When you're a marketer, being aware of the biggest affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid is not just preferable.
It's super-duper important.
Even more, the sooner you find out what you should never do in the affiliate marketing field, the better.
Because if you're serious about monetizing your blog through affiliate sales, the last thing that you want is starting that process on a faulty foundation.
So, today we'll talk about the worst affiliate marketing practices that have the power to destroy your online business.
This post may contain affiliate links, here is my affiliate disclosure.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
First thing first, it's easy to assume that 99% of you know the answer to that question.
Considering you clicked on an article about the top 10 affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid, it's a safe bet that you're familiar with the business model.
Still, let's make sure that the 1% of people left are covered as well:
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is a process of recommending products/services to an audience. Once a person completes a purchase thanks to your marketing efforts, you're getting paid a commission.
Above all, doing affiliate marketing sounds like an awesome way to make money online, right?
It most definitely is:
You don't have to create the products yourself and handle the frustration that goes with customer service, inventory, delivery, etc.
On top of that, there are affiliate programs that are more than lucrative - they'll pay you a 4-figure commission for just one sale!
Ultimately, affiliate marketing is a great way to build passive income.
Meaning, as an affiliate marketer, you'll get to experience what making money while you sleep feels like!
Can You Still Make Money With Affiliate Marketing In 2020?
Quite frankly, the best thing about affiliate marketing happens to be also the worst thing for the people who are trying to make money with the model.
To clarify, because affiliate marketing is the most popular way to earn online, thousands and thousands of people are using it all around the world.
As a result, to say that the field is saturated is an understatement.
So, what does this mean if you haven't even started yet? Should you look elsewhere and try to find a money-making field that is not so crowded?
I can't answer that - the decision is entirely up to you.
But if you want my honest opinion, here is what I can say:
By all means, there is always room for one more affiliate marketer.
And how do I know that you're not too late and the last affiliate train hasn't left the station yet?
That's simple - all I have to do to convince you is to share my personal experience with you.
Believe it or not, I started to make affiliate sales in my 3rd month of blogging. When I had just a few articles published and I wasn't really committed to my business yet.
Most importantly, at the time this website was getting around 120 visitors per month.
Do you still doubt that you can become a successful affiliate marketer too?
Well, quit the negative thinking and get in the game right this second!
Affiliate Marketing Mistakes To Avoid - Bad Marketing Practices That Will Hurt Your Business
OK, let's get this article moving faster, shall we?
For starters, let's imagine that you've already built your business. Likewise, your blog is developing more and more every day.
At this point, you probably feel like the time has come to try to monetize it.
Accommodating a good amount of affiliate links on your blog's pages is kind of hard to resist, isn't it?
After all, you're working online to achieve a singular goal - piling up a profit, correct?
Now, let me stop you right here and say something you most likely don't want to hear:
Chances are, you've probably already made some of the biggest affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid.
Because at least half of them tend to happen long before you even bought that domain name.
With that being said, for the purpose of this article, I'll suggest that we go back to the beginning.
And approach affiliate marketing as if you're a total newbie - no experience, no training, and no website created yet.
1) Not Starting A Self-Hosted Blog
Nowadays, there are a lot of people who are trying to earn decent affiliate income without bothering to start a blog of their own.
For instance, they're using programs like 12 Minute Affiliate or they're spreading affiliate promotions on Social Media, forums, and Facebook groups.
While this strategy may work to a certain extent, it won't work as a long-term solution.
Especially, if you're dreaming to be an affiliate marketer for a living.
Make no mistake, having your own platform that will allow you to reach a wider audience and promote as many products as you like is a MUST.
You'll be able to publish as much content as you see fit, wrapped around any product you would like to promote.
With that being said, the blog you're about to start has to be self-hosted at all costs.
Because the free blogging platforms will leave you almost no room for monetization!
2) Picking The Wrong Blogging Niche
Contrary to the popular belief, you shouldn't settle for a niche just because is profitable or it has 6-figure income potential.
In my opinion, that's one of the biggest affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid.
Here is why:
As you already know, the affiliate marketing field is enough saturated as it is. Subsequently, it's incredibly hard to stand out among all of the competition you'll have to deal with.
Let me ask you, how you'll manage to run in front of anyone else if you're not on the top of your game?
Unless you're ready to give your very best to your business, you might as well quit right now.
Long story short, if you're not passionate about the products you're promoting, your writing won't be able to hide it.
Let me tell you, the majority of people can smell a phony from far, far away!
3) Not Knowing How To Do Affiliate Marketing
Hey, the beauty of affiliate marketing is that anyone is supposed to be able to do it, right?
Be that as it may, you can't build a profitable affiliate business if you barely know a thing or two about its fundamentals.
For instance, do you know what is a call to action and how to create an appealing one? How many calls to action there should be in a single post? Or where to place your affiliate links for a maximum conversion?
This list can go on forever!
Keep in mind that affiliate marketing is not a static science.
No, it's a constantly changing medium and you need to have your thumb on its pulse at all times.
Ultimately, you can't afford to underestimate the importance of a professional affiliate marketing training and education.
I got mine on this online platform and you can start your own there as well for FREE!
4) Not Providing Enough Value
Personally, I'm seeing this happening too often and coming from so many affiliate marketers.
To clarify, I'm talking about posting articles that barely bring any value to the audience.
Chances are, you've seen them too - tiny blog posts that have been clearly patched-up quickly and pushed toward the readers for the sake of fast affiliate commissions.
Let's get something straight:
We're all in the business of affiliate marketing. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with adding affiliate links that would bring us sales.
However, before being an affiliate marketer, you're first and foremost a content creator.
As such, every single piece of content you're putting out there has to help your audience solve a problem.
On that note, pushing a product that will allegedly solve your reader's problem without taking the time to explain how that product works, what are its pros and cons, who will have the best use of it...
Yeah, that's not going to work out for you, the audience nowadays is smarter than that!
5) Recommending The Wrong Products
For starters, let me explain what I mean by "wrong products".
A wrong product is not necessarily a low-quality product that doesn't offer any remarkable value, or even worse - it only aims to steal your reader's money.
No, what I'm talking about is a product that is wrong for your target audience.
More often than not, affiliate marketers are promoting programs not because they'll be useful to their readers but because they pay really well.
You're getting why that's one of the most crucial affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid, aren't you?
Unless your affiliate campaigns are based on products your target audience will be fascinated with, they simply won't convert.
6) Recommending Products You Don't Trust
OK, this paragraph may look quite similar to the previous one, but it's really not.
The best advice you'll ever going to get where affiliate marketing is being concerned is simple:
Above all, never promote products that you wouldn't buy yourself.
How could you possibly recommend products with a straight face if you haven't tried them personally or you can't be sure how good exactly they are?
Furthermore, do you think that it's a smart move for your affiliate income if you promote suspicious products with a questionable reputation?
Keep in mind, your product review will not be the only one available online.
So, it won't take long for your motives to be exposed if they're based on nothing else than a desire for affiliate commission.
7) Not Doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Basically, promoting your affiliate offers on Social Media platforms can't be bad for your business.
But it won't be enough if you're hoping to gain a massive online presence and bigger affiliate success.
That's why you need to focus a huge part of your marketing efforts on the search engines - Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
In other words, there is no way around mastering the SEO if you want your content to reach a wider audience.
Like it or not, you need to start paying attention to on-page and off-page SEO, internal linking, backlinks, proper keyword research, etc.
8) Not Building An Email List From Day One
Honestly, we can talk about affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid for a really long time.
Still, not starting an email list since the moment you begin calling yourself a marketer will always be one of them. And a pretty big one of that!
Email marketing is one of the smartest ways to connect with your audience.
Most importantly, sending emails is so much more than simply reaching your potential customers.
No, it should be your number one move to create relationships.
Plus, let's not forget that once you built an email list, you own it.
Meaning, you'll always have a direct connection with your audience that no updates or algorithm changes would be able to take away from you.
If you haven't started an email list yet, you can sign up for ConvertKit (it offers a free trial).
This email service provider will make your email marketing campaigns more than easy to handle.
9) Relying On Only One Source Of Blog Traffic
As an affiliate marketer, there is no way you don't understand the value and importance of high-quality blog traffic.
But where is that traffic supposed to come from?
While Google traffic tends to convert much better than the Social one, you shouldn't depend solely on it.
We all know that Google is pulling updates on us quite often, right?
What will happen if any of those updates affect negatively the amount of traffic your blog is getting?
In other words, don't put all of your eggs in just one traffic basket!
10) Depending On One Source Of Income
Quite frankly, your choice of a niche commands the type of products you'll be able to promote.
Also, it affects the number of programs/services you'll be recommending to your readers.
So far, you already know that it's a bad idea to promote any product that's relevant to your niche just because it pays well.
At the same time, though, limiting your affiliate campaigns to just a handful of trusted products won't work either.
So, what's the right course of action here?
Well, I would suggest that you spend a bit of time every day on research and look for new products to promote that your audience will love.
This way, you'll create multiple sources of income and your affiliate sales will never dry out.
No matter what we say about the affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid, you'll make some on your way.
But that's not entirely a bad thing:
Messing up from time to time is the only way to learn and grow as an affiliate marketer.
Now, do you have anything to say or ask about this topic?
Please, do so in the comments section and we'll keep the conversation going.