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Avoid These 15 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes


81% of brands use affiliate programs.

(Nikolovska, 2021; Web Market Support, 2021)

If you are not doing it right, affiliate marketing can be a huge waste of time. Affiliate marketing mistakes can cost you a thousands of dimes.

There are endless affiliate programs to join, and most bloggers will try at least one at some point in their blogging journey.

Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make some extra money on the side, but it can also be tricky. There are a lot of potential mistakes that can be made, but thankfully many of them have solutions.

Here are 15 of the most common affiliate marketing mistakes, and how to solve them!

affiliate marketing mistakes

15 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

Mistake 1. Not Knowing the Difference Between a Lead and a Sale

When you are first starting with affiliate marketing, it is important to know the difference between a lead and a sale, especially to avoid from making affiliate marketing mistakes that may take your business down the drain. A lead is simply someone who clicks on your affiliate link and goes to the merchant’s website. A sale is when that person makes a purchase.

If you are only getting paid for leads, then you need to generate a lot of traffic to your affiliate links for it to be worth your while.

On the other hand, if you are getting paid for sales, then you need to focus on generating quality traffic that is more likely to convert into a sale.

The solution: Make sure you know what type of commission you are being paid before you start promoting any affiliate products. And if you are a business owner, decide which type of commission structure would work better for your affiliates.

Mistake 2. Promoting Products That You Have Not Used

As an affiliate, you should only promote products that you have used and that you believe in.

If you promote a product that you have not used, it will be very difficult to write an honest review or recommend it to your audience.

Even if you are promoting a product that you have used, make sure you are promoting the most recent version of the product. Things change and improve over time, and your review should reflect that.

The solution: Only promote products that you have used and that you would recommend to a friend. And make sure the product is the recent version in the market and is trustworthy!

Mistake 3. Not Reading the Terms and Conditions

When it comes to embarking on the promotion of any affiliate product, it is of paramount importance that you diligently acquaint yourself with the intricate and nuanced provisions stipulated within the terms and conditions that govern said product.

It is imperative to note that a plethora of affiliate programs espouse a rigid and stringent set of regulations that govern the permissible avenues by which their products may be promoted. For instance, some affiliate programs proscribe the use of paid advertising modalities as a means of disseminating and promoting their products.

Should you, in a lapse of judgement or inadvertence, breach the statutes enshrined within the affiliate program, the consequences could be devastating, potentially leading to your ousting from the program and the forfeiture of all of your commissions.

The solution: Therefore, it behooves you, as an affiliate marketer, to exercise prudence and circumspection by meticulously perusing and digesting the terms and conditions of the affiliate program in question prior to embarking on the arduous task of promoting their products. Furthermore, in the event of any quandaries or ambiguities, it is recommended that you seek recourse by contacting the affiliate manager and eliciting clarification on the relevant provisions.

Mistake 4. Not Disclosing That You Are an Affiliate

In the intricate world of affiliate marketing, transparency and disclosure reign supreme. As an affiliate, you are bound by law to divulge any commissions received for promoting particular products, as this serves as the bedrock of affiliate marketing – a symbiotic relationship between brands and influencers, built on honesty and openness.

The repercussions for failing to disclose your affiliation are not to be trifled with. The long arm of the law can impose hefty fines, while some affiliate programs may even bar you from participation altogether.

The solution: Fortunately, the solution to this quandary is simple – disclose your affiliation status on all fronts. Be it your blog or your social media profiles, adding a modest disclaimer or opting to use the ubiquitous hashtag #affiliate can go a long way in ensuring compliance and safeguarding your reputation in the cutthroat world of affiliate marketing.

Mistake 5. Not Using Tracking Links

Tracking links are essential for affiliate marketing. A tracking link is a special link that contains a unique code that tracks which affiliate referred a customer to a merchant’s website.

If you do not use tracking links, you will not be able to receive commissions for sales that are generated from your traffic.

The solution: Use tracking links every time you promote an affiliate product. Most affiliate programs will provide you with tracking links that you can use. If not, there are also several free and paid link-tracking services that you can use.

Mistake 6. Promoting Too Many Products

When you are first starting as an affiliate, it can be tempting to promote as many products as possible. But this is usually not a good idea.

If you promote too many products, it will be difficult to build a relationship of trust with your audience. It will also be difficult to focus on promoting any one product effectively.

The solution: A strategic and pragmatic approach that can optimize success is to begin by selectively promoting a modest assemblage of 1-3 products that are commensurate with your domain of expertise and relevance. As your influence and credibility increase and you develop a salient rapport with your growing audience, you can then prudently proceed to gradually expand and diversify your product portfolio, cognizant of the fact that the efficacy of this expansion is predicated on the cultivation of trust and authenticity with your audience.

Mistake 7. Not Doing Your Research

Delving into the depths of product promotion, it is imperative to undertake a thorough analysis before proceeding with any endorsements. The cardinal rule of this process is to ensure that the product is an impeccable match for your audience.

It should be noted that even if a product seems to align impeccably with your niche, it may not necessarily resonate with your audience. Hence, the paramountcy of meticulous research cannot be overstated. Reading product reviews, subjecting the product to personal testing, and scrutinizing audience preference are all integral to the evaluation process.

The solution: The remedy to this conundrum is quite simple yet far-reaching in its implications – before embarking on any promotional campaign, exhaustively research the product in question. Scrutinize reviews, personally test the product, and ascertain that it is a bona fide commodity that your audience would be keen on acquiring.

Mistake 8. Not Keeping Your Audience in Mind

The supremacy of adhering to your target audience when promoting a product cannot be overemphasized. Your audience should remain at the forefront of your mind, endlessly, throughout the promotion process.

It is crucial that your audience takes precedence when deciding which products to promote, as well as how to promote them. Any other approach would be tantamount to a misguided endeavor.

The solution: To achieve this end, you must keep your audience at the epicenter of your promotional strategies, always. Scrutinize whether the product being promoted is something that would pique their interest, whether they would consider it a necessity or a mere want. It is equally important to ensure that your promotions align seamlessly with their interests, lest you risk losing their trust and loyalty.

Mistake 9. Not expanding your approach

In the nascent stages of your affiliate marketing odyssey, it is judicious and efficacious to concentrate your promotional efforts on a select cadre of salient and relevant methodologies. However, as your business burgeons and your sphere of influence begins to fuse, it is expedient and prudent to proactively augment and diversify your promotional strategies and embark on a journey of discovery and experimentation with innovative and untested methodologies.

The expansive and dynamic nature of the affiliate marketing industry necessitates the cultivation of a malleable and agile approach that is characterized by a perpetual evolution and refinement of promotional modalities. Therefore, it is vital to ardently cultivate a spirit of curiosity and adventure and to fearlessly venture into uncharted territory in the pursuit of your ultimate success.

Similarly, if you are a business owner, you should consider partnering with affiliates who have a different audience or approach than you do.

The solution: Experiment with new methods of promotion and always be willing to try new things. You never know what might work! And to take advantage of your affiliate links, don’t forget to…use deep links.

Deep links are affiliate links that go directly to a specific product page on a merchant’s website, rather than the home page. Deep links are more effective than general links because they give customers the information they need to make a purchase decision right away. Use deep links whenever possible. Most affiliate programs will provide you with the ability to create deep links. And if not, several free and paid services can help you create them.

Mistake 10. Not Optimizing Your Website for SEO

To ensure the success of your affiliate website, optimizing it for search engine optimization (SEO) is imperative. This will bolster your chances of garnering increased traffic from individuals scouring the interwebs for products that align with your niche.

The solution: The remedy to this predicament is to optimize your website for SEO. This process entails an exhaustive search for and selection of the appropriate keywords, employing them judiciously throughout your website, and engaging in astute link building. Fear not if you are an SEO neophyte, as there are several resources at your disposal to help you navigate this intricate terrain.

Mistake 11. Not Creating Compelling Content

The art of attracting visitors to your affiliate website and enticing them to click on your links is crafting riveting and captivating content. This encompasses both written content, such as blogs and articles, and visual content, including videos and infographics.

The solution: The antidote to this quandary is to devote yourself wholly to fashioning content that is both high-quality and enthralling. It is only by doing so that you can garner the attention of your target audience and entice them to click on your links. In essence, the key to success in the affiliate marketing sphere lies in creating content that is undeniably magnetic and irresistible.

Mistake 12. Not Promoting Your Content

Merely crafting exceptional content is not enough to get it the visibility it deserves. You must promote it incessantly to secure a steady stream of traffic.

There are numerous ways to propagate your content, including leveraging the power of social media, tapping into the potential of email marketing, and delving into the world of paid advertising.

The solution: Employ a plethora of tactics to promote your content. This multifaceted approach will ensure that you reach the widest possible audience. The arsenal of strategies at your disposal includes harnessing the clout of social media platforms to amplify your reach, guest posting on relevant websites, and much more. Timing is yet another critical factor that plays a crucial role in the success of your promotional efforts. For more information, refer to our blog post titled “12 Affiliate Marketing Strategies for a Successful Business.”

Mistake 13. Overspending on businesses to manage your editorial calendar

If you are an affiliate marketer, one of the most important things you can do is manage your editorial calendar. This includes creating content, scheduling when it will be published, and promoting it. If you are asking too much of your business owner or manager, they will only over-dictate without seemingly no results, because in affiliate marketing only you know who is the audience you are dealing with.

The solution: Your audience wants to feel like you’re talking to them, not a business. Be genuine, transparent, and offer solutions that businesses can’t always offer. Do not overdo it and put off your audiences, because in the end they will unsubscribe or leave your page if it seems like you are only pushing a service or product.

Mistake 14. Not Incorporating Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing where you partner with influencers to promote your products or services. This can be a great way to reach a larger audience and generate more sales.

The solution: Find influencers in your niche and reach out to them about partnering with you. Many influencers are open to working with brands, but you need to make sure that you offer them something of value in return. This could be a commission on sales, free products, or exclusive content.

Mistake 15. Half-Heartedly Committing to the Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make money, but it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time, effort, and dedication to be successful, especially avoiding the affiliate marketing mistakes is the prime task. And if you’re not willing to put in the work, you’re not going to see the results.

Affiliate marketing is an investment, not a cost. And this is especially true for business owners who are looking to augment their marketing strategies. After all, affiliate marketing is not merely a cold and clinical tool to drive conversions, but a nuanced and emotionally charged method of forging meaningful connections with potential customers.

Therefore, it is vital to view affiliate marketing as an investment that demands not only financial outlay but a concerted emotional effort to cultivate relationships and foster trust. Only then you can fully enjoy the benefits of this world of affiliate marketing!

The solution: It might be a hard start, but it is important to be persistent and consistent in your efforts of doing affiliate marketing, including creating quality content, promoting your website religiously, and interacting with your audience even if it might be boring at times. If you are bored and unwilling to do the work, this is just going to be a lot harder, like looking for a grain in an ocean.


If you are an entrepreneurial luminary seeking to augment your revenue streams, embarking on an affiliate marketing crusade can prove to be a lucrative and rewarding endeavor. However, it is imperative that you remain cognizant of the potential pitfalls that lurk in the murky depths of this lucrative enterprise. These pitfalls can include a lack of due diligence in researching potential affiliate programs, a failure to actively promote your content and a half-hearted commitment to the affiliate program.

By ardently avoiding these insidious affiliate marketing mistakes, you can proactively pave the way for an ultimately triumphant and profitable affiliate marketing business. We sincerely hope that this exegesis has proven edifying and informative to you. If you have found value in the insights we have shared, we implore you to share it with your social network and circles of influence.

Moreover, if you require any further assistance or guidance in navigating the often-turbulent waters of the affiliate marketing industry, our esteemed team at 12 Channels stands at the ready to offer a comprehensive array of services ranging from content creation to social media marketing and affiliate programs. Contact us today and let us help you navigate the intricate labyrinth of affiliate marketing without making any egregious blunders!

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