Have you ever asked, why isn’t it working? Why am I not converting any sales? It can be often frustrating when our Affiliate Marketing business isn’t achieving the goals we have set out. In this post we will explore common beginner affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid. Many of these are down to our mindset, but that doesn’t mean we cannot rescue the situation. Affiliate Marketing is awesome business model for a work from home job, done correctly and avoiding these mistakes.
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE – One of the ways I try to cover the costs of maintaining Best Affiliate Marketing Tools is via a small number of affiliate partnerships (with tools I genuinely use) where I get a small percentage commission on sales made via referral. You don’t pay any more for purchasing via my affiliate links. If you click one of my affiliate links, your support is really appreciated! Learn more here.
Let’s get into the Mistakes to Avoid…
Irrelevant & Confusing Content
Staying highly relevant to your audience is paramount to succeeding in Affiliate Marketing. It is also easy to be too broad when choosing a niche. The narrower you can choose a niche the more likely you will start to see better traffic and conversions. But many when starting out think they have chosen a ‘Niche” when actually they have chosen a category. For example, they choose home appliances and create loads of content about too many different types of home appliances – kitchen, lounge, smart tech, lighting, etc. When someone clicks on their website and sees a lot of content that has a loose connection, it can show that the website owner is just clutching at anything. The reader gets confused about the message and decides to look elsewhere. So, a key element is narrowing the niche down as much as possible:
- Home Appliances
- Food Preparation
- Oven Cleaners
- Oven Gloves
- Food Preparation
The narrower you can start, the better you will find becoming an authority site on that niche.
Also, consider the fact that when someone clicks on a link about a given subject, that is what they will find. I find it very frustrating when you click on a link about something, and the web page just has a load of ads and nothing to do with what I was looking for. You need to ensure you put your reader first in all decisions.
Selling Instead of Helping
I have never liked going into a showroom and having a sales advisor selling a product to me. I would rather check out everything and then if I had any questions, I would ask a sales advisor. It is the same online, people are looking for help online. Whether it be a problem they have (which you have the answer to) or help understanding a product. Readers want to know what the product is, what benefits there are to that product, your opinion on that product before they can make up their own mind.
If you constantly sell to their readers without answering these questions you will find you fail. Help them with these questions and conversions will happen.
Ineffective Introductions & Conclusions
Let’s be honest, not many people will read every paragraph in your post. You have 2 opportunities to grab their attention and inspire them to read the rest. If the first paragraph (introduction) does not grab them, then you have no chance. You have about 30 seconds to get them to want to read the rest and respect your opinion. That is your Featured Image (needs to be highly relevant to what they are looking for) and a couple of sentences that make them believe they will get the answers they want.
If you grab this attention, you need to ensure the conclusion to the post is a succinct review of the post with a clear message.
I notice I do it with Video Game reviews, I read the intro and check out the final verdict. Then I decide whether I will dig into more of the article. We cannot help it, our attention spans are not designed to sit there and read a massive volume of text, unless it grabs our attention. This is key to ensuring you avoid these mistakes.
Not Doing Keyword Research
I recently wrote a great post on the importance of doing keyword research, check it out for more detailed information. But if you are not doing effective keyword research for your posts, how will you get any traffic.
Writing Content is only part of the process, without any traffic you will find it very hard to succeed at Affiliate Marketing. Ensure you complete keyword research and choose keywords that will help you get traffic, I like the low-hanging-fruit technique, check out more here.
Take this post, if I used the keyword ‘Affiliate Marketing Mistakes’ I could only hope to get a chunk of what is only 40 searches a month, with 200 competing posts for the same keyword. By choosing a better keyword “beginner affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid” that changes the dynamic completely, over 100 monthly searches with 13 competing posts.
Being Impatient & Cutting Corners
Success in Affiliate Marketing is about the long game, it will not become a success overnight. It takes time and effort, but where newbies get it wrong is they get impatient and start cutting corners. Watch out for these as they can end up destroying your chances of becoming successful.
Using a Low-Quality Website with Duplicate Content
It can be easy to buy into these ideas where they sell you the idea of a website where you do not need to create any content. It is all done for you, and you just need to sit there and watch the money come in… Yeah, I wish.
These will not make you any money. The search engines (like Google) have ways to identify duplicate content and will penalise the website with it on. Meaning you will not appear in the search results = meaning no conversions.
Your website needs to part of your brand, so it needs to be high quality with content that is unique and created by you on your given niche helping people – that is how you succeed at Affiliate Marketing.
Buying ‘Fake’ Traffic
If you search online, there are opportunities to buy traffic. They promise it is real traffic with real people. I have tried it in the past.
Your Google Analytics lights up with loads of traffic, and it might help with rankings (a little). But what I found was, there was no cut through with this traffic and it had more of a detrimental effect once you have stopped buying the traffic as your traffic drastically drops. And, none of this traffic actually is real – as they didn’t interact with the posts or join the email list, etc.
So, I would focus more on getting natural rankings and interactions, this will help your conversions much better.
Following the Herd (Shiny Object Syndrome)
What I mean by this, and I have been guilty of it in the past, is trying something too early because everyone is doing it. I’ll give you an example, as part of my Wealthy Affiliate membership there is weekly webinars and the last couple of weeks has been about Managing Website Design through CSS.
This is great training, don’t get me wrong, But I could go away and spend ages on messing with the design of my websites – but at the end of the day, it is the content that is important in the early days. So what I am saying is focus on creating relevant content, don’t add an email list until you are getting plenty of traffic (it is another feature you need to keep checking on, that gets in the way of creating content). Video is great, but if you are not sure how to do it and you are not getting a lot of traffic, then focus on written content.
There are plenty of examples where an experienced Affiliate Marketer will be doing something, and you think it would be great to do in your business (shiny object – it is working for them, so I will do it). But most of these things are for when you are scaling your business. That is key, when you start converting sales, that is when you can start exploring these different aspects.
Our Own Expectations
There are a few bits with Affiliate Marketing, where we need to hard on ourselves when it comes to our expectations:
- Passive Income – yes, but only when it has started converting sales
- Timelines – the time it takes to start converting
- Effort – the effort required to turn it into a scalable business
Most people looking for ways to earn money online comes down to the dislike of their day job. So, it is understandable that they want to build this business as quickly as possible to leave their day job. The problem comes from the fact that searching online you can find so many promises of a system that can turn you into a millionaire overnight. Whilst these are typically scamming people, it doesn’t stop people believing them and falling into the traps.
Affiliate Marketing is a very legitimate way of earning money – but it is a business and not a past-time.
We also need to consider our expectations with how much we can earn. I recently read a great post about how a fellow affiliate marketer’s first goal was to earn $33 a day. It doesn’t sound much, but that is $990/month.
If one of your goals is paying off debt towards being able to work from home, that is a massive step forward. But when you think $33, it doesn’t seem much.
Most brick businesses will not turn a profit within 12 months, I know the overheads are lower with an online business, but I didn’t earn anything online for 6 months.
You need to stay motivated that the conversions will come. Set yourself your first financial target (keep it realistic), then once you achieve it you can target a higher target.
Ultimately Not Treating It Like a Business!
Affiliate Marketing is a business model and not something you can play at! To avoid these mistakes, that is the number one piece of advice I can give you.
Highly relevant Quality Content on a Quality Website that Helps People will always win out against the rest.
It is a great way of earning money online, but requires time, effort and focus to reap the benefits of it. If you would like an awesome step-by-step guide that takes you through the correct steps for starting an online affiliate marketing business, I recommend you read my Wealthy Affiliate review.
If you are struggling with affiliate marketing, it might be down to a number of the reasons we have gone through in this post, there may be others. But I am hoping you have a better understanding of the main reasons, and that is down to our mindset with it.
Starting a business takes a lot out of us and losing patience with it is easily done. But remain focused on the reason why you want to succeed at Affiliate Marketing – My reasons are it will allow me more time to spend with my family.
I am sure you will have your own reasons, share them with me in the comments below.
If you need any help or advice to do with affiliate marketing or you need help getting out of the rut of your current business – drop me a note below in the comments and I will try to help in any way I can.