It’s probably not any secret that I love affiliate marketing as a way to monetize my blog – I’ve written so many posts about it already!
But it’s one of those things where I don’t think you can ever learn “too much” – and the more you know, the better the chances of you actually being able to make a decent income with your blog.
Over my years of affiliate marketing, I’ve learned more than what to do to be successful – I’ve also learned a bit about what NOT to do! So I thought I’d make a list of some basic affiliate marketing mistakes that you should avoid:
1. Not Being Honest
One of the worst affiliate marketing mistakes you can make is lying about or exaggerate the benefits of the product you’re promoting just so you can get the commission. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bloggers out there that do just that, because they’re so desperate to make a couple of bucks. It may get you a dollar or two now, but in the long run it totally destroys your credibility.
2. Promoting Crappy Products
Sometimes you come across a product that isn’t really super-awesome, but has such a great payout you are really tempted to promote it anyway. Don’t do it. Picking high quality products will help you build a reputation as someone who can be trusted. Don’t let a high payout sway you!
3. Using Paid Advertising Too Soon
Paid advertising is a great way to boost your income, I’m not going to lie. But study it and learn about it first. Learn what kind of click through rates you get with your promotions, and how many people actually purchase compared to how many clicks you get. You need to know if you’re paying more for clicks than you’ll end up earning – it’s very easy to lose more money than you make. Start with free advertising and social networking first, then when you learn the ropes, move into some paid adverts.
4. Copy/Pasting Content
I can’t even begin to tell you how terrible this is. It’s one of the affiliate marketing mistakes I’m embarrassed to say I did myself when I was new. I’ve seen so many affiliate sites where the majority of the content is copied and pasted from Amazon. The best option is to use content you’ve written yourself, from your own experiences. Second-best option is to use PLR written specifically for your niche (like these Slow Cooker Product Reviews); but please, take the time to lightly rewrite and personalize them!
5. Not Tracking Sales
This was a huge mistake and it took me a long time to realize it. Tracking sales lets you know where your sale came from. For instance, if you have a link to a product in your side bar, but also have a link in a review post, you can give the two items a separate tracking code. Now you’ll be able to know where you sales are coming from so you can do more of what works, less of what doesn’t. Each affiliate program has their own way of tracking. so check with your program.
6. Not Connecting to Customer Problems
Bloggers often write product reviews that talk about the features of the product, rather than on the benefits it has for the reader. Think about the problems that people in your niche have, and talk about how the product solves that problem.
For example, if you want to promote a physical product like blenders, you could connect with current news stories about additives or other unwanted additives in baby food and discuss how making your OWN baby food with the blender may be the best option. Remember – you want to solve a problem, not sell a product.
7. Not Building a List
You should start creating a newsletter from Day 1. Building your list is the best way to connect with your readers and continue building trust with them. If you aren’t building a list already, I recommend Mad Mimi for beginners; I’ve been with them for years and absolutely love them.