7 Mistakes New Affiliate Marketers Make Online

Referral affiliate partnership program

There are so many tips and tricks to be aware of, it can be overwhelming if you’re a new affiliate marketer. 

Sometimes it’s easier to understand what not to do so that you can make better decisions.

This simple list of common mistakes made by affiliate marketers can get you on track and guide you to greater success.

7 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes

1. Choosing the Wrong Products

If you break down affiliate marketing to its core, we know that selling products is how you make money. 

What you might not realize, is that the products you choose totally influence how profitable your affiliate marketing will be. Let me explain.

Too often, affiliate marketers put all of their eggs in one basket. This means either focusing only on high-ticket items or recurring commissions. Or even worse, focusing only on one-time, low-paying items.

The best strategy you can take as an affiliate marketer is to choose both high-ticket items and items with recurring commissions. 

Find items that are based on subscriptions so that you receive a commission for the duration of the subscription and every time they renew. These items don’t necessarily have to be high priced.

Supplement that with high-ticket items that offer a decent commission from a single sale. This strategy is the best way to make consistent profits from your affiliate products.

2. Not Sticking to Your Niche

A major pitfall that affiliate marketers fall into is not sticking to a niche. Defining a profitable niche is crucial to your success as an affiliate marketer. 

Say you’ve already researched and identified a great niche. The biggest mistake you can make now is to choose products that don’t represent that topic. 

Think about it – you’ve done the work to find a niche, which means you know your target audience. Pushing products that don’t fall into your niche will do nothing for that target audience.

If your target audience isn’t interested, you can say goodbye to conversions. 

So, always keep your niche and target market in mind when you choose affiliate products.

3. Not Disclosing Affiliates

Affiliate disclosures are a small snippet at the top of your page that lets the audience know you have a paid agreement with the brands you’re linking to. 

Guidelines for affiliate disclosures are created by the Federal Trade Commission.

Here are some simple rules to follow:

  • Disclose affiliate links in every post they’re used in
  • Make the disclosure clear and conspicuous 
  • Do not hide the disclosure somewhere on your website
  • Do not place the disclosure at the end of the post or after the link. 
  • Make sure the reader knows the affiliate link means

Affiliate disclosures often look something like this:

“I get a commission from sales made through links on this post.” Here’s a good example of a clear disclosure from WhoIsHostingThis:

Who is hosting this - Affiliate disclosure
Who is hosting this – Affiliate Disclosure

You may be tempted to skip affiliate disclosure, but it’s not a good idea. Failing to disclose your affiliate links is a big mistake, and can lead to a fine from the FTC.

4. Inconsistent Content

Coming up with creative, high-quality content is a job that’s never over. As an affiliate marketer, content should always be at the heart of your business. 

Unfortunately, content creation is hard work, and that’s why so many affiliate marketers end up lagging on new posts or posting sub-par content.  

As hard as it is, you need to strive to produce beneficial content on a regular basis. Consistency should apply to both the quality of your work and the frequency with which you post.

 Now, that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. There are lots of websites, such as Upwork, that can help you find freelancers. These sites can help you find writers, editors, and designers who can design landing pages to use along with the content.

5. Not Using SEO

This is a big one. I’m sure you’re at least aware of SEO, but without a solid understanding, your hard work is going to waste. 

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the best way to get your content to its intended audience. 

You might write the most in-depth, informative article about a particular product, but without the right SEO practices, it may never reach its full potential.

The best way to incorporate SEO practices into your content is to use an SEO tool. 

SurferSEO is an SEO tool that can help you optimize existing content, create new content, and get a better understanding of your competition. If you’re a beginner, you can easily learn how to use SurferSEO. This is one of the most beginner-friendly SEO tools available while remaining highly effective.

Surfer SEO – Rank Your Content With the Power of AI

The #1 Content Intelligence tool that merges content strategy, creation, and optimization into one process–to help content teams grow brands, organic traffic, and revenue.

Surfer SEO Coupon Code: 30% off for 6 months. No coupon code is required.

Surfer SEO logo avatar

6. Not Using a Marketing Funnel

As with any type of sales, implementing a marketing funnel can be beneficial to affiliate marketers. 

An affiliate marketing funnel is a path that you create for your customers to follow in order to purchase a product using your link. A good marketing funnel moves the audience toward the product you’re affiliated with.

Here’s a good visual from Single Grain:

Single Grain - Affiliate Funnel
Single Grain – Affiliate Funnel

Done right, an affiliate marketing funnel should:

  • Increase awareness of your content to the target audience
  • Pique the interest of the audience 
  • Provide useful solutions 
  • Earn the trust of your target audience
  • Maximize your leads
  • Increase your leads
  • Gain a loyal audience

The good news is, if you implement the proper SEO, your target audience will come to you. That means it’s up to you to earn their trust and gain a loyal audience so that they use your affiliate links.

7. Giving Up Too Quickly

Unfortunately, many affiliate marketers start out in the hopes of making lots of money, really fast. When reality hits, a lot of people jump ship. 

The truth of the matter is this: affiliate marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. 

It’s going to take hard work, dedication, and time before you see real results. If you are motivated to put in the work, you have the potential to be profitable as an affiliate marketer. 

Set goals for yourself, evaluate where you are, and make changes if necessary.


If you’ve made it this far, you’re on the right track to creating an effective affiliate marketing strategy. 

Remember to choose your products wisely, get your content to the target audience with SEO and marketing funnels, and always practice affiliate disclosure. 

Most importantly, give yourself the time to see real results before giving up. Having the knowledge of what to avoid on your journey as an affiliate marketer will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run.

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes
Deadly sins of affiliate marketing.

Image source: Freepik Premium

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top