Everyone makes mistakes.
And everyone learns from their mistakes. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we can’t learn from other people’s mistakes, as well. That’s why here, I’ll tell you about the top # affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid.
1. Giving Up Too Soon
Being impatient doesn’t help anyone anywhere.
But affiliate marketing is one of the places that being impatient will make you lose the game. I can’t even remember how many times I said that to people, but I’m totally okay with saying it once more:
2. Having Too Many Expectations
People believe, for some reason, that success online should be instant. But would you expect to become a millionaire in a year with your day job? Most people I know would be happy if they got a promotion and a 20% raise every two years.
But when we’re talking about online business, people expect to get rich in a couple of months. I guess I have to blame all these get-rich-quick schemes that promise you that you’ll be rich if you only click here. Well, guess what? Most – if not all of them – are scams. If it’d be that easy to make money, everyone would do it!
3. Believing It Doesn’t Work
There is some time – usually about 6 months after you started – that you realise your expectations are too high. That you don’t become rich even though you work hard on your business.
And then, you have an epiphany. You realise that:
- Affiliate Marketing doesn’t work or
- Affiliate Marketing is a scam or
- You’re not smart enough to be successful at it
All of these are wrong. Affiliate marketing works, isn’t a scam and you can get good at it. But, once again:
4. Selling, Not Helping
A lot of affiliates are all about promoting products and making money. And when you start, it’s easier to focus on it, because you need the money.
But helping others is the secret that will lead you to long-lasting success. And if you don’t understand how, there is a book named: “The Go-Giver”. Just finished it today and I totally recommend it. I leave you a quick overview by one of the authors:
5. Not Performing Keyword Research And SEO
Content is the king. But content on its own will take time to get your posts ranked no matter how good they are.
Make sure that before you write a new post, you perform keyword research and you find a good keyword to target on your post. A good keyword should:
- have a lot of monthly searches
- low and easy competition
- make sense, so you can use it as it is.
Target High Competitive Keywords
A lot of people start affiliate marketing targeting high-competitive words. I did that when I started, as well. Before I knew.
The point is that it doesn’t matter if your keyword gets a lot of search traffic if you’re not on the first page.
Neglecting Long Tail Keywords
Another mistake a lot of newbies make is going for very short keywords. But the real juice is on the long-tail keywords. If you go for the short keywords that everyone goes for, you’ll never get ranked.
But if you go for the long keywords that only a few target, not only you’ll get ranked easily for this one, but you’ll start getting ranked for others, as well. Because you’ll start having traffic easily and search engines will see that you get traffic, ergo your article is a good one.
6. Relying Solely On Search Engine Traffic
Even though organic traffic is great – and free – it’s not okay to have it as a unique source of traffic. Because they can change their algorithm and they do it, regularly. And where does this leave you?
For example, Google recently had an update and a lot of sites on the health niche had problems.
So try to expand your reach to other platforms, as well. For example, social media, forums, Quora, etc.
7. Monetising Too Soon
Don’t start monetising your site until you get some organic traffic. I know it may be tempting, but it doesn’t worth it. Having affiliate links on your site too soon – especially a lot of them – makes search engines believe that all you try to do is to make money.
And they don’t like it. So your site will be harder to rank.
8. Promoting Too Many Products Or Services
Promoting too many products on your site is another sign to search engines that you care more about making money than helping. Again, another reason that it’ll take you longer to get ranked.
Even if you have a few products to recommend from personal experience, start with the most important ones and then recommend the others over time.
9. Promoting Low-Quality Products
A lot of low-quality products have high commissions, so it’s tempting to promote them just to get a lot of money.
But, by promoting low-quality, you’ll lose more important things:
- Visitors’ trust
- Your site’s reputation
In the long run, you’ll make more money by recommending high-quality products even if that means you’ll get a low commission – or even, nothing at all.
Always Looking for Expensive Products
And even if there are high-quality products to recommend, make sure that the quality is high enough for the price that people have to pay for them.
If you have two good products and the one costs $500, while the other costs $50, recommend the one that costs $50. After all, wouldn’t you prefer to get this?
10. Not Knowing About The Products You Promote
Always, always make a thorough research on the products you recommend. Now, if you can use them yourself and write a review from personal experience, that would be even better.
But what’s really unacceptable for me is to promote products you haven’t researched just because they’re popular or someone else said so.
11. Writing Low-Quality Content
Moving on to content writing, focus on writing high-quality content.
Not providing a thorough article and leaving your readers with a lot of questions is bad. If you don’t or can’t include details on your article, at least direct them to sites they can find some.
Spamming With Affiliate Links
And please, don’t spam your readers with affiliate links. Having two pop-ups, 8 ads and 10 affiliate links on every page will drive away people really fast!
12. Not Creating Enough Content
Even though quality is the most important trait your blog can have, quantity is a close second. Writing one awesome blog post won’t make you successful. Writing 100 great posts will.
Not Writing Regularly
And make sure you publish content regularly. Both search engines and visitors love consistency. It’s so annoying when you go to a blog or a Youtube to see the latest content and realise they’re off-schedule.
To eliminate the chances of this happening, be a little ahead of schedule and write the posts for the next two weeks in advance. This way, if something happens, you won’t have a problem to publish content for the next two weeks, at least.
13. Designing A Poor Quality Website
Content is way more important than site design, but if your site design is low-quality, it’ll drive people away.
If you’re a beginner, follow the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle. Maybe sites with the wow-factor are nice to look at, but they’re not easy to navigate. So make sure:
- your site has a good navigation system
- it’s easy for first-time visitors to find what they need in your site
- it’s easy for people to read your content. Too many colours are really bad for this. The best combination is a white(-ish) background and a black(-ish) font colour.
The navigation system is pretty important, so make it simple and easy to understand. Have in mind that new visitors don’t know your site the way you do. Here are some things to avoid:
- A Plethora of Menus: One or two is enough. More than that are getting too many.
- Messed up Headlines: Make sure that each menu item name is short, easy-to-understand and representative of the page it leads you to.
- Long Menus: You don’t have to include EVERY post you’ve ever written on your menus. Only the more important ones.
Focusing on Design and Not Writing
Even though you should have a nice site design – you should be proud of it-people don’t come to your site to see the design; they come to you to read your content. Thus, try to deliver.
Don’t focus too much on the design. Choose a theme that you like and spend a little time customising it. It doesn’t matter how much you work on it. In a year, at most, you’ll change it at least once.
14. Not Staying Focused on One Strategy
Even though you should use a lot of ways to promote your site, a lot of ways to get traffic, start with a couple of these until you master them before moving on to the rest of them.
If you try them all at once, it’ll take more time to get successful on even one of them.
15. Not Focusing On A Specific Niche
Unless you have a hundred people writing for your site, you can produce a specific number of posts every week. If you write these posts on really different topics, it’ll be harder for your site to get ranked on search engines.
Feel free to do so after you get some traffic, but until you do so, focus only on one niche. 🙂
16. Not Building An Email List
I’m not saying to start email marketing right from the start- even though it’s not bad advice. Even a one-person list is a list.
But after you start having some traffic, it’s essential to start developing a list, even if you only use it to notify your subscribers for the newest content. But if you want to do something more, you can:
- give them tips over a number of weeks
- make a course of sorts, teaching them about something different in each email
- sending them recommendations on your niche (books, tools, resources, sites, etc.)
- even sending them a quote every day or week
Use your imagination to connect with your subscribers on your own unique way!
17. Following The Herd
And speaking of your imagination, don’t be afraid to use it!
Show your personality, show your thoughts. You have a unique way of view that no one else does. Use this to your advantage, to shine. Try new things, because if you try to copy another’s way to success, why people should come to you and not go to them directly? They’re probably ahead of you, anyway.
18. Too Many Ads
No one likes ads. People don’t like them. Search engines don’t like them. But I understand it’s a source of income. So if you want to use them on your site, go ahead.
Having, though, 10 ads on one page is TOO much. It’s annoying and it doesn’t allow visitors to read your content uninterrupted. People’s attention is sought-after and if you lose it, it’s difficult to get it back. Never forget that.
If they leave your site, because they liked an ad, they may never get back. Do you want to sacrifice this?
19. Not Learning
Always keep your eyes open for any news, any opportunities to learn new stuff. Because if you stop learning, people who won’t stop, they’ll get ahead. So stop learning when you start succeeding is a no-no.
Plus, don’t you enjoy learning things on your niche? Don’t see it as work. See it as a chance to learn something more on your niche!
20. Not Using Social Media Well
Social media can be a double-edged sword. You can benefit a lot from them, expand your reach, connect with your followers, but you can also get carried away and spend hours without accomplishing anything.
Follow the middle path. Set some time aside every day for social media. Enough to be active and helpful, but don’t not enough to waste your time there.
Using All Social Media Platforms At Once
It takes enough time to be active at only a couple of social media. Imagine how much time you need to master all of them.
Start with one or two – the closest to your niche. If your niche is a visual one – for example, cooking, fashion, sports – start with Instagram and/or Pinterest.
21. Not Tracking And Testing
Stats are everything. And it’s one of the easiest ways to see how you’re doing.
Use Google Analytics – or another tool you’d like to use – to track your progress and to improve your site. To see how you can improve, what people don’t like on your site, what they like on your site and who they are. You won’t get names, but you can get home country, age, gender, etc.
22. Ignoring Site Speed
Site speed is a determining factor for search engines on how high they’ll rank your site. And if your site is slow you don’t have a chance to get ranked. You can improve your site speed by:
- optimising your images for web use
- lazy-loading your images and videos. I use Lazy Load by WP Rocket plugin for it.
Check out Pagespeed Insights to see what else you can do to improve YOUR site speed.
To test your mobile site speed, you can also use TestmySite, a free online tool you can use to get some suggestions on how to improve your site speed.
23. Not Investing in Tools
- A good keyword tool, first of all.
- You don’t need an analytics tool because Google Analytics is a pretty good one.
- You could check out some training on affiliate marketing.
24. Not Checking Out the Competition
Don’t steal content, but you can get a few ideas to create new blog posts and to implement new features on your site.
And if you like their site, leave them a comment and follow them. Networking is great and developing friendships with bloggers in the same niche is always useful and fun.
- You can help each other and learn together.
- Start new projects.
- Promote each other’s blogs.
The possibilities are endless…
Now, this isn’t very easy to do if we’re talking about people who have been around for a while, but it’s great to go for it if the competition you check out is on the same level you are.
25. Ignoring Readability
Help your readers as much as you can so they read a lot of your content. Here are some things to apply on your posts:
- Short paragraphs
- Easy-to read fonts
- Grammar check: Even though a lot of people make mistakes, they don’t like reading articles with mistakes.
- Contrast between the background and the font colour: So the words can be read easily.
- Font size
26. Focusing on Quantity Over the Quality
Last but not least, I’d like to highlight that quality is pretty much always over quality. And this applies to everything:
- Site Design
- Products you Promote
So here are the top 26 mistakes to avoid in affiliate marketing.
Let me know what you think about my list and what else I forgot! If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer! Any suggestions are always welcome, so tell me about topics you’d like me to write.
See you next time!