Three Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

by | Feb 10, 2020 | Marketing & Selling

You’ve found an awesome product and become an affiliate so that you can make some money while spreading the good news. Perhaps you’ve set up a website dedicated to this product, or are emailing your list about it. However, for some reason, you’re not getting all that many sales. Why?

It could be that you’re making one of these three very common affiliate marketing mistakes.

Three Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

You Are Not Pre-Selling

Are you trying to sell the affiliate product? That’s not your job, so stop it. One of the most common affiliate marketing mistakes is to directly for the sale, rather than warming up the prospect and letting the sales page do the selling.

This may sound counter-intuitive but stay with me a moment here. Think of it this way: A visitor comes to your site or opens your email and reads your sales pitch. She clicks on your affiliate link only to find another sales pitch. Likely as not, she will just lose interest.

To avoid this common error, you need to make sure your website and emails are pre-selling the affiliate product. Remember, your job as an affiliate marketer is to send people to the sales page — not sell the product. That way you should be able to keep the attention of your visitors so that they go from being a visitor to your site or reader of your email to a customer of the merchant site — rather than just a visitor to all sites selling the product!

Pre-selling is more like a movie trailer than an advertisement. You’re providing the sizzle, you’re getting your prospect curious to know more. You’re not talking about benefits and features. Make sense?


There used to be this Kinney Shoes at my local mall that I avoided like the plague. Why? Because you couldn’t walk by — and heaven forbid if you even glanced in the store — without this one salesperson practically jumping out at you and trying to sell you some shoes. If your website is covered in advertising, with no content, then your website is just like this salesperson. Yes, of course, your affiliate website is there to sell affiliate products, but you need to be a bit more subtle.

Surveys and empirical evidence show that visitors to a website want to leave the website with the feeling that they have learned something new — they don’t want to feel like they have just wasted their time. If you have all advertising and no content, this is exactly the feeling you will be leaving them with.

The same goes for your emails. You don’t’ want them to be all sell, sell, sell. You need to provide some reason for people to stay subscribed. And that reason would be some useful information or engaging entertainment.

While you may well find that you are still making sales using this affiliate marketing strategy, the simple fact of the matter is that you are not maximizing the profits you could be making if you just took a little bit of time to replace some of the space currently taken up with advertising on your site with some powerful and useful content.

You should find that having a healthy mix between content and advertising helps you to get much higher search engine results, which itself should direct more traffic to your website.

Note: This is not only one of the affiliate marketing mistakes, but can also be made when selling your own products. Rule of thumb: People don’t want to go to sites that are mostly advertising.

Not Knowing and Understanding Your Niche

If you were an Eskimo living on a sheet of ice, would you buy a freezer? Although freezers have their uses, they probably won’t be useful to an Eskimo living in the Arctic. What I’m getting at here is that you need to know who you are selling to and what kinds of products they are most likely to buy. If your niche is work at home moms, you will probably not have much luck selling them hunting accessories. But you might have great success selling them things that will help them better manage raising children while working at home.

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