What Is Shiny Object Syndrome? (& How Not To Catch It!)

Simon is a former UK call-centre worker who has gone on to build several highly successful affiliate marketing businesses in various different niches & become officially recognized as a Super Affiliate by the world's largest affiliate marketing training platform. He has since relocated to Thailand & now teaches affiliate marketing to others through Commission Academy.

Quick Answer: You know you’re suffering from Shiny Object Syndrome when you’re constantly chasing after “the next big thing” – usually a new type of product or service – with the false belief it’s finally going to help them break through. Many aspiring affiliate marketers suffer from this and ultimately, it’s the biggest reason they fail.

If you have been around affiliate marketing for a while, then you know it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.

You have seen the ups and downs, good and bad days. I’m sure you have seen your fair share of people who come along, get excited about affiliate marketing, and then quit before making any money.

These people are suffering from shiny object syndrome. They are jumping from one idea to the next instead of committing to working hard on something that will make them money.

Who Can Catch Shiny Object Syndrome? 

Shiny object syndrome is when someone moves from one project or opportunity to another quickly, without sufficient time and energy invested in any of those projects.

The person experiencing shiny object syndrome may find them struggling to stay focused on anything for too long, as they are constantly looking for a better or more exciting option.

A shiny object is also used to describe a temptation or something not relevant to the current task that distracts from that task.

It is often used about the tendency of people who experience addiction to be distracted by new opportunities, new addictions, and other things perceived as better options than their present situation.

How Affiliates Contract Shiny Object Syndrome

With affiliate marketing, it is easy to fall victim to the shiny object syndrome because new products are always on the horizon.

It is hard for an affiliate marketer to keep their eye on the ball when they feel like there are better opportunities just around the corner. This can be a problem because it leads affiliates to jump ship at their first chance. If you are thinking this way, it is time to take a step back and ask yourself if this is true. 

A person with shiny object syndrome may be described as “a jack-of-all-trades but master of none.”

In business, the term is generally applied negatively, usually to describe a person who jumps from one opportunity to another without thoroughly investigating any of them.

The implication is that the person lacks commitment and determination and will likely fail at all tasks attempted due to a lack of focus. However, it can also be used positively to describe someone interested in many different things rather than specializing in one narrow field.

Shiny Object Syndrome: The Disastrous Consequences

Shiny object syndrome is a term in marketing used to describe when an affiliate marketer is distracted by the next best thing and loses sight of their original goals.

The expression alludes to the fact that shiny, new objects can be distracting, but it also points to the fact that these objects are usually not relevant to the goal of the marketer. 

  • Giving up

The first problem with the shiny object syndrome is that it may lead an affiliate or marketer to give up on a campaign before it has a chance to succeed. It may cause them to abandon a campaign because a better one seems more promising, even if the new campaign does not have any potential for success.

This is a big affiliate marketing no-no!

  • Poor product quality 

The second problem is that shiny object syndrome can result in a poor-quality product. When an affiliate or marketer constantly focuses on finding the next extensive money-making campaign, they might stop paying attention to how well they serve their audience and how much value they are providing.

  • Zero improvement 

When an affiliate or marketer suffers from shiny object syndrome, they are also distracted from improving their marketing skills, learning about their audience, and building their reputation as someone who provides value.

Instead, they focus on what might be more lucrative rather than ensuring that their marketing efforts continue to grow their business over time.

How To Check If You’re Suffering From Shiny Object Syndrome

Shiny object syndrome is a common affliction among affiliate marketers. It can be considered an addiction to new things in the marketplace. It is an ever-growing need to be up-to-date with everything online, including new trends and ideas.

It is a way of dealing with anxiety and uncertainty. It affects even the most successful affiliate marketers.

Given below are some of the signs that you are suffering from shiny object syndrome:

  •  You are trying to implement every new system that comes into the market.
  •  You are trying out every idea which is recommended by others.
  • You have no specific goal or target while doing any promotional activity on your website.
  • Your primary focus is on others rather than what you should be doing.

4 Ways To Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome

1. Know Who You Are

You need to understand the “why” of your business to make wise decisions and steady and successful growth.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Why am I doing this?
  • Why am I with this company/brand/affiliate program?
  • What does success look like for me?
  • What do I want to get out of this experience?
  • What makes me happy with my work life?

The answers to these questions should help you stay on track with your affiliate marketing career without getting caught up in shiny object syndrome.

Affiliate marketing is fun when you enjoy what you’re doing, in a niche you’re passionate about and you’re promoting products you genuinely believe in.

2. Set Clear Priorities

Getting caught up in a new product or service hype is easy without realizing it. The truth is that there is always something new and exciting on the market. If you are not careful, you will jump from one idea to another without finishing what you have started.

The first step in avoiding shiny object syndrome is setting priorities and sticking to them. It would be best if you were crystal clear about your top priorities and did not let anything–no matter how promising it may seem–distract you from them. This is hard to do if you have multiple goals, so make sure you know exactly what you want from everything before getting started. Then, once your goals are set, write them down so you can refer back to them whenever necessary.

3. Choose Your Niche Wisely

To avoid being in shiny object syndrome, you must check your business’s reality. What are the core functions of your business? What types of clients and markets do you wish to attract? How does your business help these clients? Ensure you are creating products or services relevant to your target market and fulfilling a need. Create a solid value proposition for your target clients.

Be clear about your niche, who you serve, and why they should buy from you.

4. Follow A Proven Roadmap

By far the biggest way to not fall prey to the dreaded shiny object syndrome is to follow a proven affiliate marketing course and stick to it!

Promise yourself you’re going to see it through to the end, apply every action step along the way and never give up ’til you’ve made your dream business a reality.

Shiny Object Syndrome: The Bottom Line

Shiny object syndrome describes a tendency to change focal points, goals, and direction constantly. This is common in affiliate marketing, where marketers become content with their current results and lose sight of their long-term goals.

In the online world, marketers spend endless hours trying to find the next “big thing” to make them rich.

They are lured into trying new techniques and tools or buying expensive courses that promise significant results. But all too often, they never follow through on these things once they start.


The answer lies in the fact that most affiliate marketers do not have a clear goal of what they want to accomplish. They jump from one thing to another because they do it for the wrong reasons. They want alluring quick wins rather than long-term success and prosperity.

This is a huge pitfall and a trap that many marketers fall into because they do not know how to avoid it.

One way to do this is by having a system that allows you to find a winning strategy that works.

Say no to shiny object syndrome and refuse to be distracted so you keep on track to achieve your goals without wasting time.

Free Training:

Launch a Thriving Online Business 💸

Training Video Preview

Our free step-by-step training will teach you how you can turn any passion or interest into a thriving online business even if you're a beginner with absolutely no previous experience. Sign-up today & learn a skill that could change your life.

Leave a comment