15 Mistakes that will Crash and Burn your Affiliate Marketing Campaign

15 Mistakes that will Crash and Burn your Affiliate Marketing Campaign
06 Dec 2017

Affiliate marketing can seem difficult, especially if you’ve never done marketing in your life. As opposed to what many rookie affiliate marketers might assume, your campaigns will not always immediately bring in tons of sales or hit the right target audience. And you definitely will not get rich overnight with affiliate marketing (if that’s your main motivation).

The good thing about affiliate marketing is that it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of money. In fact, with a little bit of creativity there is so much that affiliate marketers can do to generate more leads and captivate more customers on a small budget. However, quite often, many affiliate marketers end up making some pretty stupid mistakes which eventually cost them an arm and a leg. The interesting thing is that most of these mistakes are easily avoidable.

So today, instead of telling you all that you should be doing as an affiliate marketer, I will list down top 15 affiliate marketing mistakes you need to steer clear of:

  1. The quick money making myth

You will NOT get rich overnight with affiliate marketing. Period. Today, 89% of affiliate marketing campaigns fail because the affiliate marketers do not educate themselves about what they are getting into and instead believe in the quick money making myths assuming they will get rich overnight with affiliate marketing. It takes time, patience, strategy and testing to create an amazing affiliate marketing model and not just sheer luck.

  1. Opting for the wrong affiliate network

There are dozens of affiliate networks and programs out there but not all of them are organized or offer accurate tracking of sales. Opt for a reliable network to avoid scams, read reviews and ask other affiliates regarding the best affiliate programs. It’s always better to sign up with an affiliate network that offers a well-established tracking platform which provides in-depth tracking of affiliate marketing campaigns.

  1. Not offering solutions

Most of your target audience is not interested in knowing how awesome your product is. They are more interested in learning how it can solve their problems, what issues it can help resolve and if it will benefit them. If you want to make a mark, you need to build up your credibility by actually helping people solve their problems instead of trying to manipulate them into buying.

  1. Relying heavily on SEM

Search engine marketing is great but it shouldn’t be the only thing you rely on. Why? Because search engines are constantly updating their algorithms and with periodic changes and updates, your search engine traffic is likely to shift and fluctuate. Search engine marketing should be a part of your affiliate marketing strategy but it shouldn’t be the only strategy you have unless you have shortsighted goals for your business.

  1. Zero keyword research

You just cannot expect to go very far without a proper keyword research. Don’t expect to write a couple of blogs on random keywords you think are relevant to your industry or products and expect to see brilliant results in return. Head over to Google’s keyword planner, enter a few keywords you think are relevant, see what Google suggests back and work on creating a list of keywords with both high and low volume. A mixture of both major and minor keywords can work wonders and bring a more relevant traffic to your website or blog as opposed to a few guessed ones.

  1. Ignoring Optimization

SEO can help small businesses and startups leverage organic search engine traffic but some businesses end up thinking that search engine optimization is too expensive and put it on the backburner. High ranking websites and blog pages can bring you good quality and targeted traffic and ignoring SEO will only slow down your affiliate marketing efforts.

  1. Avoid building an email list

While there are dozens of digital marketing channels, the importance of email marketing is lost on those who do not know how to sustain their business. The belief that search engine marketing and social medial channels are reliable and will suffice can many times backfire because of the constant algorithm or policy updates. Your email list subscribers on the other hand will mostly remain steadfast and just a click away.

  1. Focusing on too many verticals

A common mistake affiliate marketers make is promoting too many products without caring about which niche they are from. Not sticking to your industry and focusing on a vast number of verticals will make potential consumers confused and you will end up losing more consumers instead of captivating many. As a result, your campaigns will suffer. Instead of throwing just about everything in your visitor’s face, try focusing on a single industry and a few relevant products only.

  1. Overdoing affiliate programs

Having multiple streams of income is a good idea as long as you are not biting off more than you can chew. Without a defined niche, many rookies affiliate marketers end up jumping onboard multiple affiliate programs. As a result they are unable to establish themselves as an authority in one niche and end up confusing customers by promoting far too many kinds of products which negatively impacts the ROI and CTR.

  1. Opting for low quality products

Market what you believe in. I live by this rule. The easiest way to lose your business is by manipulating your consumers into believing that you are leading them to high quality products when in fact they are low quality items. You might end up making a sale or two but rest assured other consumers will soon find out how shady the purchases from your affiliate link were and you will lose business for sure. So instead of trying to make a quick buck by promoting low quality products, opt to market high quality products and services you believe in.

  1. Using bad content for campaigns

Bad content can break a well-made campaign singlehandedly. If you want a visitor to convert, you will have to influence them enough to take action and this isn’t possible with bad copy writing skills. From compelling headings to a great landing page copy, your words will hold power over your consumers and the only way you will be able to benefit from it is if you understand your audience and know what will compel them.

  1. Overdoing the advertisement

It’s good to add links and ads in every blog post but overdoing it will hurt more than help. The worst thing you can do is to load up each page with multiple affiliate links and ads believing that this will give you more opportunity to make money but in reality this can backfire. Create a proper sales funnel for each of your web content to avoid such issues.

  1. Not tracking affiliate links

Tracking affiliate links are essential to a successful campaign. One of the worst things you can do is start an affiliate campaign and then leave it. Some affiliate marketers consider it an unnecessary hassle to track and manage links, not understanding that tracking these links will give them a better understanding of the campaigns which can then be optimize or re-optimize accordingly.

  1. Avoiding deep linking

Most rookie affiliate marketers end up placing home page links for most products and services they are promoting. While this might seems like a good strategy, trust me, it is not. Deep linking to inner pages of the website brings consumers closer to the products and services you are promoting, as a result it shortens your sales cycle. Opt for affiliate networks that provide bookmarklets for the deep links so you can bring potential consumers as close to the deals as possible.

  1. Not adapting to technology

The affiliate marketing model is no longer limited to just search traffic, links and paid advertisements. Affiliate marketers are now using all kinds of digital marketing channels to promote products and captivate the target audience. From social media to influencer marketing and mobile – it is imperative for affiliates to adopt technologies which will enable them to captivate the right audience. There are plenty of free online affiliate marketing tools available online which can help marketers securely make informed decisions.

Affiliate marketing doesn’t have to be hard…

Or expensive. Building a successful affiliate marketing campaign might be a challenging thing to do but by avoiding these 15 above mentioned mistakes you can also make it one of the most rewarding. Patience is the first key to a successful affiliate marketing campaign and running A/B testing is the best technique which you can apply. As an affiliate marketer what you need to understand is that nothing will happen overnight. All of this requires time and letting go of the quick money making myths and stupid mistakes which rookie affiliate marketers often end up making will lead you to eventual success.


Sana Khan

Sana is the Communications Director and content specialist at Bevo Media.