Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and benefits from purchases made through these links as well as other affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you.
Because it doesn’t require processing and fulfilling orders, affiliate marketing is often preferred over traditional online businesses like e-commerce and dropshipping.
As an affiliate marketer, you can make money by promoting products, services and lead forms from other businesses. When a user clicks your affiliate link and completes the required action, you’ll earn a commission.
To create a successful and profitable affiliate marketing business, though, you must avoid making these 10 common mistakes.
Quick Table of Contents
- 1) Choosing Affiliate Offers Based Solely on Commission
- 2) Promoting Too Many Affiliate Offers
- 3) Using a Single Affiliate Network
- 4) Rarely or Never Testing Affiliate Links
- 5) Overlooking the Competition
- 6) Not Building an Email List
- 7) Believing PPC Advertising Is Too Expensive
- 8) Using an Excessive Number of Affiliate Links on Your Website
- 9) Copying Your Competitors’ Affiliate Marketing Strategies
- 10) Abandoning Nonprofitable Campaigns
1) Choosing Affiliate Offers Based Solely on Commission
A Commission is just one of many things to consider when choosing affiliate offers to promote.
Even if an affiliate offer has a high payout, it may not prove profitable or otherwise worthwhile to promote. Some of the top-performing affiliate offers with the highest conversion rates, in fact, have a low commission.
Affiliate offers with a high commission typically require a user to spend a lot of money or perform a lot of steps.
In comparison, affiliate offers with a low commission typically require users to spend less money or perform fewer steps.
As a result, conversion rates are often higher for affiliate offers with a low commission.
2) Promoting Too Many Affiliate Offers
Don’t make the mistake of promoting too many affiliate offers at once.
When launching your affiliate marketing business, you may feel compelled to promote a dozen or more affiliate offers.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to create and optimize campaigns for so many affiliate offers.
By focusing on just a few affiliate offers at once, you’ll experience greater success with your affiliate marketing business.
3) Using a Single Affiliate Network
What’s wrong with using a single affiliate network? If you only promote offers from a single affiliate network, you’ll have a limited number of offers from which to choose.
More importantly, you may get better payouts for the same offer on a different affiliate network.
If you’re currently promoting an offer on CJ Affiliate with a $10-per-sale commission, for example, ShareASale may have the same offer but with a $12-per-sale commission.
Check out offervault.com to compare offer commissions across different affiliate networks.
4) Rarely or Never Testing Affiliate Links
Try to get into the habit of testing your affiliate links at least once a week. It’s not uncommon for affiliate links to stop working. If an affiliate network pulls an offer, for instance, the links won’t work.
To ensure your traffic is properly tracked, test your affiliate links by clicking on them. After you click a link, you should see the click accounted for in the affiliate network.
If any of your links aren’t working, remove them from your website or landing pages and contact the affiliate network for assistance.
Consider using a Plugin like Thirsty Affiliates. You can store your affiliate links, auto-link them and then just change them in one place to update rather than in multiple places.
5) Overlooking the Competition
Because it’s such a popular type of online business, affiliate marketing isn’t without competition.
Nearly all worthwhile affiliate offers have dozens if not hundreds of affiliate marketers promoting them.
To succeed with an affiliate offer, you must assess your competitors’ strategies and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Only then can you effectively muscle your affiliate offers into the same digital territory.
6) Not Building an Email List
An email list is an invaluable tool for affiliate marketing, yet many affiliate marketers neglect to build one.
According to eMarketer, the average return on investment (ROI) for email marketing is four times higher than all other digital marketing strategies.
By creating a simple opt-in form, you can build a list of subscribers to whom you can later promote your affiliate offers.
7) Believing PPC Advertising Is Too Expensive
On Facebook Ads, the average cost per click (CPC) is about 25 cents. on Google Ads, the average CPC for Search Network traffic is about $1 to $2. On Bing Ads, the average CPC is less than $1.
Of course, click costs vary depending on factors such as keywords, competition, and Quality Score.
Nonetheless, you don’t have to spend a fortune on PPC advertising. Whether you use Facebook Ads, Google Ads or Bing Ads, you can score high-quality clicks without breaking your bank.
8) Using an Excessive Number of Affiliate Links on Your Website
Another common affiliate marketing mistake to avoid is using an excessive number of affiliate links on your website.
Google doesn’t prohibit the use of affiliate links. It does, however, classify websites and web pages consisting primarily of affiliate links as being thin content.
And like all forms of thin content, Google buries them deep in its search results where they receive little or no organic traffic.
9) Copying Your Competitors’ Affiliate Marketing Strategies
Avoid the temptation of copying your competitors’ affiliate marketing strategies.
Aside from being unethical and possibly illegal — under federal law, you can’t steal another person’s or business’s intellectual property — it doesn’t allow you to distinguish your campaigns from your competitors’.
If you copy a competitor’s campaign, neither of you will experience positive results. Users will likely mistake your affiliate campaign for your competitor’s.
10) Abandoning Nonprofitable Campaigns
If a recently launched affiliate marketing campaign fails to drive a positive ROI, you may assume that it’s best to cut your losses and move on to a different campaign.
After all, it doesn’t make sense to exhaust your time, energy and money on a campaign that’s not profitable.
The problem with abandoning nonprofitable campaigns is that you won’t have the opportunity to optimize and improve them. Most affiliate campaigns aren’t initially profitable.
It takes time to test different landing pages, target keywords, and promotional strategies. If you ditch a campaign with a negative ROI just a few days after launching it, you could lose a huge source of affiliate revenue.
Affiliate marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a legitimate type of online business that requires hard work and dedication.
If you’re guilty of making any of these affiliate marketing mistakes, you’ll struggle to turn a profit with your campaigns.