8 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes (And How You Can Avoid Them)

Last Updated on December 20, 2023 by andrewtk

affiliate marketing mistakes

The global pandemic of 2020/21 caused a massive shift in many areas of our existence.

The way we socialise, the way we learn, the way we travel…

…and the way we make money.

With a massive increase in the number of people working from home, or out of work entirely, more and more people started looking for ways to make an income online.

For a lot of those people, at the top of that list, has been affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by marketing the products and services of third-parties (the product ‘vendors').

While affiliate marketing can be extremely lucrative…

…it’s also pretty easy to make some very common affiliate marketing mistakes, especially when you're just starting out.

Let’s take a look at 8 common mistakes beginners make in affiliate marketing:

8 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes (and how to not make them)

#1. Prioritising Making Sales Over Producing Quality Content

sales instead of quality content

Most new affiliate marketers get obsessed with statistics and Key Performance Indicators.

Stuff like click-through-rates, unique visitors, conversion rates, click traffic and so on.

But, they forget one of the most important tenets of affiliate marketing…

…providing high quality content to your audience.

This is without doubt one of the easiest of all the affiliate marketing mistakes to fall into.

Here are a few practical guidelines you can follow to help you craft engaging and informative content:

  • Publish fresh, original content
  • Get to know your audience well
  • Be well-informed about your niche
  • Catch their attention early on
  • Pay close attention to readability
  • Focus on the benefits of products/services, not just features
  • Write detailed and honest reviews
  • Stay within your niche, but learn to diversify your content

#2. Choosing an Unprofitable Niche

Even though providing quality content should always be a key goal…

…there's not going to be much profit in it for you, should you fail to choose a popular niche with a large enough consumer market.

Niches such as lifestyle and wellness, personal finance, pet care, sports equipment, and clothing are all great multi-faceted niches that appeal to a wide range of potential customers.

While relatively obscure niches like geocaching probably have a loyal consumer base, they probably won’t be enough for you to make a reasonable profit from.

All of this leads us nicely into the next of our affiliate marketing mistakes…

#3. Failing to Choose a Unique Niche

failing to select a unique niche in affiliate marketing

Choosing a profitable niche is one of the most important steps for new affiliate marketers.

However, for obvious reasons, the most profitable niches are also the ones with the most competition.

So new affiliate marketers have to figure out how to choose a distinctive yet profitable niche that can help them build a unique following and get conversions.

A great way to do this is to first find a field that you are interested in or knowledgeable about.

Then delve deeper into this niche to find out whether it has a big enough following…

…a following that spends money on their interest.

There's nothing wrong with starting your screening process with a big popular niche…

…and then niching down into a specific area.

A good example would be health and fitness.

You can focus on herbal supplements for women and even further zoom your attention on natural estrogen supplements for women going through menopause.

This is a popular, yet unique niche that makes it easier for you to stand out amongst the crowd.

#4. Not Committing to Email Marketing Early Enough

Often overlooked and underestimated, most newbies fail to recognise how effective a good email marketing strategy is when it comes to increasing conversions and sales.

There are over 3.9 billion email users, and the average person checks their email up to 15 times a day.

Admittedly, building a large email list may not be easy at first, but the long-term potential gains make it well worth the effort.

Here are some tips on how you can start building a strong email strategy from day one:

  • Optimise your site with sign-up forms to get new subscribers onto your list
  • Create an automated email sequence that allows you to send content out regularly
  • Include exclusive email content
  • Engage your subscribers by including social sharing buttons
  • Tell new subscribers how often you send out emails…and stick to it

#5. Ignoring Basic SEO Practices

basic seo practices as affiliate marketing mistake

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy that helps increase your website's visibility on search engines such as Google or Yahoo.

SEO is important because 95% of web traffic clicks through to the websites that are on the first page of search results.

Solid SEO practices help you increase your chances of being one of the top-ranked search results.

SEO is quite extensive, but basic principles such as keyword research, learning how to craft proper title tags and the effective use of both internal and external links, can go a long way in increasing your search rankings.

#6. Choosing the Wrong Affiliate Partner

This seems like a no-brainer.

But, you’d be surprised how many new affiliate marketers end up wasting valuable time with affiliate programs that are just not right for them.

Finding the affiliate program that suits you depends on several key factors.

For example, if your focus is aimed towards businesses, then a high-paying but low-volume affiliate program is probably your best fit.

Conversely, if you wish to cater to a wider consumer base, finding lower-paying but higher-volume programs to partner with would make better sense.

There are of course some high-paying, high-volume affiliate programs, but these are usually best saved until you have some affiliate experience under your belt.

There are a number of comparison sites such as theaffiliatemonkey, that allow you to compare hundreds of affiliate programs and find the best fit for you.

There are other things you should look out for when joining an affiliate program which includes:

  • How their payouts are scheduled
  • The payment methods available in your region
  • The reputation of the affiliate program and their products
  • How familiar you are with their products or services
  • Delve deeply into their terms and conditions, never take their advertised CPA at face value

#7. Signing Up to Too Many Affiliate Programs

affiliate mistakes too many affiliate programs

A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that signing up to a ton of affiliate programs means more profits right?

Well, it’s not as simple as that, and there are several reasons for this.

First of all, trying to juggle too many affiliate programs at once usually leads to diminishing returns and reduced productivity, as you may fail to dedicate enough attention to any of them.

So how many affiliate programs can you join while still maintaining maximum productivity?

Well, according to some sources the magic number is three.

Keep this in mind when choosing your affiliate partners.

Just sign up to the best affiliate program for you and your content.

#8. Not Tracking and Managing Links

Okay, okay, so I know we said early in this post that a common affiliate marketing mistake of beginners is to get to bogged down in statistics and KPI's.

But this one is different.

There's always an exception to the rule.

Tracking your affiliate links is essential because you want to figure out exactly which links are turning into conversions.

You also want to make sure that your numbers stack up with the product vendors numbers, so that you get paid your fair share.

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes – Wrapping It Up

This list is by no means exhaustive.

There are numerous other pitfalls and traps that new affiliate marketers need to look out for.

But, these are the usual suspects.

Armed with the right knowledge, dedication, and a willingness to constantly improve your strategy, you should notice a steady improvement in your average sales revenue, conversion rates, and your audience base over time.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and good luck.

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