New to Affiliate Marketing? Avoid These 7 Profit-Draining Mistakes

Have you heard about affiliate marketing and want to start using it to boost your online revenue numbers?

Affiliate marketing can indeed become a profitable way to make money online. 

However, if you’re not careful, you can easily lose money instead of making it. 

In this article, we will discuss seven common affiliate marketing mistakes that new affiliate marketers often make. By avoiding these mistakes, you can start your affiliate marketing business on the right foot and start seeing profits sooner rather than later.

1. Failing to Pick One Solid Traffic Generation Method

If you’re new to affiliate marketing and want your business to become profitable, then pick one solid traffic generation method. Stick with it until you start seeing results. 

As well, avoid traffic generation or other marketing strategies that will get you on a hamster wheel of activity. 

For example, posting Instagram Reels sounds good in the beginning. However, it becomes old when you realize that your traffic disappears if you can’t keep up with the posting schedule. 

Thinking short-term is one of the most common affiliate marketing mistakes. Choose a content strategy that eventually provides you passive traffic. Three solid options to look at are:

  1. Blog
  2. YouTube channel
  3. Podcast

These take longer to generate traffic than paid ads, for example. However, they provide more sustainable results. 

More importantly, once you start seeing the results from your traffic generation method of choice, you’ll begin to benefit from steady increases of targeted traffic from potential customers for your affiliate product.

2. Avoiding Solid SEO Strategies

When choosing a traffic generation strategy for affiliate marketing, pick something that is search engine optimized. Again, blogging or building a YouTube channel are two of the best ways to make money with affiliate marketing for years to come.

SEO is important because it can help your blog or YouTube videos rank higher in the search engines. Here are a few quick tips. 

  • Focus on the proper keyword research, high quality content, and long tail keywords at the beginning of your organic marketing campaigns. 
  • Avoid putting up a poor quality website. 
  • Make sure the site loads quickly for visitors. 
  • Stay away from competitive keywords until after your website gains some traction with a search engine like Google. 

If you use search engine optimization to generate quality traffic, you’ll attract a target audience that turns into consistent sales inside the affiliate program of your choice.  

3. Selling Too Many Products

One of the biggest affiliate marketing mistakes made by beginners is trying to sell too many products at once. It seems to make sense. After all, the more products you sell, the more money you make, right? Not so fast…

When you start affiliate marketing, your goal is to start generating revenue as soon as possible. If you try to sell several products right away, though, it will be much harder for you to get results. 

Instead of selling every product under the sun, choose a profitable niche, and focus on one product. Once you start making a profit, then add additional products to your portfolio.

Look for high-ticket products that pay you commissions in the hundreds or thousands of dollars range. It takes the same level of marketing and sales skills to sell low-end products as it does high-end products. 

Select a product that will pay you well from the start. Or, select a lower-priced product that provides ongoing monthly recurring revenue. Doing so will allow you to stack up higher-earning months over time as your customers continue to pay for a monthly service or software.

4. Focusing on Features Over Benefits

Let’s review another one of the most detrimental affiliate marketing mistakes. When you’re selling a product as an affiliate marketer, it’s important to focus on the benefits that the customer will receive, not just the features of the product.

A feature is something that the product has. For example, a car can have heated seats as a feature. A benefit is how having that feature makes your life better or easier in some way. 

For instance, if you live somewhere where it gets cold during the winter months and snow accumulates on the roads, having heated seats in your car is a great benefit. The heated seats will keep you comfortable when driving in cold weather, even if the temperature outside is below freezing. 

The benefit is much more compelling than simply telling people that this particular model of car has heated seats as a feature. 

When you’re selling a product as an affiliate, focus on highlighting the benefits that the customer will receive from using the product. This will help you to sell more products and make more money in the process.

5. Failing to Create Your Own Special Offers

Many new affiliate marketers start by selecting an offer from an affiliate network. Then, they start promoting it and sending traffic to the sales page. While this can work in some niches, it’s better for your affiliate marketing success if you start creating your own special offers.

For example, start by choosing an offer that pays a recurring commission or high-ticket commissions (at least $100 per sale). 

Next, create a bonus package for those who purchase the product through your affiliate link. Doing this will help to increase the value of their purchase and set you apart from competing affiliates promoting the same product. 

Use a landing page service such as Leadpages to create custom offer pages. Send your YouTube, podcast, or blog traffic to those pages first. Explain your special offer with the additional bonuses they can only get from you. 

Finally, send them to the sales page provided to you by the company you’re promoting for. You’ll become a far more successful affiliate marketer by going the extra mile in this manner.  

Using this method can help you dominate the leader boards and get people wondering how you’re selling so much better than other affiliate marketers in the program. 

6. Not Building an Email List

Many affiliate marketers start by sending all of their traffic to a sales page. They don’t begin building an email list right away. 

While this can work, you’ll be much better served if you start capturing leads immediately after someone visits your blog or YouTube channel. 

Build a lead magnet that will entice your audience to join your email subscriber list. Create an opt-in form using Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign to promote your lead magnet. 

Once subscribers sign up for your list, start sending them emails regularly with valuable information that relates to your niche. 

Focus on building the know, like, and trust factor with new subscribers. Then, send them over to the special offer you created around the affiliate product you promote. 

Likely, most of your email subscribers weren’t going to buy the first time they found your YouTube video or blog post. Getting them on your email list allows you to begin marketing to them over and over until they become your next customer. 

7. Failing to Use Analytics to Guide Decisions

One of the biggest affiliate marketing mistakes made by new affiliate marketers is not tracking their results. They start to promote a product and send traffic to the sales page, but they have no idea whether or not it’s working. 

Doing this can lead to a lot of guesswork, which can become costly in the long run. Instead, start using Google Analytics and other tracking tools to track your affiliate sales. 

You need to know which leads turned into sales. Tag your new email subscribers inside your email service provider so you know which blog post, YouTube video, or podcast episode they came from. 

Over time, you’ll notice the 80/20 will come into play. 20% of your traffic sources will provide 80% of all your sales. Don’t make the affiliate marketing mistake of assuming that all blog posts or videos give you the same results. 

Work hard to determine what type of content makes you the most money as an affiliate marketer. If you do this, you’ll start to know your numbers. Eventually, you can start using paid ad channels to ramp up your affiliate marketing revenue. 

Final Thoughts

It’s now your turn. Analyze the way you were thinking about starting your affiliate marketing business. Look back at these seven common affiliate marketing mistakes and make sure you avoid them at all costs. 

If you do, you’ll increase the speed at which you start earning commissions by selling affiliate products.

 

Author Bio: 

Matt Zavadil is a digital marketer currently working as lead strategist for Growth Tools. On his blog, he writes about digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal development. 

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