Hello there again to all my sea changing friends. Today I want to take you to the dark side of affiliate marketing with 4 disadvantages affiliate marketing newcomers need to know about. The reason for this is quite simple – I am trying to “steer you into the skid” in regards to some of the information and realities that are out there in this big wide world we call the internet. Why? Well I have been doing quite a lot of research lately in an attempt to find good online money making methods that may assist you in funding that sea change and all I seem to be finding is scam site after scam site.

Disadvantages Affiliate Marketing - header1

And as I start to look through these sites I am finding that they are so good at outlining the disadvantages that I will list below only to throw some get-rich-quick gimmick at you that they say can get you around these quickly so you can start making $1000s per day from the very first day – once you sign up and pay them some money of course. Those of you who have been reading some of my posts will know that I have always said that building a successful online business take time and work – the trouble is, if we are trying this and coming across these issues that we will discuss below, then the scammers of the online world may seem just that little more attractive.

So, sit back, take a load off and let's have a frank discussion about these disadvantages and see if there are some things we can do to alleviate them in an effective and scam free manner…

1. Success takes time

I have said it before and I will say it again. the establishment of a successful – and by successful I mean making enough money for it to make a difference in your life – online affiliate marketing business can take years to achieve. I have included this as a disadvantage however in reality it is not really any different to most bricks and mortar startups. And like those businesses, you need discipline and hard consistent work as you work through the pitfalls of website development, SEO and everything else that goes with it.

Disadvantages Affiliate Marketing - time

The scam sites are on to this disadvantage also and will attempt to sway you with promises of making money immediately without the need to do the hard work I mentioned above. The thing here is that if these programs were so successful, do you think people like me would be telling you to avoid them? No way!!! We would be riding that train all the way to money town…

So whilst it is technically a disadvantage, it is a reality in any business.

How to combat the time factor

The trick to beating this is consistency and with some work there are some things that you can do to move things along a little faster. These include:

  1. Put more hours in – the more your produce, the faster things will move along – see Tip below.
  2. Get training – if you are unsure of how to do things, or want to make sure you are on the right track and not wasting time then always be seeking extra training and tuition – in the short term obviously it will take you away from step 1 above, but it will pay off in the long run. Oh, and for those of you without spare cash to throw around, plenty of this training is totally free.
  3. Outsource – if you can afford it, outsourcing is a great way to get things really moving. Stick to what you are good at and outsource the things that hold you up or take the most of your time.

Tip – We all know that life gets in the way, especially if you are also trying to hold down a full time job and run a family at the same time. On the busy days try and do just one thing on your site – no matter how small. You will be amazed at how much you can progress by doing at least one thing on your site every day.

2. No control over affiliate programs

This is a definite disadvantage of affiliate marketing in that you really have no control over what the vendor/program managers can do. It is frustrating as all you are trying to do is help them sell more product, however from their side of the fence there are considerations they need to consider such as:

  • Their own cash flow
  • High and under performing products
  • Brand protection
  • Company logistics such as customer service and shipping

Below are some of the things that affiliate programs of vendors can throw at us:

  • Not paying commissions – This is obviously the biggest disadvantage as that is what we are here for after all. However, affiliate program managers can at times simply not pay the commissions to their marketers as promised. There are a number of reasons for this with the main ones being cash flow issues, a change of company ownership or simply going out of business. Regardless, this can be a major issue for us especially for newer sites where sales are still slow.
  • Discontinue product lines – Oh the annoyance. You take the time to write a nice long post providing all the solutions in the world and then the product that you recommend to solve the conundrum of the reader is taken “off the shelf”. Unfortunately you will need to find new products. I run a broken link checker on my site at least once a week to see if any product links fail – which can be a sign of a discontinued product. This process can also assist you in finding when vendors change their product links too – they don't do this very often, but it does happen
  • Raise/drop prices – Prices differences can have a huge effect on your ability to make sales – especially of you have made a recommendation based on the low price of a product or the value in paying more for another. Not usually as big an issue as when the product is discontinued but something to keep an eye on just the same.
  • Changes to commission structure – Changes to commission structures (rates, tiers etc.) can really drive an affiliate marketer to question why they are doing it. These changes, often made for the same reasons as when the vendor simply doesn't pay can also affect the worth of a product to a website – especially if it is one of the main programs that it uses. Most companies will send information when commission structures are changing but not always. Diarise to check this at least monthly.
Disadvantages Affiliate Marketing - stripe

How to combat affiliate program changes

Unfortunately you do need to accept that you really have no control over this – the trick is to just make sure that you are constantly checking and updating as often as possible – there are however some things that you can do to reduce the inconvenience here. These include:

  1. Diversify your programs – i.e. don't put all of your affiliate eggs in the one basket. Set yourself up with a number of programs and monitor them closely. That way if one drops, you can substitute a similar product from another program quickly and easily
  2. Stick to the bigger programs – If your site is relatively new then the bigger programs (Amazon, CJ Affiliate, ShareASale etc.) will give you more certainty around the payment of commissions. They commission rates are generally a little lower however they will generally pay up and if not, notify you in advance of any of their vendors who are a little shakey. They are also good if a product goes off the market as their size means that others will be easier to find.
  3. Check often – It is much easier to fix a few posts than a lot so check your affiliate products and programs often to stay ahead of any changes that might be in the wind.
  4. Take advantage of cheaper prices – promote them as ‘sales' on your website or to your email list.

Tip – As I said earlier, one good way to check any changes to products is to run a broken link checker on your website. That way, any product links that have changed due to removal or change will show as broken allowing you to identify and replace way faster than you would if you simply trawled through your posts manually checking each link.

Get Away From the Rat Race and Work From Home

Anyone wanting to build an online business can get started using Wealthy Affiliate because it has all the tools you need!

You too can start your very own online business here that can make you money from anywhere in the world!!

3. There is a LOT of competition

Another disadvantage that the get-rich-quickers like to target is the fact that in some niches and affiliate programs can be subject to a lot of competition. This is mainly because there are almost no financial barriers to setting up an affiliate marketing website – you really only need to find somewhere to host your site and the rest you can generally find for free. This is obviously an advantage to those with little cash reserves looking to start a new business however it is also a disadvantage with so many newcomers to the market.

Now, as you start to look through what competition you have, you may start to get disheartened which is again where the scammers will zoom in telling you how they can beat the competition to get you immediate traffic and sales. Again, they are usually inaccurate in their promises and generally do this by stealing the work of others. Luckily for us, there are some things we can do to beat the competition in a more ethical manner…

Disadvantages Affiliate Marketing - marathon

How to beat your competition

Did you know that over 90% percent of websites that are created under an affiliate marketing banner are likely to be abandoned within the first 3 months of operation. This means that by simply sticking with it as we discussed earlier you will be ahead of the game immediately. Other things you can do include:

  1. Be clear on your niche – Take the time to be really clear on your niche and how you plan to stand out from the crowd. Think about how you can differentiate yourself from others which can be done via different products, an area of expertise and value adds to the post etc.
  2. Always be solving problems – most people undertake searches online so that they can solve a problem. If your competition are focused on sales and not actually solving a problem (which is why most scam sites are short-lived), then you will gain a greater following if you are doing so.
  3. Work with your keywords – ensure that you are using the best possible keywords within your posts to give yourself a greater chance to attracting visitors via their online searches.

Tip – You can actually learn a lot from your competition as well. Look into their sites and see what they are writing about, who they are targeting and what sort of products they are promoting. If they are successful, why not take a leaf out their book for the basics and then work out where they are falling short and fill that gap as well!

4. Affiliate marketing has a bad reputation

You can blame the scammers for this one! Affiliate marketing has a bit of a reputation out there as being a place for the greedy and unethical and unfortunately the behaviours of some within this industry do little to alleviate that problem. Many will promote anything and everything to make an affiliate dollar. Even worse is that when the next new product that can “make you $10000 within 2 seconds of signing up” is released, they also promote huge prizes and bonuses to the affiliate marketers who make the most referrals. This pushes many do so without any care in the world that the product they are promoting is a rip-off or simply just does not work.

On the other side of the fence, one of the most common methods of purchase online is via affiliate marketing websites. Even the biggest corporations in the world include affiliate links of some type ( usually advertising links) on their sites as a means of generating a little extra monetisation to them. Below are some ways that we can separate ourselves from the sharks…

Disadvantages Affiliate Marketing - bad apple

How to avoid the bad rap

We have essentially covered the requirements here in our previous three disadvantages but the main one – as always – is to ensure that you are solving problems.

You need to write your posts and solve a problem for the reader even if they don't purchase from you !

They should be able to get the solution they need from you without the need to click on any affiliate link – that is the way you build trust and increase popularity which leads directly to higher traffic and more sales down the track.

Tip – One of the best ways to show that your site is on the up and up is to be present within it. Interact with your readers as much as possible and show them that you are a real person. Respond to comments, be active on social media and maybe shoot a few videos (which will also help with SEO). Let your readers see that there is a real person behind the site who is doing everything they can to solve their problems


So there you have it… 4 disadvantages of affiliate marketing. There are ways to combat them for sure and at the end of the day, if you are ethical in your writings, provide good solid value and real solutions to real problems then you will go a long way to being successful – as long as you stick at it.

I hope this has been helpful and as usual, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, need some advice or have any experiences to share.

Do you want further assistance with any of the above or need help to build your own affiliate marketing website?

Are you looking for a comprehensive training platform that can give you step by step training, 24/7 support, tools to ethically develop and host your very own website, ongoing assistance with SEO and social media and access to some of the best affiliate marketing minds on the planet, then click on the following link to read more about Wealthy Affiliate.

Until next time

Have fun


Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price.

Introducing Wealthy Affiliate, My #1 Recommendation for Setting Up Your Own Online Business

wealthy affiliate new home page

When I started, I knew I wanted to work online, but had absolutely no idea where to begin! You see I had watched friends of mine run a sales party to sell essential oils and someone asked if they could just sell them online?

Then, as I sat on the bus heading into my office job, I started to wonder if I could do just that, sell essential oils online.

Anything to stop having to catch this bus to and from work every day right!

The trouble was, as I mentioned above, I had no idea how to even start.

So of course I started to look around online and found all these courses! They all promised me riches then took my money but left me with no riches!

Then I stumbled across the program that didn’t promise me riches, but told me it could help me get started even with no experience!

So I did that, joined Wealthy Affiliate that was it, and the rest as they say, is history!

But it doesn’t come without work!

That is the key here! I began on their starter membership and did the training! I then joined as a member and did some more training!

Each night after work, I would do a little more, then a little more.

And to cut a long story short, after 10 months I realized I didn’t really like writing about essential oils, so I sold the site for about $2000. But I had learned so much that I started another – about fishing and camping!

Then, after 18 months (by which time it had earned me close to $10k), I was offered $17k for the site, so I sold it too.

Now, through my travel blog, I’ve been able to fund my passion for travel and explore different places around the world.

In the past few months, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some amazing destinations, including Bali, Los Angeles, Dallas, Vancouver and Las Vegas.

The success of my travel blog has allowed me to fully fund my travels and explore new destinations with my family.

Steps to Creating a Successful Travel Blog - Me at Whistler

Try the Wealthy Affiliate as a Starter Member and Build your First Hub!

As you start your journey, Wealthy Affiliate is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And as I have mentioned, I have used a few in my professional career trust me.

To get you started, Wealthy Affiliate has recently introduced the Hub.

The Hub

The hub is an AI based niche and website creation tool that will get you up and running with the foundation of your OWN business in just a few minutes. This includes:

  • Your website – hosted and inclusive of a WordPress editor
  • Your brand
  • Your ‘done-for-you’ research
  • Your blueprint
  • A task list that is going to help you drive the creation and growth of your business moving forward.
Wealthy Affiliate Review 24 - Hub screen

The hub makes the website creation process simple which allows you to get started on the training with a solid base and understanding of the processes.

All you need to do is choose your subject – which is known as your ‘niche’ – and follow the steps on the screen.

Oh, and as you run through the training below you may realize that what you created above is not exactly what you want. That’s ok, you can just create a new hub!

Wealthy Affiliate Training

Then as you continue your journey, the Wealthy Affiliate Hub is there for you with the most comprehensive training package I have ever seen – And I have used a few in my professional career trust me.

Above we discussed the use of the Hub to set up a website. Once you have done this, you will be able to access the “Step-by-Step Core Training”.

This is available to all members including starter members and will give you everything you need to know to continue to create your online business.

Wealthy Affiliate Review 24 - step by step core training

Member Training

There are also Live weekly classes taught by REAL industry experts on a range of topics like artificial intelligence (AI), SEO, YouTube, WordPress, PPC marketing and more.

wealthy affiliate master training

Great, What Else Does Wealthy Affiliate Have To Help You?

So, let’s keep this short, Wealthy Affiliate is a one-stop-shop platform that provides:

  • The Hub – this is the starting point and uses AI processes to assist you in determining your niche and creating your brand.
  • Complete training programs to assist with the development of your own affiliate marketing website in your own niche.
  • Website creation and publishing tools including access to WordPress editors and themes.
  • AI Content article design and content creation
  • Domain name purchasing (you get a free domain when you upgrade to the Premium membership).
  • Website hosting, security and backup.
  • Online help and chat forums.
  • Weekly live training events.
  • 24/7 support.
  • Keyword access tools.
  • SEO assistance.

The platform has been active for over 15 years with the original developers and owners, Kyle and Carson, still extremely active in its day to day operations – especially as they rollout their AI capabilities.

wa first two steps

You Can Try it Yourself For Free

Now of course I can tell you all about how Wealthy Affiliate works (because it does) until I am blue in the face. But every other program out there – including the shams and scams – will tell you the same thing!

So how about you just try it for free yourself. The Wealthy Affiliate Starter membership is free to join and gives you access to everything you need to get started – all without the need to spend a cent!

With the starter membership, you get:

  • 1 Limited Business Hub
  • 1,500 AI Word Credits
  • Try the AI Author Platform (BETA)
  • 1 Practice Website
  • Jaaxy Starter
  • Limited Help & Support
  • Core Niche Training (8 Classes)

And of course I will be there to help you every step of the way as well!

Look, in the interest of transparency, whilst Wealthy Affiliate does offer a free starter membership, this is designed to give you a look around, have a practice and see if it is worthwhile for you – which is a really great option.

However, as with all new businesses, you will need to make some investment so if you are serious about making money online , you will need to upgrade to a premium membership as this will give you access to all the tools you need in the one spot to succeed!

Afterall, every business needs tools to grow!

So How Much Does This Really Cost?

Wealthy Affiliate does not use upsells once you join – but as I mentioned in the video, to succeed here you will need to invest in a membership. There are a couple of options that provide access to all the tools, training and assistance that you could need – and a free domain as well.

Wealthy Affiliate offers a trio of membership tiers, as detailed on their pricing page.

You can opt for the Starter membership at no cost, the Premium membership for $49 per month or the Premium Plus+ membership for $99 per month. That’s the full extent of it – and you can absolutely build your website without having to spend another cent.

You won’t encounter any unexpected additional charges or covert fees and as a Premium member, you’re equipped with all the essentials to initiate, develop and expand a thriving online enterprise.

Those who opt for the Premium membership are provided with

  • Hosting for their websites
  • A complimentary domain name
  • Access to hundreds of hours of current expert tutorials
  • Various marketing and research tools
  • Personal guidance from seasoned professionals in the field
  • And much much more

And for those of you who want to make a serious investment into your future, there are some yearly options as well below to give you peace of mind that you have a whole year ahead of you to get stuff done!

And Don’t Forget the Personal Coaching

Once you join, not only do you get plenty of assistance from me, but you also have access to expert coaching, support and mentorship from real industry experts.

I mean, you can have access to all of the top-tier affiliate marketing training in the world, but inevitably, questions arise, particularly during the initial stages.

With an exceptionally dynamic and engaged community that boasts over 2.7 million members, Wealthy Affiliate offers an environment where you, as a member, can fully immerse and leverage this network.

You’re never alone; you have the collective wisdom of an entire community at your fingertips, ready to assist at any moment.

Plus, there’s always-on, rapid-response website support to handle any technical queries you may encounter.

WA graphic

Wealthy Affiliate Works: Real Results From Real People

As I have mentioned a number of times, Wealthy Affiliate has helped me make real money online though its training and tools.

I have made money each month as well as a sale for $17,000.

But again, those promoting other programs will tell you the same thing!

So let’s get away from me and see what others are saying:

To start with, Wealthy Affiliate has a 4.9 out of 5 Star TrustPilot rating, which is a remarkable accomplishment in any industry, let alone the online business industry.

WA trust pilot image

And here are some of those reviews:

wealthy affiliate trust pilot

And this is what people are saying within Wealthy Affiliate as well:

home page - success at WA

So, Let’s Make a Decision!

Let’s be frank, you have read this far so why not go all in, click on the button below to get started on the way to your very online business.

And once you are in and have had a play around with the hub, look for the little envelope on the top right and there will be a message from me. It is of course automated so respond to let me know you are there and we can start this journey together.

(oh, and the profile is mine so you can find me that way as well)

wealthy affiliate envelope

See you there


Similar Posts


  1. I really enjoyed your article as a newbie I am still trying to figure out affiliate marketing. I was not aware of the broken link extension so I have just downloaded that. I will definitely be following you and would like some more tips. Thanks so much.I am with max bounty I think I  need to sign up share a sale and the other one it seems most are more successful there.

  2. Hi Paul,

    You couldn’t have said it better!

    There is a lot of focus and rush on making money straight away when people think of affiliate marketing!

    However, as you’ve have outlined is does take time and consistency to build your own successful online business. 

    Rome wasn’t built in a day as the saying goes.

    When getting into affiliate marketing people need to understand that there are hurdles and learning curves but with persistence they will eventually get there…it just take time!

    Each point you have laid out is completely valid and ‘the real life of affiliate marketing’. 

    Great post, thank you!

  3. Thanks so much for this beautiful article on the disadvantages of affiliate marketing. I’ve never seen anybody write such a piece on affiliate marketing and I’m glad I got to know about the disadvantages of affiliate marketing so I know what I’m getting myself into. Learning that it takes time a lot has helped to prepare my mentality not to expect huge success in the first 2years and to keep my work ethics at high grade. I am grateful for this post. Thanks

  4. Hi Paul,

    Love the site content getting into the nuts and bolts, no bars hold!!

    I also checked a few affiliated sites before coming across WA and found the only thing that really interested the others was the money, they wanted payment up front without letting you know what you were actually buying.

    At least with the Wealthy Affiliate they gave me an in site before parting with any $$$, I am working through the program they have offered and its giving me an edge at a fraction of the price of other affiliated programs I looked into!!

    and reading your site has given me more informed advantages, and hopefully the disadvantages that i will avoid for now.

    Again thanks for the info


    1. Hey Jan, yes there are so many affiliates out there who will just promote anything without any real problem solving or value.  I guess though people still buy them so they still promote them ( i suspect that many of their sales are from people like me who buy them to review but anyway).

      Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by


  5. Hello Watson,

    That’s a very informative post- especially for affiliate marketing beginners ike me. 

    I like your caution that it takes time for real success to happen in a real business world. Of course, there are those one off occurrences where things are different but that’s rare. I realized from your post that I’ve not been maximizing on time. I usually struggle with doing videos, HTML ads, etc and yet outsourcing would be an easier option. I think it is high time I capitalized on my strengths and for me to be able to grow consistently. 

    You have mentioned a broken link checker- I never knew such tools exist but now I’ll ensure to be utilizing this.


    Boniface- AndroidBix

    1. Thanks Boniface

      Just do a search for ‘broken link checker’ and there are a few good free ones there.


  6. Thanks for this Disadvantages Affiliate Marketing post. This is really eye opening article which helps newcomer like me to be more aware of some important things in the online marketing,from selecting right niche,keywords and products to check out own competition and product links and prices as well. what a shame for affiliates in the case of writing quality product review post and get published it with the hope that getting some little commission,but in reality there would not be the actual product in the marketplace.The looser here obviously would be the affiliate marketer who had done a great job to provide honest review to the customers a long the way.
    You’ve mentioned to the most important thing about out-dated products and what the link checker does for marketer to be aware of broken links. In my opinion this is a really crucial stuff and it’s really great strategy for affiliate marketer to being able to avoid offering unavailable products to the online buyers. On top of all these aspects, the idea of trying to solve the problem for internet users and not just try to push them to purchase something is the most important manner and attitude in the Online Marketing.

    Best Wishes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *