What Is The Biggest Challenge In Affiliate Marketing?

When I first heard about affiliate marketing, I knew it would be a great way to build passive income streams. Although it’s not “easy”, what is the biggest challenge in affiliate marketing?

The biggest challenge is choosing a niche you’re genuinely interested in, along with finding your target audience. If you don’t choose a niche you’re not passionate about, it can be harder to work on the business.

Creating content for the wrong audience can be frustrating. When that happens, your business doesn’t get much traction. 

In this post, I will briefly explain what affiliate marketing is and how it works. Also, I’ll discuss why it’s much better to choose a niche you’re passionate about. Picking the right niche can be a dealbreaker down the road.

  1. What Is Affiliate Marketing?
  2. Affiliate Marketing Broken Down In Simple Terms
  3. Why Choose A Niche You Have A Passion For?
  4. Choosing The Right Niche Is Crucial For Any Business
What is the biggest challenge in affiliate marketing? This post will go over the biggest challenges to affiliate marketing.

What is affiliate marketing?

In my own words, affiliate marketing is the practice of sharing and referring to someone a product or service. In essence, you play the role of the middle person between a company (the product they provide) and a potential customer.

In the online world, that can be done in the following ways:

  • Blog posts (i.e. product reviews)
  • Videos (i.e. Reviewing products on YouTube)
  • Sharing product reviews on social media platforms

On average, when a visitor reads your content, they may click on an affiliate link that’s unique. When they click and purchase the product, a sale is made.

When that sale occurs, you don’t get 100% of what came out of the transaction. In most cases, you can get between 1-75% in commissions.

How long does it take to be good at affiliate marketing?

To master affiliate marketing, it may be 1-2 years before you start seeing results from your efforts. Some achieve success sooner, while others may take longer.

It really depends on the individual’s work ethic, commitments, and efforts to succeed in affiliate marketing.

How affiliate marketing works in simpler terms

Let’s say there’s a pizza place you regularly go to in your hometown. It’s your favorite place to go to, and you appreciate the services you get.

The owner of that pizza shop may come up to you and say something such as the following:

“Hey, I know you’re one of our most loyal customers here. Would you mind passing the word down to people you know around the area?

If you can refer others, I’ll pay you a commission as a result of giving us a referral. You’ll get 5% in commissions for each new referral that comes to visit.”

That’s a general example of how affiliate marketing works in the offline world. In the online world, there are many opportunities to make affiliate marketing a viable business for yourself.

What is the biggest challenge in affiliate marketing? This graph lays out affiliate marketing in a nutshell.

Examples of affiliate programs

Some of these examples include:

  • Amazon 

Amazon is one of the most well-known affiliate programs, even though the commissions are small. They range between 1-20%, depending on the product category.

But for the most part, the commission rates are very low because most of the products sold are physical items. Physical products don’t cost as much as digital products.

What is the biggest challenge in affiliate marketing? Amazon has an affiliate program, but commissions are relatively small.
  • Clickbank 

One of the biggest affiliate networks online, especially when it comes to digital products. They offer a variety of digital products (low-ticket and high-ticket offers).

What is the biggest challenge in affiliate marketing? Clickbank is one of the most well-known affiliate networks online.

Why choose a niche you have a passion for?

People may pick a niche that makes the most money. So why is that?

There’s a focus on the money aspect first instead of building a business for the long term. However, the reality is that money should not be the ultimate priority.

Affiliate marketing requires a lot of time and effort to generate a stable source of income. If you’re focused on only money (and not the niche itself), you will lose interest in it quickly.

A relevant article from notimekillers.com

Read next on “What Is The Best Way To Earn Money Online? 3 Methods“, to learn which method you can leverage to make money online today. These methods work very well.

An example

Let’s say I picked a niche in fitness and exercise- solely for money. As someone like myself, I regularly exercise, but I don’t find it a passion of mine.

At some point, I may give up on it because it’s not something I love doing. I’m going to realize that I’ll lose interest in it as time goes by. 

So that’s why I recommend picking a niche that you have a passion and genuine interest in. It’s easier to build a niche website where it revolves around something you love talking about all day long.

What is the biggest challenge in affiliate marketing?

Finding a niche you’re genuinely interested in and targeting the right audience are the primary challenges in affiliate marketing. Oftentimes, people pick a niche they’re not interested in, and they don’t experience much success down the road.

Choosing the right niche is crucial for an online business

In my opinion, choosing the right niche is a critical step to starting an online business. A lot of people may end up picking the wrong niche, and they end up having little to no results. 

Often, it’s the very first step when starting an online business. But I think it doesn’t get much attention if people pick a niche that makes the most money. 

It’s why doing niche research before deciding on a niche helps out a lot. If you know how to do proper research, such as coming up with content ideas, you’ll be light steps ahead in your online business.

What is the biggest challenge in affiliate marketing? It revolves around selecting a niche and targeting the right audience.

That’s why I’ll be writing more in-depth about niche research in upcoming posts. I’ll be breaking down simple things you can do to help make a decision on niche selection.

Also, it’s a good way to understand how to do research properly. It can help get your business on the right track.

A relevant article from notimekillers.com

Read next on “What Niche Is The Best For Beginners? 5 Things To Consider“, to think about when choosing a niche. Knowing that basic criteria can help with niche selection.

Final Words

Niche selection and finding the right audience are some of the biggest challenges in affiliate marketing. Not choosing the right niche can lead to a not-so-enjoyable business, and possibly lead to failure. 

I’ve been down that path before when I got my start in online business. I made a lot of mistakes, as I was solely focused on lucrative niches that would make me the most money possible.

Need help choosing a niche?

If you’re interested in starting an online business and need help picking a niche, I have a great place for you to check out.

It’s my top recommendation for getting started online, especially with affiliate marketing. They even have a NEW niche finder tool to help narrow down your niche further.

I encourage you to check it out and give it a test drive today. It’s free to get started, so get a head start on how to pick the right niche for your online business.

Your Turn: What do you find challenging about affiliate marketing?

I would like to get your thoughts on this topic. Do you think affiliate marketing comes with its challenges?

Have you thought it was better to pick a niche that’s lucrative? Or do you think you should pick a niche you have a passion for?

Have you done niche research before? If so, is there anything you struggled with while coming up with ideas?

What areas do you think you can use the most help researching a niche?

Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading your thoughts, and I’ll gladly respond promptly.

If you got value from this article, please bookmark this website to visit later for new posts every week.

Spread the word to others. Sharing is caring!

To get more of this type of content, you won't want to miss out my daily email letters. These are worth some golden nuggets and best tips to help you in your business. Sign up today!

Count me in on the daily letters via email!

For the latest videos that come out every week, subscribe to the YouTube channel. Also, be sure to check out our new space on 
Twitter X!


Twitter (X)

Medium Profile
Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. 

He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. 

Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. 

“Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” 

In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. 

You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.

Self Photo 2019: Here's a picture at a building in downtown Chicago.

6 thoughts on “What Is The Biggest Challenge In Affiliate Marketing?”

  1. When I was contemplating starting an affiliate marketing website, choosing a niche was my biggest challenge. That is because I wasn’t sure if the niche I wanted to build a brand name on is profitable. 

    I wanted to write content about something I really enjoy, but I wanted to make money with it too. So, I ended up starting two affiliate marketing websites almost at the same time. 

    I’d say, it was a big mistake on my part because I wasn’t able to maintain both equally because I was also working full-time as a healthcare worker. 

    I haven’t published a new post on my other website for more than 2 years and I am thinking of outsourcing. 

    What do you think? I don’t want to drop it because I think it has the potential to make money. 

    • Hi Alice,

      It’s not easy for some people to pick a niche. Sometimes you really just got to think it over and break down what you’re really interested in.

      That’s good that you did find a niche that you’re interested in. But at the same time, the fact that you started two websites is a downside.

      Working on two websites is not an easy task. I’m glad that you acknowledge making a mistake. 

      A lot of people make that decision, but they don’t realize how much work they have to put in for more than one website. As much as I would love a better outcome for you, at least you are thinking about it.


      Regarding your question, I would give this piece of advice: Focus on one website 

      Many people don’t realize that one website can make you a full-time income. So if you put all your time and energy into building one website, you’re going to be a lot more focused and not as overwhelmed if working on multiple websites.

      So as I told anyone, especially when you’re a beginner, start with one website and go from there. I hope that answered your question.

      Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts- I greatly appreciate what you have to say. I wish you all the best in your online business ventures.

  2. I really liked your article. I 100% agree that choosing a niche can be one of the hardest tasks in affiliate marketing. 

    If you choose something you are passionate about, you will work with pleasure, even if in the first months you may not make any sales. 

    But there may also be a situation where the niche you have chosen will not be too predictable.

    Anyway, I’m of the opinion that it doesn’t matter how profitable a niche can be. If you really like that field 100% you will succeed in making it very profitable.

    • Hi Antonio,

      Choosing a niche sounds easy, but when deciding on one, it may not be the easiest decision to make. It all depends on what your interests are in business.

      Choosing a niche that you have a passion for (or are willing to learn about) can come a long way. 

      You make an excellent point about not making commissions right away. It’s true- for the most part, you likely won’t make money in the first few months.

      Also, you’re spot on when it comes to niche selection. No matter how profitable a niche may be, if it interests you a lot, you’ll likely succeed while having fun as well.

      Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts- I greatly appreciate them.

  3. Aside from picking a niche that you’re passionate about, growing your website is also challenging, especially if you have a family and a full-time job.

    Consistency is quite hard to achieve if you have to divide your priorities.

    You really have to have some sacrifices if you want to be successful in affiliate marketing.

    Good luck!


    • Hi Marita,

      Juggling between personal commitments and business can be a challenge. Especially if you have a busy schedule, it’s not always easy.

      Dividing your priorities is not the easiest. Being consistent with it can be a struggle, but manageable.

      I wrote a post on being consistent not too long ago. I believe being consistent helps lead to success down the road. I encourage you to check it out.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts- they’re much appreciated.


Leave a Comment