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9 affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid if you want sales

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Whether your new affiliate marketing or someone with years of experience under your belt already, there are mistakes that you’ll inevitably make.

There are over 600 million blogs and 37 million YouTube channels. That’s a whole bunch of content creators. Content creators who could be promoting a whole host of affiliate products, it’s inevitable that at some point they’ve made at least one of these mistakes.

Here are 9 of the most common affiliate marketing mistakes so that you can use them to avoid making those same ones yourself!

Focusing on selling instead of helping


Sales are the process of helping someone achieve a goal or solve a problem.  If we focus on selling instead, the customer is immediately put on the defensive.  

Either they buy because they want to get you off their back or not at all. Instead, lead by solving problems.

If you have a solution, talk about it! This builds trust and credibility.

Before asking a client if they’re interested in X, hear them out and ask questions to understand what’s frustrating them about Y.

Doing this helps build trust and respect.

Joining too many affiliate programs

There are many affiliate networks out there on the Internet for you to join. But if you join them all you never stay in your lane as to what content you need to create for your audience.

There is not much unique content out of that when you belong to multiple affiliate networks.

Do your research on which products would be a fit for your content. Then discover what affiliate networks you should be joining so you can become an affiliate for the product.

To succeed online, generate traffic and make commissions online then you need a specific plan.

A plan on how you will get high-quality traffic whose search intent is to buy the product you’re promoting or solve a problem your product solves.

Not researching the product you want to be an affiliate of

New affiliates need to do their research before joining a company.

Look at the commission rates and see if they are competitive enough compared to other brands. Also, look up product reviews to make sure that the product sells well and has plenty of satisfied consumers.

It’s important not to promote a huge list of products – focus on just one or two products when first starting out.

If you do have too many products you’ll be all over the place and spreading yourself too thin.

Only having one source of traffic for their affiliate offer

If you promote your affiliate offer through a blog or YouTube channel, then only relying on that one traffic source will not help you make money.

Use social media channels to boost traffic to your blog or YouTube channel.

This is why I recommend promoting your content on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Use the power of Instagram with their Reels feature and use hashtags in posts. Hashtags are incredibly useful in growing your Instagram following.

Using social media in promoting your blog or YouTube channel can create an explosion in traffic. This explosion in traffic sees your affiliate offer and buys.

Not providing relevant content

One of the most common mistakes that those new to affiliate marketing make is having irrelevant content.

This content doesn’t help with conversions. Content must be relevant to the reader and answer their questions whilst solving their big problem.

Questions on pricing and how the product works (especially software) because details give a sellers credibility. This is what makes reviews, how-to posts, and tutorials so popular. Another type of content you can create is buyer intent posts.

Create content that uses buyer intent keywords for the product. For example, if visitors are looking for information on eco-friendly nappies on Amazon, the content should use buyer intent keywords.

Keywords such as “ best eco nappies” or any variation of this buyer keyword. Other buyer intent keywords are comparisons such as Product X vs Product Y vs Product Z.

Have an affiliate link (if you can) for all products you mention, that way you get the commission for whichever product the reader chooses.

Too many products

It’s tempting to start applying for affiliate offers left and right. You’re excited at the prospect of making money online with affiliate marketing.

But if you take on too many products you’ll be making a huge mistake. Choosing too many products can seriously backfire on you.

Backfire as followers grow tired of following you. What your followers, readers, and subscribers want is that all-important ‘ah ha!’.

An ‘ah-ha’ moment when they make that epiphany. (Think Homer Simpson in the Simpsons movie having a sudden realisation of great truth)

The fact is this is what you want your followers to have so they finally take action and buy your affiliate offer.

This can be avoided by only promoting one or two products at a time. Then refresh the content with new ideas. (Google loves it when you update blog posts)

Focusing on the features and not the benefits

One common mistake that new affiliates make is focusing on the features rather than the benefits of their offer.

Benefits are what sell. Features tell someone how something is made or how to use it. Benefits are what copywriters use in all of their material to sell a product.

You don’t need to become the best copywriter to learn this technique. Just focus your blog posts on how a product benefits a customer.

Read these 5 copywriting skills

Not tracking your results

Not tracking your social media posts, blogs, or YouTube videos results in you not being able to evaluate your results so far.

By not evaluating and measuring your progress against planning is like driving a car with no speedometer. How do you know how fast you’re going or how far you’ve come?

The same goes for marketing and evaluating how it’s doing. Every once in a while you need to jump in the driver’s seat and see where you’re at and where your efforts have taken you.

Track how your content is doing and see what really does resonate with your market and what type of content they enjoy from you.

Keep track of the number of visitors you’re getting, repeat visitors, and what content they’re consuming.

Don’t become obsessive though over your analytics and think that you need to get so many views or subscribers each day, week, or month.

Just make a specific schedule for when you’re going to check in on your analytics to see your progress.

Not doing search engine optimization (SEO)

One mistake people make with affiliate marketing is not doing SEO.

SEO is important because it tells search engines what the blog or video is about. Helping them to outrank other websites with the same content of lower quality.

Optimize a number of different things including

  • Title tags
  • Meta description
  • Headings
  • Keyword research

Also, increase your backlink profile by participating in podcasts, forums, and guest posts.

Once the content is ready to post, it’s not enough to just publish it on your site or YouTube channel. You need to promote the content as much as possible using social media and going to forums.

In A Nutshell,

When you’re a complete newbie to affiliate marketing you’re bound to make mistakes, they are just part of the whole learning experience. Go through each of the 9 most common mistakes, take some notes on them so you never ever make them. Instead, become the next super affiliate boasting about generating six figures in sales.

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