Five common mistakes to avoid when starting affiliate marketing

Blog / Affiliate / Five common mistakes to avoid when starting affiliate marketing
Written by Helena Svensson
Published 7 Apr 2023Updated 6 Dec 2023
Affiliate marketing is a popular method of making money online, and many digital entrepreneurs use it to increase their income. But there are many common mistakes that beginners make. Try to avoid these pitfalls and your affiliate marketing will go much better. Here are five common mistakes to avoid:

A common misstake to avoid as an affiliate

Remember to choose relevant products and services to market. Do your homework and check both the products and the companies at depth before you market them towards your audience. Do your best to follow this tip to avoid making the most common affiliate marketing mistakes and "burning" your audience by marketing something they aren't interested in.

Do your best to avoid these mistakes and you will increase your chances of success with your affiliate marketing!

Choosing the wrong products to market

One of the most common mistakes newbies make when getting started with affiliate marketing is choosing the wrong products to promote. It is of course fundamental that you choose products that are relevant to your target group and that you yourself can stand behind. If you market products that do not suit your target group or that you do not believe in, it can seriously damage your brand and also reduce your credibility.

To avoid this mistake, you should know what you are actually considering promoting, in other words, you should have tested them yourself. You also need to be sure that they suit your target group and that you yourself believe in and like the product. There are many examples of publishers who promoted an inappropriate or even bad product and lost a lot, both when it comes to reputation and followers. So make sure that you are promoting something that you yourself really like and that also suits your target group. Are you a beginner? Read our ultimate guide to affiliate marketing for beginners or why you should build your own email list


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Not checking out the products and companies

Another common mistake beginners make when starting affiliate marketing is not vetting the products and companies they choose to promote. It can be tempting to promote a product that promises high commissions without looking into the product or the company behind it. You therefore need to take a look at the company behind the product, so you know they are reliable and have a good reputation. You don't want to risk promoting a product that makes your channel look bad. That could also lead to your channel losing a large percentage of its followers …

It is not possible to give exact guidelines regarding suitable products. A product may work for one channel, but would create an outcry if marketed at another type of channel. Feel free to put yourself in your followers' shoes. How would you feel about product x being promoted in your channel? Your channel's engagement is built on trust and you don't want to risk losing the trust of your followers. Because if you lose their trust, you also lose them and thus your potential income.

Not understanding how to market the products

Another common beginner mistake is not understanding how to market the products properly. Affiliate marketing is about selling products, and to do that you need to know how to best reach your target audience. If you don't understand your target audience or what marketing methods work best for them, you may fail to get your links to convert into sales. You need to speak to them in the right way and make them feel such a strong need for the marketed product that they actually buy it. Maybe you can use the old classic rhetoric tricks ethos, pathos and logos? They are actually used precisely to convince an audience.

Ethos is about establishing one's credibility and authority, and you probably do that work on a daily basis with your channel. Pathos is about using emotion to influence and logos is about using logic and facts to persuade. When applying this to affiliate marketing, it means that you need to create a feeling in order to influence your recipient. You also need to get logic and facts into your marketing. So aim for a combination. If you use both rational arguments for the brain and convincing feelings for the heart, you will have a good starting point.


Not measuring the results

They usually say "to measure is to know" and that is certainly true. To know if your affiliate marketing is working, it is important that you measure the results. You should use tools like Google Analytics to track traffic and conversions to your affiliate links. Not measuring the results can leave you with no idea what is working or not in your marketing. Dare to try new ideas and paths - you never know in advance what will actually work and what won't. But make sure to continuously measure and evaluate.

Not being transparent

Transparency is key when it comes to affiliate marketing. You should always inform your readers that you are using affiliate links and that you will receive a commission if they purchase the product. Not being transparent can reduce your credibility and damage your brand. People are used to advertising and marketing, but they want clarity on what is what. Is it unsponsored content or is it advertising? For your followers, the difference is important. Of course, you also need to make sure to follow the regulations regarding advertising.


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Avoiding these common mistakes can help you succeed in affiliate marketing. Remember to choose relevant products, check both the products and the companies, understand how to market the products, measure the results and be transparent. Do your best to follow these tips to avoid making the most common affiliate marketing mistakes. Instead, you create as good opportunities as you can to succeed - and maximize your earnings - with your affiliate marketing! Do you want to know how much you can earn on affiliate marketing within different categories? Addrevenue updates those statistics every night, one of the reasons why Addrevenue is the best affiliate network!

Helena Svensson
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