There are many stumbling blocks and things to avoid in your affiliate marketing business. I have tripped over many of these. Always better to learn from someone else mistakes …

 1– Selling not helping

You need to find products that help solve a problem for your audience. When you create a niche site you are establishing yourself as the authority of your niche. Your visitors come to you to find the answers to their problems. Both your content and your products should focus on solving these problems.

 2— Just Amazon

Amazon s a great program. But you are doing a disservice to your audience if you only offer Amazon products. As big as Amazon is they may not have the best product for a particular situation. Amazon also does not have any downloadable products which many niches can use.

 3— Too Many affiliate programs

You can take diversity too far though. Each program requires maintenance and updating. The worst thing you can do is to just add random links to your website. If the offerings have no context than they will convert poorly.

 4— Gave up to early

Affiliate marketing is a long game. If you are starting from scratch it can be very long. You need to choose a niche, build a site, create a base of content, attract an audience. This all takes time. Google also keeps a close eye on you in the beginning and is reluctant to send search results to your site in the first few months.

 5— Choose a niche with no buying intent traffic

When choosing your niche you need to be sure you focus on one that has the opportunity for products. When choosing a niche there are three things to consider:  PPP – Problems, Products, Profits You want to find your niches problems that you can help with, introduce your audience to beneficial products and make a profit via affiliate commissions. If you focus strictly on a niche like organic chemistry, there may be lots of opportunity for search traffic but everyone would be looking for information, not things to buy. keyword intent

 6— Shiny Object Syndrom

It is so easy to get distracted by the latest mastermind group or tool. There is a constant flow of new products, new courses, new SEO tools etc. Many of these tools are very useful to experienced marketers and can definitely improve efficiencies. For new marketers though everything you need can be found for free. Once you have more experience you will be in a better position to choose products that are helpful to you.

 7— Joining the “in-crowd”

When a product is popular you see it everywhere – that’s just good marketing.  But it is like picking stocks. By the time the taxi-driver is talking about it has peaked. You can waste a lot of time chasing hot products. Particularly in the make-money-online area. The hottest products also more competitive and best approached by experienced affiliates. Many of these hot products also have a multi-level-marketing MLM feel to them. So don’t fall for a hard sell – sometimes marketers are the easiest sales.

 8— Not building an email list

The cliche …The money is in the list. is a valid one. The thing with email marketing is that it gives you the opportunity to warm up your prospect. You start by giving them something valuable for their email, you follow up with additional valuable information and finally pitch them your product. By this time you have built some trust between you and the prospect.

 9Not tracking your activity

You need to track your links and measure your content success. You need to know what links are being clicked on. You need to know what percentage of those actually convert to sales. All of this information will let you see what is working. You can then add more backlink outreach and other off-page SEO efforts to the better-performing ones.

 10— Believing you will get rich quick with affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is not a quick way to riches. If you use paid traffic, you can get some quick success but you will need to invest in the ads. You also have eliminated one of the biggest advantages of affiliate marketing – low startup costs. Like a 401k your goal is to get rich slowly by building a base.

 11Not testing

You need to ab test all of your call to action links (CTA). This is one area where you can’t use your gut. Many themes like DIVI and Thrive have built-in ab testing. You want to test your landing pages.

 12Relying on just SEO and search traffic

SEO traffic is great. It’s free – well you must write the content. You need to consider every possible source of traffic including paid traffic. traffic

 13Offering low-quality products

Trust is easy to lose and hard to restore. Some marketplaces like ClickBank have both good products and some real junk. You need to know your audience and only present products you believe in.

 14Not using keyword research

You need to use keyword research to select and validate your niche and to drive your content marketing strategy. For your money pages, you need to find buying and commercial intent keywords.

buying intent keywords

You want keywords with enough volume to drive traffic but not so many that you are competing with giant sites.

 15No balance of info: buying keyword content

You need to write both information and buying content. If your site is nothing but “money-pages” with lots of affiliate links, you look like a marketer, not an authority. Google also wants to see a mix of content to determine your credibility. The information keywords will be easier to rank. The buying and commercial keywords will convert much better because of the search intent.

 16— Cut corners on content

Affiliate reviews are not great literature. They should be written in a chatty, personal and punchy way. But they also can not be spun content or very low-quality ESL content. If you are presenting your site as the place to find information about your niche, it needs to be well written.

 17— No niche focus no authority

You need to develop authority in a niche that you can compete for. You want to establish your niche site as the goto place for detailed information about the topic. An effective tool is to have a “Skyscraper” post that is the most detailed content on the topic.

 18— No Sales Funnels

You can’t just send visitors to your affiliate offer. The prospect at this point is a cold lead and the hardest to convert. There is no trust and in-fact the prospect is likely guarded having just clicked on a paid link. You should send prospects to a landing page where they have an email optin lead magnet. They should also be Facebook “pixeled” at this point. If they don’t convert from the landing page they are still in your lead funnel.

 19— Having just website for content

Yes, your foundation and bulk of your content is typically on your website. But don’t ignore all the other places you can get the word out. Quora, Yahoo Answers, Facebook, guest posts etc.

 20Using a free hosting site

You need to brand your company you can’t do that on a free blog site. You get no credibility from a free hosting site. You can use these sites as another place to have content but not as your base of operations.

 21Not being an expert in the niche

People don’t want to take product advice from you if you are not perceived to be an expert in the subject.

 23— Too many sites/niches at once Jumping

It’s fairly quick and easy to set up an affiliate niche site. Resist creating many sites. It’s very hard to develop multiple sites from a content standpoint. At least get each sites to 10-12 articles before jumping into the next one.

 24Not being active in groups

You want to be active in affiliate groups to continue to learn the latest techniques. You also want to be active in the groups associated with your niche.

 25Not promoting

You need to be a guerrilla marketer. You should be creating epic content that helps solve problems in your niche and promoting it in all of your social media channels. You need e-books and other giveaways to build your email list. You should consider making powerpoint and infographics to distribute. Never stop promoting.