Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular online business models. It is a very accessible business to beginners and can offer great earnings potential if done right. However like all types of business, there are some common mistakes that people often make when they begin affiliate marketing. We will list below 10 affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid.
See also the marketing terminology you need to know.
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1. No Understanding Of The Product You Are Selling
If you are new to affiliate marketing it can be all too easy to just pick any product that has a high commission rate. It’s understandable you want to earn money and find a product that pays out big.
However, just picking a random item with no understanding of it’s purpose, how it works or it’s target audience can be detrimental to your success.
First of all you should pick a product that fits your chosen niche, this should be something you can knowledgeably write about. You need to have a thorough understanding of the product you are promoting in order to explain and sell the benefits to your audience. It is usually a good idea to try the product yourself first.
You should ensure you are selecting quality products from reputable brands and affiliate networks. Find quality brands and products to promote in our list of top free affiliate networks and programs to join.
2. Poor Quality Website
You can write a quality detailed article promoting your offer that is optimized with keywords etc. But if your website is poorly designed or too slow then your visitors won’t stick around to view it.
When creating your website it is important to avoid friction. This means anything that is confusing, distracting, difficult or negatively affects the user experience. It can include; poor color schemes and fonts that are difficult to read, poor layout and navigation that makes it hard to find things, and too many popups that can frustrate the user.
Any of the above points will increase your site’s bounce rate – where a visitor lands on your site and then immediately leaves. This will correspond to low engagement, low trust and lower sales.
Also extremely important to consider is your sites speed and mobile usability.
You don’t need to spend a ton of money on your website but a little investment in quality will go a long way. There are two popular options here; create your own WordPress website or if you don’t feel confident enough to do it yourself, hire a professional on Fiverr.
3. Lack Of Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is content that is going to continue to be useful and relevant in the future and can continue to generate leads and sales over time.
If you only focus on products that are short term trends then you will need to continuously update your content. Evergreen content is something that can remain relevant long into the future with little update required such as ‘how to’ guides.
For example, there are lots of products that aim to capitalise on the latest trend or item that only focus on the short term – ‘Hottest item of 2021’ etc. After the year 2021 has passed, this content is going to have little relevance to your readers. You would need to constantly update it to the reflect the latest changes.
You can still seek to capitalise on short term trends but don’t neglect evergreen content.
4. Trying To Replicate Other’s Strategy
You should never just copy what others are doing. Sure, look at what other people are doing, learn from them and then adapt your own strategy. But never just use a copy and paste approach.
See how you can differentiate your offering from everybody else’s, stand out, offer something unique that others aren’t doing.
5. Not Tracking Website Or Ad Performance
It is important to track and manage both your website and affiliate links performance. By effectively tracking links you can identify things such as your best traffic sources and click through rates.
Analysing this data will allow you to adapt your strategy and increase sales. There are lots of software programs available such as ClickMeter. These allow you to track, analyse and manage all of your links and marketing campaigns in one simple central location.
6. Prioritising Sales Over Helpful Content
Simply going all out to try to push sales rather than trying to genuinely help people is not a good idea. In order to make sales you must first prioritise quality content that actually is helpful to your visitors.
You need to build trust with your readers, keep them engaged and wanting to return – you can do this by explaining clearly the benefits to them. It will not suffice to simply produce nothing but sales pages with lots of flashy banners and pop-ups with price offers.
Put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes – would you stay on a site like that or leave? Most people will leave the page straight away and not return if it causes too much friction.
7. Quantity Over Quality
This one follows on from the previous section with regards to quality content. Putting out lots of regular content that is low quality won’t do you any favours. It is much better to focus on quality content – do one thing and do it well.
Creating long form content that is; optimized with keywords, full of useful content a reader wants, well laid out and clear to read, contains images, and clear calls to action will yield much better results than producing several shorter but less quality posts.
8. Spamming Affiliate Links
Of course everybody wants to get their affiliate offers in front of lots of people and increase sales. However spamming people, whether by email, social media or message boards is not the right way of going about promoting your links.
I’m sure we’ve all seen those crappy emails that land in our spam folders and those people using social media pages to add their affiliate links into the comment sections. Even the comments section on blog posts such as this one have to be filtered for them.
This method won’t work, it looks scammy, it annoys people and it leaves a negative impression on your brand. Would you click one of these dodgy looking links from some random stranger in a comment section? I wouldn’t and nor would most people.
Nobody likes spam, and spamming potential customers will drive them away. Instead you should focus on creating quality articles as explained in the points above. These can then be promoted via all your marketing channels like social media or email as well as optimized for ranking on search engines.
9. Not Learning New Things
Everything on the internet is constantly evolving and changes can happen quickly. Strategies that work now may no longer work in a year’s time. Search engines are constantly changing their ranking algorithms.
That’s why it’s so important to constantly keep learning and adapting – new advertising strategies, updates that affect SEO, new marketing channels, automation etc.
Never assume you know everything and that what is working now will continue to work successfully in the future. Also, mistakes are made by everybody no matter how experienced. The key is to always learn from your mistakes so you can avoid making them again in the future.
10. Unrealistic Expectations
Finally, number 10 on our affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid list is going into this with unrealistic expectations. This one is not just applicable to affiliate marketing but is a common issue when people venture into any type of business.
It’s not uncommon for people to begin affiliate marketing after watching a few YouTube videos that make it look like easy money. So they sign up to Clickbank and promote the first product they see by spamming links across a few Facebook groups. Then sit back expecting to rake in thousands of dollars.
It takes time, effort and dedication to research the right products, create quality content, market it effectively and build your leads. You should be prepared to be in it for the long-haul.
Affiliate Marketing Mistakes Conclusion
Hopefully this list of 10 affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid has prepared you for a successful journey.
Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make an online income but like any other business it requires a lot of hard work to truly make a success of it. When people don’t make money instantly they tend to give up. This is not how people become successful.
Learn from your mistakes, aim to offer quality over quantity, do research, put in the hours and don’t give up through the hard times.
Maybe you feel affiliate marketing isn’t the right online business for you? Check out these alternative businesses and side hustles you could start instead; 50 ideas for building online income streams.
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