Why Affiliate Marketing Sucks - The downside of being an affiliate marketer (and why you should be developing your own products and services)

There's a lot to be said for selling affiliate products as part of your monetization mix, but there is a downside that has become more and more apparent to me as I start to promote more products from various merchants.

Here's just one example...

In one of my markets, I have a merchant who sells a range of great products and I'm a big fan of his work. 

I have purchased just about everything this person has offered over the years ranging from his monthly membership site (I was one of his first subscribers) to his top end personal coaching program - in all I've probably spent thousands of dollars with him.

Because he creates such great stuff, I've been an evangelist for him and his products to my lists in this market, and yes I've earned some commissions from promoting his products.

But here's the problem…

By promoting his inexpensive front end products to my readers and earning a small commission on one sale, the merchant is building his business and making HUGE profits on the back end from my hard work.

As an example, I've introduced a number of people to this merchant where I made $10 to $20 on the first sale and that was it. I know for a fact (because quite a few people on my lists have told me so) that the merchant has gone on to sell additional products to these people ranging in price from $27 right up to $997 where I didn't earn anything at all. 

The merchant keeps the lot because the initial front-end product isn't tracked by the same system as the backend products are.

An oversight on his behalf? Maybe, or maybe that was the plan, I don't know for sure. But what it means is that there is a disconnect in the tracking between the initial product and any backend or follow up sales made to that person. 

By setting things up this way, it's likely that initial sale I make is the ONLY sale I'll get unless I follow up forever and continue to recommend other products and services from this merchant.

This is the problem you face when you are simply an affiliate. 

You might make a few dollars on one or two products on the front end, but unless you only promote merchants who have a great tracking system and/or a lifetime cookie policy (like Sitesell and a few others) you eventually stop earning anything from your hard work and the merchant gets the benefit forever.

Bottom line?

1) Work out how to create your own products as soon as you can and start YOUR OWN affiliate program so that other people are helping YOU to build your business

2) Promote affiliate products and programs that offer LIFETIME COMMISSIONS or at least long-term cookies where everything is tracked by ONE tracking system

3) Promote quality membership sites where you earn an ongoing commission each month the people you refer remain a member

Hope this helps you to decide on the future direction of the products and services you promote in your business. I'd love to hear your thoughts on affiliate marketing and any positive or negitive experiences you've had. 

Please let me know your comments below...



P.S. The fastest way I know of to go from not being sure where to start to creating your own products or services is Marlon Sander's Info Product Dashboard.

To watch my short video of how you can use Marlon's Info Product Dashboard to start creating your own products and make affiliate marketing your friend, visit this page.

Want To Comment On This Article?

If you'd like to comment on this article, please feel free to do so using the form below.

Agree with me? Disagree? Please let me know...

Or do you have a story or experience that's related to this post in some way? Please share your thoughts with others here...

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

What Other Visitors Have Said About This Article

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

What are you into now?  
Rocky How on earth do you find time for something new. I was just re-listening to one of your lessons where you mentioned that you gave up being a …

Have I Missed It? Not rated yet
Hey Rocky! Have you finished making your product with the Info Dashboard? What did you think of it? Have you done an ad for your product? Are …

You're Absolutely Right! Not rated yet
I agree with you. As an affiliate marketer you're just basically making peanuts and setting the merchant up for HUGE 'back-end' profits if the affiliate …

Click here to write your own.