What Are The Biggest Mistakes Affiliate Marketers Make?

by 18 comments
I'm hoping to get as much contribution here as I can so that maybe we can
get affiliate marketers off on the right foot.

What are the biggest mistakes that affiliates make?

I have 3 that I think are at the top of the list but I'd like other opinions.

1. They pick poor products to sell. They don't do the research to see if the
product they're promoting has any demand to begin with.

2. They use the canned ads of the merchant. In my opinion, this doesn't set
you apart from everybody else. You're just one of the herd.

3. They don't take advantage of the many unique ways to promote the
product. They use the same tired things that everybody else is using. There
are so many promotional methods out there that are effective that people

Anybody want to add anything to this so that maybe we can give
affiliate marketers a little boost? I didn't want to go into too much detail
here because I didn't want this thread to turn into another one of my
novels. Feel free to add to this or expound on any of the above.

**EDIT** I've given Elmer Hurlstone permission to expand on this original
concept, so please refer to his post somewhere in this mess.
#internet marketing #affiliate #biggest #make #marketers #mistakes
  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    Hi Steve

    This may be covered by [3] but I'll throw in...

    4. They join an affiliate program and expect the sales to roll in without doing any (or much) promotion of their link.


  • Profile picture of the author Ron Killian
    They don't track. Ads, traffic sources, sales pages/presell, ect.
  • Profile picture of the author radhika
    5. Join in too many affiliate programs and dump all product ads on a single site.

  • Profile picture of the author Stanley Tang
    They dont include a bonus which tries to ethically bribe them (obviously, only for high end products)
    • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
      This one applies to review/affiliate sites...

      ...they damage their credibility by recommending the product that makes them the most commission, hoping that we (the dumb punters) won't notice they're doing it.

      Oh, and these babies ALWAYS just happen to earn them recurring commissions!


    • Profile picture of the author naruq
      The biggest Mistake Affiliate Marketers make is not doing lead generation first. For Example, Instead of just directing the prospect to a landing page that offers the product, affiliate marketers should offer a free e-book, cd or dvd to build their list. After the affiliate marketers build their list then they can offer backend products and services to build their commission checks bigger.
  • Profile picture of the author SusanUSA
    Thanks for all the tips. Here is my two cents to be added with the others:

    * They don't write enough content
    * They don't give good quality customer follow-up.
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
    Hi Steven,

    When I first started out in Affiliate Marketing back in 2001. I started
    out as a Clickbank Affiliate. The Mistakes I've listed below are the
    Mistakes I have made in the past and are also the same Mistakes
    I see so many newer Affiliates make.

    Here are "3 Mistakes" I know of and "How To Avoid Them."

    Mistake number 1: Choosing the wrong affiliate program.

    Many people want to earn from affiliate marketing as fast as possible. In
    their rush to be part of one, they tend to choose a bandwagon product.
    This is the kind of products that the program thinks is “hot”. They choose
    the product that is in demand without actually considering if the product
    appeals to them. This is not a very wise move obviously.

    Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, try top choose a product in which
    you are truly interested in. For any endeavor to succeed, you should take
    some time to plan and figure out your actions.

    Pick a product that appeals to you. Then do some research about that
    product to see if they are in demand. Promoting a product you are more
    passionate about is easier than promoting one for the sake of the earnings
    only. Choosing to do it this was something I found to be the simplest.
    Results will very between individules.

    Mistake number 2: Joining too many affiliate programs.

    Since affiliate programs are very easy to join, you might be tempted to
    join multiples of affiliate programs to try and maximize the earnings you will
    be getting. Besides you may think that there is nothing wrong and nothing
    to lose by being part of many affiliate programs.

    True, that is a great way to have multiple sources of income. However,
    joining multiple programs and attempting to promote them all at the same
    time will prevent you from concentrating on each one of them.

    The result? The maximum potential of your affiliate program is not realized
    and the income generated will not exactly be as huge as you were
    thinking initially it would. The best way to get excellent result is by joining
    just one program that pays a commission worth your time and effort.
    Then give it your best effort by promoting your products enthusiastically.
    As soon as you see that it is already making a reasonable profit, then
    maybe you can now join another affiliate program.

    The technique is to do it slowly but surely. There is really no need to rush
    into things, especially with affiliate marketing. With the way things are
    going, the future is looking real bright and it seems affiliate marketing will
    be staying for a long time too.

    Mistake number 3: Not buying the product or using the service.

    As an affiliate, you main purpose is to effectively and convincingly
    promote a product or service and to find customers. For you to achieve
    this purpose, you must be able to relay to the customers that certain
    product and service. It is therefore difficult for you to do this when you
    yourself have not tried these things out. Thus, you will fail to promote and
    recommend them convincingly. You will also fail to create a desire in your
    customers to avail any of what you are offering.

    Try the product or service personally first before you sign up as an
    affiliate to see if it is really delivering what it promises. If you have done
    so, then you are one of the credible and living testaments aware of its
    advantages and disadvantages. Your customers will then feel the sincerity
    and truthfulness in you and this will trigger them to try them out for

    Many affiliate marketers makes these mistakes and are paying dearly for
    their actions. To not fall into the same situation they have been in, try to
    do everything to avoid making the same mistakes.

    Time is the key. Take the time to analyze your marketing strategy and
    check if you're on the right track. If done properly, you will be able to
    maximize your affiliate marketing program and earn higher profits.

    Just my .02
    Hope that Helps.
    Have a Great Day!
    • Profile picture of the author Johnson Tay
      They are too quick to judge.

      They see 50 unique visitors trickle in with zero conversion and they immediately write the campaign off as a "failure".

      The axiom in Marketing is that you need at least 100 TARGETED visitors before passing any judgment. Some experts recommend 500-1000, but I prefer 100

      Anything beyond that means the product you're promoting has a crummy sales letter, as it can't even convert at 1%, so MOVE ON!
  • Profile picture of the author Elmer Hurlstone
    Interesting info here. I'm replying primarily so I can more easily follow this thread.

    Good question, Steve.

    • Profile picture of the author Elmer Hurlstone
      Thanks, Steve.

      Over the past few days I've been pondering a couple questions.

      The Publisher/Affiliate relationship is something like a marriage--without some of the more "personal" aspects. Although some of that can occur--figuratively--in an affiliate/publisher union.

      Here are the questions:

      1. What does a publisher need, want, expect and deserve from an affiliate?

      2. What does an affiliate need, want, expect and deserve from a publisher?

      What answers, based on experience, can you provide?

  • Profile picture of the author RenaissanceMan
    I got one - "not cloaking your affiliate link"

    I've noticed my sales conversions go from 1% to 3%+ just by cloaking my affiliate link - simple step that can make a HUGE difference (especially in the IM niche)
  • Profile picture of the author NMP

    They talk about THEY as master of the business, but still are poor in
    generating sales them self :O I.E Listen to too many experts who THINK
    they know what works instead of test and listen to proven income earners.

  • Profile picture of the author marko6262
    - Someone might have mentioned this one but how about giving up to soon. Once you start promoting a product stick with it and give it some time to produce. If it doesn't maybe it has something to do with your marketing method.

    - Not using all of the methods available on the internet to market. It seems like evey day I find new ways to advertise and every day more are being invented.
  • Profile picture of the author Money Grows Online
    I think most people really want to sell online but buy into what people tell them in their sales letter. "You won't have to work" It's Automatic. So what happens? They do nothing expecting money to come in through their PC Screen.

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