10 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes To Avoid (Made By Newbies)

biggest affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid

Unless you know the worst affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid, you’re bound to make them at the start of your online career.

You might think that making mistakes is an inevitable part of life. After all, you’re only human, right?

Be that as it may, some missteps will prove to be detrimental to your marketing business. And the biggest ones of them are the mistakes most newbies make when they don’t know the industry inside and out yet.

Take it from someone who has been doing affiliate marketing full-time for the past four years:

Correcting huge mistakes you’ve made while building your affiliate marketing business takes a long time. Being able to recognize and avoid them from the get-go will save you from that trouble.

Today, I’ll share the biggest mistakes to avoid in affiliate marketing. More importantly, I’ll show you what you need to do to steer clear of them.

This post may contain affiliate links, here is my affiliate disclosure.

Recommended Read:

The Challenges Of Affiliate Marketing

the challenges of affiliate marketing

First and foremost, affiliate marketing is a business model that provides one of the easiest ways to earn online – I won’t argue with that.

Once you decide to do affiliate marketing, you’ll realize that the job entails recommending products/services to an audience for a commission.

What could be easier than that?

Actually, earning a full-time income as an affiliate marketer is a milestone very few people manage to reach in a record time. One of the main reasons for that is the reality of the affiliate marketing field right now.

Sure, the stats will tell you that affiliate marketing is a constantly growing industry worth billions of dollars.

Here is the issue with that:

When an industry is that profitable, everyone will try to cut a piece of the pie.

As a result, you’ll find yourself trying to make it in a field where you’ll have to compete with thousands of other marketers.

Long story short, you’ll need to prepare to go against formidable competition as soon as you launch your affiliate marketing business.

Is there any way to gain the upper hand?

Well, there is – knowing the worst affiliate marketing mistakes and working hard to avoid them might make the difference between success and failure.

Let’s start talking about these mistakes, shall we?

10 Biggest Mistakes To Avoid In Affiliate Marketing

How about a quick detour that will only take a second?

For a minute, let’s assume that you already own a business and work hard to make it grow.

Chances are, you might feel like now is the right time to start monetizing that business.

So, what do you do?

Do you begin placing affiliate links through your blog’s most popular articles?

After all, getting your site to the point when it will begin making you profits must be why you got into affiliate marketing in the first place.

While being impatient to monetize your content is understandable, I’ll have to stop you right here:

Believe it or not, many affiliate marketers make huge mistakes before they even buy domain names.

That might not make any sense to you yet, but it will once I elaborate on it further.

And to do that, I’ll have to go back to the beginning.

In other words, I would like you to approach this article about affiliate marketing mistakes as if you’re a complete newbie in the industry:

1) Working Without A Deep Knowledge Of What You’re Selling

not knowing what you are selling

Hands down, one of the biggest affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid is not knowing the products you promote well enough.

Time and again, I see affiliate marketers creating content that gives away the fact that they don’t really know what they’re talking about.

I get it:

Signing up for an affiliate program that offers hundreds and even thousands of dollars as a payout is something most newbie marketers can’t resist.

Here is why they should:

Unless you know the product you promote inside and out and that product makes sense for your audience, you have to steer clear of it.

These days, people can access all kinds of information with a few simple clicks. If you’re overstating your experience with a product (or don’t have any), your potential customer will catch on to it.

By all means, losing your audience’s trust in an attempt to earn a couple of hundred bucks is not worth it. A lack of honesty and transparency is not something your business can survive.

Before you post a single product review, do yourself a favor and gain the knowledge necessary to justify the reader’s trust in you.

2) Not Knowing How To Write A Powerful Product Review

Speaking of product reviews, you probably already know they’re one of the best content forms for an affiliate marketing website.

Aside from listicles and how-to articles, product reviews will give you the best chance to make an affiliate sale.

With that said, many beginner affiliate marketers fail to produce a product review that will convert into affiliate commissions.

More often than not, first-time affiliates believe their reviews have to represent the product in the best light possible.

People are not stupid, though:

They know that there is no such thing as the perfect product. And trying hard to convince them otherwise will only negatively impact your affiliate business.

How do you write a product review worthy of your reader’s trust and convincing enough to bring you sales?

Any product review if yours has to contain all of the following elements:

  • Serving your target audience
  • Solving a problem or answering a question your readers have
  • Explaining clearly the features and benefits of the product
  • Stating the disadvantages of the product as well
  • Has a social proof
  • Speaks in a friendly tone

Tools To Help You Increase The Conversion Rate Of Your Affiliate Site:

3) Prioritizing Selling Over Helping

prioritizing selling over helping

Prioritizing selling over helping is another one of the biggest affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid at all costs.

Sure, you’re an affiliate marketer for a reason – and that reason is to earn a living by making enough affiliate sales to support you.

Be that as it may, seeing your readers only as a source of income is the kind of mindset that will destroy your affiliate marketing business in no time.

Here is the deal:

When you’re blindsided by the thought of making money each time you create content, that will show on the page.

Subsequently, even if you don’t see it, you’ll be serving your visitors mediocre at best and of poor quality at worst content.

Is there a way to make sure that none of that will happen to you?

Yes, there is, and that way is simple:

Write with a desire to help your readers first and make sales second.

You can do that by creating content that has the reader’s intent in mind, answers all possible questions, and focuses on benefiting the audience.

4) Posting Low-Quality Content

Until we’re still on the subject of content quality, let’s discuss another one of the common mistakes new affiliate marketers make:

Publishing content just to see the number of your articles growing is the last thing you want to do as an affiliate.

Think what you will, but two high-quality, valuable posts a week will serve your goals as a marketer much better than short, mediocre articles a day.

Feel free to think about that this way:

As an affiliate marketing business owner, you have a product to sell – and that product is the content you put out there.

If you do your job right, that product will bring you clicks and sales.

There is an easy way to ensure that every piece of content you upload on the web is of the highest quality possible:

Before you begin writing it, be sure this content will bring more than enough value to your readers.

5) Not Utilizing Evergreen Content

Quite frankly, most of you will not appreciate what I’m about to say:

Going after the market of evergreen content (regardless of niche) will put you up against tons of competition.

Make no mistake – trying to overcome that competition will not be the easiest thing in the world.

Still, publishing evergreen content is a must if you see your marketing business as a long-term source of passive income.

The thing is, evergreen content is the most sustainable type of content because it comes with consistent search volume for a long time.

While posting articles on trending subjects should have a place in your marketing strategy, it can’t be the backbone of your affiliate business.

After all, what’s trending today will not stay trending forever, and you need people to keep discovering your content to sustain a massive readership.

6) Picking The Wrong Products To Promote

affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid recommending the wrong products for your target audience

In my opinion, one of the worst affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid is choosing the wrong products to promote.

What do I mean by the wrong product?

For starters, the wrong product is the kind that doesn’t make sense for your niche and target audience.

Next, an unsuitable product for promotion is anything that aims at your reader’s money while bringing slim to no value to the table.

Also, a bad product to offer is a product you don’t care about and don’t trust yourself:

Chances are, the only reason why you might be writing about such products is the affiliate payout.

Again, if you don’t love the product you’re covering, your visitors won’t love it (or purchase it) either.

7) Signing Up For Too Many Affiliate Programs

I doubt anyone is unfamiliar with the saying the more, the merrier.

However, that statement doesn’t ring true when you’re an affiliate marketer.

Most of you might believe that joining hundreds of affiliate programs will double your chances of making sales – that is partially correct.

At the same time, the more products you try to promote, the less you’ll know each of them.

Once your readers start to doubt your expertise, don’t expect a satisfying click-through rate and sales.

Protecting yourself from making this mistake is easy – start your affiliate marketing journey by promoting a handful of valuable products your audience will love.

Related Read:

8) Ignoring SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

By all means, knowing how to do SEO is crucial for the success of your online business.

Unless you learn how to rank your affiliate content on search engines, you won’t be able to gain the organic traffic necessary to attract a large pool of potential customers.

Many newbie marketers believe that picking a profitable keyword to write about is enough to rank on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, but that’s not true.

Search Engine Optimization is a complicated matter, and you have to put your energy into mastering it from early on.

Some teaching platforms will allow you to start your SEO training for free. There are tons of SEO tutorials you can read online as well.

Do whatever you have to do to learn as much as you can about doing proper on-page and off-page SEO.

9) Not Building An Email List From The Start

top affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid not building an email list from the start

Delaying building an email list from the day you launch your business is another perfect example of affiliate mistakes to avoid.

Why is starting an email list essential for you as an affiliate marketer?

Firstly, developing a database of email addresses will allow you to establish a strong connection and relationship with your most devoted readers.

Secondly, an email list will give you instant access to a pool of potential customers.

Quite frankly, most first marketers tend to believe that collecting email addresses is harder than it actually is.

But you can make it work if you bother to learn how to implement opt-in forms strategically on your site.

ConvertKit is an excellent email autoresponder company – it will help you with everything you need to do your email marketing campaigns.

10) Not Testing Different Marketing Strategies

Alright, the last entry of my list of huge affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid is not trying different strategies.

Just think about it:

Like any other industry, affiliate marketing is a constantly changing and evolving field. Subsequently, what worked for affiliates ten years ago doesn’t work anymore.

It’s OK to begin your marketing journey by implementing a strategy you believe would work in your respective business.

However, if that strategy fails to deliver satisfying results, don’t hesitate to replace it with a different one.

And the only way to know what works best is to test and compare different marketing strategies.

Give each one a couple of months to prove itself as worthy – and test the next one on your list if it doesn’t.

Related: 50 Affiliate Marketing Tricks To Skyrocket Your Sales

5 Other Mistakes New Affiliate Marketers Make

  • Working In Uninteresting Niche To You: Choosing a niche just because it’s profitable is a mistake you’ll regret. When you have to write tons of content about a topic you don’t like, don’t be surprised if you dry out creatively fast.
  • Forgetting To Track Affiliate Links: Link tracking matters a lot for the success of your business. After all, you need to know where your affiliate sales are coming from, and tools like Thirsty Affiliates will help you shorten, redirect, and manage your affiliate links.
  • Ignoring Site Speed: A website that loads faster is crucial for your rankings. Make sure you do everything necessary for your blog to load in less than two seconds, especially on mobile.
  • Making Your Content Difficult To Read: Readability will turn your visitors into happy readers. And happy readers can easily become happy customers.
  • Doing What Others Do: Don’t copy anyone else’s affiliate strategy entirely. Instead, come up with your own!

Most Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes To Avoid – Frequently Asked Questions

Is There Any Risk In Affiliate Marketing?

Nowadays, most affiliate programs are low-risk.

As an affiliate, you’ll need to understand that some businesses delay paying their promoters, but that’s just how the industry works:

After a business makes a sale and gets the money, then the affiliate receives its cut from the deal.

How Do I Survive Affiliate Marketing?

Surviving affiliate marketing requires following a smart business strategy, such as developing trust with your audience, recommending only valuable products, and following current trends.

Do People Fail In Affiliate Marketing?

On average, over 90% of new affiliate marketers fail to earn significant income from their promotional campaigns.

More often than not, that’s due to having unrealistic expectations and giving up way too soon.

How Long Does It Take To Be A Successful Affiliate Marketer?

Basically, getting to the point where you earn at least $1,000 a month in affiliate income takes between 18 to 24 months.

Of course, these numbers will vary from one marketer to another.

Picking a profitable niche, working hard, and constantly learning will accelerate your success as an affiliate.

My Closing

No matter what we say about the affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid, prepare yourself to make some on your way – it’s unavoidable.

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.

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4 Comments

    1. It’s great to hear that.
      Affiliate marketing is definitely a profitable business model.
      I think you’ll enjoy building a business around it.

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