Affiliate Marketing is a great career to be in that offers so many advantages as a ‘lifestyle’ business. The biggest one being you can run it from anywhere that has an internet connection.
However, many who first get started in our industry think that it’s easy money. After all, you just sign up for an affiliate program, get your referral links and start posting them all over the internet. Then collect your checks and start sipping your cocktail of choice while you count your cash, right?
Being a successful affiliate marketer requires a solid commitment and treating it like a real business, which it is. Treating it like a hobby to make quick money thinking it doesn’t take any effort will get you nowhere. Trust me, I’ve seen this mindset a thousand times.
Don’t be one of those people.
Below I’ve compiled 15 affiliate marketing mistakes you must avoid if you want to see real success in your affiliate business. So let’s get to it.
Most affiliate marketing beginners make the mistake of either just not knowing they should build an email list or they don’t want to bother with it. This is a HUGE mistake (Brandbuilders.io):
This usually happens when people are relying on search engine traffic, and living in the belief that the search engines are always going to favor their website.
Unfortunately, as proven multiple times in the past, search engine traffic is rarely reliable.
Major search engines, especially Google, constantly upgrade their algorithms, and people who thought they were building bulletproof businesses find themselves getting caught up in the updates, losing their traffic overnight.
If they had been focusing on building an email list, it wouldn’t matter that their search engine traffic had been nuked. Sure, it would hurt, but they would still have a list of people ready to send back to their website every time they send out an email.
Building an email list also allows you to profit more per visitor than you would be able to without it.
If you’ve never heard of sales funnels before, you owe it to yourself to finish reading this post and then dig through our site to find all of the other information we’ve created on building a proper sales funnel.
When you’re collecting emails, you can send your subscribers down a trail that helps them solve even more problems they’re having, allowing you to make even more money. This isn’t possible if you’re neglecting your business and refusing to build your email list.
Another huge advantage in building a list is when you run paid ads (such as Facebook): It’s almost impossible to turn a profit long-term online unless you have an email back-end campaign to keep marketing to those leads that invested money in (via advertising).
Not being a user or at the very least testing the affiliate products you are promoting puts a dent in your credibility and could damage your reputation (T3leads.com):
Several internet marketers and webmasters make a major blunder by promoting services and products they do not use. At first, it may seem alright. However, after further analysis, you will discover that this is a huge mistake which can cost your affiliate marketing efforts. When a customer buys a product from a salesperson who has been using the same product, the customer has greater confidence in the product. In the same way, an affiliate marketer cannot be successful in advertising or promoting a product they have not tried or used before. For example, you cannot promote computer games if you do not play them.
As an affiliate marketer, you should avoid this mistake by purchasing and spending time to understand the product. No matter what the product is, you should use it to have a hands-on-approach. Potential clients will trust you more since they will see that you are a genuine person who is promoting a product from a point of knowledge or experience and not appoint of greed. Rather than making this mistake, take your time and become a customer of the service or product.
Unfortunately, I see this all the time: People get in the Affiliate Marketing business and mistakenly think it’s the easy road to riches. It is not. FAR from it. One of the HUGE benefits of working in your own digital information business means you can literally do it from anywhere (with an internet connection). But it takes commitment and a lot of hard work (especially in the beginning) to put yourself on the map (KennethHolland.com):
You walk up to a pretty girl that you don’t know and ask ‘Will you marry me’? How many are going to say yes? But if you ask ‘Hi, can I get your number…I’d love to take you to coffee some time.’ You have a MUCH higher chance of success with the second approach.
ANY endeavor that has significant rewards REQUIRES you to start at the beginning and work your way up.
Your business is the same thing. You cannot bypass the first dollar. the first 10 dollars, the first 100 or the first 1,000.
Or the first million.
You must learn how to make a buck first. Seriously. YOU MUST LEARN HOW TO MAKE ONE DOLLAR FIRST BEFORE YOU CAN MOVE FORWARD.
Stop believing the crap online where someone brags that they ‘made $127,000 in 6 weeks with this weird trick….’
It’s BS. Garbage.
New people in this business think it’s just a ‘cookie-cutter’ endevour….just copy someone else’s emails, sales copy and you’re good to go. You sure are…to the poor house (incomediary.com):
If you want to make extra sales, you have to distinguish yourself from other affiliates.
So many affiliates just do a Copy and Paste – don’t do that! Be an innovator – come up with an angle others have not.
Have you spotted a benefit that others have not? It might even only be a benefit for you and a few others, but add that benefit and chances someone else will see that as a benefit also.
Additionally – and this is very important, add your own STORY as to why you got involved with this product…
I recently read the success story of one mother who started online simply to make enough to pay for horse riding lessons for her daughter. This was of course targeting the Newbie Marketer and it also had that all important ‘feel good’ feeling.
Other things you can do…
=> Add a special bonus for your readers
=> Offer a special discount code from product author
=> Get co-branded sales page from author
Successful Affiliates are innovators – always be looking to add value to the offer, in terms of either a special bonus or better still in my opinion – reveal an angle or a strategy that no one else is talking about…
If you post unhelpful (or worse…scraped content) you’ll be rewarded with nothing. Always ask yourself if what you’re posting will be helpful to others:
Publishing 150 word product reviews and 400 word how-to’s that doesn’t even show the reader how to do something is NOT going to do any good for your blog.
Even a 1500 word list post might not help IF it’s not well-formatted. In other words – writing large blocks of text isn’t a good idea.
Take the time to write, video (or whatever medium you’re using) something that actually helps people. I promise you, if you’re consistent you will be rewarded.
When new, you SHOULD focus on one or two traffic sources and master them. But prepare to branch out as soon as you can (customerthink.com):
As an affiliate marketer, you understand the value of quality traffic.
The higher quality traffic simply means having higher conversion rates giving you amazing returns on your hard work.
The irony here is that good quality audience is scattered all across the pool of world wide web.
You should always keep an exploring and deploy new source of quality traffic for your products.
Common affiliate marketing mistakes is not truly understanding that you should be helping your potential customers rather than just chasing the sale (marketingland.com):
Yes, the word “marketing” is part of the phrase affiliate marketing, but for the most part, our job as an affiliate is not to sell — that is the job of the sales page our affiliate links lead the reader to.
When I first started, my overwhelming (and totally naive) impulse was to fill my pages with words and links that screamed “BUY THIS NOW!”. I didn’t help the reader learn why they should have this product. I only wanted them to click a link which would hopefully lead to a commission for me.
People want to hear from other people when making a decision to buy a product or not — that’s why the reviews on Amazon products are so powerful. Those reviews are genuine feedback from people who (usually) have absolutely nothing to gain if someone buys that product or not.
When we talk more like an unbiased reviewer rather than a high-pressure salesperson, we will find we make more sales and people will come back for advice on other products in the future.
Don’t get me started on this one! Of all the affiliate marketing mistakes I see people make this is up there! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had people on my Insiders Email list say ‘I don’t have any money to spend on my business’ yet they have no problem buying beer and going to ball games (affiliatemarketertraining.com):
In our society, spending $30 on a movie and popcorn or dropping $6 for a single ounce of alcohol at the bar is completely acceptable, yet, investing into a business that will yield residual income for years on auto-pilot is just too much. I mean, REALLY!?
If you plan to start a legitimate business, there will be some expenses. Keeping those expenses under $100 / mo is very achievable when you’re an affiliate marketers. And think about it – how many business models actually exist where you can keep your expenses under $100 per month?
Making money online is an amazing opportunity, but be prepared to at least invest a small amount each month into growing your business. For a full breakdown of expenses, check out my FREE 7 day affiliate marketing e-course.
Let me just say this and then let’s get to the quote: If you can’t be bothered to invest in yourself and your business, then seriously don’t bother…you have NO chance (kingged.com):
You will not be seen as a professional if you decide to do affiliate marketing under a free host or by using a free domain.
Invest in “self-hosted” blog or website if you want to be taken seriously as an affiliate marketer.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend much buying domain names and signing up for a hosting plan.
You can get started with as little as $10 or less for a domain name and $5 per month or less for a good host.
Make this investment today as part of your initial startup cost and you would be taken seriously.
There are a lot of affiliate marketing mistakes and this one is made by EVERY beginner…bar none. Posting a link and then simply expecting people to click on it and buy is not being an affiliate (freelancemom.com):
Though an affiliate’s job is merely limited to pre-selling, pre-selling involves more than just displaying the affiliate links. It also entails encouraging people to click on them by enumerating the benefits that can be derived from the affiliate merchant’s products, giving favorable recommendations about the use of the same, and providing an encouraging offer that would entice readers to check out the package.
One of the key technical ‘musts’ in online marketing is tracking. Affiliate Marketing is no exception (digitaldoughnut.com):
One of the biggest steps while performing affiliate marketing is to create a unique tracking affiliate link on each page during the process. For example, if your merchant site is Amazon, follow the simple process on the website to create a unique tracking affiliate link. This will help you understand which pages are converting to the growth and sales of the products.
Sometimes the temptation is to use the ‘Shotgun Approach’. You try to sell as much as humanly possible thinking this gives you the best chance at finding some ‘winners’. Resist this (highpayingaffiliateprograms.com):
I know affiliate marketers who are trying to sell everything to everyone all at once. I don’t know how the hell you’re supposed to build lists or track three hundred offers in ninety-five niches. Please don’t do that. Scale it back and try a niche or a few niches at a time. If you find success in one then focus on it and scale it out before jumping into another.
Your goal should be to either succeed or fail as fast as humanly possible. If you fail in any niche make sure you fail fast and move on to the next one without looking back. Try to pick niches that have a progression of products so you can continue to market to your customers on the backend.
If there’s one thing I want newbie marketers to understand, it’s that the ‘fortune is in the follow-up’. Why??? (brandbuilders.io):
Very rarely are you going to be able to sell to someone on their first visit to your website.
The sales process simply doesn’t work like that.
If it did, there would be more millionaires in the world, and less people getting hung up on the process of building a successful business.
Copywriting, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, is the content you’re creating that is designed to sell something. Whether you’re selling your products and services, an affiliate product, or selling people on the reason they need to sign up to your email list, your content does all of the heavy lifting for you.
Learning how to write proper copy can take years, though.
The first step in increasing your sales is improving your copy, so it’s best to start learning how to write persuasive content early on in your business.
The best way to write compelling copy is to get inside of your visitor’s head, figure out the problems that they’re having, and then get the same conversation into your content, while showcasing that the product or service you’re promoting is the solution to those problems.
When you’re able to get your visitor excited about solving a problem they’re having, making sales is going to be substantially easier than simply writing content in an effort to sell a product.
While they may sound similar, selling a product and solving a problem are two completely different scenarios.
Most people will write their reviews based around the features of the product they’re promoting. A good copywriter will create content based around the benefits that the visitor will receive by making the purchase — and those benefits usually entail solving a very specific problem that’s been identified with proper research.
While a full copywriting education is far too much to put together in a single blog post, the general rule is that you should spend more time researching the problems that your prospects are having before than you spend actually writing the content.
The better you’re able to understand your visitors, the more sales and money you’re going to make. Then, as you get more advanced, you can build an entire sales funnel and consistently tweak the copy to increase the amount of conversions you’re making.
It’s tempting to think that you can do some SEO research, create some content and think that #1…you’re going to rank for very competitive keywords and #2…you’re going to get reliable traffic from them if you do. Neither is likely to happen (affilimarketer.com):
Here’s the thing about Google:
They don’t index or rank websites/web pages that are a few days old.
They don’t even rank pages in their top 10 if their only a few weeks old.
How do I know?…
…from personal experience.
I started this site last January.
My first post was more than 3,000 words long. My second, third, forth, and fifth posts were between 1,200 to 2,500 words long.
And guess what…
None of them ranked in the top 100 results of Google.
This happened for 2 reasons:
I had no authority in my niche (meaning my site was too new and I was a nobody)
The keywords I was targeting were a little too competitive
What you should do:
The first thing you’ll need is patience. Ok?
Second, you’ll need to set your site up for SEO (search engine optimization).
Third, you’ll need to write real quality blog posts that are targeting long-tail keywords.
And last, you’ll need to look into other sources of traffic (e.g, social media).
Let me also add that you better eventually learn to run paid ads and build sales funnels for them. (#14 – affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid)
Avoid trying to rank for short, huge competition keywords. You’ll have a VERY hard time getting rankings and traffic to your offers (BlogCharge.com):
When a beginner starts an affiliate site, he will be more interested in targeting seed keywords which are competitive rather than doing research on long tail versions.
As a result, he will find it hard to rank on the first or even on the second page.
Long tail keywords are more specific and longer terms a user may search on Google. Every seed keyword has tons of long tail versions which are less competitive and easy to target.
You can read more about long tail keywords and their importance through this guide by Brian Dean.
What Should You Do Instead?
Long tail keywords are the key to ranking and getting traffic from search engines. Tools like Google Suggest, SEMrush, KWFinder, and Long Tail Pro will help you find the hidden gems.
As you can see, there is a lot that goes in to being a successful affiliate marketer. But if you’re just getting started do NOT let that deter you! The toughest part is always in the beginning when you’re trying to get established but understand…this is a business. However, it’s a business that can pay you handsomely while you live your life the way YOU want to while working WHEREEVER you want to.
It’s not a bad deal, trust me. 🙂
If you got value from my post ’15 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid For Long-Term Marketing Success’ make sure to join my Insiders Email Group below.