Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them – Affiliate Marketing Part 4

Affiliate marketing can be an excellent way to get started in business online or a powerful, profitable addition to a current business.

There are amazing and wonderful products to sell and wonderful product owners to partner with.

Being an affiliate marketer isn’t just about making money, it’s about promoting products that you believe in and are passionate about – this is key to becoming a successful affiliate.

But what if affiliate marketing doesn’t seem to be working for you?

Here are some of the common mistakes to avoid when you are starting out as an affiliate marketer:

1) There’s a disconnect with your visitors

No matter how interesting and informative the content of your site is, most of your visitors won’t stay and browse unless you have injected some of your personality into it.  Add some personal details, perhaps a photo or an about me page, and try to make the content sound as though you are actually talking to your visitors.  Write conversationally, as if you were speaking to your sister or your best friend.

2) All lookers and no buyers

This problem is generally caused by failure to really pre-sell the products you are promoting.  Anticipating the needs of your audience and convincing them that your affiliate product will address that need should increase your conversion rate.  A well designed site will have your customers prepared to buy the product before they even click on the link.

3) Not taking names

Don’t forget to ask your customers for their e-mail addresses, whether that is to receive a newsletter, e-book, audio, video, or a free report.  If you don’t, you are missing out on a great opportunity.  Very few people buy from a site on their first visit.  So capture their e-mail addresses in exchange for something of value so you can gain their trust and confidence and ensure you have future chances to sell to them.

4) Leaving out the human element

Human elements sell better than clever copy every time!  Don’t rely on advertising over testimonials.  Although banner ads in the sidebars on your webpage can lead to affiliate sales, they are not as effective as personal recommendations and endorsements.

Online customers are becoming immune to traditional advertising but the human element of a recommendation can still dramatically increase your sales.  Even though your customers are probably aware that you make a commission from recommending a product, they will reason that you would not endorse something you didn’t believe in because that would damage your reputation and credibility.

Do write a heartfelt enthusiastic endorsement.  It may take some practice, but it will be well worth the effort when the commissions begin to roll in.

5) Tell before you sell

Too much sales-y stuff and too little content turns people off.  Whether you are promoting affiliate products via a website or information products, your customers will want to learn something from you rather than reading a blatant sales pitch.

As a general rule, you should be aiming for 90% high quality informative content and 10% sales content on your site.

6) Repeating the same mistakes

Many affiliate marketers find they are only making a small profit from one product, so they decide to promote a large number of products in order to increase this income.  All you really achieve with this is repeating a formula that doesn’t work very effectively.

If you are not generating much income from your affiliate products, look at different ways to market them.  Having a few well-marketed products is always better than hundreds that get little exposure.  Don’t be afraid to try out some new marketing platforms and strategies.

See you for Part 5 – The Grand Finale!


  • Thanks Melanie for writing this great series. I think affiliate marketing is such a big part of an online business yet it is still such a mystery to so many people. Thanks for sharing! Michele

    • Glad you enjoyed this little mini series on affiliate marketing, Michele!

      You’re right. Affiliate marketing still remains a mystery to lots of folks and it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s actually a very simple way of not only earning some money, but letting your target audience become aware of people whose work you really admire. 🙂


  • While it seems to be common sense that you don’t want all the hype to sell something, it’s amazing how many people resort to that. Melanie, you’ve given invaluable advice about the writing part of affiliate marketing and probably helped someone sell much more because of it! I, too, have adopted a new buying policy. I have enough “stuff” to work with already – now I need to use it before I buy more. 🙂

    • Now you’re talking, Lis! I was just addressing this very same issue with Jane Lee the other day. She’s got herself enrolled in all kinds of things this summer. My advice to her — “It’s time to stop learning and start earning!”

      Most of us have more “stuff” than we really need already. So let’s not accumulate any more and start accumulating dollars and cents (and more good sense!) instead. 🙂


  • Getting enough information before I purchase a product is important to me. I usually don’t buy the first time I see an offer. I look to see if it is something I can use right now… or if I’m going to put on the back burner for later.

    Since I have fallen victim to information overload… I only purchase products that I’m going to use immediately. With that in mind… I offer my customers the same product several times over a period of time. They may be ready to purchase later.

    In other words… don’t give up too soon on your affiliate product.

    P.S. By the way… I don’t know why my photo doesn’t show up on your site. Hmmmm. I’ll have to look into this.

    • Kathy ~

      I can tell that you’re definitely finely tuned in to the nuances of affiliate marketing. Proud to know you. I’ve established a new “policy” for myself as far as “buying” goes. It’s hard to stick to, but I’m determined to do it. I will only make serious purchases “quarterly” and those items must be something that I can implement right away that will help to build my business. Otherwise, my wallet remains in my purse!

      Don’t know why your photo isn’t showing up. I bet Sheila can help you with that. 🙂 I just love the both of you.

  • That funny!on my last comment I mentioned find more ways to promote a product… and here you say the same thing but much better.

    I have had experienced getting spread too thin and found that I do best when I concentrate on the few products and really go for it.

    Love this one…”Tell before you sell”, I like having enough information that I feel like I am making an good choice.

    • Good for you, Sheila! I just knew you were a gal with her head screwed on straight. “Tell before you sell” is the best motto for success in affiliate marketing.

      Thanks for reading so many of my posts tonight!