9 Critical Mistakes Made by Affiliate Marketers!

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Now that you’ve landed on this post I believe you already know what affiliate marketing is and how does it work. Whether you’re a beginner or someone who already has tasted some level of success with the affiliate marketing, I’m sure the tips in this post are going to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes when you jump into affiliate marketing.

Most of the internet marketing gurus who claim to teach the affiliate marketing for free often hold back important pieces of the information that is crucial to your success in the business.

They’ll often persuade you to purchase their affiliate products which they’re promoting, since the majority of the people especially the beginners who enter this industry lack the crucial information that they need, they end up making mistakes and give up easily.

Here are the top ten of the common affiliate marketing mistakes to avoid if you’re planning to join this billion-dollar industry in order to achieve success at an early stage.

1- Being Short-Sighted

One of the biggest mistakes affiliate marketers make is being short-sighted. Affiliate marketing is a good way to grow an income online, but many people don’t have enough patience to do so.

In the beginning, new affiliates don’t have any connections, knowledge, or traffic to offers. They may not even know what program they’re going to be an affiliate of.

People need to prepare to build an affiliate marketing business vs. treating it like a lottery ticket.

2- Picking The Wrong Product To Promote

There are millions of products of all types you can promote with affiliate marketing campaigns and, since it defines your success in this business, you should choose these products wisely.

When an affiliate product and niche are just right for you, it fuels you up and inspires you to create more marketing activities around it. You might even get hooked and end up bring more authentic in what you do.

One affiliate marketing mistake you should avoid is picking a potentially prominent product/niche just because you think there’s money in it. If the topic itself doesn’t drive you on its own, it’s not worth it.

Believe it or not, you likely won’t be natural at promoting an affiliate business niche that doesn’t excite you. So don’t make yourself a money slave and make sure you do something you like and care about. Only then will everything go smoother than you expect.

3- Assuming people will just come to your site

There are millions of websites on the internet to choose from, so you can’t just sit and wait for traffic to come to yours. You have to be proactive by using techniques like link building, SEO and social media marketing if you want to get your site noticed and get people clicking on your affiliate links.

4- Always Looking for $1000 Products

I do agree that the costlier products mean the larger commissions, but will this costlier product able to compete with the crazy conversion rate?

You should know that although costlier products have a better commission but their buyers are so much limited. Moreover, people don’t purchase those products frequently.

On the other hand, products of the average pricing have more regular basis customer and sales.

One simple statistics that show, to earn $100 from $1000 products category it’s needed one sale and the commission is less. On the other hand, to make $ 1000 from the average products category, you need to sale 10 products in totals and the commission would be higher than that of the previous one.

In this case, the second category is more profitable with a high conversion rate. Moreover, your site will get ultimately more visitors.

5- Ignoring Site Performance

If you aren’t paying attention to the speed and performance of your site, then you will lose sales in the long term.

It is proven that slow websites tend to have lower traffic (and thus, revenue) than fast-loading sites. True, paying for a powerful web hosting might be one way to overcome this, but there is a lot you can do to optimize your website for better performance.

For example, by enabling gzip and image compression on your host, you will speed up your site considerably. Even the theme that you choose for your website can dramatically impact its performance!

6- Joining Any and Every Affiliate Program 

You know why this is a mistake?

Because new affiliate sites don’t have any traffic. So there really is no point. Right? Plus, promoting several products (and programs) can be tough.

For an affiliate site to work, there should only be 1 or 2 products that are highly recommended by the affiliate. That way you can send traffic from your posts to the product’s review.

What you should do:

If you’re in this for the long haul you should only focus on 1, maybe 2, affiliate programs. Ok? )

7- Focus on One Source of Income

You have to focus on a single niche.  It will make you recommend a limited number of products. However, do not market one or two products.

You should focus on your target audience, but create multiple income streams by marketing many products.

8- Not Building an Email List

My email list has hands down, been the single most effective way for me to market anything.

Whether it’s selling an affiliate product or one of my own courses, email is far and away the most effective way to both build a relationship with your audience and turn them into customers.

So if you’re not designing your site to help you optimize for building your email list you’re leaving a lot on the table.

9- Spamming Social Media

People are on social media, right? So why not post links all over social media accounts?

No one likes seeing links spammed all over personal pages, and it’s not going to give any results, so they should just stop.

Keeping affiliate links off social media altogether is a good idea. Instead of sharing spammy affiliate links on social media, they should share high-quality blog post content, and help people solve their problems.

Have You Made Any of These Mistakes?

We’ve all made mistakes.

In fact, people who make more money than others are making more because they’ve actually made more of these same mistakes than other people.

When you’re building a business, you have to actually embrace failure as a part of the process, and just keep pushing forward until you hit your goals.

Hopefully, after reading these 19 mistakes that I personally have made at times, and that I know other successful marketers have made, your path to success will be a lot shorter than what most of us have had to go through.

Building a successful affiliate marketing business can be one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do in your life, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. Being able to turn a basic website into a full time income is a great skill to have, and one that you’ll have for the rest of your life.

Be patient with yourself, be patient with your results, and just keep pushing forward, and you’ll end up more successful than you could have ever imagined possible when you first got started.


  1. This is great. I was doing some of these mistakes for a long time but after reading this post, I stopped it. I wish I knew this before.

  2. This is really good I enjoyed your advice of building a strong affiliate marketing thanks for that information may god bless you on that

      1. Ali,. Very useful tips that will encourage people to continue until they succeed. Thanks. Paul

  3. Great article with value in between the lines of sticking to the plan and making one of these mistakes will help us in the future.

    Future results will come in time with our business making mistakes will better us, make us stronger with more engagement to our blogs and social media.

    We have good SEO but results yet, not good, staying focused, and determined.


    1. Thanks again, Ali!
      I guess I need to learn more about list building. I have a thousand subscribers (I know that’s not a lot), but I have about a 3% open rate, on average, and it seems to be going down fast!
      Otherwise I think I am pretty much on track, according to your tips.

      1. It happens sometimes Craig, no worry about it. When you have quality content on your site, your subscribers goes up and your open rate will increase again 🙂


  4. It’s good that I got this now, haha, while I’m still at the bottom level just getting going. Glad to have met you Ali! you have some good information! Thanks for your emails.

  5. HI Ali this Elodie. How do you know when your website is attracting viewersif not what can you do as a beginner. Could it be the niche you have chosen. Thank you for that wealth of information you have imparted it means a lot.

    1. Hi Elodie, hope you’re fine and doing well. Your website starts getting traffic when your blogs ranks on search engines so it takes time at the beginning but when you rank on search engines, you’ll get constant traffic to your website.


  6. Hey Ali, that was a great article my brother, glad you mention the email way of promoting products. thanks for all of your advise!!!!

  7. hi ali i really enjoy your informative post. I have a website that is i guess blogging you sent me a message about great thing that are selling, which i thought were really great but i dont have the slightest clue how to add them i am not tech smart i could not even send you an email back. when i tried they were blank when they got to you . i do need help but i have to figure things out on my own because i cant afford the help right now. i really wish i could.

  8. Hello Ali,
    Thank you once again for a very helpful tip.
    May you continue sharing your knowledge and experiences. They are so valuable.
    God bless you more,

  9. Hi Ali
    Great post of the pitfalls of an affiliate marketer. Have you encountered another possible common affiliate pitfall? Such as one marketer spits out a post 2-3 times week and another marketer spits out 1 post a week.
    The former has a 50 post site but the latter has a 10 post site. The 50 post affiliate has unimpressive content and the 10 post site has more impressive content. Which site ranks better assuming all seo keywords are equal, site speed equal?

    1. You’re welcome. Glad to see that you liked it. Well, in my opinion, quality content and keywords are the most important factor to rank in search engines and other things like site speed can just improve it.


  10. Hello Ali – really informative post. I appreciate you breaking down what beginners should not do. How this is not a get rich overnight business. Your truth about the gurus holding
    back important pieces that are crucial to success. I always thought this, but no one has ever just come out and declared it.
    Beginners not having connections, knowledge or traffic is a huge mountain to climb, so I totally agree with you that building your business takes long days and nights of work…lots of work and patience.
    Your point of choosing the niche that can fuel you and inspire you, is such important advise to give someone planning on building their business. There are so many pieces of the puzzle that need to be thought out when choosing a niche, besides just passion about it. You need to be able to freely write and write and write some more and show that the niche is part of your make up and not just a way to earn a living.
    The proactive steps that a new business needs to have knowledge about is how to drive traffic, and your advise of techniques like link building, SEO and social media marketing if you want to get noticed, is so to the point critical knowledge. Have you written on the subject of “using techniques like link building”?
    Thank you for such interesting and educational posts.
    Nancy M Hamar
    Bedrooms by Nancy

    1. Hello Nancy, thank you for your comment and warm words about my post. I’m glad to see that you’ve found it useful. I have not wrote a post about link building yet but I’m planning to do it soon so follow upcoming articles. )


  11. Great post. We need more posts like his out there as there are so many people who see the marketers online with millions of pounds and the rolex and lambo lifestyle. Of course, this is achievable. However like anything it takes hard work, research and perseverance. Your post is very clear on what not to do when starting affiliate marketing. Keep up the good work.

  12. Thank for a blogpost! This is important information for any who wishes to start in the affiliate marketing segment. And i would say also an important reminder for those who already are building their online business, and are struggling a bit or are getting impatient for the results that will eventually come , if and only if you vigilant to your goals. Thank you for highlighting the fact that you have made some of these mistakes yourself, and have obviously learned from it.
    Further the advice you give of which of the strategies that have worked best for you is invaluable advice! I hope that people who reads your article take the advice you provide.
    The last comment is regarding the fact that affiliate marketing is no the way you want to go if you are looking for fast cash. It takes time to build a solid foundation. kind regards, Roy

  13. Fantastic post the mistakes are easy to make affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick scheme you have to be in for the long haul if you do you will get the rewards.

  14. hi Ali,
    This is a very helpful article. I know I am making some of the mistakes you list. I haven’t yet started using social media and I haven’t done anything about creating an email marketing list. I’ve only started creating content for my site since the end of February this year and I am doing my best to post 2 to 3 articles a week and that is taking up most of my time and focus. If anything it is possible I am not paying enough attention to affiliate marketing programs and links. But I feel that the more I build momentum and the more that this becomes second nature I can deal with those aspects as my site gathers more traffic. I am checking your advice on building email lists as well by the way.
    Thanks for an excellent and informative site.
    Best regards

  15. Great post! Having just started affiliate marketing, I was wondering about the small tips and tricks that aren’t public knowledge. So, it’s great to have a list of dos and dont’s to follow to make sure I get the most out of this. At the moment I’m only using amazon associates however since they’re taking a nosedive, I will need to spend more time finding affiliate networks around my niche. I definitely agree that people tend to be too short-sighted to use affiliate marketing to its full capacity.

  16. Hi Ali,
    You are correct that we all make mistakes. It is learning from them that separates the successful from the not successful.
    I didn’t realize focusing on one or two affiliate products was the best idea, but now that I have been in the business, I understand your point.
    It is easy to focus on promoting one or two than it is trying to push a lot of products. It may even seem less honest when your readers see all types of products. When I do, I think the blogger should just start an e-commerce store😀
    Thanks again for the great information and letting others learn from your mistakes.

  17. On the path of being an affiliate marketer myself, I really appreciate all of these points being in one place.

    The one that I have been doing wrong, according to this list, is with how many affiliate marketing programs that I join. Now that I see that I have a couple of affiliate programs that I have joined, I can see how it can be a bit tedious to keep up with them all.

    I’m thinking of joining an affiliate network, could I have your thoughts on that? (New article idea?)

    Anyway, thank you for this great post, and keep up the good work!

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