Common Mistakes

Exactly what is Affiliate Marketing? In a nutshell, you promote other people’s products to earn a commission. Well that should be easy, I’ve sold vacuum cleaners door to door! This affiliate marketing thing should be a cakewalk.

For the most part it is easy, set up a blog and put a bunch of affiliate links on it and BAM! you’re rollin’ in the money….

Yeah right….

There are so many things that have to fall in place and it becomes very easy to make a mistake. Without some guidance, how would you know what is right and what is wrong? Let’s look at a few that most new marketers make and what we need to do to avoid them.

Don’t just sell, inform and help

People hate to be sold to. They want information to be able to make a decision themselves. Our job as an affiliate marketer is to provide the information, then send them to the vendor, whose job is to then sell them the product. This way we help the customer make up their own mind.

People want to hear from others when deciding to buy a product or not. That’s why the customer reviews are a gold mine to consumers on sites like Amazon. If others have a good experience with a product, this helps consumers make up their own mind. The same is true with unfavorable reviews.

If we do a good job of reviewing a product and not try to sell it, this sets the stage for more sales and customers come back for more advice in the future.

Don’t Join Too Many Programs

Another big mistake new affiliates make is loading the page with a ton of affiliate links, with the mentality that more is better. Believe me it’s not.  People quickly see and think that you’re only in it for the money. It can actually hurt your business in the long run. Look at some of today’s news sites. They hook you in by a dashing headline and as soon as you are there they it’s an ad bonanza. You start to wonder where the hell is the article you wanted to read. The next plan is to get out of there fast!

Do your research and join just 1 or 2 to start with. If you join too many, you soon become overloaded in trying to manage them. Learn them in inside and out. Work in a step by step process. This stuff takes time to do right, so do it right the first time, not the second or third.

Didn’t Test The Product Out First

I understand you can’t buy and test every single product you promote, but you should. At the least test as many as you can. Plus it will easier to review if you have tested the product. Remember you are earning you reader’s trust. Nothing breaks a reader’s trust faster than being led to a product or promotion that blows up their inbox. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and see what will happen if they follow your advice.

Not Tracking

Tracking your promotions is essential to building your business. How can you possibly know what campaigns and promotions are converting if you don’t track them? Can’t be done.  Think about it, if you don’t know what is selling well, how do you know what to promote again and what not to?

Every link and call to action button should have a unique tracking ID, so that you can see what converts best, what needs adjustment and where your conversions come from.

Making commissions and knowing where and how you made them is knowledge and knowledge is power.

Not Comparing

When customers start looking for a product to solve their problem, they jump online and start comparing relevant products, narrowing it down to 2 or 3 products. Why not help them out by comparing 2 or 3 affiliate products? This not only helps your readers, but whatever they choose will have your affiliate link in it.

Don’t Get…SQUIRREL!…Distracted

Most people starting out in the affiliate marketing business succumb to the same thing, massive distraction. We think we need to plan this or that out to the point where we aren’t really doing anything to move our business forward. We’ve convinced ourselves that we are being productive. Actually we’re doing productive things, but we aren’t being productive. Thinking you just need this one more eBook or attend one more webinar and then you’ll get going. I have two words for you…STOP IT! Stop buying everything under the sun, in the hopes that it will make you a fortune. Go get to work and put that money in building your business.  Action, action, action! That’s what it takes.

Hell, I still have this problem from time to time. But, I’ve learned to recognize the problem and get away from it. The only way to build your business is to take what I call, “Aggressively Consistent Action“. Most can talk the talk, but unless you are taking aggressively consistent action, that’s all it is…talk. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.


Other than distraction, inactivity may be the biggest downfall to any online business.  Often times a new marketer puts up the site, has good content and adds the links to advertisers. Then they sit back and get comfortable and wait for the money to flow. This business doesn’t work like that. You must take aggressively consistent action to make things happen. Keeping your readers engaged requires work, providing fresh quality content that makes them want to return to your site consistently.

Affiliate Marketing is a business that requires patience, persistence, self-motivation, focus and commitment. These are all learned skills that must be practiced daily. It so easy to call yourself an affiliate marketer. The hard part is staying in business.

Just because you may have done some of these mistakes, don’t give up easily. Learn from them and go get it done.