When it comes to starting out with any new business ,venture or even side hustle, you are going to make mistakes. There are no two ways about it, it will happen.
Over the last few years I have seen lots of entrepreneurs getting started, but making a lot of the same affiliate marketing mistakes, so today I wanted to look at the Top X mistakes I see new affiliate marketers make, and how to avoid them.
Now of course, I could look at just blogging mistakes, or SEO focused affiliate issues, but this is designed to focus on affiliate marketing as a whole, not at individual traffic styles or marketing styles.
No Plan Of Action
One of the biggest mistakes when marketers get started out, is never writing down or coming up with a sensible plan of action. It may just be a high level plan such as 'learn this marketing style' or 'learn how to start a blog'. Whatever it may be, you need some sort of plan of action to get started, follow and keep following.
Without it, most people become lost, confused or give up because they don't know what they are doing.
Take some time to sit down and work out what you are trying to achieve. What your end goal is, and what steps are required to get to that end point.
Not Enough Time Set Aside
Starting an online business, especially affiliate marketing is looked at as a side hustle, something you can do in your spare time, which is true, it can be.
But a lot of starter entrepreneurs assume that means an hour or two a week. Which is fine after you have been doing it for a few years, you have outsourced part of your business or you have got into a rhythm.
When you are just starting out, you need to accept that you will be pulling in a few hours a night, every night, potentially for quite a while. Don't be afraid to put in the hours at the start, to ease up the hours later on in life.
Not Looking At Or Reviewing The Data
A huge problem, especially if you are focused on SEO or Adverts, is ignoring the data provided by Google Analytics, or even ranking and SEO tools such as KeySearch or SERanking.
These tools or platforms can provide you with valuable information regarding your rankings, clickthrough rates or even how much you are spending per advert. This data allows you to tweak, concentrate your efforts or even update content to help understand where your time and efforts should be focused.
Many entrepreneurs will ignore this data, or not understand it, potentially wasting days, months or even years trying to make 'something work', ultimately reaching a stage of burnout.
Not Treating It As More Than A Hobby
Cliché, I get it. Nearly every online marketer I have met will tell people to follow their dreams and do this as a side hustle or a hobby, which is fine.
But at the end of the day, creating an online business, takes time, energy and of course money, there is no escape from that reality. If you don't treat your side hustle as anything more than 'just a bit of fun' or something that will just pay for a few pints down the pub, then you will never take it to the next level.
You can still do this as a side hobby, I do, quite successfully, but I treat it as a side business. Something that I do alongside a 'real job', as an additional form of income.
The moment you become serious about your hustle, the moment things start to click inside of your head.
Trying To Be Everywhere - No Focus
I fell into this trap, for ages I tried to be everywhere, on every platform and giving 10 or 20 minutes to each of these places, without building upon a single place.
Dave Sharpe of Legendary Marketer talks about being Omnipresent, inside of his Omni-Branding Formula, which is a very powerful trick to master, if you can learn how to split your content to work on multiple places, though for many, they don't.
For example, when I first started out, I would create images for an Instagram account, I would create different images for Facebook, I would do some random answers on Quora, write a few blog posts and then write something completely different on Medium.
None of these would be connected, the audience on Instagram only care about how to make money as fast as possible, and rarely want to learn (shocking truth), whereas the people in the Facebook page only joined because the page was originally focused on how to make money at university (as that was one of my first ever articles that did quite well).
I wasn't putting out a consistent, branded message or content, or being smart with my content, I just threw stuff out in every direction. Then, I learnt to focus, a lot of my time and energy goes into this site, The Avid Marketer, creating content and sharing the articles found within these servers to the wider world.
I also write content for my niche sites, but I split my time, energy and focus to each of these assets, one at a time. If you want to use 3 or 4 platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and YouTube, then do, but be consistent with your message, content and audience.
Don’t Understand The Product (Or Haven’t Taken The Time To Learn It)
A problem that many affiliate marketers face, especially if they run sites such as this, is that they don't take the time to test out a product, training or tool properly.
Many course owners would happily let you review their course to allow for a truthful and in-depth look at their products. For example James gave me access too his Phoenix and Breakout Code courses (I did then purchase them after to be fair), as so many of the Warrior+ products are hot garbage, they instantly get generic reviews written about them that don't actually talk about the product.
Physical products can be more difficult, and sometimes expensive to purchase. Many can be sold on for a minimal loss or for the same price, or even used if you are within the right niche and you like the products you are buying.
Take the time to really understand what the product does, how it works and how it can help solve problems or provide solutions to your audience.
If you are starting out in the online courses niche, then grabbing products such as Breakout Code 2.0 allows you to get access to older training courses and products by the same people, providing you with a great starting ground of products to look into and review. You will also find bundles of courses, tools and training for sale on sites such as W+, JvZoo and even ClickBank (if you are into that niche).
Don’t Take The Time To Understand The Audience
I admit, when I first started, I struggled with this, I thought I understood my audience, could put all my time and effort into that group of people, to only really realise that they where not my perfect audience, they where interested in different things and I didn't want to cater for that.
If you are creating content for Golfers, you need to understand everything about Golfers, or at least the problems they may face, the type of products they are willing to buy or even the amount of money they may want to spend to purchase a product.
As well as understand what platform you audience spends their time.
For example, the baking niche is hugely popular on sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, as they are heavily image focused (they are starting to do really well on TikTok). You wouldn't want to spend a lot of time on Twitter, or Bing Ads, because ultimately you would not reach the audience you want to get your self in front of.
Whereas 'make money online' is constantly searched about, within Google, Instagram, YouTube and even Facebook, so can be tweaked and found on pretty much any platform.
Try To Master Every Style
Another huge affiliate marketing mistake, trying to become the master of puppets, the jack of all trades and the supreme leader of the marketing world.
Sadly, that is rarely the case, instead what happens is that you learn little bits and pieces about each style, or a particular traffic source, but never truly master it or 'get good' at it.
Resulting in you becoming mediocre and not being able to really put your best foot forward on any particular platform or space.
For ages I tried to learn SEO, email marketing, funnels, ads and even the odd video or two. It's simply not sustainable. In the end, I settled on blogging and SEO, because I enjoyed it and I had spent more time learning that particular method. Plus, it was low cost, or virtually free in some cases.
It's fine to dip your toe in the water, grabbing a good 'all rounder' course such as MOS or Savage Affiliates, and getting to grips with, and learning the basics of the different marketing methods. But you should then take the time to focus on one of the methods that reaches out to you and grabs your attention.
Either going back through particular modules, or doing further research into those areas.
Can You Think Of Any Other Affiliate Marketing Mistakes People Make?
There are probably so many more mistakes marketers make, or even entrepreneurs or business owners make when just starting out. If you can think of some good ones, be sure to drop them below and perhaps they can be added back to this article for others to learn from.
I started this blog around 2017, after realising that I wanted to let people know about all the different ways someone could make money online. From DropShipping, Affiliate Marketing, Network Marketing and more.
This blog has now grown to review and explain a variety of different tools and platforms, in the bid to help you.
This blog contains affiliate links, and I will get a commission for purchases made through these links. It doesn’t change anything for you and will on occasion save you money! Enjoy, James.