Hey whats up everyone!
In this article we will be discussing the 5 Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing.
This is a continuation of our previous article, 5 Advantages of Affiliate Marketing where I discussed the benefits of Affiliate Marketing.
In this article, I am going to talk about the downsides of affiliate marketing because it’s not all sunshines and rainbows.
While you can make very good money with affiliate marketing, there are some things you need to watch out for so you don’t get screwed over.
I’ve heard plenty of stories of affiliate marketers getting burned by affiliate programs and losing out on tons of income.
I don’t want that to be you….
So without further ado, let’s discuss the 5 disadvantages of affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Programs Can Change the Terms Overnight
Since you don’t own the product, the the affiliate program can change the terms overnight.
And in 99% of the cases, they can lower your commission rates pretty much anytime they want and you have no recourse.
When you signed up to start promoting, you agreed to their Terms of Service. Usually there is a short statement in the ToS that says “they have the right to change the commission rates at anytime”.
You probably glossed over that part because you were so excited to start promoting the product and rake in the big money, huh?
Don’t worry, we all do it.
Recently, the Amazon associates affiliate program cut their commission percentages for alot of their products and categories on the Amazon marketplace and it caused a major uproar.
Personally, I knew that day would come and I wasn’t really suprised at all.
Amazon has the popularity and the marketshare now and they pretty much don’t need affiliates to promote their products anymore.
The best way to counter again rate cuts is to have other affiliate programs as backup programs you can sign up to just incase sh*t goes down.
As long as you are prepared, you will be ok in the long run.
The Customer Doesn’t Belong to You
When you make a sale as an affiliate, the customer information does not belong to you.
The email address and contact information of the customer will go straight to the merchant/affiliate program, and they will continue to market to them more products and services and you will be eliminated from any future transactions.
If you are not aware, building your email list is crucial because “the money is in the list.”
If you have an email list of hungry and loyal buyers, you can pretty much print money on demand.
Make sure you start building your own email list of loyal subscribers so you don’t have to rely on affiliate programs to make money.
You Have A lot of Competition
With affiliate marketing, the barrier to entry is very low which causes competition to drastically increase.
You will be competing with other affiliates to get the sale and the only way to beat the competition is to stand out.
And the best way to stand out, in my honest opinion, is to give the most value as possible.
As long as you are giving more value then anyone else, you will gain people’s trust and they will be more then happy to buy through your link.
Trust is everything. So do everything in your power to garner as much as it as you can early on.
Your Affiliate Links Can Be Changed Without You Knowing
Without your knowledge, the affiliate program you are apart of can change the links without you knowing.
Most reputable companies will send you an email to let you know that you should update your links to the newest links, but other companies won’t say a word to you.
Is it an honest oversight or are they being shady? That’s up to you decide.
If this situation happens to you, you will miss out on a ton of income and there is nothing you can really do about it.
It’s always wise to check your links at least once a month to make sure they are up to date.
Another issue that comes up is “link jacking”.
This is a black hat method in which shady affiliate marketers use to change your affiliate links to their links and rake in money on your behalf and your traffic.
So once again, always check your links to make sure they are up to date!
Shady Programs can “Shave” Your Earnings
“Shaving” is basically when affiliate programs don’t credit you for a sale and try to keep some of the profit for themselves.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to use a third party affiliate & conversion tracking system like Voluum, Thrive Tracker, etc and ask your program to install your tracking pixel on their thank you page so you can accurately record conversions.
Another way to prevent this from happening is to work with reputable affiliate programs and networks.
Talk to other bloggers and see what programs they recommend. If you notice a lot of bloggers promoting the same products, then that’s a good sign that it must be legit.
In conclusion, these are pretty much the 5 disadvantages of affiliate marketing.
In reality, no income-earning method is perfect. Each one comes with its setbacks.
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