15 Deadly Affiliate Marketing Mistakes That Affiliates Make

We all make mistakes. The best among us are those who learn from mistakes – from their own mistakes and the mistakes of other people.

You don’t have to make affiliate marketing mistakes to learn from them, rather the top affiliate marketers learn from the affiliate marketing mistakes made by other affiliates.

I have managed to compile 15 most deadly mistakes that all types of affiliate marketers make on and off. Most of the affiliates make one of these mistakes or maybe a few of these at a time. If you are making any of these mistakes, you are at risk.


  1. High expectations
  2. Lack of focus
  3. Not helping
  4. Inconsistency
  5. Not using the product
  6. Following the trend
  7. No tracking and monitoring
  8. Making product author rich
  9. Poor market research
  10. Selecting a niche with zero interest
  11. Lack of promotion
  12. Poor product selection
  13. Not bothering commission per sale
  14. Short-term mindset
  15. Not growing yourself


1. High expectations

Affiliates have very high expectations from affiliate marketing. When they join affiliate marketing and start promoting affiliate products, they expect to earn money quickly.

Expecting something in return for your hard work is acceptable but expecting too much impact your earnings.

Unfortunately, affiliates are used to listening to and reading earning proofs of top affiliate marketers and this is where things go wrong. This creates a mindset issue where new affiliates expect to become rich overnight or they desire to earn a lot of money right away.

Do not expect anything that’s unrealistic. Keep your expectations realistic and reasonable enough so that you don’t end up getting demotivated at the start.


2. Lack of focus

New affiliate marketers have this habit of switching affiliate products and even affiliate networks. One day they are promoting a power charger and the next day they will be promoting an eBook on gardening tips.

You have to stay focused and this cannot be done if you are switching products every week. You must choose an affiliate product after doing your homework and then stick to it for a few good months.

You cannot expect anything in a day or maybe in a week.

When you work with a single product/service for a decent time period, you learn about the product. You understand the target audience. You know what type of people buy. And so on……

Just stay focused.

Stick to one affiliate product at a time.


3. Not helping

This happens to be the most common mistake new affiliate marketers make. They assume themselves to be a seller.

As an affiliate, your job is to sell the product but don’t make it look so obvious.

Let the merchant do the selling. You should help people in making the right choice.

You should help people by telling them if they really need the product or not.

For instance, you have a niche website where you promote quadcopters. You can compare different quadcopters and finally recommend the quad which is best.

This is how you help your audience by guiding them as to which product they should go for.


4. Inconsistency

Inconsistency is your biggest enemy.

Affiliate marketers lose hope and think of quitting affiliate marketing when they don’t see results quickly. Most of them don’t have the stamina to be consistent.

They cannot publish blog posts regularly. They don’t update their social accounts for weeks. They do not devise a marketing strategy. They do not check their affiliate website for days.

Don’t be a seasonal affiliate marketer. You cannot become a successful affiliate marketer if you are not consistent.

Even if you do not see any results, keep doing your work.


5. Not using the affiliate product

This is such a common affiliate marketing mistake. I have seen professional affiliates who promote any product that they are asked to without even looking at it.

Suggested Reading  Difference between a Niche Affiliate Website and an Affiliate Blog

The biggest issue here is that you might end up promoting a bad product and this is where you start losing customers. People lose their trust if you throw a bad product at them.

The rule is straightforward. Do not promote if you haven’t used it.

You can ask for a review copy from the product author. In case, if you don’t get one, purchase the product.

When you promote a product after using it, you will see that people believe you and trust you.

It is a fact, try it.


6. Following the trend

There are two types of affiliate marketers.

  1. Those who follow the trend and choose and promote products that everyone else is promoting.
  2. Those who select and promote products that are not very famous.

What most of the affiliates do is that they follow the trend and start promoting products that everyone else is promoting. They end up competing with some giants and never earn much.

As a new affiliate, you should go for affiliate products which have low competition, are not famous and are not promoted by a lot of people. You can easily generate sales if it is a decent product as there will be minimal competition.


7. No tracking and monitoring

Here comes yet another most repeated affiliate marketing mistake.

Not tracking your affiliate marketing campaigns and not monitoring them is the worst thing you do. If you are using multiple marketing methods to drive traffic to your website and you don’t know which type of traffic is converting better, you don’t stand a chance.

If you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t working, you will stay where you are.

The idea is to track and monitor everything ranging from affiliate products to blog post types to traffic sources to conversion rates to CTR to color schemes to headlines and more.


8. Making product owner rich

Practically, all the affiliate marketers make product owner rich but most of them do it unknowingly.

Sending all the traffic to the sales page without connecting or communicating with them is one of the biggest mistakes you will ever make as an affiliate.

For instance, you have an affiliate website with affiliate banners which send traffic from your website to the sales page. You are making product owner rich by not keeping a track of your customers.

Every person that you send to the sales page is a person who connected with you.

You should keep a record or track of all the visitors so that you can offer them more affiliate products in the future.

You can create a Facebook fan page and ask visitors to like it. Even if they end up buying the product, they will still be on your Facebook page. You can promote more affiliate products in future.

You can similarly build your own email list of potential buyers. This is a more professional approach to building a relationship with your audience.


9. Poor market research

There is no room for poor market research.

Affiliate marketers simply choose an affiliate product that they perceive to be good and start promoting it. At no stage they do any market research and eventually, they find themselves in deep trouble.

Affiliate marketing starts with market research where you see the competition of the product, competition of the target keywords, the number of affiliates promoting the product etc.

The niche you choose and then everything else you do must have logical reasons.


10. Selecting a niche with zero interest

This is somewhat related to the Following the Trend mistake.

In this case, affiliate marketers choose a niche they have no interest in. This is normally done on the basis of niche competitiveness.

Suggested Reading  5 Silly Content Marketing Strategy Mistakes

Choosing a niche you have no interest in is really a bad idea. You will get bored. You will lose interest in affiliate marketing very soon.

It is strongly recommended to choose an affiliate niche on the basis of your interest or hobby. If you have interest in smartphones, go for smartphones and narrow the niche. Maybe you can choose smartphone repair niche.

But if you don’t have any interest in sports, do not choose any sports related niche even if it seems too profitable with low competition.


11. Lack of promotion

Affiliate marketing is all about promotion and marketing. No promotion – no sales.

The equation is simple.

Yet, a fairly large number of affiliates make this mistake of not promoting their blog, website or affiliate links. Sharing your affiliate link with your friends on Facebook and Twitter will not work.

Similarly, publishing a new blog post once a week and not promoting it will not do any good.

It is all about marketing and sending traffic to the product sales page. If you are not doing this, you are not doing anything.


12. Poor product selection

As already pointed, affiliate marketers Follow the Trend by opting for products which are famous. This is really a poor product selection.

I personally take into consideration several factors before choosing a product such as its quality, product owner’s credibility, sales copy, sales page design, upsells and downsells, and many others.

You cannot just go and select any product.


13. Not bothering commission per sale

Yes, this is a serious downfall that affiliate marketers are rarely told.

There is a general misconception among affiliate marketers that low-cost products are easy to sell as compared to high-cost products. Well, it is partially true.

First-time buyers prefer buying a low-cost product but repeat buyers tend to seem OK with high-cost products.

The problem with affiliates is that they almost always choose low-cost products and want to sell a lot of copies – which never happens.

Avoid promoting products with low commission instead go for products with high commission. I’d recommend promoting products with a recurring commission as these products keep paying you for months and months.

It gets easy to cover expenses and costs if you promote expensive products.


14. Short-term mindset

You must have seen those tiny websites that promote a single affiliate product. These single page websites promote a single affiliate product and the idea is to generate as many sales as possible by ranking website on the first page of search engines.

This a short-term mindset approach where you only look for the next three months or maybe six months. The idea is to make money quickly.

Don’t follow this business model as it is no good. Instead of creating several mini websites that get slapped with every Google update, why not create a single website or blog that stays with you for years.

When you have to do it – do it the right way.


15. Not growing yourself

Yes, if you are not growing yourself with the passage of time and not learning new stuff, you are making a serious affiliate marketing mistake.

Affiliate marketers do not update themselves with new marketing and business trends and thus suffer badly. There is no room for those who do not update themselves.

As an affiliate, you should keep a close eye on the changing needs of your target audience and should adjust your product portfolio based on the needs of your audience.

If you don’t do this, you are out of the game.


Image by Pixabay.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *