There are common affiliate marketing mistakes that many affiliate marketers make which hurts their businesses, profits, and income.
Affiliate marketing can be difficult if you’ve never done any marketing in your life, haven’t built a website before, and are following every guru you can get behind that tells you what you want to hear.
Instead of what you need to actually be doing to succeed.
Building a successful affiliate marketing business doesn’t necessarily have to feel like you’re pushing a boulder up a hill.
Most successful marketers have gotten there by simply taking action.
Taking action alone, though, when you’re new to the industry can have you spinning your wheels.
Instead of telling you how to make money from affiliate marketing, I’m going to show you 15 common affiliate marketing mistakes that you need to avoid making…
…and the solutions you can deploy.
The best part is that many of our students have learned the practical steps on how to avoid making these mistakes in our digital marketing training, where we share real affiliate marketing programs and product and promotion ideas that will make more money.
You can join them if you click here to learn more now.
As long as you follow these tips and not make the same mistakes yourself, you can dramatically reduce the time it takes you to start making a healthy income from your affiliate marketing business.
What Exactly is Affiliate Marketing?
In general words, affiliate marketing is a simple policy of earning cash by promoting the products of someone or a company.
[bctt tweet=”In other words, as an affiliate, all you need to do is to join a huge network and promote their products to potential customers online.” username=”dmsinstitute”]
And every time you generate a sale, it’s usually tracked by a unique affiliate link or code, as a result, you earn a commission. The commission you get could be fixed or tentative and sometimes it varies from network to network.
But to be able to make a lot of money and huge commissions from your affiliate marketing efforts, then you need to avoid making these common affiliate marketing mistakes.
15 Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes you need to Avoid
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #1: Not Building an Email List
The biggest mistake you could make as an affiliate marketer is refusing to build your email list.
For one reason or another, numerous marketers have forgone building their email list, thinking that their business is always going to be able to sustain itself.
This usually happens when people are relying on search engine traffic, and living in the belief that search engines are always going to favor their website.
Unfortunately, as proven multiple times in the past, search engine traffic is rarely reliable.
[bctt tweet=”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.” username=”dmsinstitute”]
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, then you need to read 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 is what we are going to teach you when you register to join our digital marketing training starting soon.
This isn’t possible if you’re neglecting your business and refusing to build your email list.
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #2: Relying only on Organic Traffic
Search engines may provide the Holy Grail of organic traffic, because the visitors are highly targeted to the content you’ve published, and tend to be ready to buy when they land on your site.
However, relying solely on search engines to build your business is a huge affiliate marketing mistake, and one that many affiliate marketers have found themselves making.
If you want to build a long term affiliate marketing business (or any other business, really), the last thing you want to do is rely solely on search engine traffic.
There are multiple different ways you can generate targeted traffic to your website.
[bctt tweet=”Guest posting, for instance, is a great strategy for tapping into other people’s audiences and driving their visitors to your website.” username=”dmsinstitute”]
Though it may not be as targeted as search engine traffic, and getting people from social media networks to purchase the products and services you’re offering can be more difficult, it’s not impossible.
At the end of the day, your business lives and dies by the traffic that you’re sending to your website.
Your ultimate goal should be to tap into as many different sources of traffic as possible.
Relying solely on search engines may seem like a great idea, but doing it means you’re being very short-sighted in your business and could be setting yourself up for disaster down the road.
SOLUTION: To avoid this, you would need to join our content marketing and search engine optimization class, where you would learn how to drive hundreds of thousands of organic traffic monthly through SEO.
For starters, however, you would need to promote your affiliate products on other channels like social media and emails instead of relying on search engine only.
This one is easy to understand, especially when you’re trying to build an affiliate marketing business and feel like you don’t have the necessary technical skills, are buying into gurus saying that you need to do this, and do that, and then bog yourself down with massive amounts of work, rather than building your business one step at a time.
Maintaining confidence and enthusiasm about your affiliate marketing business is critical to becoming successful.
No results happen overnight, so if you want to stick around for the long haul, you’re going to have to tie your confidence to something else.
I personally prefer to tie my confidence and enthusiasm towards getting things done that I know are going to lead me to my final goal — making money from my website.
Rather than tie my confidence to the actual money generated, tying it to getting things done is a lot better for your sanity.
SOLUTION: If you break down your business into different chunks, like your blog posts, your email list, your autoresponder, your search engine optimization, and your social media strategies, for instance, you’ll be able to tackle one at a time.
And knowing that you’re doing what needs to be done, without getting bogged down in the big picture or the small details that can seem overwhelming.
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #4: Affiliate Marketing is a Get Rich Quickie
There are no get rich quick schemes.
If anyone tries to tell you that affiliate marketing is a way for you to get rich overnight, run for the hills.
They’re feeding you a lie, and probably trying to get you to buy a course from them that teaches you how to do it.
What stands our affiliate marketing class out is that we not only teach you how to make money from affiliate marketing but also show you the step by step process, timeline and ingredients needed to actualize the affiliate marketing dream.
Affiliate marketing is no different than any other business.
Building something successful requires a lot of time, energy and, more importantly, patience.
Sure, you may have small wins here, and there, that you didn’t see coming, but that is a part of the process.
All of those small, unexpected wins can add up to make you a lot of money, but they’re not going to happen overnight.
When you see these small wins happening, you can usually attribute them to something you had done weeks, or even months before.
Affiliate marketing is an amazing business model, especially for beginners, because it’s easy to test and figure out what’s going on without having to devote massive amounts of your money to the business.
While you can make a lot of money with affiliate marketing -and many people do- in no way, shape, or form is it a way for you to get rich quick.
I firmly believe that if you go into building your business, expecting not to earn a dime from it for the first year, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, instead of always setting yourself up to get discouraged.
SOLUTION: Since affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick scheme, you need to build sustainable and long term processes around your business promotion.
In other words, you need to have a long term plan for your marketing and operations, which includes learning from a good affiliate marketing trainer.
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #5: Selling, instead of Helping
The only way you’re going to make money in your business is to actually sell something and promote products and services on your website.
If it’s all you’re doing, though, you’re not going to make nearly as much money as you could be making.
If you really want to make a lot of money, and actually keep your business running for years, you’re going to have to adjust how you’re publishing content, and change your mindset from making money to actually helping people.
Helping people does two different things for your business.
- First, it helps you build credibility, which makes people trust you more and continue coming back.
- And, secondly, it gets people out of the mindset that you’re selling to them, and gets them to realize you’re helping them solve problems that they’re having and may be willing to pay you to solve.
When people recognize that they have problems that can be solved, and you’re helping them solve those problems, you’re able to promote products and services that are the solutions, rather and manipulation to get your visitors to buy something.
[bctt tweet=”In the end, people are going to be more loyal to you if you’re helping them solve problems.” username=”dmsinstitute”]
If they get an idea of you using manipulation and persuasion tactics to get them to buy something that they may not actually need, they probably aren’t going to trust you very much.
When you lose your visitor’s trust, you can safely assume that any money you made from them was luck, and that they aren’t going to be coming back to your website any time soon.
From there, your business will end up dying a slow, painful death.
SOLUTION: Instead of trying to sell every chance you get, spend more time trying to figure out problems that your visitors are having, and provide them with solutions to those problems, whether free or paid.
They’ll thank you for it, and your business will make more money because of your generosity.
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #6: Joining the Wrong Affiliate Program
Affiliate programs are a dime a dozen, and it seems like beginner marketers want to join as many as possible.
This doesn’t really present any problems, because having more options is a good thing -until it comes time to finally getting paid.
That’s where the problems start.
Since opening an affiliate marketing program is so easy, many business owners are doing it.
Not all of them are organized, though, and accurately tracking the sales you’re making isn’t necessarily their top priority.
In fact, they’re happy to let sales “slip through your pipes”.
They make more money that way.
While not all of the affiliate marketing partners you’ll join up with necessarily have malicious thoughts in mind, and allowing sales to slip through the cracks really is a problem with their technology, and not necessarily their morals.
It doesn’t, however, change the fact that you could be making more money than you’re actually earning.
There are quite a few programs you can join that do have malicious intent, though, and actually make it a part of their business model to “scrub” the sales that you’re making.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, this problem can persist, and you could be losing out on thousands of dollars.
SOLUTION: When you’re just getting started, only join affiliate programs that are known for delivering on the sales that you’re making, and then implement the proper tracking so you can accurately verify when sales have been made, and then claim the commissions that you’re owed at the end of every month.
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #7: Promoting Too Many Products Or Services
Yes…Promoting your affiliate products is very important, but then…
…“keep it simple silly” is an adage that works with nearly every business model, especially online business models like affiliate marketing.
[bctt tweet=”To keep it simple, in this example, means to promote fewer products and services that are profitable at the same time, so you can actually make more money.” username=”dmsinstitute”]
While it may seem counter-intuitive, promoting less means that you’re able to promote more often and dig deeper into the problems that the specific product or service you’re promoting solves for your visitors.
When you’re promoting too many products or services, it’s going to show that you’re focused more on making money than you are on solving people’s problems.
It’s also going to force you to promote more often, and leave your visitors confused about which products or services are actually worth their money.
When that happens, they’re going to end up leaving your website confused, instead of confident about what you’re recommending to them.
A lack of confidence in your visitors means your income is going to suffer as a result.
SOLUTION: Instead of hammering your visitors with every promotion you can find, focus on one or two that truly solve their problems, and are actually worth the money you’re asking them to spend.
This is going to do a lot more for you and be easier to track than trying to join every program that will accept you.
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #8: Promoting Low-Quality Products
This ties back in with your reputation and credibility, and promoting low-quality products is going to cost you more money in the long run than you’ll make by promoting the products in the first place.
Think about it like this.
Let’s assume you have a problem and make your way into an affiliate’s website, take their recommendation, and buy the product that they’re promoting.
Then, it arrives to your front door and you crack it open, trying to solve the problem you’re having.
Except, when you get it open, you start using the product and it breaks after a few short minutes.
What do you think is going to happen?
Chances are, you’re going to be upset with the affiliate that recommended it to you, promising that it was the greatest invention since sliced bread.
You’re also probably not going to be going back to their website to take any more of their recommendations.
You’re going to assume they only recommended the product to take money, and you’re liable to run to the internet to leave negative reviews.
Sounds like a pretty bad experience, right?
If you’re like so many other customers, you’re going to go out of your way to make sure other people understand how shady the affiliate was, and keep them from making any purchases, too.
So not only did they lose your business, they lost business from other people, too.
This happens all the time, unfortunately. It’s also one of the biggest problems with affiliate marketing — affiliates prefer to make a quick buck, rather than put in the work required to promote high-quality products and services.
SOLUTION: Don’t do this, too! Promote only quality products.
Just because you shouldn’t rely solely on search engine traffic to build your business doesn’t mean that you should ignore it, either.
When you’re ready to publish a new piece of content, not spending the extra little bit of time required to do proper keyword research means that you’re making an active decision to cost yourself money.
Finding a few keywords that your new blog post could rank for doesn’t really take a lot of time, and sets you up to pull in search engine traffic that is highly targeted to what you’ve written — and the products that you’re promoting inside of the post.
If you don’t do it, you’re pretty much guaranteeing that you’re not going to rank for the keywords you want to rank for, and are going to be required to generate traffic to the post using other traffic channels that may not be nearly as profitable as search engine traffic.
SOLUTION: Try this the next time you’ve written a blog post and go to publish it on your website:
Head over to Google’s Keyword Planner, enter in a few keywords you think your visitors would type into the search engines to find your content, and then work those keywords into the post before you publish it.
The process takes 20-30 minutes, tops, and is highly profitable in the long run.
Chances are high that you’ll end up ranking for keywords you never intended to, and uncover new ways to bring even more traffic into your website.
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #10: Writing Low-Quality Reviews
If you really want to make money, especially big money, you’re going to have to put in the time to set yourself apart from your competition.
Writing low-quality reviews, or even outsourcing them for pennies a word, isn’t the way to get high-quality content that your visitors are going to love and trust.
Outsourcing your content for as cheaply as you can get it may seem enticing at first, but when you realize that you’re going to have to spend twice as much to fix the mistake when the content isn’t actually generating sales, you’re going to get pretty discouraged.
Churning out dozens of articles every single day is part of the “hustle”, but doesn’t pay off in the long run.
Even if you’re able to write all of the content yourself, you’re going to be able to make more money from a single, high-quality piece of content than you can from dozens of pieces of content that only lightly skim the topic.
Covering the problems that your visitors are having using in-depth content is a great way to earn their trust, and show them that you truly understand what is happening in their lives.
[bctt tweet=”When they connect with you on that level, getting them to take your recommendations requires almost zero effort.” username=”dmsinstitute”]
SOLUTION: So, sure, it may take 12 hours to create one piece of high-quality content, where during those same 12 hours you could turn out 12 different pieces of low-quality content, but the one single blog post that covers the topic in-depth is always going to produce more income for you.
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #11: Not Tracking And Testing
When I touched on the fact that there are unscrupulous affiliate marketing networks in the industry, I also touched on how important tracking your clicks and conversions are.
Not only will it keep you safe from shady companies scrubbing your sales, but it will also make it easier for you to figure out what’s going on in your own business.
A lot of affiliate marketers (too many, actually) do not track what is happening on their website, and make changes based on their emotions and feelings rather than what the data is actually telling them to do.
Implementing basic tracking isn’t difficult, especially if your website is built on WordPress.
Installing the “Pretty Links” plugin is one of the easiest ways to see what links people are clicking on, and allows you to verify that the clicks you’re sending to the affiliate network are being properly tracked.
Then, when you’re ready to make changes to increase your conversion rates, you can split test and have data to back up the decisions you make.
This is critical, since most people make changes and have very little in the way of data to tell them if those changes were effective, and how effective they actually were.
Without tracking what’s happening on your site, you’re hoping and praying that you’ll become successful, instead of actually knowing that you’re doing the right things.
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #12: Not Staying Focused On One Thing
If you’ve been around the industry for any length of time, you’ve already heard the term “shiny object syndrome”.
However, if you’re unfamiliar with it, it means to end up chasing different strategies instead of focusing on the one in front of you.
Shiny objects refer to things like switching up your traffic strategy every week, constantly tweaking your website’s design, bouncing from guru to guru consuming as much content as you can without really putting in the effort to grow your business.
All of these are terrible mistakes, and are holding you back from making the type of money you should be making.
There is an acronym for the word “focus”:
F – Follow
O – One
C – Course
U – Until
S – Successful.
Whether that is an actual training course that you’re using to help you grow your business, or if it’s a single strategy that you’re trying to implement, you want to make sure that you’re doing it -and only it- until it is successful.
This single-minded focus is what most successful marketers can attribute the growth of their business to. Definitely not chasing one “shiny” object after the next.
SOLUTION: If you find yourself bouncing from website to website, trying to learn as much as you can, or purchasing multiple different courses, thinking that the next one you buy is going to be the cause of your success, I want you to do something — just stop.
Stop bouncing from course to course, and strategy to strategy.
[bctt tweet=”Find one plan for your business, and execute it to the best of your abilities.” username=”dmsinstitute”]
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #13: Following The Herd
At some point in time, you’re going to have to let go of the gurus and cut your own path through life.
While you don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel, and learning more about what you’re doing is generally considered a good thing, spending years learning how to build your business isn’t nearly as important as spending a single year actually building your business.
Sometimes, you’re going to make mistakes, and other times you’re going to have small wins that add up to a big income for you.
Those things aren’t going to happen if you’re constantly reading, trying to figure out what the big name gurus are doing and teaching, or trying to learn from other people all of the time.
Most times, people that are following the latest gurus are taking what they say word for word, which means they may be fighting a losing battle.
There’s no telling that what the guru is giving them is actually relevant to their business.
However, if you’re cutting your own path and building your business on your terms, you’re going to instantly stand out from the pack.
SOLUTION: Getting yourself noticed will be easy, because you’re not going to be doing the same thing that a thousand other marketers are doing.
In the end, you’ll feel a lot better about your successes because you actually earned them, instead of doing what you were told by somebody that doesn’t actually have a clue about the business you’re trying to build.
[bctt tweet=”Spend time learning the basics, like how to build your website, how to use different social networks to get traffic, how to optimize your content for the search engines, and how to pay for traffic.” username=”dmsinstitute”]
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #14: Not Focusing On A Specific Niche/Vertical
If you have a large budget, a lot of confidence, some technical skills, and believe you can take on the big competitors in the industry you’ve chosen, there’s nothing wrong with casting a large net and attempting to make money in a broad topic.
However, for most people reading this, competing on a general topic is going to be fairly hard to do, and is actually going to hinder your progress, making it a lot harder for you to build a successful business.
Instead of trying to compete with major players that have built their websites, it’s a lot better for you, as a beginner with a smaller budget and less experience, to focus on a tighter niche inside of the larger industry.
As time goes on, your website grows in age, your traffic numbers increase, and you start making more money to support a larger content and marketing budget, you’ll be able to branch out from your niche and start taking on the larger industry.
SOLUTION: When you spend time focusing on a tighter niche, you’re also giving yourself more chances to figure out the intimate problems that your visitors are having, and deliver the best solutions to those problems.
Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes #15: Being Impatient
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a successful affiliate marketing business won’t be, either.
Many of the most successful people, gurus, and coaches you see teaching you the latest and greatest techniques have been at it for years.
If there is someone you’re following that seems to have come out of nowhere, you can safely bet that they have actually been at it for a couple years, and it took them that long to reach the mass population.
Being impatient and expecting results to instantly come to you is a recipe for disaster.
I’ve personally seen more people quit building their business because they were told that something was going to happen in their first month or even their first 6 months.
Instead of getting frustrated at the lack of results, you’re going to become elated when results -and income- happens while you weren’t expecting it to.
These are two completely different mindsets, but I can say that the people that have been around for years all started their business with a curiosity about what was actually possible, instead of tying their enthusiasm to how quickly they could start making money.
You can also get some more common affiliate marketing mistakes from this video.
Creating a successful affiliate marketing business requires passion, commitment, knowledge of products, updated knowledge about market trends, relationship building with clients, quality traffic, and helpful product recommendations.
Many times, affiliate marketers with great products fail to make their business profitable just because they deploy detrimental strategies and the information is above is a small step to help them avoid these common affiliate marketing mistakes.
So, these are 15 mistakes you should not be doing with affiliate marketing.
You can excel as an affiliate marketer but you need to know what it takes and apply the rules and all the practical information that you would need to succeed.
You can get all of these and more from our digital marketing training and our 1-year support ensures that you get the assistance that you need whenever you get stuck anywhere, any time.
On a final note, success with affiliate marketing doesn’t happen overnight but with the right strategies and hard work, you will eventually succeed!