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8 Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2023

To succeed in affiliate marketing, you must avoid common affiliate marketing mistakes. Becoming an affiliate marketer requires understanding the fundamentals and having good financial sense. A mistake can derail your affiliate marketing success quickly.

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes - red Wrong Way signage on road

You can earn a full-time income or just some extra money from your laptop. It depends on your goals. However, most new affiliate marketers fail because they don't follow the right strategies.

Let's walk through some of the most common affiliate marketing mistakes so you can avoid them as you start your affiliate marketing business.

What is Affiliate Marketing? 

Affiliate marketing is best defined as promoting other people's products and earning a commission per sale. It's a simple concept you can use to make money based on results.  

It starts with a company or an affiliate program that provides the affiliate links to the affiliates and the product to the customers. Then, affiliate marketers promote the product. 

Affiliate marketers use many methods to promote products. Examples include affiliate links on blog posts, websites, social media, emails, ebooks, videos, etc.

Should I Invest in Affiliate Marketing? 

Affiliate marketing is a business model that requires an investment of time and money. While it doesn't require a big budget to start, most successful affiliates invest money in tools and ads to build their businesses. 

It is possible to start with no investment, but it would delay your progress. It also depends on your strategy and the target audience. If you don't have any competition in a specific niche which is unlikely in 2023, you could start with a few dollars for basic tools. 

This article doesn't delve into the tools and costs associated with starting an affiliate marketing program, but you can find more affiliate marketing resources on our site.

 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes To Avoid 

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid - mistake text

1. Promoting too many affiliate products 

Many beginners tend to include dozens of affiliate links in their content. This mistake creates confusion for the readers, so they don't know what you suggest and how to continue. Promoting many products means you suggest multiple solutions for a specific problem. 

For example, if you create blog posts, you can promote 1-2 quality products relevant to the topic of each post. These products should make the life of your readers easier. Suggesting five or ten similar products sounds spammy and decreases your chances of making sales. 

2. Failing to understand what you're selling 

Knowing the product is a big part of affiliate marketing. You don't have to buy the product, but you should know how it works, the benefits, the disadvantages, and why your target audience should buy it. 

There are many places to learn more about any product. You can visit the vendor's website and read reviews. If you know every aspect of your product, you will figure out how to sell it. Also, you will understand who is the ideal customer and what he expects from each product. 

3. Relying strictly on high-commission affiliate programs 

High-commission affiliate programs attract many beginners. Anyone would love to make a few hundred or thousand dollars per sale. 

However, affiliate marketers need to think about their target audience first. Do they really need your expensive product? Are there cheaper alternatives? Even if your product is a great solution to their problems, can they afford it? 

For example, you can't ask a college student to invest thousands of dollars in a single payment. Promoting high-commission programs to the wrong audience will not bring profits. It's better to test various products before choosing the best option for your business. 

4. Not creating quality content 

Quality content is an important ranking factor for search engines and builds trust with the target audience. The content is the image of your business.  

Successful affiliate marketers create quality content or hire others to do it for them. It should be interesting, informative, and engaging. Some topics are more interesting than others, but you still have to do a better job than your competitors. 

This rule applies to every platform, whether you create blog posts, YouTube videos, or social media posts. If your content is not good enough, your target audience will not remain on your page or buy your suggestions. 

5. Forgetting to build trust with your audience 

People will not consider your suggestions if they don't trust you. Affiliate marketing is about suggesting other people's products. Your suggestions make sense when other people value your opinion. A random person on the internet with spammy links can't expect sales. 

Building trust can be simple, like showing images or videos of the product you sell. In competitive niches, you must be an expert to achieve that. Strategies like creating quality content, having social proof, and getting top positions on search engines are great ways to prove your expertise. 

6. Not having an SEO strategy 

Search engines can bring targeted traffic to your website. Targeted traffic is people highly interested in your niche who will read your content and check your recommendations. This is where you have the most chances to make a sale. 

You don't get free targeted traffic without SEO. Having a good SEO strategy means that you perform keyword research, optimize your content for search engines, and keep track of your results. 

Many affiliate marketers focus entirely on SEO. Most niche sites get most of their traffic from search engines. Traffic from social media and other online channels typically doesn't bring as much traffic as SEO.

7. Setting unrealistic goals from the start 

Many beginners set themselves up for failure. If you have unrealistic goals, you will get disappointed sooner or later. Affiliate marketing is a business, and we treat it as a business both in mindset and process. 

Many gurus promise quick riches and an easy lifestyle. While you can achieve any level of success, you must put the work first. You can't expect overnight results in legit businesses. 

Affiliate marketers start slow and focus on their first sale. Then, they keep pushing for more sales and build their businesses. It is a process, not a one-day event. 

8. Not investing in affiliate marketing tools 

One of the biggest affiliate marketing mistakes is not investing in your business. It doesn't take much to start, but it takes something. Skimping on low-quality tools or not investing at all will hurt your output, efficiency, and, ultimately, your marketing strategies.

Many affiliate marketing tools will help us do a better job. We create content, build email lists, and promote products. Some tools improve our strategy in every task of this process. 

Some of these tools are free or offer a free version. However, other important tools require an investment. You may need a keyword research tool, plugins, email automation, landing pages, and more.  

Many beginners avoid spending money, even if they can afford premium tools. The result is low-quality websites and content and limited access to critical data. There is too much competition in 2023 to ignore the technology needs of your business.

Here are the minimum tools required to ensure you can move forward efficiently. You can test most of these out with the free version, but we recommend making an initial investment in your affiliate marketing business by paying for the pro versions of some.

Website – WordPress may be free, but you must pay for hosting and a custom domain.

  1. Domain registrar – We recommend Bluehost or Namesilo
    Cost: $10-$30/year
  2. Shared hosting – We recommend Bluehost or SiteGround
    Cost: $3 – $20/month
  3. Managed WordPress hosting – We recommend Kinsta or SiteGround
    Cost: $15 – $65/month

Plugins – You'll also need plugins to add key features and functionality that the website must have to succeed.

  1. Security plugin – We recommend Sucuri or Cloudflare
    Cost: $200-$250/year
  2. Performance plugin – We recommend Flying Press or WP Rocket
    Cost: $60/year
  3. Web builder plugin – We recommend Elementor or Beaver Builder
    Cost: $59 – $99/year
  4. SEO plugin – We recommend Rank Math or All-In-One SEO
    Cost: $49 – $59/year
  5. Affiliate tracking plugin – We recommend Pretty Links Pro or Thirsty Affiliates
    Cost: $79 – $99/year

Content marketing – You'll need to produce content to promote products and encourage search engines to rank your site. This will require tools to help you produce content at scale or the services of content writers.

  1. SEO writing tool SurferSEO or SurgeGraph
    Cost: $49 – $99/month
  2. AI writing toolScalenut or Copy.ai
    Cost: $36 – $39/month

Link building – You'll need to build links to your content outside of content creation and publishing. Sure, you could wait for passive links to be created based on the quality of your content, and that will likely happen, but it will take years for your site to grow value.

Link building – Roughly $500 – $1000/month

Related Content

How can I tell if an affiliate program is legitimate? 

You can start with the best affiliate programs and networks. For example, Amazon Associates, ClickBank, and ShareASale are top options with many products. They always pay on time, and affiliate marketers don't have any problems if they follow their terms and conditions. 

However, you still need to research and learn about the products you promote. It doesn't mean that all Amazon and ClickBank products are good enough for your audience. Some of them are not worth their money. 

If you want to check an unknown or new affiliate program, here are some things to consider: 

  • Reviews on websites, blogs, and YouTube 
  • Homepage (does it look legit?) 
  • Avoid unrealistic claims 
  • Avoid unrealistic commissions 
  • Ask for a sample  

Which tools do you recommend for tracking your performance as an affiliate marketer?  

As affiliate marketers, we need to track many parts of our projects. Website traffic, SEO rankings, email addresses, and conversion rates are some of the possible tracking areas. Here are some tools to consider: 

  • Ahrefs: Top keyword research tool that allows you to track your rankings, find backlink opportunities, and check your competitors. 
  • ConvertKit: Email marketing tool with many automation options. The goal of this tool is to increase conversions. It has both free and paid memberships. 
  • Everflow.io: Tracks the performance of your marketing channels. It creates detailed reports that help you to improve your campaigns. 

Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid Wrap-up

The next step is to use all the available resources and take action. There are some great tools above to get started. They will help build your business and avoid many technical parts that would require a lot of hours of work. Then, you can focus on adding value to your target audience and making sales. 

To become a successful affiliate marketer, you need to have determination, patience, and ambition, to name a few. The affiliate marketing industry is crowded no matter your niche, so ensure your affiliate marketing business can stand the test of time and limit your affiliate marketing mistakes to ensure you can stay invested for the long haul.

8 Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2023

Ben Adams

Ben Adams is an online entrepreneur with over 20 years of digital marketing experience in SEO, content marketing, analytics, email marketing, e-commerce, and other strategies. He enjoys consulting and helping businesses and entrepreneurs succeed by using technology and tools to power their online presence and growth. He also enjoys writing, photography, traveling, and spending time with his family.

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