Is Natural Talent Required To Be Successful Online?

Every now and then someone will reach out to me claiming they can’t make money with affiliate marketing because they don’t have the same natural talent for it that I do.

natural talentThat statement makes me laugh every time I hear it.

The fact is, there is not a single drop of natural talent in me when it comes to affiliate marketing — or making money online in general.

I don’t have a marketing degree or a computer science degree.  I was a casual internet user when I started.

Any talent I have has been learned in the trenches while I was attending the Internet Marketing School of Hard Knocks.

And let me tell you, I got knocked down a lot!

I’m afraid that people confuse natural talent with sheer determination and constant forward-moving action.

We all have the ability to make some money online with affiliate marketing. The talent to do that is not something you come into the game with – it’s a talent you learn… and you earn.

Hard Work Leads To Success

I read this great article over at that asked Do You Believe in Natural Talent?

Here is something the author said that I believe hits the nail right on the head:

“The Ego is programmed by thousands of years of evolution to keep us alive – and as a result it hates change.

That’s because with change comes uncertainty. With uncertainty comes potential danger. So the Ego tries to steer us away from change. And uncertainty. And potential danger. And when we want to learn to play a musical instrument, or learn to speak a foreign language, or learn to draw, or paint, the Ego does its work like this:

It finds an example of someone in your field who is really good. And it whispers in your ear: ‘you can never be as good as them. They’re naturally talented.’

Most of us are lost the minute we listen to that voice. “

As someone who teaches new affiliate marketers, the passage quoted above was very powerful for me to read… and to understand.

Perhaps when one states they don’t have a natural talent for this, they actually mean they are afraid they don’t have the ability to go outside their comfort zone – and that is the natural talent they think I possess that they do not possess?

Stepping Away From Your Comfort Zone

I also think it’s important to note that it took years worth of “baby steps” for me to step away from my original comfort zone. It was definitely not an overnight thing.

I don’t think I know a single successful Internet marketer who easily succeeded online based on some natural talent for the profession. However, I do know plenty that let their fear of uncertainty fuel them as they worked hard to develop their talents.

Is Natural Talent Required?

What advice would you offer someone new to affiliate marketing who feared they didn’t have the natural talent to be successful? Do you think natural talent is required?

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments area below.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Affiliate Marketing | Affiliate Marketing Column | Channel: Content Marketing


About The Author: aka "PotPieGirl" is most known as an affiliate marketer who went from zero to six-figures a year starting with all free methods (like she teaches at


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  • Pat Grady

    It’s such a richly diverse ecosystem, if you have a particular talent, you might turn it into something, but it’s most definitely not required. Effort followed by networking (learning, opps) are far more important than any specific talent. Quilt knitting grandma in Cleveland, 17-year database wiz kid in Brazil… I named my company after the obvious diversity all around me.

  • larajf

    I know this intellectually, and it’s so nice to read to remind me that it’s just doing the work & not waiting for that magical talent fairy to flip the switch :-)


    Good article Jennifer. It always boils down to taking action. So many people get caught up in not feeling confident enough to do anything and they just keep trying to perfect something they are learning and they never get anywhere. Just take action!

  • tony simo

    what a great article I do believe in natural talent but no you don’t need natural talent to success in affiliate marketing but you do need the know how, I believe in the power of your mind and setting your goal, I read the following words in the book writing by Art C. ( think and grow rich) those are very powerful words: ” whatever your mind can concessive and believed it can archive “

  • Chuck Hamrick

    I see affiliates taking a year to read and research before building their first site. The first is not always the best and sometimes it take much trial and error to get a site that converts. The best thing you can do is get started and expect mistakes until you learn the craft. Take action!

  • Anders N

    Good Articel, thanks

  • Nicholas Wind

    Very well written and 100% true in EVERYTHING virtiually.
    As a 56 year young guy I have a huge passion to stay fit.
    And I am. Very fit.
    Folks say to me frequently…”Wow Nicholas you are so lucky to be so fit at your age.”
    I say “Don’t call me lucky.”
    I work at it daily and consistently and always have.
    So what’s this got to do with this post you ask?
    Well….You have to be bad to be good …In ANYTHING.
    I’ve done the same while learning SEO for the last 5 years after the age of 50 and now I’m better than avaerage at it.
    The point being 5 years ago I knew zero about SEO …nada ..nothing.
    Now I can teach it to newbies and average folks.
    Because I’ve failed forward but have not quit.
    People as whole I’ve learned have a shallow commitment level to themselves.
    They quit too early.
    People qiut,gyms,diets,learning….etc…everything.
    Like you I’ve not quit and have had many emails with money in them and that keeps me failing forward building multiple affiliate income streams.
    Great lesson in this post thanks.

  • Charles Staruch

    A Great Article Jennifer!! I am a complete Novice and I have been hearing that voice whispering in my ear but I refuse to listen to it! My course is set and my resolve is unshakable! Thanks for the article and inspiration!!


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