I often meet people who want to start an affiliate marketing business but are afraid to pull the trigger. Fear of failure, steady paycheck, busy life, lack of know-how – the reasons are endless. 

But I say, it’s time to identify these reasons as what they really are: excuses! Stop aspiring to be an entrepreneur and overcome the wantrepreneur syndrome!

What you need is a shift in your mindset to break out of the “want” cycle. Today, I will discuss practical and actionable ways to establish your successful affiliate marketing business. 

So keep reading to ignite the real entrepreneurial spirit in you!

Key Takeaways:

  1. Identify the traits of a wantrepreneur in you. 
  2. Develop the qualities and mindset of a successful affiliate marketer.
  3. Find your niche. 
  4. Cultivate your expertise and passion to drive trust. 
  5. Partner with the right affiliate programs and networks. 
  6. Craft quality content. 
  7. Take a performance-driven, data-backed approach. 

From Wantrepreneur to Thriving Affiliate Marketer 

Problems like unemployment, pay cuts, minimum wage disputes, wage gaps, etc., can be baffling. No wonder people want to be entrepreneurs and become their own bosses! 

But why affiliate marketing? Well, why not? 

It’s a lucrative online business model that helps earn commissions selling others products and services. Plus, the laptop lifestyle of digital nomads is obviously a dream!

But then I come across the wantrepreneurs, i.e., people stuck in the “want to be an entrepreneur” zone. And they have certain characteristics – toxic traits, if that’s what you can call those.

The major difference between wantrepreneurs vs affiliate marketing business owners is the mindset for consistent action. Wannabe entrepreneurs have a dream but never take the first step towards it. 

Crossing the gap between desire and action is not always easy. But you just need a shift in mindset, not special talent or secret ingredients to do it. 

Identifying the Wantrepreneur Mindset:

The term “wantrepreneur” indicates someone who wants to be an entrepreneur. Does that mean all aspiring entrepreneurs are wantrepreneurs? 

Well, not really. As I see it, a wantrepreneur is an aspirant who remains stuck in the “want” zone. Unlike a true aspirant, they don’t take action to overcome their struggles.

Until you take the first step, you too can find yourself in the wantrepreneur league. So assess yourself and see if you, on some level, have developed the following characteristics of a wantrepreneur:

  1. All Talk and No Action: Wantrepreneurs love discussing their big plans after quitting their 9-to-5. But their ambitious ideas are not followed by consistent efforts for research or self-improvement. 
  2. Shiny Object Syndrome: These people are constantly distracted by the latest trends and get-rich-quick schemes. They jump from one idea to another without gaining skills in any niche. 
  3. Lake Wobegon Effect: Wantrepreneurs often overestimate their talents and think they can turn anything they touch into gold. They overlook the hard work, strategic actions, and upskilling. 
  4. Jack of All Trades: Wantrepreneurs are often interested in too many things and may even have some knowledge in various niches. But they fail to develop authority in a single area of interest. 
  5. Analysis Paralysis: These wannabe entrepreneurs may be overwhelmed by too many options and can’t make a concrete decision. They are stuck in an endless loop of dreaming and planning without real results. 
  6. Cold Feet: Wantrepreneurs are often too scared to start. From fear of failure to fear of missing out, from fear of criticism to fear of struggle, there’s always something that paralyzes them.    

Being a wantrepreneur is a major roadblock for the following reasons: 

  • Limited knowledge, frequently changing niches, inconsistent posts, late reviews, etc., hamper your credibility.
  • Short-term focus on quick wins and shortcuts prevents you from building a sustainable business model. 
  • Your lack of timely action means you miss out on lucrative opportunities while your competitors swoop in on them.   

Embracing the Affiliate Marketing Business Owner Mentality:

When people ask for my advice, I encourage them to start their own businesses. And based on my experience, I always suggest affiliate marketing. 

But to get started and manifest real success, you must first break free from the wantrepreneur trap. Affiliate marketing is a legitimate business that needs you to think like a true business owner. 

You can treat affiliate marketing as a hobby or side hustle. Or, you can transition from an entry-level affiliate to become the next John Chow or Missy Ward. 

It’s all about a shift in your mindset. So focus on developing the qualities of a successful affiliate marketer:

  • Dedication and Perseverance: Rome – or any successful business – wasn’t built in a day. So get ready to invest time and effort.
  • Strategic Thinking: Identify your niche, audience, content format, and marketing channels. Approach your venture with a clear plan.
  • Adaptability and Upskilling: Affiliate marketing is heavily influenced by the dynamic digital landscape. So be prepared to learn, unlearn, and relearn. 
  • Prioritizing Value and Audience Needs: Your profit lies where you can deliver value to your audience. So, focus on solving their problems to build trust.  

Building a Foundation for Success in Affiliate Marketing 

Would you join the fitness program of a trainer who hates exercising and doesn’t work out? Would you buy their recommended supplements from shady manufacturers?

I guess we both know the answers. The building blocks of the foundation of successful businesses, including affiliate marketing, are passion, expertise, and quality.

But I know that mastering the combination of these three is a challenge for aspiring affiliate marketers. Aspirants are often confused by the available options and don’t know where to start. 

When I first started, I was overwhelmed by all the products/services, information, and networks. And then, I committed to learning and researching. 

Through continuous education and growth, I found my niche, my road to credibility, and trustworthy partners. But this initial investment in your expertise and research seems demanding, right?

Well, we’re talking about an industry that’s going to be worth $39.8 billion by 2031. Only critical groundwork will elevate you from a wantrepreneur to the trusted voice of a successful affiliate.

Find Your Niche and Passion 

Affiliate marketing offers the flexibility to choose your niche. I think that’s one of the greatest perks of this business, with the opportunity to choose from a vast range of high-converting products

Now, it’s easy to be confused and even overwhelmed by the thought of picking the niche. So, start by asking yourself a few simple but crucial questions:

  • What are you passionate about? Think of topics that you’re enthusiastic about and can discuss for hours without getting bored.
  • Where is your expertise and experience? From the previous list, find topics in which you have education, in-depth knowledge, and first-hand exposure.
  • What feels sustainable? Envision yourself creating content consistently and providing value without experiencing burnout. 

Let me break this down for you a little. Let’s assume you’re interested in three niches: sustainable fashion, Information Technology, and pet care. 

Of these, you have in-depth knowledge and experience in IT and pet care. But you can discuss pet care endlessly, discussing new products and answering frequently asked questions. 

Ding, ding, ding! You have a winner: pet care!

Tools to research competition, keyword research, and trending topics can simplify the affiliate marketing niche selection process. Use platforms like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to spot trends, high-volume queries, market size, etc.

Speaking of tools for niche research, how can you forget Artificial Intelligence? ChatGPT, CoPilot, and other free tools can do a phenomenal job suggesting sub-niches from your list of interest areas.  

Cultivate Expertise and Credibility

The aim of any business is to maximize earnings. And a profitable niche in affiliate marketing is where passion, expertise, and market demand intersect. 

The good news is that there are buyers for your affiliate products/services. You just have to attract their attention with your expertise and credibility. 

I say this because surveys show that reviews affect 93% of buyers’ purchase decisions. Additionally, 69% of consumers trust what influencers say and recommend. 

Of course, you can collaborate with influencers as part of performance marketing. But before you reach that stage, you must become an influencer yourself.

So, dig deep into your knowledge base, experience, and understanding. You can only guide people into choosing your offers by providing value through affiliate marketing content creation.  

Using research and analytics tools will help you spot common and trending queries. Such market research will enable you to know if your offers can cater to different audience segments. 

While promoting your offer, you must highlight what problems it can solve. So, go beyond basic features as advertised and explain some real experiences.

The best way you can establish your authority is by being honest. So, don’t hesitate to mention disadvantages or maintain clarity about your affiliate status. 

Another tip I give my clients is to stay on top of trends. Swoop in to review new launches or tap into an area of surging interest. 

It makes you look enthusiastic and savvy enough to identify changes and updates in your niches. You also get the early mover advantage that sets you apart and builds a loyal following.

Select the Right Affiliate Programs and Networks

An affiliate marketer has no control over the end products or customer care a company provides. If your audience is dissatisfied with these, it’s your business and reputation that will suffer. 

So, conduct thorough affiliate marketing program research to know about a brand’s reputation. Evaluate the following factors to ensure it’s a safe program for your audience and you:

  • Product Quality and Brand Reputation: Read reviews to determine whether a program/network is trustworthy when it comes to quality and support. Consider feedback from other affiliates. 
  • Commission Rates and Payment Consistency: Before jumping at a high percentage rate, consider average order value and product prices. A lower commission rate on a high-selling luxury product would be better.
  • Commission Model: While pay-per-sale is the most common incentive model, you could benefit from other payout structures. Look for platforms that offer commissions on leads, acquisitions, and other actions.  
  • Management Tools and Support: Your chosen platform should offer user-friendly tools to manage your account and streamline your efforts. It should provide clarity regarding your earnings, performance, etc., and give you support if needed. 
  • Performance-Based Features: Networks and programs are upgrading their dashboards and analytics features to support performance-based tracking. Prioritize partners offering robust analytics, tool integrations, etc., to help fine-tune your campaigns at every step.  

I suggest diversifying your partners to build a suitable affiliate marketing business portfolio. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, consider working with both of the following.

  • Individual Programs: Look for individual brands that run their own affiliate programs in your niche. They offer more control, better communication, and often higher commission rates. 
  • Affiliate Networks: Platforms like Amazon Associates, ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, etc., are like marketplaces with various products in one place. They also come with user-friendly dashboards for better campaign management and data tracking.

Taking Action: Strategies for Growth 

It’s not enough to do research and lay the foundation of your affiliate marketing business. It’s time for some real actions to stack the bricks that will build your business. 

In an interview with Entrepreneur, American entrepreneur Grant Cardone once spoke about the importance of actions. He said, “I am where I am today, not because of luck or talent, but because of the amount of actions I take daily.” 

As an aspiring affiliate marketer, your initial steps don’t have to burn a hole in your pockets. In fact, you can start an affiliate marketing business for free, as explained in this MailVio blog

Your initial focus should be on content creation and following a data-driven approach towards success. To grow your business, you’ll also want to take advantage of multiple channels. 

With due diligence, you will soon reach a point where you’ll be ready to scale your business. That’s when you must focus on performance marketing for your affiliate business through paid channels.     

Craft Compelling Content that Converts 

Here’s something I’ve realized: good content is the backbone of any successful affiliate marketing strategy. It’s the key instrument that builds an audience, establishes authority, and drives clicks to your affiliate links.  

But how do you create content for affiliate marketing that converts? The content format can be blogs, ebooks, podcasts, emails, long/short videos, etc. 

The aim is to provide information and drive your audience to your affiliate link. But first, you must help them understand that your offer can solve certain problems.

You can do that through honest, experience-based product reviews, tutorials, detailed guides, and more. Create insightful content for different channels and reach a larger potential audience.  

Creating high-converting content beyond blogs with randomly placed affiliate links is no easy job, though. High-quality content needs to be carefully crafted and well-optimized. 

Use advanced tools to research keywords, trends, and more. Then, optimize your content’s meaning and intent, not use keywords.   

Use AI as your trusted assistant to generate ideas and outlines, as described in this MailVio blog. Here are a few other tried and tested tips that work for beginners and experts alike:

  1. Focus on value by solving problems and addressing the individual needs of your audience.
  2. Harness storytelling by sharing relatable personal experiences to demonstrate how a product/service has resolved your struggles.
  3. Use social proof, i.e., testimonials, user ratings, and case studies, to add credibility to your recommendations.
  4. Use visuals like images and videos to break up text, give quick information, and boost shareability.
  5. Maintain transparency and honesty by discussing what you dislike about a product and disclosing your affiliate relationships.
  6. Understand user intent and align your content with what your audience is searching for. 
  7. Add a compelling CTA that’s clear and action-oriented, with a sense of urgency to generate excitement.  
  8. Target audience segments based on demographics, activities, history, etc., and craft hyper-personalized recommendations.

Leverage Multiple Marketing Channels 

Discuss the importance of promoting your affiliate offers across various channels (e.g., social media, email marketing, SEO optimization).

Your audience isn’t just on a single platform. Studies show that people spend more than 8 hours daily on digital media, and their usage habits and durations differ vastly.

Successful affiliate marketing promotion strategies tap into the audience of different marketing channels. Social media wins this popularity contest as the platform of choice for 92% of marketers

However, you must consider other channels, too, to reach your audience where they spend time. That means you must master a multi-channel marketing approach instead of relying on one channel. 

Here’s why you should promote affiliate offers across multiple marketing channels:

  • Maximum Reach: With different segments of people channels they use the most, like social media, podcasts, email, etc. 
  • Consistency: Promoting your offers across channels can help reinforce your brand messaging and make you recognizable.
  • Resilience: Promotions on different channels complement one another and maintain stable visibility if one channel underperforms. 

Tailor your campaigns for different channels. For social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc., create eye-catching visuals, short videos, and catchy copies.

Blogs need details and must be search engine-optimized to drive organic traffic and rank in search results. For email marketing, collect and nurture leads, send targeted offers, and automate sequences using tools like MailVio.

You’ll eventually be ready to invest in your business and consider performance marketing. I’ve discussed paid channels like targeted ads, sponsored posts, email marketing, etc., in this blog

Track, Analyze, and Optimize for Results 

Your journey as an affiliate marketer can take you on the right track with data. Think of it as using GPS to guide you along an unknown road.

Part of shedding the wantrepreneur syndrome is adopting a data-driven mindset. You must regularly track and analyze the performance of your affiliate marketing campaigns.

Monitor key metrics like Click-Through Rate (CTR), conversion rate, traffic sources, top-performing content, and more. Also, look into different phases of a customer’s journey, like conversion time, conversion path, touchpoints, etc.

Analyzing metrics has always been crucial for me when making data-driven decisions for affiliate marketing. I use these insights to identify high-performing strategies, the right audiences, and effective channels.  

It’s not enough to just get ready for affiliate marketing data analysis. I strongly advise adopting a performance-driven approach and breaking down every campaign touchpoint. 

Dissecting your campaign performance and customer journey can help you get details, not just an overview. That way, you don’t have to evaluate your campaigns based only on the last step or action. 

Using easily accessible tools, you can make smarter, data-backed decisions to optimize every step. I recommend Google Analytics, affiliate network dashboards, social media insights, link shorteners/trackers, etc., to newbies. 

Affiliate networks like Impact Radius, AWIN, FlexOffers, etc., also have advanced dashboards that offer excellent insights. Besides, many multiple account management platforms like Affiliatly, Post Affiliate Pro, Strackr, Databox, etc., offer performance metrics. 


I’ve shared the blueprint to overcome the wantrepreneur syndrome and build a successful affiliate marketing business. But before signing off, I would like to share a few other tips. 

  • Start taking action, and don’t hesitate to initiate the customer acquisition process.  
  • Don’t dismiss new and unique ideas, but stick to a single niche and objective. 
  • Implement your expertise and critical thinking instead of multitasking without a schedule.
  • Don’t let research, paperwork, upskilling, and fear of failure discourage you. 

So, take the first step and shift your mindset. And subscribe to the MailVio blogs for more helpful tips.


Q: What is the difference between a wantrepreneur and an affiliate marketing business owner?

A: A wantrepreneur wants to be an entrepreneur but lacks focus and real action. They move without a plan and don’t put in any effort. 

But affiliate marketing business owners take their venture seriously. They dedicate time to strategic planning, upskilling, and providing value. 

Q: How can I avoid the wantrepreneur mentality in affiliate marketing?

A: You can avoid the wantrepreneur mentality in affiliate marketing by shifting your focus to real actions. 

Invest time and effort in finding your niche, knowing your audience, and creating content that delivers value. Follow a data-driven strategy focused on performance. 

Q: What are the essential steps to build a successful business in affiliate marketing?

A: To build a successful business in affiliate marketing, start with a real entrepreneurial mindset. 

Find your niche and create compelling content that delivers value and showcases your expertise. Pick trusted affiliate programs and networks. Rely on hard data instead of your guts.

Q: How do I find a profitable niche for affiliate marketing?

A: To find a profitable niche in affiliate marketing, think of subjects you’re passionate about. Then, filter out the niches in which you have in-depth knowledge and experience. 

You won’t convince anyone to click on your offer links without showing authority or building trust. 

Q: What type of content should I create to promote my affiliate offers and links?

A: The primary focus while creating content for affiliate marketing should be value. 

You can do this with a wide range of content types: user guides, reviews, first looks, case studies – the list is endless. Choose any format, such as blogs, videos, ebooks, emails, webinars, etc. 

Q: How do I track the performance of affiliate marketing campaigns? 

A: You track the performance of affiliate marketing campaigns on the dashboards of affiliate networks or brand partners. 

Marketing channels like social media and email marketing tools also offer insightful metrics like clicks, conversions, traffic sources, etc.


Diptesh is a professional content writer and aficionado of Email Marketing and Affiliate Marketing. An experienced entrepreneur with both offline and online businesses, he understands the importance of email marketing and has plenty of first-hand experience supplementing his revenue streams with affiliate marketing.

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