10 Deadly Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid and How to Make It Work For You

10 Deadly Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid and How to Make It Work For You

Affiliate marketing can truly be a profitable way to do business online. You don’t even need to have your own product. You can leverage the products available in the market, sign up to an affiliate program, promote it and generate revenue through commissions.

While it does seem simple and easy, it does require effort and hard work like any other business. You can’t expect to have a website and get rich all of a sudden. If it was like that, then it is probably a scam. But it’s not.

So to get you started on the right foot, let’s go over affiliate marketing mistakes that you should avoid.

Remember, if you have any questions or want to offer you own personal review or feedback, feel free to share any insights you have at the bottom of this page.

Affiliate marketing is a fast growing industry

Think about this for a second… Revenue from affiliate marketing programs have grown by 10% yearly since 2015. It is a massive global industry and according to Business Insider, approximately 15% of the digital media industry’s revenue is now from affiliate marketing.

Google Trends

Even if you look at Google Trends, there is consistent interest over time for affiliate marketing worldwide. Being an affiliate has become a buzzword and I think that’s because it is a great way to drive sales and generate revenue for companies. And those who want to be an affiliate think of it as a way to generate passive income.

If you want to know more about affiliate marketing, you can read: Learn What is Affiliate Marketing in 10 Minutes

Why do people fail at affiliate marketing?

While there are people making good money out of affiliate marketing, there are still people who aren’t. While there are no hard and fast rules, there are still different strokes for different folks.

People will differ with their niche, affiliate programs and online strategies. Let’s go over what you should not be doing so that you can focus more time on building your business.

1. Don’t promote products just for the money.

I think you should first ask yourself, “would I buy this product?” If you honestly do and believe in it, then go ahead and promote it.

Otherwise, you’re doing people a big disservice by recommending products that are not worth it just to generate revenue. If you build your online business around that, how can you gain your customers’ trust? How can you establish your credibility?

Once trust is broken, it’s gone. So how can you even have repeat customers? You’re even lowering your chances of having new customers. I do think people can sense if you’re not being authentic and if you’re just after the money.

Suggestion: I do think you will gain loyalty if you are focused on helping people solve their problems. If they sense that you’re manipulating them to buy a product or service that doesn’t really make sense, you will lose their trust.

If you focus on providing solutions, people will love you for it. So I do believe that the money will come as long as you focus on doing what’s right first.

It might also be good to check your stats for articles with the most engagement (comments, likes and shares).

2. Your website is not providing value to your readers.

The key word here is to be relevant. Help people, don’t just sell.

Don’t just do what other people do. Think about what makes your website different from others. Look at strategies that people don’t really focus on. Innovate.

Suggestion: Why don’t you read forums or talk to people so that you understand their pain points and what they would like to learn more about?

Your chances of generating commissions are higher when you promote relevant products and services.

3. Lack of passion and interest.

It can really be challenging to talk at length about something you’re not passionate about. For example, during conversations, I just find myself listening to others if I know nothing about the topic or I tend to shift the discussion to another topic.

You might find it dragging if your heart is not in it. You will be spending so much time on building your business in this niche so you might not be as motivated to work on it.

Suggestion: Pick a niche that you’re interested in – it can be a hobby, interest or something you would like to learn more about. If you think you can write 100 articles or more on a particular topic, then go for that. If you are happy to answer questions and help people solve their problems on that topic, then you are truly on the right track.

If you would like to know more about selecting your niche, click here.

4. People think of it as a get-rich-quick strategy.

I can’t say it enough that you need hard work, time and effort to make this business work (just like any business). You need to give it time to see results. Just keep on planting the seeds, and you will eventually see it bear fruit.

Affiliate marketing is really a great business model. You don’t need products, a warehouse or even a huge capital, and yet you can make money.

Suggestion: Don’t give up and just keep on working at it. Give your business at least a year, and to make sure that I set your expectations right, it may even take more than that. It really depends on the effort you put into it.

5. People don’t do enough research.

You need to do a lot of research in this business. You want to establish yourself as an expert in your niche so you have to keep on building on the knowledge you already have. Don’t think that you already know everything because you will probably stop learning.

Research products and services well before promoting them. Again, don’t promote useless or shady products or services.

Suggestion: For me, it’s really best if you can use the products and services yourself before you recommend it. Otherwise, if that’s not possible, make sure that you do a lot of research before you even recommend it.

Please don’t recommend low quality products and services. Remember, the user’s experience is very important.

6. There is too much focus on design instead of content.

Look, I get it. Design is also important to me. But remember, you should allocate more time in creating content.

Writing content takes time, but if you do it right, it will work wonders for your site. Avoid outsourcing especially at the start since you’re just setting up and your site is still not generating sales. I think it’s better to devote a few hours writing a high quality content rather than coming up with several low-quality articles.

Since you want to help people, you want them to learn from you and digest what you are saying rather than just skim over it and leave your site for another.

I also think that you should be producing engaging content consistently to help you generate traffic and rank in search engines.

Suggestion: Allocate time to work on the design – choose your theme, logo, favicon and set up your website. And then once you’re done with that, move on and focus more on content. Gather feedback if you like but you have to be satisfied with your choice so that you don’t keep on changing the design.

You can also look at creating a minimum of 8-10 articles a month with at least 1,000 words. Just make sure that your article makes sense and provides value, and that you’re not just going around and around the bush just to make it longer.

7. Don’t neglect SEO and the power of keywords.

Generating traffic to your website is really important. If you’re not capitalizing on paid ads, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is your best friend. The more traffic you can get from search engines, the more sales you are likely to generate.

It’s not enough to have the best content in the world. Optimize different parts of your website since it will affect your search engine rankings.

Also, don’t just rely on organic traffic. You can leverage social media or even do guest blogs. I also think you shouldn’t overload your website with ads as it appears too sales-y and might turn off other website visitors.

You can read more about: 10 Things You Need to Know About How to Increase Website Traffic with SEO

Suggestion: Conduct a keyword search so that you can target phrases with less competition and you can rank better in search engines. Use long-tail keywords in all your posts and pages. Create external and internal links.

8. Don’t forget email marketing.

If you do an affiliate marketing and email marketing combo, you’re able to connect more with your target audience. Together, it is one of the largest sources of online income which accounts for over 16% of ecommerce orders in the United States and Canada.

This applies to any niche and you can automate the whole process of having people sign up to your mailing list, collecting their email address, and sending out promotions or updates.

Suggestion: Create a bonus like an ebook or have your website visitors sign up to a newsletter in exchange for their email address. This allows you to contact them again and let them know if you have any updates or new offers.

9. Focusing on quantity instead of quality.

You don’t need 10 sites or more. I think managing one site will already entail a lot of hard work. If you’ve already established your first site, feel free to assess if you’re ready for the next.

You will find that you will have to do so many things on one site alone like researching keywords, creating content, email marketing, responding to comments or questions, and coming up with other strategies to increase traffic like social media activities.

Suggestion: Focus on building and establishing one website first. Be comfortable with all the things you need to do before you even put up another site. If your first site is already generating consistent sales, you might want to explore outsourcing like having a virtual assistant so that you can focus on more important tasks.

10. Not investing in training and having the right tools.

I really think it’s important to invest in yourself and in your business. Even if you look at other businesses, you need to invest in the right tools and resources.

If you want to be a successful in affiliate marketing, it will definitely help to have access to training, a supportive community where you can ask questions and learn from other’s experience, and have a coach. You will also need to register your domain name and get web hosting. Having access to a keyword tool and analytics is also important.

Suggestion: If you want to fast track your way to being an affiliate marketer, I strongly recommend that you join Wealthy Affiliate as a starter member for FREE.

For $0, you get access to the training modules, live video classes and video walk-throughs, you can learn how to build a website, get a feel of the keyword research tool, and have access to expert help. Remember, it pays to invest in yourself and learn as much as you can.

Read about my Wealthy Affiliate Review here.

Putting it all together

Doing your research will help give you the right foundation as you start an online business. Affiliate marketing will require commitment and knowledge of the products you will be recommending. You also need to build connections with your website visitors.

Follow your passion and don’t think about the money. Look at how you can help people with their needs, wants or preferences. By knowing these affiliate marketing pitfalls, you’re already getting a good headstart.

I hope you found this article valuable. If you want to learn more about how to start an online business, let me know and I can show you how.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these common affiliate marketing mistakes and the tips to make it work for you. If you have any questions or any feedback, please leave them below and I will be more than happy to help!


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6 thoughts on “10 Deadly Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid and How to Make It Work For You”

  1. Really a great article, I am a newbie and this article really helps me a lot. I will definitely follow your tips and try to avoid mistakes. I hope I can definitely succeed in affiliate marketing with your tips and this article can help a lot of newbies out there in affiliate marketing. Very informative article, I enjoyed reading this.

    Thank you for sharing such useful information.

    1. It’s all about mindset and action. If you believe that you can do it, you definitely will. And as long as you take action to build your business, you will see results in time. I know you can do it. Good luck!

  2. Ah, I can so relate to this post about mistakes in affiliate marketing and you have hit the nail right on the head!

    You mention quite a bit about passion for the products and only it for the money and when I first started affiliate marketing that is exactly what I did… And quickly regretted it!

    After a whole year of working on a website with just high-priced products with very little content and about products I didn’t really care about, it was clear to see by my visitors that I was only there to make sales and not to help anyone.

    If you are going to get into AM (affiliate marketing) you need to have a passion or a little understanding about what you are writing about

    Or even WANT to learn all about the product to be able to show that you know what you’re talking about in your writing

    You clearly know exactly what you are talking about when it comes to AM and your readers will know that you are there to help them

    Really enjoyed this read, and it’s nice to get a reminder of why we all first started affiliate marketing

    Take care 🙂

    1. Thanks for your honesty, Matthew. While people do start a business to make money, it should not be all about the money. I think it helps to think of it in reverse. It’s happened to me a number of times where you don’t feel valued as a customer, since the merchant just wants to sell. It feels like such a robotic process. So since this is online and we mostly lose the opportunity to interact with people face-to-face, building relationships and connections become even more important. Trust and credibility is built through time. And I do think that if you believe in your niche and if you are truly interested and passionate about it, it will show.

  3. Yup, people need to promote products they actually like, tested or passionate about. And you’re about sites needing to provide value to their readers. And I agree with number six; Way too many people focus too much on design and not enough on content. Design is important to an extent, but it’s not really the most important. 

    Great advice here!

    1. Thanks Nate. I really do think you should be able to provide value to your readers, otherwise no one will pay attention to you. Since you will put in a lot of time to this, it’s best that you actually like what you’re doing, so then you feel great whenever you work on this full time or part time.

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