10 Affiliate Marketing Challenges No One Tells You About

As profitable as affiliate marketing is, there is, unfortunately, a great number of people who don’t succeed. Below is a list of 10 common challenges faced by affiliate marketers that can account for failure, and the solutions to these challenges.

Selecting The Right Niche

Choosing a PROFITABLE niche is the most common challenge for every affiliate marketer. Of course, it’s a career path and you would want your career to be well-paying. But if the issue was merely about profit, you could as well choose multiple niches just to make money. It is beyond just that, and you have to be careful in choosing your niche.

First, you should consider choosing something you will enjoy doing. It will require your focus, time, and your energy. Also, instead of trying your hands on multiple things and scattering your efforts, choose a niche. Focusing your energy on building a business exclusively gives you the advantage of building the brand with a personal touch, which can help you sell better through real connections within your niche. Find a balance between interest and profitability. And of course, do your research!

Getting The Right Kind of Traffic

You do not just want traffic; you want the right traffic. This means that what you want is to have the people who are actually interested in your offer and will buy your products, as the traffic on your site. Mere traffic will not help you if they are not buying.

Search engine optimization will help here as the most obvious source of traffic is search engines. You need to optimize your web pages and get them to rank well enough in major search engines. You can also make use of other sources for targeted traffic such as niche communities, social media, guest blogging, off-site content marketing, and advertising to put forward the value you are offering and to become known to potential customers.

Creating Good Content

Creating good content is the number 1 challenge for affiliate marketers. It’s the one thing a lot of people dislike, so do not be hard on yourself if you do too. But rather than taking it as just another task, you must look at it as a chance to get a conversation going.

Your content is a response to your prospective customer’s search. So, pick up your task of content creation the way you would enter a conversation. There are also several online resources to help you get better as a writer, as you need to have good writing skills. You can however also outsource your content creation if you do not have the time and cannot put in the effort into learning and subsequently, creation. You can always get freelancers that charge within your budget.

Link Building

You should get inbound links to not just your home page, but individual pages on your site. Content marketing is a great way to get your links embedded and in the face of prospective customers. You can create pieces of content around as many topics as possible to optimize this method.

You need to have a strong internal linking structure that links relevant pages and strategically leads your prospective customers not just to your website, but through it as well. Once you get quality links to your core pages, internal linking can do the rest. Create quality content with your links embedded in them, and submit to online sites such as blogs, directories, magazines, newsletters, and the likes.

Not Generating Enough Sales

At the end of the day, you are in the affiliate marketing business to SELL. If you don’t sell, you don’t make money. And if you are not making money, you should not be in business. The first thing to identify, if you are not generating enough sales, is the root of the problem.

When you are not generating enough sales, your problem is either lack of traffic or a poor conversion rate. These can stem from poor targeting. It is easy to check where the problem lies. If you do not have enough traffic, that’s the problem. If you do have enough traffic, the problem is the conversion rate. You would need better-targeted marketing. The knowledge of the root of your problem is important in tackling the problem.

No Guarantees

Like any other business, affiliate marketing comes with no guarantees. This means that your profit will not be the same every day. It’s a risk to take up affiliate marketing, and therefore, it is not easy.

Consistent engagement and significant revenue will most likely not come right away. But sticking with your choice to build up your brand in this business will pay off in the long run. Success in affiliate marketing partly relies on your persistence. Any good business takes time to develop if you’re willing to be patient as well as persistent while having the confidence to take the risks required. Understanding that there are no actual guarantees will help you in your decision-making on whether or not to go into affiliate marketing and what products or services you want to work with.

Stiff Competition

Affiliate marketing is a highly competitive business. There are competing affiliate marketers, and there are also brands and products competing with the brand you are marketing. There are many seasoned affiliate marketers as well as brands and businesses out there, but do not let this discourage you.

Learn to leverage your competition. It may take a while to make your mark, but the presence of competition means it is already an area where conversations have started. Consequently, there are several platforms through which you can push your products. No matter the amount of competition, you should leverage opportunities to stand out and make a name for yourself. The competition will always be present in worthwhile ventures.

Working With Affiliate Merchants

Merchants refer to the company or brand whose product you are marketing as an affiliate. A lot of the time, no written contract exists between the merchant and the affiliate marketer. The implication is that any party can abruptly choose to end the supply of services. Merchants may terminate the program, and affiliates can stop marketing the products at any time. Other times when contracts are documented, they are written solely for the benefit of the merchant.

Make sure you find merchants who are transparent with their programs. You should carefully research the merchants and decide with care and caution. Merchants who have their contracts and terms drawn out in documents are a better choice to work with. Once you enter into the program, you should be willing to maintain a good relationship with the merchants on your end. An adequate understanding of the structure and concept of affiliate marketing before diving in is also crucial.

Confusing Affiliate Links and HTML Codes

Most times, merchants give the copy and paste links and codes for you to work with. But for various reasons, you may need or want to make changes to the codes, and that is quite a challenge for people. You do not need to be an expert in coding, but at least you need basic knowledge of how to use HTML links. The good news is that there are several online resources that you can use to learn how to do so. Go online, make research, and study!

Building an Email List

You cannot find success as an affiliate marketer if your audience is passive and unresponsive. You can ensure a steady stream of visitors engaging with your content on a regular basis by creating an email list and reaching out to your subscribers periodically. This provides the opportunity for direct communication with your market.

The key to having an engaging list is keeping in touch with relevant information. To get your audience subscribed to your email list, make sure you offer them exclusive email content. Target the informational keyword phrases in your niche to target the broad market, just as you use commercial keyword phrases in targeting buyers. However, not all affiliate marketing programs allow email marketing. Therefore, be sure to follow the guidelines of your affiliate program.


There are many other challenges you may encounter in the early stages of entering an affiliate marketing program, but these are some of the most common challenges encountered and their solutions. An important thing to remember is that affiliate marketing requires long-term commitment and you need the right mindset and the patience to see it through. As with any other business, you should just be ready to take up the risks, and put in the time and effort required.

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