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1. Lack of focus
2. No Long-term orientation
Taking the first, where affiliate marketers fail is that they don't keep to one approach. They are constantly seeking and finding very lucrative, but narrow/shallow approaches. The products they offer are mostly of the same ilk - get rich quick, or these 30-page ebooks for $15 which are just one-off products.
The failure here is to keep looking for new things instead of really building up around a central, valuable theme.
This leads us to the second point. Affiliate marketers fail - or just continue struggling to succeed (same difference) as they don't consistently provide incredible value in a given niche. The knuckleheads I've dealt with along this line consistently bring me new products through my email portal, all of which are glowingly represented as being a "new way to make money!" or tell with lengthy lists of testimonials about how this new ebook or product will... But the products are all over the place - hair products, diet products, forex manuals, you name it.
What these marketers fail to do is to develop a line of products which services a single, narrow niche completely. The worst of the lot are the people selling marketing products to marketers. Because they are simply feeding this addictive, attention deficit problem. Most all of these new marketing approaches are the same, just tacked on and glossed up with new terminology.
Real successful marketers find a problem area they have a solution for and then sell variations and expansions of that system to those same customers and gradually expand that narrow niche slightly wider - or pick up a related niche and bring their old clients over to this new one.