Affiliate marketing beginners

Affiliate Marketing Beginners: 10 Mistakes to Avoid

Top 10 Common Mistakes New Affiliate Marketers Need to Avoid

You can't build a successful affiliate business overnight, especially if you're making a bunch of typical rookie mistakes. Thankfully, we've got the ultimate affiliate marketing beginners guide to help you avoid those.

Affiliate marketing is becoming an increasingly popular career choice, and for good reason. It gives you the chance to work from home, to create your own schedule, and, in time, to work fewer hours than a regular job while making more money!

Sounds like a no-brainer, right? For most people it is. But, this is not without a little bit of trial and error when getting started.

Here are the top ten things you shouldn't do when learning the ropes of affiliate marketing.

1. Quitting Your Job Before Getting Started

Although affiliate marketing does eventually turn into a passive income, this doesn't happen without a good amount of hard work. Expect to work many long nights and early mornings before you start seeing returns.

More importantly, don't quit your job just to focus on affiliate marketing! It's better to have a bit of a safety net at first in case your site takes more time to build a following than expected.

Not to mention, you'll still have a regular paycheck coming in to help you cover expenses. This takes the pressure off you to succeed right away and allows you to take your time and get things right rather than trying to grow too fast.

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2. Expecting Big Returns Right Away

Speaking of achieving success right away, you need to accept that's not going to happen. Your first few affiliate paychecks won't amount to much.

But, they will add up over time and the amount of each paycheck will grow over time, too. The big returns will come, you just can't count on them to pay next month's rent or your upcoming birthday celebration.

3. Assuming All You Need Is a Website

Here's another thing most people don't realize about affiliate marketing: It's a lot more work than it seems. It's more than what you see when you visit an affiliate site; there's an entire backend process at work.

This "backend" is a mixture of keyword research, link building, social media marketing, and more. It's all the efforts you need to do as the site owner to bring traffic to your site and generate business.

Think of this kind of like having a brick and mortar business. It's not enough to set up shop and put up an "open" sign. You have to actively get people "in the door."

4. Picking a Market You Know Nothing About

Just as you wouldn't open a restaurant if you know nothing about cooking, you shouldn't start an affiliate business based on travel if you don't take vacations much.

It's best to choose a niche you find interesting and that you know a thing or two about, too. This will make it easier to jump into work mode when you've already had a long day at your normal job or when you need to knock out some work in the morning.

A niche you're passionate about is always better than one you find boring but seems to have good money. The money will come when you have a genuine interest in what you're doing.

5. Slacking on Lead Generation

While it's easier to make money when you're passionate about you're market, the business won't build itself. You have to actively work on your lead generation strategy day in and day out.

Lead generation is the use of things like opt-ins and email campaigns to bring people to your site. It keeps you relevant in the eyes of consumers who know about you but have yet to make a purchase. It also helps you make contact with consumers who don't know anything about your site.

6. Annoying Your Leads

There's a fine line between engaging your leads and driving them away. Be careful of overselling your market or coming on too strong.

This is a surefire way to lose your audience fast. Take your time to build relationships and create genuine interest in who you are and what you do. Don't create pushy marketing campaigns or spam your audience's inbox.

7. Creating Low-Quality Content

One way to reach out to your leads without being annoying is to create high-quality content. This helps you get found online and hold the attention of potential users.

On the other hand, low-quality content is a fast-track to failure as an affiliate marketer. It tells users you really don't know what you're talking about or that you're just trying to make a quick buck off them. Either way, the message isn't good, and it's sure to give you a less than desirable reputation.

8. Talking About Products without Experience

Say you've chosen an industry you do enjoy and have experience with, but you get the opportunity to review a product you haven't worked with yet. Try it out before you start selling it.

The last thing you want to do is post an article (or a series of them) about a product you know nothing about. Even if you're well-versed in the market as a whole, savvy consumers will be able to tell when you're lying through your teeth.

This makes your trustworthiness plummet and makes you lose all the authority you've worked hard to build.

9. Forgetting to Track Site Performance

Maybe you're already doing everything by the book and you know better than to fall into typical affiliate marketing mistakes. But, do you know how to track site performance?

This is one of the most important skills when it comes to affiliate marketing beginners. It helps you track the success of your efforts from the very beginning.

Understanding site performance tells you what is working and what isn't. It keeps you from wasting time on mediocre marketing efforts and take advantage of your biggest online opportunities.

10. Underestimating Competitors

Last but not least, don't forget about competitors. You may think you're doing well until you see what kind of success other affiliates in your market have reached.

Keep an eye on the trends in your market and shifts in demand. Take note of what the most popular affiliates are doing and try to mimic their efforts. However, be wary of the fine line of staying on-trend and engaging in trademark infringement or copywriting issues.

Affiliate Marketing Beginners: Building Success from the Start

As beneficial as it is to know the "dont's" of affiliate marketing, you should know what the right things to do are, too. Thankfully, you've come to the right place.

Whether you have yet to claim your domain or you've been at affiliate marketing for a little while, we have plenty of tips to help you out. For more insights on affiliate marketing for beginners, click here, and please feel free to comment or share.

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6 thoughts on “Affiliate Marketing Beginners: 10 Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Hi there Rich,

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and tips in regards to affiliate marketing with us all, it is appreciated.

    I am actually delighted that I have come across this article by means of social media, I have taken a tip or two to heart and could certainly improve my own marketing skills, particularly where tracking is concerned.

    Do you have more information like a how to guide on tracking my sites and marketing progress?

  2. Just starting affiliate marketing here and to be honest with you, I feel like quitting my job already. It is said to be one of the best ways to make money online and although I don’t really know how it works, I am all in.

    I know money doesn’t fall from the skies straightaway, but how soon do people actually start cashing in with this model?

    1. Hi Cathy,

      It depends on many factors. How crowded is your niche? Is there money to be made from the niche? How much effort is put into learning and applying the skills learned. As with any business, there are a lot of variables. I know that’s not what you want to hear. But with work it can be a reality.

      Rich K

  3. Hallo there,

    I saw this post somewhere on social and I thought I should give my contribution as an experienced affiliate. Personally, the biggest mistake I have made is overlooking competition.

    I have seen this get me lowered in rankings many times, and when I spy on the competition, I always managed to get back up.

    So guys should keep a keen eye o this.

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