I made many mistakes when I first started in affiliate marketing, I had a hard time focusing and turning off distractions, and finish a project from the start. All I wanted was to just make money. I was running around in every direction, trying everything, buying everything, with no real idea of the mistakes I was making that could very well affect my chances at long term success.
Through my years of on and off experience with affiliate marketing, I have come to the conclusion that there are 7 big mistakes new affiliate marketers make.
Let’s talk about these mistakes in more detail.
1) Selling Rather Than Helping
Yes, the word “marketing” is part of the phrase affiliate marketing, but for the most part, our job as an affiliate is not to sell — that is the job of the sales page our affiliate links lead the reader to.
Be careful of creating pages with words and links that scream: “BUY THIS NOW!” It doesn’t help the reader learn why they should have this product. It only makes it look like you just want them to click a link which would lead to commissions.
People want to hear from other people when making a decision to buy a product or not — that’s why the reviews on Amazon products are so powerful. Those reviews are genuine feedback from people who (usually) have absolutely nothing to gain if someone buys that product or not.
When we talk more like an unbiased reviewer rather than a high-pressure salesperson, we will find we make more sales and people will come back for advice on other products in the future.
2) Too Many Programs!
I made this mistake big time when first starting out — I probably have joined almost every affiliate program I knew of. Of course, it is important to cultivate multiple streams of income when working online, but if you don’t outsource it to a VA, you’ll have too much to deal with and can become unmanageable.
Choose your affiliate programs wisely and don’t overload yourself.
3) Not Doing Split Testing
Whenever I choose to promote a Clickbank offer (for example), I put myself in the shoes of a potential customer and opt in to test the vendors’ follow up sequence.
I learned this the hard way.
Nothing breaks a reader’s trust more than being led to a promotion that will blow up their inbox. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and see what will happen if they follow your advice.
4) Not Tracking Clicks
This was a BIG mistake I made when I first started out. I began my affiliate marketing career using WordPress.com websites.
I am fond of promoting Amazon products on these pages, but would forget to use unique tracking affiliate links on each page.
Why is this a mistake? Very simple — when you make a sale, you want to know WHERE the sale came from. This enables you to know which pages are converting well so you can grow and scale that campaign.
Creating a unique tracking ID for an Amazon link is easy. Simply log in to your Amazon affiliate dashboard, click “Account Settings” at the very top on the right, then click “Manage Tracking IDs”. From there you can make a new tracking ID so you can track which web page/campaign sold what. You can learn more about using Amazon’s Tracking IDs here.
Yes, making any commission is cool, but knowing where and how you made that commission is what makes you a better marketer. It lets you grow and scale your campaigns — as opposed to working blindly.
5) Not Comparing
One of the best converting tactics I use to sell affiliate products online (especially physical products from Amazon) is to compare the “main” product with two other similar products.
When people are in buying mode for a physical product, they tend to have their options narrowed down to 2 or 3 and need help making the choice that is best for them.
By comparing the “3 Best Widgets For _______”, I not only help my readers make a choice, but I also have my affiliate links there for THREE products instead on only one.
Over time, when I track that web page, I will be able to see which product is most interesting to readers and move the best converting product to the top of the page for better CTR.
Comparison web pages are not only very popular and helpful for readers, they are also very profitable for you.
6) Make Money Online Products
Perhaps you’ve seen this before. You’re in a “learn online marketing” type forum. A person publishes a post complaining that they can’t make a dime online. But in their signature line they have something along the lines of “I Made 50 Million Dollars with This” followed by their affiliate link.
It happens all the time. Please, don’t be that person.
If you’re new and you want to promote products in the Make Money Online arena, don’t make false claims that it made you money. In fact, don’t make false claims at all!
Sure, talk about the benefits of the product/training — maybe even why it sounds awesome to you — but don’t try to trick people. You will ruin your credibility.
7) “Oh Look! A Butterfly!”
This is the biggest downfall for any new affiliate marketer. In fact, it can cause really big issues for seasoned affiliate marketers as well.
It is all too common to be working on one thing when all of a sudden, something “shiny” comes through your inbox or is mentioned in a forum you frequent. Then off you go chasing some new idea to make money online.
Ignore the “butterflies” that are sure to fly by on a constant basis. They will just distract you from your project/campaign at hand. One completed and profitable campaign is worth so much more than 50 almost half-finished campaigns or projects.
Affiliate marketing is a business that requires self-motivation and focus. For many of us, these are learned skills. Once you are aware of the mistakes that can cause a lack of profits and productivity, you will be better able to grow your business and be profitable long-term.
Best of luck!!