Why 90% Fail and 10% Succeed - Just A Theory

Last Update: June 28, 2020

One of the questions I see posted by newbies is how long does it take to earn money in affiliate marketing. New members are asked to write their income goals, but not the timeline they would like to achieve those goals. It would be revealing to see this information. Most would probably have unrealistic expectations.

This leads me to my next question. Since new members have not given themselves a timeline, I wonder what percentage will quit. There are several levels of quitting:

  1. When not earning anything after a certain amount of time has passed, they cancel their subscription.
  2. A member continues paying but pretty much slows down their efforts to a crawl.
  3. Those who give of their all for two to three years and then decide to throw in the towel.

The Asymptotic Line

I call the last category quitting before the asymptotic finish line. Let me define what I mean by this term.

The following diagram is an example. The Horizontal Axis is time. The Vertical Axis is Money. There is little or no earnings at the beginning when there are very few articles posted on their website. As more articles are posted, earnings may start, but grow at a very low rate. There may be a small spike or two in earnings but nothing to celebrate about.


The timeline where take off starts will vary depending on the amount of effort an affiliate marketer expends. For some this could be a year. For others, it may be two or even three.

Google Analytics

Several members here have shared their commission growth curve from Google Analytics. They look very similar to this graph. Of course the straight horizontal line may have more little rises and falls. But growth is slow.

Instead of accelerating their efforts, many members get disheartened and slow down and eventually quit. We all feel like quitting sometimes. But those who will eventually succeed will keep going and become part of the winning 10%!

The Winners Success Plan

This is a good point to state a disclaimer. I say this is a 90-10 Rule. That's how it appears to me. It could be 80-20. Or 75-25. In the grand scheme of things is doesn't matter. The point is that more people do not meet their goals compared to those who do.

This doesn't only apply to affiliate marketing but in many of life's pursuits.There is a way for this ratio to get better in Affiliate Marketing.

Winners continue to acquire more knowledge and skills.

Winners will write more articles.

Winners will use their newly acquired skills to increase traffic using a variety of means including social media, resulting in sales.

At this stage of their development members with a success mentality will not use ads yet. Instead, they will rely on gaining traffic purely by organic means. Only after they start to earn consistent income they will invest some earnings to place PPC or other ads to scale up their income.

That is another reason the earnings curve grows almost exponentially. Earnings later in the cycle get invested to boost traffic and thus generate ever-increasing sales.

The 90-10 Rule

Now can you see why I think that 90% of those who start will quit? But here's the amazing thing. If they only looked at the growth curve of successful members don't you think they would reconsider?

Some would. Then there are others who will talk themselves into undermining their ability to press on and do whatever it takes to succeed. There is another factor involved, Having the money to invest for the long haul.

The Best Deal In Town

Wealthy Affiliate has done everything possible to make the cost of entry into this world of passive income as low as possible.

It's the best deal in town!

They also have created opportunities to earn cash credits while helping other members. Although you cannot get rich that way, you can use these credits to help pay for all or part of the subscription fee.

And now with Black Friday coming along, why not take advantage of that and not have to worry about making a payment for a year or more depending on your situation. Since you will know that renewal will be in one year, why not make a goal to earn at least the renewal fee during the first year?

If we all put our minds to it that is very doable.

We all really need to ask ourselves. Do we want to be in that 90% group who QUIT?

Or do we want to be in that 10% group who do not give up and SUCCEED?

The decision should be a no brainer.

Any comments?

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JustAPerson Premium
Great post. It's a solid in-depth analysis.

Online business is so easy to start. Super low cost and instant to START. I think this is why people jump from opportunity to opportunity. Because it is so easy and instant to start... there is a huge disconnect between that part and then actually building an income.

Also I am sure writing articles just doesn't appeal to everyone. That has to play a big part of it here. We're not talking about writing 10 or even 25 articles and being done with it. We're talking here about writing at LEAST 100 articles and ideally 200 or more. Heck probably really writing and writing forever in many cases.

And we're not talking about writing 500-word articles. Here people are talking about writing at least 1,500-word articles and ideally 2,000 to 3,000-word articles.

That is an absolutely MASSIVE amount of writing. 100 x 1,500 words = 150,000 words. 100 x 2,500 words is a quarter of a million words.

So you can imagine how someone who hates writing would struggle a huge amount. Even if they did the work for months they would get no enjoyment from it.

It might even cause them to gain a much greater appreciation of their job which although not fantastic may well be more satisfying as far as the work is concerned.
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EdwinBernard Premium
Good point. This means that a person who hates writing so much that even the possibility of creating an asset that will replace their day job and give them time freedom, is not much of an incentive for them. They shouldn’t get into Affiliate Marketing to begin with. This is not a venture right for everyone.

They may be happier in a job they like, earning a modest income, than creating a source of significant income doing s task they hate.

I agree with you. Thanks!

Edwin
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JustAPerson Premium
Yeah definitely I think we all need to realize that. No one thing is right for everyone. I am sure another big reason people jump from thing to thing is because they are just trying to find the right online business model for them personally.

Like with this model here... it's not "my thing". I liked the great price on hosting and have done it before so thought ah why not do it. But for me I have more interest in just treating these sites as virtual real estate.

Grab a domain, write some quality content. Maybe 15 to 20 articles and that is it. Let those set for some months. Possibly build some quality links to the each site. After some months pass and the sites are out of the sandbox (or close to it) sell them off.

That is an alternative business model that can be used here. Basically kind of like a land developer. Turnkey niche site builder but each is truly unique.

Another option (and the one I am most interested in) is hiring out all of this work.
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EdwinBernard Premium
Why not write some training or a blog post on this virtual real estate concept. I love this idea.

I have 40 articles on my website. And traffic is steadily growing. How do I find out what it’s worth and how does one sell?

Thanks for your insight.

Edwin
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JustAPerson Premium
I might make a blog at some point. I haven't sold a site in many years now but I did it many years ago. I think I would want to do it again before writing. I think it is actually fairly common these days. There are multiple sites for it such as Flippa. There is a new one search for Motion Invest (I probably shouldn't put so many links around here even if am just trying to be helpful). That is focused on sites making a small amount of income. You might want to contact them and see what they value your site at.
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EdwinBernard Premium
Thanks for the tips. I’ll check them out.

Cheers!

Edwin
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APouliot Premium
Unfortunately, we live in a society where people always want everything immediately. When we talk about money, if they don't see a ROI (return on investment) quickly, they will quit. That's one of the reasons many people prefer to work for money (employee) than to work for themselves (money works for them), because they see their work paid immediately.

That's a sad story because if these people were taking a part of their free time for something that has value on the long term, they would become free in their future.

It frustrates me, but at the same time, I cannot do it for them. When you enter this world of freedom, you need to set your mindset to it and work for it. These people don't want to.

I have difficulty to explain my thoughts, sorry. xD

I hardly understand how people prefer to lose all their time on netflix, playing video games, etc. than working for their future where they could do all these things without any stress and when they want when they'll be financially free.
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obdude Premium
Couldn't agree more, Audrey!
:) Cheers,
Tim
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Xx-kookie-xX Premium
I do play video games and watch Netflix but if I haven't come on here and done anything on my website at all I get this upsetting feeling I'm wasting my time...Then I would constantly think about it... It's really frustrating and quite uncomfortable...But it's true, when I'm gaming, watching Netflix ect..I'd feel much better if I was financially free I don't have to think about anything or stress about going to work tomorrow...That would be ever gamer's dream, I could buy any game or set up I want with ease, with any additional add on's as I want, plus I'm techie, I love high-tech hardware I could build the best set up ever....Sounds like a sweet life to me I'm practically drooling
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Xx-kookie-xX Premium
I totally agree with Audrey on that
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APouliot Premium
For sure I don't say to stop doing things we love! It's important to take time for us. Talking for myself, I watch series and do play video games with my boyfriend sometimes.

The point is more: use your time wisely. Take some for you "at the moment" but take some for you "for your future". That's the point that most people don't get because what is far way in time is like, too far away for them.
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Xx-kookie-xX Premium
I get what your saying...But it should be more like "take some time for you" and "invest more time in your work" ...The day you don't have to work anymore is in your future. Not saying I'd stop working I'd feel wired sitting around doing nothing
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APouliot Premium
Ahah yeah, keep working even when success has come ;) the fun point is to work when & where you want!
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Leslie3801 Premium
Great comment! You have described me to a T. Its taken me the first half of my life to figure this out, the light bulb has just now finally gone off. Hopefully it's not too late to put in the work and get much more enjoyment out of whatever time I have left here. Luckily I love to write so I'm going to give this my best shot, and hopefully I can instill this in my two children while they are still young. My 19 year old daughter ended up naming my website so I think she will learn from me and "get it" earlier than my son.

Thank you.
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Xx-kookie-xX Premium
Yea so true...Work while on the beach and so forth
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APouliot Premium
I'm very happy for you! I'm glad to see you with us at WA :) Success has never been so close ;)
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EdwinBernard Premium
Hi Audrey,

You were very clear in making some valid points. I see it attracted a lot of responses. That tells me what you say means a lot.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Edwin
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Leslie3801 Premium
THAT would be the ultimate! ;-)
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Xx-kookie-xX Premium
The ultimate sounds good! ;-)
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TDenise Premium
Great comment Audrey!
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PeteKane91 Premium
really like this post.

aslong as you don't quit, success will come if persistent and consistent.

6 months I set myself - I would like to earn a commission in 6 months or sale.
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EdwinBernard Premium
Hi Pete,

Thanks for sharing your time frame for your first sale. Now that is realistic.

You May also wish to add email marketing to the mix.

All the best to you.

Edwin
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PeteKane91 Premium
Email marketing is certainly what I want to do next
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JVienneau Premium
I think it's about time that I become part of the succeed group
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EdwinBernard Premium
Right on! I wish you much success in your affiliate marketing journey.

Cheers!

Edwin
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lindy101 Premium
Mindset is everything.

In affiliate marketing in general I notice a lot of people who say they will give a certain program 1 or 2 weeks before going on to the next shinny object.

Others think in terms of 1 or 2 months.

Still others say they will give it as long as it bloody takes to succeed.

I try to cultivate this last attitude. Anything worthwhile is going to take at least a year or two to get running at full speed. Maybe longer as you have said. But it does not happen overnight. You have got to be willing to last for the long haul if you really want lasting success.

Thanks Edwin,
-Ralph
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EdwinBernard Premium
Thanks for dropping by Ralph.

I know, right? I smile when I hear unrealistic timeframes like that. This business is definitely not for everyone. Glad you have realistic goals.

I wish you much success in your affiliate marketing journey.

Cheers.

Edwin
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