What are some of the reasons why someone would fail at affiliate marketing?

Someone asks on Quora…

   “What are some of the reasons why someone would fail at affiliate marketing?”

The asker’s question is interesting, but the answers strike me as lame. Everyone’s quick to assume the affiliate marketer is to blame…that he didn’t try hard enough, didn’t provide enough value, didn’t choose the right product, or didn’t know how to market properly.

Does it not occur to them that perhaps affiliate marketing, as a business model is flawed, or that it could be someone else’s fault?

Indeed, affiliate marketing is rigged for the publisher’s benefit, at your expense, the affiliate.

By design, publishers maximise their gain from an affiliate’s work while minimising what they pay. Their risk is reduced, while the affiliate’s is increased. Their marketing expense is fixed while the affiliate’s margins are always in doubt.

In a previous email, we talked about how publishers use all sorts of sneaky tactics to set you up for their trap.

But it’s worse.

Consider if you have two products; Product A for $100 and Product B for $20.

Which do you think is easier to sell?

Intuitively, Product B, with the lower price point is easier. I mean, if we assume both products are of equally good value. We can pretty much say there will be more buyers at the $20 price point than at the $100.

Well, as an affiliate marketer, you’re trying to sell the (harder) $100 product but if you succeed, your revenue is only $20 … IN THE BEST CASE.

Out of your $20 commission, you’re also covering your business costs, which include advertising, domains, hosting, content creation, email marketing, and so on.

Meanwhile, the publisher has fixed his marketing cost at the 20% he pays you…which he’ll often pay ONLY on the front-end referral, if he pays it at all (since he’s both your opponent AND the umpire in this scenario). 

Meaning, after generating the customer at 20% of the initial sale’s value, he’ll keep 100% of everything else bought by your customer.

As an affiliate marketer, you’re working with this GIANT disadvantage. If you go by the advice of most economists, you should allocate ~10% of revenue to advertising…that means you need to find customers of that $100 product, for under $2! Good luck!

Pretty soon, you realise paid traffic is off the table.

So you’re stuck with tedious, time-sucking “free techniques”….product reviews, podcasts, blogging, social media, etc. 

After a few failed attempts, most affiliates give up at this point. Only to be blamed for being lazy or dumb.

Is there a way to win, and win HUGE, despite publishers actively working to screw you?

Here’s three easy pointers to screw them back:


The publisher welcomes an opportunity to get ALL the raw traffic you can send his way because he can monetise it while cutting you out of the picture. Once traffic is at his site, you’re at his mercy and he decides if and when you get compensated. 

Also, the publisher is often competing with you for authority on your customer’s pain. 

Since it’s your traffic, you want to be seen as a higher authority for your traffic’s trust. You do this by sending traffic to your site FIRST, capturing visitors to a mailing list as subscribers, and then introduce yourself ahead of edifying any publisher. Ideally, send ONLY buyers (more on this in #3 below), no leads.


Many publishers offer affiliates a lead capture page where your referred traffic can join the publisher’s mailing list. The publisher claims he’ll do email marketing and convert your traffic for you and pay commissions on any sales that result later.

If your publisher is offering you one of those pages, just say NO. 

Instead, use/ask for their ORDER FORM as a tracked affiliate link. If the publisher refuses you this, move on to a better publisher. You don’t need his marketing, use your own and only benefit from his transaction and fulfilment process. Your customers who buy directly from the publisher’s order page are easily tracked as your referrals (they wont change devices or get tagged to someone else in between your referral and their purchase).


As an affiliate, a short email with your affiliate link early in the body is the LAST kind of email you want to send your leads. Because it maximises the raw traffic you send the publisher. (People can be click-happy or click out of curiosity without reading).

Instead, write a longer, sales-driven email fully explaining the publisher’s product before revealing the link. 

This way, your leads must read your entire sales pitch BEFORE they see (and be curious about) a link at the bottom of your email. Anyone not interested will stop reading early, and this way you ONLY send the publisher leads that are prepared to buy–that you know you’ll earn an immediate commission from.

That’s how professionals do it. And i’ve learned these techniques by observing the most shrewd publishers when they promote their competitors in joint-venture partnerships.

This is the very process you learn to use for yourself in step by step detail, in the Super Traffic Machine DIY Kit…it’s the only way to succeed in affiliate marketing, by screwing back the publishers, and looking out for yourself.

Learn more about the Super Traffic Machine at the link below…


Jim Yaghi

Jim Yaghi

Foremost Home Business traffic expert, Jim Yaghi is a Computer Scientist and Mathematician who used to build search engines for a living. At 16 he created a mildly popular social network and has been an online entrepreneur for over 15 years. In 2006 he rose to the #1 Affiliate rank in many Home Business programs (most notably Magnetic Sponsoring). Today he's best known for hatching the first industry-wide viral campaign to reach all major social networks, for hosting a top-10 Internet radio show for entrepreneurs, and for shattering industry sales records with his best-selling, easy-to-follow online marketing courses PPC Domination, PPC Supremacy, and Traffic KickStart.


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