What is the Biggest Mistake Newbie Affiliate Marketers Make

Starting an affiliate website seems very tempting, and a lot of people find significant success in doing so. However, it can be a bit of a steep learning curve and can take time and effort to figure out, which means wasting time and money.

Experience is the best way to learn, so we asked some online marketers with experience in affiliate marketing their biggest mistakes. Read below and avoid these common newbie affiliate pitfalls.

Q. What is the Biggest Mistake New Affiliate Marketers Make

A. Gary Dek

Some of the biggest mistakes new affiliate marketers make are focusing on the sale instead of building a reputation, providing free resources, and trying to earn their reader’s trust.

Not every post on an affiliate-driven website should be a review or sales pitch. Instead, marketers should spend 80% of their content creation on educating their audience.

Earning links to product or service reviews may be difficult, but when you provide a valuable free guide or resource, other bloggers within the niche take notice and link back.

This is the truest form of content marketing, and all the earned links to your domain make it easier for you to rank other pages on your site.

Bottom line – concentrate on becoming an authority in your industry, and in the long-term, your affiliate marketing efforts will be much more fruitful.

A. Enstine Muki (The Money Making Blogger)

New affiliates make a lot of mistakes, but I think the biggest mistake is not doing proper research about a certain product before doing its promotion.

There are  a lot of things to know about a product before investing in its promotion. These include general feedback, conversion rate, refunds, keywords, author biography, etc.

Without knowing any of these, you can just jump into promoting a product that will never generate a sale or even has high refund rate.

A. MAKONE (Make Money Blogging)

There is no doubt that affiliate marketing is the biggest source of money for many popular sites.

However, when bloggers first start with affiliate marketing, there are some common mistakes that they make which leads to decreased earning potential.

New affiliates promote the wrong products: 

Newbies tend to join every single affiliate marketing program, no matter if it match their blog niche or not.

I recommend choosing an affiliate program that matches your blog content. If you’re promoting medicines on a tech blog, you’re not going to generate sales as the audience isn’t interested in it.

Promoting low-value products:

When bloggers try to lure their audience in with cheap products, it never works. Your conversions will always be low. Don`t break the trust of your readers and only promote high-quality hot-selling products and services.

Lack of information:

The best way to promote a product or service is to educate people about it. When people understand the value of a product the chance of them making a purchase is greater.

Write product reviews and tell readers about best and worst of the service you want to promote.  This will help with conversions.

Newbie bloggers need to understand their target audience and promote products according to their taste.

A. Shobha Ponnappa (Consulting in Digital Marketing Breakthroughs)

I think the biggest mistake new affiliate bloggers make is to try “pushing”  the products they are selling too early, instead of  spending the initial time-phase of their business “pushing themselves” (i.e.  building credibility, trust, value for their word.)

If they are not valued for what they say about a product, the whole premise of affiliate marketing falls flat.

People choose whom to believe based on their sense of authenticity and expertise of the source. If the source has not built up credibility first, the recommendations that source gives is of no value and will not convince people.

That’s why they say “become seen and heard as a niche expert first” and then push the products. It would be a good  idea for any blogger to build a bank of super-value blog posts first without pushing any products.

When sufficient traction has been attained as a “valued source of good information”, then the product-pushing can be added  to the blog.

A. Phil Turner (The 5 Currencies Guy)

1) Thinking – “If you build it, they will come.”

Not realizing that you need a tribe who trust you before you can get a single affiliate commission.

2) Not building a website with lots of unique content

The belief that bare bones articles and affiliate banners are going to earn a fortune.

A. Riverbedmarketing (Content Marketing Manager)

The biggest mistake you can make in affiliate marketing is focusing too narrowly on one or two offers only at a time.

It’s easy to get caught up nurturing your website into the perfect machine it needs to be, but the affiliate race is often a numbers game.

Having a scalable approach to how you develop your web properties is key to achieving success. There needs to be a balance of quantity with quality and so often hiring help to scale your efforts is valuable in the beginning.

Most visitors are not there for the affiliate offer to begin with, so it’s important to focus on providing value to your visitors first and foremost. Consider developing a website that could support several affiliate offers.

Before you even consider monetizing that site, ensure you have a working model in place for how to drive traffic. The offers implemented should come after you’ve strategized a way to provide value, trust, with a natural and unintrusive conversion path to follow.

A.  Primaryschooltutor.co.uk (Charlotte Appel)

Newbies often find that choosing the right niche is the biggest issue. If you’re going to create a site and want to surpass any thin content warnings, then it’s best to go for a niche you can write about and add value to the web about.

Long gone are the days when Google will allow you the chance to get away with adding a single page website and throwing links at it. Affiliates now need to add some value, or they won’t rank.

A. Andrea Cochran

I’ve learned quite a bit blogging for a company that specializes in marketing. First of all, make sure you and your blog are connected to every social media platform there is. Or at least the ones that are the most popular.

Keep those feeds updated daily with links to other blogs and articles that will draw some readership in. When you finish a blog post of your own, act like you’re throwing a little party! Nothing extravagant but invite everyone to take a peek at it, share quotes from it on your twitter, send it to other sites for reblogging, etc.

If you’re excited about it, others will be, too. Just don’t be too pushy. There’s a fine line between being proud of something and being downright obnoxious.

Another thing I recommend is to start a Tumblr (and maybe even a blogger account or some sort of equivalent). You repost your blog on Tumblr, article by article.

Change the appearance from what your actual site looks like. Tumblr’s more low-key and slightly hipster so adjust to your audience. I add different images to each post than what I have anywhere else, to keep up with the younger audience, and I’ve been known to even change a few sentences or the wording of a title.

Then you add a million hashtags at the bottom, and you’ve got yourself a version of your blog that can be easily streamed and is now accessible to a whole new audience.

A. Abacus Marketing (Abacus Marketing)

The biggest mistake affiliate marketers make is they dont do the right keyword research. Keyword research is the foundation of your SEO efforts and so many people don’t realise that. Well done, it can lead to amazing openings in the SEO area – we love long tail pro at the moment for this – it’s really helping our clients a lot.

A. SEO Doctor (Gareth James)

My biggest mistake was not finding the right niche, along with being involved with too many programs that I didn’t spend enough time promoting.

You need to spend time researching a niche and look to dominate it. Look for an area that is likely to grow and be the first to build a great site around it. One example is Pat Flynn’s Food Truckr site, created to help people starting a food truck business.  The site acts a great resource and go-to site for anyone looking to start a food truck business.

Sometimes you need to look for smaller affiliate networks to find the product/service you want to promote, which can be time-consuming registering with them. Here is a list I’m building with all the networks available with a few smaller ones that specialize in specific niches.

About Cormac Reynolds

Tech journalist, copywriter and lover of all things gadget, Cormac Reynolds has covered the whole technology spectrum at one time or another and remains geek at heart.When he’s not working – he’s swotting up a book or thinking about his next project. Contact him @Brightoncormac

2 Responses to What is the Biggest Mistake Newbie Affiliate Marketers Make

  1. Hello Cormac,

    Thanks for including me here alongside these other great tips! It’s great to have such a diverse set of views to really put some perspective on the affiliate race.

  2. Mish says:

    I am just starting this whole affiliate marketing thing and I feel so kindergarten and overwhelmed. I am all over the place and have no idea where to start. I want to do it ALL. I want to narrow it down so that it’s successful and informative. Every time I think I know what I want to start, I read something else that makes me think I should do something else. Is this normal? Anyway…thank you so much for the article and your very informative website!