10 affiliate marketing mistakes everyone makes.
Wouldn’t it be great if you knew the top 10 affiliate marketing mistakes people make? Here is your list. Thank me later!
Mistake #1: Not choosing a niche
When getting into affiliate marketing and starting a blog or website, you want to make sure to start with targeted content. Choosing a niche will help you target the type of audience you want to serve, and guide you to creating content.
For example, if you create a website on lawn mowers, but end up writing content about big screen TVs, then you didn’t stay true to your niche of lawn mowers. This creates confusion with your audience, and doesn’t help you build authority on lawn mowers.
Solution: It is ok to have multiple sites, but I highly recommend staying close to your niche that you select for your site. This affiliate marketing mistake happens often with beginners. They try to be everything to everyone. Take a step back and try to be an authoritative source to one group, and specialize in content for that group.
Mistake #2: Not doing keyword research
Keyword research should be the foundation of your article writing. You want to know what your audience is searching for in your niche. Then, you want to write articles and content surrounding those keyword search terms. This will help you gain the best traction in search results for the niche you have chosen.
Solution: Do a quick google search for keyword search terms. Google will automatically give you search ideas when you start typing in your search query. It will give you short tail and long tail keywords to consider.
Once you have these, go to the keyword planner tool in google webmaster tools, and continue your search. This will give you even more ideas for future content and articles.
Mistake #3: Not setting up a website
Yes, it is possible to get into affiliate marketing without a website, but I highly recommend against it. Building a website is a foundational part of long term affiliate marketing goals. There are a few basic steps to getting into affiliate marketing and this step is right up there.
- Research niche
- Purchase domain
- Plan/Write content
- Build website
- Promote content and build traffic
Solution: You don’t have to start out with a self-hosted website. I wrote a post about getting started in affiliate marketing with a free WordPress blog site. Building a blog or website is a huge part of affiliate marketing, so check it out.
Mistake #4: Not promoting content
One of the most important steps after making your content live is to promote. You need to promote your content so that others can find and share it. Your content is going to take time to start ranking for the keywords associated with it, so you need to do some pre-marketing before organic search can start picking it up.
Solution: The best solution to this problem is to spread the word.
- Start with friends and family on social media.
- Do some small sponsored ads to help drive traffic to your website.
- Submit your blog post to StumbleUpon
Mistake #5: Not building authority or trust with the audience
This is a mistake that many newbies along with seasoned professionals make. When you write content, you are trying to gain confidence and build authority with them. You want to be viewed as the subject matter expert in the category niche you have chosen.
Solution: Building authority take time and is not done overnight. You may have to write a few articles before others really start to take your work into account.
Mistake #6: Not setting up email lists or campaigns
I think this should be a part of the website development step. Building an email list will allow you to have instant inbox access to loyal readers. These readers are giving you their email address so you can keep them current on news and content that you make live.
Solution: There are a few places I recommend considering. Especially if you have a WordPress website. There are plenty of plugins that will work with these providers. These plugins make the process as seamless as possible.
- Constant Contact
- Campaign Monitor
Mistake #7: Using too many affiliate links in a single article
When writing an article and providing useful information, it can be tempting to link to every affiliate program you are a part of. This is not the best idea. Making a link in every paragraph or sentence will make the page look very confusing.
Solution: You want to provide key affiliate links (1-3 depending on word count) based on the content itself. Specialize in helping your audience find the best possible solution and you will have a higher chance of getting a sale from an affiliate link. Make sure you have a link towards the beginning and end with keywords that will entice the reader to want to learn more. Also make sure to link to other articles on your website to help build authority.
Mistake #8: Using too many visual ads on their website
Don’t display too many ads on your website. This is a tip to everyone regardless of the type of website. Website viewers are becoming less interested in clicking on sidebar ads, and more interested on doing research and finding key recommendations for online purchasing.
Displaying too many ads in the sidebar or header/footer of a website, you are going to probably annoy the viewer and lose credibility. If they suspect the only purpose of your website is to get people to click on ads, then they may not return in the future. No matter how good the content is.
Solution: It’s ok to have ads on your website. Many websites have ads located in various places. Just make sure these ads are not interfering with your content. Make the ads subtle if possible, and make sure there is a good balance of content and ads on the page.
Mistake #9: Not catering to their audience
When selecting a niche to write about and build an affiliate program around, you need to stick to that niche as much as possible.
Don’t write about kitchen remodeling when your website is about sports cars and aftermarket parts. It can be tempting to jump around when you see new affiliate programs to join, but this confuses the reader and does not build authority for your website.
Solution: Your keyword research and pre-planning will help guide you when creating content. Don’t be scared to go outside the box and get creative, if the content can be tracked back and associated with your original niche.
Mistake #10: Trying to make money online immediately
Making money online fast is everyone’s goal. You want to start seeing profits from your hard work right away. Unless you have the money to pay for large targeted traffic, you may not see fast results. Many people get discouraged quickly from the start. I would hope you are making your experience a long-term goal, and not a get rich quick project.
Solution: The best affiliate marketers build audiences. Email lists, and social media followers are the best to help keep traffic flowing to your site when you publish new content. Keep in mind that you will need to build authority with your audience before they trust your recommendations. All this takes time. Don’t be in a rush, and don’t get discouraged when you don’t see returns on your investment right away.
About The Author
Jason Pena, Creator of Affiliate Flash
Sr. Digital Design Manager with years of experience in design, development, and digital marketing strategies. Learn with me, and lets be successful together.