What Is Shiny Object Syndrome? And How To Avoid It As An Affiliate Marketer

When you start out in affiliate marketing, there are many things that can get in your way and slow your progress. Perhaps the most common of these is the Shiny Object Syndrome and it’s something you’ll want to avoid if you can.

Once shiny object syndrome gets its grip on you, it can be very hard to get out!

We’re going to talk about how to recognize if you have this syndrome, as well as what you can do to try and break the cycle!

Shiny Object Syndrome Meme
Listen to Yoda, he knows his stuff and is banking 6 figures a month.

What Is Shiny Object Syndrome?

Shiny object syndrome is a term that’s used by affiliate marketers to describe people who are constantly changing their focus but never really achieving anything.

Often, nearly all of the time, it involves constantly buying new things but never really learning anything about the old.

The most common example of this is when an affiliate marketer who is getting started keeps buying new products without bothering to learn what’s working or not working.

In extreme cases, people keep buying new things and not even getting around to using them (you know who you are!).

So if you’re constantly buying products about new marketing techniques, but aren’t really achieving your goals, you have this syndrome.

If we’re honest we ALL suffer it from time to time, but once you get stuck in it, it becomes very hard to get out.

How Do You Get Shiny Object Syndrome?

This is just my opinion, but (from personal experience) I reckon I have a good handle on what causes it – see if you recognise any of this…

When you get started in affiliate marketing, there is a lot to learn. It can be confusing at first, because you’re trying to learn how the world of affiliate marketing works.

Everywhere you look there are YouTube videos and Facebook posts from people claiming (mostly claiming…) how much money they’re making – and how easy it is.

And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll see plenty of other affiliates promoting similar products to you too, but they all seem to be crushing it and you’re not getting anywhere.

Of course, most of them have some (expensive) course/product that will show you how do it too. This is what you WANT to hear.

You want to believe that there is a shortcut to getting rich. You want to believe that the reason you aren’t getting rich is that you haven’t been let in on some ‘super affiliate secret’.
And that if you get your hands on that secret, you’ll be unstoppable.

This is what you WANT to believe because it’s the only thing that will hold your attention.

The problem is, there’s not really a shortcut or secret to affiliate marketing…

Actually it’s down to hard work, testing, spending (and losing) some money. But you don’t want to hear that.

So, rather than focus on learning the basics of affiliate (and indeed any kind of) marketing, people focus on chasing after the next shiny object.

While they’re chasing, there is plenty of time to waste, money to be wasted and opportunities missed.

This is how you get stuck in the Syndrome!

Ringing any bells? 😉

What You Can Do To Defeat Shiny Object Syndrome

The first step (as the saying goes) is to admit that you have a problem 🙂

Recognise that you are skipping from one thing to the next and never actually achieving anything.

Recognising this is the first step to recovery!

Now, before you go and buy any shiny object or follow any of the affiliate marketers you see on YouTube or Facebook, stop for a moment!

Before you spend money…Think about what you’re spending your money on.

Think – why are you wanting to buy something? Most of the time the answer is going to be ‘because I’m not making money yet’. THEN think – how will this actually help me?

Don’t get me wrong, training and investing in yourself is well worth the money, but there is a big difference between investing in yourself and just buying the next thing that comes along in case ‘this is the one’.

Choose what you want to do with your affiliate marketing and REALLY try it. That could be paid ads, blogging whatever – but decide on a method and try and see it through. If you want some ideas on different methods you could choose, check out my post here.

Then ONLY spend money on something new if it helps you achieve that method. And there are many tools and training courses out there that can help. But it’s important to have the discipline to stick to ones that help you on the path that you have chosen.

Decided on creating a YouTube channel? Great, but then don’t go and buy a course about Native Ads or a tool that helps you generate multiple blogs.

Develop a BS detector – fast

When you are really new to affiliate marketing (especially if you have no background in online marketing) you develop a BS detector – and fast.

Shiny object syndrome BS detector
I can sell you one of these for only $37 including agency rights (…)

Once you’re on a few email lists – you are going to be bombarded with shiny objects every single day – be strong!

And also understand, the only true secret of affiliate marketing is hard work.

Here are some keywords to look out for and avoid:

‘autopilot’ ‘limitless traffic’ ‘viral traffic’ ‘print money’ – products talking about any of that are probably just complete rubbish.

Think about it – if you had a system or method that could make you rich overnight, would you sell it for $27? Of course not…

Keep your focus, don’t get distracted and always remember – if it looks too good to be true, and sounds too good to be true – then it probably is! 😉

I hope this post has helped you see what a shiny object is and given you some ideas on how to combat it.

It’s a hard battle – but one you need to win to get true success in affiliate marketing.

Stay strong!