I saw the advertisements, you know the ones where they make like affiliate marketing is as easy as spending an hour or so a day checking and running ads, sending emails, and posting on social media, leaving the rest of the day free for affiliate marketers to do all the things they love. I’ll even admit to allowing them to contribute to my decision to get started.

And sure, maybe it is that easy once you’ve set yourself up, learned all the important aspects of running the business successfully, and arrived at the stage where these aspects become second nature.

But until they do, I’d have to say starting an affiliate marketing business is hard work.

Why wouldn’t it be? Starting up any new business is hard and requires more than just rocking up for an hour or so a day to complete a couple of tasks.

To ensure you make a well-informed decision regarding starting your own affiliate marketing business, I’d like to be the one to open your eyes to the difficulties I’ve faced, and continue to face, in my endeavor to start my own successful affiliate marketing business.



There’s a saying that goes, “If you aren’t feeling frustrated then you aren’t learning”. With all the learning that comes with affiliate marketing, frustration is inevitable.

My initial frustration came from attempting techy stuff. I’d follow the “how to” instructions once, twice, three times over, and for some reason, I still wouldn’t “get” it no matter how much I crossed my fingers for the final result. Eventually, I’d get there, with the help of the support desk, or a fellow SFM community member, but the process of getting there would take time. Thankfully, due to the learning process I have had to go through,  I am able to resolve these type of issues first attempt. It’s that initial “learning” that gets frustrating but the more “techy stuff” you do it the easier it gets.

Dare I also discuss the frustration I’ve felt trying to understanding how to use advertisement platforms. Knowing exactly what needs to be checked daily, weekly, and monthly, learning about keywords and the right ones to use for a particular campaign, checking to see if there are search terms that need to be added to a list of negative keywords, and how to appropriately track advertising efforts to gain an understanding of which type of advertising attracts potential customers. It’s a lot to get your head around.

Of course, once learned, the frustration eases. Things become familiar. When you get to this point it’s usually time to learn something new – to face a new challenge and overcome feeling frustration yet again. The funny thing is, I find myself enjoying the process now, and almost crave facing the next challenge. As they say, “Without challenge we don’t grow” and when we stop growing life can become a little boring.



You take the plunge and decide to start your very own affiliate marketing business from scratch. You find a product you resonate with and you’re keen to promote. You place your first ad. You eagerly monitor how your ad is running in hope of gaining leads and making your first sale.

A couple of weeks go by, and then a couple of months go by. No sales.

Hang on a minute, I thought this stuff was easy, and I thought I’d be making thousands of dollars a month within 6 to 12 weeks.

Maybe in a perfect world, or maybe if you’ve had some sort of marketing experience, or maybe if you have the money to invest in the right amount of paid advertising and outsourcing certain tasks.

But if you are like me, and know you need to be resourceful with your money, especially if you want to ensure you have the budget to use for paid advertising, then things will happen slower. You’ll have no choice but to surrender and become patient because it’s either that or quit – and quitting is not an option, not in my book anyway.

Having the understanding that everything happens for the best and at the right time definitely helps. We are all exactly where we are meant to be in life. So long as you can see you’re learning and making some kind of progress, that’s all that matters. It’s important to lose the expectations, be patient, and do the best you can do. Good things come to those who wait. Success is inevitable when you continue to put in the time and correct consistent effort.


Feeling Overwhelmed

There’s no doubt about it when starting an online marketing business from scratch, there’s a hell of a lot to learn.

If you do not know where to start and what to do next, you will feel overwhelmed. Even if you do know where to start and what to do next, you will still find yourself becoming overwhelmed at times.

Overwhelm usually occurs when we get too far ahead of ourselves. Instead of focusing on the tasks we need to achieve here and now, we see all the future tasks we need to achieve. This causes us to feel overwhelmed, even anxious. It’s the same when we look too far into the future with anything.

During these times it’s important to be able to follow a step by step process as it provides you with the ability to focus on the steps you need to take at any given time.


Remaining Productive And On Task

Yes, believe it or not, this is a difficulty faced by many when first starting out on their online journey. With no manager, boss, or supervisor to look over people’s shoulder ensuring a certain amount of work is accomplished each day, it can be easy to “slacken off”.

The fact that online work is “online” allows social media and Youtube to become more of a distraction than usual.

Working from the comfort of your own home is a luxury, however, with that comes the distraction of all those home duties that need attending to. I’ve been guilty of this myself, especially when I’m at a point with my learning where I feel a little lost or I’m craving some instant gratification. There are times during the marketing journey when it’s easier to do something you are familiar, like work in the garden, with rather than figure out something you are not so familiar with, like SEO.

These a just a couple of examples of the types of distractions that may result in necessary tasks not being completed.

I find the best way to remain productive is to write out a list of tasks I need to perform on any given day the night before. Scheduling a certain amount of social media time helps as does keeping off Youtube until all the necessary tasks are completed. Having a dedicated workspace also helps if you can afford the space.

It comes down to self-discipline and good time management. It also helps to remember the reason why you decided to learn online marketing to start with.

At this point, I’d like to also include (thanks to my own personal experience) that remaining on task also means sticking with the step by step process required to build your business. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made with my online marketing success is thinking too far ahead and therefore completing tasks that really did not need completing until I’d learned some fundamental basics (such as how to optimize my ads).

This has set me back quite a bit, not only financially, but, more importantly, in time. However, as I mentioned earlier, everything happens for the best, and at the right time. This is my journey and if the mistakes of my journey can help you, then it’s all good.

Learning How To Write Good Copy

The biggest learning challenge for me is learning how to write good copy ie the language you use to communicate anything online.

Good copy is needed for all the important thing s like writing ads,  good headlines, landing pages, sales pages, website content, and even social media posts. Yep, it’s pretty important stuff. All communication matters. The way you write things can make or break your business.

For example, you may write an amazing blog but if the headline is poor then you can pretty much guarantee it will not be read. Same goes for your emails. If the title does not appeal to the masses, people will simply delete that email without even opening it.

Dare I even mention the importance of using good copy when writing an ad or constructing a landing page.

Should you decide to get started with online marketing, I can confidently suggest these book to read, as they were suggested to me by my mentors:

  • Hypnotic Writing – by Joe Vitale
  • Copywriters Handbook – by Sugarman
  • No Bullsh!t Marketing – by Dan Kennedy

I have not read them personally thanks to the fact I have access to some great content on copywriting within the resources of my online marketing education platform, however, these books have been highly recommended by many successful online marketers within my community, so I’m sure you’ll find them extremely helpful.


Making Your Online Marketing Journey Easier

Having the ability to connect with like-minded people who are going through the same issues as you during your online learning journey definitely helps. During your struggles, it’s nice to have someone to talk to who understands what you’re going through. It can be tough to find people who can relate to what you are going through within your usual group of friends. That’s because leaving the status quo isn’t a common action. It takes courage and being able to leave, what I like to call, the “Matrix” world. So unless you are connected to a community people who are in the same boat as you, it will be tough. We all need support at times. I am forever grateful for the community of people I am connected to. They have truly been there when I’ve needed them.


Having Great Coaches And Mentors

It can make or break your ability to succeed. I don’t know what I’d do without mine. No matter how you go about starting your own online marketing business, please make sure you get yourself a coach and mentor or three. I have access to 4 coaches as well as the leaders within the SFM team. Time with them and the advice they offer is priceless.

Final Words:

Why would I share these difficulties with you when my affiliate marketing business involves selling and promoting the learning of online marketing? Because I need you to understand that getting started is not easy. It’s tough. It’s certainly not for people who are looking for some sort of make money “quick and easy” option. If success was that easy we’d all be living our dreams.

Dreams need to be worked for. Achieving them takes time, correct consistent effort, and commitment. So if you are ready to put in the time, the hard work, and remain committed, then maybe it’s time for you to take the action required to start your online marketing business.