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Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work to Make Money Blogging + What to Do Instead

Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work to Make Money Blogging + What to Do Instead

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Yes, you read the blog post title correctly. Affiliate marketing does not work to make money blogging if you’re a beginner blogger. It’s sad, but it’s true.

Here’s how it usually goes for most beginner bloggers….

They see a blog post on Google or Pinterest about starting a blog so they decide to start a blog themselves, woohoo! They get all excited about it.

They start doing more research on “how to start a blog” and “how to make money from blogging” and here’s what they find.

  • Start a blog on WordPress
  • Get domain hosting from Bluehost using my affiliate link so you can get a “discount”
  • Make money from affiliate marketing
  • Make money from ads

Are you kidding me?!? 

It’s exactly this kind of ignorant, barbaric, small minded, flat out dangerous thinking that lands new bloggers into the rabithole of working hours and hours on their blog thinking they can simply publish blog posts, insert affiliate links, and WALA- make a living blogging.  

You know what sounds good?

Being able to slap people across the face who market this crap.

You see what new bloggers don’t get is that most gurus who are talking about blogging in this space JUST WANT TO MAKE MONEY…. And because every blogger and their mother say “make money with affiliate marketing and ads”….then they try to sell this crap too.

And I’m just going to give it to you straight Boss Lady…. 

BLOGS DON’T MAKE MONEY.  BUSINESSES DO.  

Yup, you heard me. I spoke my truth.  

Sure, you’ll make cents in affiliate marketing and ads but this is NOT the way to make money in this industry. It doesn’t work anymore.  

To make ENOUGH money blogging to support yourself, quit your job, support your family, and go on lavish vacations… …You have to create your OWN products or sell services. And you have to solve a problem your reader faces to make sales. 

RANT. OVER.

Now I’m going to break it down and tell you exactly why affiliate marketing does not work to make money blogging anymore and what you can do instead as a beginner blogger to make a LIVING from your blog.

Why Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work

1- You Need a Significant Amount of Blog Traffic Each Month

Affiliate marketing takes thousands of pageviews every single month on your blog for it to work.

Let’s say you want to make $1000/month on your blog.

Well in order to make that kind of money, you would need about 50,000+ pageviews every single month to make that happen.

That’s A LOT of blog traffic for a beginner blogger.

As a beginner, you can expect to start with anywhere from 50-1000 pageviews on your blog.

To get your blog traffic as high as 50,000 pageviews per month, you would need to have a perfect website design that is structured in a way that Google loves, you would have to write and publish daily blog posts that is optimized correctly for SEO, and you would need to do a ton of backlinking work to build your domain authority.

Honestly? This just isn’t doable for most bloggers. It’s pretty much impossible.

In fact, I never ranked Boss Lady Bloggers site (this one) on the #1 spot on Google until this year and my domain has been up for about 3 years now.

So if you’re a lifestyle blogger trying to make money from using Shareasale or Amazon affiliates, then you most likely only see cents to nothing in affiliate sales, unfortunately.

When I was a beginner blogger, I had a lifestyle blog titled Genasys Lifestyle Blog. I worked on that blog for 2 whole years and I only saw maybe $1.50 in affiliate sales through Shareasale.

As I did more research on how other successful bloggers are making money, I had realized that every single blogger who tells you that you can make money from affiliate marketing, is actually making money from selling digital products and services.

What a coinkidink, right?

2- Affiliate Marketing is an Old Blogging Strategy

Way back then when Pinterest was bringing in tons of blog traffic to blogs without hardly any effort at all, affiliate marketing worked well.

However, since it has gotten more and more difficult to get blog traffic from Pinterest, affiliate marketing does not work.

A lot of bloggers used to see a significant amount of traffic coming to their blog from Pinterest back in 2015-2017. However, in 2022, it’s just not the case.

Pinterest is just as hard to get traffic from as SEO is now.

And like I said above, you need a large amount of blog traffic coming to your blog to make affiliate link sales.

If you want to make a living from your blog – let’s say $3000 a month, I would ignore trying to make money with affiliate marketing and use updated 2022 strategies to make money.

3- A Very Small Amount of People Will Buy What You Recommend

To be honest, even if you have a large amount of blog traffic coming to your blog, not everyone is going to purchase what you have to offer.

Let’s say you have 20,000 pageviews every month. About 20 people will purchase from your affiliate link.

Meaning, if you are recommending a product that is $20, you’ll get a tiny percentage of that. Let’s say $5 of that purchase or less.

Your revenue? $100. YIKES.

I don’t think anyone could live off of $100. I mean… let’s be real.

4- You Have to Purchase Products to Be an Affiliate for Them

To become an affiliate for most products, you have to actually purchase them.

For example: I have to use Kajabi to be an affiliate. $150/month

I have to use Showit to be an affiliate. $29/month

And any other blogging courses that I want to advertise for my audience, I have to purchase those courses to be affiliated with them. $50-$500.

Then I have to spend time writing review posts for those products.

This takes both money and time.

Also, if you want to be use an affiliate marketing platform like Amazon affiliates or Shareasale, people most likely won’t purchase what you are recommending unless they see that you actually use that product.

So if you do want to write a review post to TRY and make some money – make sure that you’re buying the product, actually use and love it, and share a photo of you using it.

Again, this takes money, and time.

If Affiliate Marketing Does Not Work , What Should I do Instead?

FIRST: Sign up to the FREE MASTERCLASS below!

My number one advice to beginner bloggers – don’t focus on affiliate marketing to make money and instead, sell digital products and services on your blog.

If you want to take blogging seriously and make blogging work for you, you have to sell something that solves someones biggest problems.

For example :

My audiences problem: They don’t know how to get their blog off the ground, they have no idea how to drive a lot of traffic, and they are clueless on how to make a lot of money blogging passively.

Product I created as a solution : I have created The Blogging Ladies Mastermind program for lady bloggers who want to start a blog, grow, and monetize with digital products and services.

Another example :

Problem : Not knowing how to increase their blog traffic

Product as the solution : The Blog Traffic Lab – a course that shows you exactly how to increase your blog traffic in just 8 weeks using Pinterest, SEO, and social media.

Before you can create a digital product to sell, you need to figure out what you are going to create and sell! This is usually the hardest step and a lot of people stop here because they just don’t know what they should create!

For me, I created a mastermind where lady bloggers can go to learn anything and everything they need to about how to start and run a successful blog that makes money. I figured out what bloggers main struggle was and that was getting started, keeping the motivation, and making money so I created an entire membership that solved all of those problems they faced.

Think about what you write about and who your audience is, and figure out what they struggle with! What solution can you provide them with?

A great way to find out what your audience struggles with is to ask them!!! Ask and you shall receive! For me I asked things like, “what do you struggle with most when it comes to blogging?” 

If your niche isn’t business, DO NOT WORRY! You can still create and sell a digital product!

HERE ARE SOME SOME IDEAS:

  • any “how to” ecourse 
  • Printables (planners, trackers, journal pages, etc.) 
  • Digital planner 
  • Ebook (write your own book!)
  • Stock photos if you are a good photographer 
  • Digital graphics for social media 
  • Templates
  • Textures, fonts, other blog branding items 
  • Memberships (for example, Style Collective)
  • Mastermind programs (Blogging Ladies Mastermind)

Use your creative mind to come up with something spectacular because I know you can!


In conclusion:

You can’t make money blogging anymore – because affiliate marketing doesn’t work and ads don’t work either. The only way to make a lot of money blogging (enough to make a living from it) is to sell digital products and services on your blog.

If you need help with monetizing your blog and turning it into a business, I highly recommend you join my free masterclass- The Blog Monetization Method.

This free masterclass shows you the automated approach to making thousands on your blog, Including the 5 step method to making money.

Join here! >>>

Hey, I'm Genasys!

Blogging coach for ladies who want to turn their blog from passion to profits and make a high income doing what they love.

  1. Christine says:

    Something to think about.

  2. Nia says:

    Wow!! Thank you for this! This is really refreshing and helpful as a new blogger. And makes a lot of sense!

  3. Becky says:

    So much good information in here! Eye opening for sure

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