10 Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Chris Riviera | Updated June 26, 2022

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

The concept of affiliate marketing is very straightforward. You make money by promoting another’s product. In essence, if you successfully market a product and increase its sales, you get a share of the profit. Despite how straightforward the concept is, there are a few common mistakes that affiliate marketers end up making.

Don’t worry though, we’re here to help by tackling the top ten affiliate marketing mistakes.

10. Thinking you’ll get rich quick

Thinking you’ll get rich quick

Affiliate marketing is a popular job choice because it requires little investment and has a lot of return. However, you won’t end up becoming a millionaire overnight. In order to make huge monthly commissions, you’ll need a lot of commitment. Here are a few pointers to remember:

  • Research is key. Find out the story to your competitors’ success and compare that to what you’re doing. See where you might need to change your strategy.
  • Self-analysis is important. Never be afraid to accept constructive criticism.

In addition to being a great learning experience, it will help you become a better affiliate marketer.
Be patient. It takes time to build up your business and make consistent sales. The rewards are worth the wait!

9. Not being a quick learner

In the online world, everything is happening quickly, trends can change in the blink of an eye. If you aren’t up to date and well informed it might negatively affect your online presence.

For example, are you aware of the Iceberg Effect? This is something that wise affiliate marketers already know and what makes them part of the 1%.
If you want to know more about the Iceberg Effect, take a look at this book from Dean Holland in which he explains what it is and what is what he calls “the next generation of affiliate marketing”.

8. Not trying new things

Trying everything

This is my moto with Neat-Revenue: “Trying everything”.

I’m not telling you to jump on all marketing tools and offers you receive by email. I’m speaking about Split-Testing.

Sticking to one idea that makes you comfortable will only get you so far. Being willing to try new things is important when launching campaigns such as ads or email campaigns.

For example, in an email campaign, you can mix things up by using two different subject lines for the same email, experimenting between plain and HTML emails, and even creating personalized messages for your users.

When you’re trying new things, it’s important to keep in mind that the outcome may not be what you expect. You might find out that a particular subject line doesn’t get many clicks, or maybe your email is too long and people don’t want to read it.  

In other words, it’s not uncommon for things to go wrong when you’re testing new ideas with your list. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try new things or test new strategies, but it does mean that you need to be prepared for the fact that there will be some failures along the way.

Below is a short video that explains what is Split-Testing, also called A/B Testing

7. Promoting too many products

Quality over quantity should be your mantra. Common affiliate marketing mistakes made is promoting too many products in one go.

Being overenthusiastic and over-ambitious is never a good idea. You’ll end up with too much on your plate with not enough time to dedicate to each product. As a result, you’ll begin to compromise on quality for quantity and you’ll end up attracting less traffic on your website which can be a fatal mistake for your career.

Not to mention that you’ll need to deal with many different affiliate platform, making harder to follow your stats and track the results of your marketing effort.

Russel Brunson from ClickFunnels uses to say that “you should focus on promoting only 1 offer until you reach your first $1M. Then you can start again with a new product/offer/service…“.

This is so true, and this is something you should keep in mind when you’ll start doing affiliate marketing.

6. Designing a website of low quality

Low Quality Rating

Web design is another factor that requires a quality check. Slow page speeds, too many ads, and a scattered template will only drive potential customers away. Even if you do end up improving your website, the damage will have already been done.

Your website is your salesperson. Take time to groom it so that it serves the customers to their satisfaction. You don’t have to be a web designer, all you have to do is enlist help from platforms such as wordpress.org that help set up websites for free.

The best way to make your website attractive is by using a few simple tips. First, clean up the look of your website . Remove any clutter that distracts from what you’re selling. Second, provide relevant content to consumers. If they can’t find information on the products or services you sell easily, they’ll just move on to another site and never buy through you.

5. Not tracking your website’s performance

Content SEO Analytics

Paying attention to your website’s performance is vital. Your website is where all the magic happens and a slow website means you’ll have lower traffic. Tracking and optimizing your data is of utmost importance.

There are several tools available such as Google Analytics or even paying for a powerful web hosting that might be a solution. Otherwise, enable gzip for image compression to increase the speed.

For example, below is the result of our effort to improve page speed at neat-revenue.com (visit https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights to get insights of your site)

Page Speed for Affiliate Marketing

4. Choosing the wrong niche

Choosing a niche is one of the most important decisions you make when entering this field. There are several prominent niches that are immensely profitable such as health products, organic food, and the mattress industry.

However, if you pick up any of these niches without any interest or knowledge, you’re doomed to fail. Not only will you have competition, but because of your lack of passion and understanding, you will fail to stand out amongst your competitors.

Another blunder you can end up making is going for a niche that doesn’t attract buyers, rather it only attracts people looking for information. These niches can include sports news, game cheats, and entertainment gossip.

A quick tip in avoiding such areas is to always choose a product that should add some value to consumers. Choosing a product that will add value to consumers is the key to success. When you choose a product that adds value, it will make your customers feel good about themselves and their purchase.

3. Flooding your posts with affiliate links

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes 3 : Too many Links

Posting too many affiliate links is never a good idea. Mainly because they aren’t of any use to the readers and they don’t look professional.

Try to place them in a scattered manner under subsection or right at the end.

Try to cloak the affiliate links to make your website more aesthetic. You can do so by using the WordPress plugin Thirsty Affiliate (the one used on this website).

2. Recommending something you wouldn’t buy

A thumb rule to affiliate marketing is to only promote those products that you have tried out and have gained your trust as a buyer.

Your own personal experience will encourage a genuine recommendation. Your target market visits your website because they trust you and are relying on your recommendation.

Don’t promote products just for the sake of making money since that is unethical. Similarly, don’t try to oversell. Your reviews need to be genuine and if you come off as a pushy salesperson who doesn’t have any weight to his words, you won’t manage to make a name for yourself.

For example, I’m currently promoting the book the Iceberg Effect. I do it because I bought it (I even have a dedication from Dean Holland), I read it (3 times), and I know it is a fantastic book to read, especially if you are hoping to make money with affiliate marketing nowadays.

Affiliate Marketing Iceberg Effect

1. Ignoring SEO

SEO for Affiliate Marketing

Search Engine Optimization is an organic way to draw visitors to your website. Having good content is only one part of the equation, you need to make sure that you format your content in a way that it shows up on the top of a Google search.

If you have good content that isn’t optimized, a little benefit can be derived from that content. 

SEO should not be kept as an afterthought.  Rather your work should be planned in accordance with SEO. In order to do that you need to do your homework on SEO research in order to have a set of guidelines to follow that will create the right format and content that will get maximum views.

The best way to get good search engine rankings is by using a keyword focused website. Websites that are focused on getting the most relevant keywords in their content will result in higher rankings, and more traffic. This can be done by taking advantage of long tail keywords (keywords with less than five searches per month), which get lower competition and better results.

Also keep in mind that Google has changed its algorithm in the past and it will change again. Read the article Future of SEO: What you need to know if you want to know more about this subject.


While this list is full of 10 affiliate marketing mistakes that can make or break your online life as an affiliate marketer, there are numerous other mistakes which can also put you on the back burner.

Don’t get too much in your own way.
The key to success is working smart, not hard. 

There is no one-size-fits all formula for success. Success in affiliate marketing requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but if you take the time to learn from your affiliate marketing mistakes and do what works best for you, then you’ll be on your way to becoming an affiliate marketer who enjoys success!

Patience and perseverance will take you to the finish line.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Chris Riviera

I've been an online entrepreneur since 2010, starting with IT freelance jobs on oDesk, then doing consulting for bigger companies and now having my own online businesses since 2014.
I've sold my first online business (in the software niche) in 2019, and now I'm working on several other projects in the digital marketing space.

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