Brutal Affiliate Marketing Truth EXPOSED (They Don’t Want You To Know)

Do you want to know the shocking affiliate marketing truth that it seems like NO ONE is talking about? 

I think more people need to know so I’m uncovering all of it here. 

If you’re new to my website, my name is Carrie and I’ve been doing digital and affiliate marketing since 2017. 

And I had a really rough go of it in the beginning… yet I stuck with it and finally saw success. 

Let’s dive into 5 shocking truths about affiliate marketing – plus how to actually learn it (the right way).

The Brutal Truth About Affiliate Marketing That No One Is Telling You

The majority of new affiliate marketers fail.

It’s sad but true. 

Don’t be discouraged yet – there’s a legitimate reason why. 

A large majority of new affiliate marketers fail because they give up. 

Affiliate marketing is a business – and it’s very rare that businesses are an overnight success. 

And besides that – most people get into affiliate marketing thinking that it’s going to be a super easy side hustle that they don’t have to invest a lot of time or learning into. 

And that’s just not true. 

Not only will you not be an instant, massive, overnight success… you have to put time and dedication into it. 

The majority of new affiliate marketers fail because the majority of new affiliate marketers go into it with the wrong mindset. 

They get frustrated when they don’t see instant results, and my opinion? They’re lazy. They don’t want to do what it takes to succeed. 

But if you’re reading this, I doubt that’s you. 

Affiliate Marketing Truth #2 – It’s Not All Passive

Now for the next brutal truth about affiliate marketing… It’s not all passive. 

The super affiliates tell you it’s passive. 

And it actually can be passive, and it most likely IS passive for them.

But in the beginning, it won’t be – not by a long shot. 

Aside from investment royalties, no income is truly passive in the beginning. 

Any online business that results in long-term, passive income will require work in the beginning… and affiliate marketing is no exception. 

Affiliate marketing is legit – but it’s not going to be passive at first. 

You have to learn how to do it (and how to do it successfully), and then you have to set up your affiliate website or affiliate marketing funnel, and then you have to create content to promote it. 

Once it’s all up and running (and working), it generates money passively like a well-oiled machine. But you will put in hours of work and learning up front. 

Affiliate Marketing Truth #3 – It’s Not Instant

Okay – so for some people, it IS instant. 

But those lucky success stories are not typical – they’re the outliers. That’s not the norm. 

And if you go into it expecting to also be an overnight success, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. 

It’s better to go into it with a long-term mindset. Then if you are instantly successful, it’ll be a pleasant surprise. 

So why is it not instant, even though it has been for some people? 

Those people were just lucky enough to go viral. Going viral gets you a ton of traffic – and FAST. That’s why a select few are instantly successful. 

They got lucky – the algorithm favored them and rewarded them. 

But for most of us, it takes time. 

We have to learn – whether on our own or with training. 

Personally, I tried to learn on my own. So I didn’t make my first commission until THREE YEARS IN. I kept working at it without getting paid for literally 3 years. 

Training massively speeds up this process. Especially if you take the 15-day challenge – you’ll learn how to do it AND get guidance with setting it all up in only 15 days. (Plus it’s only $7). 

It’s not instant because: 

  • You need to learn (via training or on your own).
  • You need to set up your funnel and email list.
  • You need to learn how to create content to attract the right kind of people to your offers. 

Affiliate Marketing Truth #4 – It’s Not Hard to Learn

Another alarming truth about affiliate marketing is that it’s not actually hard to learn at all. 

It’s a simple business model and it’s simple to learn. 

You know what makes it hard? 

👉 Skipping around from one mentor or training to the next. 

There are many methods to have success with affiliate marketing. 

And if you have “shiny object syndrome” and jump from Person #1’s training and method to Person #2’s training and method without giving yourself time to see results with either, you won’t be successful. 

And it will seem WAY harder than it actually is. 

The truth is that most methods are effective. Each method takes a different amount of time and a different amount of skill sets. 

Which is why it gets confusing. 

You’ve got “Paul” over here telling you that the only way to be successful is by blogging. 

Then you’ve got “David” over there telling you the only way to do it is with a funnel and emails. 

They BOTH work. 

Funnels work much, much faster and are much easier to learn. 

But they both work. 

Don’t make it harder than it is. 

Pick one training and one method and stick with it. 

Personally, I like the 15-day affiliate marketing challenge because it teaches you how to do affiliate marketing with funnels, emails, and social media. With this method, you can be successful in a matter of months. 

Websites take 6-12 months or longer and have a lot more things to learn – I do them now that I’m almost 7 years in, but I don’t recommend them to beginners. 

Affiliate Marketing Truth #5 – You Won’t Be Successful, Unless…

The last thing I want to do is de-motivate you. But I can guarantee that you won’t be successful with affiliate marketing unless you do all of these things.

  • Become extraordinarily consistent. 
  • Develop a success mindset. 
  • Treat it like a business.
  • Become responsible for your own success. 
  • Choose the right training and right method, don’t skip from thing-to-thing.

I’ll go more in depth on these points later so you can ensure your success as an affiliate marketer.

How to Learn Affiliate Marketing (The Right Way)

So how do you learn affiliate marketing the right way? 

Well you could do what I did at first and try to learn on your own. 

You’ll probably jump around for a few years before you make any progress and see any money. 

Or you could take a training like the 15 day challenge to jump-start your affiliate marketing business and your success. 

I first found the 15 day challenge in 2021 on TikTok and although I was already doing affiliate marketing, I wanted to see what the course was all about. 

To be honest, I wanted to take the training so I could decide whether or not I wanted to promote it myself. 

I always try to personally review trainings before I recommend them because I don’t want to promote awful programs. 

And honestly I was blown away at how in-depth their introductory training is – the 15 day challenge. 

For only $7, you learn more on the FIRST DAY of the challenge than I learned in the entire first course I took which cost me over $600. 

And to my surprise, I actually ended up learning some stuff too. And now I’ve increased my earnings, all because I just wanted to make a review of this program. 

About The Two Week Affiliate Marketing Challenge

This challenge is run by a company called Legendary Marketer that’s spearheaded by a guy named David Sharpe. 

I did my research on Dave before I even started – and it turns out he’s legit. And I don’t mean like “he SEEMS legit”… he actually is. I stand behind that statement 100%.

He’s been in the digital marketing industry for over a decade and he’s made several million dollars online through affiliate marketing. And now he’s coached thousands of people how to have success, too. 

There are people as young as 18 making $1,000s with his teachings, and people as old as 65+ having the same kind of success. 

The 15 day challenge teaches you: 

  • What affiliate marketing is.
  • The secret to earning high-ticket commissions on autopilot that blow puny low-ticket commissions out of the water.
  • How to set up your first affiliate marketing funnel, email autoresponder, and how to get traffic to your offers. 
  • It also teaches you about the super high-paying skills of copywriting and lead generation – two skills you need to have success as an affiliate.
  • How to put it all on auto-pilot. 
  • How to know when it’s time to quit your job. 
  • Plus you get 1-on-1 mentorship during the 15 day challenge via Zoom chats with your own personally-appointed business plan advisor. My advisor was so cool and helpful, I even felt like we would have been great friends if we’d met in real life.

15 Day Challenge Bonuses

It’s only $7 so I really don’t see what you have to lose, but you’re definitely not required to take it. 

Plus you get a bunch of insane bonuses just for signing up for the challenge that will help you along your entire affiliate marketing journey.

You can find any training you want to – this is just the one I recommend.

How to Ensure Your Success As An Affiliate

Aside from taking the right training, here’s how to ensure your success as an affiliate marketer. 

Become Extraordinarily Consistent

Remember how I said it took me 3 years to see my FIRST DOLLAR?! It won’t take you that long with the right training – but you need to be consistent AF. I don’t think it will take you years, but it could take months. 

You need to be consistent, even when you’re not seeing results, even when you “don’t feel like it”, and even when it’s hard.

Develop A Success Mindset

Have you ever heard the phrase “mindset is everything”? 

Because it is. 

If you go into affiliate marketing thinking “Oh jeez I really hope I can make this work! I really need to make some extra money but nothing ever works out for me” – you’re probably not going to be successful. 


Because that kind of mindset is a lack mindset. 

It is a woe-is-me mindset. 

And if you have that kind of mindset, you’re going to give up at the VERY FIRST sign of a challenge or obstacle. 

And learning how to do anything online is full of challenges and obstacles. 

You don’t ever stop encountering obstacles. 

But you do get better at getting over them faster each time. 

When you ask yourself “Will this work for me?”, your brain will start to look for answers for that question.

It will come up with answers like: 

“Well, last time we tried XYZ, it didn’t work at all. Should we even try?”

“I don’t know if it will work, but I sure hope so.”

But when you re-frame how you think about it and ask yourself: “How can I make this work for me?” your brain will come up with different answers. For example: 

“Well, first we should watch and implement all of XYZ training. Then if we still have questions, we should look on Google or YouTube or ask other affiliate marketers for help.”


“First we can take this training. Then we can do this step. Then once we do this step, we can do this step.” Etc

When you switch from “I wonder if…” to “How can I MAKE this work”, you also change your mindset. 

And you change the actions you’ll take as a result of your mindset.

Treat it Like a Business

Affiliate marketing is a business, point-blank. 

And you have to treat it like a business to have success. 

A business owner doesn’t say “Will I ever be successful”? 

A business owner says “What can I do today to get closer to success?”

It’s as much of a consistency-thing as it is a mindset-thing. 

A business owner also spends a significant amount of time on their business. 

If you owned a store that was open M-F, 8-5, you’d be at work every day M-F from 8-5. 

You don’t have to work 8 hours every single day. But you do need to put as much work into it as you can. 

Even if you only have 2 free hours every evening from Monday to Friday, you need to be consistent and use that 2 free hours every evening to work on building your future.

Related: Check out these secret affiliate marketing hacks to becoming more profitable in your business.

Become Responsible For Your Own Success

This last one is where I see the majority of people struggling and failing as a result. 

If you don’t already know this, I’ll be the first to tell you: 

You are the only one responsible for your own success. 

If you succeed – it’s all on you. 

If you fail – that’s on you too. 

You can’t blame your failure on a “bad course” you took – that’s on you. 

Do you want to know why? 

The person who made the course didn’t sign up to being responsible for your success. They probably even say that in the fine print right on the sales page. 

If you take a training and you don’t feel like you learned enough, it’s YOUR responsibility to learn more. Whether that’s on your own, by taking another course, or hiring a coach to work with you 1-on-1, it’s up to YOU and you alone. 

If you encounter an obstacle that you don’t know how to fix, would you give up or would you head to Google or YouTube to learn how to fix it? 

A lot of new affiliates that I see encounter confusing problems with techy stuff and instead of taking initiative to learn how to fix it on their own, they post about it on Facebook, whine and complain about how it “just doesn’t work for them”, or they give up. 

Being a self-starter is the most important thing you can do for yourself in this industry. 

When you encounter a problem – not if, WHEN, you need to take the initiative to fix it. 

You may have to reach out to someone for help, and that’s okay. 

One big thing ALL successful marketers do is search for answers and solutions on their own. They take responsibility for their success. 

And they don’t just post on Facebook and hope for an answer. 

They don’t get down on themselves or their life about it. 

Finally, they are solution-oriented thinkers.

The most important thing you can do is learn to search for the answers on your own first.

Related: Do You Have to Spend Money to Start Affiliate Marketing?

Conclusion: The Truth About Affiliate Marketing

You’ll have success if you are realistic, if you know what it takes, and if you dedicate yourself to becoming successful. 

It’s not magic and it doesn’t happen overnight. 

Learn the required skills, stick with one method, and treat it like a business – because it is a business. 

If you’ve read this far into the article, I know for a fact that you have what it takes. All that’s left to do is to do it. 

Get started here with the 15 day challenge. 

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