  Again, this may be controversial.  Disagreeing with me is okay.  Agree with me is okay.  You may even stop reading this article, and that’s okay.

As you will discover, I like affiliate marketing.  In fact, I highly recommend affiliate marketing to others as a great way to earn a good full-time income. I just don’t like what is happening to the industry today, when there are so many ways for it to work.

I have a different take on the industry than the “orthodox,” old-school leaders.  The old school way of growing your business is not wrong, it just does not work!  The new generation of business builders have a different mind set and a different set of values.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m right and everyone else is wrong…you’ll have to decide that for yourself, and what works best for you.

But, I’m going to tell you exactly what I believe is wrong, and what we can do about it.  Again agree or don’t.  This is my perspective.

What’s WRONG With Affiliate Marketing Today

To kick the topic off…I like affiliate marketing!  I really do.  I have been involved with the industry for many year.  My wife and I have had some success and some failures.  We have made money, and we have loss money.  We have made life long friends.

Do I recommend affiliate marketing as a good business for anyone willing to work the business?  YES!

However, as the title says, there are some thing wrong with affiliate marketing.  The business model is not for everyone, and that is the root of the business issues.

Many people jump into affiliate marketing with their eyes closed.  Most have not researched the industry.  Many think this is the “End” for making a large sum of money.

A lot of people, have the idea that affiliate marketing is so easy that anyone can do it.  WRONG.

You need to know what your getting into…you need to know that affiliate marketing requires WORK…you need to know how to keep focusing, make a commitment, and do what is necessary to mak a living.

As I said, affiliate marketing is not for everyone…period.

Affiliate Marketing WORKS.  You just have to WORK AFFILIATE MARKETING.

  • You need to find the right product that people want.
  • If your looking at an Affiliate Marketing Company, you need to know if they are legitimate.
  • You need top training by professional marketers who have you in mind for success, and
  • You have to commit your time, energy, and desire.

Skill Base Training

The lack of skills-based training is the first thing, and tops the question, “what’s wrong with affiliate marketing?”

Trying to learn affiliate marketing on your own is a death wish.  Can you do it on your own?  Of course you can if you want to make mistakes, have all the time in the world to learn, and the resources to develop your brand.

The successful marketers learn from professionals.  They are taught the skills to become successful.  They are given proven outlines to help resolve questions.

They are given the opportunity to promote the affiliate company or allow the affiliate company to train them on how to find the right “Nitch” and how to market that “Nitch.”

Learning the proper skills is something you can take with you in what ever adventure you care to take.

Never underestimate the value of professional training to build the skills you need.

Many affiliate marketing companies don’t actually have a “system” to teach people a real step-by-step process.  They have a company “style” training program.

This is a BIG problem.

The reason why affiliate marketing is not taken seriously is because the leadership doesn’t train their people as if they are operating a real business.

Affiliate Marketing Is A Profession

People misrepresent affiliate marketing when they say it’s a business.

It’s NOT a business—it’s a profession.

Yup, it’s a profession, just like being a doctor or being a lawyer.

Simply getting your degree, and becoming a doctor or a lawyer doesn’t mean you have a “business.”

Affiliate Marketing is not a business for the following reasons:

  • First, you don’t actually own anything
  • You don’t own the products
  • You don’t own any of the marketing material
  • All you own is your business and/or a membership into the affiliate marketing company!

In the example of a membership to an affiliate company, you are using the company to make money, and they are using you to allow the company to grow.

Create A Real Business With Brand Loyalty

Your Brand is your strength.

Your affiliate marketing company, their products or their competition plan is not your brand.

People will subscribe to the company because of You…not the company.  They will follow You…not the company.

Its your brand that people look for when they see your recommendations.

You develop a real business through building a brand that you control. Your affiliate marketing business is just a part of your overall business strategy.

You can do this through building a personal presence online or offline.  Grow an email list where you have control over your communications, and customers.  You can even create your own products.

That’s how you create a following, and build a brand.

That’s a real business.

And once you develop a following outside of your company, you have leverage.   Should anything happen to your affiliate marketing company, you’ll still have your brand.

Now your reputation is based on the fact that people know, like, and trust you.

And your income is based on people’s loyalty to YOU, and not on their loyalty to a particular company.

That’s something you can control and leverage.

If your not with a marketing company, the same is true.  Find a product you like.  A product in demand.  A product you have knowledge with.  Promote that product as if it were yours.  When someone purchases the product, you receive a commission from the company you represent.

Build a trust with your customers, and they will continue to purchase products you recommend.

The Dumbing Down…Hype

Never ever Hype your product or your affiliate marketing company. This is the quickest way to loose your brand, and turn customers away.  Hype is the product of amateurs.  

Mention how great the products are (important).  Give them the benefits of the product.  Let your customers know the price, and policies from purchasing from you.  If you are promoting an affiliate marketing company, give them reason why they should join.  Don’t Hype the company, just give them real success stories from people who have made a career out of promoting the affiliate company.

Now while a little Hype plays an important role in signing up new prospects, is does have a down side.

Hype will last until the new recruit experiences their first challenge.  Their first rejection.  Their first rude comment.

All they remember now is rejection.  They have forgotten why they started their business and why they want to take control of their life.

The hype is a false sense of security!

Learn the real part of building a business not the hype.

Is it easy?  NO!

But it was better than working 40 hours a week for the next 30 years at a job that could end at anytime with downsizing or economy that I can’t control. 

Side note:  My coach told me it will be a lot of work, and it was.  He didn’t try to hype the process.

It took time for me to fully master the skill sets that allowed me to build my company.

However you build, you can learn skill sets that are far better, and more efficient than most of the stuff that’s out there right now by following the advice of professionals.

Online or offline, you need the proper skills and training.

The Bottom Line

There’s a lot Right with affiliate marketing, and my criticism is in no way an attempt to “prosecute” the industry.

Bottom line—there is NO other industry, there’s no other profession, that allows you to start a business with little start-up money with the ability to earn a good income.

There’s nothing else that compares.

So the #1 thing that’s right is the ability to basically start in this industry, and have unlimited income potential for such a low startup cost.

This issue has more to do with hype, lack of skill training, and unrealistic expectations than anything else.

If I started as a lawyer—I’m going to need an initial investment to start, and if it doesn’t go well, then I will likely be out tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I didn’t talk about “risk” in terms of what’s wrong with the industry, because there’s so little risk compared to any other opportunity.

So, again, the low cost of opportunity, and the high income potential is a positive plus.  What’s also right is the ingrained culture of personal development.

I have so much skills-based training that no matter where I go, I can take the skills with me.

I’ve gotten so much in personal development that I cannot say enough about the industry.

So personal development is definitely what’s right in this industry.

No other industry compares.

The truth is…

Affiliate Marketing saves people from mediocrity.

It allow them to think on their own…learn business strategies…work with other like minded people…leaders who have your best interest in mind.

Affiliate Marketing Is A Gateway Into Entrepreneurship…

  • It’s a gateway towards thinking differently…
  • It’s a gateway to personal development…
  • And it’s a gateway towards other opportunities that might otherwise not exist.
  • Saving people from mediocrity, is the biggest reason why we should all support the profession, while, at the same time, being open, and critical about the things that are wrong, and can be improved.

So, to recap, what’s WRONG with affiliate marketing…

  1. The hype from a lot of affiliate companies, and lack of skill-based training (which creates false expectations and makes it seem too easy)
  2. Believing that affiliate marketing is a business, and not a profession

And again, here’s what’s RIGHT with affiliate marketing…

  1. Low costs, and high income potential
  2. Ingrained personal development
  3. Saving people from mediocrity

We’ve got to be able to look at what’s good, and bad, the wrong, and the right, and, most importantly, what’s going to work, and not work for you, and your business.

And on that note, if you’re ready to start learning actual business skill sets, such as how to develop an online brand, how to find your Nitch, the skills required to be successful, and create a loyal following of customer…

Then I highly recommend signing up with Wealthy Affiliate.

What is unique with Wealthy Affiliate is you can try Wealthy Affiliate for 30 days at no cost.

Their reputation for quality training is unmatched.  There will be no hype or pushing to “Buy More.”  If you make the decision to become a member and receive all the benefits of Wealthy Affiliate, I can tell you that you will be pleasantly surprise on the low price.

You’ll learn the exact online business building strategies used to passively generate a great money generating business.  Again, no hype, just real coaching.

So if you’re ready to get started…Simply click here and I’ll gladly give you access to the free offer

And if you found this content helpful, take the next steps to creating a profession you can be proud of.

CLICK the BANNER now.  I guarantee you will be very pleased you did.







About the Author


Bill Fletcher is a long time marketer and coach. My goal is to help anyone who is interested in building a business through a systematic approach to success. Affiliate Marketing 100 will guide you with the help of some of the best articles and coaching program available anywhere. We train you in all categories of business building and success management.

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