3 Big Mistakes that Affiliate Marketers Make and How to Avoid Them

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Mistakes. They’re inevitable and bound to happen on occasion. Even if they’re small, they still often come with that regretful, sinking, wow-I-just-messed-up feeling in your stomach. 

Whether the mistake is forgetting to ask for extra avocado with your breakfast burrito or locking your keys and cell phone in the car with no spare on you, it’s bound to be at least a little unpleasant. I’ve done both, so I should know. Now, some mistakes are more common and detrimental than others, of course, and they’re no different in the world of affiliate marketing. It makes sense, too. 

The inner workings of affiliate marketing can be overwhelming and a little hard to grasp at times, especially for those who are new to the space. As with almost anything you want to succeed in, excelling in affiliate marketing takes a fair amount of industry knowledge, patience, and a good strategy—none of which come to anyone magically overnight. What I will say, though, is that by avoiding the big mistakes we see affiliate marketers make on the regular, you’ll be better poised for success. 

Now, how does that sound? I know I’m just one of the elusive voices behind this blog—akin to a floating Jor-El head—but I’m rooting for you. So, let’s get to it and talk about three mistakes that a lot of affiliate marketers make and, more importantly, how you can avoid them. 

1. Not understanding what they’re promoting

If you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve gotta walk the walk. If you’re human, you’ve heard this somewhere. What you should know, though, is that it applies heavily to affiliate marketing. 

One mistake that we see a lot of affiliate marketers make is not putting in the time to learn what they’re writing about. Many folks will promote products and services that they’ve never even tried before, which can seriously damage your credibility and limit your commissions. What’s worse, if you were to skip spending time with what you’re promoting, you could end up recommending something that isn’t very good. Think of the negative light that would cast on both you and your trustworthiness. 

Without taking the time to familiarize yourself with the products you’re putting out there, it can be hard to create content that educates. So, you’ve gotta walk the walk and, truthfully, walk the talk, too. All it takes is trying out the products that you intend to share with your audience so you can provide a true insider’s guide to using and making the most of them. Boom.

2. Prioritizing selling over educating

This mistake kind of goes hand-in-hand with the last one. Educating your audience about the products that you’re promoting is paramount, but something a lot of affiliate marketers will do is prioritize selling. 

Selling is important, of course, but the way you go about it is what matters most. Going the route of adding banners, buy-it-now buttons, and links isn’t solely going to convince your audience to purchase something. Something that often will, though, is educating them about a product or service’s benefits. By taking that approach, you’re investing in your audience by providing genuine guidance. That is priceless. 

Something like a step-by-step product how-to is a much more powerful, helpful, and subtle way to sell. People want to know why a product is so good, how it works, and what to expect. With that said, invest in creating content that answers any questions your audience may have about what you’re promoting. 

3. Publishing low-quality content

In the same way that lazily throwing a buy-it-now button on your site does, publishing low-quality content sends a message that you’re not entirely invested in what you’re promoting. In turn, your audience may grow to devalue what you’re putting out there. The reason that spells trouble is that, as an affiliate marketer, your primary product is your content. So, if it’s low-quality, that’s no good. 

The last mistake we’re covering in this article is sadly made often. There is an abundance of affiliate marketers out there that believe many run-of-the-mill posts can outweigh and outperform just one that’s phenomenal. I’m here to tell you, that’s just not true.

Now you might be wondering, “well, how can I produce high-quality content?” While the answers are plentiful, there are a few simple tips that you can keep in mind: 

  • Include images in your content, because posts with at least one tend to rank higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) than those that have no photos
  • Keep the word count in mind as first-page results are generally a little over 1800 words 
  • Do keyword research to determine how to outrank any potential competition

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Now that we’ve got an arsenal of tips for avoiding the top affiliate marketing mistakes, I think we’re ready to start poising ourselves for success in this space. It’s more than just avoiding mistakes, of course, but that’s one of the most important things we can do. 

Don’t forget, Purply is always here to help you, too. Something to note is that 92% of affiliate websites are inactive, perform mediocrely, or worse. That said, it isn’t always easy to know which ones are best for your partnership. That’s where we come in. With our automated affiliate program management, we offer customized recommendations for some of the best affiliate partners out there. If you think we can be of assistance to you and help you and your brand gear up for success, get in touch here. 

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