At least not if you want to become successful any time soon…
I’ve been an affiliate marketer myself for the last couple of years and as I look back I realize that I have made a lot of mistakes that not just held me back but also drew success further away from me.
In order to prevent you from falling into the same pitfalls as I did, minimize the chances of wasting your time and energy into wrong practices, save you tons of frustration, and help you be one step ahead all the time, here are 25 affiliate marketing beginner mistakes that you should avoid at all costs from now on.
Note: If you’ve made any of those mistakes don’t get frustrated and blame it on yourself. Making mistakes is a natural part of success. Just learn as much as you can from them, ensure that you don’t make the same mistake twice, and keep moving forward no matter what.
25 Affiliate Marketing Beginner Mistakes That You Shouldn’t Make…
1 • Don’t Try to Sell
When I first started affiliate marketing I was actively trying to convince people to buy the stuff that I was promoting in order to earn commissions.
Even if the product that I was talking about was of a mediocre quality I was completely overselling it, only highlighting its best qualities while hiding its flaws, in order to make a sale.
Nobody had taught me to do that but it seemed natural at that time.
Of course, I didn’t make a sale this way, and neither will you unless maybe you are an experienced sales person.
However, if you are a normal human being just like me, not only trying to sell will most likely not work for you, but it might actually avert people from buying what you are trying to sell.
Most people can tell a person who is desperate to sell something to them a mile off and guess what! The stay clear of him.
So what should you do?
The first and foremost thing that you should understand as an affiliate marketer is that affiliate marketers are not meant to be sellers but rather trustworthy helpers, advisors, and consultants.
People don’t come to your website looking for sales pitches but rather for useful information so instead of trying to push products on them, shift your focus on giving them exactly what they came for… Be educational, impartial, and helpful.
During this process, you can recommend a product or two that could potentially help them solve their problem better, faster, and easier.
The more you help your readers the more they will trust you… The more your readers trust you, the more likely it is for them to purchase the products you recommend.
Also, when you focus on helping rather than being a high-pressure salesperson, people are more likely to come back to your website for more advice and purchase more of the products that you recommend.
Nobody likes a pushy salesperson. You don’t want your visitors to lose interest because all of your posts are sales pitches. Instead, you want to develop a feeling of trust and confidence, so that you engage your audience and provide them with advice and assistance. It’s been said before: Help first, sell later. Position yourself with this in mind and you’ll see sales happen naturally. – Upwork
Lastly, just helping people is much easier than trying to make them buy stuff.
Most of the time you’ll notice that you make more sales when you are doing your best to help rather than when you are trying to sell.
The one who helps the most makes the most money.
2 • Don’t Recommend Crappy Products
Promoting low-quality products is going to cost you more money in the long run than what you make by promoting them. – Brand Builders
I won’t lie…
Once upon a time, and on another website of mine, I’ve recommended crappy products, with the sole purpose of making a sale.
Thankfully, no one purchased those products before I took them down after realizing that recommending them could do more harm than good on my business.
How you ask?
Well, if one of your readers takes your recommendation and wastes their money on a product which turns out crappy, they will never trust your word again. Chances are that they will never want to visit your website again and even if they do by mistake they are going to leave at once. For them, you will always be that guy who made them waste their money on that crappy product. And this is the best case scenario.
Worst case scenario?
Your reader telling everyone they know about their poor experience with you.
It is vital that you promote truly valuable and usable products in order to maintain a relationship of trust between you and your customers. A satisfied customer will not only return to your website but also recommend your website to his circle. This means that by promoting valuable products, you are basically hitting two birds with the same stone… You increase your customer list as well as retain your current customers. – T3 Leads
Also, a crappy product will most probably already have a number of negative reviews online. If you are the only one saying it is perfect and that everyone should buy it, well, people will start wondering if you are being truthful or if just saying those stuff just to make them purchase it.
If your visitors don’t think you’re being honest or think that you are only recommended products and services due to a profit motive, they won’t keep reading what you have to say. If you promote products and services that aren’t of high value, they’ll lose trust in your recommendations and stop acting on them; costing you sales and profits. – The Balance Small Business
A good way to determine if you should recommend a product or not is to ask yourself “Would I buy this?”
If the answer is “No” or “I don’t know”, then you most probably shouldn’t, just to make sure that you don’t end up hurting your credibility.
3 • Don’t Recommend Products You Haven’t First Tried Yourself
This is not actually considered a mistake but rather a rule of thumb.
Most affiliate marketers claim that the most product sales they make are from recommending products that they have tried themselves first.
Letting your readers know why you needed the product, how you came across it, why you decided to purchase it, how you are using it, how long it took to start seeing results with it, how it benefited you, etc, greatly increases the chances of making a sale than just simply stating that the product is the best and everyone should buy it.
Readers love authentic personal stories and will always trust more those who have purchased and tried the products they recommend. Wouldn’t you?
Moreover, having tried the products that you recommend, decreases your chances of recommending a low-quality product which is a no-no as we talked right above.
I can understand that purchasing every single product that you recommend on your website can be extremely challenging, if not impossible, especially if you are a beginner who is not making any money just yet.
If this is your case, here are your choices:
- Focus on recommending just one product. Purchase it, try it, test it, learn all about it and then, if it is high-quality and beneficial to your readers, recommend it to them
- Reach out to the product’s creators and ask them to grant you limited or trial access to their product in order to review it. Some will accept. Others will decline. You have nothing to lose
If you want to recommend a product that you haven’t tried yourself you HAVE to do a very extensive research on it. Read articles and reviews about it, take a look at its ratings, watch videos of other people using it, etc.
Familiarize yourself with the product in such a degree that it feels like you have purchased and tried the product yourself. Then and only then, make your recommendation.
4 • Don’t Recommend Products That Your Readers Don’t Need
Most affiliate marketers, especially beginners, go through this phase of recommending everything that moves.
It goes like that:
- You see a random product which seems cool but has nothing to do with your niche
- You promote this product on your website
- Nobody ever buys it
Recommending products your readers don’t need will make them realize that you understand nothing about them and their true needs, or maybe that you don’t really care about them which is actually even worse.
On the other hand, recommending every single existing product on the face of the earth which is relevant to your niche is not a smart move either.
Your readers have specific needs and only certain products can fulfill those needs. Those are the products that you should recommend to them. No more, no less…
Don’t try to create needs when there are none just for the sake of making some more money.
For example, I will never claim that you must purchase a keyword research tool, like most internet marketing gurus do, just because it costs $50 and I can get an 80% commission for every sale because, ahem, you don’t really need one!!!
5 • Don’t Try to Make Your Content Perfect
According to an article I read recently, perfectionism can be one of the leading causes of failure in business.
I am a perfectionist myself and I have found out that this is absolutely true. Many people might think that perfectionism is a positive trait but it’s really not. It makes your life way harder and more complicated.
First of all, perfectionists are afraid to make mistakes. However, trial and error is an integral part of success. You can’t possibly learn how to produce awesome content without first producing content which sucks and no one reads. Also, trying not to make a mistake doesn’t prevent you in any way from making mistakes as it is a mistake by itself.
Also, your idea of perfect is just an idea and not the reality. There is no such thing as perfect content and even if it were, no one really cares about it. For your readers, the perfect content is the most helpful and informative one.
Moreover, as a perfectionist, I used to spend weeks on a single article before I hit the publish button. I tried to find the perfect title, the perfect introduction, the perfect word to end every single sentence, the perfect image, etc. After a while, I realized that all this struggle made no difference whatsoever. In fact, most of my so-called perfect articles were read by no one. So much time and effort wasted for nothing.
Instead of wasting weeks on trying to make one article which no one will read perfect, go for producing content which is extremely valuable and helpful to your readers, as regularly as possible, especially if you are a beginner.
Publish 50-70 extremely helpful articles on your blog, find out which of them perform the best and go back and improve on them later on.
Only practice makes perfect… Trying to make perfect does not.
6 • Don’t Write Short Content
According to many studies, longer content tends to perform better than short content in terms of search engine rankings as well as social shares.
In fact, according to OrbitMedia, more than 50% of those who write long-form content report better results, but only 8% of bloggers actually do it.
So, if you want to increase your chances of success, you should increase your word-count. Anything above 1500 words is good. The longer the better (size does count after all)!
HOWEVER, don’t fill your content with useless information just for the sake of making it longer because this way you are sacrificing quality for length and this is never a smart move.
On the contrary, such practice is counter-productive as
- You’ll end up spending more time on your articles
- Google can see through your attempt to trick it and won’t bother to rank you higher
- People will absolutely not share content which contains useless and irrelevant information
Instead, to make your articles longer and at the same time maintain their quality
- Try to answer all the questions that your readers might have
- Try to guess their next questions and answer them as well
- Let them know about additional, relevant, useful information
- Recommend a product which is going to solve their problem and tell them how to use it and how it benefited you
- Share your story or your personal opinion with them
By doing that, your content is going to be long by itself without you even trying.
For example, my initial plan for this article was to make it around 2.5k words but I am not even halfway there and I have already written 1700 words.
By the time that I finish it, it will most probably be more than 4000 words (it actually ended up being 7K+ words).
However, I did not try to make my article longer in any way. The article ended up longer as a byproduct of me trying to provide as much useful information as possible within it.
7 • Don’t Just Tell… Show!
According to experts, blog posts which include some kind of media tend to perform better in terms of time spent on page, search engine rankings, shares, and backlinks, than those which contain none.
Instead of writing boring, all-text posts which are actually less engaging and tend to tire readers faster, try to include at least one image in every single one of them. After all, images speak a thousand words right?
Video, infographics, graphs and charts, audio, and lists are also great choices.
Make sure that whatever media you use is relevant to the article and not a random one. For example, adding an image of a cute dog in an article about practicing Yoga would be irrelevant, unless of course, the dog is practicing Yoga!
If you are reviewing a product, do your best to include images of its features or a video of yourself using it, describing its functions, and letting people know how to use it themselves.
Don’t just tell people… Show them!
8 • Don’t Pick a Niche Which Doesn’t Interest You
I believe that we’ve all done this right?
We blindly picked a niche that we believed would bring in some money quickly, we wrote 10-20 low-quality articles, and then we ditched it forever because we couldn’t stand writing another word on a subject that we had no interest about.
My first online business was called coolstuff4u. Basically, it was about all kinds of cool stuff that you could find online such as backpacks, ergonomic office chairs, drones, lamps, etc. Now that I think about it, this wasn’t even a niche but whatever.
Anyway, 2 months later and 10 articles in, I ditched the website because I was extremely bored and uninterested in the subject and I never looked back.
Many people go through this process over and over again. They create a niche website and they publish 20 or 30 articles on it before they get bored and move on to the next one.
That’s okay, experimenting is good!
However, if you don’t settle on a niche anytime soon you’ll most probably end up wasting years on creating several low-quality websites which bring in no revenue whatsoever.
A pretty solid way to settle on a niche is to pick one that interests you greatly, or optimally one which you are passionate about.
Starting a niche site around a subject you are passionate about has a major advantage – you won’t get bored and quit – Alistair Gill
Other advantages include
- Being less likely to run out of things to say and experience writer’s block
- Writing more content way faster
- Research isn’t going to be dull and feel like a chore and believe me that as you scale your business you’ll most likely have to conduct tons of research
- Feeling be more focused, driven, motivated, happy, and fulfilled
Nichehacks asked more than 50 experienced bloggers in various niches this simple question:
“What do you think is the best method of choosing a niche for your blog and what do you recommend someone who wants to start blogging for a living?”
Most of them replied that the niche you build your website around should be something that interests you.
If you have already started a website on a subject that doesn’t interest you at all and working on it feels like a chore, it might be a good idea to start considering to change your niche before you waste more time and energy on it until you eventually get so bored and frustrated that you have no choice but to quit.
9 • Don’t Bother With Building Backlinks
When you are building an online business it is impossible not to come across people who are talking about building backlinks in order to increase traffic.
While building backlinks might increase traffic in the short term, it is not a valid long-term strategy.
In fact, nowadays, by building links, most people are more likely to end up damaging their rankings than improving them because most of the practices to do that such as comment spam and paying for backlinks are frowned upon by Google.
Moreover, building backlinks takes a lot of time and energy in the first place which you might as well invest towards creating high-quality, helpful content for your readers which is what Google cares about the most.
As Google evolves, it puts more weight on content relevancy, content quality, and overall user experience. Eventually, backlinks are going to die and to tell you the truth, I can’t wait for this to happen.
You can’t imagine how many times I have searched for information on Google only to find out that irrelevant articles were ranked on the first page of its results just because they had a lot of backlinks. When that happens, people have to search at the second and even the third page of the SERPs to actually find what they are looking for and this is a very poor user experience on behalf of Google.
As a user, I don’t care which articles have the most backlinks. I just want to find information relevant to my query ASAP.
Thankfully, Google is aware of that after a few more years and a few more Google algorithm updates, backlinks will matter little, if not at all so don’t even bother with building them because you will be wasting your time.
Just focus your time and energy into producing high-quality, helpful content and backlinks will come naturally by themselves.
10 • Don’t Hurry
I know that earlier on I said that you shouldn’t spend several weeks on trying to make a single article perfect. However, this doesn’t mean that you should publish low-quality and rushed ones.
Never sacrifice quality for quantity. In fact, never sacrifice quality for anything.
Take your time to make your articles long, helpful, and packed with useful information. Don’t write them with a “Let’s get it over with” attitude because, this attitude is apparent and actually repulsive, especially to those who have been surfing the web for a while.
Again, according to OrbitMedia, those who spend 6+ hours per post, are 56% more likely to report better results than those who don’t.
In addition, low-quality articles usually don’t stand a chance of ranking high in the SERPs so publishing many many such articles will most probably get you nowhere.
Affiliate marketing is not a sprint but a marathon. You have to take your time and make sure that your articles provide enormous amounts of value to your readers.
Without valuable and helpful content, readers won’t come and even if they come, they won’t stay long or come back for more.
It can’t be stressed enough that the quality of your content will be the single biggest factor in the credibility of your online business. – The Balance Small Business
11 • Don’t Stop Producing Content
One of the most common mistakes that beginners to affiliate marketing tend to make is that they stop producing content for their blog.
They publish 10-20 articles and then they stop, mainly because they are not seeing any results.
Just so you know, it usually takes 6-12 months for Google to rank the articles of a brand new website, especially if the website is in a relatively competitive niche.
It’s not like the article you publish today is going to bring in thousands of visitors by tomorrow. Most of the time, results will take a while to kick in.
Just keep producing content NON-STOP. This is your only job as an affiliate marketer. Keep giving Google more to index and rank. Show them that your website is alive and constantly being updated.
If you have other responsibilities and little time just slow things down but make sure that you never stop. It’s way better to publish an article once a week than giving up because you couldn’t publish one daily.
Slow progress is still progress.
The main difference between those who succeed online and those who fail is that the former kept producing content no matter what.
Since you’ve already put in time and energy into creating some content, it would be such a pity to stop now. Keep moving forward because you never know… Results might be just around the corner.
12 • Don’t Be Inconsistent
The more inconsistent you are the slower the results you get… The slower the results you get, the more likely it is for you to quit.
I know that I just stated that progress is progress no matter how slow but if you want to secure faster and better results, consistency is the key.
For instance, if you are publishing one article per week it’s going to take 30 weeks to have 30 articles published on your website whereas if you are publishing twice a week it’s only going to take 15 weeks to reach the same amount of posts.
This means progressing twice as fast, at least in terms of quantity.
In fact, according to OrbitMedia once more, bloggers who publish weekly or more are nearly 2.5x more likely to report better results than bloggers who publish monthly or less.
However, be careful never to sacrifice quality for quantity. Even one article per week is enough if that’s all that you can handle without compromising quality.
The good news is that being consistent with your writing will improve your overall writing skill as well, enabling you to chunk out higher quality articles much faster.
Write, write, and write some more.
The more you do it, the better you become at it. The better you become at it, the greater the results you’ll see.
13 • Don’t Try to Trick Google
There exist many people out there who are employing practices to trick Google in order to get their articles ranked higher in the SERPs.
This is called Black Hat SEO and you should avoid it at all costs.
Black hat SEO refers to the use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques, and tactics, which are used to improve a website’s search engine rankings through means that violate the search engines’ terms of service, and usually focus only on satisfying search engines while providing a very poor user experience for human beings.
Some of those practices are
- Link manipulation (intentional link building, blog commenting, purchasing backlinks, etc)
- Hidden text and links
- Keyword stuffing
- Page swapping
- Publishing duplicate content
Thankfully, Google is getting smarter and smarter and those who are trying to trick it are doomed to reside on the last pages of the SERPs.
Don’t be one of those people.
As long as you focus on publishing amazingly helpful, and informative content and providing an overall good user experience for your readers (fast loading website, well-structured content, clean design, internal linking, etc), you don’t have to worry about Google rewarding you with first page rankings, because they definitely will.
14 • Don’t Try to Trick People
People hate being tricked…
They also hate those who are trying to trick them.
If you trick or attempt to trick someone in any way, and they become aware of it, you have lost their trust forever.
When it comes to recommending products, don’t just highlight a product’s pros in order to make a sale… Let people know about its cons as well in order for them to make an informed decision. This way they will trust your word more and the chances of them purchasing what you recommend increase dramatically.
Honesty goes a long way online because people understand that honesty is extremely rare online.
In addition, make sure to deliver your promises. Never try to clickbait people.
If your title says XX Affiliate Marketing Beginner Mistakes That You Shouldn’t Make then don’t give them 1 or 2 but XX just like you promised.
The moment I come across clickbait, I immediately blacklist the source forever because I never want to waste another second on them. I might even report it depending on the mood.
If you are after long-lasting success, tricking people in any way, is not a smart move as it ruins your credibility.
Always be honest, transparent, and give exactly as you promised.
15 • Don’t Try to Sound Smart
Many affiliate marketers, including me, have fallen into the trap of trying to sound smart and professional at some point.
In fact, when I was a beginner, I was using thesaurus on at least 50% of an article’s words 😛
However, trying to sound smart could decrease the quality of your articles, the overall user experience, and make your readers’ life harder… Plus, it takes too much time and if you overdo it, it could actually make you sound dumb.
Your readers don’t really care about fancy words… They won’t judge you for using the word “wood” instead of the word “log” and they will never say “Wow… Look at him! He used the words boondoggle and infinitesimal… How smart!”
In fact, your readers will hardly pay attention to your exact words. All they care about is the context, the overall message of your article, the information you provide within it which is of course, relevant to their query.
As long as you give them what they want, you are good.
You don’t need to use big words to do that. Just use a friendly tone and simple language that anyone can understand.
As long as your point is clear, your audience will both comprehend and enjoy your content and this will make them appreciate and trust you even more.
16 • Don’t Fill Your Website and Content With Affiliate Links
“The more affiliate links I have throughout my website, the more likely it is for people to click on them and purchase the products I promote, right?”
Having affiliate links all over your website and content won’t make you money easier or faster.
In fact, it could make things way worse as Google treats affiliate links just like ads.
Excessive ads = poor user experience.
Poor user experience = a drop in rankings.
Moreover, if your readers realize that you are bombarding them with affiliate links because you want to make money off of them, they will come to understand that you don’t care about them at all, they will immediately lose all their trust towards you, and it goes without question that they will never buy the products you promote.
At that point, many people might ask “How many affiliate links should I include per post?”
Well, there is no fixed number. I am not using any formula. I am only placing my affiliate links when relevant. Don’t worry, people will find them anyway.
If you are still struggling with getting traffic to your website, don’t even bother with placing any affiliate links on your website just yet. Just focus on creating high-quality, helpful content consistently and when people start visiting your site you can then start worrying about placing your affiliate links.
17 • Don’t Follow Everyone’s Advice
There is so much stuff going on online nowadays that coming across information which is truly accurate and beneficial is like looking for a needle in the haystack.
Just because someone has a blog or a Youtube channel doesn’t automatically make his awful advice work, or a mediocre course the best just because he says so.
Creating a blog is so simple and easy that even your grandma’s dog could create one in the next five minutes, and start spewing advice, tips, strategies, and practices on how to become a successful affiliate marketer, just for the sake of earning some money online, despite knowing nothing about the subject.
Following advice, employing strategies, or applying tips that do not work can take your business back several months if not years so you have to be careful.
Make sure that you filter every advice that you come across, including mine right here.
- Is the source experienced and trustworthy? (take a look at the comments, shares, following, number of articles, the age of the blog, etc)
- Avoid advice and practices which promise extraordinary results in a short amount of time. What sound too good to be true probably is
- Go for advice that feels logically legit and fruitful
- Is anyone else giving the same or similar advice out there? If not, maybe you’d be better steering clear of it just to be sure
18 • Don’t Purchase a Keyword Research Tool
Keyword research tools are useless, inaccurate, and a waste of your time and money.
Many internet marketers will claim that having a keyword research tool is a must if you want to succeed online (I used to be one of them), but this is not the case at all.
I have experimented with a few keyword research tools during my years as an affiliate marketer and I have found out that their results (searches per month, competition, estimated traffic, etc) are fairly inaccurate.
Once I took a keyword that one of my websites was ranking for, run it through 3 keyword research tools (1 free, 1 paid, and 1 trial), compared their results with my Google search console’s results and guess what happened! None of the results agreed with each other… Bad.
Also, I have heard about people who have written articles around a keyword which according to keyword research tools got zero searches per month only to end up getting thousands of visitors per month to their article for this specific keyword.
So, not only keyword research tools are inaccurate, but they could also discourage you from using keywords which have the potential to bring a lot of traffic to your website.
There are tons of ways to find valid keywords for your articles without using a keyword research tool, such as Google’s autocomplete function, its search results, its related keywords, etc.
19 • Don’t Overdo it With Social Media
When I first started blogging I spent a lot of my time and energy into trying to grow a social media following.
For my first website, I had created a Facebook fan page, a Twitter and a G+ profile, and I was constantly uploading images, quotes, sharing articles, etc, in order to get likes and more followers.
After a while, my following had grown to around 2k people, but almost none of those people ever visited my website.
All of this time and effort was completely wasted.
If I’d just focused on creating content for my website, I would probably have twice as many articles on it which could, in turn, bring in thrice as much free search engine traffic.
In fact, some of the most successful affiliate marketers claim that search engines bring the most traffic to their websites and that while social media can be a good traffic supplement, focusing most or all your efforts there will most likely get you nowhere, especially if your website is brand new.
Instead, focus on creating as much high-quality content as you possibly can. When you have published enough content (50-100 articles), then, if you are still interested, you can start using social media to drive more traffic to your website.
20 • Don’t Stress Over Your Website’s Appearance
Another big mistake that I did as a beginner was spending way too much time on trying to make my website look perfect.
I was changing 2 themes per week in order to find, the perfect text font, the perfect colors, the perfect blogroll, the perfect homepage with a slider and social media follow buttons, etc. I even took some online CSS lessons so I could mess with the code of each theme and tailor it to my needs.
Of course, none of that really matters to your readers because they are not after finding a beautiful website but rather beautiful content.
A beautiful website might grab the attention of the reader to some point but if the content contained within it is crappy, then the reader will leave. The beauty of your website is absolutely not enough to make your reader stay if your content sucks.
Countless times I have seen websites ugly as hell ranking on the first page of Google search results just because they contained high-quality, helpful, informative content.
Nobody will ever care about your website’s appearance as long as your content is good.
So many affiliate marketers waste their time on things like the design of their website, its colors and font sizes when their priority should be producing high-quality content. There is no point in having the “hottest” theme and the best-looking website if your website doesn’t contain content that attracts, engages, and helps your readers. – Income Diary
Just make sure that your website is not confusing and difficult to navigate in order to ensure a good user experience.
- Keep it minimal and clean
- Categorize for your posts
- Display your categories on your sidebar
- Have a simple main navigation
Everything else is just redundant.
21 • Don’t Skimp on Your Training
While there is a ton of free information online (blogs, Youtube channels, forums, etc) on how to build and develop your affiliate marketing business, not following a structured, high-quality, paid training, could lead to disaster.
In fact, even with the best affiliate marketing course, many people still end up failing, so, as you can understand, the chances of making it without one are slim to none.
Just think about it…
If you just rely on the free information you can find online, it will take much more time to start seeing results (if you haven’t actually quit until you start seeing any), because
- You will have to put substantially more time and effort into your research
- You will have to take guesses and go through a lot of trial and error
- You might employ hard-to-reverse practices and strategies which hurt your business
I truly believe that a decent affiliate marketing course could save you at least 2 years of running in circles, as well as decrease your chances of failing and/or quitting, so, if you think about it, not paying for one could actually cost you more money in the long run than just paying for one right away.
I am a member of an affiliate marketing training platform called Wealthy Affiliate. It costs only $49 per month and it a great place to get started.
You can actually join and test drive the platform for free for as long as you like before going premium.
If you want, you could also take a look at my Wealthy Affiliate review.
Another great similar platform is Project 24 but you have to pay $359 up front for a whole year and it has no free trial.
22 • Don’t Expect Fast Results
Affiliate marketing is not a way to earn money overnight.
If someone is trying to convince you otherwise, start running the other direction because they are most probably trying to fool you into giving them your money in order to show you “the secret”.
But there is no secret to fast success… There are no such things as getting rich quick schemes, and nobody can ever teach you how to become a millionaire until next week by purchasing their $10 course or e-book, period!
I am making this clear because if you get into affiliate marketing expecting that you are going to start making hundreds of dollars in a couple of months, then you are most likely to end up disappointed and abandon your efforts after failing to meet your expectations.
Truth is, your affiliate marketing business is no different than a regular one. To make it successful you will need to put in the required time and energy as well as have enormous patience.
Sales aren’t going to come pouring in the minute you put your first affiliate link on your website. It could take months of continual writing, researching, testing, and experimenting until the first one comes.
So, set your expectations low in order to save yourself from disappointment and keep yourself committed.
If you go into building your affiliate marketing business not expecting something to happen for at least the first 12 months, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised. – Brand Builders
None of those successful affiliate marketers that you hear about got where they are overnight. Their success was determined by their dedication, commitment, patience, and hard work.
23 • Don’t Sweat Over Making Your First Sale
Most beginners to affiliate marketing, want to get money rolling in as quickly as possible.
I can absolutely understand that because until the moment that you earn your first buck, making money online is still an uncertainty. That first sale is just the confirmation that affiliate marketing works, it proves that the time and energy that you have already invested have not gone to waste, and motivates you enough to keep going for more because if you can make one sale online, then, with the right amount of time and effort, you could make 1000 more.
However, the problem with this kind of attitude is that you might end up employing practices which could bring in a few quick bucks in the short-term but actually hurt your long-term success.
I know because I did the exact same thing with my previous website; I was so desperate of making the first sale that I couldn’t see beyond it and so I was trying every crappy practice I could find online.
I made my first sale relatively quickly in a very competitive niche. However, this was just a spike. The second sale never came and still hasn’t come to this day.
Needless to say that this business is long gone.
Truth is that there is an enormous gap between making your first sale and making real money online… Your first sale means nothing if no more sales come after that.
After all your main goal is not to make just one sale but to make a lot of them right?
If the answer to the question above was “Yes”, then fuck your first sale. It doesn’t matter so stop sweating over it.
Just make sure that you give your readers exactly what they want, which is high-quality, informative, priceless content, and you are gold. This way not only your first sale is going to happen naturally without you even trying to achieve it, but many more will keep taking place as well.
24 • Don’t Be Spammy
Did you know that your visitors will never purchase the products you recommend if your website is filled with spammy content?
Did you know that if your content is spammy, your visitors are not likely to ever visit your website again?
Did you know that it takes at least three times the time and effort to get a new customer than to maintain an old one?
So, basically, publishing spammy content costs you time, energy, AND money!
Spammy content can be considered content which is
- Providing no value to your readers
- Stuffed with keywords
- Completely irrelevant to your niche
- Repetitive (many articles on the exact same topic)
- Very low quality
- Full of affiliate links and ads
If you want to maintain trust between you and your readers and give them a reason not just to purchase the products you recommend but also to come back for more, you should avoid publishing spammy content at all costs.
Getting traffic to your site is half the battle. However, keeping them coming back is even more important. Many affiliate marketers make the mistake of filling their sites with stale, irrelevant or outdated material. If readers aren’t getting value out of the content you are providing, they probably won’t be back, they probably won’t refer anyone else to your site, and they certainly won’t buy the products you recommend. – Upwork
25 • Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Other People Made
The reason that I created this list is to let you know about the mistakes I made as a beginner to affiliate marketing in order for you to try and avoid making the same ones.
This will save you tons of time, energy, and frustration going through trial and error.
Learn from the mistakes of others… You won’t live long enough to make them all yourself. – Eleanor Roosevelt
However, if you didn’t pay attention to any of them and you head off to write a low quality, 500-word article, full of affiliate links to crappy products, which your readers don’t even need, and you try to convince them to purchase every single one of them, then, well, don’t wonder why your business is going from bad to worse.
Lastly, and I can’t stress this enough, don’t ever repeat the same mistake twice.
Stupidity is doing the exact same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Alber Einstein
Phew… What a long list!
I am sure that you are tired so let me sum up real quick.
Your job as an affiliate marketer is to help rather than sell. The more you help your readers, the higher the chances of them trusting your recommendations.
You help, they trust… They trust, they buy… They buy, you earn!
Moreover, always make sure that your recommendations are high-quality products which could benefit your readers or else you might lose their trust and your credibility.
Don’t strive for perfection. Perfection doesn’t exist. Strive for providing tons of value to the visitor experience and making consistent progress instead. That way, sales will follow naturally.
Don’t do Blackhat SEO or Blackhat anything. Be honest, transparent, and only focus on producing the best possible content. After all, that’s what people want and if you give people what they want they will trust and buy from you. In addition, search engines want what people want. If you give people what they want, you give search engines what they want and if you give search engines what they want, they will rank your content higher in their search results.
Also, don’t waste your time on link-building.
Don’t try to sound and play smart. Play helpful instead.
Don’t purchase expensive tools that you don’t need. Just stick with the basics. Purchase some dedicated affiliate marketing training to make sure that you don’t waste your time and energy going the wrong direction.
Your website’s appearance doesn’t matter that much. Just ensure that your website is easy to navigate, not confusing, and not filled with ugly ads.
Don’t expect fast results. To key to becoming a successful affiliate marketer is to be patient, persistent, and give it some time.
Don’t make the same mistake twice. Don’t make the same mistake as someone else did.
So, have you made any of those mistakes? Which one or ones did you make? Did you maybe make a mistake that I haven’t included in this list?
Let us know all about it in the comments below.
If you have any questions or need any further help or guidance from me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a PM on my Wealthy Affiliate Profile.
I will be thrilled to help you out.
CEO & Founder at Dear Boss I Quit
Xaric started his journey to making money online back in 2016. After a lot of trial & error, he managed to build a full-time income online and he is now working from home. He founded dearboss-iquit.com in order to help as many people as possible achieve the exact same thing and he now serves more than 30.000 people per month!
You can read more about Xaric’s story here.