You’re The WORST Affiliate Marketer Ever!
By on Feb 22, 2010

If you took that title to heart, you are not built for this industry. I’ll explain why later.

One thing that really interests me about affiliate marketing is the psychology behind it. What is the mindset that makes a successful affiliate?

Rules from the “real job world” don’t apply here:

  • You don’t need a great CV to get a great salary.
  • You don’t need to be “good with people”.
  • You don’t even need to be a hard worker. Just a smart worker.

That’s all good Mr Green but we already knew that…I want to be a super affiliate…how do they do it?

Glad you asked!

I have my own opinions about this, but who has more experience than affiliate managers. They deal with multiple super affiliates 8 days a week.

So I got opinions from the good folk at Ads4dough, EWA, TriFoxMedia and PKM.


This is the number one attribute affiliate managers saw in super affiliates (SA). When SA approach a new campaign they have confidence in themselves to make it work. When they are losing money, they don’t suddenly feel glum and start thinking about dropping that campaign. They know they can make it work. They actually don’t know, there are just too many variables that can cripple a campaign, but that’s their mindset. I know not everyone has bottomless bankrolls and get nervous at times. But some of you just invest $20-$30 in a test, if it doesn’t profit it goes to the trash. That has nothing to do with your bankroll.

Small and Super Affiliates

Do you whinge or do you learn and move on?


The majority of super affiliates have focus. They either destroy a certain niche or have a large traffic source they just turn off and on and rotate offers on it Some smaller affiliates are to knowledgeable for their own good. They keep running round in circles getting nothing done. Having a lot of knowledge one niche or for one traffic source is all you need. Being great in one area will get you further than being average in many.


This goes back to the whole glass empty/half-full idea. Lets say you lost $500 testing a campaign.

A Small Affiliate mindset would be – I’m having a bad month, my campaigns tanked. I’m down $500″.

They already start questioning themselves even though for the last 4 months they had a successful campaign going.

The Super Affiliate mindset would be – “Ok so I understand what doesn’t work. I can use this knowledge for my future campaigns. I did actually find that one approach worked a lot better then another.”

They think of it as analytical data, an educational investment towards their campaign.


Super affiliates are the first movers. They are the ones that come up with the new big campaigns people always copy. At first glance copying someone may look like easy money but here are some points to think about:

  • You are always behind the ball.
  • You automatically start with heavy competition.
  • You never did the initial ground work so you don’t have the knowledge on how to build the next big campaign.

Copying just makes you reliant on other people coming up with big campaigns. There is no long term strategy here.


Affiliate marketing is 50% knowledge 50% attitude.

Comments (12)

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  1. andrew wee says:

    #3 and #1 seem to be related?

    the upshot of this post is that wankers/whiners aren't cut out to be successful affiliates? at least until they grow a pair?

    • Lorenzo says:

      #3 and #1 are related but there are a minor differences, I wanted to hammer the point home.

      Well you can be a "wanker" and be a successful affiliate. Gotta grow a pair or you ain't going anywhere.

  2. Matt says:

    Good points – many new guys read about diversifying, but don't take into context they need to have some success in an area for losing a campaign to be a major concern.

  3. Josh Todd says:

    Wankers get what is coming to them, just give them long enough. Google ain't the only G that wants to slam them…

  4. Cham says:

    damnit…. #2 is a killer of mine. I've done really well at times but I think #2 is something I really gotta work on. I half assed diversify too much it seems.

  5. Disagree on a few points.

    Cost of being first mover can be VERY high. I can't think of how many times I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking I had a brilliant idea for a new way to market just to see it burn.

    Also, some things you just can't make work and its better to cut losses while your ahead.

    Copying campaigns is the easiest way to make money. The key is to copy while its trending up, NOT down. Once profitable try and innovate. Why try to build a house from scratch when someone else has laid out the blueprint for you.

    • Lorenzo says:

      Cost of first mover can be very high. But it also can have the highest gains too.

      Sure you need to know when to cut your loses. But my point was, if you want to test something, test it thoroughly. Don't just try one small test that could of been invalid for a million and one reasons. You don't learn anything from that.

      I was pointing people that just copy 100% and don't do anything all to innovate. No one is ever 100% original. Everyone gets an idea for somewhere else. But if you depend on ripping a entire campaigns e.g landing pages, creatives and traffic source, your not going to get big anytime soon.

      BTW Alex #$%^ rolling my awesome readers!

  6. andrew wee says:

    "Affiliate marketing is 50% knowledge 50% attitude. "

    What % is grinding?

    It's def up there for me.

  7. Wow, these are actually really close to the four I came up with before: Knowledge, passion, creativity, and focus

  8. Chris says:

    There is a saying goes something like "better copied right than badly invented". Those who copy something really well (just the concept, not the content since that would be illegal) don't have to risk the entire project to fail.

    However, they will always be in the shadow of the one who started it first and make only a small percentage of what the market leaders do.

    I'm not a big fan of copies, but we must admit that is has worked in the past for some people.

  9. Now, let’s be realistic and assume that you want
    a REAL side income – $50 day. You’d have to be selling $588.23 worth of products everyday
    (and you’re still 4 cents short).

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