If you are doing some or all of these affiliate marketing mistakes, then you may think that affiliate marketing is dead but the fact is, it’s a massive global industry worth over $12 billion, growing faster by day.

In this article, we are going to share with you the common mistakes new affiliate marketers make so that you can avoid them and get better results.

Undeniably, affiliate marketing is a huge business market used by successful affiliate marketing millionaires to generate passive income but when not done rightly, it can end up frustrating you.

We don’t want you to get frustrated but we want you to succeed in this business that’s why we have shared these mistakes so that you can avoid them right from the beginning of your affiliate marketing journey.

First, we will talk about what affiliate marketing is and how it works.

Then we will share with you common mistakes newbie marketers should avoid.

We hope you will find this article helpful.

Let’s get started.

What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?

Affiliate marketing is an online business where affiliate marketers earn a commission by promoting other people’s or company’s products.

How affiliate marketing works

Affiliate marketing is a simple business model where one (affiliate) joins an affiliate program of a particular brand, searches for a product(s), then promotes them and earns a commission from each sale made.

If summarized, the affiliate marketing business follows the steps below:

  • Creating a blog.
  • Choosing and joining an affiliate program
  • Deciding the products or services to promote.
  • Copying affiliate tracking link/code.
  • Promoting the products using the affiliate link/tracking code/link.
  • Earning a commission on every product sold successfully.

You don’t necessarily need a blog to promote affiliate products though. Some affiliates use social media to promote other companies’ products.

However, for a newbie, you need to start a blog before you can start affiliate marketing because at least doing that will be easier for you to get started.

With that being said, let’s get into the main theme of our discussion about common affiliate marketing mistakes made by newbies like you.

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

1. Going into Affiliate Marketing to Get Rich Quickly

We all need the money and at the end of the day, what we need in affiliate marketing is the commission earned from a successful sale of the products we promote. But if you are looking to get rich fast, then perhaps you should look further than affiliate marketing.

Regardless of what approach you take or what promotional methods you use, it will take some time before you start earning affiliate commission.

Earning your first commission isn’t easy for various reasons such as:

  • You haven’t built connections
  • You may have chosen the wrong niche.
  • Your blog may still be new and no one knows that it exists.
  • You haven’t built the trust.
  • Sometimes you even need some time to learn the affiliate program.

As a newbie, you should work on the following things:

  • Learn more about the affiliate program- There are plenty of available resources online about every affiliate program there is out there.
  • Have a plan from the onset.
  • Start a blog, connect with people, and make sure you have enough traffic.
  • Build a trusted connection through sharing informative, useful, and helpful information.
  • As long as your followers trust you, they will likely buy what you are promoting.

2. Putting Sales as Your Number One Priority

When starting, you may be focusing on getting more sales than helping your audience. This is also another affiliate marketing mistake newbies make. And because your number one priority is to get conversions, you end up pushing low-quality content out there.

If you want to be successful in affiliate marketing, you must focus on creating content that helps, educates, and informs people. Put your audience first by creating content that answers their questions. Content that helps them to do something they don’t know.

Don’t just mention the features of a product but show people how the product can benefit them, how it can change their lives, etc.

3. Not Collecting Emails from the Onset

Now you know that you shouldn’t get into affiliate marketing thinking it’s a get-rich-quick scheme and you shouldn’t put money as your number one priority.

Building an email list is also one of the affiliate marketing mistakes most new marketers make.

Once you have built your blog for affiliate marketing, your next step is to build a subscriber list. This will help you collect email ids of people reading your content from the onset. After all, if there is one biggest asset every affiliate marketer should have then it’s an email list.

Create a Lead page, Newsletter Form, Contact page, etc. and start collecting email ids.

Why do you need an email list?

Anything can happen anytime. Google may change its algorithm overnight. The online world is full of vulnerabilities.

But here is the thing: No matter what happens online, your email list will always be there for you. Besides, having an email list helps you get repeat traffic.

Think about it: You have a list of 3000 subscribers and when you post a new article, you send an email to all of them. It’s said that it’s easier for your subscribers to share your content with their networks and 60% of those in your email list will read your article.

Out of those who will read and share your new article, 10% will want to try the product you are promoting.

Equally, to generate Affiliate product sales, there must be huge traffic coming to your blog.

So what do you need to do?

  • After starting your blog, build an email list and start collecting emails right away. Mailchimp, Aweber, Getresponse, Constantcontact are just a few of the powerful email marketing services you can use to generate a list of subscribers.
  • Mailchimp has a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers. If you don’t have the money, start with this email marketing service provider and advance when you start making sales.
  • Integrate a custom opt-in newsletter form to allow people to subscribe to your email list with ease.

4. Choosing the Wrong Topic

The topic you write about, also known as the niche can make or break your affiliate marketing success.

Not choosing the right niche is also one of those affiliate marketing mistakes that costed successful marketers before they came to realize it.

In other words, a wrong niche is one that doesn’t have your interests or passion and if you want to be successful with affiliate marketing, you must choose a topic you are passionate about.

Choosing the right niche will help you in the following ways:

  • You will write marketing content to promote products with ease.
  • You will write informative, educational, and interesting articles while including your product links with ease.

5. Joining the Wrong Affiliate Program

Affiliate marketing is currently a £12billion industry and it is growing at lightning speed. For this reason, tons of affiliate programs are coming up every day. The U.S. alone has more than 11,400 affiliate programs.

As a new affiliate marketer, you may think that joining all of the programs out there increases your chances of making more sales. That’s a huge affiliate marketing mistake to avoid.


Some of these affiliate programs aren’t genuine. And some won’t pay you the commissions stated in the terms and conditions. Some sell low-quality products or require you to pay some money to become an affiliate partner- be warned, genuine affiliate programs don’t ask for money.

Well, don’t get us wrong though. Not all affiliate programs are cheats but you need to be cautious when starting with affiliate marketing.

Some have convincing websites and some even have testimonials to show that they aren’t scams but be careful since it’s not easy to separate the good and the bad from the crowd.

When starting, research thoroughly and learn about the programs you are joining. You can also find out if there are other marketers you can ask them about particular programs before joining them.

6. Sharing Low-Quality Content

Gone are the days when a 400-word article could rank better in search engines. These days, search engines are focusing on displaying content that helps their users. For this reason, Google and others are ranking comprehensive blog posts.

Besides, search engines are giving more priority to articles that are properly formatted. As such, you need to break your articles into easy-to-read sections with heading and subheading, use bullets, and include images and bold text where necessary to improve the readability of your content.

Also, when writing, remember that you are writing for humans and search engines. So, write with your readers in mind.

Write articles that provide solutions to readers.

If you are talking about a product, don’t just mention its features but talk about how beneficial it is to your audience. Also, don’t forget to add testimonials and user recommendations as well.

Here, it’s all about quality, not quantity. So churning out hundreds of blog posts won’t bring any sales if you are not writing content that your readers want to read.

Focus on writing high-quality articles that generate interests and attract readers by following the tips below.

  • Use catchy titles
  • Use headings and subheadings to make your content scannable.
  • Include attractive images, educative videos, and appealing screenshots to keep your articles interesting.
  • Use bold and italics to emphasize important points.
  • Use bulleted lists.

7. Promoting Wrong or Scam Products

This is one of the unknown affiliate marketing mistakes newbies make when starting affiliate marketing. They choose products based on their price and affiliate commission offered.

Remember that you are not going to provide enough information about a product that you aren’t familiar with regardless of how much commission the merchant offers. For this reason, you should promote products that have real value and relevant to your blog.

To choose the right product to promote, you should read past customer reviews, read more about the merchant, and consider other important factors such as after-sales services, etc.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right product for affiliate marketing.

  • Look for products that have your interests.
  • Check the demand for that product in the market.
  • If you find a sub-par product, don’t shy away from letting your readers about it. You never know; it may not be a good one for you but your readers may like it. Just be honest, genuine, and transparent in your reviews

And most importantly, avoid scam products like plague by researching thoroughly before deciding to promote a product.

8. Fighting for a Top Spot in the Search Engine Result Pages

We can’t dispute the fact that organic traffic is good when it comes to generating affiliate sales. You want to make sure your blog is found when users type keywords you are targeting them with. So you are fighting to rank your blog in search engines. That’s good.

But here is the thing: Google changes its algorithms every day. No one knows when the giant is going to roll out their new algorithms. Relying entirely on organic traffic can be detrimental to your affiliate marketing effort.

To stay on the safe side, combine the many ways available to increase traffic to your affiliate website. After all, you can drive traffic to your site through email marketing, guest blogging, social media, blogging outreach, etc.

Undoubtedly, without traffic, there are no sales but don’t just rely solely on organic traffic. Even if you will perform SEO best practices, make sure to maximize your traffic sources.

9. Ignoring Keyword Research and SEO

Yes, you need to be visible to your target audience on search engines and even though we’ve said that you shouldn’t rely solely on organic traffic, SEO and keyword research are two essential things if you want to reach a wide audience and make more money with affiliate marketing.

Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your content with the right keywords to make your content visible to people on search engines.

Research the keywords your target readers enter on search engines when looking for information and optimize your content for SEO. This way, people will find your articles with ease hence increasing your chances of getting more shares and ultimately driving more sales.

10. Promoting Every Product or Service You Come Across

No one will kill you for having multiple sources of income, but don’t make a mistake to promote too many products.

To prevent yourself from promoting too many products or services, you should take your time to study a product before you promote it. This will also help you generate helpful information that enables your readers to make the right purchase decision.

If you promote too many products, you will lack the time to research all of them thoroughly and this means you will lack knowledge of all.

If you lack ample knowledge of the products or services you are promoting, your audience will lose trust in the products you are promoting.

11. Expecting to Get Results Overnight

We started by telling you that affiliate marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme and we hope that stuck in your ears.

And while carrying on with affiliate marketing, you need to be patient as you try every strategy to see which one works and which one doesn’t.

Many aspiring marketers have quit affiliate marketing six months after starting because they expected to start generating sales immediately after starting or because they were misadvised.

Be patient, try new strategies, see which ones work for your business, improve, fine-tune, and keep grinding until you become successful in affiliate marketing.

12. Not Tracking/Measuring Results

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. 

This famous quote by Peter Drucker applies very well when it comes to affiliate marketing. That which can be measured can be improved. This means, if you can measure or track how a particular page is driving traffic then it’s easier to fine-tune it accordingly.

Most new marketers don’t track or test all. And if you don’t do all these, how can you know which affiliate links are generating more clicks and which pages are driving visitors to click?

Similarly, when you are generating sales, you want to find out which pages aren’t bringing traffic so that you can find ways to improve them.

You need to do A/B testing before doing any changes to your content or marketing strategies.

Use powerful tracking tools to test every time you make changes to see whether you are moving in the right direction.

13. Spamming Your Posts with Affiliate Links

You will find most newbie affiliate marketers adding an affiliate link after every paragraph thinking that doing so will maximize their chances of generating more sales. This is an affiliate marketing mistake to stay away from at all costs. And this happens when you choose too many products to promote and you want to feature all of them in one post.

Adding too many affiliate links to your blog posts can drive people away. Adding too many ad banners doesn’t increase your sales but it annoys your target audience. Just don’t do it.

Place your affiliate links strategically; include a call to action button at the end of each article and avoid flooding your posts with too many affiliate products.

Wrapping It Up

If done right, affiliate marketing can be a lucrative business. When starting a business, failure is inevitable but don’t let these affiliate marketing mistakes be the source of your failure.

Be patient, give your readers what they want, and always keep trying different strategies until you find those that work for you, your customers, and your business.

Happy affiliate marketing!!


Boniface Kisina is not your ordinary blog and content writer. Hire him to create for you long-form/short-form blog posts that explode your leads. He helps SMBs maximize their revenue through high-quality content that drives traffic, leads, and builds authority. He is also the owner and founder of bloggingpot.com.


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